Gundred


Gundred

Gundred, Gundreda, or Gundrada (died May 27, 1085) was probably born in Flanders, sister of Gerbod the Fleming, Earl of Chester. [She is explicitly so called by Orderic Vitalis, as well as the chronicle of Hyde Abbey. Historically, she has been made a daughter of William the Conqueror by his spouse Matilda of Flanders, (Bannerman, vol.IV, p.207-209; Burke,"The Royal Families" vol.1, "Descendants of William the Conqueror", p.iv-v & pedigree LXVIII; Burke,"The Roll of Battle Abbey", p.106; Barlow, pages 16 and 160) or of Matilda alone (Stapleton), but Waters and Freeman showed that this could not be supported (Waters, Freeman). See Chandler for an extensive discussion. Other sources suggest that she is daughter of Matilda from a relationship with Gerbod the Fleming prior to her marriage to William the Conqueror.]

Gundred married William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey (d. June 20, 1088), who rebuilt Lewes Castle, making it his chief residence. In 1078 he and Gundred founded a Cluniac Priory at Southover, adjoining Lewes, where both were buried. [ Burke, "The Roll of Battle Abbey", pps: 57, and 105-106] [ Bannerman, vol.IV, p.208]

The Countess had died at Castle Acre, Norfolk, one of her husband's estates.

In the course of the centuries which followed both tombstones disappeared from the priory but in 1774 William Burrell, Esq., an antiquary, discovered Gundred's in Isfield Church (seven miles from Lewes), over the remains of Edward Shirley, Esq., (d. 1550), whose father John was Clerk of the Kitchen to King Henry VII, and had it removed on October 2, 1775, to St. John's Church, Southover, the nearest place to its original site, and placed inside and at the south-west corner of the church, where, until 1847, it could be seen on the floor between pews with a very fine inscription detailing its origins etc.

In 1845, during excavations through the Priory grounds for the South Coast Railway, the lead chests containing the remains of the Earl and his Countess were discovered, and deposited temporarily, for the next two years, beneath Gundred's tombstone. In 1847 a Norman Chapel was erected by public subscription, adjoining the present vestry and chancel. Prior to re-interring the remains in this chapel, both cysts were opened to ascertain if there were any contents, which was found to be the case. New cysts were made and used, and the ancient ones preserved and placed in two recessed arches in the southern wall. Gundred's remains in a good state of preservation although the Earl's has lost some lead. Across the upper part of the right arch is the name "Gvndrada". Her tombstone is of black marble. [ Bannerman, vol.IV, p.208 - 210]

The children of William de Warenne and Gundred were:

*William II de Warenne (d. May 11, 1138), buried in Lewes Priory. [ Burke, "The Royal Families ", vol. 1, pedigrees III and LXVIII, plus vol.2 (1851) pages iv, xlvii, and pedigree XXIX.] [Dunbar, pps: 65 &71.]
*Reginald de Warenne, an adherent of Robert of Normandy. [ Burke, "The Royal Families of England ", vol. 2, page v.]
*Edith de Warenne, married, firstly, Gerard, Baron de Gournay. [ Burke, "The Royal Families ", vol. 2, pages v and vii.]

Notes

References

* Bannerman, W.Bruce, FSA., editor, "Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica", 4th series, London, 1912
* Barlow, Frank, "The Feudal Kingdom of England 1012 - 1216", London, 1955
* Burke, John Bernard, "The Roll of Battle Abbey", London, 1848
* Burke, John and John Bernard, "The Royal Families of England Scotland and Wales, with Their Descendants etc.", vol. 1 (1848), vol. 2 (1851), London
* Chandler, Victoria, "Gundrada de Warenne and the Victorian Gentleman-Scholars", "Southern History" 12 (1990):68-81
* Dunbar, Sir Archibald, Bt., "Scottish Kings, a Revised Chronology of Scottish History, 1005 - 1625", Edinburgh, 1899
* Freeman, Edward A., "The parentage of Gundrada, wife of William of Warren", "English Historical Review" 3 (1888):680-701
* Stapleton, Thomas, "Observations in disproof of the pretended marriage of William de Warren, Earl of Surrey, with a daughter begotten of Matildis, daughter of Baldwin, Comte of Flanders, by William the Conqueror, and illustrative of the origin and early history of the family in Normandy", "The Archaeological Journal" 3 (1846):1-26
* Waters, Edmond Chester, "Gundreda de Warrenne", "The Archaeological Journal" 41 (1884):300-312


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