Philip de Braose ;Lord of Briouze and Bramber, born about 1076, of Bramber, Sussex, England, and Briouze, Normandy, d 1134-1135, Holy Land, Palestine. He married Aenor de Totnes about 1104. She was the daughter of Juhel de Totnes and Daughter de Picquigny.
Mother: Eve de Boissey
Philip is recorded as consenting to his father's gifts to his canons at St Nicholas church at Bramber in 1073 and confirmed those gifts to the abbey of St Florent in 1096. He was the first Braose Lord of Builth and Radnor, their initial holding in the Welsh Marches. Philip seems to have gone on the First Crusade and returned in 1103. Old Shoreham was part of his demesne lands where St Nicolas church (right) had stood since Saxon times. Philip expanded trade in the area by founding the port of New Shoreham. His lands were confiscated by Henry I in 1110, due to his traitrous support of William, son of Robert Curthose, but they were returned in 1112.
There are charters where Robert de Harcourt's sons, Philip and Richard, refer to Philip de Braose as "patruus" - paternal uncle. This lends weight to the theory that Robert de Harcourt and Philip de Braose were both sons of Eve de Boissey. In another record dated 1103 (Pipe Roll Soc. Vol 71 no 544) it is stated that Philip de Braose was represented by "his brother Robert, the son of Anketill".
Philips son William de Braose,Lord of Abergavenny, was born about 1106. He married Bertha of Hereford, daughter of Sir Miles Fitz Walter, Earl of Hereford, and Sibyl de Neufmarche.
Eventually the land came into the hands of the Braose family. William was a great favourite of King John and was also Lord of his Main seat at Bramber (1144-9th August 1211) Lord of Gower, Abergavenny, Brecknock, Builth, Radnor, Kington, Limerick, Glamorgan,Skenfrith, Briouze in Normandy, Grosmont, and White Castle Gwyn, and so owned all three Norman Castles in the area.William was very powerful.
He married Bertha de Pitres, the daughter of Miles Fitzwalter Earl of Hereford, then Maud de St Valery.
In spite of his later misdeeds, Williams early life was spent making a name for himself. Being a third son he had to make his way in the world. 1192, he was made Sheriff of Hereford, a post he held until 1199 and 1196 was made Justice Itinerant for Staffordshire.
King Richard the Lionheart of England
William accompanied Richard to Chalus in 1199 and the King was mortally wounded there.
He then supported King John's claim to the throne of England, supported the new king in making various royal grants and was in attendance with John in Normandy at the time of Arthur of Brittany's death in 1203. Arthur was John's nephew and was seen by many as the rightful heir to the English throne. He was the son of Geoffrey,his uncle who was the son of Henry II. Richard, believing John would be an unwise and incompetent king, had designated Arthur as his successor. In 1203, for some reason, Arthur was put in charge of William. William had personally captured Arthur in 1202 at the Battle of Mirabeau. Arthur was caused to disappear and to die and so the obstacle to John’s Coronation was removed, although no concrete evidence ever came to light. There is somewhat better evidence that he at least knew the truth of the matter, which made it important for John to reward him well.
William was ruthless. He became fed up with the constant onslaughts of the Welsh under Seisyll am Dyfnwal-(s-eye-slith am Duvun-wath-approx ) The Chronicle of the Princes records the deed. Pretending to want to make peace, William invited Seisyll and his men to the castle and prepared a sumptuous meal before the parley. At the height of the meal, a signal was given during scene of joy and merrymaking; the Normans fell upon the Welsh and killed every one. There was no escape. This burned in the Welsh people as the worst betrayal ever. Worse was that the French made for Seisyll’s court and seized his wife Gwladys and slew his son, too young to fight. The Welsh chronicle continues ‘from that time forward, after that treachery, none dared place trust in the French.’
Gerald of Wales describes the aftermath, while travelling through Abergavenny trying to raise men to take the Cross in 1188 with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
dow Burning with revenge, they concealed themselves in the overgrown ditches of Abergavenny Castle, which they had occupied while the Castellan was away. The previous day, a man called Seisyll the son of Eudas, had said to the constable as if warning him, but apparently more for a joke and a laugh than seriously:’this is where we shall climb tonight’. As he spoke, he pointed to the corners of the wall, where it seemed to be lower than elsewhere.
The Constable and his household stayed on guard all night, refusing to take off their amour and remaining on the alert until first light. In the end, tired out by their vigil and feeling safe now that day had dawned, they all retired to bed. Thereupon their enemies dragged the scaling ladders, which they had prepared to the precise corner of the walls which Sessile had pointed out. The Constable and his wife were captured and so were most of the men. A few escaped, finding refuge in the Keep. The Welsh occupied the castle and burnt the whole place down.(Welsh Chronicle of the Princes)
The possibility was that even then in 1182, the keep was a stone building with a thick oak door
Finally de Braose’s ambition and violence made him a problem for King John. Perhaps William, swollen with power and ambition tried to blackmail King John for more lands and money, and John considered that he was a threat. But soon after this William de Braose fell out of favour with King John of England. King John publicly cited overdue monies that de Braose owed the Crown from his estates. But the King's actions went far beyond what would be necessary to recover the debt. He distained de Braose's English estates in Sussex and Devon and sent a force to invade Wales to seize the de Braose domains there. Beyond that, he sought de Braose's wife Maud who, the story goes, had made no secret of her belief that King John had murdered Arthur of Brittany. Gerald of Wales describes Maud de St. Valery, as a 'prudent and chaste woman' who bore her husband three sons William, Giles and Reginald de Braose.
De Braose fled to Ireland, then returned to Wales as King John had him hunted in Ireland. In Wales, William then allied himself to the Welsh Prince Llywelyn the Great and helped him in rebellion against King John!
Death and Disgrace for a Murderer-and the Murder of Maud and William
In 1210, William de Braose fled Wales in disguise as a beggar, to France. His wife and eldest son were captured, and he died the following year in August 1211 at Corbeil, France. He is buried in the Abbey of St. Victor in Paris by a fellow exile and vociferous opponent of John of England, Stephen Langton, the Archbishop of Canterbury. His hopes to return alive to Wales and a burial in Brecon were to be unfulfilled. William's wife, Maud, and eldest son, William, once captured were murdered by King John, possibly starved to death incarcerated in Windsor Castle and Corfe Castle in 1210.
Thank you Lynda Denyer