Ellie Wood Keith Genealogy

John Fitz Gilbert Marshal[1]

Male Abt 1105 - 1165  (~ 60 years)

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  • Name John Fitz Gilbert Marshal 
    Born Abt 1105  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    History Born John FitzGilbert about 1105, he is known in history as John Marshal (Marshall, Guillaume le Mareschal, etc.)

    The son of Gilbert Giffard, Master Marshal at the court of King Henry I; John became Marshal to Henry upon his father\'s death in about 1129 until the King\'s death in 1135.

    Henry had no legitimate male heirs, but had declared his daughter Matilda as his heir. Instead, upon his death Henry\'s nephew, Stephen de Blois, seized power and John Marshal declared for him.

    Whether rightly or due to collusion of his enemies at court, John Marshal was rumored to be secretly supporting Empress Matilda/Maude after her arrival in England in 1139, and King Stephen besieged John\'s castle at Marlborough, after which he did declare for Maude, (his brother William Giffard later became her Chancellor 1141-1142).

    Although capturing Stephen, Matilda was never crowned Queen of England. Unable to gain the upper hand militarily, Maude fled England in 1148. John\'s lands were seized or ransacked and he was excommunicated from the Church, despite having given his house and lands in Winchester to Troarn Abbey, land at Rockley Manor to the Templars, and being a benefactor of Bradenstoke Priory, where his Salisbury in-laws were interred.

    Maude\'s son, Henry, came to oppose King Stephen and a truce was finally reached which allowed Stephen to rule during his lifetime upon his guarantee that the crown would pass to Henry, which it did, thus ending \'the Anarchy.\'

    After his coronation in 1154, King Henry II restored much of John Marshal\'s former holdings which had been confiscated by Stephen.

    He married first, Aline Pipard in about 1129 and with her had two sons, Gilbert and Walter. As a result of a peace pact negotiated by Robert, Earl of Gloucester between John Marshal and Patrick of Salisbury who had besieged him, John agreed to set aside Aline and have her married to a cousin of the Earl of Gloucester\'s, and to take as his second wife Sybille, the sister of Patrick of Salisbury, which he did in about 1145.

    Descendants of John Marshal and Sybille include Robert the Bruce, Anne Boleyn, Queen Elizabeth I, George Washington and Sir Winston Churchill.

    Although neither his grave marker or Sybille\'s remain, John Marshal\'s remains are at Bradenstoke.  [2
    History John was born about 1105, the son of Gilbert Giffard, royal serjeant and marshal to King Henry I, and a daughter of Geoffrey de Venuz. He was a minor Anglo-Norman nobleman during the reign of King Stephen, and fought in the 12th century civil war on the side of the Empress Matilda. Since at least 1130 and probably earlier, he had been the royal marshal to King Henry I. When Henry died, John swore for Stephen and was granted the castles of Marlborough and Ludgershall, Wiltshire during this time. Along with Hamstead Marshal, this gave him control of the valley of the River Kennet in Wiltshire. Around 1139 John changed sides and swore for the Empress Matilda. In September 1141 Matilda fled the siege of Winchester and took refuge in John the Marshal\'s castle at Ludgershall. While covering her retreat from Winchester, John was forced to take refuge at Wherwell Abbey. The attackers set fire to the building, and John lost an eye to dripping lead from the melting roof.

    In 1141 John arranged an annulment of his marriage to Aline Pipard in order to marry Sibylle of Salisbury, the daughter of Walter FitzEdward of Salisbury and Sibylle de Chanort, and sister of Patrick de Salisbury, 1st earl of Salisbury, who had been a local rival of his, and a supporter of King Stephen, up to that point. John had two sons by Aline - Gilbert and Walter. Walter predeceased his father and Gilbert died shortly after inheriting his father\'s lands. John and Sibylle had two sons, John and William, of whom William would have progeny. Their other sons were Henry, who went on to become bishop of Exeter, and Ancel, who served as a knight in the household of his kinsman Rotrou II, comte du Perche, son of his aunt Havise de Salisbury. They also had a daughter Margaret, married to Ralph de Somery, son of John de Somery and Hawise de Paynell.

    In 1152 John had a legendary confrontation with King Stephen, who had besieged him at Newbury Castle. After John had broken an agreement to surrender, Stephen threatened to kill his son, whom John had given as a hostage. John refused, saying he could make more sons, but Stephen apparently took pity on the young boy and did not kill him. The boy was William, who would become a legendary figure in medieval lore, and one of the most powerful men in England.

    John died about 1165. The office of Lord Marshal, originally related to the keeping of the King\'s horses, and later, the head of his household troops, was inherited by his eldest son John (died 1194) by Sibylle, who held it until his death. The title was then granted by King Richard the Lionheart to William, John\'s second son by Sibylle, who made the name and title famous. Though he had started out as a younger son without inheritance, by the time he actually inherited the title his reputation as a soldier and statesman was unmatched across Western Europe.  [3
    Died 1165  Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Bradenstoke Priory, Bradenstoke, Wiltshire Unitary Authority, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I770  Ellie Wood Keith
    Last Modified 18 Mar 2018 

    Father Gilbert Marshal 
    Mother NN de Venuz 
    Family ID F1421  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Sybilla de Salisbury,   b. Nov 1126, Salisbury, Wiltshire Unitary Authority, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1176, Pembrokeshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 49 years) 
    +1. William Marshal, 'the Greatest Knight that ever lived',   b. 1146,   d. 14 May, 1219, Caversham, Reading Borough, Berkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years)  [putative]
    Last Modified 24 Dec 2017 
    Family ID F419  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S12] Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Marshal_(Marshal_of_England).

    2. [S3] Find a Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/123363224/john-fitz_gilbert-marshal.

    3. [S64] Genealogics, Leo Van de Pas, http://www.genealogics.org/getperson.php?personID=I00174779&tree=LEO.