William Fitz-Ansculf

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William Fitz-Ansculf was a Norman-French landowner who succeeded his father, Ansculf de Picquigny.

Birth and early life[edit]

Amongst other possessions, William Fitz-Ansculf was listed as holding the castle and manor of Dudley in the Domesday Book

William's date of birth is not known, though it was likely in Picquigny, Picardy, now in the Somme department, France, in the mid 11th Century. William inherited many lands in central England that had been granted to his father, Ansculf de Picquigny by William the Conqueror after the Norman conquest in 1066. William made his base at the castle built by his father in Dudley, Worcestershire. [1] He and his successors were overlords of the manors of Selly Oak and Birmingham both of which had previously been owned by Wulfwin. His ownership of Selly Oak was challenged by the Bishop of Lichfield using a nuncupative (oral) will made by Wulfwin as evidence. It would appear that William Fitz-Ansculf died during the First Crusade. Henry of Huntingdon in his ‘History of the English People’ writes that: “Then from the middle of February they besieged the castle of ‘Arqah, for almost three months. Easter was celebrated there (10 April). But Anselm of Ribemont, a very brave knight, died there, struck by a stone, and William of Picardy, and many others.”.[2]

Lands held[edit]

The Domesday Book of 1086 shows William holding from the Crown around one-hundred estates in twelve counties. Many of these were estates formerly held by King Harold Godwinsson, Lady Godiva, Earl Algar and Ulwin, a thegn based in the Midlands.[3] William was either Lord, or tenant-in-chief.

List of land held by William Fitz Ansculf in 1086:

Domesday place name Modern place name Owner in 1066
Abinceborne Abinger, Surrey King Edward and a huscarl
Belintones Bellington, Worcestershire Alric and Holland
Berchelai Bartley Green, Birmingham Wulfwin
Bradefelt Bradfield, Reading King Edward and Horling
Bradewelle Bradwell, Milton Keynes Alric son of Goding, Godwin and Sibbi
Bremingeham Birmingham Wulfwin
Caldecote Caldecote, Buckinghamshire Four thegns
Catspelle Chasepool, Staffordshire
Clive Clyffe Pypard, Wiltshire Aelfric, Burghelm, and Godiva
Contone Compton Beauchamp, Berkshire King Edward and Almer
Dudelei Dudley Earl Edwin
Elesberie Ellesborough, Buckinghamshire King Edward and Leofnoth, son of Osmund
Escelie Selly Oak, Birmingham Wulfwin
Franchelie Frankley, Worcestershire Wulfwin
Hadena Great Hampden and Little Hampden, Buckinghamshire Archbishop Stigand and Baldwin, son of Herlewin
Honesworde Handsworth, Birmingham Alfrith and Alwin
Hingepene Inkpen, Berkshire King Edward
Michelham Mitcham, Surrey King Edward, Brictric and two men
Mildetone Milton, Surrey King Edward and Wulfric
Moleslei[4][5] Moseley, Wolverhampton Countess Godiva
Morve Morfe and Little Morfe, Staffordshire Three free men
Nevport Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire King Edward and Ulf Fenman
Nordfeld[6] Northfield, Birmingham Alwold son of Erngeat
Padendene Paddington, Surrey King Edward and a huscarl
Pendeford[7] Pendeford, Wolverhampton Ulstan and Godwin
Segleslei Sedgley, Dudley Earl Algar
Stoche Bradenstoke, Wiltshire Strami
Stoches Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire Earl Harold, Tubbi and Sired
Telingham Tyringham, Buckinghamshire Aelfeva, wife of Harold; Estan of Farningham, Godric, Godwin the priest, Harold of Tyringham
Ticheforde Tickford, Buckinghamshire Ulf Fenman
Tornelle Thornhill, Wiltshire Aelfric, Burghelm and Godiva
Wandesorde Wandsworth, London King Edward and six free men
Wamburne Wombourne, Staffordshire Thorsten
Wavre Churchover, Warwickshire Vagn of Wootton
Willingeuuie Willingwick, Bromsgrove Earl Edwin, Alwin, Alwold son of Erngeat, Brictred, Earl Edwin's thane, Erngeat son of Grim, Frani son of Erngeat
Wlsiestone Little Woolstone, Milton Keynes King Edward and Edward the noble


  1. ^ Hemingway, John (2006). An Illustrated Chronicle of the Castle and Barony of Dudley 1070-1757. Dudley: The Friends of Dudley Castle. pp. 11–20. ISBN 9780955343803.
  2. ^ Greenway, Diane (Translated by) Henry of Huntingdon: The History of the English People 1000-1154 (OUP 2002) P46
  3. ^ Carter, W.F. Additions to Grazebrook's 'The Barons of Dudley'. Chetwynd Papers.
  4. ^ Morris, John (1976). Domesday Book - Staffordshire Edition. Phillimore, Chichester.
  5. ^ http://www.cannockchasehistory.org.uk/places/moseley.htm
  6. ^ http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/cs/Satellite?c=Page&childpagename=Lib-Northfield%2FPageLayout&cid=1223092591627&pagename=BCC%2FCommon%2FWrapper%2FWrapper The History of Northfield
  7. ^ Morris, John (1976). Domesday Book - Staffordshire Edition. Phillimore, Chichester.