William de Longespée, 3rd Earl of Salisbury

William de Longespée, 3rd Earl of Salisbury

Infobox Officeholder
honorific-prefix =
name = William de Longespée
honorific-suffix = 3rd Earl of Salisbury

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caption = William de Longespée's Shield-of-Arms [http://perso.numericable.fr/briantimms/rolls/charlesF01.htm]
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birth_date = cir 1176
birth_place =
death_date = March 7, 1226
death_place = Salisbury Castle, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
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spouse = Ela, countess of Salisbury
relations = Father: Henry II of England;
Mother: Ida de Toesny
children = William II Longespée (1212?-1250)
Richard, a canon of Salisbury
Stephen (d. 1260), seneschal of Gascony
Nicholas (d. 1297), bishop of Salisbury
Isabella, married William de Vesey
Ella, married William d'Odingsels
Ela de Longespée, first married Thomas de Beaumont, 6th Earl of Warwick, then married Philip Basset
Ida, first married Ralph de Somery, then William de Beauchamp
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William de Longespée, "jure uxoris" 3rd Earl of Salisbury (c. 1176 – March 7, 1226) was an English noble, primarily remembered for his command of the English forces at the Battle of Damme and for remaining loyal to King John.

He was an illegitimate son of Henry II of England. His mother was unknown for many years, until the discovery of a charter of William mentioning "Comitissa Ida, mater mea" [cite book
last = ed. London
first = Vera C. M.
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Cartulary of Bradenstoke Priory
publisher = Wiltshire Record Society Publications
date = 1979
location = Devizes
pages = xxxv
url =
doi =
id =
isbn =
] [ Citation
last = Reed
first = Paul C.
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title = Countess Ida, Mother of William Longespée, Illegitimate Son of Henry II
journal = The American Genealogist
volume = 77 (2002)
issue =
pages = 137
date =
year = 2002
url =
doi =
id =

This Ida was further identified as the wife of Roger Bigod, 2nd Earl of Norfolk [Citation
last = Phair
first = Raymond W.
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title = William Longespée, Ralph Bigod, and Countess Ida
journal = The American Genealogist
volume = 77 (2002)
issue =
pages = 279-281
date =
year = 2002
url =
doi =
id =
] .

King Henry acknowledged William as his son and gave him the Honour of Appleby, Lincolnshire in 1188. Ten years later, his half-brother, King Richard I, married him to a great heiress, Ela, countess of Salisbury in her own right, and daughter of William of Salisbury, 2nd Earl of Salisbury.

During the reign of King John, Salisbury was at court on several important ceremonial occasions, and held various offices: sheriff of Wiltshire, lieutenant of Gascony, constable of Dover and warden of the Cinque Ports, and later warden of the Welsh Marches. He was a commander in the king's Welsh and Irish expeditions of 1210-1212. The king also granted him the honour of Eye.

In 1213, Salisbury led a large fleet to Flanders, where he seized or destroyed a good part of a French invasion fleet anchored at or near Damme. This ended the invasion threat but not the conflicts between England and France. In 1214, Salisbury was sent to help Otto IV of Germany, an English ally, who was invading France. Salisbury commanded the right wing of the army at their disastrous defeat at the Battle of Bouvines, where he was captured.

By the time he returned to England, revolt was brewing amongst the barons. Salisbury was one of the few who remained loyal to John. In the civil war that took place the year after the signing of the Magna Carta, Salisbury was one of the leaders of the king's army in the south. However, after the French prince Louis (later Louis VIII) landed as an ally of the rebels, Salisbury went over to his side. Presumably, he thought John's cause was lost.

After John's death and the departure of Louis, Salisbury, along with many other barons, joined the cause of John's young son, now Henry III of England. He held an influential place in the government during the king's minority and fought in Gascony to help secure the remaining part of the English continental possessions. Salisbury's ship was nearly lost in a storm while returning to England in 1225, and he spent some months in refuge at a monastery on the French island of Ré. He died not long after his return to England at Salisbury Castle. Roger of Wendover alleged that he was poisoned by Hubert de Burgh. He was buried at Salisbury Cathedral in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England.

William de Longespee's tomb was opened in 1791. Bizarrely, the well-preserved corpse of a rat which carried traces of arsenic [cite web
last =
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title = Salisbury Cathedral
work =
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date =
url = http://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/history.facts.php
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] , was found inside his skull. The rat is now on display in a case at the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum.


By his wife Ela, countess of Salisbury, he had four sons and four daughters [cite book
last = Weis
first = Frederick Lewis
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700
publisher =
date =
location =
pages = Lines 30-26, 31-26, 33A-27, 108-28, 122-28 & 122A-28
url =
doi =
id =
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] :
* William II Longespée (1212?-1250), who was sometimes called Earl of Salisbury but was never formally given the title, for reasons that remain unclear;
* Richard, a canon of Salisbury;
* Stephen (d. 1260), who was seneschal of Gascony;
* Nicholas (d. 1297), bishop of Salisbury
* Isabella, who married William de Vesey
* Ella, married William d'Odingsels
* Ela de Longespée, who first married Thomas de Beaumont, 6th Earl of Warwick, and then married Philip Basset
* Ida, who first married Ralph de Somery, and then William de Beauchamp


* [http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/ENGLISH%20NOBILITY%20MEDIEVAL1.htm#WilliamLongespeedied12251226B FMG on William Longespée, Earl of Salisbury]
* [http://perso.numericable.fr/briantimms/rolls/charlesF01.htm Charles' Roll]

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