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le Despenser, 3rd Lord le Despenser1 Hugh "the younger"

Male 1290 - 1326  (36 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name le Despenser, Hugh "the younger" 
    Title 3rd Lord le Despenser1 
    Born 1290  Barton, Gloucester, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 24 Nov 1326  Herford, Herfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Tewkesbury Abbey, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I55071  Bob Juch's Kin
    Last Modified 8 Jan 2018 

    Father le Despenser, Hugh,   b. 1 Mar 1261, Louchborough, Leicestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Oct 1326, Bristol, Gloucester, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother de Beauchamp, Isabel,   b. Abt 1263, Warwick, Warwickshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 May 1306, Elmley Castle, Worcestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 43 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Family ID F18431  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family de Clare, Eleanor,   b. 16 Sep 1292, Caerphilly Castle, Caerphilly, Glamorganshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Jun 1337, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 44 years) 
    Married 14 Jun 1306  Westminster Palace, London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. le Despenser, Isabel,   b. 1312,   d. 1356  (Age 44 years)  [natural]
     2. le Despenser, Edward,   b. Bef 1326, Buckland, Buckinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Sep 1342, Peslethorpe, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 16 years)  [natural]
     3. le Despenser, Hugh,   b. 1308,   d. 8 Feb 1349  (Age 41 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 8 Jan 2018 
    Family ID F18430  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1290 - Barton, Gloucester, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 14 Jun 1306 - Westminster Palace, London, Middlesex, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 24 Nov 1326 - Herford, Herfordshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Tewkesbury Abbey, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Hugh (1286 – November 26, 1326) was sometimes referred to as "the younger Despenser". He was the son and heir of Hugh le Despenser, Earl of Winchester, by Isabel Beauchamp, daughter of William de Beauchamp, 9th Earl of Warwick. He was knight of Hanley Castle, Worcestershire, 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. He was also Keeper of the castles, manor, and lands of Brecknock, Hay, cantref Selyf, etc., co. Brecon, and Huntington, Herefordshire. He was given Wallingford Castle although this had previously been given to Queen Isabella for life. In May 1306 Hugh was knighted, and that summer he married Eleanor de Clare, a granddaughter of King Edward I of England. Her grandfather owed Hugh's father vast sums of money, and the marriage was intended as a payment of these debts. When Eleanor's brother was killed at the Battle of Bannockburn, she unexpectedly became one of the three co-heiresses to the rich Gloucester earldom, and in her right Hugh inherited Glamorgan and other properties. In just a few short years Hugh went from a landless knight to one of the wealthiest magnates in the kingdom. Eleanor was also the niece of the new king, Edward II of England, and this connection brought Hugh closer to the English royal court. He joined the baronial opposition to Piers Gaveston, the king's favorite, and Hugh's brother-in-law, as Gaveston was married to Eleanor's sister. Eager for power and wealth, Hugh seized Tonbridge Castle in 1315. The next year he murdered Llywelyn Bren, a Welsh hostage in his custody. Hugh Despenser became royal chamberlain in 1318. As a royal courtier, Hugh manoeuvred into the affections of King Edward, displacing the previous favorite, Roger d'Amory. By 1320 his tyranny was running free. Hugh seized the Welsh lands of his wife's inheritance, ignoring the claims of his two brothers-in-law. He forced Alice de Lacy, Countess of Lincoln, to give up her lands, cheated his sister-in-law Elizabeth de Clare out of Gower and Usk, and allegedly had Lady Baret's arms and legs broken until she went insane. He also supposedly vowed to be revenged on Roger Mortimer because Mortimer's grandfather had murdered Hugh's grandfather, and once stated (though probably in jest) that he regretted he could not control the wind. By 1321 he had earned many enemies in every strata of society, from Queen Isabella to the barons to the common people. There was even a bizarre plot to kill Hugh by sticking pins in a wax likeness of him. Finally the barons prevailed upon King Edward and forced Hugh and his father into exile in 1321. His father fled to Bordeaux, and Hugh became a pirate in the English channel, "a sea monster, lying in wait for merchants as they crossed his path". The pair returned the next year and King Edward quickly reinstated Hugh as royal favorite. His time in exile had done nothing to quell his greed, his rashness, or his ruthlessness. While Queen Isabella was in France to negotiate between her husband and the French king, she formed a liaison with Roger Mortimer and began planning an invasion. Hugh supposedly tried to bribe French courtiers to assassinate Queen Isabella. When Mortimer and the queen invaded England in October 1326, King Edward was deposed, Hugh's father was executed, and Hugh himself was captured. Hugh tried to starve himself before his trial, but face trial he did on November 24, 1326, in Hereford. He was judged a traitor and a thief, and sentenced to public execution by hanging, drawing and quartering. Immediately, he was dragged behind four horses to his place of execution, where a great fire was lit. He was hanged from a gallows fifty feet high, but cut down before he could choke to death and tied to a ladder, in full view of the crowd. A man climbed up beside him, and sliced off his penis and testicles which were then burnt before him, still alive and conscious. Subsequently, the executioner plunged his knife into his abdomen, and cut out his entrails and heart, which were likewise burnt before the delighted crowd. Finally, he was beheaded, and his body cut into four pieces, and his head was mounted on the gates of London. No book-length biographical study of Hugh Despenser exists, although The Tyranny and Fall of Edward II: 1321-1326 by historian Natalie Fryde is a study of Edward II's reign during the years that the Despensers' power was at its peak. Fryde pays particular attention to the subject of the Despensers' ill-gotten landholdings. The numerous accusations against the younger Despenser at the time of his execution have never been the subject of close critical scrutiny, although historian Roy Martin Haines called them "ingenuous" and noted their propagandistic nature. Despite the crucial and disastrous role he played in the reign of Edward II, Despenser is almost a minor character in Christopher Marlowe's play Edward II, where as "Spencer" he is little more than a substitute for the dead Piers Gaveston. Trivia In 2006, he was selected by the BBC History Magazine as the 14th century's worst Briton. (BBC) In 2006, he was selected by the BBC History Magazine as the 8th worst Briton in the last 1000 years. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia