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Crest of Sir Thomas Storey

Copyright © 2007

This page was last updated on
Thursday, 31 January 2008
by Brad Storey


Of Jordanis le Stori, living in 1274, little is known. He is mentioned in the Newminster Chartulary, p. 239, as having presented a booth to Stephen de Lindsay, the Abbot, in the year 1274. Galfridus le Sturis, alias Sturey, or Storey, is described in several old works as of Bowness and Kirkoswald, in the County of Cumberland. He made his will in 1369. From him most probably descended the Eskdale Storeys, and those who branched into Arthuret, Kirklinton, Bewcastle and Carlisle. In early times when a knowledge of arms meant much more than a knowledge of arts, when might was the basis of right, it is not to be wondered at that persons, even clerical as well as lay, made self-aggrandisement the chief aim of life, and to possess property and extend it by force of arms or by marriage, was the rule, hence do we find the beads of ancient families, Scandinavian, Saxon and Norman, holding estates in various parts of the kingdom, parts often very distant from each other. Women had little choice in regard to their personal disposition, being at the mercy of their sires, while their sires were subject to the will of the sovereigns of whom they held their lands, who made it a sine qua non, as far as possible, to ensure marriages between the sons and daughters of their vassals likely to prove loyal to them and their service. Thus, unless the daughter of a feudal lord were an heiress and fatherless, she had small opportunity for the exercise of any will-power of her own. Hence is it that in many cases of orphan heiresses we find that after marriage they retained their maiden names. Nor was it uncommon for purposes of preserving racial alliances, heraldic and military, symbolisms, and above all for personal security, to find liege-lords members of the same family, having distinct names. "The Annual Reports - Public Records," "Campbell's Materials, Rolls, &c.," prove the correctness of this statement. A father might have one name and his son another, both being careless of the confusion such a method was likely to create in future ages since there was more fighting than writing, and consequently few family records. The thought was more for present tense welfare and security than for posterity, in this respect at any rate, though the hereditary desire to found families was by no means lost sight of. Again, a name was preserved, but the orthography changed in accordance with the custom appertaining to the locality, and frequently it was based upon the orthoepy incident to the part of the country where the chief dwelt. Thus, where a Saxon race predominated, the variant would be Ster, from the Keltic Styr or Stir; and where a Norse race prevailed, the equivalent would be Stor. In Bedfordshire we find Godwin le Ster, vixit 1222, and a Galfridus le Ster is likewise mentioned. Probably adaptation would form a sort of law to a man who was not of the predominant race, though his power would count far more than anything else in feudal days. In the Familiæ Minorum Gentium, even Storr is shown as corrupted to Saxon Stow, (see Nevile Pedigree). In Bishop Hatfield's Survey is the "Compotus Ricardi Stere Ballivi Manerii de Midilham, a Festo Michaelis Anno Pontificatus Domini Thomae Episcopi Dunelm, Quarto Usque Festum S. Michaelis Anno Pontificatus sui quinto." Richard Stere (afterwards Sterry and Stirry). was also Bailiff of Queringdon in the said diocese. (See pp. 232-236.) Bishop Hatfield was Bishop of Dunelm thirty-six years. He died 8th May, 1381. The Greeks often used nicknames; the Romans were more ingenious, they had the prænomen or forename, the nomen and the