Segrave, John de (DNB00)

From Wikisource
 
Jump to: navigation, search

SEGRAVE, JOHN de (1256?–1325), baron, born about 1256, was the eldest son and heir of Nicholas de Segrave, first baron Segrave [q. v.], and of his wife Matilda. In 1270 he married Christiana, the daughter of Sir Hugh de Plessetis [see under Plessis or Plessetis, John de, Earl of Warwick], and his wife Margaret, from whom he received in frank marriage the manor of Stottesdon. At the same time his sister Annabel was married to Hugh's son John. After his father-in-law's death John de Segrave had custody of his lands during the minority of his heir (Cal. Close Rolls, 1307–13, p. 381). In 1277 and 1282 he served in the two great campaigns against Llywelyn of Wales (Parl. Writs, i. 831). In October 1287 he went to Ireland, nominating proctors to represent him for one year (Cal. Patent Rolls, 1281–92, p. 278). On 6 Aug. 1291 he received at Berwick letters of protection for one year on staying in Scotland on the king's service (ib. p. 440; Hist. Doc. Scotl. i. 218). He was afterwards constantly employed in the Scots wars. On the death of his father in 1295 John, then thirty-nine years of age, entered as heir into the possession of his property (Calendarium Genealogicum, p. 523). He was first summoned to the Bury parliament of November 1296 (Parl. Writs, i. 831), and was henceforth regularly summoned until his death.

On 14 Jan. 1297 Segrave was one of the magnates attending the Hilarytide parliament at York, with the intention of proceeding against the Scots (Hemingburgh, ii. 156). But home troubles supervened, and the expedition was postponed. Segrave now closely attached himself to one of the leaders of the baronial opposition. In 1297 Segrave made an indenture with Roger Bigod, fifth earl of Norfolk and marshal of England [q. v.], by which he covenanted to serve the earl, with five other knights, in war and in peace, for the rest of his life in England, Wales, and Scotland. He was to receive in war 40s. a day for himself and his company, including twenty horses, and in return he obtained a grant of the earl's manor of Lodene in Norfolk (Dugdale, Baronage, p. 674). This intimate relation with the leader of the growing baronial opposition to Edward I determined Segrave's future policy. Nevertheless he was ordered to aid the sheriffs of Warwick and Leicester in coercing the recalcitrant clerks who followed Archbishop Winchelsea in refusing to aid in the national defence (Cal. Patent Roll, 1291–1301, p. 239). During the crisis of 1297 he was summoned on 1 July to appear in London to attend the king beyond sea, but he appeared as proxy for the earl marshal, who concealed his unwillingness to attend the king under the plea of sickness (Fœdera, i. 872). However, Segrave soon transferred his energy to Scotland. On 28 Dec. 1297 he received letters of protection for himself and his followers, on their proceeding to Scotland on the king's service (Gough, Scotland in 1298, pp. 17, 18, 25), and he subsequently fought in the Falkirk campaign. In 1299 he was again summoned to fight against the Scots. In 1300 he was once more in Scotland, taking a conspicuous part at the siege of Carlaverock, representing the earl marshal in this campaign as at the musters of 1297 (Siege of Carlaverock, p. 12; cf. Langtoft, ii., 322).

In 1301 Segrave attended the parliament at Lincoln, and was one of the signatories of the famous letter of the barons to the pope, dated 12 Feb. He is described as ‘John, lord of Segrave’ (Fœdera, i. 927). On 5 Aug. 1302 he was appointed to the custody of the castle of Berwick-on-Tweed (Hist. Doc. Scotl. ii. 444). On 29 Sept. he was ordered to execute in all haste a foray into Scotland as far as Stirling and Kirkintilloch (ib. ii. 448). After November the truce with the Scots ended, and Segrave was entrusted with the custody of Scotland (Rishanger, Chron. pp. 212–13). On the first Sunday in Lent 1303 Segrave, his followers being at the time scattered in three detachments, was suddenly attacked when near Edinburgh by some Scots in ambush, severely wounded, and taken prisoner with twenty other knights. He was, however, subsequently recaptured by the other portions of his army who had escaped the earlier surprise (Rishanger, p. 214; cf. Hemingburgh, ii. 222–3; Langtoft, ii. 344). Segrave continued in Scotland after Edward I arrived to prosecute the war in person. He was present at the siege of Stirling, which surrendered on 24 July 1304, and, upon the final departure of Edward, was appointed justice and captain in Scotland south of the Forth. Serious resistance to Edward now seemed over, and Segrave's main business was to administer the conquered districts, and to track out William Wallace, who still held out. In March 1304 Segrave defeated Wallace in one of his last attempts at resistance (Wallace Papers, pp. 179–80, Maitland Club). Next summer Wallace was handed over to Segrave, who personally escorted his prisoner to London, reaching the city on 22 Aug. 1305. Before this Edward had on 18 Aug. put Segrave at the head of the special commission appointed to try Wallace (ib. p. 185; cf. Ann. Londin. p. 139). He remained responsible for Wallace's custody during his imprisonment in London, and on 23 Aug. pronounced the sentence of treason against him. After Wallace's death Segrave took his remains back to Scotland, receiving 15s. as the cost of their carriage (Hist. Doc. Scotl. ii. 485). On 25 Oct. he received five hundred marks of salary from Hilarytide to 1 Aug. 1305 (ib. ii. 483). It looks as if this were regarded as the date of his ceasing to act as warden of Scotland. In 1306 he was again summoned to Carlisle to share in Edward I's first expedition against the Scots.

Under Edward II Segrave received numerous offices. In the early months of the new reign he became justice of the forests beyond Trent, and constable of Nottingham Castle. On 10 March 1309 he was appointed warden of Scotland, with a following of sixty men at arms (Fœdera, ii. 70), and on 10 April 1310 the appointment was renewed (ib. ii. 106). As Scotland was now rapidly falling into the hands of Robert Bruce, Segrave's work was rather to preserve the English frontier than to govern a country that had almost entirely rejected Edward II's authority. He is in fact described by a border chronicler as warden of the marches on the side of Berwick (Chron. de Lanercost, p. 213). But a continued truce from November 1309 to the summer of 1310 restricted Segrave's efforts. He adhered to the barons during the struggle against Gaveston, and as a result his offices of constable of Nottingham and justice of the forests beyond Trent were on 1 Oct. 1310 transferred by the king to Gaveston himself. Both grants were renewed to Gaveston two months before his execution, but such forms are not likely to have really displaced Segrave in favour of the king's friend. On 4 Sept. 1312, soon after Gaveston's death, Segrave received the office of keeper of the forests on this side Trent (Cal. Close Rolls, 1313–18, p. 401). In 1314 he took part in the great expedition against Scotland, and on 24 June fought at Bannockburn. After the English defeat he fled towards Carlisle, and took refuge with others in the castle of Bothwell; but the sheriff, who held the castle, deserted from Edward to Robert Bruce, and handed over the fugitives as prisoners (Chron. de Lanercost, p. 228; cf. Monk of Malmesbury, p. 206; G. le Baker, pp. 8, 171). Segrave was kept in Scotland until the end of the year, when he was released in exchange for some Scottish prisoners and on payment of a large ransom (Lanercost, p. 228; Fœdera, ii. 257). His son Stephen arranged the conditions of the exchange. He still held his keepership and the custody of Nottingham Castle, to which the charge of Derby Castle was now added. In 1315 commissioners were appointed to hear and determine certain disputes arising from his taking up carriages in virtue of that office (Rot. Parl. i. 325). On 14 July 1316 he received a grant of 1,000l. in aid of his ransom from the Scots and for other losses in the king's service, sums due to the crown being deducted from the gross sum (Cal. Close Rolls, 1313–18, p. 351). He was one of the continual council, appointed at the reconciliation between Edward II and Lancaster in 1318, to be perpetually about the king (Cal. Close Rolls, 1318–23, p. 112). On 30 Nov. 1321 he was one of those ordered to raise the local levies on the king's behalf in the shires of Warwick, Leicester, and Stafford (ib. p. 507).

On 16 July 1324 Segrave was appointed, with Fulk FitzWarin, captain of the troops going to Gascony, serving under Edmund of Woodstock, earl of Kent [q. v.] (Fœdera, ii. 561–2). Next year he died in Aquitaine, being nearly seventy years old. His eldest son, Stephen de Segrave, had died a little before him. His second son, John, described as early as 1312 as John de Segrave the younger, and very liable to be confused with his father in the later years of his life, married Juliana, daughter and heiress of John de Sandwich, lord of Folkestone, and died in 1349, leaving an infant daughter and heiress named Mary. John the elder was succeeded in his title and estates by his grandson John, son of Stephen, who served in Edward III's French wars, and by his marriage to Margaret, daughter and heiress of Thomas of Brotherton, earl of Norfolk [q. v.], the youngest son of Edward I, further increased the great position of his family. John died in 1353, leaving an only daughter Elizabeth, whose marriage to John III de Mowbray [q. v.] brought the Norfolk estates into a family in whose favour the Earl of Norfolk's title was soon revived. Margaret, John's widow, soon afterwards married Sir Walter de Manny [q. v.] This John was the last of the Segraves summoned to parliament.

The extent of the Segrave territories and influence became much widened during John's lifetime. His father's estates were almost confined to two or three of the central midland counties, but John also acquired territory in Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Huntingdonshire, and other distant shires. In 1300 he obtained charters of free warren for his demesne lands at North Newenton, Oxfordshire, and Lodene, Norfolk, and later for those at Alkmundbury (Alconbury), Huntingdonshire. In 1301 he had license to crenellate his house at Bretby, Derbyshire (Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1292–1301, p. 580), and in 1306 to fortify his manor-house at Caludon, Warwickshire, with a moat and embattelled wall, besides licenses for a weekly market and fairs in 1316 at Fenny-Stanton, Hampshire, and in 1319 at Alspath, Warwickshire.

[Rymer's Fœdera, vols. i. and ii.; Parl. Writs; Historical Documents relating to Scotland; Calendarium Genealogicum; Calendars of Close and Patent Rolls of Edward I and Edward II; Nicolas's Siege of Carlaverock, p. 12, with a short biography, pp. 126–9; Dugdale's Baronage, i. 674–5; Gough's Scotland in 1298; Rishanger's Chron., Peter Langtoft's Chron., Monk of Malmesbury, and Annales Londinenses in Stubbs's Chron. of Edward I and Edward II, all in Rolls Ser.; Walter Hemingburgh (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Chron. de Lanercost and Wallace Papers (Maitland Club); Geoffrey le Baker's Chron. ed. E. M. Thompson.]

T. F. T.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.244
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
202 i 17 Segrave, John de: for Almondbury read Alkmundbury (Alconbury)