Arms granted by Richard II to Thomas de Mowbray. 1st Duke of Norfolk.

Mowbray (play /ˈmbri/) is an Anglo-Norman baronial house, derived from Montbrai in Normandy. From this village came Geoffrey de Montbrai who came to be Bishop of Coutances and accompanied Duke William of Normandy at the Conquest of England in 1066.

For his support he was granted some 280 English manors (each about the size of a village). His nephew Robert de Montbrai became Earl of Northumberland in 1080, but he rebelled against William II (Rufus) and was captured and imprisoned in Windsor Castle for thirty years. His divorced wife, Matilda, married Nigel d'Aubigny (sometimes spelt d'Albini) whose family came from Saint Martin d'Aubigny, 16 km. west of Saint-Lô and 15 km. north of Coutances. However, Robert was the maternal uncle of Nigel and although Nigel inherited Robert's vast landholdings, the marriage was annulled for consanguinity before any issue. By his second wife, Gundred, he had a son and heir Roger whose name was changed by royal command from d'Aubigny to de Montbray. The family flourished (Baronial Pedigree) and the name spelling evolved to Mowbray.

The baronial line died out in England with a young heiress ca. 1475, although a son of an earlier generation had founded a dynasty in Scotland where issue has survived. The family was active up and down the east side of the country and settled predominantly in the counties of Durham, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire in historic times. Since then there has been the usual migration into other areas and overseas.

As with any name, there are numerous spelling variations over time, but the major ones are MOUBRAY, the Scottish version, and MOWBERRY which stemmed from a Leicestershire migration into Glinton, Northamptonshire, where the variant became established and eventually spread into a Lincolnshire branch. One of the many heraldic badges of the house was a mulberry tree.


Royal ancestries

Baronial house

The baronial house was founded at the Conquest by Geoffrey de Montbray, bishop of Coutances. His brother's son Robert de Montbray, who rebelled with him against William Rufus on the Conqueror's death, was made, after their reconciliation, earl of Northumbria, as his uncle's heir but was forfeited and imprisoned for life on rebelling again in 1095.

Roger d'Aubigny (of Aubigny in the Cotentin) had two sons, Nigel and William, who were ardent supporters of Henry I. They were rewarded by him with great estates in England. William was made king's butler, and was father of William d'Aubigny (de Albini), first earl of Arundel; Nigel was rewarded with the escheated fief of Robert de Montbray in Normandy and a number of lands in England. Nigel married, by dispensation, the wife of Robert de Montbray, the imprisoned earl, but afterwards divorced her, and by another wife was father of a son Roger, who took the name of Mowbray.

Roger, a great lord with a hundred knight's fees, was captured with King Stephen at the battle of Lincoln, joined the rebellion against Henry II (1173), founded abbeys, and went on crusade. His grandson William, a leader in the rising against King John, was one of the 25 barons of the Great Charter, as was his brother Roger, and was captured fighting against Henry III at the rout of Lincoln (1217). William's grandson Roger (1266–1298), who was summoned to parliament by Edward I, was father of John (1286–1322), a warrior and warden of the Scottish March, who, joining in Thomas of Lancaster's revolt, was captured at Boroughbridge and hanged.

His wife, a Braose heiress, added Gower in South Wales and the Bramber lordship in Sussex to the great possessions of his house. Their son John de Mowbray, 3rd Baron Mowbray (d. 1361) was father, by Joan of Lancaster, a daughter of Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster, of John, Lord Mowbray (c. 1328–1368), whose fortunate alliance with the heiress of John de Segrave, 4th Baron Segrave, by the heiress of Edward I's son Thomas, earl of Norfolk and marshal of England, crowned the fortunes of his race. In addition to a vast accession to their lands, the earldom of Nottingham and the marshalship of England were bestowed on them by Richard II, and the dukedom of Norfolk followed.

The 1st duke left two sons, of whom Thomas the elder was only recognized as earl marshal. Beheaded for joining in Scrope's conspiracy against Henry IV (1405), he was succeeded by his brother John, who was restored to the dukedom of Norfolk in 1424. His son John, the third duke, was father of John, 4th and last duke, who was created earl of Warrenne and Surrey in his father's lifetime (1451). At his death (14l8) his vast inheritance devolved on his only child Anne, who was married as an infant to Edward IV's younger son Richard (created duke of Norfolk and earl of Nottingham and Warrenne), but died in 1481.

The next heirs of the Mowbrays were then the Howards and the Berkeleys, representing the two daughters of the first duke. Between them were divided the estates of the house, the Mowbray dukedom of Norfolk and earldom of Surrey being also revived for the Howards (1483), and the earldom of Nottingham (1483) and earl marshalship (1485) for the Berkeleys. Both families assumed the baronies of Mowbray and Segrave, but Henry Howard was summoned in his father's lifetime (1640) as Lord Mowbray, which was deemed a recognition of the Howards' right; their co-heirs, from 1777, were the Lords Stourton and the Lords Petre, and in 1878 Lord Stourton was summoned as Lord Mowbray and Segrave. The former dignity is claimed as the premier barony, though De Ros ranks before it. Lord Stourton's son claimed, but unsuccessfully, in 1901–1906 the earldom of Norfolk (1312), also through the Mowbrays. Of the Mowbray estates the castle and lordship of Bramber is still vested in the dukes of Norfolk.

Notable Mowbray families

  • Thomas Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk, 6th Baron Mowbray Duke of Norfolk (b.1367)
  • Thomas Mowbray, 4th Earl of Norfolk, 7th Baron Mowbray Earl of Norfolk (b.1385)
  • John Mowbray, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, 8th Baron Mowbray Duke of Norfolk (b.1390)
  • John Mowbray, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, 9th Baron Mowbray Duke of Norfolk (b.1415)
  • John Mowbray, 4th Duke of Norfolk, 10th Baron Mowbray Earl of Surrey and Warenne (b.1444)
  • Alexander de Mowbray (b.1288)
Father: Sir Roger de MOWBRAY Lord Mowbray was born 1257 in Pontefract, West Riding, Yorkshire, England. He died November 1297 in Ghent, Flanders.
Mother: Roger married Roese de CLARE on Jul 1270 in Thirsk, North Riding. Roese de CLARE was born 17 Oct 1252 in Tunbridge, Kent. She died January 1316.
Children: (1st) Sir John de Mowbray Lord Mowbray b.4 Sep 1286 d.23 Mar 1322. (2nd) Alexander de Mowbray born 1288 in Thirsk, Yorkshire.
  • Anne Baroness Mowbray (b.1472)
  • Blanche de (b.1338)
John de SEGRAVE: b.13 Sep 1340 in Bretby Castle, Derbyshire. He died March 1353 in Croxton Keyrial, Leics. John married Blanche de Mowbray on 25 Mar 1349 in Croxton. Blanche b.1338 in Epworth, Lincs. She died 21 Jul 1409 in Wilton, Wiltshire.
  • Christiana de (b.1306)
Sir William de PLUMPTON Kt (b.1294 m.1344 d.1362 in Plumpton, W-Riding, Yorks). William married Christiana de Mowbray (1306-1363) in Hovingham, N-Riding. She died in Plumpton. Children: (1st) Alice de Plumpton (1338-1400) (2nd) Sir Robert de Plumpton Kt (1340-1407) Other marriages: John SCOT. Richard de Emildon Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne.
  • Eleanor de (b.1342)
Sir Roger la '''WARRE''' Lord la Warre (b.1326 m.1358 in Warwick, Gloucs). He died 27 Aug 1370 in Gascogne, France. Roger married Eleanor de MOWBRAY (1342-1387) in Epworth, Lincs. She died in Bobbing, Kent. Children: Edward la WARRE (b.1360) John la WARRE (b.1363) Joan la WARRE (1366-1404) Other marriages: Elizabeth de WELLES: Lewis de CLIFFORD Kt.
  • Eleanor de Mowbray Baroness Welles (b.1364)
Sir John de WELLES Lord Welles was born 20 Apr 1352 in Conisholme, Lincolnshire. He died 26 Aug 1421 in Welles, Lincs. John married Eleanor de MOWBRAY Baroness Welles on May 1386 in Welles. Eleanor b.1364 in Epworth, Lincs. d.1405/08 in Welles. Children: (1st m) Eudo de WELLES (1387-1417) (2nd) Eleanor de WELLES (1389-1458)
  • Elizabeth de (b.1350)
Sir William GASCOIGNE Kt. (b.1348 m+.1369 d.1419 Gawthorpe W-Riding, Yorks) William married Elizabeth de MOWBRAY Elizabeth de MOWBRAY (1350-1396) Children: Sir William GASCOIGNE Knight was born 1370 and died 28 Mar 1422.
  • Elizabeth de (b.1392)
De La Pole Coat of Arms.jpg
Michael de la POLE Earl of Suffolk b.1394 m.1403 in Cotton, Suffolk. Died 25 Oct 1415 in Agincourt, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France. Michael married Elizabeth de Mowbray. Elizabeth was born 1392 in Epworth, Lincolnshire, England. She died after 1 Dec 1423.
  • Isabel de (b.1249)
Sir Adam de '''NEWMARCH''' Kt. (b.1222. m.1243. d.1283 in Womersley W-Riding Yorks. Adam married Joan (1226-1304) Children: (1st) Sir Adam de NEWMARCH Kt. (1244-1303). (2nd) Maud de NEWMARCH (1246-1283).
Sir Adam de NEWMARCH Kt. (b.1244 m.1264 d.1303 in Womersley W-Riding Yorks.) Adam married Isabel de MOWBRAY. Isabel (1249-1317) in Pontefract W-Riding Yorks. Children: (1st) Margery de Newmarch (1266-1330). (2nd) John de Newmarch (1268-1310) (3rd) Sir Roger de NEWMARCH Kt. (1270-1352).
  • Isabel de (b.1396)
Sir James de BERKELEY Lord Berkeley (b.1394 in Raglan, Monmouthshire, Wales.) (m.1424. d.1463 in Berkeley, Gloucs). James married Isabel de MOWBRAY. Isabel (1396-1452) was born in Epworth, Lincs. She died September 1452 in Gloucester Castle. Children: (1st) Elizabeth BERKELEY (b.1425). (2nd) Sir William BERKELEY Earl of Nottingham (1427-1492). (3rd) James BERKELEY Esq (b.1429) (4th) Alice BERKELEY (b.1432). (5th) Sir Maurice BERKELEY Lord Berkeley (1435-1506). (6th) Thomas BERKELEY Esq (1435-1484). (7th) Isabel BERKELEY (1438-1482). Berkeley, Gloucs. Other marriages: (St. JOHN) (STAFFORD) Joan TALBOT. Henry FERRERS Kt.
  • Joan de (b.1247)
Sir Robert de MOHAUT Kt (b.1230 m.1261 d.1275 in Arden, Cheshire). Robert married Joan de MOWBRAY. Joan (1247-1284) was born in Pontefract, W-Riding, Yorkshire. Children: (1st) Roger de MOHAUT Lord Mohaut (1263-1296). (2nd) Isabel de Mohaut (1270-1294). (3rd) Sir Robert de MOHAUT Lord Mohaut (1274-1329).
  • Joan de Mowbray (b.1361)
Father: John de Mowbray, 4th Baron Mowbray
Mother: Elizabeth de Segrave, 5th Baroness Segrave
Husband: Sir Thomas '''GREY''' Knight was christened 26 Nov 1359 in Wark upon Tweed, Northumberland, England. He died 26 Nov 1400 in Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Wife: Thomas married Joan de MOWBRAY in 1380 in Heaton. Joan de Mowbray was born 1361 in Epworth, Lincolnshire. She died 8 Sep 1410 in Heaton.
Children: (1st) Maud GREY was born 1382 and died after 22 Aug 1451.
(2nd) Sir Thomas GREY Sheriff of Northumberland was born 30 Nov 1384 and died 3 Aug 1415. (Born at Alnwick Castle, seat of Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland. Thomas married Alice daughter of Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmoreland.
(3rd) Sir John GREY Count of Tancarville was born 1386 and died 22 Mar 1421.
(4th) Henry Grey, 2nd Earl of Tankerville, married Antigone, daughter of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester Henry was born 1388 in Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland.
(5th) William GREY Bishop of London and Lincoln, was born 1390 in Heaton. He died 1435 in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England.
  • Margaret (b.1402)
Sir John GREY K.G. (b.1386. m.1438. d.1439 in Ruthin, Denbighshire, Wales). John married Margaret MOWBRAY on Jun 1438 in Ruthin, Denbighshire, Wales. Margaret (1402-1459) was born in Epworth, Lincs. She died in Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk. Other marriages: Constance de HOLAND; Robert HOWARD Kt.
  • Margaret de (b.1359)
Sir Geoffrey de '''LUCY''' Kt. (b.1320. m.1355. d.1400 in Cublington, Buckinghamshire.) Geoffrey married Margery (b.1335) Children: Sir Reginald de LUCY Kt (1359-1437) born in Cublington, Bucks. died in Darlington, Northamptonshire. Reginald married Margaret de MOWBRAY on 1369 in Bretby Castle. Derbyshire. Margaret (1159-1401) was born in Epworth, Lincs. She died in Darlington. Children: Sir Walter LUCY Kt. (1388-1444).
  • Maud de (b.1255)
Sir John '''DEIVILLE''' Kt (b.1250. m.1275. d.1291 in Egmanton, Notts) John married Maud de MOWBRAY. Maud (1255-1312) was born Pontefract, W-Riding, Yorks. Children (1st) Sir John DEIVILLE Kt (1276-1325). (2nd) Thomas DEIVILLE (b.1279) Other marriages: James de AUDLEY Kt
  • Nigel de (b.1216)
  • Nigel de (b.1146)
Nigel de MOWBRAY (1146-1191) was born in Axholme, Lincs. Died in Acre, Palestine. Nigel married Mabel de '''BRAOSE''' (1170) in Axholme. Mabel (1151-1203) was born in Bramber, Sussex. Children: (1st) William de MOWBRAY Baron of Axholme (1172-1223)
  • Robert de Mowbray (b.1149)
  • Robert de Mowbray Earl of Northumbria (b.1075)
Robert de MOWBRAY Earl of Northumbria was born 1075 in Mowbray, Northumbria. He died 1125 in Windsor Castle, Berkshire. Robert married Mathilde de l' AIGLE on 1095 in Mowbray, Northumbria. Mathilde (1078-1130) from Aigle, Valais, Switzerland. Other marriages: Nigel d' AUBIGNY.
  • Roger de Mowbray (b.1119)
  • Roger de Mowbray Knight (b.1218)
  • William de Mowbray Baron of Axholme (b.1172)

Further reading

  • Greenway, D.E. (ed.), Charters of the Honour of Mowbray 1107-1191, London, 1972

External links

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