The De Lancaster Connection


Although there is no direct evidence at this time to point to the ancestry of Matthew de Homerodes (see Earliest Ormerods), there has been much debate about the possibility of a link between the Ormerods of Ormerod and the De Lancaster Family.

The following information is taken from notes made by John Lord (d. 1906), who inserted them interleaf in his copy of George Ormerod's Parentalia. John Lord was related to the Ormerods of Monton, through the Openshaws. His original notes were made on engineer's graph paper, which make them quite hard to read, and the notes below are my best transcription of the original.

"De Lancasters - Barons of Kendal, from The Lancashire Pipe Rolls, W. Farrer (1907), p.vii.

"William, son of Gilbert de Lancaster:

"The origin of the Lancaster family is shrouded in mystery. The monks of St. Mary of York dedicated Gilbert de Lancaster from Ivo de Taillebois, viz., son of Ketell, son of Eldred, son of Ivo - (Monastieon, iii, p.553). Whilst it is quite certain that  he died without male issue, it is not impossible that Gilbert may have been the son of Ketell, son of Eldred, and brother of Orm, son of the said Ketell, who inherited his father's estates of Workington, Preston, Patrick .. and was father of Gospatrick, to whom William de Lancaster, son of the said Gilbert, before the year 1170, gave the vill of Lansplugh[?] in exchange for Middleton in Lonsdale.

Before 1139, William, son of Gilbert de Lancaster, gave land in a place called Suarlheued [?], in Hensingham, or Preston, near Whitehaven to St Mary and St Beda and the monks of York; Roger son of Gilbert and, and probably brother of the said William, subsequently gave two oxgangs of land in Hensingham. Ketel, son Eldred, held Workington, Kelton, .. of Ranulf of Meschines; Mirland, Preston, Patrick, and lands in Newby, Kirkley, Kendal and elsewhere in Westmorland, of the fief of Ivo de Taillebois.

Gospatrick, son of Orm, son of the said Ketell held his lands both in Copeland and Westmorland of the Lancaster, Barons of Kendal as appears by a charter of William, son of Gilbert de Lancaster quoted above (Transactions Cumberland and Westmorland, Arch. Society, V, p.312), and by Gilbert, son of Roger Fitz Reinfrese confiscation to the Abbey of St. Mary of York (Monastieon, iii, p.566).

"While there is nothing in these particulars inconsistent with ... made by Ranulf Meschines of various estates in Copeland and Westmorland to Gilbert de Lancaster, in a portion of which Ketell, son of Eldred, may already or subsequently have been enfeoffeed, as an under-tenant of Gilbert's, there is no evidence to be formed that relationship existed between Gilbert and Ketell." Pipe Rolls, p.iii.

"Orm de Lancaster

We are thus indebted to the "Pipe Rolls" for evidence of the Lancaster family having a younger son of the name of Orm.

The importance of this discovery bears upon the descent of the family of Ormerod of Ormerod from the family of de Lancasters Barons of Kendal. The Ormerod Arms are very similar to the Arms bornes by the de Lancasters vides Parentalia pp.3 and 4.

Mag. Rot. Pip, 16 Henry II (1169-1170)

William de Lancaster, and Gospatric, son of Orm (ancestor of the Curwens [?] of Worthington and cousin to William de Lancaster) were suretir for payments of v marks each.

See pp.16, 18 20, 23, 33, 311 & 314 of W. Farrer's Work, pub. 1902)

This evidence of some value when read in conjunction with Dr. Ormerod's observations in his Parentalia.

But if no relationship existed between Gilbert de Lancaster and Ketell there appears no doubt whatever that Orm was the son of Ketell, son of Eldred. There is nothing shown by any author I have read to exclude the supposition that Eldred was a natural son of Ivo de Taillebois." John Lord


The Ormerod Coat of Arms
The Arms of John de Lancaster, baron - who fought at the siege of Caerlaverock in Scotland in 1300.

Milton Ormerod notes that "[another] slight clue [to the connection between the Ormerods and the De Lancasters] ... is in the male names used by the two families, both of whom were addicted to the transmission of such names from one generation to another - as were most families in the North West."

"In the De Lancaster family these names were, Gilbert, William, Roger and John. Among the early Ormerods we have Gilbert, John and a Roger - who must have been born about 1400, since he was charged in the Manor of Ightenhill with making an affray in a fragmentary court roll of 1425."

George Ormerod, the historian, also found the De Lancasters owning a 'detached property in Pendle', far from their power base in Westmorland. In The Ormerods Milton Ormerod puts forward the suggestion that some very junior or bastard De Lancaster had married the heiress to this property.