William FitzAUGER
Gilbert LE MARSHAL of Rockley
(-Abt 1130)
[Unknown daughter FitzAUGER]
John FitzGilbert LE MARSHAL of Rockley
(Bef 1109-1165)


Family Links

1. Aline PIPARD, Heiress of Wooton Basset

  • Gilbert LE MARSHAL
  • Walter LE MARSHAL

John FitzGilbert LE MARSHAL of Rockley

  • Born: Before 1109, Winterbourne Monkton, Marlborough, Wiltshire, England
  • Married (2): Before 1144, Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales
  • Died: Before 29 Sep 1165, Rockley, Marlborough, Wiltshire, England

  Research Notes:

He succeeded his father in [1130] as Master Marshal of the king's household. The 1129/30 Pipe Roll records "Johs Marisc" accounting for "terra et ministerio patris sui". The Gesta Stephani Regis names "Joannes, ille Marescallus agnominatus" among the supporters of Empress Matilda in the English civil war. Military fee certifications in the Red Book of the Exchequer, in 1166, record that "Johannes Marescallus" used to hold knights’ fees in Oxfordshire during the reign of King Henry I, now held by "Gilbertus filius eius" from "Manasser Arsic". Empress Matilda made various grants of property by charter dated to [1141/42] witnessed by "…Johes filius Gisleberti…". "…Rainaldo comite Cornubie…Johanne Marescallo" witnessed the charter dated to [Feb/Mar] 1155 under which Henry II King of England restored properties of "Roberto filio Hereberti Camerarii", held by "pater suus vel avus suus". The 1157 Pipe Roll records "Johi Marescall" in Herefordshire and Hampshire (three times). The Red Book of the Exchequer refers to "Johannes Marscallus xx s" in Worcestershire in [1161/62]. 1


John FitzGilbert, styled also John the Marshal, 1st son and heir [of Gilbert], a party to the suit aforesaid, succeeded to his father's lands and office in or shortly before 1130, when he owed 22.13.4 marks for them. He then held land in Wiltshire, and owed 40 marks silver for the office of supplying fodder for the royal horses in his charge, as well as 30 marks silver for the land and daughter of Walter Pipard. He was with Henry I in Normandy in 1137 and in England in 1138, in which year he fortified the castles of Marlborough and Ludgershall. In 1140 he held Marlborough for the King, and captured Robert FitzHubert, who had taken the royal castle of Devizes. After Stephen had been taken prisoner at Lincoln, John joined the Empress, with whom he was at Reading in May, at Oxford in July, and at Winchester in Aug-Sep 1141, where in the final rout he was cut off and surrounded in Wherwell Abbey, but escaped with the loss of an eye and other wounds (b). In 1142 he was again with the Empress at Oxford, and some 2 years later at Devizes. In 1144 he was raiding the surrounding country form Marlborough Castle and oppressing the clergy. He was with Maud's son Henry at Devizes in 1149 and 1153; and in 1152 Newbury Castle was defended by his constable against Stephen. After Henry's accession John was granted Crown lands in Wiltshire worth 82 marks per annum, including Marlborough Castle; but he had to surrender the castle in 1158. He was present at the Council of Clarendon in 1164; soon after which he sued Thomas Becket for part of his manor at Pagham, in Sussex. John was a benefactor to the priory of Bradenstoke, the abbey of Troarn, and the Templars.

He m., 1stly, Aline, who may have been the daughter and heir of Walter Pipard. He is said to have repudiated her circa 1141, and he m., 2ndly, Sibyl, sister of Patrick de Salisbury, 1st Earl of WIltshire, and daughter of Walter de Salisbury, hereditary sheriff of Wiltshire and constable of Salisbury Castle, by Sibyl, daughter of Patrick de Chaources (Chaworth). John d. in 1165, before Michaelmas. 2

(b) According to the poem, John escaped from Winchester on foot to Marlborough, and there assembled troops, with which he inflicted much loss on the King and his partisans, and when Stephen marched towards Ludgershall, the Marshal waylaid and defeated the royal forces. After this Patrick de Salisbury (whom the poet prematurely makes an Earl) is said to have made many attacks on the Marshal, with the King's support; until the feud was settled by John repudiating his 1st wife and marrying Patrick's sister.


John Marshal, whom the Gesta Stephani rather unkindly describes as 'a limb of hell and the root of all evil' was a man who loved warfare, and played the game of politics with great success. At first he supported Stephen but, when he began to realise the failings of the King and the potentialities of Matilda's party, he changed sides. Almost immediately he proved by a consummate act of bravery and hardihood, that he was worth having: escorting Matilda to safety in his castle at Ledgershall, John found that the party was going dangerously slowly because Matilda was riding side-saddle, so he persuaded her to ride astride, and stopped behind to delay the pursuers at Wherwell. His force was soon overpowered by the numbers of the enemy, and John took refuge with one of his knights in the Abbey. The opposing party promptly set fire to the church, and John and his knight had to take cover in the tower, John threatening to kill his knight if he made any move to surrender. As the lead of the roof began to melt and drop on the two soldiers, putting out one of John's eyes, the enemy moved off, convinced that they were dead. They escaped, in a terrible state, but triumphant, to John's castle.

He plainly expected his children to be as tough as himself, as an incident of the year 1152, when William was about six, will show. King Stephen went to besiege Newbury Castle, which Matilda had given John to defend; the castellan, realising that provisions and the garrison were both too low to stand a long siege, asked for a truce to inform his master. This was normal practice, for if the castellan were not at once relieved, he could then surrender without being held to have let his master down. Now John had not sufficient troops to relieve the castle, so he asked Stephen to extend the truce whilst he, in turn, informed his mistress, and agreed to give William as a hostage, promising not to provision and garrison the castle during the truce. This he promptly did, and when he received word from Stephen that the child would be hung if he did not at once surrender the castle, he cheerfully replied that he had hammer and anvils to forge a better child than William. 3


John Mareschall, attaching himself to the fortunes of Maud against King Stephen, was with Robert, the consul, Earl of Gloucester, at the siege of Winchester Castle, when the party of the empress sustained so signal a defeat. Upon the accession of Henry II, however, in 1154, his fidelity was amply rewarded by considerable grants in the co. Wilts; and in the 10th of that monarch's reign, being then marshal, he laid claim, for the crown, to one of the manors of the see of Canterbury from the prelate, Thomas à Becket, who about that period, had commenced his contest with the king. To this John s. his son and heir, John Mareschall. 4

  Marriage Information:

John married Aline PIPARD, Heiress of Wooton Basset, daughter of Walter PIPARD.(Aline PIPARD was born about 1105 in Wooton Basset, Wiltshire, England.)

  Marriage Information:

John also married Sybil DE SALISBURY, daughter of Sir Walter FitzEdward DE SALISBURY, Sheriff of Wiltshire, Sybil Maud DE CHAWORTH, Heiress of Hesdin, before 1144 in Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales. (Sybil DE SALISBURY was born about 1127 in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England and died on 3 June.)


1 Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, Medlands: John FitzGilbert "the Marshal".

2 Complete Peerage X:Appendix G:93-95.

3 Who's Who in the Middle Ages, John Fines, Barnes & Noble Books, New York, 1995.

4 Sir Bernard Burke, Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages, Burke's Peerage, Ltd., London, 1883, p. 357, Marshal, Barons Marshal.

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