Bishop William VALENCE
Another name for William was VALENCE Bishop.
Bishop of VALENCE.
A History of The Plantagenets, Vol II, The Magnificent Century, Thomas B Costain 1951, Doubleday & Co, p141:
"The start had been more than auspicious, but Henry promptly destroyed the fine effect of it by not sending back the large train of attendants accompanying the Queen. Louis of France had packed them all off as soon as he married Marguerite (Blanche of Castile, that managing woman, saw to it), but Henry liked them so much he could not part with them. Three uncles had come to England with the Queen. One of them, William, the bishop-elect of Valence, gained an immediate hold over Henry, who considered him wise and enlightened and listened to everything he said. Peter of Savoy, another of the trio, a very handsome and superior-mannered man, made such an impressionon the gullible Henry that he was created Earl of Richmond and given (or, rather, sold for three feathers) a strip of most valuable land on the Thames for the building of a permanent home which became known as the Savoy. The third uncle, Amadeus, was also given valuable lands, which he promptly sold at a fine price. Even Thomas of Savoy, the father of this brood, was given a grant of a groat on every sack of English wool which passed through his territory...
"The Provencals were a most superior lot. They voiced the greatest contempt for everything Englsh and looked down their long noses at the native population. They shuddered at the weather and sang mournful songs about their beautiful sunny Provence so far away; but they were only too glad to stay and in many cases never did go back to beautiful, sunny Provence. The English people conceived a hatred for them which grew with each day...
"...Henry preferred instead to listen to the advice of his new friends. They said to him in effect, these poverty-stricken but haughty relatives of the young Queen: `Be firm. Don't give in an inch to these English traitors. Let them know you are the King.' This was the kind of advice Henry liked to hear. Itcoincided with his own thinking...Now, following the advice of the feudal- minded Provencals, he came out into the open. He let it be known that he intended to take the full task of government into his own hands. To this end he appointed a newcouncil of twelve to act under him and follow out his orders. William of Valence was at its head, and none of the leading men of the kingdom were included...Henry, with his land-hungry in-laws whispering in his ear, was being firm in his own fashion."
p154: "As soon as [Henry III] selected the council of twelve with William of Valence at the head of it, however, it became only a matter of time until the barons would rise against him..."
p239: "[Simon de Montfort's] assumption of leadership can probably be traced to the accident of two assaults on the rights of individuals by the most cordially hated of the Lusignans, William of Valence, who was now proclaimed himself Earl of Pembroke. The King's half brother haddeveloped from the rather effeminate youth who had made such a pretense of chivalric observance into a man of the bitterest pride who believed himself above all law. One morning he sailed out from his castle of Hertford for a day's hunting, and it happened that the fortunes of the chase carried his party into the park which surrounded the palace at Hatfield of the Bishop of Ely. The park was a remarkably fine ten-mile stretch of hunting land and was most zealously guarded by the bishop's people...
"William of Valence and his huntsmen had no right invade such a closely held domain, but that carried no weight with the King's brother. He led his men into the wood and, after a vigorous day's sport, they came to the bishop's palace to demand refreshment. The bishop was not there, but the servants produced beer for the unbidden guests. This seemed to William of Valence something less than respectful to his person as well as unsatisfactory to his thirst, and he directed his followers to break open the bishop's cellar. `Swearing awfully,' as Matthew Paris puts it, the hunts men smashed the padlocks and broke off the bungs of the casks which held my lord of Ely's finest wine. They were all drunk when they took to saddle, not bothering to stop the flow of the costly wine from the damaged casks.
"When informed of what had happened the bishop maintained an air of calm. `What necessity was there,' he asked in a mild tone, `to steal and plunder that which would have been freely and willingly given if they had asked for it?' Then his feelings gained mastery of him and a fire began to burn in his eyes. `Accursed,' he cried, `be so many kings in one kingdom!'...
"A similar trespass occurred at the time now reached in the recording of events. The hatred of the people for the many kings had been mounting all the while. It so happened that a steward of William of Valence entered and did some damage to property of Simon deMontfort near Leicester. Simon took the King's brother to task at the next meeting of the Council and was haughtily rebuffed. The pair would have resorted to steel if Henry had not thrown himself between them. Receiving no satisfaction in the matter, Simon brought it up again. He rose in the Hocktide Parliament of 1258, which met in London, and demanded that the injury done him be acknowledged and that compensation be given. William of Valence, his face contorted with anger, strode out to confront his accuser in the open space between the seats of the magnates.
"`Traitor!' he cried. Then he further embroidered his accusation by adding, `Old traitor!'
"`No, no, William,' said Simon de Montfort. `I am neither traitor nor traitor's son. My father was not like yours!'
"Steel was out this time when the King, fearing for the safety of his brother, thrust himself between them again, thereby bringing the royal legs into considerable jeopardy. The kingly person might have suffered some hurt if others had not intervened also.
"Although nothing further seems to have been done at the time, the incident did not end there. By openly attacking the most hated of the Lusignans, Simon had made himself the one man around whom the opposition could group themselves..."
The Political History of England 1216-1377, Vol III, T F Tout, 1905, AMS Press, p54: "...Eleanor had left Provence under the escort of her mother's brother, William, bishop-elect of Valence. On her way she spent a long period with her elder sister Margaret, who had been married to Louis IX of France in 1234...On January 14, 1236, she was married to Henry at Canterbury..."
"The new queen's kinsfolk quickly acquired an almost unbounded ascendency over her weak husband. With the exception of the reigning Count Amadeus of Savoy, her eight maternal uncles were somewhat scantily provided for. The prudence of the French government prevented them from obtaining any advantage for themselves at the court of their niece the Queen of France, and they gladly welcomed the opportunity of establishing themselves at the expense of their English nephew. Self-seeking and not over-scrupulous, able, energeticand with the vigour and resource of high-born soldiers of fortune, several of them play honourable parts in the history of their own land...The bishop-elect of Valence was an able and accomplished warrior. He stayed on in England after accomplishing his mission, and with him remained his clerk,...Peter of Aigue- blanche...Weary of standing alone, the king eagerly welcomed a trustworthy adviser who was outside the entanglements of English parties, and made Bishop William his chief counsellor...Honours and estates soon began to fall thickly on William and his friends. He made himself the mouthpiece of Henry's foreign policy..."
p56: "...In 1238 Peter des Roches died. With all his faults the Poitevin was an excellent administrator at Winchester, and left his estates in such a prosperous condition that Henry coveted the succession for the bishop-elect of Valence, though William already had the prospect of the prince-bishopric of Liege...[Pope] Gregory gave Williamboth Liege and Winchester, but in 1239 death ended his restless plans..."
p98: "...[Henry]'s son had been forced to pawn his best estates to William of Valence, and the royal exchequer was absolutely empty.
"On April 2 the chief men of Church and State gathered together at London. For more than a month the stormy debates went on. The king's demands were contemptuouly waved aside. His exceptional misdeeds, it was declared, were to be met by exceptional measures. Hot wordswere spoken, and William of Valence called Leicester a traitor. `No, no, William,' the earl replied, `I am not a traitor, nor the son of a traitor; your father and mine were men of a different stamp..."