MOWBRAY, the name of an Anglo-Norman baronial house, derived from Montbray (Manche) in Normandy south of St. Lo.
It was founded at the Conquest by Geoffrey (de Montbray), bishop of Coutances. His nephew Robert, who rebelled with him against William Rufus on the Conqueror's death, was made, after their reconciliation, earl of Northumberland, as his uncle's heir but was imprisoned for life on rebelling again in 1095. Bishop Geoffrey's other nephews, Nigel and William, were given great estates in England by Henry I. William was made king's butler, and was father of William d'Aubigny ("de Albini"), first earl of Arundel (see ARUNDEL) ; Nigel was rewarded with the escheated fief of Geoffrey de la Guerche, of which Melton (Mow bray) was the head, and which forfeited lands in Yorkshire. Nigel's grandson William, a leader in the rising against King John, was one of the 25 barons of the Great Charter, and was captured fighting against Henry III. at the rout of Lincoln (1217). Wil liam's grandson Roger (1266-98), who was summoned to parlia ment by Edward I., was father of John (1286-1322), whose wife added Gower in South Wales and the Bramber lordship in Sussex to the great possessions of his house. Their son John (d. 1361) was father, by a daughter of Henry earl of Lancaster, of John, Lord Mowbray (c. 1328-1368), whose fortunate alliance with the heiress of Lord Segrave, by the heiress of Edward Is son Thomas, earl of Norfolk and marshal of England, crowned the fortunes of his race. In addition to a vast accession to their lands, the earldom
of Nottingham and the marshalship of England were bestowed on them by Richard II., and the dukedom of Norfolk followed. (See NORFOLK, THOMAS MOWBRAY, ISt duke of.) His great grandson John, 4th and last duke was created earl of Warrenne and Surrey (1451). At his death his vast inheritance devolved on his only child Anne. who was married as an infant to Edward IV.'s younger son Richard (created duke of Norfolk and earl of Nottingham and Warrenne), but died in 1481.
The next heirs of the Mowbrays were the Howards and the Berkeleys, representing the two daughters of the first duke. Between them were divided the estates of the house, the Mow bray dukedom of Norfolk and earldom of Surrey being also revived for the Howards (1483), and the earldom of Nottingham (1483) and earl marshalship (1485) for the Berkeleys. Both families assumed the baronies of Mowbray and Segrave, but Henry Howard was summoned in his father's lifetime (1640) as Lord Mowbray, which was deemed a recognition of the Howards' right; their co-heirs, from 1777, were the Lords Stourton and the Lords Petre, and in 1878 Lord Stourton was summoned as Lord Mowbray and Segrave. The former dignity is claimed as the premier barony, though De Ros ranks before it.