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Sir William de Longespée of Salisbury, Knight, Crusader

Also Known As: "William Longespee Knight of Amesbury", "William Longspee"
Birthplace: Salisbury, Wiltshire, , England
Death: between February 07, 1249 and February 07, 1250 (41-42)
منصورة, الدقهلية, Al-Mansura, on The Nile, Egypt (Killed in battle at Al-Mansura, Egypt on Crusade)
Place of Burial: Acre, Palestine
Immediate Family:

Son of William Longespée, 3rd Earl of Salisbury and Ela, 3rd Countess of Salisbury suo jure
Husband of Idoine, Countess of Salisbury
Father of Margaret de Longespee; Ela de Longespée of Salisbury; Richard Longespee; William de Longespee, III and Edmund de Longespee
Brother of Ida de Longespée of Salisbury; Isabel de Longespée, of Salisbury; Petronella Longespee, nun at Bradenstoke?; Mary Longespée, Lady Warke; Richard Longespee Canon Of Longespee, Salisbury and 9 others

Occupation: Earl of Salisbury, 2nd Earl of Salisbury
Managed by: Pam Wilson (on hiatus)
Last Updated:

About Sir William Longespée

Son of William Longespee, Earl of Salisbury (illegitimate son of Henry II and Ida de Tosny Bigod) and Ela Countess of Salisbury

married Idoine de Camville

Children: William, Richard, Ela (m. James de Audley), Edmund

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WILLIAM Longespee (before 1209-killed in battle Mansurah 7 Feb 1250). The Book of Lacock names “Guillelmus Longespe secundus… Ricardum… Stephanum… Nicholaum” as the sons of “Guillelmus Longespe ex…Ela”, adding that William died on Crusade in 1249[1339]. Matthew of Paris records him as the son of "Hela"[1340]. Sometimes known as 2nd Earl of Salisbury, but never so created. He left England on the crusade of Louis IX King of France in 1249, Matthew of Paris specifying that he received the blessing of "matris suæ nobilis" (though without giving his mother's name)[1341]. His death is recorded by Matthew of Paris[1342].

m (contract 1216) IDOINE de Camville, daughter & heiress of RICHARD de Camville & his wife Eustache Basset (-[1 Jan 1250/1/21 Sep 1252]). The Book of Lacock names “Idonea Candoill (esset Camvile)” as wife of “Guill Lungespee secundus”[1343].

Sir William & his wife had four children:

a) WILLIAM Longespee (-[Dec 1256/Jan 1257]). The Book of Lacock names “Guill Lungespee tertium, Ric´um, Elam et Edmundum” as the children of “Guill Lungespee secundus” & his wife[1344]. He died from injuries received in a tournament at Blyth, Nottinghamshire 4 Jun 1256. m ([1254]%29 as her first husband, MATILDA de Clifford, daughter and heiress of WALTER de Clifford of Clifford Castle, Herefordshire & his wife Margaret of Wales (-[Dec 1282/9 May 1285]). The Book of Lacock names “Matildam filiam d´ni Walteri de Clifford” as wife of “Guill. Lungespee tertius, filius Guill. Lungespee secundi”[1345]. "Walterus de Clifford filius Walteri de Clifford et Agnetis de Cundy" donated land in Cofham to Acornbury priory, Herefordshire, also donated by "Katherinæ filiæ Walteri de Lacy", for the souls of “Margaretæ uxoris meæ et dominæ Mathildis filiæ meæ” by undated charter[1346]. “Matildis de Lungespe, filia et hæres domini Walteri de Clifford” confirmed donations of property to Shrewsbury abbey, by “patris mei…Walterus de Clifford filius Walteri de Clifford, et Agnetis de Cundy” witnessed by “Egidio de Clifford fratre meo”, by undated charter[1347]. She married secondly (1271) Sir John Giffard, later 1st Lord Giffard of Brimpsfield. “Johannes Giffard dominus de Brimesfeild” donated property to Gloucester College, Oxford, for the soul of “Matildæ Longespee, quondam consortis meæ”, by undated charter, witnessed by “domino Johanne Giffard consanguineo meo”[1348].

b) RICHARD Longespee (-shortly before 27 Dec 1261). The Book of Lacock names “Guill Lungespee tertium, Ric´um, Elam et Edmundum” as the children of “Guill Lungespee secundus” & his wife[1351]. Canon of Sarum. m ALICE le Rus, daughter of ---.

c) ELA Longespee (-shortly before 22 Nov 1299). The Book of Lacock names “Guill Lungespee tertium, Ric´um, Elam et Edmundum” as the children of “Guill Lungespee secundus” & his wife, adding that Ela married “Jacobus de Audele”[1352]. m (1244) JAMES de Audley of Heleigh, Staffordshire, son of HENRY de Aldithley & his wife Bertred Mainwaring ([1220]-11 Jun [1272]).

d) EDMUND Longespee . The Book of Lacock names “Guill Lungespee tertium, Ric´um, Elam et Edmundum” as the children of “Guill Lungespee secundus” & his wife[1353].


William II Longespée (1212?-1250), who was sometimes called Earl of Salisbury but never legally bore the title because he died before his mother, Countess Ela, who held the earldom until her death in 1161.

a. He received the earldom of Salisbury and the marriage of Ela by Richard I in 1196. He was with that King in Normandy, 1196-98, and was present at John's coronation 27 May 1199. He served as Sheriff of Wiltshire from 1199-1202, 1203-1207, and from 1215 until his death. In 1202 he was on a diplomatic mission to France, one of an escort of Llewelyn to a meeting with King John at Worcester in 1204, escorted William the Lion, King of Scots, to his meeting with King John at York in Nov 1206, and headed an embassy in Mar 1209 to the prelates and princes of Germany. He was keeper of the castle of Avranches in 1204, Keeper of the March of Wales in 1209, keeper of Dover Castle, and accompanied the King in his expedition to Ireland in 1210. In May 1213 he was preparing an expedition, of which he was joint commander, to aid the Count of Flanders against France, and in 1214, as Marshal of the King of England, he commanded combined forces which recovered almost all of Flanders for the Count. But on 27 Jul 1214, he and the Counts of Boulogne and Flanders were captured at the battle of Bouvines, his release being negotiated in Feb 1214/15. He was with the King at Runnymeade iin 1215, but when King Louis entered Winchester in mid-1216, he surrendered Salisbury Castle to him, whereupon his lands were seized by 20 August. He had returned to his allegiance before 7 Mar 1216/17, when his lands were restored. He served as sheriff of Somerset and Devon 1216-17, and received a grant of Sherborne Castle and the co. of Somerset in that same year. He was with the Earl Marshal at the relief of Lincoln, and with Hubert de Burgh in the victory over the French fleet off Thanet, and was one of the guarantors of the truce with Louis at Lambeth. In Oct 1223, he was with the King in the successful expedition against Llewelyn, and in 1224 was keeper of the castles of Bridgnorth and Shrewsbury, as well as Sheriff of Salop and Staffordshire 1223-24. In 1225 he went with the young Earl of Cornwall, as supervisory commander, on a successful expedition to Gascony, and having remained active his entire life, died early the following year. Widow Ela was required to surrender Salisbury in Mar 1225/26, but the co. of Wiltshire was granted her "during her pleasure" 22 Jan 1226/27. She founded Lacock Abbey 1229 where she took the veil in 1238, and was Abbess, 1240-57.

b. First son and heir, he was a minor at his father's death. He took part in the King's expedition to Brittany in 1230, and was knighted by the King at Gloucester 1233. Shortly after, he was with the King at Grosmont in his unsuccessful expedition against the recalcitrant barons in the West, and in 1237-38 made an unsuccessful claim, by hereditary right, to gain custody of Salisbury Castle. In 1236, he had taken the Cross, and went on Crusade from Jun 1240 to eary 1242. In 1242-1243 he took part in the expedition to France, and in 1245 was on service in Wales. In 1247 he again took the Cross and as leader of the English Crusaders, he died, fighting heroically, at Mansura on the Nile, and was later buried at Acre in Palestine.


Sir William II Longespée (c. 1212 – 8 February, 1250) was the son of William Longespée, 3rd Earl of Salisbury, an English noble. His death became of significant importance to the English psyche, having died as a martyr due to the purported mistakes, and arrogance, of the French at the Battle of Mansurah, near Al-Mansurah in Egypt.

Longespee made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1240, and again in 1247. The second time, he proceeded to Rome and made a plea to Pope Innocent IV for support:

"Sir, you see that I am signed with the cross and am on my journey with the King of France to fight in this pilgrimage. My name is great and of note, viz., William Longespee, but my estate is slender, for the King of England, my kinsman and liege lord, hath bereft me of the title of earl and of that estate, but this he did judiciously, and not in displeasure, and by the impulse of his will; therefore I do not blame him for it. Howbeit, I am necessitated to have recourse to your holiness for favour, desiring your assistance in this distress. We see here (quoth he) that Earl Richard (of Cornwall) who, though he is not signed with the cross, yet, through the especial grace of your holiness, he hath got very much money from those who are signed, and therefore, I, who am signed and in want, do intreat the like favour."[1]

Having succeeded in gaining the favour of the Pope, Longespee raised a company of 200 English horse to join with Louis IX on his crusade. To raise funds for his expedition, he sold a charter of liberties to the burgesses of the town of Poole in 1248 for 70 marks.[2] During the Seventh Crusade, Longespee commanded the English forces. He became widely known for his feats of chivalry and his subsequent martyrdom. The circumstances of his death served to fuel growing English animosity toward the French; it is reported that the French Count d'Artois lured Longespee into attacking the Mameluks before the forces of King Louis IX arrived in support. Robert d'Artois, William II Longespee and his men, along with 280 Knights Templar, were killed at this time.

It is said that his mother, Abbess Ela Longespee, had a vision of the martyr being received into heaven by angels just one day prior to his death. In 1252, the Sultan delivered Longespee's remains to a messenger who conveyed them to Acre (Akko) for burial at the church of St. Cross. However, his effigy is found amongst family members at Salisbury Cathedral, in England.

Marriage and issue

William married Idoine de Camville, daughter of Richard de Camville & Eustacia Basset. They had two sons and two daughters:

  • Ida Longespee, who married Walter FitzRobert Lord of Dunmow
  • Ela Longespee, married James De Audley (1220-1272), son of Henry De Audley & Bertred Mainwaring
  • William III Longespee
  • Richard Longespee


1.^ Dodsworth, William (1814). An historical account of the episcopal see, and cathedral church, of Sarum, or Salisbury. Salisbury: Brodie and Dowding. pp. 192–193.

2.^ "History Of Poole". Borough of Poole. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-17.

The Times Kings & Queens of The British Isles, by Thomas Cussans (chart's 30 & 86) ISBN 0-0071-4195-5

Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis, Lines 30-27 and 122-30

Retrieved from ""

  • William Longespee Earl of Salisbury

born about 1212 Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

died 7 February 1249/50 Al-Mansura On The Nile, Egypt

buried Acre, Palestine


  • William "Longêpee" Prince of England

born about 1173 England

died 7 March 1225/26 England

buried Cathedral, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England


  • Ela Fitzpatrick Countess of Salisbury

born about 1191 Amesbury, Wiltshire, England

died 24 August 1261 Lacock, Wiltshire, England

buried Lacock Abbey, Lacock, Wiltshire, England

married 1198 Salisbury, Wiltshire, England


Ela Longespee born 1217 Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England

died 1297 England buried Oseney Abbey, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England

Richard Longespee Canon of Salisbury born about 1214 Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

died Lacock, Wiltshire, England

  • Stephen Longespee born about 1216 Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

died 1260 Sutton, Northamptonshire, England buried Lacock, Wiltshire, England

Nicholas Longespee born about 1218 Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

died 1297 England buried Ladies Chapel Cathedral, England

Isabel Longespee born about 1208 Salisbury, Wiltshire, England died 1248

Ida (Idonea) Longespee born about 1222 Salisbury, Wiltshire, England died 1269/70

Ela Longespee Countess of Warwick born about 1220 Salisbury, Wiltshire, England died February 1297

Lora Longespee born about 1224 Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

Petronella Longespee born 1209 Salisbury, Wiltshire, England


  • Idoine de Camville

born about 1209 Brattleby, Lincolnshire, England

died 1 January 1251

married June 1226


  • Ela Longespee born about 1226 England died 22 November 1299

William Longespee born about 1228 Amesbury, Wiltshire, England

died about January 1257 Blyth, Nottinghamshire, England buried Cathedral, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England

biographical and/or anecdotal:

notes or source:



William Longspree Knt., son of William Longspree,Knt, and Ela.

1249 his mother Ela gave licence ,formal licence, to him to depart on a crusade.

1250 he was with other knights who were along with the Templars.betrayed by the King of France and were captured and killed by Saladin,in Egypt.

The night before the battle his mother had a vision of him fully armed entering heaven.

Years latter Saladin,returned his body to England. When they opened the coffin a rat crawled out of his skull!


Plantagenet Ancestry by Douglas Richardson

The Royal Ancestry of 600 Hundred Emergents


Sir William II Longespée, long sword in French, (c. 1212 – 8 February 1250) was the son of William Longespée, 3rd Earl of Salisbury, and Ela, 3rd Countess of Salisbury. His death became of significant importance to the English psyche, having died as a martyr due to the purported mistakes of the French at the Battle of Mansurah, near Al-Mansurah in Egypt.

William De Longespee died in the Battle Mansourah, Mansourah, Egypt and is buried in Acre, HaZafon (Northern District), Israel

view all 11

Sir William Longespée's Timeline

December 8, 1207
Salisbury, Wiltshire, , England
Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom
of Amesbury, Wiltshire, England
February 7, 1249
Age 41
منصورة, الدقهلية, Al-Mansura, on The Nile, Egypt

Died a martyr at Battle of Mansurah, near Al-Mansurah in Egypt.

Age 41
Acre, Palestine

In 1252 the Sultan delivered Longespee's remains to a messenger who conveyed them to Acre (Akko) for burial at the Church of St. Cross. However, his effigy is found amongst family members at Salisbury Cathedral in England.

Lincolnshire, England (United Kingdom)