Engelard de Cigogné

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Engelard de Cigogné was a 13th-century French-born administrator from Touraine serving King John of England.

He was born in the little village of Cigogne, just south of Tours in France, a relative (a nephew probably by marriage) of Gérard d'Athée, a trusted lieutenant of King John. John paid a considerable ransom of between 1000m and 2000m to secure Gerard's freedom after he had been captured in the storming of Loches Castle in 1205, of which he had been castellan. Gerard then joined Engelard and other of his relatives in England. Engelard was appointed High Sheriff of Gloucestershire and High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1210, following on from Gérard. The whole family of Gérard, including Engelard,were the only people to be condemned by name in Magna Carta which was drawn up in 1215 during the baronial revolt of that year.In it the king made a number of commitments to meet the barons' demands. Item 50 specifically promised that Gérard Athée and his whole family would henceforth be banned from office. Engelard was duly relieved of his shrievalties in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. It is interesting to note, however, that another member of the proscribed group, namely Philip Marc, remained in his post as sheriff of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire until 1225. The barons had meanwhile invited Prince Louis of France to be King of England in place of John and the French Prince duly occupied southern England and besieged the castles of Odiham, Dover and Windsor. As constable of Windsor Engelard led its resistance to a besieging force led by the Count of Nevers until the besiegers left to pursue other objectives. After peace was restored Engelard was rewarded for his services by being given the manor of Benson in Oxfordshire. He was then appointed High Sheriff of Oxfordshire and Berkshire in 1233. He had married Agatha and had a son, Oliver.He died in 1244. The previous Christmas the king had sent him a personal gift of wine - a tribute, perhaps,to a loyal and valued servant of the Crown.

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