Godfrey The Chamberlain

Godfrey the Chamberlain is currently the earliest known documented ancestor of the Listons and Allistons.

Godfrey was the husband of Avicia De Liston daughter of Robert De Liston ( probably Talbot). They lived at Overhall, Liston.
By the time of the record in 1185 she was a Widow living with one son John. The record exists because the Lord of the Manor of Liston held the Serjeancy for making the wafers at the Kings Coronation. 1 A tradition that was probably held by her father. It may even be related to the story of the consecrated wafers being dropped at King Stephens coronation in 1135.2 Talbot sided with Matilda rather than Stephen.

There are other records that mention Godfrey the Chamberlain;

In the North of England Godfrey The Chamberlain witnesses a Confirmation of a gift of land given by William de Vieuxpont by Malcolm IV of Scotland And William brother of the King Scotland.3a This may seem a bit far for our Godfrey The Chamberlain if it were not for other entries in Scotland where Roger De Liston witnesses a number of charters around the mid 1160’s and 1170’s. 3

A Godfrey the Chamberlain is also mentioned in Relation to Ralph/Ranulph Fitz Godfrey The Chamberlain. Ralph is mentioned in a number of places as he was in the household of Henry The Younger and then Richard I whom he accompanied on crusade in 1191. He died at the Seige of Acre in 11915, he was a friend of William Marshall and is mentioned in a medieval poem about William Marshall 4. Ralph was one of Henry The Youngers favourite household members. 7

The following Charter in latin indicates that it was Godfrey who was the Chamberlain, it also mentions Talbot another member of the Kings household so Avicia may have had brothers who would have been Ralphs cousins. 6:

111. Charter of Richard I. addressed generally. He confirms to the citizens of Rouen all their quittances and liberties and free customs as they enjoyed them in his father’s day, and according to his father’s charter.

Testibus: Willelmo de Sancte Marie ecclesia dec[ano] Moret[olii]; Willelmo Marescallo; Hugone Bard[ulfo]; Gerardo Talbot; Radulfo filii Godefridi camerarii. Datum per manum Johannis de Alencon archidiaconi Lexoviensis vicecancellarii nostri apud Cele xxviii. die Junii anno primo regni nostri.

Closer to Liston in nearby Stanfeld we have a Feet of fines record where William son of Agnes sells land to Geoffrey son of Godfrey.
In itself this gives no indication of a relation to Godfrey The Chamberlain but in 1124 we have a feet of fines where John Son of Adam De Alliston sells land at Stanfeld.

This gives the possibility that Godfrey and Avicia had the sons Roger, Ralph, Geoffrey and John.

I have not yet been able to establish exactly who Godfrey the Chamberlain is but one possibility is Godfrey De Percy born 1104.

1. King S Sergeants and Officers Cb: Kings & Sergeants By J. Horace Round …

2. King Stephens coronation 1135

3. Roger De Liston 1170’s

3a Godfrey The Chamberlain in Scotland

4. Histoire de Guillaume le Marechal

5. The Later Crusades, 1189-1311
edited by Kenneth M. Setton, Robert Lee Wolff, Harry W. Hazard

6. Seine Inférieure: Part 1, Cathedral Church of St. Mary, Rouen, for Secular Canons.

7. Henry The Younger

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Origins of the surname Liston and Alliston