Guncelin de Badlesmere

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Guncelin de Badlesmere, Sheriff of Cheshire,Justice of Chester

Also Known As: "Jocelyn de Badlesmere", "Justice Chester", "Gunselm"
Birthplace: Chilham, Kent, England (United Kingdom)
Death: before April 13, 1301
Castle, Badlesmere, Kent, England
Place of Burial: Badlsemere, Swale Borough, Kent, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Giles [Bartholomew] de Badlesmere and Margaret de Leveland
Husband of wife of Gunceline de Badlesmere
Father of Maud de Burghersh and Bartholomew de Badlesmere, 1st Baron of Badlesmere
Brother of Joan de Northwood; Sir Ralph de Badlesmere, Kt. and N.N. de Coningsby

Occupation: Justice of Chester
Managed by: Anne Brannen
Last Updated:

About Guncelin de Badlesmere

Guncelin de Badlesmere (c.1232–c.1301), son of Bartholomew de Badlesmere (died 1248), was Justice of Chester and Cheshire in England.[1]

Guncelin de Badlesmere was appointed to the office of Justice of Chester and Cheshire on 16 October 1274.[2] He held this position until 1281, when Reynold de Grey was appointed to this role and Gunselm was instructed to deliver the associated premises to him with effect from 29 September of that year.[3]

An example of his close connection with the Crown appears in the account of the delivery of the royal seal of King Edward I by his son Edward to the Lord Chancellor, John de Langeton, which took place at Tonbridge Castle, Kent on 27 August 1297, with Sir Guncelin de Badlesmere being one of the witnesses.[4]

Gunselin was evidently still alive on 22 March 1299/1300, when Walter de Gloucester, as "escheator this side the Trent", was instructed to investigate allegations that Guncelm had damaged property belonging to the estate of Edward, son and heir of Philip Burnel, a minor whom the King had committed into Guncelin's custody.[5]

On 13 April 1301, a writ was issued to initiate enquiries into the identity of the next heir of lands that had been held directly from the King by Guncelin de Badlesmere. Presumably, he had died shortly before that date. An inquisition post mortem held on 30 April of that year in respect of land he held in Kent at Badlesmere and Donewelleshethe confirmed that the next heir was his son Bartholomew de Badlesmere, 1st Baron Badlesmere (c.1275–1322).[6]

By 4 October 1302, it was established that the damage to Edward Burnel's inheritance had taken place before Gunselin became involved. Therefore, the lands concerned were to be delivered to the executors of Gunselin's will.[7]

He died in the 29th year of the reign of Edward I (in 1301), and was buried in Badlesmere church, where in 1800 it was reported that his wooden cross-legged effigy could still be found.[1]

Guncelin de Badlesmere, Justice of Chester and Cheshire, is thought to be the son of Giles [Bartholomew] who died in 1248 and the grandson of Guncelin [William] and a Miss Peyferer, the daughter of Fulk. He was born about 1232, other sources say 1244.

We don’t know his wife. She was not Joan FitzBernard, daughter of Ralph FitzBarnard, of Kingsdowne

They had two children:

  • Bartolomew de Badlesmere, 1st Lord Badlesmere (1275-1322) m. Margaret de Clare (1280-1333)
  • Maud, wife of Sir Robert de Burghersh

Guncelin was a witness to the exchange of the King's seal at Tonbridge Castle 27 August 1297, appointed to the office of Justice of Chester 16 October 1274. He was part of an expedition to Wales in 1282 and another to France in 1297. Guncelin was part of a writ on 13 April 1301 was to start inquiries into the next heir for lands that had been held by the king. In October 1302 there were concerns about the executors of his will.

Guncelin died in the 29th year of the reign of King Edward, 1301, and buried in Badlesmere Church, where his wooden cross effigy can still be seen.

Justice of Chester

Fought Welsh Aug 2, 1282

Aug 1297 Commander of Array, overseas mission

Went with Henry to Rome Oct, 1300

Sir Guncelin de Badlesmere Knight Born: Castle Badlesmere, Kent, England Marriage: Margaret Fitz Bernard about 1264 in Castle Badlesmere, Kent, England 200,726 Died: 1274-1275, Castle Badlesmere, Kent, England 726

General Notes:

~Weis' Ancestral Roots . . ., 8th Edition, 54:32, 70:33, Sir Guncelin de Badlesmere, Knight, father of Barthlolomew de Badlesmere, first lord of Badlesmere who married Margaret de Clare. 160

~Richardson's Magna Carta Ancestry, p. 35, Bartholomew de Badlesmere, Knight, of Badlesmere, Steward of the King's Household, governor of Leeds, tunbridge and Bristol Castles, son of Guncelin de Badlesmere, Justice of Chester, by his wife Joan. ,821

Information about this person:

• Background Information. 900 Bartholomew de Baldesmere, living 16 Henry II, was father of William de Badlesmere, who adhered to the Barons during the reign of King John. After him was Giles de Badlesmere, 1248; and Guncelin de Badlesmere, chief justice of Chester until 9 Edward I. He died 29 Edward I siezed of the lordship of Badlesmere in Kent. His son and heir, Bartholomew Lord Badlesmere, was summoned to parliament among the Barons from the 3rd to the 14th of Edward II.

~ Collins's Peerage of England, Vol. VI, p. 489

• Dates & Events. 726 Gunceline de Badlesmere was in opposition against Henry III, for which he was excommunicated along with other oponents to the rule of Henry III. After he made his peace with the King, he was appointed as the Justice of Chester, which he continued to do up to 9 Edward I. He took part in the expedition into Wales in 1281 or 1282 (10 Edward I), he died 29 Edward I, being then seized of the mano of Badlesmere.

Gunceline married Joan, the daughter of Ralph Fitz Bernard, Lord of Kingdowne, Kent. Joan was the heiress of Thomas, Lord Fitz Bernard.

~Fenwick Allied Ancestry, pg. 152

• Background Information. 814 Gunceline de Badlesmere was chief-justice, of Cheshire and lived at the time of Edward I. He was seised of the manor of Gadlesmere, holden of the king in capsite. He married Margaret, daughter and hier to Thomas (Ralph in other references) Fitz Bernard.

~Baronia Anglica Concentrata, Vol. I, p. 112

Guncelin married Margaret Fitz Bernard, daughter of Ralph Fitz Bernard and Joan de Aguillon, about 1264 in Castle Badlesmere, Kent, England 200.,726 (Margaret Fitz Bernard was born about 1235 in Baldesmere, Kent, England and died in Baldesmere, Kent, England.) [NO - disproved]


  • 1."Ancestral roots of certain American colonists who came to America before 1700" Frederick Lewis Weis, 1992, seventh edition. The earlier editions were called: "Ancestral roots of sixty colonists who came to New England 1623-1650"
  • 2. "The Complete Peerage", Cokayne. (See below)
  • 3. "Plantagenet Ancestry", Turton.
  • 4. "Magna Charta Sureties, 1215", F. L. Weis, 4th Ed.
  • Edward Hasted, 'Parishes: Badlesmere', in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 6 (Canterbury, 1798), pp. 467-481. British History Online [accessed 2 July 2022].
  • "The Complete Peerage", Cokayne and others.(first edition) (1887) Volume 1, page 214. (Badlesmere)
  • "The Complete Peerage", Cokayne and others. (second edition) (1910) Volume 1, page 371-2. (Badlesmere) <Archive.Org> wife identified as Joan FitzBernard: "Bartholomew of Badlesmere, of Badlesmere and Chilham Castle, Kent, s. and h. of Guncelin or Gunselm B., of Badlesmere afsd., Justice of Chester, by Joan, da. of Ralph Fitz Bernard, of Kingsdown, Kent (aunt and, in her issue, h. to Thomas [Lord] Fitz Bernard), attended . . . ." But this identification was later retracted by Complete Peerage volume 5, page 403, note b, and was consequently removed from the article on Badlesmere by volume 14 (Corrections and Additions).
  • "The Complete Peerage", Cokayne and others. (second edition) (1912). Volume 2, page 425. (Burghersh) (Corrected in CP 14:57)
  • "The Complete Peerage", Cokayne and others. (second edition) (1921/6). Volume 5, page 403, footnote b. (FitzBernard) (document attached)
  • "The Complete Peerage", Cokayne and others. (second edition) (Addenda & corrigenda, 1998). Volume 14, page 57. Badlesmere. page 372 lines 1-4, delete from ‘by’ to ‘FitzBernard’ {(See vol. v, p 403, note b)} <link>
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Guncelin de Badlesmere's Timeline

Chilham, Kent, England (United Kingdom)
Badlesmere Castle, Badlesmere, Kent, England, United Kingdom
August 18, 1275
Chilham Castle, Chilham, Kent, England
Age 51
Justice of Chester
April 13, 1301
Age 69
Castle, Badlesmere, Kent, England
September 4, 1935
Age 69
September 4, 1935
Age 69
September 4, 1935
Age 69
September 4, 1935
Age 69