Revised 13/03/2021



"The family of Geoffrey de Mandeville probably derive their name from Manneville (Seine-Maritime, arrondissement Dieppe, canton Bacquville, now [1951] in the combined commune of Le Thil-Manneville), or perhaps Colmesnil-Manneville, in the same departement and arrondissement, but canton Offranville."

[MAND341] Geoffrey de Mandeville (born c.1036) was a famous soldier at the Conquest (1066). He took his name from the town which he then possessed. He married 1. (c.1049) Athelaise, known as Adelaise de Balts; then 2. Lesceline. He died 1085.

Geoffrey was at one time Constable of the Tower of London. At the Domesday Survey he was a large landholder in Berks, Bucks, Cambs, Essex, Herts, Middlesex, Northants, Oxon, Suffolk and Surrey.

[MAND352] Beatrice (daughter of Geoffrey & Athelaise) married (by 1086) [BOLL342] DUKE GODFREY OF LOWER LORRAINE and King of Jerusalem (see BOULOGNE COUNTY).

[MANX353] Ralph de Mandeville (son of Geoffrey & Lesceline).

[MANX363] Denise/Dionysia de Mandeville (daughter of Ralph) married [TILL411] William FitzJohn de Tilly (see TILLY).

[MAND351] William (born c.1062, son of Geoffrey & Athelaise) married [RYES352] Margaret (daughter of Eudo, see RYE). William was Constable of the Tower of London, but lost this position after the escape therefrom of Ranulf Flambard (1101). William also lost (1103) his three richest estates in Essex, Sawbridgeworth, Saffron Walden and Great Waltham, all given to his father-in-law, [RYES341] Eudo Dapifer. William died c.1116 and Margaret afterwards married 2. [BXXX401] Hugh II de Beauchamp (see WARWICK (BEAUCHAMP) EARLDOM). William's son [MAND361] Geoffrey later recovered these seized estates and the Tower constableship.

[MAND362] Beatrice (daughter of William) married 1. [TALB431] Hugh Talbot (see TALBOT, later divorced); then 2. [SAYY081] William (see SAY OF AUNAY). Beatrice was, eventually, sole heir to her nephew William, the 2nd Earl (see later).

[SAYY091] William de Saye (eldest son of William & Beatrice). See under SAYE OF AUNAY for full details.

[SAYY102] Beatrice de Say (eldest daughter of William) married her second-cousin [FPI2389] Earl Geoffrey FitzPiers, see below under ESSEX (FITZPIERS) EARLDOM for full details.

[MAND361] Geoffrey (son of William) married 1. Eustache de Champagne (divorced, and afterwards married [SPOL371] Count Anselme, see SAINT-POL); then 2. [OXFO389] Rohese (daughter of Aubrey, see OXFORD (VERE) EARLDOM).

He held Great Waltham, Saffron Walden, High Easter and Pleshey (Essex); Edmonton and Enfield (Middlesex); Sawbridgeworth (Herts); Quarrendon and Amersham (Bucks); Streatley (Berks); Long Compton (Warks); etc. He was Steward of Normandy, Constable of the Tower of London (1130-43), Sheriff and Justiciar in three separate counties, and was created 1st Earl of Essex (1140) by King Stephen "for reasons which are somewhat obscure". He also founded Warden Priory (around 1136-43), and his son Geoffrey, the 2nd Earl, was buried here (1166). It became an Abbey (1190), but after its dissolution, the site of the abbey cloisters were incorporated in the Audley End Jacobean house.



External view of Lower Gallery at Audley End House
(3 October 2014)

close up view of one of the arches

About November 1141 Queen Matilda purchased Geoffrey's support, and he was further rewarded with privileges by King Stephen. However Geoffrey changed his allegiances back to EMPRESS MATILDA, whilst feigning friendship with the king. In early 1142 he drove the rebels out of Ely. His arrogance became too much for the royalists and he was arrested at St. Albans, and was accused of treason (c. October 1143), but ridiculed the charges. He was however attainted at St. Albans, and imprisoned until he surrendered his castles (the Tower, Walden and Pleshey) to avoid being hanged. He broke into open revolt, and fled to the safety of the marshy swamps of the fen country. He drove the monks out of Ramsey Abbey and used it as the base for his army of mercenaries.


Ramsey Abbey gatehouse ruins
(30 August 2013)

From his Ramsey base he ransacked and burned Cambridge Eventually, while besieging Burwell Castle (August 1144), he removed his headpiece on account of the heat and was mortally wounded by an arrow. He died the next month at Mildenhall (September 1144). He died under excommunication, so could not receive a Christian burial. The body was placed in a lead lined coffin, which was then suspended from an apple tree in the orchard belonging to the Knights Templars of the Old Temple in Holborn. Nineteen years later (1163) absolution was at last granted, and the coffin was buried in the graveyard of the New Temple Church near the Thames (consecrated 1185), [the twenty-two years discrepancy between 1163 and 1185 will be noted.] There is a tomb effigy in the church, and the accompanying plaque reads:

Geoffrey de Mandeville (1144)
(10 September 2004)


first Earl of Essex (died 1144)

After Geoffrey's death, his widow Rohese married 2. [BXXB411] Payn de Beauchamp of Bedford (see BEAUCHAMP OF BEDFORD). Geoffrey's successor, his eldest son Geoffrey, became 2nd Earl of Essex and withdrew his troops from Ramsey Abbey. By way of reparation, this 2nd Earl gave the monks at Ramsey Abbey 100s. to be paid every three years. The 2nd Earl died 1166 and was succeeded by his younger brother William as 3rd Earl, see below.

[MAND373] Maud (born at Rycote, Oxon, 1138, daughter of [MAND361] Geoffrey & Rohese) married 1. [FPI2371] Piers de Lutegareshale (see ESSEX (FITZPIERS) EARLDOM below; then 2. [BOCL371] Hugh II de Boclande of Buckland.

[MAND374] Ernulf de Mandeville (son of [MAND361] Geoffrey & Rohese) married [OILL243] Alice d'Oillly (daughter of Robert II, see OILLI).

[MAND384] Ralph Mandeville (born c.1155, son of [MAND374] Ernulf) married [LOVE382] Amicia de Lovetot (daughter of Richard, see LOVETOT)..

[MAND394] Margaret de Mandeville (daughter of [MAND384] Ralph, married [WALT491] Sir Roger de Walton (see WALTON).

[MAND371] William (3rd son of [MAND361] Geoffrey & Rohese) and became 3rd Earl of Essex (1166), after his elder brother the 2nd Earl died without issue. He went on a Crusade and was at the ineffectual Siege of Harenc, thereby missing that day the glory of the great Battle of Ramleh (November 1177) where the hosts of Saladin were scattered. William married 1. Christian (daughter of Robert, Lord FitzWalter de Clare & Gunnora); then 2. (at Pleshey, January 1179-80), then 3. [AUMA362] Countess Hawise (daughter & heir of Count William of Aumale, see AUMALE COUNTY), thereby becoming Count of Aumale. William died in Normandy, without legitimate issue, (14th November 1189), and was buried at the Abbey of Mortemer. His heir was his aunt [MAND362] Beatrice (see earlier). Afterwards Hawise married 2. (1190) William de Foz, who died 1195; then 3; Baldwin de Bethune, Seigneur de Choques in Artois, who died 1212. Hawise died March 1213-14.

[MAND382] Anne or Amice (illegitimate daughter of William) married [BARR471] Sir Humfreye (see BARRINGTON).


[FPI2371] Piers de Lutegareshale/Lutecareshale (born at Cherhill, Wilts, c.1134) married [MAND373] Maud (daughter of Earl Geoffrey, see ESSEX (MANDEVILLE) EARLDOM above). After Piers died, Maud married 2. Hugh de Boclande of Buckland.

[FPI2389] Geoffrey FitzPiers (born c.1162, 2nd son but eventually heir of Piers) married his second-cousin 1. [SAYY102] Beatrice (elder daughter & heiress of William (see SAYE OF AUNAY, and great-granddaughter of [MAND351] William de Mandeville, see above). Beatrice died in childbirth (by 1197), and Geoffrey then married 2. (by 1205) Aveline de Clare (widow of William de Muchansey, and daughter of [HERT451] Earl Roger (see HERTFORD (CLARE) EARLDOM).

Geoffrey was Justice of the Forest (1185-89), Sheriff of Northamptonshire (1184-89, and again 1191-94), Sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire (1190-93), under-Sheriff of Staffordshire (1197-98), and Justiciar of England for life (July 1198). Shortly after this he defeated the Welsh at Castle Maud. He then became the Sheriff of Yorkshire (1198-1200), of Staffordshire (1198-1204), of Westmorland of (1199-1200), and of Bedfordshire & Buckinghamshire (1199-1204). In 1190 he realised his wife Beatrice was the nearest heir to lands of the late 3rd Earl, and for a fine of 3,000 marks obtained seizin of all these lands, though without the title. However, nine years later he became 4th Earl of Essex at the coronation of King John (27th May 1199). He later became the Sheriff of Hampshire and Shropshire (1201-04) and Yorkshire again (1202-04). Geoffrey died October 1213, and Aveline died between 1220-25.

[FPI2392] Maud (daughter of Geoffrey & Beatrice) married 1. [HERE461] Earl Henry (see HEREFORD (BOHUN) EARLDOM), then 2. Roger Dauntseye. Maud later became suo jure Countess of Essex (1227), and the Essex title passed after her death (1236) to her issue by her first marriage.

[FPI2391] William (son of Geoffrey & Beatrice) was 6th Earl of Essex, succeeding his elder brother Geoffrey, 5th Earl, who died without issue. William also died without issue (1227) and the Essex title passed to his sister [FPI2392] Maud (see above).

[FPI2393] Hawise (daughter of Geoffrey & Aveline) married [MOHU461] Reginald de Mohun (see MOHUN)

[FPI2394] Cecily (daughter of Geoffrey & Aveline) married

[FZG2441] John FitzGeoffrey FitzPiers ([born c.1205], son of [FPI2389] Geoffrey & his 2nd wife Aveline, and was thus not eligible to succeed to the Essex title), married Isabel de Bohun. See FITZGEOFFREY for full details.


See under HEREFORD (BOHUN) EARLDOM for full details of 7th, 8th and 9th Earls of Essex.

[HERE471] Humphrey (whose mother was the above Maud) was 7th Earl of Essex (1236).

[HERE481] Humphrey the younger predeceased his father.

[HERE491] Humphrey was 8th Earl of Essex (1275).

[HERE501] Humphrey was 9th Earl of Essex (1298).