By John S. Plant
Roots and Branches, Issue 19 (2000)
Introduction: The royal “Plantagenets” (so called) seemingly had no need for a surname. [Around when they ﬁrst ascended the throne of England in 1154, however, the “Plante Genest” nickname was used for their forebear Geoffrey, count of Anjou.] Important noble relatives included the “Warren” descendants of the 1164 marriage of Isabel de Warenne to Henry II’s illegitimate half-brother, Hamelin (1130-1202). It was not until about a quarter of a millennium later that for example another line, the Lancastrian “Plantagenets”, married back into the royal line.
The formative Pl(a/e)nte name is in evidence by 1219. A subsequent east Cheshire homeland for the settled Plant surname evidently dates from around the times of the mid 14th century. A consistent explanation of such developments can be constructed with the aid of a unifying theorem which couples early inﬂuences from the place name Plontone with ones of ongoing proximities of Plants to the Warren “Plantagenets”. Amongst various interpretations of Plant(agenet)-related names, it can be noted that there is a ‘life cycle’ of fertile, child, and establisher meanings tightly linked to religious interpretations based on plenarty. Such meanings can be related to a medieval ethos of the errant knight in a courtly context in “Plantagenet times”.