William FitzAlan, Lord of Oswestry

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William FitzAlan, Lord of Oswestry

Also Known As: "Flaald", "Sir William FitzAlan", "Lord of Oswestry"
Birthdate: (55)
Birthplace: Oswestry, Shropshire, England
Death: April 3, 1160 (51-59)
Oswestry, Shropshire, England
Place of Burial: Shropshire, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Alan FitzFlaad, Sheriff of Shropshire and Avelina de Hesding, domina Norton
Husband of Christiana, 1st wife of William FitzAlan and Helen Peverell
Father of Christiana FitzAlan; Robert FitzAlan de Eaton and William FitzAlan, Sheriff of Shropshire
Brother of Adelina FitzAlan, of Oswestry; Walter FitzAlan, 1st High Steward of Scotland; Jordan FitzAlan, Seneschal of Dol; Sibil (FitzAlan) de Freville and Simon Jordan FitzAlan, of Norfolk

Occupation: High Sheriff of Shropshire
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William FitzAlan, Lord of Oswestry

William FitzAlan (1105 to 1160) was a nobleman of Breton ancestry. He was a major landowner, a Marcher lord with large holdings in Shropshire, where he was the Lord of Oswestry, as well as in Norfolk and Sussex. He took the side of Empress Matilda during the Anarchy and underwent considerable hardship in the Angevin cause before regaining his lands and former status. William's younger brother, Walter fitz Alan (d. 1177), became ancestor of the royal House of Stuart.


Note: there is disagreement on family / generation configurations.

From https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_FitzAlan,_Lord_of_Oswestry retrieved April 2018

  • William FitzAlan, Lord of Oswestry, High Sheriff of Shropshire
  • Born c. 1105 England
  • Died 3 April 1160 England
  • Buried Shrewsbury Abbey
  • Noble family Arundel
  • Spouse(s)
    • Christiana (until her death, before 1155)
    • Isabel de Say
  • Issue
    • William Fitz Alan, 1st Lord of Oswestry and Clun
    • Christiana m. Hugh Pantulf, 4th Baron of Wem
  • Father Alan fitz Flaad
  • Mother Avelina de Hesdin
  • Occupation English Marcher Lord


The issue of Alan and Avelina was:

From https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_fitz_Flaad retrieved April 2018

William fitz Alan, eldest son (d. 1160), made High Sheriff of Shropshire by King Stephen of England in 1137. He married a niece of Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester.[67] His son William (d. c1210) acquired by marriage the Lordship of Clun and he became designated "Lord of Clun and Oswestry".[68] William is ancestor of the FitzAlan Earls of Arundel.[69]


After the conquest the region was granted to Roger de Montgomerie by William I. In turn it passed to Rainald who is thought to have built the first castle (unless of course, he was settling on existing Welsh fortifications). After Rainald the castle passed to Alan Fitzlaad, descendant to the mighty Fitzalans, later to become the Lords of Arundel and Clun. The Civil War however, between Stephen and Matilda saw William Fitzalan I join forces with Matilda. Thus he was forced to give up the castle and its area. The Welsh were now given a chance to reclaim what they once may have lost, and this appears evident in the occupation of the castle by Madoc ap Maerdudd the Prince of Powys, between 1149 and 1157, along with the Lordship of the area. This was short lived however, since the accession of Henry II saw the Fitzalans recover their estate, but they failed to establish a peaceful reign during this time. Indeed they faced their most troubled times as rulers, mirroring the national situation for the Plantagents. There was significant conflict between the Welsh and the English, which saw the area and its castle sacked numerous times. This highlights the importance of the castle at this period as a military outpost, since in 1165, Henry himself adopted it as a base for his albeit disastrous campaign against Owain Gwynned. Similarly the year 1211 saw King John move against Llwelyn Fawr and North Wales and once more the castle came under attack. It is no surprise then that by 1270 the castle walls had been extended to embrace the town. Arguably it is this which further provoked Welsh resistance to English rule. In the 14th Century Owain Glyndwr emulated earlier patterns of hostility against symbols of English dominance as he attempted to establish himself as the rightful Prince of Wales. Ironically it was during such conflicts that the settlement began to to be seen as a potential trading establishment. It had its first Siarter Gwtta or Short Charter granted by William III at the end of the 12th Century. This awarded the area similar customs and liberties as the larger and already prosperous Shrewsbury. A second charter in 1263 saw this confirmed and culminated in 1399 with the granting of a Royal Charter. It has been suggested that this new found commercial status began to transform its status from an outpost to a neutral gateway. This idea can be reinforced with the offer in 1276, from Llywelyn ap Gruffyd to meet Edward I at the castle, rather than pay homage to him in London. Yet it remains that because Oswestry still required a fully fortified military base, it was some considerable time before it was able to shake off its original function. Oswestry Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as; Album Monasterium; Blancminster; Blankmouster; Croes Oswald; L'Oeuvre; L'uvre; Castle Loure; Castle Philip; Luure; Luvre

In the civil parish of Oswestry. In the historic county of Shropshire (Modern Authority of Shropshire, 1974 county of Shropshire). Medieval motte and bailey castle possibly extant in 1086 surviving as an earthwork mound although the bailey is completely destroyed. Stone castle built in 1148 by Madoc ap Meredyth, in disrepair by late C15, and demolished between 1647 and 1673. Only fragments of medieval structure survive: 2 substantial pieces of collapsed masonry (probably from former shell keep) on top of levelled motte and the possible remains of a reconstructed bastion on east side; revetment wall around the base of the motte probably late C19 but re-using medieval masonry. This site has been described as a; Timber Castle Masonry Castle. The confidence that this site is a medieval fortification or palace is Certain. Masonry footings remains.

William was made High Sheriff of Shropshire by King Stephen of England in 1137.

William Fitz Allan (1105-1160) from Wikipedia

William Fitz Allan (1105-1160) was a Norman noble, the eldest son of Alan fitz Flaad and the lord of Oswestry. William married Isabella de Say, the niece of Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester.[1] William was appointed the High Sheriff of Shropshire by Adeliza of Louvain, the second wife of Henry I.[2]

During the Anarchy, William declared for the Empress Maud and in 1138 held Shrewsbury Castle for four weeks against King Stephen.[3] William escaped before the fall of the city, to accompany the Empress at the siege of Winchester Castle, spending the next fifteen years in exile before the return of Henry II to power in place of Stephen in 1153-4.[4]

William died 1160, leaving his lands to his son, also called William Fitz Allan.

Bibliography Brown, Reginald Allen. (1989) Castles From The Air. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521329323.

Burke, John. (1831) A General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerages of England, Ireland, and Scotland. London: Colburn and Bentley. Owen, Hugh and John Brickdale Blakeway. (1825) A History of Shrewsbury, Vol. I. London: Harding and Lepard.


^ Brown, p.93. ^ Owen and Blakeway, p.77. ^ Owen and Blakeway, p.78. ^ Owen and Blakeway, p.79; Burke, p.197.

Notes: in the contest between Stephen and the Empress Maud, being then Governor of Shrewsbury and Sheriff of the county of Salop, held the castle at Shrewsbury for the latter, until it was taken by assault. He was also with the Empress at the siege of Winchester Castle, in the 6th year of Stephen, when she and her whole army were put to flight; afterwards, continuing to adhere stoutly to the same cause, he was reconstituted Sheriff of Salop, when King Henry attained the crown. In the 12th year of Henry II, upon the assessment, in aid of marrying the King's daughter, certified his knight's fees to be in number thirty-five and a half.

William fitz Alan, made High Sheriff of Shropshire by King Stephen of England in 1137, married a niece of Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester. William is ancestor of the FitzAlan Earls of Arundel.

He married, secondly, Isabel de Say, daughter of Elias de Say. He married, firstly, Christian (?).

Child of William fitz Alan and Christian (?):

   Christian FitzAlan

Children of William fitz Alan and Isabel de Say:

   John FitzAlan d. 1240
   William Fitzalan b. c 1154, d. 1216
view all

William FitzAlan, Lord of Oswestry's Timeline

Oswestry, Shropshire, England
Age 15
Eyton Upon The Weald Moors, Shropshire, England
Age 31
Shropshire, England
Age 40
Oswestry, Shropshire, England
April 3, 1160
Age 55
Oswestry, Shropshire, England
Age 55
Shropshire, England, United Kingdom