John FitzGeoffrey, Knt.
Lord of Kirtling, Sheriff Co. York (1233-1234, 1234 - 1236) Justiciar of Ireland 1245 - 1256 Seneschal of Gascony 1243 Chief Justice of the Southern Forests 1241 - 1242 Sheriff of Gloucestershire 1238 - 1246
Arms: Quarterly or and gules a border vair.
Seal of John Fitz Geoffrey dated 13th century A shield of arms: quarterly, a label of (five?) points.
1 Sep 1242 - The king has granted to John fitz Geoffrey the marriage of the sons and heirs of John de Vieuxpont by the fine of 200 m. that he made with him for this, and he has also granted that he may render 50 m. per annum of the aforesaid fine at the Exchequer, namely 25 m. at the Exchequer of Michaelmas in the twenty-seventh year, 25 m. at the Exchequer of Easter in the twenty-eighth year and 50 m. thus from year to year at the same terms until he has paid the aforesaid 200 m. to the king. (Ref: Henry III Fine Rolls Project: Fine Roll 26/573 & 27/52)
He did homage to the king on 3 June 1227, whereby for a fine of 300 marks, he had livery of a portion of his father's lands, of which his half-brother, William, Earl of Essex, had died seized. Geoffrey fitz Peter had intended these to be extensive, for King John had granted to him and his heirs from his marriage with Aveline the castle and honour of Berkhamsted. This grant, however, never came to fruition, and Berkhamsted, after Geoffrey's death, remained in the hands of the king. Thus, with the earldom of Essex passing to the descendants of Geoffrey's first marriage, John had to make do with such manors as Aylesbury and Steeple Claydon in Buckinghamshire, Exning in Suffolk, and Cherhill and Winterslow in Wiltshire, the last the only part of the honour of Berkhamsted that he obtained. John was a substantial magnate but, in terms of land held in hereditary right, not one of the first rank. Probably this situation, and the example of his father, who had risen in the king's service from humble origins to the earldom of Essex, was the spur to his long career in the royal administration.
Married, as her second husband, Isabel le Bigod, widow of Gilbert de Lacy of Ewyas Lacy, daughter of Hugh le Bigod, 5th Earl of Norfolk, & his wife, Maud Marshal of Pembroke.
The sources which report the parentage of the wife of Gilbert de Lacy are conflicting. A manuscript which narrates the descents of the founders of Lanthony Abbey records that “Gilbertus de Lacy” married “Isabellæ Mareschal”, presumably confusing her with Isabel daughter of William Marshal Earl of Pembroke who married firstly Gilbert de Clare Earl of Gloucester and Hereford and secondly Richard Earl of Cornwall. The Chronicle of Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire names "Isabella soror Johannis" as daughter of ”Rogerus sive Radulphus Bigod, secundus filius Hugonis le Bigod com. Norfolke et Suffolke…” and his wife “Bertam de Fornivale”, adding that she married firstly "Gilberto de Lacy" and secondly "Johanni Fitz-Geffrey". This must also be incorrect, as any children of Ralph Bigod could not have been born before the late 1220s at the earliest, which is inconsistent with the timing of Isabel´s first marriage. If Isabel was a member of the Bigod family, she must have been the daughter of Hugh and Maud Marshal of Pembroke. This is the solution adopted by the Complete Peerage, although the primary source on which this is based has not yet been identified.
John FitzGeoffrey and his wife had six children:
i) Lord FitzJohn, Sir Richard FitzJohn of Shere (-1297).m as her first husband, EMMA, daughter of --- (-1332). She married secondly Robert de Mohaut of Mold.
ii) Lord FitzJohn, Sir John FitzJohn of Shere (-1275).
iii) William FitzJohn (c 1234-1270)
iv) MAUD (-16/18 Apr 1301, bur 7 May 1301 Worcester, Friars Minor). m firstly Gerard de Furnivalle Lord of Hallamshire (-1261). m secondly William de Beauchamp Earl of Warwick, son of William de Beauchamp of Elmley, Worcestershire and his wife Isabel Mauduit ([1237/41]-Elmley 5 or 9 Jun 1298, bur 22 Jun 1298 Worcester, Friars Minor).
v) AVELINE (c 1242-20 May 1274], bur Dunmow Priory). m Earl of Ulster, Walter de Burgh, son of Richard de Burgh Lord of Connaught (c 1198-1243) and his wife Egidia (Gille) de Lacy of Meath (c 1198-Galway Castle 28 Jul 1271). He was created Earl of Ulster in .
vi) ISABEL (c 1236). m Sir Robert de Vespont, Lord of Westmoreland (-1264).
vii) JOAN (c 1248-1303), fourth & youngest daughter, married Thebaud BUTLER IV.
John fitz Geoffrey was evidently a man of considerable parts, respected both by his fellow magnates and by the king. Indeed, despite his role in the revolution of 1258, when Henry III heard of John's death he ordered a solemn mass to be celebrated for his soul and donated a cloth of gold to cover his coffin. John was succeeded by his son, John fitz John, who became a leading supporter of Simon de Montfort.
Place of Burial: Stanlaw Abbey, Cheshire
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