(Family history research into the SHOPLAND family)                                                           History
Research by Tony Shopland and Bob Shopland both point to the book "The History of the Forest of Exmoor" by Edward T. MacDermot who states that in 1250, Richard de Wrotham died without issue, and amongst his heirs was Geoffrey SKOLONDE/SHOPLANDE/SCOLAND (as the name was recorded on three separate occasions) aged 24, son of Emma.

I have researched Geoffrey Shoplande, born c1226, over a couple of years from information on the Internet. All the following is taken from other people’s research into the de Wrotham family and therefore I cannot make any claims that any of it is correct. However, I am publishing the results as they are interesting and may be of interest to others or, perhaps inspire others to do further research!

We start with Geoffrey de Wrotham who was born c1168 in Kent and was the great-grandfather to the Geoffrey mentioned above. He was a domestic/civil servant to the Archbishops of Canterbury and at this time, the archbishop was Hubert Walter¹ who gave lands at Wrotham (pronounced Rootum, a parish in Kent) to Geoffrey. The village of Wrotham once had a palace belonging to the Archbishops of Canterbury, the remains of which still stand today. (According to
Jamie Allen’s Family Tree & Ancient Genealogical Allegations web site this Geoffrey is HRH Prince Charles’s 27th great-grandfather!)

Geoffrey married Muriel de Lyd, who was born c1174, and they had a son William born in Somerset c1192-c1219. I haven’t been able find any references to other children of Geoffrey and Muriel.

William (c1192-c1219) married Maud de Cornwall and they had six children (according to the web site - now disappeared). William was the first Lord Warden of the Stannaries of Cornwall (and Devon) and was appointed during the reign of Richard I on 20 November 1198, see the web site regarding tin mines in Devon and Cornwall. In 1212, William de Wrotham (Canon of Wells, Archdeacon of Taunton, Keeper of the King's Ships, royal clerk to King John) started constructing the first docks of Portsmouth, Hampshire.

The children of William and Maud were:
Muriel b: c1210-c1250
Constance b: c1210
William b: not known-c1217
Richard b: c1216-c1251
Christiana b: c1220
Emma b: not known

Muriel (b: c1210-c1250) married Hugh de Plesseiz (several variations of surname: Placetis, Plessis). According to
Jules aka Ann Isobel Cox Muriel and Hugh had two children: Christiane de Plessy and Richard de Wrotham, so presumably the Wrotham name passed via the eldest Wrotham daughter to her son after the death of Richard de Wrotham in c1250/1.

Constance (b: c1210-????) married Sir John de Blund (Blount)

William (dates unknown) died without issue
Richard b: c1216-1250/1 died without issue

According to
Ray Gurganus Richard married (name unknown) and they had a son Richard b: c1230-c1250 (born in Enfield, Middx) who married Margaret SHOPLAND. I cannot find anything about Margaret! Also (now disappeared) said that Richard married the daughter of John Marshal the nephew of William Marshal, regent of England and guardian to King John’s son, Henry III. So we have three different accounts of Richard de Wrotham!

Christiana (b: c1220-????) married Thomas Pikot

Emma (dates unknown) married (first name unknown) Shoplonde and it is their son Geoffrey (b: c1226-????) who is mentioned in the book "The History of the Forest of Exmoor". The book says that Richard de Wrotham died in 1250 without issue and Geoffrey was one of Richard’s heirs and according to (now disappeared) the other heirs were Geoffrey’s aunts, Constance and Christiana.

So there we have it, believe it or not. Click on the links to the web sites and see for yourself and come to your own decision. Personally, I want to see the sources before I make up my mind!

If I find anything else about the de Wrotham family, I will post it here.

¹Hubert Walter
Bishop of Salisbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
Died: 1205

Hubert was the son of Norman parents who had settled in East Anglia. He grew up in the household of Ranulf de Glanville, his uncle, the Chief Justiciar of England, and held various offices under the Crown, besides the Deanery of York, before his consecration as Bishop of Salisbury in 1189. In the following year, he accompanied King Richard I to the Holy Land.
On his return from the Crusade, he took an active part in collecting the ransom demanded for Richard and was elected, at the instance of the King, to the vacant See of Canterbury (1193). The same year, he became Justiciar, and, during Richard's prolonged absence, the chief responsibility of government devolved upon him. It was no easy task to keep Prince John in check, to provide for the national defence and to adjust the taxation, yet Hubert, whilst ruling the State with diligence and prudence, was not unmindful of his ecclesiastical duties. He resigned the Justiciarship in 1198 but, the following year, accepted the office of Chancellor. How great an influence he continued to exercise in the State is shown by the words which King John is said to have uttered when tidings were brought to him, in 1205, of the death of the Archbishop, "now, for the first time, am I truly King of England."

Edited from G.M. Bevan's "Portraits of the Archbishops of Canterbury" (1908).

Geoffrey Shoplande's Connection with the de Wrotham Family

by Rita Rainbird (nee Shopland)
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