John 8th Earl


John de Warenne, Earl of Warenne, 8th Earl of Surrey, Earl of Sussex and Strathern, was the last Earl of Warenne.

In 1304, he succeeded his grandfather John, the 7th Earl from whom he inherited the estates and peerage. He was Governor of Scotland.

In 1306, he married Joan of Bar.

Joan was the daughter of Henry, Count of Barr, and Eleanor the eldest daughter of Edward I

His marriage was without issue and both parties sued for divorce.

In 1306, he was knighted.

In 1307, John quarrelled with Piers Gaveston. He joined the party of barons at Scarborough in 1312, he took Gaveston prisoner, under terms of protection. He was angered by the execution of Gaveston, and went over to Edward II – see Elland Feud.

In 1316, he was excommunicated for adultery with Isabel de Houland and Maud de Neirford, there were several children by both liaisons. He later married Isabel.

In 1317, the family seat at Sandal Castle was burned to the ground by Thomas Lacy, Earl of Lancaster. In 1319, he was forced into giving the Manor of Wakefield to the Earl of Lancaster.

By about 1320, the Earl of Lancaster had made it a strongly defended stone fortress. After Lacy's execution in 1322, the Manor reverted to the Crown but was restored to John in 1326.

He had numerous illegitimate children but died without lawful issue, and on the death of his wife in 1359, his estates reverted to the crown. In 1362, Edward III gave it to his son Edmund Langley – and the earldom went to John's nephew, Richard Fitzalan, Second Earl of Arundel.

His will of 1347 tells:

I bequeath to Sir William de Warenne, my son, 100 marks, my helmet of silver gilt for Strathorne, with the coronet [in cercle] of silver gilt for the same, two fastenings and the pin, [ie latz] of silver gilt for the cloak, and all my amour for joust, And to my daughter [daughter-in-law], his wife, one golden broach. I bequeath to Edward de Warenne, my son, £5. I bequeath to Joan de Basyngg, my daughter, one cup of plain silver. I bequeath to Katherine, my daughter, 10 marks. I bequeath to Isabel, my daughter, a nun at Sempyngham [sic] £5. I bequeath to Isabel de Holand [sic], my wife, my gold ring with the good ruby ...

© Malcolm Bull 2023
Revised 02:53 / 22nd February 2023 / 5028

Page Ref: MMJ204

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