HENRY I I (1154 - 1189)


Henry was the eldest son of Matilda (daughter of Henry I) and her second husband  Geoffrey, Count of Anjou. He was born, in Le Mans, in 1133 and married Eleanor of Aquitane in 1152, shortly after the annulment of her marriage to King Louis VII of France.

William of Blois, 1st Earl of Albemarle, Earl of York, 4th Lord of Holderness (contd)

Henry annexed the castles which had been constructed during The Anarchy. This included Scarborough Castle, which Henry demolished and rebuilt in stone, starting in 1159. At the same time, Henry commenced the development of the town of Scarborough. William died in 1179 and was interred at Thornton Abbey, Lincolnshire, which he had established in 1139. Having no sons, his eldest daughter, Hawise, inherited the title of Lord of Holderness.

Hawise, 5th Lord of Holderness

Hawise, inherited the titles of Lord of Holderness and Countess of Albemarle. In 1180 she married William de Mandeville, 3rd Earl of Essex. William died, childless, in 1189.

RICHARD I (1189 - 1199)


Born in 1157, Richard was the third son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitane. As their third son, it was not expected that he would become king. However their eldest son William died at the age of two. Their second son Henry (known as the Young King)  was crowned in 1170 to work alongside his father but they fell out in 1173. Henry died of dysentery in 1183, predeceasing his father. Richard, known as “the Lionheart”, was crowned at Westminster on 3 September 1189.

Hawise, Countess of Albemarle, 5th Lord of Holderness (contd)

Hawise married William de Forz, and gave him a son, also William, who became 3rd Earl of Albemarle. William senior died in 1195. In the same year King Richard arranged her marriage to Baldwin de Bethune. In 1196 Hawise suffered a major loss when Aumale was taken by French King Philip Augustus.

JOHN (1199 - 1216)


John was the younger brother of King Richard. He married Isabella, Countess of Gloucester, in 1189. He did not have good relations with his Barons (not least because of the relations which he had with some of their wives).

On 15 June 1215 John was forced to sign Magna Carta.

Baldwin de Bethune, Count of Albemarle

Baldwin was a great favourite of King John and became Lord of Holderness upon his marriage to Hawise. The king granted Baldwin, Hawise and their heirs the right to “enjoy the town of Hedduna (Hedon, then a major port) for a free Burgh”. He also granted Baldwin a fair at Skipton. Baldwin was a kindly man and showed concern for the monks of Melsa (Meaux) Abbey, who King John had taxed to a level of destitution. He received them into his castle at Burstwick.

It was at this time that the farmers of Holderness neglected to pay their annual dues to the church of St John of Beverley (established under Athelstan). The king ordered that the dues be paid at pain of arrest and forfeiture of their belongings. The dues were to be delivered to a schedule of churches and granges. In the case of Swyna (Swine), the dues were “61 qrs of drag” to be delivered to the church door.

When Baldwin died, in 1212, Hawise paid the sum of 5,000 marks to have possession of her inheritance and dowries, and not be compelled to marry again! She died in 1214 and was buried at Meaux abbey.

William de Forz, 3rd Earl of  Albemarle, Lord of Holderness

William was the son of William de Forz and Hawise. Although he was one of the 25 executors of Magna Carta he regularly changed sides between supporting the king and the barons, as best suited his own objectives. He died at sea in 1241, on his way to the Holy Land.

HENRY III (1216 - 1272)

William de Forz, 4th Earl of  Albemarle, Lord of Holderness

William was the son of the 3rd Earl and his wife Avelina de Montfichet. In 1241, on the death of his father, he inherited his lands, including the castles of Cockermouth, Skipton and Skipsea. In 1246, his first wife Christina, daughter and heiress to her father, Alan Lord of Galway, died childless. William subsequently married Isabella, Countess of Devon. On William’s death in 1260 Isabella called herself Countess of Devon and Albemarle. She died in 1293, outliving all her six children.

Edmund Crouchback

Edmund was the second son of Henry III, born in 1245. Edmund’s nickname was derived not from any deformity but because, having been on the ninth crusade, he was entitled to wear an embroidered cross (crossed-back). In 1265, Edmund was made Earl of Leicester and, shortly thereafter, Earl of Lancaster and Earl of Derby. In 1269 he married Lady Avelina de Forz, 12 year old daughter of William de Forz and Isabella.

V 2.1

The Plantagenets (1)