Sussex Archaeological Collection, Volume 13.
Origin of the Family of Covert, W.S. Ellis
In Vol. vi., p.87, I hazarded the conjecture, on etymological grounds, that the Sussex names of Courthope and Cruttenden were corruptions of Covert's-thorp and Covert's-den; remarking, however, that "there is no resemblance between the arms of the Coverts and of these families." But some genealogical and heraldic circumstances and coincidences recently coming under my notice induce the belief that the latter remark is unfounded, and tend to elucidate the origin of the family of Covert, and some other families, as well as to strengthen the conjecture indulged.
Hasted in his "History of Kent," (loco Capell) says- "COLDHAM is a manor in this parish which appears by records to have been anciently the patrimony owners of the same name, who bore for their arms Gules,a fess ermine between three martlets Argent; but before the reign of Richard II, they had passed it away to a family of the name Baker." These are the identical arms of Covert except the tincture of the martlets which is Or. In the visitation of Sussex, A.D. 1634, there is a pedigree of
Coldham, the arms being a mullet.
In Manning and Bray's Surrey (II., 441) it is stated that "temp. Henry II Sir Richard Covert, son of Sir Bartholomew, who came into England with the conqueror, had great possessions in Sussex, and was Lord of the Manor of Chaldon (in Surrey) and Patron of the
Advowson;" the authority for the statement being Harl. MSS. 1500. The Domesday undertenant of Chaldon was Ralph de
Felgeres, who also held the Manor of Tadworth in the same county. The Manor of Bookham in Surrey was held at the Domesday Survey, by
Halsar(Hansard?) of William de Braose. In the 13th century Chaldon (the lordship in chief),
Tadworth, and Bookham, were held by the family of Hansard, who were also owners at an early period of land in the Rape of
Various coats are assigned to the Hansards; the prevalent ones being three mullets of different tinctures, and on different fields; one branch bearing three
estoiles: another coat is three martlets.
From all of this it would seem, that the Coverts, the Hansards, and the Coldhams had a common origin of some kind; that the changes of name and of arms, common at early periods, occurred with some of these families; but with which, or if with all, and under what circumstances, at present it does not seem easy to ascertain.
The three estoiles borne by Courthope and Cruttenden appear from the foregoing to have been derived from the Coverts, who probably at an early period bore mullets, and were the progenitors of the Courthopes and
Ralph de Felgeres was doubtless a member of the family who owned the Barony of Feugeres in Normandy, or Brittany, existing in the 11th century. He had land in
Cuddington, co. Surrey, at the time of the Domesday Survey. The subsequent owners of the manor, the
Cuddingtons, were nearly related to the baronial family of Fitz-Alan of Beadle, co. York, whose coat was, Barry, as was the
Hansards; Brian Fitz Ralph (who Mr Bray thinks, was Ralph de Felgeres), being the relative. The arms of Fitz Ralph are Barry in chief three buckles. Ermine, on a fess gules, three buckles or, were the arms of the Norman family, De Covert, in 1738-the date of publication of the "Armorial de la France", which contains their pedigree
Ralph de Filgeres had a daughter married to William de St. John (Collins' Peerage vi.,270). The ancient arms of St. John were two mullets on a chief.
From the ermine in both the coats of Covert; the buckles in that of the Norman family; the mullets in that of St. John; and a presumed ancient coat of Covert containing mullets, and the other circumstances mentioned, it may be safely conjectured, that all the families in question were tenants, or undertenants (at one period or other) and relatives of the Dukes of Brittany; and therefore of one blood and kindred.
Archaeological Collection Volume 16, page 45.
for Knighthood Temp. Charles I.
by Sir Henry Ellis, K.H., F.S.A., V.P., &c.
of the acts of Charles I. were more unpopular than the revival of claims
to fines from those who were liable to take up their knighthood;1
giving occasion, as Blackstone says, "to heavy murmurs." At
first there were not many who paid; but after the dissolution of the third
parliament strict measures were taken to compound with those, who had
neglected to appear, as well for their contempt as for their being excused
from receiving the order.
in 1629, the king was furnished by Richard Wright with precedents of fines
imposed on persons, who having, temp. II. (III.?) £10 or £15 per annum,
and temp. Hen. VIII. £40 per annum, in lands, omitted to take upon
themselves the order, and it was suggested that fines might be again
levied on the same ground.2 The king availed himself of the
suggestion, and issued on 28th January, 1629-1630, a commission to sit in
London and treat with all the king's subjects who would compound for their
fines in respect of their knighthood, and for non-attendance to receive it
at the coronation;3 the Attorney General Heath having the care,
and the Barons of the Exchequer declaring the King's right. In July these
commissions were sent into the different counties, and these were twice
renewed in the following year.
instruction to the commissioners was, to take no less than three and a
half times as much as the persons compounding were found rated in the
subsidy;4 but in the majority of cases a uniform fine of £10
copy of the returns, giving the names of all who paid in the different
counties, was entered in a book, still preserved at the Records Office,
and known as the "Book of compositions," in the auditors'
receipts of the Exchequer, whilst a special commission issued to examine
into the cases of those who had made default, or claimed not to hold land
of the required value.
returns for Sussex will be interesting to the members of our society. The
collectors were Sir Walter Covert, Knight, and Richard Lewknor, Esq. In
Sir W. Covert's return the parishes are not given, but Mr. Lewknor
supplied his. They are printed under the different rapes.
John Cruttenden of Burwash
Under the so called statute de
militibus, but which was a mere writ (6 Edw. I.) entered on the rolls.
For this date, and several valuable notices of "feudal and obligatory
knighthood," see a paper by Francis Morgan Nichols Esq., F.S.A., in
Arch., vol. xxxix., p. 189.
State Papers, Domestic, Chas. I. vol. civ.
Ib., vol. clix., and Arch., xxxix.
Archaeological Collection Volume 25, page 95.
Visitation of Sussex, 1724.
Esq., of Burwash. Azure a chevron arg. between 3 mullets or.
14 This family
flourished for several generations at Burwash and other places in East
Sussex. Robert Crotynden, of Ticehurst, is mentioned in a deed, 1488
("Cat. of Battle Abbey Deeds," p. 188). Crotynden, in Ticehurst,
occurs in Budgen's Map, in the vicinity of Hammersden, Withersden, &c.
Blechynden, alias Cruttenden, is
a manor in Horsemonden, co. Kent. Nathaniel Cruttenden, Esq., of Hastings,
was the last heir male, and died 1770, age 72, leaving an only daughter
and heiress, Mary, who married the Rev. John Bishop, Rector of Sedlescombe.
John Cruttenden, gent, died July 5, 1815, age 46, leaving three sons and
three daughters (M. I. Salehurst. Arms, Cruttenden impaling on a fess
three tigers' heads).