HOW COULD PHILIPPA BONVILLE HAVE BEEN THE DAUGHTER OF ELIZABETH FITZROGER?

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How is it possible that Elizabeth FitzRoger gave birth to Thomas Bonville in 1394, Isabel Bonville in 1395, and then Philippa Bonville in 1396?  Is there any proof of age that Philippa Bonville was born in 1396, other than the fact that Douglas Richardson states in all of his Bonville pedigrees, "Philippa born by 1396"?  Which, lo and behold, means that Philippa had to have been born before John Bonville died in 21 Oct. 1396.  

Philippa Bonville was born into an aristocratic family and had five children by her first husband, William Grenville, Esq. (died c. 1450), whom she married after 12 May 1427.  Are WikiTree members suppose to believe that Philippa married firstly in her mid-30s and then had kids in her late 30's to early 40's all during the early 15th century?  Are we also suppose to believe that Philippa did not have children from the ages of 15 to 34, given that she was born in or before 1396 and was about 35 years of age when she gave birth to her first son, Sir Thomas Bonville I (born c. 1430)?

Philippa Bonville was obviously capable of having children.  She mothered five children with William Grenville, Esq., all in the 1430s.  I assume Philippa Bonville was not on birth control when she was 15 years old to 34 years old, no matter how many husbands she had prior to William Grenville, Esq.  Seems kind of far-fetched to me that Philippa would start having kids in her mid-late 30s if she was born in or before 1396, no matter how many publications Douglas Richardson puts out stating that Philippa was born by 1396!  I guess WIkiTree likes to be very sequential in their dates of birth.  Proofs of age would be helpful for Elizabeth FitzRoger's children by John Bonville if they are out there, otherwise they are just speculative guesses and should be annotated as uncertain.  

However, I'm certain that Thomas Bonville and Isabel Bonville were born between the years of 1393 and 1396!!!  Thanks for clearing this up.
WikiTree profile: Elizabeth Stucley
asked in Genealogy Help by
reshown by Darlene Athey-Hill

That surely looks like Bonville arms impaling Grenville arms in the upper left hand stained glass window, which can be found at St. Petroc's Church in Devon, England, UK, not Cornwall!

My apologies - Devon - don't know where I got Cornwall from.

5 Answers

+13 votes
 
Best answer

This question or similar, have already been been asked on WikiTree. See here and here.  For anyone who follows the Genealogy Medieval discussion group, it has been also been discussed here and here and probably at other times as well.

The main problem is that we just don't have enough primary documents to definitely identify the parents of Philippa Bonville, and the secondary sources seem to present contradictory information.  There is also a reliance on suppositions about age at marriage and other issues during this time period, which may represent the average, but don't necessarily represent what is possible.

Unless more information is discovered in some long lost book of documents it would appear that this situation of not really knowing for sure is going to persist, and no amount of rephrasing the question or the written communication equivalent of shouting is going to change that.

answered by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (305k points)
selected by Joe Cochoit
+4 votes

As I have mentioned elsewhere, I am inclined to move Philippa to show her to be the "uncertain" granddaughter of Elizabeth FitzRoger, together with adding another "uncertain" generation to the Grenville family tree, as discussed by Joe Cochoit.  

However, I am also inclined to move slowly on this, waiting until I have a block of time to present thorough explanations on each profile.  And then of course others will be welcome to add to or propose edits to the explanations.  If done correctly, this Philippa Bonville conundrum (whether she was the daughter or the sister of William Bonville) could become an excellent exposition of the pitfalls of medieval genealogy, and that is what I intend to strive for.

Regarding Douglas Richardson, in the vast majority of cases, Richardson's work is authoritative and serves as a useful shortcut for wikitreers who are trying to sort through the accumulated mass of imaginary, dubious, or downright fraudulent medieval lineages.  In this particular case, Richardson avoided adding a fistful of unproven Magna Carta lineages by choosing John Bonville as Philippa's father, as opposed to William Bonville, whose wife Margaret Grey had the numerous Magna Carta links.  Elizabeth FitzRoger does have a Magna Carta lineage, so it would appear that Richardson included the lineage as he did to show an undisputed Magna Carta lineage for Philippa, while avoiding uncertainty. 

 Perhaps Richardson was too cautious, and the argument about Philippa's age at time of marriage certainly makes sense.  However, per Joe Cochoit's discussion at https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Cochoit_Working2, the William Grenville who married Thomasine Cole could be the FATHER of the William Grenville who married Philippa Bonville, meaning that Philippa's son Thomas could have been born before 1430.  And Thomasine Cole would presumably have been the step-mother-in-law of Philippa.  Per the stained-glass windows that Philippa (Bonville) Grenville had installed in Petrocstowe Church in 1450 (per the Yeo Society website), there was a Grenville-Calmady marriage (Grenville impales Calmady at the top of the second panel), and that would seem to be Philippa's parents-in-law.  See https://www.wikitree.com/photo/jpg/Bonville-4

answered by J S G2G6 Mach 9 (92.4k points)
reshown by Darlene Athey-Hill
+2 votes
The stained glass window appears to show a Bonville man marrying a Grenville girl.

The Yeo Society website thinks both marriages involve Grenville men.  But that can't be right unless one is flipped and the other isn't, and then you get the horns pointing in different directions.

The alleged Gorges arms seem to be either Calmady or Orchard.

None of the big shields seems relevant.  I'm not seeing how the bend + 6 stars is Bonville.

There's nothing here for FitzRoger, let alone Grey. And I don't see any connection with Daumarle or Meriet.  And it's in Cornwall.

Persuade me this window has anything to do with Philippa or the senior lines of these families.  Presumably they had obscure junior branches like everybody else.
answered by RJ Horace G2G6 Pilot (393k points)
reshown by Darlene Athey-Hill
This is really an interesting twist to things!  So now, the second wife of Sir Thomas Grenville I was Elizabeth Calmady or Orchard and not Gorges?

If Philippa was not a Bonville according to RJ, is it possible she was the daughter or sister of a Calmady or Orchard male?

Thanks.
RJ, it seems clear that the Bonvilles and Grenvilles of this period did not have obscure junior lines.  Both families were pretty small.  By the way, I remember reading that the shield with the stars and the bend sinister was the shield of Philippa's presumed "recognized" half brother John Bonville, apparently the only Bonville male of this period who didn't lose his head on the chopping block.  And regarding the apparent representation of Bonville impaling Grenville, widow Philippa paid for the windows, so perhaps that was her way of reminding people who was really in charge.  There simply wasn't any marriage of a Bonville male and a Grenville female.

Here are two other important sources that are listed on different websites.  They seem to confirm that Philippa was a Bonville, given the fact that the lands of Week St. Mary and Swannacote were passed to the heirs of Philippa.

Hitchens, Fortescue, Esq.  History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time, v. 2, (1824): p. 669.  (author states, “In 1461, Week St. Mary was possessed by Sir William Bonville.  From the connexion of this ancient manor with Swannacot, the manerial rights in process of time were transferred from the former to the latter.” [Sir William Bonville, 1st Lord Bonville possessed the manors of Week St. Mary and Swannacote, which then passed to the Grenville family through the marriage of Lord Bonville’s daughter, Philippa Bonville, to William Grenville, Esq.].

Granville, Roger, (Rector of Bideford).  History of the Granville Family Traced Back to Rollo, First Duke of the Normans, With Pedigrees etc., (1895): p. 57.  (author states, “Lord Bonvill died possessed of the manors of Week St. Mary, Swannacote, and other tenements in the hundred of Stratton, in Cornwall, and the whole of this property came into William de Greynvill's possession by this marriage. Afterwards, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Swannacote was one of the principal seats of the Granville family.”  [The manors of Week St. Mary and Swannacote were passed from Sir William Bonville, 1st Lord Bonville to Philippa Bonville as a maritagium (Black’s Law Dictionary: MARITAGIUM = the portion which is given with a daughter in marriage).]. 

Yes indeed, thank you.  I have seen that "maritagium" comment before, which would appear to be technically an error, as William Bonville held Swannacot until his death in 1461.

What is the error?  Bonville didn't hold Swannacot or that he didn't hold it until his death (1461)?  Can you provide where (source/reference) besides a blog space, that corrects the error you mentioned?

Maybe you should see this reference, where Douglas Richardson, himself, states that Philippa Bonville received Swannacote as her maritagium from Sir William Bonville, 1st Lord Bonville.  There is no date as to when Philippa Bonville received the manors, but Philippa’s heirs within the Grenville family held it as their principal seat during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558 – 1603).

Weis, Frederick Lewis. The Magna Charta Sureties, 1215 fifth ed. (1999): p. 29 [Line 22-10] (Douglas Richardson states, “Philippa received as her marriage portion the manors of Week St. Mary, Swannacote and other tenements in the hundred of Stratton, Cornwall.”).

Thank you.

Please understand that I am not trying to win an argument, and I, too, am capable of making mistakes as we wade through the accretion of secondary sources with sometimes mistaken assumptions and misinterpretations of the scanty fragments of primary evidence regarding these Bonville and Grenville families.

Philippa Bonville married William Grenville before 1430.  William Bonville held Swannacott at his death in 1461.  Therefore, Swannacott was not a marriage portion but rather an inheritance, presumably made possible by the beheadings of both of William's male heirs in 1460, shortly before William's own demise in 1461.
Remind me again, what's the proof we have that Philippa paid for the windows?
Technically, it could have been deemed a maritagium or inheritance.  Philippa just received it in 1461 and it was passed to her heirs; Sir Thomas Grenville I & II, Sir Roger Grenville, Sir Richard Grenville, Captain Roger Grenville, & Admiral Richard Grenville (d. 1591).  This is what probably happened as Philippa was living in 1464 and most likely outlived her second husband, John Almescombe, Esq., who died in 1475.

No, it technically couldn't have been deemed one or the other - it had to of been one or the other, or the the third possibility, neither.  The sources which state Bonville held these properties at his death are apparently incorrect, as they do not appear in his IPM.  Nor are the Granvilles found holding these properties for another 5 generations.

Louise Staley inspected the IPMs of William Bonville and that of the Granvilles in her analysis of the family: "I have been looking at the land mentioned in Weis and Granville and can find no mention of it in Lord Bonville's IPM. The manors of Week St Mary and Swannacote were passed down through the Blancminsters, Coleshills and Arundells until 1507 when Anne Arundell died and the land was split between 3 families. In terms of the Grenvilles those manors appear in the IPM of Richard Grenville who died in 1591 but not in any of his forebears. This Richard Grenville is 5 generations after Philippa Bonville who supposedly brought them into the family. It therefore seems from the IPMs, that the Richard Grenville who died in 1591 bought the manors of Week St Mary and Swannacote rather than inherited them."

 

IPM of John Colshull, knight, Cornwall, 1418 holding these lands and not Bonville.

There is disagreement among secondary sources, and the relevant primary sources (if they exist) are hard to come by.  Is it possible that Louise Staley was off by a couple centuries in her assessment of the descent of Swannacott?  According to  Magna Britannia: Cornwall (p. 321), the Blancminsters and Coleshulls held Week St. Mary and Swannacott BEFORE William Bonneville held it in 1461 -- but of course this is just a secondary source. 

Just because Swannacott and Week St. Mary don't appear in Bonville's IPM doesn't mean that he didn't hold them in 1461, but of course this is just speculation.  Perhaps, after the beheadings of his son and grandson in 1460, he transferred the two manors to presumed daughter Philippa Grenville, and the transaction (in the midst of the chaos of regime change during the Wars of the Roses) failed to survive or was never properly recorded.

If I am not mistaken, if the Grenvilles held Swannacott and Week St. Mary in the later 15th century but then sub-enfeoffed them to another family, the manors would not appear in the IPMs of the Grenvilles.  Once again, if I am not mistaken, if the Grenvilles in the later 15th century sub-enfeoffed land to another family that then died out, then the manors would revert to the Grenvilles.  Please let me know if I didn't get this right.  If I am correct, this could explain why Swannacott and Week St. Mary didn't appear in the IPMs of Philippa's son Thomas Granville (d. 1483), his son Thomas Granville (d. 1513), etc.

https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE920478  (55 MB)

It's a cross-county compilation, very brief, basically just lists of properties.

Bonville 1461 is 1 Edw IV, 37, p. 311.  It says 3 tofts 120 acres 100 shillings rent in Week St Mary and 5 other places, bracketed together.

Altogether nearly 2 full columns of properties.  A lot of them say manor, but not this one.

 

Hi John,  that is actually incorrect.  It didn't matter where in the feudal chain they held the manors they would have appeared in their IPMs.  So even if they had sub-enfeoffed, they would have appeared.  The majority of manors were actually held of someone other than the king directly, and they are always listed for each person in their individual IPMs.  It was one of the primary purposes of IPMs was to keep track of this feudal chain.  So it is a real problem when Louise Staley says she looked the IPMs and the properties do not appear.
Bonville's widow is 11 Edw IV, 64, p. 356, confusingly headed Elizabeth Lady Harington wife of William Lord Bonville.

Especially confusing because William's son William married a different Elizabeth Harington.

I have read on a UK genealogical website, that Devonshire and Cornwall researchers of the Grenville family have made statements regarding their reliance on the work of Roger Granville.  Their statement reads, “the primary source is Granville, who, it must be pointed out, had access to records that we have some evidence to suggest, no longer exist, having been lost in a fire.”

It is a fact that numerous English records regarding the Bonville and Grenville families were lost in a fire during the 20th century.  The statements regarding the missing and destroyed records made by these Devonshire researchers should be considered very reliable.

It was just mentioned in a previous post that, “the transaction (in the midst of the chaos of regime change during the Wars of the Roses) failed to survive or was never properly recorded.”  I would say that it could have possibly survived a lot longer, all the way up until the beginning of the 20th century.  Just because Rev. Lysons and Roger Granville saw the record or transaction in print during the 19th century and it doesn’t exist now, wouldn’t suggest that they were lying or the transaction never happened in the first place.

Sir William Bonville, 1st Lord Bonville inherited vast estates and was one of the wealthiest landowners in the West Country.  Just because Week St. Mary and Swannacote did not show up in his IPM, doesn’t mean that Lord Bonville never held the manors in 1461 or that it never passed to the Grenvilles.  The source cited above, Magna Brittania: Cornwall, also states that Sir Warwick Hele did not hold the manors until 1620.  Roger Granville’s statement regarding these lands would appear to be accurate as it was passed to the heirs of Philippa, where eventually the Grenville family held it as a principal seat during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558 - 1603).

Whether or not the lands were mentioned in IPMs or were sub-enfoeffed by Grenville’s several generations after Philippa, it still doesn’t disprove the statements of Roger Granville and Rev. Lysons regarding the facts surrounding the possession and transfer of Week St. Mary and Swannacote from the late 15th century to the early 17th century. 

RJ posted:

[It's a cross-county compilation, very brief, basically just lists of properties.
Bonville 1461 is 1 Edw IV, 37, p. 311.  It says 3 tofts 120 acres 100 shillings rent in Week St Mary and 5 other places, bracketed together.
Altogether nearly 2 full columns of properties.  A lot of them say manor, but not this one.]

Rev. Lysons states in the Magna Brittania: Cornwall, "In proceſs of time, the manerial rights were transferred from Week St. Mary to Swannacot." Swanancote was the manor, however, the rights of Week St. Mary were transferred to the manor of Swannacote well after 1461.  Regardless, Lord Bonville was in possession of Week St. Mary in 1461.

Joe said, "So it is a real problem when Louise Staley says she looked the IPMs and the properties do not appear.”

Well RJ just provided the reference for Lord Bonville’s IPM and Week St. Mary is listed under Lord Bonville's landholdings in 1461.  This appears to be right in line with the statements made by Roger Granville and Rev. Lysons.

Yes, this is some progress and to me shows where this potential error came from.  It is unfortunate that the IPMs are not published in full.  Owning a few acres of land in an manor is different than holding the manor itself which as has been stated belonged to the Coleshills.  Still it is property potentially transferred to descendants.  Now you need to show that this or any property was given to the Granvilles.

I reached out to Dr. Matt Tompkins who is one the lead researchers at the project to transcribe and digitize all of the IPMs.  If you wish to read them yourself, he stated that William Bonville's IPM had not yet been gotten to, but he identified them at the National Archives as :

  • C 140/4/37 Bonevile, William, knight, of Chilton Leics
  • C 140/4/37 Bonevile, William, knight, of Chilton Wilts
  • C 140/4/37 Bonevile, William, knight, of Chilton Leics
  • C 140/4/37 Bonevile, William, knight, of Chilton Sussex
  • C 140/4/37 Bonevile, William, knight, of Chilton Dorset
  • C 140/4/37 Bonevile, William, knight, of Chilton Som
  • C 140/4/37 Bonevile, William, knight, of Chilton Cornwall
  • C 140/4/37 Bonevile, William, knight, of Chilton Devon

It is still a problem if this land does not appear in any Granville IPM or document before the late 16th century.  It still appears to me that someone saw William Bonville holding land in Week St. Mary (still no sign of Swannacote) in the calendar, knew the Granvilles held land there in the 16th century, and assumed it must have come to the Granvilles by marriage.

It is interesting that Week St. Mary and Swannacote went to the Coleshills then to the Arundells.  Joan Coleshill, daughter and eventual heir of Sir John Coleshill, married Refrew Arundell of Lanherne.  In 1507, Katherine Granville married Sir John Arundell of Lanherne.  This is the time period and the connection which most likely explanations how Week St. Mary and Swannacote came to the Granvilles in the 16th century.

If the Katherine Grenville marriage in 1507 to Sir John Arundell of Lanherne (1474-1545) was the connection that brought Week St. Mary and Swanancote to the Grenvilles in the 16th century, it would have passed to the heirs of their body.  Unfortunately, that theory doesn’t hold any weight, as the manor of Swannacote and lands in Week St. Mary were held by Admiral Richard Grenville in 1591.  Admiral Grenville was not a descendant of Katherine Grenville and Sir John Arundell and thus he would not have inherited Swannacote and Week St. Mary from them.  Admiral Grenville was a direct descendant of Sir Roger Grenville (d. 1523).  Lands brought to the marriage of Katherine Grenville and Sir John Arundell would have been inherited by Sir John Arundell’s eldest son and heir, Sir John Arundell (1500-1557).

Here is further evidence which shows that the lands in Week St. Mary were passed down through the Grenvilles by way of Philippa Bonville to her great-grandson, John Grenville (Rector of Kilkhampton). 

Tregellas, Walter H.  Cornish Worthies: The Grenvilles of Stowe, v. 2 (1884), p. 5. (author states, “According to Lake's 'Parochial History of Cornwall,' the following Grenvilles were Rectors of Kilkhampton, namely: Richard, son of Sir Bart. Grenville, 1312; John Grenville, 1524, who also held Week St. Mary; Dennis Grenville, 10th July, 1661; Chamond Grenville, 1711. The Church Registers, as might be expected, abound in references to the family.”).

John Grenville (son of Sir Thomas Grenville II, K.B., by his 2nd wife, Jane Hill) held the lands in Week St. Mary, which he obviously inherited from his father.  John Grenville was appointed by his father to become the Rector of Kilkhampton in 1524.

If you actually look at the source quoted Lake's, A complete parochial history of the County of Cornwall, vol. 2 (1868), p. 365 it actually states "1524, Sept. 10, John Grenville; he died possessed of this living with that of Week S. Mary, in 1580"  Available from Google Books, this link may work.  Or in other words he was the Rector of both parishes.

The CC'ed database also confirms that John or Johannes Grenevyle (also John Graynefeild) was Rector of Kilkhampton and of Week St Mary.  

There is no indication at all that he actually held the lands in Week St Mary; he may have done, but the source certainly in no way supports your statement that "John Grenville ... held the lands in Week St. Mary, which he obviously inherited from this father"

What part of dying possessed of Week St. Mary means he didn't hold it?  That's a new one!

John Grenville held the lands in Week St. Mary from 1524 until his death in 1580.  The below source confirms that John Grenville acquired the Rector of Kilkhampton and other lands including Week St. Mary.  John Grenville retained Kilkhampton, and the lands in Week St. Mary until his death.

See Rowse, A.L.  Sir Richard Grenville, (1937), (author states, “Sir Thomas had willed his son John … He was fortunately so disposed, and thus Kilkhampton came by its Rector (1524-1580) who remained in possession throughout all the changes of the Reformation … While still a student at Oxford, he was presented to the family living; he retained it, along with Launcells from 1533-1545, then with Week St. Mary till his death in 1580.").  

Perhaps you need to check what possessed of a parish actually means, because it doesn't mean what you are suggesting.

There are three issues where I hope for clarification.

1.  My understanding regarding Inquisitions post mortem is that they were only done for people who held land from the king as tenants-in-chief.  If a manor was sub-enfeoffed, could it be routinely omitted from an IPM?  If so, and if Swannacot was sub-enfeoffed, then it wouldn't appear in IPMs.

2.  Regarding whether the Rev. John Grenville held the manor of Kilkhampton or was simply the pastor of the parish by the same name, my understanding is that the key word (in the quote above) is the noun "living."  Grenville possessed the "livings" of Kilkhamption, etc., which means he received money as the minister of those parishes -- not related to landholding.

3.  This one is a real headache.  Louise Staley wrote (quoted above) that "the manors of Week St Mary and Swannacote were passed down through the Blancminsters, Coleshills and Arundells until 1507 when Anne Arundell died and the land was split between 3 families."  However, the Yeo Society website states that

"Anne Arundell, daughter of Renfrew Arundell ... inherited many Cornish manors, including the manors of Byename, Stratton, St Mary Wke, St Cleer Colehill, Leskerd Coleshill. She also inherited the manors of Huish, Stowford by Lifton, and Bowerland in Devon. All these manors were passed on by hereditary rights and can be traced through the IPM`s of :- 1. John Coleshill who married Emma Hiwis. She was the cousin of Sir John de Blanchminster, and daughter and heir of Sir Richard Hiwis who married Alice daughter of Sir Ralph de Blanchminster and aunt to Sir John. 2. Joan Coleshill, granddaughter of John and Emma, and heiress of all their estates, married Renfrew Arundell.

The point here is that Swannacott isn't mentioned, which brings up the other half of the headache: Swannacott was in the PARISH of Week St. Mary, and seems to have been, at least for a time, distinct from the MANOR of Week St. Mary; and if I am not mistaken, the Grenvilles were said to have held tenements in Week St. Mary in addition to the manor of Swannacott.  In other words, there appears to be some confusion here, which seems to be leading to questionable presumptions and conclusions.  I'm hoping, as time permits, to get all the relevant snippets arranged to facilitate coherent discussion.

Thanks John, that John Grenville, was the Rector of Kilkhampton and Week  St Mary, but unlikely to have inherited the manors and associated lands of those places was the point I was making.

The point being made does not concern whether or not John Grenville actually owned any of the lands, it is the fact that the Grenville family owned lands in Week St. Mary (or tenements in Week St. Mary).  These lands obviously came into the possession of the Grenville family through Philippa Bonville.

It is apparent that Sir William Bonville, 1st Lord Bonville did not own the manor of Week St. Mary.  The manor at Week St. Mary was in the possession of the Blanchminsters at the time and had been since at least 1348.  The manor itself came into the possession of John Coleshill when he married Emmeline Blanchminster.  However, the Grenvilles also owned the Advowson for the Church in Week St Mary.  This explains how Sir Thomas Grenville II was able to appoint his second son, John Grenville, as the Rector of Kilkhampton and Week St. Mary, which is the office John Grenville assumed in 1524.  The lands and Advowson in Week St. Mary is the interpretation here not the manor!

Although John Grenville was appointed as Rector of Kilkhampton in 1524 as stated by the sources above, he wasn't actually appointed as Rector of Week St Mary until 12 December 1558, after the death of the previous Rector John Mollesworth on 30 November that year.

So we have John Grenville who held the offices of Rector of Kilkhampton from 1524–1580, Rector of Week St. Mary from 1558-1580, and Vicar of Launcells and Morwenstow. 

We know Philippa Bonville married William Grenville, Esq., no later than 1431.  We have statements in print by Roger Granville (Rector of Bideford) that read, “Lord Bonvill died possessed of the manors of Week St. Mary, Swannacote, and other tenements in the hundred of Stratton, in Cornwall, and the whole of this property came into William de Greynvill's possession by this marriage.”  It is apparent that Lord Bonville did not die possessed of the manor of Week St. Mary, but rather lands in Week St. Mary.  This would appear to be the lands Philippa received and much later after her marriage to William Grenville, Esq.  We also know that a Grenville (who was a great-grandson of Philippa Bonville) was a Rector of Week St. Mary.  There are earlier sources to Roger Granville which state that Sir William Bonville, 1st Lord Bonville died possessed of lands in Week St. Mary, along with the advowson of Week St. Mary.  The History of Parliament biographies on notable Grenvilles state, “Grenville belonged to a family which had settled in Devon soon after the Conquest. The family property as held in the early 14th century consisted of the manors and advowsons of Kilkhampton and Bideford.”  It seems apparent that the Grenville family held lands and the advowsons for both Kilkhampton and Week St. Mary in Cornwall.

See the following references:

Edinger & Neep.  A Handbook of Church Law for the Clergy. (1928). (author states, “Advowsons were frequently used by lords and landowners as a means of providing a career and income for a younger son.”).

Rowse, A.L. Sir Richard Grenville, (1937), (author states, “Sir Thomas had willed his son John … He was fortunately so disposed, and thus Kilkhampton came by its Rector (1524-1580) … he retained it, along with Launcells from 1533-1545, then with Week St. Mary till his death in 1580.").  

John Grenville was the younger son of Sir Thomas Grenville II, K.B, and the great-grandson of Philippa Bonville.  John Mulsworth assumed the office in 1509.  He was obviously not removed; however, the Rectorship did become vacant upon his death.  John Grenville would also become Vicar of Launcells and Morwenstow.

We also find in the following reference:

The Western Antiquary: Devon & Cornwall. The Blanchminsters of Bien-Aime Castle, v. 12, (1893).  (author states, “The last Earl of Bath died without issue 1711, and the estates in Devon and Cornwall, which had been in the male line of the family for many centuries, were claimed by two aunts … In later times the Grenvilles held the manors of Swannacote, Bynnamy, Ilcombe, Aldercombe, and other places, as well as Stow in the Hundred of Stratton.  In 1776, when the property was thrown into the Court of Chancery, it was described as follows; ‘Stanbury, Pengelly, Widemouth, Binhamy, North Lee and Woodford, Kilkhampton Woods, Kilkhampton advowson, and Week St. Mary advowson.’ ").

The Grenville family held the advowsons for both Kilkhampton and Week St. Mary for many centuries.  This is the official Court of Chancery record in 1776 listing the two advowsons of the Grenville family which they held for at least three centuries.

I think the Advowson of Week St Mary is more complicated.  It is only the title of a document but in the National Archives there is this 

Reference: BRAB328/5
Description:

BARGAIN AND SALE:(i) George Hele of Whitstone, esq (ii) Bevill Grenvile of Stowe, esq.

His part of the advowson of Weke St Marie [Week St Mary].

Date: 1 Apr 1637
Held by: Royal Institution of Cornwall, not available at The National Archives

It doesn't say, but I presume it is George Hele, selling to Bevill Granvile?  So did the Granville's end up with the advowson by purchase, or was there always some sort of split?

Perhaps as John S. has suggested we really need to try and find out who owned the advowson step by step.  The manors of Week St Mary and Swannacot also seemed to change owners quite regularly, and didn't necessarily go with the advowsons. 

We also find in Edinger & Neep.  A Handbook of Church Law for the Clergy. (1928). “Legally, advowsons were treated as real property that could be held or conveyed, and conversely could be taken or encumbered, in the same general manner as a parcel of land. Advowsons were among the earliest incorporeal hereditaments, and often held in fee tail."

So advowsons were considered property and could be legally inherited.

In Magna Brittanica: Cornwall, the author states, “for we find that in 1620 Sir Warwick Hele held the manor of Swannacot, and Week St. Mary Burgh, as parcel of the same; yet Henry Compton, Esq. then claimed the fee of Week St. Mary."

We do know that Admiral Richard Grenville died in 1591 and per his IPM; he possessed the manors of Week St. Mary and Swannacote, along with the advowsons to both.  Per Magna Brittanica, Sir Warwick Hele acquired the manors of Swanancote and Week St. Mary in 1620.  We don’t know if the advowson of Week St. Mary was transferred to Sir Warwick Hele in 1620 or not. 

Let’s say the advowson at Week St. Mary was transferred from the Grenvilles to the Heles in 1620, it wouldn’t change the fact that the Grenville’s inherited it in 1461 and held it until 1620, even if it did pass to the Hele family.  This would be some 40 years after the time when John Grenville held the Rectorship at Week St. Mary.

The 1637 transaction states that George Hele sold his part of the advowson at Week St. Mary to Bevil Grenville.  This could mean a lot of different things.  Did George Hele own part of the advowson from 1620 to 1637 and then sold his part back to the Grenville family who still owned it in part, but then after 1637 completely owned the advowson once again?

The lands and advowsons of Week St. Mary weren’t as transferable as you might think, given that the Grenvilles held it in the male line for many centuries.  

"1.  My understanding regarding Inquisitions post mortem is that they were only done for people who held land from the king as tenants-in-chief.  If a manor was sub-enfeoffed, could it be routinely omitted from an IPM?  If so, and if Swannacot was sub-enfeoffed, then it wouldn't appear in IPMs."

John, this is not correct.  IPMs were taken on anyone who might hold land of the king.  All land held by someone would appear in the IPM even if sub-enfoeffed.  In fact, the vast majority of entries are something long the lines of "he held the manor of X of someone other than the king."  For most of the 14th through 17th centuries it was common practice to grant all one's property to trustees who then granted it back the original owner.  This created a situation where no land was held directly of the king; it was essentially a tax dodge so the heir would not have to pay the king for the rights to his inheritance.  Why would the king allow this?  Because he charged a fee for the right to perform these transactions.  The king got something now rather than waiting for the owner to die.

The point here though is if the Granvilles held Week St. Mary and Swannacote, no matter how it was enfeoffed, it would have appeared in their IPMs.

So far as Roger Granville's statement in print is concerned, it contradicts itself, because William Grenville died before Bonville, so he never came into possession of anything that Bonville died possessed of.

It's just an airy assumption based on what Lysons had written.

Lysons didn't have a clue when or how the manor of Week St Mary passed from the Coleshills to the Grenvilles.  He just plugged the gap with a vague and irrelevant reference to the 1461 IPM.

But we have no evidence that the bits of land mentioned in the IPM were ever held by the Grenvilles and didn't descend to Bonville's great-granddaughter along with everything else.

Lysons mentions the advowson of Week St Mary at the bottom of the page.

https://books.google.com/books?id=nzQgAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA321

He thinks it descended with the manor of Stratton, which the Grenvilles bought from the Arundells

https://books.google.com/books?id=nzQgAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA296
According to the IPM of Sir John Colshull, he granted the manors of Stratton and Week St Mary, as well as the advowson of Week St Mary, as well as other places in Cornwall and Devon, by charter dated 3 April 1418 to John Preston, parson of St Ewe, John Jaybien, John Butte, John Cork and Thomas Nethercote.

So the question is how did it get from one or all of those men to the Grenvilles or wherever it went next?
A right bunch of feoffees if I ever saw one.

But it looks like that whole package stayed together.  Lysons was just confused by the 1461 IPM and confused everybody else.
I'm not sure if people have appreciated the distinction between the BOROUGH (burgh) of Week St. Mary -- which could be the lands in Week St. Mary possessed by William Bonville in 1461 -- and the MANOR OF Week St. Mary, which passed from the Coleshills to the Arundels.
This time John is correct.  Although I believe he is correct on other matters as well, such as IPMs.  There is a definite distinction between manors, boroughs, bartons, parcels, and etc.  The manor of Week St. Mary, the borough of Week St. Mary, the manor of Swannacote, and the manor of Stratton were all their own distinct entities in Cornwall during this time period.

There should also be some prudence in evaluating these older sources. There can always be some confusing language, minor inaccuracies, and ambiguous dates, but I don't think calling Lysons or Granville outright liars solves the puzzle of the land inheritance of these manors and parcels of land during this time period.  Why would either gentleman have a reason to lie or print outright fiction?  They were both reverends and men of the clergy, which if anything else, should point to their intent of holding to the utmost integrity in their works.
I have made a bare beginning at discussing all of the above and more on Philippa Bonville's profile.  Those who want to participate in or follow this ongoing work could send a trusted list request, and interested wikitree leaders can of course add themselves as managers.

"According to the IPM of Sir John Colshull, he granted the manors of Stratton and Week St Mary, as well as the advowson of Week St Mary, as well as other places in Cornwall and Devon, by charter dated 3 April 1418 to John Preston, parson of St Ewe, John Jaybien, John Butte, John Cork and Thomas Nethercote.

So the question is how did it get from one or all of those men to the Grenvilles or wherever it went next?"

This is what I was talking about when I said most land was put into trust.  The five men named are actually trustees or 'feoffees to uses.'  John Coleshill granted the five men this land, but they are required to use it in only a certain way (the use).  The use is to grant it back to John Coleshill for his sole use (so he still collects all revenues), and to grant it to his right heirs on his death.

Why grant it to five men?  So if any of them die the land will not fall into the hands of the king.  New trustees can be chosen if some of them die off.

Why do this?  The land is now technically under the law the property of the trustees. John Coleshill still receives all revenues, and it is really still his as the trustees are required to give it back to his estate on his death.  However, the land does not come into the king's hands on his death, and the heirs do not need to pay relief to the king to obtain their inheritance.  Yes, it was just a medieval tax dodge.

I have created a new free space to keep my thoughts, sources and conclusions on the Parentage of Philippa Bonville.  This is meant to replace my Cochoit_Working2 were the information has been for almost a year.  The new space is meant to be more permanent and have a less confusing title.

John, I have also started writing up the evidence or lack thereof for a maritagium for Philippa Bonville and William Granville.  See the new page.  

Interesting G2G thread.  A lot of theories and assumptions thrown out there.  The one thing it might have accomplished is provide a little doubt on whether Lord Bonville actually held the manor of Week St. Mary.  It seems to appear he held lands and the borough of Week St. Mary.  

Unfortunately, nothing presented in this thread has disproved the statements of Rev. Lysons and Rev. Granville.  Another interesting note to add to this thread is that while feoffes (or trustees) were used as a means to avoid taxes paid to the king; there are IPMs of Grenvilles during this time period (1460 - 1620) which state the deceased Grenville held, "other lands and tenements in Cornwall and Devon!"

It should also be pointed out that Philippa Bonville married as her first husband, William Grenville, Esq., who was a man considerably older than Philippa (anywhere from 34 to 40 years older).  Interestingly Philippa’s great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Yeo, married a man who was also much older than Elizabeth. 

For we find from the website, www.yeosociety.com, where it states, “Robert Yeo, his extended family and friends also contracted his daughter, Elizabeth Yeo, then only in her early twenties, to marry Sir John Crocker, of Lynham, Kt., an elderly but prominent man in his seventies.”

Elizabeth Yeo (born c.1475) married Sir John Crocker (born c.1425 – died 1508) as his second wife and a man who was at least 50 years older than Elizabeth when they married in the late 15th century.  This represented a greater age gap than what it was between Elizabeth’s great-grandparents, which profoundly points to the fact that women did marry men much older and sometimes a generation or more during the 15th century.  So, Wikitreers should take caution of anything they read which would be to the contrary of this fact!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this discussion.
To "anonymous": I would be pleased to consider your statement that Philippa Bonville's first husband William Grenville was more than 30 years older than Philippa.  I don't think that is likely.  I am inclined to suspect that Philippa's husband William Grenville was no more than 15 years older than Philippa.  Of course, I could be wrong, but -- as far as I am concerned -- this thread has considerable value in helping me to test various assumptions and speculative possibilities.  If you could explain your reasoning for thinking that William was so much older than Philippa, I would be glad to share my own reasoning for comparison.

p.s.  Perhaps it is worth mentioning that Joe Cochoit has more experience in medieval genealogy than I do.
+1 vote

I have been working, slowly, on reconstructing the Grenville/Bonville genealogy.  Please feel free to comment on what I have done so far; my gut feeling is that the current versions of my explanations are far from perfect.

Another problem: If William Grenville, the husband of Philippa Bonville, was indeed the son of another William Grenville (as Joe Cochoit has suggested) who was the William who actually married Thomasine Cole (as I surmise), then the father of Thomasine's mother Ann Bodrugan becomes another headache with disputing sources.  I have just started a separate G2G thread on that topic here: https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/522076/who-was-the-father-of-ann-bodrugan-cole-william-or-nicholas

answered by J S G2G6 Mach 9 (92.4k points)
reshown by Darlene Athey-Hill
Perhaps William Grenville (the son), who was the husband of Philippa Bonville, was also the husband of Thomasine Cole.  There could have still been another William, father of the William who married Thomasine and Philippa, but William (the father) would have then had an unknown mystery wife.  I believe this is how the Yeo Society concluded it by creating another William Grenville, father of William Grenville (husband of Thomasine and Philippa).  Another fact to consider is that Douglas Richardson found yet another William Grenville, who Richardson states was the son of William Grenville, husband of Philippa Bonville!
Chronology rears its ugly head: the William Grenville who was husband of Thomasine Cole married her by 1402 and was still married to her in 1427.  I suppose it's not impossible that William married a second wife and had a family after almost 30 years of a childless marriage, but it does seem unlikely.
Great job on discovering the most important clue regarding the heraldic evidence with the Bonville-Grenville medieval stained glass windows in St. Petroc's Church.

Chronology can be a fascinating thing.  For the sake of argument, let’s say that William Grenville (died c. 1450) had a childless first marriage with Thomasine Cole that began in 1402 and ended anywhere from 1427-1431, and then he married Philippa Bonville during that time frame.   If that were the case, then we must ask ourselves the following question.  Why would William Grenville, especially in the early 15th century, choose to marry a woman in her early-mid 30s and at the end of her childbearing years to give him a son and heir for the manors of Bideford and Kilkampton, including all the other Grenville lands in Devon and Cornwall?   It stands to reason that William Grenville (an upper class man with several estates and vast landholdings), would have chosen a young bride for a second wife with many childbearing years left ahead of her to give William the son and heir he so greatly desired after a 25-29 year childless first marriage!  As it turns out, William Grenville and Philippa Bonville would go on to have five children together, including a son and heir (Sir Thomas Grenville I).  William Grenville choosing to marry a young bride in her teens for his second wife would be the most logical conclusion for this chronology.  We can be quite certain of this as it is time period appropriate for the early 15thcentury and based on the premise that William Grenville had a 25-29 year childless first marriage with Thomasine Cole.  

In a 2017 SGM thread concerning Philippa Bonville, Douglas Richardson makes the following statement:

In contrast, we have the Grenville pedigree in Pole, Collections towards a Description of Devon (1791): 387–388, which reads: 

“Willam Grenvill his brother maried Thomazin, & unto his 2 wief Phelip, daughter of Willam Lord Bonvill, & had issue Sr Thomas ...”).  END OF QUOTE. 

While I certainly respect Pole, he is not infallible.  He makes Philippe the daughter of Lord Bonville.   I should note that Pole was writing in a later period than the published visitation.  In this case, I would give the visitation greater weight than Pole.

This statement by Douglas Richardson is completely false concerning when Sir William Pole (b.1561-d.1635) was writing his Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon.  There is evidence that exists which refutes Douglas Richardson’s statement regarding Sir William Pole.  The truth is that Pole was not writing in a later period than when the 1620 Visitation of Cornwall-Grenville pedigree was published in the visitation.

In the articles of Prince, p. 636, Risdon, p. 29, Introduction to Sir William Pole's "Collections," & c. Lysons, part ii. p. 136; we can find a description of the timeframe as to when the works of Sir William Pole (born 1561 – died 1635) were compiled and written.  According to Risdon, “It is observed by his editor, in the Introduction, that what is published is little more than a common-place book to a much more extensive design, which the author had in contemplation so early as the year 1604, as appears from a letter of his published in this Introduction, the original of which is in the British Museum, Bibl. Harl. No. 1195, fol. 37.”

From the British Museum archives, it is apparent that Sir William Pole was compiling his works as early as 1604 when he was 43 years of age and finished it in the 1610s, well before Sir Bernard Grenville gave his original pedigree manuscript to the visitation heralds in 1620.  The Grenville pedigree manuscript found in Vivian, The Visitation of the County of Cornwall in the year 1620, (1874): p. 84 (Grenvile ped.) was given to the heralds by Sir Bernard Grenville in 1620.

So, it is abundantly clear that Douglas Richardson makes another false assumption concerning the origination date of Sir William Pole’s Grenville pedigree.  Just like so many other Antiquaries (Rogers, Burke, & J.S. Roskell) have done, I would give Sir William Pole greater weight in determining Philippa’s parentage than a flawed 1620 Visitation of Cornwall-Grenvile pedigree with proven errors in multiple generations!

–1 vote
You ask some interesting questions here. Birth dates, it appears, are always a guestimate. It is quite possible to have 3 children in three years, not healthy, but possible. However, if Phillipe was born in 1395, her father, if it was William Bonville would have been 3 years old when he fathered her, based on the guestimates I have (from pedigrees recorded by researchers, both professional and amateurs - I can't figure out which is which). And I also show on the same pedigree that 6 of her 7 children were born before she married William Grenville.

Marriage was supposedly in 1425, but you say maybe in 1427, these are the birth dates I have of her children:

Ellena - 1416

Ellin - 1418

Phillipa - 1419

William John - 1420

Sir Thomas I - 1420

Margery - 1425

Sir Richard 1432.

Typically, they say the marriages are "before" a date, not after a date. The reason being, I think, is that they only know they were married because they are called a married couple as of a date that a legal transaction, such a selling property took place. We don't have an actual marriage certificate.

It seems unlikely that she could be the daughter of William Bonville as many documents state that she is, there is one that states that she is the sister of Lo' Bonville. Researchers are left to guess which connection is correct. To make matters worse, John Bonville's father, William Bonville has children the same age as his son, John Bonville's, children. So, in the wildest stretch of the imagination, Phillipe could be the daughter of William and John's aunt, William's great-aunt but around his same age.
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