John FitzAlan, 1st Baron Arundel

John FitzAlan, 1st Baron Arundel

John FitzAlan, (D' Arundel) 1st Baron Arundel (c. 1348 – December 16, 1379) was a Marshal of England.


He was born in Etchingham, Sussex, England to Richard Fitzalan, 10th Earl of Arundel and his second wife Eleanor of Lancaster (Eleanor Plantagenet).

High Office

John was appointed Marshal by Richard II of England in 1377. He was summoned to Parliament 4 August 1377, by writ directed "Johanni de Arundell".

On 26 July 1379 [ [ Betchworth Castle Betchworth Park Golf Course Brockham Leatherhead Mole Valley Surrey England English ] ] [ [ Betchworth Castle Licence to Crenellate ] ] he was given license to crenellate (i.e., permission to fortify) a stone castle on the site of an 11th century earthwork fortress in Surrey. Over the years since then the structure was rebuilt and remodelled and its remains are now known as Betchworth Castle.

Naval Victory

Being in command of a naval expedition in aid to the Duke of Brittany, he defeated the French fleet off the coast of Cornwall.

Death at Sea

Commanding a force with the purpose of bringing relief to the Duke of Brittany, Sir John was compelled to wait for stronger winds. During this wait he decided to take refuge in a nunnery, where his men "took no notice of the sanctity of the place and... violently assaulted and raped" [Thomas Walsingham, "Chronica Maiora"] those they found inside. Further to this Sir John "allowed his men to ransack the countryside as they liked and to impoverish the people" [Ibid.] . When the force eventually set out to sea, carrying with them goods stolen from a nearby church and under a pronouncement of excommunication from the wronged priests, the expedition was caught in a storm. Thomas Walsingham reports that during the panic of the storm, Sir John murdered those of his men who refused to make for shore for fear of being shipwrecked upon the rocks. Subsequently, after safely arriving on an island off the Irish coast, Sir John and his boat captain were swept back into the sea and drowned [Ibid.] .


He was buried in Lewes, Sussex.

He was also an ancestor of the poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Marriage & Children

On February 17, 1358, John was married to Lady Eleanor Maltravers (Mautravers) (1345 – January 10), 1404/1406, daughter of John Maltravers and Gwenthin. They had five children:

*Joan FitzAlan (D' Arundel) (c. 1360 – September 1, 1404. She married first Sir William de Etchingham and secondly William de Brien.
*John FitzAlan, 2nd Baron Arundel (November 3, 1364 – August 14, 1390), who married Elizabeth le Despenser.
*Richard FitzAlan (c. 1366 – June 3, 1419).
*William Arundel (c. 1369 – 1400. He was a Knight of the Garter.
* Margaret FitzAlan (c. 1372 – July 3, 1438). She married William de Ros, 7th Baron de Ros in 1394.



* 'The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham, 1376-1422', ed. & trans. J. Taylor, W. Childs & L. Watkiss
* "Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700" by Frederick Lewis Weis, Lines 9-33, 21-31, 21-32, 59-34, 212-34

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