Monday, March 7, 2011

Coming soon: guest post from author Elizabeth Chadwick

Coming soon: a guest post by one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Chadwick. On a blog tour, she’s promoting the March 2011 US release of her book To Defy A King, the story of Maud/Matilda/Mahelt Marshal, daughter (and third-born) of William Marshal (my ancestor).

Mahelt is not my ancestor, but she is closely related. She was the sister of Isabella and Eva Marshal, and sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, aunt, or niece to Llewellyn Prince of Wales, John King of England, and the families of Quincy, Bigod, Tosny, Ferrers, de Clare, de Braose, and de Bohun. (Many others, too, that I’m not descended from.)

Have you noticed the effigy photos in my blog header? The two upright effigies are at Coverham, Yorkshire. They represent Robert and Ranulf, lords of Middleham, Yorkshire a handful of miles away. Ranulf makes a few appearances in To Defy a King, being the brother-in-law of Mahelt's first husband, Hugh Bigod. Robert and Ranulf, father and son, were ancestors of the Nevilles, who get most of the hits in my blog stats!

If you’re interested in the heart and soul of who our shared ancestors were, as I am, you’d be wise to collect Elizabeth’s historical novels. I’ve read all but one or two, and let me tell you, she can’t write a page without mentioning the people from whom I sprang!  She’s no medieval name-dropper, but a solid researcher, historical re-enactor, and best of all, an exciting, award-winning novelist. I’m writing a novel on ancestor Mary Barrett Dyer (1611-1660), and I aspire to both the scholarship and artistry of Elizabeth Chadwick. 

So stay tuned: Elizabeth’s blog post will appear here very soon.

Below is my list of connections within the William Marshal and Isabel de Clare brood. I’ve highlighted the individuals who are my direct ancestors. To summarize, two of their children were my ancestors, but most of their children were married to those who would become my ancestors in other, later, marriages. Medieval mating—wow, who knew?

Children of William Marshal & Isabel de Clare:
1.             William Marshal, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (~1190-April 6 1231), married (1) Alice de Betun, daughter of Earl of Albemarle; (2) April 23 1224 Eleanor Plantagenet, daughter of King John of England
2.             Richard Marshal, 3rd Earl of Pembroke (>1190-April 16 1234), married Gervase le Dinant.
3.             Maud /Mahelt /Matilda Marshal (1192-March 27, 1248), married (1) Hugh Bigod, 3rd Earl of Norfolk (son of my ancestors Roger Bigod and Ida de Tosny); (2) William de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey by whom Maud had a son and daughter, Isabelle de Warrenne, who married Hugh d’Aubigny/Albini (they had no children). Hugh was the brother of my ancestor, Isabella d’Aubigny/Albini (married to John Fitzalan, earl of Arundel after Hugh d’Aubigny died); Maud married (3) Walter de Dunstanville.
4.             Gilbert Marshal, 4th Earl of Pembroke (d. June 27 1241), married (1) Margaret of Scotland, daughter of King William I of Scotland; (2) Maud de Lanvaley
5.             Walter Marshal, 5th Earl of Pembroke (>1198 - November 1245), married Margaret de Quincy, daughter of Hugh de Kevelioc, 3rd Earl of Chester. They had no children. But Margaret married her brother-in-law, William de Ferrers, and I am descended from them.
6.             Anselm Marshal, 6th Earl of Pembroke (d. December 22 1245), married Maud de Bohun, daughter of Humphrey de Bohun, 2nd Earl of Hereford.
7.             Isabella Marshal (October 9 1200 - January 17 1240), married  (1) Gilbert de Clare, 5th Earl of Hertford, October 9 1217. Gilbert de Clare Earl of Gloucester  was son of Sir Richard FitzRoger de Clare Earl of Hertford and Amicia FitzRobert Countess of Gloucester.  Isabella married (2) Richard of Cornwall Plantagenet Earl of Cornwall, son of John King of England and Isabella Taillefer d'AngoulĂȘme, 13 Mar 1231 Fawley Church, Buckinghamshire, England; Isabella died 15 Jan 1240 Berkhamsted Castle, Hertfordshire, England, at age 39; buried after 15 Jan 1240 Beaulieu Abbey, Hampshire, England.
8.             Sibyl (or Sybilla) Marshal, married William de Ferrers, 5th Earl of Derby. Sibilla (d ante 1238) married, before 1219, William de Ferrers, earl of Derby, and they had seven daughters, though I'm descended from NONE of them! (Sheesh, what are the odds?) These daughters were: Agnes (d1290) who married William de Vesci of Alnwick; Isabel (d1260) who married Gilbert Basset of Wycombe; Maud (d 1299) who married Simon de Kyme of Sotby; Sybil (d 1173/4) who married Franco de Bohun of Midhurst; Joan (d1268) who married John de Mohun of Dunster; Agatha (d1306) who married Hugh de Mortimer of Chelmarsh; and Eleanor (d1274) who married William de Vaux. Sibilla died after 1238. William de Ferrers (d. 1254) then married Margaret de Quincy (widow of William Marshal above) in or after 1238, from whom I am descended.
9.             Eva Marshal married William de Braose, Lord of Abergavenny, son of Reginald de Braose, before 1219. They had four daughters, and William de Braose was hanged by Llywelyn ap Iorwerth in 1230. William was accused of having dallied with Llywelyn’s wife Joan, bastard of King John. Eve’s and de Braose’s daughters were: Maud/Matilda (d1301) who married Roger de Mortimer of Wigmore; Isabel who married (1229) David (d1246), son of Llywelyn ap Iorwerth; Eve (d1255) who married William de Cantelou; and Eleanor (d c 1250) who married Humphrey VI de Bohun earl of Hereford.
10.          Joan (or Joanna) Marshal, married Warin de Montchensy, Lord Swanscombe.


  1. It all gets a tad incestuous, doesn't it, when you get that far back. There are so many implexes in my medieval tree that I become giddy just thinking about it.

    I'm so much looking forward to Elizabeth's post. She is one cool lady!

  2. Well, not quite incestuous. But it does make for confusion a hundred-some years later, when Ralph Neville married his step-sister Mary Ferrers. That seems kind of icky!

    I can hardly wait for Elizabeth's post, either. I wonder which subject she'll choose. :)

  3. I've been a fan of Elizabeth Chadwick's , and believe I will add you to my fanlist, Christy. My English Ancestors were from Gloucester, Devon, and Monmouthshire, but were yeoman farmers or laborers. Is it any easier finding upper class ancestors?

  4. Thank you for the add, Kiki. Yes, the famous ancestors are already found for you, so it's much easier--you just know where to plug in. I think the most difficult research is the first 5 generations from the present. I was lucky in that my mother did that while the grandparents and their siblings were still alive.

    I've hit the wall on numerous lines, at about the time of the English Reformation. If parish records had been kept, many were destroyed or lost then. And if the records survived the Reformation, they were at risk in subsequent fires or floods.

    The book I'm writing, on the 17th century's Mary Barrett Dyer and her husband William, has to begin with Mary, because her parents are unknown. William's parents, yeoman farmers in Lincolnshire, are *probably* known, but his grandparents are still up in the air.


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