Sir William FitzWarin
'Lord FitzWarin of Wantage'
Died: 28th October 1361 at Wantage, Berkshire
This knight was a descendant of the celebrated Warin, who, in the time of William the Conqueror, acquired, by a hardy feat of arms, the castle of Whittington in Shropshire and of whose redoubted "gestes," Leland made a large excerpt "out of an old English book in rhyme."
The first mention which we find of Sir William is in 1330, by the designation of "William FitzWarin
Le Frere'' - William FitzWarin the Brother - brother of Fulk FitzWarin, 3rd Lord FitzWarin of Whittington. At this time, he was appointed Governor of Montgomery Castle in North Wales. In 1339, he attended King
Edward III into Flanders and, in the same year, took part in the war against Scotland. He was again in Flanders the following year and, in 1342, in France with the rank of banneret; having in his retinue one knight, eight esquires and ten mounted archers. In this year, he was also summoned to attend a Royal Council, sometimes referred to incorrectly as a parliament. Hence he is sometimes called Baron FitzWarin of Wantage. Froissart numbers him, amongst the commanders in the expedition to France in 1346. He was knight for the body to Queen Philippa in 1349 and, on the death of King John of France, in 1350, was, with others, ordered to proceed into that kingdom. The chronicler states that Sir William was with the Black Prince at Poitiers; but, the assertion receiving no confirmation from our public records, and this honour may rightly belong to his elder brother, Fulk.
Sir William FitzWarin died of the pestilence on 28th October 1361 and was buried in the parish church of St. Mary in Wantage (Berks). It appears, by the inquisition taken after his death that Sir William was seized of a tenement in that parish. Two parts of the manor, as well as the hundred of
Wantage, formed part of the possessions of the Barons FitzWarin and it may be that, despite his owning a number of manors himself in Somerset & Dorset, William's nephew allowed him to retire to here in order to be nearer the Royal Court in London and
Windsor (Berks). In the church, his
altar-tomb still exists, having thereon the effigy of a Knight of the Garter in full armour, the arms of FitzWarin on his surcoat, and a recumbent female figure on his left.
He married Amicia, daughter and heiress of Sir Henry De Haddon of Caundle Stourton in Dorset. By her, he had issue,
FitzWarin, his son and heir, aged eighteen at his father's death.
Edited from George Frederick Beltz's
"Memorials of the Most Noble Order of the Garter" (1861).