(Abt 1020-)
(-Aft 1053)
Guillaume (William) I DE WARENNE, 1st Earl of Surrey
(Bef 1037-1088)
William II DE WARENNE, Earl of Surrey


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William II DE WARENNE, Earl of Surrey

  • Born: Lewes, Sussex, England
  • Married: 1118, France
  • Died: 11 May 1138, Priory of Lewes, Sussex, England
  • Buried: Priory of Lewes, Sussex, England

  Research Notes:

Orderic Vitalis records that, after the death of Williame de Warenne Earl of Surrey, “præfati consulis filii Guillelmus et Rainaldus” succeeded “cum Gundreda matre sua” [incorrect, as their mother was already deceased], dated to 1089. "Willelmo et Reynaldo filiis et heredibus meis" are named in the charter of "Willelmus de Warenna…Surreie comes" dated 1080.

He succeeded his father in 1088 as Earl of Surrey, though usually styled Earl de Warenne. He supported Robert Duke of Normandy in 1101 against his brother Henry I King of England, who confiscated his lands in England in consequence although they were restored in 1103. "…Guillaume comte de Varennes…" witnessed the undated charter under which Robert III Duke of Normandy donated property to Saint-Etienne de Caen. "Guillelmus filius Guillelmi de Vuarenna" confirmed donations of property to Saint-Victor-en-Caux by "patre meo", for the soul of "uxoris mee Ysabel", by undated charter (a copy of which is attached to a late-12th century transcription of a charter under which Hugh de Mortimer confirmed donations to the monastery), witnessed by "Gislebertus de Grenosavilla, Ysabel comitissa, Radulfus filius comitis…". “W comes de Warenna et Isabella comitissa uxor mea necnon filii nostri Willelmus…et Radulfus” donated property to Castle Acre Priory by undated charter.

The necrology of Longpont records the death “V Id Mai” of “Guillermus comes de Garenna”. 1


WILLIAM (DE WARENNE) II, EARL OF SURREY, 1st son and heir by 1st wife, usually styled EARL DE WARENNE. In 1090 he fought in Normandy against Robert de Belléme (afterwards 3rd Earl of Shrewsbury), who was supported by Duke Robert. Shortly after 1093 he sought unsuccessfully to marry Maud, daughter of Malcolm III, King of Scotland. He was with Henry I at Windsor on 3 September 1101, but later in that autumn he went with Duke Robert to Normandy and supported him against the King, who confiscated his inheritance in England; however, in 1103 the Duke induced Henry to restore his English Earldom. In 1106 he commanded a division of the royal army at the battle of Tinchebrai. In 1109 he was at a Great Council at Nottingharn; and in 1110 he was a surety for the performance of the treaty with the Count of Flanders. In 1111 he was one of the nobles sitting in judgement in Normandy. He commanded a division of the royal army at the battle of Brémule in 1119 (l). In 1131 he attended the Council at Northampton. He was present at the death of Henry I on 1 December 1135 at Lyons-la-Foret; after which the councillors put him in charge of the district of Rouen and the pays de Caux. Later he went to England, and he was at Westminster with Stephen at Easter 1136. He was probably still living in June 1137. He was a benefactor, or confirmed previous benefactions, to the abbeys of St. Evroul and St. Amand (Rouen), and the priories of Lewes, Castle Acre, Wymondham, Longueville and Bellencombre. Henry I had proposed to marry William to one of his illegitimate daughters, but on Archbishop Anselm's objection this match was abandoned on the ground of affinity. William eventually married Isabel (or Elizabeth), widow of Robert (DE BEAUMONT), COUNT OF MEULAN and 1st EARL OF LEICESTER (died 5 June 1118) (c), daughter of Hugh DE CRÉPI (styled "the Great"), COUNT OF VERMANDOIS (younger son of HENRY I, KING OF FRANCE), by Adelaide, daughter and heir of Herbert, COUNT OF VERMANDOIS and VALOIS. He died probably 11 May 1138 and was buried at his father's feet in the chapter-house at Lewes. Isabel survived him and with the consent of her son the 3rd Earl gave the church of Dorking to Lewes priory (g)...

(l) He had encouraged Henry to fight when William (de Tancarville) the Chamberlain urged him to retreat. His alleged speech to the King before the battle is given in "Chron. Men de Hida", pp. 316-7.

(c) According to Henry of Huntingdon [their daughter Ada's husband], the death of Isabel's 1st husband was hastened by an (unnamed) Earl carrying her off, by force or fraud. The truth of this is open to question.

(g) He left 3 sons: William - 3rd Earl, Ralph, and Rainald, ancestor of the Warennes of Wormegay; and 2 daughters: (1) Gundred, who m. 1st Roger de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Warwick; 2ndly, (as his 2nd wife), William de Lancaster; (2) Ada, who m. Henry, Earl of Huntingdon, s. of David I, King of Scotland, by whom she was mother of Malcolm IV and William the Lion, Kings of Scotland. 2

  Marriage Information:

William married Isabelle DE VERMANDOIS, daughter of Hugues "Le Maisné" CAPET, Duc de Vermandois & Bourgogne, and Ctse Adélaïs DE VERMANDOIS, in 1118 in France. (Isabelle DE VERMANDOIS was born before 1088 in Valois now Oise, Picardy, France, died on 13 Feb 1130/1 in St. Nicaise, Meulan, Desens, France and was buried in Lewes, Sussex, England.)


1 Foundation for Medieval Genealogy: Medlands: William [II] de Warenne.

2 Complete Peerage..., XII/1:495-6.

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