Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Hugh le Despenser

Male 1261 - 1326  (65 years)


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  • Name Hugh le Despenser  [1
    Born 1 Mar 1261  of Loughborough, Leicestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    Gender Male 
    Alternate birth 1 Mar 1261  Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Died 27 Oct 1326  Bristol, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9
    Person ID I6417  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of Barbara Hagan, Ancestor of DDB, Ancestor of JTS, Ancestor of TNH, Ancestor of TSW, Ancestor of TWK
    Last Modified 2 Aug 2019 

    Father Hugh le Despenser,   b. Abt 1223,   d. 4 Aug 1265, Evesham, Worcestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 42 years) 
    Mother Aline Basset,   b. Abt 1240, of Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 11 Apr 1281  (Age ~ 41 years) 
    Married Bef 1261  [3, 10
    Family ID F229  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Isabel de Beauchamp,   d. Bef 30 May 1306 
    Married Between 10 Sep 1285 and 27 Jan 1287  [4, 11, 12, 13
    Children 
    +1. Philip le Despenser,   b. of Parlington, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Sep 1313
    +2. Isabel le Despenser,   d. 4 Dec 1334
    +3. Hugh le Despenser,   b. of Loughborough, Leicestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Nov 1326, Hereford, Herefordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 26 Nov 2015 
    Family ID F1621  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Earl of Winchester. Called "The Elder", despite being the second of three consecutive Hughs Despenser. Fought at Falkirk, at the siege of Caerlaverock, and at Bannockburn.

      "Sir Hugh le Despenser, of Loughborough, Arnesby, Parlington, Ryhall, &c., Wycombe, Compton-Basset and Wootton-Basset, &c., s. and h. [of Sir Hugh le Despenser who d. 4 Aug. 1265], b. 1 Mar. 1260/1. In 28 May 1281 he was given the administration of the lands which his father had forfeited, and had livery of his mother's lands, 8 Aug. 1281, although he was not of age till 1 Mar. following. He had livery of the manor of Martley, co. Worcester, 3 Mar. 1281/2, as h. of his father's first cousin, John le Despenser. He was with the King in Gascony in 1287. Was one of those ordered, 22 Aug. 1288, during the King's absence abroad, to abstain from violations of the peace. Was appointed Constable of Odiham Castle, 12 June 1294. Was appointed an envoy to treat with the King of the Romans, June 1294, with the King of France, 1 Jan. 1295/6, and with the King of France and the King of the Romans, Nov. 1296. He accompanied the King to Scotland in 1296. Was one of the proxies who swore to the treaty with the Count of Flanders, 5 Feb. 1296/7 to 18 Aug. 1307. Received instructions to threaten the Clergy, 21 Mar. 1296/7. One of the King's Council, 1297. Accompanied the King to Flanders in Aug. 1297. He was with the King in Scotland in 1300, 1303, 1304, and 1306. Was appointed an envoy to the Pope, Sep. 1300, to treat of peace with the King of France, 25 Apr. 1302, and an envoy to the Pope, Oct. 1305. In 1305 he was appointed and sworn, in Parl., a commissioner to treat with the Scots. At the Coronation of Edward II, 25 Feb. 1307/8, he was one of the four who carried the table (saccarium) on which were laid the royal robes. Constable of the castles of Devizes and Marlborough, 12 Mar. 1307/8 to 2 Dec. 1308. Constable of the Castle of Strigoil and Keeper of the town of Chepstow, 12 Mar. 1307/8 to 17 July (or 21 Aug.) 1310. Appointed Justice of the forests South of Trent during the King's pleasure, 16 Mar. 1307/8, and for life, 28 Aug. 1309. In the quarrel about Gavastone in 1308 he alone sided with the King against the Barons, who induced the King to promise to dismiss him from Court. He took part in the Baron's letter to the Pope, 6 Aug. 1309. Had licence to crenellate all his dwelling houses throughout the kingdom, 29 Sep. 1311. Keeper of the forests South of Trent, 14 June 1312 to 19 Feb. 1314/5. He was one of the King's deputies in the treaty with the magnates concerning the death of Gavastone, 20 Dec. 1312. Was pardoned for all arrears and debts to the King, 25 Mar. 1313, and accompanied him to Pontoise, 23 May following. He was excluded from the peace that was arranged between the King and the discontented barons in the autumn of 1313. Was at the battle of Bannockburn, 24 June 1314, and accompanied the King in his flight to Dunbar, and thence by sea to Berwick. A few months afterwards the party of the Earl of Lancaster obtained his dismissal from Court, and his removal from the council in Feb. 1314/5. A commission was appointed, 13 July 1315, to hear complaints against his acts of oppression as Keeper of the forests South of Trent. He was in the Scottish Wars in 1317. He was again specially excluded when peace was made with the Earl of Lancaster in Aug. 1318: to avoid the Earl, he is said to have gone "on pilgrimage" to Compostella. Was sent to set in order the affairs of Gascony, 28 Feb. 1319/20, and on missions to the King of France and the Pope in Mar. following. Was appointed Constable of Marlborough Castle, 2 May 1321. He was sum. for Military Service from 14 Mar. (1282/3) 11 Edw. I to 11 May (1322) 15 Edw. II, to attend the King at Shrewsbury, 28 June (1283) 11 Edw. II, to attend the King at Salisbury, 26 Jan. (1296/7) 25 Edw. I, to Councils from 8 Jan. (1308/9) 2 Edw. II to 1 July (1317) 10 Edw. II, and to Parl. from 24 June (1295) 23 Edw. I to 14 Mar. (1321/2) 15 Edw. II, by writs directed Hugoni le Despenser, whereby he is held to have become LORD LE DESPENSER. In May and June 1321 the barons of the Welsh Marches and their adherents ravaged the lands of the younger Despenser in Wales, and those of the elder throughout the country. In Aug. of that year both Despensers were accused in Parl., chiefly on account of the son's misconduct, of many misdeeds, viz., of accroaching to themselves royal power, counselling the King evilly, replacing good ministers by bad ones, &c. Wherefore they were disinherited for ever (19 Aug.), and exiled from the realm, not to return without the assent of the King and Parl. The elder Hugh accordingly retired to the Continent. His lands were taken into the King's hand, 15 Sep. 1321. The sentence on the Despensers was pronounced unlawful at a provincial council of the clergy about 1 Jan. 1321/2. In Mar. following the elder Hugh accompanied the King against the contrariants, and was present at the judgment on the Earl of Lancaster. The proceedings against the Despensers were annulled and cancelled in the Parl. of York, the lands of the elder Hugh being formally restored, 7 May 1322. Three days later, 10 May, the King granted him £20 a year from the issues of co. Hants, to be received nomine et honore comitis Wyntonie, and girded him with the sword as EARL OF WINCHESTER. He accompanied the King in his expedition against the Scots in Aug. 1322. He was appointed Keeper of the forests South of Trent, 27 June 1324, for life. He was sum. for Military Service from 20 Sep. (1322) 16 Edw. II to 1 May (1325) 18 Edw. II, to Councils from 20 Nov. (1323) 17 Edw. II to 20 Feb. (1324/5) 18 Edw. II, and to Parl. from 18 Sep. (1322) 16 Edw. II to 10 Oct. (1325) 19 Edw. II, by writs directed Hugoni le Despenser Comiti Wynton. He m. in or before 1286, without the King's lic. (fine of 2,000 marks, afterwards remitted), Isabel, widow of Sir Patric de Chaurces or Chaworces, of Kidwelly, co. Carmarthen, Somborne, Hants, &c. (who d.s.p.m. shortly before 7 July 1283), and da. of William (de Beauchamp), Earl of Warwick, by Maud, sister and coh. of Sir Richard fitz John, of Shere, Surrey, Fambridge, Essex, &c. [Lord FitzJohn], and 1st da. of Sir John fitz Geoffrey, of Shere and Fambridge. She d. shortly before 30 May 1306. On the King's flight to Wales in Oct. 1326 the Earl was dispatched to defend Bristol, which, however, he at once surrendered on the arrival of the Queen, 26 Oct. Next day he was tried--without being allowed to speak in his own defence--condemned to death as a traitor, and hanged on the common gallows. On his death, 27 Oct. 1326, at the age of 65, all his honours were forfeited, the sentence of 'Exile' passed on him in 1321 being re-affirmed in Parl., 1 Edw. III." [Complete Peerage]

      "When the queen landed in England with an armed force in September 1326, she put out a proclamation against the Despensers. On the king's flight to Wales in October 1326, Earl Hugh was dispatched to defend Bristol, which, however, he at once surrendered on the arrival of the Queen. The next day, 27 October 1326, Sir Hugh le Despenser, Earl of Winchester, was tried -- without being allowed to speak in his own defence -- condemned to death as a traitor, and hanged on the common gallows, all honors forfeited. His head was sent to Winchester." [Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry]

      Hanged in his armor, then beheaded and his body cut into pieces for the dogs.

  • Sources 
    1. [S3292] William John Stewart-Parker, The Bassets of High Wycombe: Politics, Lordship, Locality and Culture in the Thirteenth Century. Ph.D. thesis, King's College, London, 2013.

    2. [S76] The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-ongoing)., date only.

    3. [S128] The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant. Full citation details here.

    4. [S142] Royal Ancestry, by Douglas Richardson. Kimball G. Everingham, ed. 2013.

    5. [S145] Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700, by Frederick Lewis Weis and Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr. 8th edition, William R. Beall & Kaleen E. Beall, eds. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004, 2006, 2008., date only.

    6. [S1526] The Ancestry of Dorothea Poyntz, Wife of Reverend John Owsley, Generations 1-15, Fourth Preliminary Edition by Ronny O. Bodine and Bro. Thomas Spalding, Jr. 2013.

    7. [S1016] Medieval English Ancestors of Robert Abell by Carl Boyer III. Santa Clarita, California, 2001.

    8. [S145] Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700, by Frederick Lewis Weis and Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr. 8th edition, William R. Beall & Kaleen E. Beall, eds. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004, 2006, 2008., month and year only.

    9. [S1310] Rosie Bevan and Peter G. M. Dale, "Reginald de Lucy, Son of Richard de Lucy, King's Justiciar: New Perspectives." Foundations 8:53, 2016., year only.

    10. [S76] The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-ongoing).

    11. [S145] Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700, by Frederick Lewis Weis and Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr. 8th edition, William R. Beall & Kaleen E. Beall, eds. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004, 2006, 2008., "1286".

    12. [S76] The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-ongoing)., "1287".

    13. [S128] The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant. Full citation details here., "[I]n or before 1286".