|1119 - Robert De Brus II of Skelton Castle granted
land to the Canons Regular of St Augustine for the building of
Robert's brother, William, became the first Abbot.
Robert also granted to the Priory:-
The manors of Guisborough, Kirkleatham, part of Coatham and areas corresponding to the present day Guisborough and Commondale moors.
10 churches in Yorkshire and Durham with their lands were presented to the priory which gave the prior the right to collect the tithes.
The black cloaked Augustinian order took over responsibility for local churches in the area, including Skelton's.
De Brus Lion
|Robert, it is said, was urged into his generosity
by the Archbishop Thurstan of York and the Pope Calixtus II
People believed in these times that after death the soul
entered "Purgatory" to suffer and to be cleansed of the sins
committed in life.
By such beliefs the church was eventually to become richer than the landowners who donated to it.
The Charter of Guisborough Priory shows how the Norman held land only by virtue of fealty to the king:-
"I, Robert de Brus, and Agnes my wife, and Adam our son and heir, to the church of S Mary at Gyseburne, and to the brethren serving God there, in free, quiet and perpetual alms, with all the liberties, free customs and privileges which we possessed in them by the gift and grant of Henry, King of England".
| 1120 - Crossing from France to England, Henry I's
only son. William, was drowned in the wreck of the White Ship
1126 - Henry I had about 30 bastard children, [many of whom he married to French and Scots magnates for diplomatic reasons], but only one other legitimate child, his daughter Matilda.
He demanded that the lords of the realm, including De Brus, swear an oath accepting her as the future Queen.
1135 - Death of Henry I.
The throne was claimed by Stephen, Henry's nephew.
Many Norman lords, including De Brus of Skelton, went back on their word to support Matilda believing a woman would be a weakness to the realm.
Stephen was crowned and this precipitated a civil war in England.
1138 - David I, the king of Scotland, took advantage of the civil wars going on in England between Stephen and Matilda and invaded Northumbria.
Thurstan, the Archbishop of York, declared a holy war against the Scots army and it is said villages were emptied of men and boys joining the cause, as parish priests were ordered to call them out.
In August the Battle of the Standard was fought at Cowton, near Northallerton.
The Scots were halted, though they retained Northumbria and Cumbria for the rest of the civil war.
|There is a story that Robert De Brus the younger,
of Annandale, fought
on the side of the Scots king and was taken prisoner
by his own father, Robert De Brus of Skelton.
According to the chivalry of the time he was handed over to the king
before being returned to his parents.
1141 - Robert de Brus II died and was buried in Guisborough Priory.
Excavations were made at the Priory "at the instigation of a noted antiquarian", in the sixteenth century by the new owners of the land, the Chaloners, [who acquired the Priory and miles of land around by whatever devious means it was apportioned after the dissolution of the monasteries and presumably shortly after the great building lay in ruins.]
A stone coffin was found.
A faded journalistic account gives the reason for assigning the remains to Robert de Brus II as:-
"the fact that if was usual for them to be placed behind the High Altar in the exact spot where they were found.
Owing to the stones which had laid on the top of the coffin having
begun to fall in, it was decided to have them replaced,
and, on their being removed, the stone coffin was found immediately
underneath, filled with earth and bones, some of
them being in a good state of preservation.
These were reverently moved and placed in a leaden casket, which was carefully sealed and on the lid the following inscription was stamped, beneath a small leaden cross:-
"Robert de Brus II, Founder of this Abbey, died 5th Ides 1141""
The new lord of Skelton was Robert's eldest son, Adam, who was married to Agnes.
They had a son, Adam and a daughter Agatha.
Agnes was the daughter of Stephen, the Earl of Albemarle, and the sister of William, called 'Le gros' under whom Adam had fought at the Battle of the Standard.
1154 - On the death of King Stephen, Henry II, the son of Matilda, succeeded to the throne of England.
Henry II forced Adam De Brus to give up the 'Castle of Danby, with the Lordship and Forest thereto appertaining' in exchange for the vills of Collingham, Berdesey and Rington.
1163 - Adam de Brus paid £16 in lieu of knight service in the Welsh wars.
1167 - Death of Adam de Brus of Skelton Castle, 26 years after inheriting.
He was buried in Guisborough Priory and was succeeded by his son also called Adam.
Adam de Brus II was married to Ivetta, daughter of William de Arches, Lord of Thorpe Arches near Wetherby.
They had five sons, Peter, Roger, Richard, Simon and Hugh and a daughter Isabel.
1170 - Adam de Brus II sat in the parliament of Henry II.
Adam de Brus made a gift of land to Guisborough Priory in the area between Guisborough and the present Commondale.
1183 - Robert de Brus, the second Lord of Annandale was buried in Guisborough Priory.
[his wife was called Isabel, the daughter of William the Lion, King of Scotland].
1188 Adam de Brus II died and was buried in Guisborough Priory, He was succeeded by his son, Peter.
1189 - Death of Henry II and accession of Richard I
Peter de Brus had to pay a fee of 500 marks [1 mark = 13s 4d = two thirds of a pound]] for his father's lands, on doing fealty on the succession.
1199 - Death of Richard I and accession of John.