With the descent from Henry de Tracy to son Oliver to son Henry apparently sorted out, it appears that the 2003 article by Nicholas Vincent also discusses what would be another set of corrections to Keats-Rohan. In Domesday Descendants (p. 743, same page as Oliver de Traci, son of Henry de Tracy, lord of Barnstable), Keats-Rohan states that Gracia de Traci was the "Daughter of William de Tracy, a natural son of Henry I," and that William de Traci was the "Second son of Grace, daughter of William de Tracy (d. c. 1135), a natural son of Henry I, and John de Sudeley, younger son of Harold de Ewias. Lord of the barony of Bradninch, Devon, an escheat of William Capra de Pomeroy. He died c. 1172, leaving a son William (d.a. 1194). Sanders, 20."
Is the following potential set of corrections already well-known?
Vincent states, (p. 230-234)
The family of William de Tracy, the fourth of the murderers, deserves an article to itself. Here I must confine myself to the broader outlines of the problem that it presents. Professor Barlow, who was unaware of any difficulty in the Tracy descent, writes as follows: >William, the second son of John de Sudeley, a descendant of Ralf of Mantes, count of the French Vexin, and Godgifu, the sister of King Edward the Confessor, chose to take his name from the family of his mother, Grace, daughter and heir of William (I) de Tracy, lord of Bradninch in Devon and illegitimate son of King Henry I. He held, besides the barony of Bradninch, lands in Gloucestershire and Somerset, and in 1165 had answered for thirty knight's fees. By 1170 he was a brave and experienced soldier, married and with a son who eventually inherited< [ftn 92].
The chief source of Barlow's errors is almost certainly to be found amongst the genealogical enthusiasms of the Hanbury-Tracy family, passed down in the present generation to the 6th Lord Sudeley - a peer of ancient lineage, who lists >ancestor worship< amongst his recreations in >Who's Who<. Lord Sudeley has brought to light many interesting things about the murderers of Becket, assembling evidences on William de Tracy that are of the utmost importance [ftn 94]. For his knowledge of the Tracy descent, however, he has relied too much upon the speculations of earlier writers. Two of the statements reported by Lord Sudeley, and thence by Barlow, appear to be correct. Becket's murderer William de Tracy did indeed answer for the Devon barony of Bradninch in 1165, and he did indeed father a son, known as Henry >the hunchback<. The rest of the story, although enshrined in the standard English Peerage and in any number of less exalted works of reference, is for the most part moonshine.
Let us begin with the bastard son of Henry I named William de Tracy, referred to by Robert de Torigni in his continuation of the chronicle of William of Jumièges. Torigni tells us nothing of this man save for his name and the fact that he was swift to follow his father to the grave [ftn 95]. In other words, there is no evidence that Henry I's bastard, who died shortly after 1135, had any connection with the Devon barony of Bradninch. Likewise, I can find no reliable evidence to suggest that the royal bastard fathered a daughter named Gracia. Gracia was unknown to Sir William Dugdale, and occurs in none of the early heraldic visitations or county histories. [ftn 96]. She seems to have been invented, perhaps in comparatively recent times, to explain certain irregularities in the Sudeley descent, and to justify the claims of the Hanbury-Tracy family of Toddington in Gloucestershire to be descended both from the blood royal of Henry I and from William de Tracy, the murderer of Thomas Becket. There was indeed a man named William de Tracy, brother of Ralph of Sudeley, who acquired Toddington from the Sudeley estate at some time in the 1130s or 40s, and who was therefore descended from Godgifu, from Drogo of Mantes and therefore from the most noble blood of both England and France [ftn 97]. It is from this William de Tracy that the Tracys of Gloucestershire, and hence the present Lord Sudeley, trace their origin. William de Tracy of Toddington seems not, however, to have been the murderer of Thomas Becket.
At some time between 1171 and 1 175, when the Becket murderers were labouring under a sentence of major excommunication, William de Tracy of Toddington occurs together with his son Henry, both in the county court of Oxfordshire and at Winchcombe Abbey, witnessing an award to the monks of Winchcombe in company with the abbots of Winchcombe, Eynsham and Oseney [ftn 98]. This is surely inconceivable had he been the excommunicate murderer of the archbishop. Likewise, although both the murderous William de Tracy and William de Tracy of Toddington fathered sons named Henry; Henry de Tracy of Toddington inherited his father's estate with no apparent difficulty and can be found as a Gloucestershire landowner in the early years of the thirteenth century [ftn 99]. By contrast, Henry de Tracy >the hunchback<, the murderer's son, was born in Normandy, obtained only the briefest of tenures as lord of Bradninch, and may well have defected to the Capetians following the Plantagenet loss of Normandy after 1200 [ftn 100]. As for Gracia, the supposed link between Toddington, Bradninch and King Henry I; I can offer no certain solution, save to suggest that she may first appear in an early-modern pedigree of the Sudeley family [ftn 101]. Having been brought to the attention of the local Gloucestershire historian A.S.Ellis in the 1870s, this pedigree was noticed at second hand by the editors of Cockayne's >Complete Peerage<, whence it has passed, mythical but unchallenged into the writings of numerous more recent scholars [ftn 102]. Lord Sudeley and his family can rest assured that they are descended, via their Sudeley ancestors, from the very noblest of stock. Their Tracy blood, however, came to them, neither from Henry I nor from the Tracys of Bradninch, but, as I shall endeavour to demonstrate on another occasion, from the Tracy family of Barnstaple, prob ably from the marriage of a sister of Henry de Tracy of Barnstaple to John, the father of Ralph of Sudeley [ftn 103].
92 Barlow, Thomas Becket, pp. 235-6.
94 See Lord Sudeley 's articles, Becket's Murderer William de Tracy, in: Family History n.s. 73, vol.XIII, no. 97 (1983), reprinted in The Sudeleys, Lords of Toddington, Cambridge 1987, pp. 73-97; Toddington and the Tracys, in: Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society LXXXVIII (1969), pp. 127-72, with corrections in Ibid. XC (1971), pp.216-19.
95 The Gesta Normannorum Ducum of William of Jumièges, Ordenc Vitalis and Robert of Torigni ed. E.C.M. Van Houts, 2 vols., Oxford 1992-5, vol.1I, pp. 248-51.
96 See the entries on the families of Sudeley and Tracy of Barnstaple in W. Dugdale, The Baronage of England, 2 vols., London 1 675-6, vol. I, pp. 428, 62 1 -2, and see, The Visitation of the County of Gloucester taken in the year 1623 ed. J. Maclean and W. C. Heane (Harleian Society XXI) 1885, p. 165. In the early county history by Samuel Rudder, A New History of Gloucestershire, Cirencester 1779, p. 770, Rudder makes William de Tracy of Toddington the son of John of Sudeley via a marriage to Grace, here described as the daughter of Henry de Tracy of Barnstaple. Rudder accepts, however, that it was William of Toddington who took part in the murder of Becket. John Britton, Graphic Illustrations with Historical and Descriptive Accounts of Toddington, Gloucestershire, the Seat of Lord Sudeley, London 1840, pedigree pp. 1, 5, likewise states that William de Tracy of Toddington was the murderer of Becket, but describes him as the grandson of an entirely mythical William de Tracy baron of Barnstaple, with further, equally implausible links to the Tracys of Barnstaple intruded into the account of William's son >Olliver<. John of Sudeley's wife is referred to, but without name, in Pipe Roll 31 Henry I, p. 79.
97 The principal evidences here are BL ms. Additional Charter 70879, the grant of Todding ton by Ralph of Sudeley to William de Tracy, before 1 166 as proved by Red Book, vol.I, p. 295; and a further original charter, printed in The Original Acta of St Peter's Abbey Gloucester с 1122 to 1263 ed. R. B. Patterson (Gloucestershire Record Series XI) 1998, pp.209-10 no. 272, by which William de Tracy confirms an award by Ralph of Sudeley >my brother< of land at Yanworth, Gloucestershire, before 1148.
98 Landboc sive registrum monasterii beatae Mariae virginis et sancti Cenhelmi de Winchelcumba ed. D. Royce, 2 vols., Exeter 1892-1903, vol.I, pp. 191-3. Also witnessed by Alard Banaster sheriff of Oxfordshire (1170-75), by Henry abbot of Winchcombe (11 7 1-81) and by the abbots of Eynsham and Oseney.
100 William de Tracy of Toddington witnesses a charter of Otuel of Sudeley (1 192 X 1 198): BL Sloane Charter ХХХШ.З. By 1238, his Gloucestershire land was held by William, apparently son of Henry de Tracy: Curia Regis Rolls, vol. XVI no. 149 N.; Acta of St Peter's Gloucester, p. 190 no. 245. For Henry de Tracy of Toddington, party to a settlement with Abingdon Abbey and witness to Gloucestershire charters of the 1220s, see Two Cartularies of Abingdon Abbey ed. C. F. Slade and G. Lambrick, 2 vols., (Oxford Historical Society n.s. XXXII-III) 1990-92, vol.I, pp. 246-7 no. 391; The Cartulary of the Abbey of Eynsham ed. H.E.Salter, 2 vols., (Oxford Historical Society XLIX, LI) 1907-8, vol. I, pp. 138 no. 187. The charter in Registrum Malmesburitnse ed. J. S. Brewer and C. Trice Martin, 2 vols., (Rolls Series) London 1879-80, vol.1I, pp. 34-5, no. 176, in which с 1210 abbot W(alter) of Malmesbury (1208-22) sanctioned a daily mass in the church of St James Pilton for the souls of Henry de Tracy, the then lord, and of Henry and Hawise his grandparents and Oliver his father, is read by Lord Sudeley as proof of the descent of Toddington. In reality it refers to the manor of Pilton in Devon, and to the Tracy lords of Barnstaple. Cf. Ibid. vol. II, p. 34 no. 175.
100 See below pp. 259-262.
101 For the descent of Toddington in the thirteenth century, we depend upon an equally unreliable source, described by Lord Sudeley, Toddington and the Tracys, pp. 1 37-8, with corrections in Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society XC (1971), p.216.
102 A. S. Ellis, On the Landholders of Gloucestershire named in Domesday Book, in: Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society IV (1879-80) p. 177, whence The Complete Peerage ed. G.E.Cockayne and others, vol. XI, appendix D, pp. 109-10n.; vol. XII, part I, p. 413, where on investigation it transpires that the only relevant source cited is Ellis' pedigree. The Peerage, in turn, serves as the basis for the remarks in Sanders, English Baronies, pp.20, 85-6. It is intriguing that John Britton, Graphic Illustrations ... of Toddington, 1840, although written under the patronage of the then Lord Sudeley, contains no reference to Gracia, but instead describes William de Tracy of Toddington as the grandson of an entirely fictional William de Tracy baron of Barnstaple.
103 I hope to deal with the Devon Tracys at greater length in another article.