William Spech/ Guillaume Espec "miles strenuus Conquestoirs" (Valiant soldier of the Conqueror) was first "Spike" in England - was Granted lands by William I in Bedford Co. (See Domesday book Co. Beds landowner #25)His only son (some say nephew), Walter Espec of Helmsly died 1153 w/o issue and Walter's three sisters (Hawise, Adeline & Albrade & their heirs) inherited. The exact Norman orgins of the family are unknown.One theory suggest Quesnai (old name was Kesnoi-Espec) , near St.Etieene de la Taillail,Auge - known to have been held by a family named Espec. Lands in Herpaiz-Mesnil were held by the sons of Renouf Espec Alternative theory - the neighbourhood of St. Martin d'Augigny.
In early recordings of the name, the Esp and Sp were interchanged.Name seems to be rooted in the French Word for Woodpecker.
Even though Walter left no issue to carry on the name in Yorkshire,the Espec family of Normandy must of sentover more family members.The Speke's of Jordans and Rowlands in Co. Devon trace their line to Richard Espec, a contemporay of Walter.
In a royal charter of Henry I 1126 is mentioned a Ranulf Espec
In the Bedfordshire Eyre of 1202 AD is a ref to a David Espeke
Pipe rolls for Henry II reveal an Osbert (Osbertos) Speke/Spech in Sussex in the years 1220, 1221, 1222.
Yorkshire Hundred Rolls 1275-1275two references p 73 City of York - ..."one windmill and 2 qac of land next to St. hame's chapel in the suburb were William le Espec's who lost them in Jewry. p 75 concering sheriffs and bailiffs, "they say that John son of John le Spec, Clement de POnte and John de Sutton bailiffs of York, ..."
It seems probably that the Spike family decended from these normans... but to prove it???
My Ancester - Bryan Spike b 1774- orignated in the Flamborough/Bempton/Hunmany area of the East Riding Yorkshire.See related posts.