The Chronicle of Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire, names (in order) ”Johannes de Garren comes de Garren et Isabella de Aubeni soror eius et comitissa de Arundel” as the children of “Johanni de Garrene comiti de Surrey” and his wife Matilda Marshal of the Earls of Pembroke.
He succeeded his father in 1240 as Earl of Surrey. Henry III King of England agreed that “unam filiarum filiæ...comitis [Sabaudiæ]” would marry “vel Johanni de Warenna qui si vixerit comes erit Warennæ, vel Edmundo de Lacy qui si vixerit comes erit Lincolniæ” by charter dated 1246.
No direct evidence has been found of a second marriage. However, the Chronicle of Thomas Wykes describes John de Warenne’s daughter Isabel as “adolescentulam” at the time of her marriage in 1279. If that is correct, it appears improbable that Isabel was born from John’s known wife Alix de Lusignan who died in 1256. In that case, she would have been born from an otherwise unrecorded second marriage of her father. A second marriage also appears probable as John survived his known wife by nearly fifty years.
He was one of the guardians of the realm on the death of King Henry III, until the return of Edward I from crusade. He was appointed keeper of the realm of Scotland 3 Sep 1296, but never assumed the post as he was defeated by the Scots at the battle of Stirling.
The Annales Londonienses record the death "circiter festum Exaltationis Sanctæ Crucis…apud Newentone" in 1304 of "comes Warenniæ" and his burial "in ecclesia Sancti Pancratii Lewensi". 1
John de Warenne was a prominent English nobleman and military commander during the reigns of Henry III of England and Edward I of England. During the Second Barons' War he switched sides twice, ending up in support of the king, for whose capture he was present at Lewes in 1264. Warenne was later appointed a Guardian of Scotland and featured prominently in Edward I's wars in Scotland.
A boy when his father died, Warenne became a royal ward. Peter of Savoy was appointed guardian of his holdings and Warenne was raised at the royal court. In 1247, he married Henry III's half-sister Alice le Brun de Lusignan, a marriage that created resentment amongst the English nobility, who did not like seeing a wealthy English nobleman marrying a penniless foreigner.
During the following years, Warenne was closely associated with the court faction centering on his in-laws. In 1254, he accompanied the king's son Edward (the future Edward I) on Edward's journey to Spain to marry Eleanor of Castile.
During the conflicts between Henry III and his barons, Warenne started as a strong supporter of the king, switched to support for Simon de Montfort, and then returned to the royalist party. He opposed the initial baronial reform plan of May 1258, but along with other opponents capitulated and took the oath of the Provisions of Oxford.
By 1260, Warenne had joined the party of Simon de Montfort, but switched back to the king's side in 1263. In April 1264, he and Roger de Leybourne were besieged by de Montfort at Rochester Castle. In April of the same year Warenne was present for the Battle of Lewes (fought near his ancestral home, Lewes Castle). After the capture of the king and Prince Edward he fled to the Continent, where he remained for about a year. He returned to fight in the campaign which culminated in the Battle of Evesham, the Battle of Chesterfield and the siege of Kenilworth Castle.
Warenne served in Edward I's Welsh campaigns in 1277, 1282, and 1283. In 1282 he received the lordships of Bromfield and Yale in Wales. A good part of the following years were spent in Scotland. He was one of the negotiators for the 1289 treaty of Salisbury and for the 1290 treaty of Birgham, and accompanied the king on Edward's 1296 invasion of Scotland where he commanded the only major field action of that year in the Battle of Dunbar.
On 22 August 1296, the king appointed him "warden of the kingdom and land of Scotland". However Warenne returned to England a few months later claiming that the Scottish climate was bad for his health. The following spring saw the rebellion of William Wallace, Warenne was ordered to lead his army North by the King after initially refusing to return to Scotland. He was defeated by Wallace at the Battle of Stirling Bridge and fled to York.
Nevertheless the king appointed Warenne captain of the next campaign against the Scots in early 1298. He raised the siege of Roxburgh and re-took the town of Berwick. The king himself took the field later that year, and Warenne was one of the commanders during the decisive English victory at Falkirk.... 2