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Earl Sir Hugh Courtenay DEVON, Jr


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Earl Sir Hugh Courtenay DEVON, Jr

  • Born: 1421, Basenthorpe, Cornwall, England
  • Married: Abt 1444, Boconnock, Cornwall, England
  • Died: 4 May 1471, Battle, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, England
  • Buried: Ashwater, , England

   Another name for Hugh was DEVON Earl.

   Ancestral File Number: 921N-R8. User ID: 73866.

   General Notes:

Sir, Earl of DEVON, Lancastrian.

Captured in Battle, Tried & Executed, Effigy on Tomb.

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1981, Micropaedia, Vol III, p197, Courtenay: "Name of an old English family, Earls of Devon, whose first known ancestor, Athon, was Lord of Courtenay in Gatinais, France, Abt 1010. A branch flourished in England from the mid-12th century, and its claim to the Earldom of Devon, recognized in 1335, stemmed from the marriage of Robert de Courtenay (Died 1242) with Mary de Redvers, daughter of William, Earl of Devon. The main line was extinguished in the Wars of the Roses, but a member of a subsidiary branch, supporting the Tudors, was granted the Earldom in 1485..."

The Political History of England, 1377-1485, Vol IV, C Oman, 1906, AMS Press, New York, p446:
"The king [Edward IV] swerved northward, and on the following day, May 1, was at Sodbury, where he discovered that the Lancastrians had got past him, and with a start of a few miles in their favour were making for Gloucester. He sent hasty messeages to Richard Beauchamp, the governor of that place, to hold out for a few hours at all costs, and then started to march thither along the Cots- wold ridge, where the road was better and the distance somewhat shorter than by the route in the valley which Margaret'sarmy had taken. This day, May 2, 1471, was one of tremendous exertion for both armies- each marched more than forty miles, a great achievement on medieval roads. When the Lancastrians reached the gates of Gloucester, Beauchamp, despite the protests of many of the citizens, kept them closed and fired upon the queen's outriders. Seeing that it was im- possible to cross at this point, Somerset urged on his tired troops towards the next bridge, that at Upton in Worcestershire. The army struggled as far as Tewkesbury, nine miles beyond Gloucester, and there encamped in a state of absolute exhaustion on the low slopes south of the town, in a position offering a strong line of defence, but having two defiles in its rear, the passage of the little river Swillgate immediately behind, and the Avon half a mile farther off. Both of these were bridged, but the broad Severn on their right hand was bridgeless and barely fordable. Edward [IV] meanwhile, descending from Cotswold into the plain in Cheltenham, pushed on five miles more that same evening, and encamped only three miles from the queen's army, so that it could not hope to withdraw across the bridges in its rear without a battle.
"Retreat, however, wasnot Somerset's design. He had resolved to risk a battle, relying on the strength of his position with its `evil lanes, and deep dykes, hedges, trees, and bushes.' He had arrayed his army in the normal three divisions along a slightly rising ground, a mile outside Tewkesbury town, in front of a farm called Gupshill, with the Swillgate covering his left, and a smaller brook on his right. Somerset himself had the `vaward battle'; in the centre was the young Prince Edward [son of Henry VI], with Lord Wenlock and Langstrother; the Earl of Devon was in charge of the `rearward,' or left wing. The king had drawn up the Yorkists at dawn, in the same order as at Barnet, with Gloucester on the right, Hastings on the left, and himselfand Clarence in the centre. He detached an ambush, or flank-guard, of 200 spears, fearing lest his left wing might be turned under cover of the trees of Tewkesbury Park, but this precaution turned out to be unnecessary. On arriving in front ofthe Lancastrian line, he found it so strong that he hesitated to attack, and bade his artillery and archers open at long range upon the enemy. Galled by this fire, or thinking that he had got the Yorkists at a disadvantage, Somerset left his position and charged furiously down upon the king, in the meadow now called `Red Piece.' He was not supported: both Wenlock and Devon refused to quit the strong ground which they held. The duke's sally had ruinous consequences; he was repulsed,attacked in flank by Edward's flank guard, and finally driven back up hill. The Yorkists burst into the hedges and dykes of the main Lancastrian position along with the fugitives. At the same time Gloucester delivered his attack on Devon on theother flank. The victory was won in a few minutes, and the whole Lancastrian force rolled back in fout towards the bridge, the town, and the fords of the Severn and Swillgate. Ere he fled, Somerset found time, it is said, to beat out the brains of Wenlock with his battle-axe, for failing to join in his wild charge into the Red Piece. The young Prince was slain in the rout as he `cried for succour to his brother-in-law, the Duke of Clarence,' and cried in vain. With him fell the Earlof Devon, John Beaufort, brother of Somerset, and many more. The slaughter was continued along the `Bloody Meadow,' on the left, and the fords of the Swillgate, on the right. Somerset, Langstrother, and many other knights took sanctuary in theabbey. The king had them haled forth and tried on May 6 by a court, over which his young brother Gloucester presided as constable, and the Duke of Norfolk as marshal. Somerset and the treasurer with some dozen others were beheaded, the men ofless note were spared. To complete Edward's triumph, Queen Margaret and her daughter-in- law, Anne Neville, were captured the next day in a small religious house where they had taken refuge.
"The cause of Lancaster was ruined by the deathof Prince Edward- there was no obvious heir to take his place: the ligitimate descendants of Henry IV were extinct, save for the poor prisoner in the Tower of London, and the male line of the Beauforts was now extinct also; their house was represented only by Lady Margaret, the widow of the Earl of Richmond, and her young son Henry Tudor..."

The Oxford History of England The Fifteenth Century 1399-1485, E F Jacob, Oxford Univ Press, p569:
"...[1471] As King Edward was pursuingthem, Margaret thought it best to cross the Severn into Wales, so as to link up with Jasper Tudor. But she was not in time. King Edward caught her force at Tewkesbury on 4 May and inflicted a crushing defeat. Her son Prince Edward was killed. Somerset was captured, along with Sir Humphrey Audley, Sir John Langstrother, Sir Thomas Tresham, Sir Gervaise Clifton, and Sir Hugh Courteney: all were courtmartialled and condemned to be executed at Tewkesbury. Besides the prince, the earl of Devonshire, John Beaufort, Somerset's brother John Lord Wenlock, Sir Robert Whittingham, and Sir Edmund Hampden, were killed in action...This enabled the king to enter the capital on 21 May 1471. On that Tuesday night Henry VI was put to death in the Tower by Edward's order..."

The Cambridge Historical Encyclopedia of Great Britain and Ireland, Christopher Haigh, 1985, Cambridge Univ Press, p143:
"Wars of the Roses: the campaigns of 1460-61. Areas of COURTENAY family influence:Devon and Cornwall..."

Ancestral File 921N-R8 Killed in Battle Effigy on Tomb,

   Marriage Information:

Hugh married Margaret CARMINOW, daughter of Thomas CARMINOW and Jane HILL, about 1444 in Boconnock, Cornwall, England. (Margaret CARMINOW was born in 1422-1423 in Trenowyth, Cornwall, England and died before 26 Jan 1512-1513.)

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