Robert Fitzhamon

M, b. between 1045 and 1055, d. March 1107
Father*Haimo of Kent d. c 1100
Name TypeDateDescription
Name VariationRobert Fitzhamon was also known as fitz Haimo.
     Robert Fitzhamon (died March 1107), or Robert FitzHamon, Sieur de Creully in the Calvados region and Torigny in the Manche region of Normandy, was Lord of Gloucester and the Norman conqueror of Glamorgan, southern Wales.

As a kinsman of the Conqueror and one of the few Anglo-Norman barons to remain loyal to the two successive kings William Rufus and Henry I of England, he was a prominent figure in England and Normandy.

Robert FitzHamon (born c. 1045-1055, d. March 1107 Falaise, Normandy) was the son of Haimo the Sheriff of Kent and grandson of Haimo Dentatus ('The Toothy', i.e., probably buck-toothed). His grand-father held the lordships of Torigny, Creully, Mézy, and Evrecy in Normandy, but following is death at the Battle of Val-ès-Dunes in 1047, the family might have lost these lordships.

Robert probably did not fight at Hastings, and does not appear in the Domesday Book, although some relatives may. He first comes to prominence as a supporter of William Rufus during the Rebellion of 1088. After the revolt failed he was rewarded with great estates in Gloucestershire and elsewhere. Some of these had belonged to the late Queen Matilda, and were supposed to be inherited by Rufus's younger brother Henry (the future Henry I); nevertheless Fitzhamon remained on good terms with Henry.

The chronology of Fitzhamon's conquest of Glamorgan is uncertain, but it probably took place in the decades after he received Gloucester.

One explanation is the legend of the Twelve Knights of Glamorgan, which dates from the 16th century, in which the Welsh Prince Iestyn ap Gwrgan (Jestin), prince or Lord of Glamorgan, supposedly called in the assistance of Robert Fitzhamon. Fitzhamon defeated the prince of South Wales Rhys ap Tewdwr in battle in 1090. With his Norman knights as reward he then took possession of Glamorgan, and "the French came into Dyned and Ceredigion, which they have still retained, and fortified the castles, and seized upon all the land of the Britons." Iestyn did not profit long by his involvement with the Normans. He was soon defeated and his lands taken in 1091.

Whether there is any truth in the legend or not Robert Fitzhamon seems to have seized control of the lowlands of Glamorgan and Gwynllwg sometime from around 1089 to 1094. His key strongholds were Cardiff Castle, which already may have been built, on the site of an old Roman fort, new castles at Newport, and at Kenfig. His descendants would inherit these castles and lands.

Rhys's daughter Nest became the mistress of King Henry I of England and allegedly was mother of Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester who married Mabel, Fitzhamon's daughter and heiress and thus had legitimacy both among the Welsh and the Norman barons.[1] (Robert of Caen's mother is however unknown to historians and genealogists).

He also refounded Tewkesbury Abbey in 1092. The abbey's dimensions are almost the same as Westminster Abbey. The first abbot was Giraldus, Abbot of Cranborne (d. 1110) who died before the abbey was consecrated in October 1121. The abbey was apparently built under the influence of his wife Sybil de Montgomery. [1], said to be a beautiful and religious woman like her sisters.

Legend has it that Robert had ominous dreams in the days before Rufus' fatal hunting expedition, which postponed but did not prevent the outing. He was one of the first to gather in tears around Rufus' corpse, and he used his cloak to cover the late king's body on its journey to be buried in Winchester. How much of these stories are the invention of later days is unknown.

In any case Fitzhamon proved as loyal to Henry I as he had been to his predecessor, remaining on Henry's side in the several open conflicts with Henry's brother Robert Curthose. He was one of the three barons who negotiated the 1101 truce between Henry I and Robert Curthose.

In 1105 he went to Normandy and was captured while fighting near his ancestral estates near Bayeux. This was one of the reasons Henry crossed the channel with a substantial force later that year. Fitzhamon was freed, and joined Henry's campaign, which proceeded to besiege Falaise. There Fitzhamon was severely injured in the head; although he lived two more years he was never the same mentally. He was buried in the Chapter House at Tewkesbury Abbey, which he had founded and considerably enriched during his lifetime.

Fitzhamon married Sybil de Montgomery around 1087 to 1090, apparently the youngest daughter of Roger of Montgomery, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury by his first wife Mabel Talvas, daughter of William I Talvas, by whom he is said to have had four daughters. His eldest daughter Mabel inherited his great estates and married Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester around 1107. Fitzhamon's Gloucestershire property thus became the nucleus of the Earldom of Gloucester later given to his son-in-law. Fitzhamon is sometimes called Earl of Gloucester, but was never so created formally.

Another daughter Isabella (or Hawisa) is said to have been married to a count from Brittany, but no further details exist. His widow and two other daughters (unnamed) are reported to have entered a convent.

Robert fitzHamon's great granddaughter Isabel of Gloucester married John of England.1

Children of Robert Fitzhamon and Sibyl de Montgomery


  1. [S369] Encyclopedia website, by compilation,

Sibyl de Montgomery

Father*Roger the Great de Montgomery d. 1094
Mother*Mabel Talvas d. 1082
Name TypeDateDescription
Married Namebetween 1087 and 1090As of between 1087 and 1090,her married name was Fitzhamon.

Children of Sibyl de Montgomery and Robert Fitzhamon

Lucia Taillebois

Name TypeDateDescription
Married NameHer married name was le Meschin.

Child of Lucia Taillebois and Ranulf le Meschin

Ranulf le Meschin

M, d. 1129
Father*Ranulf de Briquessart d. c 1089
Mother*Margaret Goz
     Ranulf le Meschin, Ranulf de Briquessart or Ranulf I [Ranulph, Ralph] (died 1129) was a late 11th- and early 12th-century Norman magnate based in northern and central England. Originating in Bessin in Normandy, Ranulf made his career in England thanks to his kinship with Hugh d'Avranches - the earl of Chester, the patronage of kings William II Rufus and Henry I Beauclerc, and his marriage to Lucy, heiress of the Bolingbroke-Spalding estates in Lincolnshire.

Ranulf fought in Normandy on behalf of Henry I, and served the English king as a kind of semi-independent governor in the far north-west, in Cumberland and Westmorland, founding Wetheral Priory. After the death of his cousin Richard d'Avranches in the White Ship Disaster of November 1120, Ranulf became earl of the county of Chester on the Anglo-Welsh marches. He held this position for the remainder of his life, and passed the title on to his son.

Ranulf le Meschin's father and mother represented two different families of viscounts in Normandy, and both of them were strongly tied to Henry, third son of William the Conqueror.[2] His father was Ranulf de Briquessart, and likely for this reason the former Ranulf was styled le Meschin, "the younger".[3] Ranulf's father was viscount of the Bessin, the area around Bayeux.[4] Besides Odo, bishop of Bayeux, Ranulf the elder was the most powerful magnate in the Bessin region of Normandy.[5] Ranulf le Meschin's great-grandmother may even have been from the ducal family of Normandy, as le Meschin's paternal great-grandfather viscount Anschitil is known to have married a daughter of Duke Richard III.[6]

Ranulf le Meschin's mother was the daughter of Richard Goz.[2] Richard's father Thurstan Goz had become viscount of the Hiémois between 1017 and 1025,[7] while Richard himself became viscount of the Avranchin in either 1055 or 1056.[8] Her brother (Richard Goz's father) was Hugh d'Avranches "Lupus" ("the Wolf"), viscount of the Avranchin and Earl of Chester (from c. 1070).[9] Ranulf was thus, in addition to being heir to the Bessin, the nephew of one of Norman England's most powerful and prestigious families.[10]

We know from an entry in the Durham Liber Vitae, c. 1098 x 1120, that Ranulf le Meschin had an older brother named Richard (who died in youth), and a younger brother named William.[11] He had a sister called Agnes, who later married Robert de Grandmesnil (died 1136).[3]1

Child of Ranulf le Meschin and Lucia Taillebois


  1. [S369] Encyclopedia website, by compilation,,_3rd_Earl_of_Chester.

Ranulf de Briquessart

M, d. circa 1089
     Ranulf de Briquessart[1] or Ranulf the Viscount (died c. 1089 or soon after) was an 11th century Norman magnate and viscount. Ranulf's family were connected to the House of Normandy by marriage, and, besides Odo, bishop of Bayeux, was the most powerful magnate in the Bessin region.[2] He married Margaret, daughter of Richard Goz, viscount of the Avranchin, whose son and successor Hugh d'Avranches became Earl of Chester in England c. 1070.[3]

Ranulf is probably the "Ranulf the viscount" who witnessed a charter of William, Duke of Normandy, at Caen on 17 June 1066.[4] Ranulf helped preside over a judgement in the curia of King William (as duke) in 1076 in which a disputed mill was awarded to the Abbey of Mont St. Michael.[5] On 14 July 1080 he witnessed a charter to the Abbey of Lessay (in the diocese of Coutances), another in the same year addressed to Remigius de Fécamp bishop of Lincoln in favour of the Abbey of Préaux.[6] and one more in the same period, 1079 x 1082, to the Abbey of St Stephen of Caen.[7] His name is attached to a memorandum in 1085, and on 24 April 1089 he witnessed a confirmation of Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy and Count of Maine to St Mary of Bayeaux, where he appears below his son in the witness list.[8]

He probably died sometime after this. His son Ranulf le Meschin became ruler of Cumberland and later Earl of Chester.[9] The Durham Liber Vitae, c. 1098 x 1120, shows that his eldest son was one Richard, who died in youth, and that he had another son named William.[10] He also had a daughter called Agnes, who later married Robert de Grandmesnil (died 1136).[9]1

Child of Ranulf de Briquessart and Margaret Goz


  1. [S369] Encyclopedia website, by compilation,

Margaret Goz

Father*Richard Goz
Name TypeDateDescription
Married NameHer married name was de Briquessart.

Child of Margaret Goz and Ranulf de Briquessart

Richard Goz


Child of Richard Goz

Mabel Talvas

F, d. 1082
Father*William I Talvas b. c 995, d. a 1030
Mother*Hildeburg (?)
Name TypeDateDescription
Married NameHer married name was of Montgomery.
Name VariationMabel Talvas was also known as of Bellême.
Married NameHer married name was de Montgomery.

Children of Mabel Talvas and Roger the Great de Montgomery

William I Talvas

M, b. circa 995, d. after 1030
Father*William of Bellême
Mother*Mathilde of Condé-sur-Noireau
     William I Talvas (c. 995–after 1030), seigneur of Alençon. He was a son of William of Bellême and Mathilde of Condé-sur-Noireau.

He assumed the Bellême estates upon the murder of his brother Robert, by the Sor family in revenge for the deaths of their father and brothers (Robert of Bellême had hanged them after their capture in battle). His reputation was that of a wicked man, "in all things worse than his brothers, and his wickedness has flourished to this day among his heirs."

He was married to Hildeburg, who was the mother of his son Arnulf and daughter Mabel. But his marriage was unsatisfying and he had his wife murdered on her way to church. He soon married the daughter of Rodulf the vicomte of Beaumont. Then he angered his neighbors by mutilating one William of Giroie: the Giroie family and their allies raided his lands then invested his castle in revenge. His son Arnulf quarreled with him, and he threw him out. His enemies challenged him to come out and fight, but Talvas' courage failed him and he surrendered and was exiled: the vicomte's daughter abandoned him at this point. Only his daughter Mabel stood by him. Although Arnulf got all his father's wealth and lands, it did him no good, and he was strangled one night in his sleep.

After years of wandering about, Talvas and Mabel finally were taken in by the Montgomery family. And Talvas offered his daughter to Roger of Montgomery in marriage. These were the parents of Robert of Bellême, and a numerous family of other sons and daughters (nine in all). The girls are recorded as being of high moral character, but the Bellême-Montgomery sons were "dangerous, greedy and like madmen they harmed the poor."1

Children of William I Talvas and Hildeburg (?)


  1. [S369] Encyclopedia website, by compilation,

Hildeburg (?)

Name TypeDateDescription
Married NameHer married name was Talvas.

Children of Hildeburg (?) and William I Talvas

Arnulf Talvas

Father*William I Talvas b. c 995, d. a 1030
Mother*Hildeburg (?)

Roger the Great de Montgomery

M, d. 1094
Father*Roger de Montgomerie
Name TypeDateDescription
Name VariationRoger the Great de Montgomery was also known as of Montgomery.
Name VariationRoger the Great de Montgomery was also known as de Montgomerie.
     Roger de Montgomerie, also known as Roger the Great de Montgomery (died 1094), was the first Earl of Shrewsbury. His father was also Roger de Montgomerie, and was a relative, probably a grandnephew, of the Duchess Gunnor, wife of Duke Richard I of Normandy. The elder Roger had large holdings in central Normandy, chiefly in the valley of the Dives, which the younger Roger inherited.

Roger was one of William the Conqueror's principal counsellors. He did not fight in the initial invasion of England in 1066, instead staying behind to help govern Normandy [Some controversy here- Neil Ludlow (Pembroke Castle) states the Earl led the Norman right flank at the Battle of Hastings]. Afterwards he was entrusted with land in two places critical for the defense of England, receiving the rape of Arundel at the end of 1067 (or in early 1068), and in November 1071 he was created Earl of Shrewsbury; a few historians believe that while he received the Shropshire territories in 1071 he was not created Earl until a few years later.

Roger was thus one of the half dozen greatest magnates in England during William the Conqueror's reign. In addition to the large part of Sussex included in the Rape of Arundel, and seven-eighths of Shropshire which were associated with the earldom of Shrewsbury, he had estates in Surrey, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Cambridgeshire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire.

After William I's death in 1087, Roger joined with other rebels to overthrow the newly crowned King William II in the Rebellion of 1088. However, William was able to convince Roger to abandon the rebellion and side with him. This worked out favourably for Roger, as the rebels were beaten and lost their land holdings in England.

Roger first married Mabel of Bellême, who was heiress to a large territory on both sides of the border between Normandy and Maine. By her he had 10 children.1

Children of Roger the Great de Montgomery and Mabel Talvas


  1. [S369] Encyclopedia website, by compilation,,_1st_Earl_of_Shrewsbury.

Roger de Montgomerie


Child of Roger de Montgomerie

Isabel of Gloucester

F, b. circa 1173, d. 14 October 1217
Father*William Fitz Robert b. 23 Nov 1116, d. 23 Nov 1183
Mother*Hawise de Beaumont b. a 1120
Name TypeDateDescription
Name VariationIsabel of Gloucester was also known as Hadwisa.
Name VariationIsabel of Gloucester was also known as Hawise.
Name VariationIsabel of Gloucester was also known as de Clare.
Married Name1189As of 1189,her married name was of England.
Married Name20 January 1214As of 20 January 1214,her married name was FitzGeoffrey.
Married NameSeptember 1217As of September 1217,her married name was de Burgh.
     Isabel of Gloucester (Isabel de Clare; c.1173 – 14 October 1217) was the first wife of King John of England. This historical figure is known by an exceptionally large number of alternative names: Hadwisa, Hawise, Joan, Eleanor, Avise and Avisa.

Isabel was the daughter of the William Fitz Robert, 2nd Earl of Gloucester and his wife, Hawise. Her paternal grandfather, Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester, was the illegitimate son of Henry I, King of England. Her father died in 1183 and, as he had no male heirs, his title merged in the Crown, but a new creation was granted to her in 1186 and she became Countess of Gloucester.

On 29 August 1189, she married John, Earl of Cornwall at Marlborough Castle in Wiltshire and he assumed the title in her right. Shortly before or after John's accession as King in 1199, he had the marriage annulled[citation needed] on the grounds of consanguinity (they were second cousins as descendants of King Henry I). As a result, Isabel was never recognised as Queen of England and her former title merged in the Crown.

Isabel later married Geoffrey FitzGeoffrey de Mandeville, the Earl of Essex, on 20 January 1214. He died in 1216. A year after Essex's demise she married Hugh de Burgh (later Earl of Kent) in September 1217.

Isabel died just a month later that year and was interred in Canterbury Cathedral.1 The marriage of Isabel of Gloucester and King John of England was annulled in 1199.


  1. [S369] Encyclopedia website, by compilation,

William Fitz Robert

M, b. 23 November 1116, d. 23 November 1183
Father*Robert of Gloucester b. c 1090, d. 31 Oct 1147
Mother*Mabel Fitzhamon b. 1090, d. 29 Sep 1157
     William Fitz Robert, 2nd Earl of Gloucester (died 1183) was the son and heir of Sir Robert de Caen, 1st Earl of Gloucester, and Mabel FitzHamon of Gloucester, daughter of Robert Fitzhamon.

His father was Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester, an illegitimate son of King Henry I of England, thus William was a nephew of the Empress Maud and a cousin of King Stephen, the principal combatants of the English Anarchy period.

In October 1141, William looked after the Baronial estates, when his father fell into the hands of partisans at Winchester. His father was exchanged for King Stephen, and during his father's absence in Normandy in 1144 he served as Governor of Wareham. In 1147, he overthrew Henry de Tracy at Castle Cary.

In 1154 he made an alliance with Roger de Clare, 3rd Earl of Hertford, by which they agreed to aid each other against all men except Henry II of England.

He was Lord of the manor of Glamorgan, as well as Caerleon, residing chiefly at Cardiff Castle. It was there that in 1158 he and his wife and son were captured by the Welsh Lord of Senghenydd, Ifor Bach ("Ivor the Little") and carried away into the woods, where they were held as prisoners until the Earl redressed Ivor's grievances.

In 1173 the earl took the King's part against his sons, but thereafter he appears to have fallen under suspicion, for the following year he submitted to the King, and in 1175 surrendered to him Bristol Castle. Because his only son and heir Robert died in 1166, Earl William made John, the younger son of King Henry II, heir to his earldom, in conformity with the King's promise that John should marry one of the Earl's daughters, if the Church would allow it, they being related in the third degree.

Earl William was present in March 1177 when the King arbitrated between the Kings of Castile and Navarre, and in 1178, he witnessed Henry's charter to Waltham Abbey. But during the King's struggles with his sons, when he imprisoned a number of magnates of whose loyalty he was doubtful, Earl William was among them.

He was married to Hawise de Beaumont of Leicester, daughter of Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester and Amica de Gael and had 4 children.1

Child of William Fitz Robert and Hawise de Beaumont


  1. [S369] Encyclopedia website, by compilation,,_2nd_Earl_of_Gloucester.

Hawise de Beaumont

F, b. after 1120
Father*Robert de Beaumont b. 1104, d. 5 Apr 1168
Mother*Amica de Gael
Name TypeDateDescription
Married Namebefore 1151As of before 1151,her married name was Fitz Robert.

Child of Hawise de Beaumont and William Fitz Robert

Amica de Gael

Father*Ralph de Montfort
Name TypeDateDescription
Name VariationAmica de Gael was also known as de Montfort.
Name VariationAmica de Gael was also known as Amice.
Married Nameafter 1120As of after 1120,her married name was de Beaumont.

Children of Amica de Gael and Robert de Beaumont

Ralph de Montfort


Child of Ralph de Montfort

Margaret de Beaumont

F, b. after 1120
Father*Robert de Beaumont b. 1104, d. 5 Apr 1168
Mother*Amica de Gael
Name TypeDateDescription
Married NameHer married name was de Toeni.

Eleanor of Aquitaine

F, b. 1122, d. 1 April 1204
Father*William X of Aquitaine b. 1099, d. 9 Apr 1137
Mother*Aénor of Châtellerault b. c 1103, d. Mar 1130
Name TypeDateDescription
Married Name1137As of 1137,her married name was of France.
Married Name1152As of 1152,her married name was of England.
     Eleanor of Aquitaine (in French: Aliénor d’Aquitaine, Éléonore de Guyenne) (1122[note 1] – 1 April 1204) was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in Western Europe during the High Middle Ages. As well as being Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, she was queen consort of France 1137-1152 and queen consort of England 1154-1189. She was the patroness of such literary figures as Wace, Benoît de Sainte-More, and Chrétien de Troyes.

Eleanor succeeded her father as suo jure Duchess of Aquitaine and Countess of Poitiers at the age of fifteen, and thus became the most eligible bride in Europe. Three months after her accession she married Louis VII, son and junior co-ruler of her guardian, King Louis VI. As Queen of the Franks, she participated in the unsuccessful Second Crusade. Soon after the Crusade was over, Louis VII and Eleanor agreed to dissolve their marriage, because of Eleanor's own desire for divorce and also because the only children they had were two daughters - Marie and Alix. The royal marriage was annulled on 11 March 1152, on the grounds of consanguinity within the fourth degree. Their daughters were declared legitimate and custody of them awarded to Louis, while Eleanor's lands were restored to her.

As soon as she arrived in Poitiers, Eleanor became engaged to the eleven years younger Henry II, Duke of the Normans. On 18 May 1152, eight weeks after the annulment of her first marriage, Eleanor married the Duke of the Normans. On 25 October 1154 her husband ascended the throne of the Kingdom of England, making Eleanor Queen of the English. Over the next thirteen years, she bore Henry eight children: five sons, two of whom would become king, and three daughters. However, Henry and Eleanor eventually became estranged. She was imprisoned between 1173 and 1189 for supporting her son Henry's revolt against her husband, King Henry II.

Eleanor was widowed on 6 July 1189. Her husband was succeeded by their son, Richard the Lionheart, who immediately moved to release his mother. Now queen mother, Eleanor acted as a regent for her son while he went off on the Third Crusade. Eleanor survived her son Richard and lived well into the reign of her youngest son King John. By the time of her death she had outlived all of her children except for King John and Eleanor, Queen of Castile.1 The marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine and King Louis VII of France was annulled in 1152.

Children of Eleanor of Aquitaine and King Henry II of England


  1. [S369] Encyclopedia website, by compilation,

Richard I of England

M, b. 8 September 1157, d. 6 April 1199
Father*King Henry II of England b. 5 Mar 1133, d. 6 Jul 1189
Mother*Eleanor of Aquitaine b. 1122, d. 1 Apr 1204
     Richard I (8 September 1157 – 6 April 1199) was King of England from 6 July 1189 until his death in 1199. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Lord of Ireland, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Nantes and Overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period. He was known as Cœur de Lion, or Richard the Lionheart, even before his accession, because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior.[1] The Muslims (referred to as Saracens at the time) called him Melek-Ric or Malek al-Inkitar (King of England).[2]

By age 16, Richard was commanding his own army, putting down rebellions in Poitou against his father, King Henry II.[1] Richard was a central Christian commander during the Third Crusade, effectively leading the campaign after the departure of Philip Augustus and scoring considerable victories against his Muslim counterpart, Saladin.[3][4]

While he spoke very little English and spent very little time in England (he lived in his Duchy of Aquitaine, in the southwest of France), preferring to use his kingdom as a source of revenue to support his armies,[5] he was seen as a pious hero by his subjects.[6] He remains one of the very few Kings of England remembered by his epithet, not number, and is an enduring, iconic figure in England.[5]1


  1. [S369] Encyclopedia website, by compilation,

Rhys the Hoarse Gryg

M, d. 1234
  • Rhys the Hoarse Gryg died in 1234.

Child of Rhys the Hoarse Gryg

William de Briwere

M, b. circa 1145, d. 1226
Father*Henry de Briwere b. c 1114, d. a 1165

Child of William de Briwere and Beatrice de Vaux

Beatrice de Vaux

F, b. circa 1149, d. 1216
Name TypeDateDescription
Married NameHer married name was de Briwere.

Child of Beatrice de Vaux and William de Briwere

John FitzGilbert the Marshal

M, b. circa 1105, d. 1165
Father*Gilbert Giffard
     John FitzGilbert the Marshal (Marechal) (c. 1105 – 1165) was a minor Anglo-Norman nobleman during the reign of King Stephen, and fought in the 12th century civil war on the side of the Empress Matilda. Since at least 1130 and probably earlier, he had been the royal marshal to King Henry I. When Henry died, John FitzGilbert swore for Stephen and was granted the castles of Marlborough and Ludgershall, Wiltshire during this time. Along with Hamstead Marshal, this gave him control of the valley of the River Kennet in Wiltshire. Around 1139, John changed sides and swore for the Empress Matilda. In September 1141, Matilda fled the siege of Winchester and took refuge in the Marshal's castle at Ludgershall. While covering her retreat from Winchester, John Marshal was forced to take refuge at Wherwell Abbey. The attackers set fire to the building, and John lost an eye to dripping lead from the melting roof.

In 1152, John had a legendary confrontation with King Stephen, who had besieged him at Newbury Castle. After John had broken an agreement to surrender, Stephen threatened to kill his son, whom John had given as a hostage. John refused, saying he could make more sons, but Stephen apparently took pity on the young boy and did not kill him. The boy grew up to be William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, a legendary figure in medieval lore, and one of the most powerful men in England.

The office of Lord Marshal, which originally related to the keeping of the King's horses, and later, the head of his household troops, was won as a hereditary title by John, and was passed to his eldest son, and later claimed by William. John also had a daughter, Margaret Marshal, married Ralph de Somery, son of John de Somery and Hawise de Paynell.

John was the son of Gilbert Giffard (Royal Serjeant and Marshal to Henry I). In 1141, John arranged an annullment of his marriage to Aline Pipard in order to marry Sibyl of Salisbury, the sister of Patrick of Salisbury, who had been a local rival of his, and a supporter of King Stephen, up to that point. John had two sons by Aline - Gilbert and Walter. Walter predeceased his father and Gilbert died shortly after inheriting his father's lands.

John's eldest son by Sybilla of Salisbury, also called John Marshal (died 1194), inherited the title of Marshal, which he held until his death. The title was then granted by King Richard the Lionheart to his second son by Sybilla, William, who made the name and title famous. Though he had started out as a younger son without inheritance, by the time he actually inherited the title his reputation as a soldier and statesman was unmatched across Western Europe. John Marshal had four sons in total by his second wife. As well as John and William, there was Henry, who went on to become Bishop of Exeter, and Ancel, who served as a knight in the household of his kinsman, Rotrou, Count of Perche.1 The marriage of John FitzGilbert the Marshal and Aline Pipard was annulled in 1141.

Children of John FitzGilbert the Marshal and Aline Pipard

Children of John FitzGilbert the Marshal and Sibyl of Salisbury


  1. [S369] Encyclopedia website, by compilation,

Sibyl of Salisbury

Father*Walter of Salisbury
Mother*Sibilla de Chaworth
Name TypeDateDescription
Name VariationSibyl of Salisbury was also known as Sybilla.
Married Name1141As of 1141,her married name was Marshal.

Children of Sibyl of Salisbury and John FitzGilbert the Marshal

John Marshal

M, b. before 1146, d. 1194
Father*John FitzGilbert the Marshal b. c 1105, d. 1165
Mother*Sibyl of Salisbury

Gilbert Giffard


Child of Gilbert Giffard

Aline Pipard

Name TypeDateDescription
Married Namebefore 1141As of before 1141,her married name was Marshal.
     The marriage of Aline Pipard and John FitzGilbert the Marshal was annulled in 1141.

Children of Aline Pipard and John FitzGilbert the Marshal

Gilbert Marshal

M, b. before 1141
Father*John FitzGilbert the Marshal b. c 1105, d. 1165
Mother*Aline Pipard