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de Merlay Dynasty

They came as conquerors.

The first baron William de Merlay obtained land to build his castle overlooking the Wansbeck at Morpeth in about 1085.

He took a wife and established the dynasty.  The Norman conquest of Northumberland was almost complete.  William’s heirs would inherit the barony and they would rule the people of Morpeth for ever.

One after another, his descendants enter our story: Ranulph, William, then Roger the First, Roger the Second and Roger the Third.  Equally important were their wives, those little-known young ladies: Juliana, Alice, Ada and Isobel.

The men owed military service to the kings.  The women’s role was to give birth to sons.

Morpeth has its full share of medieval history: a royal market charter, the kings’ wars, childbirth at the castle, a plot to kill a hated king, the illegal killing of deer, a wicked sheriff, child marriage.  It all happened here.

And ultimately?  Read what happened to the de Merlay dynasty in these stories, many of which are being revealed for the first time by this acclaimed local author.

"Much of what can be found in the book is being revealed for the very first time including a coloured reproduction of the 1199 market charter granted to Morpeth by King John."

Ian Leech, Editor, Inside Morpeth


Greater Morpeth Development Trust



ALL boOkS 1991 ~ 2024

The Hay Girl Trilogy books are available in your local bookshop, and online

Morpeth History books from Morpeth Chantry or from Greater Morpeth Development Trust

Or contact Bridget
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