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The Battle Abbey Roll


William  I of England (William the Conqueror) ordered that an Abbey be built on the site of the Battle of Hastings that took place on Saturday 14th October 1066. The building of the Abbey was undertaken as an act of penance, ordered by Pope Alexander II in 1070 for the deaths of so many people during the Norman Conquest. The Abbey church was completed in 1094.


 A list was produced and kept at the Abbey of those people who fought along side  William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings and is that list is known as the 'Battle Abbey Roll'.  The original Roll has long since lost,  however a number of supposed copies were produced at a later date.

 The accuracy of these copies is questioned because there are significant differences between the names on each list and the  belief that Saxon families who held positions of influence in Norman England 'arranged' for their names to be added to the Battle Abbey Rolls to try and show that they had a Norman origin.

 The table below shows in which of the copies of the 'Battle Abbey Roll'  and other list of the Companions of William the Conqueror in which the Audley family name and other closely related names (Touchet; Verdon; Sneyd; and Stanley). occur.


"The Battle Abbey Roll" in the Auchinleck Manuscript.  This document originallypublished in the 1330s ad is kept in the National Library of Scotland.

 Link to Auchinleck manuscript


In this document there is no reference to Stanley or Sneyd


 Leland Copy 

produced 16th centrury

a supposed copy of the Battle Abbey Roll

(see note 1)

 In this version the names are in pairs and contains the following:

  • Audel et Aungeloun
  • Tuchet et Trussell
  • Vallonis et Vernoun
  • Vernoun et Waterville

There is no reference to Sneyd or Stanley, Verdon or Verdoune

  Holinshed Copy 

produced 16th centrury

a supposed copy of the Battle Abbey Roll

(see note 1)

 This list contains the following

  • Audeley
  • Tuchet
  • Verdoune

There is no Sneyd or Stanley

   Duchesne Copy 

produced 16th centrury

a supposed copy of the Battle Abbey Roll

(see note 1)

 This list contains the following
  • Audeley
  • Tuchet
  • Verdon

There is no Sneyd or Stanley


Dives Roll

This list was produced in 1866 and set up in the Church at Dives Sur Mer by Leopold Delisle

(see note 1)

Contains the names:

  • Richer d’Andeli

  • Guillaume d’Audrieu

  • De Touchet

  • Bertran de Verdun

There is no Sneyd or Stanley


Falaise Ross

Produced in Normandy in 1931


Contains the Names:

  • Le Sire de Touchet
  • Bertran de Verdun

There is no Audley, Sneyd or Stanley

  (Note 1) These 4 lists have been taken from 'The Battle Abbey Roll with some account of of the Norman Lineages (3 volumes) by The Duchess of Cleveland and published in 1889. A summary of this document, relevant to the Audley Family can be see  by selecting the link below

pdf  Summary of the Duchess of Cleveland's publication

The only universally accepted list of the companions of William the conqueror contain 15 names with 6 additional names. This list can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Companions_of_William_the_Conqueror

In conclusion the admnistrator of www,audleyfamilyhistory.com  believes that the Audley surname is of Saxon rather than Norman origin.

For other reading on the Battle Abbey Roll see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_Abbey_Roll


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