Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Eva

Female - 1170


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Eva   [1
    Gender Female 
    Died 12 Mar 1170  [2
    Alternate death Abt 1173  [3
    Buried Abbey Church of St. Augustine, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Person ID I11463  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of DDB, Ancestor of FF, Ancestor of FW, Ancestor of JTS, Ancestor of TNH, Ancestor of TSW, Ancestor of TWK
    Last Modified 6 Jan 2018 

    Family Robert fitz Harding,   b. of Bristol, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1169 
    Children 
    +1. Maurice fitz Robert fitz Harding,   b. of Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Jun 1190
    Last Modified 11 Sep 2018 
    Family ID F6630  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • "[F]ounded a priory of nuns on St. Michael's hill, Bristol, whereof she d. Prioress." [Complete Peerage II:125]

      From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:

      Eva fitz Harding (d. c. 1173), monastic patron, was the wife of Robert fitz Harding, a wealthy citizen of Bristol and lord of Berkeley, whom she had probably married by c. 1140. According to later tradition she was associated with Robert in the foundation of the abbey of St Augustine, Bristol. Early charters of Robert recording grants to this house do little to suggest that she played an important role. But the fifteenth-century Abbot Newland's roll states that both Robert and Eva were prayed for daily as founders of the abbey, and that the anniversary of Eva's death, as founder, was marked by the feeding of fifty poor men. As 'Domina Eva' she witnessed charters of her husband, which can be dated c. 1150–70. Eva and Robert had five sons and three daughters. One son, Henry, was archdeacon of Exeter from 1162 to 1188. Eva died on 12 March c. 1173.

      According to the fifteenth-century evidence of both Abbot Newland and Robert Ricart, town clerk of Bristol, Eva was buried by the side of her husband in the quire next to the abbot's stall. This is unlikely to have been the case, however: late twelfth-century monastic founders were generally buried in the chapter house or cloister. Ricart also states that Eva was the founder of a community of nuns, the Magdalenes, and that she became its prioress. This must refer to the nunnery of St Mary Magdalene situated on St Michael's Hill. If this was a separate foundation it is probable that she would have been buried there, and Robert and Eva may have been founders of a double community or at least linked establishments. Early charters refer to the community of St Mary Magdalene as a hospital and reveal the presence of both brothers and sisters. Perhaps the women were originally linked to St Augustine's for the provision of alms and developed as a more separate community later. Before his death on 5 February 1171 Robert entered the abbey as a canon. Eva may have taken the veil at St Mary Magdalene's at the same time.

      Eva's parentage is not established. Later tradition claimed that she was of royal blood -- the daughter of Estmond and a sister of William the Conqueror called Godiva. Claims of royal descent from the king of Denmark were made for Robert, and it is probable that these reflect a desire to accentuate the founders' importance to their communities rather than any historical accuracy.

  • Sources 
    1. [S977] The Blackmans of Knight's Creek: Ancestors and Descendants of George and Maria (Smith) Blackman by Henry James Young. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: 1980.

    2. [S128] The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant. Full citation details here.

    3. [S76] The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-ongoing).