Southern Anthology

Families on the Frontiers of the Old South

Guillaume des Roches, Seneschal of Anjou[1, 2]

Male 1155 - 1222  (~ 67 years)


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  • Name Guillaume des Roches 
    Suffix Seneschal of Anjou 
    Born ca. 1155 
    Gender Male 
    Military 1189  Le Mans, Sarthe, Pays de la Loire, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    The Rebellion of 1189
    The Rebellion of 1189
    To settle affairs prior to departing on crusade, the French king Philip and Duke Richard combined to pressure the ailing but recalcitrant king of England to commit to a dynastic arrangement that would unite the two families. At the first conference in November 1188, Henry refused a plan that would have recognized Richard as his successor and marry him, at long last, to Philip's sister Alice (who was scandalously rumored to have been seduced by her guardian, the Old King). Infuriated, Richard offered Philip homage before the assembled nobility for the family's Capetian fiefs . A second conference at Le Ferte, pushed by a Pope fearing a stillborn crusade, did no more than stoke suspicions that Henry would make John his heir. Philip and Richard then struck without warning, attacking Henry and driving him back on Le Mans. Henry was brought to heel after retreating into Anjou and agreed to the terms demanded by his adversaries, an embarrassing capitulation for a dying king.
    Military 1189 
    Third Crusade 
    Crusaders
    Crusaders
    First (1095–1099); Second (1147–1149); Third or the Kings' Crusade (1189–1192); Forth (1202–1204); Fifth (1213–1221); Sixth (1228); Barons' (1239); Seventh (1248-1254); Eighth (1270); and Ninth (1271-1272).
    Military 1191  Acre, Israel Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Siege of Acre
    Siege of Acre
    The seige of Acre (August 28, 1189 to July 12, 1191) was the focal point of the Third Crusade. After his release by Saladin, King Guy of Jerusalem led an expedition from Tyre, stationing his meager force on the high ground of Mount Torn just outside the port city of Acre. From this small beginning Guy's numbers began to swell as the western contingents sailed in. Saladin squandered an opportunity to break the cordon on 4 Oct 1189 after a Latin advance lost formation to loot the Abuyyid camp. News of Barbarossa imminent approach then resulted in a cautious division of Abuyyid forces to meet the northern threat. With the arrival of Richard and Philip Augustus in the summer of 1191, the balance swung decisively in the favor the Latins. The city was surrendered, 12 Jul 1191. It would remain in Christian hands until overrun by the Mamluks, 18 May 1291.
    Military 7 Sep 1191  Arsuf, Israel Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Battle of Arsuf and the First Jerusalem Campaign
    Battle of Arsuf and the First Jerusalem Campaign
    On 22 Aug 1191, Richard marched his army out of Acre, bound for Jaffa. Saladin shadowed Richard to the Rochetaille River and then moved his army into position to block Richard's advance. Richard managed to maintain formation nearly to Arsulf as he moved through the attacking Ayyubids; however, the rearguard of Hospitallers finally lost patience and wheeled about, breaking ranks. This was not the charge that was planned but Richard was now committed. Saladin was defeated in a rout. Jaffa was occupied on 10 Sep 1191. In anticipation of Richard's next move, Saladin razed Ascalon. But Richard also found his strategic plans to cut Saladin's lines of communication with Egypt trumped by the expectations of his army: they wanted to be in the Holy City by Christmas. Unable to keep his army in winter quarters just outside of Jerusalem, Richard retired with a much reduced force to Ascalon.
    Military 22 Sep 1199  Le Mans, Sarthe, Pays de la Loire, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Duke Arthur of Brittany and his mother Constance were surrendered to Arthur's uncle John by William des Roches, a former ally of Philip Augustus. Expecting betrayal of the duke, Aimery of Thours spirited the party to Angers, a move that delivered them into the camp of the French king for fresh intrigues. On this score, Diceto hints that John dealt "less than prudently" with Arthur.  
    Title Dec 1199  Angers, Maine-et-Loire, Pays de la Loire, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Seneschal of Anjou 
    Military 1 Aug 1202  Mirebeau, Vienne, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6
    • "The History [of William Marshal] records that the real hero of the hour at Mirebeau was not John but his seneschal of Anjou, William de Roches. William had shown such feats of arms and such courage that his efforts were to be marveled at. Like any hero worthy of the name he had, by repute, three horses killed from underneath him, yet still he fought on leading his troops from the front. No doubt there is some exaggeration in the telling of the tale (it is a common trope that warrior heroes have three horses cut from underneath them), but equally there is no doubt that William de Roches thought he had done enough to warrant a share not only in the profits of victory but also in the handling of the prisoners, especially Arthur, to whom he had at one stage been loyal. But John, according to the History, 'puffed up with pride which daily grew so blurred his vision that he could not see reason,' and acted in such a high-handed manner he 'lost the affection of the barons of the land before he had crossed to England.' Even the most exaled of the prisoners were treated shamefully, kept in chains like common criminals." [4]
    French Campaign of 1202 and the Battle of Mirebeau
    French Campaign of 1202 and the Battle of Mirebeau
    At the Battle of Mirebeau, John dealt a decisive defeat to Arthur, bagging the young duke and his Poitevin allies as they were attempting to bag Arthur's grandmother, Eleanor. (This was the southern strategy of Philip Augustus' campaign to wrest Normandy from John and it derailed his northern push against Arques.) John then took the occasion of the victory to offend his own allies, particularly the seneschal of Anjou, William de Roches, who went over to the French king. "In his moment of triumph, John forgot to be magnanimous to exactly the men on whom his control of Anjou and Poitou rested." Church, p. 108. "[T]he king [John] squandered this crucial opportunity, and a dreadful corner was turned in his career, from which there would be no return. * * * The king's merciless behavior caused serious scandal. * * * William des Roches was so disgusted by John's behavior that he abandoned him - transferring is allegiance to Philip of France- and the leading nobles in the Angevin heartlands soon followed suit." Asbridge, p. 275
    Military 27 Jul 1214  Bouvines, Nord, Hauts-de-France, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 8
    Battle of Bouvines
    Battle of Bouvines
    At Bouvines, French king Philip defeated English king John I's allied force of German, Flemish and English armies under the command of his nephew, German king Otto IV. (This was to be coordinated with the opening of a second front in Aquitaine by John.) This ended the king's efforts to recover his Angevin lands. As a military failure it cost John his remaining political capital at home.
    Died 15 Jul 1222 
    Buried Bonlieu, Jura, Franche-Comté, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I19590  Dickinson
    Last Modified 12 Feb 2018 

    Father Baldwin des Roches 
    Relationship Birth 
    Married
    • Baudouin's wife has not been identified.
    Family ID F6127  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Philippa, épouse des Roches ,   d. Before 1190 
    Children 
     1. Baldwin des Roches,   b. ca. 1208  [Birth]
    Last Modified 30 Oct 2017 
    Family ID F6128  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Marguerite de Sablé,   d. Before 1 Dec 1246 
    Married 1201 
    Children 
     1. Robert des Roches,   d. 1204  [Birth]
     2. Jeanne des Roches,   d. 28 Sep 1238  [Birth]
    +3. Clémence de Roches,   d. After Sep 1259
    Last Modified 12 Feb 2018 
    Family ID F6113  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsMilitary - 1189 - Le Mans, Sarthe, Pays de la Loire, France Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary - 1191 - Acre, Israel Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary - 7 Sep 1191 - Arsuf, Israel Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary - Duke Arthur of Brittany and his mother Constance were surrendered to Arthur's uncle John by William des Roches, a former ally of Philip Augustus. Expecting betrayal of the duke, Aimery of Thours spirited the party to Angers, a move that delivered them into the camp of the French king for fresh intrigues. On this score, Diceto hints that John dealt "less than prudently" with Arthur. - 22 Sep 1199 - Le Mans, Sarthe, Pays de la Loire, France Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsTitle - Seneschal of Anjou - Dec 1199 - Angers, Maine-et-Loire, Pays de la Loire, France Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary - 1 Aug 1202 - Mirebeau, Vienne, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary - 27 Jul 1214 - Bouvines, Nord, Hauts-de-France, France Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Bonlieu, Jura, Franche-Comté, France Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S336463] Medieval Lands: A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families, Charles Cawley, (Online: The Foundation for Medieval Genealogy at http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/, 20XX), http://bit.ly/2gN2ws9.

    2. [S336470] Wikipedia, (Online: https://en.wikipedia.org), "William des Roches" at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_des_Roches.

    3. [S422] Richard I (English Monarchs Series), John Gillingham, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), 336-8.

    4. [S164] King John and the Road to Magna Carta, Stephen Church, (New York: Basic Books, 2015), 107-8.

    5. [S20] The Knight Who Saved England: William Marshal and the French Invasion, 1217, Richard Brooks, (Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2014), 108.

    6. [S421] The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones, Thomas Asbridge, (New York: HarperCollins, 2014), 275.

    7. [S164] King John and the Road to Magna Carta, Stephen Church, (New York: Basic Books, 2015), 202-205, 235.

    8. [S421] The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones, Thomas Asbridge, (New York: HarperCollins, 2014), 325.