Manx Genealogy Archive 2

Re: Radcliffe of Knockaloe and Baron Fitzwalter.

Hi Frances,

I am afraid your have completely lost me over "Have alook at who was trustee of the Lancashire Radcliffes.. one name stands out" -

I have looked thru the the parish of Radcliffe section in the Vic history, and the list of the people to whom letters of proetection were issued on 11 June 1405, and I can make no connection.

As far as the Earl of Sussex living and dying in Knockaloe, the only reason I have flogged this [very] dead horse is that Rita Browne and J A Brew both advanced this theory. Their work still seems to be respected, and is a cut above the internet genealogies. who might as well say that William the Conqueor was the son of Bugs Bunny.

When I raised the question, it was with doubt, as I emphasised, BUT, and this is the big BUT, Rita B and Brew MUST HAVE HAD SOME REASON to believe this. I am perfectly happy to accept that it is nonsence, and believed that before I rasied this query, but what data did either of them have to make this claim. Brew MAY have copied Rita Browne who worked much earlier on, but what induced her to believe this ?

Asking what evidence a genealogist used in order to make a claim may seem pointless, but getting to the bottom of a nonsense story is often a valuable step in rejecting a wrong answer and may point to the right answer.

A classic example of this is that Brew repeated a legend that Jane Casement who married Thomas Radcliffe in 1781 had been engaged to John Leece, the last of the Ballaleece line before he died. It all sounds plausible, until you look at the dates. Radcliffe died in 1789 but Leece died in 1784, so unless Jane had been engaged to Leece when she was married 1781-1789, (novel !!) there is no way the dates fit. However, Jane's sister Ann Casement was in possession of Ballaleece by 1786. It seems clear that it was the spinster Ann who was engaged to Leece, and when he realised he was likely to die, he wanted to leave Ballaleece to his fiancee. However it was inherited farmland so could not be disposed of by will, and would go to eldest sons (none) brothers and then sisters etc. He could sell it, which he did to his advocate as a trustee, and he sold it to Ann, who no doubt had been given the money that the adovcate had given to Leece. Brew's legend was IMPOSSIBLE, but it had a strand of truth in it, and explains why ANN CASEMENT ended up owning Ballaleece if you correct Jane to Ann. The legend was, per se, impossible, but with enough background knowledge, when corrected, it explains what is otehrwise unintelligible, why an Irish girl "unconnected" with the Leece family, ended up owning Ballaleece.

Rita B must have found something. I am certain that she misinterpreted it, as with Brew and the Leece fiancee, but what could it have been ? The probability is that we will never know, but it is worth asking the question.