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Brittany

  1. Clovis 1st, ruled between 481-511. He was the founder of the Merovingian Frankish Empire. The Merovingians were probably of Germanic origin, although they claimed descent from the ruling class of Troy who migrated to the Rhine after the Greco-Trojan war. Clovis defeated the Romans, Siagrius, and conquered Gaul circa 480.
     

  2. Sigisbert married Rotilde [Sigisbert IV, son of Dagobert II] He fled to Brittany (Amorica) 881 after Carolingian usurpation of Frankish empire.
     

  3. Guillaume married Idoine. He fled to England 914 to escape the Vikings.
     

  4. Daughter of Guillaume, Gemege, married Arnaud. He was the Count of Poher, descended from Conmore, Count of Poher at around 490. Conmore probably came to Brittany during the Celtic migrations from England. The Celts fled the Saxon invasion of England.
     

  5. Count of Poher, Mateudoe [870 – 952], married Havoire. He fled to the English Court of King Athelstan 937. (King Athelstan lived 895-939, and reigned 924-939). Havoire was a daughter of the Duke of Brittany, Alan I, and his wife, Oreguen.
     

  6. Alan 2nd [900 – 952] married Unknown
    [“Strongbeard” or “Twistedbeard” – raised in the English Court of King Athelstan. Duke of Brittany around 950]. After the death of Alan 2nd, the title of Duke of Brittany reverted to the paternal relations of his mother, Havoire.
     

  7. The eldest son of Alan 2nd, Surech, did not marry and died without issue. The second son, Drogo, married Gode. The third and last son, Eustace 3rd, Count of Boulogne, married Ide D’Ardennes. They had two daughters; Alex who married the Emperor of France, Henry 4th, and Gertrude who remained unmarried. They also had three sons – Baudoin (King of Jerusalem, died 1118), Godfroi (Count of Boulogne, Duke of Lower Lorraine, and King of Jerusalem 1099), and Eustace who married Marie (Matilda); daughter of Malcolm, King of Scotland [reigned 943-954]. Eustace and Matilda had one daughter, Matilda [1103-1152], who married Stephen, King of England [1097 –1154]. He was King twice; 1135-1141, deposed April 1141, and restored November 1141-1154.
     

  8. Drogo Poher (living in Gloucestershire 1127) married Unknown.
     

  9. Bartholomew le Poher, Lord of Blackborough, Devon married Eleanor.
     

  10. Sons of Bartholomew le Poher

    1. Sir Robert

    2. Sir Roger

    3. Simon

    4. William

    5. Philip

    Robert came to Ireland in 1171 with King Henry 2nd. Later Robert returned with Roger, Simon and William in 1177 as part of the Norman Invasion with their kinsmen John and Henry. Robert was killed in 1178. John may have been the eldest son of Robert. Philip remained in Blackborough.
     

  11. Sons of Sir Robert le Poher and his wife, Katherine.

    1. Sir John le Poher, Baron of Donoyle (later Dunhill) and Kilmeaden.

    2. Sir Eustace le Poher.

    3. Walter le Poher, Lord of Blackburg Poerk and Sheriff of Devon in the 7th & 8th years of the reign of King Henry 3rd.

    4. Bartholomew le Poher, living in the 10th year of King Henry 3rd was Lord of Blackborough. He carried on the line in Blackborough.

The Blackborough, Devon Connection

Four of the six by name le Poher, who came to Ireland as part of the Norman Invasion, were sons of Bartholomew le Poher, Lord of Blackborough in Devon, England. The early ancestry of this family is given below.

  1. Extract from “An Historical Memoir of The Family of Poher, Poer, or Power with an account of The Barony of Le Power and Coroghmore, County Waterford” by Gabriel O’Carroll Redmond, MD, MRSAI, Cappoquin, County Waterford, published by “The Irish Builder" 1891.

    The scope of this paper will not permit more than a passing word regarding the remote ancestry of this family. The name is derived from the designation of one of the ancient, independent states of Brittany, of which there were five, namely, La Domnonie, La Cornouailles, La Vannes, Le Poher, and Le Leon; and as many Bretons took part in the Invasion of England, under William of Normandy, and settled there, the Pohers being amongst the number, it may fairly be presumed, that the family sprung from the counts or princes of Le Poher. Many branches were established in England.

    A.D. 1066. A branch of the Pohers settled in Devon with Alured de Mayenne; and in 1165, Ranulph de Poher held three knights' fees of his barony, of the Honour of Barnstable, under William de Brewes; and William de Poher held of the said Ranulph. Sir Bartholomew de Poher was Lord of Blackburg, or Blackborough in the reign of Henry II, and by his wife, Elenor, left a son Robert de Poher; whose son, Bartholomew de Poher, was living in the tenth year of Henry III. His son, Walter de Poher, was Lord of Blackburg Poerk, Sheriff of Devon, 7th and 8th Henry III. Another branch in Devonshire were styled "of Poherhays."

    We find Bartholomew de Poher, of Poherhays, living temp. Henry II. He had a son Roger; whose son, Roger, was father of John, who also had a son, John, and whose son, Roger, had an only child Cicely de Poher. This Cicely married Richard Duke, Esq. In Pole's "History of Devon" it is stated that "Poherhays, nowe Dukeshays - this hath always contynewed in the name of Poer and Duke."

    The following footnotes are given: -

    No 21, Vol. 1, 1171, 1172. Norfolk and Suffolk – Honor of William de Curci. Wm le Puhier and Hugh Pincerna render their account for hire of a ship to carry the harness and supplies of Robert Puher into Ireland £4, by the King’s writ (Pipe 18, Henry 11, Rot 3 and 3 dars.). This is the earliest mention of Poher or Power in Irish records. This Robert is the ancestor of the major Power families in Ireland. The entry is under “The Norman People” in Sweetman’s “Calendar of Documents Relating to Ireland”.

    No 41, Vol 1, 1172, 1173 Oxon – Honor of Wm de Curci. William le Poher and Hugh Pincerna owe £9 acutage of the old feoffment. They also render their account of £4 4s of the new feoffment, because the honor is in the King’s hand. Pardon by the K’s writ for Wm Fitzadelm 40s and for Ralph de Dena, Jocelin de Neville, and Robert Poher, 10s each, and they owe 14s. (Pipe 19, Henry 11, Rot 11).

    No 75, vol. 1., AD 1184-85, Devon. William Briewerre renders his account for passage into Ireland of the following persons: - Thomas Briewerre and his two associates 30s; William le Poerh and nine associates, with 50 horses 66s 8d, and others, all by the King’s writ (Pipe 31 Henry 11, Rot 11).

    No 129, vol. 1, October 30th, 1200. William le Poerh appears one of the witnesses to an agreement between Meyler Fitz-Henry and Fulk de Cantillupe, touching 3 carucates of land at Corkach (Westbury, Chart, 2 John, m. 22)

    No 132, Oct. 30th, 1200. William Poher appears one of the witnesses to a grant for life to Thomas, Abbot de Glindelechan (Glendalough), of 40 carucates of land (Gloucester, Chart. 2 John, m. 20).

    Benedict Abbot who then lived and who wrote the History of Henry 11, mentions the land grant of Waterford by Henry 11 to Robert Puher or Poer.

    Early mentions of de Poher in other parts of England are in Leicestershire (1166), Northamptonshire (1090), Shropshire (1212), Warwickshire (reign of Henry 11, with William de Poher Sheriff of Warwickshire in the 4th, 5th and 6th years of King John), Gloucestershire (1194), and Herefordshire (1182, with Randulph de Poer Sheriff of Hereford killed by the Welsh)
     

  2. Bellevue and the Slieverue Powers

    Below are Notes from a talk given by Jim Walsh to the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society on October 24th 2003

    Clarification of the location of the two 'Big Houses' in question, namely 'Bellevue' and 'Snowhill', in the town lands of Gorteens and Drumdowney respectively, each of which was the residence of a noted Family of Power.

    The pedigree of the Powers was outlined from their arrival with the Normans in 1169 up to the present time.
    We were informed that the first of the family to come to prominence was Sir Robert le Poher who was granted the new crown lands of Waterford City and County by King Henry 2nd in 1177. The le Pohers had come from Florence in Italy to France and hence to Britain in 1066. The name was gradually changed to Power in the mid 16th century.

    By the 17th century, there were many land owning Powers in Co. Waterford but they were completely dispossessed in the Cromwellian Confiscations in the 1650's. However, they were not transplanted and got back to join the land owning class again and by the end of the 18th century were substantial landholders.

    At this time, they acquired both properties in Slieverue, one Nicholas in Bellevue and another Nicholas, his first cousin, in Snowhill. The lecture dealt with the principal members of each family and the role they played in the Slieverue and Waterford communities.

    A feature of the history of the Bellevue Family was their continuous record of military service over several generations. The decline of the fortunes of both houses was discussed. The eventual sale of the estates and the demolition of those magnificent houses took place in the 1940s/1950s. The role of the both houses in the social and economic life of the parish was dealt with and the analysis was most favourable to each.

    The lecture was enhanced by the presentation of a very large number of most interesting photographs. The attendance was most appreciative of the research work carried out by Mr. Walsh for the preparing of this Talk. It was also the first in this year's series of talks and lectures to be held by the Society and members are invited to attend and may also join the society by contacting any of its officer board.
     

  3. Information obtained at the Devon Studies Centre, Exeter, Devon on Wednesday 21st April 2004 by Dr Con Power

    Walter Le Pohier or Poer according to the List of Sheriffs of Devon, Accounts of Michaelmas 1222, was Sheriff of Devon from 12th June 1222 to 4th February 1224. He was succeeded on 4th February 1224 by William Briwer the younger who was Sheriff until October 1225.

    Walter Le Pohier was son of Bartholomew Le Pohier of Blackborough. Robert was also son of Bartholomew le Pohier, Lord of Blackborough. Bartholomew was son of Robert Le Pohier who went to Ireland.

    William Briewere was father of William Briwer. The younger was Sheriff of Devon from Michaelmas 1179 to 1189; from Easter 1200 to Michaelmas 1200; and at Easter 1202.

    According to the Transactions of the Devon Association, Vol L, page 102, Blackborough Boty in the Parish of Kentisbeare, part of what is now called Ponchidown was held in 1086 [Doomsday Book] by William the Usher, in fee from Ralph de Pomaria. In 1234, this was inherited by one of the 4 daughters of Johanna, 5th daughter of William Briwer [i.e., it was inherited by a granddaughter of William Briwer]. Johanna, 5th daughter of William Briwer, married William de Percy.

    Henry 11 came to the throne of England in 1154. In 1171 at Milford Haven, he set out for Ireland with 400 vessels laden with warriors, horses, arms, and provisions. He landed at Carrig.

    Blackborough, Devon. All Hallows Manor House. Blackborough has 508 acres –: 42 acres of woodland; 52 acres of common; 414 arable acres, pasture and water.

    Three Manors meet at Blackborough Beacon -

    1. Manor of Blackborough Bolhay

    2. Blackborrow (Blackeberia) on the western border

    3. Blackborough Boty (Blackaberga) to the south in Kentisbeare Parish.


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