William de Warenne, 3rd Earl of Surrey

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For other people of the same name, see William de Warenne (disambiguation).
Coat of Arms of the de Warenne Earls of Surrey

William de Warenne, 3rd Earl of Surrey (1119–1148), was the eldest son of the William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey and Elizabeth de Vermandois.[1][2] He fought during the Anarchy generally remaining loyal to king Stephen.[2] He was a crusader on the Second Crusade.[3]


Still in his minority in 1137 he was serving with Stephen, King of England in Normandy being one of those young nobles who initially fled the battle.[4] Stephen pursued them, held them and did his best to pacify them but did not make them fight. At his father's death in 1138, William became the third Earl of Surrey.[1] At Easter 1138 he accompanied his half-brother Waleran de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Worcester on an embassy to Paris ratifying a treaty between the English and French kings.[5] On February 2nd, 1141, he and his half-brother Waleran were again with King Stephen at the battle of Lincoln but fled at the initial charge of the enemy forces.[4] They both joined Queen Matilda but on King Stephen's release they were once again among his followers, William witnessing a royal charter at Canterbury in late 1141.[4]

Crusader Knight (1146–48)[edit]

He was one of the nobles who, along with his second cousin, Louis VII of France, took crusading vows at Vezelay in 1146, and he accompanied the initial army of the Second Crusade the next year.[5] He was killed at the Battle of Mount Cadmus while the crusader army was marching across Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) on their way to the Holy Land.[6]

In December 1147 the French-Norman force reached Ephesus. They were joined by remnants of the army of the Holy Roman Empire, which had previously taken heavy losses at Dorylaeum. They marched across southwest Turkey and fought an unsuccessful battle at Laodicea on the border between the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuks of Rum (3–4 January 1148). On 6 January they battled again in the area of Mount Cadmus, where Turks ambushed the infantry and non-combatants only, because they had become separated from the rest of the army. King Louis and his bodyguard of Knights Templar and noblemen recklessly charged the Turks. Most of the knights were killed, including William, and Louis barely escaped with his life. His army arrived later at the coastal city of Adalia. The battle is recorded by Odo of Deuil, personal chaplain to Louis, in his book De Profectione on pages 68 through 127.


He was a great-grandson of Henry I of France, and half-brother to Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester, Waleran IV de Beaumont, Count of Meulan, and Hugh de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Bedford.[7]

William married Adela (or Ela), daughter of William Talvas, count of Ponthieu, by Helie (Ella) daughter of Odo I, Duke of Burgundy.[8] They had one child, a daughter, Isabel, who was his heir.[9] She married first William of Blois, second son of king Stephen, and who became earl of Warenne or Surrey. After he died without children in October 1159, she married Hamelin, half-brother of Henry II, who also became Earl of Warenne or Surrey.[10] He took the de Warenne surname, and their descendants carried on the earldom.[11]



  1. ^ a b G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, Vol. XII/1 (The St. Catherine Press, London, 1953) p. 496
  2. ^ a b Elisabeth van Houts, 'The Warenne View of the Past 1066–1203', Anglo-Norman Studies XXVI, Proceedings of the Battle Conference 2003, ed. John Gillingham (Boydell Press, Woodbridge. 2004), p. 105 (William III was born within a year of Robert de Beaumont's death in 1118)
  3. ^ Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band III Teilband 4, Das Feudale Frankreich und Sien Einfluss auf des Mittelalters (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1989), Tafel 699
  4. ^ a b c G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, Vol. XII/1 (The St. Catherine Press, London, 1953) p. 497
  5. ^ a b Paul Dalton, Graeme J. White, King Stephen's reign (1135-1154)(Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 2008), p. 8
  6. ^ Phillips, Jonathan, The Second Crusade: Extending the frontiers of Christendom, (Yale University Press, 2007), p. 201.
  7. ^ K.S.B. Keats-Rohan, Domesday People, A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents 1066-1166, Volume I Domesday Book (The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1999), p. 371
  8. ^ G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, vol. xi (The St. Catherine Press, London, 1949), p. 377
  9. ^ G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, Vol. XII/1 (The St. Catherine Press, London, 1953) p. 497 note (i)
  10. ^ G. E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, Vol. XII/1 (The St. Catherine Press, London, 1953) p. 497-500
  11. ^ P. Anselme de Sainte-Marie, Histoire de la maison royale de France et des grands officiers de la Couronne, Vol. 6 (Estienne Loyson, 1674), p. 20


Peerage of England
Preceded by
William de Warenne
Earl of Surrey
(1st creation)
Succeeded by
Isabel de Warenne