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Vol II File 26: The Paternal Ancestry of Homer Beers James

41. Warren Line (Earls of Warren and Surrey)

Ref: Burke, pp. 568-569.

The following account is from Crispin and Macary in "Falaise Rolls":

"The family derived its name from the fiefdom of Vareene in St.-Aubin-le-Cauf, arrondissement of Dieppe. William, Count of Warren (Varenne) in Normandy, was descended from Gautier de St.-Martin and a niece of the duchess Gonnor, who had issue: 1. Raoul de Warren, a benefactor to the abbey of Trinite du Mont in the middle of the 11th century, was the father of William de Warren I and of Roger de Mortemer, father of Raoul de Mortemer, who was present at Hastings; 2. sire de St.-Martin, possibly named Gautier, ancestor of the family of this name in Normandy and England. Orderic Vital styles William the cousin or kinsman of Roger de Mortemer; however, this is an error. Norman People published this pedigree: Gautier de St.-Martin, and a niece of the aforesaid duchess had a son, William de St.-Martin, whose issue were: 1. Roger de Mortemer, father of Raoul de Mortemer, a warrior at Hastings; 2. Raoul de Warren; and 3. sire de St.-Martin, but this makes too many generations for the known facts.

William de Warren is first mentioned in history in connection with the battle of Mortemer in 1054 by Oderic Vital, and again as having attended the council at Lillebonne, where it was determined to invade England. He later was one of the powerful seigniors who attended Duke William to the Conquest, and Wace records "De Garenes i vint Willeme," but nothing of importance is chronicled concerning him at Hastings. In 1067 he was one of the nobles entrusted with the government of England during the king's absence in Normandy under the jurisdiction of Bishop Odo and William Fitz Osberne. In 1074 he was associated with Richard de Bienfaite in the suppression of the rebellion of the Earls of Hereford and Norfolk and as joint-Justice-General with him for administering justice throughout the whole realm. His reward was princely, since he held the great baronies of Castle Acre in Norfolk, Lewes in Sussex, where he usually resided, and Coningsburg in Yorkshire, with twenty-eight towns and hamlets in its soke. In all he possessed 300 manors and was created the first Earl of Surrey by King William Rufus. The reason for this enormous reward was probably because he married Gundreda, who is believed to have been the daughter of Queen Matilda (and William the Conqueror?); she died in 1085. This theory is supported by a charter of William de Warren to Lewes priory, in which he states that his donations, among others, were for Queen Matilda, the mother of his wife. It is conjectured that Grundreda and Gherbold the Fleming, created Earl of Chester, her brother, were the children of Queen Matilda by a former marriage, probably clandestine, and therefore not reported by the historians of the day. William de Warren I. was succeeded by his son, William de Warren II., Earl of Warren and Surrey, who married Elizabeth, daughter of the great Earl of Vermandois, the widowed countess of Meulent, by whom he had, among other children, William de Warren III., the last earl of his line, who succeeded him and died in the Holy Land, leaving an only child, Isabel Warren, who inherited his vast domain and through whom the family descended. In addition to Wace, William de Warren is reported in Hastings by William de Poitiers, Oderic Vital and Benoit de St.-More."

The following account is from Burke and Wurts.

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