Parentage of Ida Longespée, wife of Walter Fitz Robert

Skip to first unread message

Douglas Richardson

Aug 3, 2011, 12:26:30 PM8/3/11
Dear Newsgroup ~

There has been discussion in the past on the newsgroup regarding the
placement of Ida Longespée, wife of Walter Fitz Robert, in the
Longespée family tree. Complete Peerage, 5 (1926): 472 (sub
FitzWalter) identifies Ida as "daughter of William (Longespée), Earl
of Salisbury." The William Longespée intended here is presumably
William Longespée I who died in 1226, not his son, William II, who
died in 1250. If so, this would give Earl William Longespée I and his
wife, Ela, two adult daughters named Ida, one of whom married Walter
Fitz Robert, and the other who married William de Beauchamp.
Curiously Complete Peerage, 11 (1949): 381-382 footnote k (sub
Salisbury) confuses Walter Fitz Robert's wife Ida with her sister of
the same name who married William de Beauchamp; it also misidentifies
Walter Fitz Robert's parentage.

The identification of Ida, wife of Walter Fitz Robert, as a Longespée
has traditionally rested on a pedigree of the Longespée family found
in Lacock Priory cartulary. This pedigree lists the various children
of William Longespée I, Earl of Salisbury, and his wife, Ela of
Salisbury, including:

"Idam de Camyle, quam duxit in uxorem Walterus fil. Roberti, de qua
genuit Catherinam et Loricam, quæ velatæ erant apud Lacok; Elam, quam
duxit primo Guillelmus de Dodingeseles, de qua genuit Robertum")
[Reference: Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum, 6(1) (1830): 501].

It is not known exactly why Ida Longespée is here styled Ida de Camyle
in this record. I've assumed, however, that Ida may have had a brief
Camville marriage previous to her known marriage to Walter Fitz
Robert. If so, a previous Camvillle marriage would explain her use of
the Camville surname as a grown adult. Ida's older brother, William
Longespée II, is known, for example, to have married a member of the
Camville family.

There is additional evidence which proves that Ida, wife of Walter
Fitz Robert, was in fact a Longespée. The
book, List of Ancient Correspondence of the Chancery and Exchequer,
contains an abstract of a letter dated 1261-1263 from Ida, widow of
Walter Fitz Robert, written to Walter de Merton, the king's
chancellor, in which Ida specifically styles herself Ida Longespée:

"152. Ida Longespée, widow of Walter Fitz Robert, to the same [Walter
de Merton, Chancellor]: to bail two of her men appealed of homicide.
[1261-1263]." [Reference: List of Ancient Corr. of the Chancery and
Exchequer (PRO Lists and Indexes 15) (1902): 107-108].

The above record was overlooked by Complete Peerage in its account of
the Fitz Walter family.

To date to my knowledge no one has discovered Ida Longespée's
maritagium, although she certainly had one in marriage. Recently I
encountered a record which evidently concerns her maritagium. The
record in question is a Wiltshire pleading which dates from 1249:

"Walter son of Robert and Ida his wife, by Ida's attorney by writ of
the present king, who brought an assize of novel disseisin against
William Lungepeie for holdings in Scepperingge and Heniton, Farlegh'
and Bidinham, have come and withdrawn by licence. It is agreed
between them that Walter and Ida had put themselves utterly in
William's grace for those holdings." [Reference: Clanchy, Civil Pleas
of the Wiltshire Eyre 1249 (Wiltshire Rec. Soc. 26) (1971): 152].

The lands involved in this lawsuit can be identified as Sheepbridge
(in Swallowfield), Hinton (in Hurst), Farley [Hill] (in Swallowfield),
and Diddenham (in Shinfield), all in modern Berkshire but formerly in
Wiltshire. These lands were apparently held by William Longespée I
and his wife, Countess Ela.

VCH Berkshire 3 (1923): 267-274 states that Sheepbridge "belonged with
Hinton in 1236 to Ela, Countess of Salisbury." Countess Ela named
here was the widow of William Longespée I. VCH's statement regarding
Countess Ela's holding of these lands is based on a charter found in
Calendar of Charter Rolls 1226–57, page 221, whereby the king
confirmed a grant of Countess Ela of various lands to Lacock Abbey,
in exchange for "10l. yearly receivable ...... .of the manors of
Shiperige and Henton, and the advowson of the church of Winterburn

The above record may be viewed at the following weblink:

Countess Ela's charter is undated but surely must date from around
1236. My files notes show the following information:

"In Feb. 1236 her son and heir, William Longespée, guaranteed her
gifts to Lacock Abbey, while she agreed to surrender all her lands,
rents and rights to him on 1 Nov. following. On 25 Oct. 1236 Ela,
Countess of Salisbury, reached agreement with William Longespée, her
first born son, that she may grant a moiety of the manor of
Heddington, Wiltshire to Lacock Priory, which property fell to her on
the death of Maud de Mandeville, Countess of Essex and Hereford. In
the winter 1236–7 she resigned her custody of the county of
Wiltshire. She subsequently entered her religious foundation at
Lacock, where she took the veil before spring 1238." END OF QUOTE

Following Countess Ela's surrender of her lands to her son, William
Longespée II, he in turn granted the four properties in question,
namely Sheepbridge, Hinton, Farley, and Diddenham, to his seneschal,
Sir Henry de la Mare. The date of this grant is sometime before

In that year Sir Henry de la Mare was involved in a legal action
concerning these four properties. A reference to this lawsuit may be
found in Maitland, Bracton’s Note Book 3 (1887): 286–287. This may
be viewed at the following weblink:

So the question arises: When did Walter Fitz Robert and his wife, Ida
Longespée, acquire their interest in the four properties? The answer
to that question is not exact but surely it must have dated from the
time that Countess Ela of Salisbury was holding these properties and
before 1 Nov. 1236 when Countess Ela surrendered all her lands, rents,
and rights to her son, William Longespée II. Walter and Ida can't
have acquired their interest from William Longespée II, as once his
mother released her lands to him, he almost immediately conveyed these
four properties to his seneschal, Sir Henry de la Mare. One of these
properties, Hinton, subsequently descended to Sir Henry de la Mare's
daughter and heiress, Maud, wife of Peter de Montfort, and thence to
her descendants [see VCH Berkshire 3 (1923): 247–260].

So besides knowing that Walter Fitz Robert and Ida Longespée obtained
their interest in the properties before 1236, what else can we know?
More specifically, why would Ida claim these lands, if her brother had
granted them to his seneschal?

The answer to this question is not clear but a reasonable guess would
be that these four properties were put up as Ida's maritagium when she
was contracted to marry a Camville and that when the contracted
Camville marriage failed to materialize or produced no issue, by the
terms of the marriage contract, the lands returned to Ida's family.
At that point, Ida's claim to the lands was essentially voided. This
in turn would explain why Ida's brother, William Longespée II, felt
free to grant these lands elsewhere to Sir Henry de la Mare.

In summary, adequate evidence has been located which indicates that
Ida, wife of Walter Fitz Robert, was a Longespée. In 1249 Walter Fitz
Robert and his wife, Ida, sued William Longespée II regarding four
properties then in Wiltshire, but now in Berkshire. The four
properties in question were apparently part of the inheritance of
Ida's mother, Countess Ela, who appears to have controlled the lands
until 1236, when she released her lands to her son, William Longespée
II. Ida's rights must predate 1236, as William Longespée II almost
immediately conveyed these properties before 1239-40 to his seneschal,
Sir Henry de la Mare. Thus William Longespée II can not have offered
them as Ida's maritagium. This in turn implies that Ida Longespée was
the daughter of William Longespée I and his wife, Countess Ela, and
not William Longespée II.

Best always, Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City, Utah

Joe Cook

Aug 4, 2011, 6:01:51 AM8/4/11

"Douglas Richardson" wrote in message

In summary, adequate evidence has been located which indicates that

Ida, wife of Walter Fitz Robert, was a Longesp�e.

Bravo. Good find.

Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages