Hubert de Burgh, 1st Earl of Kent
Through loyal service he rose from knighthood to justiciar and a rich baron under King Johann Ohneland . During the minority and youth of Henry III. he ruled England respecting the restrictions imposed by the Magna Carta on the government. Older historians described him as an English official who opposed the foreign, from the Poitouformer favorites of King Johann Ohneland, but also against foreign, Italian clergy. However, this nationalist view does not correspond to de Burgh's policies and is considered outdated. However, through his wealth, which he acquired through his office, he made numerous enemies among the other barons. Mainly due to his military failure, he lost the king's favor and was overthrown in 1232. During his tenure it became clear that the responsibility that the Justiciar had as head of administration and financial administration, but also as the highest military commander and as the highest judge, overwhelmed the officials.
Hubert de Burgh was the last justiciar to exercise the office with these great powers. Even under de Burgh, officials who specialized in the individual subject areas took over part of the duties of the justiciar. After the rapid failure of Stephen of Seagrave , de Burgh's successor as Justiciar, the king did not hold the office again.
Hubert de Burgh came from a knightly family about which little is known. The family owned estates in Burgh, near Aylesham , Norfolk , but de Burgh's exact origins are unknown. Incorrectly, he is occasionally considered the son of a brother of William Fitz Adhelm , a steward of King Henry II. His father was possibly a Walter who received a fiefdom in Burgh around 1179 for a fee of 40 marks , but this origin is also doubtful. His mother's name was Alice and she was buried in Oulton Church near Walsingham . Hubert made a donation to this church in 1230 for the salvation of his mother's soul. His older brother was William de Burgh , who later became Lord of Connacht in Ireland. He also had two younger brothers, Geoffrey de Burgh , who later became Bishop of Ely, and Thomas de Burgh, who served as commandant of Norwich Castle from 1215 to 1216 . Allegedly Hubert was born in 1175, but since his older brother William had been knighted before 1185, Hubert was probably born around 1170. In 1232 he gave the estates of Burgh at South Erpingham , Beeston at North Erpingham and Newton at South Greenloe in Norfolk and Sotherton in Suffolk as his inheritance. Originally he held these properties as a fiefdom of the Norman Count of Perche .
Ascent to 1215
Courtier under Johann Ohneland
Hubert came to the royal court, possibly through the neighboring Warenne magnate family , into which he later married, or through his older brother William, who was in the service of Johann Ohneland, the youngest son of King Henry II. According to the chronicler Roger von Wendover , he entered the service of King Richard the Lionheart before 1198 under Archbishop Hubert Walter , but this claim cannot be substantiated. On February 8, 1198 de Burgh testified for Johann Ohneland, who was then Count of Mortain, a document in Tinchebrai in Normandy . In a document dated June 12, 1198, he is referred to as the Chamberlain of Johann Ohneland's household. When he became King of England in 1199, de Burgh was promoted to Chamberlain of the Royal Household .
In the service of the king, de Burgh now rose further. At the end of April 1200, de Burgh negotiated with William de Redvers, 5th Earl of Devon , to marry his youngest daughter, Joan. As dowries, de Burgh hoped the Isle of Wight and the Christchurch estate in Hampshire. On April 28, 1200, de Burgh and the Earl made an agreement at Portchester , according to which de Burgh would receive £ 60 and the service of ten knights if the Earl's wife would bear a son. In fact, she gave birth to a son a little later, and the marriage contract was apparently terminated. In December 1200 the king appointed him administrator of the important castles of Dover and Windsor . In early 1201 de Burgh was sheriff of Dorset and Somerset , and in 1202 he served as sheriff of Berkshire and Cornwall . As sheriff of Somerset, he received the baronies of Beauchamp and Dunster . Before the king set out for France in June 1201, he sent William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke and Roger de Lacy , Constable of Chester with 200 knights ahead. In place of Marshal and Lacy, Johann now appointed de Burgh to defend the Welsh Marches . He handed him the strategically important Three Castles Grosmont , Skenfrith and White Castle in Southeast Wales as well as 100 men-at-arms . In addition he gave him the adjoining estate of Cawston and other estates in Creake in Norfolk as a fief . In November 1201 de Burgh received the possessions from Walter of Windsor and in April 1202 the Cinque Ports were subordinate to him. De Burgh had risen to become a powerful courtier when the king sent him as ambassador to Portugal in 1202 to negotiate a marriage between John and a daughter of the Portuguese king Sancho I. While the legation was still negotiating in Portugal, Johann suddenly married Isabella of Angoulême , so that they had to return to England without having achieved anything.
Battle and Captivity in the Franco-English War
De Burgh's career in England was interrupted when the king summoned him to France in October 1202 after the beginning of the renewed war with France (see Franco-English War from 1202 to 1214 ) and appointed him commander of the castle of Falaise in Normandy. According to the chronicler Radulph von Coggeshall , de Burgh in Falaise refused to blind and castrate Arthur of Brittany , the king's nephew, because he made an inheritance claim on John's possessions. If this really happened, de Burgh's refusal to carry out the royal ordinance did not harm him. At the beginning of 1203, the King appointed de Burgh, together with Philip of Oldcoates, to command the strategically important castle Chinon in Touraine .
Presumably de Burgh served as the king's envoy in 1204 to convey a message to his opponent, the French king Philip II . In that year King Philip conquered Normandy, Touraine and most of the French possessions from John Ohneland. De Burgh continued to defend the isolated quinone until, in the summer of 1205 , he made a sortie with the crew in a hopeless situation . After a fierce battle, he was wounded and taken prisoner, where he remained for over two years. During this time the king took over the administration of his English fiefdoms, while he gave his offices to other courtiers. De Burgh's holdings in Norfolk and Suffolk fell to Gilbert of Stanfort , while the Three Castles in southeast Wales fell to William III de Briouze . With the support of the king, who paid 300 marks to the French knight Guillaume de Chayv in February 1207 and a further £ 100 directly to dei Burgh, he was able to raise the ransom and was released at the end of 1207.
Rise to the position of influential baron and courtier
On his return to England in 1208 de Burgh paid the small sum of £ 100 to the king, which settled his outstanding fees as sheriff of Somerset and Dorset. In addition he received the estate from Shepperton in Middlesex . On May 28, 1208 he received Lafford Castle and the town of Lafford in Huntingdonshire . In 1209 he married Beatrice de Warenne, the widow of Doun Bardolf . She was a relative of the Earl of Surrey and was the only surviving child of William de Warenne († 1208/09) heiress of Wormegay , who bordered his estates in Norfolk. Through this marriage de Burgh also became the guardian of William Bardolf , their son from their first marriage, and administrator of his estates at Stowe and North Runcton in Norfolk and Finborough in Suffolk . In the next few years de Burgh succeeded in rebuilding an extensive property in England. He bought two Knight's Fees from his inherited estates, Beeston and Runton, and received fiefs from King Corfe Mullen in Dorset , and other fiefdoms in Dorset and Somerset . In 1213 he owned more than 50 Knight's fees, mainly in East Anglia , Dorset and Somerset, but also in Buckinghamshire , Hampshire , Surrey and Wiltshire .
Another service in France
In 1212 de Burgh became deputy Seneschal of Poitou under Ivo de Jallia , one of the remaining possessions of Johann Ohneland in south-west France. When Ivo de Jallia was called to England by the king in 1213, de Burgh took over the office of Seneschal together with Philip d'Aubigny and Geoffrey de Neville . As the Seneschal of Poitou, de Burgh had his main base in Niort . In 1214 he supported the unsuccessful campaign of the king , through which he wanted to recapture his possessions, which had been lost in 1204. After the defeat of Bouvines , de Burgh testified with the armistice with the French king, through which John was able to keep his possessions south of the Loire , but finally lost the areas north of the river.
Supporter of the king against the nobility opposition
In late April or early May 1215, de Burgh returned to England, where the king was in conflict with a powerful aristocratic opposition. De Burgh continued to loyally support the king and was supposed to secure the City of London for him. This joined the rebellious barons in May, which contributed significantly to the fact that the king had to agree to the demands of the barons in the Magna Carta . De Burgh, who had gathered troops at Rochester for the king , is named in the Magna Carta as one of the king's eight secular counselors who advised the king to accept the demands of the barons. Before June 25, 1215, he replaced Peter des Roches as the king's justiciar . According to the chronicler Matthew Paris , the King has appointed de Burgh in the presence of Archbishop Stephen Langton , the Earls of Warenne and Derby and in front of numerous other barons as Justiciar. Along with this office he was sheriff of Kent and Surrey , with which he was also in command of Canterbury and Dover Castle .
Justiciar of England
Military during the First Barons' War
As a legal advisor, de Burgh was also chief judge and treasurer, two areas for which he had no training and little experience. First of all, his military experience was in great demand, because the conflict between the king and the aristocratic opposition escalated into the First War of the Barons . The rebelling barons offered the crown to the French Prince Louis , who landed in Kent in May 1216. Supported by the rebellious barons, the French conquered large parts of England, including the sparsely occupied Norwich Castle, which was defended by de Burgh's brother Thomas . Around July 22, the French began the siege of Dover Castle, which was defended by de Burgh. De Burgh had previously provided this strategically important castle with a strong crew and extensive supplies, which is why it withstood the long siege. After the death of King Johann on October 19, 1216, Prince Ludwig first lifted the siege. Since de Burgh was locked in Dover Castle, he was not named as one of John's executors. Also at the provisional coronation of Johann's eldest son Heinrich III. on October 28 in Gloucester he did not take part. A regency council led by William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke and the papal legate Guala took over the government for the underage king . After de Burgh was able to leave Dover, he took part in the council meeting in Bristol on November 11 , at which William Marshal again recognized the Magna Carta. In the deed, de Burgh was confirmed as legal advisor, but in view of the strong position of the regents and the collapse of the royal judicial and financial administration caused by the war, this office was of little importance. Before February 1217, de Burgh returned to Dover, which was again besieged by the French from April. After the defeat of an army of the French and the rebels in the Battle of Lincoln on May 20, Prince Ludwig lifted the siege and withdrew to London, where he awaited reinforcements from France. A French fleet with these reinforcements was decisively defeated by an English fleet on August 24, 1217 at the Battle of Sandwich . Presumably de Burgh was in command of the English fleet, as Wendover and Matthew Paris claim, but this is not definitively certain. Richard FitzRoy and Philip d'Aubigny contributed decisively to the English victory , while de Burgh imprisoned the captured French in Dover Castle after the battle. The English victory finally decided the war of the barons in favor of the supporters of Henry III. In the Peace of Lambeth in September 1217, Prince Ludwig renounced his claim to the English throne.
Less important under the regent William Marshal
After the end of the Civil War, the Regency Council, especially William Marshal and the new papal legate Pandulf , tried to restore royal rule. While Peter des Roches remained the young king's tutor, de Burgh continued to have little importance in government. His main task was to implement the orders and decisions of the government, while he had a weak political position due to his relatively small holdings. When he was justiciar in 1215, King John had given him the administration of the Honor of Peverel and shortly thereafter also the Honor of Rayleigh in Essex and the Honor of Haughley in Suffolk. A few weeks later he was given the rule of Hoo in Kent. After the death of King John, de Burgh married Isabel , the widow of Geoffrey FitzGeoffrey de Mandeville, 2nd Earl of Essex and divorced first wife of King John in 1217 . On August 13, 1217, the sheriffs of nine counties were asked by the Regency Council to hand over the estates of Isabel to de Burgh. However, Isabella died a few days after the wedding ceremony on October 14, 1217. Her nephew Gilbert de Clare became her heir , so that de Burgh received nothing. He had been able to extort the Banstead estate in Surrey as a ransom from the rebel William de Mowbray during the War of the Barons , but he knew that he was relatively powerless against the large, land-owning magnates. At the beginning of 1219 he was able to win back the Three Castles in south-east Wales through a lawsuit against Reginald de Briouze . Briouze did not hand this over until de Burgh appeared with an army in front of the castles.
Promotion to leader of the government
In the spring of 1219 the aged William Marshal died. Legate Pandulf officially took over the leadership of the Regency Council until it left England in 1221. But soon after Marshal's death, power struggles began among the magnates for supremacy in the Regency Council. First, Peter de Maulay , a former confidante of King John from France, was ousted. Christmas 1221 there was a revolt of the Earl of Salisbury , which was supported by de Burgh, but remained without direct consequences. In August 1222 there was an uprising by citizens of the City of London, which was put down by de Burgh and Falkes de Bréauté . They left Constantine Fitzalulf , the leader of the uprising, and two of his followers after a short process hanging. To do this, they mutilated a number of prisoners who were involved in the uprising. There were also complaints elsewhere that de Burgh was sometimes harsh and cruel in his office. In September 1223 de Burgh undertook a brief campaign with the young king in Wales , where they founded Montgomery Castle as the new focus of royal power in Mid Wales. In December 1223 the king was formally declared of legal age, although he did not take over the government alone. The government now required numerous magnates to surrender their previously administered royal castles. De Burgh, too, handed over Canterbury, Dover, Rochester , Norwich, Orford and Hereford Castle to the government representatives on December 30th , to which he resigned his offices as sheriff. However, the power of the royal government was strengthened by these castles. The attempt by Peter des Roches, the king's tutor to continue to exercise control over the young king, was thwarted by the other members of the Regency Council, whereupon des Roches went on a pilgrimage. As justiciar, de Burgh was now leader of the government. He was mainly supported by Archbishop Stephen Langton of Canterbury. On the other hand, his power was restricted by the regulation that no offices and fiefs were allowed to be granted indefinitely until the king came of age.
After des Roches lost his position in government, Falkes de Bréauté, a former favorite of King John, had become the last major adversary of de Burgh. Numerous complaints against the Justiciar were due to Falkes de Bréauté. Numerous complaints were brought before royal judges against Falkes himself in the early summer of 1224 in Bedfordshire. After Falkes de Bréauté had not appeared at any hearing and did not apologize, he was ostracized on June 17, 1224. When Falke's brother William, the commandant of Bedford Castle , captured a royal judge, the royal council decided to siege the castle. De Burgh reached the siege forces on June 20 and immediately took energetic measures to capture the castle. This fell after eight weeks of intense fighting. Probably on the recommendation of de Burgh, the king hanged almost the entire surviving crew. Falkes de Bréauté, who was not in the castle, then had to go into exile. Abroad, especially to the Pope, he accused de Burgh and Archbishop Stephen Langton of persistently hostile feelings towards him. De Burgh, however, had strengthened the government's power with the ruthless crackdown on the Falkes de Bréauté rebellion. As justiciar he depended on the goodwill of the king, but no longer had any real political rivals.
Ascent to the Earl of Kent
By the favor of the king, de Burgh had become administrator of the lands of the Earl of Arundel in 1224 and of the lands of the Earl of Norfolk in 1226 , until their heirs came of age. In 1227 the King made de Burgh Earl of Kent , this title should be hereditary for male descendants from his marriage to Margaret of Scotland . As Earl, he received £ 50 a year from Kent’s tax revenue, and the King had granted him £ 300 a year in 1222 for his expenses as Justiciar. He also received £ 1000 as the administrator of Dover Castle. In late 1229, de Burgh received the honors from Knaresborough in Yorkshire and Eye in Suffolk. With that, de Burgh had amassed an extensive but widely dispersed estate that he had managed by his steward Lawrence of St Albans . In 1228, the king appointed de Burgh for life justiciar and handed over to him the administration of the castles of Dover, Canterbury and Rochester in south-east England and of Montgomery, Cardigan and Carmarthen in Wales. Along with the Three Castles in southeast Wales, de Burgh had now also become a powerful Welsh Marcher Lord .
Failures as a military, judge, and treasurer
The failed campaigns of 1228 and 1231 against Wales as well as the unsuccessful French campaign of the young king in 1230 , however, weakened de Burgh's military standing, and even more, they destroyed the young king's confidence in his almighty justiciar. According to the report by Roger von Wendover, the king is said to have publicly angry with the Justiciar as early as 1229, when his planned campaign in France had to be canceled due to insufficient ships for the passage of the troops. He is said to have drawn his sword against de Burgh in Portsmouth and publicly insulted him as an old traitor.
De Burgh was a capable military man and administrator, but compared to his predecessors, he neglected the judiciary. This task, which was also financially profitable, ultimately continued in the name of the king and not in the name of the justiciar. This led to the fact that royal judges like Martin of Pattishall († 1229) and Stephen of Seagrave gained importance. In addition, de Burgh never assumed the office of viceroy during the king's absence abroad, since he accompanied him the only time the king left the country in 1230. As head of the financial administration, de Burgh remained rather passive. For example, when numerous new sherrifs were appointed in 1224, he did not take the opportunity to reform their payment obligations to the king. These had already been partially increased in practice, but de Burgh reversed this practice and reverted to the old rule, according to which the incumbents were not liable for the debts from their office. Around this time he also dismissed Peter de Rivallis , who as Chamberlain of the king's wardrobe had been responsible for the expenditure of the royal household.
The fall of de Burgh
Rivalry with Peter des Roches
The dismissal of Rivallis, who was a nephew of Peter des Roches, undoubtedly put a strain on the relationship between the Justiciar and the king's former tutor. How exactly the personal relationship between Hubert de Burgh and Peter des Roches was can no longer be traced with certainty today. In any case, the Englishman de Burgh and the des Roches, who came from south-west France, had different ways of working and office views, especially with regard to financial management. When at the beginning of the 1230s the aging Justiciar was no longer militarily successful and also did not meet the king's expectations as a lawyer and financial administrator, the king turned to the group around Peter des Roches and Peter de Rivallis. Even among the long-established English barons, the immense accumulation of property, which de Burgh, as justiciar, achieved through the favor of the young king, had led to envy and resentment. Possibly they had reservations about de Burgh, since as a younger son originally from the knighthood he was a climber, a homo novus , as the chroniclers Wendover and Paris report.
Fall after returning from des Roches
Peter des Roches had returned to England from a crusade to Palestine in early August 1231. As a crusader hero, he quickly won the favor of the king, who in September 1231 handed over the office of treasurer of the chamber to Peter de Rivallis. After spending Christmas as a guest of de Burgh for years, the king celebrated Christmas at des Roches in 1231. This led to a power struggle between de Burgh and des Roches for the king's favor. When there were riots in England against clergymen from Italy in 1232, responsibility was given to the justiciar. Peter de Rivallis received further offices at court and was sheriff of 21 counties. In the meantime, de Burgh won back the favor of the king, who appointed him justiciar of Ireland for life on June 15 . A little later, however, Rivallis was appointed keeper of the seal . At the beginning of July the king was again at de Burgh's guest when he visited the Bromholm Priory . There the king swore that he and his successors would honor all the privileges he had granted de Burgh and his wife Margarete. However, on July 29th, the king resigned from all his offices. He had to hand all castles back to the king and was supposed to be accountable for all money he had received as justiciar. His successor as Justiciar was Stephen of Seagrave, but the real power now wielded the Treasurer Peter de Rivallis and especially Peter des Roches, who had the favor of the king.
Exile and church asylum
On August 25, 1232, the king ordered that de Burgh should leave England within 15 days. De Burgh then fled to the church asylum in the chapel of his Boisars estate near Brentford . On September 26, the Essex Sheriff was ordered not to allow clergymen, not even Bishop Roger Niger of London, to Brentford to starve de Burgh. On October 7th and 16th, the King ordered that de Burgh should be brought to the Tower of London as soon as he left the chapel. De Burgh's wife had fled to Bury St Edmunds Abbey . She too should be brought to the tower as soon as she left the abbey. Allegedly, de Burgh had already been forcibly dragged out of the chapel, but was released by order of Bishop Roger Niger. On October 23, de Burgh was ordered to answer before the king, otherwise he would be ostracized. De Burgh surrendered, gave the king his property, which had been kept with the Knights Templar in London, and asked the king for mercy. Thereupon he got back his possessions on November 10th, which he had acquired by inheritance or by purchase. His wife and daughter were assured safe conduct on November 13th and they were allowed to retire to one of the de Burgh estates. De Burgh's seal, however, was publicly broken. He himself was taken to Devizes Castle , where the Earls of Cornwall , Surrey , Pembroke and Lincoln were in charge of him. Some of de Burgh's goods were turned over to official Robert Passelewe so that he could compensate some of the injured Italian clergy.
Supporting the Rebellion by Richard Marshal, 3rd Earl of Pembroke
At the end of September 1233, de Burgh was able to escape from his prison in Devizes Castle with the help of a servant and fled again into sanctuary in the church of St John the Baptist in front of the castle. From there the guards are said to have forcibly dragged him out, but after complaints from Bishop Robert of Bingham of Salisbury he was allowed to return to the church. The church was now surrounded by guards, but news of the former justiciar's sanctuary reached Richard Marshal, 3rd Earl of Pembroke. Originally one of the four earls who were supposed to guard de Burgh, he has now become the leader of a rebellion against the tyrannical rule of Peter des Roches. On October 29, 1233, a force of rebels under Richard Siward surprisingly invaded Devizes, routed the guards and freed de Burgh. De Burgh was brought to Chepstow Castle . In the next few weeks he was part of the rebel army, including in November 1233 at Grosmont Castle, where the king and his army were put to flight. When the Earl of Pembroke set out for Ireland in the spring of 1234, de Burgh took command of Chepstow Castle.
Pardon and later life
Already in October 1233 Pope Gregory IX. used by the king in favor of de Burgh. On February 14, 1234, King de Burgh's wife Margaret gave all her husband's inherited goods, including those that had actually been given to Passelewe. The rebellion of the Earl of Pembroke, who died in Ireland in April 1234, led to the overthrow of the government of Peter des Roches and Peter de Rivallis. On May 25, the king pardoned both de Burgh and Gilbert Marshal, the heirs of Pembroke. However, De Burgh did not get back his possessions, which he had held as a fief. In 1236 it became known that de Burgh's wife Margaret had secretly married their daughter Megotta to the young Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Gloucester . This marriage took place without the king's permission. Although it had probably taken place without the knowledge of de Burgh himself, he was now again accused of treason. Megotta died childless in 1237, making the marriage meaningless, but de Burgh had again completely lost the king's favor. On October 29, 1239 he had to submit again to the king and renounce the Three Castles in Wales and Hadleigh Castle in Essex. He then retired as an old man to his remaining estates, including Burgh, Beeston and Newton in Norfolk and Sotherton in Suffolk. He died in May 1243 on his estate at Banstead and was buried in the Dominican Church in London.
Marriages and offspring
Hubert de Burgh was married three times. From his first marriage to Beatrice de Warenne, de Burgh had a son:
- Sir John de Burgh (before 1212 – around 1274) ⚭ Hawise de Lanvaley
Beatrice died before December 18, 1214. De Burgh's subsequent brief marriage to Isabella of Gloucester in 1217 remained childless. His third marriage was on June 19, 1221 in York Margaret of Scotland , a daughter of King William of Scotland . With her he had a daughter:
- Margaret de Burgh (also Megotta ) (around 1222 – November 1237) ⚭ Richard de Clare, 5th Earl of Gloucester
Even before his fall as justiciar, de Burgh planned in 1232 to divorce her because of her childlessness, but he could no longer implement this. His heir became his only son John from his first marriage, who, however, did not inherit the title of Earl of Kent. Archbishop Walter de Gray of York acquired his house in Westminster, and as York Place it served from then on as the London residence of the Archbishops of York.
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- Abergavenny: Grosmont Castle. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on October 14, 2013 ; accessed on September 27, 2016 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Archibald AM Duncan: Scotland. The Making of the Kingdom (The Edinburgh History of Scotland; Vol. I ). Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh 1975. ISBN 0-05-00203-7-4 , p. 527.
|Peter des Roches||
Justiciar of England
|Stephen of Seagrave|
|New title created||
Earl of Kent
|SURNAME||Burgh, Hubert de, 1st Earl of Kent|
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Kent, Hubert de Burgh 1st Earl|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||English nobleman, Justiciar of England|
|DATE OF BIRTH||around 1170|
|DATE OF DEATH||uncertain: May 12, 1243|
|Place of death||Banstead|