Ralph, 1st Baron Monthermer

Is your surname de Monthermer?

Research the de Monthermer family

Ralph, 1st Baron Monthermer's Geni Profile

Records for Ralph de Monthermer

15,939 Records

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Ralph de Monthermer

Birthdate: (55)
Death: April 5, 1325 (51-59)
Greyfriars, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
Immediate Family:

Husband of Joan of Acre and Isabel le Despenser
Father of Mary de Monthermer, Countess of Fife; Joan de Monthermer, Nun at Amesbury; Thomas, 2nd Baron de Monthermer; Edward de Monthermer, 3rd Baron Monthermer and (Stillborn) de Monthermer

Managed by: Ofir Friedman
Last Updated:

About Ralph, 1st Baron Monthermer

brief overview: parents unknown. M1. Joan of Acre, and had Mary, Joan, Thomas, Edward. m2. Isabel le Despencer, no children. One illegitimate son Ralph, mother unknown.

Michael Altschul, *A Baronial Family in Medieval England: The Clares, 1217-1314*, Baltimore MD (Johns Hopkins Press) 1965. p 38-39: -----Ralph was styled earl of Gloucester *jure uxoris* and for the next decade administered the estates with the king's daughter. After Joan's death, his rights to the estates and title lapsed, and he was thenceforth treated as an ordinary baron. His children by Joan of Acre were likewise excluded from the inheritance, and had no future connection with the Clares, aside from a daugher, Mary, who was married in 1307 to Duncan, son and heir of Duncan, earl of Fife, and Joan, the Red Earl's daughter by his first marriage to Alice de Lusignan.

From FMG:

  RALPH de Monthermer, son of --- ([1261/62]-5 Apr 1325, bur Salisbury, Grey Friars Church).  He was a member of the household of Gilbert Earl of Gloucester and Hereford, and was secretly married to his widow.  He was imprisoned by the King at Bristol when he learned of this marriage, but pardoned at Eltham 2 Aug 1297.  He was styled Earl of Gloucester and Hertford after his marriage but never acquired full comital rank.  He lost the name of earl on his wife's death.  He was created Earl of Atholl 12 Oct 1306, but he resigned this earldom 24 Jun 1307 in favour of David of Strathbogie.  He was summoned to parliament 4 Mar 1309, whereby he is held to have become Lord Monthermer. 

m firstly (secretly early 1297 or [12 May/3 Jul] 1297) as her second husband, JOAN of England "of Acre", widow of GILBERT de Clare Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, daughter of EDWARD I King of England & his first wife Infanta doña Leonor de Castilla (Acre, Palestine Spring 1272-Clare Manor, Suffolk 23 Apr 1307, bur 26 Apr 1307 Priory Church of the Austin Friars, Clare, Suffolk). The king, her father, did not know that Joan was already married when he agreed 16 Mar 1297 her marriage to Amédée Comte de Savoie. He confiscated Joan's lands 3 Jul 1297 when he found out about the marriage, but pardoned her 2 Aug 1297. A manuscript history of the foundation of Dunmow Priory records the death in 1307 of “Johanna de Acres comitissa de Clare” and her burial “in ecclesia fratrum S. Augustini apud Clare”.

m secondly (before 20 Nov 1318) as her second husband, ISABEL le Despencer, widow of JOHN de Hastings Lord Hastings, daughter of HUGH le Despencer Lord le Despencer [later Earl of Winchester] & his wife Isabel de Beauchamp of Warwick (-4/5 Dec 1334).

Lord Ralph & his first wife had four children:

a) MARY de Monthermer (1298-after 1371). m (Papal dispensation 4o Nov 1307) DUNCAN Macduff Earl of Fife, son of DUNCAN Macduff Earl of Fife & his wife Joan de Clare ([1285]-1353).

b) JOAN de Monthermer (1299-). Nun at Amesbury Abbey, Wiltshire.

c) THOMAS de Monthermer (4 Oct 1301-killed in battle Sluys, Flanders 24 Jun 1340). He succeeded his father in 1325 as Lord Monthermer. m [as her second husband,] MARGARET, [widow of HENRY Teyes Lord Teyes], daughter of --- (-May 1349). Thomas & his wife had one child:

    i) MARGARET de Monthermer (Stokenham 14 Oct 1329-24 Mar 1395).  She succeeded her father in 1340 as Baroness Monthermer, suo iure.  m (before end 1343) JOHN de Montagu, son of WILLIAM de Montagu Earl of Salisbury & his wife Katharine de Grandison (London --- -25 Feb or 4 Mar 1390, bur Salisbury Cathedral).  He was summoned to parliament 15 Dec 1357, whereby he is held to have become Lord Montagu.  

d) EDWARD de Monthermer (-3 Feb 1340, bur Clare, Suffolk, Austin Friars' Church). He was summoned to parliament 23 Apr 1337, whereby he is held to have become Lord Monthermer.

Lord Ralph had one illegitimate child by an unknown mistress:

e) RALPH de Monthermer (-after 1340). m as her first husband, ALICE, daughter of ---. She married secondly Reynold de Paveley.


see http://historicalbellesandbeaus.blogspot.com/2010/06/medieval-love-story-ralph-de-monthermer.html



Ralph de Monthermer, 1st Baron Monthermer, Earl of Hertford, Earl of Gloucester, Earl of Atholl (c. 1270 - 5 April 1325)


Ralph was a knight in the household of Joan of Acre, daughter of King Edward I of England. After the death of Joan's husband Gilbert de Clare, 7th Earl of Hertford in 1295, Ralph and Joan fell in love. They were clandestinely (secretly) married in January 1297. Her father was enraged by this lowly second marriage. He had Monthermer thrown in prison, and Joan had to plead for the release of her husband. According to the St. Albans chronicler, she told her father, "No one sees anything wrong if a great earl marries a poor and lowly woman. Why should there be anything wrong if a countess marries a young and promising man?" With the intervention of Antony Bek, Bishop of Durham, the King relented, and released Monthermer from prison in August 1297. The king even allowed Monthermer to hold the titles of Earl of Gloucester and Earl of Hertford, during Joan's lifetime. The titles had been taken from Joan's six year old son Gilbert de Clare, 8th Earl of Hertford, and were returned to the boy upon Joan's death (1307).

Ralph then held no title, for two years, until he was summoned to parliament and made 1st Baron Monthermer (1309).

In 1306 Ralph warned Robert the Bruce of the danger posed by his father in law, King Edward I of England. After the Battle of Bannockburn (1314), at which Ralph fought and was captured by the Scots, Robert paid him back by releasing him without a ransom.

[edit] Issue

Joan died in childbirth with their fifth child, who was stillborn, on 7 April 1307. She and the child were buried together, on 23 April 1307, at the manor house of Clare in Suffolk, England.

Ralph and Joan had five children;

   * Mary de Monthermer, (October 1297 - about 1371). In 1306 her grandfather King Edward I of England arranged for her to wed Duncan Macduff, 8th Earl of Fife.
   * Joan de Monthermer, (born 1299), became a nun at Amesbury.
   * Thomas de Monthermer, 2nd Baron Monthermer, (1301 - 1340).
   * Edward de Monthermer, (1304 - 1339). He fought in the Scottish campaign in 1335, but spent much of his life in service to his half-sister Elizabeth, who provided for him during his last illness and buried him next to their mother.
   * Stillborn child (7 April 1307).

[edit] Titles

   * Earl of Gloucester (2 August 1297 - 7 April 1307)
   * Earl of Hertford (2 August 1297 - 7 April 1307)
   * Earl of Atholl (12 October 1306 - bet. 21 August 1307 and 20 May 1308); abdicated, for the price of 5,000 marks, in favour of David II Strathbogie, Earl of Atholl
   * 1st Baron Monthermer (4 March 1309 - 5 April 1325); succeeded by his son Thomas de Monthermer, 2nd Baron Monthermer

[edit] References

   * Cokayne, G.E. (2000). The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant. Alan Sutton.  page 306

Ralph's two sons by Joan of Acre, Thomas and Edward, were on good enough terms with the new regime to be knighted in 1327, but Thomas later joined Henry, Earl of Lancaster's rebellion against Queen Isabella and Mortimer, while Edward became entangled with the Earl of Kent, Edward II's half-brother, who had plotted to release Edward II, whom he believed to be still alive, from captivity. The earl, who had likely been entrapped into the plot by Queen Isabella and Mortimer, was beheaded in 1330 for his fraternal loyalty, but Edward de Monthermer got off more lightly, being imprisoned in Winchester Castle at the crown's expense. Fortunately for Edward, Mortimer's days were numbered; he was seized by Edward III in October 1330 and hanged the following month. Edward de Monthermer's lands were restored to him in December 1330. Thomas, who had been fined for his role in Lancaster's rebellion, had his fine remitted in January 1331.

Edward de Monthermer, who had taken part in Edward III's wars but who had fallen ill, came to live with his half-sister Elizabeth de Burgh in 1339 and died before February 1340. He was buried near Joan of Acre; Elizabeth de Burgh, who took charge of his funeral, had his tomb made. Ralph and Joan's younger daughter, Joan, became a nun at Amesbury; their older daughter, Mary, wed the Earl of Fife. Thomas de Monthermer married Margaret, the widow of Henry Teyes, and died in 1340 at the sea battle of Sluys. His daughter, Margaret, married John de Montacute, the younger son of William de Montacute, Earl of Salisbury. John and Margaret's son, John, later succeeded to the earldom of Salisbury. From him would descend Warwick the Kingmaker and his daughter Anne, queen to Richard III. It was an impressive lineage for Ralph de Monthermer, the obscure squire who had married a princess.

view all 23

Ralph, 1st Baron Monthermer's Timeline

October 1297
Age 27
January 1299
Age 29
October 4, 1301
Age 31
Stoke, Ham, Wiltshire, England
April 11, 1304
Age 34
`Akko, Hazafon, Israel
April 7, 1307
Age 37
April 5, 1325
Age 55
Greyfriars, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
July 1, 1933
Age 55
July 1, 1933
Age 55