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The honour comprised 60 knight's fees and was one of the most important fiefdoms in NormanEngland. According to the 14th-century Genealogia of the lords of Richmond, Alan Rufus built a stronghold in the district. The buildings were later known as Richmond Castle which is alluded to in the Domesday survey as forming a 'castlery'.
The composition of the Honour of Richmond in 1071
The location of the Honour in England
The district consisted of three main land divisions; the wapentakes of Hang, of Gilling and of Hallikeld. The first two of these correspond to later medieval civil land divisions or wapentakes: the third is less easily defined.
The Gilling territory consisted mainly of land which lay between the River Tees and the River Swale, with the Tees forming the northern border which separated the land from that granted to the Bishop of Durham. The western border was the watershed of the Pennine Hills and the southern border was the watershed between the River Ure and the Swale. The River Wiske formed the eastern border. The manor of Gilling, close to the boundary, was the caput of the barony until Count Alan moved it to Richmond Castle. The division of Hang, or Hangshire, had the River Swale as its northern boundary; its western boundary was the Pennine watershed and its southern boundary was the watershed with the River Wharfe and the River Nidd. The eastern border followed small streams and minor landmarks from the previous watershed to the Swale. The wapentake meeting place was situated on the Hang Beck in Finghall parish. The third part of the territory, Hallikeld, consisted of the parishes lying between the River Ure and the River Swale until their confluence at Ellenthorpe.
The Honour of Richmond, being 60 km (37 mi) from east to west and 45 km (28 mi) from north to south, comprised most of the land between the River Tees and the River Ure and ranged in its landscape from the bleak mountainous areas of the Pennines to the fertile lowlands of the Vale of York.
Richmond castle was in ruins by 1540 but was restored centuries later and is now a tourist attraction.
List of feudal barons of Richmond
The feudal barons of Richmond were usually referred to as Lords of Richmond. The Honour of Richmond was sometimes held separately from the titles Earl of Richmond, and later Duke of Richmond. Grants were sometimes partial, and sometimes included or excluded Richmond Castle as noted in the list below. The descent of the barony was as follows:
Eleanor of Brittany, Constance and Geoffrey's elder daughter.[c] She ceased to be styled as Countess of Richmond in 1218.
Peter I, Duke of Brittany (alias Pierre Mauclerc), the husband of Alix of Thouars and the son-in-law of Guy of Thouars and Constance of Brittany. He declined an offer of the Honour and the Earldom of Richmond from King John (1199-1216) due to his loyalty to the French King. He received in 1218 from William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke in name of King Henry III a partial grant of the Honour, excepting 30 knight's fees south of the River Trent retained by the king, His lands were forfeited to King Henry III when he paid homage to French King Louis IX. Thus his tenure of the barony varied according to his allegiance in the war between England and France.
Peter II, Count of Savoy, popularly known as Earl of Richmond, to whom the barony was granted by King Henry III in 1240. He sought and received a royal confirmation of his holding in 1262. He had felt his tenure at risk due to the negotiations for the marriage of Beatrice, daughter of King Henry III to John, son of John I, Duke of Brittany (d.1286) who was son of Alix, Duchess of Brittany. A part of this marriage settlement stipulated that his father the duke should receive French lands equal in value to the honour of Richmond. He lost control of the barony in 1264, although he received income from it until 1266, when the barony was granted to John of Brittany, husband of Beatrice.
John of Gaunt - surrendered the Earldom and Honour, at the insistence of the King, to pursue Kingship of Castille
John IV, Duke of Brittany, son and heir of John of Montfort; forfeited twice, in 1381 (due to the First Treaty of Guerande) and 1384 upon paying homage to French King Charles VI; the second forfeit represented the permanent loss of the Honour and the Earldom by the Dukes of Brittany.
^However, Ranulph never ruled Richmond or Brittany during their marriage.
^A charter made by Alix before her marriage to Peter I deals with the Honour of Richmond; Alix also styled herself Countess of Richmond before her husband received the Earldom from King Henry III. See Judith Everard and Michael Jones, The Charters of Duchess Constance and Her Family (1171-1221), The Boydell Press, 1999, pp 169-171.
^Although King John allowed her to use the titles Duchess of Brittany and Countess of Richmond, she was imprisoned by English kings and never ruled. See Judith Everard and Michael Jones, The Charters of Duchess Constance and Her Family (1171-1221), The Boydell Press, 1999, pp 164-165.
^"THE HONOUR AND CASTLE OF RICHMOND". British History. 1 March 2016. Retrieved 2019. The date of the grant is uncertain, and no charter remains to bear witness to it. The most likely date in that case would seem to be 1069, when Edwin was still living ... If the evidence of the so-called charter is inaccurate on this point as on others the grant may have been delayed until after the death of Edwin in 1071.
^Butler, Lawrence (2003). "4.The origins of the honour of Richmond and its castles". In Robert Liddiard (ed.). Anglo Norman Castles. Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Boydell Press. pp. 91-95. ISBN0-85115-904-4.
^"THE HONOUR AND CASTLE OF RICHMOND". British History. 1 March 2016. Retrieved 2019. ... the early poem which contains the first mention of it yet discovered says that William the Conqueror gave Count Alan Richmond 'a good castle fair and strong.' (fn. 259) This statement may, however, be due to poetic licence.
^"HISTORY OF RICHMOND CASTLE". English Heritage. 1 March 2016. Retrieved 2019. By 1540 the castle was derelict, but it later became a popular tourist destination.
^Sanders, I.J., English Baronies, A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086-1327, Oxford, 1960, pp.140-1, Barony of Richmond