A HISTORY OF SURREY the great men of Surrey, de Warenne and de Clare, who had two years before become Earl of Gloucester, were acting together on behalf of the king's brother Richard in a dispute with the king's foreign favourites, but it was the de Clare interest only which was steadily upon this side. The de Clares were already related to the Marshals, Earls of Pembroke, who were the very centre of opposition to the foreigners, and Gilbert de Clare, the first Earl of Gloucester of this house, married one of Pem- broke's daughters. Their great estates in Wales and the Marches raised them to a position of local importance there which made them almost of necessity asserters of the baronial cause, which was also the cause of local independence. De Warenne too had married as a second wife the eldest daughter of William Marshal, the same Earl of Pembroke, but he was also the king's cousin. The son of this marriage, John de Warenne, was brought more nearly into the royal family by marriage. Succeeding to the earldom as a child in 1 240, he was brought up with the king's sons at Guildford, and was married while still a boy to Alice de Lusig- nan, daughter to the king's mother, one of the Poitevin family which, with the family of the queen, formed the very centre of the faction of foreigners which engrossed the favours of the king. It is curious how the marriages of the two rival families followed each other. Gilbert de Clare, grandson to Gilbert who witnessed the charter, married Alice de Lusignan, niece to de Warenne's wife and to the king. But his father Richard the de Clares were alternately Richard and Gilbert was a consistent opponent of the foreigners. In 1258, in the arrangements made at Oxford, Richard de Clare appears on all the baronial committees, de Warenne among those members of the council of twenty-four who were nominated by the king. In 1263 there was actual civil war; and de Montfort with young Gilbert de Clare Richard de Clare had died in 1262 marched through Surrey. He was coming from the Welsh Marches with the intention of seizing Dover, and his march is interesting from its speed and direction. He was at Reading on June 29, at Guildford on June 30, at Reigate on July i . He must have come across the open country from Reading to Guildford and there hit the Pilgrims' Way. His force was probably mounted. In 1263 South wark nearly became the scene of the crushing of de Montfort. The king and his son had made a fruitless attempt to secure Dover from Richard de Grey, its baronial custodian, when they heard that Earl Simon was lying slightly attended in Southwark. Certain royalist citizens offering their help in a coup de main, the king's forces marched rapidly into Surrey and their partisans closed the gates of London Bridge so that the earl was nearly captured. His friends how- ever opened the bridge to him again and he escaped into London. The king from Croydon vainly demanded his surrender. London was on the whole staunch to the baronial cause. The abortive arbitration of Louis IX. of France followed, and then the more vigorous and decisively conducted military operations in 1264. These turned chiefly upon the 344
Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/412
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