|Born: Leicestershire about 1240
Married: Milicent de Cantilupe (Ca23) (1250? - 1298), dau. of William III de Cantilupe (Ca24) and Eva de Braose (Br24)
Died: about 1295
Zouche Coat of Arms
Azure ten bezants
|and had issue:
(Zo22-1) William la Zouche m. Maud Lovel, daughter of John Lovel
(Zo22-3) Ellen or Eleanor la Zouche (1277? - 1330?), married Sir John de Harcourt and had Richard de Harcourt (1297 - about 1372), who married Joan Shareshull and had Elizabeth de Harcourt.
(Zo22-4) Elizabeth la Zouche
married 1st Nicholas III Poyntz and had Nicholas de Poyntz, 2nd Oliver 1st Baron de Ingham and had Joan Baroness de Ingham (-1360?), who married Miles II de Stapleton, KG., and had Sir Miles de Stapleton and Joan de Stapleton.(Zo22) Eve la Zouche , married Maurice 2nd Lord de Berkeley (Be22)
(Zo22-5) Isabella la Zouche m. John Lovel
(Zo22=20) Lucie la Zouche married Sir Thomas de Grene
An examination of one family gives us a detailed view of simple transmission and of accretion. The case of William, second Lord Zouche, who died in 1381, is instructive. He was one of a family of peers that stretched from his grandfather's summons in 1308 as the first lord into the sixteenth century. Lord William had been summoned to parliament from 1348, when his grandfather had died and he had inherited the title and family lands. He was a relatively minor peer, one of a good number of such men who never rose high but who successfully held their own, produced male heirs, and kept away from the sort of horrendous blunders that led to treason and attainder. Zouche's inquisition postmortem (IPM) shows impressive but hardly fabulous wealth . The counting of manors is a difficult game but Zouche seems to have died in possession of forty-one manors, in nineteen counties, plus a tenement in the city of London. The way in which these holdings came to him can be analysed, in part at least without undue effort.
The Zouche holdings had come to Lord William from numerous ancestors. In each generation the new plums came from the wives, in the typical fashion. From his great-grandmother, Milicent Cauntelo, had come nine of his manors, plus several others by way of Milicent's brother, George, lord of Abergavenny.
William's grandmother, Maud, brought land as well, inherited from her mother, Isabel, who had been co-heiress of her brother William de Bois. From his mother, Joan, Lord William picked up two manors named in her IPM, plus four more that came from her father, William Inge. The many lines of inheritance all converged upon William, and of the forty-two properties and possessions listed in his IPM only sixteen had not been mentioned in the inquisitions of his eight ancestors (plus that of Isolde, William Inge's second wife, who had held some land at the time of her death as part of her dower share of Inge's estate). Some properties, like Calstone and Calne in Wiltshire and Harringworth in Northamptonshire, can be traced from George Cauntelo through his sister Milicent and then through her son William down to the second Lord Zouche. The first William took livery of his mother's lands in 1298 or 1299, so the span of inheritance to Lord William's own heir covered almost a century.
The genealogical table reveals how many heiresses were involved in a successful family tapestry. William's paternal grandmother (through her mother) and his great-grandmother (through her brother) both received and transmitted some share of family lands. His mother-in-law was also an heiress, though her marriage with William, second Lord Roos, produced male heirs and the property never passed to the Zouches. Zouche's maternal grandmother was also a co-heiress, as was his great grandmother's own mother, Eve de Briouge. So for a family that never married into a single great landed estate, as the Montagues did with the Beauchamps or the Nevilles with the Montagues, the Zouche clan was hardly dedicated to a succession of whimsical love-matches. The process of accretion was undramatic but steady.
Could they anticipate the continuation of such luck? The tale of the five lords who succeeded William, second Lord Zouche, takes us well into the sixteenth century, and it shows that the earlier success was emulated. From William, third lord and heir to our central figure down to John, second Lord Zouche ( 1459-1526), there was a straight chain of father-to-son inheritance, and seemingly it was always via the eldest son by the first marriage. The five peers after the second lord had eight wives. Two of the woman were heiresses and brought property to the Zouche family: Alice, first wife of William, fifth lord, was sister and co-heiress of Richard, fifth Lord St Maur, and then Joan, wife of John, seventh lord and sister and co-heiress of John, Lord Dinham. These two women, plus three more of the eight wives, had had mothers who had been heiresses as well (of the peerages of Burghersh, Grey of Codnor, and Beauchamp of Bletsoe, as well as of the landed families of Peyvre and Arches), though their holdings ultimately went elsewhere. So on a relatively minor scale the general point about the link between survival and the accretion of estates through marriages seems to be well vindicated.
Few families could boast of such a long series of smooth transitions. In something like one case out of four the heir was a minor male child, and then all the complications of a wardship - some political, some administrative - would arise. And when the estates passed into the hands of one or more heiresses the chances of litigation or violent contention were greatly increased. The great holdings of one generation were well worth the pains of the next, and sons-in-law, cousins, nephews and even more distant relatives were apt to go for each other's throats. The rivalry between Henry Bolingbroke and his uncle Thomas of Gloucester over the great Bohun estates of their wives was obviously based on a realistic financial estimate of the value of the prize, but many another family feud was more exacerbated and for far less. The dispute over the division of an inheritance could take on the characteristics of a blood feud, and Lady Berkeley was imprisoned by the Talbots until they got their way. The long contest between the Greys and the Hastings family was notable for its duration, but it was hardly peculiar. Nor were such quarrels even foreseeable, for what seemed the prosaic marriage of a younger daughter might turn out to be, years later, the union with an heiress, now the only survivor of a great line. The union which eventually brought the Howards the dukedom of Norfolk was originally contracted when many other claimants, male and female, seemed more likely candidates for the great title than that East Anglian gentry family. A Bourchier marriage helped to fill the Stafford coffers, and 'once again a girl had become a great heiress after the wedding'. All this underscores the luck of the Zouche family, and it indicates how success was far from inevitable.
Nobles and the Noble Life, 1295-1500, Joel T. Rosenthal; George
Allen & Unwin, 1976, pp 59-63