Earl Hubert De Burgh KENT


Family Links

1. Joan DEVON 2. Beatrice WARENNE 3. Countess Isabel Mortain GLOUCESTER

  • John De BURGH
4. Princess Margaret De Lamvallie SCOTLAND

Earl Hubert De Burgh KENT

  • Married (3): Abt 1217, , Gloucestershire, England
  • Married (4): 19 Jun 1221
  • Died: 12 May 1243, , , England
  • Buried: 1243, Blackfriars, London, Middlesex, England

   Another name for Hubert was KENT Earl.

   General Notes:

Earl of KENT.

Kings and Queens of Great Britain, Genealogical Chart, Anne Taute and Romilly Squire, Taute, 1990: "Margaret Daughter of William I King of Scotland and Ermengarde De Beaumont, Mar Hubert De Burgh 1st Earl of Kent, Died 1243."

A History of the Plantagenets, Vol I, The Conquering Family, Thomas B Costain, 1949, Doubleday & Co, p208:
"John arrived at Falaise and went to his chamberlain, Hubert de Burgh, who was in charge. Hubert de Burgh was a distant relation of the King, being descended from a half brother of the Conqueror, and he was a stouthearted and generous knight. He had been an indulgent jailer to the despondent young prince, and it was with grave misgivings, undoubtedly, that he considered the meaning of the King's visit...
"Hubert de Burgh knew what the sequel would be and he was apprehensive at once when a party of the King's men arrived at Falaise shortly thereafter..."
"Hubert de Burgh was a man of compassion and, fortunately, of stout heart as well. He had become fond of the boy and, moreover, he knew that the claim of the young prince to the throne of England was a betterone than that of John. He made, accordingly, one of those decisions which so often change the course of history. He disregarded the royal order and sent the executioners away. Then, being very much afraid that what he had done might endanger his own eyes or even his life, he resolved on a deception. He had the bells in the chapel toll as though for a death and gave it out that Arthur of Brittany was no more.
"The storm which broke over France when this became known was greater even than he had feared...John disclaimed any part in the death of his nephew. Hubert de Burgh was forced to acknowledge the deception and to produce his prisoner as proof that nothing had happened to him...
"It was said that the King was secretly relieved that Hubert de Burgh had disobeyed him. Nevertheless, he had the prince taken from Falaise and imprisoned in Rouen instead..."
"...Noone knows what happened to Arthur. An impenetrable veil descends upon the tragedy of Rouen. The officer commanding the fortress, one Hubert de Burgh, of whom more & better hereafter, gave out that upon the King's order he had delivered his prisoner at Easter 1203 to the hands of agents sent by John to castrate him, & that Arthur had died of the shock. This explanation by no means allayed the ill-feeling aroused in Brittany and elsewhere. Hubert then declared that Arthur was still alive, and John stated that he was glad his orders had been disobeyed. However, it may be, Arthur was never seen again..."
p262: "The second personality [after Archbishop Stephen Langton] which emerges from the restless scene [of the Barons' War] is Hubert de Burgh. Shakespeare... has brought Hubert to our ken. Here is a soldier anda politician, armed with the practical wisdom which familiarity with courts and camps, with high authorities, ecclesiastical and armoured, may infuse into a man's conduct, and even nature. John's Justiciar, identified with the crimes and the follies of the reign, was yet known to all men as their constatnt resolute opponent. Under the Marshal, who was himself a star of European chivalry, Hubert was an outstanding leader of resistance to the rebellion against the monarchy. At the sametime, above the warrign factions, he was a solid champion of the rights of England. The Island should not be ravaged by greedy nobles, nor pillaged by foreign adventurers, nor mutilated unduly even for the high interests of the Papacy, which so often were the interests of Christendom itself..."
p263: "`The Fair of Lincoln' gave the infant Henry III a victory on land, and de Burgh's sea-victory off Dover against French reinforcements for Louis cut the revolt from its Continental root...In 1219 the old victorious Marshal died, and Hubert ruled the land for twelve years. He was a stern ruler...
"...Hubert throughout his tenure stood for the policy of doing the least possible to recover the King's French domains...He hampered the preparation for fresh war; he stood firm against the incursions of foreign favourites and adventurers. He resisted the Papacy in its efforts to draw money at all costs out of England for its large European schemes. He maintained order, and as the King grew up he restrained the Court party which was forming about him from making inroads upon the Charter. His was entirely the English point of view.
"At last in 1229 he had exhausted his goodwill and fortune and fate was upon him. The King, now twenty-two years of age, crowned and acting, arrived at Portsmouth with a large army raised by the utmost exercise of his feudal power to defend those estates in France which after the loss of Normandy still pertained tothe English Crown. Hubert could not control this, but the transporting of the expedition lay apparently in his department. The King found no ships, or few, awaiting him; no supplies, no money, for his oversea venture. He flew into a rage. Although usually mild, affable, scholarly and artistic, he drew his sword and rushed upon the Justiciar, reproaching him with having betrayed his trust and being bribed by France...The quarrel was smoothed down; the King recovered his temper; the expedition sailed in the following year and Hubert retained his place. But not for long. In 1232 he was driven from power by a small palace clique. Threatened in his life, he took sanctuary at Brentwood. He was dragged from this asylum, but thecommon, humble blacksmith who was ordered to put the fetters on him declared he would die any death rather than do so; and he is said to have used the words which historians have deemed to be the true monument of Hubert de Burgh: `Is he not that most faithful Hubert who so often saved England from the devastation of foreigners and restored England to England?'"
p268: "When Louis landed on the Kentish coast, John retreated from his camp back of Dover. The French by-passed Dover,where stout Hubert de Burgh was in command, and marched up to London. Here many of the barons swore fealty to Louis."

A History of The Plantagenets, Vol II, The Magnificent Century, Thomas B Costain, 1951, Doubleday & Co, p9:
"...The French gained a firm grip on the coast except for the castle at Dover, where Hubert de Burgh held out boldly. Hubert was desitined to prove a continuous thorn in the side of Gallic operations."
p19: "The second absentee was Hubert de Burgh, the brave knight who had refused to let John's assassins burn out the eyes of Prince Arthur when the latter was a prisoner at Falaise Castle. Hubert, who was now justiciar of the country, could not come because with a garrison of no more than 140 men he was holding out against the French in the stone fortress at Dover which served as the gateway of England. It was just about this time, in fact, that Louis decided he must clear this obstacle from his path as the first step in taking advantage of John's death. He sent two English barons to discuss terms of surrender with the determined castellan. One of them was Thomas de Burgh, Hubert's brother; and, as he came unwillingly, he was loaded with chains.
"The herald who accompanied the two emissaries sounded his horn, and brave Hubert de Burgh came to the inner of two parapets between which the drawbridge swung, followed by five archers with drawn bows.
"His brother told him of John's death and added that Louis would brook no more opposition. If it became necessary to take Dover Castle by storm he had sworn to hang every man in the garrison, including the leader, who would dangle from the top of the Keep. The Keep was eighty-three feet high, so that Hubert would have plenty of space in which to do his dangling. As a further inducement the brother added, `By your stubbornness you ruin yourself and all your family.'
"The other courier then spoke up and said that Louis promised Hubertthe counties of Suffolk and Norfolk if he would lower his flag at once.
"None of this had any effect on the resolute justiciar. `Traitors!' he cried. `If John be dead, then he leaves sons. One more word and I'll command my archers to shoot you down!'
"This indomitable soldier was not, therefore, in a position to attend the meeting, but the spirit he displayed in hsi defense of Dover was putting courage in men's hearts to resist the invaders and it was reflected in the attitude of those present."
p40: "Never having avoided a fight in the whole of his life, he intended to go aboard the cog and take charge of the operations. His attendants knew, however, that the splendid old paladin lacked the seaworthinessof leg needed for participation in the hurly-burly of a naval battle. They persuaded him, with great difficulty, to stay ashore. Hubert de Burgh took his place in command.
"The tactics of the English had been planned with the audacity which slone wins battles afloat. They waited until the French armada had passed Sandwich and then issued out behind it...
"...The English had no intention of attacking Calais. They had swung about into the wind and were coming fast after the French transports. By this one move they had accomplished the prime objective of all the maneuvering which precedes a brush at sea; they had gained the windward position and were pounding on after him with a brisk breeze at their backs...With Hubert de Burgh and Richard Fitz-John, a bastard son of the late King, in the van, the small English ships came on to make the most of the situation, their sails bellying in the western wind...
"The wind played a big part in the English planof attack...The struggle here was short and the slaughter of the French was tremendous...
"The decisive battle of Sandwich had done more than cut Louis off from his base and leave him powerless to continue his efforts: it had set a pattern which would persist down the ages. If a prophetic sense had visited the furiously aggressive masters and constables under Hubert de Burgh...they might have heard a whisper of the names of great sailor men who would fight and win in the same way, Drake and Howard and Rodney and Blake and Nelson."
p54: "No one was appointed regent in William the Marshal's place, but the death of the old warrior had left one man supreme in the eyes of the people of England, Hubert de Burgh. Thepopularity of that brave soldier had started when the story of his refusal to allow the mutilation of Prince Arthur became generally known and believed. It grew by leaps and bounds when he stood so bravely at Dover and defied the French invaders, and it reached its height when he took ou the ships which won the great naval victory off Sandwich. Here, then, was a candidate ready-made for the leadership.
"...He is believed to have been descended from Robert de Mortain, a half brother of the Conquereor, which would mean that a small tincture of royal blood ran in his veins...Time had been unkind to the family of De Burgh, bringing it far down in the scale. Hubert's father was a member of the lower reaches of the nobilityin Norfolk, a dependent perhaps of the great William de Warenne. As a young man Hubert and his older brother William went to court, seeking chances to further their fortunes. There they came in contact with Prince John, the youngest son of theroyal family. John seems to have taken a liking to the landless pair...Hubert went into John's service and rose to the post of seneschal of Poitou. Later John appointed him chief justiciar...
"The matrimonial record of the poor young manfrom East Anglia makes a truly fantastic story. He was married four times, his first three wives being rich widows, his fourth a princess of Scotland, and each marriage not only left him richer than before but marked a step upward. The first wife was Joan, daughter of William, Earl of Devon, and widow of William de Brewiere the younger. The second was Beatrice, daughter of William de Warenne, the great lord of the east, to whom no doubt the family of De Burgh submitted as their feudal head. Beatrice was the widow of Lord Bardulf. Her first husband had probably been chosen for her; her second she chose for herself, and she brought to young Hubert a very fine estate indeed. Her preference for a knight of comparatively low degree, whose sword was his fortune, is proof enough that he was a man of good address. When she died in 1214 he took as his third wife a former queen of England, Avisa, the heiress of the Earl of Gloucester...
"Hubert's willingness to wed the aging Avisa was a further proof to the critical baronage of his ambitious nature. When he brought his matrimonial record to a climactic high point by wedding the Princess Margaret, sister of the King of Scotland, in 1221, four years after the one-time queen's death, the indignation of the nobility reached a high peak of bitterness. But Princess Margaret, fourth of the great ladies to love and wed the remarkable soldier of fortune, remained devoted to him for the rest of his life.No rough , uncouth soldier, this: a man, rather, of ingratiating manner, an adept courtier, handsome perhaps, but of pleasing mien certainly, of shrewd political sense, deft, adroit, quick-witted. His rise under the ill-tempered and hard-to-please John and his matrimonial success would not have been possible to a man lacking in these qualities...
"The question as to when Henry would come of age was causing much discus- sion...For six years Hubert de Burgh was the real head of the state, and he governed with a firm hand in spite of the tides of opposition which surged about him...The powerful barons of England were now openly resentful of the new head of state and bitterly critical of the wealth he was acquiring for himself..."
"The importance of Hubert de Burgh continued to increase during the last years of the minority. He was the first of a long succession of commoners who rose to posts of almost supreme power and lived in some, at least , of the magnificence of royalty..."
p130: "It might have been expected that the twilight of the Great Upstart, inasmuch as he had tumbled into such complete obscurity, would be a peaceful one. When it seemed certain, however, that his end was closeat hand, the old charges were brought against him. The whole tissue of absurdities which had been woven into the original indictment when he was at the height of his power and it had seemed he could be dragged down only by sheer weight of accusation was revived. The charge of poisoning and assassinating his opponents, of using witchcraft to gain his ends, all the long discarded and forgotten rumors, were dragged out from the files at Westminster and dusted off and brought against him. Even the story of the casks which supposed to hold money for the King's first campaign in Poitou and which were found to contain nothing but sand and stones was refurbished and brought against the broken old man. It was generally believed that the purpose in thus attacking him was the likelihood that he would pass away before the case could be settled and thus justify the Crown in seizing all his possessions.
"Hubert de Burgh, crippled with disease, his memory almost gone, hadonly one answer to give the King when brought into court. `Had I wished to betray you,' he declared, `you would never have obtained the kingdom.' He was thinking, no doubt, of how he had thrown the plan of French conquest into confusion by refusing to give up the castle of Dover and stubbornly straddling their lines of communication.
"The old man had enough shrewdness left, however, to entrust his defense to an able advocate, a clerk named Laurence who had been his steward...Laurence justified the faith reposed in him and by a splendid display of logic and legal reasoning tore the case against his former master into shreds and tatters. When he was through, the innocence of the accused had been established to the satisfaction of everyone, except perhaps Henry himself...
"Hubert de Burgh died on May 12, 1243, and was buried at Blackfriars in London. His wife married again, her second husband being Gilbert, third of the Marshal sons. His own son, John, by one of his first marriages, was not allowed to succeed him, and the earldom of Kent lapsed for the time being. Thus ended the dream of establishing a great family which the once hated upstart had always kept in his mind."

The Political History of England 1216-1377, Vol III, T F Tout, 1905, AMS Press, p2: "...John had not entirely forfeited his hereditary advantages. The administrative families, whose chief representative was the justiciar Hubert de Burgh, held to their tradition of unswerving loyalty, and joined with the followers of the old king, of whom William Marshal was the chief survivor..."
p5: "...Next to [William] came Hubert de Burgh, John's justiciar, whom the marshal very soon restored to that office. But Hubert at once went back to the defence of Dover, and for some time took little part in general politics..."
p11: "...[1217] The marshal and Hubert de Burgh held Sandwich, so that the long voyage up the Thames was the only way of taking succourto Louis. Next day the old earl remained on shore, but sent out Hubert with the fleet. The English let the French pass by, and then, manoeuvring for the weather gage, tacked and assailed them from behind. The fight raged round the great ship of Eustace, on which the chief French knights were embarked. Laden with stores, horses, and a ponderous trebuchet, it was too low in the water to manoeuvre or escape. Hubert easily laid his own vessel alongside it. The English, who were better used to fighting at sea than the French, threw powdered lime into the faces of the enemym swept the decks with their crossbow bolts and then boarded the ship, which was taken after a fierce fight...
"The battle of St Bartholomew's Day, likethat of Lincoln a triumph of skill over numbers, proved decisive for the fortunes of Louis. The English won absolute control of the narrow seas, and cut off from Louis all hope of fighting his way back to France..."
p13: "...The reconciliation of parties was further shown in the marriage of Hubert de Burgh to John's divorced wife, Isabella of Gloucester, a widow by the death of the Earl of Essex, and still the foremost English heiress..."
p23: "...On June 19, 1221, Joan, Henry's second sister, was married to the young Alexander of Scotland, at York. At the same time Hubert, a widower by Isabella of Gloucester's death, wedded Alexander's elder sister, Margaret, a match which compensated the justiciar for his loss of Isabella's lands..."
p28: "...In January, 1227, a council met at Oxford. The king, then nearly twenty years old, declared that he would govern the country himself, and renounced the tutelage of the Bishop of Winchester. Henry gave himself over completely to the justiciar, whom he rewarded for his faithful service by making him Earl of Kent..."
p29: "...The new Earl of Kent continued to hold office as justiciar for five years, and his ascendency is even more marked in the years 1227 to1232 than it had been between 1224 and 1227. Hubert still found the task of ruling England by no means easy...The old and the new baronial opposition combined to denounce Hubert as the true cause of all evils. The increasing personal influenceof the young king complicated the situation. In his efforts to deal with all these problems Hubert became involved in the strom of obloquy which finally brought about his fall..."
p40: "...[1227-32] Nor did Hubert, with all his rugged honesty,neglect his own interests. He secured for himself lucrative wardships, such as the custody for the second time of the great Gloucester ealdom, and of several castles, including the not very profitable charge of Montgomery, and the important governorship of Dover. On the very eve of his downfall he was made justice of ireland. His brother was bishop of Ely, and other kinsmen were promoted to high posts. He was satisfied that he spent all that he got in the King's service, in promoting the interests of the kingdom, but his enemies regarded him as unduly tenacious of wealth and office. All classes alike grew disgusted with the justiciar. The restoration of the malign influence of Peter of Winchester completed his ruin. The king greedily listened to the complaints of his old guardian against the minister who overshadowed the royal power. At last, on July 29, 1232, Henry plucked up courage to dismiss him.
"With Hubert's fall ends the second period of Henry's reign. William Marshal expelled the armed foreigner. Hubert restored the administration to English hands...`Is he not that most faithful Hubert who so often saved England from the devastation of the foreigners and restored England to England?' Hubert was, as has been well said, perhaps the first minister since the Conquest who made patriotism a principle of policy, though it is easy in the light of later developments to read into his doings more than he really intended. But whatever his motives, the results of his action were clear. He drove away the mercenaries, humbled the fuedal lords, and set limits to the pope's interference. He renewed respect for law and obedience to the law courts...The work of Hubert was to ensure that the orders of king and ministers should really be respected by his subjects...A straightforward, limited, honourable man, he strove to carry out his rather old-fashioned conception of duty in the teeth of a thousand obstacles. He never hada free hand, and he neverenjoyed the hearty support of any one section of his countrymen. Hated by the barons whom he kept away from power, he alienated the Londoners by his high-handed violence, and the tax-payers by his heavy exactions. The pope disliked him, the aliens plotted against him, and the king, for whom he sacrificed so much, gave him but grudging support. But the reaction which followed his retirement made many, who had rejoiced in his humiliation, bitterly regret it..."
p44: "...The Poitevin gang called upon Hubert to render complete accounts for the whole period of his justiciarship. When he pleaded that King John had given him a charter of quittance, he was told that its force had ended with the death of the grantor. He was further required to answer for the wrongs which Twenge's bands had inflicted on the servants of the pope. He was accused of poisoning William Earl of Salisbury, William Marshal, Falkes de Breaute, and Archbishop Richard. He had prevented the king from contracting a marriage with a daughter of the Duke of Austria; he had dissuaded the king from attempting to recover Normandy; he had first seduced and then married the daughter of the King of Scots; he had stolen fromthe treasury a talisman which made its possessor invincible in war andhad traitorously giben it to Llewelyn of Wales; he had induced Llewelyn to slay William de Braose; he had won the royal favour by magic and witchcraft, and finally he had murdered Constantine FitzAthulf.
"Many of these accusations were so monstrous that they carried with them their own refutation. It was too often the custom in the middle ages to overwhelm an enemy with incredible charges for it to be fair toaccuse the enemies of Hubert of any excessive malignity. The substantial innocence of Hubert is clear, for the only charges brought against him were either errors of judgment and policy, or incredible crimes. Neverthe less he was in such imminent danger that he took sanctuary with the canons of Merton in Surrey...into Essex...in a chapel near Brentwood. From this he was dragged by some of the king's household and brought to London, where he was imprisoned in the Tower...On November10 [1232], he was brought before a not unfriendly tribunal, in which the malice of the new justiciar was tempered by the baronial instincts of the Earls of Cornwall, Warenne, Pembroke, and Lincoln. He made no effort to defend himself, and submitted absolutely to the judgment of the king. It was finally agreed that he should be allowed to retain the lands which he had inherited from his father, and that all his chattels and the lands that he ehad acquired himself should be forteited to the crown. Further, he was to be kept in prison in the castle of Devizes under the charge of the four earls who had tried him..."
p51: "...[1234] Hubert de Burgh was included in the comprehensive pardon..."

   Marriage Information:

Hubert married Joan DEVON.

   Marriage Information:

Hubert also married Beatrice WARENNE, daughter of Lord William WARENNE. (Beatrice WARENNE died in 1214.)

   Marriage Information:

Hubert also married Countess Isabel Mortain GLOUCESTER, daughter of Earl William Fitz Robert GLOUCESTER and Countess Hawise De Beaumont GLOUCESTER, about 1217 in , Gloucestershire, England. (Countess Isabel Mortain GLOUCESTER was born about 1167-1170 in , Gloucestershire, England, died on 14 Oct 1217 in , Kent, England and was buried in Cathedral, Canterbury, Kent, England.)

   Marriage Information:

Hubert also married Princess Margaret De Lamvallie SCOTLAND, daughter of King William SCOTLAND, I and Queen Ermengarde De Beaumont SCOTLAND, on 19 Jun 1221. (Princess Margaret De Lamvallie SCOTLAND was born before 1198 and died in 1259.)

Home | Table of Contents | Surnames | Name List

This Web Site was Created 27 Mar 2002 with Legacy 4.0 from Millennia