LNAB for Edward Fiennes de Clinton

+8 votes
I've been delving into a line of the Clintons, Earls of Lincoln after I discovered that several had the addition of "AKA Fiennes" in the data field.  Wondering whether they were actually Clintons or Fiennes led to the observation that some carried both names, for instance, "Edward Fiennes de Clinton," who was alphabetized by wikisource as "Clinton, Edward Fiennes de."  (https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Clinton,_Edward_Fiennes_de_(DNB00)) which  makes Fiennes like a middle name, because it seems to have been carried down several generations.  Almost as if they were using a complex surname of "Fiennes de Clinton."  

Does anyone know how this complex name arose, when it stopped (if it did), and who got to use the full surname and who was just Fiennes or Clinton or de Clinton?  The LNABs of many need to be brought in line with Euroaristo naming standards, but before doing that it would be helpful to know what the surname used by the family actuallywas -- and if Clinton was the correct LNAB, was Fiennes an AKA, a Current last Name, or simply a middle name?
WikiTree profile: Edward Clinton
in Genealogy Help by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (375k points)

2 Answers

+2 votes

CP takes it back to the Dacre marriage


Apparently Edward Fiennes de Clinton was using his alias Fiennes, and de Clinton isn't his name here, it's just the formal peerage title tacked on.

I'd just call them all Clinton.  Maybe aka Fiennes just for those who held the barony.


by Anonymous Horace G2G6 Pilot (570k points)
edited by Anonymous Horace
I'd feel more comfortable if I could figure out why.....!  One "deal" on surnames that happened sometimes -- I would come to you and say, "I want to marry your daughter, your only child."  And you would say, "you can have my daughter and all her inheritance rights if you change your name to Horace and bring up your children as Horaces.  So then I would be Jack, LNAB Day, also known as Horace, Current Last Name Horace, and my children would be LNAB Horace.  So I wouldn't be surprised if the story was something like this.  But I havent' actually come across an account detailing it.

Oh, and BTW, thanks so much for the CP link.
+2 votes

The wikitree LNAB is Clinton. The reason they adopted the alias is unclear but it has something to do with John Clinton, 5th Lord Clinton being one of the co-heirs of the Barony of Say and Sele, along with his cousin James Fiennes. Clinton disclaimed his inherritance which allowed James to be the sole heir, and there's a long footnote on the bottom of pages 315-316 of v3. of the Complete Peerage (Clinton) and v7 64-65 (Fiennes) which explains what happened with the Barony of Say and Sele. John Clinton's decendants continued to use the style "of Say/and Say", which I assume is why they used the alias because they felt like they should have inherited the title because you can't 'give back' a honour. I will note the 6th Lord Clinton marrying Elizabeth Fiennes, suro jure Baroness Dacre before his father died and this is when Cokayne starts putting in the alias.

So with Edward, Earl of Lincoln, the notes say he was proclaimed by the heralds as "Sir Edward Fynes Conte de Lincoln, Seigneur Clinton et Say" Cokayne usually mentions when there's a legal reason in later centuries for a surname change, but in this case the name never changed and by the 6th Earl that branch of the family appears to have dropped the alias. Hope this helps!

by Kirk Hess G2G6 Mach 6 (64.4k points)
Also, I think the Earl of Lincoln considered his surname 'Fiennes' so I would use the CLN Fiennes. Its not a middle name.
So Kirk, what you're saying is that the alias, when it appears, goes with the title in this family's tradition.  So if I am Jack Fiennes de Clinton,of Say and Say, and I have three children, my eldest, Simon, would be Simon Fiennes de Clinton, of Say and Say, and my daughter Josephine would be simply Josephine de Clinton, and my younger son George would simply be George de Clinton, all with a WikiTeree LNAB of Clinton.

If this is the case, then one effect of this understanding is that we would not showing an alias of Fienne for all the childeren and grandchildren who are not inheriting the title itself.
One of the things that caught my attention on this was that Weis carries the double surname down to immigrants who crossed the Atlantic to New England.,  My suspicion is that the dual surname which may have made sense in teh 1400's would have ceased to do so by the 1600s, and would have chosen either Fiennes or Clinton do go by.

English Common Law says you can use any name you wish as long as their is no intent to defraud, but if you habitually use one last name on Tuesdays and Thursdays and another on Mondays and Fridays, it does open the suspicion that you have some kind of identity confusion!

This is an unusual naming situation - I hope Liz, John or other experts will comment. None of these people petitioned the monarch to change their name to Fiennes, and Cokayne has their last name as Clinton but I'm pretty sure they would have all used Fiennes as their surname not Clinton. The cited sources should tell us which name to use. A 19th century descendant Charles Fynes Clinton legally changed his name by royal license so they never really forgot about this.

my eldest, Simon, would be Simon Fiennes de Clinton, of Say and Say, and my daughter Josephine would be simply Josephine de Clinton, and my younger son George would simply be George de Clinton, all with a WikiTeree LNAB of Clinton.

They wouldn't have been de Clinton.  De had been dropped from normal surnames.  But peerage titles often came with an "of" that was dropped in normal use, but retained formally and appeared as de in Latin.

So the Earl's father, if they'd remembered his name, would have been summoned as "dominus Johannes Clynton de Clynton et Say ch'r", translate "Sir John Clinton, Lord (of) Clinton and Say".

Most American writers since Browning at least have plastered the double name everywhere, but I wouldn't go by that.


Clinton alias Fiennes was the 16th century way of saying Fiennes-Clinton and the DNB has Edward Fiennes de Clinton. 

I was wondering why the 5th Baron gave up his rights to the Barony of Say - my modern sensibilities had hoped his cousin asked nicely and they were friends or something but apparently he sold the rights because he needed a lot of cash for ransom.

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