Foundations Volume 14

Online edition, published March 2022

JN 14 Cover Online

Printable list of contents

A commentary.

by M L Bierbrier[1]

Foundations (2022) 14: 2                                       © Copyright FMG and the author

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by David Williams[1]


Very little has been written about Pierre I de Grandson (d.1258), and yet he was one of the most important members of the Vaudois nobility during the first half of the 13th century as the counts of Savoy began their dominance of the Pays de Vaud. From widely scattered data the author presents in this two-part article a study of Pierre and his immediate descendants, whose brilliant careers, wealth and prestige both in Vaud and in England were enabled by a policy of realistic and interested co-operation with the house of Savoy developed by Pierre and his brother Henri de Champvent, and continued by Pierre's famous son Othon I de Grandson. Evidence from English and Swiss sources shows that Pierre fathered at least six sons and probably some nine daughters, most of whom can be identified as Othon's sisters.

Part 1 of this two part article examines the lives of Pierre de Grandson and his wife Agnès de Neuchâtel; and biographical data is provided for their sons Othon, Girard, Jacques, Henri, Pierre and Guillaume (William).

Foundations (2022) 14: 3–54                                  © Copyright FMG and the author

[note: corrections applied - see part 2 in vol.15]

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The Ancestors of a Huguenot Family in Germany –

Traced back to the time of the Albigensian Crusade

by Friedo Zölzer [1]


Johanna Tossanus was a lady of Huguenot descent, whose parents had fled religious persecution in France and settled in Heidelberg, Germany. Her grandfather was Philbert Couet du Vivier, a senior official at the French Royal Court. Philbert’s grandfather was Jacques Couet du Vivier, who seems to have come from the family Couette "de la Couetterie," while his wife Jeanne de Prunelé probably belonged to the "de la Porte" branch of her family. Among Jeanne’s ancestors were Guillaume III de Prunelé and his wife, Isabelle, "dame d'Alzonne et de la Châtellenie de Montréal". There are various speculations about Isabelle’s ancestry, some assuming a relationship with the family de Montesquieu, some with the family de Compiègne. It is argued here that neither of these speculations is tenable, but that she may have been the daughter of the Châtelain of Montréal, Pierre Effredi (or Escafredi). She inherited Alzonne and a few other dominions from the de Compiègne family to which she was distantly related. When she and her husband passed away, their sons were still minors and came under the tutelage of a Bernhard de Montesquieu, probably a half- or step-nephew of Guillaume. Bernhard’s father, as well as possibly Guillaume’s father, belonged to the Cathar community.

Foundations (2022) 14: 57–80                              © Copyright FMG and the author

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The Digby Family of Mansfield Woodhouse, co. Nottingham: a descent from King John

by Michael P Bodman [1]


This article gives new biographical details on the first two members of the Digby family to be seated at Mansfield Woodhouse, co. Nottingham, from wills recently retrieved from archives and also from the 1662 heralds’ visitation of Nottinghamshire. It includes a line of descent from King John (1167-1216) via Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Digby (d.1534) of Clipstone and Mansfield Woodhouse, and daughter of Robert Neville, Esq. (d.1527) of Ragnall, co. Nottingham.

Foundations (2022) 14: 81–87                          © Copyright FMG and the author

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The will of Margaret Wastell, of Harbledown Kent, 1538

by Francis Woodman[1]


The will of Margaret Wastell, d.1538, names one surviving child and several grandchildren but makes no mention of her deceased husband John (d.1518), one of Europe’s leading architects of his day. John died in Bury St Edmunds, Margaret twenty years later in a distant Kent hospital yet threatened legal actions (hitherto undated) reveal that Margaret was John’s widow and that she had rebuilt her life totally in another place surrounded by her remaining family. Her later circumstances were clearly comfortable, and her descendants were notable in their own way. She had simply led two lives — one as wife and another as widow with nothing at first sight to connect her dual existences.

Foundations (2022) 14: 88–98                          © Copyright FMG and the author

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Translated by Michael Andrews-Reading[1]

Foundations 14 (2022): 99–101               © Translation copyright the author and FMG


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Corrections and Further Observations on Alexander Sutherland of Dunbeath,
Master of Sutherland

by James B Sutherland[1]


The following detail is to update and correct my article in Foundations Vol 13, (2021) adding new information on Alexander of Dunbeath and his marriages

Foundations (2022) 14: 102–103                             © Copyright FMG and the author

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