Friday, April 1, 2011
Matilda Jones - The First Jones
Matilda was a good Norman name. The wife of William I was Matilda of Flanders (d.1083). Thus, it became a very common name used by the queens during this period. Matilda of Boulongne, wife of king Stephen (d.1152); Matilda of Scotland, wife of Henry I(d.1118); Matilda, a daughter of Henry I was wife of emperor Henry V (d.1167). Matilda , a daughter of Henry II, was the wife of Henry the Lion. There was even a Matilda of Huntingdon, a daughter of the earl Waltheof who became the wife of David I. Matilda of Anjou, Matilda de Braose, Matida de Port, Matilda of Wolseley, and many others took this good Norman name. As to Matilda Jones, I have not been able to independently identify this person. She is recorded to have been present in Huntingdonshire Hundred Roll of 1273, under Edward I. According to "The Hundred And The Hundred Rolls, An Outline of Local Government In Medieval England", by Helen M. Cam; Huntingdon consisted of four hundreds: 1) Hirstingstan, 2)Lectonestan, 3) Normancros, and 4) Touleslond. In 1274, the "lords" of these hundreds were the Abbot of Ramsey, The Abbot of Thorney, and Edward I [the King]. The church owned two, and the King owned two. In which hundred Matilda Jones resided is not clear. With the name Matilda, I would guess it would be "Normancros" since this would seem to take its name from the Norman fortification built to protect the strategic road from London to York [Ermine Street] as it crosses the river Ouse. William I was quick to built a castle defending this spot! My guess [at this point it is only a guess] is that Matilda Jones was a widow who had come into the possession of land through her family or husband's family. Having the surname JONES would suggest that she had married into a Welsh family from the Marches. The wool trade was an important part of this area as well as the border land of the Marches. Huntingdonshire was the first place you could access a waterway to London for transport of wool. With her Welsh husband [ap John], they would have had to come under Norman law and customs which had just started to use the Anglo-Saxon Old English. [William Marshal was Henry III's justiciar and a key player in the Marches.] It was here, Huntingsonshire, that would bridge both cultures, Welsh and Norman. Hopefully, Matilda Jones can be identified more clearly.