But it is a long stride from the Conqueror to Stephen’s reign, and if we have some, however scant, information of the descent of the Greasley property until then, we may well desire to know something of the condition of the country and people during that period. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle can give the information. Let it speak. “When the Conqueror was hallowed at Westminster, Archbishop Ealdred pledged him on Christ’s book (the Gospel) and he swore, before he would set the crown on his head, that he would govern the nation as well as any King before him had best done, if they would be faithful to him; nevertheless (book 2, p. 175, &c.), he laid a very heavy contribution on the people, &c. Then, in the month of February, 1071, he caused all the monasteries that were in England to be plundered, &c. Next, in 1082 there was a great famine, notwithstanding which the King in 1083 caused a great and heavy tax of 22 pence (say 36 shillings of our money, or more), to be laid on every hide of land, &c. Again, after the birthtide of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1007 and eighty winters, in the one and twentieth year after William ruled and held despotic sway over England, &c., there was a very heavy and pestilent year in the land. Such a malady came on men, that almost every other man was in the worst evil, &c., &c. Afterwards there came, through the great tempests, a very great famine all over England, so that many hundred men perished. Alas! how miserable and how awful a time was then! when the wretched men lay driven almost to death; and afterwards came the sharp famine and quite destroyed them, &c. The King and the headsmen loved much, and overmuch, coveteousness in gold and silver, and recked not how sinfully it might be got, provided it came to them. The King gave his lands as dearly for rent as he possibly could, &c., &c., and he recked not how sinfully the reeves got it from poor men, nor how many illegalities they did, &c Next, what in the reign of Rufus? “He had Earls in bonds who had acted against him. Bishops he cast from their bishoprics, Abbots from their abbacies, and Thanes into prison, &c. He took from his subjects many marks of gold, and more hundred pounds of silver, which he took by weight, with great unright, from the people for little need. He granted to men their woods and liberty of the chase, which was but for a while, and his calls to arms and imposts were frequent. In his sickness in 1093 he promised much and did something good, but when he recovered he brake his promises. He lost his life in 1100 on the morning after Lammas Day (August 1st) by being shot with an arrow while hunting, &c., &c. He was very vigorous and stern over his land and his men, and toward all his neighbours, and very formidable, &c., &c., and through his own covetousness he was ever tormenting this nation with an army and with unjust exactions, because in his day every right fell, and every wrong in the sight of God and of the world rose up. God’s churches he depressed, and all the Bishoprics and abbacies, whose heads died in his days, he either sold for money, or held in his own hand and let for rent, because he would be the heir of every man, whether ordained or lay.” We follow the Chronicle to Henry I.’s reign. “It is not easy (1104) to recount the miseries of this land, which it was at this time suffering through various and manifold illegalities and imposts, which never ceased nor failed. There was also a severe murrain and mortality among the cattle and swine, disastrous seasons, severe epidemics, and several earthquakes, not to mention that his moneyers (mint-masters) debased his coin, so that a man who had at market a pound, could by no means buy therewith twelve penny worth, &c.” We pass over the rebellion of the Barons in Henry II.’s reign and their severe repression ; together with the necessity under which Richard I. was to subdue John’s stubborn resistance at the Nottingham Castle; and we return to Ralph de Greasley in the thirteenth year of King John. He made a to him fortunate match in marrying Isabella de Muschamp. She was the sole heiress of the lordships belonging to her family, which had descended to them from Robert de Muschamp, who had been senescal (steward) to Gilbert de Gaunt, and whose estates were held by military service. It was a great accession of wealth to Ralph de Greasley, and doubtlessly gave him increased importance in respect of his enhanced military obligations to the crown. There is, however, a discrepancy in respect of the name of Ralph de Greasley’s wife. While one authority states that it was Isabella, another, viz.: the “Register de Beauvale,” in the British Museum, maintains that it was Agnes, a sister of Isabella, but that must be an error, because a contemporary official document, dated from Windsor on the 25th of June of the seventeenth of John, enjoins the King’s Sheriff of Nottingham and Derby to give full possession, without delay, to Ralph de Greasley and Isabella his wife, of her inheritance from Robert de Muschamp. But there was a hitch yet. The succession duty of £100 (2,000 or more in our money) was not paid when King John died, and the Sheriff on that account did not deliver the possession to Ralph de Greasley and his wife until the reign of Henry III. They had a daughter named Agnes. about whom Ralph, her father, had entered into an arrangement, under which he would pay the King 500 marks for his permission to marry Agnes to one Robert Lupus, and if that marriage should fall through, then he would marry her as the King should will or advise it. Eventually Agnes de Greasley married one Hugh FitzRalph (doubtlessly the Hugh FitzRanulf of the Torr Manuscripts), who was the first recorded Patron of Greasley, which was then a Rectory, of which we read in Domesday: “There was a church and priest, and wood pasture, nine quarantins long by six quarantins broad.” As there was a doubt whether Agnes or Isabella had been Ralph de Greasley’s wife, so there is a doubt as to who the Hugh FitzRalph was, who married their daughter Agnes; but it is held that he was the son of Ralph Wandesley, Lord of Selston. He was a widower when he married Agnes, having lost his first wife Idonea, and is said to have been one of the Barons who had taken up arms against King John to wring Magna Charta from the unwilling monarch. He rendered homage to Henry III., from whom in 1251 he, among other privileges, obtained a grant of free warren, dated April 10th, 36th Henry III. Hugh FitzRalph and Agnes his wife had two sons, the elder of which was named Ralph, and he had a daughter named Eustachia, who became sole heiress of all the property of the de Greasleys, and the de Muschamps of old together.

On the death of Hugh Fitz Ralph the usual post-mortem inquisition took place at Greasley. The jury consisted of Gilbert de Brinsley, Daniel de Wandesley, Robert Torkard in Kirkeby, Adam de Aldisworde, Richard de Stapilford, William Torkard, Adam le Marchal, Stephen de Brokelstone and others, and they found that Hugh Fitz Ralph (as recorded in Ilkeston, p. ii) died possessed (by the service of one Knight’s fee to the King) of 3 carucates of land, with a capital messuage; that there were 60 oxgangs of land held by villains, besides free tenants which paid 43s. 9d. per annum, one pound pepper and one pound cummm; that there were besides 14 coterells and 1windmill and pigeon house, and that there was also wood pasture, and the advowson of the Church, which was £13 6s. 8d. to the Rector, or about £270 in our money.

Eustachia, who on the death of Hugh Fitz Ralph (or Ranuif) had become sole heiress, married Nicholas de Canteloupe, one of the younger sons of the De Canteloupe’s of Hertfordshire; but there is not much known of him. He died early, not living long after his marriage, and Eustachia had by him a son named William, who was born at Lenton Priory, where possibly she may have taken refuge in those turbulent times. It is claimed that the altar tomb in the chancel of the Parish Church of Ilkeston refers to this Nicholas de Canteloupe, though of course it may be that of a later Nicholas.

Eustachia was not a very deep mourner over her husband, and notwithstanding the early youth of her son, who was born at Lenton Priory, she consoled herself by taking William de Ross of Ingmanthorp (a relative) for her second husband. But true love does not run smooth. William de Ross was had up for this marriage, to learn that the King, in whose gift the hand of Eustachia, as a widow and heiress of land held from the King in capite was, had intended her for one Alan Plunkenet, wherefore William de Ross was cast in damages and had to make amends to Plunkenet to the tune of p133 (or about £2,660 in our money) which the latter accepted (we suppose as a consolation stake).

William de Ross, as second husband of Eustachia, had entrusted to him the care of the property of William, the at Lenton Priory born son of Eustachia, while the heir himself was in the guardianship of the King. When William de Canteloupe attained manhood it became necessary that he should prove his descent, his age, and his claim to property. Letters of inquiry were therefore issued by the King from his court at Carnarvon (Prob. Act., 11th Edward I.), and in 1284 a jury declaredat Nottingham, upon oath, that William son of Nicholas de Canteloupe was born in the Abbey of Lenton, and was baptized in the Church of the said Abbey, that is to say, on Palm Sunday twenty-one years ago, and that the same William, son of Nicholas, was of full age on the said Palm Sunday last. Additional information on the same subject is given by the distinguished Mr. Godfrey in his history of the Parish and Priory of Lenton, who refers to the Calendarium Genealogicum I., 139, which tells that Nicholas de Canteloupe, who married Eustachia, daughter and heiress of Ralph, son of Fitz Ralph, was the 4th son of William de Canteloupe, Baron Canteloupe by tenure, and Seneschal to King John, and was the father of William de Canteloupe, and that William was (as above stated) baptized in Lenton Priory on Palm Sunday, 1263.

William de Canteloupe in his riper years accompanied the King into Scotland after having been raised to the dignity of a Baron, as shown by the Calendar of Patent Rolls of Edward I. After that King’s death he was summoned to the Council of the Kingdom about the burial of the deceased King and the marriage and coronation of Edward II., and in 1308 he attended the King at Carlisle with all arms and horse equipments, which were due from tenure by military service of his estates. Some Greasleites will have accompanied their lord in that expedition, which was disastrous. The battle of Bannockbourne followed, and as William de Canteloupe was not heard of again it is to be inferred that he lost his life in the overthrow of the King’s army.

He left, it appears, two sons, the elder of whom was also named William, but who died without issue, and was succeeded by his younger brother Nicholas.