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The known beginnings of this Saxon family

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John de Blencow (bef 1307)

If this 1307 date is correct, there was a John de Blencow in the Bishop of Carlisle's documents before the time of Adam and this may be the first known reference to the Blencowe's.  We cannot assume he was Adam's relative as later on George of Blencow and William of Blencow were actually Troutbecks.  This John was able to provide a pension or salary so he must have been financial and Adam had to be the first son in the line to inherit his lands in the first place.


1307 - SCALEBY R. Collation of John de Blencow, saving a pension to the Bishop

Johannes miseracione divina Karleolensis episcopus dilecto in Christo filio magistro Johanni de Blenco, acolito, salutem, graciam et benedictionem. Ecclesiam parochialem de Scaleby, nostre diocesis, per mortem magistri Henrici de Skippeton, nuper rectoris ejusdem, vacantem et ad nostram collacionem spectantem, tibi conferimus intuitu caritatis teque rectorem instituimus canonice in eadem : salvis nobis et successoribus nostris annua pensione viginti solidorum, consueta et debita ab antique in festo Sancti Michaelis annis singulis persolvenda, nostreque cathedralis ecclesie ac nostra in omnibus dignitate. Data apud Rosam, xj mo kalendas Augusti anno Domini M CCC rao vij mo et pontificatus nostri quintodecimo.  www.archive.org/stream/registerofbishop02carluoft/registerofbishop02carluoft_djvu.txt



(John, by divine mercy, Bishop of Carlisle to his beloved son in Christ master John of Blencowe, acolite, greeting, grace and blessing. We confer on you, in charity, the parish church of Scaleby, of our diocese, by the death of master Henry of Skipton, lately rector of the same, vacant and belonging to our collation. And we canonically institute you rector in the same, saving to us and to our successors an annual pension of twenty shillings owed and due from olden times to be paid on the feast of Saint Michael every year. And (saving) in all things our dignity and that of our cathedral church. Given at Rose [Castle], 11th of the month of August in the year of our Lord  MCCCVII (1307) and of our pontificate the 15th year.)


Collation (ceremony), the legal process and ritual act by which a Parish Priest is appointed to his living.

Rose Castle : Residence of the Bishop of Carlisle                                                                                                                    Thanks to John Walton for his translation




Many Blencowe researchers maintain the belief that Adam de Blencowe lived at Blencowe Hall in Little Blencowe when documents of that era still exist at Carlisle  and the people of Blencow know full well that the Blencowe family lived on the site in Greater Blencowe which is now Ennim Bank (right).  The earliest part of Ennim dates back to 1640 but an earlier dwelling was situated on the site during the reign of Edward III (1327 - 1377) and this is possibly where Adam de Blencowe and also his immediate heir would have lived.  (The "old Hall" mentioned in 1761 could also refer to the Blencowe Hall we now know).  The stonework and the door in the garden wall at "Ennim" are believed to come from the original Blencowe house.  It is believed that the name is related to the three springs on site.  There was a limestone well in the scullery with spring fed water and what better than to build a fortified house over the top?  Water was also piped from there to the village.  (Blencowe, a Brief History - compiled by the villagers of Blencow)  “Enam” means double spring  Enam: one of the cities of Judah in the Shefelah or lowland. (Joshua 15:34)  I will subsequently draw from the Carlisle documents to establish a timeline for the movements of the Blencowe family.


"Near the village is Ennim, for many years the property of the Troutbeck family, but purchased by H. Riley, Esq., in 1881, and much improved. The family of Blencow was settled here in the reign of Edward III., and subsequently at Blencow Hall, in Little Blencow, parish of Greystoke, but this property has been handed over to others."  temp. Edward III (1327 -1377)



One other theory is that the original hall was at 54.685496N 2.843981W as there are rectangular remains about 30' x 15'.  I can find no further evidence to support this claim.



William de Blencow - St Andrews, Corbridge

We know that Adam's first son William had no children but if this William of Blencow was vicar of Corbridge when Adam was about 30, and we know that Adam was first in line, perhaps this William who dedicated his life to the church might have been a younger brother or uncle but certainly not Adam's son.  It was quite common for many centuries for the first son to inherit the land, the second son go into the church and subsequent sons go into the army or move away.  The 1318 pele tower to the left was built in the churchyard and the home of this vicar of Corbridge.  Quite possibly it would have been the place of refuge in times of Scottish raids and shows that even the clergy were not safe.  The foundations date back to Roman times.


[no title]  D HC 2/6/3  1340 [February 1340/1]

Seal-tag Contents:

Gift by [the Rev.] Master William de Blencow, perpetual vicar of Corbridge to John son of Walter son of Adam and Eda his wife: one tenement in "Caldougate" within the Gate, in Carlisle, near Adam de Crofton's house; which tenement acquired freehold from William Cissor [or, (S)cissor, "tailor"] the former brother of Master Henry de Karl[ell]; annual rent, 8s. 0d. in silver; power to William to re-enter if rent is 20 days in arrears Carlisle, Sunday following the Purification of Mary the Virgin


The (church) walls are filled with stones from the nearby Roman camp Corstopitum, and in the churchyard stands the Vicar's Pele, built of Roman stones. It was constructed in the 14th century as protection against the Scottish raiders. The church has a Saxon tower, dating from the 8th century and the main body is a mixture of Gothic and Saxon. The entrance is Norman, while the large tower arch was apparently taken in its entirement from the Roman camp. Guided tours are often available in the summer month



1322         Widespread devastation by Scots including Skelton, Greystoke and Blencow.


1330 to 1368 land aquisitions from all over the place by Adam de Blencowe.


1342  We know that Adam became a very wealthy landowner at the age of about 32 if he was not already so.  See Brother Spalding's article.


9 October 1344 Sir Robert Viepont, grandfather of Adam's daughter in law gifts a tenement in Great Blenkowe - sounds like a dowry to me.


1345 Great Scots raid on Gilsland and the Eden Valley, with burning of Penrith, Blencow, Greystoke and Skelton.


The Patent Rolls, January 8 1347

Jan. 80. Pardon to Adam de Blencowe, for his good service in Gascony in the Westminster, company of Henry, earl of Lancaster, of the king's suit for all felonies and trespasses in the county of Cuml>erland, before the passage of the earl to the said parts, whereof he is appealed, and of any consequent outlawries.


1357 Arms awarded by Baron Greystoke


"Quorsum vivere mori? Mori vita!"


“To all to whom these presents shall come to be seen or heard; William, Baron
of Greystoke, Lord of Morpeth, wisheth health in the Lord; Know ye, that I
have given and granted to Adam De Blencowe an escutcheon sable, with a bend
closetted argent and azure, with three chaplets gules; and with a crest
closetted, argent and azure of my arms; to have and to hold to the said
Adam, and his heirs, the arms aforesaid; In witness whereof, I have to these
letters patent set my seal. Written at the castle of Morpeth, the 26th day of
February, in the 30th year of the reign of King Edward III, after the Conquest’. [AD 1357]


Adam de Blencowe was standard bearer to Edward III at the battles of Cressy and Poitiers - Debrett's Peerage


Adam de Blencowe

by Bro. Thomas Spalding (1924 - 2003)

Thomas W Spalding, a Xaverian Brother born in bardstown, Kentucky, was professor of History at Spalding University.  He has published some 50 articles or reviews including "St Vincent de Paul of Baltimore" and his Grandmother was Susan Ellen Blincoe of Kentucky.

(from Blencowe Families Association website - Originally published in B.F.A. Newsletter in 1992)

It is possible that all Blincoes (Blencowes, Blynkos, etc.) today are descendants of Adam de Blencowe. If so, the name Adam is a singularly appropriate one. And even if they are not, this 14th-century landholder, soldier, and magistrate should prove intriguing to anyone who has Blincoe blood and a modicum of historical interest. The following does not pretend to be a full or final account. It is based upon only two sources; the Calendar of Patent Rolls, which rolls detail the king's business in the shires, or counties, and the Calendar of Inquisitions Post. Mortem, whose principal concern is the determination of heirs to titles and land. And since most of the facts that follow are from the parent Rolls, it may be assumed that is where the information is to be found unless an Inquisition is mentioned. At a later date I hope to find more about Adam de Blencowe from other original (primary) sources that have been published.

Adam de Blencowe was born about 1310. In a deposition for an Inquisition of 1367 he gave his age as 50 but in one for an Inquisition of 1369 as 1160 years and more" and one for 1370 as 60. (Many gave their ages simply in round numbers). The first record we find about him concerns land. On January 30, 1333, a pardon was granted Adam de Blencowe and his wife Emma for having acquired for life without license a messuage (dwelling), 20 acres of land and 10 acres of meadow and a third part of a mill at Skelton from one Patrick de Suthayk. This was but the beginning of the acquisition of extensive land and property.

On Monday before the feast of St. Peter's Chains (August 1), 1342, William de Craystock [Greystock or Greystoke], Baron of Greystock, granted by charter to "Adam de Blencowe, his heirs and assigns, all lands, rents, and services of free tenants late of John Ridel in the town of Neubiggyng and the hamlets of Blencou on either side of the water running through the same hamlets called 'Penreddokl, with Bolthorn Land, Berket@Land and Ile Guldi Flatt', with all appurtenances thereof, and also with the mill of Blencoull plus right of common pasture within the barony of Greystock. Among the witnesses to the charter was Robert de Vespont [Vipont, of whom later]. The grant was confirmed by the king February 5, 1348.

On June 28, 1347, the king sealed letters patent at Calais in France pardoning Adam de Blencowe for having acquired in fee from William de Greystock without license 22 messuages, 24 acres of land, a mill, four carucates, another 60 acres of land and 10 of meadow, plus 15 shillings in rent, in Newbigging and Blencowe, and from Gilbert de Suthayk two messuages, 24 acres of land and 10 meadow in Skelton.

By a patent from the king dated July 10, 1347, Adam de Blencowe received the closes of Calnethwayt and Braythwaythowes in Ingelwood forest for a yearly rent of 46 shillings and eight pence. This grant was not confirmed until June 10, 1380 (the last record concerning Adam de Blencowe in the Patent Rolls and Inquisitions).

On December 8, 1858, Adam de Blencowe petitioned the king to allow him to keep the land of John Ridel, or Rydel, that had been granted him by charter in 1342, land that had been declared escheat because the heirs of Ridel were enemies of the king living in Scotland. For 20 pounds the king granted the land to Adam de Blencowe and Margaret his wife.

In an Inquisition held in consequence of the death of William Lord Greystock in 1359, it was revealed that Adam de Blencowe had not only received from the baron 100 shillings' a year charged on the manor of Greystock but also held from him a messuage and 12 acres of land at Newbigging for a yearly rent of four pence of cornage.

Much of the land that Adam de Blencowe acquired seemed related in some way to his military service. At the time he was allowed to keep the land of John Ridel, he was pardoned to the extent of 10 marks of the 20 pound fine exacted “for good service in Scotland.” There can be little doubt that this was military service. Though one may be tempted to relate it to the campaign that ended in the battle of Nevillels' Cross in 1346 when the Scots suffered a disastrous defeat and Robert Bruce was captured, it seems more likely that Adam de Blencowe was at this time on a campaign in France.

Soon after he received the pardon in 1347 for acquiring from Lord Greystock land without license sealed by the king at Calais, he also received, on January 30, 1348, a pardon “for his good service in Gascony in the company of Henry, Earl of Lancaster, of the king's suit of all felonies and trespass in the county of Cumberland, before the passage of the earl to the said parts, whereof his is appealed, and of any consequent outlawries.1 This was done by testimony of the earl. (I'm not even going to try to guess the need for such a pardon.)

It would seem that a decade later Adam de Blencowe again fought under Henry of Lancaster, now a duke.. On October 26, 1351, Baron Greystock, who was about to go overseas in the company of Henry duke of Lancaster, named as one of his attorneys for one year Adam de Blencowe. Shortly after, Adam apparently joined the duke of Lancaster in France. On February 9, 1357, Adam is once more granted a pardon at the request of the duke “for all homicides, felonies, robberies, larcenies, oppression, extortions, excesses, conspiracies, confederacies, chaperties, murders, receiving of felons and other trespasses committed before 3 March in the twenty-seventh year (1343], and of any consequent outlawries.11 (Adam would have been a very busy man to have committed all such “outlawries.11 I will guess here that this was some sort of blanket immunity from prosecution on the part of enemies of the king.)

Henry duke of Lancaster, one of the most renowned military leaders in the Hundred Years War, fought against both the Scots and the French. In June, 1345, for example, he arrived in Gascony with 500 knights and esquires and 2,000 yeomen archers. He also participated at the siege of Calais but was not at the battles of Crecy in 1346 or of Poitiers in 1356, the great English victories that revolutionized feudal warfare.. To trace his campaigns would probably be close to describing the military career of Adam de Blencowe. But a large question remains. Was Adam then a horseman or archer? If the latter, he obviously used his military service to advance from the yeoman class to the gentry. It was as a distinguished member of the gentry that he served as a county magistrate.

On November 20, 1362, Robert Tilliol and Adam de Blencowe were commissioned justices of the peace and commanded to hold court four times a year. His fighting days behind him. Adam became a justice or commissioner at a time the justices of the peace were fast replacing the sheriff as the most important county officials, as any good history of England in the Middle Ages will show. In 1360 they were established as police judges in each county and charged with price and labor regulation. To fill this office the six or seven leading men of each county were chosen. In county Cumberland the two leading barons were also commissioned justices; Ralph de Greystock, son of William, and Roger de Clifford. Adam de Blencowe continued to sit as a justice until 1380, when his name disappears from the records. For a few years he also served as a justice for the adjacent county of Westmoreland. In 1366 he and four others (not justices) were commissioned to inquire into the misdeeds of the prior of Wederhale.

Not much is revealed of Adam de Blencowe's immediate family. In his deposition at the Inquisition of 1367, he said that his sister Alice had died 21 years ago and more. The names of William de Blencowe and John son of John de Blencowe appear but one in the records of Adam's years; there is nothing to suggest the degree of relationship they bore to him. The only other de Blencowe was Thomas, who was according to an Inquisition taken at Penrith on a Wednesday before the feast of St. John the Baptist in 1370 the husband of Elizabeth, one of the two sisters and heiresses of Robert de vespount (Vipont). The latter was the son of Nicholas de Vipont deceased and the grandson of Robert de Vipont still living. The Viponts (also Viteripont) were a powerful family before the main branch died out in 1264. In this Inquisition the age of Robert's two sisters is given as 24 and more, but in the Inquisition for Robert the grandfather in 1371 Elizabeth's age is given as 22 and more. That Thomas de Blencowe, her husband, was definitely the son of Adam is shown in a pardon granted him for “all larcenies and burglaries of the house of Adam de Blencowe, his father.”

Adam de Blencowe may have married twice, but it is also possible that the Emma mentioned as his wife in 1333 and the Margaret named as wife in 1358 were one and the same. In this period women not infrequently appear under two or even three different names.

The fact that William Greystock (1321-1359), fourth baron Greystock, acquired for Adam de Blencowe considerable land and bestowed an annual gift of lOO shillings suggests a close friendship or even kinship.

Several names appear frequently in the records above mentioned, suggesting a rather small and close knit community in the area of the "hamlets of Blencow.11 A Clement de Skelton, for example, witnesses the charter of 1342 in which Lord Greystock granted land to Adam de Blencowe. Along with Adam he was given a pardon in January, 1348. And in 1366 he was one of those commissioned with Adam to inquire into the misdeeds of the prior of Wederhale.

in his deposition in the Inquisition of 1370 Adam attested to the age of one Joan de Eglesfeld (Eaglesfield) by saying that in 1355 he ran into her father John in the market town of Penrith and asked whether his wife had had a son or daughter. John answered that she had had a daughter named Joan, “which displeased him if it might have been better, because he would have been glad of a son.” Another deponent in the same Inquisition was Gilbert de Suthayk, doubtless the same who conveyed part of the land to Adam requiring the pardon in 1347. In 1372 a John de Hoton Rof was granted a pardon at the request of John Lord Neville for the death of a John de Grenehawe, “some time servant of Adam de Blencowe. ” This transaction suggests that Adam was in comfortable circumstances. (It also suggests that it could be useful to have patrons in high places.)

And that's about it. The patent rolls and inquisitions also contain information about the descendants and probable descendants of Adam de Blencowe, about whom I will write at some future date. But I hope to find more on Adam first in other places.



Blencowe (John Fitz Adam De Blencowe, co. Cumberland, temp. Richard II.).  Gules a quarter Argent. (Burkes Armory)

It is believed that these arms existed before Adam de Blencowe and Richard II reigned 1377 - 1399.  This was after the time of Adam so is it possible the lesser arms passed to the younger son, John son of Adam de Blencowe and the new Greystoke bestowed arms as used by Thomas son of Adam de Blencowe on the seal pass to the older son?  There are documents at the Cumbria Record office Carlisle bearing the seal.


Jan. 20 1369. Pardon, at the request of William de Latymer, steward of the Westminster, king's household to, John son of John de Blencow of the king's suit for the death of John Sytentre, whereof he is indicted or appealed, and of any consequent outlawry. Byp.s. The like pardons to the following at, the request of the same :— Thomas Wolf, for the death of Thomas Lincoln of Staunford. Richard de Brounyngheflolr, the death of GeoffreAyndrew.


1390 Gilbert de Culwen IV, knt., Robert de Brigham and Simon de Working ton release to John de Blencow, son of Adam, their right in the lands and tenements in the vill of Holm in Kendale late of Robert de Culwen, uncle of the said Gilbert; 14 Ric. II. From: 'Holme and Holmescales', Records relating to the Barony of Kendale: volume 2 (1924), pp. 292-296. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=49322 Date accessed: 22 November 2010.



1386 Adam signs all of his land over to his son Thomas and seals it with the Adam of Blencowe shield bearing a bend with three chaplets.  (William died Bef. 29 Sep 1368)


1388 Thomas is now managing the land dealings with the Greystoke seal of his father.


1398 Thomas is sealing with letter T


1406 Land being gifted to Thomas' son William


1408 Conditional Gift of land to Thomas' brother John


1409 Thomas and son William lease land for 20 years to John, brother of Thomas.


1411 William son of Thomas is now signing documents by himself so is of age.


1464 First document of Richard, son of William.


1475 South east pele Blencowe Hall, Little Blencowe possibly not called that.


1563 First mention of "Blencow Haulle" and lands in Greater Blencow handed from Anthony and Richard Blencow to John Suthayk indicating the family had possibly moved from the Ennim site (or Manor Farm) and the first mention of a Troutbeck, the later owners.


1590 Centre section of Blencowe Hall built.


1601 Henry Blencow of Blencow swaps land "lying in the Ennam" for land elsewhere.


1610 Henry Blencowe settles an estate with land including The Manor of Blencow.  This is North of Ennim and opposite the cottages at Greater Blencow.


1620 South west pele of Blencowe Hall built.


1640 The first part of the Ennim as it stands to day.


1686 Note of lease of Blencow Hall


1716 Renewal of lease of Blencow Old Hall


1721 Unsigned lease of [old] Hall for 14 years


1724 Christopher Blencow of Blencow Hall now indicating he is living at one Blencow Hall and leasing the other. (presence of two Blencow Halls)


1761 Lease of "the old hall in Great Blencow"


1802 Sale of the Blencowe Estate in Greater Blencow to the William Troutbeck Esq.



Blencowe (Little Blencowe, co. Cumberland and Thoby Priory, co. Essex).  Azure a bend argent. charged with three chaplets of roses Gules. quartering gules a quarter argent.  Crest - On a sword pointed downwards a human heart pierced through between two wings.


(Burkes Armory)


Blencowe (Marston St. Lawrence, co. Northampton).  Gules a canton argent, quartering sable a stag trippant ermine, and a chief or for Waleston.  Crest - A sword in pale argent hilt or enfiled with a human heart gules all betw. two wings expanded argent.  Motto - Quorsum vivere mori, mori vita.  (Burkes Armory)


Blencowe (North Lodge, Lewes, co.Sussex).  Azure a human foot couped argent on a canton or, an anchor gules.    (Burkes Armory)


Blencowe (Hooke, co. Sussex).  Same arms &c.  (Burkes Armory)




Village of Blencow


Adam de Blencowe abt 1310------------

Thomas DE BLENCOWE abt 1323

William DE BLENCOWE abt. 1333

Richard De Blencowe abt. 1385

Christopher De Blencowe abt.1420

Richard BLENCOWE abt. 1450

Anthony BLENCOWE 1506

Richard BLENCOWE abt. 1540

Henry BLENCOWE 1562

Christopher BLENCOWE 1598

Christopher BLENCOWE 1643

Henry BLENCOWE 1676

Henry BLENCOWE 1712

Henry Prescott BLENCOWE 1752

Henry Prescott BLENCOWE 1775

Everard BLENCOWE abt 1809

Henry Prescott George BLENCOWE 1858

Marston Saint Lawrence


Adam de Blencowe abt 1310


Link - Burkes Commoners


John BLENCOWE bef. 1446

Thomas BLENCOWE abt. 1460

Thomas BLENCOWE abt. 1475

John BLENCOWE 1510

John BLENCOWE 1553

John BLINCOWE 1575--------------------------

Thomas BLENCOWE 1602

John BLENCOWE 1642

John BLENCOWE 1676

Anne BLENCOWE 1717

Anna Bree abt. 1754

     m Samuel JACKSON (BLENCOWE) 1754 (cousins)

John Jackson BLENCOWE 1780

John Jackson BLENCOWE 1810

Charles Edward BLENCOWE 1847

Lawrence Cave BLENCOWE 1888

Lawrence BLENCOWE 1916


This family carried the Greystoke arms so it is possible that they may have descended from Thomas, son of Adam rather than John Fitz Adam de Blencowe who carried on the original Arms in the late 1300's


Brackley/Armidale, New South Wales










John BLINCOWE 1575

John Blencowe 1604

Thomas Blencowe 1638---------------------------

John Blincoe 1687

Timothy Blencowe 1726---------------------------

Robert Blencowe 1767

Benjamin Robert Blencowe 1807

Joshua Benjamin Blencowe 1837

Joshua Benjamin Blencowe 1870

Stanley Robert Blencowe abt 1907

David Stanley Blencowe abt 1931

Joshua Benjamin Blencowe abt 1945


Brackley/Black Rock, South Australia












--------------this link is an approximation------------


Timothy BLENCOWE 1726

James BLENCOWE 1763

John BLENCOWE 1798 (South Australia)

George BLENCOWE 1824

George Henry BLENCOWE 1859

Richard Allan BLENCOWE 1880

Harold BLENCOWE 1918

Anne Kinlock BLENCOWE 1948



Brackley is about 9m from Launton











Thomas Blencowe 1638

DNA link*

William Blincow abt 1702

William Blencowe 1735

Thomas Blincowe 1761

James Blinco 1790

Thomas Blencowe 1827

Thomas William Blencowe 1857

Thomas William Blencowe 1893

Stanley Blencowe 1928

Alan Blencowe 1951


* Closest DNA relatives - link about 9 generations back between Alan Edwin Blencowe and David Stanley Blencowe - www.ancestry.com

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