On this day, 7 March, in the year 1226, William de Longespée, 3rd Earl of Salisbury, died in Salisbury, England. He was my 24th great-grandfather through his son William II Longespée and my 25th great-grandfather through his son Stephen Longespée.
Circa 1176, William de Longespée was born. He was the illegitimate son of Henry II and Ida de Tosny, who married Roger Bigod, 2nd Earl of Norfolk (my 26th great-grandfather through their son Hugh) in 1181.
In 1188, Henry II acknowledged William as his son. He gave William de Longespée the honor of Appleby, Lincolnshire and granted him the use of the coat of arms of his grandfather, Geoffrey IV of Anjou.
In 1196, William de Longespée married Ela of Salisbury, 3rd Countess of Salisbury. Together, they had the following children: William II (my 23rd great-grandfather), Richard, Stephen (my 24th great-grandfather), Nicholas, Isabella, Petronilla, Ela, Ida, Ida II, Mary, and Pernel.
William de Longespée was at court on several important ceremonial occasions and held various offices, including constable of Dover, sheriff of Wiltshire (1199–1202, 1203–07, 1213–26), lieutenant of Gascony (1202), warden of the Cinque Ports (1204–06), honor of Eye (1205), warden of the Welsh Marches (1208), and sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire (1212–16).
William de Longespée was sent on missions to France in 1202 and to Germany in 1209. In 1213 through 1214.
William de Longespée organized Flemish allies on behalf of his half-brother John “Lackland” of England (my 24th and 25th great-grandfather). In 1213, William de Longespée, along with these allies, took part in the destruction of the French fleet at the port of Bruges, Belgium.
On 27 July 1214, at the Battle of Bouvines, William de Longespée, one of the leaders of the allied army, was captured and held prisoner. William de Longespée was exchanged for Robert III de Dreux (my 26th great-grandfather).
By May 1215, William de Longespée had returned to England, where he was employed by John “Lackland” of England to inspect the defenses of royal castles and to fight the rebels in the southwest.
In May 1216, William de Longespée deserted John “Lackland” of England after the landing of Louis VIII of France (my 24th great-grandfather through his son Robert I and my 25th great-grandfather through his son Louis IX). However, by March 1217, William de Longespée had returned to royal allegiance, fighting at Lincoln in May and Sandwich in August and attesting the Treaty of Lambeth in September 1217.
During the young reign of Henry III (my 23rd great-grandfather through his grandson Edward II, my three-times 25th great-grandfather through his granddaughter Joan, my 23rd great-grandfather through his grandson Edmund, and my both 24th and 25th great-grandfather through his grandson Henry of Lancaster), William de Longespée fought in Wales in 1223 and in Gascony in 1225.
William de Longespée and his wife were benefactors of Salisbury Cathedral and laid foundation stones of the new cathedral in 1220.
On 7 March 1226, William de Longespée died and was buried in Salisbury Cathedral; his effigy still survives.
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