Earl Robert De Caen GLOUCESTER
(Abt 1074-1147)
Countess Mabel Fitz Hamon GLOUCESTER
(Abt 1078-1157)
Earl Robert De Beaumont LEICESTER, II
Countess Amice De Gael LEICESTER
(Abt 1100-)
Earl William Fitz Robert GLOUCESTER
(Abt 1116-1183)
Countess Hawise De Beaumont GLOUCESTER
(Abt 1129-1197)
Countess Isabel Mortain GLOUCESTER
(Abt 1167-1217)


Family Links

1. King John ENGLAND
2. Earl Geoffrey De Mandeville ESSEX, IV
3. Earl Hubert De Burgh KENT

  • John De BURGH

Countess Isabel Mortain GLOUCESTER 1

  • Born: Abt 1167-1170, , Gloucestershire, England
  • Married (1): 29 Aug 1189, Marlborough, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
  • Married (2): Abt Jan 1213-1214, , Gloucestershire, England
  • Married (3): Abt 1217, , Gloucestershire, England
  • Died: 14 Oct 1217, , Kent, England
  • Buried: Cathedral, Canterbury, Kent, England

   Other names for Isabel were MORTAIN, FITZ ROBERT, ENGLAND Queen, GLOUCESTER Countess and ESSEX Earless.

   Ancestral File Number: 8WKP-CN.

   General Notes:

Countess of GLOUCESTER, Earless of ESSEX, Queen of ENGLAND 1189-1200.

Avisa Fitz Robert.

Marriage with John Annulled 1199 KQGB, Divorced 1200, No issue.

Kings and Queens of Great Britain, Genealogical Chart, Anne Taute and Romilly Squire, Taute, 1990: "John Lackland (Sans Terre) Lord of Ireland, Count of Mortain, Mar =1 Isabel Countess of Gloucester, Daughter of William Fitz Robert, Son of Robert, Bastard Son of King Henry I, Annulled/Divorced 1199, Died 1217.

The Political History of England, Vol II,George Burton Adams Longmans Green and Co, 1905, Ch XV
p328: "...Before the close of this year, 1176, Henry arranged for another marriage to provide for his youngest son John, now ten years old...The inheritance which his father had now inmind was that of the great Earl Robert of Gloucester, brother and supporter of the Empress Matilda, his father's mother. Robert's son William had only daughters. Of these two were already married, Mabel to Amaury, Count of Evreux, and Amice toRichard of Clare, Earl of Hertford. Henry undertook to provide for these by pensions on the understanding that all the lands of the earldom should go to John on his marriage with the youngest daughter Isabel. To this plan Earl William agreed. The marriage itself did not take place until after the death of King Henry."
Ch XVI, p360: [1189] "...[Richard] at once confirmed to his brother John, who had joined him, the grants made or promised him by their father: L4000 worth of land in England, the county of Mortain in Normandy, and the hand and inheritance of the heiress of the Earl of Gloucester..."
p361: "About the middle of August [1189] Richard himself landed in England with John...A few days later the marriage of John to Isabel of Gloucester was celebrated, in spite of a formal protest entered by Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, because the parties were related within the prohibited degrees..."
Ch XIX, p397: [1200] "...John had now been formore than ten years married to Isabel of Gloucester, and no children had been born of the marriage. In the situation of the Angevin house he may well have wished for a direct heir and have been ready to adopt the expedient common to sovereignsin such cases. At any rate about this time he procured from the Bishops of Normandy and Aquitaine a divorce, a formal annulling of the marriage on the ground of consanguinity, the question raised at the time of their marriage never, it would seem, having been settled by dispensation..."

Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, Kenneth Morgan, 1986, Oxford Univ Press
p616: "John Lackland (1199-1216) Mar Hadwiga of Gloucester (1)"

A History of the Plantagenets, Vol I, The Conquering Family, Thomas B Costain, 1949, Doubleday & Co.
p176: "At the same time- although this did not become known until later- he was making proposals to John which fell on more fertile ground. Philip promised the English prince that he would ease his subjects of their oaths not to make war on Richard and would then attack Normandy. For his part John was to declare himself King in place of his brother and was to assume also another obligation of Richard's, the hand in marriage ofPrincess Alice. It happened that John had a wife already, having espoused Avisa, the beautiful daughter of the Earl of Gloucester, at the time of Richard's coronation. Both parties to the conspiracy took it for granted that this unfortunate lady could be disposed of without any difficulty."
p205: "John's wife Avisa was a granddaughter of that great leader and knight of the bend sinister, Robert of Gloucester, and so they were cousins a few times removed. There had been opposition to the match on that account, and the Pope had been fulminating about it ever since, even demanded that they separate. It was an easy matter, therefore, to break the bond. The Archbishop of Bordeaux called a synod to consider the problem, and it was solemnly declared that the marriage to Avisa was null. Soon afterward John and Isabella were married in the cathedral of that city...
"John's English subjects were pleased with the beauty of the girl Queen, but this did not wipe out unpleasant memories of the way she had been stolen, and they were still distressed at the cavalier setting aside of Avisa of Gloucester. They need not have wasted sympathy on the first wife. She was married twice later and was relieved, no doubt, to escape participation in the kind of life John proceeded to live.

A History of The PLantagenets, Vol II, The Magnificent Century, Thomas B Costain, 1951, Doubleday & Co, p55:
"When John, the youngest of the Plantagenets, had beencalled Lackland because all his father's possessions had been promised to his older brothers, it was arranged to improve his lot by a rich marriage. Avisa, the heiress of the Earl of Gloucester and granddaughter of the great Robert of Gloucester who had been Stephen's chief opponent in the years of the anarchy, was the greatest catch in England. She was a handsome young woman with huge estates in the West, extending into Glamorgan. John had no financial worries after his marriage toAvisa, but when suddenly and unexpectedly he became King of England and saw by an unhappy mischance the radiantly lovely Isabella of Angouleme, he put pressure on the high churchmen of the kingdom and secured a divorce on the grounds of consanguinity, Robert of Gloucester having been an illegitimate son of Henry I. It is perhaps needless to state that King John kept a large part of the Gloucester estates for himself. With what was left, however, Avisa made her second husband, Geoffrey de Mandeville, the richest peer in England...Avisa was a widow again when Hubert de Burgh's wife Beatrice died, and she was no longer young. Certainly she had reached the stage where continual childbearing had played havoc with the figure andthe usual trouble with teeth had begun...By the most favorable reckoning Avisa was in her middle forties and older than Hubert de Burgh. It is said that she was still attractive; and certainly she was the possessor of broad acres and fine manors and large herds of cattle."

The Oxford Book of Royal Anecdotes, Elizabeth Longford, 1991, Oxford Univ Press, pxix: "Normans and Plantagenets Genealogy: Hadwiga of Gloucester, mar John Lakland (1)."

The Political History of England 1216-1377, Vol III, T F Tout, 1905, AMS Press, p2: "...Though Isabella, Countess of Gloucester, John's repudiated wife, was as zealous as her new husband the Earl of Essex, against John's son, Falkes [de Breaute] kept a tight hand over Glamorgan, on which the military power of the house of Gloucester largely depended..."
p13: "...[1217] The reconciliation of parties was further shown in the marriage of Hubert de Burgh to John's divorced wife, Isabella of Gloucester, a widow by the death ofthe Earl of Essex, and still the foremost English heiress..."
p23: "...On June 19, 1221, Joan, Henry's second sister, was married to the young Alexander of Scotland, at York. At the same time Hubert, a widower by Isabella of Gloucester's death, wedded Alexander's elder sister, Margaret, a match which compensated the justiciar for his loss of Isabella's lands..."

The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England, Antonia Fraser, 1975, Alfred Knopf, p25: "John Lackland, 1167-1216, mar (1)Isabelle de Clare (div), died 1217..."

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1981, Macropaedia, Vol X, p236, John of England: "On Richard's accession in July 1189, John was made Count of Mortain (a title that became his usual style), was confirmed as lord of Ireland, was granted lands and revenues in England worth L6,000 a year, and was married to Isabella, heiress to the earldom of Gloucester..."
"The renewal of war in France was triggered off by John's second marriage. His first wife, Isabella of Gloucester, was never crowned, and in 1199 the marriage was dissolved on grounds of consanguinity, both parties being great-grandchildren of Henry I."

The Story of Civilization, Will Durant, Vol IV, The Age of Faith, Bk V, The Climax of Christianity, Ch XXV, The Recovery of Europe, Sec 3, Magna Carta, p674: "In 1199 John secured permission from Pope Innocent III to divorce Isabel of Gloucester on grounds of consanguinuity..."

Ancestral File 8WKP-CN Isabel MORTAIN ?Daughter of Robert MORTAIN, CF documented Grand -Daughter of Robert of GLOUCESTER; Second Cousin of John Lackland ENGLAND (Same great grandfather=Henry I ENGLAND), Isabelle de CLARE, OBRA OIHB Hadwiga of GLOUCESTER, CF Avisa Daughter of the Earl of GLOUCESTER, Aslo FITZ ROBERT, Ancestral File Ver 4.10 8XJ5-5D Isabel FITZROBERT.

Ancestral File Ver 4.19 8XJ5-5D Died Dsp.

   Marriage Information:

Isabel married King John ENGLAND, son of King Henry ENGLAND, II and Queen Eleanor Aquitaine ENGLAND, on 29 Aug 1189 in Marlborough, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. The marriage ended in divorce. (King John ENGLAND was born on 24 Dec 1166 in Kings Manorhouse, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, died on 19 Oct 1216 in Newark, Nottinghamshire, England and was buried in Cathedral, Worcester, Worcestershire, England.)

   Marriage Information:

Isabel also married Earl Geoffrey De Mandeville ESSEX, IV, son of Earl Geoffrey Mandeville ESSEX, III, about Jan 1213-1214 in , Gloucestershire, England. (Earl Geoffrey De Mandeville ESSEX, IV was born in , Essex, England and died about 1217 in , Essex, England.)

   Marriage Information:

Isabel also married Earl Hubert De Burgh KENT about 1217 in , Gloucestershire, England. (Earl Hubert De Burgh KENT died on 12 May 1243 in , , England and was buried in 1243 in Blackfriars, London, Middlesex, England.)


1 Ancestral File Ver 4.19, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Copyright (c) 1987, June 1998, data as of 5 January 1998.

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