2017-12-17 10:15:07 UTC
Isolde (died 1338), wife successively of Sir Walter de Balun (died 1287) and Sir Hugh de Audley, Lord Audley (died 1325) is claimed in many secondary sources to have been a member of Mortimer family. Two such sources which make the Mortimer claim include Complete Peerage 1 (1910): 347–348 (sub Audley) and James Horace Round, Studies in Peerage and Family History (1901): 206–209. While it is true that Isolde and her 1st husband, Sir Walter de Balun, had the manor of Arley, Staffordshire for the term of their lives by grant dated 1287 from Sir Edmund de Mortimer, such a grant does not necessarily mean, suggest, or imply that Isolde was a Mortimer. Beyond the numerous claims in print that Isolde was a Mortimer, I know of no contemporary evidence which supports this allegation.
What evidence we do have includes a contemporary inquisition dated 1326, which indicates that the manor of Eastington, Gloucestershire was settled on Sir Walter de Balun and Isolde his wife for life, and the heirs of her body. Following Sir Walter de Balun's death, Isolde and her 2nd husband, Sir Hugh de Audley, were afterwards seised of this manor. A pertinent part of the 1326 inquisition is copied below:
"Gloucestershire. — The Jurors find that Walter de Balun and Isolda his wife, by proceeding in the King's Court at Gloucester, had settled the Manor of Eastington on himself for life, and upon Isolda his wife and the heirs of her body. That by the operation of such settlement they had seisin of this Manor during the life of the said Walter, and then Isolda had seisin thereof as his widow, and that Isolda and Hugh d'Audley were also seised thereof, until the fifteenth of the present King, when the Manor passed into the King's hands as forfeited by the treason of the said Hugh d'Audley, and still continues in such custody. That the Manor was held of the heirs of Nicholas de Merley by half a Knights-fee, and was of the annual value of £20 15s." END OF QUOTE.
Reference: Duncumbe, Collections Towards the History and Antiquities of the County of Hereford 3 (1882): 7, which may be viewed at the following weblink:
The above record proves that Isolde had the manor of Eastington, Gloucestershire settled on her and her heirs before the death of her first husband, Sir Walter de Balun. As such, in her 1st widowhood, she would have held claim to the manor of Eastington, Gloucestershire in her own right, not by right of dower.
In recent time, I have located a Common Pleas record dated 1289 which proves that Isolde was the daughter of Sir Roger le Rous [died 1294], of Harescombe and Duntisbourne, Gloucestershire, Sheriff of Gloucestershire, 1278–79, Sheriff of Herefordshire, 1293–94, Knight of the Shire for Gloucestershire, 1283, Knight of the Shire for Herefordshire, 1290, itinerant judge, by his wife, Eleanor de Avenbury.
Below is an abstract of this lawsuit:
In 1289 Isolde daughter of Roger le Rus sued Reynold de Balun in the Court of Common Pleas regarding the manor of Eastington, Gloucestershire, which she claimed as her right. Reference: Court of Common Pleas, CP40/78, image 650f (available at http://aalt.law.uh.edu/E1/CP40no78/aCP40no78fronts/IMG_0650.htm).
The plaintiff above is Isolde "daughter of Roger le Rus" who can only be Isolde, widow of Sir Walter de Balun, who then held the manor of Eastington, Gloucestershire in her own right. The defendant was Sir Walter de Balun's nephew and heir, Reynold de Balun. Isolde was presumably seeking a release from her late husband's nephew to any claim he might have to the manor of Eastington, Gloucestershire. A similar lawsuit was lodged against Reginald de Balun regarding Isolde's dower rights in Much Marcle, Herefordshire. See Year Books of Edward I: Years XX & XXI 1 (Rolls Ser. 31a) (1866): 128–129, 142-146, which may be viewed at the following weblink:
The second item commencing on page 142 states that Walter de Balun and his wife, Isolde, were enfeoffed with the manor of Much Marcle, Herefordshire by Roger le Rous (Isolde's father).
For interest's sake, below is a list of the numerous 17th Century New World immigrants that descend from Isolde le Rous and her 2nd husband, Sir Hugh de Audley, Lord Audley:
Robert Abell, Elizabeth Alsop, William Asfordby, Charles Barnes, Dorothy Beresford, Richard & William Bernard, William Bladen, George & Nehemiah Blakiston, Thomas Booth, Elizabeth Bosvile, George, Giles & Robert Brent, Charles Calvert, Edward Carleton, Grace Chetwode, St. Leger Codd, James Cudworth, Francis Dade, Humphrey Davie, Frances, Jane & Katherine Deighton, Edward Digges, Robert Drake, William Farrer, John Fenwick, Henry Fleete, Edward Foliot, Muriel Gurdon, Elizabeth & John Harleston, Warham Horsmanden, Hannah, Samuel & Sarah Levis, Thomas Ligon, Nathaniel Littleton, Thomas Lloyd, Thomas Lunsford, Agnes Mackworth, Anne, Elizabeth & John Mansfield, Anne & Katherine Marbury, Anne Mauleverer, Richard More, John and Margaret Nelson, Philip & Thomas Nelson, Robert Peyton, Henry & William Randolph, George Reade, William Rodney, Thomas Rudyard, Katherine Saint Leger, Richard Saltonstall, William Skepper, Mary Johanna Somerset, Samuel & William Torrey, Margaret Touteville, Olive Welby, Hawte Wyatt, Amy Wyllys.
If you descend from Isolde le Rous, I'd appreciate it greatly if you would post your line of descent(s) from this lady here on the newsgroup.
Best always, Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City, Utah