Bryan FitzAlan, Lord FitzAlan

Bryan FitzAlan, Baron FitzAlan Knt. (died 1 June 1306) was Lord of the Manor of Bedale in Richmondshire, Askham Bryan in the Ainsty, Bainton, Heworth &c., in Yorkshire, Bicker and Graby in Lincolnshire, a J.P. &c. He was appointed a Guardian of Scotland on 13 June 1291,[2][3] and was brother-in-law to King John of Scotland.

Bryan FitzAlan,
Lord FitzAlan
Coat of arms of Bryan FitzAlan:
Barry of eight or and gules[1]
Died(1306-06-01)1 June 1306
BuriedSt Gregory's Church, Bedale, North Yorkshire, England


He was the son of Sir Alan FitzBryan, Knt., Lord of the Manor of Bedale, &c., (who was slain shortly before 17 May 1276 by Payn de Keu of Brandesburton in self-defence) and his spouse, Agnes, (who was still alive in July 1267) said to be a daughter of Sir Randolph FitzHenry of Ravensworth in Richmondshire. The family claim direct descent from Conan II, Duke of Brittany and Earl of Richmond.[4][5]

In 1275–6 Gilbert de Stapleton arraigned an assize of novel disseisin against him and others touching a tenement in Thorntoncolling’, Yorkshire. In 1280–1 Peter de Mauley arraigned an assize of darrein presentment against him touching the church of Bampton, Yorkshire. In 1280–1 Peter de Mauley arraigned an assize of darrein presentment against him touching the church of Beyntoz.

On the Wednesday before St. Martin, 1290, he founded by charter, at Bedale, a chantry which he appropriated to Jervaulx Abbey to pray for the souls of the late Countess of Richmond, of Alan his father and Agnes his mother, Muriel his (first) wife, and Thomas, Robert, and Theobald, his sons, &c.[6]

On 20 September 1291, he had a licence to crenellate his house at Killerby, near Catterick, in the wapentake of East Hang, according to Genuki.[7]


Sir Bryan was on the King's service in Wales in 1277 and 1287. On 1 May 1285, being about to go beyond the seas on pilgrimage, he had Letters of Protection from the Crown for two years. He was Constable of both Roxburgh Castle and Jedburgh Castle from 4 August 1291 to 18 November 1292, and those of Dundee and Forfar from 1290 until the same day. He was present at the assemblies held at Berwick-upon-Tweed in October and November 1292 during the discussions surrounding the Great Cause. As a Guardian of Scotland he was one of those commanded on 18 November 1292 to give sasine of the Kingdom of Scotland to John de Balliol.[8]

On 12 July 1297 he was appointed Captain for the defence of Northumberland and, on 18 October following, a Keeper of the Scottish Marches in that county. He was constituted Keeper of Scotland, at a salary of 2,000 marks a year, on 18 August 1297. He served at the Battle of Falkirk on 22 July 1298, and was at the siege of Caerlaverock Castle in July 1300.[4]


Sir Bryan was summoned for Military Service from 6 April 1282 to 7 November 1302, to a Military Council on 14 June 1287, and to attend upon the King at Salisbury on 26 January 1298. He was summoned to parliament from 24 June 1295 to 22 January 1305 by Writs directed to Briano filio Alani whereby he is held to have become Lord FitzAlan. As Brianus fil. Alani d'n's [dominus] de Bedale he took part in the Barons' Letter to the Pope, dated 12 February 1301.[9]


Lord FitzAlan was buried in Bedale Church next to his first wife. The lordship passed into abeyance with the death of Lord Lovell in the Wars of the Roses. This was true until Lord Beaumont petitioned for the restoration of titles, following the discovery of the remains of the said Francis Lovell, 1st Viscount Lovell in a chamber. It was previously thought that his line was not entitled to succeed him, but it turned out that there was a technicality and so, the Errington assumer of the name Stapleton of Carlton Towers, who had inherited from Lord Lovell's sister, ended up having the titles reversed to him. The Duke of Norfolk married the Baroness Beaumont and thus, the Lordship of Bedale is genetically Howard these days, although, also as GENUKI reports, they no longer own any land in the township of Bedale. Long occupants of Aiskew and recusant supporters of Catholic revival in the 19th century, the FitzScolland, FitzAlan, Stapleton, Grey of Rotherfield, Deincourt, Lovell, Errington, etc. family inheritance is now taken to be assumed by the Beresford-Peirse baronets, who are part of a long line of landlords from different local families who bought their way into the manor, or foreigners who were appointed there from the time of Henry VII and Elizabeth I, beginning with the attainders of Lovell and of Simon Digby in the Rising of the North. The most recent time of disruption in the land ownership (which ultimately failed) was when Parliament charged the Stapletons with papacy and the Peirses with malignancy, as a means of purging the Catholic and Anglican stronghold out of this region.


He married twice: (1) Muriel (surname unknown), who died before 8 November 1290 and is buried in Bedale Church, and (2) before 2 July 1297, Maud, who was buried in the Church of the Black Friars at York.[10] This second wife was a daughter of John de Balliol (d. 1269), Lord of Barnard Castle, by his spouse Devorguilla (d. 1290) daughter of Alan, Lord of Galloway (d. 1234). Devorguilla was a great-great-granddaughter of King David I of Scotland.[11] His widow, Maud, was living 10 April 1340, when she granted the advowson of the church of Rokeby, together with a messuage and a bovate and a half of land, to Egglestone Abbey to celebrate services for her good estate during her lifetime, and for her soul after her death, and for the souls of Brian her husband and John de Grey of Rotherfield, their ancestors and heirs, and all the faithful deceased.

Of Lord FitzAlan's sons by his first marriage (Thomas, Robert and Theobald) nothing is known, but it appears they were all dead by 1290 when he commissioned a chapel dedicated to prayers for them and their mother. His daughters by his second marriage were his co-heirs in his landed estates. They were also co-heiresses to his brother, Theobald.[10]

The Lordship of the Manor of Bedale passed via the eldest daughter:

The present heir is Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk, grandson of Mona Fitzalan-Howard, 11th Baroness Beaumont, whose paternal forebear Nicholas Errington assumed the surname Stapleton upon marriage to the Stapleton heiress.

  • Katherine (1300 - d. before 7 August 1328) married Sir John de Grey, 1st Baron Grey of Rotherfield, K.G. (9 October 1300 – 1 September 1359).


  1. The Roll of Caerlaverock
  2. Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 1904.
  3. Cokayne, G. E., edited by Vicary Gibb & H. A. Doubleday, The Complete Peerage, London, 1926, vol. v., p. 393
  4. Cokayne (1926) vol. v., p. 393
  5. Burke, John, History of The Commoners of Great Britain, and Ireland, London, 1835, vol. II, p. 583n.
  6. Cokayne (1926) vol. v, p. 394n
  7. Patent Rolls 19 Edward I, m. 4
  8. Cokayne (1926) vol. v., pp. 392-93
  9. Cokayne (1926) vol. v., p. 394
  10. Cokayne (1926) vol. v., p.395
  11. Burke, Sir Bernard, Ulster King of Arms, Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages, London, 1883, p. 504
  12. Burke's Commoners (1835), vol. II, p. 208
  13. Norcliffe, Charles Best, of Langton, Yorkshire, editor, The Visitation of Yorkshire in the years 1563-64 by William Flower, Esq., Norroy King of Arms, London, 1881, p. 294n, states: "This Gilbert's wife's mother was daughter of John Baliol and Devorguil of Galloway."
  14. Foster, Joseph, The Dictionary of Heraldry - Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees, London, pp. 180-81, 1989 reprint of 1902 original.


  • Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 1904. (Entry).
  • Foster, Joseph, editor, The Visitation of Yorkshire 1584/85 by Robert Glover, Somerset Herald, plus that made in 1612 by Richard St.George, Norroy King of Arms, London, 1875, pp. 294, 332, where Sir Bryan's Arms are given as: "Barry of eight Or and Gules".
  • Richardson, Douglas, Plantagenet Ancestry, Baltimore, Maryland: 2004, pp. 554, 682. ISBN 0-8063-1750-7
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