Margaret, Duchess of Norfolk

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Margaret, Duchess of Norfolk
Spouse(s) John Segrave, 4th Baron Segrave
Sir Walter Mauny

Issue

John de Segrave
John de Segrave (again)
Elizabeth de Segrave
Margaret de Segrave
Thomas Mauny
Anne Mauny
Isabel Mauny
Father Thomas of Brotherton
Mother Alice Hales
Born c.1320
Died 24 March 1399(1399-03-24)
Buried Grey Friars, London

Margaret, in her own right Countess of Norfolk (sometimes surnamed Brotherton or Marshal;[1] c. 1320–24 March 1399), was the daughter and eventual sole heir of Thomas of Brotherton, eldest son of Edward I, by his second marriage. In 1338 she succeeded to the earldom of Norfolk and the office of Earl Marshal.

Family[edit]

Born about 1320, Margaret was the daughter of Thomas of Brotherton, eldest son of Edward I by his second marriage to Margaret (1279?–1318), the daughter of Philippe III of France (d.1285).[2] Her mother was Alice de Hales (d. in or before 1330), daughter of Sir Roger de Hales of Hales Hall in Loddon in Roughton, Norfolk, by his wife, Alice.[3][4] She had a brother and sister:

Life[edit]

In 1335 aged 15 (the typical age of marriage for maidens of that era), she was married to John Segrave, 4th Baron Segrave, and proceeded to have four children - two sons and two daughters - by him. In 1350, she sought a divorce on the ground that they had been contracted in marriage (in other words betrothed) before she was of marriageable age, and that she had never consented to cohabit with him. She made known her intention of traveling to the continent in order to plead personally with the Pope for a divorce. King Edward III prohibited her from leaving England, but she set off incognito anyway, having taken care to obtain a safe conduct from the King of France.

The following year (1351) Edward III charged her with having crossed the English Channel in contravention of his prohibition.[7] The inquisition, regarding this incident, shows that Margaret unlawfully crossed the Channel and met with a servant of her future husband, Sir Walter de Mauny, who broke his lantern with his foot so she could pass unnoticed and acted as her guardian during her sojourn in France. This incident and the involvement of her future husband's retainer may indicate the real motivation for Margaret seeking a divorce.

The divorce case was ultimately heard by the Pope's auditor, the Dean of St. Hilary's at Poitiers. However, Margaret's first husband died in 1353, before the divorce could be finalized. Shortly thereafter, and just before 30 May 1354, she married Sir Walter de Mauny without the King's licence. They were married 18 years, and had three children before he died at London on 8 or 13 January 1372.[8]

On 29 September 1397, Margaret she was created Duchess of Norfolk for life.[8] She died 24 March 1399, and was buried in the choir of Grey Friars in the City of London.[8]

The executors of her will are reported to be John Sileby & Walter fitz Piers, who in 1399 were reported to be attempting to recover money due to her estate. [9]

Marriages and issue[edit]

Margaret married firstly, about 1335,[4] John Segrave, 4th Baron Segrave, by whom she had two sons and two daughters:[10]

  • John de Segrave, who died young.[10]
  • Margaret de Segrave, who died young, before 1353.[11]

Shortly before 30 May 1354, Margaret married secondly, and without the King's licence, Sir Walter Mauny,[14] by whom she had a son and two daughters:[11]

Distinction[edit]

As her brother had died without issue, she succeeded to the earldom of Norfolk and the office of Earl Marshal at her father's death in 1338. To date, she is the only woman to have held the latter office.

Fictional representations[edit]

Margaret is a character in Georgette Heyer's last novel My Lord John.

Ancestry[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Brotherton [Marshal], Margaret". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/53070.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ Waugh 2004.
  3. ^ Richardson II 2011, p. 631.
  4. ^ a b Archer II 2004.
  5. ^ Richardson II 2011, p. 634.
  6. ^ Richardson II 2011, pp. 634-5.
  7. ^ Richardson II 2011, pp. 637-8.
  8. ^ a b c Richardson II 2011, p. 638.
  9. ^ Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas. National Archives; CP 40/555; http://aalt.law.uh.edu/H4/CP40no555/bCP40no555dorses/IMG_0329.htm; first entry
  10. ^ a b Richardson II 2011, p. 639.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Richardson II 2011, p. 640.
  12. ^ Cokayne 1936, p. 384.
  13. ^ Archer I 2004.
  14. ^ Sumption 2004.

References[edit]

Margaret, Duchess of Norfolk
Born: c. 1320 Died: 24 March 1399
Political offices
Preceded by
Earl of Norfolk
Earl Marshal
1338–1377
Succeeded by
Earl of Northumberland
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Thomas Plantagenet of Brotherton
Countess of Norfolk
suo jure

3rd creation
1338–1399
Succeeded by
Thomas Mowbray