William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey

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William de Warenne
Died 1088
Title 1st Earl of Surrey (1st creation)
Tenure 1088
Successor William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey
Spouse(s) Gundred, Countess of Surrey
a sister of Richard Gouet
Parents Ranulf I de Warenne
Beatrice

William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey, Seigneur de Varennes ( 1088), was a Norman nobleman who was created Earl of Surrey under William II 'Rufus'. He was one of the few who was documented to have been with William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. At the Domesday Survey he held extensive lands in thirteen counties including the Rape of Lewes in Sussex (now East Sussex).

Early career[edit]

William was a younger son of Ranulf I de Warenne and his 1st wife Beatrice (whose mother was probably a sister of duchess Gunnor, wife of duke Richard I).[a][1][2] William was from Varenne, Seine Maritime, cant. Bellencombre.[3][4][5] At the beginning of Duke William’s reign, Ranulf II was not a major landholder and, as a second son, William de Warenne did not stand to inherit the family’s small estates. During the rebellions of 1052-1054, the young William de Warenne proved himself a loyal adherent to the Duke and played a significant part in the Battle of Mortemer for which he was rewarded with lands confiscated from his uncle, Roger of Mortemer, including the Castle of Mortimer and most of the surrounding lands.[6] At about the same time he acquired lands at Bellencombre including the castle which became the center of William de Warenne’s holdings in Normandy[1]

Conquest of England[edit]

William was among the Norman barons summoned to a council by Duke William when the decision was made to oppose king Harold II's accession to the throne of England.[1][7] He fought at the Battle of Hastings and was well rewarded with numerous holdings. The Domesday book records his lands stretched over thirteen counties and included the important Rape of Sussex, several manors in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, the significant manor of Conisbrough in Yorkshire and Castle Acre in Norfolk, which became his caput (see below).[1][2] He is one of the very few proven Companions of William the Conqueror known to have fought at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.[8][9][10] He fought against rebels at the Isle of Ely in 1071 where he showed a special desire to hunt down Hereward the Wake who had killed his brother-in-law Frederick the year before.[11][12] Hereward is supposed to have unhorsed him with an arrow shot.[13]

Later career[edit]

Sometime between 1078 and 1082,[14] William and his wife Gundred traveled to Rome visiting monasteries along the way. In Burgundy they were unable to go any further due to a war between Emperor Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII. They visited Cluny Abbey and were impressed with the monks and their dedication. William and Gundred decided to found a Cluniac priory on their own lands in England. William restored buildings for an abbey. They sent to Hugh the abbot of Cluny for monks to come to England at their monastery. At first Hugh was reluctant but he finally sent several monks including Lazlo who was to be the first abbot. The house they founded was Lewes Priory dedicated to St. Pancras,[15][16] the first Cluniac priory in England[17]

William was loyal to William II,[11] and it was probably in early 1088 that he was created Earl of Surrey.[18] He was mortally wounded at the siege of Pevensey Castle and died 24 June 1088 at Lewes, Sussex, and was buried next to his wife Gundred at the Chapterhouse of Lewes Priory.[19][20] At his death William's vast landholdings were estimated to be worth over an adjusted $143 Billion today.[21]

Family[edit]

He married first, before 1070, Gundred (Latin: Gundrada),[22][23] sister of Gerbod the Fleming, 1st Earl of Chester[24] and Frederick of Oosterzele-Scheldewindeke.[25] By her he had:

  • an unnamed daughter who married Ernise de Coulonces [29]

William married secondly a sister of Richard Gouet who survived him.[30] They had no children.

Landholdings in the Domesday Book[edit]

See also[edit]

The rebellion of 1088.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, Vol. XII/1 (London: The St. Catherine Press, 1953), p. 493
  2. ^ a b William Farrer; Charles Travis Clay, Early Yorkshire Charters, Volume VIII; The Honour of Warenne (The Yorkshire Archaeological Society, 1949), p. 3
  3. ^ K.S.B. Keats-Rohan, Domesday People, a Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents 1066-1166 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999), p. 480
  4. ^ Lewis C. Loyd, The Origins of Some Anglo-Norman Families, ed. Charles Travis Clay; David C. Douglas (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992) pp. 111-12
  5. ^ G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, Vol. XII/1 (London: The St. Catherine Press, 1953), p. 491
  6. ^ David C. Douglas, William the Conqueror (Berkeley; Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1964), p. 100
  7. ^ Elisabeth M.C. van Houts, 'The Ship List of William the Conqueror',Anglo-Norman Studies X; Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1987, ed. R. Allen Brown (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1988), pp. 159, 161
  8. ^ The Gesta Guillelmi of William of Poitiers, ed & trans. R.H.C. Davis and Marjorie Chibnall (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 134-5
  9. ^ G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, Vol. XII/1 (London: The St. Catherine Press, 1953), Appendix L, 'Companions of the Conqueror' pp. 47-8
  10. ^ A. Duchesne, Historiae Normannorum Scriptores Antiqui (Lutetiae Parisiorum 1619), pp. 202,204 (one of 12 nobles named by William of Poitiers)
  11. ^ a b  William Hunt (1899). "Warenne, William (d.1088)". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 59. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 372–373. 
  12. ^ van Houts, 'Frederick, Brother-in-Law of William of Warenne,' Anglo-Saxon England, New York, Vol. 28 (1999), p. 218
  13. ^ Appleby, Outlaws in Medieval and Early Modern England (2009), pp. 28-9
  14. ^ William Farrer; Charles Travis Clay, Early Yorkshire Charters, Volume VIII; The Honour of Warenne (The Yorkshire Archaeological Society, 1949), p. 4
  15. ^ Brian Golding, 'The Coming of the Cluniacs', Anglo-Norman Studies III; Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1980, Vol. III ( Woodbridge: Boydell Press,1981), pp. 65, 67
  16. ^ William Farrer; Charles Travis Clay, Early Yorkshire Charters, Vol. VIII; The Honour of Warenne (The Yorkshire Archaeological Society, 1949), pp. 50-55
  17. ^ David Knowles, The Monastic Order in England, Second Ed. (Cambridge University Press, 1966), pp. 151-2
  18. ^ C. P. Lewis, The Earldom of Surrey and the Date of the Domesday Book, Historical Research; The Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, Vo. 63, Issue 152 (Oct. 1990), p. 335 (between the very end of 1087 and March 24, 1088)
  19. ^ G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, vol. xii/1 (The St. Catherine Press, London, 1953), pp. 494-5
  20. ^ Hyde Abbey, Liber Monasterii de Hyda: Comprising a Chronicle of the affairs of England, ed. Edward Edwards (Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, London, 1866), p. 299
  21. ^ Olivia Fleming, 'Meet the 14th Century African king who was richest man in the world of all time (adjusted for inflation!)', Daily Mail Online, 16 October 2012
  22. ^ G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, Vol iv (The St. Catherine Press, London, 1916), p. 670
  23. ^ David C. Douglas, William The Conqueror (University of California Press, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1964) pp. 267, 392
  24. ^ Ordericus Vitalis,The Ecclesiastical History of England and Normandy, Trans. Thomas Forester, Volume II (Henry G. Bohn, London, 1854), p. 47
  25. ^ Elisabeth van Houts, 'Frederick, Brother-in-Law of William of Warenne', Anglo-Saxon England, Vol. 28 (1999). pp. 218-220
  26. ^ G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, vol. xii/1 (The St. Catherine Press, London, 1953), pp. 495-6
  27. ^ a b G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, vol. xii/1 (The St. Catherine Press, London, 1953), p. 494 note (b)
  28. ^ Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band III Teilband 4 (Marburg, Germany: J. A. Stargardt, 1989), Tafel 699
  29. ^ K.S.B. Keats-Rohan, Domesday Descendants: A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents 1066-1166, Vol. II (UK, Rochester, NY: Boydell & Brewer, 2002), p. 408
  30. ^ G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, vol. xii/1 (The St. Catherine Press, London, 1953), pp. 494 & note (l)
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k The Domesday Book: England's Heritage Then and Now, ed. Thomas Hinde (UK: Coombe Books, 1996), p. 186
  32. ^ a b c d e f g The Domesday Book: England's Heritage Then and Now, ed. Thomas Hinde (UK: Coombe Books, 1996), p. 187
  33. ^ a b The Domesday Book: England's Heritage Then and Now, ed. Thomas Hinde (UK: Coombe Books, 1996), p. 47
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m The Domesday Book: England's Heritage Then and Now, ed. Thomas Hinde (UK: Coombe Books, 1996), p. 188
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o The Domesday Book: England's Heritage Then and Now, ed. Thomas Hinde (UK: Coombe Books, 1996), p. 189
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m The Domesday Book: England's Heritage Then and Now, ed. Thomas Hinde (UK: Coombe Books, 1996), p. 190
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o The Domesday Book: England's Heritage Then and Now, ed. Thomas Hinde (UK: Coombe Books, 1996), p. 191
  38. ^ a b c d e f The Domesday Book: England's Heritage Then and Now, ed. Thomas Hinde (UK: Coombe Books, 1996), p. 48
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o The Domesday Book: England's Heritage Then and Now, ed. Thomas Hinde (UK: Coombe Books, 1996), p. 192
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l The Domesday Book: England's Heritage Then and Now, ed. Thomas Hinde (UK: Coombe Books, 1996), p. 193
  41. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n The Domesday Book: England's Heritage Then and Now, ed. Thomas Hinde (UK: Coombe Books, 1996), p. 194
  42. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l The Domesday Book: England's Heritage Then and Now, ed. Thomas Hinde (UK: Coombe Books, 1996), p. 195
  43. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l The Domesday Book: England's Heritage Then and Now, ed. Thomas Hinde (UK: Coombe Books, 1996), p. 196

Additional references[edit]

  • Loyd, L. C.,'The Origin of the Family of Warenne', Yorkshire Archaeological Journal vol. xxxi (1933) pp. 97–113

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Chronicler Robert of Torigny reported, in his additions to the Gesta Normannorum Ducum of William of Jumièges, that William de Warenne and Anglo-Norman baron Roger de Mortimer were sons of an unnamed niece of Gunnor. Unfortunately, Robert's genealogies are somewhat confused, (elsewhere he gives Roger as son of William, and yet again makes both sons of Walter de Saint Martin), and several of Robert's stemma appear to contain too few generations (K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, "Aspects of Torigny's Genealogy Revisited", Nottingham Medieval Studies 37:21-7). Likewise, Orderic Vitalis describes William as Roger's consanguineus, literally 'cousin', more generically a term of close kinship, but not typically used to describe brothers, and Roger de Mortimer appears to have been a generation older than William de Warenne, his purported brother. (Lewis C. Loyd, "The Origins of the Family of Warenne", Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, 31: 97-113; Keats-Rohan, "Aspects", op.cit.) Charters report several earlier men associated with Warenne. A Ranulf de Warenne appears in a charter dated between 1027 and 1035, and in one from about 1050 with a wife Beatrice, while in 1059, Ranulf and wife Emma appear along with their sons Ranulf and William. These occurrences have typically been taken to represent successive wives of a single Ranulf, with Beatrice being the mother of William and hence identical to the Gunnorid niece (Thomas Stapleton, "Observations in disproval of a pretended marriage of William de Warren, earl of Surrey with a daughter . . . of William the Conqueror", Archaeological Journal, 3:1-12; G. H. White, "The Sisters and Nieces of Gunnor, Duchess of Normandy", Genealogist, n.s. 37:57-65), in spite of the 1059 charter explicitly naming Emma as his mother.(Keats-Rohan, "Aspects", op.cit.) A reevaluation of the surviving charters led Katherine Keats-Rohan to suggest that, as he appears to have done elsewhere, Robert of Torigny has compressed two generations into one, with a Ranulf (I) and Beatrice being parents of Ranulf (II) de Warenne and of Roger de Mortimer (a Roger son of Ranulf de Warenne appears in a charter dated 1040/1053), and Ranulf (II) and Emma were then parents of Ranulf (III), the heir in Normandy, and William, as attested by the 1059 charter. Associations with Vascœuil led to identification of the Warenne progenitrix with a widow Beatrice, daughter of Tesselin, vicomte of Rouen, appearing there in 1054/60. As Robert of Torigny shows a vicomte of Rouen to have married a niece of Gunnor, this perhaps explains the tradition of a Gunnorid relationship. (K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, "Aspects", op.cit.) On Robert's genealogies, see also Eleanor Searle, Predatory Kinship and the Creation of Norman Power, 840-1066, pp. 100-105; Elisabeth M. C. van Houts, "Robert of Torigni as Genealogist", Studies in Medieval History presented to R. Allen Brown, p.215-33, and Kathleen Thompson, "The Norman Aristocracy before 1066: the Example of the Montgomerys", Historical Research 60:251-63.
Peerage of England
New title Earl of Surrey
(1st creation)
1088
Succeeded by
William de Warenne