Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Wrong Side of the Bed.

Bar Sinister and bar Dexter.  Left or right...(Some of you will remember Simon Bar Sinister.) If you were sinister or born on the left side of the blanket, you were illegitimate.  Legitimacy was not always as important at one time as it was in later generations.  William the Conqueror was illegitimate, the son of the previous baron and a leather tanner's daughter.  Indeed, the concept of marriage between one man and one woman was not really a requirement in the church or in the population in general in the early medieval and dark ages.  The son of a marriage probably would be favored, but it was not required for succession to an estate or kingdom.  The coat of arms of an illegitimate union would reflect the status with a black bar on the left or sinister side of the shield, which was also the place a woman's family arms would appear.
It seems that Henry I of England was a very busy boy, and some of our relatives were very busy with him.

Sybil or Adela Corbet(1075-1157+-) was the daughter of Baron Robert Fitz Corbet(see earlier posts) known as The Lady of Alcester at Warwickshire(her legitimate husband was the lord of the castle; the greatest castle of England) became the mistress of Henry(Beauclerc) and had four children.  They were:

Sybil, who married Alexander the first of Scotland.
Reginald de Dunstanville, the Earl of Cornwall
Rohese, who married Henry de la Pomerai

Some of these cannot be confirmed as children of Sybil, but are assumed to be.

Henry also took Nesta, Princess of South Wales as his mistress. 

She was the daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr, Prince of South Wales and Gladys of Powys(northern Wales).
She married Gerald Fitz Walter and had several children by him.
Henry then fathered Henry Fitz Henry with her while she was married to Walter.  He was also known as Henry Fitz Roi.

Again we have ventured into uncharted territory, and all these records should be looked upon with suspicion as there are conflicting records.
 One fairly official looking record on the internet said Henry Fitz Henry was Henry the second, king of England...That is highly unlikely.

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