Pembridge, Richard de (DNB00)

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PEMBRIDGE or PEMBRUGGE, Sir RICHARD de (d. 1375), soldier, was a native of Herefordshire. His family had been settled at Pembridge in that county as early as the reign of Stephen, but it seems impossible to fix his parentage with certainty. Several members of the family were fairly prominent in the early part of the fourteenth century (cf. Roberts, Calendarium Genealogicum, i. 278, ii. 518–9; Palgrave, Parliamentary Writs, iv. 1271–2). Richard at his death held, among other manors, those of Clehonger, Straddel, and Monyton, in Herefordshire. He was therefore, probably, a relative of the Henry de Pembridge who held Clehonger on 5 March 1316. At the same date a Richard de Pembridge was returned as lord of Monyton and Straddel. This Richard was a follower of Roger Mortimer, and an adherent of Thomas of Lancaster in 1322, and in 1325 was summoned for service in Guyenne (ib. iv. 1272; Cal. Close Rolls, Edward II, 1318–23, p. 573). On 6 Nov. 1328 Richard de Pembridge was appointed warden of the castle of Droslan, on 18 May 1329 was on the commission of peace for Hereford, and on 7 July following was a commissioner to bring into the king's peace those concerned in the disturbances in the parts of Senghenith (Cal. Pat. Rolls, Edward III, 1327–30, pp. 335, 430, 432). On 10 Oct. 1331 he was a commissioner of oyer and terminer for the county of Hereford (ib. 1330–4, p. 201), and was knight of the shire for the county in the parliaments of September 1337 and February 1338 (Return of Members of Parliament).

The later references, at all events, probably relate to the subject of this notice. Sir Richard de Pembrugge was, however, present as a knight at the sea-fight off Sluys on 24 June 1340, and in 1346 took part in the campaign of Creçy (Froissart, i. 222–3, iii. 130; Fœdera, iii. 51). In July 1355 he served in the abortive expedition of Edward III, and, afterwards proceeding to Guyenne, was present at the battle of Poitiers on 19 Sept. 1356 (Froissart, iv. 136, cf. p. liv, v. 32). In 1359 he served with the king in his French expedition (ib. v. 201; Fœdera, iii. 445). In 1361 he had a grant of the custody of Southampton Castle, the park of Lyndhurst, the New Forest, and the hundred of Redbridge for life. On 17 June 1363 he was appointed to take an oath from the Count of St. Pol, one of the French hostages then in England (ib. iii. 706). In November he was one of the courtiers appointed to receive Peter de Lusignan, king of Cyprus, at Dover, and on 4 Jan. 1364 was employed to receive John, king of France (Froissart, vi. 90, 95). In 1366 he received the manor of Bargate, Hampshire, and a knight's fee in the hundred of Fordingbridge, and in 1367 was made governor of Bamborough Castle; he discharged the duties of the last office by deputy, and his inefficient administration was the subject of an inquiry a few years later (Bateson, History of Northumberland, i. pp. 41–2).

In 1368 he was elected a knight of the Garter, occupying the fourth stall on the prince's side. On 6 July 1370, as constable of Dover and warden of the Cinque ports, he had to superintend the embarkation of the troops for Sir Robert Knolles's expedition (Fœdera, iii. 896). This same year he received 116l. 9s. 7d. for his expenses in the war (Brantingham, Issue of Rolls, p. 406). On 5 Nov. he was a witness to the ordinance made at Westminster by which Edward granted an amnesty to rebels in Aquitaine who made submission (Froissart, vii. 211). In March 1371 he is mentioned as a royal chamberlain (Fœdera, iii. 911), a position which he may probably have held for some years previously. He was present at the naval engagement in the bay of Bourgneuf off Brittany on 1 Aug. 1371 (Froissart, viii. 25). In 1373 he was appointed to act as the king's deputy in Ireland, but refused to accept the post, and was in consequence censured for his disobedience, notwithstanding the ‘immense donations and remunerations received from the king for his services’ (Close Roll, 46 E. 3, mem. 3, ap. Beltz). The grants which had been made to Pembridge were at the same time formally revoked, though at his death, on 26 July 1375, he was possessed of lands granted him by the king.

By his will, dated at London 31 May 1368, Pembridge ordered his body, if he died in England, to be buried in Hereford Cathedral, between two pillars of freestone before the image of the Virgin Mary on the south side, and gave special directions as to the erection of a tomb. His wishes were carried out by his executors, and his tomb, with a fine monumental effigy, still exists, though it has suffered from modern restorations; it is figured in Gough's ‘Sepulchral Monuments,’ p. 135 (cf. also Duncumb, Herefordshire, i. 540, and Archæological Journal, xxxiv. 410–11). He married Elizabeth, widow of Gerard de Lisle (d. 1360) of Kingston Lisle; she died before 1368, leaving an only son Henry, who died on 1 Oct. 1375, aged fifteen. Pembridge's eventual heirs were his nephews Sir Richard Burley, son of his sister Amicia by Sir John Burley, and Sir Thomas de Barre, son of another sister Hawisia. Burley is represented by the Earl of Portsmouth, and Barre by the family of Baghott of Lyppiatt Park, Gloucestershire. His silver plate was purchased from his executors by Edward III for 233l. 6s. 8d. (Devon, Issues of the Exchequer, p. 201).

[Froissart's Chroniques, ed. Luce (Soc. de l'Hist. de France); Calendar of Inquisitions post mortem, ii. 222, 354, 858; Rymer's Fœdera, Record edit.; Sharpe's Calendar of Wills in the Court of Husting, ii. 188; Beltz's Memorials of Order of Garter, pp. 163–5.]

C. L. K.