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Hugh (Neville) de Neville (abt. 1170 - bef. 1234)

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Sir Hugh de Neville formerly Neville
Born about in Great Hallingbury, Essex, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married before 30 Apr 1200 [location unknown]
Husband of — married before Apr 1230 [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died before in Rochford, Essex, Englandmap
Profile last modified 12 Sep 2019 | Created 21 Apr 2012 | Last significant change: 16 Sep 2019
17:24: Liz (Noland) Shifflett deleted a message from Liz (Noland) Shifflett on the page for Hugh (Neville) de Neville (abt.1170-bef.1234). [Thank Liz for this]
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Illustrious Men
Hugh de Neville was one of 16 Illustrious Men, counselors to King John, who were listed in the preamble to Magna Carta.
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Hugh (Neville) de Neville was a member of aristocracy in the British Isles.

Hugh de Neville

Hugh de Neville was one of the 16 "Illustrious Men" mentioned in the preamble to Magna Carta, "barons who were counselors to King John, [listed] immediately after listing the bishops ('venerable fathers'). William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, was named first.... It is known to history that William Marshal and others of the king's counselors advised him to put his seal to the document. See this translation that lists the illustrious men."[1]

"He was King John’s Chief Forester, one of the great officers of state, and is named in Magna Carta as one of John’s officials – the men whom the chronicler Roger of Wendover referred to as the king’s 'evil councillors'."[2]


Hugh de Neville of Great Hallingbury, Essex[3]
Father Ralph de Neville[3][4]
  • "apparently the son of Ralph de Neville, and a grandson of the notoriously unpopular chief forester of Henry II, Alan de Neville."[5]
  • "said to have been the son of Ralph de Neville (fl. 1170)"[6][7]
Born about 1170[8]
  1. before 30 April 1200 to Joan de Cornhill, daughter of Henry FitzGervase de Cornhill and his wife Alice de Courcy[3]
  2. before April 1230 to Beatrice de Turnham, widow of Ralph de Fay, daughter and co-heiress of Stephen de Turnham[3] (no known issue)
Children by Joan de Cornhill:[9]
Died shortly before 21 July 1234 and was buried at Waltham Abbey, Essex. His widow, Beatrice, married (3) Hugh de Plaiz, Knt.[3]

Crusade with Richard I

Hugh de Neville, baron, was brought up "as an intimate" of Richard I.[10] In 1190, he accompanied the king on Crusade.[3]
1192: At siege of Joppa. Gives account to Ralph of Coggeshall.[11] Gets home safe while Richard gets imprisoned. On the king's release, Hugh accompanies him on his Normandy expedition in May 1194.[12]

Chief Justice of Forests

1198: Appointed chief justice of forests. During visitation, Roger Hoveden complains about his extortions.[13]
1199: Acts in same capacity ... used by Richard for negotiations with Cistercians.[14]
Early in John's reign, he's directed to exercise office as it had been during the reign of Henry II.[12]
1203: He witnessed the agreement for Queen Isabella's dowry (Rymer). From this time, his name constantly occurs in the 'Close' and 'Patent Rolls' as witness to grants, and as one of John's chief advisers.[15]
1208: Appointed treasurer. Adheres to John's struggles with the pope and barons. Matthew Paris calls Hugh one of the king's evil counselors.[12]
1213: Warden of the sea ports in the counties of Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, and Southampton.[16]

King John's Counselor at Runnymede

1215: Neville, his father-in-law Henry de Cornhill, and his son John, adhere to the king to the last. He was present at Runnymede, and signed the Magna Charta;[17] for his services to John he received from him numerous grants of land, including Comb-Nevil, Surrey, which had belonged to the Cornhill family.[18]

Joins Rebel Barons

On John's death, Neville joins the barons. He swears allegiance to Louis, hands him over the castle of Marlborough. For defection, he forfeits offices.[12]
1217: Lands in Lincolnshire granted to William de Neville (probably a relative). Before year end, Hugh makes peace and recovers most, if not all, his land.[19]

Buried in Waltham Abbey

Hugh was buried in Waltham Abbey, which he enriched by the grant of Horndon-on-the-Hill, Essex[20]

Research Notes

Seal: Several of Neville's charters are preserved in the British Museum (MSS. Nos. 54 B; 8, 9, 13, 14, 16, 17, 33, 35), and to two is affixed his well-known seal bearing a representation of a man slaying a lion. Matthew Paris gives the story of Hugh's encounter with a lion in the Holy Land, which was the origin of the seal.[12]

Confusion among various Hugh Nevilles.

Hugh de Neville's biography in the 1894 edition of the Dictionary of National Biography provides the following caution: "The number of Nevilles named Hugh and the absence of distinguishing marks between them render their biography largely a matter of conjecture. Members of the family were numerous in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and neighboring counties."[12][5]

David Crook's 26 May 2016 biography of Hugh de Neville in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography shows his death date as 1234.[5] The Wikipedia article for Hugh notes that his death date of 1222 was erroneously recorded by Matthew Paris,[21] which the 1894 biography lists as a citation for the 1222 death date: "(Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora, iii. 71; John of Oxenedes, s.a.)"[12] The Wikipedia article continues: "This error led some earlier historians to postulate two different Hugh de Nevilles – the forester and a son also named Hugh. This disproved theory then had the elder Hugh dying in 1222 and the invented son dying in 1234."[21]
Accordingly, he must be distinguished from 1.) Hugh, son of Ernisius de Neville, who guarded the bishop of Beauvais at Rouen in 1198 (Rog. Hov. iv. 401); and 2.) Hugh, son of Henry de Neville of Lincolnshire.[12]
  • Note: It may be that the 1182, Lincolnshire birth information is for the son of Henry (and ___ Ruffin?). Possibly also the daughter Joan m Cobham. (See discussion about Joan below.) ~ Noland-165 18:57, 5 January 2019 (UTC)

Confusion in Ralph's line (see this G2G discussion about Ralph Neville-183, b 1250). It appears to be the Lincolnshire line and goes back to Neville-1701 (b c1050), which notes on the profile that "Neville-1439 is often mentioned as a possible close relative, for example brother." Neville-1439 is Gilbert, born c1060, and is linked to this G2G discussion about early Nevilles. Gilbert Neville-1439, as of 6 January 2019, shows in WikiTree as the "second great-grandfather of Hugh" (this profile).

Currently, only one [Uncertain] is noted in the WikiTree trail from this Hugh to the profile attached as his great-great-grandfather (Gilbert Neville-1439), but I think more connections should be marked [Uncertain]. In the case of this Hugh's connection with the profiles of Neville-1434 and Rafin-1, I think they should be detached instead.
  1. Hugh is the son of Ralph (Neville-1434) de Neville [unknown confidence] suggest detaching profile (also detaching Rafin-1)
  2. Ralph is the son of Alan (Neville-1433) de Neville [unknown confidence] suggest change to [uncertain]
  3. Alan is the son of Geoffrey (Neville-802) de Neville [unknown confidence] (haven't looked at that connection closely)
  4. Geoffrey is the son of Gilbert (Neville-1439) de Neville [uncertain]

Unsupportable Birth Year: about 1182[22]

Hugh went on Crusade with Richard I in 1190,[3] which is not compatible with a birth year of "about 1182".
Possible Birth Locations:
  • Great Hallingbury, Essex, England[8][23]
  • Lincolnshire, England[22]

Unsourced mother:

Possibly ____ Rafin was the mother of the son of Henry named Hugh? Internet trees show a variety of possibilities, including Geni's entry for Ralph de Neville, which says he's of Lincolnshire, born 1154, married (2) Alice de Rafin, and with a son Ralph born 1178. Then text says Ralph born 1178 married ____ Rafin, daughter of Bertram, and was father of Hugh (died 1234). [The dates are impossible for this Hugh (died 1234, on Crusade in 1190).] Citation for the text in Geni is to (entry for Hugh de Neville).
The following entry for a mother of Hugh was moved from the Vitals section of this profile:

Additional (unsourced) daughter:

Joan De Neville, born about 1216 died after 1275. She married John de Cobham about 1232.[22]

Death: 1234, not 1222 (as explained above).


  1. From WikiTree's Category:Illustrious Men (accessed 5 January 2019).
  2. Magna Carta Essex Conntections: Hugh de Neville (blog post 16 Mary 2015; accessed 5 January 2019)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols., ed. Kimball G. Everingham (Salt Lake City, Utah: the author, 2013), Volume II, pages 413-414 DE LA MARE #9. Joan de Cornhill
  4. Note: Richardson (previous citation) identifies Hugh's father only as "Ralph de Neville", with no additional information and no mention of a wife or who Hugh's mother might have been. In WikiTree, the profile attached as of 6 January 2019 for Hugh's father Ralph is Neville-1434 (b 1154), who is attached as son of Alan de Neville and Juliana Canu, his wife. That profile for Ralph, Neville-1434, has a note: "Need to fix lines ... mix-up with branches." with a link to this G2G question. See more under Research Notes (above).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 David Crook (2016, May 26), "Neville, Hugh de (d. 1234), royal forester." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Ed. (online; subscription required) accessed 5 January 2019
  6. Dugdale, Baronage, i. 288 (Pollard, citation above)
  7. "fl." means flourished, which normally means a man in his prime (at the time, that could mean anything from 25 up)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Hugh de Neville, Sheriff of Essex & Hertfordshire, "Our Royal, Titled, Noble, and Commoner Ancestors & Cousins" (website, compiled by Mr. Marlyn Lewis, Portland, OR; accessed 5 January 2019)
    • Note: Although it appears that Lewis cites Richardson as the source of Hugh's birth "about 1170", Richardson does not include birth information for Hugh. However, it is a reasonable estimate, based on Hugh accompanying Richard I on Crusade in 1190 (see Research Notes, above).
  9. Three children of Hugh de Neville and Joan de Cornhill are listed in Richardson's Royal Ancestry (citation above). An unsourced daughter Joan is listed by Genea Journey (see Research Notes, above).
  10. Matthew Paris (Pollard, citation above)
  11. Coggeshall, pp 45, 103; Matthew Paris, iii. 71; Itinerarium Regis Ricardi, p. xxxviii (Pollard, citation above)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 Dictionary of National Biography, database online, entry for Hugh de Neville extracted from Albert Frederick Pollard, Internet Archive, (New York, Macmillan, Smith, Elder & Co., 1894), Vol XL, page 260-261; also posted online as a wikisource
  13. iv. 63 (Pollard, citation above)
  14. Coggeshall, p. 103 (Pollard, citation above)
  15. Rymer (Pollard, citation above)
  16. Madox, Exchequer, i. 650 (Pollard, citation above)
  17. Stubbs, Const. Hist. i. 581 (Pollard, citation above)
  18. Manning and Bray, i. 399 (Pollard, citation above)
  19. cf. his letter to his cousin Ralph in Shirley, Royal and Hist. Letters, i. 68 (Pollard, citation above)
  20. Matthew Paris, iii. 71; Dugdale, Monasticon, ii. 187; Farmer, Waltham Abbey, pp. 66–8 (Pollard, citation above)
  21. 21.0 21.1 Wikipedia: Hugh de Neville (accessed 5 January 2019)
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Genea Journey: Neville of Raby, Durham, England, Line B (accessed 5 January 2019; no apparent sources for Line B)
  23. Richardson (citation above) calls Hugh "of Great Hallingbury, Essex" but does not say he was born there, nor does he attribute a location for his father, identifying him only as "Ralph de Neville" (although close scrutiny of the source list Richardson gives may yield a clue).
See also:
  • Page 142: "Hugh (son and heir of Ralph Nevil, found of the priory of Hoton, in Com. Ebor.) gave one hundred marks for the heir of Richard de Cornhill, a rich citizen of London, whom he afterwards married"

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On 12 Sep 2019 at 15:33 GMT Michael Cayley wrote:

On 25 Jan 2019 at 03:36 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

Note: It was recently clarified that span ids are not allowed with sources. (See this G2G discussion.)

From Help:Recommended_Tags:

<span id="..." ... - used to create an anchor for a link - see Adding Links. This is not approved for styling purposes or with sources.

So.... this profile is now on my to-do list to re-do. If anyone wants to jump in and work on changing the citations to not use [[# and <span id, please do.


On 3 Jan 2019 at 17:18 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

update: finished edit.

I'll be editing this profile to correct dbe 864 "nearly empty ref tags" - - and also to make the genealogical info a bit more accessible (this reads more like a wikipedia article than a WikiTree profile).

On 23 Feb 2018 at 20:48 GMT Darlene (Athey) Athey-Hill wrote:

Jim Weber has her as daughter, but no sources attached. He closely follows the soc.genealogy.medieval posts. For now, I would leave her attached and mark the relationship uncertain unless someone has proof that she isn't a daughter. See:

On 23 Feb 2018 at 19:29 GMT Bree Ogle wrote:

Need a valid source for alleged dau. Joan.

On 6 Dec 2017 at 15:01 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

thanks Rick! If your edits resolved the source check/review "needs", go ahead and remove them from the template (and add back "|category=Illustrious Men" which will override the automatically added Category:Magna Carta Project Maintenance Profiles & remove it too.

Cheers, Liz

On 5 Dec 2017 at 16:04 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

Hi! Because this profile is not eligible for the Magna Carta project box, the Magna Carta Project cannot be its manager. Therefore, I dropped the project to just trusted list (profiles with the Magna Carta Project sticker need to be monitored by the project but cannot be managed by it).

Could you add the appropriate EuroAristo project account as manager?

Please contact me if this is not feasible & I'll work on getting a fourth Magna Carta project box for the Illustrious Men.

Thanks, Liz ~ Project:Magna Carta

Hugh is 27 degrees from Tanya Lowry, 20 degrees from Charles Tiffany and 11 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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