I began my genealogy research over 35 years ago with a visit to a cousin in Salt Lake City, Utah. After disabling my left knee on the slopes of Park City, my next option for activities was sightseeing of which the Mormon Church grounds was the major attraction. The Mormon Church has a library dedicated to genealogy as part of its mission to record the history of mankind. It is a multi-story facility of books, bibles, public records, microfiches, computers, and records of all type from across the world. This is when I started my research into my family history. 35 years later I am writing this article which I believe is of significant importance to the Caldwell heritage. I encourage you to cross check the information. There will be some disparity in dates from what you may find quickly on the internet, but my additional research has led me to conclude that the dates I have posted below are the most accurate.
Websites with worthless information such as citing the wife of Mr. So-and-so as being Mrs. So-and-so and those that list children being born to a father that a few lines above indicate he had died years earlier, must be looked upon with skepticism. I have tried to find the most reliable sources and where the data appeared to be reliable and accurate, I went with their information. I was simply looking for stories, history, tales of the grandparents of old, where they came from, things like that. Then I found something I could not believe. I checked again and again, and I asked others to check. I am satisfied that the information being provided in this article is as accurate as any genealogy can be.
The Caldwell’s of Northern Ireland beginning with the children of John Caldwell and Mary Swetenham are direct descendants of Henry III, King of England. There is further direct lineage to Louis VIII of France and Frederick Barbarossa, Holy Roman Emperor. There are dozens of links to royal cousins, aunts and uncles throughout Europe based on these three great-grandfathers alone. This article concerns itself with the specifics to Henry III.
The parents of the aforementioned John Caldwell were William Caldwell and his wife Elise Wallace (Wallace is certainly a prominent name in Scottish history). William and Elise moved from Scotland to Ireland during the time known in Irish history as, “The Plantation”. History states the primary effort of King James I of England (formerly James VI of Scotland) was to settle the Ulster Counties, including Fermanagh, with ‘undertakers’ – wealthy land owners of England and Scotland, and Protestants. If you accept that the lineage of these immigrant Caldwell’s go back to William Caldwell, Lord Chancellor of Scotland, who was also a Prebendary of Glasgow, then the family of William Caldwell/Elise Wallace is Presbyterian and well connected. The Caldwells of Fermanagah became Barons, Sheriffs, Knights, members of Parliament and held other high titles. In those days the majority of people were born to, lived in and died within their own class of people. Daughters would get permission to marry up, but for those that were already of a higher class, daddy would rarely let his daughter marry down in class. The sons tended to stay within the class of their fathers regardless of the class of the woman they married.
Records show that John Caldwell, with his wife Mary Swetenham, was a wealthy merchant. Her parents were of Cheshire, England. How did she get to Ireland and why? Mary was born in 1605 in Donegal, Ireland. In the early 1600’s Donegal was the major sea port for trade to England; Chester, the seat of Cheshire, was the major sea port for trade to Ireland. The Swetenham family was apparently also part of The Plantation immigrating from Cheshire to Donegal where Mary was born and somehow met the wealthy merchant John. Her father is cited as a “gentleman” in records. This is an informal title but one that is indicative of deserving respect. The gentleman father of Mary was Anthony Swetenham.
Anthony was born 1575 in Shotwich, Cheshire, England. He married Elizabeth Hockenhull, born August 8, 1573, in Tarvin, Cheshire, England. John Hockenhull Esq. was her father, Margaret Grimsdich was her mother. A gentleman marrying the daughter of an Esquire; this could be a bit of a step down for the daughter but if there is money there, it could be considered a lateral move. For Anthony to be part of The Plantation, he must have had some element of wealth, prestige and political connection. Although Anthony was not an Esquire, his older brother was; such title normally passed from father to first son. The father of Anthony was Lawrence Swetenham Esq..
Lawrence was born 1520 in Somerford Booth, Cheshire, and died 1579. In 1566 Lawrence married Elizabeth Oldfield who was born around 1540 in Sutton, Cheshire, and died in 1608. The parents of Lawrence were William Swetenham of Somerford, born 1501, and his mother Elizabeth Savage.
The lineage of the Swetenham’s of Somerford are traceable back to Elias Swetenham born circa 1206. There are lands given to the Swetenham’s by Edward I. The Swetenham’s continued to retain titles of Esquire, were granted a family crest and coat of arms and continued marriages into other prominent families of England including Davenport and Stanley. It is important to recognize the spelling of this lineage and that they are of Somerford and Somerford Booth. This is to differentiate our lineage from the Swettenham’s of Swettenham which is up the road from Somerford. There is probably a common ancestry between the two but I did not research it.
I felt it was important to cite the titles of the Swetenham’s to establish the probability they had some element of power and prestige because Elizabeth Savage was the daughter of a Knight. The Savage family has genealogical roots of knights, sheriff’s, Knights of the Garter, Archbishops, commanders of the troops of the King, all cited in historical documents going back to William the Conqueror in 1066. The Caldwell/Swetenham descendants are the grandchildren of people who not only participated in great moments of English history, they made history. Their stories are too numerous to list in this article but I have included some of the more interesting ones.
Elizabeth Savage, some places listed as Margaret Savage, was born in 1505, the daughter of Sir Christopher Savage, Mayor of Macclesfield, and Anne Stanley. I could find no accurate record of the date of her marriage to William Swetenham, nor the date of her death.
Sir Christopher Savage was born around 1468, in Clifton, Cheshire, England. Sir Christopher married Anne Stanley in 1488 and died September 9, 1513 at the Battle of Flodden Field where he is buried. Anne Stanley was born circa 1471/73 at Elford, Staffordshire, England, and died 1508. Anne was the daughter of John Stanley, Esq. (b. 1445, d, Nov.22, 1508) and Elizabeth ? possibly Pype or Camville (b.1446 d.1515). Anne’s first cousin, Sir Edward Stanley, was in command of part of the English forces at the Battle of Flodden Field under whom I imagine Christopher fought. Some historians say it was Sir Edward himself that struck the blow that killed King James IV of Scotland at that battle. The English forces effectively annihilated the Scottish forces which I have no doubt included some Scottish Caldwell’s. History says that every noble family of Scotland lost someone at that battle; one of several ironies within our family tree. Sir Christopher Savage was the seventh son of Sir John Savage IV; Knight of the Garter, Mayor of Chester, Chamberlain of Middlewich. It is necessary to cite the titles of these descendants to avoid confusion with the various parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren and cousins that have the same name but hold different titles.
Sir John Savage IV was born in 1422 in Clifton, Cheshire, and died November 22, 1495, in Macclesfield, England. He married Katherine Stanley (cousin of Anne Stanley) around 1447. Sir John IV also served as a member of Parliament for Cheshire, trustee of the Duchy of Lancaster as well as Sheriff of Cheshire. Of their 16+ children was Thomas Savage (our uncle) who was Bishop of Rochester, Bishop of London and eventually Archbishop of York. Thomas Savage was not the only Archbishop in our family. As Archbishop, Thomas created a beautiful alabaster tomb for Sir John IV and Katherine in the Church of St. Michael in Macclesfield, pictures of which can be found on the internet. Sir John IV was the brother-in-law of 1st Earl of Derby Lord Thomas Stanley who along with Lord Stanley’s brother William Stanley (our uncle), vacillated in their allegiance at the beginning of the Battle of Bosworth. Sir John IV was a trustee of the Lancasters and sided with the Lancasters against the Yorks during this last major battle of the War of the Roses. Sir John V, son of Sir John IV and nephew of Lord Stanley is also fighting in this battle and in fact is in command of the left wing of the Lancaster army. It is this allegiance by marriage that is considered the swaying force which brought the troops of Lord Stanley and his brother William (who had long been a supporter of the Yorks) into the battle on the left wing along with Sir John V and IV against the Yorks. Historical accounts state the troops of the Stanley’s came in as King Richard III personally attacked the left wing of Henry Tudor and it is believed that it was a Welsh soldier of the Stanley’s that actually killed King Richard III. Historical accounts also state that it was Lord Thomas Stanley that took the crown from the beaten head (or the ground near his head) of King Richard III and placed it on the head of Henry Tudor who became King Henry VII. Uncle William apparently again vacillated in his allegiance and was executed by King Henry VII for treason in 1495.
Going further into the past, the Le Savage, their original name, can be traced back to William the Conqueror in 1066 as participating in the Battle of Hastings and the crowning of William (as William I) on December 25, 1066, as ruler of all England. The Knights Le Savage are believed to have been directed by King William I to drive the Saxon supporters from the area of Cheshire and Derbyshire in the late 1080’s. I personally believe that of the many families driven north on one of the three roads from the Derbyshire area there was one particular family that took the road leading to Ayrshire, Scotland. Their name was Caldwell.
Katherine Stanley, wife of Sir John IV, was born in 1430 in Lancashire and died in 1498, the daughter of Joan Goushill and Sir Thomas Stanley, First Lord Stanley. Katherine was the sister of William Stanley and Lord Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby, both mentioned above who fought at Bosworth.
First Lord Thomas Stanley was born in 1406, married Joan Goushill in Ormskirk, Lancashire in 1427, and died February 11, 1458, in Huyton Knowsley, Lancashire. Many of the titles of Lord Thomas were inherited from his father although he certainly came to his own right during the reign of Henry VI. His titles included 1st Baron Stanley, King of Mann, Knight of the Garter, Privy Coucillor Comptroller of the Royal Household, Lieutenant Governor of Ireland, Chief Steward of the Duchy of Lancaster, Knight of the Shire for Lancaster, Constable and Justice of Cheshire, Chamberlain of North Wales, member of the House of Commons and House of Lords and Lord Chamberlain of Henry VI. The Lord Chamberlain is the number 3 man to the King behind the Lord Chancellor (number 2) and the Steward. As the Steward of certain lands, he is the King’s direct representative. First Lord Stanley was one of several Stanley’s that were Knights of the Garter. The Order of the Garter is the highest honor of chivalry offered by England which by tradition and original decree is awarded to those holding the highest offices and/or personally serving the King. The Stanley’s are also of a lineage that fought with William the Conqueror at Hastings. Their name at that time was Audithlegh, of which Adam de Audithlegh fought at Hastings. One of Adam’s two sons married a Saxon heiress whose lands included Stoneley in Staffordshire. It is of this marriage that the family took the Norman-Anglicized version of the name of their lands becoming Stanley. The Stanley’s have a lineage steeped in history, power and attachment to the crown comparable to the Savage lineage.
The wife of First Lord Stanley was Joan Goushill. Joan was born November 1, 1401 in Hoveringhan, Nottinghmshire, married in 1427 and died January 12, 1458, in Lathon Knowsley, Lancashire. Joan also held the title of Lady Joan and Baroness of Stanley. She was the co-heiress, along with her sister, of the estate of her father Sir Robert Goushill.
Sir Robert Goushill was born circa 1360-65, married Elizabeth FitzAlan early 1400/1401, and died at the Battle of Shrewsbury on July 21, 1403, the same day he was knighted by King Henry IV. Sir Robert was a bit of a trouble maker as were his father and grandfather before him. The Goushill’s had held extensive lands in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire since the 1200’s and various titles including Sheriff. Yet for all the troubles that are documented for them, they always seemed to get the King’s pardon. Sir Robert’s later troubles included King Henry IV seizing the lands of his wife Elizabeth in August 1401 for not getting royal permission to be married. Again they were pardoned a month later and Joan was born a couple months after that. But the last of Sir Robert’s problems was at the Battle of Shrewsbury. Although knighted after the battle, Sir Robert had been badly wounded. The story is that he summoned his servant to help him remove his armor. The servant murdered and robbed Sir Robert. The murder was witnessed and the servant caught and executed.
The wife of Sir Robert was Elizabeth FitzAlan. Elizabeth was born circa 1361 and died July 8, 1425. Sir Robert was her third husband, her first husband being Sir William Montagu 5th Lord of Montagu. This first marriage would start a string of tragic marriages for her. Sir William was killed about 3 years after they were married in a tilting match at Windsor. Elizabeth then married Sir Thomas Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk, 1st Earl of Nottingham. The marriage with Sir Thomas in 1384 was attended by the King and Queen. Sir Thomas died in exile in 1399 upon which Elizabeth married her late husband’s attorney, Sir Robert. After the death of Sir Robert she married Sir Gerard Ufflete who was the Steward of the Duchy of Lancashire (you’ve seen that title before) with whom she remained married until his death nine years later in 1421. She is believed to be buried with Sir Robert at the Goushill-FitzAlan Tomb in the parish church of Hoveringham, Nottinghamshire. Pictures of the 600 year old alabaster tomb effigies of Sir Robert and Elizabeth can be found on the internet.
The relationship between Sir Robert Goushill and Elizabeth FitzAlan reeks of murder conspiracy, hanky panky, and political manipulation. The whole story is too long and complicated to print here but why does a daughter of a FitzAlan, perhaps the most powerful non-royal family in the entirety of England, after marrying a Lord and a Duke/Earl, then marry a mere Esquire and former Sheriff? The second husband of Elizabeth, Sir Thomas Mobray, testified against her father with whom he was a co-conspirator (they are known in history as The Lords Appellant), resulting in the execution of her father. As a reward for his testimony Sir Thomas is presented with most of the lands of Elizabeth’s father. Sir Thomas is later, again, accused of treason resulting in his banishment for life. Sir Thomas’ attorney of ten years is then placed in charge of his estate by King Richard II, which is – Sir Robert Goushill. The wife of Sir Robert suddenly dies only a few months after Sir Thomas dies in exile. Sir Robert, the attorney in charge of the estate of Sir Thomas then quickly marries the widowed wife of Sir Thomas, Elizabeth, thus bringing all the lands of her late husband, which originally belonged to her father, whom her husband had testified against and whom some historians say actually beheaded her father, back into her control. Sir Robert is then murdered by his own servant two years later. The lands, the estates, the money, all belongs to Elizabeth.
I have used only the title of Sir solely for the sake of simplicity and clarity. In history books you will find Sir Thomas Mowbray referred to as Earl Nottingham or Duke Norfolk; Elizabeth’s father, Sir Richard FitzAlan, 4th Earl of Arundel, is often referred to as Earl Arundel and Elizabeth is often referred to as Elizabeth Arundel. Many of the FitzAlan’s are referred to as Arundel in history records.
The parents of Elizabeth were Sir Richard FitzAlan, 4th Earl of Arundel and his first wife Elizabeth de Bohun. Together they had three sons and four daughters. The brother of Sir Richard was Thomas, our uncle, who became Archbishop of Canterbury. Volumes have been written about Sir Richard, his children, his grandchildren and his brothers and sisters. Sir Richard was considered a very religious person and very charitable. His titles included – 4th Earl of Arundel (sometimes listed as 11th Earl), 9th Earl of Surrey, Knight of the Garter, Admiral of the West and South and later Admiral of England. He carried the crown during the coronation of Richard II. Sir Richard was born in 1346, married Elizabeth de Bohun on September 28, 1359, and was beheaded on September 21, 1397, as a result of the testimony of the husband of his daughter.
Elizabeth de Bohun was born in 1350 and died April 3, 1385. She was the daughter of Sir William de Bohun, 1st Earl of Northhampton, and Elizabeth de Bladesmere. Her brother Humphry married her sister-in-law Joan FitzAlan. I mention this because Humphry and Joan had a daughter, Mary. Mary was the wife of King Henry IV and mother of King Henry V. Elizabeth de Bohun also held the titles of Lady, Countess of Arundel and Countess of Surrey. The Bohun’s were also a very powerful family and land holder. Sir William de Bohun was in charge of the negotiations on behalf of King Edward III for the release of King David II of Scotland who was being held for ransom. The negotiator on behalf of Scotland was the Lord Chancellor of Scotland, William Caldwell. Another irony of our ancestors. Again, many historical articles can be found on the Bohun’s who also trace their lineage to the invasion of William the Conqueror. Claims were made in some records that the Bohun’s were relatives to David I of Scotland but I did not research these claims.
The parents of Sir Richard (4th Earl) were Sir Richard FitzAlan, 3rd Earl of Arundel, and Eleanor Plantagenet. Sir Richard held titles of 3rd Earl of Arundel, 8th Earl of Surrey/Warrene, Justice of North Wales, life-Sheriff of Carnarvonshire, Governor of Carnarvon Castle, Admiral of the West, and Commander of the English Armies in the North. Sir Richard was born in 1306 in Sussex and was first married on February 9, 1321, to Isabel le Despenser (another prominent name in English history). He was 15, she was 9. Sir Richard and Isabel had one son born in 1327 that was bastardized by virtue of the annulment of the marriage in December 1344. Even so, this son was knighted, married the daughter of an Earl and engaged in a lifelong legal battle for a share of the estates of his father. He was never successful and ticked off enough people that he spent time in the Tower of London. Sir Richard then married Isabel’s cousin, Eleanor Plantagenet on February 5, 1345. His wealth has been extrapolated by historians to present values which make him about the 5th wealthiest person in the history of the world, a wealth well over a hundred billion of today’s dollars. He died January 24, 1376.
The Fitz-Alan’s served the royal household through Elizabeth I in 1580 after which the title of Earl of Arundel was assumed by the Howard family, specifically Saint Phillip Howard (the grandson of the 12th/19th Earl of Arundel, Henry FitzAlan). The FitzAlan’s do not have a lineage that can be traced back to the invasion of William the Conqueror, rather their grandfathers were invited to England by their good friend King Henry I who gave them lands.
Eleanor Plantagenet was born September 11, 1318, the daughter of Henry Plantagenet, 3rd Earl of Lancaster and Maud de Chaworth. Eleanor was also known as Eleanor of Lancaster and held the title of Countess of Arundel. She had first been married to Baron John de Beaumont who was killed in a tournament in 1342. The wedding to Sir Richard FitzAlan in 1345 was at Ditton Church, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, and was attended by King Edward III. She died January 11, 1372. There is a beautiful effigy memorial of Eleanor and Sir Richard in Chichester Cathedral in Sussex, pictures of which can be found on the internet, however, they are actually buried in Lewes Priori in Southover, East Sussex. The Plantagenet family is the family of the early English Kings and probably the most powerful family in England during its time.
Maud de Chaworth was born February 2, 1282, married Earl Henry Plantagenet on or around March 2, 1297, and died December 3, 1322. She was the daughter of Sir Patrick de Chaworth, Baron of Kidwelly, and Isabella de Beauchamp. Her father died when she was only a year old and she was made a ward of Eleanor of Castille, Queen Consort of England to Edward I. Upon the death of Queen Eleanor, Maud was betrothed by King Edward I to his nephew (Earl) Henry. She is also known by the first name of Matilda
Henry Plantagenet was born in 1281. He was made Earl of Leicester in 1324 by King Edward II. Despite having attended the coronation of King Edward II, he was instrumental in overthrowing him. Henry did not participate in the initial rebellion against the King although his brother was executed for partaking in the initial effort. Then in 1327 Earl Henry joined forces with Queen Isabella in the successful overthrow of her husband, King Edward II, placing her son on the throne. Henry was made 3rd Earl of Lancaster in 1327 and also appointed Chief Advisor to the now reigning King Edward III. In 1330 Earl Henry went blind but not before making further impacts on English history. He never remarried and died September 22, 1345. He is buried at the College of the Annunciation of St. Mary in Leicester, which he had founded in 1331. His funeral was attended by King Edward III, Queen Philippa and Queen Isabella. The parents of Earl Henry were Sir Edmund Plantagenet, known as Sir Edmund Crouchback, and Blanche d’Artois.
Blanche d’Artois was born in 1248 and died May 2, 1302, in Paris. She is buried at the convent of the Minoresses without Aldgate which was founded by her husband Edmund in 1293. Her father was Robert, Count of Artois, the second surviving son of King Louis VIII of France, and her mother was Matilda of Brabant. Blanche had first been married to Henry I, King of Navarre, also known as Henry The Fat. The king died in 1274 supposedly having been suffocated by his own fat rolls. By Blanche’s marriage to Henry The Fat, through their only child Joan, we are blood relatives to Blanche’s grandchildren – French Kings Louis X, Philippe V and Charles IV, and Queen Isabella, mother of England’s King Edward III. Blanche held the titles of Queen of Navarre and Countess of Brie, Champagne and Lancaster. She was the granddaughter of King Louis VIII of France thus making the Caldwell/Swetenham descendants, by direct blood lineage, the grandchildren of King Louis VIII. Wikipedia states Blanche was also the great-granddaughter of Philip of Swabia, King of Germany and the great-great-granddaughter of Frederick Barbarossa, Holy Roman Emperor, but I did not validate this through other sources. She married Edmund Plantagenet in 1276.
Edmund Crouchback Plantagenet was born January 16, 1245, in London. He was first married on April 8, 1269, to Aveline de Forz, daughter of the William de Forz, 4th Earl of Albemarle, Count of Aumale and Isabella de Fortibus, Countess of Devon. Edmund and Aveline are the first royal couple to be married in Westminster Abbey. Aveline was 10. She died at age 15 at Stockwell in Surrey in 1274 either giving birth or after a miscarriage. Sir Edmund then married Blanche d’Artios on February 3, 1276, in Paris. He died in Bayonne, France on June 5, 1296, and is buried in Westminster Abbey. His tomb is extremely elaborate standing some 22 feet high in comparison to the simple, plain, square tomb of his brother King Edward I. Sir Edmund held the titles of Knight, Earl of Lancaster, 6th Earl of Leicester, King of Sicily, King of Apulia and Lord of Builth Wells, Skenfrith, Brosmont, White Castle and Monmouth. The name of Crouchback has nothing to do with a physical appearance, it is a bit of a title in that he was allowed to wear a cross on his back, on his armor, which he did when he participated in the Crusades of 1271.
Sir Edmund Plantagenet was the son of King Henry III of England and Eleanor of Provence.
From here you need only to look in the history books to see that the lineage of Henry III goes back to William the Conqueror and even further back to the Viking, Rollo the Walker in the 800’s AD. You can follow the lineage of King Louis VIII of France back to St. Arnulf of Metz around 582 AD. Through the grandfathers, grandmothers, aunts and uncles that I have mentioned in this article you can get into the history books and probably establish kinship with Anne Boleyn, William Shakespeare, President James Mason, David I of Scotland, a couple of Saints and a dozen other Kings, Queens, Archbishops, Earls and Dukes throughout Europe. There are some fantastic stories out there.
So, there it is, what may be the first concrete documentation of the direct blood relationship of one branch of the Caldwell lineage strictly through grandmothers and grandfathers to the royal families of England and France.
Researched and written by Michael Caldwell, 10th great-grandson of John Caldwell and Mary Swetenham