Stones and Thorns
A Genealogical Tale from the Shire
Danny Dew had to read the e-mail from The Clifford Castle Restoration Company several times just to grasp how big their offer was. Not only would he be guaranteed high wages for the next ten years, but, he had inherited a house with several acres of land. His lover, and mother to be of his daughter, told him if he took that Dew Family DNA test, her father would call every day to talk about his rosy family tree that everyone close to James Rosamond, thought was pretty incredible.
“He will talk your head off!” said Poppy Rosamond Henson. “He’s not in his right mind. He will take you deep into his labyrinth. You wont get any work done!”
“I made the mistake of taking him golfing and he lay out an ancient battlefield on almost every hole. He used his pitching club like a sword. We held up three groups. The course owner told me; ‘Don’t bring him back!'”
“What kind of mother would name her daughter ‘Poppy’ after Mary Poppins?” Sir James asked Danny, who kept his mouth shut because he did not want to get the Puppet Sisters on his case.
“She’s pixilated, you know! I met her at a Halloween party. She hit my soft spot when she said she was the Queen of the Fairy People. We fell in love. She never got out of costume.”
Danny Dew felt a cold sweat come over him. With this Rosamond Clifford connection he knew the war over the naming of his unborn daughter was going to get fierce. Patty Page Henson wanted her granddaughter named Betty-Boo Dew after her favorite cartoon character. She keeps recounting the horrifying Halloween of 1958 when her violent father took her mentally ill mother to the top of Rugmond Crag and threatened to throw her off. She was dressed as Betty Boop, and she and her sister (dressed as Vampirella) did their best to ignore the flashing red lights of the cop cars out on the Crag overlooking the town.
“This hostage taking became a town ritual!” Sir James said, with disgust! “Patty’s sick need to take as many people hostage in order to make up for her horrific childhood, is the bane of my existence. She formed a Dead Betty Cult that has captivated my poor daughter who I was not told I conceived until she was sixteen. That woman needs to get into therapy – and kept away from children! Now here is my choice!……..Roselily Carolina Dew!”
Danny had to admit Sir Jame’s choice was a poetic and creative one, based upon real enchanted history. This double-bloom aspect of the new Oriental flower had a ring to it. Poppy liked Carolina Dew because she had tried to be a Country Western Singer when she was fifteen.
“How about…….Carolina Betty-Boo Dew?” offered Patty.
Description of Roselily ‘Carolina’ Roselilies
The Roselily Series is an exciting new line of pollen-free, double flowering Oriental Liliums. These lilies were developed by ‘De Looff’ Lily Breeding & Innovation Company started in 1993.
The origins of this Heraldic shield are said to go back to the fourteenth century, to Edmund of Langley, the first Duke of York and the founder of the House of York as a cadet branch of the then ruling House of Plantagenet (although other reports suggest the rose and Yorkshire have links going back further than that). The actual symbolism behind the rose has religious connotations as it represents the Virgin Mary, who is often called the Mystical Rose of Heaven. The Yorkist rose is white in colour, because in Christian liturgical symbolism, white is the symbol of light, typifying innocence and purity, joy and glory.
What are the odd that I would find the name Rosamond in the genealogy of Robert Dew who is the father of my unborn granddaughter that I wanted to be named after My mother, Rosemary Rosamond, and aunt, Lillian Rosamond. This is pure prophecy! What more could a father-writer ask for! I m positive the Dews did not know they were kin to royalty.
Dew-Hatfield Benham-O’Sullivan Tree
Children of Tomkyns Dew and Margaret Beatrice Napleton
Child of Tomkyns Dew
Crossing the Wye
The unpredictability of the Wye was shown in 1730, when Whitney old church was swept away by a huge flood, and the river changed its course. The church’s remains were left high and dry on the wrong side of the river.
By the end of the 18th century, local dignitaries were fed up with fording the river, and decided to build a bridge over the Wye at Whitney. Tomkyns Dew, Lord of the Manors of Whitney and Clifford, had a bill presented to the House of Commons on 9th November 1774. The bill was passed, and a group of local men was given the task of building the bridge in three years, having been allotted land for a tollhouse. They were allowed to take stone, gravel and sand as required from Tomkyns Dew’s property.
The first bridge collapsed owing to a combination of bad foundations and floods. A second bridge soon suffered the same fate. A third bridge was then washed away on February 1795 in a flood two and half feet higher than any previously recorded. The three bridges were built of stone and were composed of five arches. Each arch had a span of 30 feet, and was 15 feet above river level and 12 feet wide.
This third disaster was enough for the group of men charged with building the bridge. Having been financially ruined by their efforts, they retired to pursue other activities. “The pertinacity of these gentlemen must arouse our admiration,” commented one local historian.
But in 1796 a fourth effort was made – “courage was shown by these men in tackling a fourth bridge after such rapid disasters to the former three” – and this time it was successful. Tolls were levied on all users of the bridge, with the exception of Whitney residents and their cattle, who were allowed to use the bridge for free.
The Reverend Thomas William Webb, born in 1806, was the only son of Revd John Webb. Educated by his father before going to Magdalen Hall, Oxford, he was ordained in Hereford Cathedral in 1830. Thomas married Henrietta Montague Wyatt of Mitcheltroy, Monmouth in 1843. They had no children.
Walked to Clifford Priory across the fields with Crichton and Barton. Bevan and Morrell walked on before faster and got there before us. I had some pleasant talk with Barton, who is a clever well-read man, about Tennyson, Wordworth, Mr Monkhouse, the Holy Grail, and at last we got to Clifford Priory, very hot, a few people out in the sun on the lawn, and Lucy Allen came to meet us.
Clifford Castle is a Norman Motte and Bailey castle, situated above a bend in the River Wye, in Herefordshire, 2 miles outside Hay-on-Wye. This historic building, in ruins for over 600 years, has been deteriorating rapidly over the past 20 years and is on Historic England’s At Risk register. The current owners, with generous assistance from Historic England, are embarking on on a stabilisation program, designed to prevent the ruin’s collapse and ensure this important building survives into the next century.
Geophysical survey and excavations at Clifford Castle, Herefordshire
Sum awarded: £7,500
The project aims to advance the understanding of the development of this key Welsh border fortress, founded between 1067 –1070 as a motte and bailey castle before being replaced with stone structures.
The work will involve doing geophysical survey of as much of the scheduled area as possible with magnetometery as well ground-penetrating radar to find the depth of the deposits. There will also be a series of small trenches dug. Three of them will be on the motte top, to understand the structures there, especially the relationship between the Great Hall and Rosamund’s Tower. Up to three trenches will be dug on the hornwork to try and establish its purpose.
All this will be done in conjunction with analysis of the standing remains, work which is being funded by Historic England.
At the end of the project we will hopefully a much better understanding of what was one of the most important castles on the Welsh border, situated right on the River Wye. Founded, by William fitzOsbern Earl of Hereford, cousin and key henchman of William the Conqueror and became the centre of a marcher lordship held by the Cliffords in C12 and C13 and the Mortimers in C14. The castle saw no military action apart from when Walter III Clifford’s men briefly held the castle against King Henry III as part of the Earl of Pembroke’s revolt in 1233 held. Its claim to fame was that it was where “Fair Rosamund” Clifford, mistress of Henry II, grew up.
Late 1130s: After marrying Margaret de Tosny, Walter fitz Richard assumed control of the de Tosny manors and with them control of the castle. Walter changed his name after succeeding to the property of Clifford and was later known as Walter de Clifford. Walter de Clifford’s eldest daughter was the “fair Rosamund” who was apparently the lover of Henry II (1154-1189). They met when Henry stayed at Clifford Castle during his campaigns in Wales. When Henry had to go away he placed Rosamund in a safe house at the centre of a maze at Woodstock in Oxfordshire. The centre could only be found by following an almost invisible silver thread around the maze. However, Henry’s wife Queen Eleanor heard about Henry’s lover and found the thread leading to Rosamund’s safe house. When she found the fair maiden, Eleanor forced her to drink fatal poison.
1170s and 1180s: During this period the Marches suffered setbacks, with the result that Clifford Castle and the northern bank of the Wye were said to now mark the boundary between England and Wales.
1221: Walter de Clifford II, Rosamund’s brother, succeeded to Clifford in this year.Walter had been a staunch supporter of King John throughout his reign but later joined with Sir Richard Marshal, Earl of Pembroke in his dispute at the favouritism of Henry III. The king, as fickle as ever, first confiscated Walter’s estates but later restored them to him in 1234.
1250: Walter received licence to marry his only daughter Matilda to her cousin William Longspee, who died in a tournament in 1256. This left Walter without any male heir and his daughter then became the sole heiress.
1260s: The castle was kept in reasonable condition and remained in the Clifford family until this period, when Matilda Clifford, widow of the Earl of Salisbury, became Baroness of Clifford.
During the Barons’ War of the 1260s, John Giffard of Brimpsfield apparently used Clifford as a base. He abducted, raped and forcibly married Matilda. He was fined but Matilda accepted her situation and stayed with John in her Marches estate. John Giffard is said to have been a prominent figure in the opposition to Simon de Montfort, and he was one of the men who helped Prince Edward escape from Hereford Castle in 1265.
1280: John Giffard was granted licence by the king to hunt wolves with dogs and nets in all the forests of England (Rymer’s Faedera ii, 58).
1299: John Giffard died. Clifford was granted by the Crown to the Mortimers of Wigmore.
1381: It is rumoured that Richard II and his uncle John of Gaunt stayed at Clifford Castle, but once the Welsh were conquered the castle was of no further importance and began to deteriorate.
Early 15th century: The castle was garrisoned against Owain Glyn Dwr, who stirred up an uprising of the Welsh and ravaged the lands right up to the fortress.
Elizabeth de Ros, Baroness Cobham
|Death:||March 26, 1424 (53-61)
|Place of Burial:||Saint Michael’s, Bongate Appleby, Westmorland, England|
|Immediate Family:||Daughter of Thomas de Ros, 4th Baron de Ros of Helmsley and Beatrice de Ros
Wife of Thomas de Clifford, 6th Baron Clifford
Mother of Maud de Clifford, Countess of Cambridge and John de Clifford, 7th Baron Clifford
Sister of Amy Fitzmaurice; John de Ros, 5th Baron de Ros of Helmsley; William de Ros, Lord of Hamlake, Treasurer of England; Robert de Ros; Thomas de Ros
Half sister of John Burley