Monmouth, John de (DNB00)

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MONMOUTH or MONEMUE, JOHN de (1182?–1247?), lord marcher, born about 1182, was son of Gilbert de Monmouth, and great-great-grandson of William FitzBalderon, who is recorded in Domesday Book as the possessor of many lands and lordships in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, and Monmouthshire; Rose or Roysya de Monemue, wife of Hugh de Lacy, fifth baron Lacy [q. v.], was probably his aunt (cf. Reg. Abbey of St. Thomas, Dublin, passim), and her son Walter de Lacy married Margaret, the daughter of Monmouth's guardian, William de Braose [q. v.] In 1201-2 Monmouth was a minor in the wardship of De Braose, and the latter in 1206 was placed in possession of Grosmont, Llantilio, and Skenfrith castles, probably belonging to the Monmouth family. Monmouth came of age before 1205, when he held fifteen knights' fees, and in 1208 his two infant sons, John and Philip, were demanded by King John as hostages for his good behaviour, probably as a precaution against Monmouth's joining William de Braose in his rebellion (Rot. Pat. in Turri Londin. i. 87; Foss, i. 410); he paid a large fine for restoration to royal favour, and his children were liberated. In 1213 another son William appears to have been held as a hostage by John (Rot. Pat. i. 103), but Monmouth remained to the end an active and faithful partisan of the king. In 1214 he was ordered to attend John at Cirencester, and received a completely equipped horse for his prompt obedience. On 10 Feb. 1215 he was appointed one of the custodians of William de Lacy, half-brother of Monmouth's cousin Walter, sixth baron Lacy [q. v.] (Sweetman, Cal. Doc. 1171-1251, No. 536), and was commissioned to negotiate with the barons of Herefordshire, and in April to raise a loan in Gloucestershire (Rot. Glaus, i. 197 b). On 21 Aug. he was made governor of St. Briavel's Castle, Gloucestershire, and later in that year and in 1216 he was granted custody of the castles of Elmley in Worcestershire, Bramberin Sussex, which had belonged to William de Braose, Grosmont, Llantilio, and Skenfrith in Wales, the Forest of Dean, and lands in Bedford and Cambridge shires forfeited by Hugh Malebysse (Dugdale, Baronage, i. 442; Foss, i. 410; Rot. Pat. i. 153, 160), besides those of his sister-in-law, Albreda de Boterel, who had sided with the barons, and of Walbar de Stokes (cf. Close and Patent Rolls; Eyton, Antiquities of Shropshire, vi. 153). During 1216 Monmouth owned a ship in John's service, and was made one of the executors of his will (Close Rolls, vol. i. passim; Rymer, Fœdera, i. i. 144).

After the accession of Henry III Monmouth received further promotion. In 1221 he was justice itinerant in Gloucestershire; in January 1224 he was directed again to take over St. Briavel's, but was prevented by illness; on 8 Aug. he was present at Bedford, where Falkes de Breauté [q. v.] was besieged (Shirley, Royal and Historical Letters, Rolls Ser. i. 511; Rymer, i. 175). Next year he was witness to the reissue of the Great Charter (Luard, Annal. Mon. i. 232). In 1226 he built for the Cistercian order the abbey of Grace Dieu in Wales (ib. ii. 302); and in May became security for his cousin Walter de Lacy (Sweetman, 1171-1251, No. 1372-3); on 2 Sept. he was appointed to attend the meeting of Llywelyn, William Marshal, and other barons at Shrewsbury, and to report on the result (cf. Llywelyn ab Iorwerth, d. 1240, and Marshal, William, d. 1231). In 1228 he was made sheriff of Shropshire and Staffordshire, but this appointment was soon revoked (Blakeway, Sheriff's of Shropshire, p. 5); in the same year, apparently by right of his wife, he was keeper of New, Clarendon, Pancet, and Bocholte forests, offices held by his father-in-law, Walter de Waleron (Dugdale; Foss; Cal. Rot. Pat. ii. 146). In 1229 he mediated between the town and abbey of Dunstable, and witnessed a grant from Henry to David, son of Llywelyn, and other charters (Giraldus Cambrensis, ed. Dimock, vii. 231). The castles and honours of Striguil and Hereford were committed to his custody, on the death of William Marshal, in 1231, and in December he negotiated the truce that was patched up with Llywelyn. In the same year he granted to some monks the hospital of St. John at Monmouth.

On the revolt of Richard Marshal in 1233 Monmouth bore the brunt of his attack. He was justiciar, and commanded the king's Poitevin mercenaries in South Wales, and on 26 Dec. collected a large force, intending to make a secret attack on Marshal. The earl, however, learning his design, set an ambush for Monmouth in a wood near Grosmont, and completely routed his forces, Monmouth himself escaping only by a hasty flight. Marshal proceeded to destroy Monmouth's lands and buildings, including, at the instigation of his Welsh allies, the abbey of Grace Dieu (Matthew Paris, Chron. Majora, ii. 254; Hist. Angl. ii. 364, iii. 269; Roger Wendover, iii. 60; Annal. Mon. ii. 312, iii. 136). On 28 March 1234 Henry informed him that he had concluded a truce with Marshal and Llywelyn, and in July Mon mouth was ordered to besiege the castles in the hands of Peter des Rivaulx, should he refuse to give them up. At the marriage of Eleanor and Henry III on 14 Jan. 1236 Monmouth claimed the right as a lord marcher to carry the canopy (Dugdale). In the same year he witnessed the confirmation of Magna Charta, and rebuilt the abbey of Grace Dieu. At Easter 1238 he was summoned to parliament at Oxford to advise Henry on the probable outbreak of war with Llywelyn. In 1240 he was appointed one of the arbiters to decide on the disputed points between Davydd II [q. v.] and the king. On 2 Jan. 1241-2 he witnessed at Westminster the grant of liberties and franchises to the citizens of Cork (Sweetman, 1171-1251, No. 2552). In 1242 he was ordered to provide five hundred Welsh soldiers for the expected war with France, and in the same year was appointed chief bailiff of Cardigan, Caermarthen, and South Wales (Cal. Rot. Pat. ii. 19 b). With the Earl of Clare he resisted Davydd's invasion in 1244. receiving a grant of three hundred marks on 3 June for that purpose, and inflicted a severe defeat on the Welsh; in January next year he was directed to summon the Welsh barons to answer for the depredations they had committed. He died probably in 1247.

Monmouth married Cecilia, daughter and heiress of Walter de Waleron, and by her had apparently three sons, John, Philip, and William. Of these John alone survived, and had livery of his father's lands in 32 Hen. Ill (28 Oct. 1247, 27 Oct. 1248). He had two daughters, but no male issue, and died in 1257, leaving the castle and honour to Prince Edward. Another John de Monmouth (fl. 1320) is frequently mentioned in the 'Parliamentary Writs,' especially cap. II. iii. 1182, and was apparently a partisan of Roger Mortimer, first earl of March [q. v.] (cf. Barnes, 'Edward III); a third was in 1297 appointed bishop of Llandaff, and died on 8 April 1323 (Le Neve, ii. 245-6).

[Dugdale's Baronage, i. 442–3; Monasticon, passim; Foss's Judges of England, i. 410; Close and Patent Rolls, vols. i. and ii. passim; Cal. Inquisit. post Mortem, i. 15; Cal. Rotulorum Chartarum et Inquisit. ad quod Damnum; Parl. Writs; Rymer's Fœdera, passim; Annales Monastici, Royal and Historical Letters, Hist. et Cartul. Mon. S. Petri, Matthew Paris's Chron. Majora and Hist. Angl., Roger Wendover, Flores Historiarum, Giraldus Cambrensis and Walsingham's Hist. Angl. and Ypodigma, and Memoranda de Parliamento (all in the Rolls Ser. passim); Williams's Monmouthshire, pp. 190–1, App. p. xxxiv; Eyton's Antiquities of Shropshire; Sweetman's Cal. of Documents relating to Ireland, 1171–1251; Wright's Hist. of Ludlow.]

A. F. P.