GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2002-04 > 1019269492
From: (John Ravilious)
Subject: Re: Did Isabel le Despenser marry Richard de Arundel and Maurice de Berkeley?
Date: 19 Apr 2002 19:24:52 -0700
References: <000c01c1e7b5$25d509a0$274a86d9@oemcomputer>, <002801c1e7bb$3adc47e0$819c8a90@leo>
Friday, 19 April, 2002
I hope the southern autumn is a pleasant one (enough of the summer
brushfires, I would think).
There was a thread on SGM back in November 2001, involving Tim
Powys-Lybbe, Douglas Richardson, Bryant Smith and others, in which the
evidence seemed conclusive that Mary (not Isabel) was sister of
Richard, Earl of Arundel (d. 1375) and not his daughter. The
apparently strange chronology involved (Richard being b. ca. 1313, and
his son Edmund being born ca. 1327 [How firm a date is this, I
wonder], with Mary being born say 1325/26, or even posthumously in
1327) is not too bizarre.
Alice de Warenne, wife of Edmund aka Edmund FitzAlan, Earl of
Arundel (exe. 1326) was born in either 1286 or 1287, given her
parents' marriage in June 1285 and her father's death at Croydon in
December 1286. If her husband Edmund had not met his unfortunate end
in 1326, we might expect she would easily have produced further
offspring into 1330, or somewhat later.
The six-year difference in age indicated for John le Strange (b.
ca. 1332) and his wife Mary, while not a standard scenario, is also
not unusual for the age; many 14th-century examples abound [Lionel of
Antwerp, six years younger than his first wife Elizabeth de Burgh
comes to mind; smaller differences for other younger spouses in the
same family, Edward III vs. Philippa of Hainaut and Edward the Black
Prince vs. Joan of Kent].
We probably don't know for certain how many children (or
pregnancies, rather) occurred in the marriage of John le Strange and
Mary. However, they definitely did not have an only child, born when
Mary was at least 35 years of age. Their oldest known child was John
le Strange, born probably between l August and 16 September 1354 [see
CP Vol. XII/1 - Strange, pp. 344-345 and esp. p. 344, note m]. This
John le Strange is held to have succeeded his father as a minor; his
daughter Elizabeth subsequently d.s.p. 23 August 1383, and was
succeeded by her aunt Ankaret le Strange [younger child of John le
Strange and his wife Mary], whose husband Sir Richard Talbot was
summoned to Parliament from 3 March 1383/4 as Richard Talbot 'de
Given the testimony provided by the contemporaneous evidence noted
in the November 2001 posts, despite the chronological conundrum set
forth in your post, it seems necessary to identify Mary as the
daughter of Edmund FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel by his wife Alice de
I must admit, however, I would prefer your alternative from a
purely Plantagenet point of view......;)
(leo van de pas) wrote in message news:<002801c1e7bb$3adc47e0$>...
> Dear Chris,
> Many thanks for this message. Is this will the only indication? If you look
> at the genealogy, Edmund Fitzalan
> born 1285 died 1326 (his wife outlived him), if Mary is their daughter then
> she gave birth to her only child some 35 years
> after the death of her father, which means she was at least 35 years old,
> more likely much older. Isn't that strange in medieval days? It also makes
> her at least six years older than her husband, who was born in 1332.
> If she is the daughter of Richard and Isabel Le Despencer,
> we have a more realistic timespan. Isabel gave birth to her son Edmund in
> 1327, she may have lived separate from her husband for several years, but
> how long is several years?
> Edmund was 17 when his parents' marriage was annulled,
> and he was five years older than his brother-in-law (or is it uncle-in-law?)
> John Le Strange. To me it still looks good that Mary is the daughter of
> Richard, who died in 1375.
> Best wishes
> Leo van de Pas
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Chris Phillips" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Saturday, April 20, 2002 1:16 AM
> Subject: Re: Did Isabel le Despenser marry Richard de Arundel and Maurice de
> > Leo van de Pas wrote:
> > <<
> > How can you possibly say that Mary Fitzalan (married to
> > John Le Strange) was the sister and not the daughter of Richard Earl of
> > Arundel, who died 24 January 1375/6?
> > I understand, perhaps I am wrong, that Douglas Richardson assisted David
> > Faris with "Plantagenet Ancestry". I do not know how many editions there
> > have been, I can rely only on the first edition.
> > On page 55 Isabel Le Despenser was born about 1312. She was married on 9
> > February 1320/1 about 8 years old, to Richard FitzAlan (copped Hat) Earl
> > Arundel. Their marriage was annulled 4 December 1344.
> > Richard FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel, died 24 January 1375/6.
> > Children of Richard FitzAlan by Isabel Le Despencer :
> > 1.Edmund FitzAlan
> > 2.Mary FitzAlan, died 29 August 1363, married John Le Strange, 4th Lord
> > Strange. Of course, she the sister of a Richard FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel,
> > but not the one who died in 1375/6, that one was her father according to
> > David Faris.
> > >>
> > I'm afraid that is an error in the Complete Peerage, and also evidently
> > "Plantagenet Ancestry" (and probably a fair number of other secondary
> > sources).
> > Douglas Richardson pointed out a few months ago a couple of pieces of
> > evidence that show Mary was the sister of Richard (d.1375/6), not his
> > daughter. I later came across a third. A brief summary of the evidence is
> > at:
> > http://www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk/cp/vol1.shtml#arundel
> > Adrian Channing pointed out a possible difficulty with one of these pieces
> > of evidence, the statement by Margaret Aston, in her book, "Thomas
> > that the will of Richard Arundel (d.1375/6) refers to Mary as his sister.
> > Adrian pointed out that the abstract of this will in Testamenta Vetusta
> > not mention Mary Lestrange, though it does mention a sister Alaine, wife
> > Roger Lestrange.
> > A few weeks ago I obtained a photocopy of the registered copy of Richard's
> > will. I'm sorry not to have cleared up this point sooner, but it's a very
> > lengthy document, and I was hoping to get together some a reasonable
> > of the whole thing, for those interested. Time hasn't permitted that yet.
> > However, the relevant clause is present, not in the will proper, but in an
> > "Ordinance and device", dated August 49 Edward III , and copied into
> > the register after the will. This is written in the third person, and
> > "It'm il ad ordene p' ma dame dame marie Lest'nges sa soer ij chargeo's p'
> > la cuisyne ij douseyne des esqueles & xij sauc's dargent" (He ordained for
> > my lady Lady Mary Lestrange his sister 2 chargers for the kitchen, 2 dozen
> > bowls and 12 silver saucers).
> > Chris Phillips
|Re: Did Isabel le Despenser marry Richard de Arundel and Maurice de Berkeley? by (John Ravilious)|