Belia wife of Vives le Romanzour

Referred to in records as: “Belia”.

Brief biography

Belia resided in Northampton, where the activities of her husband can be traced in the 1270s and 1280s. She had a daughter named Giwa or Gywa (likely a diminutive of the name Avigaye) and she and her daughter appear in records where they are identified in relation to Vives. Vives’s epithet le Romanzour (romançour in Anglo-Norman French, or romauncer in Middle English) seems to indicate that he was a translator of French or perhaps, more broadly, a writer of the vernacular languages of England. (In two records, scribes write le Romonger—that is, the horse-trader—but this is almost certainly an error; the vast majority of records related to him use some form of romançour.) In June 1277, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London, after he and Belia, along with another Jewish man called Dyekyn le Romanzour (possibly their son), were accused of robbing one Isabelle Crok. She had been walking on Coleman Street in the London Jewry the previous summer, she said, when the group robbed her of seven shillings. Belia, Vives, and Dyekyn denied the charge, and a mixed jury of Christian and Jews was to be convened. This charge may be why Vives was imprisoned in the summer of 1277, and Belia likely accompanied him to the Tower—though nothing further is known of the case. By 1280, their daughter Gywa had been accused of some trespass by a group of Christians, who subsequently had their land and goods seized for not appearing to prosecute the charge. Belia’s husband Vives served as a trusted juror on several Northamptonshire cases in the 1280s.
Further reading

Dates mentioned in records






View networkView family tree (experimental)


Putative social network for Belia wife of Vives le Romanzour (experimental feature)
Giwa Belia Vives le Romanzour
Putative family tree for Belia wife of Vives le Romanzour (experimental feature)