Mowbray ( /ˈmoʊbri/) is an Anglo-Norman baronial house, derived from Montbray in Normandy. From this village came Geoffrey de Montbray who came to be Bishop of Coutances and accompanied Duke William of Normandy at the Conquest of England in 1066.

For his support he was granted some 280 English manors (each about the size of a village). His nephew Robert de Montbrai became Earl of Northumberland in 1080, but he rebelled against William II (Rufus) and was captured and imprisoned in Windsor Castle for thirty years. His divorced wife, Matilda, married Nigel d'Aubigny (sometimes spelt d'Albini) whose family came from Saint Martin d'Aubigny, 16 km. west of Saint-Lô and 15 km. north of Coutances. However, Robert was the maternal uncle of Nigel and although Nigel inherited Robert's vast landholdings, the marriage was annulled for consanguinity before any issue. By his second wife, Gundred, he had a son and heir Roger whose name was changed by royal command from d'Aubigny to de Montbray. The family flourished (Baronial Pedigree) and the name spelling evolved to Mowbray.

The baronial line died out in England with a young heiress ca. 1475, although a son of an earlier generation had founded a dynasty in Scotland where issue has survived. The family was active up and down the east side of the country and settled predominantly in the counties of Durham, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire in historic times. Since then there has been the usual migration into other areas and overseas.

As with any name, there are numerous spelling variations over time, but the major ones are Moubray, the Scottish version, and Mowberry which stemmed from a Leicestershire migration into Glinton, Northamptonshire, where the variant became established and eventually spread into a Lincolnshire branch. One of the many heraldic badges of the house was a mulberry tree.

Read more about Mowbray:  Baronial House, Notable Mowbray Families, Royal Ancestries

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