Some corrections and additions to the Complete Peerage: Volume 5: FitzAlan of Oswestry

FITZALAN (of Oswestry)

Volume 5, page 391:
The castle of Oswaldestre (Oswestry), co. Salop, was obtained, with an extensive fief in Shropshire, early in the reign of Hen. I by (1) ALAN FITZFLEALD, a Breton,(h) whose s. and h. (2) WILLIAM FITZALAN, of Oswestry, d. 1160, and was suc. by his s. and h. (3) WILLIAM FITZALAN, of the same, who in right of his wife (Isabel, da. and h. of Ingram de Say) acquired the Lordship of Clun, also in co. Salop, and d. about 1210. Their s. and h. (4) WILLIAM FITZALAN, of Clun and Oswestry, d. s.p., 1216, and was suc. by his br. and h. (5) JOHN FITZALAN, of the same, who m. Isabel, sister (whose issue became coheirs) of Hugh (d'Aubigny), Earl of Arundel. He d. 1240.
Note h:
His history and descendants are dealt with fully in Round's Peerage and Family History, pp. 120-131, where the pedigree of the family in the 12th century was established for the first time...

Isabel was the daughter of Elias, not Ingram, de Say, and married the first William FitzAlan (d. 1160), not his son William, who died in 1210. Their son and heir William died about Easter, 1215. For a fuller account, see below.

Eyton, in Antiquities of Shropshire [vol.7, pp.211-253 and elsewhere; 1853-60], gave a very detailed account of the early FitzAlans. In the reference cited above, J.H. Round corrected the early part of Eyton's work, dealing with Alan FitzFleald's ancestry. However, for the following generations, Eyton's account remains both fuller and more accurate than later work [cf. Sanders, English Baronies, pp.70, 71, 124, 391, 392 (1960); Keats-Rohan, Domesday Descendants, pp.515, 680, 860 (2002)].

In the following summary, I have included references to source material only for points omitted or contradicted by the later writers (and in one case for an addition to Eyton's account).

  1. Alan FitzFleald, who married Aveline de Hesding.
  2. William FitzAlan, their son and heir, who married 1stly Christiana, neptis (niece or kinswoman) of Robert Earl of Gloucester, and 2ndly Isabel, daughter and heir of Elias de Say, lord of Clun [Isabel is described as the daughter of Elias in a 12th-century narrative from the cartulary of Lilleshall Abbey, printed by Dugdale, Monasticon, vol.6, p.262, cited by Eyton, vol.9, p.358]. After William's death in 1160, Isabel remarried, before 1166, to Geoffrey de Vere (d. 1170) and, before 1188, to William Boterel; she died probably in 1199, and was survived by her third husband.
  3. William FitzAlan, the son and heir of William by Isabel, who succeeded as a minor and apparently came of age in 1175. He married a daughter of Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath [Rot. Hundredorum, vol.2, pp.69, 76, 80, referring to land given to William FitzAlan with the sister of Walter de Lacy, cited by Eyton, vol.5, p.86, vol.10, p.126] and died in 1210 [Eyton, vol.7, p.244 citing the Annals of Dunstable Priory; since printed in Annales Monastici, vol.3 (Rolls Series no 36; 1866)].
  4. William FitzAlan, their son and heir, who succeeded as a minor, married Mary, the daughter of Thomas de Erdington, and died without issue, Easter 1215 [Eyton, vol.10, p.326, citing a copy of a letter from Thomas de Erdington to the king, referring to William's death at Easter and dated by Eyton to 1215 on internal evidence (Vincent's Collections, vol.3, p.98, College of Arms)]. Mary remarried to William de Duston, and both were living June 1220 [Curia Regis Rolls, vol.9, p.57].
  5. John FitzAlan, his brother and heir, as given above.

(Note that Sanders gave an alternative reconstruction, in which the second William FitzAlan died 1212-1213 and was the grandfather, not the father, of William (d. 1215) and his brother John. But this is shown to be incorrect by the statement of a jury in 1223 that John FitzAlan's father, William, had been a minor in the custody of Henry II [Curia Regis Rolls, vol.11, p.69].)

[The error concerning the identity of the William FitzAlan who married Isabel de Say, and much of the evidence presented by Eyton, were pointed out by Joe Cochoit in April 2002. Peter Stewart pointed out the disagreement between Eyton's and Sanders's reconstructions in May 2002. Thanks to Cris Nash, Ian Fettes, Leo van de Pas, Rosie Bevan and Robert S. Baxter for many other helpful contributions during the ensuing discussion.]