Fulk I FitzWarin

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Arms of FitzWarin: Quarterly per fess indented argent and gules [1]

Fulk I FitzWarin (died 1170/1) (alias Fulke, Fouke, FitzWaryn, FitzWarren, Fitz Warine, etc., Latinised to Fulco Filius Warini, "Fulk son of Warin") was a powerful marcher lord seated at Whittington Castle in Shropshire in England on the border with Wales, and also at Alveston in Gloucestershire. His grandson was Fulk III FitzWarin (c. 1160–1258) the subject of the famous mediaeval legend or "ancestral romance" entitled Fouke le Fitz Waryn, himself the grandfather of Fulk V FitzWarin, 1st Baron FitzWarin (1251-1315).[2]


Fulk I Fitzwarin was the son of (i.e. in Norman French Fitz, in modern French fils de) "Warin of Metz", the family's earliest known ancestor, thus deemed the family patriarch.[3] Warin of Metz the patriarch is however a "shadowy or mythical figure",[4] about whom little is certain. The later mediaeval romance Fouke le Fitz Waryn gives his name as "Warin de Metz". Whatever his true place of origin it is however generally believed that the head of the Warin family came to England during the reign of William the Conqueror (1066-1087). Neither Warin nor his son Fulk I were during that reign tenants-in-chief, that is to say important vassals or feudal barons, rather the family's grants of lands were obtained from later kings.[5]


Fulk I FitzWarin was rewarded by King Henry II (1154-1189) for his support of his mother Empress Matilda in her civil war with King Stephen (1135-1154) and conferred to him in 1153 the royal manor of Alveston in Gloucestershire and in 1149 the manor of Whadborough in Leicestershire.

Marriage & progeny[edit]

Fulk I married a lady whose name is unknown and produced by her progeny including the following:

  • Fulk II FitzWarin (fl. 1194), son and heir who held his father's lands following his death in 1170/1.[6]
Arms of FitzWarin of Brightley: Gules, on a chief indented argent a mullet of the first for difference.[7]
  • William de Brightley, younger son, who according to Sir William Pole (d.1635) was granted by his father "in King Henry 2 tyme" (i.e. between 1154 and 1189) the Devonshire manor of Brightley in the parish of Chittlehampton, which he made his seat and where his descendants lived for many generations having adopted "de Brightley" as their surname in lieu of "FitzWarin".[8] They adopted a differenced, simpler, version of the paternal arms, namely Gules, a chief indented argent,[9] which were quartered by their ultimate heirs the Cobley and later Giffard families of Brightley. Surviving images of these de Brightley arms exist on the Giffard monuments in Chittlehampton Church and on the 17th-century escutcheon above the porch of Brightley Barton, and show in addition a mullet gules, a mark of cadency which denotes descent from a third son.


  1. ^ Arms of Fulk V FitzWarin, St George's Roll of Arms, 1285, briantimms.com, St George's Roll, part 1, no. E69
  2. ^ GEC Complete Peerage, vol. V, p. 495, Baron FitzWarin
  3. ^ GEC Complete Peerage, vol. V, p. 495, note (c)
  4. ^ GEC Complete Peerage, vol. V, p. 495, note (c)
  5. ^ Janet Meisel, Barons of the Welsh Frontier: The Corbet, Pantulf, and Fitz Warin Families 1066–1272, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1980), p. 34
  6. ^ Janet Meisel, Barons of the Welsh Frontier: The Corbet, Pantulf, and Fitz Warin Families 1066–1272, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1980), pp. 34, 35
  7. ^ Pole, p. 473 gives the arms of "Brightlegh of Brightley" without difference as: Geules, chief indented argent. The mullet for difference is visible on the Giffard monument in Chittlehampton Church and quartered in the 17th century escutcheon on the porch of Brightley Barton
  8. ^ Pole, Sir William (d. 1635), Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon, Sir John-William de la Pole (ed.), London, 1791, pp. 420-1
  9. ^ Pole, p. 473, arms of "Brightlegh of Brightley"