Hastings, John (1262-1313) (DNB00)

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HASTINGS, JOHN, second Baron Hastings (eighth by tenure) and Baron Bergavenny (1262–1313), claimant to the throne of Scotland, was son of Henry Hastings, first baron [q. v.], by his wife Joanna de Cantelupe. He was born on 6 May 1262 (Calendarium Genealogicum, i. 133; cf., however, i. 197, where he is said to be fifteen in 1273; ‘quindecim’ may be a mistake for ‘undecim;’ Sir N. H. Nicolas makes him twenty-one at this time, but several documents quoted in Nichols, Leicestershire—e.g. iv. 807, 907—show that he was still under age in 1279). In 1273, on the death of his uncle George de Cantelupe, he acquired the castle and honour of Bergavenny (Cal. Gen. i. 197), and in 1275 married Isabella, daughter of William de Valence, half-brother of Henry III (Fœdera, ii. 55). Hastings was already wealthy and powerfully connected, but his importance was thus much increased. His first appearance in public life was in 1285, when he took part in an expedition to Scotland; three years later he served under Edmund, earl of Cornwall, in Wales, and in 1289 and 1290 was directed to reside on his estates on the Welsh border and defend them till Rhys ap Meredyth [q. v.] was subdued (Parl. Writs, i. 253, 255). In March 1289 he was one of the manucaptors of William Douglas (Stevenson, i. 85, 155). He attended the parliament in May 1290 when an aid was granted on the marriage of the king's daughter (Rot. Parl. i. 25), and joined in the letter to the pope against his appropriation of prebends at York and Lincoln (ib. i. 20). On 7 Oct. of this year the death of Margaret, the Maid of Norway, gave rise to the disputed succession to the crown of Scotland. Hastings claimed to inherit as representing his grandmother Ada, third daughter of David, earl of Huntingdon [see under Hastings, Henry, first baron]; his claim was, according to modern principles of inheritance, inferior to those of John Baliol or Robert Bruce, but he based it on the principle that the kingdom was partible, in the same way as an ordinary estate, between the descendants of the three daughters. Along with the other claimants, Hastings submitted to Edward's decision and acknowledged his rights in Scotland until the question was settled. The decision was referred by Edward to commissioners, who held their preliminary meetings at Norham during the summer of 1291, and in August adjourned till the following year. In the autumn of 1291 Hastings was one of the manucaptors and sureties for Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester (1243–1295) [q. v.], in his dispute with the Earl of Hereford (Rot. Parl. i. 70–7; Abbrev. Plac. 277). In June 1292 the commission met again, and after a fresh adjournment to October decided that the kingdom was not partible, and awarded the succession to Baliol [see more fully under Baliol, John de, (1249–1315)]. In April 1294 Hastings was in Ireland with Gilbert, earl of Gloucester, and joined with him and other barons in hearing a plea at Dublin (Rot. Parl. i. 132). On 26 June he was summoned to Portsmouth to serve in the French war (Report on Dignity of a Peer, iii. 55). He received his first summons to parliament on 24 June 1295 (ib. iii. 65), and was from this time summoned regularly till his death. He also served in the various wars of the next few years. In July 1296 he was sent to search the district of Badenoch (Stevenson, ii. 29), and on 25 Aug. was at Berwick when the bishops of Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Whithorn declared their loyalty to Edward (ib. ii. 65); in 1297 he was summoned for the French war, and in 1298, 1299, and 1300 for the Scottish war. He was present at the famous siege of Caerlaverock in June 1300, and was entrusted by Antony Bek [q. v.], bishop of Durham, with the command of his contingent, ‘for he was the most intimate, best beloved he had there.’ Hastings attended the parliament at Lincoln in 1301 and was one of the barons who on 12 Feb. signed the letter to the pope denying his claim to adjudicate on the dispute with Scotland (for a description of the strange seal he used on this occasion see Archæologia, xxi. 205). Later in the year Hastings was once more employed on the war, and in the following year was sent as the king's lieutenant to Aquitaine (Langtoft, ii. 345, Rolls Ser.). He does not again appear in England till 1305, when he was appointed one of the commissioners to treat with the Scottish representatives concerning the government of Scotland, but was prevented from acting by illness. On 22 May 1306 he had a grant of the lands of Alan, earl of Menteith, including the whole earldom of Menteith and the isles, excepting the lands granted to his brother Edmund Hastings (Cal. Documents, ii. 1771), and the earl was consigned to his custody (Palgrave, Documents illustrative of History of Scotland, i. 353–4; Archæologia, xxvii. 18). He signed the letter of the barons to the pope on 6 Aug. 1306 (Annales Paulini, i. 362), and in September was present at the council of Lanercost when James, steward of Scotland, did homage. In 1307 he was serving in Scotland, was at Ayr in July, and in September was ordered to march against Bruce (Cal. Documents relating to Scotland, iii. 15; cf. Fœdera, ii. 8, Record ed.) On 24 Oct. 1309 he was appointed seneschal of Aquitaine (Fœdera, iii. 184), but next year was once more serving in Scotland; there is a reference to Hastings as seneschal of Perigord in a letter calendared in the Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Rep. (App. p. 386). Hastings is commonly said to have been summoned to parliament for the last time on 22 May 1313; most probably this summons was to his son, for according to one statement he died 28 Feb. 1313 (Complete Peerage, &c., i. 13, ed. G. E. C.), and the ‘inquisitio post mortem’ of his estates was held in the sixth year of Edward II, which ended 7 July 1313 (Cal. Inq. p.m. i. 251–2). He was buried in the Hastings chapel in the church of the Friars Minors at Coventry; Dugdale quotes an inscription which states that he died 9 March 1312 (Antiq. Warw. i. 183). On 7 Oct. 1314 the Bishop of Durham granted an indulgence of forty days to pray for Hastings's soul (Reg. Palat. Dunelm. i. 616, Rolls Ser.)

Hastings was evidently much trusted by Edward I and is highly spoken of. Langtoft calls him a ‘knight of choice’ (ii. 345); the writer of the song of Caerlaverock says: ‘In deeds of arms he was daring and reckless, in the hostel mild and gracious, nor was ever judge in eyre more willing to judge rightly.’ He had great wealth, and left land in ten counties besides in the marches of Wales and in Ireland. He married first, in 1275, Isabella, daughter and in her offspring heiress of William de Valence, earl of Pembroke; by her he had, with other offspring, John, third baron Hastings (see below), and Elizabeth, who married Roger, lord Grey of Ruthin [q. v.]; his first wife died 3 Oct. 1305 (Dugdale, Antiq. Warw. i. 183). Hastings's second wife was Isabella, daughter of Hugh le Despenser (1262–1326) [q. v.], by whom he had two sons, Hugh [q. v.] and Thomas; after Hastings's death she married Ralph de Monthermer (Fœdera, iii. 789).

Hastings, John, third Baron Hastings (1287–1325), was twenty-six years of age at his father's death. In 1306 he attended Queen Margaret to Scotland and served in the Scottish wars between 1311 and 1319; in 1320 he at first sided with the rebel lords, but afterwards joined the king at Cirencester. In 1323 he was governor of Kenilworth Castle, and died in 1325. He married Juliana, granddaughter and heiress of William de Leyburne, by whom he had one son Laurence, afterwards first earl of Pembroke [q. v.] ; his widow married (2) Thomas le Blount and (3) William de Clinton, earl of Huntingdon, and dying in 1350 was buried in St. Anne's Chapel in St. Augustine's Monastery, Canterbury (Weever, Funerall Monuments, p. 259).

[Chronicles Edw. I and II (Rolls Ser.); Rishanger's Chronicle and the Annales Regni Scotiæ printed with it in the Rolls Ser.; Sir N. H. Nicolas's Song of Caerlaverock, pp. 56, 80, 295–8; Palgrave's Documents illustrative of Hist. of Scotland; Bain's Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland, vols. ii. and iii.; Stevenson's Documents illustrating the Hist. of Scotland, 2 vols. (Chron. and Memorials of Scotland); Report on the Dignity of a Peer, iii. 53, 100, 112, 117, 123, 129, 167, 175, 181, 186, 194, 203, 207, 213; Rolls of Parliament, vol. i.; Parliamentary Writs, vol. i.; Rymer's Fœdera; Dugdale's Baronage, i. 575; Collins's On Baronies by Writ, pp. 133–5 (where it is contended that his only barony was that of Bergavenny); Nichols's Leicestershire contains many small references to his estates and a pedigree in iv. 477; Burton's Hist. of Scotland, vol. i.]

C. L. K.