Revised 01/12/2019



[SURR371] Walter de St. Martin (born c.922).

[SURR381] William de Warenne (born c.950) derived his name from the hamlet of La Varenne, on the river Varenne now the Arques, Seine-Inferieure Dept., Normandy.

[SURR391] Ranulf/Rudolph I de Warenne (born c.992).

[SURR401] Ranulf II de Warenne (born c. 1012, eldest son & heir of Rudulf) "known only from his subscriptions to two charters of his father for the Holy Trinity of Rouen" [see website] married 1. (c.1027) [ROUE392] Beatrix (daughter of Vicomte Tesselin, see ROUEN); then 2. (c.1029) Emma de Saint-Martin (daughter of Walter de Saint-Martin).

[SURR411] William (born c.1034, 2nd son of Rudulf II & Beatrix) married 1. Gundred le Fleming ("possibly daughter of Gherbod, hereditary advocate of the Abbey of St. Bergin at St. Omer"). Gundred died in childbirth at Castle Acre (27th May 1085), and William then married 2. --- (a sister of Richard Guest).

William took part in the Conquest, and was present at the Battle of Hastings (1066), for which he was rewarded with land. He fought for the King William I in Maine (1083-85). At the Domesday Survey he was tenant-in-chief in Beds, Bucks, Cambs, Essex, Hants, Hunts, Lincs, Norfolk, Suffolk, Sussex (especially at Lewes, see below) and Yorks (especially at Conisbrough), though interestingly none in Surrey.

  Lewes Castle
(10 July 2011)

William supported King William II (1088) against rebels led by the Bishop of Bayeux and his brother Robert, Count of Mortain, and to secure his loyalty he was created 1st Earl of Surrey (April 1088). He was mortally wounded at the Siege of Pevensey, Lewes, (May 1088), and died from his wounds soon after (24th June 1088). He was buried at Pevensey. The remains of both William and Gundred were latterly placed in the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist, Southover, which was built adjacent to the old Lewes Priory.

[SURR423] Edith (born c.1078, daughter of William by 1st wife Gundred) married [GOUR421] Gerard (see GOURNEY)

[SURR421] William (born c.1070, 1st son & heir of William by 1st wife Gundred) married (c.1118-19) [CREP359] Isabel (daughter of Count Hugh, see CREPI). Isabel had previously married 1. [BEAM351] Earl Robert (see LEICESTER (BEAUMONT) EARLDOM). William became 2nd Earl of Surrey (1088).

William fought in Normandy (1090) against Robert de Belleme (afterwards 3rd Earl of Shrewsbury) who was supported by DUKE ROBERT OF NORMANDY. William went with DUKE ROBERT to Normandy (late 1101) and supported him against King Henry I, who promptly deprived William of his Earldom. However DUKE ROBERT persuaded the King to restore his title (1103). William commanded a division of the royal army at the Battle of Tinchebrai in Normandy (28th September 1106), when DUKE ROBERT's army was destroyed and he himself was captured and taken to England, where he was successively imprisoned in the castles of Wareham, Devizes, Bristol, and finally Cardiff. William also commanded a division of the royal army at the Battle of Bremule (20th August 1119); Henry was also present, and he received some blows on his helmet, but the French cavalry were beaten off and fled in disorder.

William probably died May 1138, and Isabel probably died before July 1147.

[SURR433] Gundred (elder daughter of William) married 1. [WARW361] Earl Roger (see WARWICK (BEAUMONT) EARLDOM); then 2. (c.1154) [LANK361] Lord William de Lancaster (see KENDAL (1)).

[SURR435] Ada (younger daughter of William) married (1139) [DUNK441] Earl Henry (see HUNTINGDON (DUNKELD) EARLDOM).

[SURX431] Reginald (born c.1127, 2nd son of William) married (c.1145) [WORM422] Alice de Wormegay (daughter & heiress of William de Wormegay, see WORMEGAY). He later became a monk at Lewes, and died 1178-79.

[SURX442] Gundred (born c.1146, daughter of Reginald) married 1. Peter de Valognes (died 1160); then 2. (c.1164) [CURY371] William III de Curcy (see CURCY), died 1171; then 3. Geoffrey Hose (died 1192-93).

 [SURR431] William (born probably 1119, 1st son & heir of William) married [PON1369] Ela Talvas (daughter of Count William Talvas, see PONTHIEU & MONTREUIL COUNTY).

William (a youth of about 18) was one of the nobles who deserted King Stephen's army in Normandy (June 1137). King Stephen pursued them to Pontaudemer, where he held William and other youths, and did his best to pacify them. Upon his father's death, he became 3rd Earl of Surrey (1138). William was in King Stephen's army at the Battle of Lincoln (2nd February 1141), and with his brother Waleran fled before the enemy's opening charge. However the two brothers soon rallied behind the victor EMPRESS MATILDA against King Stephen, and were with her at London (June 1141).

William was slain in battle, when the rearguard of King Louis VII of France's army was cut to pieces in the defiles of Laodicea during the Second Crusade (19th January 1147-48). He had no male issue. William's widow Ela afterwards married 2. (c.1152) [SALI361] Earl Patrick (see SALISBURY (SALISBURY) EARLDOM).

[SURR442] Isabel (born 1137, only daughter & heir of William) married 1. (c.1153) Count William of Blois, who thus became 4th Earl of Surrey and died October 1159; then 2. (1164) [SUR2441] Hamelin Plantagenet, who thus became 5th Earl of Surrey (see next entry).


[SUR2441] Hamelin (Hamel or bastard of Anjou, illegitimate son of [PLAN361] DUKE GEOFFREY, see ANJOU (HOUSE OF GATINAIS) COUNTY), married (1164) [SURR442] Isabel (Countess of Surrey and Varennes, widow of William de Blois, 4th Earl of Surrey, see last entry). As a result, Hamelin became 5th Earl of Surrey (1164), taking the surname Warenne. He died 7th May 1202, and Isabel possibly died 1203.

[SUR2473] Ela (daughter of Hamelin) married 1. Robert de Newburn; then 2. [FWIL451] William FitzWilliam (see FITZWILLIAM).

[SUR2472] Matilda (daughter of Hamelin) married 1. [EUEU381] Count Henry I (see HASTINGS (EU) FEUDAL LORDSHIP); then 2. Henry d'Estouteville.

[SUR2474] Isabel (daughter of Hamelin) married 1. Robert de Lacy (probably son of Henry de Lacy, son of Robert de Lacy), died 1193; then 2. [AIGL381] Gilbert d'Aigle (see AIGLE).

[SUR2475] Ida (daughter of Hamelin) married [NORF441] Earl Roger (see NORFOLK (BIGOD) EARLDOM).

[SUR2476] Adela (daughter of Hamelin) had a relationship with [PLAN389] King John (see PLANTAGENET KINGS).


[SUR2471] William de Warenne (son & heir of Isabel by her 2nd husband Hamelin, see above) married 1. Maud (possibly a daughter of an Earl of Arundel); then 2. (before 1225) another [MARS389] Maud (daughter of Earl William, see PEMBROKE (MARSHAL) EARLDOM). This second Maud had previously married 1. [NORF451] Earl Hugh (see NORFOLK (BIGOD) EARLDOM). William was Earl of Warenne in Normandy, and became 6th Earl of Surrey (1202), and died at London (May 1240). Maud died April 1248, and was buried at Tintern Abbey.

[SUR2481] John (born c. August 1231, only son & heir of William by his 2nd wife Maud) married (August 1247) [LUSI412] Alice (half-sister of King Henry III, and daughter of Count Hugh X, see LUSIGNAN). He became 7th Earl of Surrey (1240), and was sometimes styled Earl of Sussex though he certainly did not possess that Earldom. Alice died February 1255-56.

John fought on the king's side at the Battle of Lewes (14th May 1264). John gave distinguished service in the field during King Edward I's Scottish invasion and, leading the English cavalry, he took Dunbar Castle (27th April 1296), the Scots losing some 15,000 men. King Edward I later returned to Berwick, where he held parliament (28th August 1296), organising his new Scottish administration, under which John became Viceroy of Scotland. In the autumn Edward returned south to resume his war with France, disdainfully remarking as he crossed the border: "bon besoigne fait qy de merde se deliver" (a good job to be shot of shit). John, who despised Scotland, also returned to his estates in Yorkshire. But by May 1297 the whole of Scotland outside Lothian was in revolt, led by Andrew Moray and William Wallace. John set out for Scotland that month, but remained in the north of England for safety, until he was ordered by King Edward I (then in Flanders) to take action against the Scots.

John marched with a formidable force of cavalry and footmen from Berwick towards Stirling, where the crossing of the Forth was the key to the north. Here they camped on the south bank, and for two days faced Wallace and his men in a boggy area on the north bank. John was supremely self-confident. Two of the Scottish leaders, James Stewart and the Earl of Lennox, also anticipating a massacre, approached John with the suggestion the two sides should parley. John agreed, but when this was relayed back to Wallace he flatly refused. Later, Sir Richard Lundin, a Scottish knight, crossed over to the English in disgust at the dissension in the Scottish camp, and asked John to send him up river with a detachment to a ford, where he could cross with sixty men abreast and take Wallace's force by surprise in the rear. His suggestion was ignored, and John retired to bed.



16th Century bridge replacing the original crossing over the River Forth near this point
(12 June 2014)

The Battle of Stirling Bridge began at dawn (10th September 1297), when a party of English infantry was sent over the narrow bridge. It was not a good start, as they had to be recalled because John had overslept! Hugh de Cressingham was fuming with impatience, urging no more time should be wasted, and John gave him the order to cross. A bloody massacre took place, with Hugh de Cressingham meeting his fate at the hands of the Scottish spearmen. Fortunately, John had not crossed the bridge. Aghast at the slaughter he was witnessing, he lost his nerve and galloped in such haste to the border that his horse had nothing to eat between Stirling and Berwick and collapsed on arrival. John later abandoned Berwick and it was lost to the Scots. Meanwhile at Stirling, the fleeing rank and file of the English were less fortunate, and were ambushed by the men led by James Stewart and the Earl of Lennox, whose offer had been rejected by John the previous day, and were back on Wallace's side, and conveniently positioned on the south bank of the river. If only John had taken their advice the day before and if only he had not overslept and been forced to give in to Hugh de Cressingham's impatience. For the first time an army of professional knights had been overcome by the common folk.



Plaque on the later Stirling Bridge
(12 June 2014)

John was appointed Captain of the army (10th December 1297) to oppose the invading Scots, and marched into Scotland (February/March 1298). However, he is not recorded as being present at the Battle of Falkirk (22nd July 1298), whereas the Earls of Arundel, Gloucester, Hereford, Lincoln, Norfolk, Oxford and Pembroke are specifically recorded as taking an active part. Perhaps King Edward I thought it prudent to keep the aged Earl of Surrey out of the way at this important battle. However, John did command the 2nd division at the Siege of Caerlaverock (July 1300).

John died at Kennington, London, (Michaelmas 1304), and was buried at Lewes Priory. His tomb at one time had an epitaph, described by Gough (1796), quoting from Dugdale. As there were then no male descendants (his son William having predeceased him), the Earldom passed to his godson, William de Warenne, who also died without issue.

21.  [SUR2491] Sir William (only son & heir apparent of John, but predeceased him) married (probably June 1285) [OXFO423] Joan (daughter of Earl Robert, see OXFORD (VERE) EARLDOM). William was Knighted (1285), and was killed at Croydon (15th December 1286), where he is said to have been ambushed after attending a tournament, and cruelly slain by his rivals. He was buried in front of the high altar of Lewes Priory. Joan died November 1293 and was entombed close to her husband at Lewes Priory. After the dissolution of the monasteries, her tomb was removed to Chichester Cathedral.



Chichester Cathedral
(20 March 2003)




There is a plaster cast replica of this tomb in the Victoria & Albert Museum, unfortunately incorrectly described. (Photographs below taken 15 April 2005.)

plaster cast replica




[SUR2502] Alice (born c.1285, daughter of William) married (1305) [ARU2501] Earl Edmund (see ARUNDEL (FITZALAN) EARLDOM).


(see ARUNDEL (FITZALAN) EARLDOM full details of 9th and 10th Earls

[ARU2511] Richard FitzAlan was 14th Earl of Arundel (1331), and became 9th Earl of Surrey (1347) following the death of his uncle, the 8th Earl, though he did not assume the title until after the death of the Dowager Countess (August 1361).

[ARU2521] Richard FitzAlan was 15th Earl of Arundel (1376) and 10th Earl of Surrey (1376). He was executed for treason (1397), when, having been attainted, all his honours were forfeited. [However, his son Thomas became 11th Earl of Surrey and 16th Earl of Arundel (1400) after his father's attainder was reversed.]