Research Reports

Selected BFO Research Reports

Research Report on the Possible Relationship of the

de Burgh and de Brus Families of England and Ireland

by Michael H. McMichael

BFO Research Committee Member

January 2016

The purpose of this research report is not to conclusively determine that the various de Burgh and, perhaps, de Brus family lines are genealogically connected, but rather to raise for consideration the social and kinship interconnections between those families with a view to informing further research.

The guiding principle behind this report is that enunciated in the doctoral thesis by Vanessa Traill of the University of Glasgow in May 2013, viz, the analysis of the Anglo-Norman social networks in, broadly, the 11th and 12th centuries (1), although this report does not purport to deal with such networks in anything like the detail of a doctoral thesis.

As can be understood from the Brough Family Organization (BFO) website, there are a number of de Burgh/Burke/Borough/Brough families in what are now the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Separately, this report will deal briefly with the de Brus pedigree in northern England and Scotland and the extent to which it indicates some form of kin-group with the de Burgh lines.

The principal de Burgh families appear to be as follows:

1. the pedigree set out as that of the Early Broughs of Staffordshire, 1055 to 1510, on the BFO website, commencing in about 1055 with Ralph de Limesi (2);

2. that of the Burghs and Broughs of Westmorland and Yorkshire (and later Lincolnshire), also on the BFO website, commencing in about 1182 with John de Burgh (3) but originating with the Gernet family at an earlier date;

3. that of the de Burghs of Burrough Green in Cambridgeshire, commencing in about 1086 with Thomas de Burgh (4);

4. that of the de Burgh/Burke/Bourke line in England and Ireland, commencing in about 1160 with William de Burgh, but originating prior to that date, arguably with Walter de Burgh of Burgh Castle, Norfolk (5).

The de Brus pedigree for northern England and Scotland commences with Robert de Brus I (6) in about 1078 and divides into the Scots (Annandale) and English (Skelton) lines. For the purposes of this report, the interest is primarily with the Pickering branch (Pickering is about 28 miles from Skelton) (7).


The de Limesi pedigree is exhaustively presented on the BFO website as previously referenced. However, in a 1917 publication titled "The Lindesie and Limesi Families of Great Britain" privately published by John William Linzee and purporting to deal with all members of those families to that date (8) (and also referred to on the BFO page "Possible Ancestry of Ralph de Limesi"), the author proposes that both Ralph and Robert de Limesi were sons of one Hugo de Limesi (9). At page 200 of that publication there is a discussion of the identity of one Robert de Stafford, a de Limesi nephew.

The doctoral thesis by Vanessa Traill previously cited contains genealogical charts for the various families with which that work is concerned, including that for the Tosny kin-group (10), which includes both the Limesi and Stafford lines. In that chart Robert de Stafford is shown as marrying Avice de Clare, and their son, Nicholas, as marrying Matilda, daughter of Ralph 1 de Limesi.

If the 1917 publication is accurate to the effect that Robert and Ralph were brothers, it may be that Robert de Limesi, as the Bishop of Chester (and even though clerical celibacy was not uniformly observed at that date), is not the father of the de Limesi who was in turn the father of Phillip de Burgo and instead the father of Phillip was another son of Nicholas de Stafford, son-in-law of Ralph, who took his mother's name of de Limesi - which in itself was not unusual in the 12th century.

As to how the family adopted the name de Burgo, it appears that the name may have come from the town of Peterborough in Cambridgeshire, where the abbey was known as Burgo Sancti Petri (11).

In 1107 one Nigel d'Aubigny, a Norman knight, married Matilda de L'aigle, who had divorced the disgraced and imprisoned Robert de Mowbray. When Nigel subsequently divorced Matilda, he retained her ex-husband's lordship of Mowbray and when he subsequently married Gundred de Gournay, their son Roger took the surname of Mowbray (12).

It will be evident that the William d'Aubigny, brother of Nigel, referred to in the material in footnote 11 is identical with the person of that name in the Tosnys of Belvoir pedigree in the Traill thesis and thus the d'Aubigny/Mowbray family forms part of the Limesi kin-group.

What is striking is that the surname "Gournay" could conceivably be spelt "Gernet" if the latter were pronounced in the French manner. An online trawl discloses that others have made the same connection - if, indeed, a connection it is. What also stands out is that the Mowbray arms included a lion rampant, as did, apparently, the arms of the Gernet family. For the latter assertion see an online publication titled "The Hissem-Montague Family" (13).

Interestingly, the de Burghs of Gainsborough (via Westmorland and Yorkshire) continued to incorporate a lion rampant in their arms some centuries later (14).

The pedigree of the Westmorland and Yorkshire de Burgh/Borough/Brough families is set out on the BFO website.

Although these are no more than tantalising leads, it might be reasonable to draw the conclusion that, at the least, there exists the possibility of a connection between the Gournay/Mowbray and Gernet, not to mention Limesi and Burgo, families,. The existence of such a connection involving the Gernets, and their descendants including the Westmorland and Yorkshire Burghs, would go some way towards explaining the positions and marriages achieved by both Hugh Burgh of Salop and Thomas de Burgh of Gainsborough many generations later, as it would the appointment of the Gernets of Westmorland as royal foresters.

Various entries on the web also indiscriminately shift between "Gernet", "Gournay" and "Gernon", raising the possibility that the benefactors of Dieulacres abbey (which is near Leek in Staffordshire and where Robert Burgh was forester in 1538 (15) ) were part of the same family. There is some academic support for the suggestion that the Staffordshire Burgh line has a connection with the Westmorland Burghs through the Gernet family (16) .

If the Mowbrays were kin of the Gernet family, it is unsurprising that the latter were associated with Cistercian institutions, most particularly Dieulacres - and more so if the de Gernons were part of the same family. That abbey was initially established at Poulton in Cheshire in about 1153, moving to the site near Leek, Staffordshire, in 1214, but had an early landholding in Westmorland, at Rossall, some 40 miles from Burrow with Burrow where the Burgh families are found in the 13th Century, and it might be that the Burghs farmed the Rossall grange on behalf of the abbey.

The conclusion that could be tentatively drawn from this is that, assuming the Gernets were related to the Mowbrays and thus to the Staffordshire Limesi/ Burgo line, the Burghs of Westmorland followed Dieulacres Abbey to Leek at some time prior to their appearance in the record around the time of the Dissolution and that the ancient connection between the families led to intermarriage and consolidation into one family group. Support for this could be found in the arms of the Staffordshire Burghs, as referenced in the BFO report on the "Possible Relationship of the Burghs of Westmorland, England and the Broughs of Staffordshire, England", and as to which more later in this report.

It could be, as Anne Brough Hind has noted in a slightly different context, that the plagues around 1348 and in subsequent years and other natural disasters of that time provide the explanation for the demise or diminution of the earlier family, as well as the movement of the Westmorland Burghs to Staffordshire.


As stated above, the de Burghs of Burrough Green in Cambridgeshire are first identified in that place through Thomas de Burgh, born in 1086. The manor descended in the de Burgh family for some 200 years (17).

Based on the pedigree of the early Broughs of Staffordshire on the BFO website, and the likelihood that that Burgh family originated in Cambridgeshire, it seems that the Thomas de Burgh born in 1086 would be the person shown as the son of Robert de Limesi (or, as proposed above, of Nicholas de Stafford) and his son Philip is in turn the Philip fitz Bishop/de Burgo in the BFO pedigree.

A later Philip (died in 1235) married Maud, the daughter of Torfin, the heir of the Manfield fee. This Torfin was variously known as Manfield, Brough (or Burc or Burgo) and Watheby (18). The coincidence of the second surname is nowhere explained, but Watheby (Waitby) is in Westmorland, now Cumbria, about 6 miles from Brough, while Manfield is about 32 miles on the other side.

This Burrough Green family also held considerable estates in Yorkshire, including the manors of Hackforth, Aysgarth and Great Langton (19). That the family in the 13th century also bore the "swan" arms of some of the coeval Westmorland and Catterick Burghs indicates a connection between those families, perhaps via Maud the daughter of Torfin, and since there would appear to be an established connection with the Staffordshire Burghs could well also explain the same arms being claimed in that case.

As discussed above the Westmorland Burghs descend from the Gernet line and further research may establish any connection between the Gernets and the lords of Manfield beyond Maud's marriage to Philip. That the two families were present in the same area is shown in the British History Online entry for Casterton, in the Barony of Kendale (20), where John Gernet is recorded as alienating a portion of the lands which descended through Torfin's daughter Matilda/Maud (and note the descent for the manor of Casterton, which apparently incorrectly records one Hugh de Burgh as a husband of Matilda, rather than Philip).


As noted above, the origins of this family are obscure but appear to be in Norfolk. The subsequent history of the family in Ireland does not obviously link it to any of the families discussed above. The Vatican Archives offer up the papers of March 1574 which ascribe the origins of the Irish de Burghs to France (21). That this is largely unhelpful, given the origins of the majority of the Norman families, requires no further comment.

It is completely speculative, but the coincidence of the surname de Burgo/Burgh arising around the end of the 11th century and the distance between Burgh in Norfolk and Peterborough in Cambridgeshire being about 80 miles raises the possibility that the two families are indeed connected, reinforced perhaps by common patronymics such as Thomas, Robert, William and John.

Notwithstanding the statement in the first paragraph above, it appears that Richard Mor de Burgh prior to 1243 married (perhaps as well as two other women), the daughter of Robert de Gournay, Hodierna de Gournay, sometimes spelt de Gernon (22), which for the reasons expounded earlier, may evidence a connection with the Gernet family of Westmorland.

To continue with kin-group speculation, it should be noted in the British History Online material for Burgh cited at footnote 5 above, that the Bigot/Bigod family were seated at Burgh Hall, and that this family also appears in Ms Traill's thesis in the Tosny pedigree referred to above.

Further research may establish whether it is a fact, but the Burgh family or families so often appear in an area containing the name "Burgh" or some variation of it, that the conclusion could be drawn that the location has been named after the family, rather than the other way around. The identification of the Irish de Burgh origins with Burgh in Norfolk may be an example of that phenomenon.


That the de Brus pedigree includes King Robert of Scotland is well known, but less often remarked upon is the connection that the family had with the north of England (23). The family and its fortunes are documented in the book and thesis by Ruth Blakely referenced at footnote 6 and among their principal holdings in the north was Skelton Castle (24).

Although there appears to be no recorded connection with the Mowbray or Gernet families, it is of interest that the Brus arms of a lion rampant are so similar to the arms of those two families. There is, however, one obvious connection between the Brus and Burgh families, in that King Robert married Elizabeth de Burgh (25), daughter of Richard Og de Burgh of Ireland (26).

Two locations where both the Burgh family (or other related families - see below) and the Brus family can be found are at Pickering and Crambe, respectively about 28 and 15 miles from Skelton. For a detailed examination of the Brus family in and around Pickering, see a blog by John Watson (27). The reference in the body of that material, around footnote 33, to Alexander de Bergh is doubtless a reference to a relative of King Robert's wife, Elizabeth.

William Borough of Catterick, born around 1395 married Elena Pyckerynge (Pickering). Also, William's father, Willielmus Borough of Catterick, born around 1371, married Matildam Lascelles.

While Borough names do not occur in the BHO entry for Pickering, Pickering and Lascelles names do - see under "Manors" (28).

The BHO entry for nearby Crambe (29) also contains references to the Brus and Pickering families (and note the Pickering arms which could be seen to also derive from the Mowbray/Gernet arms and which are very similar to those of the Brus family) - see in the body of the entry around footnote 110.

Turning to the BHO entry for Fingall (30), in the body of the entry at footnote 49 is a reference to Picot de Lascelles and at footnote 50 to Thomas de Burgh. This establishes that they are brothers-in-law, probably at some date around 1152. This Thomas is of the family found in Burrough Green referred to earlier in this report:

While no definitive connection can be made, the recurring patronymics such as William, Robert, Richard and Adam in both the Brus and Burgh families might indicate a kin-group connection, perhaps through the Pickering (31) or Lascelles (32) families. Also worthy of consideration is whether at some date one or other family adopted the name of the other, more dominant family, a not uncommon occurrence in medieval England and which also occurred at least once in the Burgh line when Richard de Richmond married Elizabeth Borough in about 1346 and adopted the Borough name.







But see also


For a discussion on the origins of "Burgh":

about ¾ of the way through.

(6) See Ruth Blakely, Boydell Press 2005. A preview is available at:




and see that author's Durham e-thesis -

(7) Blog by John Watson:

(8) John William Linzee, 1917:

(9) Ibid

(10) Op cit page xv ff

(11) -

see footnote 1 and see further


and also


While this publication seems to have no academic authority, and is both hard to follow and seemingly haphazard, to the extent that I have cross-referenced it, the statements made appear to be correct.

(14) For an explanation of the lion rampant arms, see




at page 746.

(15) - see under "Forest and warren".

(16) The following has the imprint of the University of Sheffield -

and the following page -

(17) - see under "Manors and Other Estates".

(18) Early Yorkshire Charters, Vol 5 P55ff -


and British History Online -


and also



see No 293, paragraph beginning "This castle of Allon…".

(22) The Ancestry of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, George Russell French 1841 -














(31) Blakely thesis op cit P153, fn 51 and Pp 212-212, fn 32


St. Anne church, Catterick, Yorkshire, England

"A Church Built By Broughs"


Note: BFO Global Brough Database RIN #'s and additional information in brackets were added to this document in October 2015 by R. Clayton Brough, BFO Research Committee Member

The church of ST. ANNE consists of a chancel 44 ft. by 20 ft. 6 in. with a north vestry, nave 62 ft. 6 in. by 20 ft. 6 in., a north aisle 10 ft. 6 in. wide extending behind the chancel about 24 ft. 6 in., south aisle 10 ft. 9 in. wide and about 15 ft. longer than the nave, south porch and a western tower about 11 ft. 3 in. square. These measurements are all internal.

The contract for building the present church, dated 1412, is still preserved by Sir Henry Lawson of Brough Hall and a full copy of it is given in the Rev. James Raine's monograph on the church. The contract is in English and is between Katherine [Katerinam Aske, 1351-1413, Rin#61617] wife of John Burgh [Johannes Borough, 1347-1412, Rin#61616] and William Burgh [Willielmus Borough, 1371-1442, Rin#47368] her son [who built the church] and Richard of Cracall (or Crakehall near Bedale). Special mention is made of the re-use of the north window of the old church as the east window of the new north aisle.

The church was extended later by the lengthening of the aisles eastwards. In the north aisle (which in the original church had the 'porch' of our Lady at its east end) were buried the John Burgh [Johannes Borough, 1347-1412, Rin#61616] and William Burgh [Willielmus Borough, 1371-1442, Rin#47368] mentioned in the contract and the latter's son William [William Borough, 1395-1462, Rin#53057]. To it the 'porch' of St. James was added about 1490-1 to accommodate the next head of the family [William Borough, 1426-1492, Rin#13312], buried in 1492, and later his son and heir [William Borough, 1450-1508, Rin#44113]. [Footnote: These 'porches' evidently represented the chapels of our Lady and St. James, in which chantries were founded in 1505 and 1491 respectively.] The deaths and places of burial of these individuals are all recorded on the back of the contract. The present eastern part of the south aisle when it was added received the old displaced south-west window of the chancel and the aisle east window was also re-used in the later east wall. The other parts built since Richard's time are the tower and south porch, both in the 15th century, and the vestry, which is modern. Within the last few years the clearstory has been rebuilt. In 1851 the pitch of the chancel and nave roofs was raised.

Richard's east window is of five cinquefoiled lights with cusped tracery beneath a two-centred drop arch. In the modern gable above is a traceried circular light. The two south windows are original with cinquefoiled ogee heads and cusped tracery under four-centred arches with labels. There are two piscinae in the south wall with plain ogee heads; one basin only is pierced. Between the windows are sedilia of three bays with plain ogee heads on crocketed gables; at the sides are small panelled buttresses which are carried up above the heads and finished with little gables. To the west of the second window is the priest's doorway, now filled in; it has a four-centred rear arch and a two-centred external head. In the north wall is the vestry doorway; it is old, though not part of Richard's work. The late 15th-century archway into the north chapel is two-centred, and the jambs are of three chamfered orders, with capitals of simple section; the arch opposite into the south chapel has semi-octagonal jambs.

The chancel arch has jambs of the same form and a two-centred arch. The capitals and arch section in this and the nave arcades, which are each of four bays, are similar. The capitals are of a rather coarse section and not what one would expect for the date of Richard's work. Mr. Raine suggests that they were re-used from the former church. The arches of the nave arcades are of the drop type.

The tower arch is two-centred and of three continuous orders, the inner wave moulded and the outer plain chamfered. The four clearstory windows on either side are modern, and in the east gable of the nave a two-light window has been put in.

The two easternmost windows in the north aisle are each of three trefoiled lights with sunk spandrels in a square head. The first has no label, and a straight joint in the east wall suggests that it was formerly in that wall; this is borne out by the manner in which it has been put in as close to the east buttress as possible, as though cramped for space. The other window dates from 1490. The third window is original and the fourth was inserted in 1834; with the exception of a slight difference in the moulding, both are similar to the chancel windows. The north doorway agrees with the priest's doorway of the chancel and is evidently Richard's work. The west window is a single cinquefoiled light.

The east window of the south aisle is the original three-light window which was moved here by Richard when the chapel was added. The first two-light south window has also been reset from the chancel. The other three windows are all two-light original windows matching those of the chancel. The south doorway has a moulded label with head stops, the eastern being a grotesque with long ears. The west window of the aisle is similar to that in the north aisle. In the south wall below the second window is the original arched piscina recess, and further to the east is a later square one.

The tower is of three stages with diagonal buttresses reaching to the level of the belfry window heads. The west window of the ground stage is of three cinquefoiled lights with vertical tracery in a fourcentred arch with a label. This stage is vaulted and has a circular space left in the crown for the passage of the bells. The chamber above is lighted by small rectangular windows in its west and south walls. The belfry has in each wall a window of two trefoiled lights with sunk spandrels in a square head. The deep embattled parapet has a square pinnacle with crocketed finials at each corner. The stair-turret is at the south-east corner; the lower part is Richard's work.

The porch has been much modernized and has a window in either side, similar to the clearstory windows, and a new outer doorway with a two-centred arch. On the last are three old shields, one with a cross patonce for Lascelles, the second with the saltire and swans of Burgh and the third the bars of Aske. [Footnote: William Burgh (Willielmus Borough, 1371-1442, Rin#47368), the rebuilder of the church, married a Lascelles (Matildam Lascells, 1375-1432, Rin#47383) of Sowerby, and his mother was an Aske (Katerinam Aske, 1351-1413, Rin#61617).] Over the doorway is a late 18th or 19th-century sundial, with the words 'Fugit hora ora.' In the east wall of the porch is a holy water stoup.

The font, put in soon after Richard's time, is octagonal with concave faces to the stem and base. The upper part of the bowl has shields carved with letters and arms. The first has the Burgh arms with a W and B flanking it [representing Willielmus Borough, 1371-1442, Rin#47368], the fourth the arms of Fitz Hugh of Ravensworth, the fifth of Scrope of Masham, the sixth a ragged staff, perhaps for Dacre, the seventh of Darcy, the eighth of Nevill. On the stem and base are some unmeaning letters, and two shields on the base are blank.

Some six bays of the original 15th-century screen remain in the south aisle, and some of presumably later date in the north aisle.

In the south wall in an arched recess is the recumbent effigy of Sir Walter Urswick, constable of Richmond Castle in 1371. He is in chain and plate armour; his legs are broken away. On the label over the recess are three shields with the arms of Urswick, Scrope of Masham, and Urswick impaling Scrope.

In the north wall of the north aisle, between the second and third windows, are two large recesses with moulded ogee arches.

In the north aisle, but now obscured [Footnote: These descriptions are therefore taken from Canon Raine's monograph.] by the pews, is the brass of William Burgh [Willielmus Borough, 1371-1442, Rin#47368], party to the contract for rebuilding the church, who died in 1442, and his son William Burgh [William Borough, 1395-1462, Rin#53057], who died in 1462, both in armour, with a black letter inscription below, and two of the four shields originally in the slab with the Burgh arms quartering a fesse engrailed between six fleurs de lis. Another brass under the organ has the figures of William Burgh [William Borough, 1428-1492, Rin#13312] (founder of St. James's Chapel), who died in 1492, and his wife Elizabeth [Elsabeth Conyers, 1428-1492, Rin#60219]. A third has an inscription to John Burgh [Johannes Borough, 1347-1412, Rin#61616], who died in 1412, and Katherine [Katerinam Aske, 1351-1413, Rin#61617] his wife. Below the sedilia is a small brass with inscription to Grace Bellingham, wife of Gerard Lowther, who died in 1594.

A wall monument on the north of the chancel is to Richard Braithwaite (the author of 'Drunken Barnaby' and other books), who died in 1673, and Mary his wife, who died in 1681. On the same wall is a monument to the Rev. Michael Syddall, who died in 1658, and left a legacy to found a hospital, school, &c. In the chancel floor is a slab to Isabella daughter of Roger Croft of East Appleton and wife of William Dalton of Hauxwell, who died in 1684.

In the tower is an 18th-century chest with three locks.

The east and south-east windows of the south aisle have recently been filled with some good stained glass.

The eight bells are all modern, having been cast in 1891 by Mears & Stainbank. There were formerly three, two of 1656 and one of 1771.

The plate includes a chalice of 1664 by Thomas Mangy of York, another of 1681 inscribed 'ex dono Caroli Anthoni,' &c., a paten of 1805 given by the Rev. J. Dalton and a paten of 1873 and flagon of 1874.

The registers begin in 1653.

Research Report on the Possible Relationship

of the Burghs of Westmorland, England

and the Broughs of Staffordshire, England

by Michael H. McMichael

BFO Research Committee Member

May 2015

In 1538 Robert Burgh was described as "a forester of the forest of Leek" in Staffordshire (1). This Robert Burgh is listed in the BFO Global Brough Database as being born about 1488 in Chapel House, Meerbrook, Leek, Staffordshire in England and dying after 13 May 1547. The dissolution of the monasteries in England took place under Henry VIII between 1536 and 1541, and Robert Burgh had been the forester on behalf of the owner of the forest of Leek, Dieulacres abbey, which was itself "surrendered" in 1538 (2).

By the date of the abbey's dissolution the Burgh family had been recorded as present in Staffordshire for some centuries, as documented in the BFO Global Brough Database. Anne Brough Hind and David Bethell have carried out extensive research into the Staffordshire Burgh/Brough lineage, including noting a Star Chamber case involving Robert Brough/Burgh and the taking of a stag to the considerable irritation of the Earl of Derby, the favourable resolution of which is attributed by those authors as being possibly due to Robert's kinship with "Lord Brough of Gainsborough".

As noted in this writer's research report dated April 2015 on the Burghs of Gainsborough, it is now apparent that the Gainsborough line descended from the Gernet family of Westmorland. For reasons that will be set out below, it appears very probable that Robert Burgh also descended from that family, the Gernets of Westmorland, and is correctly described as having kinship with the Gainsborough line. But this raises questions as to the attribution of descent from Ralph de Limesi currently proposed for the Staffordshire Brough families.

To return to the Star Chamber case involving Robert Burgh, the contention of this research report is that it was far more likely that the Earl of Derby's ire was mollified as the result of Robert's kinship with one Sir John Burgh, the son of Hugh Burgh of Salop and through his mother's line, a descendent of the Welsh kings of old. For further details on this lineage, please see the April 2015 research report on the Burghs of Gainsborough referred to above.

But not only John Burgh's Welsh lineage is relevant here; so too is that from Westmorland. In addition to the materials referred to in the April 2015 research report referred to above, this researcher has recently come across evidence that appears to tie this Burgh lineage to Middleton in Westmorland (3). The great grandfather of John is listed as one Sir Hugh Burgh of Middleton, and the history of Middleton makes it clear that a William de Burgh had been present in that place in 1259 and another in 1346 (4). In the context it is very likely that these de Burghs were part of the Gernet de Burgh line, as Middleton is just some 8 or 9 miles from Burrow with Burrow which, as noted in the BFO Global Brough Database, is a point of origin for the Catterick, Yorkshire, de Burgh/Burgh/Brough line, which in turn is connected to the Gainsborough line through the Cowthorpe, Yorkshire, family.

However, it should be noted in passing that there appears to be nothing to support the references in Collections Historical and Archaeological Relating to Montgomeryshire to a Hugh Burgh being the Lord of Burgh upon Sands or of a Guy Burgh selling the barony to Lord Darcy; in fact, it seems that the barony devolved upon the Darcy family through marriage and the failure of the male line of the previous holders (not the Burghs).

The reference in Collections to a John Burgh as the brother of Hugh Burgh of Salop, MP, does, however, appear to have foundation (5). John was associated with one Roger Leche, MP, who was the Treasurer of England (6) at the same time that Hugh Burgh, MP, was the Treasurer of Ireland (1416 and 1414 to 1420, respectively). In fact John was himself the Under-Treasurer of the Exchequer from 1413 (7), which only serves to reinforce the influence of this family at that time.

We do know that Hugh Burgh of Salop, MP, died in 1430, having married by 1413 and having a 16 year old son (John) at his death, so Hugh was possibly born in or about 1390, putting his father's birth in about 1365 and his grandfather, Hugh of Middleton, in about 1340. The coincidence of dates suggests that William de Burgh of Middleton was the father, cousin or brother of Hugh of Middleton. As Hugh Burgh the MP is noted as being "landless" it may be that William was an older brother of Hugh of Middleton, who was required to seek his fortune (successfully, it seems) elsewhere.

The British History Online(BHO) reference to Middleton also contains a representation of the arms of a family named Rigmaiden. As noted in the April 2015 research report (see footnote 2 thereof), the Gressingham de Burgh family bore the "swan" arms also subsequently claimed by the Catterick branch, as well as the Staffordshire line. It is recorded in the BHO material that there was no connection between the Gressingham Burghs and the Hubert de Burgh (Irish Burke) line, and in BHO footnote 15 there is a reference to a John Gernet and there are further footnote references to Gernets and Burghs, especially in BHO footnote 26 where the lineage Thomas son of Adam son of Richard de Burgh is given. The connection with the Burrow line of de Burgh/Burgh, and hence the Catterick branch, via the Gernet family, seems unquestionable.

However, research carried out for the BFO some thirty years ago by David Bethel and others (8) on the Brough coat of arms clearly states that the "ancient" Brough coat of arms was the so-called "buck's shield" of, inter alia, three bucks' heads and that the Knightley family corrected their arms in the 17th Century from the "swan" arms to also incorporate the "buck's shield" arms. What, if any, connection there may be between the earlier de Burghs/Burghs/Broughs of Staffordshire and the Rigmaidens of Westmorland is uncertain, but it is unusual for two apparently unrelated families to claim the same or similar arms, as can be seen from the famous Scrope -v- Grosvenor case of 1389 (9). This is clearly a matter for further research.

What appears to be certain is that neither the Gainsborough nor Salop lines of the Burgh family bore the "swan" arms (10). In fact, a substantial case can be made that the "swan" arms were restricted to the Catterick (then Lincolnshire at Saltfleetby (11) and beyond) and Staffordshire lines.

The Gernet family is ancient and in the reign of Henry I one Vivian Gernet was appointed Hereditary Forester of the royal forest in Lancashire (12). From there descend the later Gernets and, for our purposes, de Burghs and Burghs. What is of note is the position of "forester" that was held by Robert Burgh in Staffordshire some centuries later.

Anne Brough Hind posits that the early Staffordshire Burghs and Broughs held positions under Church institutions and that it was for that reason that they found themselves in and around Brewood and then Leek. The purpose of the report is to raise for consideration whether a more important driver might have been that a de Burgh/Burgh family, such as that from Gressingham, that is unrecorded in that district after the late 13th Century, found haven with close relatives, and ultimately positions of note, through patronage from successful members of that other line, i.e. the Burghs of Salop. In this regard it is worth noting that each of John Burgh's four daughters married into landed families, some of which continued to hold estates in and about Staffordshire (13).

In conclusion, the proposition posed by this report is that the Staffordshire Broughs descend from the same ancestors in Westmorland as the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire branches of the family, the earlier separate de Burgh line, descended from Ralph de Limesi, having either been extinguished or absorbed by such as the Knightleys and/or the Westmorland line at some stage prior to the 15th or 16th Centuries.


(1) British History Online, Pp 191-202, under the heading "Forest and warren".

(2) Wikipedia.

(3) Collections Historical and Archaeological Relating to Montgomeryshire, Pp 94ff, issued by the Powys-Land Club, London 1868.

(4) British History Online, Pp 72-74, under the heading "Manor" and fn (7).

(5) Henry V: New Interpretations, Gwilym Dodd, Boydell& Brewer Ltd, 2013, P.132.

(6) The History of Parliament,, 1386-1421.

(7) The History of Parliament, 1386-1421, Research: Appendix C7. See "Office Holders".

(8) The Ancestors of Richard Brough and Mary Horleston, by D. Bethell, R. Brough and M. Nielson, P.43ff, BFO 1981.

(9) Wikipedia.

(10) England and Normandy in the Middle Ages, by David Bates, London, 1994, p.301.

(11) Lincolnshire Pedigrees, Harlein Society, London 1902, P.205.

(12) The Garnetts of Essex County and Their Homes, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 42, No. 1, (Jan. 1934), by William Garnett Chisholm, P. 72.

(13) Wikipedia.