Michael Linton's Bayeux Tapestry: 1066 - A Medieval Mosaic and Puzzles
BATTLE ABBEY ROLL.
ACCOUNT OF THE NORMAN LINEAGES.
IN THREE VOLUMES.—VOL. I
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.
PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED,
STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CROSS.
This electronic edition
was prepared by
Michael A. Linton, 2007
William de la War, and Amabel his wife, occur in 1194 in Surrey and Warwickshire (Rotuli Curiae Regis). Dugdale commences the pedigree with John Pa Warre, who about twelve years afterwards received from King John the Manor of Bristolton, a part of the Honour of Gloucester, and died in 1212. His son Jordan joined the revolt of the Barons, and though he returned to his allegiance in 1215, Fulk de Breant and William de Cantilupe being sureties for "his future Fidelity," was again in arms against the Crown in his old age, and only made his peace after the "murder of Evesham, for battle," says one chronicler, "none it was." A second Sir John de la Warr,' styled junior, and most probably his brother, was one of the two wardens of Kenilworth Castle, and was slain by an arrow shot during the siege. Jordan was succeeded by his son, John III., Sheriff of Hereford in 1274; and his grandson Roger, who was summoned to Parliament in 1294, and is styled Dominus de Isefield in the famous letter (of which he was one of the signataries) sent to the Pope in 1300 by the Barons assembled at Lincoln. This first Lord De La Warr attended Edward I. in all his different campaigns, and had the custody of one of his Gascon castles in 1297. His wife Clarice, the eldest daughter and coheir of John de Tresgoz, Baron of Ewyas Harold, brought him a great inheritance in Hereford, Wilts, Somerset, Salop, and Northants; and his own possessions were on an extensive scale. In 1284 he obtained free-warren throughout his demesne lands in Sussex, Worcestershire, Berkshire, and Gloucestershire, with a market and yearly fair at Warre-Wicke, in the latter county. His son, John, was bred in the wars, and lived sword in hand, fighting by sea as well as by land, for he was engaged in the battle off Sluys in Flanders. He followed Edward III. to France in 1342 with a train of twenty men-at-arms and twenty archers, and was in the van with the Black Prince on the glorious day of Cressy. He married another heiress, Joan, sister of Thomas Lord Greille, Baron of Manchester, through whom he obtained a possession that would be of almost fabulous value in the present day—the manor on which the great manufacturing city now stands. He survived his son, and was succeeded by a grandson, Roger, third Lord De La Warr, who again spent his life in the field, and had the signal honour of being adjudged one of the captors of the French King at Poictiers. "King John," says Froissart, "with his own hands did that day marvels in arms; he had an axe in his hands, wherewith he defended himself, and fought in the breaking of the press; near to the King there was taken the Earl of Tankerville, Sir Jaques of Bourbon, Earl of Ponthieu, and the lord John of Artois, Earl of Ewe; and a little above that, under the banner of the Captal of Buch, was taken Sir Charles of Artois, and divers other knights and squires. The chase endured to the gates of Poictiers; there were many slain and beaten down, horse and man; for they of Poictiers closed their gates, and would suffer none to enter; wherefore in the street before the gate was horrible murder, men hurt and beaten down: the Frenchmen yielded themselves as far as they might know an Englishman; there were divers English archers that had four, five, or six prisoners .... Then there was a great press to take the king, and such as knew him cried, Sir, yield you, or else ye are but dead! There was a knight of St. Omer's, retained in wages with the king of England, called Sir Denis Morbeck, who had served the Englishmen five years before, because in his youth he had forfeited the realm of France, for a murder he did at St. Omer's; it happened so well for him, that he was next to the king, when they were about to take him; he stepped forth into the press, and by strength of his body and arms, he came to the French king, and said in good French, Sir, yield you. The king beheld the knight, and said, To whom shall I yield me? Where is my cousin the Prince of Wales? if I might see him, I would speak to him. Denis answered and said, Sir, he is not here; but yield you to me and I shall bring you to him. Who be you? quoth the king: Sir, quoth he, I am Denis of Morbeck, a knight of Artois, but I serve the King of England, because I am banished the realm of France, and I have forfeited all that I had there. Then the king gave him his right gauntlet, saying, I yield me to you. There was a great press about the king, for every man enforced him to say, I have taken him; so that the king could not go forward, with his young son, the Lord Philippe, with him, because of the press. The Prince of Wales, who was courageous and cruel as a lion, took that day great pleasure to fight and chase his enemies; the Lord John Chandos who was with him, of all that day never left him, nor never took heed of taking any prisoner, at the end of the battle said to the prince, Sir, it were good that you rested here, and set your banner a-high in this bush, that your people may draw hither, for they be sore spread abroad, nor I can see no more banners nor pennons of the French party; wherefore, Sir, rest and refresh you, for ye be sore chafed. Then the prince's banner was set up a-high on a bush, and trumpets and clarions began to sound; then the prince did off his basenet, and the knights for his body and they of his chamber were ready about him, and a red pavilion was pight up, and then drink was brought forth for the prince, and for such lords as were about him, the which still increased as they came from the chase; there they tarried, and their prisoners with them. And when the two marshals were come to the prince, he demanded of them whether they knew any tidings of the French king? They answered, Sir, we hear none of certainty, but we think verily he is either dead or taken, for he is not gone out of the battle. Then the prince said to the Earl of Warwick and to Sir Rainald Cobham, Sirs, I require you go forth and see what ye can know, that at your return ye may show me the truth. These two lords took their horses and departed from the prince and rode up a little hill to look about them: then they perceived a flock of men of arms coming together right werely; there was the French king a-foot in great peril, for Englishmen and Gascons were his masters; they had taken him from Sir Denis Morbeck perforce; and such as were most of force said, I have taken him; Nay, quoth another, I have taken him; so they strove which should have him. Then the French king, to eschew that peril, said, Sirs, strive not, lead me courteously, and my son, to my cousin the prince, and strive not for my taking, for I am so great a lord to make you all rich. The king's words somewhat appeased them; however, ever as they went they made riot, and brawled for the taking of the king. When the two foresaid lords saw and heard that noise and strife among them, they came to them and said, Sirs, what is the matter that ye strive for? Sirs, said one of them, it is for the French king, who is here taken prisoner, and there be more than ten knights and squires that challenge the taking of him and of his son. Then the two lords entered into the press, and caused every man' to draw a-back, and commanded them in the prince's name, on pain of their heads, to make no more noise, nor to approach the king no nearer, without they were commanded. Then every man gave room to the lords, and they alighted and did their reverence to the king, and so brought him and his son in peace and rest to the Prince of Wales."
None of the ten knights and squires engaged in this unseemly and unmannerly brawl appear, from the above account, to have had any right to the honour they coveted, which clearly belonged to Sir Denis Morbeck alone. Yet it was equally evident that it could never be granted to a murderer and a renegade, and the Prince decreed that it should be shared by two of his bravest knights, Sir John de Pelham and Roger Lord De La Warr, doubtless singled out from the rest for their prowess that day in the field. To them the captive Sovereign surrendered his sword, and each received permission to bear a special badge of distinction in memory of "so signal an action." Sir Roger had the crampet or chape of the sword, and Sir John Pelham the buckle of the sword belt—the well-known "Pelham buckle" that, displayed on many a church tower and manor house, is so familiar to the eyes of Sussex men.
With Roger's two sons, John and Thomas, this race of gallant soldiers terminated. John, fourth lord, served under the Black Prince in Gascony, where he was when his father died; and in 1372 embarked for France with the King and Prince, three thousand men-at-arms, and ten thousand archers, intended for the relief of Thouars; "but after Nine weeks tossing at Sea, crossed with contrary Winds, they return'd." He died s. p. in 1398, having lost his only son in his lifetime. His brother Thomas, who then succeeded, was a priest, Rector of the Church of Manchester, and obtained "a special Dispensation from attending the King at any of his Parliaments or Councils." At his death in 1425, the son of his half-sister Joan (the only child of his father's second marriage with Eleanor, daughter of the Lord Mowbray) was found to be his heir. She was the wife of Thomas Lord West; and this son, Reginald, was summoned to Parliament as Lord De La Warr in the following year. His descendant and representative, John, fifteenth Lord, received an Earldom in 1761.
A branch of this family "was from a very early period seated in Somerset," where they held Craft-Warre, and acquired Hestercombe in the time of Edward III. The last of the name, Francis Warre, died in 1718; and his heiress married John Bamfylde.—Collinson's Somerset.
- ↑ This was the metal ornament at the end of the scabbard, which prevented the point of the sword from protruding.