Mowbray, John de (d.1361) (DNB00)
MOWBRAY, JOHN (II) de, ninth Baron (d. 1361), son of John (I) de Mowbray [q. v.], was released from the Tower, and his father's lands were restored to him, on the deposition of Edward II in January 1327 (Rot. Parl. ii. 421; Dugdale, Monast. Angl. vi. 320, Baronage, i. 127). Though still under age he was allowed livery of his lands, but his marrifige was granted, for services to Queen Isabella, to Henry, earl of Lancaster, who married him to his fifth daughter, Joan (ib.; Cal. of Pat. Rolls, 1327-30, p. 26). His mother's great estates in Gower, Sussex, &c., came to him on her death in 1331 (Dugdale, Baronage, i. 127). Henceforth he styled himself 'Lord of the Isle of Axholme, and of the Honours of Gower and Bramber.' The De Brewes's inheritance involved him in a protracted litigation with his mother's cousin, Thomas de Brewes, which had begun as early as 1338, and was still proceeding in 1347 (Year-book, 15 Edw. Ill, p. 266; Rot. Parl. ii. 195, 222; Dugdale, Baronage, i. 420-1; Nicholas, Historic Peerage, p. 72). Mowbray had also had a dispute before his mother's death with her second husband, Sir Richard Peshall, touching certain manors in Bedfordshire, &c., which he and his mother had granted to him for life, and in 1329 forcibly entered them (Cal. of Pat. Rolls, 1327-30, pp. 267, 435).
Mowbray was regularly summoned to the parliaments and 'colloquia' from 1328 to 1361, and was a member of the king's council from the former year (Rep. on Dignity of a Peer, App. pp. 380-625). In 1327, 1333, 1335, and again in 1337, he served against the Scots (ib. pp. 374, 420, 442); but there is little evidence for Dugdale's statement that he frequently served in France. In 1337, when war with France was impending, he was ordered as lord of Gower to arm his tenants; next year he had to provide ships for the king's passage to the continent, and was sent down to his Sussex estates in the prospect of a French landing (Fœdera, ii. 986, 1015, Record ed.) According to Froissart (i. 179, ed. Luce), he was with the king in Flanders in October 1339; but this is impossible, for he was present at the parliament held in that month, and was ordered to repair towards his Yorkshire estates to defend the Scottish marches (Rot. Parl. ii. 103, 106, 110). Next year he was appointed justiciar of Lothian and governor of Berwick, towards whose garrison he was to provide 120 men, including ten knights (ib. ii. 115). In September 1341 he was commanded to furnish Balliol with men from Yorkshire (Fœdera, ii. 1175). On 20 Dec. 1342 he received orders to hold himself ready to go to the assistance of the king in Brittany by 1 March 1348, and Froissart (iii. 24) makes him take part in the siege of Nantes; but the truce of Malestroit was concluded on 19 Jan., and on 6 Feb. the reinforcements were countermanded (Fœdera, ii. 1216, 1219; Rep. on Dignity of a Peer, App. p. 545).
At Neville's Cross (17 Oct. 1346) Mowbray fought in the third line, and the Lanercost chronicler (p. 351) loudly sings his praises: 'He was full of grace and kindness the conduct both of himself and his men was such as to redound to their perpetual honour' (see also Chron. de Melsa, iii. 61). Froissart, nevertheless, again takes him to France with the king (iii. 130). In 1347 he was again in the Scottish marches (Dugdale, Baronage, i. 127). On the expiration, in 1352, of one of the short truces which began in 1347, he was appointed chief of the commissioners charged with the defence of the Yorkshire coast against the French, and required to furnish thirty men from Gower (ib.) The king sent him once more to the Scottish border in 1355 (ib.) In December 1359 he was made a justice of the peace in the district of Holland, Lincolnshire, and in the following February a commissioner of array at Leicester for Lancashire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, and Rutland (Fœdera, iii. 463; Rep. on Dignity of a Peer, App. p. 621). This, taken with the fact that he was summoned on 3 April 1360 to the parliament fixed for 15 May, makes it excessively improbable that he was skirmishing before Paris in April as stated by Froissart (v. 232). It is possible, however, that the Sire de Montbrai mentioned by Froissart was Mowbray's son and heir, John.
Mowbray died at York of the plague on 4 Oct. 1361, and was buried in the Franciscan church at Bedford (Walsingham, i. 296; Cont. of Murimuth, p. 195; Dugdale, Monast. Angl. vi. 321). The favourable testimony which the Lanercost chronicler (p. 351) bears to the character of John de Mowbray is borne out by a piece of documentary evidence. In order to put an end to disputes between his steward and his tenants in Axholme, he executed a deed on 1 May 1359 reserving a certain part of the extensive wastes in the isle to himself, and granting the remainder in perpetuum to the tenants (Stonehouse, Isle of Axholme, pp. 19, 35). This deed was jealously preserved as the palladium of the commoners of Axholme in Haxey Church 'in a chest bound with iron, whose key was kept by some of the chiefest freeholders, under a window wherein was a portraiture of Mowbray, set in ancient stained glass, holding in his hand a writing, commonly reported to be an emblem of the deed' (ib. p. 293). This window was broken down in the 'rebellious times,' when the rights of the commoners under the deed were in large measure overridden, in spite of their protests, by the drainage scheme which was begun by Cornelius Vermuyden [q. v.] in 1626, and led to riots in 1642, and again in 1697 (ib. pp. 77 seq.)
Mowbray's wife was Joan, fifth daughter of Henry, third earl of Lancaster. His one son, John (III) De Mowbray (1328 P-1868), was probably born in 1328 (Dugdale, Baronage, i. 128), and succeeded as tenth baron. Before 1353 he had married Elizabeth, the only child and heiress of John, sixth lord Segrave, on whose death in that year he entered into possession of her lands, lying chiefly in Leicestershire, where the manors of Segrave, Sileby, and Mount Sorrel rounded off the Mowbray estates about Melton Mowbray, and in Warwickshire, where the castle and manor of Caludon and other lordships increased the Mowbray holding in that county (Dugdale, Baronage, i. 676). The mother of Mowbray's wife, Margaret Plantagenet, was the sole heiress of Thomas of Brotherton, the second surviving son of Edward I, and she, on the death of her father in 1338, inherited the title and vast heritage in eastern England of the Bigods, earls of Norfolk, together with the great hereditary office of marshal of England, which had been conferred on her father (ib.) Neither her son-in-law, John de Mowbray the younger, nor his two successors were fated to enjoy her inheritance; for the countess marshal survived them, as well as a second husband, Sir Walter Manny [q. v.], and lived until May 1399 (Walsingham, ii. 230). But in the fifteenth century the Mowbrays entered into actual possession of the old Bigod lands, and removed their chief place of residence from the mansion of the Vine Garths at Epworth in Axholme to Framlingham Castle in Suffolk. John III met with an untimely death at the hands of the Turks near Constantinople, on his way to the Holy Land, in 1368. His elder son, John IV, eleventh baron Mowbray of Axholme, was created Earl of Nottingham on the day of Richard II's coronation (Walsingham, i. 337; Monk of Evesham, p. 1); his second son, Thomas (I) de Mowbray, twelfth baron Mowbray and first duke of Norfolk, is separately noticed.