Imatges de pàgina



a name sufficiently notorious in these pages—but by whom she was divorced shortly after his accession to the throne. Mabel or Mabilia, the eldest daughter of Earl William, married the Count d'Evreux in Normandy, by whom she had a son, Almeric Montfort, who died about the year 1221, leaving no children by his marriage. But the second daughter, who had married Richard de Clare,* Earl of Hertford, had a son, Gilbert de Clare, who, on the failure of the previous branches, was admitted to the honours of Gloucester and Glamorgan, as his legal inheritance, and was the first who held conjointly the earldoms of Gloucester and Hertford. He resided at Holme Castle, a feudal residence which crowned an eminence in the near vicinity of Tewkesbury, and married Isabel, daughter of William Marshall,




Earl of Pembroke. He was a great benefactor of the monastery, and dying in 1230, was buried in the middle Chancel of the Abbey church—the view of which is strikingly grand—with all the ceremony due to his rank and liberality.

His son Richard de Clare succeeding to the family titles and estates, sup

* It is extremely uncertain what Richard de Clare that this Richard died the 3 Kalend. Dec. in the year is alluded to in the Baronial Covenant in the time 1218. That this account is probable may be shown of King John. The Richard who was living nearest to from the folwing circumstance:- All genealogical the time died in 1206, 8vo. K. John; and in 1215 writers agree that he married Amicia, second daughter the title was held by his eldest son Gilbert de Clare, (and co-heiress) of the Earl of Gloucester, by whom he who was also one of the witnessing barons. See had Gilbert his successor and a daughter. Notes on Milles, Catal. of Honor. Lond. 1610, p. 334, who states the Great Charters, 271.

2 A


ported the baronial character of his ancestors, and is recorded to have held a magnificent Christmas in his castle at Tewkesbury, where sixty knights were in waiting. In July 1262,“ beyng with King Henry in Fraunce, this Richard Counte de Glocestre dyed of the febre quartane, and was buryed at Tukesbyri Abbay, where aboute his toumbe be wryten his noble actes."* Of his body there was a tri-partition: the bowels were bequeathed to the church of Canterbury; his heart to that at Tunbridge, and in the Abbey of Tewkesbury, on the right side of his father's tomb, his body was deposited with great pomp, graced by the presence of two bishops, twelve abbots, and a great company of barons, knights, and other personages, who had repaired from all quarters to offer their testimony of respect to his memory. His tomb was subsequently adorned at vast expense by his Countess Matilda, daughter of the Earl of Lincoln. It was embellished with gold and precious stones, with an effigy in silver of the sword and golden spurs which he had lately worn in battle. The inscription was : Hic. pudor. Hippolyti : Paridis. gena: Sensus. Ulyssis : Æneæ. pietas : Hectoris. ira. jacet. This monument has long been removed or demolished.

To Earl Richard † succeeded Gilbert the Red—so named, like Rufus, from the colour of his hair. He married Alice, daughter of Guy Count of Angoulême, niece to King Henry the Third, but having obtained a divorce against this lady, took for his second wife Joan d'Acres, daughter of Edward the First. This earl, according to Leland, dealt hardly with the Abbey of Tewkesbury, and took away the benefactions of his grandfather, Earl Gilbert, but which were subsequently restored by his son. He died at his castle of Monmouth, and was buried in the Abbey of Tewkesbury, near the tomb of his predecessors, leaving issue one son, Gilbert, the third earl of that name, who married the lady Matilda, a daughter of John de Borow, Earl of Ulster, and by this union had one son, who died in early life, and was buried with his ancestors. The earl himself was one of those chivalrous nobles who surrounded the throne of Edward the Second, and fought under his banner. He held a command in the disastrous expedition into Scotland headed by that unhappy monarch in 1314, and fell at the battle of Bannockburn, in the twenty-third year of his age,

When the best names that England knew
Claim'd in that death-prayer dismal due. I

* Dugd. 1. 156. Dyde, 38. Leland. Collect. vol. obstinacy, gave orders that none should assist him on i. p. 456.

the Sunday, resolving to make him observe the † It is recorded among the memorabilia of this earl, Christian Sabbath with the same solemnity with which that a Jew having accidentally fallen into a common

he had observed his own. But before Monday this sewer on Saturday, refused all assistance to extricate strict observer of the ceremonies of the law had fallen him from his loathsome prison, lest he should profane a victim to his conscientious scruples. ---Dyde. the Sabbath of his nation. Richard de Clare, lord of # Lord of the Isles, 267. the manor, hearing of the circumstance and the man's





From the field of battle, the body of the gallant earl was conveyed by his. friends and retainers to the Abbey of Tewkesbury, and there, in the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin, consigned to kindred dust, in the midst of prayers and lamentations. His death was more especially felt by the Abbot and brotherhood, because he had liberally repaired the injury inflicted upon the monastery by his father, and was the last of that honoured name who held the title and territories of the De Clares in the county of Gloucester.

In the former part of this work, we have had more than once occasion to remark how frequently these old family estates and honours passed away with the female line: and here was another instance. Leaving no issue by his marriage, the Gloucester and Glamorgan estates devolved upon his three sisters, among whom they were divided. Elianora, the eldest, married Hugh le Despenser—a name of tragical association in English history; and with her the earldom of Gloucester, the third part of the estates, and the patronage of the Abbey of Tewkesbury, passed into that family. Five years later, this unhappy nobleman was apprehended, and put to the cruel and ignominious death related in a former part of this work. Some portions of his dismembered body, after their miserable exposure in different parts of the kingdom,“ were buried in Tewkesbury Abbey, near the lavatory of the high altar.” He left by his wife three sons, Hugh, Edward, and Gilbert, but with no inheritance save the pains and penalties entailed upon them by his own forfeiture. The Monument of the Despenser family, hereafter noticed, is one of the finest objects in the Abbey church.

The widow of this nobleman-who had lost both her brother and husband by violent deaths—sought consolation in a second marriage with William, Lord le Zouch, by whom she had a son, named Hugh. But she survived her second husband only two years. He was buried in the Abbey chapel of Our Lady; and at her own demise, the earldom of Cloucester was conferred on her sister Margaret's husband, Hugh de Audley.

Hugh le Despenser, eldest son of the unfortunate Hugh by his wife Elianora, succeeded him in the inheritance of Hanley Castle, Tewkesbury, Yairford, and other baronies—which were occasionally disunited from the honour of Gloucester—and married Elizabeth, the widow of Giles de Badlesmere, and daughter of William de Montacute, Earl of Salisbury. This earl, among



other good gifts, appropriated the church of Lantrissant to the abbot and convent in succession, from which they received fifty marks annually. Dying without issue, he was buried on the right side of the high altar at Tewkesbury. His widow was afterwards united in marriage to Gwido de Bryen, knightsaid by some writers to have been of the Thomond family in Ireland, and by others, of the O'Briens of Castle Walwaine in Pembrokeshire—who was buried along with a numerous line of illustrious persons near the high altar in St. Margaret's—or, as it was subsequently called, O'Brien's Chapel*-one of the chief sepulchral ornaments of the church. This posthumous distinction was secured by very substantial benefits conferred on the church in his lifetime.t

The tombs of the illustrious individuals above mentioned are all more or less visible from the same point, and the coup-d'oeil is very impressive.

This distinguished Patron of the monastery died near the close of the (fourteenth century; when the nephew of his wife—Edward, the second

son of Hugh le Despenser the younger—took possession, in right of his aunt, of the old family estates of De Clare, among which were Hanley Castle, Tewkesbury Manor, and Malvern Chase. This nobleman espoused Anne, daughter of Lord Ferrers, and by this marriage left issue four sons, Edward, Thomas, Henry, and Gilbert. Edward, who was made Knight of the Garter and summoned to Parliament in the thirty-first year of Edward the Third, succeeded to the estates of Earl Hugh, his uncle, and married Elizabeth, daughter of Lord Bartholomew de Burghurst, the king's chamberlain. He commanded the rear of the English army during their fatiguing and perilous march from Calais to Bordeaux in 1373. He gave a cup of gold to the monastery, and a precious jewel, says the Chronicle of Tewkesbury, “wonderfully contrived to hold the sacrament on solemn days.” His eldest son, Edward, died early at Cardiff Castle, and, with two other children, a brother and sister, was buried in the family vault at Tewkesbury. At his death, two years after the expedition above mentioned, Edward left a son, named Thomas, and three daughters, Elizabeth, Anne, and Margaret, and was buried in the Abbey church of Tewkesbury, before the vestry door, near the

* Hist. and Antiq. of Tewkesb. —Dugdale, Chron. mass of the Holy Cross on Friday, the mass of St.

+ To the office of sacrist in the Abbey of Tewkes- Mary on Saturday—twenty-one pence weekly. Farbury he appropriated certain rents in Bristol : and to ther, to him who should celebrate mass on his annithe priest who should say the first mass for the soul versary, or on that of his wife Elizabeth-if the of the said Gay every day at the altar of St. Marga- abbot, five shillings; if the prior, three shillings and ret in the church of Tewkesbury, with certain prayers four-pence: to him who should read the Gospel, to the specified for his surviving kindred, and his kindred de- reader of the Epistle, to him who should hold the ceased, the mass of the Trinity on Sunday, the mass paten, and to the precentor and his two assistants, of the Holy Ghost on Monday, the mass of St. eight-pence each ; to the prior twelve-pence, and to Thomas on Tuesday, the mass of the Holy Rest on every monk four-pence. — Monast. Anglican. I. 157. Wednesday, the mass of Ascension on Thursday, the




chancel; where his widow, Dame le Despenser, to perpetuate his memory, built the Chapel of the Holy Trinity, hereafter mentioned.

This lady survived her husband thirty-three years, and retained, as “ her dowry, the lordships of Hanley, Fairford, and Tewkesbury,” and died at the commencement of the fifteenth century, when they fell to her grandson Richard, whose father, Thomas—the second son of the last-named Edward_had fallen a victim to the axe at the accession of Henry the Fourth. She was buried near her husband; and during her life, among various other benefactions, she bequeathed to the Abbey a suit of scarlet vestments, embroidered with lions of goldnamely, one coat with three royal robes and white vestments, and fifteen mantles or copes.*

Thomas, her nephew above mentioned, married Constance, daughter of Edmund Langley, Duke of York, and was created Earl of Gloucester by Richard the Second, in right of his descent from Elianora, wife of Hugh Despenser the younger. But having taken an active part in the conspiracy formed to dethrone Henry the Fourth, he was apprehended at Bristol and executed, (and a sentence of attainder passed upon his titles and estates.

He was afterwards buried in the middle of the Choir in Tewkesbury church, where a lamp was kept constantly burning before the host. He left two children, Richard, who died at the age of eighteen, † and Isabel, who, succeeding to the family estates, was married by the Abbot of Tewkesbury to Richard Parker, son and heir of William Lord Beauchamp, and afterwards Earl of Worcester. At the siege of Meuse-en-Bry (Meaux) in France, this nobleman was wounded by a stone cast from a sling, “lapide balistæ,' and dying in consequence, his body was sent home and interred near the founder's chapel, between the pillars at the bottom of the Choir; where the lady Isabel, his widow, erected a chapel to his memory and dedicated it to St. Mary Magdalen. It was covered with pictures of our Saviour, the twelve apostles, and emblazoned with coats of arms—long since defaced. This laly afterwards, by a papal dispensation, married her late husband's cousin, Richard Beauchamp, fifth earl of Warwick, who was governor of France under

(King Henry the Sixth, and died at the city of Rouen, leaving issue by

the said marriage a son and daughter, named Henry and Anne. The lady Isabel was a munificent benefactress of the Abbey of Tewkesbury, having




The custom of the day: trinkets, robes, needlo + Then under the guardianship of Edmund, Duke work, apparel of all kinds, were usually left to the of York, who had married him to Elizabeth, eldest church, which declined nothing by way of gifts, from daughter of Ralph Nevil, Earl of Westmoreland. He a coronet to a coral bead. See the enumeration in left no issue, and was buried with his ancestors in the the Monast. Anglican. I. 157.

Abbey church. Hist. and Antiq. of Tewkesb.

« AnteriorContinua »