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Name: Hugh Despencer Determine relationship to...
Birth: 1 MAR 1260/1261 Winchester, Hampshire, England Father: Mother:
Christening:
Married: Isabelle De Beauchamp
Children Born Died
Hugh Despencer AFT 1286 Winchester, Hampshire, England 24 NOV 1326 Hereford, Herefordshire, England [Executed]
Aline Despencer ABT 1288 Winchester, Hampshire, England DECEASED
Phillip I Despencer ABT 1290 Stoke, Gloucestershire, England 24 SEP 1313
Isabelle Despencer ABT 1290 Winchester, Hampshire, England AFT 4 DEC 1334
Death: 27 OCT 1326 Bristol, Gloucestershire, England [hanged
Burial:
Remarks: Hugh Dispenser, senior, so called to distinguish him from his son, who bore the designation of Hugh Despencer, junior, both so well known in history as the favourites of the unfortunate Edward II. Of Hugh, senior, we shall first treat, although as father and son ran almost the same course at the same time and shared a similar fate, it is not easy to sever their deeds. Hugh Despencer paid a fine of 2,000 marks to the king, in the 15th of Edward I, for marrying without license Isabel, dau. of William de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, and widow of Patrick Chaworth; by this lady he had an only son, the too celebrated Hugh Dispenser, jun.

In the 22nd of the same reign, he was made governor of Odiham Castle, co. Southampton, and the same year had summons to attend the king at Portsmouth prepared with horse and arms for an expedition into Gascony. In two years afterwards he was at the battle of Dunbar in Scotland, where the English triumphed, and the next year he was one of the commissioners accredited to treat of peace between the English monarch and the kings of the Romans and of France. In the 26th and 28th years of Edward, he was again engaged in the wars of Scotland and was sent by his sovereign, with the Earl of Lincoln, to the papal court to complain of the Scots, and to entreat that his holiness would no longer favour them as they had abused his confidence by falsehoods. To the very close of King Edward I's reign, his lordship seems to have enjoyed the favour of that great prince, and had summons to parliament from him from 23 June, 1295, to 14 March, 13222, but it was after the accession of Edward's unhappy son, the second of that name, that the Spencers attained that extraordinary eminence from which, with their feeble-minded master, they were eventually hurled into the gulf of irretrievable ruin.

In the first years of Edward II's reign, we find the father and son still engaged in the Scottish wars. In the 14th year, the king hearing of great animosities between the younger Spencer and Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford and Essex, and learning that they were collecting their followers in order to come to open combat, interfered and strictly commanded Lord Hereford to forebear. About the same time a dispute arising between the Earl of Hereford and John de Mowbray regarding some lands in Wales, young Spencer seized possession of the estate and kept it from both the litigants. This conduct and similar proceedings on the part of the elder Spencer exciting the indignation of the barons, they formed a league against the favourites and, placing the king's cousin, Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster, at their head, they marched with banners flying from Sherburne to St. Alban's, whence they despatched the bishops of Salisbury, Hereford, and Chichester to the king with a demand that they Spencers should be banish, to which mission the king, however, giving an imperious reply in the negative, the irritated nobles continued their route to London when Edward, at the instance of the queen, acquiesced, whereupon the barons summoned a parliament in which the Spencers were banished from England and the sentence was proclaimed in Westminster Hall. To this decision, Hugh the elder submitted and retired, but Hugh the younger lurked in divers places, sometimes on land, and sometimes at sea, and was fortunate enough to capture, during his exile, two vessels near Sandwich, laden with merchandise to the value of £40,000, after which, being recalled by the king, an army was raise which encountered and defeated the baronial forces at Boroughbridge, in Yorkshire. In this action, wherein numbers were slain, the Earl of Lancaster was taken prisoner, was carried to his own castle at Pontefract, and there, after a summary trial (the elder Spencer being one of his judges), beheaded.

The Spencers now became more powerful than ever and the elder was created Earl of Winchester, the king loading him with grants of forfeited estates. He was about the same time constituted warden of the king's forests on the south of Trent. Young Spencer obtained, like his father, immense grants from the lands forfeited after the battle of Boroughbridge, but not satisfied with those, and they were incredibly numerous, he extorted by force whatsoever he please. Amongst other acts of lawless oppression, it is related that he seized upon the person of Elizabeth Comyn, a great heiress, the wife of Richard Talbot, in her house at Kennington, in Surrey, and detained her for twelve months in prison until her compelled her to assign to him the manor of Painswike, in Gloucestershire, and the castle and manor of Goderich, in the marches of Wales, but this ill-obtained and ill-exercised power was not formed for permanent endurance and a brief space only was necessary to bring to to a termination.

The queen and the young prince, who had fled to France and had been proclaimed traitors through the influence of the Spencers, ascertaining the feelings of the people, ventured to return and landed at Harwich with the noblemen and persons of eminence who had been exiled after the defeat at Boroughbridge, raised the royal standard and soon found themselves at the head of a considerable force, when, marching upon Bristol where the king and his favourites then were, they were received in that city with acclamation, and the elder Spencer being seized (although in his ninetieth year), was brought in chains before the prince and the barons, and received judgment of death, which was accordingly executed by hanging the culprit upon a gallows in the sight of the king and of his son upon St. Dennis's day, in October, 1326. It is said by some writers that the body was then cut to pieces and given to the dogs. Young Spencer, with the king, effected his escape, but they were both soon afterwards taken and delivered to the queen, when the unfortunate monarch was consigned to Berkeley Castle where he was basely murdered in 1327. Hugh Spencer, the younger, it appears, was impeached before parliament and received sentence "to be drawn upon a hurdle with trumps and trumpets throughout all the city of Hereford," and there to be hanged and quartered, which sentence was executed on a gallows 50 feet high, upon St. Andrew's eve anno 1326 (20 Edward II), Thus terminated the career of two of the most celebrated royal favourites in the annals of England. The younger Hugh, as well as his father, was a peer of the realm, having been summoned to parliament as a baron from 29 July, 1314, to 10 October, 1325, but the Baronies of Spencer and the Earldom of Winchester expired under the attainders of the father and son. [Sir Bernard Burke, Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages, Burke's Peerage, Ltd., London, 1883, p. 166, Despencer, Earl of Winchester][JohnFaye (8 Jun 05).FTW]

Hugh Dispenser, senior, so called to distinguish him from his son, who bore the designation of Hugh Despencer, junior, both so well known in history as the favourites of the unfortunate Edward II. Of Hugh, senior, we shall first treat, although as father and son ran almost the same course at the same time and shared a similar fate, it is not easy to sever their deeds. Hugh Despencer paid a fine of 2,000 marks to the king, in the 15th of Edward I, for marrying without license Isabel, dau. of William de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, and widow of Patrick Chaworth; by this lady he had an only son, the too celebrated Hugh Dispenser, jun.

In the 22nd of the same reign, he was made governor of Odiham Castle, co. Southampton, and the same year had summons to attend the king at Portsmouth prepared with horse and arms for an expedition into Gascony. In two years afterwards he was at the battle of Dunbar in Scotland, where the English triumphed, and the next year he was one of the commissioners accredited to treat of peace between the English monarch and the kings of the Romans and of France. In the 26th and 28th years of Edward, he was again engaged in the wars of Scotland and was sent by his sovereign, with the Earl of Lincoln, to the papal court to complain of the Scots, and to entreat that his holiness would no longer favour them as they had abused his confidence by falsehoods. To the very close of King Edward I's reign, his lordship seems to have enjoyed the favour of that great prince, and had summons to parliament from him from 23 June, 1295, to 14 March, 13222, but it was after the accession of Edward's unhappy son, the second of that name, that the Spencers attained that extraordinary eminence from which, with their feeble-minded master, they were eventually hurled into the gulf of irretrievable ruin.

In the first years of Edward II's reign, we find the father and son still engaged in the Scottish wars. In the 14th year, the king hearing of great animosities between the younger Spencer and Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford and Essex, and learning that they were collecting their followers in order to come to open combat, interfered and strictly commanded Lord Hereford to forebear. About the same time a dispute arising between the Earl of Hereford and John de Mowbray regarding some lands in Wales, young Spencer seized possession of the estate and kept it from both the litigants. This conduct and similar proceedings on the part of the elder Spencer exciting the indignation of the barons, they formed a league against the favourites and, placing the king's cousin, Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster, at their head, they marched with banners flying from Sherburne to St. Alban's, whence they despatched the bishops of Salisbury, Hereford, and Chichester to the king with a demand that they Spencers should be banish, to which mission the king, however, giving an imperious reply in the negative, the irritated nobles continued their route to London when Edward, at the instance of the queen, acquiesced, whereupon the barons summoned a parliament in which the Spencers were banished from England and the sentence was proclaimed in Westminster Hall. To this decision, Hugh the elder submitted and retired, but Hugh the younger lurked in divers places, sometimes on land, and sometimes at sea, and was fortunate enough to capture, during his exile, two vessels near Sandwich, laden with merchandise to the value of £40,000, after which, being recalled by the king, an army was raise which encountered and defeated the baronial forces at Boroughbridge, in Yorkshire. In this action, wherein numbers were slain, the Earl of Lancaster was taken prisoner, was carried to his own castle at Pontefract, and there, after a summary trial (the elder Spencer being one of his judges), beheaded.

The Spencers now became more powerful than ever and the elder was created Earl of Winchester, the king loading him with grants of forfeited estates. He was about the same time constituted warden of the king's forests on the south of Trent. Young Spencer obtained, like his father, immense grants from the lands forfeited after the battle of Boroughbridge, but not satisfied with those, and they were incredibly numerous, he extorted by force whatsoever he please. Amongst other acts of lawless oppression, it is related that he seized upon the person of Elizabeth Comyn, a great heiress, the wife of Richard Talbot, in her house at Kennington, in Surrey, and detained her for twelve months in prison until her compelled her to assign to him the manor of Painswike, in Gloucestershire, and the castle and manor of Goderich, in the marches of Wales, but this ill-obtained and ill-exercised power was not formed for permanent endurance and a brief space only was necessary to bring to to a termination.

The queen and the young prince, who had fled to France and had been proclaimed traitors through the influence of the Spencers, ascertaining the feelings of the people, ventured to return and landed at Harwich with the noblemen and persons of eminence who had been exiled after the defeat at Boroughbridge, raised the royal standard and soon found themselves at the head of a considerable force, when, marching upon Bristol where the king and his favourites then were, they were received in that city with acclamation, and the elder Spencer being seized (although in his ninetieth year), was brought in chains before the prince and the barons, and received judgment of death, which was accordingly executed by hanging the culprit upon a gallows in the sight of the king and of his son upon St. Dennis's day, in October, 1326. It is said by some writers that the body was then cut to pieces and given to the dogs. Young Spencer, with the king, effected his escape, but they were both soon afterwards taken and delivered to the queen, when the unfortunate monarch was consigned to Berkeley Castle where he was basely murdered in 1327. Hugh Spencer, the younger, it appears, was impeached before parliament and received sentence "to be drawn upon a hurdle with trumps and trumpets throughout all the city of Hereford," and there to be hanged and quartered, which sentence was executed on a gallows 50 feet high, upon St. Andrew's eve anno 1326 (20 Edward II), Thus terminated the career of two of the most celebrated royal favourites in the annals of England. The younger Hugh, as well as his father, was a peer of the realm, having been summoned to parliament as a baron from 29 July, 1314, to 10 October, 1325, but the Baronies of Spencer and the Earldom of Winchester expired under the attainders of the father and son. [Sir Bernard Burke, Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages, Burke's Peerage, Ltd., London, 1883, p. 166, Despencer, Earl of Winchester]


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