Walter FitzOtho, Castellan of Windsor

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Walter de Windsor (FitzOtho)

Also Known As: "Keeper of the reat Forest", "Lord of Eaton", "FItzOtho"
Birthplace: Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales (United Kingdom)
Death: 1086 (44-53)
Brecon, Breconshire, Powys, Wales (United Kingdom)
Immediate Family:

Son of Other and N.N.
Husband of Beatrice de Offley
Father of Constable William FitzWalter, I, Constable of Windsor, Keeper of Windsor Forest; Maurice FitzWalter; Gerald de Windsor, Constable of Pembroke; Robert FitzWalter, of Windsor, Sheriff Of Norfolk; Walter FitzWalter de Windsor and 1 other

Occupation: Castelan of Windsor, Keeper of the Forest, President of Pembroke County
Managed by: James Fred Patin, Jr.
Last Updated:

About Walter FitzOtho, Castellan of Windsor

See...... for explanation in sudden nationality change...very interesting. [And based on a myth, see below.]

For the correct origin of the Fitzgerald family see the articles by J. H. Round, "The Origin of the FItzGeralds," in *The Ancestor*, no. 1, p. 122 (1902) et seq., and no. 2, p. 91 et seq.

See online at Hathitrust:;view=1up;s... (I've cut and pasted the article below):


‘IN the land of Hetruria there flourished once a mighty vine thither translated from the desolated plains of Troy. Florence claimed this beauteous plant her own; and well might she glory in it, for “its branches stretched forth unto the sea, and its boughs unto the river.” From the banks of the Arno and the shores of the blue Tyrrhene Sea the branches of that great tree extended themselves to the far off land of Erin. That tree was the noble race of the Geraldines, who, under the shadow of Tuscan banners, penetrated regions whither Roman legions never dared to venture. . . . The history of this Florentine family has been m special study; for it is inti- mately associated with that o my religion and country; and fondly does she cherish the memory of the Geraldines.’ So wrote Father Dominic o’Daly to their eminences Antony and Francis Barberini, cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. To them he dedicated his history of the Geraldines, Earls of Des- mond, written about the year 16 5 5.1 With rapid hand the learned Dominican sketched in a few sentences the early history of the house :— Ten years’ siege had destroyed the glorious city of Ilium, and cut oflr all its leaders, with the single exception of Eneas, who, being compelled to fly, assembled about him a trusty band of youths, who had outlived their country’s overthrow, foremost of whom in dignity and bravery was the founder of our Geraldines.g . . . Eneas soon afterwards divided the land of Italy amongst his followers, assigning to each his portion; and in the distribution he bestowed on the great ancestor of our Geraldines that region of Hetruria where Florence now stands. When did the Geraldines come to England P When did they settle in Ireland ? Father o’Daly was perfectly clear in his answers to both questions; they came to England with William at the Conquest; and they went to Ireland under Henry II. He had moreover a dim conception of the true facts of the case. He said that William gave them ‘ the castle and lordship of

1 Translated and edited by C. P. Meehan (1878 i). 2 The writer omitted to mention that [Eneas only fled when the house of his Irish neighbour O’Callaghan (Virgil, in his southern tongue, made it ‘ Ucalegon ’) was already in flames.

120 THE ANCESTOR Windsor, of which they held possession till the days of Walter son of Ether (sic). This William had three children; from the first of these, William, sprung the Earls of Windsor; from the second, Robert, the Earls of Essex; but the third, Gerald of Windsor,’ was the ancestor of the Geraldines. Walter FitzOther (not Ether) was, as we shall see, a real man, but the connection of the family with Windsor began instead of ending with this Walter. Let us now turn to what may be termed the authorized version of the origin, that which was given in The Earls of Kildare‘ and steadily repeated in Burke’s Peerage. Lord Kildare gave it thus :— The FitzGeralds, or Geraldines, are descended from ‘Dominus Otho,’ or Other, who, in 1057 (16 Edward the Confessor), was an honorary baron of England.2 He is said to have been one of the family of Gherardini of Florence, and to have passed into Normandy, and thence into England.3 He was so powerful at that period that it is probable that he was one of the foreigners who came to England with King Edward, and whom he favoured so much as to excite the jealousy of the native nobles. It is also remarkable that Otho’s son Walter was thated as a fellow-countryman by the Normans after the Conquest. The Latin form of the name of his descendants, ‘Geraldini,’ being the same as that of Gherardini, also indicates that he was of that family. I cannot undertake to say at what period or how the story of Other coming to England under Edward the Confessor arose; nor can I explain how ‘ Otho ’ replaced the well authenticated ‘ Other,’ probably to give the name a more Italian appearance. But as to the Latin form ‘ Geraldini,’ I can state that the name given by Geraldus Cambrensis to his own family was, on the contrary, ‘ Giraldidae.’ Lord Kildare referred, we have seen, to the ‘Gherardini MS.’ without giving their contents; but to Mr. Meehan we are indebted for printing in an appendix to Father 0’ Daly’s work the contents of these papers, ‘ to which,’ as he observes, ‘ the general reader would find it difficult to get access.’ It must be remembered that, according to the versions given above, the ‘ Geraldines ’ came to England at, if not before, the Conquest. In the ‘ Gherardini MS.’ we have a very different

1 By the Marquis of Kildare (afterwards fourth Duke of Leinster). I cite the fourth edition (1864.). Compare the version in Burke’s Peerage (1902). 3 The authority given for this statement is ‘Sir William Dugdale,’ but Dugdale’s Baronage is silent on the subject. With scrupulous accuracy he began the pedigree with ‘ Walter FitzOther’ in Domesday Book (1086). 5 The reference for this is ‘ Gherardini Papers, MS.’

THE ANCESTOR 121 story. Three brothers of that family, Thomas, Gerald and Maurice Gherardini, ‘having left Florence on account of the civil dissensions there, accompanied the King of England to the Conquest of Ireland.’ This, it will be seen, is wholly discrepant from the version now adopted by the family itself, and is indeed wholly incompatible with the known facts as to its origin. Moreover the ‘Gherardini’ story originated in Ireland, not in Florence. The story given above is traced to an Irish priest ‘ called Maurice, who was of the family of the Gherardini settled in that island,’ and who, passing through Florence in 14.13, claimed the local Gherardini as his kinsmen.1 Those Florentine magnates appear to have been unaware of the connection; indeed even so late as 14.4.0 the Republic's secretary, writing to James Earl of Desmond, used the expres- sion ‘ i it be true ’ (:i ruera est assertio). But the fame of the great Hibernian house reached and flattered the Gherardini, and in answer to a letter of ‘ fraternal love,’ Gerald, ‘ Chief in Ireland of the family of the Gherardini; Earl of Kildare; Vice- roy of the most serene King of England,’ wrote in 1507 ‘ to all the family of the Gherardini, noble in fame and virtue, dwellin in Florence, our beloved brethren in Florence.’ The earl informed them that his ‘ancestors, after passing from France to England, and having remained there some time, arrived in this island of Ireland in I 140’ (l).a He was anxious to know the deeds of their common ancestors, ‘the origin of our house, and the names of your forefathers,’ and he offered them ‘ hawks, falcons, horses, or dogs for the chase.’3 And now from Irish earls panting for Trojan ancestry we will turn to the sober history of a house both ancient and illustrious, a house which not only traces its descent from a Domesday tenant-in-chief, but can make the probably unique boast that, from that day to this, descendants of his have been always numbered among the barons of the realm. In The Earl: of Kildare we read that ‘In 1078 Walter FitzOtho is mentioned in Domesday Book as being in possession of his father’s estates.’ To this statement, which is obstinately repeated in the pages of Burke’s Peerage, I reply, as in Peerage

1 In the same way, at a later time, did the Warwickshire Feildings dis- cover that their name was derived from Rheinfelden, and that they were an exiled branch of the house of Hapsburg. 2 This date, of course, is wholly erroneous. 3 All these extracts are taken from Mr. Meehan’s appendix.

122 THE ANCESTOR Studies (p. 69), that the date of Domesday Book was 1086, not 1078; that Walter was the son of Other, not of Otho; and that Domesday does not state that his lands had been held by his father, but, on the contrary, proves them to have belonged to forfeited Englishmen. Before dealing with Walter however we will glance at a Domesday mystery. Domesday affords us a tantalizing glimpse of a personage who has hitherto escaped notice, and whose name is more suggestive of those borne by the early FitzGeralds than any other in the Survey. Under Essex we read that Reimund’ Girald' annexed some land held by a tenant on the great royal manor of Stan- way (f0. 5) and did the same at Wormingford (f0. 66), his successor, Roger of Poitou, retaining both in his hands at the time of the Survey. This points to Reimund having held the manors of Bergholt by Stanway and Mount Bures by Worm- ingford, both of which are found in the hands of Roger of Poitou in 1086. Following u this clue we find that‘ Raimunt Giralt’ had preceded Roger o Poitou in possession at Stonham, Thorney and Coddenham, in the heart of Suffolk (fos. 350b, 351, 352) ; while under Norfolk a remarkable entry (f0. I 39b) proves that Reimund’ Girald' had preceded Roger in at least one of his manors (f0. 244b), R0 er being styled his ‘ successor.’ From this entry we learn that eimund’ departed (discessit), a vague term which leaves us in doubt as to the cause of his departure. He is the only Raymond in Domesday, and almost the only bearer of the name Girald, or Gerald, though Girard, Gerard, Girold, Gerold are not uncommon. But the special interest of his name lies in its form, for the peculiar combina- tion of two Christian names, unconnected by ‘ filius,’ distinctly points to the south of what is now France, where ‘ Raimundus Geraldi ’ and similar forms are commonly found soon after- wards in the districts towards the Mediterranean. I cannot however connect Gerald with the origin of the FitzGeralds. In Domesday Walter FitzOther appears as a tenant-in-chief in a compact block of counties, Berkshire, Bucks, Middlesex, Surrey and Hants. He also held Winchfield in Hampshire under Chertsey Abbey. At first sight there is not much to connect him with Windsor or its forest, but investigation re- veals the facts that at Windsor itself he held on the royal manor 1% hides and some woodland ; that at Kintbury, another Berkshire manor, he held half a hide ‘ which King Edward had given to his predecessor ’ out of the royal demesne for the

THE ANCESTOR 1 23 custody of the forest (propter firrestarn custodiendarn); that of the great royal manor of Woking in Surrey Walter held three- quarters of a hide, which King Edward had similarly given ‘out of the manor to a certain forester,’ and that in or near Kingston-on-Thames he had given land to a man to whom he had ‘ entrusted the keeping o the king’s brood mares ’ (eguas sil'vaticas). These hints prepare us for the evidence to which we are about to come that he held ‘ a wood called Bagshot ’ at the time of the Survey (though Domesday does not say so), and that he and his heirs had the keeping of the great forest of Windsor. He was also, we shall find, castellan of Windsor, while in his private capacity as a tenant-in-chief he held a barony reckoned at fifteen or twenty knights’ fees and owing fifteen knights as castle guard to Windsor. Our next glimpse of him, after Domesday, is afforded by the Abingdon Cartulary, which records in a most interesting entry that Walter F itzOter, castellan of Windsor, restored to Abbot Faricius the woods of ‘ Virdele ’ and Bagshot, which he I had held by consent of the abbot’s predecessors, lEthelelm and Rainald. It adds that he made this restoration in the first place at Windsor Castle, and that he afterwards sent his wife Beatrice with his son William to Abingdon that they might confirm what he himself had done ‘at home.’1 From this entry we learn that Walter was living after 1 100, for Abbot Faritius ruled the house 1100—16. We also learn that his wife’s name, which has never,I believe, been rightly given,” was given as Beatrice, and that his ‘home’ was at Windsor Castle. Lastly, we may see, I think, an allusion to the loss, for the time, of these woods in the Domesday entry of the abbey’s manor of Winkfield (‘ Wenesfelle ’), which mentions that ‘4 hides are in the king’s forest’ (f0. 59). In other words, Walter,I suspect, had added them to Windsor Forest as its custodian ; and if he did this, as alleged, in the time of Abbot IEthelelm (who died in 1084), they would be 1 Walterus filius Oteri, castellanus de Wildesore, reddidit abbati Faritio duas silvas, vocatas Virdelae et Bacsceat, apud Winckefeld, nostram villam, qua perti- nuerant ecclesiae Abbendoniae; sed eas per przdecessores hujus abbatis, videlicet Adeldelmum et Rainaldum hucusque tenuerat. Hanc redditionem primo apud castellum Wildesores abbati eidem reddidit; et deinde ad nativitatem Sancte ' Marie [8 Sept.] uxorem suam Beatricem, cum filio suo Willelmo, Abbendoniam transmisit, ut quod ipse domi fecerat ipsi Abbendoniae confirmarent (ii. 132). ' In The Earls of Kildare 2) and in Burke’s Peerage it is given as ‘ Gladys, daughter of Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn, Prince of North Wales.’

124 THE ANCESTOR included in the king’s forest at the time of the Domesday Survey (1086). Walter was succeeded by his son William, of whom we have already heard as accompanying his mother to Abingdon. A very interesting writ, which seems to have been overlooked, shows him in charge of Windsor Forest at a date not later than 1116.1 This writ notifies to William FitzWalter, Croc the huntsman, Richard the serjeant, and all the officers of the forest of Windsor, that the king has granted to Abingdon Abbey the tithe of all venison.I This tithe must be care- fully distinguished from that of the ordinary issues of the forest ; both these tithes were at this period commonly granted to religious houses, and, in the case of Windsor, the latter was given to the canons of Salisbury.8 ‘ Croc the huntsman,’ who in this writ is associated with William FitzWalter, was a per- sonage of some note. He was a tenant-in-chief in Hampshire, where Crux (i.e. Croc's) Easton is named from him or his descendants,‘ and was also a holder of land in Wilts ; and he witnessed a charter of William Rufus in favour of the abbey of Malmesbury and the foundation charter of Salisbury cathe- dral at Hastings in 1091.5 The invaluable Pipe Roll of I I 30 shows us William FitzWalter in charge of Windsor Forest in that and the preceding year. He farmed its profits from the Crown for a ‘ census ' of £13 a year (the same figure is found under Henry II.), out of which ‘ the parker ’ was paid a penny 1 For King Henry left England in 1116, and Eudo Dapifer was dead before his return. 2 ‘ Henricus rex Anglie Willelmo filio Walteri et Croco venatori et Ricardo servienti et omnibus ministris de foresta Windesores salutem. Sciatis me conces- sisse Deo et Sanctae Mariae de Abbendona totam decimam de venatione qua: capta fuerit in foresta de Windesora. Testibus Roberto episcopo Lincolnia: et Eudone dapifero apud Bruhellam ’ (ibid. ii. 94). ‘ Bruhella ’ was Brill (Bucks). 1‘ It is worth noting that the Bull of Pope Eugenius III. (1146) in favour of Salisbury confirms to the church of Salisbury ‘ decimas omnes de venatione regis in episcopatu Sarisberiensi, excepta venatione illa qua: capta erit cum stabilia in foresta de Windresores’ (Serum Darammn, p. 12), this having been granted to Abingdon, as shown in the text. Compare Mananiran Angfimrmm VI. 1295. 4 See Tb: Vittoria History of Humps/3hr. 5 See Ellis’s Introdum'on ta Domnday, i. 403, and Monasticon Anglirauum, vi. 1295. The names of Bishop Osmund and Walter ‘Hosatus,’ with that of Croc himself, show that both charters are of the same date. Ellis wrongly assigns the Malmesbury one to the Conqueror. Croc himself gave ten pounds a year in rents and tithes to the church of Salisbury (ibid. p. 1296).

THE ANCESTOR I 25 a day, while {,1 6s. 0d. went in tithes as I have explained above.‘ We again meet with William FitzWalter in that charter of the Empress Maud to Geoffrey de Mandeville which I assign to 1142.2 She grants therein to Geoffrey that William may have his hereditary constableship of Windsor Castle and lands.” William was succeeded by a son of the same name, to whom Kin Henry 11., by a charter granted at Windsor 1154—64. confirmed the lands of his father. This charter, which proves the pedigree, is known to me only from Harleian Roll, P. 8, a pedigree of the Windsor family and of their Irish kinsmen, the FitzGeralds, which although compiled at a bad time (1582) is of quite exceptional value. The charter of which I speak confirms to William of Windsor all the land of his father, William Fitz Walter, and of his grandfather, Walter FitzOther.‘ This William is constantly mentioned in the Pipe Rolls of Henry II. as among those who supervised build- ing operations at Windsor Castle. I believe that Ihave dis- covered his wife, of whom the name has not been known, in that Christina de Wiham who was a tenant by knight-service on the Montfichet fief in 1166.‘ The argument is this. The domesday lord of the fief, Robert Gernon, had an under- tenant, Ilger, who held of him two manors in Essex, Wor- mingford and Maplestead. Walter de Windsor is subsequently found giving, in conjunction with his mother Christina, the church of Wormingford to Wix Priorya and bestowing on St. Paul’s three of his neifs at (evidently) Maplestead.’ Moreover, in 1187 he is found holding a fee and a half of Richard de 1 Great Roll iftbe Pt)”, 31 Hen. I. p. 127. 2 Gerfirey de Mandeuille, p. 163. 3 ‘quod Willelmus filius Walteri et haredes sui habeant custodiam castelli de Windesh[ores] et omnia sua tenementa sicut ipse Willelmus et antecessores sui earn habuerunt de rege Henrico patre meo et antecessoribus ipsius ’ (ibid. p. l 69). 4 ‘ Sciatis rne reddidisse et concessisse Willelmo de Windesoriis totam terram que fuit Willelmi filii Walteri patris sui et Walteri filii Otheri avi sui. . . . Testibus Willelmo fratre meo et comite Reginaldo et Jocelino de Baillil apud Windesorias.’ As the pedigree gives with this charter transcripts of the extracts from the Empress Maud’s charter, of the charter of Henry II. in favour of his cousin William FitzRobert FitzWalter, and of the fine of 9 Ric. I., all of which are quite accurate, its authority is excellent. 5 Red Book of tbe Exrbeyuer, p. 350. 5 See Morant’s History of Essex, ii. 232, 233, and the Monum'con (under Wix), where the charter is printed. 7 9tb Report Historical MSS. App. i. p. 34.

1 26 THE ANCESTOR Montfichet.1 The descent of these manors would thus be accounted for, Walter being the eldest son of William de Windsor by, as I suggest, Christina de Wiham. Walter and his younger brother William divided the Wind- sor barony into two moieties in 1198.” Walter was the an- cestor, through a daughter, of the Hodengs; from William, in whose share Stanwell was included, descended Andrew Windsor, created Lord Windsor of Stanwell by Henry VIII., from whom descends in the female line the present Lord Windsor. In the second portion of this paper I propose to deal with the younger sons of Walter FitzOther, from one of whom, Gerald de Windsor, all the FitzGeralds trace their descent. It will be convenient however to dispose in the present portion of one whose existence, I believe, is known to us only from a writ in the Abingdon Cartulary. In this writ Henry I. ad- dresses Walter son of Walter de Windsor and informs him that he has granted to Farice Abbot of Abingdon (1100—16) the land and house at Windsor which had been held by Albert.“ It is in the name of Albert that is found the interest of this writ. For one cannot doubt that this was the ‘Albert the clerk’ who is mentioned in Domesday, in conjunction with Walter FitzOther, as holding land at Windsor under the Crown (fo. 56b) and the ‘ Albert ’ who is entered as holding in chief land at Dedworth (f0. 63) adjacent to Clewer and Wind- sor. I have dealt elsewhere with the holdings of this Albert of Lotharingia, a ‘ clerk,’ ‘ priest ’ or ‘ chaplain ’ in favour with Edward and with William.‘ As to ‘ Walter the son of Walter,’ I cannot account for his being found apparently in charge of Windsor, as he was a younger son. It is of course just pos- sible that he represents an error of the scribe for ‘ William the son of Walter,’ the heir of the house. 1 ‘ de feodo quod tenet de Ricardo de Monte F ichet ’ (Red Book 9‘ the Ex- cheguer, p. 66). 9 See the fine in Feet of Fines 9 Ric. I. (Pipe Roll Society), p. 110. It is of much importance for topographical history and corrects the account given in Dugdale. 3 ‘ Henricus rex Anglia: Waltero filio Walteri de Windresore salutem. Sciatis quod concedo Faritio abbati et ecclesiae Abbendoniee terram illam et domum de Windresores, quae fuit Alberti, sicut Rainerius earn sibi concessit. Teste Rogero Bigod apud Londoniam’ (ii. 132). 4 The Commune of London and other studies, pp. 36—8. (To be continued)

The Ancestor No. 2, p. 91 by J. Horace Round, The Origin of the FitzGeralds II:

THE ORIGIN OF THE FITZGERALDS II I PROMISED to deal in the second portion of this paper with the younger sons of Walter FitzOther, castellan of Windsor. Of these there has hitherto been recognized the existence of two only, namely Robert, who according to Dugdale, 'had Estone in Com. Buck.,' and Gerald de Windsor, ancestor of the house of FitzGerald. I hope to show that there were other sons, but we must first deal with Robert, whose pater- nity is clearly established. A charter of Henry I. granted at Argentan in the Christmas of a year which is not named, but which must from the witnesses' names have been towards the close of his reign, speaks of' Robert son of Walter de Wyndesore,' whose lands it confirms to his son William. Of this charter the text is given in the Harleian Roll (P. 8) and in the Inspeximus by Edward III. (April 10, 1336 J). It is needful to insist on the identity of this Robert de Windsor, because, in an elaborate study on 'The Rise and Race of Hastings,'2 Mr. G. T. Clark converted him into a Mascherel or a Hastings. The pedigree he gave was this3:— Walter Diaconus 1086 Robertus d'Estan, de Walter Mascherel Hastings or Mascherel or dc Hasting* William son William de Hastings= Sister and h. of of Robert of Fillongley, first I Maurice de Windsor 1165 Baron by tenure I of Eton, Berks I I Robertus de Hastings | mar. d. and heir of Ralph de Hastings William de Hastings 1165, second Baron, 1
d. 9. p. 1 Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1334-8, p. 249. Among its witnesses is Maurice de Windsor, to whom we shall next come.

  • jlrchitobgical Journal (1869), xxvi. 12-9, 121-36, 236—56. 3 Ibid. p. 129. 9'

92 THE ANCESTOR Mr. Clark, having wrongly identified Robert, proceeded to argue thus from his own erroneous conclusion:— It has been shown that Robert d'Estan or Mascherel bore also the name and was ancestor of a family of Hastings; there is therefore nothing improb- able in Hastings having been also a designation of his brother Walter (p. 236). Mr. Clark developed his error out of the original mistake by which Morant, the historian of Essex, had failed to identify rightly the 'Eistanes' of Domesday Book, which was Little Easton, now known as Lady Warwick's ancestral seat, but which he placed far away in the Hundred of Dengey.1 One could not desire a better illustration of the mischief in county history that may follow from identifying wrongly a single Domesday manor. Little Easton, wrongly described as 'Estone, Bucks,' by Dugdale,2 was the head of a barony of ten fees which Robert de Windsor obtained in the days of Henry I. and which was subsequently liable, like the fief of his elder brother, to castle- guard at Windsor.3 William the son of Robert obtained a fresh confirmation of it from Henry II., and William's daughter and heir brought it to a Hastings.* The next of Walter FitzOther's sons—though not hitherto recognized as such—with whom we have to deal is Maurice. If, because he is once styled Gerald 'de Windsor,' the ancestor of the house of FitzGerald was a son of Walter, then a fortiori Maurice was so also, for he is repeatedly styled Maurice * de Windsor.' The great interest of this affiliation is that it car- ries the name Maurice, afterwards famous in Ireland, a gener- ation further back and takes it to a time when it rarely occurs.8 We are indebted to Mr. Rokewode's preface to Jocelyn de Brakelond* for the text of some important charters relating to the great abbey of Bury St. Edmund's. Among them is one (p. 118) of Abbot Albold, belonging to the years 1115-9, 1 History of Essex, i. 350, 466; ii. 430. 8 Baronage, i. 509. 3 See my paper on 'Castle-guard' in Arcbeeologtal Journal (1902). 4 It was in the time of Robert de Hastings that the return of knights for this fief was made, but it belongs to a later date than 1166, though included among the returns of that date in the Red Book of the Exchequer (pp. 358-9) by the editor. 6 The only 'Maurice' in Domesday Book is the newly-appointed Bishop of London. 6 Camden Society's Series.

ORIGIN OF THE FITZGERALDS 93 in which he grants to Maurice 'de Windleshore' the steward- ship of the abbey with its curious privileges, together with the land of the previous steward (dapifer)? amounting to three knights' fees, which were increased by the addition of two others to five. Among the witnesses to this charter are 'Robertus de Wyndeleshore; Reinaldus de Wyndeleshore.' Another of these charters (p. 119) contains King Stephen's confirmation to Maurice of all his land and his office, etc., etc., as he held them in the time of Henry I. Lastly we have the confirmation of all this to his nephew Ralph de Hastings, who was holding the five fees of the abbey in 1166. Maurice is mentioned in several of the charters relating to the abbey; a writ of Henry I. issued during a vacancy is addressed to 'Eadnoth the monk and Maurice the steward (dapifero] . . . and all the barons of St. Edmund's Honour';2 a Hengrave charter of Abbot Anselm is witnessed by ' Mauricius dapifer'; * and another of his charters, appar- ently belonging to 1135-48, refers to proceedings before Maurice the dapifer under Henry I. and is itself witnessed by him.* Lastly, in a charter of Stephen's queen granted at Reading to the Templars Maurice de 'Wyndleshore' is a witness.6 Maurice was clearly in office or in favour with Henry I., for we find him excused his Danegeld on the Pipe Roll of 1130, and thus learn that he held land in no fewer than eight coun- ties: Dorset, Essex, Northants, Norfolk, Suffolk, Beds, Berks and Middlesex. The fact that Maurice de Windsor died without issue is proved by the succession of his nephew Ralf as his heir in land and office. As I have said, the name of Maurice suggests that of Maurice FitzGerald, the first member of his house to take part in the invasion of Ireland. As this suggestion strengthens the received version of their origin, I would call attention to the very interesting and little known document which proves that Maurice FitzGerald was made dapifet of St. David's pre- 1 totam terrain quam Radulfus Dapifer predecessor suus tenuit de Sancto Edmundo et totum dapiferatum de tota terra Sancti Edmundi cum omni con- suetudine et omni Hberatione que pertinet ad eundem dapiferatum, scilicet cum liberatione sua et clerici sui et viii hominum et viii equorum cum dimidio sextario vini si vinum affuerit et cera cum xxiiij candelis et cervisia. Cum vero Mauricius prenominatus ierit longc aut proprie in senricium meum ad custum meum ire delict honorifice sicut dapifer. 2 Gage's Hundred of TAingpe, p. 276. 3 Ibid. p. 165. 4 Ibid. p. 406. 5 Monasticon, vi. 843.

94 THE ANCESTOR cisely as Maurice de Windsor, his uncle ex bypotbesi, had been made dapifer of St. Edmund's. It is an inspeximus of certain charters, among which are those of David (FitzGerald), Bishop of St. David's and of his chapter, bestowing on Maurice FitzGerald the office and certain lands, together with that of Henry II. confirming the grant.1 As the terms of the grant have a strong resemblance to those employed in the grant of the same office at St. Edmund's, I give them in a footnote for comparison.2 In each case the grantee received not only the lands which had been held by his predecessor in office, but others in addition. The same document contains for us one more point of interest. The charter of Peter, Bishop of St. David's (i 176-98), confirming the office of dapifer to Maurice's son William, has among its witnesses Walter de 'Vinsor,' doubtless the head of the family who was living under Richard I. This is, I think, the only charter that brings one of the Fitz- Geralds into connexion with a Windsor. We saw above that among the witnesses to Abbot Albold's charter to Maurice was a Reinald de 'Wyndeleshore.' Mr. H. J. Ellis (of the British Museum) has kindly drawn my attention to the Reading Abbey charters in which he occurs as a witness. Queen Adeliza (widow of Henry I.) granted a rentcharge at Stanton, Oxon, to the abbey, her charter having as a witness 'Reginaldo de Wind'r';3 she issued a writ re- lating to Stanton, 'teste Reinaldo de Wind'r, apud Aron- delle';3 and her husband William, Earl of Arundel (or of Lincoln) confirmed her gift of a Hertfordshire manor, his charter including as a witness 'Reginaldo de Windleshores.' * Mr. Ellis ingeniously suggests that he was the queen's dapifer^ who witnesses two of her charters, as Rainald or Reginald dapifer.* Here then we have not only another member of the family, but another who was a dapifer. At last we come to Gerald de Windsor (Windesora), an- cestor of the house of FitzGerald. It is singular that the Brut y tywysogion, which has so much about him, persistently styles him Gerald the steward (ystiivarf), that is to say dapifer. 1 Fourth Report Historical MSS. App. i. p. 383. 2 dapiferatum tocius terre Sancti Davit ... et ... omnes terras illas quas predictus Bernardus (episcopus) prefato Henrico (filio regis) cum dapifcr.itu dedit . . . per servicium dicti dapiferatus. 3 Arcbeeoh^cal Journal, xx. 287-8. * Ibid. xxii. 153. 6 Add. MS. 15,350, fos. 5, ^d.

ORIGIN OF THE FITZGERALDS • V 95 But his grandson and namesake, Gerald 'Cambrensis,' the delightful though garrulous historian, styles him on one occa- sion 'Geraldus de Windesora.'l This appears to be the only ground for making him a son of Walter FitzOther, though the plain saltire borne by Windsors as by the FitzGeralds confirms, as Sir George Duckett has observed, their common origin, while carrying back the charge, apparently, to a very early date. Gerald is spoken of by his grandson as the constable and captain (primipilus) of Arnulf de Montgomeri, who raised the castle of Pembroke and placed him in charge thereof under William Rufus. His gallant defence of that fortress against the Welsh and the 'slim' stratagems (figmenta exquisitiora} by which he induced them to abandon the siege are narrated with delight by his descendant,2 who adds that, to strengthen his position in the district, he married Nesta, the sister of Griffith, prince of South Wales, who bore to him famous children, 'by whom the southern coast of Wales was saved for the English and the bulwarks of Ireland stormed.' The Brut tells us that, in the early days of the reign of Henry L, Gerald was sent with others to Ireland by his lord Arnulf to seek the hand of King Murcard's daughter for him and was successful.3 On the fall of Arnulf with his brothers, Gerald obtained from the king the castle of Pembroke,* which he seems to have subsequently rebuilt 'in the place called Little Cengarth.' There ' he deposited all his riches, with his wife, his heirs, and all dear to him; and he fortified it with a ditch and wall, and a gateway with a lock on it.'6 This was in 1105. Next year occurred the famous and tragic incident of the surprise or this castle by Owen son of Cadugan at night and Gerald's narrow escape, his wife and children being carried off by the fiery Welshman, an outrage which Gerald later on was able to avenge. Of Gerald's death we have no mention, but in 1135 and 1145 we hear o^ his 'sons> fighting the Welsh at the head of 'French and Flemings.'8 On these sons the best authority is their nephew Gerald the historian, whose autobiography contains a passage of great genea- logical interest.7 Towards the end of the reign or Henry II., 1 Itinerarium Kambriee, p. 89. This is, so far as I know, the only mention of him by that name. 2 Ibid. p. 90. 3 p. 69 (Rolls Series). * Ibid. p. 77. 5 Ibid. p. 83. 6 See the Brut for all this. 7 GiraUus Cambrensis (Rolls Series), i. 58-9.

96 THE ANCESTOR Rhys ap Griffin, who had come to meet the envoys of the king, namely Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Ranulf de Glanville, the chief justice, was sitting at table in the house of William de Ver, Bishop of Hereford (1186-99), between the bishop and 'Walter FitzRobert, a noble baron, who like the bishop was of the stock of the Clares' (Clarensium).1 Gerald, historian and archdeacon, chaffingly congratulated the Welsh- man on sitting between two of the Clares (duos Clarenses), of whose inheritance, namely Cardigan, he was in possession.3 The prince turned the jest aside by a graceful compliment, which the bishop returned, and 'after the midday slumber' they all went out on the lawn, where Rhys recited the names of the eight sons and two daughters who represented Nesta's 4 matrimonial adventures.' William FitzGerald (' primaevus ') he named first,3 Maurice fourth, and David the bishop last. He spoke of the lands they had acquired in Wales and of those they had conquered in Ireland, adding that 'their conquest there was great, if only they could keep it.' And this he added, observes the narrator, 'because these two nations, the Welsh and the Irish, ever feed upon the hope that they will recover the lands taken from them by the English.' It is somewhat singular that Gerald 'Cambrensis,' who sang the praises of his family in no measured strains, says nothing, so far as I can find, of Gerald de Windsor's origin or of his Windsor relatives. 'Oh race! oh family!' he ex- claims, ' ever viewed with suspicion, not only for the numbers of the race, but also for its innate energy. Oh race! oh family! sufficient of itself for the conquest of any kingdom, but for the envy their energy excites.'* In another place his ecstasy, as he thinks of his relatives' achievements, leads him into wild hyperbole.6 A few lines before he had drawn a picture of some thirty members of the clan, mounted on 1 Adeliza, daughter of Gilbert de Clare, married Aubrey de Vere, Great Chamberlain, father of Aubrey, first Earl of Oxford (Geoffrey de MandeviUe, p. 390); Walter FitzRobert (lord of Dunmow) was son of Robert FitzRichard de Clare (Feudal England, pp. 475, 575).

  • See Studies in Peerage and Family History, pp. 211— 2. 3 Compare Expugnatio Hibernitt (Rolls Series), p. 214.
  • Expugnatio Hibernitt (Rolls Series), p. 326. 5 'Hoc etenim gentis hujus omen, et haec conditio. Semper in armata militia car!, semper primi, semper, rebus in martiis, ausu nobili iamosissimi. . . . Qui sunt qui penetrant hostis penetralia? Giraldidse. Qui sunt qui patriam conservant? Giraldidz,' etc., etc. (ibid. p. 335).

ORIGIN OF THE FITZGERALDS 97 splendid horses, and apparently displaying shields bearing the same ensigns, in 1176,* a passage, if it could be relied on, which is obviously of great importance for the early use of armorial bearings and for their collateral adoption.2 I close this article with a chart pedigree embodying the results attained. There is one point which has to be explained in connexion with this pedigree. The Rotulus de Dominabus (1185) shows us (pp. 18, 21, 46) William de Windsor's widow, Hawys, in the king's gift, with one son William (eighteen years old), who had been in her ward for nine years, and six or seven daughters. This would carry back her marriage to William at least as far as 1166. William appears to have had an earlier wife, the mother of Walter, his eldest son; but this evidence of the Rotulus shows that she can hardly have been Christina de Wiham (as I suggested in No. I. p. 125), who was holding her land on the Gernon fief in 1166. On the other hand, the argument there given as to a Christina having married a Windsor and brought him two manors on the Gernon fief remains unaffected, and is indeed strengthened by the fact that Walter de Windsor had a daughter and granddaughter re- spectively named Christiana. Another matter involved as yet in some obscurity is that Maurice de Windsor was succeeded by a sister's son. This cannot be accounted for on the basis or the pedigree as shown, but he and the mother of Ralf de Hastings may have been the children of Walter Fitz Other by another wife. It is also to be remembered that his lands and office had not come to him by inheritance, and that the succession therefore might not be regular or certain. J. HORACE ROUND. 1 Expugnatio Hibemlie (Ed. Rolls Series), p. 335: 'clipeis assumptis unius armaturze.' 1 The thirty warriors in question would not be all descended from Gerald even in the female line.

Walter fitzOther de Windsor

Domesday Tenant In Buckingham, Hampshire, Middlesex & Surrey

wife Beatrice. Some sources have him married to Gwladus Verch Rhiwallon but this is not supported by primary evidence at this time.

From Charles Cawley's Medieval Lands Database

WALTER FitzOther of Windsor, son of --- (-after 1100). The Chronicle of Abingdon records that "Walterus filius Oteri, castellanus de Uuildesore" restored "duas silvas…Virdelæ et Basceat, apud Winckefeld nostram villam" to the abbot of Abingdon, dated to [1100/16], and that "uxorem suam Beatricem cum filio suo Willelmo" effected the transfer 8 Sep[740].

m BEATRICE, daughter of --- (-after 1100). The Chronicle of Abingdon records that "Walterus filius Oteri, castellanus de Uuildesore" restored "duas silvas…Virdelæ et Basceat, apud Winckefeld nostram villam" to the abbot of Abingdon, dated to [1100/16], and that "uxorem suam Beatricem cum filio suo Willelmo" effected the transfer 8 Sep[741].

Walter & his wife had [five] children:

1. WILLIAM [I] FitzWalter (-[1154/60]). The Chronicle of Abingdon records that "Walterus filius Oteri, castellanus de Uuildesore" restored "duas silvas…Virdelæ et Basceat, apud Winckefeld nostram villam" to the abbot of Abingdon, dated to [1100/16], and that "uxorem suam Beatricem cum filio suo Willelmo" effected the transfer 8 Sep[742]. He succeeded his father in [1100/16] as forester of Windsor and lord of Eton[743]. The Chronicle of Abingdon records that Henry I King of England notified "Willelmo filio Walteri et Croco venatori et Ricardo servienti et omnibus ministris de foresta Windesores" that he had granted tithes of all venison to Abingdon abbey, witnessed by "…Eudone dapifero" (which dates the notification to [1116/20][744]. The 1130 Pipe Roll records "Wills fil Walti" at "Forest de Windesor" in Berkshire[745]. Empress Matilda confirmed that "Willelmus filius Walteri" should be "custodiam castelli de Windesh", and the lands which "ipse Willelmus et antecessores sui" had from Henry I King of England, by charter dated to [1141/42][746]. m ---. The name of William´s wife is not known. William [I] & his wife had two children:

a) WILLIAM [II] de Windsor (-[1175/76]). Henry II King of England confirmed to "Willelmo de Windesoriis" the land of "Willelmi filii Walteri patris sui et Walteri filii Otheri avi sui", dated to [1154/60][747].
b) WALTER de Windsor (-before 1184). Dugdale records that “Walter de Windlesores and Christiana his wife” donated "Wormingford…church" to Wix priory, Essex by undated charter[748]. “Walterus de Windlesores” donated "elemosinam ecclesiam de Suinelande" to Wix priory, Essex by undated charter[749]. m [CHRISTIANA de Wiham, daughter of ---. The Red Book of the Exchequer records "Cristina de Wiham i militem" in the fief of "Willelmi de Montefichet" in Essex in 1166[750].] Dugdale records that “Walter de Windlesores and Christiana his wife” donated "Wormingford…church" to Wix priory, Essex by undated charter[751]. Walter & his wife had three children:

i) WALTER de Windsor (-1203). The 1197/98 Feet of Fines records a settlement dated 18 Apr 1198 between "Waltm de Winlesore" and "Willm de Windesor" relating to the barony of "Willi de Windesor avi eorum", with land at "Burneham…Bekenefeld…Etona…Orton…Horslea…Stanewell et Lesmores…Horton…"[752].
ii) CHRISTIANA de Windsor (-before 29 Sep 1206). m DURAND de Lascelles, son of ---.
iii) GUNNOR de Windsor (-[1205/06]). m HUGH de Hosdeng, son of ---.

2. GERALD FitzWalter (-before 1136). He was granted Moulsford, Berkshire and held land in Pembrokeshire[753]. The Annales Cambriæ record that "Geraldus præfectus de Penbroc" laid waste to "Meneviæ fines" in 1097[754]. m (1100) NESTA of Wales, daughter of RHYS ap Tudor Mawr King of Deheubarth [South Wales] & his wife Gwladus ---. The Chronicle of the Princes of Wales names, in 1106, "Nest daughter of Rhys son of Tewdwr and wife of Gerald the steward" and "Gwladus daughter of Rhiwallon, the mother of Nest", when recording that "Owain [son of Cadwgan son of Bleddyn]…accompanied by a small retinue [visited] her as his kinswoman" in the castle in which his father organised a feast and later reentered the castle and abducted her "with her two sons and daughter and also another son that he [=her husband] had by a concubine"[755]. She became mistress firstly of Henry I King of England, and secondly of Stephen Constable of Cardigan, as shown by the Expugnatio Hibernica which records that "Robertus filius Stephani" was freed from prison in Wales, naming "matre…Nesta, Resi magni filia"[756]. Gerald & his wife had three children:

a) MAURICE FitzGerald (-Wexford 1 Sep 1176). The Expugnatio Hibernica names "David Menevensi episcopo et Mauricio Giraldi filio" as brothers of "Robertus filius Stephani"[757]. see IRELAND – EARLS of DESMOND, EARLS of KILDARE.
b) DAVID (-1177, bur St David's Cathedral). The Chronicle of the Princes of Wales names "David Bishop of Menevia and William the Bastard…sons to Gerald the steward" as the brothers of "Robert son of Stephen by Nest daughter of Rhys son of Tewdwr"[758]. The Annales Cambriæ record the succession in 1150 of "David filius Giraldi" as "episcopus Meneviæ" after the death of Bishop Bernard[759]. Bishop of St David's. The Expugnatio Hibernica names "David Menevensi episcopo et Mauricio Giraldi filio" as brothers of "Robertus filius Stephani"[760]. The Annales Cambriæ record the death in 1177 of "David episcopus Menevensis" and his burial "in ecclesia Menevensi"[761]. Bishop David had one illegitimate child by an unknown mistress:

i) MILES . The Expugnatio Hibernica names "Milo Menevensis, tam Stephanidæ quam Mauricii nepos…Henrici filius Robertus, Meilerii frater"[762]. Feudal Baron of Iverk, co. Kilkenny. Ancestor of the family of Barron of Brownsford, co. Kilkenny[763].

c) ANGHARAD . She and her husband were parents of the historian "Giraldus Cambrensis". m WILLIAM de Barry of Manorbier. The Expugnatio Hibernica names "Roberto Barrensi" and "Meilerius" as "Stephanidæque alter ex fratre, alter ex sorore nepotes"[764].

Gerald had one illegitimate child by an unknown mistress:

d) WILLIAM FitzGerald of Carew Castle, Pembrokeshire (-1173). The Chronicle of the Princes of Wales names "David Bishop of Menevia and William the Bastard…sons to Gerald the steward" as the brothers of "Robert son of Stephen by Nest daughter of Rhys son of Tewdwr"[765]. The Annales Cambriæ name "Willielmus filius Geraldi" among those who destroyed "castellum Wix" in 1148[766]. m ---. The name of William´s wife is not known. William & his wife had four children:

i) RAYMOND "le Gros" .
ii) GRIFFITH . The Expugnatio Hibernica names "nepos…Mauricii Stephanidæque, Griffinus"[767].
iii) ODO . Ancestor of the Baronets CAREW[768].
iv) daughter . m ---. One child:

(a) DAVID "the Welshman" .

3. ROBERT de Windsor (-before [1128]). Henry I King of England confirmed the grant of land of which his father was seised to "Robert son of Walter of Windsor" and that he granted the same land to "William son of the said Robert", by charter dated 25 Dec [1128][769]. Feudal Baron of Eston, Essex. m ---. The name of Robert´s wife is not known. Robert & his wife had one child:

a) WILLIAM . Henry I King of England confirmed the grant of land of which his father was seised to "Robert son of Walter of Windsor" and that he granted the same land to "William son of the said Robert", by charter dated 25 Dec [1128][770].

4. [MAURICE de Windsor (-after 1130). Round suggests that Maurice was another son of Walter FitzOther[771]. The abbot of Bury St Edmunds granted stewardship of the abbey to "Mauricius de Windleshore" by charter dated to [1115/19], witnessed by "Robertus de Wyndelshore, Reinaldus de Wyndeleshore"[772]. The 1130 Pipe Roll records "Mauric de Windesor" in Dorsetshire[773]. same person as…? MAURICE de Windsor (-after 25 May 1130). "Maurice de Windsor and Edgidia his wife" donated the church of St Edmund at Hoxne to Norwich Cathedral priory by charter dated 25 May 1130[774]. m EDGIDIA, daughter of --- (-after 25 May 1130). "Maurice de Windsor and Edgidia his wife" donated the church of St Edmund at Hoxne to Norwich Cathedral priory by charter dated 25 May 1130[775].]

5. [daughter m WILLIAM de Hastings, son of --- (-[before 1130]). . Her parentage is confirmed by the charter dated to [1155] under which Henry II King of England confirmed to "Ralph de Hastynges dapifero of the queen" the lands formerly belonging to Ralph steward of St Edmund´s and to "Maurice de Windsor maternal uncle of the said Ralph de Hastings" by charter dated to [1155][776].


  • [740] Stevenson, J. (ed.) (1858) Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon (London), Vol. II, p. 132.
  • [741] Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon, Vol. II, p. 132.
  • [742] Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon, Vol. II, p. 132.
  • [743] Keats-Rohan, K. S. B. (2002) Domesday Descendants: A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents 1066-1166. II. Pipe Rolls to Cartæ Baronum (Boydell) (“Domesday Descendants”), p. 969.
  • [744] Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon, Vol. II, p. 94.
  • [745] Hunter, J. (ed.) (1833) Magnum rotulum scaccarii vel magnum rotulum pipæ de anno 31 regni Henrici primi (London) ("Pipe Roll 31 Hen I (1129/30)"), Berkshire, p. 127.
  • [746] Round, J. H. (1892) Geoffrey de Mandeville, a Study of the Anarchy, p. 169.
  • [747] Harleian Roll, p. 8, quoted in Round, W. H. ´The Origin of the Fitzgeralds´, The Ancestor, No. I (April 1902), p. 125.
  • [748] Dugdale Monasticon IV, Wykes Nunnery, Essex, p. 513, citing Morant History of Essex, Vol. I, p. 347 [not yet consulted].
  • [749] Dugdale Monasticon IV, Wykes Nunnery, Essex, II, p. 515.
  • [750] Red Book Exchequer, Part I, p. 350.
  • [751] Dugdale Monasticon IV, Wykes Nunnery, Essex, p. 513, citing Morant History of Essex, Vol. I, p. 347 [not yet consulted].
  • [752] Pipe Roll Society, Vol. XXIII (1898) Feet of Fines in the Public Record Office of the 9th year of King Richard I (London) ("Feet of Fines 9 Ric I (1197/98)"), p. 110.
  • [753] Domesday Descendants, p. 968.
  • [754] Annales Cambriæ, p. 30.
  • [755] Brut y Tywysogion (Williams), pp. 81-87.
  • [756] Dimock, J. F. (ed.) (1867) Giraldi Cambrensis Opera, Topographia Hibernica, Expugnatio Hibernica (London) Expugnatio Hibernica I, II, p. 229.
  • [757] Expugnatio Hibernica I, II, p. 229.
  • [758] Brut y Tywysogion (Williams), p. 213.
  • [759] Annales Cambriæ, p. 44.
  • [760] Expugnatio Hibernica I, II, p. 229.
  • [761] Annales Cambriæ, p. 55.
  • [762] Expugnatio Hibernica II, X, p. 325.
  • [763] Burke´s Peerage II, p. 1679.
  • [764] Expugnatio Hibernica I, IV, p. 235.
  • [765] Brut y Tywysogion (Williams), p. 213.
  • [766] Annales Cambriæ, p. 44.
  • [767] Expugnatio Hibernica I, XLI, p. 292.
  • [768] Burke´s Peerage, I, p. 496.
  • [769] Johnson, C. & Cronne, H. A. (ed.) (1956) Regesta Regem Anglo-Normannorum (Oxford), Vol. II, 1556, p. 219.
  • [770] Regesta Regem Anglo-Normannorum, Vol. II, 1556, p. 219.
  • [771] Round, W. H. ´The Origin of the Fitzgeralds II´, The Ancestor, No. II (Jul 1902), p. 92.
  • [772] Round ´The Origin of the Fitzgeralds II´, p. 93.
  • [773] Pipe Roll 31 Hen I (1129/30), Dorsetshire, p. 14.
  • [774] Dodwell, B. (ed.) (1974) The Charters of Norwich Cathedral Priory, Part 1, Pipe Roll Society NS Vol. XL (London) ("Norwich Cathedral, I"), 120, p. 68 [extract only, in translation].
  • [775] Norwich Cathedral, I, 120, p. 68 [extract only, in translation].
  • [776] Eyton, R. W. (1857) Antiquities of Shropshire (London), Vol. V, p. 136, citing Brakelond´s Chronicle, p. 117.



Walter fitz Otho 1
M, #158363, d. after 1100

Last Edited=29 Apr 2009

    Walter fitz Otho was the son of Otho (?).2 He married '''Gladys ap Comyn''', daughter of Ryall ap Comyn. He died after 1100.3

Walter fitz Otho was a Castellan Windsor.1 He held the office of Keeper of the Forests in Berkshire, appointed by William the Conqueror.2 In 1086 he was a tenant-in-chief at the time of the Domesday Survey , holding land in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Middlesex.1 He held the office of Keeper of Windsor Castle in 1087.2
Child of Walter fitz Otho

  • Maurice fitz Walter1

Children of Walter fitz Otho and Gladys ap Comyn

  • Gerald fitz Walter+4 d. b 1136
  • William fitz Walter1
  • Reinald fitz Walter1


[S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 682. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition. [S133] Unknown, Pedigree Showing the Descent of the Family of King-Tenison from The White Knight (not published). [S37] Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition, volume 2, page 2297. [S37] Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.

The nobleman in charge of the Norman forces in Wales in the late 11th century. Notably, he was the progenitor of the FitzGerald dynasty, one of the most celebrated families of Ireland and Great Britain.

Warden of forest in Berkshire, England in 1078. He was appointed by William the Conquerer.

Constable of Windsor, Keeper of Windsor Forrest, living 1086, and after 1100

James Barnett Adair p13

Walter fitz Other (or Walter de Windsor), the son of Lord Other, was tenant in chief of lands in Berkshire, counties Buckingham, Middlesex, Surrey, and Hampshire at the time of the Domesday Survey in A.D. 1086, and was Castelan of Windsor and Keeper of the Forest before A.D. 1100. Walter married Beatrice. Walter and Beatrice had three children:

William, Castelan of Windsor, ancestor of the Lords Windsor.

Gerald fitzWalter (or Gerald of Windsor).

Robert de Windsor, Baron of Eston, Essex.


Castellan of the Castle. Some sources show he married Beatrice and some

Gladys daughter of the Prince of North Wales. Listed in the Domeday Book 1087

NOTE: Walter FitzOtho de Windsor, Castellan of Windsor and Keeper of the Forest "Walter FitzOther" and Lord of Eton, Castellan of Windsor, 1078; warden of Forests in Berkshire ca. 1066-87. Born: 1037 in Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales or Stanwell, Staines, Middlesex County, England. Died:1086. Some sources show he married Beatrice de OFFALY and some Gwaladus VERCH RHIWALLON AP CYNFYN in Windsor,England d/o Rhiwallen, Ap Cynfyn Prince of North Wales - Listed in the Domeday Book 1087. Walter came into England with William the Conqueror, and afterward settled in Ireland.

NOTE: He held, among other manors, Stanwell in Middlesex County at the Domesday Survey in 1086.

NOTE: Fitzother was not Constable of Windsor as Windsor was a royal forest until 1066 when William I started construction of Windsor Castle. At the time of the Survey in 1086, Walter Fitzother held a compact group of manors as tenant-in-chief of the King in the counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Middlesex, and Surrey. He also held Winchfield in Hampshire from Chertsey Abbey and a royal manor and some woodlands at Windsor.

NOTE: Otho's son, Walter fitz-Otho Geraldini, was treated as a fellow countryman by the Normans after the conquest of England in 1066. He succeeded to all of Otho's estates and his name is shown in the Domesday Book of 1087 that listed all the landholders of England. Windsor Castle, a great gray pile overlooking the Thames, had just been built amid the forests of Berkshire, and Walter was appointed its first castellan, as well as warden of the forests. He was, it is clear, one of the most Norman of the Normans -- a race renowned for its adaptability, no less than for its valor and ferocity.

Gerald was the son of Walter FitzOtho, Constable of Windsor Castle, and Gwladys ferch Ryall. Gerald married the Welsh Princess Nest of Deheubarth, daughter of Prince Rhys ap Tewdwr and Gwladys ferch Rhiwallon, around c. 1095.

His titles included: Titles: Castellan of Windsor Title: Lord of Eaton Occupation: Warden of the Forests 1066 Berkshire Occupation: Castellan of Windsor 1078 Before 1100 Keeper of the Forest; Castilian of Windsor Residence: Tenant in Chief at the time of the " Doomsday Book " BIOGRAPHY: Domesday Tenant in Buckingham, Hampshire, Middlesex & Surrey Date: 1078

Walter, Keeper of the Forest, was born in 1037 at Pembroke, Wales or Stanwell, Middlesex, England and he died in 1086. Walter's first wife was Gwladus Verch Rhiwallon, daughter of the Prince of North Wales. Walter was not the Constable of Windsor as Windsor was a royal forest until 1066 when WIlliam I started construction of Windsor Castle. At the time of the Survey in 1086, Walter held a compact group of manors as tenant-in-chief of the King in the counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Middlesex and Surrey. He also held Winchfield in Hampshire from Chertsey Abbey and a royal manor and some woodlands at Windsor.

PRO: The genealogy to a Gherardini family origin is very likely true. English kings did indeed recruit many continental knights and warriors for the conquest of Ireland, who were given noble seats as their reward. In our modern era we see written record of one of the brothers Maurizio Gherardini as a knight in the invasion. However, this genealogy was incorrectly placed in doubt because they thought an Irish priest would not know, but those in Florence would know. Why would those in Florence know the history of their ancient kinsmen who left for Ireland a 500 years earlier? It is the Irish priest who would know about those ex-pat Florentines in Ireland, as they had the records of births, death, marriages and history-- not the Florentines. The priest was more likely correct, the Italian nay-sayers incorrect. How would they know? Yet, there are records of Fitzgerald's corresponding with Florentines indicating this ancient connection. There are many noble families of Ireland who descend from warriors who participated in the invasion of Ireland. Another one was William le Hore who supported Strongbow and was given the seat of Pole Hore as his reward. "Le Hore" can be taken to mean "the outsider". He was a Saxon knight who helped in the invasion, certainly not Irish. The noble families of Ireland are packed with outsiders who helped in the invasion, that is why the Irish rebelled against them for centuries. They aren't irish in origin. The noble families of Ireland were largely English and other outsiders. Yet, people today assume that irish noble families have all Irish origin. No, they do not. Again, that is why the Irish rebelled against these Irish noble houses-- they were not Irish in origin in many cases. Furthermore, the Gheradini did indeed exist in Florence before it was a republic. The Gheradini lost power when it was made into a republic. The Victorians were vehemently prejudiced against all things Irish but loved all things Florentine. Thus they sneered that a Gheradini lineage could not be in Ireland. They said Gheradino was not a Cosimo, because that was the term used during the republican era. However, before Florence was a republic, of course they had local noblemen: effectively dukes, counts, barons, whatever language you wish to use, such as the Gheradini who were local pre-republican noblemen of Florence. The Geradini represent the pre-republican era before the word "Cosimo" was adopted. However the Gheradini were effectively the equivalent role as the Florentines "Cosimos" before the Medici adopted the term Cosimo for the ruler of Florence. A general term might be "Lord" however, that is an English word, even if correct in the role. The correct term is "Seignior of Florence."

The Gherardini were one of the seigniorial families that fell when the Republic of Florence was founded circa A.D. 1250.211. The Gherardini family is recorded in many Irish pedigrees as their ancestor from three brothers who participated in the invasion of Ireland, including the families of Fitzmaurice (from Maurizio), Fitzgerald (from Gherardini) and other families such as Gerard, Gerald, Keating, Rogers, White, Carew, Redmund, and Lords of Kerry, etc. who descended from the three brothers.

The denial of this pedigree was a Victorian anti-Irish prejudice on the part of the English, who saw the Irish as barbaric Celts at that time and would reflexively scoff at a noble Florentine origin of Irish families. The English scoffed at all things Irish in that era.

CON: Unfortunately, Other's descent from the Gherardini was claimed a fantasy, debunked by J. Horace Round. In one version of the story, he was a son of Otho di Gherardini of the Florentine family.

"The story given above is traced to an Irish priest, 'called Maurice, who was of the family of the Gherardini settled in that island,' and who, passing through Florence in 1413, claimed the local Gherardini as his ancient kinsmen."

The Gherardini's

The Mona Lisa painting by Leonard da Vinci was born of the Gherardini family of Florence. Her husband, a silk merchant, was of the Giocondo family. Hence, the painting is often called "La Gioncanda" indicated Mona Lisa's married name.

The Gheradini family had estates in various parts of the Florentine territory. In Florence, their principal residence was near the Ponte Vecchio bridge. Their tower still exists, being part of the Palazzo Bartolomei.

The first date we have in the family history is 910 A.D. when one Raniero (Rainier?) was living. The Italian historian Gammurini, says "the Gherardi were among the most ancient and wealthy families of Tuscany in 900 A.D."

The family flourished until the year 1125. Then, during a political upheaval, the patrician families were driven into exile. The Gherardini lost their patrician rank and became mere citizens. Later they were restored to honors, became wealthy again, and served the Republic of Florence both in the senate and on the battlefield. Three were Consuls of the Republic; others died as leaders of the Republican armies in the many civil wars. Confiscations and losses during the civil wars impoverished the Gherardini, and they also suffered much by the destruction of their property in the great fire of Florence in 1303. From the 14th century onwards they seem to have played a smaller part in the history of Florence.

At different times, between 1000 and 1400, individuals of the family emigrated, passing into France, England, Wales, Ireland, Cracow and the Canary Islands. Those who stayed in Florence became extinct, as did those in France and Cracow. However, there are correspondence records showing that the Gherardini of Florence and the Irish "Geraldines" did not lose touch with each other. There are records of visits back and forth until the late 1500's.


Walter Fitz Otho,who at the time of the general survey, appears by Domesday Book to have enjoyed the same lordship which his father held. The name of Walter's wife is in doubt, as is likewise the seniority of his three sons. (Genesis of the White Family, 1920, Emma Siggins White, page 7). Walter Fitz-Otho or Fitz-Other at the general surveys of the kingdom in 1078, was castellan of Windsor, and was appointed by William the conqueror warden of the forests in Berkshire.

Several genealogies give Gerald's ancestors as the "Gherardinis" of Italy and claim for him descent from a spurious 9th century "Duke Cosimo of Tuscany", all accounts of which are based upon the efforts of a 17th-century FitzGerald earl of Kildare anxious to aggrandise his family name and, possibly, elide any Anglo-Norman connexions. Several facts preclude this spurious genealogy: there was no Duchy of Tuscany in the 9th century; the duchy did not exist before the latter half of the 16th century; the only two Dukes of Tuscany named Cosimo lived in the 16th and 17th centuries, and both were Medicis. Some modern online genealogies give Gerald's mother as either Gwladys ferch Ryall of Gwynedd or Gwladys ferch Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn of Powys; again this is precluded by facts: Domesday listings pertaining to the properties of Walter FitzOther list his wife as Beatrice.[1] "Gwladys ferch Ryall of Gwynedd" appears nowhere in Welsh geneaologies. Gwladys ferch Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn of Powys was, in fact, the wife of Rhys ap Tewdwr, the last King of Deheubarth, and Gerald's royal mother-in-law.

Also known as Walter Fitz Otho.

Castellan of Windsor and Warden of the forests in the county of Berks.

Walter FitzOtho, Castellan of Windsor

 Walter FitzOther de Windsor (FitzOtho), of Eaton, Constable of Windsor, Keeper of the Forests of Windsor MP Birth: 	circa 1037 Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales Death: 	1086 (45-53) Brecon, Powys, Wales, United Kingdom Immediate Family: 	

Son of Other (Otho) Dominus de Stanwell and NN. NN Husband of Beatrice de Offley Father of William FitzWalter de Windsor, Constable of Windsor, Keeper of Windsor Forest; Maurice Fitzwalter; Robert FitzWalter de Windsor, Sheriff of Norfolk; Walter FitzWalter de Windsor; Gerald de Windsor (Constable of Pembroke Castle); and Delicia (FitzOtho)

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Walter FitzOtho, Castellan of Windsor's Timeline

Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales (United Kingdom)
Age 29
Age 29
Age 29
Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Windsor, Windsor and Maidenhead, England, United Kingdom
Horsford, St. Faith's, Norfolk, England (United Kingdom)
Windsor, Windsor and Maidenhead, England (present UK)
Windsor, Windsor and Maidenhead, England, United Kingdom