Thomas of Brotherton, 1st Earl of Norfolk
|Thomas of Brotherton|
Coat of arms of Thomas, Earl of Norfolk
1 June 1300|
|Died||August 1338 (aged 38)|
|Resting place||Bury St Edmunds Abbey, Suffolk
|Title||1st Earl of Norfolk|
|Tenure||1312 – 1338|
|Known for||Younger half-brother of Edward II of England|
|Years active||1316 – 1338|
|Wars and battles|
|Successor||Margaret, Duchess of Norfolk|
|Issue||Edward of Norfolk
Margaret, Duchess of Norfolk
Alice of Norfolk
|Parents||Edward I of England
Margaret of France
Thomas of Brotherton, born 1 June 1300, was the fifth son of Edward I, and the eldest son of his second marriage to Margaret (1279?–1318), the daughter of Philippe III of France (d.1285). He was born at the manor house at Brotherton, Yorkshire, while his mother was on her way to Cawood, where her confinement was scheduled to take place. According to Hilton, Margaret was staying at Pontefract Castle and was following a hunt when she went into labour. The chronicler William Rishanger records that during the difficult delivery his mother prayed, as was the custom at the time, to Thomas Becket, and Thomas of Brotherton was thus named after the saint and his place of birth.
Edward I quickly rushed to the queen and the newborn baby and had him presented with two cradles. His brother Edmund was born in the year after that. They were overseen by wet nurses until they were six years old. Like their parents, they learned to play chess and to ride horses. They were visited by nobles and their half-sister Mary of Woodstock, who was a nun. Their mother often accompanied Edward on his campaigns to Scotland, but kept herself well-informed on their well-being.
His father died when he was 7 years old. Thomas's half-brother, Edward, became king of England. The Earldom of Cornwall had been intended for Thomas, but Edward instead bestowed it upon his favourite, Piers Gaveston, in 1306. When Thomas was 10 years old, Edward assigned to him and his brother Edmund, the estates of Roger Bigod, 5th Earl of Norfolk who had died without heirs in 1306.
In 1312, he was titled "Earl of Norfolk" and on 10 February 1316 he was created Earl Marshal. While his brother was away fighting in Scotland, he was left Keeper of England. He was known for his hot and violent temper. He was one of the many victims of the unchecked greed of the king's new favourite, Hugh Despenser the Younger and his father Hugh Despenser the Elder, who stole some of the young earl's lands. He allied himself with Queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer when they invaded England in 1326, and stood as one of the judges in the trials against both Despensers. When his half nephew Edward III reached his majority and took the government into his own hands Thomas became one of his principal advisors. It was in the capacity of Lord Marshal that he commanded the right wing of the English army at the Battle of Halidon Hill on 19 July 1333.
Marriages and issue
He married firstly, before 8 January 1326, Alice de Hales (d. before 12 October 1330), daughter of Sir Roger de Hales of Hales Hall in Loddon in Roughton, Norfolk, by his wife, Alice, by whom he had a son and two daughters:
- Edward of Norfolk, who married Beatrice de Mortimer, daughter of Roger de Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, but died without issue before 9 August 1334.
- Margaret, Duchess of Norfolk, who married firstly John Segrave, 4th Baron Segrave, and secondly Sir Walter Manny.
He married secondly, before 4 April 1336, Mary de Brewes (died 11 June 1362), widow of Sir Ralph de Cobham, (d. 5 February 1326), and daughter of Sir Peter de Brewes (d. before 7 February 1312) of Tetbury, Gloucestershire, by Agnes de Clifford (d. before 1332), by whom he had no surviving issue.
|Ancestors of Thomas of Brotherton, 1st Earl of Norfolk|
- Waugh 2004.
- He was born in the main house, later demolished in the 1930s due to disrepair, although the new 17th century wing still exists.
- Hilton 2008, p. 240.
- Richardson IV 2011, p. 182.
- Thomas F. Tout, (1886) "Thomas of Brotherton" in Dictionary of National Biography
- Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family
- Richardson II 2011, p. 631.
- Richardson II 2011, p. 634.
- Richardson II 2011, pp. 634-5.
- Cokayne 1936, pp. 596-9.
- Richardson II 2011, p. 632.
- Richardson IV 2011, p. 180.
- Archer, Rowena E. (2004). ‘Brotherton, Margaret, suo jure duchess of Norfolk (c.1320–1399). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 17 October 2013. (subscription required)
- Cokayne, George Edward (1936). The Complete Peerage, edited by H.A. Doubleday and Lord Howard de Walden IX. London: St. Catherine Press. pp. 596–9.
- Hilton, Lisa (2008). Queens Consort, England's Medieval Queens. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson. p. 240. ISBN 978-0-7538-2611-9
- Richardson, Douglas (2011). Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, ed. Kimball G. Everingham II (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City. ISBN 1449966349
- Richardson, Douglas (2011). Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, ed. Kimball G. Everingham IV (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City. ISBN 1460992709
- Waugh, Scott L. (2004). Thomas, first earl of Norfolk (1300–1338). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 17 October 2013. (subscription required)
- Mortimer, Ian. The Greatest Traitor, 2003.
The Countess of Norfolk
|Peerage of England|
|New creation||Earl of Norfolk