Early Barons of the Isle of Wight
To get an understanding of how the early Manors on the Island were brought about one has to first understand the origins of the family names and from whence they came.
The earliest recorded is that of the Sture family who probably came over during the time of the Danes' incursions into this country. In the reign of Ethelred, a nobleman named Stir or Stere, son of Ulf, made a grant of Derlington, together with other lands, to the Cathedral Church of St Cuthbert, Durham (995-1017).
William, son of Stur (the Major-domo), held land in Hampshire in the time of King Edward the Confessor. At the time of the Domesday Survey, William Fitz-Sture held twenty-two Manors in the Isle of Wight, on which lived thirty-six villeins, fifty-six borderers, and twenty-four serfs.
William Fitz-Osborne was despatched by his kinsman the Conqueror to subjugate the island, and so became the first Lord of Wight. He partitioned the land amongst his principle followers, the Fitz-Azors and Fitz-Sturs. Gozelin, the son of Azor, held twenty-five Manors. His brother William held twenty-four. By marriage into both of these families the de Insulas acquired large estates on the Island.
William Fitz-Osborne subsequently founded Carisbrooke Priory. His Lordship was fairly short lived. He was killed in battle in Flanders in 1070 and was succeeded by his son Roger de Breteuil, Earl of Hereford. For conspiring against the king he was imprisoned and his lands confiscated.
The estates from Henry I were rewarded to a Norman Baron, Richard de Redvers, along with the Earldom of Devon and lordship of the island in 1102 A.D. which remained with his lineal descendants through a series of de Redvers and de Vernons until the reign of Edward I.
His son Baldwin, Count of Devon and Lord of the Wight, founded Quarr Abbey in 1131.
The exact origins of the de Insula family to the island are somewhat obscure but what we do have is that a de Insula was a witness to the signing of the foundation charter for Quarr Abbey in 1132 A.D.This page was last edited on: 26th January, 2022 17:50:21