Earl Geoffrey De Mandeville ESSEX, II 1
- Born: Abt 1082-1092, Rycott, Oxfordshire, England
- Christened: Great Waltham, Essex, England
- Married: Abt 1119-1135, Castle, Hedingham, Hatfield, Essex, England
- Died: 14 Sep 1144, Mildenhall, Suffolk, England
- Buried: Abt 1156, House Templars, London, Middlesex, England
Another name for Geoffrey was ESSEX 1st Earl.
Ancestral File Number: 8XJQ-6W. User ID: 151277834.
First Earl of ESSEX 1140-1144.
The Political History of England, Vol II, George Burton Adams Longmans Green and Co, 1905, Ch X, p230:
 "...A still more important andtypical case, which probablyoccurred in the same year, is that of Geoffrey de Mandeville. Grandson of a baron of the Conquest, he was in succession to his father, constable of the Tower in London, and so held a position of great strategic importance in turbulent times. Early in the strife for the crown he seems to have seen very clearly the opportunity for self-aggrandizement which was offered by the uncertainty of Stephen's power, and to have resolved to make the most of it for hisown gain without scruple of conscience. His demand was for the earldom of Essex, and this was granted by the king. Apparently about the same time occurred a third case of the sort which completes the evidence that the weakness of Stephen's character was generally recognized, and that in theresulting attitude of many of the greater barons we have the key to his reign..."
p234:  "[Matilda's] reception in London marks the height of her suc- cess. She bought the support of the powerful Geoffrey de Mandeville by confirm- ing to him the price which he had extorted from Stephen, the earldom of Essex, and by bidding higher than her rival with gifts of lands, revenues, and privileges which started him on the road to independence of the crown, which he well knew how to follow..."
p236: "...At the Christmas assembly Geoffrey de Mandeville secured from the king the reward of his latest shift of sides, in a new charter which increased a power already dangerous and made him an almost independent prince..."
p238: "By the time the conquest of Normandy was completed [by Matilda], events of equal interest had taken place in England, involving the fall of the powerful and shifty Earl of Essex, Geoffrey de Mandeville. Soon after Easter, 1142, he had found opportunity for another prudent and profitable change of sides. [Stephen] had fallen ill on his return from the north, and, once more, as at the beginning of his reign, the report ofhis death was spread abroad. Geoffrey seems to have hurried at once to the Empress, as a probable source of future favours, and to have carried with him a small crowd of his friends and relatives, including the equally unscrupulous Hugh Bigod,Earl of Norfolk. Matilda, who was then at Oxford, and had no prospect of any immediate advance, was again ready to give him all he asked. Her fortunes were at too low an ebb to warrant her counting the cost, and in any case what she was buyingwas of great value if she could make sure that the sellers would keep faith. Geoffrey, with his friends, and Nigel, Bishop of Ely, who was already on her side, controlling Essex, Hertford, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridge, could give her possession of as large a territory on the east of England as she now held on the west, and this would very likely carry with it the occupation of London once more, and would threaten to cut the kingdom of Stephen into two detached fragments. Geoffreywas in a position to drive a good bargain, and he did so. New lands and revenues, new rights and privileges, were added to those he had already extorted from both sides; the Empress promised to make no peace without his consent with his `mortalenemies,' the burghers of London, towards whom she probably had herself just then no great love. Geoffrey's friends were admitted to share with him in the results of his careful study of the conditions of the market, especially his brother-in-law, Aubrey de Vere, who was made Earl by his own choice of Cambridge, but in the end of Oxford, probably because Matilda's cousin, Henry of Scotland, considered that Cambridge was included in his earldom of Huntingdon. What price was offered to Hugh Bigod, or to Gilbert Clare, Earl of Pembroke, who seems to have been of the number we do not know.
"As a matter of fact, neither Geoffrey nor the Empress gained anything from this bargaining. Stephen was not dead, and his vigorous campaign of the summer of 1142 evidently made it seem prudent to Geoffrey to hold his intended treason in reserve for a more promising opportunity. It is probable that Stephen soon learned the facts- before very long they became common talk- but he awaited on his side a better opportunity to strike. The earl had grown too powerful to be dealt with without considering ways and means. Contemporary writers call him the most powerful man in England, and they regard his abilities with as much respect as his possessions and power. Stephen took his opportunity in the autumn of 1143, at a court held at St Albans...He yielded to the pressure of Geoffrey's enemies at the court, and ordered and secured his arrest on a charge of treason...A threat of hanging forced the earl to surrender his castles, including the Tower of London, and then he was released. Geoffrey was not the man to submit to such a sudden overthrow without a trial of strength. With some of his friends he instantly appealed to arms, took possession of the Isle of Ely, where he was sure of a friendly reception, seized Ramsey Abbey, and turning out the monks made a fortress of it, and kept his forces in supplies by cruelly ravaging the surrounding lands...
"Geoffrey de Mandeville's career of plundering and sacrilege was not destined to continue long. Towards the end of the summer of 1144, he was wounded in the head by an arrow, in an attack on a fortified post which the king had stablished at Burwell to hold his raids in check; and soon after he died. His body was carried to the house of the Templars in London, but for twenty years it could not be received into consecrated ground, for he had died with his crimes unpardonedand under the ban of the Church, which was only removed after these years by the efforts of his younger son, a new Earl of Essex. To the great power for which Geoffrey was playing, to his independent principality, or to his possibly even higher ambition of controlling the destinies of the crown of England, there was no successor. His eldest son, Ernulf, shared his father's fall and condemnation, and was disinherited, though from him there descended a family holding for some generations a minor position in Oxfordshire. Twelve years after the death of Geoffrey, his second son- also Geoffrey- was made Earl of Essex by Henry II, and his faithful service to the king, and his brother's after him, were rewarded by increasing possessions and influence that almost rivalled their father's; but the wilder designs and unscrupulous methods of the first Earl of Essex perished with him."
The Political History of England 1216-1377, Vol III, T F Tout, 1905, AMS Press, p23: "... During the civil war Albemarle's tergiversations, which rivalled those of the Geoffrey de Mandeville of Stephen's time, had been rewarded by large grants from the victorious party..."
Ancestral File Ver 4.10 8XJQ-6W De MANDEVILLE Born 1092 Rycott Oxford England.
INTERNATIONAL GENEALOGICAL INDEX
IGI Birth 7400302-61-934298 Geoffrey DE MANDIVILLE Father William DE MANDEVILLE Mother Margaret DE RIE 1090 Saffron Walden Essex England.
IGI Marriage7226601-17-822057 Geoffry DE MANDIVILLE Spouse Rhose DE VERE 1135 Hedingham Castle Essex England.
FAMILY SEARCH ANCESTRAL FILE
Ancestral File v4.19 9RFP-GJ: Born Abt 1082 Great Waltham Essex England, Buried New Temple Church Holborn Suffolk England.
Geoffrey married Countess Rohese De Vere ESSEX, daughter of Chamberlain Aubrey De Vere ENGLAND, II and Adeliza De CLARE, about 1119-1135 in Castle, Hedingham, Hatfield, Essex, England. (Countess Rohese De Vere ESSEX was born about 1103-1109 in Rycott, Oxfordshire, England, christened in Walden, Essex, England, died after 21 Oct 1166 in , , England and was buried in Priory, Chicksands, Bedfordshire, England.)