Vcte Ranulph I DU BESSIN
Richard "le Goz" D' AVRANCHES
(-Aft 1082)
Vcte Ranulph II DU BESSIN
(-Aft 1089)
Mathilde (Marguerite) D' AVRANCHES
(-Aft 1089)
William "le Meschin" FITZ RANULF, Lord of Copeland
(-By 1135)


Family Links

Cecily DE RUMILLY, Heiress of Skipton

William "le Meschin" FITZ RANULF, Lord of Copeland

  • Born: Gernon Castle, Normandy, France
  • Married:
  • Died: Between 1130 and 1135

  Research Notes:

The Cronicon Cumbriæ records that William I King of England granted "totam terram de comitatu Cumbriæ" to "Ranulpho de Meschines, et Galfrido fratri eiusdem…et Willielmo fratri eorundem terram de Copland". Orderic Vitalis records that "Guillaume son of Ralph the vicomte" was present at the capture of Nikaia in 1097. "Ranulfus Meschinus" donated property to Wetherhal priory, Cumberland by undated charter, witnessed by "uxore mea Lucia et Willelmo fratre meo…" "Ranulphus comes Cestriæ" records donations to Chester St Werburgh in an undated charter which names "Hugonis comitis avunculi mei", including a donation by "Willielmus Meschin frater meus" with the consent of "Ranulphi comitis et Ranulphi filii sui". It is suggested that the mention of "Hugonis comitis avunculi mei" means that this document relates to the brother of Ranulf who was invested as Earl of Chester in 1120. "Willielmus filius Randulfi" donated property to the priory of St Bee, Cumberland by undated charter. He was given the barony of Egremont, Cumberland by King Henry I. A charter of King Henry II records donations to York St Mary, including the donation of land "in Chirkbibeceoch…et ecclesiam S. Begæ" by "Willielmus Meschin" and "villam de Ananderdale et…terræ in Egermond" by "Radulphus filius eius".

Lord of Skipton-in-Craven, de iure uxoris. "Willielmus filius Ranulphi" confirmed the foundation of St Bee´s priory, Cumberland by undated charter, dated to [1105/20], which refers to donations by himself and "uxoris meæ Ceciliæ…concessione Ranulphi filii mei". "Willielmus de Meschines et Cecilia uxor mea" founded Bolton Priory by undated charter. The Testa de Nevill includes a writ of King John dated 1212 which records "Ricardus de Lucy" holding "Coupland" in Cumberland, adding that King Henry I had first granted it to "Willelmo Messchin antecessori predicti Ricardi". 1


[William Meschin] witnessed charters of his brother Ranulf to Wetheral priory, a cell of St. Mary's, York, not later than 1120; and with his brother was among those at whose request king Henry I issued a charter, 1120-23. He was given Copeland, Cumberland, by king Henry I, to hold by the service of one knight; and he built the castle of Egremont, the caput of his barony there. At some date later than 1120, described as William son of Ranulf, he founded the priory of St. Bees, near Egremont, as a cell of St. Mary's, York, to which he gave 7 carucates of land and a strip of seaboard from Whitehaven to the mouth of the river Ehen, constituting the parish of Kirkeby, together with the chapel of Egremont, the tithes of his lordship there and various tithes in Copeland, recording in one of his charters the counsel of Cecily his wife and the concession of Ranulf his son. It is recorded that he enfeoffed Waldeve son of [earl] Gospatric of land in his barony of Copeland between the Cocker and the Derwent (which included Cockermouth), together with 5 vills in the valley of the latter river towards the sea....

...In 1115-18 he held land in several places in Lindsey, and he also held lands in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. There is good evidence that he was the tenant of the honour of Chester at Great Caldy, Cheshire, and of Radston, co. Northampton. In 1121-29, with the consent of Ranulf his son, he gave to Chester abbey the church of Dyserth, co. Flint. At Michaelmas 1130 he was in possession of land at Kimbolton, co. Huntingdon; and at the same time, as William son of Ranulf the vicomte, he accounted in Yorkshire for marks of silver in respect of the pleas of Blyth, of which he had paid 10 marks. 2

  Marriage Information:

Cecily married William "le Meschin" FITZ RANULF, Lord of Copeland, son of Vcte Ranulph II DU BESSIN and Margaret (Mathilde) D' AVRANCHES. (William "le Meschin" FITZ RANULF was born in Gernon Castle, Normandy, France and died between 1130 and 1135.)

  Marriage Information:

Cecily also married Henry DE TRACY of Barnstaple, son of William DE TRACY, Lord of Bradninch, and Rohese, after 1130/35. (Henry DE TRACY was born in Tracy, Manche, Normandy, France and died about 1165 in Barnstaple, Devon, England.)


1 Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, Medlands: William FitzRanulf.

2 Early Yorkshire Charters: Volume 7, The Honour of Skipton, William Farrer, Charles Travis Clay, 2013, p. 5.

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