Facts and Events
Sir William II Montague, alias de Montacute, 2nd Earl of Salisbury, 4th Baron Montacute, King of Mann, KG (25 June 1328 – 3 June 1397) was an English nobleman and commander in the English army during King Edward III's French campaigns in the Hundred Years War.
He was born in Donyatt in Somerset, the eldest son of William Montacute, 1st Earl of Salisbury and Catherine Grandison, and succeeded his father as earl in 1344. Montacute was contracted to marry Joan of Kent, and did so without knowing that she had already secretly married Thomas Holland. After several years of living together, her contract with Montacute was annulled by the Pope in 1349.
In 1348, Montacute helped found the Order of the Garter and became the sixth Knight of the Garter. He was a commander of the English forces in France in many of the following years, serving as commander of the rear guard of the army of Edward the Black Prince's army in 1355, and again at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356, and further serving in 1357, 1359 and 1360. Later in 1360 he was one of the commissioners who negotiated the Treaty of Brétigny.
During the quieter years that followed the treaty, Montacute served on the king's council. But in 1369 he returned the field, serving in John of Gaunt's expedition to northern France, and then in other raids and expeditions, and on some commissions that attempted to negotiate truces with the French. Montacute helped Richard II put down the rebellion of Wat Tyler. In 1385 he accompanied Richard on his Scottish expedition.
In 1392/3, he sold the Lordship of the Isle of Man to William le Scrope of Bolton. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John de Mohun, 9th Lord de Mohun of Dunster. The two lived at Bisham Manor in Berkshire and had a son and two daughters. The son, Sir William Montacute, married Lady Elizabeth FitzAlan, daughter of Richard Fitzalan, 11th Earl of Arundel, but was killed in a tournament in 1383, leaving no children. When the elder William Montacute died in 1397, the earldom was inherited by his nephew John Montacute, 3rd Earl of Salisbury. One of the elder William's sisters, Philippa (d. 5 January 1382), married Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March.