Burgh, Hubert de (DNB00)
|←Burgh, Benedict||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 07
Burgh, Hubert de
BURGH, HUBERT de (d. 1243), chief justiciar, is said to have been the son of a brother of William FitzAldelm, steward of Henry II and lord of Connaught (Dugdale's, Baronage). He was employed by Richard I. When John divorced his wife, Isabella of Gloucester, in 1200, he sent Hubert and other ambassadors from Rouen to the king of Portugal, to ask his daughter in marriage. Although the king was so unmindful of the safety of his ambassador as to marry Isabella of Angloulême during the course of their embassy, they nevertheless returned in safety. The next year Hubert, who now appears as the king's chamberlain, was sent with a hundred knights to guard the Welsh march. The famous story that forms the groundwork of Shakespeare‘s ‘King John,’ act iv. sc. 1, 2, rests on the authority of Ralph of Coggeshall, who says that Hubert was castellan of Falaise; that be had charge of Arthur of Brittany, after he was taken at Mirabel; that he kept him in strict custody in fetters fastened round his ankles with three rings ; that John, enraged at the gallant attacks of the Bretons, sent a messenger to Falaise with orders to mutilate and blind his nephew, and that Hubert had the messenger turned out of the castle, believing that the king would repent him of his cruel order. In the hope of checking the forays of the Bretons, he pretended, we are told, that the king’s command had been obeyed, and that Arthur was dead. When, however, the Bretons heard this, tbey grew fiecer than before, and Hubert was soon forced to declare the truth. John was glad when he heard it, for some of his knights told him that had it been otherwise no man would have dared to hold a castle for him against the king of France for fear of reprisals. Arthur was shortly afterwards taken from Hubert's care, and sent to Rouen (Ralph Coggesh, 139-143). Considerable doubt has been thrown upon this story [see Arthur of Brittany]. Ralph of Coggeshall is no bad authority, as he was generally careful to get his information frcm the best sources; but the whole transactions connected with Arthur's fate are full of uncertainty. When Philip of France had pronounced the second sentence of forfeiture against John, Hubert was sent to declare the king's readiness to answer all charges in his lOTd*s court, and to demand a safo-eonduct for him. In 1204, when almost the whole of the rest of Poitou had fallen into the hands of the French, Hubert gallantly held the castle of Chinon against them. After a siese lasting for a whole year, the castle, which men had always deemed too strong to be taken, was so shattered that Hub«t was forced to leave it. He then met the enemy in the open field, and after a stout fight was badly wounded and taken prisoner. In 1214 he appears as seneschal of Niort (Close Rolls) and of Poitou, and as a party to the truces made in tliat year with the court of La Marclie and tlie king of France (Rymer, Fœdera, i. 03, 64, 2nd edit. ; Gul. Armoric, Recueil des Hist. xvii. 91, 104). He received various grants from Jolm, and at different periods of the reign was sheriff of seven counties. He was on the king's side at Runnymede, and his name is mentioned in the first clause of the great charter as one of those by whose advice it was granted, and in the list ffiven by Matthew Paris of the lords who upheld the twenty-five conservators of the charter. He first appears as justiciar in June 1215, the month in wliich tlie charter was signed by the king. On the landing of Louis in 1216, John committed Dover Castle to his keeping. He vigorously defended it against the assault of the French, and slew so many of the enemy that Louis determined to reduce it by blockade. Hubert is said to have roughly repulsed the messengers of Louis, who offered him Norfolk and Suffolk to hold in fee if he would join his party. The siege began 22 July, and fcy 14 Oct. the castle had sufl'ered so severely that Hubert made a truce with Louis as far as the siege was concerned, in order that he might see whether the king would send him help. Louis seems now to have broken up the blockade (Ralph Coggesh. 182; Will. Cov. 232; Wendover, iv. 4).
Although the Earl of Pembroke was made regent on the accession on of Henry III, Hubert continued to hold the office of justicar. In the summer of 1217 any chance of success which Louis still had depended on the arrival of the reinforcements sent by his wife and despatched in a fleet commanded by Eustace the Monk. Hubert, believing that if these troops effected a landing the kingdom would be undone, urged William Marshall and the bishop of Wincheater to join him in attacking the fleet. They refused on the grounds of their ignorance of nautical matters. He then gathered the ships of the Cinque Ports and picked out the stoutest men of his garrison at Dover. After receiving the sacrament from hie chaplain Luke, he charged the men he left in Dover Castle, adjuring them by Christ's blood that if he should be taken they should rather let him be hanged rather than give up the castle: 'for,' said he, 'it is the key of England.' The fleet was blessed by the bishop of Salisbury, and set sail 24 Aug; The number of Hubert's ships is somewhat differently stated; at the highest computation he had no more than sixteen large and twenty small vessels, while the French fleet consisted of eighty large and many smaller ships. While the French running before a fresh breeze made straight for the North Foreland, the English steered a slanting course, holding their luff, as though making for Calais ('obliquando tamen dracenam, is est loof'). Eustace therefore kept a straight course, not thinking that he should be attacked by so small a force. As soon, however, as the English ships had got well to windward, the French running to leeward all the time, they bore down on the enemy, and so came into collision with their rear. The rest of the French fleet being dead to leeward was unable to come to the help of the ships attacked, and was overpowered in separate detachments. Only fifteen or seventeen ships escaped, fifty-five were taken, and the rest were sunk. Eustace the Monk was beheaded, and no quarter was given save to nobles and knights who were spared for the sake of ransom. The fight lasted a whole day. As the commander of our fleet in this, the first of our great naval victories, Hubert de Burgh is entitled to the credit of the masterly movement which enabled our few ships to overpower the vastly superior force of the enemy (Matt. Paris, iii. 29 ; Ann. de Waverleia, Ann. de Wigornia, Ann. Monast. ii. 288, iv. 408 ; explanation supplied by Prof. J. S. Laughton). Hubert on his landing was met by a triumphal procession of ministers of states nobles, soldiery, and people, headed by five bishops in then robes, with crosses and banners, cluuiting and praising God for a victory that men deemed nothing less than miraculous. A French version of this battle is that a single French ship carrying Eustace the Monk left the main body of the fleet to attack a few English vessels that were crossing the channel; and that this ship was attacked by four English ones, and, being unsupported by the rest, was destroyed. Eustace was slain, and the French fleet then put back to their own shore (Gul. Armoric. Recueil, xvii. 111). Hubert's victory led to the treaty of Lambeth, 11 Sept. 1217, to which he was a party, and to the evacuation of England by the French.
The death of the regent in 1219 gave Hubert the first place in the kingdom after the legate. His special work was to 'replace the working of the administrative system in English hands' (Stubbs, Const. Hist. ii. 32). In this work he had to contend against a powerful foreign interest. The real head of the foreign party, which aimed at appropropriating all administrative offices, was Peter des Roches, the Poitovin bishop of Winchester, upheld for a while by the legate Pandulf ; the ostensible leaders were William of Aumale, the Earl of Chester, and Falkes de Breauté. In his struggle with this party Hubert upheld the right of Englishmen to all offices in their own administrative system ; he was thus the 'first of our statesmen to convert the emotion of nationality into a principle of political action' (Shirley, Introd. Royal Letter of Hen. III'). The first sign of the coming struggle was a dispute about the appointment of a seneschal for Poitou. Pandulf and the bishop of Winchester were in favour of giving the office to a Poitevin, while Hubert wished for an Englishman. The efforts of Archbishop Longton and Hubert, brought about the resignation of Pandulf, and the justiciar thus gained the supreme power. He had many enemies, and their number was increased by his imprudent severity. When, in 1322, a riot broke out in London, he seized and hansed the ringleader, Constantine, one of the chief men of the city, with his nephew, and one of his principal abettors, and took a large number of prisoners, whom he caused to be mutilated before they were released. These severe measures were not forgotten by the Londoners. Some part of the hatred of the nobles against Hubert arose from jealousy. The young king trusted him implicitly. He had great wealth, partly derived from royal grants, and partly from his marriages. His first wife was Joan, daughter of William, earl of Devon, lord of the Isle of Wight, and widow of William Brewr, the younger ; his eecond was Beatrice, daughter of William of Warenne, and widow of Lord Bardulf; his third, Isabella, daughter and heiress of William, second earl of Gloucester, the repudiated wife of King John, and at the time of her marriage with Hubert the widow of Geoffrey MandeviUe, fifth earl of Essex. All these marriages greatly enriched bim. In 1221 he made a yet higher match; for when the marriage of Alexander II of Scotland and Joan, King Henry's sister, was celebrated at York, Hubert married Margaret, Alexander's sister, in the same city. The anger of the nobles against Hubert was aggravated by the demand that the royal castles which had been committed by John into the keeping of different lords should be surrendered to the crown, a measure highly needful for the main tenonce of orderly government, and for the attainment of the national policy of which Hubert was the representative. An attempt was made by William of Aumate in 1221 to resist this demand, and its utter failure served for a while to strengthen Hubert's position. The discontent, however, was too deep to be easily quelled, and the Earl of Chester next came forward as the mouthpiece of the foreign party which desired to disturblhepeace of the kingdom. In January 1223 the archbishop held a council at London to compose the diapntea thot had arisen between the Earl of Chester on the one side and the Earl of Salisbury and the justiciar who are called r^;ents ('regis rectores et regni,' Will. Cov. ii, 251) on the other. A threat of excommunication kept matters quiet for a time. In order to make the position of the discontented lords completely untenable, Hubert, in 1223 procured a letter from Honorius III, declaring Henry competent to govern, and commanding the barons to obey him. Towards the end of the year he conducted a successful campaign in Wales. On his return he found the discontented lords engaged in a conspiracy to seize the Tower of London, in order to force the king to dismiss him. He prevented their design. Then the archbishop and bishops persuaded the leaders of the party to come to the king. They laid their complaints before him, declaring, according to one writer unfavourable to Hubert, that ha was a waster of the royal treasure and an oppressor of the people. Hubert turned fiercely on the Bishop of Winchester, accused him of being at the bottom of the disturbance, and called him a traitor. The bishop in answer vowed that he would get the justiciar turned out of office if it cost him every pminy he had, and left the council in a rage (Ann. de Dunstap. ill. 84). Peace was made between the parties by the archbishop. The overthrow of Falkes de Breauté [q. v.] the next year destroyed the power of the party to which he belonged The national policy of Hubert was crowned with success and for the time his position was secured (Const. Hist. ii. 34-6).
The depression of the alien party left Hubert virtual master of the king and kingdom. He used his power to strengthen the throne, and to keep England at peace at home and abroad. At the same time he lost no opportunity of enriching himself and his relations. Little or nothing is known of his descent, and there are indications that his family was at least not held to be equal with those of the great nobles of England, who saw with disgust the riches and honours that were heaped upon him. It was, however, no part of his policy to depress the barons, and indeed the marriages between members of the royal family and the house of the Earls Marshall are evidence (as Dr Stubbs has pointed out, Const. Hist. ii 43) that he sought to enlist them for the support of the throne. On the death of William, earl of Arundel, in 1224 Hubert was made guardian of the earldom and of the young heir, Hugh, and the next year he was made guardian of the lands and of the heir of Hugh Bigod, earl of Norfolk. These and such like grants must have caused some anger among the nobles, who thus saw themselves shut out from opportunities of considerable power and profit. At the Christmas council of 1224 Hubert demanded a grant on behalf of the king. In answer the barons asked for a renewal of the great charter. A confirmation was granted 11 Feb 1225, and was signed by the justiciar. In 1226 a report was raised that William Longsword, earl of Salisbury the king's uncle had been lost at sea Hubert at once asked the king to allow his nephew Reimund, to marry the Countess Ela. The king agreed, subject to the consent of the lady. When Reimund went wooing, he was received with much indignation. The countess told him that she had heard of her lord's safety, and that even had it been otherwis,e she was too noble to marry a man of his rank. On the earl's return he complained bitterly to the king of the justiciar's conduct in sending a base fellow ('degenerem virum quendam') to woo his wife while he was alive, and vowed that if Henry would not do him right, he would seek his revenge himself, whatever evil he might bring on the kingdom. The justiciar made up the quarrel by giving him valuable presents, and invited him to eat at his house. The earl accepted the invitation and soon afterwards fell sick and died. Among the special characteristics of the age is to be reckoned the prevalence of poisoning. Men were suspected of this crime on the most frivolous grounds (Matt Paris Introd. vii. ed. Luard). When Hubert's enemies were at last able to make their voices heard, they accused him of causing the deaths of the earl and of Falkes de Breauté, which both happened in 1226, though Falkes died at St Cyriac, and there seems no ground for supposing that either of them met with foul play Before longHubert obtained the widow of William Mandeville, earl of Essex, as wife for Reimund, and another of his nephews, Thomas of Blundville, a clerk of the exchequer, was at his instance made bishop of Norwich. His brother Geoffrey alreadv held the bishopric of Ely (1225-8).
Hubert was now strong enough to adopt a decisive policy. At a council held at Oxford in February 1227, the king by his advice declared himself of full age, and dismissed his governor the Bishop of Winchester, who left England and remained abroad for nearly five years. A new seal was made; the forest charters were declared obsolete, and notice was given to the religious houses that, if they wished to retain their privileges, they must sue for a renewal of their charters—a process entailing payment. These measures were put down to the justiciar, who, it is said, arbitrarily fixed the sum each convent had to pay. Harsh as these measures seem it must be remembered that the state was greatly prejudiced by the existence of private rights and privileges, and that of those then existing many had been granted in a wasteful spirit and many had doubtless been assumed without any grant (Ann. Dunstap. iii 105). In the advice the justiciar gave on these matters he followed out that policy of resumption which he had before applied to the royal castles, and wisely laboured to secure the crown the means needed for the purposes of government, without burdening the people at large. At the Oxford council Hubert was made earl of Kent. In the course of a quarrel that arose about this time between the king and his brother Richard earl of Cornwall, he is said to have advised Henry to seize the earl and imprison him. The ready support the earl received at this crisis from the other nobles is a sign of their dislike of the justiciar's administration. When in 1228, war broke out with the Welsh and the castle of Montgomery was besieged. Henry granted the honour and castle to the justiciar and went with him to raise the siege The expedition was on the whole disastrous many of the king's men were in alliance with Llewelyn and the army was badly provisioned The failure was put down to the justiciar (Ann. Dunstap. iii. 110. Some legal proceedings in which the men of Dunstaple came off badly, are to be noticed in connection with the life of Huberl, as they doubtless afford the key to unfavourable notices given of him in the Dunstaple annals). In spite of the ill success of the king in this war, he longed to undertake a more serious expedition. Envoys from the nobles of Gascony, Aquitaine, and Poitou, and from the chief men of Normandy, urged him to war with the French king. Hubert, who knew the emptiness of the treasury, and the need of peace, succeeded in staving off the matter for a season. But the king, no less headstrong than fickle and incapable, was set on a French expedition, and overruled the justiciar. At Michaelmas 1219 a large force was gathered at Portsmouth ready to embark. At the last moment it was found that there were not half enough ships for the transport of the army. The king fell into a violent rage, and laid the whole blame on the justicar. In the hearing of all, he called him an 'old traitor,' and declared that this was the second time he had brought failure on him, and that he had been bribed by the French queen. Utterly carried away by his anger, he drew his sword, and would have alain the justiciar, had not the Earl of Chester and other bystanders interposed. Hubert withdrew himself for a while until the king's wrath had cooled (Wendover, iv. 204). In spite of this violent scene, he still remained at the head of affairs. He kept the king from sending a body of knights to join the discontented nobles of Britanny. 'It would,' he said, 'he simply sending them to die.' He went with the army in 1S30 on the expedition the king made to Poitou and Gascony. The result showed the wisdom of the advice he had vainly given; no good was done, and much money was wasted. On his return he was sent to quell a rising of the Welsh, who were laying waste to the country about Montgomery; he beheadtsl all his prisoners, and sent their heads to the king. Instead of intimidating the Welsh, this severe measure only made them fiercer.
Although Hubert had crushed the alien lords, another and more subtle attack was mode by aliens on the rights of Englishmen, on the side of the church. Papal collectors drew vast sums out of the country, and English benefices were made the spoil of Italian priests. A widespread confederacy was secretly made to resist this foreign aggression, and many acts of violence were committed on papal officers and alien eleigy. The justiciar was believed to have abetted these disturbances. Nothing could have more surely turned the king away from him than this belief, for Henry delighted in subjecting himself to Rome. In 1331 Hubert had a dispute with the Archbishop of Canterbary. As guardian of the lands of the young Earl of Gloucester, he held the castle and town of Tonbridge. Archbishop Richard claimed them as held of the brb. The king declared that the earl held of him in chief and that the wardship of his lands pertained to the crown. The archhishop carried his cause to Rome. When he came there he eaid what evil he could against; the justiciar. He declared that Hubert's wife Margaret was too near akin to his former wife Isabella, and also, as it seems, that he had neglected to fulfil a vow of pilgrimage. He complainnd that he was the king's one counsellor, all others were as nothing, and that he had invaded the rights of the church of Canterbury. The king's proctors spoke in vain on behalf of their master and the justiciar. Hubert had, however, been absolved from his vow of pilgrimage, and as to his marriage he managed, so it is said (Ann. Dunstap. iii. 138), to obstruct the hearing of the case by legal hindrances. In the course of this year the Bishop of Winchester returned to England. His return decided the downfall of the justiciar. Renewed incusions of the Welsh gave him an opportunity of bringing matters to a crisis. In company with other counsellors he represented to the king the scandal of these constant forays. Henry replied by complaining that his treasury was empty. The counsellors answered that his poverty arose from his grants. Acting on the bishop's suggestion, the king took away the treasurership from Hubert's friend Ranulf Brito, and gave it to the bishop's nephew, Peter of Rievaulx. The bishop waa now all-powerful with Henry, yet even as late as June l232 Hubert received a grant for life of the jusliciarship of Ireland. On 29 July, however, acting on the advice of the Bishop of Winchester, the king turned him out of office, and demanded an account of all receipts and payments during his own reign and the reign of his father, together with an account of his proceedings in the matter of the Italian priests. Hubert pleaded a charter of quittance granted by John, but the bishop declared that the charter had lost all force by the death of the grantor. The next move against him was a series of distinct charges, viz. that he had prevented the marriage of Henry III and Margaret of Austria ; that he had prevented the recovery of Normandy; that he seduced Margaret of Scotland, and married her in the hope of gaining the crown of that kingdom, and the like. His property and offices wore taken from him, Dover Castle he had to give up to the new treasurer, and the wardakip of the Earl of Gloucester to the bishop. A large number of additional charges, founded on hearsay and some of the wildest character, were next brought. He had poisoned, it was said, William, earl of Salisbury, William Marshall, earl of Pembroke, Falkes de Breauté, and Archbishop Richard, and had gained the king’s favour by sorcery. The Londoners complained that he had put Constantine to death unjustly, and without trial, and the king caused a proclamation to be made through the city that he was ready to receive complaints against him.
A day was fixed for hearing the charges against Hubert, but he knew that his cause was prejudged, and fled for sanctuary to Merton Priory. VVhen the king heard this, he sent a letter to the mayor of London, bidding him instantly summon the citizens and bring Hubert before him by force, alive or dead, Late as it was in the evening, the mayor caused the city bell to be rung out, The citizens came together and rejoiced greatly when they heard what was required of them (Wendover, iv. 250). Two of the wiser among them, however, perplexed at this order to violate sanctuary, and alarmed at the possible consequences of this tumultuary proceeding, roused the Bishop of Winchester from sleep and asked his advice. He recommended them to obey the king’s orders. Before it was light a vast host, reckoned at 20,000 men, marched like an army towards Merton. The Earl of Chester, however, warned the king of the danger of raising the mob, and Henry forbade the citizens to proceed. The only one among the royal counsellors who spoke for Hubert was his former chaplain Luke, for whom in the days of his prosperity he had procured the archbishopric of Dublin (Matt. Paris, v. 531). At his request some little time was allowed the fallen minister to prepare his answers to the charges brought against him. Hubert left Merton, having, it was believed, a safe-conduct from the king. He joined his wife at St. Edmunds, and thence went. to Brentwood, which belonged to his nephew, the bishop of Norwich. The king believed that he intended to flee the kingdom, and sent armed men to take him. Hubert took refuge in the Boisars chapel, hard bly the bishop’s house. The king's men too him thence by force. A smith was called to fetter him. He asked for whose legs the fetters were intended, and when he was told that they were to bind Hubert de Burgh, he swore that he would have nothing to do with the job. The men then bound Hubert with cords, placed him on a horse, led him to London, and lodged him in the Tower. When the Bishop of London heard of it. he hastened to the king, and declared that unless he sent Hubert back again he would excommunicate all concerned in this breach of the peace of holy church. Hubert was accordingly taken back to the chapel, which was strictly watched by the sheriffs of Hertford and Essex. No one, not even his son, was allowed to go to him. Two servants brought him food, while he was thus besieged he heard of the death of his enemy the Earl of Chester. ‘May the Lord be merciful to him,' he said, and, taking the salter, he read the service for his soul. Althiough the king forbade any one to mention his name, the Archbishop of Dublin did not cease to plead for him. The king said that he might either leave England, swearing never to return, or suffer imprisonment for life, or own himself a traitor. Hubert refused to accept any of these proposals, but promised, if the king wished it, to leave England for a while. At last his supplies of food were out off, and rather than die of hunger he delivered himself up to the sheriffs. He was taken to London fettered, and again imprisoned in the Tower. It was told the king that he had a large treasure deposited at the new Temple. The master refused to give it up without authority. Hubert, however, declared that he would submit to the king‘s pleasure. The royal messengers found a vast amount of plate, money, and jewels, and transferred them to the treasury. Hubert’s enemies declared that his dishonesty was now proved, and pressed the king to put him to death. Henry had, however, by this time ‘come a little to himself ’ (Matt. Paris, iii. 233). ‘I have heard,’ he said, ‘that from his boyhood he was a faithful servant, first to my uncle Richard and afterwards to King John my father, and if he has done me ill I will never slay him unjustly! He allowed Hubert all the lands he had inherited or bought for his maintenance, and gave him in charge to four earls, who lodged him in Devizes Castle, and who, on 28 Feb. 1233, released him from his chains (Ann. de Theok. i. 88). Soon after this both the kin and the Bishop of Winchester received letters from Gregory IX his release. The bishop, however, eagerly desired his death, and prayed the king that he would give him the custody of Devizes Castle, in order, it was believed, that he might thus be able to slay him. Hubert heard this from his friends at the court, and accordingly, one night about Michaelmas, he made his escape from the castle with the help ofthe two servants who attended on him, and took refuge in Devizes church. In the morning, when the warders missed him, they went in a body to the church, and with lists and sticks drove him and his two servants back to the castle, where they rgaced him in stricter confinement. The ishop of Salisbury, however, came in haste to Devizes and blule the men take Hubert back to the church. They refused, saying that they would rather see their prisoner hanged than be hanged themselves, and he thereupon excommunicated them. Then he and the Bishop of London went to the king and compelled him to restore Hubert to the chllrch. In anger at this, Henry bade the sheriff of Wiltshire blockade the church and starve him out. On 30 Oct. Richard Siward and Gilbert Basset, who were wanting the lands of the Bishop of Winchester and of other evil counsellors, rode up to the church, carried him off either willing (Ann. Dunst. iii. 138) or unwilling (Wykes, iv. 76) to Aust, where they took ship and so crossed to the castle of Richard Marshall at Chepstow. There Hubert stayed, and when Earl Richard went to Ireland in the following year he took charge of his household and castles.
In 1234 Archbishop Edmund succeeded in overthrowing the Bishop of Winchester, and shortly afterwards brought about a reconciliation between the king and Hubert, who expressed his thankfulness to God in a prayer which has been recorded by the chronicler (Matt. Paris, iii. 291), Hubert’s outlawry was annulled as unjust and unlawful, his honours and earldom were restored, and he was in made one of the king’s counsellors. His marriage of his daughter Margaret to Richard of Clare, the young Earl of Gloucester, brought him into some trouble in 1236, for the earl was as yet a minor and in the king's wardship, and the marriage had been celebrated without the royal license. Hubert, however, protested that the match was not of his making, and promised to pay the king some money, so the matter passed by for the time. His name is among the witnesses to the confirmation of the charter granted in this year. In a kind of general pacification of the feuds of the nobles brought about by the legate Otho in 1237, Hubert was reconciled to his old enemy the Bishop of Winchester and others of the same party. When, in the next year, the king was threatened hy a general insurrection of the nobles, headed by the Earl of Cornwall, Hilbert was the only one who upheld him. Of him the barons now had little fear, for they knew that he had vowed never to bear arms again. His old age tempted Henry to persecute him once more. In 1239 the king revived a great many of the old charges against him, for he considered that if Hilbert died while the case was still pending all his goods would be at his mercy. The charges were read in the presence of the king, and perhaps by the king himself; they ended with a ridiculous story of an attempt on the king’s life. Hubert reminded Henry that he had never been a traitor to him or his father. ‘Had I wished to betray you,’ he said, ‘you would never have obtained the kingdom.' He committed the task of drawing up his defence to Laurence, a clerk of St. Albans, who had been his faithful friend in all his troubles and had acted as his steward during his imprisonment. The hearing of the case was fixed for 30 Aug. Laurence did his work so well that, in spite of the efforts of the king and the pleaders of the royal court, the earl’s innocence was thoroughly established. (For the charges and Laurence's defence see Matt. Paris, vi. 63-74, Addit.) In order, however, to satisfy the king judgement was given that he should surrender four castles. ‘The earl,’ we are told, 'whose long-tried faithfulness had so often saved England for the English, bore all the king`s ungrateful persecution and all his unworthy insults, nay even all the assaults of fortune with calm patience’ (Matt. Paris, iii. 620). Before long he made his peace with Henry and recovered his castles (Ann. de Theok. i. 112). He died ‘full of days' at Banstead on 12 May 1243, and was buried in the house of the Black Friars in London, a convent he had enriched with many gifts, and above all with that of his noble palace, standing not far from Westminster. This palace was bought of the Black Friars by Walter Gray, archbishop of York, and so bore the name of York Place until it became the king’s and was culled Whitehall (Raine, Fasti Eboracenses, 291). Hubert had two sons: John, who inherited his estates, but probably not his title, and Hubert. His daughter lilerguret, who married Richard, earl of Gloucester, died before her father. He is said (Dugdale, Barontage) to have had a second daughter. His elder son John, knighted in 1229, could scarcely, as has been supposed, have been the child of his last wife, married in 1221. This wife, Margaret, daughter of William the Lion, outlived him and married Gilbert Marshall.
[Roger of Wendovsr (Eng. Hist. Soc.); Matthew Paris’s Chron. Maj., ed. Luard (Rolls Ser.); Annales de Theokesberia, &c., Annales Monastici, ed. Lllard (Rolls Ser.); Walter of Coventry, ed. Stubbs (Rolls Ser.); Ralph of Coggeshall, ed. sesvensm (Rolls ser.); Royal Letters, Hen. III, ed. Shirley (Rolls Ser.); Gulielmus Armoricus, Recueil des Historians, xvii. ; Dugdale’s Baronage, i. 693; Stubbs‘s Constitutional History. ii. 1-50.]