Robert de Ros, 1st Lord Ros of Helmsley, Surety of the Magna Carta

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Robert de Ros, 1st Lord of Helmsley, Surety of the Magna Carta

Also Known As: "Magna Charta Surety", ""Furfan"", "Knight Templar", "1st Baron Of Helmsley", "de Roos", "Magna Carta Surety"
Birthplace: Hamlake, West Riding, Yorkshire, England
Death: before December 23, 1226
Helmsley, Holderness, Yorkshire, England
Place of Burial: Temple Church, London, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Everard de Ros II, Baron of Helmsley and Rohese de Ros
Husband of Isabel of Scotland
Father of Sir Robert de Ros, 1st Baron Warke; Sir William de Ros; Sir Alexander de Ros and Peter de Ros
Brother of Piers "Peter" de Ros

Occupation: Sheriff of Cumberland, 1213-1215., Lord of Hamlake Castle, Magna Carta Surety, Knight Templar, Baron
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Robert de Ros, 1st Lord Ros of Helmsley, Surety of the Magna Carta

Robert de Ros, 1st Lord Ros of Helmsley (c.1170 - 1226) Date of birth may be 1158. son of Everard de Ros (c.1148. -1183) and Rohese Trussebut (c. 1136 - ?)

married Isabella of Scotland, daughter of William 'the Lion' I of Scotland and his mistress Isabel Avenal.

Robert de Ros, 1st Lord Ros of Helmsley was Baliff of the district of the royal Castle of Bonneville sur Toques, Normandy.3 He has an extensive biographical entry in the Dictionary of National Biography.6

In 1210 he served with King John in Ireland.3 Robert de Ros, 1st Lord Ros of Helmsley also went by the nick-name of Robert 'Furfan'.5 He held the office of Sheriff of Cumberland between 1213 and 1215.3 He was one of the 25 barons selected to oversee the provisions of the Magna Carta.3

Children of Robert de Ros, 1st Lord Ros of Helmsley and Isabella

  • John de Ros+ 1
  • Sir William de Ros+ d. c 12644
  • Sir Robert de Ros+ 3


1. [S2] Peter W. Hammond, editor, The Complete Peerage or a History of the House of Lords and All its Members From the Earliest Times, Volume XIV: Addenda & Corrigenda (Stroud, Gloucestershire, U.K.: Sutton Publishing, 1998), page 50. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage, Volume XIV.

2. [S77] Leslie Stephen, editor, Dictionary of National Biography (London, U.K.: Smith, Elder & Company, 1908), volume III, page 114. Hereinafter cited as Dictionary of National Biography.

3. [S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 1107. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.

4. [S1545] Mitchell Adams, "re: West Ancestors," e-mail message from <e-mail address> (Australia) to Darryl Roger Lundy, 6 December 2005 - 19 June 2009. Hereinafter cited as "re: West Ancestors".

5. [S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 198. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Family.

6. [S77] Leslie Stephen, Dictionary of National Biography, volume III, page 115.

-------------------- retrieved 15 May 2013:

Robert de Ros (died 1227)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Robert de Ros, Baron of Helmsley & Sheriff of Cumberland Spouse(s) Isabella Mac William


  • Sir William Ros
  • Robert de Ros
  • Peter de Ros
  • Sir Alexander de Ros

Father Everard de Ros, Baron of Helmsley Mother Roese Trussebut Born ca. 1170/1172 Died 1227 Buried Temple Church, London, England

Sir Robert de Ros, or de Roos of Helmsley (ca. 1170/1172 – 1227[1]%29 was the grandfather and ancestor of the Barons Ros of Helmsley that was created by writ in 1264. In 1215, Ros joined the confederation of the barons at Stamford. He was one of the twenty-five barons to guarantee the observance of Magna Carta, signed by King John on 15 Jun 1215.[1]


He was the son of Everard de Ros, Baron of Helmsley and Rohese Trusbut, daughter of William Trusbut of Wartre. In 1191, aged fourteen, he paid a thousand marks fine for livery of his lands to King Richard I of England. In 1197, while serving King Richard in Normandy, he was arrested for an unspecified offence, and was committed to the custody of Hugh de Chaumont, but Chaumont entrusted his prisoner to William de Spiney, who allowed him to escape from the castle of Bonville, England. King Richard thereupon hanged Spiney and collected a fine of twelve hundred marks from Ros' guardian as the price of his continued freedom.[2]

When King John came to the throne, he gave Ros the barony of his great-grandmother's father, Walter d'Espec. Soon afterwards he was deputed one of those to escort William the Lion, his father-in-law, into England, to swear fealty to King John. Some years later, Robert de Ros assumed the habit of a monk, whereupon the custody of all his lands and Castle Werke (Wark), in Northumberland, were committed to Philip d'Ulcote, but he soon returned and about a year later he was High Sheriff of Cumberland.[2]

When the struggle of the barons for a constitutional government began, de Ros at first sided with King John, and thus obtained some valuable grants from the crown, and was made governor of Carlisle; but he subsequently went over to the barons and became one of the celebrated twenty-five "Sureties" appointed to enforce the observance of Magna Carta, the county of Northumberland being placed under his supervision. He gave his allegiance to King Henry III and, in 1217-18, his manors were restored to him. Although he was witness to the second Great Charter and the Forest Charter, of 1224, he seems to have remained in royal favour.[2]

Marriage and issue

In early 1191, in Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland, Ros married Isabella Mac William (Isibéal nic Uilliam), widow of Robert III de Brus. Isabella was the illegitimate daughter of William the Lion, King of Scots by the daughter of Richard Avenel.[1][3]

Issue with Isabella:

  • Sir William de Ros (b. before 1200 - d. ca. 1264/1265), father of Robert de Ros, 1st Baron de Ros.[1] and Sir William de Roos of Helmsley, Yorkshire (whose daughter, Ivette de Roos, married Sir Geoffrey le Scrope, K.B. of Masham, Yorkshire. [4]
  • Sir Robert de Ros[1] (ca. 1223 - 13 May 1285), was Chief Justice of the Kings Bench. He married Christian Bertram; from which Elizabeth Ros (d.1395), wife of Sir William Parr of Kendal (1350 - c.1404) descended. The two were ancestors of Queen consort Catherine Parr.
  • Sir Alexander de Ros (d. ca. 1306), he fathered one child with an unknown wife, William.[1]
  • Peter de Ros[1]

He erected Helmsley or Hamlake Castle in Yorkshire, and of Wark Castle in Northumberland. Sir Robert is buried at the Temple Church under a magnificent tomb.[1]


While "Fursan" is given as a location for Robert de Ros (sometimes also Roos) most use the term "furfan" to designate a title within the Templars essentially equivalent to grandmaster or head priest. This title also further refers to the resulting aura resembling a "fan" / "Furry fan". Some would also use the term "Kingmaker".[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Douglas Richardson, Kimball G. Everingham. Magna Carta ancestry: a study in colonial and medieval families, Genealogical Publishing Company, 2005. pg 699. Google eBook
  2. ^ a b c "Ros, Robert de (d.1227)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  3. ^ Chronicle of Melrose
  4. ^ Douglas Richardson, , Kimball G. Everingham, (2011). Magna Carta ancestry : a study in colonial and medieval families, Volume II (2nd ed. ed.). Salt Lake City, UT.: Douglas Richardson. p. 198. ISBN 9781449966386.

Official History of the Monarchy.



Notes: Magna Charta Surety, 1215, Knight Templar, was born in 1177. When only 15 years of age he had paid a thousand marks' fine for livery of his lands. In 1197, when aged twenty years and while with the King of Normandy, he was arrested. He was committed to the custody of Hugh de Spiney who allowed him to escape out of the Castle of Bonville. King Richard thereupon hanged de Spiney and collected a fine of twelve hundred marks, about eight hundred pounds, from Ros's guardian as the price of his continued freedom. When John become King, he gave young Ros the whole Barony of his great grandmother's father, Walter d'Espec, as conciliation. ABT the 14th year of King John's reign, Robert assumed the habit of a monk, whereupon the custody of all his lands and Castle Werke, were committed to Phillip d'Ulcote. However, Robert did not continue long as a recluse, as in about a year he was executing the office of high sheriff of county Cumberland. At the beginning of the struggle of the Barons for constitutional government, he at first sided with King John and, in consequence, obtained some valuable grants from the Crown. He was made governor of Carlisle, but was later won over by the Barons. He returned to his allegience in the reign of Henry III and in 1217/8 his manors were restored to him. Although he was a witness to the second Great Charter and the forest Charter of 1224, he seems to have been in favor with the King. Ros erected the Castles of Hemsley, or Hamlake, in Yorkshire, and of Werke, in Northumberland. He was a member of the Order of Knights Templar. He died in 1226/7 and was buried "in his proper habit" in the Knights' Church, or the New Temple in London, where his tomb may be seen.


Notes from John Ravilious on Robert de Ros, 9 Jan 2006, from

  • of Helmsley in Holderness, co. York and Wark, Northumberland
  • succeeded to the Trussebut inheritance of his mother, 1196 (answered for 500m. as the eldest coheir of Robert Trussebut, 1195- Sanders, p. 56[2])
  • the escort of William, King of Scots to court in England, Nov. 1200 and in 1209
  • Sheriff of Cumberland, 1213-1215[1]

'Robertus de Ros, ij milites ' - accounted for the service of 2 knights' fees in Northumberland, ca. 1201-1212 [Red Book of the Exchequer I: 179[3

payment received from King John of England, at Carrickfergus, 25 July 1210: ' 477. Prests to knights at Carrickfergus the day of St. James the Apostle. Robert de Ros, 40 marks; the Earl of Winchester, 50 marks; Earl David, 30 marks, delivered to Bartholomew de Mortuo mari; David de Hastinges, 4 marks, for John his father; Eustace de Vescy, 30 marks; Henry son of Earl David, 2 marks (and many others). ' [Bain I:81[4], cites Prestita, 12 John, m. 5]

subsequently served King John in Ireland, August 1210: Sean Duffy wrote, re: King John and Baldwin, count of Aumale, in Ireland: ' Baldwin spent at least part of the summer of 1210 in Ireland. The praestita roll records payments made to Flemish knights at Dublin on 28 June and at Greenoge (in the barony of Ratoath, County Meath) two days later, at Carlingford on 11 July, Carrickfergus on 27 July, Drogheda on 9 August, and Fore (in County Westmeath) on 11 August.39 Within a week King John was back at Dublin, where substantial payments were again made to the Flemings in his service, including, on 19 August, to the count of Aumale himself . [Rot. liberate, p. 214.

Baldwin's tenants Fulk and Lambert de Oyry and Robert de Ros received prests at Dublin on 21 August (ibid., p. 225). The knights of the earl of Aubemarle' received further payments at Dublin two days later (ibid., p. 226). All told, at least thirty-three Flemish knights received prests during the expedition (Painter, King John, p. 265 n.130).] ' [Duffy[5

A similar letter to the following, written ' to Robert de Ros concerning the brother of Walter de Clifford ' [unidentified] a hostage of the King of Scotland placed with Robert for safekeeping, to be transferred to the King of England's custody, 13 June 1213 : ' 574. Concerning the K. of Scotland's hostages. The K. to S[aher] earl of Winchester. Commands him on receipt, immediately to send the K. by good and safe messengers, Reginald his own son, and the son of William de Veteripont, hostages of the K. of Scotland, who are in his custody by the K.'s order; so that they may be with the K. at Portsmouth on the vigil of St. John Baptist instant. Beaulieu. ' [Bain I:100-101[4], cites Foedera I:113; and Close Roll 15 John, p. 1, m. 4]

Surety for the Magna Carta, 1215; returned to allegiance to the King, November 1217

Confirmation made by Robert de Ros [II] to Meaux abbey of the gift in Warter made by Geoffrey Trussebut, his uncle, and of the land of Arras called Blanchemarle given by Geoffrey Dagon; also of the gifts of William son of Asketil in Warter, of Robert son of Osmund, of Walter de Boynton in Arnold, of Richer de Arnold of the site of the grange there, of Gilbert son of William de Dalton in Harlthorpe [par. Bubwith], of Osbert de Frismarais between Beeford and Nunkeeling, and of Simon Tuschet in Middleton on the Wolds. [1210-26] (Boynton, citing C.T. Clay, Early Yorkshire Charters, vol. X no. 92)[6]

2nd husband of Isabel 'of Scotland'[1]

  • Spouse: Isabel of Scotland
  • Father: William 'the Lion', King of Scotland (1143-1214)
  • Mother: NN [probably dau. of Roger de Avenel]
  • Marr: 1191, Haddington, Scotland[1]


  • Sir William (-ca1264), of Helmsley
  • Robert (-1269)
  • Peter
  • Alexander


Robert de Roos Furfan of Helmsley in Holderness, Yorkshire was a Magna Charta Surety, Knight Templar, 4th Baron of Hamlake Manor, Sheriff of Cumberland, and married the widow of Robert the Bruce.

Family Sheet


Name: Robert De RosMale Note Born: Abt 11701170-1-1 at Helmsley, Yorkshire, EnglandHelmsley, Yorkshire, England Married: 11911191-1-1 at Haddington, EnglandHaddington, England Died: 12261226-1-1

      Father: Everard Ros

Mother: Rose Trussebut

Name: Isabel Of Scotland Of Scotland Note

        Born: Abt 1163 at Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland


Name: William De Ros

        Born: Abt 1192 at Helmsley, Yorkshire, England

Died: Abt 1264
Wife: Lucy Fitzpiers
Name: Robert Ros

        Born: Abt 1194 at Wark, Northumberland, England

Died: 20 Apr 1274
Wife: Margaret Brus

1). of Helmsley One of the original Sureties of the Magna Carta

2). Illegitimate daughter


ID: I2071

Name: Robert* DE ROS

Sex: M

ALIA: /Furfan/

Birth: ABT 1170 in Helmsley, Holderness, Yorkshire

Death: BEF 23 DEC 1226

MISC: Magna Carta surety

Event: Titles Lord of Hamlake Castle

Father: Everard* DE ROS b: ABT 1144 in Hamelake

Mother: Roysia* TRUSSEBUT b: ABT 1146

Marriage 1 Isabel* of SCOTLAND b: ABT 1173

Married: 1191 in Haddington


William* I DE ROS b: ABT 1196 in Helmsley, Yorkshire


Robert de Ros, surnamed Furfan, in the 1st Richard I [1189], paid 1,000 ma rks fine to the crown for livery of his lands. In the 8th of the same rei gn [1197], being with the king in Normandy, he was committed to the custo dy of Hugh de Chaumont, for what offence appears not; with especial char ge to the said Hugh, that he should keep him as safe as his own life; b ut Chaumont trusting William de Spiney with his prisoner, that person bei ng corrupted, allowed him to escape out of the castle of Bonville. de R os eventually gained nothing, however, by this escape, for Richard caus ed him nevertheless to pay 1,200 marks for his freedom, while he had the f alse traitor Spiney, hanged for his breach of faith. In the next reign, ho wever, Robert de Ros found more favour, for upon the accession of King Joh n, that monarch gave him the whole barony of his great-grandmother's fathe r, Walter Espee, to enjoy in as large and ample a manner as he, the said W alter, ever held it. Soon after which he was deputed, with the bishop of D urham, and other great men, to escort William, King of Scotland into Engla nd, which monarch coming to Lincoln, swore fealty there to King John, up on the cross of Hubert, archbishop of Canterbury, in the presence of all t he people. About the 14th of King John's reign [1213], Robert de Ros assum ed the habit of a monk, whereupon the custody of all his lands, viz., Wer ke Castle, in the co. Northumberland, with his whole barony, was committ ed to Philip de Ulcote, but he did not continue long a recluse, for we fi nd him the very next year executing the office of sheriff for the coun ty of Cumberland. At the commencement of the struggle between the barons a nd John, this feudal lord took part with the king, and obtained, in conseq uence, some grants from the crown; but he subsequently espoused the baroni al cause, and was one of the celebrated twenty-five appointed to enforce t he observance of Magna Charter. In the reign of King Henry III he seems, h owever, to have returned to his allegiance, and to have been in favour wi th that prince, for the year after the king's accession, a precept was iss ued by the crown to the sheriff of Cumberland, ordering the restorati on of certain manors granted by King John to de Ros. This feudal lord w as the founder of the castle of Helmsley, otherwise Hamlake, in Yorkshir e, and of the castle of Werke in Northumberland -- the former of whi ch he bequeathed to his eldest son--the latter to the younger, with a baro ny in Scotland to be held of the elder by military service. In his latt er days he became a Knight Templar, to which order himself and his predece ssors had ever been munificently liberal, and dying in that habit, anno 12 27, was buried in the Temple Church. Robert de Ros m. Isabel, natural da u. of William the Lion, King of Scotland, and widow of Robert de Brus, a nd had issue two sons, William, his successor; and Robert, Baron Ros of We rke. He was succeeded by his elder son. [Sir Bernard Burke, Dormant, Abeya nt, Forfeited and Extinct Peerages, Burke's Peerage, London, 1883, p. 45 8, Ros, or Roos, Barons Ros

"Robert de Ros (c. 1182-1226/7), kinsman through marriage of Eustace de Vesci, and the son of Everard de Ros and Roese, née Trussebut, was a Yorkshire lord, the owner of extensive estates centring on Helmsley in the North Riding of Yorkshire and Wark-on-Tweed in Northumberland. He was married, at an unknown date, to Isabella, an illegitimate daughter of William the Lion, king of Scotland, and widow of Robert III de Brus.

"In the early 1200s Robert is found co-operating actively with King John, witnessing a number of his charters, chiefly at locations in northern England, and in 1203 assisting in the king’s defence of Normandy, where by descent from his mother he held the hereditary office of bailiff and constable of Bonneville-sur-Touques in the lower part of the duchy. In 1205, however, a year of rising political tension, there are signs that his relations with the king were worsening, and John ordered the seizure of his lands and, apparently shortly afterwards, had his son taken hostage. Robert, a little later, recovered his lands, but an indication that he might have been interested in leaving England is given by his acquisition of a licence to pledge his lands for crusading. It is not known, however, if he ever actually did embark for the East.

"In 1212 Robert seems to have entered a monastery, and on 15 May that year John handed over custody of his lands to one Philip de Ulcot. His monastic profession, however, cannot have lasted for long, for on 30 January 1213 John appointed him sheriff of Cumberland, and later in the same year he was one of the witnesses to John’s surrender of his kingdom to the pope. In 1215, as relations between the king and the baronial opposition worsened, John seems to have tried to keep Robert on his side, ordering one of his counsellors to try to secure the election of Robert’s aunt as abbess of Barking. By April, however, Robert was firmly on the baronial side, attending the baronial muster at Stamford and, after June, being nominated to the committee of twenty-five.

"When war between the king and his opponents broke out towards the end of the year, Robert was active on the baronial side, forfeiting his lands as a result and suffering the capture of his son at the battle of Lincoln in May 1217. After Louis returned to France, Robert submitted to the new government and recovered most, although not all, of his lands. He witnessed the third and definitive reissue of Magna Carta on 11 February 1225. Sometime before 1226 he retired to a monastery and he died either in that year or early in 1227. At some stage he was received into the ranks of the Templars and on his death he was buried in the Temple Church in London, where a few years earlier William Marshal, the one-time Regent had been buried. An effigy in that church sometimes associated with him dates from at least a generation later.

"Robert is an enigmatic individual who had close ties with Eustace de Vesci but did not openly join the rebellion until just before Runnymede. He probably felt a conflict between his sense of loyalty to his fellow Northerners and his obligation of obedience to the king.".

Isä Taulu 2228224. Äiti Taulu 2228225. –Puoliso 1191 Haddington,,Lincolnshire,England Isabel Avenal. Syntynyt 1165 Carrick, Ayrshire, Scotland. 
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Robert de Ros, 1st Lord Ros of Helmsley, Surety of the Magna Carta's Timeline

Hamlake, West Riding, Yorkshire, England
Helmsley Castle, North Riding of Yorkshire, England
Helmsley, North Riding of Yorkshire, England, (Present UK)
December 23, 1226
Age 54
Helmsley, Holderness, Yorkshire, England
Age 54
Temple Church, London, England
November 14, 1922
Age 54
November 14, 1922
Age 54