North Westmorland: The barony of Appleby

The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby. Originally published by Titus Wilson and Son, Kendal, 1932.

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John F Curwen, 'North Westmorland: The barony of Appleby', The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby, (Kendal, 1932), pp. 1-2. British History Online [accessed 13 June 2024].

John F Curwen. "North Westmorland: The barony of Appleby", in The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby, (Kendal, 1932) 1-2. British History Online, accessed June 13, 2024,

Curwen, John F. "North Westmorland: The barony of Appleby", The Later Records Relating To North Westmorland Or the Barony of Appleby, (Kendal, 1932). 1-2. British History Online. Web. 13 June 2024,

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The county to which the name "Westmaringaland" and subsequently "Westmarieland" exclusively applied was conterminous with the later Honour or Barony of Appleby. Henry II enfeoffed this county to Hugh de Morvill to hold it as a fief of the English Crown. Morvill remained in possession until Michaelmas, 1174, when he was ejected, not as has been generally supposed on account of his participation in the murder of Becket, which occurred on 29 December, 1170, but for his aiding the Scottish invasions and Northern Rising of 1173–4. Then in 1179 Henry granted the Honour to his chief justice, Ranulph de Glanvill, who took all the revenues of Westmarieland until Easter 1190, when Richard 1 deprived him and the Crown once again resumed possession.

On 31 March, 1203, Appleby and Brough and the bailiwick of Westmarieland were committed to Robert de Veteripont "to keep during the king's pleasure," but on 28 October of that year King John granted to him in fee "Appleby and Brough with all their appendages with the bailiwick and the rent of the county with the services of all tenants (not holding of the king by military service) to hold by the service of four knights." As the late William Farrer wrote, "this undoubtedly marks the commencement of military service due from a Barony at Appleby."

Sometimes we find the Barony termed "Appleshire" but more commonly it was known as the "Bottom of Westmorland" by reason of it having a considerable quantity of low lying ground surrounded by fells.

The lordship passed down from Robert de Veteripont to his great grand-daughter, Isabella, who married Roger de Clifford in 1269; and from them it passed down through twelve generations to Lady Anne Clifford whose daughter, Margaret, married John Tufton, 2nd Earl of Thanet in 1629.

With regard to the district known as the Barony of Kentdale it would appear that the lordship over it had been taken from Roger de Mowbray, at or before the accession of Henry II, and united to Westmarieland as a mesne lordship held by the service of £14. 6s. 3d. for noutgeld. So that the Williams de Lancaster, the first and the second, were ipso facto tenants of Hugh de Morvill.

William de Lancaster, the second, died in 1184 and left an only daughter, Helewise, who was given in marriage by Henry 11 to Gilbert, the son of his steward Roger fitz Reinfrid, with her entire inheritance. Richard 1 confirmed this marriage and, on 15 April 1190, by three charters granted practically the whole of southern Westmorland to Gilbert, together with acquittance of the noutgeld, suits of shires, etc. due to northern Westmorland. By these grants of the same date Gilbert fitz Roger fitz Reinfrid was endowed with full baronial status throughout Kentdale and the outlying members, including the manor of Morland and a considerable part of Barton. His service to the crown for the same being definitely fixed at the service of two knights. Thus the Barony of Appleby was created some thirteen years after the Barony of Kentdale.