Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2007-10 > 1191516933

From: Douglas Richardson <>
Subject: Complete Peerage Correction: Cecily de Mohaut (living 1316),wife of Sir William de Morley, 1st Lord Morley
Date: Thu, 04 Oct 2007 09:55:33 -0700

Dear Newsgroup ~

Complete Peerage, 9 (1936): 210-211 (sub Morley).includes an account
of Sir William de Morley, Knt., 1st Lord Morley (died c.1300), which
individual has the unusual distinction of being summoned to Parliament
AFTER his death. Complete Peerage indicates that Lord Morley was
married twice as follows:

"He married, 1stly, Isabel, sister and heiress of Robert de Mohaut
[Lord Mohaut] (died 1329), brother and heir of Roger de Mohaut
mentioned above. He married, 2ndly, before October 1295, Cicely
[sic], whose parentage is not known. He died probably before the end
of 1302, and was buried in Roydon church. His widow Cicely [sic] was
living in 1316." END OF QUOTE.

We are told that Sir William de Morley's first wife was Isabel, sister
and heiress of Robert de Mohaut, Lord Mohaut. Yet when we look for
the sources to document this statement, we find nothing cited. And,
when we look for the source to document a similar statement in C.P. 9
(1936): 17, footnote e (sub Mohaut), again, we find nothing cited.

If you're getting that sinking feeling of déja vu, then welcome to the
club. Yes, there is no documentation to support Isabel de Mohaut's
existence. So then where did Complete Peerage come up with Isabel de
Mohaut? Well, don't get surprised, here is it.

Blomefield [ix, 436], citing no authority identifies the wife of Sir
William de Morley as "a nameless sister of the last Baron de Montalt;"
and Archdale's Irish Peerage [Montalt, vii, 275], citing Lord
Hawarden's pedigree solely, names her "Isabella."

And was the wife of Sir William de Morley the heiress of Robert de
Mohaut as claimed? Answer: No. That's wrong, too. Robert de
Mohaut's heir was Sir William de Morley's son, Robert de Morley, Knt.,
2nd Lord Morley.

Be that as it may, my research indicates that Sir William de Morley's
only wife was named Cecily. I believe Cecily was the sister of Robert
de Mohaut, Lord Mohaut. Sir William and Cecily were married sometime
before 1 October 1295, when the king granted hiim the manor of Saham
Toney, Norfolk to be held while in the king's service in Gascony; his
wife, Cecily, was permitted to stay there during his absence if she
choose. [Reference: C.P.R. 1292-1301 (1895): 150]. The birth date of
their son and heir, Robert de Morley, is unknown. However, Robert is
known to have been a minor in 1305. He married in or before 1316, to
Hawise Marshal, which Hawise was born about 1301. Robert's first
known military service was in 1315, when he served in Scotland in the
retinue of his uncle, Robert de Mohaut, Lord Mohaut. As a general
rule, young men were 20 or under when they did their first military
service. Thus, we can be reasonably sure that Robert de Morley was
born in or after 1295, which would make him a son of William de
Morley's wife, Cecily.

Complete Peerage, 9 (1936): 311 (sub Morley) further states that Sir
William de Morley "probably died before the end of 1302, and was
buried in Roydon church." My research indicates Sir William was
living 29 Dec. 1299, when he was summoned to Parliament, but was dead
sometime before 29 Sept. 1300, when his widow, Cecily, contracted a
debt of 48 marks to Robert de Holverston, Citizen of Norwich. This
debt was still unpaid in 1306. {Reference: PRO Documents, C 241/42/30,
C 241/49/45] I find that Cecily, widow of William de Morley, fined
regarding lands in Thrandeston, Eye, Melles, Burgate, and and Wortham,
Suffolk in 1301 [Reference: Walter Rye, Calendar of the Feet of Fines
for Suffolk (1900): 104, for which item please see this weblink:,M1].
She was still living in 1316 [Reference: Feudal Aids 3 (1904): 477].
Cecily died sometime before her brother, Robert de Mohaut's death
which took place on 26 Dec. 1329.

Because Robert de Mohaut, Lord Mohaut, had alienated the bulk of his
estates to Queen Isabel during his lifetime, following his death the
Queen obtained a release from Lord Mohaut's widow, Emme, and a similar
grant of the same estates from Lord Mohaut's heir, Robert de Morley.
In 1335 Robert de Morley granted to Queen Isabel all lands, rents,
services, etc., which came to him by inheritance on the death of
Robert de Mohaut, for which the queen granted to him in fee the manor
and advowson of the church of Framsden, Suffolk. The dowager queen
took up residence in the Mohaut family's chief residence at Castle
Rising, Norfolk, and occurs on at least one occasion in contemporary
records as Lady Mohaut [Reference: Parkin An Essay Towards a Topog.
Hist. of the County of Norfolk 9 (1808): 42-46; Ancient Deeds-Series A
2 (List & Index Soc. 152) (1978): 80 (Deed A.15644: Petition dated
1349 of Sées Abbey addressed to the "lady Isabel Mounthaut [Mohaut],
mother of the King of England").

Recapping my findings, it appears that Sir William de Morley had only
one documented wife, Cecily, and that she was the mother of his son
and heir, Robert de Morley. I believe that Cecily was the daughter of
Robert de Mohaut, Knt. (died 1275), of Hawarden, Flintshire,
Middleton, Sussex, Cheylesmore and Kingsbury, Warwickshire, etc., by
his wife, Joan de Mowbray. As such, Cecily de Mohaut would have been
named for her paternal grandmother, Cecily d'Aubeney, daughter of
William d'Aubeney, Earl of Arundel.

For the royalty fans in the audience, I might add that Cecily de
Mohaut's parents, Sir Robert de Mohaut and Joan de Mowbray, are both
descended from Robert Fitz Roy, Earl of Gloucester, the bastard son of
King Henry I of England.

Best always, Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City, Utah

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