Gospatric the Earl, son of Maldred
Thane of Dunbar and Lothian
1037ish and died 1100ish.
Son of: Maldred.
1. Robert, Prior of Hexham.
2. Uchtred, also Prior of Hexham.
Gostpatric married: not known
Gostpatric and his wife had issue:
2. Walteof, who was a witness to the Inquisitio Davidis, 1116, and obtained from Ranulph and William de Meschines great estates In Cumberland and Westmoreland.
Gospatric the Earl, son of Maldred : An Overview
We know of Gostpatric from the book "Records of the Heath Family", 1913 by George Heath. The entry reads as follows:
Gospatric the Earl, son of Maldred, born about 1037, was confirmed in the earldom of Northumberland in 1067 by William the Conqueror; but he and others of the Saxon nobility, being dissatisfied with the arbitrary government of William the Conqueror (who distributed his favours. liberally to the Normans, but sparingly to the Saxons), became the objects of his resentment, and were forced to fly into Scotland, about anno 1068; but they soon made their peace, returned into their own country, and Gospatric, by advancing large sums of money, got the earldom of Northumberland. Yet, he did not long enjoy it; for having again joined the English malcontents against the Normans, he was deprived of the, earldom, and exiled a second time into Scotland, anno 1072. From thence he travelled into Flanders; and returning into Scotland, Simon Dunelmensis says, that King Malcolm (Canmore), gave him " Dunbar, with the adjacent lands in Lothian," which, with a large extent of land in England and Scotland, passed to his posterity from father to son for eleven generations. As surnames came into use, the family gradually took their name from Dunbar.
His subsequent conduct showed that the King had not misplaced his favours; for he served him faithfully, and contributed to restore peace and order in the kingdom. It was he who destroyed the nest of robbers that haunted Cockburn Forest, for which service he was made Thane (but not Earl) of Dunbar and Lothian, about anno 1080.
Gospatric's descendants, as Earls under various designations, kept the Marches between England and Scotland for about three hundred years, and did homage to the Kings of England for the lands they held in Northumberland. The Earls made grants of land to the Church at Durham, Coldingham, Melrose, and Kelso, &c., and generally sealed the charters conveying the lands with the figure of a Knight on horseback, fully armed, having a drawn sword in the right hand, and a shield either on the left arm or suspended from the neck; each Earl Intending the mounted figure on his seal to be a representation of himself. Many of the charters with the impressions of the Earl's seals still attached to them, are preserved to this day.
He died about 1100, and was buried In the Porch of Norham Church, having had three sons: (1) Dolfin; (2) Walteof, who was a witness to the Inquisitio Davidis, 1116, and obtained from Ranulph and William de Meschines great estates In Cumberland and Westmoreland; and (3) Gospatric.