Thomas de Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley

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Thomas de Berkeley

Also Known As: "Thomas II "the wise"", "1st Lord Berkeley; Lord of Berkeley Castle; Thomas II Berkeley;"
Birthplace: Castle Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England
Death: July 23, 1321 (76)
St Augustines Abbey, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
Place of Burial: Bristol, Gloucester, England, UK
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Maurice "The Resolute" de Berkeley and Isabel "de Crouin" de Berkeley, Baroness Berkeley
Husband of Isabella de Chilham and Joan (the Younger) de Ferrers, Baroness Berkeley
Father of Maurice de Berkeley, 2nd Lord of Berkeley; Margaret Russell; Lady Alice Stourton; John de Berkeley; Sir Thomas Berkeley, Lord of Coston and 1 other
Brother of Maurice de Berkeley; John de Berkeley, 1st Baron Marmion; Robert de Berkeley; Simon de Berkeley; Maud de Berkeley and 2 others

Occupation: 1st Lord of Berkeley, English baron, soldier and diplomat.
Managed by: Noel Clark Bush
Last Updated:

About Thomas de Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley,_1st_Baron_Berkeley

Thomas de Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley

Thomas de Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley (1245 – 23 July 1321), aka The Wise, was an English baron, soldier and diplomat.

Thomas de Berkeley was born in 1245 at Berkeley Castle in the English county of Gloucestershire, the son of Sir Maurice de Berkeley and Isabel FitzRoy.
Isabel FitzRoy was the granddaughter of John, King of England, by his cousin and mistress, Adela de Warenne, daughter of Hamelin de Warenne and Isabel de Warenne, 4th Countess of Surrey. In 1267, Thomas de Berkeley married Joan de Ferrers, the daughter of William de Ferrers, 5th Earl of Derby and Margaret de Quinci. He was succeeded in his titles by his son Maurice de Berkeley II.

Thomas de Berkeley is also known by his epithet Thomas 'the Wise'.
He fought in the Battle of Evesham. He inherited the title of Baron de Berkeley [feudal baron] in 1281 and was created 1st Baron Berkeley [England by writ] on 28 June 1283. He was a commissioner to examine the claims to the crown of Scotland in June 1292.

He was on an embassy to France in January 1296 and held the office of Vice-Constable of England in 1297. He fought in the Battle of Falkirk on 22 July 1298 and fought in the siege of Caerlaverock in July 1300.
He was on an embassy to Pope Clement V in July 1307.
He fought in the Battle of Bannockburn on 24 June 1314, where he was taken prisoner, and paid a large sum for his ransom. He died at Berkeley on 23 July 1321.

The children of Thomas de Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley and Joan de Ferrers are:

  • Alice de Stourton
  • Thomas de Berkeley. Ancestor of the Berkeleys of Wymondham[3]
  • John de Berkeley (d. circa 1317)
  • James de Berkeley
  • Isabel de Berkeley
  • Margaret de Berkeley (d. circa 1320), has issue.
  • Maurice de Berkeley, 2nd Baron Berkeley (April 1271 - 31 May 1326), has issue.

  • Thomas Berkeley
  • Birth: 1245
  • Death: Jul. 23, 1321
  • 1st Baron Berkeley, was an English baron, soldier and diplomat. Known as "The Wise", he was in the parliament under Kings Edward I and II. He fought at the Battle of Bannockburn, was taken prisoner there, and paid a huge sum for his ransom.
  • Knight, Baron of Berkeley, Vice Constable of England, 2nd but 1st surviving son of Maurice de Berkeley and Isabel FitzRoy. Husband of Joan Ferrers, daughter of the 5th Earl of Derby by Margaret de Quincy, married 1267. Joan's maritagium included the manors of Coston in Leicestershire and Eynesbury Berkeley in Huntingdonshire. Thomas and Joan had three sons, Sir Maurice, John and James, the Bishop of Exeter, as well as two daughters, Margaret and Isabel. There was a possible son, Thomas, who died young. Thomas was present at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, the first expedition against Llywelyn, Prince of Wales in 1277, and in the second invasion with King Edward II in 1282. Thomas earned the title of 1st Baron of Berkeley in June of 1283. He was summoned to Parliament in 1295 as Thome de Berkelegh and Lord Berkeley. Thomas was also employed on an embassy to France to visit Pope Clement V, fought at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298, at the siege of Caerlaverock Castle in 1300. The conflict with the burghers of Bristol would become violent after a long struggle with the Berkeley family in 1303. At the Battle of Bannockburn, June 24, 1314, Thomas would be taken prisoner, paying a large sum for his ransom. Thomas died at Berkeley, his wife died eleven years before him. (additional info by Anne Shurtleff Stevens)
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 27787868
  • From:
  • BERKELEY, Sir John II (d.c.1415), of Coston and Wymondham, Leics.
  • s. and h. of Sir John Berkeley† (d.c. 1377) of Wymondham ?by his w. Elizabeth. m. Isabel, 1s. Sir Laurence*. Kntd. bef. Dec. 1392.
  • The third successive Sir John Berkeley in the Leicestershire branch of the family, he was descended from the Gloucestershire baron Thomas, Lord Berkeley (d.1321), who had settled Coston on his second son, Thomas. The latter had added to this inheritance the lordship of Wymondham and property in Barrow-upon-Soar through marriage to Sir John Hamelin’s only daughter, and their son, the Sir John who fought at Crécy, obtained in 1347 a royal charter of free warren on these estates. To this branch had also passed Lord Berkeley’s manor of Eynesbury in Huntingdonshire, which in 1412 was to be estimated to be worth £20 a year. Our John’s father (the shire knight of 1371) evidently retained close contact with his baronial kinsfolk, for in 1374 Thomas, 5th Lord Berkeley, wrote to the chancellor requesting Sir John’s discharge from the shrievalty of Warwickshire and Leicestershire so that he might join his retinue for military service overseas. At his death, not long before June 1377, he left a widow, Elizabeth, who lived on until 1402 or later, and, as his heir, his son John, the future knight of the shire, still a minor.1
  • .... etc.
  • From:
  • THOMAS de Berkeley, son of MAURICE de Berkeley & his wife Isabel [FitzRoy] (Berkeley 1245-Berkeley 23 Jul 1321). He was summoned to parliament in 1295, whereby he is held to have become Lord Berkeley.
  • m (1267) JOAN de Ferrers, daughter of WILLIAM de Ferrers Earl of Derby & his second wife Margaret de Quincy of the Earls of Winchester (-19 Mar 1310, bur Bristol St Augustine). Thomas & his wife had children:
    • 1. MAURICE de Berkeley ([Apr 1281]-31 May 1326, bur Wallingford, transferred to Bristol St Augustine’s). Lord Berkeley. m firstly (1289) EVE La Zouche, daughter of EON La Zouche of Haringworth & his wife Millicent de Cantelou (-5 Dec 1314, bur Portbury, Somerset). m secondly ([1316]%29 ISABEL de Clare, daughter of GILBERT de Clare Earl of Gloucester and Hereford & his first wife Alice de Lusignan (10 Mar 1263-after 1322). The Annals of Tewkesbury record the birth “VI Id Mar” in 1262 of “filia Isabella” to “Gilberto de Clare filio Ricardi comitis Gloucestriæ…de uxore sua Alicia filia comitis Marchiæ”[1400]. Maurice & his first wife had children:
      • a) THOMAS de Berkeley ([1292]-27 Oct 1361, bur Berkeley Church). Lord Berkeley. m firstly (before 25 Jul [1320], Papal dispensation to remain married Sep 1329) MARGARET de Mortimer, daughter of ROGER [VI] de Mortimer Lord Mortimer Earl of March & his wife Philippa de Montagu of Salisbury (after 1307-5 May 1337, Bristol St Augustine’s). A manuscript narrating the foundation of Wigmore Abbey names “Edmundum primogenitum…Rogerum militem, Galfridum…Johannem… Katherinam…Johannam…Agnetam…Margaretam…Matildam… Blanchiam… et Beatricem” as children of “Roger comes et Johanna uxor eius”, adding that Margaret married “Thomæ filio Mauricii de Berkley”[1401]. m secondly (Charfield, Gloucestershire 30 May 1347) as her second husband, KATHARINE Clivedon, widow of PIERS le Veel of Tortworth, Gloucestershire, daughter of JOHN Clivedon of Charfield, Gloucestershire & his wife (-13 Mar 1385, bur Berkeley). Thomas & his first wife had children:
        • i) MAURICE de Berkeley (1330-Berkeley Castle 8 Jun 1368, bur Bristol St Augustine’s). He succeeded his father in 1361 as Lord Berkeley.
        • - see below.
        • ii) JOAN de Berkeley (-2 Oct 1369). The will of "Joan de Cobham of Starburghe", dated 13 Aug 1369, chose burial “in the churchyard of St Mary Overhere in Southwark”, bequeathed property to “Henry Grey and Dame Joan his wife and to that Joane my daughter, to Joane daughter to that Joane” and a conditional bequest to “Reginald my son” relating to property “ my husband in the presence of the Lord Berkley my father”[1402]. m REGINALD de Cobham, son of REGINALD de Cobham & his wife Joan d’Evere (-7 Oct 1361, bur Lingfield). He was summoned to Parliament from 1347 whereby he is held to have become Lord Cobham (of Sterborough).
      • b) ISABEL de Berkeley (-25 Jul 1362). m firstly (Berkeley Castle Jun 1328) ROBERT [II] de Clifford, son of ROBERT [I] de Clifford Lord Clifford & his wife Matilda de Clare (5 Nov 1305-20 May 1344). m secondly (before 9 Jun 1345) THOMAS Musgrave, son of ---.
    • 2. MARGARET Berkeley (-after 4 May 1320). m firstly (before 7 Feb 1284) THOMAS FitzMorice, son of MORICE FitzJohn & his wife Matilda de Barry ([Apr 1261]-Knockainy, co. Limerick 4 Jun 1298, bur Tralee Dominican Church, co. Kerry). m secondly (before 5 Apr 1299) REYNOLD Rosel [Russel], son of ---.

1st Baron Berkeley

Fought in Battle of Evesham

Commissioner to examine crown of Scotland 1292

Summoned to Parliament 1295 through 1321

Embassy to France 1296

Vice-Constable of England 1297

Battle of Falkirk 1298

Siege of Caerlaverock 1300

Embassy to Pope Clement V 1307

Taken prisoner at Battle of Bannockburn 1314, ransomed

Thomas II "the Wise," 1st Lord Berkeley, took part in the Second Baron's War, in which Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, was defeated and killed. (Thomas was under age on 4 August 1265, at the Battle of Evesham in Worcestershire.)

Thomas was for nearly every year for the last 50 years of his life "employed either against the Welsh, the Scots, or the French" between 1271 and 1321.

He was feudal Lord of Berkeley at Gloucestershire between 1283 and 23 July 1321. He was summoned to attend King Edward I at Shrewbury (by writ directed to "Thomas de Berkel" on 28 June 1283).

He was on the commission to examine the claims to the Crown of Scotland in June 1292.

He was summoned to Parliament by writ directed "Thome de Berkelegh" whereby he may be held have become Lord Berkeley on 24 June 1295.

He was on an Embassy to France in January 1296.

He was Vice-Constable of England in 1297.

Thomas was part of the forces of King Edward I to defeat a Scottish army under William Wallace. On 22 July 1298 at the Battle of Falkirk in Scotland, Thomas helped to defeat Wallace.

In July 1300 Thomas was at the Siege of Caerlaverock.

Thomas was one of the Barons who signed the celebrated letter to the Pope in 1301. He was on an Embassy to Pope Clement V in July 1307 in Rome.

Thomas was taken prisoner at Bannockburn, for which he paid a large sum for his ransom, on 24 June 1314.

Thomas continued to be so summoned to Parliament till shortly before his death on 15 May 1321. He died at the age of 76.

See "My Lines"

( )

from Compiler: R. B. Stewart, Evans, GA

( )

Thomas II. Sixth Lord. 1281 to 1321.

After his succession to the Barony he devoted himself very much to the management and improvement of his estates, keeping many of his manors in his own hands, of which most minute and accurate accounts were kept, showing how the demesne lands were stocked and farmed, and how the produce was disposed of. Like several of his predecessors he granted away much land in fee, reserving what was then the full annual value as a chief rent; the object of this was to maintain the revenue of the estate at its then value, thinking that from the disturbed state of the kingdom it was more likely to diminish than to increase. His standing household consisted of upwards of 300 persons, of the various ranks of knights, esquires, yeomen, grooms, and pages, besides of others of less degree.

Lord Berkeley's public, civil, and military employments were as numerous as his domestic engagements. From the battle of Evesham in 1265, to 1319, he was almost constantly in arms and served in nearly every engagement in the civil wars, as well as against the French, Scots, and Welsh, during that turbulent period. In 1295 he was sent as ambassador to the king of France. In 1307, he was appointed with the Bishop of Worcester to go on an embassy to Rome, but their mission was stopped by the death of the king (Edward I) at Carlisle. Lord Berkeley was present at the coronation of Edward II and soon afterwards went with his two sons Maurice and John to France to witness the king's marriage with the Princess Isabella, little thinking probably, to what a tragedy that marriage would lead, and how great a share his family were destined to take in it! At the disastrous battle of Bannockburn, lord Berkeley and his son Thomas were both among the prisoners, but Maurice escaped, and aided in effecting the ransom of his father and brother. In 1319, lord Berkeley was again in arms, though 74 years of age, and joined the royal army at Newcastle with his son Maurice and Maurice's two sons, there being thus three generations of Berkeleys in the field at once; this was Thomas lord Berkeley's 28th campaign and it was his last. After his return home he was several times written to by the king, Edward II, requiring him to repress the local and partial insurrections which were caused by the discontents occasioned by the King's weakness and incapacity and his devotion to favourites.

Thomas, 6th lord Berkeley, died in 1321, and was buried with his forefathers in St. Augustine's under an arch between the vestry and the south aisle.

Primary Sources

Inquisitions Post Mortem for Thomas de Berkeleye alias de Berkelee. Writ, 3 August, 15 Edward II [1321]. His death date is not recorded. He died before the 3 August 1391 (date of writ). Maurice his son, aged 40 and more, is his next heir.

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Thomas de Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley's Timeline

July 23, 1245
Castle Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England
April 1271
Bristol, Gloucestershire, England (United Kingdom)
Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England
Berkeley Castle, Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England
Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England
Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England
Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire, England
July 23, 1321
Age 76
St Augustines Abbey, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
Age 75
Bristol Cathedral, Bristol, Gloucester, England, UK
November 19, 1932
Age 76