Hugh (Despenser) le Despenser
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Hugh (Despenser) le Despenser (abt. 1290 - 1326)

Hugh "2nd Lord le Despenser" le Despenser formerly Despenser
Born about in Hanley Castle, Worcestershire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married after 14 Jun 1306 in Westminster, London, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Hereford, Herefordshire, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 31 May 2011
This page has been accessed 9,011 times.
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Hugh is a descendant of the Bigods (see text, below).

Contents

Biography

Hugh (Despenser) le Despenser was a member of aristocracy in the British Isles.

Hugh le Despenser, Knt., 'styled "the younger," of Hanley Castle, Worcestershire,' 2nd Lord le Despenser[1]

“Hugh was the notorious favourite of Edward II, king of England 1307-1327. He used the king’s infatuation with him to make himself the de facto ruler of England for much of the 1320s, and the richest man in the country, until his execution at Hereford in November 1326....Nothing in Hugh’s early life gives a hint of his later notoriety. He was born sometime between 1286 and 1290 (by way of comparison, Edward II was born in 1284)...."[2]

Hugh le Despenser was husband of Eleanor de Clare, son of Hugh le Despenser, Knt., Earl of Winchester, by his wife Isabel de Beauchamp, and father of Hugh le Despenser, Knt., 3rd Lord le Despenser.[3]

His son Hugh survived the 1326 defeat (and executions) of Hugh and his father, who had stood with Edward II against an uprising led by Edward's wife Queen Isabel and her consort, Roger Mortimer. The 1326 invasion of England by Isabel and Mortimer "led to the capture of Hugh Despenser the Younger and the abdication of Isabella's husband, Edward II".[4] Edward III, Edward II's eldest son, was crowned King of England in January 1327 and "is noted for his military success and for restoring royal authority after the disastrous and unorthodox reign of his father".[5]

Hugh was executed at Hereford on 24 November 1326; his father was executed at Bristol on 27 October 1326.[3][6]

Titles[1]

King's Chamberlain
Constable of Odiham Castle
Keeper of the Castle and town of Dryslwyn, and Cantref Mawr, Carmarthenshire
Keeper of the Castle and town of Portchester
Keeper of the Castle, town and barton of Bristol
Keeper of the Castles, manor, and lands of Brecknock, Hay, Cantref Selyf, etc., Breconshire, and Huntington, Herefordshire

For information about his military and political life, see the biography that Wikipedia maintains for him.[7]

Birth

between 1286 and 1290:[8] 1286,[9] circa 1290[10]
Hanley Castle, Worcestershire, England[10]

Family

Parents Hugh le Despenser and Isabel de Beauchamp[11]
Father: Hugh le Despenser, 1st Earl of Winchester (1262-1326),[9] Constable of Devizes, Marlborough, Odiham, St. Briavel's, & Striguil Castles. He was born March 1, 1260/1 and married Isabel de Beauchamp "between 10 Sept. 1285 (record of Highworth Hundred Rolls) and 27 Jan. 1287 (date of fine for marrying without license)".[11]
Mother: Isabel (Isabella[12]) de Beauchamp,[11] daughter of William de Beauchamp, 9th Earl Warwick, 6th Baron Beauchamp and Maud FitzJohn.[13] Isabel had previously been married to "Patrick de Chaworth, Knt., of Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales.... He died testate shortly before 7 July 1283."[11]
Siblings
Isabel and her first husband, Patrick de Chaworth, had one daughter:[3]
Hugh and Isabel had 2 sons and 4 daughters:[11]
Wife
Hugh le Despenser, Knt., married Eleanor (or Alianore) de Clare[14] shortly after 14 June 1306 at Westminster.[1]
Eleanor, born in Caerphilly, Glamorgan "shortly before 23 Nov. 1292 (date of her mother's churching)", was the daughter of Gilbert de Clare, Knt., Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, by his wife Joan of Acre, daughter of Edward I, King of England.[1]
Children
Hugh and his wife Eleanor had five sons and five daughters:[1][15]
Aside from Hugh being eldest son and Gilbert the second, the order of their children's birth is not known.[18]

Death

On 24 November 1326 at Hereford, Herefordshire,[11] Hugh was executed as a traitor:
"Hanged; then, his head was set up on London Bridge, his quarters were hung up at Dover, Bristol, York, and Newcastle. His parts were eventually collected and buried at Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire."[10][19]
"The execution of Hugh Despenser the Younger can be seen in the background." (from the caption for the illustration on Wikipedia's "The Aftermath of the Despenser War")

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Douglas Richardson. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham (Salt Lake City: the author, 2013), volume II, pages 443-448 DESPENSER 11.
  2. Brief excerpt from a biography by Alianore, © 2006, posted by Susan Higginbotham (a writer of historical fiction). The post is still available online courtesy of archive.org. See also Kathryn Warner's site about Edward II and her article, "Edward II's other great favourite, Hugh Despenser the Younger" (posted 5 February 2006; accessed 7 January 2020).
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Richardson, Royal Ancestry, II:440-455 DESPENSER.
  4. Wikipedia: Invasion of England (1326), accessed 6 January 2020.
  5. Wikipedia: Edward III of England (accessed 7 January 2020).
  6. See also "The Death of a Traitor".
  7. In addition to the Wikipedia article on him, "Hugh Despenser the Younger", see also:
  8. The younger Despenser's exact birth date is unknown ("le Despencer, Baron (E, 1295 with precedency from 1264)". Cracroft's Peerage. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011.) but was likely between 1286 and 1290; for example, the BBC gives "c. 1287" ("The Sceptred Isle".); Alison Weir (2005) writes that he was "at least three years younger" than Edward II (page 115), which indicates a birth no later than 1287. (posted Feb 08, 2019 by Robin Wood)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Wikipedia: Despenser
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Marlyn Lewis. Sir Hugh le Despenser, 2nd Lord le Despenser (married Alianore de Clare), entry in "Our Royal, Titled, Noble, and Commoner Ancestors and Cousins" database (accessed 27 April 2015).
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 11.11 11.12 Douglas Richardson. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 4 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham, 2nd edition (Salt Lake City: the author, 2011), volume II, pages 64-78 DESPENSER; II:67 DESPENSER 6; II:175, FISHER 10.
  12. Wikipedia: Hugh le Despenser, 1st Earl of Winchester
  13. Marlyn Lewis. Sir Hugh le Despenser, Earl of Winchester (married Isabel de Beauchamp), entry in "Our Royal, Titled, Noble, and Commoner Ancestors and Cousins" database (accessed 27 April 2015).
  14. Wikipedia: Hugh le Despenser, 1st Lord Despenser
  15. Eleanor de Clare married (1st) Hugh Le Despenser, 2nd Lord Despenser; (2nd) William la Zouche Mortimer, 1st Lord Zouche of Richard's Castle (Richardson, Royal Ancestry, II:203-204 CLARE 8.ii). Eleanor had two sons by William: Hugh and William (Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, I:138 BEAUCHAMP 5).
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Children listed as Hugh, Edward, Gilbert and Philip in 1619 Visitations of the county of Warwick, taken by William Camden (see p 283, p 284 - note that the scanned pages are out of order)
  17. Gentleman's Magazine, 8 (1860), p. 373 (cited by Richardson for son Philip).
  18. See a discussion of birth order by Kathryn Warner's "The Despenser Brothers" (posted 30 April 2019, accessed 8 January 2020).
  19. See also Lady Despensers Scribery republication of "Hugh Despenser’s Execution at Hereford 24th November 1326".
  • Richardson, Douglas. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 4 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham. 2nd edition. Salt Lake City: the author, 2011. See also WikiTree's source page for Magna Carta Ancestry.
  • Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham. Salt Lake City: the author, 2013. See also WikiTree's source page for Royal Ancestry.
  • Lewis, Marlyn. "Our Royal, Titled, Noble, and Commoner Ancestors" (free database online). Useful for leads; see cautions about use on the Magna Carta Project Reliable Sources page.
  • Leslie Stephen, Sir Sidney Lee (eds), Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 1, Hugh le Despenser, p 337
  • Weis, Frederick Lewis. The Magna Charta Sureties, 1215, 4th ed. (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1991)
  • Wikipedia: Hugh Despenser the Younger (accessed April 27, 2015)
  • Battle Abbey Roll
  • Our Family Genealogy Pages, "Lord Hugh "The Younger" LE DESPENCER"
  • Britannica: Despenser Family
  • The Descendants of King Edward I, King of England, and Eleanora of Castile: Edward ("Server Not Found" 7 January 2020; page captured by archive.org in 2015, accessed 7 January 2020).
  • Castles of interest:
  • The Greatest Traitor - The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer Ruler of England 1327-1330, by Ian Mortimer (pub. 2005) - details the lives and executions of Hugh le Despenser, Elder and Younger, as cronies of the despotic King Edward II.
  • Cawley, Charles. Entry for Hugh Despencer (has incorrect death date for father). "Medieval Lands": A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families © by Charles Cawley, hosted by Foundation for Medieval Genealogy (FMG). See also WikiTree's source page for MedLands.

Acknowledgements

Click the Changes tab to see edits to this profile; from that list, click WikiTree IDs other than Despenser-6 to see changes to those profiles prior to being merged. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this profile.

Magna Carta Project

Hugh le Despenser is a descendant of Magna Carta Surety Barons Hugh le Bigod and Roger le Bigod (Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, volume II, pages 64-78 DESPENSER). This profile was re-reviewed & updated to current Magna Carta Project standards on 7 January 2020. ~ Noland-165 It was reviewed/approved for the Magna Carta Project by Michael Cayley on 11 January 2020.
Among the many Gateway Ancestors who descend from Hugh le Despenser are St Leger Codd, Edward Digges, John Fisher, and Katherine St Leger. Most of these are on a badged trail through Hugh's grandson, and now through Hugh and his daughter, Isabel. ~ Noland-165, 12 Jan. 2020
  • For other Gateways documented as descendants of Hugh le Despenser in Richardson's Magna Carta Ancestry, see footnotes 35 and 36 for DESPENSER 6.vi. and 6.viii., II:71.
  • See Base Camp for more information about Magna Carta trails.
  • See the project's glossary for project-specific terms, such as a "badged trail".
Magna Carta Trails
The profiles on Hugh's trail to the Bigods are all badged:
  1. Hugh is the son of Isabel (Beauchamp) le Despenser
  2. Isabel is the daughter of Maud (FitzJohn) de Beauchamp
  3. Maud is the daughter of Isabel (Bigod) Fitz Geoffrey
  4. Isabel is the daughter of Hugh le Bigod
  5. Hugh is the son of Roger le Bigod
Status of trails from Gateways mentioned above:
  • The trail from St Leger Codd was previously badged through Hugh's grandson, Edmund FitzAlan de Arundel, son of Hugh's daughter Isabel & now extends through Isabel & Hugh. ~ Noland-165, 13 Jan. 2020
  • The trail from Edward Digges was previously badged to Hugh's grandson, Edmund FitzAlan de Arundel, son of Hugh's daughter Isabel & now extends through Isabel & Hugh. ~ Noland-165, 13 Jan. 2020
  • The trail from Katherine St Leger was badged to Hugh's grandson, Edmund FitzAlan de Arundel, son of Hugh's daughter Isabel & now extends through Isabel & Hugh. ~ Noland-165, 13 Jan. 2020
  • The trail from John Fisher to the Bigods, through Isabel de Beauchamp, was noted as ready for review at Base Camp a while back and needs re-review. It goes through Hugh's son Edward. Looking at profiles on the trail returned by the Relationship Finder on 7 January 2020 between Fisher and Hugh reveals the following:
    • Beauchamp-78, Elizabeth (de Beauchamp) Neville's profile, has the "Trail Pending" project box and is managed by the Magna Carta Project. It does not appear to be in need of re-review, although it has references that use span ids (which WikiTree no longer condones). The profiles on the rest of the trail need a bit more work, some more than others. ~ Noland-165, 7 Jan. 2020
    • Despenser-32, Isabel (Despenser) de Beauchamp's profile, does not meet current Magna Carta Project standards and is not managed by the Magna Carta Project. ~ Noland-165, 7 Jan. 2020
    • Despenser-31, profile for Isabel's father Thomas.
    • Despenser-35, profile for Thomas's father Edward.
    • Despenser-28, profile for Edward, father of Edward (son of Hugh Despenser-6).




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Comments: 22

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Watson, G.W, article "Despenser" in Complete Peerage, 2nd edn, Vol. 4, ed. Gibbs, p. 267.
posted by RJ Horace
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100% 5-star profile (see more at Magna Carta Project Star Profiles)
posted by Traci Thiessen
I've updated Hugh's profile against the Magna Carta Project's current checklist and added the maintenance category "Magna Carta Project Needs Review and Approval" to his profile and his daughter's (also updated). Once they're badged, we'll have another trail to the Bigods.
posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Thomas (Clifford-239) to (Hugh Bigod-1), works too. Again, all marked confident! :-)

Hugh is the 7th great grandfather of Thomas (Confident)

1. Thomas is the son of John Clifford KG [confident]
2. John is the son of Thomas (Clifford) de Clifford [confident]
3. Thomas is the son of Roger (Clifford) de Clifford [confident]
4. Roger is the son of Robert (Clifford) de Clifford [confident]
5. Robert is the son of Robert (Clifford) de Clifford [confident]
6. Robert is the son of Isabel (Vipont) de Clifford [confident]
7. Isabel is the daughter of Isabel (FitzJohn) de Vipont [confident]
8. Isabel is the daughter of Isabel (Bigod) Fitz Geoffrey [confident]
9. Isabel is the daughter of Hugh (Bigod) le Bigod [confident]
This makes Hugh the seventh great grandfather of Thomas.

Thanks, Liz!

posted by Bettye (Holland) Carroll
edited by Bettye (Holland) Carroll
Ancient history - I think this profile and his daughter Isabel were originally supposed to be in the Digges trail, taking it to Bigods as well as Vere/Quincy.

But they got left out of the reviewing and badging, so the Bigods are commented out in the Base Camp entry for Digges.

Descents to Katherine St Leger and St Leger Codd are also badged up.

posted by RJ Horace
edited by RJ Horace
Hi! I'll be editing the Magna Carta Project section of this profile & will also do a re-review against the Magna Carta Project's current checklist.
posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Source: Douglas Richardson. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham (Salt Lake City: the author, 2013), volume II, page 203-204 CLARE 8ii.

Eleanor de Clare, married (1st) Hugh Le Despenser, 2nd Lord Despenser; (2nd) William La Zouche Mortimer, 1st Lord Zouche of Richard's Castle.

Thank you!

The younger Despenser's exact birth date is unknown ("le Despencer, Baron (E, 1295 with precedency from 1264)". Cracroft's Peerage. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011.) but was likely between 1286 and 1290; for example, the BBC gives "c. 1287" ("The Sceptred Isle".); Alison Weir (2005) writes that he was "at least three years younger" than Edward II (page 115), which indicates a birth no earlier than 1287.
posted by Robin Wood
555 Wikidata - Different birth date
posted by Stephen McCallum
Gentleman's Magazine, 8 (1860), p. 373. This is the source cited by Richardson for son Philip.
posted by RJ Horace
Thanks Andrew - I agree. It's back to just location & I copied what had been there to the profile's #Death section.

Cheers, Liz

posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Shouldn't the death PLACE be simplified?
posted by Andrew Lancaster
Hi April and Liz. Thanks so much for responding so quickly. I also appreciate the work you and others have done on the profile. It’s really well done.
posted by Gillian Thomas
Thanks April! I added the more specific locations as requested. I love learning about my new-found English ancestors :D
posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
The village of Hanley Castle, Worcestershire, birthplace of Hugh le Despenser, might be the answer to Gillian's request for a more specific category than just Worcestershire.

Winstone, Gloucestershire would be another appropriate category, for Hugh purchased a manor there, and presented to the church there.

According to Richardson, Hugh le Despenser owned manors and lands in many locations, including Herefordshire (Hertford not the same place).

The powerful, historic lords of England such as the Despensers owned such large swaths of land -- entire counties, in fact, that while for most people a particular town would be named in a category, for these lords, naming an entire county would be accurate for their time in history.

I hope this helps clear up the category issue:)

um... not sure what's being asked. Gillian - if you're saying that the categories Herefordshire and Worcestershire should be changed, could you say what you think they should be changed to? I'm not familiar with English geography.
posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett

Hugh is 24 degrees from Mary McCauley, 25 degrees from B. W. J. Molier and 8 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.