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Magnates with Horses and Arms (1215)

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Stamford, Lincolnshire, Englandmap
Surnames/tags: Barons Magna Carta
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If you are interested in the Magna Carta surety barons, logically then, it is interesting to know who started the ball rolling, the "Northern Barons". (The term was really used at the time. It did not strictly always mean northern, and included barons from Lincolnshire.)

A list of barons in the lead-up to Magna Carta follows. It helps focus on the "Northern" barons who were building up towards rebellion already in 1214. Only as they moved south in 1215, and especially after they took control of London in May, did some of the important southern magnates add their name to their cause, including some who were "sureties" in Magna Carta.

This list appears in the chronicles Matthew Paris and the original was by Roger of Wendover, given by Vincent. It is effectively a list of the so-called "Northern Barons" who were behind the smaller group who are famous for being named in the Magna Carta itself. They met in Stamford, Lincolnshire in April 1215 in collaboration with Stephen archbishop of Canterbury. From there they moved a bit south to Brackley. The Magna Carta was signed in June, just west of London.

Commentary has been added based upon the analysis of Holt, who by the way points out that the list might be influenced by later documents, and not be perfectly accurate.[1]

Sources:

  • J.C. Holt, (1961) The Northerners
  • N. Vincent, "Dating the Outbreak of Civil War, April-May 1215 April 2015" link
  • Mathew Paris, Chronica Majora, ed. H.R. Luard, Vol.2, pp.585-6 link

Note the 3 suspected errors.

  • "O filius Alani" ("O" son of Alan) is probably a duplicate of John fitz Alan according to Vincent. (An Osbert fitz Alan also appears in a papal list of rebels to be excommunicated of 1216, but that list might have been a source for Wendover.)
  • "H. comes de Clare"- Probably H(enry de Bohun) earl of Hereford, a surety baron.
  • "G[alfridus] constabularius de Meutun" - A real person but a loyalist. Vincent thinks it was probably William d'Aubigny Lord (and constable) of Belvoir Castle. Joined in last month before Magna Carta.

These other sureties are more definitely not in the list:


Robertus filius Walteri Robert fitz Walter suretyConspirator 1212. But in 1215 he was in the king's party until Stamford or even later. Not geographically a northerner.
Eustachius de Vesci Eustace de Vescy surety Northern. Conspirator 1212. Refused scutage in 1214
Ricardus de Percy Richard de Percy surety Northern. Refused scutage in 1214
Robertus de Ros Robert de Ros suretyNorthern. Joined in last month before Magna Carta.
Petrus de Bruis Peter de Brus Northern. Refused scutage in 1214
Nicholaus de Stutevilla Nicholas de Stuteville Stuteville-72 ? Northern. Joined in last month before Magna Carta.
Saerus comes Wintoniensis Saher (de Quincy) earl of Winchester suretySouthern Earl
R[icardus] comes de Clare R(ichard) earl of Clare suretySouthern Earl
H. comes de Clare H. earl of Clare Error? Vincent think H(enry de Bohun) earl of Hereford, surety baron Southern Earl
R[ogerus] comes Bigodh Roger Bigod earl (of Norfolk) suretySouthern Earl
Willelmus de Munbrai William de Mowbray suretyNorthern. Refused scutage in 1214
Rogerus de Creissi Roger de Cressy Not geographically a northerner
Ranulfus filius Roberti Ranulph fitz Robert
Robertus de Ver Robert de Vere surety
Fulco filius Warini Fulk fitz Warin
Willelmus Mallet William Malet surety
Willelmus de Moute-acuto William de Montacute
W[illelmus] de Bello Campo William de Beauchamp
S[imon] de Kime S(imon) de Kyme A wealthy northern/Lincolnshire knight
W[illelmus] juvenis Marescallus William Marshal the younger surety
W[illelmus] Maudut William Mauduit
R[ogerus] de Monte Begonis Roger de Montbegon suretyNorthern. Refused scutage in 1214
Johannes filius Roberti John fitz Robert late surety Joined in last month before Magna Carta.
Johannes filius Alani John fitz Alan
G[ilbertus] de Laval G(ilbert) de Laval Northumbrian
O[sbertus] filius Alani O. fitz Alan (sic) Error?
W. de Hobruge W(illiam) of Howbridge
O[liverus] de Vallibus O(liver) de Vaux
G[ilbertus] de Gant G(ilbert) de Gant "Northern" (Lincolnshire). Joined in last month before Magna Carta.
Mauricius de Gant Maurice de Gant (Nephew of Gilbert)
Robertus de Brackesle R(ichard) of Brackley
R[icardus] de Muntfichet R(ichard) de Montfichet suretySouthern Baron
W[illelmus] de Lanvalei W(illiam) de Lanvallay surety
G[alfridus] de Mandeville comes Essexiae G(eoffrey) de Mandeville earl of Essex suretyBarnwell writer says joined later, but joined by May
W[illelmus] frater ejus William (de Mandeville) his brother
W[illelmus] de Huntinfeld William of Huntingfield surety
Robertus do Greslei Robert de Gresley Northern. Refused scutage in 1214
G[alfridus] constabularius de Meutun G(?eoffrey) constable of Melton Error? Vincent believes he was too loyal to King John. For his family see Blomefield
Alexander de Pointun Alexander of Pointon
P[etrus] filius Johannis Peter fitz John
Alexander de Sutune Alexander of Sutton
Osbertus do Bobi Osbert of Boothby
Johannes constabularius Cestriae John (de Lacy) constable of Chester suretyJoined after 31 May
Thomas de Mulutune Thomas of Moulton A wealthy northern knight
Conanus filius Helyte, Not in Wendover Conan fitz Ellis was a wealthy knight of Lincolnshire
et multi alii and many others

According to Holt (p.31) as the rebellion reached its heights only a few barons in far the north were not in the rebel party:

  • Hugh de Balliol
  • Hugh de Bolebec
  • William de Fors was "not fully committed"
  • Robert de Vieuxpont

Footnotes

  1. Holt says (p.107) that (a) "it conflicts with the Barwell writer, who states that Robert fitz Walter and Geoffrey de Mandeville joined the rebel army after the muster at Stamford"; (b) it "reflects papal letters of excommunication and those of the executors of the papal mandate"; "the names of Robert de Vere, Fulk fitz Warin, William Malet, and William de Montagu appear in the same contiguous order in both Wendover's list and the papal letters of excommunication". Two letters with lists are found in Matthew Paris: [1], [2].




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Can someone please explain to me what I am to understand about the 'surety' component of the third column?
posted by [Living Trogstad]