Mowbray, William de (DNB00)

MOWBRAY, WILLIAM de, fourth Baron Mowbray (d. 1222?), one of the executors of Magna Charta, was the eldest of four sons of Nigel de Mowbray, by Mabel, daughter of Edmund (Roger?), earl of Clare, and grandson of Roger de Mowbray, second baron [q . v.] (Dugdale, Monast. Angl. vi. 320). He had livery of his lands in 1194 on payment of a relief of one hundred pounds, and was immediately called upon to pay a similar sum as his share of the scutage levied towards King Richard's ransom, for the payment of which he was one of the pledges (Dugdale, Baronage, i. 124). He was a witness to the treaty with Flanders in 1197 (Fœdera, i. 67; Stapleton, Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniæ, ii. lxxiv). When Richard I died, and John delayed to claim his crown, Mowbray was one of the barons who seized the opportunity to fortify their castles; but, like the rest, was induced to swear fealty to John by the promises which Archbishop Hubert Walter, the justiciar Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, and William Marshall made in his name (Hoveden iv. 88). Apparently it was thought prudent to exempt him from the scutage which was raised early in 1200 (Dugdale, Baronage, i. 124). When William de Stuteville renewed the old claim of his house to the Frontebœuf lands in the possession of the Mowbrays, thus ignoring the compromise made by his father with Roger de Mowbray [q. v.], and Mowbray supported his suit by a present of three thousand marks to the king, John and his great council dictated a new compromise. Stuteville had to accept nine knights' fees and a rent of 12l. in full satisfaction of his claims, and the adversaries were reconciled at a country house of the Bishop of Lincoln at Louth on 21 Jan. 1201 (Hoveden, iv. 117-18; Rotuli Curiæ Regis, ed. Palgrave, ii. 231).

In 1215 Mowbray was prominent among the opponents of John. With other north-country barons, he appeared in arms at Stamford in the last days of April. When the Great Charter had been wrung from the king, he was appointed one of the twenty-five executors, and as such was specially named among those excommunicated by Pope Innocent. The castle of York was entrusted to his care (Dugdale, Baronage, i. 124). Mowbray's youngest brother, Roger, has sometimes been reckoned as one of the twenty-five, apparently by confusion with Roger de Mumbezon (ib. p. 618; Nicolas, Historic Peerage, ed. Courthope, p. 340). Roger died without heirs about 1218, and Mowbray received his lands (Dugdale, i. 125). Mowbray was taken prisoner in the battle of Lincoln in 1217, and his estates bestowed upon William Marshal the younger; but he redeemed them by the surrender of the lordship of Bensted in Surrey to Hubert de Burgh, before the general restoration in September of that year (Matthew Paris, iii. 22; Dugdale Baronage, i. 124, and Monast. Angl. v. 346; Royal Letters of the Reign of Henry III. i. 524). Three years later, in January 1221, Mowbray assisted Hubert in driving his former colleague as one of the twenty-five executors, William of Aumâle, from his last stronghold at Biham (Bytham) in Lincolnshire (Dugdale, Baronage, l.c.; Stubbs, Const. Hist. ii. 33).

Mowbray founded the chapel of St. Nicholas, with a chantry, at Thirsk, and was a benefactor of his grandfather's foundation at Newburgh, where, on his death in Axholme about 1222, he was buried (Dugdale, Monast. Angl. vi. 320). He is said, in the sixteenth-century recension of the ‘Progenies Moubraiorum’ (ib.}, to have married Agnes, a daughter of the (second ?) Earl of Arundel, of the elder branch of the Albinis. By her he had two sons, Nigel and Roger. The ‘Progenies’ (Monasticon, v. 346, vi. 320) makes Nigel predecease his father, and Nicolas and Courthope accept this date; but Dugdale (Baronage, i. 125) adduces documentary evidence showing that he had livery of his lands in 1223, and did not die (at Nantes) until 1228. As Nigel left no issue by his wife Mathilda or Maud, daughter of Roger de Camvile, he was succeeded as sixth baron by his brother Roger II, who only came of age in 1240, and died in 1266 (ib. pp. 125, 628). This Roger's son, Roger III, was seventh baron (1266-1298) and father of John I de Mowbray, eighth baron [q.v.]

[Roger Hoveden and Matthew Paris and Royal Letters of Reign of Henry III in Rolls Series; Byland and Newburgh accounts of the Mowbray family in Dugdale's Monasticon (see authorities for Mowbray, Roger de I); Dugdale's Baronage, vol. i.; Nicolas's Historic Peerage, ed. Courthope.]

J. T-t.