Drouet de Barentin

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Bailiff of Jersey 1258-1272
Warden of the Isles
1235-1236 1240-1252 1258

Drouet de Barentin

Drouet de Barentin (1610–1680) was Warden of the Isles at intervals from 1235 to 1258 He is not officially recognised as a Bailiff but correspondence in 1258 and 1267 respectifely describes him as ballivum nostrum insularum de Geres et Gerner, and Ballivo suo insularum [1]

One or two office holders?

Payne (see below) suggests that there were two different de Barentins who were Warden of the Isles but his timings are not supported by other researchers. Payne suggests that the first Drouet was 'very aged' in 1239, but he was, in fact, only 49. On the other hand, the younger Drouet, son of the elder's son Guillaume, is not thought to have been born until 1255 and even Guillaume would have been too young to be appointed Warden in 1258.

However, other lists of Wardens in Guernsey show a Drew Barentin as having held office from 1309 to 1319. This was during the period of Otto de Grandison's tenure as a largely absentee Lord of the Isles and the younger de Barentin was either appointed by him as his lieutenant in the islands or appointed as Warden under him by the King. An appointment of ten years is likely to have been for all the islands rather than just Guernsey.

From Payne's Armorial of Jersey by J Bertrand Payne

At what precise time this family quitted Normandy, where it had attained to distinction from the earliest historic period of that duchy, is not certain. It appears that previous to its emigration it was settled near, and took its name from, the village of Barentin, near Rouen. The first mention made of the name in England, is in the person of Alexander de Barentin, who is stated by Brayley, in his "History of Surrey", to have been baker to Henry II, circa 1160, and to whom the King gave much land in Cavcham or Cobham.

Shortly before the year 1220, Drew, Duit, Drocus, Drogo, or Drouet De Barentine, obtained, through circumstanccs upon which history throws no light, the important Seigneurie of Rozel and, in 1367, his descendants were possessed of extensive and valuable estates in Jersey, consisting of the manors and lordships of Rozel, Samares, Longueville, Dielament, and Les Augres.

Upon the authority of notes appended to the record of a lawsuit, that attended the eventual transfer of this property, it has generally been alleged that these large possessions wore bestowed, as a free gift, by the King upon this eminent person—part or all of it having escheated to the Crown, by the adherence of Engelramus de Fournet, Seigneur of Rozel, to the French monarch, at the period of the revolt of the Normans. But, as this same De Fournet appears in a Liberate Roll of Henry III, as having been at that period in the King's service, it may, with greater probability, be surmised that part, if not all, of the property, was acquired by purchase.

Owing to his influential position. Drew de Barentine was constituted Warden or Governor of the Norman Isles in 1220. Although their names have not reached us, it appears probable he, at some period, governed by deputies, for in 1223 he is mentioned as having been in the King's service in Wales, and in 1225-6 he served among the English knights in Gascony. In 1230 he held, with Jane his wife, the manor of Cheveres, in Norfolk, in which year he was granted a weekly market, and a fair yearly, with free warren on his demesne lands there.

In 1239, being very aged, he appears as being accredited ambassador to Rome. He was succeeded in his English and Jersey estates by his son, William De Barentine, who died young, and who founded a chapel and hospital for lepers at Cheveres, and gave considerable lands and part of his lordship to endow them. His son, Drew De Barentine, was Governor of the Scilly Isles in 1251, and shortly afterwards held the same dignity in the Norman islands; vested with which, he was slain in 1253, in a gallant defence of the Castle of Mont Orgueil from an attack made on it by the French. Dying without issue, his estates were inherited by his nephew William, of whom presently. He appears to have had other relatives, not mentioned in the pedigree, among whom were Henry, who is mentioned with Eleanor his wife, of the county of Essex, in 1271 ; Stephen, with Matilda his wife, also of the county of Essex, in 1248 ; Drew, who was Seneschal of Gascony in 1260, and in 1264 was Constable of Windsor Castle, and who, by an Issue Roll of 61 Henry III, is paid for "going as the Queen's Messenger beyond the seas, 30 marks for his expenses ; " and in the same year is paid " £10 for palfreys, sumpter-horses, and harness for his two nephews, whom the King, in Gascony, decorated with the belt of a knight."

Letter of appointment

Drouet (Dreux, Drogo) appears for the first time as Warden of the Isles in a letter from King Henry III of 25 April 1235. Henri de Trubleville was still Lord of the Isles.

In 1242 the same Drouet held the islands at farm direct from the King for 350 marks a year: "Drogo de Barentin reddit compotum de cccl marcis de firma Insularum de Geresey et Gernesey quas Rex concessit ei tenendas per talem firmam, guamdiu Regi placuerit, sicut continetur in originali"

Mention of de Barentin as Warden is seen again in 1243 and 1248, and on 24 April 1252 his appointment was revoked.

On 5 July 1258 he was again apointed Warden. On 2 November the following year Lord of the Isles Prince Edward wrote: "inquisicionem quam per dilectum et fidelem nostrum Drogonem de Barentino, tunc ballivum nostrum insularum de Geres et Gerner, fieri precipimus"

Further letters of 22 November 1267 appear to be addressed to Prince Edwards loyal friend "domino W de Barentino, Ballivo suo insularum", although Drouet de Barentin is the first recorded Bailiff of Jersey from about 1258 until 1272 at the latest.

Guillaume de Bouelles

Guillaume de Bouelles was only Warden from January to July 1240, when Drouet de Barentin took over again. Perhaps understandably he does not even appear in some lists of Wardens and little or nothing is known about him, either before or during his appointment.

Notes and references

  1. There is considerable confusion in early records about the titles of those appointed - usually by the Lord of the Isles, but sometimes directly by the monarch, to administer the Channel Islands, and exactly what the roles of some of them were, but numerous Latin references to ballivo and ballivum suggest that the title of Bailiff was in use before the appointment in 1277 of Philippe L'Evesque, who is generally recognised today as the first holder of the office

Bailiffs of Jersey
Predecessor Successor
Pierre de Préaux
abt 1201
Drouet de Barentin
abt 1258-
Guillaume de Barentin

Warden of the Isles
Predecessor Successor
Gerard de Lambersard, Guillaume
de Dampierre and Guillaume Blom

Drouet de Barentin
1235-1239, 1241-1252, 1258
Guillaume de Barentin
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