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Maud FitzAlan

Also Known As: "Matilda", "Maude", "Matilda Burnell", "Matilda FitzAlan", "Matilda Maude Burnell", "Matilda Maude Fitz Alan"
Birthplace: Arundel, Essex, England
Death: between circa 1316 and circa 1325 (44-71)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John FitzAlan, 7th Earl of Arundel and Isabella de Mortimer, Countess of Arundel
Wife of Sir Philip Burnell and Simon de Criketot
Ex-wife of Robert de Bruce, 6th Lord of Annandale
Mother of Sir Edward Burnell and Maud Haudlo
Sister of Joan Cornwall, Lady of Winchester; Richard FitzAlan, 8th Earl Arundel and John FitzAlan
Half sister of Sir John de Hastang, Knt., of Chebsey Hastang

Managed by: Marilyn Jeanne Haslem
Last Updated:

About Maud FitzAlan

Married three times:

  1. Sir Philip Burnell (d. 1294)
  2. Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale (c. 1295 - marriage may not actually have taken place, or may have been annulled as soon as Maud achieved or was denied her dower rights)
  3. Simon de Criketot

Two children by first marriage:

  • Sir Edward Burnell (left no surviving offspring)
  • Maud Lovel de Handlo (nee Burnell)

Maud Fitzalan was the daughter of John Fitzalan and Isabella Mortimer and the sister of Richard, earl of Arundel, who was born in February 1267 - whether Maud was older or younger than Richard, I don't know, and she might have been born any time between 1264 and 1266 or 1268 and 1272. In 1283 her brother paid 2000 marks for her to marry Philip Burnell, who was born on 1 August 1264. [1] Philip was the son and heir of Sir Hugh Burnell and a woman of unknown parentage called Sybil, but it was his uncle who was the most important member of the family: Robert Burnell, bishop of Bath and Wells and chancellor of England, a close ally and friend of Edward I who dominated the English political scene from Edward's accession in 1272 until his death twenty years later. Edward I tried to persuade the pope to translate Robert from Bath and Wells to Canterbury, but he refused on learning that Robert kept a mistress or mistresses; it is believed that he fathered as many as five illegitimate (well, obviously) children. Not surprisingly, the pope decided that such scandalous behaviour argued against Robert having the moral authority to become primate of all England.

Philip Burnell inherited the lands his enormously wealthy uncle had acquired, a whopping eighty-two manors in nineteen counties, but brilliantly managed to die in debt less than two years after his uncle's death, on 26 June 1294 at the age of only twenty-nine. [2] He and Maud Fitzalan had two surviving children: Maud, born sometime between 1290 and 1294, of whom much more below; and Edward, Lord Burnell, who was born in 1286, married Hugh Despenser the Elder's eldest daughter Aline in 1302 - Despenser paid 1000 marks for the privilege - and died childless on 23 August 1315, also at the age of twenty-nine. [3] Aline never re-married and outlived her husband by a remarkable forty-eight years, dying on 16 May 1363 when she must have been in her mid-seventies. [4] (Edward II appointed Aline constable of the great castle of Conwy in January 1326, presumably at the request of her brother the younger Despenser.)

Genealogist Douglas Richardson discovered several years ago that the widowed Maud Fitzalan - I'm referring to her and her daughter by their maiden names throughout this post, in a possibly futile attempt to avoid confusion - was granted a licence on 19 September 1295 to marry Robert Bruce, which presumably means the one who died in 1304 and whose son of the same name became King Robert I of Scotland in 1306: "Licence for Matilda, late the wife of Philip Burnel, tenant in chief, to marry Robert de Brus, lord of Annandale." A writ of 13 October 1296 confirms that Maud did indeed marry Bruce: "Order to give power to someone to receive the attorneys of Robert de Brus, earl of Carrik and lord of Annandale, and Maud his wife, in a plea of dower..." [5] What's odd about this is that when Bruce died in 1304 he left a widow named Eleanor, but Maud certainly outlived him so he wasn't her widower; yet no references to an annulment have been found that I've read of.


  • See this disussion for a copy of Douglas Richardson's 2007 & 2018 posts in soc.genealogy.medieval which provide evidence for her three marriages.

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Maud FitzAlan's Timeline

Arundel, Essex, England
July 22, 1287
Acton Burnell, Shropshire, England
Age 53
September 13, 1932
Age 53
September 13, 1932
Age 53
September 13, 1932
Age 53
September 13, 1932
Age 53
September 23, 1932
Age 53