Margaret, Duchess of Norfolk
Margaret of Brotherton
Framlingham Castle, Suffolk, England
|Died||24 March 1399|
|Buried||Grey Friars, London|
|Spouse(s)||John Segrave, 4th Baron Segrave|
Sir Walter Mauny
|Father||Thomas of Brotherton|
Margaret of Norfolk or Margaret of Brotherton, in her own right Countess of Norfolk (sometimes surnamed as "Margaret Marshal"; c. 1320–24 March 1399), was the daughter and eventual sole heir of Thomas of Brotherton, eldest son of King Edward I of England, by his second marriage. In 1338, she succeeded to the earldom of Norfolk and the office of Earl Marshal.
Margaret (b. about 1320), was the daughter of Thomas of Brotherton and Alice de Halys (d. in or before 1330). Her paternal grandparents were King Edward I and Margaret of France (1279?–1318), daughter of King Philippe III of France (d.1285). Her maternal grandparents were Sir Roger de Halys of Hales Hall in Loddon, Roughton, Norfolk by his wife Alice. She had a brother and sister:
- 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.
- Alice of Norfolk, who married Sir Edward de Montagu.
In 1335 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. 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.
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.
She was most likely born at Framlingham Castle in Suffolk, England while her father Thomas de Brotherton was the 1st Earl of Norfolk. The castle had been given to her father by her uncle, King Edward II before her birth and so it was her childhood home. She inherited the castle herself on her father's death
Marriages and issue
- John de Segrave, who died young.
- John de Segrave (d. before 1 April 1353), second of that name, who was contracted to marry Blanche of Lancaster, younger daughter and coheiress of Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster. However the contract was later declared void and Blanche later married John of Gaunt. About 1349, a double marriage was solemnized in which John Segrave married Blanche Mowbray, while John's sister, Elizabeth Segrave, married Blanche Mowbray's brother, John de Mowbray, 4th Baron Mowbray, Pope Clement VI having granted dispensations for the marriages at the request of Lancaster, in order to prevent 'disputes between the parents', who were neighbours.
- Elizabeth de Segrave, 5th Baroness Segrave, who married John de Mowbray, 4th Baron Mowbray.
- Margaret de Segrave, who died young, before 1353.
- Thomas Mauny, who was drowned in a well at Deptford at the age of ten.
- Anne Mauny, who married John Hastings, 2nd Earl of Pembroke.
- Isabel Mauny, who was living in 1358, but died without issue before 30 November 1371.
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.
Margaret is a character in Georgette Heyer's last novel My Lord John, where she is portrayed sympathetically as a kindly though outwardly formidable old lady. She is saddened by the death of so many of her children and grandchildren, in particular the death by drowning of her infant son Thomas Mauny. In her last years she is shown as being gravely concerned for the future of England, due to the misrule of her cousin King Richard II.
- "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.)
- Waugh 2004.
- Richardson II 2011, p. 631.
- Archer II 2004.
- Richardson II 2011, p. 634.
- Richardson II 2011, pp. 634-5.
- Richardson II 2011, pp. 637-8.
- Richardson II 2011, p. 638.
- 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
- Richardson II 2011, p. 639.
- Richardson II 2011, p. 640.
- Cokayne 1936, p. 384.
- Archer I 2004.
- Sumption 2004.
- Archer, Rowena E. (2004). "Mowbray, John (III), fourth Lord Mowbray (1340–1368)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/19452. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Archer, Rowena E. (2004). "'Brotherton, Margaret, suo jure duchess of Norfolk (c.1320–1399)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/53070. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Cokayne, George Edward (1936). The Complete Peerage, edited by H.A. Doubleday and Lord Howard de Walden. IX. London: St. Catherine Press. pp. 380–5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Cokayne, George Edward (1949). The Complete Peerage, edited by Geoffrey H. White. XI. London: St. Catherine Press. pp. 609–10.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Richardson, Douglas (2011). Everingham, Kimball G. (ed.). Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families. III (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City. ISBN 144996639X.
- Richardson, Douglas (2011). Everingham, Kimball G. (ed.). Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families. II (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City. ISBN 1449966349.
- Sumption, Jonathan (2004). "Mauny, Sir Walter (c.1310–1372)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/17985. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Waugh, Scott L. (2004). "Thomas, first earl of Norfolk (1300–1338)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/27196. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Calendar Inquisitions Miscellaneous, vol. 3, 1937
- Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers: Letters, 4, 1902
- Segrave, Charles, The Segrave Family: 1066 to 1935
Earl of Norfolk
| Countess Marshal
Earl of Northumberland
|Peerage of England|
Thomas of Brotherton
| Countess of Norfolk