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Notes for Maud le Vavasur

Research Notes:

Eyton states, [1]

Fulk fitz Warin (III.) … is said in the Fitz-Warin Chronicle to have had four brothers, viz. William, Philip, John and Alan, whereas an authentic document, already quoted, names Ralph, Richard and Warin as sons of Fulk (I) or Fulk (II.). Now Fulk (III.) had certainly a brother Alan, who has been seen to follow him, about 1198, in attesting a Charter of Robert Corbet of Caus, [ftn. 23] and we have proof that his brothers William, Philip, and John (identical with Ivo) were no creations of the Chronicler’s imagination. The inference is, that Ralph, Richard, and Warin were sons of Fulk fitz Warin (I.), and brothers of Fulk fitz Warin (II.)

In the year ending Michaelmas 1200 (though his father's fine of 40 merks still remained on the Rolls), Fulk fitz Warin (III.) fined £100. with King John "to have judgment concerning Witinton Castle and its appurtenances, as his right, which had been adjudged to him by consideration of the Curia Regis." [ftn. 24] This Fine was in opposition to a nearly cotemporary Fine by Meuric de Powis, who, being in possession of Whittington, offered the King 50 merks for a confirmation thereof. It is evident that the latter Fine was accepted by the King, and that this was the provocation which, in 1201, threw Fulk fitz Warin and his friends into rebellion.

The Fitz-Warin Chronicle gives particulars of this outbreak, and of the mode in which Fitz Warin passed the period of his exile and outlawry. As a record of motives, feelings, and manners, the account has its value. As a statement of facts it is of little weight, unless where corroborated by the other evidences which I am about to quote. Fulk fitz Warin was a giant in strength and prowess, but nothing more, if we take the statements of his panegyrist, who seems however to have been of too coarse a mind to appreciate true chivalry even if it had existed in his hero.

The Gloucestershire Pipe Roll of 1201 speaks of Fulk fitz Warin's Manor of Alvestan as an Escheat, the rents thereof (£1.11s. 8d.) being due to the Crown. I have shown, under Westbury, how Fulk fitz Warin's outlawry was revoked by a Patent of November 15, 1203. Among his inlawed associates I see the names of William fitz Fulk, Philip fitz Guarin, and Ivo fitz Guarin, all perhaps his brothers; also of Roger de Preston, Henry de Pontesbury, William Malveissin, John and Richard de Preston, Philip de Hanewude, Hamo de Wikefeld, and Philip de Wemm, all perhaps Shropshire men, and some at least associated with the neighbourhood of Alberbury. It seems that Hawise de Dinan too had been associated in her son’s forfeiture, for the Writ which orders the Justiciar of England to restore Fulk's lands, enjoins a similar reinstatement of his Mother. [ftn. 25]

In October 1204, Fulk fitz Warin fined 200 merks and two Destriers for possession of the Castle and estate of Whittington as his right and inheritance; and King John, by a Patent of October 17, restored them to him. The Bishop of Norwich undertook to pay the money for Fitz Warin. [ftn. 26] About this time we see Fulk fitz Warin, followed by Philip his brother, attesting a Deed, given under Wilderley. [ftn. 27] I now come to the marriage of Fulk fitz Warin, the circumstances of which are so completely misrepresented in the Fitz-Warin Chronicle, that I must give them with careful minuteness.

On June 29, 1205, died Hubert Walter, Archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor of England. He is said, in the Chronicle, to have negotiated Fulk fitz Warin's marriage, but the facts are these.--His brother Theobald Walter, Butler of Ireland, was living in August 1205, but deceased on October 8, 1205. Theobald’s widow was Matilda, daughter of Robert le Vavasour, [ftn. 28] to whom King John, on February 19, 1206, made a grant empowering him to take possession of all his widowed daughter's estates, except Amunderness, and to hold them till Midlent. These estates were the Lady’s dower, as widow of Theobald Walter, and her re-marriage was now granted to her Father. [ftn. 29] On July 22, 1207, Matilda le Vavasour was still a Widow, and in her Father's care, [ftn. 30] but before October 1 she had remarried to Fulk fitz Warin; or, at all events, the said Fulk had replaced Robert le Vavasour as Grantee of her marriage and dower. Fulk and Matilda therefore had King John's precept, ordering them joint seizin of her thirds out of the estates of Theobald Walter, in Ireland and Lancashire. [ftn. 31] This arrangement seems to have been with full consent of Robert le Vavasour, who joins with William fitz Warin, Fulk's brother, as Security for the enormous Fine of 1200 merks, which had been pledged first by Vavasour, and now by Fulk fitz Warin, as principals. [ftn. 32] More than £100 of this Fine had been paid by Fitz Warin in 1209. In 1210 I find Fulk fitz Warin at issue with his Father-in-law about the Yorkshire Manor of Edinton. [ftn. 33] Fitz Warin proffered the King a Fine of "the best horse in Wales" for judgment to be hastened in the matter. In this year also he accompanied King John to Ireland, as I learn from several entries of Praestita to Fulco f. Guarin at Carrickfergus and at Dublin. His full seizin of Whittington, as recorded in a Roll of 1211, belongs to another page of our history. In September 1212 he accompanied King John on his Northern Journey, and attested his Charters at Allerton and Durham. On April 12, 1213, the King gives him materials out of the Leicestershire Forests wherewith to build at Norborough [ftn. 34] (an estate of his wife’s). On April 30, 1213, he was one of the Knights then at Winchelsea, and prepared to embark for foreign service. He had a donum on the occasion, of 20 merks. [ftn. 35] On June 27, 1213, he is in King John's Court at Beer Regis (Dorsetshire). In May 1214 he had letters of exemption from the scutage of Poitou, and on June 2 I find him in King John's Court at Roche aux Moins, in Anjou. On December 28, 1214, the King empowers him to take five deer in the Forests of Leicestershire. [ftn. 36] In 1215 I find it stated that Fulk fitz Warin was enfeoffed by Hugh Bigot, in the Berkshire Manor of Wantage. This grant was "in reward for military services," says my authority. [ftn. 37] Fitz Warin's heirs afterwards held Wantage under Marshall, Earl of Pembroke. [ftn. 37]

Matthew Paris includes Fulk fitz Warin among the malcontent Barons who met at Brackley on April 27, 1215. In due course he appears among the Barons who were excommunicated by Bull of Pope Innocent III., on December 16, 1215. [ftn. 38] About Easter 1216 we have notice that Fulk fitz Warin and others contracted a truce with William Earl Marshall, that truest of Royalists, and with other Barons Marchers. [ftn. 39] However, on June 30 following, we see his Gloucestershire Manor of Alveston as an Escheat in manu Regis, and granted to others. [ftn. 40] On September 10, 1217, a Writ of young King Henry declares Fulk fitz Warin to be an open enemy to the Crown, and consigns his Leicestershire Manor of Norborough to the Earl of Warwick, under whom it was held. [ftn. 41] On November 4 following, Fulk fitz Warin, having made his peace, had the King's order for reseizin of his lands in Leicestershire, Shropshire, Lancashire, Norfolk, and Suffolk. [ftn. 42] On February 11, 1218, he and his wife, Matilda, have a Writ, ordering her dower in Amundernesse to be given to them. [ftn. 43] Further Writs of February 6 and November 22, 1220, show the King's favour to Fulk fitz Warin. However, a Writ of June 4, 1221, proves that the King had not permitted Fulk fitz Warin to strengthen Whittington Castle without exacting full security for his loyal behaviour. [ftn. 44] A second Writ of November 11, 1222, is urgent upon the Earl of Chester to see that Whittington Castle be not made stronger than was necessary as against the Welsh, or than it was before the Barons' War. [ftn. 45] Before March 1223, Fulk fitz Warin removed all his horses and live-stock from Whittington. Lewellyn, as had been apprehended, laid siege to the Castle, and the King allowed FitzWarin's cattle to be depastured in the Lyth Forest. [ftn. 46] Writs of July 11 and October 9, 1223, order the Sheriff to give Fulk fitz Warin full seizin of the Castle and Land of Whittington, and to replace whatever had been taken thence whilst it was in the King's hand. [ftn. 47] About this time we have seen Fulk fitz Warin attesting, as Fulk de Alberbury, a Charter of his probable relation, Philip de Burwardsley. [ftn. 48] His connection with the latter family I need not re-discuss.

On October 13, 1225, the King pardons Fulk fitz Warin an amercement of 5 merks, inflicted by Justices of the Forest in Yorkshire. [ftn.49] In January 1226 I find young Theobald Walter suing William Pantulf and Hawise his wife for the Leicestershire Manor of Norborough, and suing Fulk fitz Warin for the Yorkshire Manor of Edelinton. [ftn. 50]

All this is very significant.--From a mass of circumstantial falseWood in the Fitz Warin Chronicle we extract one truth, viz. that Rawise, eldest daughter of Fulk fitz Warin by his wife Maud, became Lady of Wem. [ftn. 51] So, then, the probabilities are that Hawise fitz Warin, born about 1208, was before 1226 married to William Pantulf, Baron of Wem, and, having been her mother's Grantee in the Manor of Norborough, was sued for the same by her elder and uterine brother, Theobald Walter. The suit was a vain one, for the heirs of William Pantulf of Wem were still holding Norborough in the reign of Edward I. [ftn. 52]

We further gather from the above Lawsuits, that Maud le Vavasour was deceased in 1226, otherwise her son would probably have sued her as a joint Defendant with her husband and daughter. The Fitz Warin Chronicle confirms this, so far as the death of Maud before Fulk fitz Warin is implied. The Chronicle adds that Fitz Warin remarried with Clarice de Auberville. [ftn. 53] This statement I shall hereafter in part substantiate. On Sept. 1, 1227, King Henry III. granted to Fulk fitz Warin the privilege of holding an annual fair in his Berkshire Manor of Cheping-Lamborn. [ftn. 54] A Writclose of August 15, 1228, orders Lewellyn, Prince of Wales, to prolong, till September 10, a truce which subsisted between himself on one hand

ftn. 23. Supra, p. 18.

ftn. 24 Rot. Pipe, 2 John, Salop.

ftn. 25 Rot. Liberate, p. 74.

ftn. 26 Rot. Fin. p. 224. Rot. Patent. p. 46, b.

ftn. 27 Supra, Vol. VI. p. 259.

ftn. 28 Maud le Vavasour was daughter of Robert, granddaughter of William, and sister of John le Vavasour. I think her mother was a daughter of Adam fitz Peter, Lord of Birkyn; for it appears that "Robert le Vavasour gave his share (it was a fourth) of the Will of Bolton with Matilda le Count, his daughter, in frank marriage to Theobald Walter, and that the said Matilda afterwards gave it to Roger de Birkyn, her Uncle." (Sallay Register, Dugd. MSS. D. 2.) It is not difficult to say why Maud le Vavasour is called Matilda le Count in the above extract. The names Vavasour and Count are treated as equivalent. It is less easy to determine why the Fitz Warin Chronicle calls the same person Maude de Caus. I, however, suggest an explanation.--The real Maud de Caus, for there was such a person living at the time of Maud le Vavasour's marriage, was probably her Grandmother. She was daughter and sole heir of that Robert de Chauz who figures in 1165 as a great Derbyshire Feudatory (Liber Niger, I. 225), and who was hereditary Warden of the Forests of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Maud de Caus was wife, first of Adam fitz Peter, Lord of Birkyn, and secondly of Ralph fitz Stephen. By her first husband she had issue John de Birkyn, who, on her death in 1224, succeeded to her great inheritance. I think that Roger de Birkyn above-mentioned, and * * * de Birkyn wife of Robert le Vavasour, were also children of Maude de Caus by her first husband.
Maud le Vavasour, thus supposed to be her Granddaughter, had two children by her first husband, Theobald Walter. These were Theobald Walter (II.) and Matilda. Matilda was entrusted by King John to the guardianship of Gilbert fitz Reinfrid; but in 1220 King Henry III. apprises William de Lancaster (Gilbert fitz Reinfrid's son), that Theobald fitz Theobald was now to have charge of his Sister (Pat. 4 Hen. III., m. 5), This Writ, coupled with another of July 1221 (Claus. I.463), shows that in 1220–1 Theobald Walter (II) attained his majority.

ftn. 29 Claus. I. 65.

ftn. 30 Ibidem, I. 88, b.

ftn. 31 Claus, I. 92, b.

ftn. 32 Rot. Fin. pp. 405-6.

ftn. 33 Rot. Pip. 12 John, Everwichsh.--It appears from a Charter (Dugdale's MSS. D. p. 149) that Robert Vavasor had 36 Claus. I. 182. given to Theobald Walter on his marriage * Fitz Warin Chronicle, Notes, pp. with Matilda, the Grantor's daughter, the 28–9. Manors of Edlington and Veteburg and 37 Testa de Nerill, p. 123. his land of Boulton, retaining however * Foedera, I. 139.

ftn. 34 Claus. I. 129.

ftn. 35 * Rot. Misae, 14 John, m. 11.

*** Tbidem, pp. 376, 352. * Supra, Vol. II. p. 14. “Thidem, pp. 460, 520. *** Claus. II. pp. 65—b, 147—b.
the Advowsons of the Church and Chapel of Vereburg and of the Church of Boulton.


[1] Robert William Eyton, Antiquities of Shropshire, Vol. 7 (London: 1858), 71-79, [HathiTrust], [GoogleBooks].