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Guy Bryan 1st Baron Bryan, 1320-1390

Also known as Guy de Bryan, Guy de Brian, Guy de Brien, Brienne

Born: About 1320, Walwyns Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales


Died: 17 August 1390

Buried: Slapton Parish Church, Devon (Also has a monument in Tewksbury Abbey)

Parents: Guy de Bryan/Briene of TorBryan, Devon (born about 1289 Laugharne, Pembrokeshire, England, died 1349) married (Laugharne, Pembrokeshire, England) Alice De Holway (born about 1293 Laugharne, Pembrokeshire, England, died after 1343)


Elizabeth de Bryan (born Laugharne, Pembrokeshire, England) married Robert de Grey, alias Fitz-Pain

Philippa de Bryan married Sir John Chandos

Margaret married John Erleigh

John de Bryan/Briene, cleric, prebend of Lusk, Dublin, Ireland

Married 1:

Spouse 1: Joan Carew daughter of sir John Carew/Carreu

Offspring 1:

Elizabeth married (before 16 Oct 1354) Robert Fitzpayne/Fitz Payn, Grey of Codnor, (born about 1321, died 21 May 1393)

Margaret de Bryan married Hugh de Courtenay

Philippe de Bryan married Edward de Bohun

Married 2: before 10 July 1350

Spouse 2: Elizabeth Montacute/Montagu (Born 1308/9, died 31 May 1359), daughter of William of Montacute earl of Sarum, widow of Giles lord Badlesmere (died 1338) and of Hugh le Despenser

Offspring 2:

Guy le fitz de Bryene/Bryan (born 1354, died 1386) married Alyse de Bures

William de Bryan (born about 1370, died 23 September1395, buried Seal, Kent) married Joane, who survived him

Philip/Philippe de Bryan (born about 1378) married 1: John de Ros married 2: Henry le Scrope, 3rd Lord Scrope (beheaded 1415)

Margaret married John Erlegh

Elizabeth (born about 1380/1) married Robert de Lovell

Heraldic Coat of Arms: Or three piles azure

Crest: Or three piles azure on a chapeau Gules, faced Ermine, a hunting-horn Sable, garnished Or.

Knight of the Garter 1370, Stall 21, became a member of the order of the garter after the death of John Chandos

Guy de Bryan was the son of Guy de Bryan of Tor Bryan, Devon and took part in expeditions against Scotland, in around 1327 and was with Edward III near Stanhope park, Durham, when Douglas on 4 August 1327 tried unsuccessfully to surprise the English camp at night. In July 1330 Guy was described in a proceeding over an argument with his father over the barony and castle of Walwayn in Pembrokeshire as being one of Edward III's valets and of full age. In 1337 Guy was again in Scotland and in 1339 he served in Flanders, and was with the army at Vironfosse and at Ourney St. Benoyt. In 1341 Guy was appointed governor of St. Briavell's castle in Gloucestershire, and warden of the forest of Dean. Guy was the Patron of the Church in Littleton in 1343. Guy fought at the siege of Calais 1345-8 and at the battle of Crecy 1346, he was the kings standard bearer. In May 1347 he was requested by the king to go to Calais, as the English were expecting an attack by the army of king Philip. In 1349 his father died leaving Guy heir to his lands including Laugharne Castle in the town of Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, south Wales. When the chancellor, Ufford resigned in 1349 Guy was intrusted with the temporary custody of the great seal. Guy probably returned with Edward III to England in Autumn 1349. In December 1349 Geoffroi de Chargny tried to take back Calais by a bribe to the governor and Guy de Bryan bore the king's banner when Edward III and Prince Edward fought the French, and was rewarded with a pension of 200 marks on 1 April 1350. In 1350 Guy was was made Lord Bryan and summoned to parliament on 25 November 1350. In 1351 Guy had a charter for free warren in all his lands in Devon, Middlesex, Surrey and Wales, and in Rammesham, Dorset. In 1353, Guy was a commissioner to treat with Louis count of Flanders for the observance of the truce and also in 1350 by the style of "dominus de Lagherne," ambassador to negotiate a treaty of peace with France, he was nominated, with Henry duke of Lancaster and others, ambassador to Rome, to obtain a ratification of it from the pope.

On the 24 November 1355, Guy was ordered to prepare, with forty men-at-arms, against the Scots who had taken Berwick and in 1356, he took part in the army that retook Berwick. In May 1357, by the style of dominus de Chastel Gawayn, one of the king's councillors, "he was a party to the truce concluded with Scotland. In 1360 Guy was with the English army near Paris and was one of the four barons who were sent to the French capital to swear, in Edward's name, to to the observance of the treaty of Chartres. Guy had, with three colleagues, the custody of Calais upon the king's return to England and, in October 1360, swore, at Calais, with the prince Edward the fulfilment of the articles of peace. In 1361 Guy purchased both the manor and the advowson of Haselbury at Easter for 300 marks, also 1361 he was again ambassador to the pope. In 1362 Guy received an annual payment of 200 marks from Edward III for his valour in carrying the royal standard in a battle at Calais. In 1364 the Edward III confirmed him in fee the manor of Northam, Devon. Guy bought Woodsford Castle near Dorchester, Dorset in 1367 and is thought to have built there the 'grand apartment' and lesser lodgings. In 1369 Guy was made, admiral of the fleet and served the year, under the duke of Lancaster in Normandy. On 6 February 1369-70, Guy was appointed admiral of the fleet in the parts westward. In 1371 Guy was in command of a flotilla of English ships that encountered ships under the Flemmish flag, led by Jan Peterson, and after a battle of 3 hours with many losses on both sides, the English captured 25 ships.

After the death of John Chandos on 1 st January 1370, he was elected into the Order of the Garter, and filled the eleventh stall on the Sovereign's side, where his plate still remains. Robes were issued to him in 1371, 1373, 1375 to 1378, 1383 and 1387 to 1389. In 1372 John de Erlegh (VI) sold the manor of Somerton-Erleigh in the hundred of North Petherton, Somerset (and the advowson of the chapel) to Richard Brice and his wife, Edith who passed it to Guy. Guy served against the French during the reign oh Richard II, and was in the expedition made to Ireland, with Edward Mortimer, Earl of March. 

The church of Slapton (which the family endowed) in Devon has stained glass from the de Bryan family and Guy founded a collegiate chantry in 1373 near the church for a rector, five fellows, and four clerks, but all that remains is a ruined 80ft tower. Thomas, son of Thomas Fort of Llanstephan, was charged with having harboured one John de Ispannia of Castile "as a servant to ride with him," and shewn him all the secrets of all the castles of South Wales. Fort was pardoned in 1389 and Fort's brother, John, was also charged, and pardoned, with harbouring this Spaniard and also pardoned for scaling the castle walls of Laugharne and breaking into Guy de Brian's money chest. Laugharne castle is situated between the two rivers Corran & Taf and owing to its proximity to the former it was previously known as the Castle of Abercorran.

Towards the end of his life Sir Guy had built in Tewsbury Abbey a magnificent tomb chest carrying his effigy and bearing on its sides representations of his shield. Guy de Bryan is shown in the act of sheathing or, drawing, his sword, the arms and hands of the figure, and the sword have long since disappeared. The figure was originally richly painted and the over-garment was coloured with his arms and traces of some paint still remains on the tomb canopy, which is said to be 'garter blue'. Guy de Bryan was not buried in Tewksbury but was laid to rest in Slapton.

Guy married twice, his second wife was Elizabeth Montacute, daughter of William de Montacute, earl of Salisbury. Elizabeth had married twice before (to a Despenser and a Badlesmere). The ancient castle of Tal y vaen, or Talavan, one of the twelve fortresses erected by the followers of Fitz-Hamon, formed part of the dowry of the widow of Hugh le Despencer, when she married Guy de Brien. In the Bodleian library is a fifteenth century memorial roll of benefactors of Tewksbury Abbey and identifies Guy de Bryan and Elizabeth fairly prominently. The shield of arms displayed is the marital, impaled, coat of de Bryan and his wife. His arms show the three piles, while her half of the shield is quartered Montacute (argent three lozenges in fess gules) and Monthermer Or an eagle displayed vert membered and beak gules. The Bryan arms appear in Hazelbury Bryan and Torbryan churches and also on the front of the gallery in St. Saviour's church Dartmouth, as well as a memorial brass in Seal in Kent, to Sir William de Bryan who was lord of Seal and Kemsing, whoinherited the manors from his grandmother Lady Grandison. They may also be seen in Exeter cathedral on a Courtney tomb impaled with Courtney.

The title of Lord Bryan became extinct on the death of Guy.

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