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The FitzWarin Family, Lords of Whittington in Shropshire

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  • Fulk FitzWarin, IV (bef.1220 - 1264)
    Fulk IV FitzWarin (d.1264), drowned in the River Ouse while fleeing from the Battle of Lewes in 1264.[6] B: Abt 1210 Alveston, Gloucestershire, England D: 14 May 1264 Ouse River ____________________...
  • Fulk FitzWarin, 4th Baron FitzWarin (1341 - 1374)
    Sir Fulk FitzWarin, 4th Lord FitzWarin 1,2,3,4 b. 2 March 1341, d. 12 February 1374 Father Sir Fulk FitzWarin, 3rd Lord FitzWarin2,4 d. 25 Jul 1349 Mother Margaret de Beaumont2,4 d. a 1346 ...
  • Fulk FitzWarin, 5th Baron FitzWarin (1362 - 1391)
    Fulk Fitz Warin, Knt., 5th Lord Fitz Warin, son and heir, born and baptized at Combe Martin, Devon 2 March 1361/2. He was legatee in the 1385 will of his grandfather, Sir James de Audley. He was heir b...
  • Fulk FitzWarin, V, 1st Baron FitzWarin (1251 - 1315)
    Because he married a Welshwoman, he appears in the Welsh genealogies. See Peter Batrum, (May 6, 2017; Anne Brannen, curator) Sir Fulk IV FitzWarin, 1st Lord FitzWarin, Baron of Whittington Castle 1,2...

Even after all these years, the FitzWarin family is very poorly documented, and multiple versions of the lineages and history abound, mostly in the form of embellished tales of valor. The purpose of this project is to try to collect well-documented materials about this family, so closely tied to the history of the Whittington estates in Shropshire over several centuries, in order to make more sense of the conflicting information that exists in the various literature.

[Note from PW: As I build the tree, I will try to link the Geni profiles with the names discussed in these accounts, if possible.]

We'll start with what appears to be a mid-19th century intervention in the historiography of the family by Joseph Morris:

THE FAMILY OF FITZ-WARINE.

By The Late Mr. JOSEPH MORRIS, Of Shrewsbury.

Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Natural History Society ..., Volume 5, 1882 . pages 241-250 (available online via Google Books)

This paper was read at the Ludlow meeting of the Cambrian Archaeological Association in 1852, and afterwards printed in Archaeologia Cambrensis, 2nd ser., 3 p., 282.

The prominent position given to the family of FitzWarine by Mr. Wright, in his amusing and instructive work, the History of Ludlow [see below], just completed, and the fact that neither Mr. Wright, nor any author that has yet preceded him, has given a correct account of this noble family, once so celebrated, and so long connected with the history of the Marches of Wales, may be offered as an excuse for my venturing to place before the gentlemen to be assembled at Ludlow a corrected statement of the early history of the Fitz-Warines, to which I am the more inclined as it will be, in its humble way, a proof that the genealogies preserved in the rural districts of Wales may sometimes be made subservient to the clearing up of details in Border history that would otherwise remain unexplained and subject to erroneous impressions.

Mr. Wright has discovered (p. 83 of his work) that Dugdale had "missed a whole generation in the pedigree" of the Fitz-Warine family; but the fact is that two generations of the family have been missed by Dugdale and our other historians : and this I am enabled to prove by deeds and other evidences equally indisputable ; for Fulk Fitz-Warine, whom Mr. Wright calls the second Fulk, in a deed which I shall hereafter quote, distinctly describes himself as the third of that name, while Dugdale omits also the one Guarine, whom Mr. Wright has stated to be the father of the first Fulk, but who was, in fact, the son of the first Fulk, and the grandson of Guarine, i.e. Warine, the sheriff of Shropshire under Roger de Montgomery, which Warine was one of the warriors that came with William the Norman to the conquest of England.

This Warine, who, according to a pedigree in the possession of the late Rev. W. G. Rowland, compiled from the early evidences of the Warine family was "e familia de Loraine," Roger de Montgomery made governor of Shrewsbury and sheriff of Shropshire. Ordericus, the Norman historian of that period, who was born at Attingharn, near Shrewsbury, describes Warine as a man "of low stature, but of lofty courage," and further states that Earl Roger gave him his niece Aimeria in marriage. By a singular oversight, Messrs. Owen and Blakeway, in their valuable History of Shrewsbury, vol. i. p. 39, state that Warine the sheriff died without issue, although Mr. Blakeway, in his Account of the Sheriffs of Shropshire, p. 34, distinctly avers that such was not the case, and that he had one son, at least; the fact being that he had two sons, Hugh and Fulk, both of whom, with their father also, are recorded as benefactors to the abbey of Shrewsbury, and as having severally held the office of sheriff of Shropshire.

Warine died prior to the compilation of Domesday; the name of Fulk his son, the first Fulk Fitz-Warine, occurs twice therein; and he served the office of sheriff of Shropshire under his kinsman Robert de Belesme, then Earl of Shrewsbury, from 1098 to 1102. He appears also to have again held the office in 1121; and at the burial of his wife, "with the consent of his son Henry," he gave Pimley, an estate near the town, to the abbey of Shrewsbury. In a deed of" Wills' "Abbas de Lilleshall," among others relating to the priory of Alberbury,now in the archives of All Souls' College, Oxford, he is described as " Nobilis Miles Fulcho fit Guarini," and to him is attributed primarily the foundation of a religious establishment at Alberbury; but the pedigree to which I have referred adds to the name of his son Warine, "cui Rex. H. I. dedit Alberbury et iste fundavit Abbiam de Alberbury in Marchijs Walliae." It is probable that the foundation made by Warine was an enlargement of that commenced by his father.

The family had doubtless suffered for their connexion with Robert de Belesme, on whose attainder the lordship of Whittington, &c., had passed into the hands of the crown, and from thence was transferred to the Peverells; but Warine, son of Fulk, added greatly to their importance and to their possessions by marrying Miletta, sister and heir of Payne Peverell, then Lord of Whittington, by whom Warine obtained that estate; although, as it clearly appears, it was not without considerable opposition from her uncles, Sir Roger de Powys (so called from his own estates being in Powysland) and Jonas his brother, that Warine and his son Fulk (the second of that name) were enabled to preserve a title to the patrimony so acquired, and which Sir Roger de Powys and other members of his family more than once got into their possession.

Before I proceed to the progeny of the second Warine, it will be requisite to deduce the descent of his wife Miletta.

At the period of the Norman Conquest a large tract of the Marches of Wales, including the greater part of the present parishes of Whittington and Oswestry, the district of Maelor, &c., was held by the head of a distinguished Cambrian line named Rys Sais, which latter appellation was given to him because he was conversant in the Saxon or English language. He, doubtless, came to an amicable arrangement with the successful intruders; for it is recorded that.in the year 1070, he divided his possessions among his sons. Tudyr, the eldest son, had his father's lands in Whittington and the district of Maelor ; but he clearly held them under Roger de Montgomery, for he is recorded in Domesday as a tenant to the Norman Earl of Shrewsbury, to whom he paid a chief rent of four pounds five shillings. The entry, which follows the statement as to " Wititone " (Whittington) in that record, is in these words :—" Tvder q'da Walensis ten de comite I fine t'rse Walens' & inde redd IIII lib & V solid."

Bleddyn, the eldest son of Tudyr, had, at his father's death, the lands in Maelor, and from him the families of Mostyn, Trevor, LLoyd of Leaton Knolls, Dymock of Penley, &c., &c., derive their descent. Ranulphus (in Welsh, Gronwy, 'Ronwy, or Wrenoc, as he was variously called), the younger son, had the lands in Whittington. In Welsh pedigrees he is styled Gronwy Pefr, i. e. Ranulphus the smart or handsome. He married Maud, daughter of Ingelric, a noble Saxon, who had previously had a son named William, of which the Conqueror himself was the father. By Ranulphus (who had a grant from the Conqueror of Hatfield in Essex) she had three sons, Hamon, William, and Payne, which last named was standard bearer to Robert Curthose in his expedition to Palestine, but he died without male issue. It may be presumed that William the son of Maud by the Conqueror was brought up with his half brothers, for they all bore the appellation of Pefr. anglicised into the surname of Peverell. The Conqueror's son William had a grant of estates in Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, &c.; and the other sons of Maud were amply provided for. Hamon Peverell, the uncle of Payne and Miletta, after the attainder of Robert de Belesme, had Whittington, to which his brother William, and subsequently his nephew, and eventually his niece also, succeeded. By another wife, Ranulphus (Gronwy) had Roger, afterwards called Sir Roger de Powys, and Jonas; the former of whom Mr. Wright, by error, at page 64, has styled "prince " of Powys, a designation to which he had no pretension. Sir Roger had a son Meuric, the "Morice Fitz-Roger" of "The Gestes of Guarine and hys Sunnes;" and Meuric had two sons, Gronwy (Wrenoc) and Gwȇn (the latter often written Owen in Welsh pedigrees). This digression and explanation will be found useful in relation to the statement that follows, which will, I trust, place the earlier descents of the FitzWarines in a clearer light than the narrative abstracted from the historic romance.

Warine, second of that name, and husband of Miletta Peverell, must have died in or prior to 1156, as will appear from a document hereafter referred to: the number of his children is not given; but two of his sons, Fulk Fitz-Warine, the second of that name, and Richard Fitz-Warine, are mentioned in a deed of confirmation of lands to the abbey of Haghmond by Reiner Bishop of St. Asaph, who was appointed to that see in 1186.

The second Fulk Fitz-Warine married Hawise, youngest daughter and co-heir of Sir Josce de Dinan, the castellan of Ludlow. Mr. Wright calls him (erroneously) the first Fulk. His eldest son, the third Fulk Fitz-Warine, married Matilda, daughter of Sir Robert Vavasour, Knight, and relict of Theobald Walter, brother of Hubert Archbishop of Canterbury. Her inheritance was in Amunderness, county Lancaster, of which her husband Fulk FitzWarine had livery in the 17th year of King John's reign; and that he was the third Fulk Fitz-Warine I am enabled to prove by a deed belonging to the priory of Alberbury, the original of which is now in the archives of All Souls' College, Oxford, to which establishment the priory of Alberbury was transferred (being an alien foundation) by King Henry the Sixth. In this deed, by the name of "Fulco filius Warini tertiiis," he confirms to the priory at Alberbury all its possessions there. It is witnessed by (inter alios) William de Hodenet, Randolph de Hodenet, and Randolph rector of "Wytinton." In this instrument (which is without date) he names Fulk his father, Hawise his mother, and Matilda his wife; so that his position in the pedigree can admit of no mistake. Having thus established his place in the family, I shall return to the descent of the manor, &c., of Whittington, which is a remarkable instance of the uncertain tenure by which estates were held at that period of our national history. Owen Gwynedd, who ruled over North Wales from 1137 to 1169, was a prince of considerable ability, and he obtained from King Henry the Second a grant of, among other places, the lordship of Whittington, which he re-granted to Sir Roger de Powys and his brother Jonas, the uncles by the half-blood of Miletta Peverell. This took place in the year 1156, and there can be no doubt, from the grant and all other circumstances attendant thereon, that Warine, the husband of Miletta, had just previously died, leaving his son Fulk in a very early minority; for it appears from the Pipe Rolls of that year, under the head of Gloucester, that the honour of Alceston, in that county, was assigned to Fulk Fitz-Warine as a compensation for the deprivation occasioned to him by the grant to Owen Gwynedd of the lordship of Whittington: and this will account for Fulk having been brought up from his infancy with Sir Josce de Dinan, to whom, there can also be no doubt he was in ward; and during this his minority Owain Gwynedd obtained Whittington from the English monarch.

On the accession of King Richard the First, however, Fulk Fitz-Warine recovered his inheritance, and paid a fine of forty marks for the livery of Whittington Castle. (Vide Rot. Pip. 1 R. I. tit. Salop.) He was a great favourite of that monarch, and was by him appointed Warden of the Marches of Wales during the king's absence in the Holy Land. Fulk did not stand in the same favour with Richard's successor; for on the accession of King John, he was again deprived of his patrimony, that monarch conferring the chief tenancy of Whittington upon Llewelyn ap lorwerth, then Prince of Wales, who re-granted the same to Wrenoc (Gronwy) and Wennen (Gwȇn), the sons of Meuric de Powys, whose father Roger de Powys and uncle Jonas ap Gronwy had been tenants thereof to Owen Gwynedd. This grant of the Welsh prince was confirmed by the English monarch in the second year of his reign. The instrument (the original of which is Cart. 2 John, p. 2, m. 26, n. 123) is in the following words, which I quote as confirmatory of my previous statements :—

"Johannes Dei Gratia," &c. "Sciatis nos concessisse et praesenti carta nostra confirmasse Wereneco et Wennoneo filijs Meuric de Powis pro servitio suo ipsis et heredibua suis Witinton et Overton cum omnibus pertinentijs suis ad tenend de nobis et hered nostris per servitium quod Rogerus pater praefati Meuric et Jonas frater eiusdem Rogeri facere sole bant Henrico Regi patri nostro de ferendis mandatis nostris per Walliam: et ea conditione quod si aliquis pdtas terras calumniatus fuerit et eos versus nos disrationaverit satisfaciemus inde per escambium donand ipsis Wereneco et Wennoneo vel heredibus suis vel ei qui versus nos terras illas disrationaverit," &c.

This grant of confirmation is dated at Condover, county Salop, 1st August, 1200. The manor of Condover was then in the hands of the crown; and at this time Meuric, the father of the new grantees, held the manor of Whittington. Meuric de Powys must have died in or about the fourth year of King John's reign; for on the Escheat Rolls of the fifth year of that monarch, there is an entry under the head of "Salopescir," that ,£100 and four palfreys had become due from "Wrenoc fit Meurick de Powis," on account of his having succeeded to Whittington, &c., of which his father had died seised. I am, however, inclined to think that Wrenoc (Gronwy) never paid the above sum, nor did he enter upon Whittington; as it is clear that Fulk Fitz-Warine had sufficient influence to enable him to resume his family inheritance in the sixth year of King John, the restoration (the original of which is to be seen in Rot. Pat. 6 John, n. 17) is in these terms :—

"Rex, &c., Vicecomiti Salopes ciriae Scias quod reddidimus Fulconi filio Gwa rini Castellum de Wittinton cum omnibus pertinentijs... Sicut jus et haereditatem... teste meipso apud Waltham, xvij Octob."

It would seem that Gronwy's brother Gwȇn must have died prior to this resumption by Fulk Fitz-Warine, inasmuch as, under the terms of the grant of the second of John, if any one should claim or recover the manor of Whittington, &c., then the king was to give the grantees satisfaction in another place; and accordingly, without any mention of Gwȇn, Gronwy, the son of Meuric de Powys, had a recompense for the same, the original of which is copied, Julius C. 2, Cott. Lib., and it is thus set forth :—"Wrenocus filius Meurici tenet octo liberates terras de Balliva domini regis Johannis pro decem libratis in escambium de Wytinton, quod Fulco filius TVarini tenet, et debet esse de servitio Latimarius in Anglia et Wallia." Thus also, the service or serjeanty of Gronwy (Wrenoc), which was that of being latimer or interpreter to the king, was transferred from the manor of Whittington to those lands that were given to Gronwy in exchange for that estate.

The second Fulk Fitz-Warine died in or prior to the fourth of Henry III., 1219 ; for in that year his son, the third Fulk Fitz-Warine gave to that monarch £'262 sterling and two coursers, (Vide Rot. Pip. 4 H. III., tit. Berks,) to have the possession of Whittington Castle confirmed to him and his heirs. In the year following, (Vide Glaus. 5 H. III., m. 9,) he had license to fortify this castle, having, on the 23rd November preceding, obtained a grant of a market at Whittington on each Wednesday, and for a fair there to last two days at Luketide, for which he was to give the king a palfrey, as may be seen in the record of fines, 4 H. III., m, 9, folio 143. He was slain in the service of his sovereign at Lewes in 1263 ; and King Henry the Third, being a prisoner to Simon de Montford, was induced to grant to Llewelyn ap Griffith, Prince of Wales, who had engaged to marry De Montfort's daughter, Whittington, with other castles and domains, which were till then held by Fulk FitzWarine and others who had espoused the cause of Henry, as may be seen in Pat. 49 H. III., n. 47. We learn also from Pat. 49 H. III., n. 2G, that in the month of December preceding the said grant, Peter de Montford had the custody of this castle, but to meet the wishes of Llewelyn, he resigned his pretensions.

Most of these proceedings, however, were cancelled by the battle of Evesham, which took place on the 26th of August, 1265; but still we find Llewelyn retaining possession of Whittington, for in the fifty-first of Henry III., as may be seen in Rymer's Facdera, torn, i, fol. 844, it was agreed between the king and Prince Llewelyn, that the latter was to receive from Whittington the services he claimed to have been accustomably due and paid to his ancestors, but that the king should appoint a constable and soldiers for the defence of the castle.

The fourth Fulk Fitz-Warine, though deprived of Whittington, had succeeded to Alberbury and some other 'of his father's Shropshire estates ; for in the seventh of Edward I., 1279, he had granted Alderton, in the parish of Middle, to his kinsman, John de Lee, of Lee Hall, subject to the annual payment of one pound of pepper for all services, as appears by an Inquisition of that date. Possessing the gallant spirit that had distinguished all his ancestors, he so successfully served Edward I. in his Welsh campaigns, that he had the inheritance of Whittington restored to him, and by Cart. 11 E. I., n. 39, received from that monarch a grant of free warren in his lordship of Whittington.

It was the fourth Fulk Fitz-Warine, whose eldest son having been baptised by the name of John, afterwards adopted that of Fulk; for certain legal proceedings between him and his younger brother Fulk, then of Alberbury, are thus set forth :—

"Fulco fil' Warini de Abbebur* summon' fuit ad respondend Fulconi filio Warini de Witinton de placito quod teneat conventionem factum inter Fulconi fil' Warini patrem pdti Fulconis fil' Warini de Wytinton et pdtm Fulconem fil' Warini de Abberbur' de man' de Abberbur' cum pertint' exceptis Advocatione Abbathie de Abberbur' et Advocatione Eccles' eiusdem Villse et Walescheria ad idem man' pertinent'." &c.— (Rot. 18 dorso Placita de Juratis et Assia coram Johe' de Berewick, &c. Justiciary s Itinerantibus in Com Salop' 20 E. I. 1292.)

It is probable that the fourth Fulk Fitz-Warine had died a short time before these proceedings, as from this period the Whittington and Alberbury estates were divided. His eldest son, the fifth Fulk, was summoned to Parliament as a Baron from the 23rd June, 1295, to the 24th October, 1314; and from this time the descent of the Fitz-Warines of Whittington and that of the manor continued uninterrupted until, by the extinction of the male line, the estate passed with Elizabeth the sister and heir of the tenth Fulk Fitz-Warine, to her husband, Sir Richard Hankford, Knt. Their daughter and heir Thomasine, married William Bourchier, ancestor of the Earls of Bath of that name. His descendant John Bourchier, Earl of Bath, exchanged the manor of Whittington with King Henry VIII.: from the crown it passed to the Fitz-Alan family, from whom it was purchased in 1570, by William Albany, Esq., and the manor of Whittington has since continued with that gentleman's posterity.

If these memoranda should be deemed acceptable by the gentlemen assembled at Ludlow, and be of any service in clearing up some points of local and family history that have hitherto required explanation, I shall feel satisfied that my tune and trouble in collecting and arranging them has neither been mis-spent nor misapplied.

Joseph Morris. St, John's Hill, Shrewsbury, 21st August, 1852.

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To provide the well-told tale of the first Fulk FitzWarin as a dashing Robin Hood-like character who was an adversary to King John, as well as providing the fairy-tale-like background story of his parents' courtship--the lovely Melette Peverell, heiress of Whittington, and the valiant but legendary Warine of Metz who won her affections--here is a partial summary of these exploits, likely partly fictitious, but the "stuff" upon which the legends of these families are based:

Excerpt from Tales and Legends of National Origin Or Widely Current in England from Early Times. London, Swan Sonnenschein & Co, 1892, by William Carew Hazlitt, pp. 196-211. [Available online on Google Books]

FULKE FITZWARIN

It is hardly disrespectful to the general reader to affirm that, while he has probably a very fair, not a very accurate, knowledge of Robin Hood, he has none whatever of the personage whose name stands at the head of the present article. Yet it is not in the least degree too much to claim for Fulke Fitzwarin that in many leading respects his traditional fame and exploits furnished the material from which the story of the Barnsdale hero was built up, and it is curious and noteworthy that Fitzwarin was really a man of noble blood and extensive possessions during the period commonly assigned to Robin, namely, the reigns of Henry IL, Richard I, John, and Henry III. (1160—1220).

The founder of the noble and ancient family of Fitzwarren, or Fitzwarin, was Warin de Metz, cousin of the Duke of Brittany, who by his marriage with Melette of the White Laund, younger daughter of William Peveril of the Peak, and Lady of Whittington (by her father's surrender) and Alderbury, co. Salop, acquired those extensive and valuable possessions. By this lady he had several children, including Fulke his heir, the hero of our legend, and the line was carried down from him by a series of successors to a Fulke Fitz Warine, who, dying in 1429 without issue, left his sister Elizabeth his heir. Her daughter Thomasine, by her husband Richard Hauckford, married Thomas Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester, sixth son of King Edward III; and, the duke having no surviving issue, William Bourchier, third son of William Earl of Ewe by Ann Plantagenet, his daughter, succeeded to the title, and was summoned to Parliament 1449-69 as William Bourchier, knight, Baron of Fitzwarin. The Bourchiers held this honour till 1636, when Edward Bourchier, Earl of Bath, dying without male issue, his titles fell into abeyance between his three daughters and coheirs. The barony is at present in two moieties. But besides this dignity, we find that in 1342 William Fitzwarin, le Frere, of the same stock, was summoned to Parliament as “Willielmusfilius Warini," and that he was a Knight of the Garter. He survived till 1361, and left issue; yet neither he nor his representatives received a further summons. Fitzwarin, of whose romantic and surprising adventures there is a nearly coeval account, entitled by its proximity to the events to a more implicit credence than the “Little Gest," was unquestionably the original type of this class of hero and legend; and we therefore felt that our volume would be very incomplete without a text of the interesting narrative. Mr. ll/right, it is proper to note, has pointed out that the prose story among the Royal MSS. in the British Museum is in all probability itself one degree removed from the honour of being the original work ,and that learned gentleman considers that it is a paraphrase of an Anglo-Norman poem, no longer known, on the subject. It is, however, apparently so true to its metrical source, that for our purpose it is equally serviceable.

It is also necessary to be aware that, although it is not so stated in the MS., Sir Fulke Fitzwarin, according to Mr. Wright, actually took up arms against King John in support of the baronial cause subsequently to the pacification of 1203 mentioned in the text, and was not finally reconciled to the Crown till the fourth Henry llI. But, on the other hand, in Courthope's “ Peerage," his death is placed ante 1195.

The expression in the MS., “plura ficta, pracipue de Fulcone quodam," may seem to impugn the historical veracity of the account in some particulars; and we have gone so far as to abstain from entering into all the details of foreign adventure, which have certainly struck me as not un/frequently being of the ben trovato type.

In many particulars of their lives and careers the two outlaws had little or nothing in common, and indeed the disloyalty and depredations of Fulke were limited to his personal animosity against his school and playfellow King John. But at the same time he set the precedent followed by Robin a century or so later of helping and protecting the poor.

Perhaps, in one leading respect, as being a fairly trustworthy report of the experiences of an old English baron, who spent the greater part of his life under the ban of the law, and who owed his inpunity in part to his own prowess and in part to the collusion of others, the story is unique; and there is also a subsidiary feature here which deserves to be noticed, namely, that his reputation was sufficient to tempt an adventurer in the north to personate him, and commit outrages in his name of which he was neither guilty nor capable. The passage where this fact is recorded is remarkably melodramatic and picturesque.

The “History of Fulke Fitzwarin," which has been printed entire in the old French, has tended to preserve a knowledge of this famous character and his relationship to his age; but in his case we have, so far as is at present ascertained, no series of popular ditties analogous to those which celebrate the achievements of Robin [Hood]. This fact is chiefly significant of the neglect and oblivion into which the struggle maintained by the Shropshire baron against the Crown fell after his decease; while the reputation of the Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire hero was perpetuated by an espousal of popular rights and wrongs.

Robin Hood was a man of the people, sprung from them, and indissolubly identified with their wants and grievances. FitzWarin, by far the greater man and more distinguished actor, merely carried on a species of guerilla warfare against John in a spirit of revenge and self-defence. Robin had no family ties; Fitzwarin was one of five brothers united together in arms by the alleged oppression of their sovereign.

The thread of the singular and eventful story will perhaps suffice to unfold the origin of Fitzwarin and the circumstances which led to his proscription. Like Robin, he was ultimately received back into royal favour; and in point of fact his connexions were so powerful, and the royal authority so comparatively weak, that he withstood the Crown under singular advantages, and obtained at last an unqualified pardon. It will be observed that his range was far wider than that of his more generally known successor. For he not only haunted the Welsh border, which was the place of his nativity and the seat of his inheritance, but Kent, Windsor Forest and the New Forest, both far more extensive at that period than now, or even two centuries since, besides his occasional excursions abroad and two visits to the neighbourhood of London itself.

The circumstance that Fitzwarin retired into private life some time before his death, and had a son of both his names, who fell in the battle of Lewes in 1264, prior to the composition even of the poem above mentioned, might have rendered us unusually cautious in receiving the account of the father's career, had it not been the case that the younger Fitzwarin lived in the King's peace, and was a loyal subject of the Crown, though in manliness of character worthy of his illustrious sire.

We judge from a passage near the end of the Royal MS. printed by Wright, that the brothers of Fulke, and perhaps himself held property in Abingdon, which, on a grant of lands from the Earl Marshal at Ashdown in Sussex, they abandoned, and settled at Ashdown, founding the market town of Wanting with the right of a fair. lt may be a clew to the personal appearance of Sir Fulke that his brother William is described, while he was the king's prisoner at H/Westminster, as a tall, stout, muscular man, with a long, black beard. Sir Fulke himself is indeed said in the history to have been, as a lad of eighteen, very handsome, strong, and tall.

WHILE William the Norman reigned in England, among the great barons who served him in his wars, Payn Peverell, Lord of the Peak and the White Laund, with all the lands, chases, forests, and waste thereto appurtenant, was one of the most loyal and the most puissant; and when he died, because he had no heir, William Peverell, his sister's son, succeeded to all that fair heritage, and furthermore got by conquest other lands, as all the land of Morlas as far as the water of Dee and Ellesmere. This William in the White Laund made a tower, which he named the White Tower, and dwelled in the same; and the town that grew round about it was called the White Town or Whittington; and yet other towns he built at Ellesmere and at Keyroc.

Now this William, again, had no heirs, yet he had two fair nieces: Elen, whom he wedded to Alan Fitz Flaeu, Lord of Oswestry, and gave her in dower all Morlas and Keyroc, and Melette, that was the younger and fairer ; but no man pleased that great lady, for that she deemed none of her worthy.

Her uncle sought her, that he might know her full mind; and she said unto him, “Verily, sir, there is not a knight that I would take in the whole land for riches or estate, but he must be courteous, comely, and debonnair, and of his body the most valiant in all Christendom; and such will I have, and no other."

The Lord of the White Tower gave her assurance that he would essay his utmost to discover such a husband, and gave her in fee the White Tower and all belonging thereunto, that her hand might be the more sought; and she was thereafter named Melette of the White Tower.

Then a tournament was proclaimed against the feast of St. Michael the next ensuing, to be held at the Castle of Peverell, for the love of Melette, and whoever should be approved the best knight in all the jousts by her allowance was to espouse her, and enter upon her lands. The challenge was dispersed through every country; and at the appointed season came to Peverell knights from England, Scotland, France, and many another fair region, even the king's son of Scotland, the prince of Wales, and the dukes of Burgundy and Brittany, and all clad in shining armour, with their steeds in array of war, and their escutcheons and devices. It was a noble spectacle to behold.

But albeit there was present at that time, for the sake of that noble lady, Melette of the White Tower, all the flower of chivalry, the honour of the tournament remained on the first day with a knight attired in red samit, who was all unknown, and when the rest went to their inns, disappeared into the forest nigh-hand. And on the second day he entered the barriers again, and his colour was green like the forest; and as it had happened before, he overcame all that challenged him, and, lastly, the duke of Burgundy; and when Melette of the \/Vhite Tower, who sat in a high place with her ladies, viewing the contest, saw how matters went, she called her page unto her, and commanded him to go and deliver her glove to the Green Knight Adventurer, praying the same to be her champion.

Whereupon he once more withdrew, and now returned accoutred in red, and did other deeds of marvellous prowess, that none might stand against him; and in the end judgment was taken that he was the winner of the prize. Then he disclosed himself to be Warin de Metz, cousin to the duke of Brittany, which duke had fully equipped him for the tournament; and Melette of the White Tower and Warin de Metz were joined in marriage, and had to them born, in the time ordained by God, a son, who was called Fulke fitz Warin.

Now inasmuch as Warin de Metz, the brave and gallant knight, grew in favour with King Henry, the second of that name, and was one of the most potent barons of that age, his son Fulke, when he came to boy's estate, was taught by the same master those things in learning that it was meet for him to know that gave instruction to the two young princes, Richard and John, the king's children, and the three were schoolfellows and playmates together ; and when God called to him King Henry, and King Richard reigned in his room, Richard appointed Fulke Lord of the Marches of Wales. But it happened in the course of time that King John sat on the throne, and because he bare a secret grudge against Fulke Fitzwarin, since they had quarrelled in playing at chess in their nonage, he took from him this government and his lands that he had received in marriage, and bestowed them on Fulke's enemy, Morris Fitz Roger. Besides Fulke, Warin de Metz had had four sons; and when King John wrought upon him this foul wrong, he repaired with his brethren to the court at Westminster, and renounced his allegiance in the very presence of the king, and with his cousin Baldwin de Hodnet and his said brethren, and their followers, left the city. The king sent certain knights in pursuit of them, by whom they were overtaken; but the king's men were defeated, and Fulke was made an outlaw, and his estates forfeited to the king's use.

His father Warin de Metz and his mother Melette of the White Tower were dead; and he hastened to his manor of Alderbury, gathered all that he could of his possessions, and with his four brethren and his two cousins, Audulf de Bracy and Baldwin de Hodnet, fled for the time to the court of his kinsman, the duke of Brittany. But at length, earnestly desiring to revisit his own country, Fulke secretly landed in England with his brethren and other companions, and travelling by night, while they lay by day in woods, reached the neighbourhood of Whittington, where they set themselves to watch the doings of Morris Fitz Roger.

The news that so bold an outlaw had set foot on English ground soon reached the king, for a valet of Fitz Roger recognised him in the forest beside Whittington, and the king straightway appointed one hundred knights to seek for Fulke Fitzwarin, and take him wherever they might find him. But because Fulke and his kindred were allied by blood to some of the greatest in the realm, and many were, moreover, in dread of him, those that had this matter in charge were not over-zealous in their quest, and it was whispered that they might have found Fulke and the rest, and they would, but feigned that they did not happen upon him.

One day as Fulke and his following were in the forest of Bradine, there came by ten merchants, with a rich convoy of goods, guarded by fourteen men-at-arms. John Fitzwarin was sent to ask them who they were, and whence they came, and begged them to repair to his lord in the wood to have speech with him. But one of the guard smote John Fitzwarin, whereupon the others appeared, and took the merchants and men-at-arms prisoners. Then it was understood that the merchandize belonged to the king, and that him-upon would fall the loss, and it were taken them-from by force, for Fulke made it an ordinance to himself and to all that paid him obedience never to rob any but the king and his friends; and so the merchants, when they had well satisfied him that the forfeit would not be theirs, but the king's, sent them away with a message of thanks to his grace for his goods.

King John was exceeding wrath at this insolency, and proclaimed Fulke a traitor to his crown, and that whoever should bring him in, dead or alive, should have a thousand pounds of silver and all his lands in England.

The outlaws privily removed into Kent, and Fulke, leaving his retinue in the forest, rode along the highway alone. He shortly met a man that carried on his head a chaplet of red roses, and he begged it of him; and the fellow, saying that he was sparing of his goods who would not give such a thing at the request of a knight, handed him the chaplet, for which Fulke rewarded him with twenty sols.

But the man wist well who it was that he had seen, and made haste to Canterbury, to tell the news to some of the knights to whom was committed the duty of taking Fulke. Who raised the country all round, and placed folk everywhere with horns, to blow them if they saw the outlaw. Yet Fulke knew nought hereof, until such time as he heard one sound a horn; and then all the watchers drew together, and the outlaws gathered round their chief, and there was a great fight, wherein the king's people were beaten and slaughtered, and Fulke and the rest rode away at full speed.

When they had left their pursuers far in the distance, they dismounted and walked to an abbey, where Fulke left his brethren and the rest, and, in the guise of a monk, limping on one foot and supporting himself on a staff, awaited the arrival of the king's men. Who, shortly coming up, asked him if it was so that he had seen any armed knights pass that way. “Yea," he replied, “and may God repay them the hurt they have done me! Seven of them on horse and fifteen afoot came along even now, and because I could not, by reason that I am so weak, move quickly enough, they threw me down in passing over me; and well-nigh wounded me to death." The king's men thanked the old lame imonk, and hurried away in chase, till they were lost to view. But presently Fulke discerned eleven knights, well mounted on foreign horses of price, approaching; and as they came up to him, their leader said in derision : “Look at this great fat monk! His belly, I warrant, would hold two gallons."

Fulke's spirit rose within him, and suddenly lifting his staff, he struck the speaker to the earth, and his companions, who had kept watch at the abbey gates, flew to his aid, seized and bound the knights, locked them up in the porter's lodge; and, leaping on their horses, Fulke and his attendants drew not rein till they reached Huggeford, where Sir Walter de Huggeford, that was Fulke's kinsman, entertained them.

Now let us speak of a stranger adventure than all that befell him. When he had been with his company at Huggeford a certain space, came a secret messenger from Hubert le Botiler, Archbishop of Canterbury, praying him to wait upon his grace, as he had matters of great moment to confer with him upon.

So Fulke returned to Kent, and leaving the others in the forest, he and his brother William in the guise of merchants repaired to Canterbury, and to the primate's palace. His grace shewed Fulke how his brother Theobald le Botiler, that had espoused a very rich lady, and the most beautiful in all England, Dame Maud de Caus, was deceased, and how the king was seeking to win his widow to his mistress; but she had taken sanctuary there, and was now beneath his roof. He said, “I pray you, good friend Fulke, and on my benediction command you, to take her to wife." And Fulke, seeing that she was good, and fair, and of honourable repute, and had in Ireland many strong castles and other possessions, after counsel with his brother VVilliam taken, assented; and the union was privately solemnized by the archbishop himself within the palace. And after two days, Fulke, leaving his bride in sanctuary, proceeded to the forest, where Fulke made known to his brethren and friends what he had done: who made merry over the adventure, and in sport called him husband, demanding whether he had a mind to bring his fair lady to castle or to wood.

No sooner was he joined in wedlock to the sister-in-law of the archbishop, than he learned tidings which carried him incontinently to the north country. For a certain ribald knight of those parts, named Peter de Bruvile, under colour of being Fulke Fitzwarin, was sorely oppressing the honest people dwelling on the borders, and dishonouring Fulke's fair fame; and in especial he understood that this Peter de Bruvile, with his troop, had broken the house of Robert Fitz-Sampson, that was a friend to Fulke and had done him many courtesies, and held the place, personating and discrediting him. For, let it be ever held in remembrance, Fulke was in arms only against the king, and no robber or murderer.

On the night then that he and his company reached the dwelling-place of Robert Fitz-Sampson, he had the others stay behind in readiness, and clomb over the fence, where he heard sounds of mirth and revelry; and looking by stealth through a casement, he beheld those caitiffs in the hall feasting and making merry, their visages masked, and Robert Fitz-Sampson and his lady, and their household, bound in one corner. He listened awhile, and the men addressed their chief as Sir Fulke, and the lady piteously cried out to him, saying, “Ah, Sir Fulke! for God's mercy, I never did you hurt, but have alway loved you to my power."

He heard no more, but rose to his feet, and all alone he went forward, sword in hand, crying, “Now, peace! I command you, all that be here present, and no one stir the least! " And he sware a great oath that if any amongst them should move, he would hew him into small pieces. So they were awe-stricken.

“ Now," quoth he, “ which of you causes himself to be called Fulke?"

“Sir," said Peter de Bruvile, “I am a knight, and am called Fulke."

“By God! Sir Fulke," exclaimed he, “rise up quickly and unbind this esquire and his lady, and the rest, and bind well in their room all your companions, or you shall be the first to lose your head."

Peter did as he was bidden; and when he had bound well all his crew, Fulke commanded him to cut off their heads, every each one; and so he did.

Then Fulke said to him : “You recreant knight, that cause yourself to be called by my name, you lie therein. I am Fulke, and that I shall make you speedily know, for I will requite you for procuring me the repute of a robber." And thereupon he smote his head off likewise.

And when he had accomplished all this, he called his companions, and they saw what had been done. And they presently sat together at supper, and communed on this strange accident and this deceit, which had so unjustly brought into disfavour the name of Fitzwarin; and Fulke saved Robert Fitz-Sampson and his family and his treasure, that none was lost.

In the mean time, his lady, that was the primate's sister-in-law, had been delivered of a daughter in sanctuary, and had then repaired to Sir Walter de Huggeford; and she lay now at Huggeford and now at Alderbury, until King John, who had spies upon her, holding her in enmity by reason of her marriage, obliged her to take refuge in Shrewsbury, where, in the church of Our Lady, she gave birth to a second daughter; and so straitly was this unhappy lady watched, that when she was now again in travail, her child was born to her in a mean cottage on the mountains of Wales, and baptized in the Maiden's Well below; and the mother was so weak, that she was carried to the Grange at Caer-y-genant.

But Fulke, on his part, was more than ever restless, and the thought of Morris Fitz-Roger and his lost patrimony rankled in his bosom; and shortly after his visit to the north, and worthy chastisement of Peter de Bruvile and his crew, he resolved to make once more his way to Alderbury, where he lay with his comrades in the forest near the river-side, in a thick coppice, and was unseen of any. Who to John de Raunpaygne, one of the trustiest of his friends, thus spake:

“John, you know something of minstrelsy; dare you go to VVhittington, and offer to play before Morris Fitz-Roger, to the intent that we may wise what he doeth?"

“Yea," answered John de Raunpaygne, and took a certain herb; and putting it into his mouth, his face swelled and grew discoloured, so that his own people scarce knew whether it were he or no. Then he donned such raiment as a poor man might wear, and took his instrument, and put a staff in his hand, and came to Whittington.

The porter led him in to Sir Morris, who asked him where he was born; and he replied, in the Marches of Scotland. He demanded of him what news he had.

“Sir," quoth he, “I know none, save of Sir Fulke Fitzwarin, that was slain of late, in committing a trespass in the house of Sir Robert FitzSampson."

“Say you so?" quoth Sir Morris.

“Yea, truly," replied the minstrel; “all the folk of the country speak of it."

And Sir Morris was right fain of this good news, and gave the minstrel a cup of fine silver in reward.

John learned that Sir Morris would undertake next day a journey to Shrewsbury with a small company, and hastened back to his master with the tidings; and Fulke and certain of his band, placing themselves in the way, slew Sir Morris and all his knights that were with him. But when Sir Morris first espied Fulke, he knew him by his arms, and cried out, “Now I am assured that all minstrels are liars." Thus, notwithstanding, by so many fewer enemies had Fulke. He gave the king no rest, and took side with Owen, prince of Wales, against him; and now that Sir Morris Fitz-Roger was dead, he re-entered into his patrimony, that had come to his house by Melette of the White Laund....

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Excerpts from Thomas Wright's "History of Ludlow" (scanned version from archives,com, with poor transcription--needs cleanup!) with particular attention to the Fitz Warin family http://archive.org/stream/cu31924052740762/cu31924052740762_djvu.txt

pp. 54 forward

The first of this family who bore the name of Fulke Fitz Warine had inherited by his mother Melette, daughter of William Peverel, the castle and honour of Whittington, when seven years of age, Fulke was, according to the custom of those times, placed in the family of Joce de Dinan to be educated in the practice of knightly exercises, for Joce was "a knight of good experience," and as he grew up he became " handsome, strong, and of goodly stature." At the time when the hostilities between Joce de Dinan and Walter de Lacy raged with most violence, Fulke Fitz Warine had reached the age of eighteen.

One summer's day, Joce de Dinan arose early in the morning, and mounted a tower in the middle of his castle to survey the country. Turning his eyes towards AVhit- clifie, he was surprised to see the fields covered with knights and soldiers in all the apparel of war, and to behold among others the banner of his mortal enemy Sir Walter de Lacy. He ordered part of his knights to arm and mount in haste, and to take with them arbalasters and archers to go and defend the bridge and ford "below the town of Dinan," and they drove back the Lacy's men, who

• For an account of the Romance of the Fitz Warines, see a note at the beginning of our next section. It may be observed that the article on this family in Burke's Extinct Peerage is full of errors. Walter de Lacy did not become in his own right lord of Ewyas till after his father's death in 1185, but as the latter was constantly engaged in Ireland, he was probably considered as the head of the family on the border of Wales.

THE HISTORY OF LUDLOW. 55

were already occupying the pass. Soon after came Joce, with five hundred knights and men at arms, besides the burgesses of the town, and crossing the water they engaged and entirely defeated the invaders. "Walter de Lacy, after having lost his banner and seen his men dispersed, fled along the road which ran near the banks of the Teme towards Bromfield, called by the Anglo-Norman writer Champ-Geneste (campus genestse). Joce de Dinan seeing Walter de Lacy flying in this direction, followed him unattended, and overtook him in a little valley within sight of the castle, between the wood and the river, and Lacy was already wounded and on the point of being made a prisoner, when three of his knights suddenly made their appearance and came to his aid.

Joce's lady, with her two daughters Sibille and Hawyse, had witnessed the combat and the subsequent flight from a tower in the castle ; and terrified with the danger which threatened their lord, who was now alone against four, they made the place resound with their screams. Fulke Fitz Warine, who on account of his youth had been left in the castle, was drawn to the spot by the cries of the ladies, and, seeing them in tears, he inquired of Hawyse the cause of their distress. " Hold thy tongue," she replied; " thou resemblest little thy father who is so bold and strong, and thou art but a coward, and ever wilt be. Seest thou not where my father, who has cherished and bred thee with so much care, is in danger of his life for want of help ? and thou art not ashamed to go up and down safe without paying any attention!" Fulke, stung by the maiden's reproof, hurried into the hall of the castle, where he found nothing but an old rusty helmet, which he put on as well as he could, for he had not yet attained to the age of bearing armour, and seizing a great skullDanish axe he ran to the stable which was close to the postern that led to the river. There he found a cart-horse, which he mounted, and spurring across the river, he reached the spot where Joce de Dinan, overcome by the number of his opponents, was

56 THE HISTORY OF LUDLOW.

already dismounted and on the ground. Young Fulke was no sooner arrived, than with one blow of his formidable weapon he cut in two the back-bone of one of Lacy's men who was securing the fallen lord of Ludlow, and with a second he clove the skull of another who was coming to encounter him. Joce was now soon remounted, and Walter de Lacy with his remaining companion, Arnold de Lisle, who had both been severely wounded in the action, were easily made prisoners. They were brought to Ludlow castle and confined in a tower which was called Pendover.*

The two prisoners were treated with kindness, and were frequently visited by the ladies of the household. Amongst them was a "very gentle damsel" named Marion de la Bruere (Marian of the Heath), who was smitten with the courtly mien of Arnold de Lisle, and allowed herself to be seduced by his fair words and promises of marriage. Having thus placed herself in his power by her imprudence, she was further induced secretly to aid the escape of the prisoners through one of the windows of the tower by means of towels and napkins attached together. After Walter de Lacy had obtained his liberty, he sent to his father in Ireland for soldiers, resolved to avenge himself on Joce de Dinan ; but after having carried on their hostilities for a short time, the two barons were reconciled by the interference of their neighbours. Soon after peace had thus been restored, Fulke Fitz Warine was married with great ceremony to Hawyse de Dinan; and after the festi- vities were ended, Joce de Dinan with his household and son-in-law, and Warine the father of Fulke, went to ' Hertland,' having entrusted the castle of Ludlow to the care of thirty trusty knights and seventy good soldiers, "for fear of the Lacy and other people."

  • Romance of the Fitz Warines, p. 17. The tower called Pendover was certainly not the keep or donjon. It appears from the context to have been a tower in the outer wall, looking towards Linney, and communicating with the wall that ran at the back of the chapel, perhaps the one marked 10 in our plan of tlie castle.

No sooner had Joce de Dinan quitted his castle, than Marion de la Bruere, who had remained behind on pretence of illness, sent a private message to her lover Arnold de Lisle, acquainting him with the state of the castle, and inviting him to pay her a visit, promising to let him enter by the same window from which he and Walter de Lacy had made their escape from prison. Arnold communicated his intelligence to Walter de Lacy, and obtained his consent to making an attempt on the castle. Having provided himself with a ladder of leather of the length indicated to him by the unsuspecting lady, he took with him above a thousand knights and soldiers, the main body of whom he concealed in the woods by Whitcliife, and the rest were placed in ambush in the gardens below the castle.

It seems by the story that the ground under the castle, bordering on the river, was then laid out in gardens for the recreation of the family of the lord of Ludlow. It was during a dark night that these movements were effected; when Arnold, with an attendant who carried the ladder, approached the wall of the tower, his mistress was ready at the window, and threw down a cord by which the ladder was drawn up and fixed. The lady led him to her chamber, and the ladder was left suspended at the window.

In the mean time Arnold's attendant had returned to the gardens, and brought forth the soldiers who were placed in ambush. A hundred men, well armed, mounted by the leathern ladder into the tower of Pendover, and whilst one party, descending from the tower to the wall which led behind the chapel,* threw the sleeping sentinel into the deep foss which separated it from the outer ward, another party went into the inner ward, and slew in their beds the knights and soldiers who had been left to guard the castle. They then issued from the castle, opened Dinham gate (la porte de Dynan vers la ryvere), to admit the rest of

  • E s'en avalerent de la tour de Pendovre, e e'en alerent par le mur derere la chapele. Romance of the Fitz-Warines, p. 21.

58 THE HISTORY OF LUDLOW.

Lacy's men, and placing parties of soldiers at the end of each street, they burnt the town and massacred the inhabitants, sparing neither woman nor child. At day-break, Marion, who was in bed with her lover Sir Arnold, was awakened by the shouts of the victors; she arose, and, looking through a window, learnt the treason which had been acted during the night. In the agony of despair, she seized upon Sir Arnold's sword and thrust it through his body, and immediately afterwards threw herself out of a window which looked towards Linney (Lyneye), and " broke her neck." As soon as he received intelligence of the success of this attack, Walter de Lacy came with all his force, and took possession of Ludlow castle.

Tidings of these events were brought to Joce de Dinan at Lamboume. Joce and the Warines, having assembled their friends and dependants, came with about seven thousand men, and estabhshed themselves in the castle of Cainham (Keyenhom), situated on a hillock about a league from Ludlow, and then "very old and the gates rotten." The siege of Ludlow castle lasted long; the attacks were frequent and vigorous, but Lacy who had many Irish troops, as well as his own knights and retainers, defended the place against them ; when however he ventured to go out from the castle, he was severely beaten by the besiegers, and the gardens about Ludlow were more than once covered with the bodies of his soldiers who were slain in these skirmishes. The attack was made on the side of the castle to which the approach is now covered by the town ; the town, as we have already observed, seems at this time to have been situated only in Dinham and towards Mill-street. At length the besiegers made a fire at the gateway with bacon and grease, so fierce that it burnt not only the treble door of the gate-way tower, but also destroyed the tower itself, and Joce de Dinan became master of the outer ward. In this assault the chief tower in the outer ward of the castle (Mortimer's tower) was nearly levelled with the ground, and almost the whole ward destroyed. In the midst of these events Fulke Fltz Warine's father died, and Fulke became Lord of Whittington.

THE HISTORY OF LUDLOW. 59

Walter de Lacy finding himself hard pressed, sent for assistance to Jorwerth Drwyndwn (i. e. Jorwerth with the broken nose), prince of Wales, who invaded the Marches with twenty thousand Welshmen, ravaged the country, burning towns and slaying the inhabitants, and speedily approached Ludlow. Joce and Fullie fought against the invaders with great bravery, but they were at length com- pelled to retire to Cainham, where they were besieged during three days. Cut off from all hope of assistance, and unable even to procure provisions, on the fourth day they sallied out from the ruined fortress, and attempted to force their way through their enemies. After killing many of the Welsh and Irish, they were overwhelmed by numbers, and Joce de Dinan, with most of his knights that were not killed, was taken prisoner and committed to the dun- geon of Ludlow castle. Fulke Fitz Warine, seeing his father-in-law carried away, made a desperate attempt to rescue him, and ran his lance through the body of the knight who had him in charge ; but he was himself sorely wounded by Owen Kevelioc, and with diificulty escaped from the field, and fled towards Gloucester, where king Henry was at that time making his stay.

The king received Fiilke with great consideration, and claimed him as his kinsman. He made his wife Hawyse a lady of the queen's chamber, and sent orders to Walter de Lacy to set at Uberty his prisoners, on pain of incurring a severe chastisement. Lacy was too well acquainted with the vigour and skiU of king Henry to disobey his commands, and Joce de Dinan joined his son-in-law at the royal court. Immediately after his arrival at court, the lady Hawyse gave birth to a son, who was named after his father Fulke Fitz Warine. Joce died at Lamboume a short time afterwards ; and it was probably on his death that the king made a grant confii-ming the right of his son-in-law to the castle of Ludlow and the dependant honour of Corve-dale. This

60 THE HISTORY OF LUDLOW.

grant is said to have been made about the year 1176. Fulke rose rapidly in the favour of his sovereign, who made him lieutenant of the Marches, in which capacity he was very active in resisting the aggressions of the Welsh, who during the latter part of this king's reign again ravaged Shropshire and Herefordshire* He defeated the Welsh prince in several combats, and particularly in a great battle at 'Wormeslowe' near Hereford; and after these hostilities had continued more or less during four years, a reconciliation was effected between the Welsh prince and king Henry, the former being allowed to retain Ellesmere, Whittington, Maylour, and other places on the border, and Henry's daughter Joane was betrothed to Lewis, Jorwerth's son. In recompence for the loss of these lands, the king gave to Fulke the honour of " Alleston.' It seems doubtful if he ever again obtained possession of Ludlow castle. The town which had been utterly destroyed in the wars between Walter de Lacy and Joce de Dinan, was rebuilt, and the new town was probably placed nearer to the church and about the present Broad-street and Old-street ; it was henceforth known only by the name of Ludlow. Perhaps amid the troubles and dissensions on the border, Walter de Lacy was allowed to retain possession. Fulke Fitz Warine continued to enjoy the favours of king Henry and of his son and successor Kichard, early in whose reign he died.

...

In the first year of his reign, king Richard provoked the resentment of the Welsh by his xmcourteous treatment of their prince Rhees, who came to Oxford, under the safe conduct of prince John, to confer with him. King Henry had been accustomed to meet the Welsh prince at this place J but Richard, despising the example of his father, refused to quit his capital, and Rhees, "exceedingly angry," returned home.f On his departure for the Holy Land, the king appointed Fulke Fitz Warine warden of the Marches ; but his name scarcely occiirs in the different events of the following years. ..

SECTION IV.

Adventures of the younger Fulke Fitz Warine.

THE first Fulke Fitz Warine had, by his wife Hawyse de Dinan, five sons, Fulke, WilUam, Philip, John, and Alan. Fulke, as we have already stated, was born soon after the capture of Ludlow castle by Walter de Lacy ; he, as well as his younger brothers, and his cousin Baldwin de Hodnet was educated with the children of Henry II j and he enjoyed the favour of king Richard I during the whole of that monarch's reign. After his father's death, which is said to have occurred before the king embarked for the crusade, Fulke had livery of his lands, and in 1195 he was also restored to the possession of Whittington, which in the

• These particulars relating to the Braoses, differing considerably from the accounts commonly received, are taken from an anonymous ■writer -who lived at the time, and was intimately acquainted with the domestic events of the reign of John : his work, in a strong Norman dialect, was first printed by the Societe de I'Histoire de France, in 8vo. 1840. The account of Maude de Braose will be found at pp. 111-115.

64 THE HISTORY OF LUDLOW.

preceding reign had been allowed to remain in the hands of Roger prince of Powis. He continued during this reign to enjoy the charge of warden of the Marches. On the accession of John, Fulke lost the royal favour, and became an out-law. He was held one of the bravest knights and strongest men of his time ; and his adventures, while he lived in the woods and on the seas, were the theme of general admiration during the two centuries which followed.*

• We cite the interesting narrative of the adventures of Fulke by the title of the Somance of the Fitz Warines ; but it must not be supposed that by this title we mean to convey a doubt of its being historical. The word romatKe, in its original acceptation, meant a book of any king written in the middle-age dialects derived from the latin, each of which was called Lingiui! Bomana, or La/ngue Romane, pure Latin being always characterized as the Lingua Latina, or Langtie Latine. The name Momans (i. e. liber Bomarms) became more peculiarly applied to the long poetical narratives sung by the minstrels in the baronial halls, which sometimes recorded the old traditions of the country, at others celebrated the deeds of the barons in whose halls they were chanted and their feuds with their neighbours, and at a later period became gradually restricted to stories of a more imaginative character, from whence has arisen our modem application of the word. The Romance of the Fitz Warines was very popular during a long period of time : it was first composed in Anglo-Norman verse ; there appeared a version in English verse probably before the end of the thirteenth century ; and at the beginning of the fourteenth century the original Anglo-Norman poem was transformed into a prose version. The Anglo-Norman and English poems were extant in the time of Leland, who has given an imperfect abstract of them ; but the prose version alone, as far as can be ascertained, is now preserved; it is contained in a manuscript of the reign of Edward II, in the British Museum, MS. Reg. 12, C. XII. The writer who made the prose version has followed his original so closely, that we have evidently the very words of the poem a little transposed, and with a little care we might restore the original verses of a considerable portion of it. At the end of the account of Joce's wars with Walter de Lacy, it is said " Now you have heard how Sir Joce de Dynan, Sibille, the elder, and Hawyse, the younger, his daughters, were disinherited of the castle and honour of Dynan, which Sir Walter de Lacy holds wrongfiflly" (ore avez oy com- ment sire Joce de Dynan, &c. fiirent disheritez de la chastel e I'onour de Dynan, que sire Walter de Lacy Umt a tort). This must have been written before 1241, when Walter de Lacy died (the only Lacy who held the castle of Ludlow), and therefore during the life of the younger Fulke Fitz Warine, of whose adventures chiefly it treats. This circumstance.

THE HISTORY OP LUDLOW. 65

The enmity which existed so long between king John and the family of the Fitz Warines, is said to have originated in their bojdsh quarrels. While they were little more than children in king Henry's household, John and Fulke were one day playing at chess, and the former, whose evil disposition was exhibited in his childhood, angry at the superior skill of his playfellow, struck him violently on the head with the chess-board. Fulke returned the blow with so much force, that the prince was thrown with his head against the wall, and fell senseless on the floor. He was soon restored to his senses by the exertions of his playfellow, for they were alone; and he immediately ran to his father the king to make his complaint. But Henry knew his son's character, and not only rebuked him for his quarrelsomeness, telling him that if Fulke had beaten him he had no doubt it was what he merited, but he sent for the prince's master and ordered him to be again beaten " finely and well" for complaining.

John never forgot that Fulke Fitz Warine had been the cause of this disgrace. Immediately after his accession to the throne, he gave not only the wardenship of the Marches, but also the family possessions of the Fitz Wa- rines at Whittington, to Morice, son of Roger of Powis*

and the exact knowledge which the minstrel shows that he possessed of Ludlow castle and the border, leads me to believe the poem was originally composed by a minstrel attached to the family of Fulke at Whittington, when the jealousies were still alive which arose out of the transfer of Ludlo\» from the Fitz "Warines to the Lacies. I have little doubt that the incidents of the story are in the main true, if we make allowance for the inaccuracies which must have arisen in their passage from one mouth to another, with the embellishments which party feeling would naturally give to them, and which in fact appear more or less in every historical narrative. The poet, however, seems to have thought himself justified in giving full scope to his imagination when he described Fulke's adventures in distant lands, which it has not been thought neces- sary to insert here. It ought to be observed, that since the present work was begun, the prose text of the Bomance of the Fitz Warines has been printed at Paris (8vo. 1840).

• The grant of ' Witintone and Overton' to Morice Fitz Roger (Meurieo

66 THE HISTOKY OF LUDLOW.

before mentioned, who was known to the Nonnans by the name of Moiice Fitz Roger. When Fulke learnt the injus- tice which had been done to him, he immediately repaired with his brothers and Baldwin de Hodnet, to the court, then at Winchester,* and in the royal presence, demanded his right by the judgement of the common law. The king refused to hsten to himj he said that he had given the lands to Morice Fitz Roger, " who should keep them, be angry who might ;" and Morice coming forwards addressed the claimant in reproachful words : — " Sir knight," he said, " you are a very fool, to challenge my lands. If you say that you have a right to Whittington, you he ; and, if we were out of the king's presence, I woidd prove it on your body." He had scarcely ended speaking, when WiUiam Fitz Warine, less scrupulous in this particular, stepped forward and struck him a blow with his mailed fist which left his face covered with blood. The knights who were present interfered to put a stop to the firay^ and Fulke turning to the king reproached him with his injustice and, having pubUcly withdrawn his fealty, hastened with his kinsmen from the court. They had scarcely proceeded half a league from the city, when they were overtaken by fifteen of the king's best knights, well armed and miounted, who called on them to stop, for," said they, "we have promised to give your heads to the king." "Fair sirs," said Fulke, "you were, in faith, very foolish when you promised to give what you had not got." And thereupon setting upon them, they slew or severely woftnded fourteen, and left but one able to ride back to carry the news to king John. Fulke hurried to his castle of Alberbury, where his

fiUo Rogeri de Peuwis), dated at Worcester, April 11, 1200, is found on the Charter Rolls at the Tower. King John ■was at Worcester from the 6th to the 12th April.

• It is most probable that Winchester is a mistake for Westminster, where the king was on the 18th, 19th, and 20th of April, 1200. He was not at Winchester during that year.

THE HISTOKY OF LUDLOW. 67

mother was living, and having taken his leave of her, he went hy sea to Bretagne, accompanied by his brothers and his cousins Audulf de Bracy and Baldwin de Hodnet, and carrying with him large treasures which he had laid up in his castle. King John immediately seized upon aU his lands in England. After staying a short time in Bretagne, where they were hospitably received by their kindred (for their family was of Breton descent), Fulke and his brothers and cousins returned to England, where they were soon joined by others who were suiferers from the injustice of the king. By day they concealed themselves in the woods and moors, and travelled only by night, for fear of the king's power, because they were as yet few in number. At ' Huggeford' they were hospitably entertained by Sir Walter de Huggeford,* who had married the sister of Fulke's mother. From thence they went to the woods in the neighbourhood of Alberbury, Fulke's paternal mansion, where he learnt that his mother was dead. He next removed to the forest of ' Babbyng,' near Whittington, where he took up his abode with his companions, in order to watch the motions of his enemy Morice Fitz Roger. A retainer of Morice saw them in the forest, and informed his master, who went forth with his men to seek after them. But Fulke no sooner saw them approach, than he and his kinsmen rushed out of their hiding place, and, attacking them fiercely, drove them back to the castle. Morice was severely wounded in the shoulder, and was closely pursued by Fulke Fitz Warine, who approached so near the gateway, that he was shot in the leg by an arrow from the wall. When the king was informed by the

  • This Walter de Huggeford (of Shropshire) is mentioned in the

records, and appears to have been constantly in rebellion against king John. In September, 1207, he was a prisoner : Mandamus tibi quod liberari facias Hugoni de Nuville vel certo nuncio suo litteras suas de- ferenti Walterura de Hugeforde prisonem pro foresta. (Patent Rolls, 6 Sept. 1207.) He was one of those who, in arms against John at the time of that monarch's death, returned to his allegiance in 1217, the second year of the reign of Henry III. (Close Rolls, p. 373.)

68 THE HISTORY OF LUDLOW.

messenger of Morice Fitz Roger that Fulke was in England, he became " wonderfully wroth," and appointed a himdred knights with all their retainers to scour the country in search of him, promising a great reward to him who should capture the outlaw either aHve or dead. These knights separated and went into different parts of England; but the historian insinuates that whenever any one of them had private intelligence that the object of their search was in a particular quarter, he took especial care to go in another direction, for they not only had a distaste for Fulke's blows, but they many of them also cherished an affection for his person, and had no real desire that he should faU into the king's hands. This Fulke knew well, and he carefully avoided offering any injmy to those who were not his avowed enemies.

Fulke and his company went to the forest of ' Bradene,' where they remained some time unobserved. One day there came ten merchants who brought from foreign lands rich cloths and other valuable merchandise, which they had bought for the king and queen of England, with money furnished for the royal treasury. As the convoy passed under the wood, followed by twenty-four seijeants at arms to guard the king's goods, John Fitz Warine was sent out to inquire who they were. John met with a rude recep- tion ; but Fulke and his companions came forwards, and, in spite of their obstinate defence, captured the whole party, and carried them with their convoy into the forest. When Fulke heard that they were the king's merchants, and that the loss would not fall upon their own heads, he ordered the rich cloths and furs to be brought forth, and, measuring them out with his lance, gave to aU his men their shares, each according to his degree and deserts, " but each was served with large measure enough." He then sent the merchants to the king, bearers of Fulke Fitz Waiine's grateful thanks for the fine robes with which his majesty had clad aU Fulke's good men.

After this, adventure they removed to the forest of Kent.

THE HISTORY OF LUDLOW. 69

Intelligence was carried to king John's knights who were in search of him, that Fulke Fitz Warine was in a certain wood; and they immediately raised the country about, and came with a great number of people of all sorts to surround the place where he was lodged. They placed bands of men on every side to watch his egress; and distributed watchmen over the fields and plains with horns to raise the cry if they saw him pass from his hiding place. The first intelligence of these movements which reached Fulke, was conveyed by the horn of one of his pursuers, who was at no great distance from him. Fulke and his companions instantly mounted their steeds, and with all their company, horse and foot, they issued from the forest. After several rude encounters, in which many of their pursuers were slain, and in one of which John Fitz Warine received a severe wound on the head, the whole party got clear of the snares which were laid for theip, and pursued the high road till they came to an abbey. Here Alan Fitz Warine, having secured the porter and taken possession of the keys, sheltered the whole company within the walls, except Fulke, who, dressed in the guise of an old monk, took a great club and supported himself upon it, and limping with one foot, walked very slowly along the road side. He had not been long there, before a large body of knights, Serjeants, and their company, arrived at full speed. " Old monk," said they, " have you seen no knights in armour pass here ?" " Yes," said Fulke, " and God repay them the hurt they have done me !" " And what hurt have they done you ?" said the knight who was foremost. " Sir," said Fulke, " I am very old and decrepit, and with difiiculty help myself. On a sudden there came seven knights and fifteen men on foot, and because I could not get out of the way, they made no stoppage but run over me, and it was a chance that I had not been killed." " Never mind," said the knight, " before night I promise thou shalt be well avenged ;" and without more words the whole party continued their route at full speed. Soon after-

70 THE HISTORY OF LUDLOW.

wards arrived eleven other knights, magnificently mounted on choice steeds. As they approached the place where Fulke was standing, the chief of them burst into a fit of laughter, and said, " Here is an old fat monk, who has a fine beUy to hold two gallons in it !" Fulke, without uttering a word, raised his club, and struck the knight such a fear- ful blow under the ear as laid him breathless on the ground. His brothers and their companions, who were looking on, rushed from the abbey, and seizing upon the knights, bound them and locked them up in the porter's lodge, and taking the horses they mounted their whole company, and rode without making any considerable pause tiU they came to ' Huggeford,' where John Fitz Warine was cured of his wound.

While they remained at ' Huggeford,' a messenger arrived from Hubert le BotUer, or Hubert Walter, arch- bishop of Canterbury. Hubert's brother, Theobald Wal- ter, had married Maude de Caus, (daughter of Robert Vavasour), a rich heiress, and one of the handsomest women in England ;* and Theobald being now dead, the lady sought protection of her brother-in-law the archbishop, from the pursuit of the king, who, struck vdth her beauty, harboured designs against her honour. Fulke and his brother William, in obedience to the archbishop who re- quested an interview, went to Canterbm-y in the disguise of merchants, and there, at the decree also of the arch- bishop, Fulke Fitz Warine was married to dame Maude de Caus. After remaining two days at Canterbury, Fulke left his wife with the archbishop, and returned to his men, who made great mirth and laughed and called Fulke husebaunde, and asked him where he intended to

  • She appears to have been remarried by the king's licence after

Fulke's pardon. (See Patent Rolls, p. 74.) Hubert, archbishop of Canterbury, died in 1205. There arose a misunderstanding between the archbishop and the king in 1201 (Matthew Paris pp. 205, 206) which may have had some connection with the circumstances mentioned in the text.

THE HISTORY OF LUDLOW. 71

take his wife, to his castle or to his wood, and encouiaged one another and were very joyful."

At this time there dwelt on the horders of Scotland a worthy knight named Robert Fitz Sampson, who with his lady had often received Fullie Fitz Warine into his house with great honour and hospitality. There was also in the same neighbom-hood a knight called Piers de Bruville, who with a band of riotous companions used to wander over the northern country and rob gentlemen and mer- chants who were not on their guard, and commit many other outrages, and all this he did under the name of Fulke Fitz Warine, to Fulke's no small discredit. One day Fulke came to the Scottish border, and as he ap- proached the house of Robert Fitz Sampson, towards night, he saw a great hght in the hall, and on coming nearer he heard frequent mention of his own name. Having placed his companions ready at the outside of the door, Fulke entered the hall silently, and there he saw Piers de Bruville and his companions, all masked and sitting at table, while Robert Fitz Sampson and his lady lay bound in one corner of the hall, and the lady cried piteously. — " Ha ! Sir Fulke," said she, " have mercy on us : I never did you any injury, but have always shewn you good friendship !" Fulke Fitz Warine could contain himself no longer; without waiting for his com- panions, he drew his sword and advanced into the hall, and, with a voice of thunder, threatened that the first who stirred from his place should be cut into small pieces. "And now," said he, "which of you is it who calls himself Fulke?" "Sir," said Piers, "I am a knight, and am called Fulke." "By the love of God! then," said Fulke Fitz Warine, " rise up Sir Fulke, without delay ! " Piers de Bruville, terrified at the fierce deportment of the intruder, rose from his seat, and, without attempting to resist, bound his companions one by one to their seats j and when they were all bound, Fulke made him cut off their heads. Then .addressing Piers de Bruville, he said

72 THE HISTORY OF LUDLOW.

" you false knight, who call yourself Fulke, you lie ! I am Fulke, and that you shall soon know, for I will now punish you for aU the wicked deeds you have done in my name !" and so saying, he struck off his head with his sword.

Having thus released Robert Fitz Sampson and his lady from the hands of Piers de BruviUe, Fulke repaired again to Alberbury, and estabhshed himself in the wood on the bank of the river. One of his ^companions, named John de Rampaigne was an excellent musician, and very skilful 'jogelour,' who undertook to go to the castle of Alberbury and report upon the movements of Fulke's old enemy Morice Fitz Roger. John roUed up the leaves of a certain herb, and put them in his mouth, and his face im- mediately began to swell and become discoloured so that his companions scarcely knew him ; then taking a box vpith his implements of ' joglerie,' and a stout club in his hand, he presented himself at the castle gate, and was immediately admitted: for performers of this kind seldom found the gates of the ancient feudal barons closed against them. The porter led him into the presence of Morice Fitz Roger, who asked him where he was bom. " On the borders of Scotland," was the answer. " And what is the news there ?" " Sir, I know none, except of Fulke Fitz Warine, who has been slain in robbiag the house of Robert Fitz Sampson." " Is that true ?" asked Morice. " Yes." said he ; " at least all the people of the country say so." " Minstrel," said he, " for your news I give you this cup of fine gold." And thus John de Rampaigne departed, after having learnt that the next day Morice was going to Shrewsbury, slenderly attended. Accordingly on the mor- row Fulke was up betimes, and having armed aU his company, he laid wait for his enemy, who soon appeared with his household retainers, and the four sons of Guy Fitz Candelou of Porkington. Morice attacked Fulke vigour- ously, but in the end his party were entirely defeated, and himself with the four sons of Guy Fitz Candelou, and fifteen knights, were slain. And thereby, says the nar-

THE HISTORY OF LUDLOW. 73

rater of these events, " Fullce had just so many the fewer enemies."

During his wanderings, Fulke was frequently pursued very closely by the king's men, who followed the track of his horse's heels. But Fulke was crafty as well as brave ; and he often caused the horses of his troop to be shoed the wrong way before, so that his enemies were sent in a contrary direction to that in which he had gone. Many a hard adventure he suffered before he recovered his heritage. After the slaughter of his grand enemy Morice Fitz Roger, he went to Rhuddlan to Llewelyn prince of Wales, who had married Joane daughter of Henry II of England, and who like himself was constantly at war with king John. The Welsh prince, though grieving for the death of his kinsman Morice, gave the outlawed baron a friendly welcome, and took him into his service. Since the times of the Saxons, Wales had been the frequent refuge of English outlaws. Fulke .had not been long with prince Llewelyn, before he put an end to the feud which had raged some time between him and Gwenwynwyn, the son of Owen KeveHoc, and by his persuasions effected a recon- ciliation between the two princes.

King John was at Winchester, and had not long heard of Fulke's marriage at Canterbury, when news was brought at the same moment of the death of Morice Fitz Roger and of the reception of the slayer at the court of the prince of Wales. For a few minutes the king sat still in silent anger, unable to utter a word ; -then he started up from his seat — " Ha ! St. Mary !" said he, " I am a king, England I rule, and am duke of Anjou and Normandy, and all Ireland bows before my sceptre, yet can I not find a man in my dominions for all my offers, who will avenge me of the injuiies put upon me by one unruly baron. But, though I cannot catch Fulke, I will not fail to make a signal ex- ample of the Welsh prince who has harboured him !" He immediately ordered writs to be issued, summoning his

74 THE HISTORY OF LUDLOW.

barons to meet him with their retainers on a certain day at Shrewsbury, to make war upon the Welsh.

Before the day thus appointed, Llewelyn and Gwenwyn- wyn had received intelligence of the hostile designs of the English king. They assembled a great army at ' Castle Balaham in Pentlyn,' and by the advice of Fulke Fitz Warine, they fortified a narrow pass between the woods and marshes, called the ford or pass of Gymele (le gu.6 Gymele), by which the army of king John was obliged to march. The English failed in the attempt to force this pass, and the king, after losing many of his men, returned to Shrewsbury.* The Welsh princes, in the midst of their triumph, after having taken and destroyed the castle of Ronton (belonging to John L'Estrange,t who was an active partizan of the king), met at ' Castle Balaham,' and there Llewelyn restored to Fulke his ancient heritage of Whit- tington, Estrat, and Dynorben, to be held in fee of the princes of Powis.

The king dispatched Henry de Alditheley, or Audley, with John L'Estrange, and a part of his army, to expel Fulke from Whittington, of which he had immediately taken possession. Fulke was celebrating his return to his paternal castle with great festivity, and had with him a large body of knights and retainers. When he heard of the approach of the king's troops, he advanced to meet them at the pass of ' Mudle,' which he defended as long as he was able with his inferior force, and then drew off to his

  • King Jolin was not at Skrewsbuiy during the first four years of his

reign ; but he was on the border, at Hereford on the 4th and 5th, at Ledbury on the 6th, and at Bridgenorth on the 11th, 12th and 13th of November, 1200. He had been at Worcester in the preceding April. The minstrel who composed the poem of Fulke Fitz Warine's adventures, has evidently been led into errors of this kind by following popular reports. King John was not at Winchester this year. He was there on the 6th, 7th, and 8th of May of the year following (1201).

f The name of John L'Estrange occurs frequently in the records of the reign of king John. We find a grant to Johannes Extrancus, April 16, 1200 (Charter Rolls, p. 15). He was one of those who were to conduct Llewelyn to the king in 3204 (Patent Rolls, p. 39).

THE HISTOEY OF LUDLOW. tS

castle. In the defence of the pass, Fulke Fitz Warine, as usual, perfoimed many valourous deeds, as did also his friend and companion Sir Thomas Corhet.* Fulke's brothers Alan and Philip were wounded, and one of his best knights, Sir Audulf de Bracy, having been accidentally dismounted, was overcome by the number of his assailants, and made a prisoner. Henry de Alditheley appears to have proceeded no farther with his enterprise, but, satisfied with the deplo- rable ravage which he had committed on the country over which he passed, he carried his prisoner Audulf de Bracy to the king.

Fulke was exceedingly grieved when he learnt the fate of Sir Audulf; and John de Rampaigne was employed on another minstrel's adventure to free him from prison. John, as has been already observed, was skilful in all the arts belonging to the minstrel's craft. Having, by means of a certain mixture -with, which he was acquainted, stained his hair and flesh black, he dressed himself in garments of very rich material, but formed in a strange fashion, hung a handsome tabour about his neck, and rode on a fair palfrey through the streets of Shrewsbury to the gates of the castle, to the no small wonder of the good people of the town. He was quickly carried before the king, whom, falling on his knees, he saluted "very cour- teously." The king, returning his salutation, asked him who he was. " Sire," said he, " I am an Ethiopian min- strel, born in Ethiopia." " Are all the people of Ethiopia of the same colour as you ?" asked the king. " Yes, my lord, men and women." " What say they of me in those foreign lands ?" " Sire," answered John de Rampaigne, " you are the most renowned Idng of all Christendom ; and your great renown has induced me to visit your court." "Fair sir," says the king, "you are welcome." And during the afternoon, John exhibited many a feat of min-

• Thomas Corbet is also mentioned in authentic documents of the same period : he joined with the barons against John, in the latter part of that king's reign.

76 THE HISTOKY OF LUDLOW.

strelsy both on the tabour and on other instruments, till night drew on, and the king and his court left the haU to seek repose m their beds. Sir Henry de Alditheley was making merry with some of his companions • in his own chamber, and, when he heard that the king had retired, he sent for the black minstrel to increase and join in their jtnirth. An.d " they made great melody," and drunk deep, tin at last Sir Henry turned to a valet and said, " Go fetch Sir Audulf de Bracy, whom the king intends to kill to- morrow; he shall have one merry night before he dies." Audulf was soon led into the room; and they continued talking and playing till a late hour. To the minstrel was given the honourable office of serving round the cup, in the performance of which duty he was very skilful ; and, when the whole party were nearly overcome with the effects of the liquor they had been drinking, he took an opportunity of dropping into the cup a powder which he had provided, and which soon threw them all into a heavy slumber. John de Rampaigne had already made himself known to Audulf de Bracy by means of a song which they had been in the habit of singing; and placing the king's fool between the two knights who had Audulf in guard, they let themselves down from the window towards the Severn by means of the towels and napkins which were in the chamber, and next day they reached the castle of Whit- tington.

Fulke's lady, dame Maude de Caus, whose adventures were hardly less remarkable than those of her husband, rejoined him at the court of the prince of Wales. King John, enraged at her marriage with Fulke, had employed spies to watch her motions, and to carry her off as soon as they could- find an opportunity. She was concealed some months in the cathedral of Canterbury, where, pro- tected by the sanctity of the place, she had given birth to a daughter, to whom the archbishop gave the name of Hawyse. Fulke and his companions went secretly by night to Canterbury and took her from thence to Hug-

THE HISTORY OF LUDLOW.

77

geford; and from thence she was carried to Alberbury, where she remained for some time in great secrecy; but being discovered by the king's emissaries she fled to Shrews- bury, where she took refuge in St. Mary's church, and was there deUvered of another daughter which received the name of Joane. Her third child was born two months before its time, on one of the Welsh mountains, and, being a boy, it was christened by the name of John in the stream which ran from the " maidens' foimtain." Both the mother and her offspring were too weak to be removed far, so they were carried from the mountain to a grange " which was that at Carreganant." When this child was re-christened by the bishop, his name was changed to Fulke.

King John, disappointed in all his projects of vengeance, now proposed a reconciliation with the prince of Wales, on condition that Fulke Fitz Warine should be delivered up, or at least dismissed from his service.* Fulke was made acquainted vnth this proposal by the princess Joane, Llew- elyn's wife, and, suspicious of treason, he sent his lady secretly to Canterbury under the guidance of Baldwin de Hodnet, and having committed her again to the care of the archbishop, he sailed with his companions to France, Having remained there a short time, he fitted out a ship, and took to the sea. After performing many wonderful adventures on this element, which are too romantic to find a place in a sober history, Fulke landed at Dover, and stationed his ship in a position to be easily regained in case of danger.

Hearing that king John was at Windsor, Fulke and his companions directed their course thither, travelling by night and seeking repose and concealment by day, till they reached

• We have no details in tlie old historians concerning this brief war. A peace was concluded between king John and Llewelyn, prince of Wales, on the 11th of July, 1202 (Patent Rolls, pp. 8, 9). There must therefore have occurred some hostilities with the Welsh during the first years of the king's reign, which may have called for the king's presence on the border in 1200, and may have been the same to which our story relates.

78 THE HISTOEY OF LUDLOW.

Windsor forest, where they lodged themselves in an unfre- quented place which they had formerly occupied, for they were well acquainted with every part of the forest. They had not been there long before they learnt by the sounding of horns and the shouts of the foresters that the king was gone to the chase. While his companions armed and placed themselves in ambush, Fulke went out alone to seek adventures. As he walked along, he met with a char- bonnier, or maker of charcoal, who was poorly dressed and black with the dust of the charcoal, and carried in his hand a three-pronged fork. Having changed his dress with this man, and disguised himself as a charbonnier, Fulke seated himself by the pile of charcoal, and, taking the fork in his hand, began to stir and arrange the fire. While he was thus busied, the king rode up to the spot, at- tended only by three knights ; on which Fulke, imitating the gestures of a peasant, threw aside his fork, and fell on his knees very humbly before him. At first the king laughed and joked at his grim look and dirty garments ; then he said, " Master clown, have you seen any buck or doe pass this way ?" Fulke answered " Yes, my lord, just now." " What kind of beast was it ?" " Sire, my lord, a horned one, and it had long horns." " Where is it gone ?" " Sire, my lord, I could easily lead you to the place where I saw it !" " Go on, then, clown, and we will follow." " Sire," said the pretended charbonnier, "may I take my fork in my hand ? for, if any one stole it, it would be a great loss to me." " Yes, clown," said the king, " if you Kke," and thus Fulke led the king and his three knights to the spot where his companions were concealed, who came out and made them prisoners ; and only set them free after the king had given his solemn oath to pardon them all, and restore them to their lands.

The king was no sooner at liberty than, disregarding his oath, he sent a party of men in pursuit of the outlaws, under a knight of Normandy named Sii- James. Fulke and his companions slew or disabled them all, and taking

THE HISTORY OP LUDLOW. 79

Sir James, they disarmed him, bandaged his mouth so that he was unable to utter a word, and then put on him Fulke's old armour. Fulke and his men invested themselves in the gay armour of Sir James and his followers, and thus dis- guised rode towards the king; and Fulke having left his men at a certain distance, delivered Sir James to the king, and then returned, as he pretended, to pursue Fullie's companions, for which purpose the king gave him his own horse, which was remarkable for its swiftness of foot. FrJke and his companions then fled to a wood at a consider- able distance, where they dismounted to repose themselves, and to dress the wounds of his brother William, who had been desperately hurt in the encounter. The king, be- lieving that Fulke was now in his power, ordered him to be hanged immediately ; but when they proceeded to take off his helmet for that purpose, he discovered the trick which had been put upon him. The king now ordered a much larger body of knights to go in pursuit of Fulke, who came upon him unawares in his place of concealment, and the outlaws did not make their escape without great diificulty. William Fitz Warine, too weak to defend himself, was made a prisoner ; and Fulke was carried away insensible from loss of blood, by a wound which he had received on the back. They reached their ship without further accident, and, after Fulke had been restored to strength by the medicinal skill of John de Rampaigne, they set out again in search of adventures by sea.

In this voyage, Fulke obtained much riches, and brought home a cargo of valuable merchandise. As soon as he reached the EngHsh coast, his first care was to learn the fate of his brother Wilham, who had fallen into the king's hands in the encounter in Windsor forest. John de Ram- paigne was employed upon this mission. Dressed "very richly" in the guise of a merchant, he went to London, and took up his lodgings in the house of the mayor, with whom he soon made himself acquainted, and whose esteem he obtained by the valuable presents he gave to him.

80 THE HISTORY OF LUDLOW.

John de Rampaigne, who spoke " broken Latin" (Latyn corupt) which the mayor understood, desired to be pre- sented to the king, and the mayor took him to the coiirt at Westminster. The merchant saluted the king "very courteously," and spoke to him also in broken Latin, which the king understood with the same facility as the mayor of London,* and asked him who he was and from whence he came. " Sire," said he, " I am a merchant of Greece ; I have been in Babylonia, Alexandria, and in India the Greater, and I have a ship laden with spicery, rich cloths, precious stones, horses, and other things, which would be of great value to this kingdom." King John, after giving him a safe-conduct for his ship and company, ordered him to stay to dinner, and the merchant with his friend the mayor were placed at table before the king. While they were eating, there came two serjeants-at-mace, who led into the hall a great knight, with a long black beard, and a very ill-favoured dress, and they placed him in the middle of the court and gave him his dinner. The mayor told John de Rampaigne that this was the outlaw William Fitz Warine, who was brought into the court in this manner every day, and he began to recount to him the adventures of Fulke and his companions.

John de Rampaigne lost no time in carrying this intel- ligence to Fulk Fitz Warine, and they brought the ship as near to London as they could. The day after their arrival, the merchant repaired to court and presented to king John a beautiful white palfrey, of very great value ; and by his liberal gifts he soon purchased the favour of the courtiers. One day he took his companions, and they armed them- selves well, and then put on their ' gowns' according to the

  • This will be easily understood, when we consider that the king

and all the better classes of the people at this time spoke the language known by the name of Anglo-Norman, which was one of the family of languages derived from the Latin ; and that each of these differed from the other hardly more than the English dialects of different counties at the present day. All these languages -yvere, in fact, ' Latyn corupt."

THE HISTORY OF LUDLOW. 81

manner of mariners, and went to the court at Westminster, where they were ' nobly' received, and Wilham Fitz Warine was brought into the hall as before. The merchant and his party rose early from table, and watched the return of WilHam Fitz Warine to his prison, when they set upon his guards and in spite of their resistance carried off the prisoner, and, having brought him safely on board their ship, they set sail and were soon out of reach of their pursuers.

After staying some time in Britany, Fulke again returned to England, and landed in the New Forest. It happened that at this time king John himself was hunting in the same part of the country, and while closely pursuing a boar, with a sHght attendance, he fell a second time into , the power of the outlaws. The result was, that the king again pledged his oath to pardon them as soon as he should be at liberty. This time the king kept his word ; according to the story, he called a parliament at Westminster, and caused it to be proclaimed publicly that he had granted his peace to Fulke Fitz Warine and to all his companions, and that he had restored to them their possessions.*

We have authentic documents relating to this last scene of Fulke's adventures. The general pardon of the outlaws is entered on the Patent Roll of the fifth year of king John (in the Tower of London), for it was during the first five years of that monarch's reign that the events we have been relating occurred. So early as the third year of this reign (30th April, 1202), a pardon was granted to Eustace de Kivilly, one of Fulke's band, who seems to have deserted the company. The king was in Normandy, and not at Westminster, when he granted his pardon to Fulke Fitz Warine. In three successive months (August, September, and October, 1203), John gave three different safe-conducts to Fulke, vrith Baldwin de Hodnet and their companions,

  • Thia must be considered as one of the embellishments of the story.

The king was not in the New Forest during the year 1203. In the January of 1204, we find the king at different places in Wiltshire, so that he may then have been hunting in the forest, but it was two months after the date of Fulke's pardon. M

82 THE HISTORY OF LUDLOW.

to repair to his presence. The pardon itself is dated at Rouen, the 11th November following. On the roll we have a list of his companions, among which we recognise several of the names which occur in the story, and many of them appear to he men of Shropshire and the Border. These names are (besides Vivian de Prestecotes, who received a separate pardon), Baldwin de Hodnet, William Fitz Fulke, John de Tracy, Roger de Prestone, Philip Fitz Warine, Ivo Fitz Warine, Ralf Gras, (or the Fat), Stephen de Hodnet, Henry de Pontesbury, Herbert Branche, Henry le Norreis, William Malveissin, Ralf Fitz William, Abraham Passavant, Matthew de Dulvustry, Hugh Ruffus, (or the Red), WiUiam Gernun, Walter de Alwestane, John de Prestone, Richard de Prestone, PhiHp de Hanewude, Hamo de Wikefelde, Arfin Marnur, Adam de Creckefergus, Walter le Sumter, Gilbert de Dover, William de Eggre- munde, John de Lamborne, Henry ' Waleng,' (probably Walensis), John Descunfit, William Fet, William Cook, Geoffirey his son, Philip de Wemme, Richard Scott, Thomas de Lidetune, Henry Gloucester, Hugh Fresselle, Orune de Prestecotes, Roger de Waletone, Reiner Fitz Reiner, Wil- liam Fitz William, William Fitz Richard of Berton, Richard de Wakefelde, Henry son of Robert King of Uffinton, John Fitz Toke, Henry le Franceis (or French), Walter Godric, Thomas his brother, Roger de Onderoude, (Under- wood), Roger de la Hande, WiUiam Fitz John.

In 1204, king John restored to Fullse Fitz Warine, his castle of Whittington,* and different entries on the roUs show that he continued to enjoy the royal favour until the latter end of the king's reign, when he joined the party of the barons. According to the story, Fulke after being thus restored to his inheritance, served in the wars in Ireland with Randolph earl of Chester. On lais return to Whittington, he founded, near Alberbury, in a wood on the

  • Rex, &o. vicecomiti Salopesbiriie. Scias quod reddidimus Fulconi

filio Gwarini castellum de Wuitintona cum omnibus pertinentiis suis, sicut jus el lijoredilatem. Patent RoUs, p. 46.

THE niSTOHY OF LUDLOW, 83

bank of the Severn, a priory which was called the new Abbey, and in which, after his death at Whittington, he was buried. Fulke was blind during the last seven years of his life. The prose romance ends with two lines which are evidently taken verbatim from the metrical one, and which tell us that the body of the Lord of Whittington was laid near the altar of the Abbey Church : —

" Joste le auter gist le cors. Deus eit merci de tous, vifs e mortz !"

The date of Fulke's death appears to be unknown, but it probably occurred towards the middle of the reign of king Henry III. Dugdale, who states him to be the same Fulke Fitz Warine who perished at the battle of Lewes in 1263, certainly confounded him with his son, and thus missed a whole generation, in the pedigree. When Fulke was left warden of the Marches by Richard I (not later than the beginning of the year 1190) he must have been at least twenty years old, so that at the beginning of the twelfth century he would be thirty ; if we add this to sixty- three, it will appear that according to Dugdale's statement, Fulke Fitz Warine was at least ninety-three years old at the battle of Lewes, which is destitute of all probability. On the same supposition Fulke's son, born about 1204, would have been alive in 1314, at the improbable age of one hundred and ten years.*

• If the Romance of the Fitz Warines -was written during the life of Fulke, it is of course understood that the details relating to his death ■were added at a later period. It is however very uncertain whether he did not die some years before Walter de Lacy.

...

186

Among the names of the barons and more powerful landed proprietors on the border in the latter part of the thirteenth century, we stiU find many of those of the ori- ginal Norman settlers. We have already observed that the change among them caused by the domestic wars of the reign of Henry III was not great. The chief families in the north of Shropshire were represented, in 1255 (39 Henry 111),+ by James de Alditheley, Robert and Roger Corbet, John and Hamo L'Estrange, William and John Fitz Alan, John de Verdun, Giles de Herdington (lord of Wellington), Robert de Lacy, Robert de Say, Fulke Fitz Warine of Whittington, Odo de Hodnet, William" Mauduit, who was lord of Castle Holgod in the neighbour-