1066 And All That…

(From the "Pedigree of the Saint Barbe Family", hand-written on vellum in 1816.)

"The St Barbe Family originated from Normandy. One of its chiefs was an officer in the Army of William the Conqueror. His name is on the Roll of Battle Abbey and he is supposed to have been the Founder of the Family in England.

"William St Barbe was Bishop of Durham in 1142, a prelate of great eminence. He died in 1152.

"The Pedigree at the Herald’s Office begins with Robert St Barbe, who had his seat at South Brent, Co. Somerset.

"The Family possessed the Manor of Brent and held the Bailliwick (sic) for a long series of years. They were connected with the neighbouring Abbey of Glastonbury and much information relative to the family has been derived from an ancient chartulary of that religious house — see Collinson’s ‘History of Somersetshire’, where frequent mention of the name occurs.

"This Pedigree has been considerably augmented from that in the Herald’s Office, which was taken at a Visitation for Wiltshire in 1623.

"The St Barbe arms are: Checky of 12, argent & sable; crest a Wyvern, sable.

"The St Barbe arms were quartered Forneaux by the marriage of Sir John St Barbe with Mary Longland, heiress of Forneaux. By this marriage Ashington Manor came to the family, in whose possession it remained until the death of the baronet in 1723.

"William St Barbe was Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to Henry 8th & to Elizabeth. He was in favour with Henry 8th who granted him the colledge (sic) and church of St Edmond’s, Salisbury. The king also left him a legacy by will. William St Barbe died at Windsor in 1562 having had issue by his first wife Mary, daughter of Robert Little, 7 sons and 1 daughter.

"William’s eldest brother, Henry of Ashington, married Eleanor Lewkenor, and had issue 3 sons and 7 daughters.

"Their eldest daughter Ursula married first, Richard Worsley, Captain of the Isle of Wight, and second, Sir Francis Walsingham, 1530-90, secretary of state for Queen Elizabeth. He developed a system of domestic and foreign espionage and uncovered several plots against the Queen. His daughter Frances married thrice, viz.:

"First, Sir Philip Sidney, 1554-86, English poet, courtier and soldier. His works include the pastoral romance Arcadia and In Defence of Poesie .

"Second, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, (?1566-1601), English soldier and favourite of Queen Elizabeth, who was executed for treason.

"Third, Richard de Burgh, 4th Earl of Clanricarde."

Christian St Barbe married Charles Henry White, nephew of Gilbert White, author of "The Natural History of Selborne."

Eleanor St Barbe White married David William Gregorie, a magistrate of London.

Charles Frederick Gregorie was the father of Frederick Macaulay Gregorie, who came to New Zealand in 1881.

See Pictures of the St. Barbes for more information and a family tree.