Saturday, November 21, 2015

Medieval and Early Modern Lifespans, Again: Berkeleys and Related

1) Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : "in a time when most people died at an average age of 35" ; 2) What others have to say about Life Expectancy through history - and my take on that ; 3) Longevity in Selected Ancestry and Inlaws of Eleanor of Montfort ; 4) Tudor Times Demographical Stats ; 5) How Many Hours are we Talking About, and How Heavy? ; 6) New blog on the kid : When "Answers" Paint Middle Ages Black ; 7) Creation vs. Evolution : CMI Provided some Lifespans of the Past ; 8)Other list from CMI of lifespans ; 9) Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : Medieval and Early Modern Lifespans, Again: Berkeleys and Related ; 10) Story of a Cardinal's Title with Pre-Industrial Demographics

Good old wiki comes to our help again, and once again I do the collation of these article extracts. First some interesting biography. The lifeyears, divided in Men (Gentle or Otherwise - I am joking, socially speaking they were all gentlemen) and Ladies. Or rather Ladies first. And last the years of age at each death, in order of magnitude, extracting from there the statistically relevant factors of Minimum, Maximum, Median, Lower and Higher Quartiles. On at least one man, I omitted all, since it was only a floruit : not when he was born or died, only when he was a grown and active adult.

For the Male side, two men have alternative birthyears, hence lower and higher versions of the stats. Another case of alternative birthyear apparent is 5 January 1452/1453, I take it this means he was born 1453 according to our reckoning, but it counted as 1452 since not yet March 25th.

Sir Robert Berkeley (1584 – 5 August 1656) was an English judge and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1621 to 1624. He suffered considerably for giving a judgement in favour of Ship Money.

Rowland Berkeley (about 1548 - 11 June 1611) of Worcester and Spetchley was an English clothier and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1593 and 1611.

Rowland Berkeley (1613 - 1696) of Cotheridge Worcestershire was an English politician, only son of William Berkeley (1582-1658) of Cotheridge and his wife Margaret, daughter of Thomas Chettle of Worcester.[1] Rowland's father, William, was eldest son and heir to Rowland Berkeley of Spetchley, Worcester clothier and politician.

William de Berkeley, 1st Marquess of Berkeley (1426 – 14 February 1492) was an English peer, given the epithet "The Waste-All" by the family biographer and steward John Smyth of Nibley.[1] He was buried at "St. Augustine's Friars, London" according to one source,[2] but most likely in the Berkeley family foundation of St Augustine's Abbey, Bristol.

James Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley (c. 1394 – 22 October[1] 1463), also known as "James the Just", was an English peer.

Thomas de Berkeley, 5th Baron Berkeley the Magnificent (5 January 1352/53 – 13 July 1417) was an English peer.

Maurice de Berkeley, 4th Baron Berkeley the Valiant (ca. 1330 – 8 June 1368) was an English peer born in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England to Thomas de Berkeley, 3rd Baron Berkeley and Lady Margaret Mortimer.

Elizabeth le Despenser (c. 1327 – 13 July 1389) was an English noblewoman. She was the youngest daughter of Hugh le Despenser the younger and his wife Eleanor de Clare.[1] Her father is famous for being the favourite of Edward II of England, and being executed as a result of his position and actions. Through her mother, Elizabeth was a great granddaughter of King Edward I of England.

Thomas de Berkeley (c. 1293 or 1296 – 27 October 1361), aka Thomas the Rich, was an English baron and the custodian of Berkeley Castle. He was the son of Maurice de Berkeley, 2nd Baron Berkeley and Eve la Zouche.

Margaret Mortimer, Baroness Berkeley (2 May 1304 – 5 May 1337) was the wife of Thomas de Berkeley, 3rd Baron Berkeley. She was the eldest daughter of Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, the de facto ruler of England from 1327 to 1330, and his wife Joan de Geneville, Baroness Geneville.

Maurice de Berkeley, 2nd Baron Berkeley (Berkeley, Gloucestershire, April 1271 – Wallingford Castle, 31 May 1326), sometimes termed The Magnanimous, was an English baron and rebel.

Roger de Mortimer, 3rd Baron Mortimer, 1st Earl of March (25 April 1287 – 29 November 1330), was an English nobleman and powerful Marcher lord who gained many estates in the Welsh Marches and Ireland following his advantageous marriage to the wealthy heiress Joan de Geneville, 2nd Baroness Geneville.

Joan de Geneville, 2nd Baroness Geneville, Countess of March, Baroness Mortimer (2 February 1286 – 19 October 1356), also known as Jeanne de Joinville, was the daughter of Sir Piers de Geneville and Joan of Lusignan.

Roger Mortimer, 1st Baron Mortimer, of Wigmore (1231 – 30 October 1282), was a famous and honoured knight from Wigmore Castle in Herefordshire. He was a loyal ally of King Henry III of England. He was at times an enemy, at times an ally, of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Prince of Wales. Born in 1231, Roger was the son of Ralph de Mortimer and his Welsh wife, Princess Gwladys Ddu, daughter of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth and Joan Plantagenet, daughter of John "Lackland", King of England.

Ranulph or Ralph de Mortimer (before 1198 to before 6 August 1246) was the second son of Roger de Mortimer and Isabel de Ferrers of Wigmore Castle in Herefordshire. He succeeded his elder brother before 23 November 1227 and built Cefnllys and Knucklas castles in 1240.

Maud de Braose, Baroness Mortimer (1224 – shortly before 23 March 1301)[1] was a noble heiress, and one of the most important,[2] being a member of the powerful de Braose family which held many lordships and domains in the Welsh Marches. She was the wife of Roger Mortimer, 1st Baron Mortimer, a celebrated soldier and Marcher baron. Maud was born in Wales in 1224, the second eldest daughter and co-heiress of Marcher lord William de Braose and Eva Marshal.

William de Braose (c. 1197 – 2 May 1230) was the son of Reginald de Braose by his first wife, Grecia Briwere. He was an ill-fated member of a powerful and long lived dynasty of Marcher Lords.

Eva Marshal (1203 – 1246) was a Cambro-Norman noblewoman and the wife of the powerful Marcher lord William de Braose. She was the daughter of William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, and the granddaughter of Strongbow and Aoife of Leinster.

Reginald de Braose (died June 1228) was one of the sons of William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber and Matilda, also known as Maud de St. Valery and Lady de la Haie. Her other children included William and Giles.

William de Braose, (or William de Briouze), 4th Lord of Bramber (1144/1153 – 9 August 1211), court favourite of King John of England, at the peak of his power, was also Lord of Gower, Abergavenny, Brecknock, Builth, Radnor, Kington, Limerick, Glamorgan, Skenfrith, Briouze in Normandy, Grosmont, and White Castle. William was the son of William de Braose, 3rd Lord of Bramber and his wife Bertha of Hereford, also known as Bertha de Pitres, (born 1130) daughter of Miles Fitz Walter, Earl of Hereford and his wife, Sibyl, daughter of Bernard de Neufmarche. From his father he inherited the Rape of Bramber, in Sussex, and through his mother he inherited a large estate in the Welsh Marches area of modern-day Monmouthshire.

William de Braose, 3rd Lord of Bramber (fl. 1135–1179) was a 12th-century Marcher lord who secured a foundation for the dominant position later held by the Braose family in the Welsh Marches. In addition to the family's English holdings in Sussex and Devon, William had inherited Radnor and Builth, in Wales, from his father Philip. By his marriage he increased the Braose Welsh holdings to include Brecon and Abergavenny. Bertha of Hereford, also known as Bertha de Pitres (born c.1130), was the daughter of Miles de Gloucester, 1st Earl of Hereford, and a wealthy heiress, Sibyl de Neufmarché. She was the wife of William de Braose, 3rd Lord of Bramber to whom she brought many castles and Lordships, including Brecknock, Abergavenny, and Hay.

Miles FitzWalter of Gloucester, 1st Earl of Hereford, Lord of Brecknock (died 24 December 1143) was High Sheriff of Gloucester and Constable of England. Sibyl de Neufmarché, Countess of Hereford, suo jure Lady of Brecknock (c. 1100 – after 1143), was a Cambro-Norman noblewoman, heiress to one of the most substantial fiefs in the Welsh Marches. The great-granddaughter of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, king of Wales, Sibyl was also connected to the nobility of England and Normandy. Sibyl inherited the titles and lands of her father, Bernard de Neufmarché, Lord of Brecon, after her mother, Nest ferch Osbern, had declared her brother Mahel to have been illegitimate. Most of these estates passed to Sibyl's husband, Miles de Gloucester, 1st Earl of Hereford, as her dowry.

Maud de Braose, Lady of Bramber (c. 1155 – 1210) was the wife of William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber, a powerful Marcher baron and court favourite of King John of England. She would later incur the wrath and enmity of the King who caused her to be starved to death in the dungeon of Corfe Castle along with her eldest son.

Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (of the first creation), Lord of Leinster, Justiciar of Ireland (1130 – 20 April 1176) was an English lord notable for his leading role in the Norman invasion of Ireland. Like his father, he was also commonly known by his nickname Strongbow (Norman French: Arc-Fort).

Aoife MacMurrough (c.1145–1188, Irish: Aoife Ní Diarmait), also known by later historians as Eva of Leinster, was the daughter of Dermot MacMurrough (c.1110-1171) (Irish: Diarmait Mac Murchada), King of Leinster, and his wife Mor O'Toole (c.1114-1191).

Margaret Mortimer, Baroness Mortimer (née de Fiennes; after 1269 – 7 February 1333), was an English noblewoman born to William II de Fiennes, Baron Tingry and Blanche de Brienne. Her paternal grandparents were Enguerrand II de Fiennes and Isabelle de Conde. Her maternal grandparents were Jean de Brienne and Jeanne, Dame de Chateaudun.

Thomas Wylde (bef.1508 - 1559) clothier of The Commandery, Worcester, England was the son of Simon Wylde of The Ford, near Dodderhill where Thomas was to acquire the manor of Impney.

Samuel Fell D.D. (1584 – 1 February 1649) was an English academic and clergyman, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford[1][2] and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford during the First English Civil War.


  • c.1145–1188
  • c. 1155 – 1210
  • 1203 – 1246
  • 1224 – shortly before 23 March 1301
  • after 1269 – 7 February 1333
  • 2 February 1286 – 19 October 1356
  • 2 May 1304 – 5 May 1337
  • c. 1327 – 13 July 1389

The ladies don't die out after 1389, they just go into hiding. They were more prominent in the Catholic Middle Ages than in the, in England, Protestant Early Modern Times.


  • 1130 – 20 April 1176
  • 1144/1153 – 9 August 1211
  • c. 1197 – 2 May 1230
  • before 1198 to before 6 August 1246
  • 1231 – 30 October 1282
  • April 1271 – Wallingford Castle, 31 May 1326
  • 25 April 1287 – 29 November 1330
  • c. 1293 or 1296 – 27 October 1361
  • ca. 1330 – 8 June 1368
  • 5 January 1352/53 – 13 July 1417
  • c. 1394 – 22 October[1] 1463
  • 1426 – 14 February 1492
  • bef.1508 - 1559
  • about 1548 - 11 June 1611
  • 1584 – 1 February 1649
  • 1584 – 5 August 1656
  • 1613 - 1696

Ladies: 33 | 43 43 55 | 62 63- 70 | 77

Min 33, Max 77, Med 55/62, Lower Q 43, Higher Q 63-/70

Men, Gentle or Otherwise: Min 33, Max 83, Med L V 58, Med H V 63, Lower Q 48, Higher Q L V 65, Higher Q H V 67

Lower V: 33 | 38 43 46 | 48 | 51 51+ 55 | 58 | 63 64 65- | 65 | 66 69 72 | 83

Higher V: 33 | 38 43 46 | 48 | 51 51+ 55 | 63 | 64 65- 66 | 67 | 68 69 72 | 83

Someone might say "but these are all nobility" (ok, except perhaps Samuel Fell, Doctor Divinitatis?) (btw, let's check that?) ...

Samuel Fell D.D. (1584 – 1 February 1649) was an English academic and clergyman, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford[1][2] and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford[3] during the First English Civil War.

Samuel Fell was born in the parish of St Clement Danes, London, and was educated at Westminster School. Thence he proceeded as a queen's scholar to Christ Church, Oxford, matriculating 20 November 1601, and graduated B.A. 27 June 1605, M.A. 30 May 1608, B.D. 23 November 1615, and D.D. 23 June 1619. He was elected proctor in 1614, and soon after became rector of Freshwater in the Isle of Wight, and chaplain to King James I. It has been suggested that this position brought Robert Hooke to Oxford many years later, since at Freshwater Fell knew Hooke’s father.[4]

In May 1619, Fell was made a canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and in 1626 Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, which he held, according to custom, with a canonry of Worcester Cathedral. These posts he held till 1637. At first his religious views were Calvinistic, but he changed his opinions and became an active ally of Archbishop William Laud. Laud promoted him, making Fell to the rector of Stow-on-the-Wold in 1637, Dean of Lichfield in January 1638, and Dean of Christ Church in June 1638.[2] Fell continued with improvements in the cathedral and college projected by his predecessor, Brian Duppa, and added the staircase leading to the hall.

Active in Oxford University affairs, on 15 August 1637, Samuel Fell wrote to Laud about the excessive number of alehouses in Oxford, but on more than one occasion he was rebuked from Laud for setting his authority as head of a college in opposition to the proctors and other public officials of the university. On the outbreak of the Civil War he became a conspicuous royalist, and after serving the office of Vice-Chancellor in 1645 and 1646 was reappointed in 1647.[3] Soon after his reappointment the parliamentary visitors came to Oxford. In September, Fell was summoned before them; he declined to attend, was imprisoned, and on his release in November was deprived of all his offices in the University. He retired to the rectory of Sunningwell, near Abingdon, which he had held since 21 September 1625, and died there on 1 February 1649. He was buried in his church.

Samuel Fell married Margaret, daughter of Thomas Wylde,[5] esq., of The Commandery Worcester, by whom he was the father of John Fell, Dean of Christ Church and Bishop of Oxford, and several daughters including Mary who married Thomas Willis.

The Wickipeejuh : Samuel Fell

... and after saying that add "they were all nobility, ok Fell was Anglican clergy, and thus privileged, but what about common people?"

I remind of two things:

  • i) Early Industrialism and esp. 19th C. Industrialism had not yet made the living conditions of the common man that unhealthy, it was not yet very common to spend a childhood in coalmines and then die;

  • ij) and then we do not have all that much documentation on how long unknown common men lived. Saying "they lived less long" is based on some kind of prejudice. Or, perhaps, on bad memories from 19th C. Industrialism. When short lives were really the rule of the day for proletarian industrial workers, as well as for homeless.

I have a feeling I will be saying this over and over again, with more and more statistics. And all of them pointing in one direction. People did NOT generally die at forty. They were NOT extremely lucky to be alive at 41. They were NOT rarities at 60, looked on much as we look on people of 100.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre University Library
Presentation of the Mother of God,
the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the Temple

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