Ancestry of Sir Hugh le Despenser (d. 1238)
- From: therav3@xxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2006 16:25:40 +0000 (UTC)
Monday, 16 January, 2006
Below please find the male line descent, as currently known, from
Hugh 'I' de Berges to his great-great grandson, Sir Hugh le Despenser
(d. bef 31 May 1238). The correct link in this descent, showing Thomas
le Despenser as son of Geoffrey le Despenser, is thanks to the recent
discovery by Clive West.
Subsequent postings will include the senior (de Prestwold) line,
among other details. Posts to the newsgroup will be made as these
lines of descent are completed, using additional details drawn from
Relevant comments, criticism and additional documentation are welcome, as
Paternal Ancestry of Sir Hugh le Despenser (d. 1238)
1 Hugh de Berges
of Burton on the Wolds, co. Leics.
possibly originally came from Berges, Sussex
he may have been the son (or other successor) of Hugh, who held
2 carucates of land less 1 bovate in Bortone [Burton on the
Wolds] of earl Hugh at Domesday Book, 1086.
' Hugo de Berges', made a gift of 3 carucates to Garendon abbey in Burton
on the Wolds, later confirmed by son Ansketil together with his
(Ansketil's) uncles Thurstan de Queniborough and Radulf. This gift
occurred in 1133 (year of the foundation of Garendon) or later.
re: his wife:
sister of Thurstan de Queniborough and his brother Radulf
her father may have been the William de Queniborough who held
lands of Geoffrey de la Guerche at Domesday Book, 1086
evidently had lands in Burton on the Wolds and Prestwold, co. Leics.
as her maritagium
1.1 Ansketil de Berges
of Burton on the Wolds, co. Leics.
gift by 'Hugo de Berges et Asketillus filius eius' of 3 carucates in
Burton to Garendon abbey, confirmed by his uncles Thurstan and Radulf
de Queniborough 'cum predicto nepote nostro Asketillo'
[also Nichols, Hist. Leicestershire vol. III, courtesy Clive West]
Children: Hugh de Berges (als Hugh de Prestwold)
Ivo de Alspath, constable of Coventry (->1178)
1.1.1 Geoffrey le Despenser
dispensator [ 'dispensarius'] to the Earl of Chester
? Gaufrido dispensatore..?, witness to charters of the Earls of Chester,
together with others [once with his brother Ivo de Alspath:
? Gaufrido dispensatore et Ivone fratre suo...? , charter #82 ] ca.
Barraclough, The Charters of the Anglo-Norman Earls of Chester, charters
#25, 35-37, 50, 55-59, 64, 73, 85, 99
[also, ? Gaufrido dispensario...? and ? Galfrido dispensatore..? ]
'Gaufrido dispensatore', witness together with brother Ivo de Alspath
of recognition of Eustace fitz John as constable of Chester, ca. 1144-45
[Barraclough, charter #73, cites B. L. Cott. Charter xvi, 36; collated,
where mutilated, with Bodleian Library, Dugdale MS. 17, p. 82 and
P.R.O., D.L. 42/1]
"Geoffrey 'dispensario' ",witness to a charter ca. 1155-67 with his
brother Ivo de Alspath ("Ivo de Hallespad' ") - A2A, Shakespeare
Birthplace Trust Records Office: Gregory of Stivichall
[DR10/1 - DR10/467] , DEEDS AND PAPERS: Warwickshire: Combe alias
Smite, [ DR10/192 ]
proof of his identity as father of Thomas le Despenser provided
by charters in the Garendon chartulary, printed in Nichol's History
of Leicester. Charters are recorded for gifts to Garendon by
" Thomas Dispensator, filius Gaufridi Dispensatoris "
[Nichols III/2:817, 14.b., and Nichols III/2:815, 12.a. (name
given as 'Tomas Dispensator, filius Gaufridi Dispensatoris') ]
this evidence as to his parentage was only recently noted by Clive
West in Nichols' Hist. of Leicestershire, Vol. III 
Children: Thomas (-ca1207)
Elias le Despenser
220.127.116.11 Thomas le Despenser
Death: ca 1207
of Burton on the Wolds, co. Leics.
'dispensator' of the Earl of Chester (possibly in succession to his father
proof of his parentage provided by charters in the Garendon
chartulary, printed in Nichol's History of Leicester:
" Thomas Dispensator. (14.b.)
... Thomas Dispensator, filius Gaufridi Dispensatoris,
salutem........ x bovatas terre, cum omnibus pertinentiis
suis, in campo de Burtona, concessu Asketilli de Berges
domini mei de eadem terra,... "[Nichols III/2:817]
" Tomas Dispensator. (12.a.)
Omnibus filius sancte matris ecclesiae Tomas Dispensator,
filius Gaufridi Dispensatoris, salutem. Sciatis me concessise &
confirmasse donationem patris mei, quam fecit monachis de
Geraldonia[m], videlicet, de tota[m] terra[m] quam reclamavit in
Stantona[m]. Et sicut ille prefatam donationem eoram monachis &
multis aliis festibus super altare posuit, sic & ego manu mea[m]
eandem donationem super altare Dei obtuli & concessi, ut monachi
eam teneant libere & quiete a me, & a cunctis heredibus meis, in
perpetuam elemosinam. Semitam quoque in campo eorum, per quam
ego & homines mei incedere solebamus, que erat ad gravamen eorum,
& ad detrimentum segetum, quietam omnino concessi.
Hii fuerunt testes; Willielmus abbas Legrecestrie, Hugo
Barre, Willielmus Burdet, Willielmus de Widevill, Gaufridus
filius Algot, Willielmus de Rudevill, Gillebertus filius Picot,
Gillebertus de Segrave, Radulphus Fridei, Ricardus filius
Nicholai, Gaufridus Ostianus, Gilbertus Forestarius, Asketillus
de Torp, Johannes Constantin, Gaufridus de Curci, Ranulphus
Leblud. " [Nichols III/2:815]
'Thoma dispensatore', witness together with Elias, 'his brother'
of the gift of Ivo de Alspath, 'ca. 1160', of a virgate of land
to Monks Kirby (A2A, Meriden (Alspath) [ DR10/524 ],,.
See text from PRO, below.
amerced 40s. in 1176 for forest trespass in Leicestershire, as
noted by Farrer . The record in the Pipe Roll of 22 Hen II
identifies both Thomas le Despenser and his cousin, Hugh de Berges:
" De misericordia Regis pro foresta sua. In Legercestrescr'.
Tomas dispensator redd. comp. de .xl. s. de misericordia
pro foresta. In thesauro .xx. s. Et debet .xx. s.
Hugo de Berc [Berch in C.R.] debet dimidiam marcam pro
eodem. Sed requirendus est in Rotel'. " 
' Thoma dispensatore ', witness to grant by H(ugh), Earl of Chester
(d. 1181) to Bertram, his chamberlain, of Mabel, daughter of
William Flamenc, and her inheritance of Meles, ca. 1162-1181 :
"Testibus Bertramo de Verd', Johanne, constabulario Cestr', Radulpho
Dapifero de Monte Alto, Roolant de Verd', Thoma dispensatore,
Giliberto filio pibot, Willelmo Barb'ap'l et multis aliis apud
Cestr'." - A2A, Manchester University, John Rylands Library:
Rylands Charters [RYCH/1 - RYCH/1942], RYCH/1274
?Thoma dispensator? or ?dispensarius? [also ?Toma?], witness to
numerous charters of the Earls of Chester, ca. 1178-1207 (charters
#192, 194, 203, 261-2, 265, 272, 288-9, 302-3, 313, 316, 321, 334,
341, in G. Barraclough)'
charter confirming grant of 10 bovates in Burton to Garendon abbey,
? Tomas Dispensator. (4.b.)
Sciatis me dedisse, concessione & bona voluntate uxoris
mee Recuare & heredum meorum & hac carta mea confirmasse, Deo et
ecclesie Sanct Marie de Gerondonia, et monachis....etc etc..
x bovatas terra cum omnibus pertinentiis suis in campo de Burton
concesssu Asketilli de Berges domini mei de eadem terra, liberas
et quitas ab omni terreno servicio et consuetudine mihi &
heredibus meis pertinente, salvo forensi servicio; & excepto
quod annuatim dabunt mihi & heredibus meis 2 solidus ad festum
Sancte Crucis post Pascham. Preterea dedi eisdem monachis
....etc.....pro salute anime mee & patris & matris mee, &
precipue pro anima filii mei Gaufridi 1111 solidos quos pro
predicta terra ......etc.... Ut inde habeat annuatim conventus
pitanciam in die anniversario eiusdem fillii mei, hoc est
crastino Nativitatis Sanct Marie. ........etc etc......
Hiis testibus; Roberto comite Legrecestrie, Petronilla
comitissa. ? [Nichols, ibid., Vol. III, Part 2, pp. 810-811,
courtesy Clive West]
acquired Arnesby and Loughborough, co. Leics. on the death of his
' The successor of Ellis was Thomas Despenser, who was amerced 1 mark
in 1166 for a default in Leicestershire. This Thomas was amerced
40s. in 1176 for forest trespass in Leicestershire.... he was
presumably the donor to [Garendon] abbey of 10 bovates in Burton on
the Wolds, Leics., of the fee of Asketil de Berges,...' [ Farrer,
HKF II:58, citing Pipe Roll 12 Hen II, p. 70; 22 Hen II, p. 185;
and Cal. Chart. Rolls iv. 475]
~ the grant of land in Burton on the Wolds, co. Leics. to Garendon
'the grant of the same Asketil of the gift of Thomas Dispensator of ten
bovates of land in his fee, in the same town' - CCR IV:475
Thomas obviously held his lands (or at least these 10 bovates) in Burton
of Ansketil de Berges (elsewhere Ansketil de Prestwold), evidently
his first cousin.
' Honors and Knights' Fees ii:58 et seq. gives Ellis Despenser enfeoffed of
Loughbourough by Hugh de Beauchamp after 1158. Ellis succeeded by
Thomas, living 1166. This Thomas donated 10 bovates in Burton on the
Wolds, Leics. of the fee of ASKETIL de Berges.' (the cite by Farrer
references CCR IV:475)
'Thomas Dispensator gave to Stephen de Segrave with Roese his daughter
in free marriage a rent of 2s in Burton', to them and the heirs of
their bodies' (CP IV: 259n)
'Thomas Despenser', witness to charter of Ranulf, Earl of Chester to
the burgesses of Coventry, ca. 1199-1204(this is included in
'Thomas Dispensarius, quartam partem. ' [held 1/4 of a knight's fee of
the Honour of Peverell, A.D. 1201-12 - Red Book of the Exchequer
grant to church of St. Nicholas, ca. 1160
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Records Office: Gregory of Stivichall
[DR10/468 - DR10/970], Warwickshire -Meriden (Alspath)
date: c. 1160
?Gift from Ivo de Aellespat to the monks of St. Nicholas of
Kirkebi [Monks Kirby] of a virgate of land in Aellespet which
belonged to Godwin and his heirs, to hold in free alms for the
soul of the said Ivo, his ancestors and successors, and for
the deeds committed by the said Ivo on the lands of St.
Nicholas during the civil war.
Witnesses: Thomas steward (dispensatore), Elias, his brother,
Richard cornmonger (frumentino), Robert, his son, Gilbert, son
of Pichot, Roger, his son, Nigel de Amundavilla, Thomas de
Bikenhulla, William Brittone, Roger reeve (preposito), William
reeve (preposito), Adam, son of Godwin.?
cf. CP IV:259
~ parentage [now discounted as unlikely] previously theorized
for Thomas le Despenser indicated in Eynsham cartulary
(reference from Monasticon Anglicanum, provided by Douglas
'Vol. 3, pg. 25 Charter for Thomas filius Hugonis
Dispensatoris. No date. Mentions land which his
father ("pater") formerly held of Waukelin Harang
his uncle ("avunculo"). '
This evidently is another family, based in Oxfordshire. The charter
of Thomas 'filius Hugonis' of a virgate of land to Eynsham abbey
is dated [1213-28] by Salter (49:149)
Spouse: 'Recuara' [unusual name or error in transcription]
Children: Geoffrey (dvp -<1191)
Thomas le Despenser, of Loughborough(-<1218)
Sir Hugh (-<1238)
Rohese, m. Gilbert de Segrave
Geoffrey le Despenser, of Martley (-1251)
18.104.22.168.1 Sir Hugh le Despenser
Death: bef 31 May 1238
knight, of Loughborough, Burton, Hugglescote and Freeby, co. Leicester
& c. 
? Hugone dispensario ?, witness to charters of the Earls of Chester,
together with others [? Hugone Despensir, Thoma fratre suo,...? ca. 1207-
1211 - charter #211; ? Hugone et Thoma et Henrico et Roberto et Galfrido
dispensariis,.? , ca. 1214-17 - charter #381 ] ca. 1191-1227.
Barraclough, The Charters of the Anglo-Norman Earls of Chester, various
charters, #260 - 416 (not inclusive)
'dispensarius' to the Earl of Chester, acting on behalf of the King,
18 Aug 1207:
' The K[ing]. commands W. de Cantilupe forthwith to deliver to R. constable
of Chester, by the hands of the bearer, H. Despenser, all the 'plain land',
with cattle and stock, which the K. had before given to Thomas de Galweya; the
Constable to answer for the issues thereof, unless Thomas shall please the K.
therein; de Cantilupe to see that the Constable gets the cattle and stock, and
to acquaint the K. thereof; the castles to be retained in the K.'s hand till
the Constable sends his seneschal or another of his knights, to make oath for
their safe custody at the K.'s orders. Stiviton. ' [Bain I:66, No. 404,
cites Close Roll, 9 John, m. 15]
~ his brother Thomas also acting on behalf of the King in the same matter
[Bain I:66, No. 405, cites fine of Thomas de Galloway at Worcester,
Aug/Sept. 1207: Fine, 9 John, m. 8]
witness to quitclaim by Alan of Galloway, 1210-12:
' 553. Alan son of Rolland lord of Galloway (Galuvath) constable of
Scotland, quit claims to Roger de Lascy constable of Chester and his heirs, the
advowson of the church of Kipeis. Witnesses:- Eustace de Vescy, Robert the
Welshman (Walensi), William de Bello monte, Hugh Despensar, Thomas his brother,
Gilbert son of Gospatric, Ralf de Campania, Richard clerk of Creveqor the writer of
the letter, and many others. ' [Bain I:96, cites Duchy of Lancaster,
Cartae Miscell., Vol. I, p. 4]
" Hugo Dispensar' ", inherited Arnesby and Loughborough, co. Leics. on death
of brother Thomas, before Oct 1218:
' " Hugo Dispensar' " gave the lord King 25 solidi for his relief due for
1 knight's fee in Arnesby [Erendebi], which he acquired by the death
of Thomas le Despenser [ "Thome Dispensar' "] his firstborn brother,
whose heir he is.' Excerpta e Rotulis Finium I:18
'Hugh Dispensator', made a gift to Garendon abbey of land in Burton on
' the gift of Hugh Dispensator of two messuages and three virgates of
land in the same town with the men holding them, their chattels and
all that goes with them;..' - CCR IV:475
charter for a market and fair at Loughborough, co. Leics. granted 22 Jan
1221, by King Henry III to Hugh Despenser, ' to be held at the manor until the
king came of age' (RLC, i, p. 446b). On 12 Feb 1227, King Henry III granted Hugh
Despenser a Thurs market (CChR, 1226?57, p. 4).
'Hugh son of Thomas Despenser confirmed to Stephen de Segrave with
Rohaise his sister in frank marriage one mark of rent given her by the
said Thomas out of his mill of Mountsorrel.' Farrer, HKF II:59, citing
Glover MS (Dugdale, Baronage) i. 389b
had a grant of the marriage of Roger de St. John (ward of his brother
Geoffrey) 'to the use of one of the daughters of Hugh' (CP XI:348
and note j - cites Rot. de Fin., p. 529 and Patent Rolls, 1225-32, p.323)
obtained Ryhall and Belmesthorp, Rutland by various grants from 22 Aug 1227
to 23 June 1233
fined to obtain the custody of the lands and heir of Geoffrey le Sauvage, his
deceased son-in-law ['..que filia ipsius Hugonis huit in uxorem.'], 4 Nov
1230 [Excerpta e Rotulis Finium, 2:205]
cf. CP IV:259
Spouse: [CONJECTURED] NN de Quincy
Father: [CONJECTURED] Saier IV de Quincy, Earl of Winchester (~1155-1219)
Mother: [CONJECTURED] Margaret de Beaumont (-1234)
Children: Pernell, m. Geoffrey le Sauvage
NN, m. Roger de St. John
Sir Hugh (~1223-1265)
1. Chris Phillips, "Re: Origins of the Despensers - Queniborough query,"
Jan 30, 2003, email, therav3@xxxxxxx (paper copy: library of John
2. "Medieval Palaeography: Transcriptions and Translations of Charters,"
Dr. David A. Postles, University of Leicester,
cites extract from twelfth-century charters from the cartulary of
Garendon Abbey [BL.
3. John Nichols, F.S.A., "The History and Antiquities of the County of
Leicester," London: Printed By and For John Nichols, 1795, Vol. III,
part 2: 1804.
4. Geoffrey Barraclough, "The Charters of the Anglo-Norman Earls of
Chester, c. 1071-1237," The Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire,
1988, cites charters in the Public Record Office, the Bodleian Library
5. "Access to Archives," http://www.a2a.pro.gov.uk/
6. G. E. Cokayne, "The Complete Peerage," 1910 - [microprint, 1982
(Alan Sutton) ], The Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland Great
Britain and the United Kingdom.
7. John P. Ravilious, "Origins of the Despensers - status report," Jan 4,
2003, email, therav3@xxxxxxx (paper copy: library of John Ravilious,
cites Barraclough, The Charters of the Anglo-Norman Earls of Chester,
c. 1071-1237; also charters published by the PRO, Shakespeare
Birthplace Trust Records Office: Gregory of Stivichall, re: Burton,
co. Leics. and Coventry, co. Warwicks., and information provided by
Kay Allen, AG, Cris Nash, and others.
8. Clive West, "Garendon Charters," 13 January 2006,
9. William Farrer, Litt.D., "Honors and Knights' Fees," London:
Spottiswoode, Ballantyne & Co., Ltd., 1924 (3 vols.), Vol I:, Vol
II: Chester; Huntingdon, Vol III: Arundel, Eudes the Sewer, Warenne.
10. "Calendar of the Charter Rolls," preserved in the Public Record Office,
London, 1898, Vol. II (Henry III - Edward I, 1257-1300), pp. 190-191,
letters patent of William de Fiennes for the marriage of his sister Maud
to Humphrey de Bohun, heir of the earl of Hereford, 1912, vol. 4
(1-14 Edward III, 1327 ? 1341, p. 475, grants confirmed by the king 12
July 1340, along with a royal charter dated 13 December 4 Edward III,
at the request of Walter, abbot of Garendon., the list of grants runs
through pp. 472-481, Citations provided by Chris Phillips
11. Kay Allen, AG, "Ivo de A. and the Despensers," Dec 23, 2002,
GEN-MEDIEVAL-L@xxxxxxxxxxxx (paper copy: library of John Ravilious,
cites Farrer, Honors and Knights' Fees ii:58, re: Loughborough and
Burton on the Wolds, co. Leics.
12. Florilegium Urbanum, "Charter of the Earl of Chester to Coventry,"
extracted Sept 19, 2002, from Peter Coss, ed., The Early Records of
Medieval Coventry, British Academy: Records of Social and Economic
History, new series, vol. 11 (1986), 22.
13. Hubert Hall, F.S.A., ed., "The Red Book of the Exchequer," London:
Printed for Her Majesty's Stationery Office by Eyre and Spottiswoode,
1896, Vols. I, II.
14. Douglas Richardson, "Karissimo amico," February 4, 2003, email,
therav3@xxxxxxx (paper copy: library of John Ravilious, references
Monasticon Anglicanum, 3: 25 - Charter for Thomas filius Hugonis
15. Rev. H. E. Salter, M.A., ed., "Eynsham Cartulary," Oxford: Oxford
Historical Society (Clarendon Press), 1907 (Vols I-II, vols. 49
and 51 of the series), p. 149 (charter of Thomas 'filius Hugonis
dispensatoris' of a virgate in Woodeaton, co. Oxon).
16. Joseph Bain, ed., "Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland,"
Edinburgh: Her Majesty's General Register House, 1881 (Vol. I),
full title: Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland, Preserved in
Her Majesty's Public Record Office, London.
17. Charles Roberts, ed., "Excerpta ex Rotulis Finium," The Commissioners
of the Public Records of the Kingdom, Vol I (1216-1246), 1835, full
title: Excerpta e Rotulis Finium in Turri Londinensi asservatis,
Henrico Tertio Rege, A.D. 1216-1272.
18. "Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs to 1516,"
19. The Pipe Roll of the Twenty-second year of King Henry II., A.D.
1175-6 [The Publications of the Pipe Roll Society, 1904], XXV:185.
* John P. Ravilious
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