Mingay History Web Pages (MHWP)




Mingay History Part 3

The family of Mingaye, continued to spell the name with an "e" at the end, until long after the Grant of Crest, as shown in the books of the copy-hold, Hianor of Brooke Hall in the County of Norfolk. Here transfers of land are made to them as Mingaye, up to the line of Queen Mary. The best and most obvious starting point seems to be the "Dictionary of British Surnames written by P. H. Reaney, and published by Routledge and Kegan Paul.

The large Breton element which fought at Hastings were rewarded with lands in England At their head was Earl Allen of Richmond, a cadet of the Ducal House, with a fee of the first importance in Lincolnshire, East Anglia, and the neighbouring Counties. Reaney goes on to quote F.M.Stenton’s "English Feudalism" page 24 to 26.The Breton colony founded by Earl Allen of Richmond can still be traced late in the twelfth century, by personal names which give a highly individual character to the round Boston, itself a town of Breton creation, and Louth.

In the twelfth century Lincolnshire, Allen was as common a name as Simon, and more popular than Henry and Adam, other common Breton names were Brian, Constantine, Jernegan, Justin, and Mengi. On page 223 of the dictionary, the entry for "Mingay and Mingey" reads Johannes Filius Menghi c 1154-5 Robertus Filius Mingghi, 1178-81,of (Clerkenwell Essex) In the Public Record office; Richard Mingay 1276(Feet of Fines—Essex, unpublished).

This next account is of interest for a number of reasons. First it confirms the general impression that most Mingays’ came from East Anglia. Secondly it is amusing to think of the name at least being born at the Battle of Hastings, presumably on the left flank which is where the Breton contingent were positioned.

It is a little sobering to recall that the first part of either army to give way was William’s left flank, but then few Mingays seem to be aggressively warlike, despite a number of Martial Mingays appearing in the "Gentlemans Magazine in the eighteenth century. In any case, Honour is satisfied if we bear in mind that the traditional story of Hastings, records that William got his successful idea for luring the Saxons down the hill, from the effect of the first retreat on his left flank. This is where the Mingay’s were supposed to have been.

It is possible to trace some later bearers of the name, through the records at Cambridge Colleges and University, e.g. "Biographical History of Gonville, and Caius College 1349 to 1901’t by Dr J Venn, or the "Register" of the University itself. In the latter there are nineteen entries at least, between 1561 and 1807,which I have records of. There after the Mingay’s of Cambridge, Norfolk and Suffolk, appear to have become curiously un-academic. In 1996 I received copies of this work when I visited all of the Colleges, when reading through the papers, I thought, could it be that a lot of them went abroad?

Part of the reason for this association with the University, could lie in the entries recording early Schooling in the 1640s, under "Mr. Lovering at Norwich.

Lovering was a Pembroke man, who later became the first master of the Perse School in Cambridge. Stephen Perse, who died in 1615, was a Physician and property owner of Great Nassingham in Norfolk. So there was apparently for a time a patronage link between this part of Norfolk, and the University.

The first Mingay records I found were of two sons of William Myngaye born 1520 Shotesham Norfolk, they were, John born 1544, admitted at Corpus Christi College Cambridge 1561, and Miles born 1546. He also went to Corpus Christi College 1561. The latest I have so far is Robert Mingaye, born 1756, at Thetford Norfolk who had a son George Mingaye born 1788, who was educated at Bury and Caius College Cambridge age 19 in 1807.

Roberts brother, James, born 1752 was educated 1st at Thetford Grammar School, admitted at Inner Temple, 1779, a year after being at Trinity College Cambridge age 17, Mayor of Thetford four times and M.P. In 1784 when only 32, he was created Kings Counsel. This would be King George 3rd of England.

The following information is about the Mingay History, rewritten, in the year 1969. This is copied from the original History of the Mingay’s by William Robert Mingaye, born at Thetford, Norfolk in 1756. His grandson was Trevor Herve Mingaye, born 1894, died 1972.

The Mingay family of Shotesham Norfolk, are direct descendants by evidence filed in the Office of Clarienceur, Principal King of Arms of East, West and South parts of England, of a Mingay who was related to William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy. William was victor at the Battle of Hastings, against the then King of England Harold Godwinson. William was King of England 1066 to 1087.

Harold was killed at the Battle of Hastings by the Norman forces. The Mingay family by intermarriage, became related to many titled families of England, among them were Talbot; Earl of Shrewsbury, Percy, Earl of Northumberland and Warren, Earl of Warren. In addition Henry 3rd, King of England (ruled 1216 to 1272). Also the Earl of Lancaster, King of Sicily, Grey De Ruthwyn, Earl of Kent, Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, Edward 1st, King of England (1272 to 1307). Edward 3rd King of England (1327 to 1377), John of Gaunt, William Bouschier, Earl of Epex, or Essex.

They are also descended from the Scotch Royal Line, from King David 1st, son of Malcolm the 3rd Canmore. Lived 1084 to 1153, became King of Scotland in 1124. Also King Robert Bruce, who lived 1274 to 1329,and was King of Scotland 1328, he came from Normandy. This part of the Norman History that the Mingays were involved in by intermarriage is about Sicily, the line of Kings, from 1061 to 1194,and the King of Sicily, Grey De Ruthwyn Earl of Kent. Arab rule was brought to an end in very much the way it started. Rivalry between the emirs led to an invitation to the Normans to intervene. Robert Guiscard and Roger De Hautevilie, sons of Tancred De Hauteville, had left Northern France to roam Southern Europe in search of adventure and spoils. They landed in Sicily on May 18th 1061,and within three decades, more than a century of Norman rule lasting until 1194. These Norman Knights, their energies hitherto devoted to military adventures, now developed into great statesmen, aided by the powerful Monastic orders and the ranks of local society. This information I found, in a tourist book, Baedeker’s Sicily. Roger 1st died 1101, his son Roger 2nd (1096-1154) after a period of Minority (ending in 1112) during in which his mother Adelaide was Regent. Roger 2nds successor William 1st ‘The Bad’ (1154-1166) was a much less able ruler whose reign was marked by increasing fractiousness among the Barons, and hostility towards the Norman Baring, also beset, William 2nd ‘The Good’ (1166—1189) it was him that built the Glorious Cathedral at Monreale. He died age 35, leaving no immediate heir to the throne. Successors therefore, passed to his aunt Constance (1154—1198) she was the daughter of Roger 2nd In 1186. She had married the young Hohenstaufen Henry 6th,eleven years her junior, into whose hands the Norman inheritance now fell. The Sicilian Barons rebelled, and in 1190, chose Count Tancred of Lecce, a grandson of Roger 2nd to be King. Tancred however died in 1194. The throne passing to his son William 3rd, who was still a minor.

William 1st, was the son of Roger 1st, Count of Sicily 1061 died 1101, (m) Adelasia of Savanna, she died 1118. William 1st King of Sicily.1154—1166, (m) Margaret of Navarra. Next William 2nd, known as William the Good, after the Regency of his mother Margaret had ended.

William at first continued his father’s policy of friendship with Pope Alexander 3rd and with the Byzantine Emperor Minuel 1st. In 1172 however the proposed marriage of William to Manuel’s daughter Maria, was thwarted by the emperor. On 13 February, he married Joan, daughter of King Henry 2nd of England and Duke of Normandy, from 1150, Count of Anjou from 1151, Duke of Aquitaine, from 1152, and King of England from 1154, who married Eleanor of Aquitaine, who recently divorced from King Louis 7th of France. William 3rd, was grandson of Roger Duke of Apulia, died 1148. Who was brother to William 1st. William the 3rd was King of Sicily deposed 1194.

As a bit of light relief at this point. I thought you might like to see a couple of modern Mingays.


Left to Right :    Frank Mingay (Robin's Dad)    Ann Mingay (Robin's Mum) and Robin Mingay aged 5!

The Large Breton element which fought at Hastings, were rewarded with lands in England, the start of the Mingays’ of Shotesham and Norwich, is about a Henry Mingo of Elmham. Now part of Norwich, he was a Freeman of Norwich in 1367. This was recorded by a visitation family, which also gave the family coat of Arms as, or on a bend as, three leopards faces of the first, possibly from the coat of Adam de Mingee (Henry 3rd Roll). The original of the Mingaye, is supposed to have arisen from two Norman words, they are "Mein and Gaie". Mein a countenance, and Gaie, laughing or a Laughing Countenance".

Referring to the meaning of the name Myngaye, from another book, they say that the meaning is not at all improbable. In the time of William the Conqueror, names were given owing to certain peculiarities of features of the body, by defects or otherwise, or from the trade condition, or calling of the bearer.

Likewise the spelling of any given name was often arbitrary, and as evidence, Myngate was thus spelled up to the year 1580, when a Grant of Crest was given to John Myngaye, son of William Myngay of Arminghall Norfolk. Born in 1520, he was formerly Mayor of Norwich a position only persons’ of the highest consideration held in those days.

Jack 1  Jack 2 Jack 3  Jack 4 Jack 5 Jack 6 Jack 7 Jack 8 Jack 9 James Mingay K.C.


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