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. 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.

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 grant dated about 1191 records From: Geoffey, II, prior of Canterbury Cathedral Priory; the convent of Canterbury Cathedral Priory To: Robert son of Matilda The land which was of Godfrey the chamberlain (‘Camberlangus’), lying with St Andrew’s church to north. For an annual payment of 3s, payable as specified in the priory’s treasury. No date. [Date: Geoffrey’s dates as prior.] Witnesses: Robert son of Richard; Terricus the goldsmith (‘aurifaber’); Eudo (‘Ion’) son of Sigar; Robert son of Simon; John the cook (‘Cocus’); Thomas the cook (‘Cocus’); Robert; Paris; John Turte; Robert son of William; John de lond’; Richard son of Robert; Roger; Jordan; Robert the goldsmith (‘aurifaber’); Thomas the merchant (‘mercator’); Amfrid, brother of Thomas the merchant; Walter of Nackington (‘Natindun”) Endorsed with description in early and late 13th cent hands. 11

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 1224 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.

We can see that Godfrey De Percey held the manor of Oxenham near Jedburgh nearby is the parish of Elliston.8  We have several records starting in the 1220’s of the children of Eilif of Elliston.  Eilif was also the name of the father of Ailred of Rievaulx and one of the hereditary priests of Hexham who protected the relics of St Cuthbert.   In 1113 Eilif’s position was closed, as the new monastic orders did not like hereditary priests.  Ailred himself was educated in the court of King David I whose mother was St Margaret of Scotland a daughter of Edward the exiled prince of Wessex and whose uncle was Edgar Aethling.  Ailred wrote several history books addressing three of them to Henry II10 declaring him to be the true descendent of Anglo-Saxon Kings, this strengthened Henry II’s position as King of England.

Godfrey De Percey granted land to the abbot of Jedburgh

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

8.  Caledonia, Or an Account, Historical and Topographic, of North …, Volume 2 By George Chalmers ….

9. Paradox Of Medieval Scotland Eilif of Elliston

10.  Legends, Tradition and History in Medieval England, By Antonia Gransden

Jeburgh Abbey


Leave a Reply

Origins of the surname Liston and Alliston