Gilbert Master Marshal
(Abt 1067-Bef 1130)


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Gilbert Master Marshal 1

  • Born: Abt 1067
  • Marriage (1): Unknown
  • Died: Bef 1130 1

   Other names for Gilbert were Gilbert "the Marshal" and Gilbert Giffard of Winterbourne, King's Marshal.2

  General Notes:

GILBERT "the Marshal", son of --- (-1130 or before). Master Marshal of the king's household under King Henry I .

m ---. The name of Gilbertīs wife is not known. It is possible that she was the heiress of William FitzAuger: the Testa de Nevill includes a writ of King John dated 1212 which records that, after the conquest, King William I granted "manerium de Boseham" in Surrey to "Willelmo filio Augeri", and that later "Willelmus Marescallus" (presumably identified as the future first Earl of Pembroke, see below) held the manor "[jure] hereditario" .

Gilbert & his wife had two children: John and William.

[FMG/Medieval Lands]


Gilbert the Marshal, was the first known holder of the office. He with his son John successfully maintained their right under Henry I to the office of Master Marshal in the King's Household, for which they had been impleaded in the King's Court by Robert de Venoiz and William de Hastings (g). The name and parentage of Gilbert's wife are unknown. He d. in or shortly before 1130 (h).

[Complete Peerage X:Appendix G:92]

(g) This appears from King John's confirmation, 20 Apr 1200, to William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke. Gilbert may have been son or grandson of an otherwise unknown Robert, who in 1086 held Cheddar, Somerset, under Roger de Courseulles. Robert the Marshal, who in 1086 held Lavington, Wilts, in chief, has been suggested as the possible progenitor of the family, but this is unlikely, as in 1166 Lavington was held by Piers de la Mare.

(h) He left at least 2 sons, John abovenamed and William Giffard, who was presented to the church of Cheddar Hole, Somerset, and was admitted by Godfrey, Bishop of Bath (1122-35), which church was given to Bradenstoke Priory by his brother John. Unless there was another brother named William, he was Chancellor to the Empress Maud in 1141 and 1142. Presumably William was called "Giffard" as a nickname -- the chubby cheeked.


The following is a post to SGM, 8 Jan 2003, by John Ravillious, which introduces the name "Giffard" into the Marshal family (CP thought it was merely a nickname for Gilbert's brother). Perhaps this family is connected to the Giffards of Loungeville, Normandy:

From: Therav3 AT (Therav3 AT
Subject: Gilbert Giffard of Winterbourne Monkton: ancestor of William Marshal ?
Newsgroups: soc.genealogy.medieval
Date: 2003-01-08 21:16:34 PST

Wednesday, 8 January, 2003

Hello All,

A wise man once said, ' Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.' Well, he probably said it more than once.

Anyway, in looking about for more Despenser detritus, I came across an article from the English Historical Review from 1999 in which the author (N. E. Stacy) put forth, in part, the position that the family of William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke derived from one Gilbert Giffard (or Gibard), Domesday tenant of Winterbourne Monkton. I have incorporated the relevant portion of the article below [1].

Is anyone of the list aware of this derivation being accepted, or disproven? If this is correct, the information below impacts the ancestry of the widest range of list members (apologies to JSG: William Marshal is another good candidate for 'Kilroy of medieval English ancestry').

Good luck, and good hunting to all.

John *


[1] From English Historical Review, Feb.1999: Henry of Blois and the Lordship of Glastonbury ( N. E. Stacy)


' A major player in the politics of the civil war was the subject of another remarkable omission from the abbey's carta. On the border of John Marshal's manor of Rockley and only six miles from his base at Marlborough lay the Glastonbury manor of Winterbourne Monkton, including a 3 1/2-hide subtenancy over which the abbot's lordship had been recognized in 1086 and was to be again in 1173 and thereafter, but which was absent from the carta of 1166.(2) At the time of Domesday it had been held by Gilbert Gibard'.(3) He withheld geld from his demesne, which, as a mesne tenant, he was not entitled to do, but as one of the chief officers of the royal household he was anyway exempt. For Gilbert Gibard' or Giffard was in fact the marshal, father of John I and grandfather of John II, who answered for one fee of Glastonbury Abbey in 1173.(4) No Marshal obligation, however, was recorded in 1166. Bishop Henry's relations with the family can never have been good, since its opposition to Stephen had been patent: John I's brother, William, had become Matilda's chancellor,(5) while John himself had pursued his own interests, which took him often into the Angevin camp but rarely, if ever, into Stephen's.(6) However, the Marshal exclusion from Glastonbury's carta was not based purely on personal antagonism, for the fee they held of Henry as bishop of Winchester was duly recorded in 1166.(7) The Glastonbury problem was probably connected with a dispute between the abbey and another tenant, the earl of Salisbury, over his fee at Mildenhall (Wilts.). This large subtenancy had been granted as a marriage-portion to Earl Patrick's sister, Sybil, on her marriage to John Marshal in the 1140s and thereafter the service owed to the abbot had lapsed.(1) Whether the Marshal instigated the refusal of service from his wife's manor because of a dispute over Winterbourne or withheld service from Winterbourne because of his in-laws' dispute over Mildenhall cannot be known, but the two problems were surely connected. Bishop Henry as usual proved intractable and no settlement could be made in either case while he was alive. It was his successor, Abbot Robert of Winchester (1173-80), who secured Earl William of Salisbury's confirmation of knight service owed from Mildenhall and John Marshal II's acknowledgment of that due from Winterbourne Monkton.(2) By an irony Richard Cotel, the successor and namesake of Bishop Henry's enemy, was to marry the heiress of the rear tenant of the latter fee and so extend the presence within the Glastonbury lordship of a family which the Bishop had been at pains to expel.(3) '


The earliest notice of this family occurs in the time of Henry I, when Gilbert Mareschall, and John, his son, were impleaded by Robert de Venoix and William de Hastings for the office of Mareschal to the king, but without success. The son, (bearing the same surname, derived from his office), was called John Mareschall.

[Sir Bernard Burke, Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages, Burke's Peerage, Ltd., London, 1883, p. 357, Marshal, Barons Marshal

Gilbert married.


1 George Edward Cokayne, "Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom" (Sutton Publishing Ltd., 2000), X:Appendix G:92.

2 Newsgroup: soc.genealogy.medieval, at groups -, Paul Ravilious (Therav3), 8 Jan 2003.

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