Richard II (Montfichet) de Montfichet

Richard (Montfichet) de Montfichet (abt. 1190 - 1267)

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Baron Richard (Richard II) de Montfichet formerly Montfichet
Born about in Fitche Castle, Widdington, Essex, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Son of and [mother unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died [location unknown]
Profile last modified 9 Apr 2019 | Created 31 Oct 2013
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Magna Carta Surety Baron
Richard II de Montfichet was one of the twenty-five medieval barons who were surety for Magna Carta in 1215.
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Richard II (Montfichet) de Montfichet was a member of aristocracy in the British Isles.

Sanders says he came of age 1212-14, and died without issue 1267. His heirs were his three sisters.[1]


He married first Alice (Agnes) (fl. 1217),[2] and then Jousa or Joyce, widow of Sir Gilbert de Greinville.[3] He died in 1268 without issue, and his estates passed to the children of his three sisters. Montfichet is of chief note for his share in the struggle for the charter. He was the last survivor of the twenty-five ; his age probably prevented his taking any part in the later barons' war, which he outlived.[4]
Primary and secondary sources referenced by Charles Lethbridge Kingsford are: Matthew Paris; Annales Monastici; Calendars of Close and Patent Rolls; Dugdale's Baronage, i. 438-9; Foss's Judges of England, pp. 412-14; Stubbs's Constitutional History, 175

Long biographical quotes

1. Following text courtesy of Professor Nigel Saul and the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee:

"The largest group represented on the committee of Twenty Five was not so much the hard-line barons from northern England as the leading landowners of East Anglia and the south-east. Once the movement of rebellion against John had gathered strength and spread out, it was these men who were at its head and who, after June, took the lead in enforcing the Charter. One of these home counties lords was Richard de Montfichet.
"Richard was possibly drawn into the rebellion against John by his kinship ties with other rebel barons. His grandfather, Gilbert, had married Aveline de Lucy, the aunt of the rebel leader, Robert FitzWalter, and further back still, William, the first holder of the Montfichet barony, had been married to Margaret, daughter of Gilbert de Clare, earl of Hertford, forebear of two other members of the committee. Richard’s own sister was to marry William de Forz, yet another member. It is by no means clear, however, how kinship ties fitted into the matrix of baronial motivation alongside such other factors as personal grievance and questions of political principle. Quite possibly, their principal role was simply to reinforce decisions already made.
"Richard (after 1190–1267) was the eldest son of Richard de Montfichet (d. 1203), a servant of Richard the Lionheart, and his wife Millicent. He was a descendant of William de Montfichet (d. before 1156), whose barony of Stansted Montfichet (Essex) comprised nearly fifty knights’ fees, and from whom he inherited a claim to the custody of the royal forests in Essex, forfeited by his grandfather, probably for his part in the uprising against Henry II in 1173-4. The younger Richard came of age before 1214 and in that year served on King John’s failed expedition to Poitou in western France. Shortly afterwards, however, he is found on the rebel side, perhaps in the hope of recovering the rights forfeited by his family under Henry II, perhaps too as a result of the pull of the kinship ties already mentioned. On 21 June 1215, just six days after the king had given his assent to Magna Carta and by which time he had probably been named to the Twenty Five, he secured restoration to the custody of the forest of Essex, once held by his ancestors.
"After the papal annulment of Magna Carta and the renewal of civil war, Richard remained in the rebel camp and was captured at the battle of Lincoln in May 1217. In the following October, after the French withdrawal, he returned to the royal allegiance and recovered his lands and rights, including custody of the Essex forests. He was to be a witness to two of Henry III’s reissues of Magna Carta, the first in 1225, the authoritative reissue, and the second in 1237. In 1244 he was a baronial representative named to consider the king’s request for a grant of taxation and so probably had a hand in drafting the remarkable scheme of government reform of that year recorded by Matthew Paris in his chronicle. From 1242 to 1246 he served as sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire.
"Richard was married at least twice but left no male heir and on his death in 1267 his estates were partitioned among the children and grandchildren of his three sisters. Living to over 70, he was the longest-lived and last surviving of the Twenty Five Barons of Magna Carta.
"Among his estates was to be numbered the manor of Wraysbury in south Buckinghamshire, on the banks of the Thames immediately facing Runnymede and Old Windsor. It is not recorded what role, if any, Wraysbury played in the events of June 1215."

2. From the Dictionary of National Biography:[4]

Richard de Montfichet (or Richard de Munfichet) (died 1267) was a Magna Carta surety. He was a landowner in Essex.
He was son of Richard de Montfichet, whom Henry II made forester of Essex. Richard the elder was son of Gilbert, who married Avelina de Lucy, daughter of Richard de Luci. Richard the elder was grandson of William de Montfichet. He was founder of the abbey of Stratford-Langton Essex; he was with Richard I in Normandy in 1195, was sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire in 1202, and died next year, leaving one son by his wife Milisent.
The young Richard was then about ten years old, and was at first a ward of Roger de Lacy. He appears as witnessing several charters in 1214, and on 21 June 1215 received charge of the forests of Essex as his by hereditary right. He had nevertheless acted previously with the baronial party, and been present at the meeting at Stamford in March. He was one of the twenty-five barons appointed to enforce the observance of Magna Charta, and as a prominent member of the party was ex-communicated by the pope in 1216. He supported Louis VIII of France both before and after John's death, and fighting at Lincoln against William Marshal on 20 May 1217 was then taken prisoner. He returned to loyalty, and recovered his lands in the following October.
In 1223, his lands were again for a time seized by the king in consequence of his presence at a prohibited tournament at Blythe. In 1225, he was a justice-itinerant for Essex and Hertfordshire, and in the same year was a witness to the confirmation of Magna Charta. In 1234, he was admitted to sit as a baron of the exchequer, and in 1236 again witnessed the confirmation of the charter. He was justice of the forest for nineteen counties in 1237, and from 1242 to 1246 sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire, the counties in which his estates lay.
Montfichet was one of the baronial representatives on the committee to consider the king's demand for a subsidy in 1244, and probably therefore had a share in drafting the remarkable scheme of reform of that year.


  1. Sanders, English Baronies, p.83
  2. Medieval Lands
  3. Medieval Lands
  4. 4.0 4.1 Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900
  • Richard de Montfichet, database online, image for coat of arms for Richard de Montfichet, Wikipedia, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License by copyright holder Rs-nourse
  • Cawley, Charles. "Medieval Lands": A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families © by Charles Cawley, hosted by Foundation for Medieval Genealogy (FMG). See also WikiTree's source page for MedLands.

Also see:


Thanks to Bill Fikes for starting this profile. Click the Changes tab for the details of contributions by Bill and others.

Magna Carta Project

As a surety baron, Baron Richard II de Montfichet is managed by the Magna Carta Project, even though he is one of the eight barons who had no descendants past the fourth generation. ~ Noland-165 00:08, 27 January 2018 (EST)

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