William was very fortunate in his marriage to Berta. All of her brothersdied young without h eirs, so she brought a number of important lordshipsto the de Braoses in 1166. These include d Brecon and Abergavenny.William became Sheriff of Hereford in 1174. His interest in Susse x wasmaintained as he confirmed the grants of his father and grandfather forthe maintenance o f Sele Priory and extended St Mary's, Shoreham. See St Mary's, Shoreham, Sussex. William m. Berta, dau. of Milo de Gloucester, Earl of Hereford , andco-heir of her brother, W illiam, Earl of Hereford, by whom he acquiredBrecknock, with other extensive territorial poss essions. He had two sons,William and Reginald, and was s. by the elder. [Sir Bernard Burke,Do rmant, Abeyant, Forfeited and Ext inct Peerages, Burke's Peerage, Ltd.,London, 1883, p. 72, B raos e, Baron Braose, of Gower] From c1173 to 1230 successive fathers, sons, and younger brother s calledde Briouze were feud al lords of Abergavenny. William d e Briouze, thefirst of them, who derived his name from hi s lord ship of Briouze inNormandy, married the sister and coheir of th e 2nd Earl of Hereford (also daughter of 1st Earl) mentioned above, which seems to account forhis coming into posses sion of a lordship in that part of the Welshmarches. [Burke's Peerage] William de Braose, third Lord of Bramber, succeeded his father Philip introubled times. He wa s involved in one of the strangest events of thecivil war during King Stephen's reign, when t he throne was contested byHenry I's daughter Matilda. In 1139 Matilda landed with a force at Arundel. Stephen besieged her atthe castle and could h ave put an end to her ambitions there and then. Buthis chivalric spirit was roused by the lad y of the castle, Matilda'sstepmother, Adeliza. She bargained for an end to the siege and to t hecontinuing astonishment of historians, the king provided Matilda with anescort to Bristol . From there Matilda relaunched her long and bloodycampaign for the throne. William de Braos e was selected as a member ofMatilda's escort. William emerged from the civil war in a position of strength and beganthe rapid expansion o f the family interests in Wales. His marriage toBertha, daughter of Miles of Gloucester, ear l of Hereford proved to be anexceptionally fortunate match. Miles died while hunting in 1143 . In 1155his heir Roger became a monk. Three further sons died without male heirs,Walter on h is way back from the Holy Land in 1159 and Henry at the handof a Welsh prince, Seisyll ap Dyf nwal in 1166. The last, Mahel, was hiton the head by masonry from the burning castle of Bronl lys within monthsof his succession. Three sisters shared the inheritance and Bertha took the lordships ofBrecon and Abergavenny f or the de Braoses. These, added to the existingfamily lands of Radnor and Builth, were a form idable power base in theWelsh marches. It was the start of a legend in Wales. There are man yfanciful stories about the successive de Braose barons and their wivesand daughters. They co mmitted ferocious atrocities and wieldedbreathtaking power in their domains. The family als o suffered somecatastrophic falls but made remarkable recoveries. William attended the 1164 council at Clarendon in support of Henry IIduring the dispute wit h Thomas Becket. He went to Ireland with hisyounger brother Philip, who made his name fightin g with Henry II. (7.1)Philip held Wexford on the king's departure in 1172. He was granted nor thMunster, after others had refused it, but turned back as he approachedLimerick. Philip fail ed to take his lands before his death in 1201. William de Braose appears as the king's companion in Dublin at thesigning of a charter in 117 3, granting the city to the people of Bristolto inhabit..Scotland invaded the north in 1173 a nd the king's own sonsfomented rebellion. During this crisis Henry appointed the tough marche rlord as his sheriff in Herefordshire. William held the position for ayear until September 11 75. His son then took charge of the Welshlordships and later, under King John, he extended t hem still further.(7.2) This son was also called William and he married Maud de SaintValery . The father appears to have "retired" until his death at anadvanced age shortly before 1193 . A further grip on the marches developed with the career of Maud andWilliam's son Giles. He ro se to become bishop of Hereford in 1200,shortly after John took the throne. The secular and r eligious powerwielded by Giles and his family later had a decisive influence on thebaronial w ars during John's reign.