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Aymer de Valence


Earl of Pembroke, lord of Montignac

Aymer de Valence knight shield

Born: 1270 WA-1275, most probably 1275


Died: 23 June 1324

Buried: north side of the choir, Westminster Abbey

Parents: William de Valence (died 1296), buried chapel of St Edmund and St Thomas the Martyr, Westminster Abbey on stone altar-tomb bearing his effigy in wood covered with copper gilt, in full armour with heraldry and inscription, decorated in Limoges enamel married Joan daughter of Warin de Munchensy


Anne/Agnes married 1: Maurice Fitzgerald (drowned 28 July 1368), maried 2: Hugh de Balliol (died shortly before 10 April 1271), married 3: John de Avennes (died 17 February 1279)

John (died 1277), buried in the chapel of Edward the Confessor, Westminster Abbey, where his grave-slab survives

William, (died 6 June 1280)  killed by the Welsh on in an ambush near Llandeilo

Isabel de Valence (died 1305) married (1275) John Hastings (died 1313)

Margaret de Valence (died March 1276) buried in the confessors chapel, Westminster Abbey

Joan de Valence married before (3 September 1396) John Comyn lord of Badenoch (died 1306)

Spouse 1: married before 18 October 1295 Beatrice/Beatrix (died 4 September 1320) daughter of Ralph de Noel Constable of France/(Raoul de Clermont WA)

Spouse 2: married 5 July 1321 in Paris, Marie/Mary de St Pol, (born 1303/4-died 1376, buried Denny Abbey, Cambridgeshire) daughter of Gui de Châtillon, Count of St Pol and Butler of France (died 1317) and Mary Dreux (died 1339) daughter of Duke John II of Brittany


Illegitimate son, Henry de Valence (died before 23 June 1322), mother unknown, Henry served in Aymers retinue from about 1314 and married Margery

Heraldic Coat of Arms: Barry of argent and azure, an orle of martlets gules

Aymer de Valence faces schiltron at Bannockburn

1270 Aymer is believed to have been born sometime between 1270 and 1275. As his father was on crusade with king Edward until January 1273, a date towards the end of this period is more likely. He was the third son of William de Valence, half brother to King Henry the Third who granted William the title Earl of Pembroke, or rather it would appear he was never actually granted the title.

1277 Aymer's eldest brother John dies

1280 Aymers elder brother William dies

Before 1295 October 18 married  Beatrice, daughter of Raoul de Clermont, Lord of Nesle in Picardy and Constable of France.

1296 January Aymer Valence, accompanied his father William de Valence (d. 1324), on an embassy to Cambrai in a failed attempt to negotiate between Edward I and Philippe IV of France.

1296 June 13 father William de Valence dies, and Aymer succeeds him, his elder brothers having died without issue. The title Earl of Pembroke stays with his mother until 1307

1297 January 26 Summoned to Parliament as a Baron

1297 served in Flanders CC pg 52

1298 July 22 fought at the Battle of Falkirk,

1298 Appointed a commissioner to ratify an agreement between the King and Florence Count of Holland, relative to some auxiliaries from the Count in that war, and was likewise one of the ambassadors sent by Edward to treat for a truce between England and France. CC pg 52

1300 Aymer was appointed Guardian of Scotland

1300 July Aymer was at the Siege of Caerlaverock

1301 Party to the Barons' Letter to the Pope, in which, though his name occurs immediately after that of the Earl of Arundel, and before Henry de Lancaster's, he is only styled "Lord of Montiniac." Shortly afterwards he was appointed to treat with the ambassadors of the King of France on the subject of peace.

1302 Aymer was employed in an embassy to France

1303 Aymer assisted in making peace with Philip IV

1303 Commander of the English forces at Berwick

1305 in the wars of Scotland

1305 received permission to leave the realm upon his own affairs.

1305 obtained a grant of the castles of Selkirk and Traquair, and of the borough of Peebles in Scotland, to hold by the service of one knight's fee, together with other possessions in that kingdom SC pg 151

1306 April 5 Edward I appoints Aymer de Valence full Plenpotentiary in Scotland, allowing him to make decisions on behalf of the king, following the murder of John Comyn by Robert the Bruce

1306 middle summer Aymer was at Perth

1306 June 19 Robert the Bruce advanced to the neighbourhood of Perth and challenged Aymer to battle. Aymer answered that he would not fight on that day, but on the same evening made a sudden attack on the Scots, and defeated them in the wood of Methven (TRIVET). He took captive the wife and daughter of the Scottish king, and crossed to Kantire, hoping to find Bruce himself. There he took Nigel Bruce, and sent him to Berwick, where he was put to death. CC pg 52

1307 Aymer’s mother dies, may have succeeded to Earldom at this point, SC pg 151. Through inheritance and marriages his lands consisted of – apart from the county palatine in Pembrokeshire – property spread out across England primarily in a strip from Gloucestershire to East Anglia, in south-east Ireland (Wexford), and French lands in the Poitou- and Calaisareas. Aymer inherited Sutton Valence Castle.


Aymer de Valence banner reverse -Aymer de Valence banner verso

Valence banner reverse - Valence banner verso

1307 After performing homage upon the death of his mother for her lands, he travelled with Otho de Grandison in an embassy to the Pope.

1307 May 10 Aymer was defeated by Robert the Bruce at Loudon Hill, and forced, though without much loss, to retire to the castle of Ayr. There he and the Earl of Gloucester were besieged until the king sent a force to relieve them. CC pg 52

1308 February 25 at the coronation of Edward II he carried the King's left boot, but the spur belonging to it was borne by the Earl of Cornwall.

1308 constituted Guardian of the Marches of Scotland towards Berwick, when he was entrusted with the sole command of the English forces which had been levied against Robert Bruce.

1309 Aymer was asked by Edward I on his deathbed to protect his son from Piers Gaveston who had corrupted the younger future Edward II CC pg 52

1309 On the accession of Edward II, Aymer lost the guardianship of Scotland. He was deeply offended at the insolence of Gaveston, who gave him the nickname of Joseph the Jew, because he was tall and of a pallid countenance (Walsingham). When he and other great nobles attended the tournament held by Gaveston at Wallingford, they were treated with insult, and for this and other reasons they took counsel together against him.

1309 the earl joined with the other lords at the parliament held at Stamford in sending a letter to Clement V, remonstrating with him on his usurpations. He was one of the foremost of the discontented nobles who the next year were expressly forbidden to attend the parliament in arras. He disregarded the order, and, appearing with the rest in military array, demanded the appointment of a council of reform. The first step in the formation of this council was the choice of two earls by the bishops, and Aymer was one of the two then chosen to select the ordainers. When the king marched northwards, Pembroke and the other ordainers refused to leave London, but sent the number of men they were bound by their service to supply.

1309 March Aymer was one of the peers appointed to regulate the royal household.

1311 Aymer was found heir to his sister Agnes, (or more probably Anne). It has been considered from the circumstance of the Earl being a witness 1 " to the instrument by which the King recalled Gaveston, and bestowed the possessions of the Earl of Cornwall upon him, that he approved of, or at least consented to, those acts

1311 the initiative known as the Ordinances was introduced, severely limiting Royal powers in financial matters and in the appointment of officers.Equally important, Gaveston was expelled from the realm - as Edward I had already done once before. Pembroke, who was not among the most radical of the Ordainers, and had earlier been sympathetic with the King, had now realised the necessity of exiling Gaveston.

1311 he joined the Earl of Lancaster against Gaveston, and when he was banished the realm in 1311, the Earl of Pembroke was one of the persons deputed to petition the King that he should be rendered incapable of ever holding any office.

1312 Gaveston without permission returned from exile CC pg 52, and a Baronial council entrusted Pembroke and The Earl of Surrey, with the task of taking him into custody. The lords of Lancaster's party sent the Earls of Pembroke and Warenne against him.

1312 May 19, Gaveston who was besieged in Scarborough Castle surrenders. Pembroke promised that his life should be spared. Pembroke took him towards Wallingford, and lodged him at Deddington.

1312 June 19 Gaveston was seized by the Earl of Warwick who carried him to Gaversike and executed him. As far as Pembroke is concerned, the seizing and execution of a prisoner in his custody was a breach of the most fundamental chivalric codes, and a serious affront to his honour. The event must therefore be seen as pivotal in turning his sympathies away from Lancaster the rebels and towards the King, but to oppose Lancaster rather than to suppport Edward II CC pg 54. It was around this time that Aymer received lands of the New Temple and other Templar lands in London CC pg 54.
About this time he and Lord Badlesmere rescued Lady Clifford from the constable of Barnard Castle, who had carried her off. He went to France to seek aid for the king, and on his return negotiated between him and the earls.

1312 September 20 Aymer appeared before a meeting of the Londoners at the Guildhall, and demanded the obedience of the city for the king. A fierce riot broke out, and the earl and his companions barely escaped in safety. His position seems to have been rather that of leader of the party opposed to Lancaster, than of a supporter of the king's policy. He received a grant of the New Temple and of other lands of the Templars in London. After long negotiations, in which Pembroke acted as one of the royal commissioners, peace was made with the Lancastrian earls.

1312 Aymer was sent on a mission to Rome, and in the same year obtained a grant of lands in London, in which was included the New Temple.

1312 Aymer was commanded not to approach the place where the parliament was held with an armed retinue, or in any other manner than was observed in the time of the late King

1314 Aymer was appointed Gustos and Lieutenant of Scotland until the arrival of the King

1314 June 23-24 Aymer was present at the battle of Bannockbourn and fought a rear guard action allowing the escape of Edward II

1315 Aymer was a commissioner to open and continue a parliament at York

1315 Aymer was sent with Lord Badlesmere to secure the marches against the Scots (RYMER, Fœdcra, ii. 524). He was also employed to quell the insurrection at Bristol.

1315 June Aymer is recorded as having stayed at his castle Sutton Valence Castle.

1316 Aymer was a commissioner for holding a parliament in the King's absence, and took an active part in the proceedings therein.

1316 Aymer was sent to Rome on a mission to the Pontiff

1317 while returning from a papal embassy to Avignon, he was captured by a Burgundian Jean de Lamouilly, (John de Moiller) and held for ransom in Germany CC pg 54, upon the pretence that Moiller had served the King of England without being paid his wages. The ransom of £10,400 (20,000 pounds of silver) SC pg 151 was to cause Pembroke significant financial difficulties for the remainder of his life.

1316-18 Aymer was one of the magnates who tried to prevent civil war from breaking out between the supporters of Edward and those of Lancaster

1317 September he persuaded Edward not to provoke the Earl of Lancaster CC pg 54.

1317 November 24 Aymer entered into a bond with Roger d'Amory and Badlesmere, by which the confederates, who formed themselves into a kind of third party CC pg 54, agreed to work together to gain supreme influence in the council (STUBBS, Const. Hist. ii. 342). The party thus formed rapidly increased in power, and succeeded in effecting a formal pacification of the kingdom.

1318 August 9 Aymer helped negotiate the Treaty of Leake, restoring Edward II to power, a new council was appointed, in which Pembroke held a conspicuous place, CC pg 54.

1319 Aymer was once more in the Scottish wars, and was appointed Governor of Rockingham Castle, SC pg 151

1319 Aymer did homage to the King of France for the Duchy of Acquitaine, he was constituted Guardian of the realm during any absence of Edward II, being then also Gustos of Scotland.

1319 Aymer was sent to Northampton with others to treat with the Earl of Lancaster for the better government of the realm, and was one of the peers then appointed to be about the King's person, at which time he signed the agreement between the King and that Earl, he advised the reversal of the judgment against Hugh le Despenser the younger

1319 March 24 he sat with the earl marshal in the chapter-house of St. Paul's to hear and compose certain quarrels that had arisen among the citizens of London

1319 Aymer accompanied the king on his unfortunate expedition against Berwick., CC pg 54

1319 Christmas Aymer negotiated a two years' truce with the Scots.

1320 Wife Beatrice died

1321 Jan 19 by writ Aymer was appointed a Commissioner to treat for peace with Robert de Brus

1321 March Edward II asked Pope John XXII to grant a dispensation for Aymer de Valence to marry Marie de St Pol

1321 Although he was at least secretly in league with Roger of Mortimer and the other lords who in 1321 ravaged the lands of the Despensers, CC pg 54, he nevertheless assumed the part of a mediator, and pressed the king to banish his favourites. The Earl of Lancaster declared that he had acted treacherously, and advised the discontented lords to have nothing to do with Mortimer, CC pg 54. When Edward at last took up arms, he once more attempted to mediate, and failing in this attempt, actively upheld the king.

1321 July 5 Aymer married Marie de St Pol, daughter of Gui de Châtillon, Count of St Pol and Butler of France. He never had any legitimate children, but he had an illegitimate son, Henry de Valence, whose mother is unknown. Thomas Grey states that Aymer died at his wedding tournament but this is not correct CC pg 55

1322 March 22 Aymer joined in the judgment and condemnation of Lancaster at Pontefract. He was rewarded with the grant of several manors including Higham Ferrers and other of the earl's lands in Northamptonshire, CC pg 54.

1322 Aymer accompanied the king in his expedition against Scotland

1323 Aymer accompanied Isabella the Queen of England to France SC pg 151

1323 May 30 Aymer arranged a truce of thirteen years with the Scots, CC pg 55.

1324 Aymer, as Justice in Eyre of the Forest of Essex, claimed the appointment of the Marshal thereof."

1324 June 23 Dugdale asserts that Aymer was murdered "by reason he had a hand" in that affair with the Earl of Lancaster. Te Brut chronicle includes a story that Aymer was murdered while sitting on the toilet. Another contemporary writer, stated that he died of apoplexy.

1324 June 24, while on an embassy to Charles IV, he suddenly collapsed and died while lodging somewhere in Picardy, France, CC pg 55

1347 Aymer's third wife Marie founds a chantry in the hermitage near Cripplegate. London for the soul of her late husband Aymer, PA pg 682

in 1347 Marie founded Pembroke College, Cambridge. The family arms are still represented on the dexter side of the college arms. Mary also founded Denny Abbey in Cambridgeshire, PA pg 682

Aymer de Valence knight

It was Edward II who decided that Aymers tomb should be at Westminster Abbey but Edward was not present at the funeral being in Kent at the time. The tomb has at the head two female figures kneeling on one knee supporting a third female figure, draped with a bare midriff, in an attitude of prayer, however all have their heads missing. The tomb has a trefoil on each side showing Aymer in full armour upon a barded horse with the mantling flying out as if at great speed. At the base of the altar slab weepers with shields of his relations, CC pg 56. The heater shaped shield, now gone, was 20 inches in length, CC pg 56. The arms are given by Pereira CC pg 56 as being 8 white bars, 7 blue bars and sixteen martlets forming the orle. The sixteen small figures around the tomb base represent members of his family and the shields below identify them - on the south side Marie de Bretagne, Henry Earl of Lancaster, Isabelle de St Pol, William Sire of Coucy, Mahaut de St Pol, Charles de France, Marie de St Pol and Guy or Jean de Chatillon and on the north Atholl, John or Laurence Hastings, Blanche de Bretagne, Robert d'Artois, Beatrice de St Pol, Jean de Flandre, Marie de St Pol and Jean or Arthur, duke of Brittany. The tomb was restored in the early 19th century, WA.


Aymer de Valence by Alred Charles Stothard

Aymer de Valence tomb at Wesminster Abbey by Alred Charles Stothard


Aymer de Valence by Alred Charles Stothard

Aymer de Valence tomb at Wesminster Abbey by Alred Charles Stothard

Aymer de Valence tomb

Aymer de Valence tomb Westminster Abbey

Valence Casket

Valence Casket with Valence heraldry

Valence Casket

Valence Casket with Valence heraldry

de Valence horse pendant

Horse Pendant with Valence heraldry



1301 Barons Seal, A shield of arms, barry of 15, an orle of 9 martlets

Aymer de Valence 1301 Barons Seal Aymer de Valence 1301 Barons Seal

1300 A shield of arms, barry of 15, an orle of 9 martlets, PA pg 683

1308 A shield of arms burele (7 bars) an orle of 9 martlets, PA pg 682

Another shield gives 6 bars and 13 martlets, PA pg 682


Aymer appears in the following rolls:

The Falkirk Roll, 1298

burle d'argent et d'asur, poudré de merlos de goules

Aymer de Valence Falkirk roll heraldry

The Caerlaverock Poem, 1300

Aymer de Valence, the valiant, beautiful his banner spread buruly argent and azure with red martlets bordered round. 

de Walence Aymars'
Aymer de Valence
Blazon given (K, vv. 171-3):
De argent e de asur burelee
O la bordure poralee
Tout entour de rouges merlos.

Translation: 'Barruly argent and azure, an orle of martlets gules.'
Other sources: B 23; Ba 13; Bb 13; C 57; Cl 72; Cd 159; D 132; Barons Letter*
Note 1: The Camden Roll gives 'Barruly azure and argent' for the field.
Note 2: Brault states that 'in early blazon the terms [barruly and barry] were interchangeable.' (Early Blazon, sub. burelé de ... et de ..., Note), however the Heralds' Roll shows a distinct difference between the two, 'barruly' having 24 stripes and 'barry' having 6 (compare HE 1.10 with 1.11). The Barons Letter seal has 13 stripes for Aymer de Valence and 19 for Ralph FitzWilliam (item 27) as opposed to 6 or 8 for those with 'barry' arms.



CC The Colour of Chivalry, Harold B. Pereira, 1950

PA Plantagenet Ancestry, Douglas Richardson, 2004

SC The Soege of Carlaverock, by Nicholas Harris, 1828



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