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Alice de Toeni, Countess of Warwick

Alice de Toeni, Countess of Warwick English countess

English countess
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro English countess
Gender female
Birth 26 April 1284 (Hertfordshire)
Death 1 January 1324
Spouse: Guy de Beauchamp10th Earl of Warwick
Children: Thomas de Beauchamp11th Earl of WarwickJohn de Beauchamp1st Baron Beauchamp
Alice de Toeni, Countess of Warwick
The details

Alice de Toeni, Countess of Warwick (26 April 1284 – 1 January 1324/25) was a wealthy English heiress and the second wife of Guy de Beauchamp, 10th Earl of Warwick (1272 – 12 August 1315), an English nobleman in the reign of Kings Edward I and Edward II. He was one of the principal opponents of Piers Gaveston, a favourite of Edward II. Alice married three times; Guy was her second husband.

Family and lineage

Alice de Toeni (or de Tosny) was born on 26 April 1284 in Flamsted, Hertfordshire, the only daughter of Ralph VII de Toeni, Lord Toeni of Flamsted (1255–1295) and his Scottish-born wife, Mary. Alice's paternal grandparents were Roger V de Toeni, Lord Flamsted and Alice de Bohun. The latter was a daughter of Humphrey de Bohun, 2nd Earl of Hereford and Maud de Lusignan. Alice had an older brother Robert de Toeni, Lord Toeni of Flamsted (4 April 1276–1309), who married Maud, the daughter of Malise, 6th Earl of Strathearn, but died childless in 1309. Upon his death, Alice became his heir. Her inheritance included manors in Essex, Worcestershire, Wiltshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and the Welsh Marches.

Warwick Castle, the principal residence of Guy de Beauchamp and Alice de Toeni

Marriages and issue

In 1300, when Alice was sixteen, she married her first husband, Sir Thomas Leybourne (died May 1307), son of Sir William Leybourne, by whom she had one daughter:
Juliana de Leybourne (1303 – 1367), married firstly, John, Lord Hastings, by whom she had issue, secondly Thomas le Blount, and thirdly, William Clinton.
On 28 February 1309, less than two years after the death of her first husband, Alice married secondly Guy de Beauchamp, 10th Earl of Warwick, the only son of William de Beauchamp, 9th Earl of Warwick and Maud FitzJohn.

He had been previously married to Isabel de Clare, the daughter of Gilbert de Clare, 6th Earl of Gloucester and Alice de Lusignan of Angoulême, but the marriage, which had produced no children, was annulled. Guy had already distinguished himself in the Scottish Wars and was one of the Ordainers, who sought to restrict the powers of the King. Guy de Beauchamp was one of the chief adversaries of Piers Gaveston, King Edward's favourite, who often referred to Guy as The Mad Hound, due to the Earl's habit of foaming at the mouth when angry. In 1312, Guy de Beauchamp captured Gaveston and took him to his principal residence Warwick Castle where Gaveston was held prisoner and afterwards murdered.

Alice and Guy had two sons and five daughters:

  • Maud de Beauchamp (died 1366); she married Geoffrey de Say, 2nd Lord Say, by whom she had issue.
  • Isabella de Beauchamp; she married John Clinton.
  • Emma de Beauchamp; she married Rowland Odingsells.
  • Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick (14 February 1313/1314 – 13 November 1369), married Katherine Mortimer, by whom he had fifteen children.
  • Lucia de Beauchamp; she married Robert de Napton.
  • John de Beauchamp, Lord Beauchamp KG (1315 – 2 December 1360); carried the royal standard at the Battle of Crecy.
  • Elizabeth de Beauchamp (c. 1316–1359); she married in 1328 Thomas Astley, 3rd Lord Astley, by whom she had a son, William Astley, 4th Lord Astley.

Following the sudden death of Guy de Beauchamp at Warwick Castle on 28 July 1315, which was rumoured to have been caused by poisoning, Alice married thirdly on 26 October 1316, William la Zouche de Mortimer, 1st Lord Zouche de Mortimer (see Baron Zouche), by whom she had a son and daughter:

  • Alan la Zouche de Mortimer. (15 September 1317-1346), he participated in the Battle of Crécy, and died shortly afterwards.
  • Joyce la Zouche de Mortimer (1318-1372)
  • Thomas B. Costain,The Three Edwards, p. 141
  • Burke's Dormant and Extinct Peerages, London, 1883, pg 599


Alice de Toeni died on 1 January 1324/25. The de Toeni lands and manors passed to her eldest son Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick. Her widower, Lord Zouche, later abducted and married Eleanor de Clare, widow of Hugh Le Despenser, the Younger. Lord Zouche had been one of Le Despenser's captors and had led the siege of Caerphilly Castle.

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