William d’Aubigny, Lord of Belvoir in 1215


William d’Aubigny or D’Aubeney, Lord of Belvoir (died 1 May 1236)
was a prominent member of the baronial rebellions against King John of England. William was the son of William d’Aubigny (Brito).

William’s ancestor Robert d’Albini de Todeni came to England in 1066 with William the Conqueror. After the Battle of Hastings, Robert was given many properties, possibly as many as eighty, among them was one in Leicestershire, where he built Belvoir Castle. This was his family’s home for many generations.

William stayed neutral at the beginning of the troubles of King John’s reign, only joining the rebels after the early success in taking London in 1215.
He was one of the twenty-five sureties or guarantors of the Magna Carta. In the war that followed the signing of the charter, he held Rochester Castle for the barons, and was imprisoned (and nearly hanged) after John captured it. He became a loyalist on the accession of Henry III, and was a commander at the Second Battle of Lincoln in 1217. He died on 1 May 1236, at Offington, Leicestershire, and was buried at Newstead Abbey and “his heart under the wall, opposite the alter at Belvoir Castle”. He was succeeded by his son, another William d’Aubigny, who died in 1247 and left only daughters. One of them was Isabel, a co-heiress, who married Robert de Ros, 1st Baron de Ros (c. 1212-1301), thus adding the Aubigny co-guarantor of the Magna Carta to the pedigree of George Washington, 1st president of the USA.