Elizabeth of Vermandois, Countess of Leicester

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Not to be confused with Elisabeth, Countess of Vermandois.
Elizabeth of Vermandois
Spouse(s) Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester
William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey
Noble family House of Capet
Father Hugh I, Count of Vermandois
Mother Adelaide, Countess of Vermandois
Born c. 1085
Died c. 1147–1148

Elizabeth of Vermandois, or Elisabeth or Isabel de Vermandois (c. 1085 – c. 1148), was the third daughter of Hugh Magnus and Adelaide of Vermandois,[1] and as such represented both the Capetian line of her paternal grandfather Henry I of France, and the Carolingian ancestry of her maternal grandfather Herbert IV of Vermandois.[2] As the wife of two Anglo-Norman magnates, Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester and William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey, she is the ancestress of hundreds of well-known families down to the present time.[3]

Life[edit]

Countess of Leicester[edit]

In 1096, Robert de Beaumont, Count of Meulan reputed to be "the wisest man in his time between London and Jerusalem" insisted, in deference to the laws of the church, on marrying a very young Elizabeth, he being over fifty at the time.[4] In early 1096 Bishop Ivo, on hearing of the proposed marriage, wrote a letter banning the marriage and preventing its celebration on the grounds the two were related within prohibited degrees. In April of that year Elizabeth's father count Hugh left on Crusade, his last act being to see his daughter married to count Robert. The crusader was able to convince Pope Urban to issue a dispensation for the marriage which then went forward.[2][4]

Her husband was a nobleman of some significance in France, having inherited lands from his maternal uncle Henry, Count of Meulan, and had fought at the Battle of Hastings as a known companion of William the Conqueror.[5][6] He was rewarded with ninety manors in the counties of Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Wiltshire.[7] The count of Meulan was one of Henry I's "four wise counsellors and was one of the king's commanders at the Battle of Tinchebray 28 September 1106.[8] In 1107 Robert became Earl of Leicester.[9]

Countess of Surrey[edit]

Elizabeth, Countess of Meulan apparently tired of her aging husband at some point during the marriage. The historian James Planché says (1874) that the Countess was seduced by or fell in love with a younger nobleman, William de Warenne for whom she left her husband Robert.[10] William II de Warenne had sought a royal bride in 1093 in a failed attempt to wed Matilda of Scotland also known and Edith, who later married Henry I,[11] but obtained a bride of royal blood when he married Elizabeth in 1118, at the death of Earl Robert.[12] Elizabeth survived her second husband William to later die either in 1147–1148.[1][13]

Family[edit]

By her first husband, Robert de Beaumont, Count of Meulan, (d 5 June 1118), Elizabeth had three sons (including twin elder sons) and five or six daughters:[14]

By her second husband, William de Warenne, Elizabeth had three sons and two daughters:[17]

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band III Teilband 4, (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1989), Tafel 699
  2. ^ a b Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band III Teilband 1, Herzogs und Grafenhäuser des Heiligen Römischen Reiches Andere Europäiche Fürstenhäuser (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1984), Tafel 55
  3. ^ David Starr Jordan, 'The Inbred Descendants of Charlemagne: A Glance at the Scientific Side of Genealogy', The Scientific Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 6, (Dec., 1921), p. 481
  4. ^ a b Edmond Chester Waters, 'Gundrada de Warenne', The Archaeological Journal, Vol. xli (London, 1884), p. 308-9
  5. ^ George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, Vol. XII/1 (The St. Catherine Press, London, 1953), Appendix L, pp. 47–8, Appendix L, The Battle of Hastings and the Death of Harold (List of those known to be at the Battle of Hastings)
  6. ^ David C. Doulgas, William the Conqueror (University of California Press, 1964), p. 203
  7. ^ J. R. Planché, The Conqueror and His Companions, Vol. I (Tinsley Bros., London, 1874) p. 206
  8. ^ C. Warren Hollister, Henry I (Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2003) pp. 132–3, 199–200
  9. ^ K.S.B. Keats-Rohan, Domesday People, a Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents 1066–1166 (The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 1999), p. 371
  10. ^ a b c J. R. Planché, The Conqueror and His Companions, Vol. I (Tinsley Bros., London, 1874) p. 212
  11. ^ C. Warren Hollister, Henry I (Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2003)p. 340
  12. ^ C. Warren Hollister, 'The Taming of a Turbulent Earl: Henry I and William of Warenne', Historical Reflections, Vol. 3 (1976) p. 90 n. 36
  13. ^ G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, Vol. XII/1 (The St. Catherine Press, London, 1953) p. 496
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, Vol. VII (The St. Catherine Press, Ltd, 1929), p. 540
  15. ^ George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, Vol. VII (The St. Catherine Press, Ltd, 1929), p. 526, footnote (c)
  16. ^ Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and Natural History, Bol. II, No. 1, (1854), p. 311
  17. ^ a b c d William Farrer, Charles Travis Clay, Early Yorkshire Charters, Volume VIII – The Honour of Warenne (The Yorkshire Archaeological Society, 1949) p. 10
  18. ^ a b William Farrer, Charles Travis Clay, Early Yorkshire Charters, Volume VIII – The Honour of Warenne (The Yorkshire Archaeological Society, 1949) pp. 27–8
  19. ^ William Farrer, Charles Travis Clay, Early Yorkshire Charters, Volume VIII – The Honour of Warenne (The Yorkshire Archaeological Society, 1949) p. 11
  20. ^ Victoria Chandler, 'Ada de Warenne, Queen Mother of Scotland (c. 1123–1178)', The Scottish Historical Review, Vol. 60, No. 170, Part 2 (Oct., 1981), pp. 119–139

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