Lu24 Matthew de Ludelowe



    Matthew de Ludelowe, b. 1210, was the son of Henricus (Lu25) b. 1180 and grandson of Willelnaus (Lu26)
    Born: 1210
    Married: Patronilla de Swineton b. 1210 daughter of Norman de Swineton b. 1184 and Matilda de Misec b. 1186

    Matthew de Ludelowe and Patronilla de Swineton had a son: 
    (Lu23) Nicholas de Ludelowe

    It is still uncertain exactly when the earliest Ludlow became a 'squire. The prefix "de" is an indication of gentry or nobility but no clear evidence. Since anyone coming from a place like the town of Ludlow would have had "de Ludlow" written after his name if he were recorded in the chronicals of a town like Swindon or was accepted by the Normans. But such a recording is evidence that our Matthew de Ludelowe was at least a freeman and not a serf.

    Having a coat of arms registered was, however, in those days clear evidence of being a gentleman and an esquire. And this we have starting with William Ludlow (Lu17). The data on the earlier Ludlows (Lu18 to Lu24) has just been taken without verification from
    but there are pedigrees registered at the College of Arms verifying everything from Lu17 down to He1. So there is still a lot of research to be done here.

    "Willilnaus" seems a rather Saxon spelling indicating non Norman origin, but a Flemish origin as for "de la Roch" is equally as possible he may have been the illegitimate son of some noble. William, 1st Earl of Salibury, the eldest and illegitimate child of Henry II, can be ruled out as he did not have a son by the name of "Henricus", at least not a legitimate one, otherwise he would fit in time, place and class.


    Feudalism was not something that was planned or dictated, but a system that came late into being and grew because of conditions that existed in that day when the country was changing from uncivilized tribes fighting each other for land, food, slaves (and women) to kingdoms guaranteeing peace. Tribesmen accepted an overlord who could protect them and provide for times of need from drought. In fact the word lord is derived from hlebwart or "grain warden". There was a need for someone to plan against threatening developments. To whomever could offer this, they pledged allegiance. Feudalism had two aspects: economics and politics.  The relationship between a lord and his tenants, freemen, serfs and slaves was primarily economic,  while the relationship between a lord and the king and with his fellow noblemen was more political. 

    Serfdom may be considered a social-economic improvement over tribal structure and slavery, as the serfs belonged to the land a meant a certain place to live and a right to work certain fields. For the Angles and Saxons had driven the Britons from their tribal lands, while the Normans only came as overlords confirming the Saxons' and Angles' basic right to live and work the land.

    A man became a vassal voluntarily and allegiance lasted for life. Not only was the lord a landlord but a vassal's judge in all matters. The vassal, when called upon, was to do military duty even unto death in the protection of his lord. Knights were the lords in military service and received their appointments from the king. Their duties were to defend peace, order and justice. Some of our Ludlow and Nicholas ancestors were knights and lords of manors, or 'squires. A knghtship was a special dignity granted by the King for the recipient's life, while a 'squire (derived from old French "esquier" << late Latin scutarius << scutum meaning shield, hence coat of arms) was granted land with serfs on hereditary basis of primogeniture. A manor was a group of inhabitants and the land they occupied was connected with and depended upon a certain "lord of the manor," who had various rights over the people and their lands. "Aside from his position as land lord, the most important of these rights was that of holding a court baron and a court-leer and view of frank pledge. Various powers and activities had long gathered around these petty courts, but these manorial and administrational and jurisdictional courts were, in 1600, fast becoming obsolete and insignificant institutions." From "The American Nation, a History," by A. B. Hart. The lords held their lands in manors, that is to say, the estate of each lord was either a single manor or comprised of several of them. In many cases, a manor was identical in extent with a parish, whose boundaries were very old. It would have its village church, as well as its manor house where the lord resided.