Castle iconChronology

The following is a Chronology of events relating to the de Warenne family and Conisbrough Castle. It is by no means a complete Chronology and has many gaps.

John fought alongside Henry III at the battle of Lewes after giving hospitality to his King the preceding night. Upon the King's defeat, John went into exile in France and Flanders.

Saxon Period


The lands of Kyningesburg were granted by Wulfric Spott, one of the ministers of King Edward, to Eltheim, another Saxon nobleman.

Harold II, 1066 (10 months)

King Harold II lost the estates of Kyningesburg (which he then owned) along with the rest of England, to the Normans.

Norman Period


the first Earl Warenne


The Great Northern Rising was put-down by William the Conqueror. As a result, the lands of the north of England were parcelled up and given by the King to his loyal followers. This is probably the date that William de Warenne became the first Earl of Conisbrough


Whilst he was the joint Chief Justiciar, William and Gundrada (his wife and daughter of King William I), visited the monastery of Cluny during a pilgrimage to Rome.


William established the first Cluniac monastery in England at Lewes.


William's wife Gundrada died in childbirth at Castle Acre (Norfolk) in May of that year, she was buried in the chapter house at the Cluniac Abbey of St. Pancras in Lewes.

William II, 1087 - 1100 (13 years)
1088 May

William was created Earl of Surrey, making him one of the wealthiest men in England.

1088 24th June

The first Earl de Warenne died from wounds received at the siege of Pevensey Castle. He was buried next to his wife at St. Pancras Abbey.

1088The first Earl was succeeded by his son William.
Henry I, 1100 - 1135 (35 years)

William joins with the King's brother Robert Curthose in an unsuccessful invasion of England, Robert claims the crown, but the English support Henry.


William de Warenne is pardoned by Henry I.


William distinguished himself at the battle of Tenchebrai during Henry I conquest of Normandy against Robert Curthose.


The lands of Sandal near Wakefield were granted to William by the King


William married Isabel, widow of Robert de Beaumont, count of Meulun.


William at the battle of Brémule with Henry I, Walter Gifford and Roger fitz Richard against King Louis VI of France.


William grants the churches in the honours of Conisbrough and Wakefield to the abbey of St. Pancras in Lewes.

Stephen, 1135 - 1154 (19 years)

The second Earl Warenne died.


William succeeds his father to become the third Earl.


William de Warenne fought at the battle of Lincoln in February of that year, when King Stephen was captured by supporters of the Empress Matilda.


William joined his step brother Waleran, count of Meulun to take part in the Second Crusade.


The third Earl de Warenne was killed by the Turks near Laodicea in what is now Syria, leaving no male heir, having only a daughter, Isabel.


the fourth Earl Warenne

1148 ?

The de Warenne heiress Isabel was married to William de Blois, the younger son of King Stephen there by becoming the fourth Earl Warenne.

1148 ?

The de Warenne heiress Isabel was married to William de Blois, the younger son of King Stephen there by becoming the fourth Earl Warenne.

Henry II, 1154 -1189 (35 years)

The fourth Earl William died without issue (having no children) leaving the estates in the hands of his widow, Isabel and the King.


the fifth Earl Warenne


Henry II arranged another marriage for the widowed Isabel, to his illegitimate half brother Hamelin Plantagenet son of Geoffrey of Anjou.


the fifth Earl Warenne


Hamelin ordered the building of stone castles at Conisbrough and Sandal.

Richard I, 1189 - 1199 (10 years)

Hamelin and Isabel jointly founded an endowment for a priest for the chapel of St. Philip and St. James within the castle at Conisbrough.

John, 1199 - 1216 (17 years)

Hamelin attended the coronation of his nephew King John.


Hamelin travelled to Lincoln to witness the King of Scotland's oath of homage.


King John visited the new castle at Conisbrough, granting a market charter for the town during his visit.


Hamelin died and was buried at Lewes Priory.


the sixth Earl Warenne


Hamelin and Isabel's son William became the sixth Earl Warenne


Isabel de Warenne died and was buried next to her husband Hamelin.


Earl William lost his Norman lands following their conquest by Philip Augustus the King of France. By way of compensation, William was granted lands at Grantham and Stamford in Lincolnshire by King John.


William was one of the few nobles still loyal to King John, and was one of the councillors by whose advice the King issued Magna Carta. William is one of only four barons named in the document as standing with the King at the signing of the charter at Runnymede.


William was appointed Warden of the Cinque Ports, but soon after, William deserted King John in favour of Louis of France.

Henry III, 1216 - 1272 (56 years)

William de Warenne swears unquestioned support to the young Henry III.


William married Matilda, daughter and co-heiress of William the Marshall Earl of Pembroke.


William and Matilda's only son, John is born.


The sixth Earl Warenne died.


the seventh Earl Warenne


The sixth Earl's son John was 8 years old at the time of his father's death. Although he was made the seventh Earl Warenne, his estates were held in his minority by his mother, Matilda.


Earl John married Alice de Lusignan, half sister to Henry III.


Alice died but not before giving John a son, William, and two daughters.


John de Warenne supported Henry III in his quarrel with the barons led by Simon de Montfort. John is angered firstly by the Provisions of Oxford and then by the truce made with Llywelyn ap Gruffydd.


John transferred his allegiance to de Montfort.


John changed sides again giving his support to Henry III and Price Edward at the siege of Rochester Castle.


John returned to England and joined Prince Edward before the battle of Evesham which led to the death of de Montfort.


John de Warenne received a pardon from the King.


John was rebuked by Walter Giffard, archbishop of York, for the severity of his exactions upon his Yorkshire Tenants; this may coincide with building work at Conisbrough and Sandal.

Edward I, 1272 - 1307 (35 years)

Earl John resisted the application of the statute Quo Warranto (Who Holds?) by stating that:- his lands were gained by his ancestors by the sword and that he (John) would defend them with his sword against all who might desire to seize them


John took a leading role in the campaigns leading to the conquest of Wales, he was rewarded with the border lordships of Bromfield and Yale. The building of Holt castle near Chester was begun.


John de Warenne took a prominent part at the negotiating table in the attempted conquest of Scotland.


John's only son William was ambushed and killed at a tournament held at Croydon.


John lost the battle of Stirling Bridge to the Scot, William Wallace.


John is at the successful (for the English) battle of Falkirk.


Earl John attended the successful action at Caerlaverock Castle.


The seventh Earl de Warenne died in his London Home and was buried at Lewes Priory.


the eighth Earl Warenne


The eighteen year old John succeeded his grandfather to become the eighth Earl Warenne.


The young Earl entered into full occupation of his lands and was given in marriage, King Edward I's ten year old granddaughter Joan de Barr.

Edward II, 1307 - 1327 (20 years)

John was instrumental in the capture of Piers Gaveston at Scarborough Castle, but the subsequent execution at the hands of the Earls of Warwick, Lancaster, Hereford and Arundel incensed the Earl of Surrey and he made his peace with Edward II.


John separated from his wife to live in adultery with Maude de Nerford, a gentleman's daughter from a village near Castle Acre in Norfolk. John began a series of efforts to obtain a divorce from Joan.


After many unsuccessful attempts it seemed that divorce would be allowed, but once again judgement went against him. Earl John was also excommunicated in this year for adultery and for openly maintaining a mistress.


John de Warenne was sufficiently unwise to become involved in the marital affairs of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster. John helped Lancaster's wife Alice to elope from her husband. Enraged, Lancaster seized Conisbrough and Sandal.


Lancaster captured de Warenne's lands of Bromfield and Yale.


Lancaster led the rebellion of the Northern Barons, he was captured at the battle of Boroughbridge and held captive at his own castle at Pontefract. One of those presiding over Lancaster's trial for treason was non other than John de Warenne. Lancaster was found guilty and executed outside the walls of Pontefract Castle.


As a reward for his support of Edward II against queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer, John regained his lands, but the King only granted him the use of them during the Earl's lifetime, after which they would revert back to the Crown.

Edward III, 1327 - 1377 (50 years)

John loses his lands of Sandal and Conisbrough yet again to the Crown.


de Warenne regained his Yorkshire holdings.


John is made Earl of Strathearn by the Baliol king of Scotland as a reward for his help.


John, the eighth and last Earl de Warenne died leaving no legitimate heirs. His estates and the Earldom of Surrey reverted back to the Crown.