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Friday, July 31, 2015

5~Sir Galfridus (Geoffrey) Louterell [#5395]

The name and spelling we are using for this Geoffrey, owner of the Luttrell Psalter, is the same spelling as it appears on one of the actual leafs of the Psalter; pp 6: The Luttrell Psalter by J. Backhouse.

Sir Galfridus (Geoffrey) Louterell was born at Irnham [England] in May of 1276 and baptized on May 24. In June of 1298, he was one of the “ten gentlemen” traveling overseas with Blanche, former Queen of Navarre and wife of Edmund Plantagenet, King Edward I’s brother. Blanche’s daughter by her first marriage was the Queen of France and through these circumstances, we can probably assume that Sir Galfridus was exposed to the life in the French Royal court.
Sir Galfridus [#5395] was summoned to military service 13 times from 1297 to 1319 (including the Scottish border war). We do not know when he was dubbed a knight but in 1324 he was on a list of forty knights from his region that were summoned by the sheriff to attend the "Great Council of Westminster.” The next year he was named commissioner of the Army of Kesteven, but ill health prevented him from serving.
Sir Galfridus’ first-born son was Robert [#5411], but Robert would not grow to adulthood and Sir Galfridus’ heir would be his second son, Andreas (Andrew) Loutterellus [#5410]. We know of this because Sir Galfridus twice obtained a royal license to grant his land to his brother Guy Luttrell [#5396] until his sons Robert and Andreas reached their majority. This was a legal ploy to establish guardianship in an attempt to keep his lands from "reverting" back to the crown in the event of his death.

Landowners held their lands as servants to the Crown, just as their tenants held their lands as renters or tenant farmers, if they died with no suitable heir their lands were returned to the Crown. This maneuver of Galfridus’ was similar to the modern day practice of designating guardianship of one’s children in a will to prevent the state from establishing guardianship of any children, and to control the distribution of an estate.

Sir Galfridus executed this maneuver, in 1318 and 1320. Robert and Andreas were both mentioned in the 1318 license, but only Andreas and a younger brother, Geoffrey [#5412], and their wives were named in 1320.
In 1320 Andreas was only seven and Geoffrey was even younger. Their wives were two sisters: Beatrice (Andreas) and Constance (Geoffrey), the daughters of Geoffrey le Scrope, the king’s “Sergeant at Law” and in 1324 “Chief Justice of
the King’s Bench.” Geoffrey and Constance are never mentioned again leading us to assume that at least Geoffrey, like his brother Robert, did not survive to adulthood.
Infant alliances of this nature were common. Apparently, if not customary, it was permissible for the child bride to be raised by the family of the groom. The evidence of this is that Elizabeth [#5406] (the first born child of Sir Galfridus and his wife Agnes Sutton) was in 1309 (age 12) living in the house of Walter de Glouchester as the future bride of his heir.
During the reign of King Edward the II, Sir Galfridus and Agnes must surely have been in a precarious position due to:CH 5 thomas lancaster

  • Their long term relationship with their neighbor (and son of the aforementioned Blanche), Thomas, the Earl of Lancaster, who was beheaded by his own cousin (King Edward II) in 1322 less than a mile from Hooten~Pagnel at Thomas’s Pontefract Castle.
  • Agnes’s own brother, John Sutton, was imprisoned and suffered much during this time at the hands of King Edward II * and his allies the family of Hugh le Despensers (the Elder).

Perhaps the childhood marriage alliance of:

  • Galfridus’ son Andreas [#5410] to the daughter of the King Edward the II’s Chief Justice (Geoffrey le Scrope)
  • and the marriage of Elizabeth to Walter (II) Gloucester, an ally of King Edward II.

provided some protection.

*John Sutton had married Margaret, co-heiress of the de Somery family, and was forced to give up most of his wife’s inheritance (including Dudley Castle in Worcestershire). Upon Edward III’s assumption of the throne, John’s suffrages were remedied and reversed.

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