John FitzGilbert, The Marshal of England

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John "The Marshall" FitzGilbert

Nicknames: "The Marshall", "John FitzGilbert", "'The /Marshall/", "Earl Marshall"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Pembroke,,Pembrokeshire,Wales
Death: Died in Pembroke,,Pembrokeshire,Wales
Place of Burial: Priory, Bradenstoke, Wiltshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Gilbert "The Marshal" Fitzrobert and Margaret
Husband of Sybilla of Salisbury
Ex-husband of Aline de Pipard
Father of Gilbert le Marshall fitzJohn; Walter le Marshall fitzJohn; William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke; John Fitzgilbert, II, Marshall; Maud FitzJohn Marshall and 3 others
Brother of William "Giffard" Fitzgilbert Marshall

Occupation: Marshal, Earl Marshal, Married 1146, Pembrokeshire, England, Earl Marshall, A minor Anglo-Norman nobleman during the reign of King Stephen
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John "The Marshall" FitzGilbert

OVERVIEW

John fitzGilbert, Marshal

b. 1105, d. 1165

Son of Gilbert Giffard

Married and divorced: Aline Pippard. Children:

  • Gilbert (d. abt 1166)
  • Walter (d. bef 1165)

Married second: Sibyl of Salisbury. Children:

  • John (d. 1194)
  • William
  • Henry, Bishop of Exeter
  • Ancel
  • Margaret m. Ralph de Somery, son of John de Somery and Hawise de Paynell

BIOGRAPHY

John FitzGilbert the Marshal (Marechal) (c. 1105 – 1165) was a minor Anglo-Norman nobleman during the reign of King Stephen, and fought in the 12th century civil war on the side of the Empress Matilda. Since at least 1130 and probably earlier, he had been the royal marshal to King Henry I. John was a loyal and trusted royal official and attested to at least twelve royal acts of Henry I between 1129 and 1135, most of them in England but some in Normandy.

When Stephen took the English throne on the death of Henry I in 1135, John continued to serve in the office of marshal and accompanied Stephen to Normandy in 1137. In 1138 John took possession of the castles of Marlborough and Ludgershall in Wiltshire as castellan and proceeded to strengthen both. Along with Hamstead Marshal, this gave him control of the valley of the River Kennet in Wiltshire. During the early years of the war between King Stephen and the Empress Mathilda, John was more or less content to wait and watch, increasing the number of knights bound to him and fortifying his castles. He used his position in Wiltshire to attack and ravage the lands of those opposing King Stephen, though according to some of the chronicles of the times, John was not too particular about whom he attacked. In February 1141, King Stephen was captured at the battle of Lincoln by Robert of Gloucester, natural brother to the Empress. This event apparently convinced John that he should be on the Empress’s side in the civil war, and he actively supported her from this time forward. John was with the Empress at Reading in May, Oxford in July, and at the siege of Winchester in August 1141. When Henry of Blois, bishop of Winchester and brother to King Stephen, brought troops to relieve the siege of Winchester, it was decided that the Empress would flee to John’s castle of Ludgershall with John while Robert of Gloucester continued the battle. At the village of Wherwell, John sent the Empress on to his castle with Brian fitz Count, and he stayed with some men to defend her retreat at the River Test. At the end of this struggle at the river, only John and one of his knights were left standing. They retreated to the church of Wherwell Abbey, and the enemy set fire to it. The enemy departed from Wherwell thinking that John had perished, but he survived and made it to his castle of Marlborough, losing one eye from melting iron in the fire.

The rising and falling fortunes of neither side in this civil war greatly effected fitz Gilbert’s prosperity; he used his position and his castles in Wiltshire to continue to attack the lands of Stephen’s supporters. One of his frequent victims was Patrick constable of Salisbury, who was King Stephen’s man. After several years of this warfare, both men had had enough of the deprivations resulting from their attacks on each other. They worked out a compromise in 1141; John fitz Gilbert would put aside his first wife and marry Patrick’s sister Sibile [Sibyl], and Patrick came over to the Empress’s side. This compromise gave Patrick peace and relief as well as the later title and lands of the earldom of Salisbury. John nullified his most dangerous enemy and definitely increased his own social position by marrying into one of the great feudal families of England. It hurt neither man that they could both now raid the lands of Stephen’s supporters in Wiltshire, Berkshire and Hampshire.

John was in high favor with the Empress, and she appointed his brother William as her chancellor. John himself witnessed at least four charters of the Empress, and there are two writs addressed to John in Wiltshire by her. He also witnessed five charters of Duke Henry in Normandy.

In 1152, John had a legendary confrontation with King Stephen, who had besieged him at Newbury Castle. Stephen used John's 6-year-old son William as a hostage to ensure that John kept a promise to surrender the castle. John broke his word, and when Stephen ordered John to surrender immediately or watch as he hanged William in front of the castle, John replied that he go ahead, for "I still have the hammer and the anvil with which to forge still more and better sons!" Stephen apparently took pity on the young boy and did not kill him. The boy grew up to be William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, a legendary figure in medieval lore, and one of the most powerful men in England.

October 25, 1154, King Stephen died and on December 19, 1154, Henry was crowned King Henry II of England. Henry II gave to John the manors of Marlborough, Wexcombe, and Cherhill in Wiltshire; they yielded eight-two pounds annually in revenues. He retained the office of marshal of the royal household. Along with these lands and the lands of his father, John held seven other knights’ fees: land of the bishop of Winchester, of the bishop of Exeter, of the bishop of Winchester, of the abbot of Abingdon, of Richard de Candos[Chandos], of Manasser de Arsic, and of Geoffrey de Mandeville. He held Tidworth in Wiltshire by serjeanty of his office as marshal and possibly Hampstead in Berkshire. The "Cartae Baronnum" shows him holding Wigan in Oxfordshire, and Inkberrow in Worcestershire may have been originally John fitz Gilbert’s. John was still a minor baron in comparison to the great magnates, but he had increased the inheritance left to him by his father by a great deal.

John fitz Gilbert died 1164/1165 while his son William was in Normandy being trained as a squire by his cousin William de Tancarville Chamberlain of Normandy

John fitz Gilbert, unlike others in the wars between King Stephen and the Empress, changed his allegiance only once. When he joined the Empress’ side in the war, he not only served her and her son loyally and faithfully, but he placed his own life in jeopardy protecting and defending her. John fitz Gilbert was a clever and ruthless baron who had more than his share of daring, energy, and ambition. He was known for his ability as a soldier/knight and for his cunning and love of military stratagems. The "Gesta Stephani" describes him as "a limb of hell and the root of all evil." It accuses John of building adulterine castles [probably Newbury in Berkshire], taking the lands of both laity and clergy, and of forcing payments from the church. He put aside his first wife without a qualm in order to better himself and his position.

FAMILY

John was the son of Gilbert Giffard, Royal Serjeant and Marshal of the royal household of King Henry I. The office of the marshal was part of the Curia, with a deputy in the Exchequer and one in the King's Bench, as well as one in the Court of the Marshalsea of the King's household. The office was subordinate to the office of constable of the royal household. The office was responsible for everything connected to the horses of the royal household, the hawks and the hounds as well. He had the general duty of keeping order in the royal court/household, arranging for the billeting of members of the court, keeping tallies and other vouchers of the expenditures of the household, keeping rolls of all who performed their military service there, and being responsible for the imprisonment of debtors. The "Constitutio Domus Regis" gives the duties of the master marshal for King Henry I.

Both John and his father are found in the king’s court before 1130 where they maintained [probably by trial by battle] their office of master of the king’s marshals against William de Hastings and Robert de Venoiz. On the pipe roll of 1130 John is found paying twenty-two pounds for seisin to his father’s lands and ministerium and forty marks for the office of marshal of the court. In this same year John married the daughter and heiress of Walter Pipard, a minor Wiltshire landholder. John had two sons by Aline - Gilbert and Walter. Walter predeceased his father and Gilbert died shortly after inheriting his father's lands. In 1141, John divorced his wife Aline Pipard to marry Sibyl of Salisbury, the sister of Patrick of Salisbury, who had been a local rival of his, and a supporter of King Stephen, up to that point. Of the two sons by John’s first marriage, the oldest, Gilbert, died within a year of John’s own death, and the youngest, Walter, died before John.

John's eldest son by Sybilla of Salisbury, also called John Marshal (d. 1194), inherited his father’s lands and the title of Marshal, which he held until his death.

The title was then granted by King Richard the Lionheart to his second son by Sybilla, William, Earl of Pembroke, who made the name and title famous. Though he had started out as a younger son without inheritance, by the time he actually inherited the title his reputation as a soldier and statesman was unmatched across Western Europe. John fitz Gilbert, unlike others in the wars between King Stephen and the Empress, changed his allegiance only once. When he joined the Empress’ side in the war, he not only served her and her son loyally and faithfully, but he placed his own life in jeopardy protecting and defending her. This was a debt that Henry II remembered and paid. John’s son William would do the same for King Henry’s wife Eleanor near the castle of Lusignan in Poitou at the end of 1167. Two of the Lusignan brothers attacked and killed William’s unarmed uncle, Patrick earl of Salisbury, while Patrick, Queen Eleanor, and William were riding near the castle of Lusignan. William was wounded and taken prisoner while defending the Queen’s retreat into the castle and trying to avenge his uncle’s murder. William might have inherited some of the physical strength and knowledge of military strategy from his father, but as a second son, he would become in his own right and by his own abilities, skills, and sense of honour the best of chivalric knighthood, a "familiaris Regis," the Earl of Pembroke and regent of England.

Henry Bishop of Exeter

Ancel, who served as a knight in the household of his kinsman, Rotrou, Count of Perche.

John had a daughter, Margaret Marshal, married Ralph de Somery, son of John de Somery and Hawise de Paynell.

SOURCES

http://www.castlewales.com/jf_gilbt.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Marshal_(Earl_Marshal) for considerably more information.

http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cousin/html/p372.htm#i6737 
http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cousin/html/index.htm 

-------------------- John FitzGilbert the Marshal (Marechal) (c. 1105 – 1165) was a minor Anglo-Norman nobleman during the reign of King Stephen, and fought in the 12th century civil war on the side of the Empress Matilda. Since at least 1130 and probably earlier, he had been the royal marshal to King Henry I. John was a loyal and trusted royal official and attested to at least twelve royal acts of Henry I between 1129 and 1135, most of them in England but some in Normandy. When Stephen took the English throne on the death of Henry I in 1135, John continued to serve in the office of marshal and accompanied Stephen to Normandy in 1137. In 1138 John took possession of the castles of Marlborough and Ludgershall in Wiltshire as castellan and proceeded to strengthen both. Along with Hamstead Marshal, this gave him control of the valley of the River Kennet in Wiltshire. During the early years of the war between King Stephen and the Empress Mathilda, John was more or less content to wait and watch, increasing the number of knights bound to him and fortifying his castles. He used his position in Wiltshire to attack and ravage the lands of those opposing King Stephen, though according to some of the chronicles of the times, John was not too particular about whom he attacked. In February 1141, King Stephen was captured at the battle of Lincoln by Robert of Gloucester, natural brother to the Empress. This event apparently convinced John that he should be on the Empress’s side in the civil war, and he actively supported her from this time forward. John was with the Empress at Reading in May, Oxford in July, and at the siege of Winchester in August 1141. When Henry of Blois, bishop of Winchester and brother to King Stephen, brought troops to relieve the siege of Winchester, it was decided that the Empress would flee to John’s castle of Ludgershall with John while Robert of Gloucester continued the battle. At the village of Wherwell, John sent the Empress on to his castle with Brian fitz Count, and he stayed with some men to defend her retreat at the River Test. At the end of this struggle at the river, only John and one of his knights were left standing. They retreated to the church of Wherwell Abbey, and the enemy set fire to it. The enemy departed from Wherwell thinking that John had perished, but he survived and made it to his castle of Marlborough, losing one eye from melting iron in the fire. The rising and falling fortunes of neither side in this civil war greatly effected fitz Gilbert’s prosperity; he used his position and his castles in Wiltshire to continue to attack the lands of Stephen’s supporters. One of his frequent victims was Patrick constable of Salisbury, who was King Stephen’s man. After several years of this warfare, both men had had enough of the deprivations resulting from their attacks on each other. They worked out a compromise in 1141; John fitz Gilbert would put aside his first wife and marry Patrick’s sister Sibile [Sibyl], and Patrick came over to the Empress’s side. This compromise gave Patrick peace and relief as well as the later title and lands of the earldom of Salisbury. John nullified his most dangerous enemy and definitely increased his own social position by marrying into one of the great feudal families of England. It hurt neither man that they could both now raid the lands of Stephen’s supporters in Wiltshire, Berkshire and Hampshire. John was in high favor with the Empress, and she appointed his brother William as her chancellor. John himself witnessed at least four charters of the Empress, and there are two writs addressed to John in Wiltshire by her. He also witnessed five charters of Duke Henry in Normandy. In 1152, John had a legendary confrontation with King Stephen, who had besieged him at Newbury Castle. Stephen used John's 6-year-old son William as a hostage to ensure that John kept a promise to surrender the castle. John broke his word, and when Stephen ordered John to surrender immediately or watch as he hanged William in front of the castle, John replied that he go ahead, for "I still have the hammer and the anvil with which to forge still more and better sons!" Stephen apparently took pity on the young boy and did not kill him. The boy grew up to be William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, a legendary figure in medieval lore, and one of the most powerful men in England. October 25, 1154, King Stephen died and on December 19, 1154, Henry was crowned King Henry II of England. Henry II gave to John the manors of Marlborough, Wexcombe, and Cherhill in Wiltshire; they yielded eight-two pounds annually in revenues. He retained the office of marshal of the royal household. Along with these lands and the lands of his father, John held seven other knights’ fees: land of the bishop of Winchester, of the bishop of Exeter, of the bishop of Winchester, of the abbot of Abingdon, of Richard de Candos[Chandos], of Manasser de Arsic, and of Geoffrey de Mandeville. He held Tidworth in Wiltshire by serjeanty of his office as marshal and possibly Hampstead in Berkshire. The "Cartae Baronnum" shows him holding Wigan in Oxfordshire, and Inkberrow in Worcestershire may have been originally John fitz Gilbert’s. John was still a minor baron in comparison to the great magnates, but he had increased the inheritance left to him by his father by a great deal. John fitz Gilbert died 1164/1165 while his son William was in Normandy being trained as a squire by his cousin William de Tancarville Chamberlain of Normandy. John fitz Gilbert, unlike others in the wars between King Stephen and the Empress, changed his allegiance only once. When he joined the Empress’ side in the war, he not only served her and her son loyally and faithfully, but he placed his own life in jeopardy protecting and defending her. John fitz Gilbert was a clever and ruthless baron who had more than his share of daring, energy, and ambition. He was known for his ability as a soldier/knight and for his cunning and love of military stratagems. The "Gesta Stephani" describes him as "a limb of hell and the root of all evil." It accuses John of building adulterine castles [probably Newbury in Berkshire], taking the lands of both laity and clergy, and of forcing payments from the church. He put aside his first wife without a qualm in order to better himself and his position. FAMILY: John was the son of Gilbert Giffard, Royal Serjeant and Marshal of the royal household of King Henry I. The office of the marshal was part of the Curia, with a deputy in the Exchequer and one in the King's Bench, as well as one in the Court of the Marshalsea of the King's household. The office was subordinate to the office of constable of the royal household. The office was responsible for everything connected to the horses of the royal household, the hawks and the hounds as well. He had the general duty of keeping order in the royal court/household, arranging for the billeting of members of the court, keeping tallies and other vouchers of the expenditures of the household, keeping rolls of all who performed their military service there, and being responsible for the imprisonment of debtors. The "Constitutio Domus Regis" gives the duties of the master marshal for King Henry I. Both John and his father are found in the king’s court before 1130 where they maintained [probably by trial by battle] their office of master of the king’s marshals against William de Hastings and Robert de Venoiz. On the pipe roll of 1130 John is found paying twenty-two pounds for seisin to his father’s lands and ministerium and forty marks for the office of marshal of the court. In this same year John married the daughter and heiress of Walter Pipard, a minor Wiltshire landholder. John had two sons by Aline - Gilbert and Walter. Walter predeceased his father and Gilbert died shortly after inheriting his father's lands. In 1141, John divorced his wife Aline Pipard to marry Sibyl of Salisbury, the sister of Patrick of Salisbury, who had been a local rival of his, and a supporter of King Stephen, up to that point. Of the two sons by John’s first marriage, the oldest, Gilbert, died within a year of John’s own death, and the youngest, Walter, died before John. John's eldest son by Sybilla of Salisbury, also called John Marshal (d. 1194), inherited his father’s lands and the title of Marshal, which he held until his death. The title was then granted by King Richard the Lionheart to his second son by Sybilla, William, Earl of Pembroke, who made the name and title famous. Though he had started out as a younger son without inheritance, by the time he actually inherited the title his reputation as a soldier and statesman was unmatched across Western Europe. John fitz Gilbert, unlike others in the wars between King Stephen and the Empress, changed his allegiance only once. When he joined the Empress’ side in the war, he not only served her and her son loyally and faithfully, but he placed his own life in jeopardy protecting and defending her. This was a debt that Henry II remembered and paid. John’s son William would do the same for King Henry’s wife Eleanor near the castle of Lusignan in Poitou at the end of 1167. Two of the Lusignan brothers attacked and killed William’s unarmed uncle, Patrick earl of Salisbury, while Patrick, Queen Eleanor, and William were riding near the castle of Lusignan. William was wounded and taken prisoner while defending the Queen’s retreat into the castle and trying to avenge his uncle’s murder. William might have inherited some of the physical strength and knowledge of military strategy from his father, but as a second son, he would become in his own right and by his own abilities, skills, and sense of honour the best of chivalric knighthood, a "familiaris Regis," the Earl of Pembroke and regent of England. Ancel, who served as a knight in the household of his kinsman, Rotrou, Count of Perche. John had a daughter, Margaret Marshal, married Ralph de Somery, son of John de Somery and Hawise de Paynell. -------------------- John FitzGilbert the Marshal (c. 1105 – 1165) was a minor Anglo-Norman nobleman during the reign of King Stephen, and fought in the 12th century civil war on the side of Empress Matilda. Since at least 1130 and probably earlier, he had been the royal marshal to King Henry I. When Henry died, John FitzGilbert swore for Stephen and was granted the castles of Marlborough and Ludgershall, Wiltshire during this time. Along with Hamstead Marshal, this gave him control of the valley of the River Kennet in Wiltshire. Around 1139, John changed sides and swore for the Empress Matilda. In September 1141, Matilda fled the siege of Winchester and took refuge in the Marshal's castle at Ludgershall. While covering her retreat from Winchester, John Marshal was forced to take refuge at Wherwell Abbey. The attackers set fire to the building, and John lost an eye to dripping lead from the melting roof.

In 1152, John had a celebrated confrontation with King Stephen, who had besieged him at Newbury Castle. After John had broken an agreement to surrender, Stephen threatened to kill his son, whom John had given as a hostage. John refused, saying he could make more sons, but Stephen apparently took pity on the young boy and did not kill him. The boy grew up to be William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, a legendary figure in medieval lore, and one of the most powerful men in England.

The office of Lord Marshal, which originally related to the keeping of the King's horses, and later, the head of his household troops, was won as a hereditary title by John, and was passed to his eldest son, and later claimed by William. John also had a daughter, Margaret Marshal, married Ralph de Somery, son of John de Somery and Hawise de Paynell.

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John FitzGilbert, The Marshal of England's Timeline

1105
1105
Pembroke,,Pembrokeshire,Wales
1130
1130
Age 25
Of,,Wiltshire,England
1131
1131
Age 26
Salisbury, Wiltshire, , England
1133
1133
Age 28
1143
1143
Age 38
Pembroke,,Pembrokeshire,Wales
1144
1144
Age 39
Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales
1146
1146
Age 41
Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Might have been born in Marlborough Castle.
--------------------
Might have been born in Marlborough Castle.

1152
1152
Age 47
Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales
1154
1154
Age 49
Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales
1156
1156
Age 51
Of, Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales