I spent some time last night creating a timeline for Alina’s life, and noticed some things I hadn’t noticed before. Here’s the first part of the timeline, and my comments afterwards. See if you spot them too.
1291 Born to William & Agnes de Breos, same year he inherited. Named after William’s mother. Older brother William, older sister Joan.
Father served the king in many wars – so away a lot.
1295 Joan married James de Bohun of Midhurst.
1297 Betrothed to William’s ward, John de Mowbray.
1298 Married John de Mowbray in Swansea Castle – he was 12, she was 7. Marriage never paid for by her father.
Father unpaid debts and law suits etc. 1305 he was sent briefly to the Tower.
1310 Son John born (Alina 19), William fighting in Scotland.
1315 William had installed his son William in Landimore in north Gower.
1316 William obtained royal licence to settle all but one of his English manors on Alina & John – did not include Gower.
1317 Mother dead by now, father marries heiress Elizabeth de Sully. (Alina 26).
1318/19 William selling off Gower to several people to raise money.
1320 Husband John seizes Gower to protect Alina’s inheritance. King sends men to take it back, John leads rebellion against the king, many barons join. Rebellion defeated.
1320 Brother William dies.
1321 King pardons de Mowbray.
Already you can begin to see what a life she led – it certainly wasn’t boring. Lots more happened later, but I won’t give it away yet.
Anyway, the first thing that surprised me was that, although her brother William would have been the heir, her father arranged to settle most of his English manors on Alina and her husband. Presumably, her brother would inherit Gower, but why not everything?
And what about her older sister Joan? She doesn’t seem to have been promised anything. Even when her brother dies, Joan still isn’t mentioned. Maybe her marriage gave her a great land-holding, and she didn’t need anything from her father. I haven’t looked into her husband, but it’s probably not worth it, as she probably moved away to her husband’s estates, and died in 1323.
I intend to look into the English estates, but they were worth something, as Alina later sold them when she was in desperate straits. Would the lordship of Gower outweigh them, or was Alina being given a greater inheritance than her brother? Alina’s husband, John de Mowbray, was William’s ward, so maybe her felt he was keeping it in the family by leaving the estates to them.
When her brother William died, Alina and John became heirs to Gower as well, which was highly prized and fought over in the following years. More on that later.
There was another curiosity. Alina later married Richard de Peschale, and assuming she didn’t have his children before they married, she appears to have had four children in three years – quite and achievement! I’ll keep you posted on my research.