|Husband:||William + of BRAOSE (1153-1211)|
|Wife:||Maud + of SAINT VALERY (1155-1210)|
|Children:||William + of BRAOSE (1175-1210)|
|Margaret + of BRAOSE (1177-1255)|
|Reginald + of BRAOSE (1178-1228)|
|Name:||William + of BRAOSE|
|Father:||William + of BRAOSE (1106-1192)|
|Mother:||Bertha + of HEREFORD (1130- )|
|Birth||1153||Bramber, Sussex, England|
|Occupation||Lord of Bramber|
|Death||9 Aug 1211 (age 57-58)||Corbeil, Marne, Champagne-Ardenne, France|
|Cause: walled alive inside the dungeon of Corfe Castle and left to starve on orders of King John|
|Burial||Abbey of St. Victor, Paris|
|Name:||Maud + of SAINT VALERY|
|Father:||Bernard IV + of SAINT VALERY (1117- )|
|Mother:||Mathilda + (1128- )|
|Birth||1155||Bramber, Sussex, England|
|Death||1210 (age 54-55)||Corfe, Windsor, England|
|Cause: walled alive inside the dungeon of Corfe Castle and left to starve on orders of King John|
|Name:||William + of BRAOSE|
|Spouse:||Maud + of CLERE (1184-1213)|
|Birth||1175||Bramber, Sussex, England|
|Death||1210 (age 34-35)||Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England|
|Name:||Margaret + of BRAOSE|
|Spouse:||Walter + of LACY (1166-1241)|
|Birth||1177||Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales|
|Occupation||Lady of Trim|
|Title||Lady of Trim|
|Death||1255 (age 77-78)|
|Burial||Priory Church in Holme, Lucy, Hereforshire, England|
|Name:||Reginald + of BRAOSE|
|Spouse:||Grecia + of BRIWERE (1176-1223)|
|Birth||1178||Bramber, Sussex, England|
|Death||9 Jun 1228 (age 49-50)||Brecon, Breconshire, Wales|
William de Braose, (or William de Briouze), 4th Lord of Bramber (1144/1153 – 9 August 1211), court favourite of King John of England, at the peak of his power, was also Lord of Gower, Abergavenny, Brecknock, Builth, Radnor, Kington, Limerick, Glamorgan, Skenfrith, Briouze in Normandy, Grosmont, and White Castle.
William was the most notable member of the de Braose dynasty and his steady rise and sudden fall at the hands of King John is often taken as an example of that king's arbitrary and capricious behaviour towards his barons.
William was the son of William de Braose, 3rd Lord of Bramber and his wife Bertha of Hereford, also known as Bertha de Pitres, (born 1130) daughter of Miles Fitz Walter, Earl of Hereford and his wife, Sibyl, daughter of Bernard de Neufmarche. From his father he inherited the Rape of Bramber, in Sussex, and through his mother he inherited a large estate in the Welsh Marches area of modern day Monmouthshire.
 Abergavenny MassacreIn 1175, William de Braose carried out the Abergavenny Massacre, luring three Welsh princes and other Welsh leaders to their deaths. His principal antagonist was a Seisyll ap Dyfnwal, of Castell Arnallt near Llanover in the valley of the River Usk near Abergavenny, whom he blamed for the death of his uncle Henry. After having invited the Welsh leaders to a Christmas feast at Abergavenny Castle under the pretence of peace and the start of a new era at the end of the year (a traditional time for settling outstanding differences amongst the Welsh), he had them murdered by his men. This resulted in great hostility against him among the Welsh, who named him the "Ogre of Abergavenny". Gerald of Wales exonerates him and emphasises the religious piety of de Braose and his wife and de Braose generosity to the priories of Abergavenny and Brecon. William de Braose did however reputedly hunt down and kill Seisyll ap Dyfnwal's surviving son, Cadwaladr, a boy of seven.
In 1192 William de Braose was made sheriff of Herefordshire, a post he held until 1199. In 1196 he was made Justice Itinerant for Staffordshire. In 1195 he accompanied King Richard I of England to Normandy and in 1199, William de Braose fought beside Richard at Chalus, where the king was mortally wounded.
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.
De Braose served in the war of 1204 against King Philip II of France in France.
 Royal favouriteHe was greatly favoured by King John early in his reign. John granted him all that he might conquer from the Welsh in Radnorshire, gave him lordship over Limerick in Ireland (save for the city itself), possession of Glamorgan castle, and the Lordship of Gower with its several castles.
In 1203, William de Braose was put in charge of Arthur of Brittany, whom he had personally captured the previous year at the Battle of Mirebeau. William was suspected of involvement in Arthur's disappearance and death, although no concrete evidence ever came to light. There is somewhat better evidence that he at least knew the truth of the matter.
In 1206 King John gave William de Braose the three great neighbouring trilateral castles of Gwent (Skenfrith Castle, Grosmont Castle, and White Castle). These have been interpreted as bribes encouraging silence on the demise of Arthur, seen by many as a rightful heir to the throne occupied by John of England.
At this point only an earldom separated him from the greatest in England.
 Royal persecution and exiled deathBut soon after this William de Braose fell out of favour with King John of England. The precise reasons remain obscure. King John 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 distrained 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 de St. Valery, who, the story goes, had made no secret of her belief that King John had murdered Arthur of Brittany. Gerald of Wales describes Maud 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 allied himself to the Welsh Prince Llywelyn the Great and helped him in rebellion against King John.
In 1210, William de Braose fled Wales disguised as a beggar, to France. His wife and eldest son were captured, and William 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 King John, 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 while incarcerated at Windsor Castle and Corfe Castle in 1210.
While William had aroused the jealousy of the other barons during his rise, the arbitrary and violent manner of his fall very likely discomfited them and played a role in the Baronial uprisings of the next decade. The historian Sidney Painter, in his biography of King John, called it "the greatest mistake John made during his reign, as the King revealed to his Barons once and for all his capacity for cruelty."
 The de Braose lineageWilliam de Braose's eldest son, William, married Maud (Matilda) de Clare (ca. 1184–1213), the daughter of Richard de Clare, 3rd Earl of Hertford. William was captured with his mother and starved to death in 1210. He had fathered four sons. They were John, Giles, Philip and Walter and although they were also held in prison they were released in 1218. John, the eldest, was said to have been brought up secretly, in Gower, by a Welsh ally or retainer. On release he came under the care of his uncle Giles de Braose. John made a claim to being the rightful heir of the de Braose lands and titles and although the courts did not find for him, his other uncle Reginald de Braose was able to cede by a legal convention the Baronies of both Gower and Bramber to him for a fee. This established John's branch of the family and positioned it for survival at worst and at best opportunity, continued future power and influence.
 Later dynastyThe middle son, Giles de Braose, exiled in France until 1213, was Bishop of Hereford from 1200 until his death in 1215. He made peace with King John and agreed terms for regaining de Braose lands in 1215 but had also made alliances with the Welsh leader Llywelyn the Great. He died in 1215 before he could come into the lands.
William's third son, Reginald de Braose reacquired his father's lands and titles for himself through simply seizing them back by force following the death of Giles. Reginald did not actually come to terms with the Crown until 1217 and the new, young King Henry III of England, after the death of King John. This in turn aroused the anger of Llywelyn the Great who had an understanding with Giles de Braose and the seeming duplicity caused the Welsh to attack de Braose lands in Brecon and Abergavenny and Gower. Abergavenny Castle had to be rebuilt as a result. Reginald de Braose died in 1228.
William's eldest daughter Matilda (also called Maud) married a prominent Welsh prince, Gruffydd ap Rhys II of Deheubarth. Another daughter, Margaret, married Walter de Lacy, Lord of Meath in Ireland and himself another powerful Marcher Lord.
She was born Maud de St. Valéry in France in about 1155, the child of Bernard de St. Valéry and his first wife, Matilda. Her paternal grandfather was Reginald de St. Valéry (died c.1162).
She had many siblings and half-siblings, including Thomas de St. Valery (died 1219), who was a son of Bernard by his second wife Eleanor de Domnart. Thomas married Adele de Ponthieu, by whom he had a daughter, Annora, who in her turn married Robert III, Count of Dreux, by whom she had issue. Thomas fought on the French side, at the Battle of Bouvines on 27 July 1214.
Sometime around 1166, Maud married William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber, son of William de Braose, 3rd Lord of Bramber and Bertha of Hereford de Pitres. He also held the lordships of Gower, Hay, Brecon, Radnor, Builth, Abergavenny, Kington, Painscastle, Skenfrith, Grosmont, White Castle and Briouze in Normandy. When King John of England ascended the throne in 1199, he became a court favourite and was also awarded the lordship of Limerick, Ireland. Maud had a marriage portion, Tetbury from her father's estate.
Maud supported her husband's military ambitions and he put her in charge of Hay Castle and surrounding territory. She is often referred to in history as the Lady of Hay. In 1198, Maud defended Painscastle in Elfael against a massive Welsh attack led by Gwenwynwyn, Prince of Powys. She successfully held off Gwenwynwyn's forces for three weeks until English reinforcements arrived. Over three thousand Welsh were killed. Painscastle was known as Matilda's Castle by the locals.
Maud and William are reputed to have had 16 children. The best documented of these are listed below.
 IssueWilliam de Braose (1175 – 1210). Starved to death with his mother in Corfe Castle. He married Maud de Clare, daughter of Richard de Clare, 4th Earl of Hertford and Amice FitzRobert de Meullant of Gloucester, by whom he had issue, including John de Braose.
Giles de Braose, Bishop of Hereford (1180 – 11 November 1215)
Reginald de Braose (1178 –9 June 1228), he married firstly, Grecia de Briwere, daughter of William de Briwere and Beatrice de Vaux, and secondly, after 1222, Gwladus Ddu, daughter of Welsh Prince Llewelyn the Great. He had issue by his first wife, including William de Braose, who married Eva Marshal, and Matilda de Braose, who married Rhys Mechyll.
Matilda de Braose (1172 – 29 December 1210), married Gruffydd ap Rhys II, by whom she had two sons, Rhys and Owain.
Margaret de Braose (1177 – after 1255), married Walter de Lacy, 6th Baron Lacy of Trim Castle, Sheriff of Hereford, son of Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath and Rohese of Monmouth, by whom she had issue, including Gilbert de Lacy, Pernel de Lacy, and Egidia de Lacy. Margaret was buried at Priory Church in Holme Lacy.
Annora de Braose (1190 – 1241), married Hugh de Mortimer
Loretta de Braose, married Robert de Beaumont, 4th Earl of Leicester. She died without issue.
John de Braose (c.1180 – 1205), married Amabil de Limesi
Flandrina de Braose, Abbess of Godstow, (elected 1242, deposed 1248).
 Enmity of King John
King John of England:
Maud de Braose's enemyIn 1208, William de Braose quarrelled with his friend and patron King John. The reason is not known but it is alleged that Maud made indiscreet comments regarding the murder of King John's nephew Arthur of Brittany. There was also a large sum of money (five thousand marks) de Braose owed the King. Whatever the reason, John demanded Maud's son William be sent to him as a hostage for her husband's loyalty. Maud refused, and stated loudly within earshot of the King's officers that "she would not deliver her children to a king who had murdered his own nephew." Maud, upon realising her grave error, tried to make amends by sending Queen Isabella a herd of four hundred cattle, whose quality she had previously boasted of. The King would not be mollified and quickly led troops to the Welsh border and seized all of the castles that belonged to William de Braose. Maud and her eldest son William fled to Ireland, where they found refuge at Trim Castle with the de Lacy's, the family of her daughter Margaret. In 1210, King John sent an expedition to Ireland. Maud and her son escaped but were apprehended on the Antrim coast while trying to sail for Scotland. After being briefly held at Carrickfergus Castle, they were dispatched to England.
 Imprisonment at Corfe CastleMaud and her son William were first imprisoned at Windsor Castle, but were shortly afterwards transferred to Corfe Castle in Dorset where they were walled alive inside the dungeon. Maud and William both starved to death. Her husband died a year later in exile in France where he had gone disguised as a beggar to escape King John's wrath after the latter had declared him an outlaw, following his alliance with Llywelyn the Great, whom he had assisted in open rebellion against the King, an act which John regarded as treason. He was buried in the Abbey of St. Victor, Paris.
Corfe Castle; within whose dungeon Maud de Braose and her son William were walled aliveMaud's daughter Margaret de Lacy founded a religious house, the Hospital of St. John, in Aconbury, Herefordshire in her memory. On 10 October 1216, eight days before his death, King John conceded three carucates of land in the royal forest of Aconbury to Margaret for the construction of the religious house. He sent the instructions to her husband Walter de Lacy, who held the post of Sheriff of Hereford, by letters patent.
Maud de Braose features in many Welsh folklore myths and legends. There is one legend which says that Maud built the castle of Hay-on-Wye single handed in one night, carrying the stones in her apron. She was also said to have been extremely tall and often donned armour while leading troops into battle.
The legend about her building Hay Castle probably derives from the time she added the gateway arch to a tower which was built in the 1180s.
In contemporary records, she was described as beautiful, very wise, doughty, and vigorous. She kept up the war against the Welsh and conquered much from them.
The manner in which Maud and her son William met their deaths so outraged the English nobility that Magna Carta, which King John was forced to sign in 1215, contains clause 39; it reads:
No man shall be taken ,imprisoned, outlawed, banished or in any way destroyed, nor will we proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land.
Maud de Braose, Lady of Bramber (c. 1155–1210) was the wife of William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber, a powerful Marcher baron and court favourite of King John of England. She would later incur the wrath and enmity of the King who ordered her to be walled alive inside the dungeon of Corfe Castle along with her eldest son.
She features in many Welsh myths and legends; and is also known to history as Matilda de Braose, Moll Wallbee, and Lady of La Haie.
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