Eldred of Workington, 2nd Baron of Kendal

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Eldred "the Englishman" de Taillebois (of Workington), 2nd Baron of Kendal

Also Known As: "Ethelread", "Aelftred", "Eldred /De Taillebois/", ""The /Englishman"/", "Elfred", "Aelfred", "Elftred the Englishman", "Eldred of Workington"
Birthplace: Workington in Coupland, Cumberland, England (United Kingdom)
Death: 1120 (90-92)
Kendal, Cumbria, England (United Kingdom)
Immediate Family:

Husband of Aldgytha, of Workington and Beatrix de Taillebois, Heiress of Kendal
Father of William de Workington and Ketel FitzEldred "Taillebois" de Kendal, 3rd Baron Of Kendal

Occupation: 2nd Baron of Kendal
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Eldred of Workington, 2nd Baron of Kendal

CURATOR's NOTE: Parentage is known. By most accounts, Eldred was either the son or son-in-law (most likely) of Ivo de Taillebois, Baron of Kendal. If his son, it would have been by his first wife, Gondreda (Countess of Wessex), rather than Ivo's second wife Lucy (daughter of Thorold of Lincoln), another powerful and well-connected Anglo-Norman woman. Eldred and Beatrix are a couple who inherited the barony of Kendal. Whether Beatrix was the heiress--and thus Ivo's daughter, making Eldred in fact Ivo's son-in-law, is a matter of uncertainty. Beatrix was first married to Ribald of Middleham. The research at the current time makes a stronger case that Beatrix was in fact Ivo's and Gondreda's daughter, and so that is the way I am structuring it on Geni.

Eldred (Aelftred) was a powerful Anglo-Saxon lord in Norman England, and this power was a legacy to his son Ketel, who was probably the son of Eldred and an Anglo-Saxon mother, Aeldgytha.


Alternate names:

Eldred Unknown, Baron of Kendal

Eldred ll of Kendal (de Lancaster)

Ælfred "the Englishman" de Taillebois

Eldred of Workington


From Andrew Lancaster's The de Lancasters of Westmorland. See also Dix Preston's post on GEN-MEDIEVAL

Eldred. Everything we know about this man is that he is the father of Ketel. The name is normally standardized to Eldred, which was the normal Frenchification of the Old English name Ethelred, and that is probably correct. But the wide variations in spelling are perhaps the reason that there is at least some speculation that another name underlies this spelling, such as Alfred (latinised as Alured) or Uchtred (one charter calls him Eutred)[2]. Reverend Ragg referred to him with a more unusual name, Elftred, because he also found that unusual spelling somewhere and felt it was the earliest reference he'd seen.

Eldred must have been a close contemporary of Ivo de Taillebois (perhaps even a little older) and like him he is said to be an ancestor of the de Lancasters of Kendal. In two much later monastic accounts he is said to be the son of Ivo de Taillebois, which seems impossible. The families seem to have been equated in people's minds because Ketel, Eldred's son, held several possessions which had been held by Ivo, and confirmed grants made by Ivo. But more recently it became more common to suggest that Eldred is Ivo's son-in-law, married to his daughter Beatrice or Beatrix, either after or before her more well-known husband Ribald of Middleham, who is mentioned above. This also presents difficulties. But there are other possibilities. For example could he be a step son, or an illegitimate son, or the husband of an illegitimate daughter, or might his son Ketel and/or a daughter, have married a member of the de Taillebois family? It is perhaps best to assume that the common jurisdictions of Ivo and Ketel did not pass on by inheritance. Ivo may even have been Ketel's overlord. (See below.)

It is supposed by some people that Eldred's was a relatively rare case of a powerful Anglo-Saxon (or Anglo-Danish, or Anglo-British, because in this part of England the ancient lordly families had inter-mixed) man in the new Norman kingdom. This was apparently more common on both sides of the English-Scottish border where a Northumbrian clique, with blood links to the old royalty of England, Denmark and Northumbria, held an important balance of power while it married into the new Gaelic and Norman dynasties to the north and south. Might Eldred have been related to Ivo’s wife, Lucy, who seems to have been a member of the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy of Lincolnshire, which is known to have included an Alured of Lincoln? Her family also seems to have maintained their position under the Normans, but also seems to have had strong links to Scotland. The antiquarian George Washington has suggested that Eldred was "a scion of the great house of Dunbar". Lucy's later husbands apparently also held claims to various parts of Cumbria, where the de Lancasters would later live, and Lincolnshire, her homeland.


  • *Thornburgs in England
  • Selside Hall Pedigree of Thornburgs in England
    • Name Birth Spouse
  • 1. Ivo de Taillebois 1036 (Gondreda, Lucy)
  • 2. Eldred de Culwen 1055 (Adigitha)
  • 3. Ketel de Culwen 1074 (Christiana de Taillebois)
  • 4. Orm de Workington 1080 (Gunilda Dunbar)
  • 5. Robert Ormson 1122 (Christiana De Meynwarin)
  • 6. Walter de Thornburgh 1185 (Emma)
  • 7. Nicholas de Thornburgh 1220
  • Note: Birth dates are approximate.
  • In summary, the above pedigree suggests that our Thornburghs were of European origin, first coming to England from France during the Norman Conquest in 1066. Following the conquest, a Norman bloodline united through marriage with the native Saxons and the Thornburgh lines were born. Normans are said to descend from Vikings (Norse) and Saxons descend from Germans. During the 11th through 16th Centuries Thornburghs lived in what is now Yorkshire, Lancashire, and Cumbria, England. Thornburgs in England married with prominent families in the region and allied with the Barony of Lancaster. However, beginning in generation 25 (17th Century), Thornburgs migrated first to Ireland and then to America over a period lasting four generations (25th – 28th) before settling in Randolph County, Indiana.
  • There can be found two dual lines of Thornburgs from England. Ketel de Taillebois (generation 3) may have married a 1st or 2nd cousin. Elena de Culwen is reported to descend from Eldred de Culwen and her marriage to William around the year 1300 forms the second dual line.
  • From: http://home.earthlink.net/~camp100/id6.html
  • _____________
  • TAILLEBOIS, BEATRIX: Daughter of Ivo Taillebois (q.v.) and his unknown first wife. Clay thought Beatrice was probably illegitimate (EYC, v, 291), because none of Ivo's property passed to Ribald with his wife Beatrice. Ivo's second wife Lucy was an important heiress whose inheritance formed the basis of the land Ivo held in Domesday Book This fief, the honour of Bolingbroke, was inherited by the two sons of Lucy's subsequent marriages, whereas Ivo's own barony of Kendal, granted after 1086, went (possibly) to Ketel son of Eldred and then to Ketel?s nephew William fitz Gilbert of Lancaster, surnamed Taillebois (Sanders, 56). In the late twelfth century the writer Peter of Blois claimed that Ivo had had a sole daughter, ?nobly married?. Defective genealogies, in the Cockersand Cartulary and the Register of St Mary's York (Cockersand Cart., ii, pp. 305−8) made William a descendant of Eldred and Ivo Taillebois, who must have been father of Eldred's wife.

Beatrice is known to have married Ribald, half−brother of the Conqueror's Breton cousin Count Alan before 1093; Monasticon Anglicanum. III, p. 553 no. xx. She was dead by c 1121 at the time of a gift to St Mary's by Ribald and their son Ralph Taillebois: Given that Ketel Fitz Eldred, his nephew William of Lancaster, and Ralph fitz Ribald, were all active c.1120, .just a few years before Ivo?s widow buried her third husband, one can conclude that Beatrice was a legitimate heir of Ivo by a wife previous to Lucy, who was Beatrice's contemporary, and that she was first the wife of the Englishman Eldred and subsequently the wife of Ribald. For the descendants of Beatrice and Ribald see Rev. H. C. Fitz Herbert An original pedigree of Tailbois and Neville', The Genealogist, ns iii, 31. Clay. Early Yorkshire Charters (1936), V, no. 358.* Source: DOMESDAY DESCENDANTS; by K. S. B. Keats−Rohan, page 1121

  • FILIUS ELDRED, KETEL: Son of Eldred and a daughter of Ivo Taillebois (q.v.), some of whose land in the barony of Kendal he inherited. Benefactor of the abbey of St Bees, founded 1120, to which he gave land in Morland and Workington (Register St Bees, pp. 233 −34, no. 212) with the assent of his wife Christiana and son William. Father also of Orm, whose son Gospatric was his eventual heir. His grant of land to St Leonard's, York, was confirmed by his sister's son William fitz Gilbert of Lancaster (q.v.). He died several years after 1120. G. Washington, ?The parentage of William de Lancaster, lord of Kendal', Transactions Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society 62 (1962). Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum, III, pp. 548−60, no. V.* Source: DOMESDAY DESCENDANTS; by K. S. B. Keats−Rohan, page 881

posted by Dix Preston, 28 Nov 2005, on http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Soc/soc.genealogy.medieval/...−11/msg01282.html

Eldred of Kendal, c. 1035 Anjou, Loire, France, died ? Kendal, Westmoreland, England

married Aldgytha, b. 1037, Northumberland, England

Parents unknown


1. Ketel of Kendal, c. 1055-1120, married Christiana de Taillebois


  • --------------------

See "My Lines"

( http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cousin/html/p243.htm#i27549 )

from Compiler: R. B. Stewart, Evans, GA

( http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cousin/html/index.htm )

  • --------------------

•Name: Ketell 1 •Sex: M •Title: 3rd Baron of Kendell •Birth: ABT 1100 1 •Death: UNKNOWN

Father: Eldred b: ABT 1070 Mother: Aldigatha b: ABT 1070

Marriage 1 Christiana b: ABT 1100 Children 1. Gilbert Fil Ketrell b: ABT 1120


somewhat less compelling:

 Ketel Fitz ELDRED 3rd Baron of Kendall 1215 1217 was born circa 1055 in Workington in Coupland, Cumberland, England and died after 1120 of Kendal, Westmorland, England 
  • --------------------

Elftred, a purely Anglo-Saxon name has various spellings according to different dialects and languages. The various spellings of the name are Eldred, Eldreth, Eltred, Eltreth, Elred, and Heltred. Elftred appears as the second entry for the Curwen family in the 1616 and 1666 Visitations of Cumberland and Westmorland Counties, shown as the son of John Talboise and the father of Ketel. For many years, historians believed that he had three sons, Ketel, Gilbert and William. More recent sources believe that Gilbert was a son-in-law, which means Elftred also had a daughter.

Not much is known of Elftred, either in legend or in history. We can only surmise that he was a man of considerable position as the possessions of his two elder sons, held in part as over-lords, in part as mesne lords, extended widely over Cumberland,Westmorland and Furness. Moreover his grandson was of such a social position that he was able to marry the daughter of Gospatric, the great Earl of Northumbria and of Dunbar.

There appeared a close relationship between Gospatric, Earl of Dunbar and Elftred 'the Englishman' (also called Eldred, the Thane); specifically, Elftred (or Eldred) had held Milburn in Westmorland under Gospatric, Earl of Dunbar, with the lordship being continued through Elftred's descendants, the de Lancaster family of Kendal (Milburn in Westmorland was traditionally English land which was holden to the house of Dunbar until their lordship was deprived of the said manor in 1314).

The lordship of Milburn in Westmorland was a very important symbolic holding for the Scottish house of Dunbar, as it represented their foothold within England (for more than 200 years), and as such, they would have only placed its keeping into the hand of a very trusted underlord, most probably of blood connection. There are several well-documented theories as to the nature of this "blood connection."

One major theory about Elftred is that he was the son of Ivo de Talboise, and that he married Edgitha of Northumberland (dau. of Gofpatrick, Earl of Northumbria, and Aetheldreda, Princess of England) 1072, Mercia, England. The other major theory is that he married Beatrice, daughter of Ivo de Talboise. Both theories give nearly identical list of his children.

Elftred is believed to be the common ancestor of the two families of de Lancaster and de Culwen - a name that for a time in the thirteenth century became de Currewenne, then fell back to Culwen and finally settled into Curwen in the end of the fifteenth century.

Children of Elftred the Thane:

  • Ketel (Ketellus), who married Christiana
  • Godith, married Gilbert, sometimes called Gilbert de Lancaster

Links to additional material:


Kendal is listed in the Domesday Book as part of Yorkshire with the name Cherchebi. For many centuries it was called Kirkbie Kendal, meaning "village with a church in the valley of the River Kent". The earliest castle was a Norman motte and bailey (now located on the west side of the town) when the settlement went under the name of Kirkbie Strickland. ...The site of several (ruined) castles, the most recent one constructed in the late-12th century, Kendal Castle, has a long history as a stronghold of one kind or another. It was the castle of the Barony of Kendal, the part of Westmorland ruled from here.

Westmorland was one of the historic counties of England. At the time of Domesday Book in 1086, parts of the county were considered either to form part of Yorkshire or to be within the separate Kingdom of Strathclyde.

Some time after 1018 and before 1054, the kingdom of Strathclyde appears to have been conquered by the Scots. ...In 1092, the Norman king William the Conqueror's son William Rufus invaded the region and incorporated Cumberland, the area that is now Cumbria, into England.

The Normans created the baronies of Kendal and Westmorland. These were originally distinct jurisdictions with separate sheriffs, but were formed into a single county of Westmorland in 1226-27. Before 1226 the Barony of Kendal was connected to the Earldom or Honour of Lancaster while that of Westmorland was part of the Earldom of Carlisle.

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Eldred of Workington, 2nd Baron of Kendal's Timeline

Workington in Coupland, Cumberland, England (United Kingdom)
Workington in Coupland, Cumberland, England
Age 91
Kendal, Cumbria, England (United Kingdom)