Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gurdon, Adam de

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GURDON or GORDON, Sir ADAM de (d. 1305), warrior, was son of Adam de Gurdon, one of the bailiffs of Alton in Hampshire. He sided with de Montfort in the barons' war; but on 28 July 1265 repulsed the Welsh who were plundering in Somerset, at Dunster. He was one of the disinherited in 1266, and with others of his party formed a band which ravaged Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Hampshire. Edward marched against them in person, and meeting them in Alton wood (or perhaps at Halton in Buckinghamshire) defeated Gurdon in single combat. Gurdon's prowess won the admiration of his conqueror, who restored him to his estates and made him one of his most trusted supporters (Trivet, p. 269; Wykes, iv. 189; there is a slightly different story in Rish. Chron. p. 49). Gurdon was a justice of the forest in 1280, and in 1293 mention is made of forest offences which had been tried before him (Abbrev. Rot. Orig. p. 77). He took part both in the Welsh and Scottish wars (Fœdera, ed. 1816, i. 846, 925), and in 1295 was custos of the sea shores of Hampshire, and a commissioner of array in that county, and in Dorset and in Wilts. He died in 1305 (Inq. p. m. in Calendarium Genealogicum, ii. 680), having married (1) Constantly daughter and heiress of John de Vanuz, whose estates were at Selborne (Pat. Roll. p. 41, Hen. iii.); (2) Almeria, by whom he had two sons; and (3) Agnes, whose daughter Johanna was his heiress (Cal. Gen. ii. 680). From his second son, Robert, the Gurdons of Assington and Letton are descended (Burke, Landed Gentry, ed. 1871, i. 555). His estate of Gurdon still bears his name and is now the property of Magdalen College, Oxford.

[Dunstable Annals and Wykes's Chronicle in Annales Monastici, vol. iii. and iv.; Rishanger's Chronicle (all in Rolls Series); Trivet's Annals Eng. Hist. Soc.; Foss's Judges of England, p. 318.]

C. L. K.