EARLS FAMILY CHRONICLES© Christopher Earls Brennen
It is speculated that some of the historical Earls in Ireland are descended from some junior branch of the Norman family whose name was de Erlegh, a name which variously appears as de Erlegh, de Erleigh, de Erleia, de Earley, de Erley, d'Erley, de Herlegh, Earley, Earle, de Arle, etc. The following account traces that family of knightly rank from John de Erlegh who lived in England in the late 12th century through their incursion into Ireland and their enfeifdom near Kilkenny where the modern townland of Earlstown memorializes their presence.
Before beginning the de Erlegh story it is useful to comment on some of the places appearing in it. The de Erlegh family took its name from the manor of Erley, Earley or Erle, sometimes called Earley Whiteknights, in the parish of Sonning, Berkshire, England [8,p.47,56,70]. They also held considerable property in County Somerset which was their principal residence for most of the period described. These possessions included the county manors of Beckington, Durston, Babcary, Michael's Church, the manor and hundred of North Petherton and the manor of Somerton (also referred to as Somerton-parva and Somerton-Erlegh) [11,v.2,p.198]. Their holdings in Berkshire included, at various times, the manors of Erley Regis (Whitenights) and Maiden Erley in the hundred of Sonning, the manors of Charlton, South Denchworth and Cleets in the hundred of Wantage, the manor of Midgham in the hundred of Reading and the manor of Barkham in the hundred of Charlton. In the Doomsday Book the manor of Erley (Herlei) is assessed at 4 hides.
In Ireland the modern parish of Earlstown, County Kilkenny, formed the nucleus of the ancient manor named after the de Erleghs and comprised the townlands of Newtown, Castle Eve, Ovenstown, Kilbrickan and Cronoge. It is in the parish barony of Shillogher and is bounded on the north by the parishes of Burnchurch and Tullamain, on the east by the parish and barony of Kells, on the south by the parish of Mallardstown and on the west by the barony of Callan. Mallardstown derives from William Maillard to whom it was granted by 1/4 knight's fee by John de Erlegh . Earlstown lies 2.75 miles east of modern Callan on the road from Desart to Thomastown. It is situated on the Kings river here crossed by a stone bridge and comprising 2916 acres. At Castle-Eve are remains of an old castle with a moat and fortification. In the Newtown demesne is a square tower castle in good state of preservation and some remains of the old church with a burial ground.
Though it has no known connection with the Earls family, the 1/4 inch ordnance survey map of S.E.Ireland shows a place called Earlshill about one mile north of route T37 from Cashel to Kilkenny and about one mile west of the intersection of T37 with L153.
Finally a note on measures of land used in feudal times. A messuage was a piece of land intended for or containing a dwelling. A virgate was about 30 acres. A carucate was about 100-150 acres or as much land as could be tilled with one plough. A hide was sufficient land, about 120 acres, for the support of one free family and its dependents. Shires (counties) were divided into hundreds containing a nominal 100 hides supporting 100 knights.
Several years after the authors had independently constructed the history of the de Erlegh family, we discovered a substantial account written by the Rev. Isacc Newton Earle and published under the title ``History and Genealogy of the Earles of Secaucus (with an account of other English and American branches)'' by Guelff Printing Company, Marquette, Michigan, U.S.A. in 1924. Much of the rest of this chapter follows that book whose author had access to the substantial researches of Sir Henry Earle and the family archives. However, we have chosen to retain our own construction for the years before 1440 A.D. since it was based on the original references.
The chronicle begins with a Norman knight, John de Erlegh. Though his origins are obscure the arms of the de Erlegh family may contain some clues and are discussed in Appendix 1E.
John de Erlegh(I), a Norman knight, paid 5 marks in 1161 for scutage of his lands at Beckington, Somerset to King Henry II; he also held the manor and hundred of North Petherton. John de Erlegh(I) died in 1165 and in the same year his widow, Adela, paid 5 marks scutage [11,v.2,p.198]. He was succeeded by his son William de Erlegh(I) .
Thomas de Erlegh, the brother of John(I), was the Archdeacon of Taunton, Somerset in 1164 and of Bath between 1175 and 1185 [32,v.8,p.34].
William de Erlegh(I), the son and heir of John(I), succeeded his father in 1165 in the reign of King Henry II [11,v.2,p.198]. In 1166 he is referred to as the lord of the manor of Durston, Somerset. Also in 1166, as his father's heir, he owed 10s. for the manor of Erley, Berkshire [1,v.3,p.213] [33,1166]. He is also mentioned in the Pipe Roll, 1176 [1,v.3,p.213]. He is certified to hold a knight's fee ``in capite'' of the king which by virtue of his tenure of North Petherton, Somerset he had the right to be the King's Chamberlain [11,v.3,p.54]. William founded at Buckland, parish of Durston, Somerset, a priory, a small house of regular canons of St.Augustine. Soon after their institution, these canons behaved themselves in a riotous and disorderly manner, killing their steward, a relation of William. Therefore, in 1180, the King removed them to other monasteries and gave their house for the endowment of a priory of sister hospitallers of the order of St. John under a stipulation that the sisters of that order who lived in other preceptories should be placed here and must never be received into any other of their houses in the kingdom [11,v.3,p.196]. This priory William(I) endowed with his lands at Durston and also gave it the church of North Petherton with the appendant churches or chapels of Chedzoy, Pawlett, Huntworth, Earls Newton, Thurloxton, Shurton, Kings Newton, Beckington and Kilmersdon [11,v.3,p.196]. In 1180, the sheriff of Berkshire rendered account of 20s. from the lands of William de Earley in the manor of Charlton, hundred of Wantage, Berkshire [1,v.4,p.324]. William married Aziria and had two sons, John(II) and Henry [6,p.xviii], and at least three daughters [6,n.34][11,v.3,p.72]. One of these, Mabel, William gave in free marriage to Philip Arbalistarius along with the manor of Mansel, Somerset, held in payment of two young pigs every Whitsun at his court of Durston [11,v.3,p.72]. William(I) probably died about 1195.
John de Erlegh(II) or d'Erley, the son and heir of William(I), became a close advisor and companion to William the Marshal, regent of England in the early 13th century. In 1195 he paid scutage to King Richard I for his lands in Somerset and Berkshire; he held one knight's fee in Berkshire [1,v.3,p.213]. In 1197, he received from Maud, daughter of Robert de Earley (see Appendix 1C) a quitclaim for two hides of land in Earley, Reading and Sonning, Berkshire [1,v.3,p.213]. In 1199 he held the manor and hundred of North Petherton at an annual rent to King John of 100 shillings [11,v.2,p.198]. John(II) also gave land to the Abbey of Athelney, Somerset, in return for a yearly rent of a pair of gilt spurs worth sixpence; for this grant he received 2 marks of silver, his wife Sibyll a bezant and his son John a pair of spurs [32,v.14,p.190]. This agreement was witnessed by a Geoffrey de Erlegh and a William de Erlegh. His wife, Sibyll [32,v.14,p.190], had at least two sons, William(II) and John. From reference  we know the following about the career of John(II): In the year 1188, William Marshal, a knight in the service of Henry II of England engaged a new attendant, John d'Erley, who as squire and knight was to serve him all his life [2,p.63]. John d'Erley, squire, is mentioned as having a part in a skirmish in 1190 between the English Normans and Phillip of France near Le Mans, France [2,p.69]. By 1199 John had become a knight in William's service. In fact he was deemed so trustworthy that he was charged with the delicate mission of carrying the news of the death of Richard I (as well as Richard's choice of his brother John as his successor) from France to England and, in particular, to the justicar Geoffrey fitz Peter [2,p.120]. King John made John d'Erley joint sheriff of Devonshire in 1202 in order to suppress a reported rising in S.W.England [15,p.276]. William Marshal had been created Lord of Leinster, Ireland in 1189 but he never visited this domain until 1207. In that year King John issued letters patent for the protection of William's lands in England, as well as those of Henry Hose and John d'Erley who were to accompany William to Ireland [2,p.146]. William held lands in the vicinity of Kilkenny (his demesne manor and castle), Carlow, Kells and Wexford. He also founded New Ross. John d'Erley and Jordan de Sackville (an Irish baron) were entrusted with the custody of two halves of Leinster when William was recalled to England by King John in some measure of disgrace [2,p.155]. Indeed John d'Erley and Jordan de Sackville rose in arms against the king's justicar, Meiler fitz Henry, and defeated him. However William made a temporary peace with the king and returned to Kilkenny in April, 1208, at which time he probably rewarded John d'Erley with a generous fief [2,p.161]. However the trouble between William and King John flared up again in the winter of 1208-09 when William de Briouse, fleeing from John, was harbored for a time by William at his castle in Kilkenny. King John came to Ireland in force to put down other rebel barons who played a larger role in the de Briouse affair. He also punished William Marshal and as a part of that treatment John d'Erley (among others) was taken as a hostage and placed in Nottingham castle [2,p.167]. Nevertheless as a part of William's sub-infeudation of Leinster John d'Erley and others received fiefs in the previously undeveloped county of Kilkenny [2,p.167]. Somewhat later in 1212 King John again restored William Marshal to favor and gave William's two sons who had been hostages in the royal court into the custody of John d'Erley who was still at court [2,p.173]. d'Erley did not feel he could handle both sons so one was transferred to Thomas de Sandford [2,p.173]. When King John died in 1216 leaving his infant son as heir, William Marshal became regent of England and John d'Erley his closest advisor, though he initially advised William against acceptance of the regency [2,p.202]. John served in a number of capacities including bailiff at Striguil in Wales in 1219. In 1219 as William approached death John d'Erley hastened from Striguil to his bedside at Caversham on the Thames, there to attend him closely until his death [2,p.279]. However a threat to William's lands in south Wales prompted him to direct John as follows: ``John, do not tarry. Go to your bailiwick. I am disturbed about my men in Netherwent and especially about your son who if he should be foolishly advised might make some expedition in which our men would suffer'' [2,p.283]. After his mission John returned to Caversham and stayed with William the Marshal until the latter's death [2,p.283-289]. John de Erlegh's(II) recollections are said to have provided the material for Mayer's poetic story ``Histoire de Guillaume le Marechal''. John(II) was in the service of the younger William the Marshal (son of the elder Marshal) in 1222 and accompanied him to Ireland in 1224; letters patent were issued for protection of his English lands until Christmas 1224. During this time he witnessed at least one of the charters of the younger Marshal [29,v.1,p.23,n.46]. He was still living in 1229 but died shortly afterwards [7,p.157].
William de Erlegh(II) was the eldest son of John(II). William(II) paid King John scutage for lands in Somerset and Berkshire in 1199 during his father's lifetime. He had two sons John(III) and Henry [11,v.2,p.199].
John de Erlegh(III), the son of William(II), paid scutage to King Richard in 1195 and held the hundred of North Petherton, Somerset. He is probably the John de Erlegh, the younger, who was in the service of William the Marshal and witnessed the latter's charter to Haverfordwest, Wales [34,1327-41,p.227]. He married Isolda (who outlived him ) but died without issue in 1228 [11,v.2,p.199].
Henry de Erlegh, who was the second son of William(II), inherited from his grandfather John(II) in 1230 [11,v.2,p.199]. In 1230 at the inquistion held by the Sheriff of Berkshire following the death of John(II), Henry was found to hold one knight's fee of the king in capite in Erley, Berkshire and the manor of Somerton-Parva or Somerton-Erleigh in Somerset in capite by serjeantry [7,p.157]. As the brother and heir of John(III), Henry made a fine of 20 marks for the relief of the lands which John(III) had held of the king in chief [7,p.157]. In 1236 Henry and his chaplain (also called Henry) were involved in litigation with the Wallingford Priory. The result was the establishment of the right of the Priory to 8s. pension from the tithes of Earley [1,v.3,p.223]. Henry married twice. His first wife, Egelina de Candos, gave birth to Philip(I). His second wife, Claricia or Clemencia, bore him two sons, John and Bartholemew [11,v.2,p.199]. Bartholemew de Erlegh had a son John [8,p.47] who may have lived in Berkshire. Henry was sheriff of Dorset and Somerset [11,v.2,p.199]. He also held the ancestral lands in Kilkenny, Ireland; in 1247, he is listed as owing 1/2 and 1/4 knight's fees for Nova Villa in Cullak in County Kilkenny [5,p.191,n.27]. Cullak or Coyllagh is Coillach, so called from its woods, and is a large district which includes the parishes of Earlstown, Mallardstown and Coolaghmore in the last of which the name survives. Coolaghmore is apparently identical with the ancient borough of Coillach which was a part of the demense lands of William Marshall. About 1240 Henry made grants to Ralph Blund, Walter Blund, Henry de Hepene and William, son of Henry de Waiwainestone (Owenstown) of land in Villa Wawany (Owenstown), Kilkenny as his free men of Nova Villa (Newtown). Ralph, Henry and William were to pay 17s. 11d. and Ralph 1/2d. at Michaelmas, Ralph, Henry and William 8s. 11 1/2d. and Ralph a farthing (1/4d.). The consideratum was 100s. [29,v.1,p.41,n.92and93]. In 1260 Henry was one of the eminent men who were summoned to the Great Council or Parliament convened by the king in London . In 1269, he witnessed several documents at Wells Cathedral, Somerset [24,v.2,n.99]. Also about this time he granted to William de Plessetis for homage and service, 9 acres of meadow in the manor of La Haymore, hundred of N. Petherton, Somerset, who was to pay, yearly, a pitcher of wine on St.Martin's day [24,v.2,n.121]. Henry died in 1272, survived by his wife Clemencia [1,v.3,p.213].
Philip de Erlegh(I), son of Henry by his first wife, married Rosa, daughter and heir of Peter de Marisco. They had issue: John(IV), Phillip(II), Roland and a daughter. The daughter married Richard de Acton. Philip married a second wife, Maud, who outlived him and married Sir Geffrey de Wroxhall [11,v.2,p.199]. Philip(I) died [5,p.245] in 1275 very soon after his father [14,3EdI,p.100] and thus his son, John(IV), succeeded when he was only 4 years old [10,I,244,n.72].
John de Erlegh(IV), born 1271, was only 4 when, in 1275, he inherited from his father, Philip(I) . King Edward I appointed the long wardship to Thomas de Cantelupe, Bishop of Hereford [13,6EdI,p.458]. The reason why the Bishop of Hereford wished for the wardship of John(IV) is curious: ``Whereas Thomas, Bishop of Hereford, who is the King's Council frequently comes to the king and has not any lodging wherein he can conveniently stay in coming from his parts or in returning, for which reason he has requested that the king commit to him until the heirs of Henry de Erlegh, tenant-in-chief, come of age, the Manor of Erley in Reading which belonged to the said Henry....'' [13,4EdI,p.268]. There was, however, some confusion over the custody of the manor of N.Petherton. It had also been granted to the Prior of Buckland [14,Ed I,p.100]. This duplication had to be cleared up by a later edict from the king [23,Ed I,p.462]. John(IV) came of age in 1293 and the king, in 1294, took his homage and restored him to his lands [13,22EdI,p.353]. He took part in the Scottish wars of King Edward I (1292-1306) [11,v.2,p.199] and became known as the ``White Knight''. He was Sheriff of Dorset and Somerset in 1291, in 1298 and in 1315 [7,p.157] and was M.P. for Somerset in 1308 and in 1313 [11,v.2,p.199]. He witnessed several agreements at Wells Cathedral, Somerset [24,v.2]. In 1314, John(IV) bore on his seal three escallops within a bordure engrailed and tinctured gules and argent. These arms were used by his descendants [11,v.2,p.199]. In 1317-18, a settlement of 1 messuage and 2 carucates of land and 50s. rent in Charlton, Berkshire was made on John and his heirs; however in 1324 a messuage and 3 carucates of land in the same manor were conveyed to David Martin, Bishop of St.David's (who died in 1328 and whose heir was Thomas Carew of Moulsford) [1,v.4,p.324]. In 1323 John(IV) held the manor of Erlegh, Berkshire, the manor and hundred of N. Petherton, the hamlet of Somerton-parva, the manor of Durston, 5s. of rent in Michaelchurch and the manors of Babcary and Beckington in Somerset [35,17EdII,n.62]. He also was a sub-tenant at Earlstown in Kilkenny, Ireland . Throughout the period 1299-1317 he was regularly granted letters of attorney for persons of property in Ireland remaining in England [7,p.157]. He is listed as owing 1/2 and 1/4 knight's fees for Nova Villa de Erlay and Nova Coyllagh in County Kilkenny in 1317 [16,p.194,n.27]. In 1321 one of his attorneys in Ireland was his son, John(V) [7,p.159]. He and his wife, Muriel (who outlived her husband) had a son, John(V) and a daughter, Isabel [35,17EdII,n.62]. John(IV) died in 1324 [11,v.2,p.199][35,17EdII,n.297] survived by his wife, Muriel.
Roland de Erlegh, the brother of John(IV) [11,v.2,p.199], held the manor of Midgham, Berkshire after Giles de Earley (see Appendix 1C); he paid rents in 1271 [1,v.4,p.190]. In 1275, Edward I appointed Roland the custody of the religious house of Leominster, Hertfordshire (a cell of Reading Abbey) which had fallen into debt and other difficulties. The king had to ask the abbot to remove from the abbey and its cell all serjeants and horses with their keepers and to receive no more. All that Roland was able to save at Leominster, after finding the dean and chaplains in food and clothing and poor mendicants in alms, he was to apply to discharge of the debts [1,v.2]. In 1282 a Roland de Erleye was also involved in a complex deal involving the manor of Middleton Lillebon, hundred of Kynewardeston, Wiltshire [35,v.2,EdI,p.256]. In 1291, Sir Roland de Erlegh is mentioned in the records of Wells Cathedral, Somerset [24,n.152]. In 1294, a Rowland de Earley was tenant of Cleets, the other half of the manor of South Denchworth, hundred of Wantage, Berkshire. The Earleys were still in possession of South Denchworth in 1307 when the manor passed to David Martin, Bishop of St. Davids [1,v.4,p.282].
John de Erlegh(V), the son of John(IV), was born about 1308 and inherited from his father [35,17EdII,n.62]. In the period 1324-1337, due to his residence in England, power of attorney in Ireland was granted to various individuals including Henry de Erlegh in 1336 [7,p.159]. In 1327 an order was issued from Nottingham to Arnold Power, the King's Steward of the county of Kilkenny, Ireland not to distrain John de Erlegh, knight, for homage or fealty of the lands he holds of the king in Ireland for he has done his homage [7,p.159]. In 1328 John(V) held the same properties as his father in Berkshire and Somerset with the addition of his land in Pury probably brought to him by his wife, Elizabeth [35,11EdIII,n.11]. However, before his death in 1337, John(V) granted the manor of Erley, Berkshire to Humphrey de la Rokele and his wife Maud for their lives [1,v.3,p.213]. He represented his father in Ireland in the 1320s, probably residing there [3,p.62]. On July 12, 1332 he was among those ordered to be with the king at Michaelmas at the place where the king intended to embark for Ireland. However this project was abandoned [7,p.159]. John(V) was Sheriff of Somerset in 1325, Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset in 1326 when he had the castle of Shireburne committed to his care  and M.P. for Somerset in the period 1329-1332. His name appears variously as John de Erle, Erleye, Erlegh and Erleghe in a number of commissions of the peace [7,p.159]. In 1327 he was appointed collector of 1/20th of the movables granted to the king by Parliament for defence against the Scots [7,p.159]. He witnessed several agreements at Wells Cathedral, Somerset during 1328-1337 [24,v.2]. In 1336 he made preparations for a visit to Ireland including granting power of attorney in England to Geoffrey de Wroxhale, parson of Beckington, and Robert de Somerton but whether he actually made the trip is not known [7,p.159]. He married Elizabeth and they had two sons, John(VI) and Richard, and three daughters [7,p.159]. One daughter, Catherine (or Katherine), became Prioress of Buckland Priory. A second, Elizabeth, married Sir John Stafford and a third, Alice, married Sir Nicholas Poines [7.p.159]. John(V) died in 1337; he was survived by his wife, Elizabeth [6,n.39][7,p.159][35,35EdIII].
John de Erlegh(VI), son of John de Erlegh(V), was born in 1334 and was only two years old when his father died in 1337 [1,v.3,p.213]. On March 19, 1337 the King granted William de Monte Acuto, Earl of Salisbury custody of the de Erlegh lands in England and Ireland during the minority of the heirs of John(V) [7,p.159]. In 1344, the king appointed John de Balscote keeper of the manor of Erleyston, Kilkenny by reason of the minority of John(VI) [16,p.245]. John(VI) is listed as the heir of ``John Derley'' in owing 3/4 knight's fees for Erleyston and Nova Coyllagh in County Kilkenny in 1355 [16,p.200,n.27]. He was summoned on March 15 1361/62 to attend a Great Council at Westminster in order to deliberate upon the disturbed state of Ireland . In 1362, license was given to John(VI) to grant 2 messuages and 19 acres of land in Erley, Berkshire to Robert de Earley and his wife, Joan, while retaining a messuage and 2 carucates of land (these he probably sold afterwards to Henry de Aldrington) [1,v.3,p.213]. In 1363 he had license to enfief Robert de Erle, his son, of a manor including the fishery of Erle in the water of Lodyn, Berkshire [35,v.6,36EdIII]. John(VI) attended the Black Prince in Spain and was present at the battle of Najera in 1367 and several other engagements [11,v.2,p.199]. He was taken prisoner, put to great ransom and forced to sell the best part of his ancient inheritance [5,p.245]. In 1371 he had license to enfief John Cole of Bridgewater and his wife Margery in the manors of North Petherton, Somerton, Durston and Beckington, Somerset with the remainder to himself and his heirs [35,v.6,44EdIII]. This connection with the Cole family may be of considerable significance in the Earls family chronicle as discussed in the next chapter. In 1372 John(VI) sold the manor of Somerton-Erleigh in the hundred of North Petherton, Somerset (and the advowson of the chapel) to Richard Brice and his wife, Edith (who passed it to Sir Guy de Brien) [11,v.3,p.185] but retained to himself the manors of Babcary, Durston and Beckington [35,45EdIII,n.17]. The Berkshire manors were alienated about this time and the manor of Earlstown in Kilkenny, Ireland was conveyed to John Sweetman before 1381 [16,p.245][7,p.159]. Also in 1367 John(VI) remitted and released to Robert, Abbot of Athelney, Somerset and the convent all his right of six pennies which Roger Clavyle used to pay him yearly for his holding in Farendon in North Petherton as well as to a pair of nun's boots which the Abbot and convent used to render him yearly [32,v.14,p.175,n.164]. John(VI) married Margaret, daughter of Sir Guy de Brien K.G. (who was standard bearer to King Edward III at Crecy) and they had four sons, John(VII), Robert, Richard and Philip, and three daughters [11,v.2,p.199]. John(VI) died in 1372, possibly a victim of the Black Death then sweeping the country, leaving John(VII) his son and heir .
John de Erlegh(VII), son and heir of John(VI), succeeded his father in 1372. John(VII) married Isabel, daughter of Sir John Pavely [9,v.6,n.505] [11,v.2,p.199]. They had only one child, a daughter, Margaret . In 1402 John(VII) held land in the hundred of Chippenham, Wiltshire [26,v.5,p.220]. He died in 1409 . In 1412 his widow Isabel held the manors of Babcary, Beckington and Pury, Somerset [9,v.6,n.505]. In 1431 she is also noted as holding certain lands and tenements in Beckington by service of 1 fm. [9,p.425]. Isabel died in 1443.
Margaret de Erlegh, the daughter and heir of John(VII) inherited Beckington. She married three times. Her first husband was Sir John St. Maur  who was the second son of Richard St. Maur and inherited from him the manor of North Molton, Devon . John and Margaret had a son John. Margaret's second husband was Sir Walter Sondes and her third Sir William Chaney [11,v.2,p.199]. The second marriage produced a daughter, Margaret de Sondes , who is important to the story.
John St. Maur, the son of Margaret de Erlegh by her first husband, John St. Maur, married Elizabeth Bamfylde , the daughter of Sir Thomas Brooke. When Margaret de Erlegh died in 1443 Beckington passed into the hands of the Bamfylde family [11,v.2,p.199]. The direct line became extinct at this point. John St. Maur had a son Sir Thomas St. Maur who, in turn, had a son John, who was followed by Sir William St. Maur, from whom the estate passed to his daughter, Margaret St. Maur .
Margaret de Sondes, the daughter of Margaret de Erlegh and Sir Walter Sondes married John Erle of Ashburton, County Devon, who was probably the grandson of John de Erlegh(VI) and the son of Robert de Erlegh .
The family tree of the de Erlegh family from John de Erlegh(I) to Margaret de Sondes is included as Appendix 1A.
This is a convenient point at which to interrupt the chronicle of the de Erlegh family for several reasons. The marriage of Margaret de Sondes to John Erle shifts the dominant inheritance to a previously junior branch of the family. We shall continue to trace their descendants shortly. But it is important to pick up two other threads in the story. First, in order to complete the record we should take note of the fact that during the above account the geographic center of activity of the de Erlegh family shifted from Berkshire to Somerset, England. But, other junior branches continued to occupy the large holdings in Berkshire. Though the records of these Berkshire families are less coherent, some scattered accounts are attached as Appendix 1C. However these are probably of lesser interest in our present story.
The principal reason for the interruption is the fact that the surname Erley, Erle, Erl or Erla has already appeared in Ireland prior to 1400. We have documented these records in Appendix 1D. In doing so we do not imply that the historical Earls are neccessarily descended from these early settlers. In fact there are two possible scenarios behind the presence of James and Henry Earles (see next chapter) in County Fermanagh, Ireland in the early 1700s. Family legend has it that the first Earls was brought to Fermanagh from Devon or Somerset by John Cole (the first Lord Enniskillen) as his secretary and agent during James I plantation of Ulster. The close connection between the Cole and Erle families in the west country of England as exemplified by the deal between John de Erlegh(VI) and an earlier John Cole seems to substantiate this legend. This first scenario is further discussed in the next chapter. The second scenario is that John Cole took advantage of the family connections to employ an Earls from a family already settled in Ireland. As discussed in Appendix 1D members of the Erley family probably followed the de Berminghams on the latter's incursions into Galway and Louth and it is possible that the historical Earls represent a branch of these early settlers. However the protestant religion of the historical Earls favors the first scenario. In either case the historical Earls would be descended from the de Erleghs detailed above.
My own opinion is that the weight of the evidence, flimsy though it may be, suggests that the historical Earls were imported from Devon or Somerset by the future Lord Enniskillen and are therefore connected in some way to the Erle family whose principal members we now proceed to document. The family tree for this continuation is included as Appendix 1B.
The churchwarden accounts for the parish of Ashburton, County Devon  for the years 1479-1580 indicate that a number of Erles were very active in the parish during that period. William Erle kept these accounts for the period 1485-1505 and is also mentioned in 1506/7; William's wife, Mabel Erle, also appears in the accounts for 1496/7 and 1497/8. In 1486/7 a sum is entered for the grave of Margaret Erle. Alice Erle occurs in 1490/91 and Henry Erle in 1487/8, 1492/3 and 1495/6. Robert Erle frequently appears during the period 1495-1523; he was the accountant for 1505/6/7 and his burial is recorded during 1531/2. Joan Erle died in 1509/10 and a gift from her daughter is noted. Thomas Erle, who in 1535/6 is identified as a pewterer, occurs in 1525/6, 1535/6, 1545/6 and 1555/6. Hugh Erle appears in 1556/7. Joan Erle, a widow, occurs in 1537/8, 1544/5 and 1545/6. Nicholas Erle was the accountant in 1568/69/70 and also appears in 1558/9, 1561/2 and 1566/7.
The John Erle(I), of Asburton, County Devon who married Margaret de Sondes must have been related to the Erles described in these parish records. This marriage produced two sons, Robert Erle(I) and John Erle(II). Both are identified as initiating important branches of the Erle family and we will describe both briefly. Note that John Erle(I) died in 1484 and his wife Margaret in 1472.
THE WILTSHIRE ERLES:
Robert Earle(I), the younger son of John Erle(I), inherited part of his mother's patrimony and acquired lands in Crudwell, Wiltshire. He is thought of as initiating the Wiltshire branch of the Earle family. He resided in Compton, Somerset, and died in 1517. Robert had seven sons as follows. Robert Earle(II), Jr., of Compton Sands died ``of a broken heart after being cheated in a purchase''; he left no issue. Richard Earle had descendants living near Bradford, Wilts, in 1688. John Earle(IV) of West Crudwell died without issue as did Thomas Earle(VI). Other sons were William Earle(I) (see below), Gyles Earle(I) of Escott in Crudwell and Nicholas Earle(I).
William Earle(I) of Escott in Crudwell had a son, William Earle(II).
William Earle(II) of Escott married Isobel who had lands in Bradenbrook. His will is dated 1586 and hers is dated 1596. They had six sons and four daughters: Thomas Earle(VII), Robert(III) who married and had six children, John(V) who married and also had six children, William(III), Gyles(II), Nicholas(II), Jone, Agnes, Alice and Anna.
Thomas Earle(VII) of Escott, Crudwell, the eldest son of William(II), married Bridgett and they had two children, Thomas Earle(VIII), Jr. and Margaret who married ?Partridge. Thomas's will was dated 1617 and Bridgett's was dated 1626.
Robert Earle(III), the second son of William(II), had six children: Robert(IV) Jr., William(IV), Margaret, Elizabeth, Mary and Isobel.
John Earle(V), third son of William(II), had six children: John(VI) Jr. of Holt and Bradford, Wilts, Thomas(IX) of Kemble (1571-1644), William(V), Margaret, Susannah and Joane.
William Earle(III), the fourth son of William(II), had six children: William(VII) Jr., Thomas(X), Alice, Isobel, Margaret and Isobel.
Nicholas Earle(II), the fifth son of William(II), had four children all of whom were minors in 1594: William(VIII), John(VII), Isobel and Gyles(III).
Gyles Earle(IV), who is definitely of this family but who may or may not be William(II)'s grandson was of Escott in Crudwell and had three sons. Gyles(V) was born in 1591; a lawyer who made a fortune he repurchased Bradenbrook in Wiltshire which he left to Sir Thomas(XIII). Gyles(V) died in 1676. Gyles(IV)'s two younger sons were Thomas(XI) who died without issue and William(IX) of Escott.
John Earle(VI), first son of John Earle(V), had land in Bradford, Wiltshire. He married Elizabeth and his will is dated 1656. John(VI) and Elizabeth had six children. Robert(V) of Holt, whose will was administered in 1660 left three children, John, Paul and Katherine. Luke(I) of Bradford died in 1671; he and his wife Ann left John, Mercie, Elizabeth and Mary. John(VI)'s third son who became the Rev. Richard Earle of Hemington, was born in 1603 and had a will dated 1678. The fourth son, John(VIII), is included below. Two daughters: Ann married T. Bailey and Elizabeth was born about 1626.
Thomas Earle(IX) of Kemble, the second son of John Earle(V), was born in 1571 and died in 1644. He married Mary of Okessey (whose will was dated 1657) and they had eight children. John(IX) married Susannah; his will is dated 1644. The second son became Rev. Thomas(XII) Earle (1612-1664); he married Ann (1610-1693) and they had children, Thomas(1643-1715) who married Elizabeth, died 1706. The third son William(X) married Mary and had children William, Mary, Elizabeth and Thomas. There were also six daughters Mary (married D.Stevens), Elizabeth (married W.Hibbert), Joyce (married Grayle), Margaret (married Marshall), Susanna (married Rev. T. Bisse) and a sixth who married Blandford.
William Earle(IX) of Escott, the third son of Gyles Earle(IV), had four children. Sir Thomas Earle(XIII) (1629-1696), Katherine who married Ralph Harmer, Margaret who married W. Rogers and had a daughter Margaret and Elizabeth who married T. Walkley.
John Earle(VIII), the fourth son of John(VI), married Joane and had five children as follows. William(XI) of Holt died before 1709. Marie married and had a daughter, Frances. John(X) (1637-1704) of Lisbon married Sarah. Richard(III) (1640-1713) married Ann Stephens. Frances married King.
Sir Thomas Earle(XIII) (1629-1696) of Bradenbrook, eldest son of William(IX), married Eleanor Jackson (1635-1709) and they had twelve children as follows. Gyles(VI) died without issue in 1677 at Vittoria, Spain. Joseph(I) (see below), Thomas(XIV) and William(XII) were sons. Robert(VI) (1688-1736) became mayor of Bristol and married Elizabeth ( -1763). For son Gyles(VII) see below. There were also six daughters Catherine, Sarah, Mary, Anne, Elizabeth and Rachel.
Richard Earle(III) (1640-1713) married Ann Stephens and had four children as follows. An unknown son and John(XI) who is listed below. Two daughters, Anne (1676-1724) and Frances (1682-1753).
Joseph Earle(I) became member of Parliament for Bristol and, in 1701, married Phillippa Gore who died in 1704. He then married Elizabeth Cann and had two children. Joseph(I) died in 1729 or 30. Joseph(I) had two children, Thomas who may have been the child of Phillippa and who died in 1704 and Eleanor ( -1721) who married William Benson (1681-1754) and had six children.
William Earle(XII) of West Harptree, the fourth son of Sir Thomas Earle(XIII), was born in 1663 and, in 1697, married Henrietta (1676-1703), daughter and co-heiress of Smart Goodenough. William was a sergeant-at-law. They had five children as follows. Goodenough Earle (1700-1790) of Pitminster had a daughter, Sally. William Hall Earle (1700-1721) was a member of the Middle Temple. Robert(VII) died shortly after birth in 1703 and William(XIII) became a lawyer. Thomas(XVI), of Crudwell, lived to the age of 78.
Gyles Earle(VII) (1678-1758), the sixth son of Sir Thomas Earle, married Elizabeth (died 1713), the daughter of Sir William Rawlinson. They had two children, William Rawlinson Earle (see below) and Eleanor Earle who died unmarried and is buried at Hendon (will proved 1761). After Elizabeth died, Gyles(VII) married Margaret.
John Earle(XI) (1680-1741), the second son of Richard(III), married Elizabeth (1689-1744) and had three children: John(XII), William(XIV) (see below) and Anne Earle.
William Rawlinson Earle (1700-1774), the eldest son of Gyles(VII), married Susannah (1715-1797), daughter and sole heiress of William White. They had four children: Gyles(VIII) (see below), Eleanor who was born about 1745 at Hendon and was living in 1781, and Elizabeth and Susannah both of whom died young.
William Earle(XIV) (1700-1774) of Lisbon, the second son of John(XI), married Frances and had at least five children: John(XIII), Frances who married Henry Revell and had a daughter Anne of Lisbon, a daughter who married Bromley, Charlotte who married Illnis and Wilhelmina Margaretta who married Metzener. William(XIV)'s will is dated 1748.
Gyles Earle(VIII) (1733-1811) of Beningborough, eldest son of William Rawlinson Earle, was born at Hendon, Wiltshire, and married Margaret, daughter and heiress of Ralph Bouchier, M.D., of Beningborough, Yorkshire. They had two sons. William(XV), born in 1763, became a major in the second West Yorkshire regiment. Thomas(XVII) was a captain in the 6th Foot regiment and died at Quebec in 1800.
THE DEVON AND DORSET ERLES:
John Earle(II), of Culhampton, County Devon, was the eldest son of John Erle(I) and died in 1508. He also had a son named John and is considered the founder of the Devon, Dorset, Winchester, Southampton, Essex and Nottinghamshire branches of the Earle family.
John Erle(III), of Culhampton, County Devon, married Thomasina, daughter of Beare of Somerset. In 1546 John(III) and his wife Thomasina made a settlement of the manor of Midgham, Berkshire [1,v.4]. John(III) and Thomasina had at least two sons and possibly three sons, Walter(I) and Richard and possibly John(XIV). John(III) and his son Richard were defendants in a suit begun by the lord of the manor of Midgham, Berkshire in 1552 [1,v.4].
- Walter Erle(I) of Charborough, County Dorset was the son of John Erle(III). He married Mary Wykes, daughter and co-heir of Richard Wykes of Binden and Charborough, County Dorset, and acquired Charborough upon the death of his father-in-law (see [12,c.7] and  for descriptions of Charborough). Walter(I) later purchased the manor of Bindon in Axmouth, County Devon shortly after the suppression of the Abbey of Syon . In the time of James I, Walter(I) had arms desribed as gules three escallops and a bordure engrailed argent. He died in 1581 seised of the manor and advowson of Charborough, the manor and advowson of the vicarage of East Morden with its appurtenances in Morden, Lichtet Matravers and Wareham by service of paying yearly 8s. He also held three parts of the manor of West Morden. Walter(I) is buried at Charborough. Walter and Mary had one son, Thomas, and three daughters, Honor, Bridget and Mary:
- Thomas Erle(I) of Charborough, Dorset succeeded his father Walter(I) in 1581. He married Dorothy, daughter of William Pole of Colhampton, County Devon  and had four sons, Walter Earle(II), Christopher Earle(I) (see below), John and Thomas. When Thomas(I) died in 1597 he was in possession of the manors of East and West Morden, land in Litchet Matravers, Wareham, Sturminster Marshal, County Dorset, the manor of Charborough, Dorset, the manor rectory and advowson of Axmouth, Devon and lands in Bindon Axmouth, Colyford and Colyton, Devon. His wife, Dorothy, survived him. Thomas(I) is buried in the church of East Morden. The children of Thomas(I) and Dorothy Erle:
- Walter Erle(II) of Charborough, Dorset was born in 1586, the son and heir of Thomas(I). Walter(II) married Ann Dymock, daughter of Sir Francis Dymock of Warwickshire. Walter(II) was knighted in 1616. By his lady he possessed Erdington and Pipe, County Warwick which he sold to Walter Devereux. He was very active on behalf of the Parliament forces during the Civil War and was governor of Dorchester. In 1642 he raised a troop of horse consisting of 60 men. As its colonel and commander he beseiged Corfe Castle [12,c.9]. He was also made Lieutenant of the Ordnance in place of Mr. Pym. His only son, Thomas(IV), died in his father's lifetime and was buried at Axmouth, County Devon. His estates devolved on his second cousin General Thomas Erle(III) of Charborough (see below). Walter(II) died in 1665 and is buried at Charborough. His wife, Ann, died Jan.26, 1653, and is buried in Axmouth, County Devon. Walter(II) and Ann Erle had three children:
- Thomas Erle(II) of Charborough, Dorset, born 1621, married Susanna Fiennes, the fourth daughter of William, Viscount Saye and Sele. Thomas(II) died on Jun.1, 1650, during his father's lifetime. Thomas(II) and Susanna had four children:
- Walter Erle(III) married Ann, daughter of Thomas Trenchard of Wolverton. It appears that the direct male line may have been interrupted at Walter Erle(III) or shortly thereafter.
- Thomas Erle(III), the second son of Thomas Earle(II), was serving with the rank of colonel under General Ginkle in the army of William of Orange in Ireland at the time of his grandfather's death(?). The congregational memoir of Templepatrick, Northern Ireland by Classon Porter states that ``When Duke Schomberg after his campaign of 1689 went into winter quarters in the North of Ireland one of his regiments - Colonel Earlls' - was stationed on the Six Mile Water'' (a river in County Antrim which enters Lough Neagh near Antrim town). At the battle of Aughrim in 1691, Colonel Earle was twice taken and re-taken but got clear. Later he served in Flanders. As a lieutenant-general he commanded the centre of the army at the battle of Almanza in 1709 and lost his right hand. In 1714 he was lieutenant-general of the ordnance, governor of Portsmouth and Southsea castle. He was made a general in 1716 and served as a privy councillor to Queen Anne and to George I. He married Elizabeth, second daughter of William Wyndham of Orchard Wyndham, County Somerset. They had one daughter, Frances. General Thomas Erle died in 1720 and is buried at Charborough. His daughter, Frances became the wife of Sir Edward Ernle of Maddington, County Wiltshire, M.P. for Wareham. She died in 1728, leaving a daughter and heir, Frances Elizabeth Ernle, who married Henry Drax of Ellerton Abbey, County Yorkshire.
- a daughter
- a daughter
- Ann Erle(II) married Norton of County Hampshire.
- Honor Erle(II) married John Gifford of Brighlegh, County Devon and had a son, Arthur Gifford .
- Christopher Erle(I) of Sturminster Marshall in County Dorset, second son of Thomas(I) was Recorder and M.P. for Lyme Regis. His descendants constitute the Essex branch of the family. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Denny of Stortford, County Hertford on April 26, 1623 at Birchanger, County Essex. Elizabeth died in 1655. Christopher(I) and Elizabeth had one son:
- Christopher Erle(II) was born in 1624. He was married twice. His first wife was Mary Barrington of Hatfield, Essex who bore him one child, Robert. His second wife was Elizabeth Ballet of Hatfield, Essex, with whom he had five children, Christopher(III), Walter(IV), John, Elizabeth and Dorothy. Christopher(II) was living in 1664. The children of Christopher(II):
- Robert Erle, the son of Christopher(II) and Mary Erle continued the Dorset Branch of the family. He inherited Sturminster Marshall, which he sold in 1678. Robert died on Jul.3, 1737, and is buried at Blandford Forum. He had a son:
- Thomas Erle(V) was living in 1678 and had two children:
- Walter Erle(V) of Blandford, Dorset was baptized on Feb.11, 1725, and married Sarah, daughter of Rev. Christopher Twynihoe of Turnworth, Dorset. Walter(V) died in 1775 and his wife Sarah on Aug.9, 1769, at age 43. Walter(V) and Sarah Erle had two children:
- Christopher Erle(IV) was baptized on Dec.12, 1760, at Turnworth, Dorset. He became Rev. Christopher Erle and married Margaret Elizabeth Charlotte Bowles (1761-1807), daughter of Rev. W. T. Bowles of Shaston, and they had four sons and two daughters. Christopher(IV), who became a Fellow of New College, Oxford died in 1817.
- Christopher Erle(V), born in 1790, was a Fellow of New College, Oxford and Rector of Hardwick, Buckinghamshire. He died in 1870.
- Walter Erle(VI) was born in 1792, took holy orders and died in 1870.
- William Erle was baptized at Fifehide, Magdalen, Dorset, on Jun.3, 1794. He became a Fellow of New College, Oxford and Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. He married Amelia, daughter of David Williams, Warden of New College, Oxford.
- Peter Erle was baptized at Fifehide, Magdalen, Dorset on Nov.17, 1796. He became a Fellow of New College, Oxford, a Queens Counsel and Chief Charity Commissioner. He married Mary, second daughter of Rev. J. F. Fearon, Rector of Selsey and Vicar of Cuckfield and they had one son, Twynihoe William Erle. Twynihoe became a barrister and inherited the manor house called Winterbourne Steepleton in Dorest from W.C. Lambert. Twynihoe had a son Christopher Erle. Peter and Mary also had four daughters, Margaret (who married Templeman), Jane Elizabeth, Jessie Margaret (who married Rev. Henry Richards) and Frances Eleanor.
- Elizabeth Jane Erle married Capt. William Fenwick.
- Margaret Jane Erle was born in 1802 and married John Lucius Damphier.
- Jane Erle married William Bissett in 1789.
- Jane Erle married Nicholas Elliott of Winterborne, Wilts, in 1751.
- Christopher Erle(III) of Topsfield, Essex, was the son of Christopher(II) by his second wife, and was born in 1624. Christopher(III) was living in 1664 and had two sons:
- infant Edward Erle died young.
- Edward Erle of Totnes and Topsfield, Essex, was born in 1673. He married Mary Hare, the daughter of Timothy Hare of St. Kitts, West Indies, by whom he had two sons, Henry and Timothy(I) Erle. Edward died in 1728. The sons of Edward and Mary Erle:
- Henry Erle of St. Kitts, West Indies, the son of Edward, died in 1735. He had three children John, Anne and Mary Erle.
- Timothy Erle(I) whose family is continued below.
- Walter Erle(IV)
- John Erle
- Elizabeth Erle
- Dorothy Erle
- John Erle died young.
- Thomas Erle died young in 1592.
- Dorothy Erle
- Elizabeth Erle married Sir Richard Strode of Newenham, Co.Devon.
- Richard Erle married Margaret Vachell. Richard and his father, John(III), were defendants in a suit begun by the lord of the manor of Midgham, Berkshire in 1552 [1,v.4].
- John Erle(XIV) may have been a son of John(III) and Thomasina Erle. Elaine Beck [email@example.com] believes that John Erle(XIV) may be the same as her direct ancestor, John Erle, born about 1530 in Mattingley near Midgham. Her John Erle settled not far away in Bramshot. His descendants lived in Froyle and Binstead and other towns in the area. Elaine has copies of some of their wills.
- Thomas Erle of Cheritan, Hampshire, may be another brother according to Elaine Beck [firstname.lastname@example.org].
Timothy Hare Erle(I) of Essex (1700-1787), born in 1700, was the second son of Edward Erle. He became a gentleman of the Privy Chamber to George II and George III. He married Dorothy Trist and they had 9 children as follows (the following information was provided by Anthony Byrne, email@example.com):
- Timothy Hare Earle(II) who married Annie Biscoe. They had 8 children including:
- Timothy Earle(III) died without issue.
- William H. Earle(III) died without issue.
- Mary Earle.
- Henry Earle did not marry.
- Edward Earle, Rector of High Ongar Essex (Anthony Byrne's forbear) who married Susanna Taylor whose family were in shipping. Anthony Byrne has inherited a silver candlestick holder bearing the Earle/Taylor coat of arms. They had 4 sons:
- George Earle of Totnes married Mira Nash (no issue).
- James William Earle (1805-1878) was the great greatgrandfather of Anthony Byrne. He became a doctor but lost money investing in railways. He married Catherine Taylor( his first cousin) and emigrated to New Zealand. They arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand, from High Ongar, Essex in 1850 on the "Randolph", one of the first four ships which formed the basis of the Anglican settlement there. Their children were:
- Ellen Earle (1837- ) married Francis Perry Leach and had 6 daughters.
- Edward Earle (1841- ) married Mary Montgomery.
- Katherine Earle (1842- ) was an infant who died on the voyage to NZ in 1850.
- Augustus George Earle (1852-1940) was Anthony Byrne's great grandfather. He married Mary Topping and had 6 children:
- Percy Earle (1876-1959) married Miss A. Gittens (no issue).
- Catherine Edith Earle(1878-1958) was Anthony Byrne's grandmother. She married Stanley Polkinghorne Andrew and had children:
- Earle Andrew (1908- ) who married Nancy Bridges. They adopted 3 children, Peter Andrew, Margaret Andrew and William Andrew.
- Anne Elizabeth Andrew (1911-2000) married Norman Alexander Byrne (1898-1983). Their children were Jocelyn Anne Byrne who married Terence Brandon and Anthony Norman Byrne who married Heather Jean McLaughlin.
- Richard Talbot Andrew (1913-1941) married Mitty Fryer (no issue) and was killed in WWII.
- Catherine Mary Andrew (1915- ) married P.J. Bertram and had Timothy James Bertram and an adopted son Andrew Bertram.
- Alison Helen Andrew (1919- ) did not marry.
- William Earle (1880-1899 ) was killed in the Boer war.
- Harry Earle (1886- ) married Tessie Webb and had two children, Herbert Earle (1915-) and Neville Earle (1917- ) who married Lila and had 3 children.
- Herbert Earle (1888-1918).
- Frank Earle (1890-1920).
- Percival Richard Earle (1855- ) married Mary Caldwell and had 5 children. One of their descendants is Richard L. Earle, Professor Emeritus at Massey University in NZ; he and his wife Mary D. Earle are well known there.
- William Henry Earle married Elizabeth and had two daughters.
- Henry Earle did not marry. He was Rector of High Ongar for 2 years.
- Henry John Earle (1798-1881), Rector of High Ongar who married Charlotte Sperling and had 6 children including:
- Henry Edward Erle who married ? and died in 1876. He had 8 children including Henry Percival Erle.
- William Erle who married Maryanne Walton and had 3 children.
- Charles Erle an artist (no issue).
- Reverend Walter Erle the founder of Bilton Grange who married Mary Roper (or Rooper).
- Marianne Erle who married Rev. Bond and had 3 children.
- George Erle who married ? and had 10 children.
- Sir James Earle (1745-1817) who was President of The College of Physicians and Surgeon to the Court of George III and George IV. He was knighted in 1800 but refused a Baronetcy. He married Mary Potts. They had 4 children.
- Nicholas Earle, the Rector of Severford, Oxfordshire. He married Margaret Hoskyns. They had 5 children.
- Susanah Earle.
- Dorothy Earle who married Capt. Osman (no isssue).
- Anne Earle married Col. Waistie of Great Hasley House, Oxfordshire (no isssue).
Earle Family members, first row: Timothy Earle, George Earle of Totnes, Augustus Earle (young). Second row: Augustus Earle (old), James Earle, James Earle's wife Caroline (photographs courtesy of Anthony Byrne).
THE LINCOLNSHIRE EARLES:
There appears to be a strong belief  that the Lincolnshire branch of the Earle family originated with Richard de Erlegh, younger son of John de Erlegh(V). However the first identifiable member of that family is Sir Richard Earle(I) of Stragglethorpe, Lincolnshire, who was made a baronet in 1629. He married Frances, daughter of Sir Edward Hardtop. They had at least four sons and a number of daughters as follows. The eldest son John must have predeceased his father for John's son Richard(II) succeeded his grandfather. The second son Richard(III), in turn, succeeded his nephew. The third son, Edward, was born about 1635 and probably died young. Another son William is of particular interest to us for he is claimed as the ancestor of a family of Earles in County Wexford, Ireland. According to Burke ``The Rev. William Earle, Curate of St. Clement's Danes, Strand, London, son of the late George Earle of Ballynahow in Gorey, County Wexford, claims to be the great-great-great-grandson of Robert Earle of Coolroe, County Wexford, who was said to be descended from a younger son (William) of 1st Baronet''. It might also be added that the Maryland Earles in the U.S.A. identify their founder as one James Earle whose will states that he was ``.. late of Ireland'' and therefore associate him with the Stragglethorpe branch. Finally we note that the only daughter to reach maturity was apparently Elizabeth who married a man called Thornage and had eight children.
Sir Richard Earle(II), grandson of Richard(I), succeeded his grandfather. However he died without issue and the title reverted to his uncle.
Sir Richard Earle(III), brother of Richard(I), succeeded his nephew and married Hellena, daughter of William Welby of Denton Hall, Lincolnshire and had a son and a daughter. He died about 1684.
Sir Richard Earle(IV), son of Richard(III), was born in 1673 and succeeded his father. He died unmarried in 1697 at the age of 24.
Though the lands passed to the Welbys there were many younger sons from earlier generations who perpetuated the Lincolnshire Earles.
There are at least two other major lineages of Earles detailed in reference  namely the Earles of Norfolk and the Earles of Lancashire. These will not be repeated here since they cannot be definitely connected with either the original de Erlegh family or with any Irish branch of the family. In any case the material already included in this chapter is more than sufficient to provide appropriate background. Our story should now move into the realm of our known ancestors.
Abbreviations used in textual references:
v. = volume, n. = number, p. = page, f. = folio, e. = entry, c. = chapter.
- Victoria county history of Berkshire. Vol.III, Sonning Hundred with Earley, Woodley and Sandford. Vol.IV, Wantage Hundred.
- ``William Marshall, knight-errant, baron and regent of England'' by Sidney Painter, Johns Hopkins Press, first edition, 1933.
- ``English lordship in Ireland, 1318-1361'' by Robin Frame, Clarendon Press.
- ``Ireland under the Normans'', four volumes by G. O. Orpen, Oxford University Clarendon Press, 1911.
- ``Knight's fees in counties Carlow, Wexford and Kilkenny'' by E. St. J. Brooks, Irish MSS Commission, Dublin, 1950.
- ``A cartulary of Buckland Priory in the county of Somerset'', edited by F. W. Weaver (1909) in the Somerset Record Society, P.R.O., Orbridge Road, Taunton, Somerset.
- ``The manor of Erley or Earlstown, County Kilkenny'' by G. D. Burtchaell in Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 1906, p.154 et seq.
- Feudal Aids, Berkshire.
- Feudal Aids, Somerset.
- Calendarium Genealogicum.
- ``History and antiquity of the county of Somerset'' by Rev. John Collison (first 3 volumes).
- ``Some Dorset Manor Houses'' by Sidney Heath and W. de C. Prideaux, Bemrose and sons, London, 1907.
- Calendar of Close Rolls.
- Calendar of Patent Rolls.
- ``The Maligned Monarch'' by Alan Lloyd, Doubleday Press, 1972.
- Chancery Miscellaneous and Patent Rolls, P.R.O. London (File 88/4,no.70).
- Calendar of Patent and Close Rolls, Ireland, 48.
- ``Dormant and extinct baronage of England'' by Banks.
- ``The history and antiquities of the parish of Dunnamaggan'' by Richard Lahert (Diondearg, Lower Grange, Waterford) printed in the Kerryman, Nov.1 , 1956. (?)
- ``Athenry Abbey'' by Martin Blake, Galway Archeological and Historical Society, Vol.II, p.77.
- ``Dowdall Deeds'' edited by Charles McNeill and A. J. Otway-Ruthven.
- Blake Family Records, Trinity College, Dublin.
- Calender Rolls.
- H.M.C., Wells Cathedral, County Somerset.
- ``The history and antiquities of Dorset'', v.3, p.497.
- Feudal Aids, Wiltshire.
- Feudal Aids, Dorset.
- ``History of Devonshire'' by Pole.
- Calendar of Ormond Deeds.
- ``History of Iar-Connaught'' by O'Flaherty, Irish Archeological Society, 1846.
- Table displayed in the Church of St. Michael, Somerton, Somerset, England.
- Somerset Record Society, P.R.O., Taunton, Somerset including the register of the Abbey of Athelney (v.14).
- Calendar of Pipe Rolls.
- Calendar of Charter Rolls.
- Calendar of Inquisitions.
- ``Churchwarden accounts of Ashburton, 1479-1580'' edited by Alison Hanham, Devon and Cornwall Record Society, New Series, v.5, 1970.
- ``History and genealogy of the Earles of Secaucus with an account of other English and American branches'' by Rev. Isaac Newton Earle, Guelff Printing Company, Marquette, Michigan, 1924.
Last updated 7/30/99.
Christopher E. Brennen