Fitzwarine, Fulk (DNB00)

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FITZWARINE, FULK, was the name of several persons living in Shropshire in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, some of whose actions are attributed to one individual in the romance of ‘Foulques FitzWarin.’ Fulk Fitzwarine I was the second son of Warin de Metz, and of a daughter of the Peverels, then very powerful in Shropshire and the marches. He was the head of his family in 1156, when Henry II had given him the Gloucestershire manor of Alveston (R. W. Eyton, Antiquities of Shropshire, vii. 67), and died 1170–1. He had four sons, of whom the eldest, Fulk II, married Hawise, daughter and coheiress of Joceas of Dinan, and is traditionally stated to have made a claim upon Ludlow, which was never allowed (ib. vii. 69). The Shropshire Pipe Roll of 1177 shows that he had been amerced forty merks by Henry II for forest trespass. About 1180 he successfully disputed the right of Shrewsbury Abbey to the advowson of Alberbury. Ten years later he was fined 100l. for his wife's share of an inheritance (Rot. Pipe, 2 Ric. I, ‘Wilts’), and through her probably acquired an interest in several Wiltshire manors (Testa de Nevill, 1807, p. 150). On 6 Nov. 1194 he was named as attorney for his wife in a suit of mort d'ancestre on account of lands in the same county (Rot. Curiæ Regis, 1835, i. 35, 37); and was fined ten merks to be excused transfretation to Normandy (Rot. Canc. de 3° Joannis, 1833, p. 122). In 1195 he is entered as owing forty merks for the castle of Whittington adjudged to him in the curia regis. The fine remained unliquidated in 1202 (ib. p. 225). He died in 1197. Next year his widow paid thirty merks that she might not be obliged to remarry (Rot. Pipe, 10 Ric. I, ‘Wilts’). Her name constantly appears as a litigant down to 1226 (Testa de Nevill, 1807, p. 128). Fulk had six sons, of whom the eldest, Fulk III, in the year ending Michaelmas 1200, was ‘fined 100l. with King John to have judgment concerning Witinton Castle and its appurtenances as his right, which had been adjudged to him by consideration of the curia regis’ (Eyton, Antiquities, vii. 72). The king was bribed by Meuric de Powis to confirm the latter in the possession of Whittington, whereupon in 1201 Fulk, his brothers, and friends rebelled. The traditional story of the rebellion may be seen in the romance mentioned later. The outlawry was revoked by patent dated from Rouen, 11 Nov. 1203 (Rot. Patent, 1835, i. 36). In the next year John restored Whittington (ib. i. 46). Probably before 1 Oct. 1207 Fulk married Matilda, daughter of Robert le Vavasour, and widow of Theobald Walter. He received several marks of favour from the king (Rot. Litt. Claus. an. 9° et an. 14° Joannis, 1833, i. 92, 126, 129), and was with him in 1212 at Allerton and Durham (Rot. Chart. in turri Lond. asserv. 1837, i. pt. i. 187, 188), and at Bere Regis in 1213 (ib. pp. 193, 199). In 1215 he was making war upon his neighbours, had lost the royal favour, and had been despoiled of fiefs (Rot. Litt. Claus. i. 270). He was one of the malcontent barons who met at Stamford and Brackley in 1215 (Matt. Paris, Chronica, 1874, ii. 585), and was among those specially excommunicated in the bull of Innocent III of 16 Dec. (Rymer, Fœdera, 1816, i. 139). Henry III bestowed some of the lands of the rebellious baron upon his own adherents (Testa de Nevill, pp. 45, 48, 49, 55, 56). The king styles him ‘manifestus inimicus noster’ in 1217 (Rot. Litt. Claus. i. 321). Fulk made his peace in the following year (ib. pp. 352, 376). Some time between 1220 and 1230 he founded Alberbury Priory. In 1221 and 1222 sufficient confidence was not placed in him to be permitted to strengthen Whittington without giving security for loyal behaviour (ib. i. 460, 520). Full seisin was granted to him by writs of 11 July and 9 Oct. 1223 (ib. pp. 554, 565). On 30 June 1245 an assembly of the barons sent him as their representative to order the papal nuncio to quit the country (Matt. Paris, Chronica, iv. 420). His first wife having died he married Clarice de Auberville (Excerpta e Rot. Fin. 1836, ii. 89). He probably died about 1256–1257. The romance states that he was blind during the last seven years of his life. He died before August 1260, and his affairs were managed for some time before his death by his son, Fulk IV, who was drowned at the battle of Lewes in 1264. By the death of an infant in 1420 the elder male line of this family became extinct. Eleven Fulk Fitzwarines in succession bore the same christian name.

In the traditional history Fulk I is omitted, and the career of his two successors combined as that of ‘Fouke le Brun,’ the outlaw and popular hero. We are told how he roamed through the country with his four brothers (recalling the ‘Quatre Fils Aimon’), cousins, and friends, and the nimble-witted jongleur, John de Rampayne, seeking forest adventures of the Robin Hood type, spoiling the king, and succouring the poor, and how he was twice compelled to quit England and encounter sea perils from the Orkneys to Barbary. The story is preserved in a single manuscript in French in the British Museum (Reg. 12, c. xii.), first printed privately by Sir T. Duffus Hardy, and then published as 'Histoire de Foulques Fitz-Warin, par Francisque Michel,' Paris, 1840, large 8vo, and with an English translation and notes by Thomas Wright for the Warton Club in 1855. It is included by L. Moland and C. d'Héricault in 'Nouvelles Francises en prose du xive siecle,' Paris, 1858, 12mo. The text and a new translation are given in J. Stevenson's edition of 'Radulphi de Coggeshall Chronicon' (Rolls Series, 1875). The manuscript was transcribed before 1320, and is evidently paraphrased from an earlier record written before the end of the thirteenth century in octosyllabic verses, some of which remain unaltered. An English version in alliterative verse was seen by Leland, who reproduces 'Thinges excerptid owte of an old Englisch boke yn Ryme of the Gestes of Guarine' (Collectanea, 1774, i. 230-7). Pierre de Langtoft of Bridlington (Cottonian MS. Julius A. v.), writing probably before 1320, refers to the romance, and Robert de Brunne, writing about the same period, says :

Thus of dan Waryn in his boke men rede.

It is a compilation from family records and traditions first put into shape by 'an Anglo-Norman trouvere in the service of that great and powerful family, and displays an extraordinarily minute knowledge of the topography of the borders of Wales, and more especially of Ludlow and its immediate neighbourhood' (T. Wright's ed. 1855, p. xv). There are historical anachronisms and other inaccuracies. As a story it is full of interest.

[Eyton's Antiquities of Shropshire, ii. 2-12, vii. 66-99, xi. 29-42; T. Wright's Sketch of Ludlow Castle, 2nd ed. 1856, and Essays on the Middle Ages, 1846, ii. 147-63 ; Frere's Bibliographe Normand, 1860, ii. 616, 619; Histoire Littéraire de la France, 1877, xxvii. 164-86; Revue Contemporaine, 1858, iii. 308-17; Ward's Cat. of Romances in the British Museum, 1883, i. 501-8. The account of the Fitzwarines by Dugdale (Baronage, 1675, pp. 443, &c.) is full of errors.]

H. R. T.