Hugh (Despenser) le Despenser KB

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

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Hugh "2nd Lord le Despenser" le Despenser KB formerly Despenser
Born about in Hanley Castle, Worcestershire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married after in Westminster, London, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Hereford, Herefordshire, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 31 May 2011
This page has been accessed 6,008 times.

Categories: Knights of the Bath | Hanley Castle, Worcestershire | Hereford, Herefordshire.

British Aristocracy
Hugh (Despenser) le Despenser KB was a member of aristocracy in the British Isles.
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Titles of Hugh le Despenser 2nd Lord le Despenser (Royal Ancestry):

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

“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)...."[1]

Hugh le Despenser - husband of Eleanor de Clare, son of Hugh le Despenser by his wife Isabel Beauchamp, and father of Hugh le Despenser, who survived the 1326 defeat (and executions) of his father and grandfather, who had stood with Edward II against an uprising led by Edward's wife Isabella and her consort, Roger Mortimer, to place Edward's eldest son on the throne (Edward III).

For information about his military and political life, see the biography that Wikipedia maintains for him. See also:


1286,[2] circa 1290[3]
Hanley Castle, Worcestershire, England[3]


Hugh le Despenser, 1st Earl of Winchester (1262-1326),[2] Constable of Devizes, Marlborough, Odiham, St. Briavel's, & Striguil Castles.[5] 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)."[4]
Mother: Isabel (Isabella[6]) de Beauchamp,[4] daughter of Sir William de Beauchamp, 9th Earl Warwick, 6th Baron Beauchamp and Maud FitzJohn.[5] Isabel had previously been married to "Patrick de Chaworth, Knt., of Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales.... He died testate shortly before 7 July 1283."[4]
Hugh le Despenser and Isabel (Beauchamp) had 2 sons and 4 daughters:[4]
Sir Hugh, 2nd Lord Despenser, married Eleanor (or Alianore) de Clare[7] circa 14 June 1306 at Westminster, London, Middlesex, England.[3]
Alianore, born in Caerphilly, Glamorganshire, Wales "shortly before 23 Nov. 1292 (date of her mother's churching)",[4] was the daughter of Sir Gilbert de Clare, 9th Earl of Clare, 7th Earl of Hertford, 3rd Earl of Gloucester by his wife Joan Plantagenet.[3]
Hugh and his wife Eleanor (Clare)[8] had five sons and five daughters:[3]


Death: Executed by disembowelment at Hereford, Herefordshire, England with his body quartered and sent to various parts of the kingdom
Executed as a traitor (see "The Death of a Traitor") November 24, 1326 at Hereford:
"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."[3]
"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")
See also Lady Despensers Scribery republication of "Hugh Despenser’s Execution at Hereford 24th November 1326"


  1. Brief excerpt from a biography by Alianore, © 2006, posted by Susan Higginbotham (a writer of historical fiction).
  2. 2.0 2.1 le Despenser
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7
    Source #OurHugh2: Sir Hugh le Despenser, 2nd Lord le Despenser, "Our Royal, Titled, Noble, and Commoner Ancestors & Cousins" (website, compiler Mr. Marlyn Lewis, Portland, OR)
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15
    Source #MCA1: Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry (2011)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7
    Source #OurHugh1: Sir Hugh le Despenser, Earl of Winchester, "Our Royal, Titled, Noble, and Commoner Ancestors & Cousins" (website, compiler Mr. Marlyn Lewis, Portland, OR)
  6. Hugh le Despenser, 1st Earl of Winchester
  7. Hugh le Despenser, 1st Lord Despenser
  8. Eleanor (Clare) le Despenser, Hugh's widow, married William la Zouche Mortimer and had two sons (Hugh and William) by him
  9. Hugh le Despencer, 2nd Baron "le Despencer"
  • Royal Ancestry D. Richardson 2013 Vol. II p. 443-448
  • MCA1: Richardson, Douglas: Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, Royal Ancestry series, 2nd edition, 4 vols., ed. Kimball G. Everingham, (Salt Lake City, Utah: the author, 2011), p 64 #5. Isabel de Beauchamp; Volume 2, page 67; Volume 2, page 175, FISHER 10.
  • 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)
  • OurHugh2: Sir Hugh le Despenser, 2nd Lord le Despenser, "Our Royal, Titled, Noble, and Commoner Ancestors and Cousins" (website, compiler Mr. Marlyn Lewis, Portland, OR; accessed April 27, 2015). Hugh le Despenser married Alianore de Clare
  • OurHugh1: Sir Hugh le Despenser, Earl of Winchester, "Our Royal, Titled, Noble, and Commoner Ancestors and Cousins" (website, compiler Mr. Marlyn Lewis, Portland, OR; accessed April 27, 2015). Hugh le Despenser married Isabel de Beauchamp. See footnotes on that page for specifics on source citations from:
    • Richardson's Magna Carta Ancestry (#MCA1), Plantagenet Ancestry, and Royal Ancestry
    • "Unknown author, The Complete Peerage, by Cokayne, Vol. IV, p. 262-266; Magna Charta Sureties, 1215 by F. L. Weis, 4th Ed., p. 3."
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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)


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.

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No known carriers of Hugh's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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Images: 3
Roger Mortimer Image 2
Roger Mortimer Image 2

Hugh le Despencer coat of arms
Hugh le Despencer coat of arms

Sire Hue sun Filz
Sire Hue sun Filz


On 21 Apr 2018 at 19:43 GMT Stephen McCallum wrote:

555 Wikidata - Different birth date

On 1 Dec 2017 at 15:58 GMT RJ Horace wrote:

Gentleman's Magazine, 8 (1860), p. 373. This is the source cited by Richardson for son Philip.

On 28 Nov 2017 at 21:30 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

Thanks Andrew - I agree. It's back to just location & I copied what had been there to the profile's #Death section.

Cheers, Liz

On 28 Nov 2017 at 19:56 GMT Andrew Lancaster wrote:

Shouldn't the death PLACE be simplified?

On 24 Nov 2017 at 22:03 GMT Gillian Thomas wrote:

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.

On 24 Nov 2017 at 21:51 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

Thanks April! I added the more specific locations as requested. I love learning about my new-found English ancestors :D

On 24 Nov 2017 at 21:45 GMT April (Dellinger) Dauenhauer wrote:

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:)

On 24 Nov 2017 at 20:36 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

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.

On 24 Nov 2017 at 19:32 GMT Gillian Thomas wrote:

PMs, please could the Herefordshire and Worcestershire categories for this profile be reviewed. Both categories are top level categories and a relevant, place category / categories should be used if possible. Thanks so much!

On 25 Aug 2016 at 08:05 GMT Martin Allen wrote:

May I suggest a change to [Hereford, Herefordshire]?

He really has no other obvious connection to the county as such.

more comments

Hugh is 19 degrees from George Bush, 24 degrees from Rick San Soucie and 17 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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