Beauchamp, William de (DNB00)

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BEAUCHAMP, WILLIAM de (d. 1260), baronial leader and judge, succeeded his father, Simon de Beauchamp, lord of Bedford, in 1207-8. He took part in John's expedition to Poitou (1214), but joined the baronial host at Stamford, Easter 1216 (M. Paris, 253-5), and entertained them at Bedford as they marched on London. He was among the baronial leaders excommunicated by name 16 Dec. 1215 (ib. 227), and his castle was seized the same month by John's general, Fulk de Bréaute, who was allowed to retain it. Belonging to the extreme party, he fought with them at Lincoln (19 May 1217), and was there taken prisoner by the royal forces (M. Paris), but made his peace before the end of the year (Claus. 1 Hen. III, m. 4). On the capture and destruction of Bedford Castle in 1224 [see Bréaute, Fulk de], the site was restored to him (Claus. 8 Hen. III, m. 7 dors.; cf. Royal Letters, 1085). He acted as sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire 1234-7, and on 6 July 1234 was appointed a baron of the exchequer, in which capacity he reappears in 1237. He seems to have attained an unusual age, dying, according to Foss, in 1262, but according to the 'Annals of Dunstable ' (p. 215), which are probably right, in 1260. His younger son John fell at Evesham (T. Wykes), having succeeded his brother William shortly before.

[Dugdale's Baronags, i. 223; Foss's Judges of England, 1848, ii. 234.]

J. H. R.