Eleanor Maltravers

Eleanor Maltravers, or Mautravers, (c. 1345 – January 1405) was an English noblewoman. The granddaughter and eventual heiress of the first Baron Maltravers, she married two barons in succession and passed her grandfather's title to her grandson.

Eleanor Maltravers
Remains of Lewes Priory, burial place of Eleanor Maltravers
DiedJanuary 1405
BuriedLewes Priory, Sussex
Noble familyMaltravers
Spouse(s)John FitzAlan, 1st Baron Arundel
Reginald Cobham, 2nd Baron Cobham of Sterborough
  • John FitzAlan, 2nd Baron Arundel
  • Sir William FitzAlan
  • Sir Richard FitzAlan
  • Joan FitzAlan
  • Margaret FitzAlan
  • Reginald Cobham, 3rd Baron Cobham of Sterborough
  • Margaret Cobham
FatherSir John Maltravers
MotherGwenthlian (family unknown)


Her father was Sir John Maltravers, son of John Maltravers, 1st Baron Maltravers and his first wife Millicent. Eleanor's mother, a woman called Gwenthlian of unknown family, died in 1349, leaving Eleanor and her two siblings:

  • Henry (born in 1347), who died in infancy;
  • Joan (born about 1342), who married first Sir John Keynes and secondly Sir Robert Rous.

When her grandfather John died in 1364, his two heiresses were Eleanor and her sister Joan. When Joan died without leaving children, Eleanor herself became the sole inheritor of his title.[1]

First marriageEdit

On 17 February 1359, she married Sir John FitzAlan. Their children included:[2]

Sir John, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward le Despencer, 1st Baron le Despencer, with whom he had three sons.[3]
Sir William, KG, who married a wife named Agnes but had no children.[4]
Sir Richard, who married Alice, the widow of Roger Burley, and had one son and three daughters.[5][6]
Joan, who married first Sir William Bryan and secondly Sir William Etchingham.[5][7]
Margaret, who married William de Ros, 6th Baron de Ros.[5]

Her husband was summoned to Parliament on 4 August 1377, for which he is regarded as 1st Baron Arundel,[8] and died in a shipwreck on 15 December 1379, his body being washed ashore in Ireland and buried there.[9]

Second marriageEdit

On 9 August 1380 she married as his second wife Reginald Cobham, 2nd Baron Cobham, of Sterborough. Their children included:[10]

Reginald, later 3rd Baron Cobham of Sterborough, who married Eleanor Culpeper and was the father of Eleanor, first the mistress and then the second wife of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester.[11]
Margaret, who married Sir Reginald Curtis, of Westcliffe, and had children.

After the birth of their son and heir Reginald in 1381, it was realised that as they were second cousins, both being great-grandchildren of Maurice Berkeley, 2nd Baron Berkeley, their marriage was invalid and their child, being therefore illegitimate, could not inherit. After obtaining an annulment of the marriage, followed by a papal dispensation waiving their consanguinity,[11] they married again on 29 September 1384.[12] This did not however legalise the status of young Reginald, for when his father died in July 1403 his inheritance was seized by the king on the grounds that there was no legitimate male heir.[11]

Death and legacyEdit

Eleanor died on 10 or 12 January 1405,[13] and was buried at Lewes Priory, Sussex.[12] Her will dated 26 September 1404, was proved on 16 January 1405 at Maidstone, Kent.[citation needed]

After her death, her grandfather's title passed to her grandson John FitzAlan, 13th Earl of Arundel, who was also called Baron Maltravers.[14]


  1. ^ Richardson I 2011, p. 524;Cokayne 1932, pp. 581–6.
  2. ^ Cokayne 1932, p. 586; Richardson I 2011, pp. 29–30; Richardson III 2011, pp. 455–7.
  3. ^ Richardson I 2011, p. 32; Richardson II 2011, pp. 75–6.
  4. ^ Richardson I 2011, p. 31.
  5. ^ a b c Richardson I 2011, pp. 31–2.
  6. ^ He died on 3 June 1419 and Alice, who remarried, died on 30 August 1436. Their daughter Joan married Sir Thomas Willoughby of Parham.
  7. ^ She was buried in the chancel at Etchingham. See Richardson, D. Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study in Colonial And Medieval Families, 2nd Edition, 2011 (via books.google.com p. 676
  8. ^ Cokayne 1932, p. 586
  9. ^ Barber, Richard (28 September 2006). "Arundel [Fitzalan], Sir John (c. 1348–1379)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Subscription or UK public library membership required). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/718. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  10. ^ Richardson I 2011, pp. 30, 523–5.
  11. ^ a b c Fleming, Peter (3 January 2008). "Cobham family (per. c. 1250–c. 1530)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Subscription or UK public library membership required). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/52781. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  12. ^ a b Richardson I 2011, p. 524.
  13. ^ Cokayne gives her date of death as 10 January 1405.
  14. ^ Cokayne 1932, p. 586.


  • Cokayne, G.E. (1932). The Complete Peerage, edited by Vicary Gibbs. Vol. VIII (2nd ed.). London: St Catherine Press.
  • Richardson, Douglas (2011). Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, ed. Kimball G. Everingham. Vol. I (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City. ISBN 1449966373
  • Richardson, Douglas (2011). Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, ed. Kimball G. Everingham. Vol. II (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City. ISBN 1449966381
  • Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis, Lines: 9–33, 21–32, 59–35, 212–34