Thanks to social media and our mutual friends and interests, I was introduced to the works of artist Martin Williamson. Martin has graciously agreed to allow the reproduction of his beautiful paintings in this Rooting for Ancestors blog. What follows each image I’ve chosen is his description of the painting, and my commentary as it relates to genealogy research. At the end of the post, I’ll provide contact links for Martin, and link you to his online gallery.
Bolton Castle, Wensleydale, Yorkshire
|St. Oswald's Chapel at Castle Bolton|
Sir William Scrope, 1259-1312. He is the father of (Lord Henry) Scrope of Bolton and (Sir Geoffrey) Scrope of Masham (14 miles away), both branches of which are my ancestors because their descendants married as second cousins twice removed. Henry Scrope, 1271-1336, married Margaret de Ros (see Helmsley Castle in this article). Their son Richard Scrope was 1st Baron Scrope, Treasurer, Keeper of Great Seal, and Lord Chancellor until 1382, under Richard II. Richard Scrope was the builder of Bolton Castle, and the grandfather of another Richard Scrope, who married Margaret Neville, daughter of Margaret Stafford and Ralph Neville, 1st earl of Westmorland. Bolton Castle’s subsequent history may be found at the link below.
Helmsley Castle, north Yorkshire
Peveril Castle, Castleton, Derbyshire
Robert Fitzralph 3rd Lord of Middleham and Spennithorne, 1110-1185, has a long line of ancestors back to the ninth century and beyond. Genealogy sites list his death as 1185, but every site also says that Robert Fitzralph built the castle of Middleham “commencing in 1190”—apparently five years after his death. (This looks like a job for the History Police, unless you attribute the work to his wife, Helewisa de Glanville and their young son.) Robert also founded Beauchief Abbey in Sheffield—luckily, though, while he was still alive! His and his son’s (Ranulf Fitzrobert) tomb effigies were dug from the rubble of nearby Coverham Abbey and their photo is contained in the header of this blog. Robert Fitzralph is the great-great grandfather of Ralph Neville, 1st earl Westmorland (Ralph Neville again?? He gets the most hits on this site!).
Clifford’s Tower, York Castle, Yorkshire
Idoine de Clifford, was born c 1300, married Henry de Percy, 2nd Lord of Alnwick, 1st Earl Northumberland, and died 24 Aug 1365. Clifford’s Tower is the keep for York Castle, which was a royal fortress established by William I, and rebuilt in stone by Henry III.His sister,
Castle, north Wales
Llywelyn the Great ap Iorweth, Prince of Gwynedd and North Wales. The Welsh castle functioned as a fortress. On January 18, 1283, it was captured by Edward I of England (“Longshanks”) in his conquest of Wales. The castle was then modified and strengthened for occupation by an English garrison.Dolwyddelan Castle was a native Welsh castle located near Conwy. It was built between 1210 and 1240 by
Roger Mortimer 1st Earl of March (rebel against Edward II and one of the regents to Edward III before Roger’s execution in 1330) built the castle in 1295 as part of the Edwardian chain of Welsh castles.Roger Mortimer (one of many “Roger Mortimer” fathers, sons, and cousins) built the castle of Chirk on land he had been granted in 1282. That Roger died during lifetime imprisonment in the Tower of London in 1326, and his grandson John Mortimer signed over his rights to Chirk Castle to his cousin Roger Mortimer 2nd earl of March (brother of my ancestor Isabella Mortimer Fitzalan), in 1359. Another version has it that
More info: http://www.castlewales.com/chirk.html
More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chirk_Castle
Thank you again, Martin, for being so agreeable about sharing your fine art. Readers, if you enjoy his paintings, please observe international copyright laws and contact him for permission to reproduce the images—or perhaps to enquire about purchasing a print, or commissioning a canvas depicting your ancestors’ landscapes or edifices. Remember: images ©Martin Williamson 2011. This is the link to his contact information. Martin welcomes friends to his Facebook pages, and you'll find that link in his website.
I've selected a few of Martin's churches to feature at another time, which connect with ancestors or their burials. Are you interested? What do you think of this blog post? Leave a comment below!