Robert Fitz Walter

    This page traces the family of Robert Fitz Walter, the Leader of the Magna Charta Barons in 1215 from the Lords of Clare to the descendants of King Henry II.

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Sources used include:
Douglas Richardson:  Plantagenet Ancestry, Baltimore, 2004  (click to visit the website)
Gary Boyd Roberts: Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants, Genealogical Publishing, Baltimore, 2004
G.E. Cokayne: The Complete Peerage, Sutton Publishing, 2003 (with thanks to John Rees)
Frederick L. Weis and Walter L. Sheppard:  The Magna Charta Sureties, 1215, Baltimore, 1999
Frederick L. Weis and Walter L. Sheppard:  Ancestral Roots, 7th Edition, Baltimore, 1999
Sidney Painter: William Marshal, University of Toronto Press, 1997
Richard Thomson: An Historical Essay on the Magna Charta, London, 1829

    "The family of this very celebrated leader of the English Barons, was both ancient and also of very considerable rank, as the first members of his house were connected with the Earls of Brion, Buckingham,and Huntingdon; and the celebrated Lords of Clare sprang from a scion of the same stock. Robert, Baron of Dunmow, was the first of his line who bore the surname of Fitz-Walter, in allusion to the christian appellation of his father, Walter Fitz-Robert: his mother was Maude de St. Liz, or Lucy, who died in 1140, being the first wife of his father. In the year 1111 William Baynard forfeited to the crown the honour of Castle-Baynard and the Barony of Dunmow, on being found guilty of felony; and King Henry I. presented these Lordships to his Steward, Robert Fitz Richard, through whom they descended in a right line to his grandson, Robert Fitz-Walter. He was admitted to the livery of such lands as descended to him from his uncle, Geoffrey de St. Lucy, Bishop of Winchester, in 1204-5, the 6th of John, upon payment of 300 marks, £198."
Richard Thomson: An Historical Essay on the Magna Charta, London, 1829 page 504

    The item above indicates that Magna Charta Surety Robert Fitz Walter's mother was "Maude de St. Liz, or Lucy . . .." Maude de St. Liz was his grandmother and Maud de Lucy was his mother. See Generations One and Two below.

Generation One
Robert Fitz Richard de Clare, Lord of Baynard and Little Dunmow, and Steward to King Henry I.
Died between 1134 and 1136

    Robert was a son of Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare, Lord of Clare, and his wife Rohese Giffard. Robert married Maud (Matilda) de St Liz, daughter of Simon de St Liz, Earl of Huntingdon and Northampton (died in 1111) and Maud of Huntingdon, Countess of Huntingdon and Northumberland (born in 1072 and died in 1130/31). Robert died between 1134 and 1136, and Maud then married to Saher de Quincy. Maud died between 1158 and 1163, probably about 1140.
    Robert Fitz Richard and Maud de St. Liz had a son:

References  Thomson: p.504.   Complete Peerage vol.XII/2, p.745-6.   Weis, Ancestral: 148-25.   Roberts: p.562.

Generation Two
Walter Fitz Robert, of Little Dunmow.
Died in 1198

    Walter married first to Maud de Bohun and secondly to Maud de Lucy, daughter of Sir Richard de Lucy, Justicar of England.

    Walter and his second wife, Maud de Lucy, had the following children:

References  Thomson: p.504.    Weis, Ancestral: 148-26.    Roberts: p.562-563.

Arms of Robert Fitz WalterGeneration Three
Robert Fitz Walter of Woodham, Lord of Dunmow Castle
Died December 9, 1235

    Robert Fitz Walter was frequently at odds with King John. In 1203, Robert and Saher de Quincy were in charge of the Castle of Ruil in France which they surrendered to the King of France without putting up much resistance. In 1215, Robert was the leader of the Magna Charta Barons. Then, when King John attempted to welsh on the Magna Charta in 1216, Robert Fitz Walter was among the deputation that invited Louis the Dauphin (son of King Philip II Augustus of France and later King Louis VIII "the Lion" of France 1223 - 1226) to invade England. To make matters even worse, he actually assisted the Dauphin during the invasion. Thus, it is easy to understand why there were a lot of hard feelings between Robert and King John - - - and all indications are that King John wasn't an easy person to get along with in the first place.  For futher details, see Richard Thomson: An Historical Essay on the Magna Charta, London, 1829, pages 504-511.

    For the story of Louis the Dauphin's invasion of England, see Sidney Painter: William Marshal, University of Toronto Press, 1997, especially chapters IX, X, and XI.

    Robert married Rohese, and they had a son:

    According to legend, Robert Fitz Walter also had a daughter:
References   Thomson: p.504-511.   Richardson, Magna Carta: p.344-345.   Weis, Magna Charta: 50-1.   Weis, Ancestral: 148-27.    Painter: p. 133, 212.

Generation Four
Sir Walter Fitz Robert of Woodham-Walter, Burnham, Roydon, Dunmow, etc.
Died before April 10, 1258

    Walter Fitz Walter married Ida Longespée, daughter of William Longespée and Ela of Salisbury, not to be confused with her sister of the same name who married Sir William de Beauchamp. Walter and Ida had the following children:

    Regardless of who his wife was, Walter had the following children:

References   Weis, Magna Charta: 50-2.   Weis, Ancestral: 30-27, 148-28.   Richardson, Plantagenet: p.326-327.   Richardson, Magna Carta: p.345.   Roberts: p.455.

Generation Five
Ela Fitz Walter

    Ela married William de Odyngsells, of Maxstoke, co. Warwick (born circa 1235 and died in on April 19, 1295) and was a son of William and Joan Odyngsells. William de Odyngsells was, among other things, Justicar of Ireland. In 1294 the king granted him the castle of Dunamon in Connaught in Ireland.

Ela and William had the following children:

References   Weis, Magna Charta: 50-3.   Weis, Ancestral: 30-28.   Richardson, Plantagenet: p.553.  Richardson, Magna Carta: p.628.   Roberts p.455.

Generation Six
Margaret de Odyngsells
Born circa 1277 (aged 18 in 1295)
Died circa 1330

    Margaret married first to Sir John de Grey of Rotherfield (born circa 1272 and died on October 17, 1311) and was son and heir of Robert de Grey by Joan, daughter of Thomas de Valoines of Shabbington, Buckinghamshire. John de Grey fought in Scotland in 1298, 1299 and 1300. He was present at the siege of Caerlaverock.

    Margaret and John had a son:

Margaret married secondly to Robert de Moreby. They had one son, William.
References   Weis, Magna Charta: 50-4.   Weis, Ancestral: 30-29.   Richardson, Plantagenet: p.553-554.   Richardson, Magna Carta: p.628-629.

Generation Seven
Sir John de Grey,  First Lord Grey of Rotherfield
Born on October 9, 1300
Died on September 1, 1359

    John de Grey, Knight of the Garter, 1st Lord Grey of Rotherfield was a Founder Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1348. John Grey had an argument with William la Zouche Mortimer, 1st Lord Zouche in January 1331/32 and he drew his knife in the presence of the King. He was committed to prison and was pardoned on March 27, 1332. John was summoned to Parliament from November 15, 1338 to December 15, 1357.
    John married first to before 1311/12 to Katherine, daughter and heir of Sir Bryan Fitz Alan. They had one son, John de Grey, 2nd Lord Grey of Rotherfield. Katherine died before August 7, 1328. John married secondly before 1343 to Avice Marmion, daughter of Sir John Marmion, 2nd Lord Marmion.

    John and Avice had the following children:

References  Richardson, Plantagenet: p.554-555.   Richardson, Magna Carta: p.629-630.   Roberts: p.403.  Weis, Ancestral: 30-30, 219-31.   Weis, Magna Charta: 50-5.

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