Albini (Pincerna), William de, Earl of Arundel d. 1176, was son of William de Albini Pincerna (the Butler), lord of Buckenham, Norfolk, by Maud, daughter of Roger le Bigod [see Bigod, Roger le]. He is said to have been surnamed with the strong hand, a sobriquet that may have suggested the story of the Lion (Dugdale) invented to account for his family arms. Between 1135 and 1139 (Chron. Norm.) he married Adeliza, widow of Henry I [see Adeliza of Louvain], and became, in right of her life interest, lord of the castle and honour of Arundel. With her he received Matilda on her landing 30 Sept. 1139 (Gervase, Rolls Ser. i. 110), but was ever after faithful to Stephen, from whom, probably, he received his earldom, which would seem to have been that of the county of Sussex, though also described as of Chichester, from its capital, and of Arundel, from the earl's residence (First Report on the Dignity of a Peer [1829]; Tierney's Arundel, i. 101 et seq.; Madox's Baronage, p. 23; Nicolas's Synopsis [ed. Courthope], pp. 28, 464; Journ. Brit. Arch. Ass. xxiii. 25-27). On Henry landing in 1153 and facing Stephen at Wallingford, he was foremost in proposing and arranging a truce (Gervase, i. 154, ii. 76), and he was subsequently one of the witnesses to the final composition between them (Rymer, Federa, i. 25). On the accession of Henry II (1154) he was confirmed in his earldom of Sussex, and was given in fee the honour of Arundel, which he had previously only held for his wife's life. In November 1164 he was despatched with other magnates on an embassy to Louis VII and to the pope (Gervase, i. 190, 193) with reference to Becket's appeal, and in 1167 was selected by the king (R. Diceto) to escort his daughter into Germany on her marriage with Henry of Saxony (1168). Upon the revolt of Prince Henry he declared for the king, and served under him in the French campaign of August 1173. The Earl of Leicester having landed in Suffolk with his Flemings, 29 Sept. 1173, Arundel, with the Earls of Cornwall and Gloucester, marched against the invading forces, and, joining the justiciar and constable near Bury St. Edmund's, assisted in the defeat of Leicester (17 Oct.). The earl died at Waverley 12 Oct. 1176 (Ann. Wav.).

     Dugdale's Baronage (1675), i. 119
     Vincent's Discovery of Brooke's Errors (1621), pp. 20, 537-9
     Tierney's Arundel, i. 169
     Dallaway's Rape of Arundel (new ed.), p. 117
     Harleian MSS. 4840
     two MSS. in College of Arms, Vincent No. 450, and Sheldon No. 3 (Comites Arundel).

Contributor: J. H. R. [John Horace Round]

Published: 1885