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Religious Motivation in the Biography of Hubert De Burgh

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 March 2016

Fred A. Cazel Jr*
Affiliation:
University of Connecticut

Extract

Hubert de Burgh was the most powerful man in England during the minority of Henry III, the real ruler of England for most of the decade of the 1220s. In his climb to power, in his exercise of it, and perhaps most of all, in his sudden disgrace and persecution, his biography is dramatic and compelling. One of the factors in his rise and fall was the religious motivation for his acts, a factor which is all too often neglected in modern biography and history. No one doubts that Hubert de Burgh was a Christian, though his lord, king John, flirted with disbelief; but no one has really considered what effects Hubert’s Christianity may have had upon his actions. Nor how strong it was by comparison with other motivations.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Ecclesiastical History Society 1978

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References

1 [Radulphi de] Coggeshall [Chronicon Anglicanum] , ed Stevenson, J., RS 57 (1875) pp 13941 Google Scholar.

2 [Matthati Parisiensis] Chronica majora , ed Luaid, H. R., 7 vols, RS 57 (1872-84) 3 pp 290-1Google Scholar.

3 The saint was converted by the apparition of a stag bearing a crucifix between its antlers. The incident was clearly borrowed from the life of saint Eustace, whose day was celebrated in the middle ages only a day earlier than saint Hubert’s (ASB, Novembris, I pp 770-80). The story is not found in a vita of saint Hubert before the fifteenth century— Van der Essen, L., Étude critique et littéraire sur les Vitae des saints Mérovingiens de l’ancienne Belgique (Louvain 1907) pp 6870 Google Scholar—but the transfer could have been made elsewhere than in the Low Countries where the vitae were written. Only two English churches are known to be dedicated to saint Hubert— Bond, F., Dedications and Patron Saints of English Churches (London 1914) p 218 Google Scholar—and one of these is the church of Hubert de Burgh’s manor of Corfmoulin, Dorset.

4 Coggeshall, pp 132-3; Chronica majora, 2 p 664, 3 pp 3-5.

5 Gervase of Chichester in [Sacrae antiquitatis] monumenta [historica, dogmatica, diplomatica], ed Hugo, C. L., 1 (Stivagii 1725) pp 70-1Google Scholar.

6 Norgate, Kate, The Minority of Henry III (London 1912) pp 4954,Google Scholar provides a good secondary account.

7 MA, 6 pt 1 p 487.

6 Chronica majora, 2 p 586, 3 p 19; compare Walter of Coventry, Historical Collections , ed Stubbs, W., 2 vols, RS 58 (1872-73) 2 p 235 Google Scholar; Royal [and Other Historical] Letters [Illustrative of the Reign of Henry III] , ed Shirley, W. W., 2 vols, RS 27 (1862-66) 1 p 167 Google Scholar (attributing this letter to Guaio rather than Pandulf).

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10 Westminster Abbey Domesday, fol 347b; PRO Cartae Antiquae C 52/34 mem 1, partially printed in The Historians of the Church of York , ed Raine, J., 3 vols, RS 71 (1879-94) 2 pp 160-1Google Scholar. The archbishop then deeded the property to his church: [Calendar of] Charter Rolls , 6 vols (London 1903-27) 1 p 284 Google Scholar.

11 Chronica majora, 6 p 390; Dugdale, William, History of St Paul’s Cathedral in London, ed Ellis, H. (London 1818) appendix p 322 Google Scholar; Register of St Osmund , ed Rich-Jones, W. H., 2 vols, RS 78 (1883-4) 2 pp 43-4Google Scholar; BM MS Cotton Vespasian A XXII (Registrum Ecclesie Roffensis) fol 91v; at Norwich the decoration of the present Jesus chapel, formerly dedicated to saint Stephen and all the Holy Martyrs, is attributed to Hubert de Burgh since his coat of arms is prominently displayed.

12 MA, 5 pp 731-4; Patent Rolls, [III, Henry], 1225-1212 (London 1903) pp 163-4Google Scholar; Calendar of Patent Rolls, I, Edward, 1272-1281 (London 1901) p 442 Google Scholar; Charter Rolls, 1 p 59.

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14 Monumenta, ed C. L. Hugo pp 70-1; MA, 6 pt 2 pp 939-43; Oxford Bodleian MS Rawlinson B.336 pp 16, 42, 148,169; Rawlinson B.461 p 29; Gough Kent 18 pp 105b-106; Close Rolls, 1231-1234, pp 289-90.

15 MA, 6 pt 2 pp 655-8; Calendar of Charter Rolls, 1 pp 48, 78, 126, 191, 141, 315, and see index for other references; Calendar of Patent Rolls, Henry, III, 1258-1266 (London 1910) p 541 Google Scholar; ibid, Edward II, 1313-1317 (London 1898) p 551; Placito de quo warrante, ed Illingworth, W. and Caley, J. (London 1818) pp 330-1bGoogle Scholar, 353b, 360b.

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19 Calendar of Liberate Rolls (London 1917- ) 2 p 242; Calendar of Documents Relating to Ireland, ed Sweetman, H. S. and Handcock, G. F., 5 vols (London 1875-86) 1 p 450 Google Scholar (no 3012).

20 MA, 2 pp 79-81.

21 Flores historiarum, ed Luard, H. R., 3 vols, RS 95 (1890) 2 pp 196-7Google Scholar, printed from a Rochester source. See also the Dover Annals, BM MS Cotton Julius D V fol 27v.

22 Chronica majora, 3 pp 224-6; Annales de Theokesberia, [Annales Monastici], ed Luard, H. R., 5 vols, RS 36 (1864-69) 1 p 86 Google Scholar.

23 Close Rolls, [Henry, III], 1231-1234 (London 1905) p 161 Google Scholar; Chronica majora, 3 p 226; 6 p 64.

24 Ibid 3 pp 226-30; Close rolls, 1231-1234, pp 153-5, 161; Dunstaplia, Annales de, [Annales Monastici], 3 pp 129-38Google Scholar.

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26 Chronica majora, 3 p 229.

27 PRO Ancient Correspondence, SC 1/6/101.

28 Royal Letters, 1 pp 379-80 (no CCCX).

29 Close Rolls, 1231-1234, p 161.

30 Chronica majora, 3 pp 229-30.

31 Rotuli litterarum pateittium, ed Hardy, T. D. (London 1835) p 68 Google Scholar; Rotuli litterum clausarum, ed Hardy, T. D., 2 vols (London 1833-44) 1 pp 75 Google Scholar.153b, 196b, 387b, 445b; Patent Rolls, [Henry, III], 1216-1225, (London 1901) p 185 Google Scholar; Monumenta, ed C. L. Hugo, p 71.

32 Patent Rolls, 1216-1225, P 512; Patent Rolls, 1225-1232, pp 104, 178, 232-37; Le Neve, 1 p 423; Register of St Osmund, 2 pp 37, 43-4.

33 Waverleia, Annales de, [Annales Monastici], 2 p 301 Google Scholar; Chronica majora, 3 p 121.

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35 Chronica majora, 3 pp 71-3; Matthaei Parisieiisis Historia Anglorum, ed Madden, F., 3 vols, RS 44 (1866-69) 2 pp 251-2Google Scholar; Annales de Dunstaplia, pp 78-9.

36 Chronica majora, 3 p 79.

37 See the attestation of chancery writs beginning 12 December 1223 and continuing into 1226, though the king took on more and more independence during these years.

38 Winford Eagle, Dorset; Newington-next-Hythe and its outliers in Kent; the honour of Hornby in Lancashire’, Wheatley, Notts; Long Compton, Warwickshire.

39 PRO Curia Regis Rolls KB 26/120 mem 23d; PRO Feet of Fines CP 25(1)/156/63 no 739.

40 Chronica majora, 3 p 223; Close Rolls, 1231-1234, pp 163, 173, 177 (compare 209), 179, 191, 196 (compare 223), 208, 218, 230, 242, 248, 362. That Hubert’s officials may have been more to blame than he, see PRO Ancient Correspondence SC 1/6/141.

41 At the time of his disgrace Hubert was almost certainly the richest subject in the land: not only had he built up an earldom of Kent worth about £1500 a year, but he held the custodies of the earldoms of Arundel, Clare and Gloucester as well as the rich baronies of Mowbray, Avrenches, and Briouse of Totnes and the Marches.

42 Chronica majora, 3 p 222.

43 Ibid 3 pp 220-1.

44 Ibid 3 p 221.