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Monday, August 10, 2020

Earl William Longespee & Countess Ela of Salisbury

 19989838. Earl William Longespee & 19989839. Countess Ela of Salisbury

~1174, William, ‘Longsword’, born in England, natural s/o 47277568. King Henry II & 39819293. Ida de Tony.

1190, Ela born in Wiltshire, England, heir & d/o 39979678. Earl William Fitz Patrick & 39979679. Eleanor de Vitre’.

1188, King Henry acknowledged William as his son and gave him the honor of Appleby, Lincolnshire.

7/6/1189, Richard I succeeded Henry II as King of England.

1190, William accompanied King Richard I [William’s half-brother] on the 3rd crusade.

7/1190, William, with the English, met the French armies at Lyons.

1191, William at the capture of Messina, Sicily.

7/1191, William at the capture of Acre.

10/1192, King Richard set sail for England. [He left secretly, William likely set sail with him].

12/21/1192, King Richard was captured near Vienna, returning from crusading.

2/4/1194, King Richard released from custody. Richard left immediately for England, leaving hostages to insure payment of his ransom.

4/1194, William appointed director of the newly legalized tournaments in England – and effort to raise funds to release hostages in Germany.

1196, Eleanor heiress to her father. She was taken by her family and hidden with relatives in Normandy. [Legend says a troubadour searched for her for 2 years – possibly William himself disguised as a troubadour, or a knight called Talbot sent by King Richard, and brought her back to England.]

[––William & Ela––]

1198, King Richard I arranged William’s marriage to Ela.

4/6/1199, King Richard I died of wounds in France.

4/6/1199, John succeeded Richard I as King of England. [Richard made his brother John his heir, but previously had named Arthur of Brittany, who was next in line.]

1199, William, earl of Salisbury, sheriff of Wiltshire. (S) Lists and Indexes, I8, P152.

5/27/1199, John crowned king of England.

10/1200 at Lincoln, Roger le Bigod and William Longespee both present when King William the Lion paid homage to King John.

1202, William sent on a diplomatic mission to France.

7/20/1202, A large French force marched on Arques. William Marshall (94559174) and William, left a force in Arques under King John’s castellan and pulled back to the west, making attacks against French forces.

4/3/1203 at Rouen, King John killed his prisoner Arthur of Brittany, age 16, rightful heir to the throne of England. [Arthur being the s/o Geoffrey, John’s older brother.]

1203, King Philip attacked King John’s lands in Normandy and Angiers, capturing Chateau-Gaillard and the city of Rouen.

1204, William escorted Llywelyn, Prince of North Wales, to visit King John [also his half-brother.]

12/25/1205, King John celebrated at Oxford with William Marshall, Earl William of Salisbury (19989838) [John’s half brother], and the earls of Chester, Sussex and Surrey. (S) King John, Morris, 2015, P95.

1206, William escorted King William the Lion of Scotland to visit King John at York.

1207-08, King John held an inquisition to determine if the wife of William, earl of Salisbury, had the right of the county of Wiltshire as of fee or by royal grant. (S) Women of the English Nobility, Ward, 1995, P153. [Determined to be by royal grant.]

1209, William sent on a mission to Germany. (S) The New England Historical Register, V140, 1986, P221.

1209, King John appointed his brother William, earl of Salisbury, as royal custodian of the march of Wales.

1210-1212, William participated in King John’s Welsh campaigns.

1210, William, earl of Salisbury, a witness to the official account written by King John of his quarrel with William de Briouse [of Ireland.]

6/6/1210, King John launched successful attacks in Ireland [which he split into shires ruled by the crown from Dublin]. King John launched 700 ships in the attack, and used 10 knights as personal bodyguards in this campaign.

1211 in Wales, King John defeated Llywelyn, reducing his holdings to Gwynedd and Meirionydd, and imposed a very large tribute.

1212, Henry de Bohun, earl of Hereford, sued “curia regis” by William Longespee, earl of Salisbury, over the honour of Trowbridge. (S) King John, the Braoses, and the Celtic Fringe, Holden

7/10/1212, A great fire swept through London, on the south side of the river, killing about 3000.

5/15/1213, William, earl of Salisbury, a witness of the document in which King John resigned his crown to the Pope. (S) The Reign of King John, Painter, 1949, P194.

5/30/1213, William commander of the English forces at the battle of Damme, on the estuary of Zwyn, in Flanders, Belgium. Philip II of France was attacking the Count of Flanders. King John sent his forces against Philip. This fleet had 500 ships, 700 knights and their attendants, and a large force of mercenaries. The fleet encountered a huge French armada, 1700 ships heavily laden with supplies and the personal goods of the French barons. Most of the French army was away besieging Ghent, and so the fleet was only lightly guarded. William immediately attacked, seizing 300 ships which were anchored or beached outside the harbour of Damme, and pillaging and burning a hundred more. The next day they attacked the rest of the ships as well as the town itself. This was a little reckless for King Philip had come with his troops from Ghent, and the English barely got back to their ships and away safely. They returned to England with the seized ships and a large booty (the biographer of William Marshal claimed “never had so much treasure come into England since the days of King Arthur”).

7/27/1214, William, leader of the English forces supporting Otto IV of Germany against France, was captured at the [disastrous for King John] battle of Bouvines, near Tournai in Flanders. The French King’s forces of 10,000 defeated an alliance of England, the Holy Roman Empire and rebellious French principalities, numbering 15,000.

5/12/1215, King John visited William at Trowbridge and granted him the lands of the tenants of Henry de Bohun who were in rebellion. (S) Magna Carta, Holt, 1992, P207.

6/19/1215 at Runnymede near Windsor, William with King John at the signing of the Magna Carta.

9/8/1215, King John wrote a letter several Bishops asking about the possible exchange of William, earl of Salisbury, for Robert (189125342), son of Robert II (47277614), Comte de Dreux; identifying Robert as a cousin of the King of France. (S) Description of the Patent Rolls in the Tower, Hardy, 1835, P76ff. [William was quickly exchanged for Robert II, Comte de Dreux.]

2/10/1216, A letter was sent to Robert [the father] directing him to come to Whitsand on the Saturday after Ash Wednesday so that a treaty for the exchange of prisoners could be made.

5/12/1216, King Louis VIII of France, after a successful landing, crowned King of England in London. William supported his effort to be crowned King.  (S) English Historical Review, V110, 1995, P296.

1216, William commanded King John’s army in the south against the Magna Carta barons; and with Falkes de Breaute ravaged the Isle of Ely. (S) The Oldest Anglo-Norman Prose, Marvin, 2006, P45.

1216, William again took the crusader vow.

10/18/1216, King John died. [Like most other barons, William eventually gave his support to Henry III.]

10/28/1216, Henry III, age 9, crowned king of England.

Aft. 8/26/1218, William named earl of Salisbury, succeeding Peter de Maulay.

6/18/1219, William, earl of Salisbury, granted a market at Amesbury, Wiltshire. (S) Gaz. of Markets and Fairs.

1220, William 1 of 5 dignitaries laying the foundation stones of Salisbury Cathedral.

6/24/1222, W. earl of Salisbury, the king’s uncle, surrendered to the king at Westminster … the king’s demesne manor of Writtle with all its appurtenances. (S) FRsHIII.

5/10/1223, Pledges for Baldwin de Guines, … G. earl of Gloucester for £20. W. earl of Salisbury for £20. … William Bardolf for £10. Aymer de St. Amand for £10. Robert Aguillon for £10. (S) FRsHIII.

8/18/1224, The King at Bedford in the presence of Hubert de Burg Justiciary, William Earl of Salisbury, … [7 earls listed] … Relaxation of the subsidy granted to the king by the clergy, for the siege of Bedford. (S) Manuscripts of the Duke of Beaufort, 1891, P556.

3/1225, William, earl of Salisbury, wrote his will: … debts to be paid from the proceeds of the land of William de Vescy, which I have in my wardship, … 200 marks to the new building of the church of Salisbury … profits of the wardship of the land and heir of Richard de Campvill, of which I am now seized, … (S) Annals and Antiquities of Lacock Abbey, Bowles, 1835, P146.

1225, Returning from Gascony, William’s ship was nearly lost. He spent some months afterwards in a monastery on the French island of Re.

10/2/1225, Alienor, countess of Salisbury, granted a fair at Cowlinge, Suffolk. (S) Gaz. of Markets and Fairs.

3/7/1226, William, Earl of Salisbury, died; [likely] poisoned by Hubert de Burgh; buried in Salisbury cathedral. William was the 1st person buried at Salisbury Cathedral. As his funeral procession wound its way down the hill from the castle to the new and unfinished cathedral, Roger of Wendover relates that the tapers shed light throughout the journey, “not withstanding the showers of rain and the violence of the wind,” thereby showing that the earl had died in a state of grace.


1226, Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford, brought suit against Ela, widow of the William Longespee, earl of Salisbury. (S) Minority of Henry III, Carpenter, 1990, P193.

7/16/1227, Alienor, countess of Salisbury, allowed to hold the fair at Cowlinge despite other prohibitions. (S) Gaz. of Markets and Fairs.

10/29/1227, The king has granted to Ela, countess of Salisbury, formerly the wife of William LongespĂ©e, former earl of Salisbury, … of the fine that Alexander, King of Scots, made with them …, are to be allowed to the same countess of Salisbury in the debt of £1075 12s 3d …. (S) FRsHIII.

1229, Ela founded the Augustinian Lacock abbey.

4/16/1231, Appointment of Ela, countess of Salisbury, as sheriff of Wiltshire. (S) Lists and Indexes, I8, P152.

4/16/1232, Ela, countess of Salisbury, laid the foundation of two monasteries. (S) The Parliamentary Gaz. of England and Wales, 1840, P2.

4/12/1234, The sheriff of Suffolk was commanded to cause Ela, countess of Salisbury, and Nicholas Malesmains, to have the purparties belonging to them of the manor of Cowling. (S) Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Noormanniae, V2, P-XLIX.

By 1236, Ela granted land from her inheritance to her son Nicholas. (S) Women of the English Nobility, Ward, 1995, P115.

8/3/1236, Inspeimus and confirmation of a charter of Ela, countess of Salisbury, giving, for the good of the souls of earl William Lungespe, her husband, and William Lungespee, her eldest son, and of all her children, to St. Mary of St. Bernard and the nuns at Lacock … (S) The Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, V35, 1907, P205.

1237-38, By a lawsuit of her son William, Ela determined to have the right to be sheriff of Wiltshire. (S) Women of the English Nobility, Ward, 1995, P152.

1238, Ela became an abbess at Lacock. (S) FMG.

1240, Ela named the Abbess of  Lacock, Wiltshire.

1248, Hinton Priory endowed by Ella, Countess of Salisbury, widow of William de Longespee. (S) The Carthusians in Ireland.

1257, Ela gave up her position as Abbess of the abbey.

8/24/1261, Ela died at the abbey.

(S) Plantagenet Ancestry, P718. (S) The ‘New’ Macgregors 1066-2002, Triplett, P27. (S) The Troubador’s Song, Boyle, 2005.

Family notes:

·         William’s mother was unknown for many years, until the discovery of a charter of William mentioning "Comitissa Ida, mater mea".

·         William de Longespee’s tomb was opened in 1791. The well-preserved corpse of a rat which carried traces of arsenic was found inside his skull. The rat is now on display in a case at the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum.

Children of William and Ela: [4 sons, 4 daughters]

i. Ida Longespee (9994919), born ~1207 in England.

ii. William de Longespee (94567584), born ~1209 in England.

iii. Ela Longespee, born ~1218 in England.

Ela married 1st Thomas de Beaumont,  6th Earl of Warwick (d.6/26/1242).

Ela married 2nd Regent Philip Basset (23638994).

1265, Lord William de Oddingseles witnessed a charter of Philip Basset & Ela Longespee.

10/1271, Philip died.

3/6/1292, Writ de intendendo directed to Ela la lungespeye, countess of Warwick, the king’s kinswoman, in favor of Simon de Monte Acuto son and heir of William de Monte Acuto, in respect of her fealty … which the said William de Monte Acuto lately demised to Philip Basset, sometime her husband, … (S) CPRs.

v. Sir Stephen Longespee (243376346), born by 1219 in England.

iv. Ida Longespee “the younger” (30424599), born ~1220 in England.

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