Clement-Jones family v2/21 - Person Sheet
Clement-Jones family v2/21 - Person Sheet
NameWilliam DE WARENNE 1st Earl of Surrey, 13946
1Gundred, 14331
ChildrenEdith , 13631
 William , 14332 (-1138)
Notes for William DE WARENNE 1st Earl of Surrey

William was a younger son of Ranulf I de Warenne and his 1st wife Beatrice (whose mother was probably a sister of duchess Gunnor, wife of duke Richard I).[a][1][2] William was from Varenne, Seine Maritime, now in the canton of Bellencombre.[3][4][5] At the beginning of Duke William’s reign, Ranulf II was not a major landholder and, as a second son, William de Warenne did not stand to inherit the family’s small estates. During the rebellions of 1052-1054, the young William de Warenne proved himself a loyal adherent to the Duke and played a significant part in the Battle of Mortemer for which he was rewarded with lands confiscated from his uncle, Roger of Mortemer, including the Castle of Mortimer and most of the surrounding lands.[6] At about the same time he acquired lands at Bellencombre including the castle which became the center of William de Warenne’s holdings in Normandy[1]

Conquest of England

William was among the Norman barons summoned to a council by Duke William when the decision was made to oppose king Harold II's accession to the throne of England.[1][7] He fought at the Battle of Hastings and was well rewarded with numerous holdings. The Domesday book records his lands stretched over thirteen counties and included the important Rape of Sussex, several manors in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, the significant manor of Conisbrough in Yorkshire and Castle Acre in Norfolk, which became his caput (see below).[1][2] He is one of the very few proven Companions of William the Conqueror known to have fought at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.[8][9][10] He fought against rebels at the Isle of Ely in 1071 where he showed a special desire to hunt down Hereward the Wake who had killed his brother-in-law Frederick the year before.[11][12] Hereward is supposed to have unhorsed him with an arrow shot.[13]

Later career

Sometime between 1078 and 1082,[14] William and his wife Gundred traveled to Rome visiting monasteries along the way. In Burgundy they were unable to go any further due to a war between Emperor Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII. They visited Cluny Abbey and were impressed with the monks and their dedication. William and Gundred decided to found a Cluniac priory on their own lands in England. William restored buildings for an abbey. They sent to Hugh the abbot of Cluny for monks to come to England at their monastery. At first Hugh was reluctant but he finally sent several monks including Lazlo who was to be the first abbot. The house they founded was Lewes Priory dedicated to St. Pancras,[15][16] the first Cluniac priory in England[17]

William was loyal to William II,[11] and it was probably in early 1088 that he was created Earl of Surrey.[18] He was mortally wounded at the First Siege of Pevensey Castle and died 24 June 1088 at Lewes, Sussex, and was buried next to his wife Gundred at the Chapterhouse of Lewes Priory.[19][20] At his death William's vast landholdings were estimated to be worth over an adjusted $143 Billion today.[21]


He married first, before 1070, Gundred (Latin: Gundrada),[22][23] sister of Gerbod the Fleming, 1st Earl of Chester[24] and Frederick of Oosterzele-Scheldewindeke.[25] By her he had:

William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey (d. 1138) married Elisabeth (Isabelle) de Vermandois, widow of Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester.[26]

Edith de Warenne who married 1stly Gerard de Gournay, lord of Gournay-en-Bray, 2ndly and Drew de Monchy.

Reynold de Warenne, who inherited lands from his mother in Flanders[27] and died c.1106-08

an unnamed daughter who married Ernise de Coulonces

William married secondly a sister of Richard Gouet who survived him.[30] They had no children.
Last Modified 22 Sep 2014Created 11 Dec 2021 using Reunion for Macintosh