Another Saxon attribution to a probable Norman replacement by William the Conqueror

by Andrea Elizabeth

The Lords Shirley of Derbyshire go back to Saswalo in 1066 whom this document (from The Lyons genealogical company, 1914) says was probably Saxon.

This document begs to differ:

“The Shirleys believe he was a Saxon
nobleman who for some reason benefited
under the largesse of William the
Conqueror. I beg to differ and here is
the reason. A book entitled ‘The Norman
People’ published in London
1989 reads : “Shirley: This family descends
from Sasualo, who held vast
estates from Henry de Ferrers 1086.
He had been supposed of Anglo-Saxon
origin, but the name does not occur
amongst the proprietor’s t. Edward
Confessor (Domesd.); nor is it probable
that such vast estates (nine
knight’s fees) would have been given
to an Anglo Saxon. The name is
probably foreign. Sasualo or Saswalo
was Castellan of Lisle (Keeper of the
castle of L’Isle – or the island – now
Lille in Northern France but then) –
Flanders c.1000 and 1039 founded the
Abbey of Palempin (Albert Miraeus,
Op. Diplom. i. 54) His son, Robert,
Castellan of Lisle, had 1. Roger,
whose grandson went to the Crusade
1096, and from whose brother Hugh
descended the powerful Castellans of
Lisle. 2. Sasualo or Sigwalo, who witnessed
a charter of Baldwin, Bishop of
Tournay 1087 (ib. 60). He appears to
be the ancestor of this family, who
came to England 1066. From him descended
the families of Edensor, Ireton,
and Shirley, who bore respectively
the arms of Ferrers and Ridel.”

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