The Marmions originated from Fontenay le Marmion. Click on the navigation button to see photographs of modern Fontenay le Marmion.
The Hall of the Marmions is generally agreed to be in the “Hall Closes” fields, approximately behind the Rectory and National School. The Earlsgate (or Yarlesgate) - the road leading from the modern
bench on Cliff Road towards the A1077, is so named it is believed because it led to this important house, with the current public footpath being the continuation to the hall, and the sunken roadway known to
generations of children tobogganing in Cowgangs as “the train” leading the last few hundred yards to the back gate.
In his book “The History and Antiquities of the Scunthorpe and Frodingham and District”, Museum Curator Harold Dudley stated: “The Winteringham home of the family is thought to have been in the
present "Hall Close," south of the church. Many years ago extensive foundations were discovered on the hill side, also a well, the interior of which is lined with stone. I had the opportunity recently of
seeing this well, the masonry of which is cut and finished with such exactness as to be worthy of a place in any building, ancient or modern. Further remains of buildings have subsequently been unearthed from time
Picture by Harry Wells ©2005
The Marmions were first mentioned as belonging to Fontenay le Marmion, a village south of Caen in Normandy France. They
were the Champions of the Dukes of Normandy, a service which they continued after the Conquest, and their descendants still
hold. The Marmions continued to hold Fontenay le Marmion, and their history is intertwined with that place, the nearby city of
Caen, Rouen (about 60 miles due east of Fontenay), and several places in England, notably Winteringham, Scrivelsby, Coningsby and Tamworth (but many other places beside).
It is assumed that Robert Marmion, who was born about 1040 in Fontenay le Marmion, came across with William the Conqueror and fought at the Battle of Hastings, though there is no hard evidence that this is a fact.
There are conflicting suggestions about the Marmions in Winteringham. Some suggest that Robert Marmion’s son Roger was
born at Winteringham “about 1065”. Clearly it would be after the Battle of Hastings, and if Roger was born at Winteringham it
would be more likely to be 1067 or later, as William took some while to reach London and was only crowned there on Christmas
Day 1066. Others have Roger being born at Scrivelsby, in Tamworth Castle, and in Normandy with date of birth ranging from 1060 to 1065.
The Domesday Book tells us “In Wintringeham Ulf had twelve carucates of land to be taxed, land to as many ploughs. Robert,
a vassal of Gilbert's, has there four ploughs. There is a priest and a church, and three mills, of thirty-seven shillings and four
pence; and one ferry of thirteen shillings; and the bed of a fishery, value in King Edward's time and now ten pounds;tallaged at forty shillings.”
Does this suggest that at this time the Marmions did not hold Winteringham? Or could another suggestion be that the extremely
powerful Baron and owner of vast swathes of land, Gilbert de Gaunt/Ghent/Gand (also known as Baron Folkingham where he
had his ‘seat’) and in the practice of the times, had Robert Marmion as a vassall, albeit it an extremely important and wealthy
one in his own right, despite Robert’s own significant holdings elsewhere? Perhaps, but some suggest that the Marmions bought Winteringham at a later date. Click here for further details from another website.
“A History of Winterton and the surrounding villages” by W Andrew (1836), adds the following information:
Dugdale cites an ancient record, which states that Robert Lord Marmion, in the year 1166, held in Winteringham, twelve
knights' fees by descent, and three by purchase. Our manuscript does not refer to this family for nearly a hundred years after
the period last named; but it states that in 1264, Robert Lord Marmion, was owner of the whole manor of Winteringham, in
Lincolnshire, which after his death, descended to his eldest son William, and after his death, to his son John, who, in the
eleventh year of Edward the second, obtained a grant from the king, for a weekly market upon every Wednesday, at his
manor of Winteringham; after whose decease, the town and manor came to the Lords Grey of Rotherfield, and after them to
the Lords Fitz Hugh of Holderness. From various other sources we learn that this family were in possession of this property,
several years prior to that mentioned in the manuscript. The grant above alluded to, was evidently not the first obtained by
the Marmions, in favour of their estates at this place; for, according to the Charter Rolls in the Tower, the first Robert Marmion
obtained a grant for Winteringham as early as the second year of the reign of King John, 1200. Again, in the Close Rolls, we
find a writ in the second year of Henry the third, 1217, ordering the Sheriff of Lincoln, to deliver seizen of the manor of
Winteringham, which had belonged to Robert Marmion the younger, and to Richard de Rivars. From the same source we
also learn, that this Robert Marmion went to the wars for his father, in the year 1214; and subsequently, in 1219, had
succeeded his father in holding the castle of Tamworth. It is almost needless to mention that the Marmions were hereditary
champions to the kings of England, and it is affirmed by some that they acted in that capacity to the dukes of Normandy,
even before the conquest of this country. ... We would observe that Robert, son to the one who came out of Normandy with
William the first, died about the eighth [year] of the reign of King Stephen, and was succeeded by another Robert, his son,
who was a justice itinerant in Warwickshire. He died in the year 1218, leaving, according to Dugdale, two sons by different
wives, both of the name of Robert, and a younger son called William; Robert ... this younger Robert de Marmion held the
lordship of Winteringham, with some others, by the special grant of his father; and it is to be observed, that the members of
this branch of the family, though they do not appear to have ever inherited the championship, yet possessed the higher
honour of being summoned to parliament amongst the peers of the realm. From an extinct Baronage of England, it appears
that Lord Fitz Hugh married Elizabeth Marmion, the last of that race, and had issue by such marriage, no fewer than eight sons and five daughters.
Robert Marmion the Younger was one of three Marmions present at the signing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede - a meadow
by the Thames - by King John and his noblemen in 1215.
In “Some Corrections and Additions to the Complete Peerage: Volume 8, we can abstract the following information ... Sir John
Marmion (died 1322) married Isabel, who was the widow of Ralph de Plaiz (died 1283) and this appears from his foundation of the Winteringham Chantry.
On 26th September 1317 King Edward II granted a market charter to John Marmyon [sic] to be held on Wednesdays at the
manor. At the same time a charter to John Marmyon allowed a fair to be held on the feast of Mary Magdalen (July 28th) with the
fair being held on the vigil (the eve of the feast day), the feast day itself, and the morrow (the day after the feast day).
"The King to the Archbishop &c. greeting. Know ye that we have granted and by this our Charter have confirmed to our
beloved and faithful John Marmion that he and his heirs for ever may have every week on Wednesday at their Manor of
Wyntryngham in the County of Lincoln and a Fair there every year to last for three days, on the Vigil of the day, on the day,
and on the morrow of Saint Mary Magdalene. Wherefore we will and firmly command for us and our heirs that the aforesaid
John Marmion and his heirs may have for ever, the said Market and Fair aforesaid with all liberties and free customers to
such Market and Fair belonging. Witnessed by J Winton Chancellor, Sept. 26th, 1317. Thomas de Brotherton County of Norfolk and Marechal of England. Hugh de Despensor, Senr."
On 30 January 1333, King Edward III granted charters to John Marmyon for a market to be held on Saturdays, and for a fair to
be held on the feast of the Transfiguration of Thomas the Martyr (July 7th), again on the vigil, feast and morrow of that day.
Sir Walter Scott wrote a poem called Marmion. Whilst the Marmion of the poem was an imaginary character, he evidently knew
and used some of the history of the Marmions, using a couple of places, including Fontenay, in his poem. He does not use
Winteringham at all however. To read the poem, you can download it from the Project Guterman site by clicking here.
See also http://www.marmionfamilytree.com
On July 4th 2013, Ken found this medieval key, thought to be 700 years old, on the site of Winteringham Hall. Could it last have been used (and lost) by one of the Marmions?