Fitzalan, Richard (1307?-1376) (DNB00)
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Fitzalan, Richard (1307?-1376)
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FITZALAN, RICHARD II, Earl of Arundel and Warenne (1307?–1376), son of Edmund Fitzalan, earl of Arundel [q. v.], and his wife, Alice Warenne, was born not before 1307. About 1321 his marriage to Isabella, daughter of the younger Hugh le Despenser, cemented the alliance between his father and the favourites of Edward II. In 1326, however, his father's execution deprived him of the succession both to title and estates. In 1330, after the fall of Mortimer, he petitioned to be reinstated, and, after some delay, was restored in blood and to the greater part of Earl Edmund's possessions (Rot. Parl. ii. 50). He was, however, forbidden to continue his efforts to avenge his father by private war against John Charlton, first lord Charlton of Powys [q. v.] (ib. ii. 60). In 1331 he obtained the castle of Arundel from the heirs of Edmund, earl of Kent. These grants were subsequently more than once confirmed (ib. ii. 226, 256). In 1334 Arundel received Mortimer's castle of Chirk, and was made justice of North Wales, his large estates in that region giving him considerable local influence. The justiceship was afterwards confirmed for life. He was also made life-sheriff of Carnarvonshire and governor of Carnarvon Castle. Arundel took a conspicuous part in nearly every important war of Edward III's long reign. After surrendering in 1336 his 'hereditary right' to the stewardship of Scotland to Edward for a thousand marks (Fœdera, ii. 952), he was made in 1337 joint commander of the English army in the north. Early in 1338 he and his colleague Salisbury incurred no small opprobrium by their signal failure to capture Dunbar (Knighton, c. 2570; cf. Liber Pluscardensis, i. 284, ed. Skene). On 25 April he was elevated to the sole command, with full powers to treat with the Scots for truce or peace (Fœdera, ii. 1029, 1031), of which he availed himself to conclude a truce, as his duty now compelled him to follow the king to Brabant (Chron. de Melsa, ii. 385), where he landed at Antwerp on 13 Dec. (Froissart, i. 417, ed. Luce). In the January parliament of 1340 he was nominated admiral of the ships at Portsmouth and the west that were to assemble at Mid Lent (Rot. Parl. ii. 108). On 24 June he comported himself 'loyally and nobly' at the battle of Sluys, and was one of the commissioners sent by Edward from Bruges in July to acquaint parliament with the news and to explain to it the king's financial necessities (ib. ii. 118 b). Later in the same year he took part in the great siege of Tournay (Luce, Chronique des Quatre Premiers Valois, p. 4, ed. Soc. de l'Histoire de France). In 1342 he was at the great feast given by Edward III in honour of the Countess of Salisbury (Froissart, iii. 3). His next active employment was in the same year as warden of the Scottish marches in conjunction with the Earl of Huntingdon. In October of the same year he accompanied Edward on his expedition to Brittany (ib. iii. 225), and was left by the king to besiege Vannes (ib. iii. 227) while the bulk of the army advanced to Rennes. In January 1343 the truce put an end to the siege, and in July Arundel was sent on a mission to Avignon. In 1344 he was appointed, with Henry, earl of Derby, lieutenant of Aquitaine, where the French war had again broken out ; and at the same time was commissioned to treat with Castile, Portugal, and Aragon (Fœdera, iii. 8, 9). In 1345 he repudiated his wife, Isabella, on the ground that he had never consented to the marriage, and, having obtained papal recognition of the nullity of the union, married Eleanor, widow of Lord Beaumont, and daughter of Henry, third earl of Lancaster. This business may have prevented him sharing in the warlike exploits of his new brother-in-law, Derby, in Aquitaine. He was, however, reappointed admiral of the west in February 1345, and retained that post until 1347 (Nicolas, Hist. of Royal Navy, ii. 95). In 1346 he accompanied Edward on his great expedition to northern France (Froissart, iii. 130), and commanded the second of the three divisions into which the English host was divided at Crecy (ib. iii. 169, makes him joint commander with Northampton, but Murimuth, p. 166, includes the latter among the leaders of the first line). He was afterwards with Edward at the siege of Calais (Rot. Parl. ii. 163 b}. In 1348 and 1350 Arundel was on commissions to treat with the pope at Avignon (Fœdera, iii. 165, 201). In 1350, however, he took part in the famous naval battle with the Spaniards off Winchelsea (Froissart, iv. 89). In 1351 he was employed in Scotland to arrange for a final peace and the ransom of King David (Fœdera, iii. 225). In 1354 he was one of the negotiators of a proposed truce with France, at a conference held under papal mediation at Guines (ib. iii. 253), but on the envoys proceeding to Avignon (ib. iii. 283), to obtain the papal ratification, it was found that no real settlement had been arrived at, and Innocent VI was loudly accused of treachery (Cont. Murimuth, p. 184). In 1355 Arundel was one of the regents during the king's absence from England (Fœdera, iii. 305). In 1357 he was again negotiating in Scotland, and in 1358 was at the head of an embassy to Wenzel, duke of Luxembourg (ib. iii. 392). In August 1360 he was joint commissioner in completing the ratifications of the treaty of Bretigny. In 1362 he was one of the commissioners to prolong the truce with Charles of Blois (ib. iii. 662). In 1364 he was again engaged in diplomacy (ib. iii. 747).
The declining years of Arundel's life were spent in comparative seclusion from public affairs. In 1365 he was maliciously cited to the papal court by William de Lenne, the foreign bishop of Chichester, with whom he was on bad terms. He was supported by Edward in his resistance to the bishop, whose temporalities were ultimately seized by the crown. He now perhaps enlarged the castle of Arundel (Tierney, Hist. of Arundel, p. 239). His last military exploit was perhaps his share in the expedition for the relief of Thouars in 1372.
Arundel was possessed of vast wealth, especially after 1353, when he succeeded, by right of his mother, to the earldom of Warenne or Surrey. He frequently aided Edward III in his financial difficulties by large advances, so that in 1370 Edward was more than twenty thousand pounds in his debt. Yet at his death Arundel left behind over ninety thousand marks in ready money, nearly half of which was stored up in bags in the high tower of Arundel (Harl. MS. 4840, f. 393, where is a curious inventory of all his personal property at his death).One of Arundel's last acts was to become, with Bishop William of Wykeham, a general attorney for John of Gaunt during his journey to Spain (Fœdera, iii. 1026). He died on 24 Jan. 1376. By his will, dated 5 Dec. 1375, he directed that his body should be buried without pomp in the chapter-house of Lewes priory, by the side of his second wife, and founded a perpetual chantry in the chapel of St. George's within Arundel Castle (Nicolas, Testamenta Vetusta, pp.94-6). By his first marriage his only issue was one daughter. By his second he had three sons, of whom Richard, the eldest [see Fitzalan, Richard III], was his successor to the earldom. John, the next, became marshal of England, and perished at sea in 1379. According to the settlement made by Earl Richard in 1347 (Rot. Parl. iv. 442), the title ultimately reverted to the marshal's grandson, John VI Fitzalan. The youngest, Thomas [see Arundel, Thomas], became archbishop of Canterbury. Of his four daughters by Eleanor, two are mentioned in his will, namely Joan, married to Humphrey Bohun, earl of Hereford, and Alice, the wife of Thomas Holland, earl of Kent. His other daughters, Mary and Eleanor, died before him. [Rymer's Fœdera, vol. iii. Record edit.; Rolls of Parl. vol. ii.; Dugdale's Baronage, i. 316-18; Doyle's Official Baronage, i. 71-2; Froissart's Chroniques, vols. i-iv. ed. Luce (Société de l'Histoire de France); Murimuth and his Cont. (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Knighton in Twysden, Decem Scriptores; Tierney's Hist. of Arundel, pp. 225-240.]