William de Beauchamp was born circa 1215 in Elmley Castle, Worcestershire, England, United Kingdom to Walter de Beauchamp (1194-1236) and Joan Mortimer (-1225) and died after 1268 of unspecified causes. He married Isabel de Maudit (c1221-c1268) .


Marriage of William and Isabel

There is no doubt that the Beauchamp family would have continued to be only of regional historical importance were it not for the marriage between William Beauchamp of Elmley and Isabel Mauduit. The Mauduits were a ‘respectable official family’ in the same mould as the Beauchamps. One of Isabel's ancestors had been chamberlain of the exchequer under Henry I, and the Mauduits inherited that hereditary office from him. What made Isabel such a prized catch, however, was that her brother, William Mauduit, earl of Warwick, lacked legitimate issue, making Isabel his heiress. Mauduit had inherited the title from his mother, a member of the twelfth-century Beaumont earls of Warwick.

The inheritance of the earldom can perhaps be viewed as more of a fortuitous accident than a planned marriage; Earl William was said to be between the ages of 26 and 30 in 1268, placing the marriage of William and Isabel in the late 1230s or early 1240s. At this time, the chances of the earldom passing to Isabel must have seemed remote at best: Thomas Beaumont was married to Ela, countess of Salisbury (who nearly lived on until the very end of the thirteenth century), and if their union failed to produce any issue, then it was likely that the marriage of his sister Margery to John de Plessis probably would.

It was only on Margery's death in 1253 that it was clear the earldom was going to descend to the Mauduits, and even then any issue from the marriage of William Mauduit and Alice de Segrave would have prevented the earldom coming into William of Elmley's hands. In effect the earldom descended by chance and by default, for it was the failure of both the Beaumont and Mauduit lines to produce male heirs that allowed the earldom to pass into the hands of the Beauchamps in 1268, and not the result of a cunning marriage policy on the part of William of Elmley.

By January 1268, William of Elmley and Isabel Mauduit had produced at least seven children. Of the three sons, all of them were to found important branches of the family which survived into the fifteenth century.


Offspring of Isabel de Maudit and William de Beauchamp (1215-1268)
Name Birth Death Joined with
William de Beauchamp, 9th Earl of Warwick (1237-1298) 1237 1298 Maud FitzJohn, Countess of Warwick (c1240-1301)
Walter de Beauchamp (1243-1303) 1243 Elmley Castle, Worcestershire, England 16 February 1303 Alice de Tosny (c1252-1324)
Sarah de Beauchamp (1244-1306) 1244 Elmley Castle, Worcestershire, England 1306 Richard Talbot (1260-)
John de Beauchamp (1245-1298)
James de Beauchamp (1247-1298)
Joan de Beauchamp (1249-1280)
Sybil de Beauchamp (1251-1280
Isabel de Beauchamp (1252-1306) 1252 1306 Sir William Blount
Margaret de Beauchamp (-aft1275) 1275 Hubert Hussey (-1275)




Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General