GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2003-01 > 1041616342
From: "Leo van de Pas" <>
Subject: Re: Re-dating William Longespee's Birth
Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2003 16:24:13 +1100
Wouldn't there have been more leeway with legitimate sons in opposition to
I don't think you can say "the legitimate ones are treated this way,
therefor the same applies to the illegitimate ones".
Leo van de Pas
----- Original Message -----
From: "Douglas Richardson" <>
Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2003 3:11 AM
Subject: Re-dating William Longespee's Birth
> Dear Newsgroup ~
> It seems appropriate to review grants to royal princes to determine if
> kings ever granted lands to their sons before they reached majority.
> In a recent post, I showed that King Henry II attempted to grant lands
> to his son, John, when he was 6, made him King of Ireland when he was
> 10, and sent him to rule Ireland when he was 17. All this happened
> when John was a minor.
> Yesterday I was re-examined the records of the life of Edmund of
> Woodstock, Earl of Kent. Edmund of Woodstock was a younger son of
> King Edward I, by his 2nd wife, Margaret of France. He was born in
> 1301. There is useful material about Edmund's minority in both
> Complete Peerage 7 (1929): 142-148 (sub Kent) and Dictionary of
> National Biography 6 (1888/9): 410-412.
> According to these sources, Edmund received several grants when he was
> a minor as follows:
> 1. In 1306 his father King Edward I granted him a revenue of 7,000
> marks a year. Edmund was then age 5.
> 2. In 1310 his brother King Edward II granted him and his brother,
> Thomas of Brotherton, the castles and lands late of Roger Bigod, Earl
> of Norfolk.
> 3. In 1315 the king granted him the manors of Ashford, co. Derby,
> Kenton, Shebbear, Chetscombe, Lifton with the hundred, co. Devon, etc.
> 4. In 1318 he was granted the castle and town of Gloucester.
> 5. In 1319 he was granted the castle and honour of Knaresborough.
> 6. In 1320 he was granted lands of the value of 2,000 marks a year.
> Next year the king still further increased Edmund's resources.
> I have seen some of these grants and I don't recall that any of them
> state or imply that Edmund of Woodstock was a minor at the time of the
> grants. Although Complete Peerage doesn't mention it, the DNB reveals
> that King Edward II granted the custody of his brother, Edmund, to
> Edward de Balliol. No date is given for this grant.
> So Edmund of Woodstock had several land grants when he was still under
> 21 and he also had a guardian. This is in direct contradiction to the
> comments made about such grants in Paul Reed's recent article in The
> American Genealogist. He maintained that the King would have "no
> motivation" to grant lands to his brother, William Longespee, if he
> was under 21. The facts speak otherwise.
> As such, I conclude the pattern is for the king to grant lands to his
> minor son or brother AS HE SAW FIT, without regard that the son or
> brother was a minor. A guardian could be appointed if one was needed.
> If so, then the 1191 grant to William Longespee by his brother, King
> Richard II, can not be used to date William Longespee's birth.
> As far as when William Longespee might have been born, I find that
> King Henry II and his wife, Eleanor, separated in 1168, and did not
> cohabit after that date. Evidently there was some hope of
> reconciliation, at least on the part of the ecclesiastical
> authorities. About October 1175, however, King Henry II negotiated
> with the papal legate about a divorce from his "hated queen." As
> such, I think 1175 would be more likely the earliest date for King
> Henry II to have fathered William Longespee, as he clearly was taking
> steps at that date to terminate his marriage to Queen Eleanor. For
> information on this period of King Henry and Queen Eleanor's marriage,
> see Eleanor's biography in the Dictionary of National Biography, 6
> (1888-9): 593-596.
> A birthdate of 1175/80 for William Longespee would certainly fit the
> other known evidence we have for William Longespee. As best I can
> determine, he first shows up acting as an adult in 1196, when he was
> with his brother, King Richard, in Normandy. For people of this rank,
> this usually occurred when they were about 16-18 years old. This
> compares with King Henry II sending his son, John, to rule Ireland in
> 1185, when John was 17. If we assume William Longespee was 16-18 in
> 1196, that would place his birth as 1178/80.
> In a related vein, we now know that William Longespee's eldest
> legitimate sister, Mary Bigod, was married before 1198/9 to Robert
> Fitz Ranulph and that Mary's husband was still a minor in 1198/9. As
> such, we know that Robert Fitz Ranulph was born no early than 1177/8
> and probably a bit later. If we roughly guesstimated that Mary Bigod
> was age 16 in 1198/9, that would place her birth as 1182/3. That
> would fit well with her older brother, William Longespee's approximate
> birth of 1178/80. This chronology fits the facts.
> I wish to thank Chris Phillips, John Ravilious, and Michael Welch for
> being a sounding board for the above post. The conclusions drawn are
> my own.
> Best always, Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City, Utah
|Re: Re-dating William Longespee's Birth by "Leo van de Pas" <>|