Name: *Pain fitzJohn
Name: *Payn FitzJohn
Birth: ABT 1100 in Ewyas, Herefordshire, England 1
Death: 10 JUL 1137 in Carmarthenshire, Wales 1
Burial: Gloucester Abbey 1
Occupation: BET 1127 AND 1136 Sheriff of Herefordshire 1
Occupation: BET 1126 AND 1135 Sheriff of Shropshire 1
Pain fitzJohn (sometimes Payn fitzJohn or Pagan fitzJohn;(. c 1100 - 10 July 1137) was an Anglo-Norman nobleman and administrator, and one of King Henry I of England's "new men". The son of a minor nobleman, Pain, along with his brothers, rose through their ability to become important royal officials during the reign of King Henry. Pain was rewarded with marriage to an heiress in 1115, and among the lands he gained control of through his wife was Ludlow Castle, which he augmented with further land acquisitions.
Although later medieval traditions stated that Pain was a chamberlain to King Henry, this is not securely attested in contemporary records. Other offices, however, are known to have been held by Pain, including the office of sheriff in two counties near the border with Wales. Pain also served as a royal justice, hearing legal cases for the king in much of western England. Although his family had originated in Normandy, Pain appears to have mostly concentrated his career in England and the Welsh Marches, as little documentary evidence ties him to Normandy. Pain was also generous to a number of monastic houses, gifting them with lands.
After the death of King Henry in 1135, Pain supported Henry's nephew, King Stephen, and was with the new king throughout 1136. However, Pain was ambushed by the Welsh in July 1137 and killed. His heirs were his daughters, Cecily and Agnes. Cecily married the son of one of Pain's close associates, Miles of Gloucester.
Pain was probably the eldest son of John fitzRichard, a tenant-in-chief listed in Domesday Book. Pain's paternal grandfather was from near Avranches and owned a mill as well as being a moneyer, and his brother, Eustace fitzJohn was also a royal official, ending up with lands in the north of England. Other siblings included William, Alice and Agnes. William was probably the same William who later held Harptree in Somerset, and was a royal justice in western England in 1130. Alice was the abbess of Barking Abbey and Agnes became the wife of Roger de Valognes.
Pain was born sometime before 1100. His father may have been in the service of King Henry in Normandy before Henry became king. The family lands in England were based in East Anglia, and were not very large. Pain, however, appears to have inherited most of the familial lands in England, as his payment for danegeld in 1130 for his lands in East Anglia was 40 shillings, but the danegeld payment for his brother Eustace's lands in the same area were only 9 shillings.
All accounts agree that Pain married in 1115 and that his wife was named Sybil, however the identity of Sybil's parents is unclear.
Pain is supposed to have been the builder of Pain's Castle in the Welsh county of Radnor. He also had control of Caus Castle in Shropshire. Besides these castles, Pain acquired through his wife the control of Ludlow Castle in Shropshire. Along with Ludlow, he also acquired the title to Weobley Castle and Ewyas Lacy through his wife, although he does not appear to have exercised any control over Weobley, which eventually went to Gilbert de Lacy. Pain did not receive the entirety of the lands of Hugh de Lacy, as some went to Jocelin de Dinan and others went to Miles of Gloucester. Pain's share, however, included lands in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, and Worcestershire. Pain worked to acquire lands near Ludlow, adding to the manors that he held there through his wife. Besides these lands near Ludlow and his ancestral lands, he had also acquried lands in Oxfordshire by 1130, when he was excused payment of dangeld on lands there.
Pain faced difficulties with the lands inherited by his wife. Although both King Henry and King Stephen recognized Pain as the holder of the lands in England, there was another claimant, Gilbert de Lacy. Gilbert was the son of Roger de Lacy, who had been banished from England in 1095 and his lands confiscated. Roger retained his lands in Normandy, however. Roger's English lands were given to his brother Hugh de Lacy, from which Sybil inherited them. On Roger's death, Gilbert inherited the Norman lands, and continued to press his claims to the English lands. One historian, Bruce Coplestone-Crow, speculates that the uncertainty about the inheritance was one reason that Pain endeavoured to secure more lands around Ludlow in order to secure his hold over the Lacy inheritance.
On 10 July 1137 Pain was killed by the Welsh in an ambush, from a javelin blow to the head. He had been attempting to lead a relief expedition to garrison at Carmarthen when the ambush was sprung. His burial was in Gloucester Abbey with the funeral service conducted by Robert de Bethune.
Father: John fitzRichard b: BEF 1056 in Vains, Normandy, France
*Sybil Talbot b: 1103 in Swanscombe, Dartford, Kent, England
- Cecily FitzJohn b: ABT 1120
- *Agnes FitzJohn b: 1125 in Holkham, Norfolk, England
- Title: Wikipedia