Maud ‘Athelida’ De Ingelrica:
Greater London, England
Resided in: Hatfield Peverel, Essex, England
Maude ‘Athelida’ de Ingelrica, was the daughter of a powerful Saxon nobleman, Prince Ingelric of England, Earl of Essex, who was, in turn, the son of Aethelred “the Unready”, a Saxon King of England. Maude was born about the year 1032 in the St Martin’s Le Grand district of London. Aethelred was referred to as “the Unready” because he was young when he assumed the throne and was poorly advised by his elders in handling the affairs of state.
Maude de Ingelrica purportedly went with her uncle, Edward the Confessor, when he was exiled to Normandy. It has been suggested that she had a relationship with her cousin William the Conqueror while in Normandy and served as his concubine. It was not uncommon to find cousins sharing in such affairs of state. Ingelrica could not have fled with Edward, as he was exiled in 1014 and she was not yet conceived. Edward stayed in Normandy for 25 years and returned to rule England c. 1039. It is possible Maude spent a few years with Edward’s family in France after her birth in 1032.
Maude married a Norman nobleman, Ranulph Peverell, in Hatfield in Essex, England in 1072 and the village became known as Hatfield Peverel. This date (1072) is six years after William the Conqueror’s conquest (1066) of England. This puts Maude at 40 years of age. Some like to believe this absolves William of any wrongdoing in terms of a scandalous romance with the wife of his comrade Ranulph. But hold on! There is evidence to prove otherwise!
Ingelrica founded the Priory at Hatfield Peverel on the site of the ancient Priory Church on which the present church of St Andrew’s stands. Here she spent the remainder of her days, until her death in 1100. She was buried in the chancel, where her effigy, cut in stone, was to be seen under one of the windows. The church is found half-way between Danbury and Witham, about five miles from Maldon. Despite my best intentions, we did not get there on Day 1 of our 2016 Whittington Roots Tour.
The inscription and translation at her tomb is taken from “History of the Priory and Parish Church of Saint Andrew, Hatfield Peverel, Essex”, by Alfred J. Steele. It reads as follows:
“INGELRICA, the beautiful daughter of a Saxon Noble, wife of RANULPH PEVEREL, Lord of this village, connected with William I by certain close and friendly ties, having grown weary at last of the tender delights of love and re-calling herself to a more Holy rule of life, founded this building for pious uses and was buried in the same about the year 1100.”
Her tomb did not survive the ravages of Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1536 and 1541. If you will recall from the pages of Henry’s path to getting a male heir he not only got rid of the women in his life who could not bare a son but he also set out to destroy the Catholic Church and its’ great amount of property wealth in Britain.
Ingelrica had legitimate sons by Ranulph, and named one of those children William, as well. This only confused matters for genealogists and historians, but it had to make for an interesting conversation when Randolph pointed out that he already had one son named William.
The author, Alfred Steele, notes that
“William Peverel, is reputed to have been the son of William the Conqueror and Angelica when she was actually married to Ranulph Peverel. Angelica convinced Randolph the son was his own and he was given the surname of the Peveril family.” I found various spellings of the woman’s name over the centuries and as I never knew her personally I am inclined to let anyone and everyone spell her name any which way they choose. I really don’t have a stake in this.
William Peverel was granted over 160 estates in Britain by William the Coqueror. Pictured above is Nottingham located today on Peveril Drive in Nottingham. Ranulph Peverel’s connection with the county of Nottingham commences very shortly after the Norman Conquest. In 1068, the newly erected castle of Nottingham was put in his charge; and at the time of the compilation of the Domesday survey, he was lord of one hundred and sixty-two manors in England, and possessed in Nottingham alone, forty-eight merchants’ or traders’ houses, thirteen knights’ houses, and eight bondsmen’s houses, in addition to ten acres of land granted to him by the king to make a wall round the town. If you add that all up he was operating several Great Malls of England and a number of condominiums in various locations in Britain.
Steele notes that
“Ranulph Peverel, who is also referred to in the Domesday survey as having founded the Priory of Hatfield Peverel, in Essex (4),at the instigation of Ingelrica, his wife, and supposing the story to be true that this lady was the mother of the founder of Lenton Priory. She became the mistress of Duke William after she had married Ranulph Peverel, for we find that Hammond, the eldest son of Ranulph Peverel, was settled in England a few years after the Norman invasion, being then one of the chief tenants, or barons, of Roger Montgomeri, Earl of Shrewsbury.”
Ranulph Peverel predeceased his spouse, Maud de Ingelrica, by about 28 years. She survived William The Conqueror by 13 years.
The Duchess of Cleveland, The Battle Abbey Roll, with Some Account of The Norman Lineages, Vol. III, Published by Murray, John, Albermarle Street, London, and Printed by Clowes, William and Sons, Limited, Stamford Street and Charing Cross
Godfrey, John Thomas, The History of the Parish and Priory of Lenton
[Philip Morant (6 October 1700, Jersey – 25 November 1770, Battersea) was an English clergyman, author and historian.]