Ansculf DE PICQUIGNY Sheriff of Buckinghamshire 888
- Born: Abt 1014, Picquigny, Somme, Picardy, France
Another name for Ansculf was Anscoul DE PICQUIGNI.
...the first version of Dudley Castle was built by Ansculf of Picquigirya (sic)...a Norman supporter of Wm the Conqueror [Ref: Annie Natalelli-Waloszek <Xanadu2@Wanadoo.fr> 20 Aug 2001 msg to SGM] The spelling is odd considering Annie lives in France... Curt
From Ailly, in Picardy, came the founder of a race of Northamptonshire Barons. The Vidames de Picquiny (sic) were among the magnets of medieval France, hereditary Officers of the Bishop of Amiens. Two members of this family - Anculf (Ansculf) and his brother Gilo (Ghilo) de Pinchegni, followed the Conqueror to England. The names of both Anculf and Gilo are inscribed on the Battle Abbey Roll. [Ref: Pinkney Family website citing: Mrs Sheila C Titcombe _Once Upon A Village_ http://www.pinkney-family-site.co.uk/Moreton%20Pinkney.html] Note: The Battle Abbey Roll is notoriously inaccurate & the above website gives no source for the allegation that they were related to the Vidames de Picquigny, though I _believe_ it likely... Curt
When William the Conqueror crossed the English Channel and defeated Harold in 1066, he distributed the spoils of victory among those who had supported him. One of these was Ansculf from a village near Amiens, who was assigned a barony of more than 80 manors scattered across several counties. This fragmentation was William's deliberate policy to prevent his gifts being turned into mini-states to continue the pattern of feuding then found in France. In his collection, Ansculf was awarded Dudley and recognised that its hilltop site was ideal for Norman-style fortifications. At that point the Saxon fortress was held by Edwin, possibly a grandson of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, but the Conquest meant that Ansculf could simply dispossess him. [Ref: DudleyMall http://www.dudleymall.co.uk/loclhist/olddudley/dudleycastle.htm]
Ansculf (Anscoul) DE PICQUIGNY was born about 1014 in Picquigny, Normandy, France. He served in the military in 1066 in Hastings, Sussex, England. Ansculf was made Lord of the Manor of Englefield by King William I, not long after his conquest of Britain. He appears to have come from Picquigny and was probably part of William's army at the Battle of Hastings. He died after 1066. He held the royal title of Lord of the Manor of Englefield after 1066. Englefield means "Anglo" or "English-Field", being named after the Field of Battle where the Anglo-Saxons were victorious over invading Vikings in 870. He held the royal title of Sheriff of Buckinghamshire after 1066. [Ref: Reimert Family History: http://www.reimert.org/genealogy/database/d151.htm] Note: no source was cited & I am skeptical of the "royal title".
Many of those who joined Duke William in the adventurous foray which he led against the Saxon kingdom of England in 1066 were complete outsiders, not Normans at all. One of these was names Ansculf and he came from Picquigni, a well-known village near Amiens. He was, therefore, a Picard adventurer, who saw opportunity of riches.
At victory, to Ansculf were assigned more than eighty manors scattered throughout the following counties: Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Northampton, Rutland, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertforshire, Oxfordshire, Middlesex and Surrey. These formed the barony of Dudley.
In selecting Dudley as the capital of this scattered barony, Ansculf was doubtless influenced by the excellent sporting opportunities of the district, still more probably by the fact that the hill above the little town presented an absolute ideal site for a strong defence of the Norman type. Much of the area of Worcestershire was occupied by the ample domains of the bishop, and of great religious houses, much by forest and other royal domains. There was little room for territorial nobility and in fact the detached island of Dudley was the only chief seat of a baronial house. [Ref: G. Chandler and I Hannah, _Dudley, As It Was And As It Is Today_ (1949) B.T. Batsford Ltd., London]
In the aftermath of the Norman Conquest, the lands in the West Midlands remained in the hands of Earl Edwin of Mercia. In 1070, however, he was involved in an unsuccessful rebellion against William The Conqueror. As a consequence he forfeited his estates (and his life). The estates were then divided amongst King William's followers.
Ansculf of Piciguiny benefited from this division and amongst the land grants he received was the estate of Dudley. Here he built a fortification of earth and timber, called a Motte and Bailey Castle. This building was first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and by this time the castle was held by Ansculf's son William fitz Ansculf. [Ref: Discover Dudley http://www.discoverdudley.org.uk/Dudley_town.htm]
After the Battle of Hastings in 1066 King William Ist still had problems with the English. Edric the Wild with Welsh support organised a rebellion in the west of England and it took two Norman victories at the battles of Stafford and Chester to defeat them. In response to this William had a ring of castles built around the North West Midlands; Dudley was part of this system.
Dudley Castle was erected after 1070 and it was likely that the hill that the castle was built on which was part of Dudley was taken into the estate of Sedgley as that was the property of the king. The first castle to be built was a motte and bailey structure; an earthen mound topped with a timber tower, surrounded by a defensive timber palisade fence. The earliest lord was the Norman Sheriff of Buckingham, a man called Ansculf of Picquigny who was created a baron of a large number estates in the West Midlands. He had died by the time the Domesday Book had been collated in 1086 and been replaced by William fitz Ansculf, his son. [Ref: Discover Dudley http://www.discoverdudley.org.uk/dudley_castle.htm]
1066 - Ansculf - from Picquigni (near Amiens) had more than 80 manors assigned to him following the Battle of Hastings. His Barony of Dudley covered Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Northants, Rutland, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Middlesex and Surrey. Ansculf selected Dudley, doubtless influenced by sporting opportunities of the area. Also, the hill above the town was ideally placed for an ideal Norman defence.
(© Dudley, G Chandler and IC Hannah, 1949, Batsford)
1066 - Dudley Castle, started by Ansculf is one of the largest and best preserved Norman defences in existence today. Great earthworks comprising of a vast mote (domed mound), and adjoining bailey (courtyard).
(© Dudley, G Chandler and IC Hannah, 1949, Batsford) [Ref: Black Country http://www.the-black-country.co.uk/dudleytimeline/11th%20century.htm]
NAME: Anscoul DE PICQUIGNI [Ref: 469=Battle Abbey Roll]
NAME: PINCHENGI [Ref: 470=Domesday Book]
OCCUPATION: Sheriff of Surrey
OCCUPATION: Sheriff of Buckinghamshire
EVENT: 1066, Awarded lands in, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Worcestershire and Surrey 7443