Roger I DE MERLAY, Baron of Morpeth
(Est 1145-1188)
Donnchad MAC DONNCHADA, Earl of Fife
(Bef 1154-1203)
Roger II DE MERLAY, Baron of Morpeth
(Est 1175-1239)
(-Bef 1226)
Roger III DE MERLAY, Baron of Morpeth
(Est 1210-1265)


Family Links

Isabel DE ROOS

Roger III DE MERLAY, Baron of Morpeth 1

  • Born: Est 1210, Morpeth, Northumberland, England
  • Married: Abt 1240
  • Died: Shortly before 4 Dec 1265

  Also called Roger DE MERLEY

  General Notes:

compiler's 24 x great grandfather

  Research Notes:

By the Testa de Nevill it appears, that the third Roger de Merley held the Barony of Morpeth by the service of four knights' fees...

Roger, the third, granted to his burgesses a freedom from all taxes, subsidies, or contributions, except those to the king for public safety, the marriage honours of the lord's heir or eldest daughter, or the lord's redemption from captivity. By the same charter, the prizes raised by his officers and servants, or those of his successors, on bread and beer, and other things, were assigned to the creditors within the borough, to be paid within forty days. Such of them as were not paid within that time, were enjoined to remain easy till they could be paid. The lord was at liberty, in the mean time, to make other prizes, at his pleasure. His prize for beer in the whole year was three gallons, valued at one penny. Their accustomed common-right, pasturage, and other conveniences, were confirmed to them and their successors, and way-leave granted to and from the town, corn-fields and meadows only excepted. He gave them liberty of pasture on his stubbles of Wenherlaw, to the west of the town, between Newminster priory and the foss or ditch of the west park; reserved to himself and his heirs the eatage of them for fifteen days after the corn was carried off. They had fuel from his turbaries within the manor of Morpeth, at his pleasure, for a penny a load. For every horned beast, and for every horse, found feeding within his enclosed grounds, they paid a halfpenny, and the same for five sheep, as a compensation for three several trespasses, as well without as within the enclosures; and for the fourth trespass of every horned beast in his enclosed wood or boscage, they paid eight-pence, and four-pence for each taken without the inclosure, and afterwards taking only a halfpenny for a beast trespassing three times as at first. If their cattle were taken among corn, or in the meadows, they made reparation according to the season of the year. He granted and confirmed to them and their successors most of the unoccupied ground, which was their ancient market-place, with an injunction to build stalls for the use of butchers and those that sold fishes; and a prohibition for any of their goods to be sold before the hour of nine o'clock, and in no other part of the town, except in gross or by wholesale; his lordship reserving to himself and his successors a power to build upon any of his lands wherein he had granted a right of common to the corporation. He confined them to grind their corn at his mill of Morpeth, according to former usage.

Lord Merley's market at Morpeth proved such a detriment to the neighbouring market of Mitford, that Roger de Bertram, Baron of Mitford, 34 king Henry III, 1250, impleaded him in the county court of Northumberland for damages; but the king being acquainted with it, sent his precept to the sheriff, prohibiting him to proceed further in that suit, because it belonged not to his jurisdiction.

Lord Merley founded a chantry in the church of Stannington. He died 50 king Henry III.1265, and was interred at Newminster, near his father.... His barony came to his daughters and coheirs, Mary and Johanna. Mary married William Lord Greystock, by whom she had two sons and one daughter, viz. John, William, and Margaret. Johanna married Robert de Somerville, by whom she had five sons and one daughter, viz. Robert, Roger, Adam, John, Philip, and Isabell. Her husband and her son John died 25 king Edward I. and her daughter Isabell died 33d of the same reign. Her other four sons all lived to possess her moiety of the barony of Morpeth, in their turn, and died without male issue. 2


Quo warranto proceedings in the reign of Edward I give references to two, perhaps three, lost acts of Henry I for Ranulf de Merlay. These acts were produced by John of Greystoke (son of William of Greystoke), and by Roger de Somerville and his wife Isabel, in separate hearings. William of Greystoke and Roger de Somerville had married the daughters and eventual coheirs of Roger III de Merlay, who died in 1265... In addition to the lost acts for Ranulf evidenced by quo warranto proceedings, there are several versions of a charter in Henry’s name giving him Juliana, daughter of Earl Gospatric, in marriage..... 3


  • 10 Apr 1239, Westminster

The king has taken the homage of Roger de Merlay, son and heir of Roger de Merlay , for the lands which the aforesaid Roger held of the king in chief. Order to Roger of Essex to take security from the same Roger for rendering £100 to the king for his relief, namely £25 at Trinity in the twenty-third year, £25 at Michaelmas in the same year, £25 at Hilary in the twenty-fourth year, and £25 at the Close of Easter in the same year, and to cause him to have seisin of the lands of which the same Roger was seised in his demesne as of fee on the day he died.

Calendar of Fine Rolls, 23 Hen. III, 138


  • After 26 Jan 1250

Roger Bertram gives the king 5 marks for having a writ relating to the county court of Northumberland [returned] to [the justices of the Bench at] Westminster, concerning a market raised by Roger de Merley.

Calendar of Fine Rolls, 34 Hen. III, 169


  • 11 Jan 1251

The king has granted to Roger de Merlay that he may render 10 marks at the Exchequer of Michaelmas in the thirty-fifth year of the 100 marks at which he was amerced before his justices last itinerant to take the pleas of the forest in Northumberland, 10 marks at the Exchequer of Easter next following, and 20 marks thus from year to year at the same terms until the aforesaid 100 marks are paid to the king.

Calendar of Fine Rolls, 35 Hen. III, 178


  • 30 Apr 1257

Roger de Merley de Morpathe has made fine with the king by 4 marks of gold for having the liberty to keep his woods by his own foresters throughout his life, and for having charters of markets, fairs and warren and acquitting them [from the fees] of the seal as much as pertains to the king. And for the aforesaid fine he will pay one moiety in the king’s Wardrobe at the next Nativity of St. John the Baptist and the other moiety at Michaelmas next following. He has paid half for the term of St. John, namely two marks of gold and is quit thereof, and two marks of gold for the term of Michaelmas and is quit.

Calendar of Fine Rolls, 41 Hen. III, 604


  • 30 Jan 1266, Westminster

Grant to Geoffrey de Leziniaco, the king's brother, for 400 marks wherein the king was bound to him, and for 400 marks wherein Edward the king's son was bound to him, and for 200 marks which the said Geoffrey will pay to William de Chaueny by order of the king, if the wardship of the lands and heirs of Roger de Merley, deceased, who held in chief with the marriage of the heirs.

  • 17 Mar 1266, Westminster

Grant to Geoffrey de Lezinian the king's brother, for 400 marks wherein the king was bound to him, and for 400 marks wherein Edward the king's son was bound to him, and for 200 marks which the said Geoffrey will pay to William de Chaveny by order of the king, if the wardship of the lands and heirs of Roger de Merley, who held in chief, with the marriage of the heirs.

Calendar of Patent Rolls, Hen. III, vol. 5, pp. 542, 569


  • 25 Apr 1271

[A] Charter, whereby Roger de Merlay the third gave to the abbot and monks of Newminster, in frank almoin, the tillage called Upper Farnileye and all the wood on the south side of Upper Farnileye as far as the tilled land of the said Roger on the south, with the dike enclosing, which runs from Wanspic between Upper and Lower Farnileye and through the middle of the wood southwards to the said tilled land, and thence along the dike between and the wood westwards to the old bounds of the said monks, provided that Upper Farnileye shall be specially assigned to the fabric (operi) of the church of Newminster; and also a place between the wood of Cottyngwode and the water of Wanspic, that is at Blyndwell, as enclosed by a dike, for use as a quarry or as the monks will.....

Calendar of Charter Rolls, 55 Hen. III, p. 167


  • 7 May 1275, Westminster

Mandate to Guichard de Charrun to make, by juries of the counties of York and Leicester, an extent of certain fees held of Roger de Merlay, lately deceased (tenant in chief, which, however, he did not hold of the king), to wit, as well as those fees which were assigned in dower to Isabella, late the wife of the said Roger, as of others in dispute, and to make a partition thereof between William son of Thomas de Creystok and Mary his wife, the elder daughter and one of the heirs of the aforesaid Roger, and Robert de Somervill and Isabella his wife, the other daughter and heir of the said Roger, the said parties being unable to agree.

Calendar of Patent Rolls, Edw. I, vol. 1, p. 88


Inquisition Post Mortem

636. Roger de Merley alias de Merlay

Writ, 4 Dec. Extent, Tuesday before the Conversion of St. Paul, 50 Hen. III. [1265].

His three daughters are his heirs, whereof the eldest, aged 24, is married to William de Graystok, the second aged 10, is not married, and the third, aged 8, was married before the said Roger's death to the son and heir of Marmaduke de Tueng.

York. Burton manor (extent given with names of tenants), including a croft called Cumbland, a culture called Elyesflat, a mill and culture at Thyrnun, and lands and rents in the towns of Drenghou and Thyrnon, held of Peter de Brus, service unspecified.

Knights' fees pertaining to the manor:—

Harpam, Burton, Thyrnom, Mapelton, Rolleston, and Grancemor, 2 1/3 knights' fees held by Herbert de Sancto Quintino. Jetingham, Brentingham, Clif and Cave, 1 knight's fee held by Hugh Gubyon. Burton, 5 bovates land held by the said Hugh by service of 1/20 knight's fee. Rodestayn, Benton, and Buketon, 1 knight's fee held by William de Rodestayn. Hasthorp, 1/6 knight's fee held by William de Hasthorp. Thyrnom and Grancemor, 1/12 knight's fee held by Alan Romund. Thyrnom, 1/40 knight's fee held by Anselm le Engleys; and 1/4 knight's fee held by John le Engleys. Harpam, 1/10? knight's fee held by Thomas de Louthorp.

C. Hen. III. File 33. (10.) 4

775. Roger de Merlay

Writ of Partition, 6 Nov. on the complaint of William de Craystok, who married Mary, eldest daughter and one of the heirs of the said Roger, that owing to the death of Alice the youngest daughter, who was in the king's wardship, partition of the woods and parks had been omitted by the escheator, and Robert de Eure, who married Isabel, another daughter and heir, would not permit the said William and Mary to have their portion. Partition, 4 March, 55 Hen. III. [1270/1]

Northumberland. Morpath, Horseleye and Witton. Partition made, with full extent of boundaries, of the said parks and woods. And lot being cast, this is the part of Sir William de Graystoc, viz.—The western part of the forest, and Estparc with Schaldefen in Morpath; and to Sir Robert de Euer and his heirs remain, the eastern part of the forest, and Cotingwode and Westparc, and a parcel of wood in Widehaldeside.

Writ of ad plenum certiorari, 20 July, divers contentions having arisen upon the partitions lately made. Inq. The day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, 55 Hen. III.

Northumberland. The whole inheritance of the said Roger in the county was parted at first as follows, viz.—Morpath assigned to Sir William, son of Thomas de Greystock, and Mary his wife, Wytton with the service of Wyndegate to the said Isabel, and Beuasys and Stanington with a parcel in Trenwell to the said Alice; but the woods remained unparted, the wood of Morpath in custody of William and Mary, and the forest in that of Sir Geoffrey de Lesyni, who had the wardship of Isabel and Alice by the king's gift. After the death of Alice, her part was parted by lot between the said William and Mary and the guardian of the said Isabel, and both were content, but the woods were not parted by lot but assigned; Sir William was never content with his part, but Robert de Euyr was content. Whereupon Sir William procured the king's writ to the escheator (as above), and the woods were parted, and lots cast; but because the part formerly assigned to the said Robert fell to Sir William by lot, the said Robert holds it still by force, and William cannot have seisin thereof. Waste has been done by both parties but chiefly by Robert, and the escheator having taken an oath from Robert's forester to keep the woods and parks safely, the said Robert removed him, so that the escheator could not fully perform the king's mandate.

C. Hen. III. File 40. (8.) 4

  Marriage Information:

Roger married Isabel DE ROOS, daughter of Sir Robert DE ROOS of Wark, about 1240. (Isabel DE ROOS died after 9 Dec 1280.)


1 GEN-MEDIEVAL-L Archives, New Merlay-Somerville-Griffith descent from William the Lion, King of Scotland, Douglas Richardson, 16 Nov 2005.

2 An Historical, Topographical, and Descriptive View of the County of Northumberland, and of Those Parts of the County of Durham Situated North of the River Tyne, with Berwick Upon Tweed, and Brief Notices of Celebrated Places on the Scottish Border, 1825, Eneas MacKenzie, pp. 193-4, 197.

3 Ranulf de Merlay - The Charters of William II and Henry I, WordPress (PDF).

4 Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem and other analogous documents, preserved in the Public Record Office, Vol. I, Henry III, pp. 200-1, 254.

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