Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Malebysse, Richard

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Richard Malebisse in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

MALEBYSSE, RICHARD (d. 1209), justiciar, was son of Hugh Malebysse, a Norman, who settled at Scawton, Yorkshire, in 1138, and married Emma, daughter and heiress of Henry de Percy of Acaster. Richard Malebysse held Acaster in 1176, and was forester for Yorkshire (Madox, i. 316). He was one of the leaders in the savage attack on and massacre of the Jews at York in 1190 (Will. Newburgh, i. 321, Rolls Ser.) As a punishment for his share in this outrage his lands were seized by the king. Malebysse appears to have been a supporter of Earl John, and in consequence he was one of those who were excommunicated by William de Longchamp in December 1191 (Hoveden, iii. 153). In 1193 he paid a fine of twenty marks for the recovery of his lands till the king's return, and eventually paid six hundred marks for full restoration (Madox, Hist. of Exchequer, i. 473, 483). After the accession of John, Malebysse comes into some prominence. In June 1199 he, or it may be his brother Hugh, was sent as an envoy to Scotland to William the Lion to demand homage. In July 1200 he had license to fortify Wheldrake Castle, but the permission was withdrawn at the request of the citizens of York. In May 1201 he was sent on a mission to the king of Scots to ask him to defer his answer as to Northumberland till Michaelmas (Hoveden, iv. 91, 117, 163–4). Malebysse was a justice itinerant for Yorkshire in 1201, and next year sat to acknowledge fines at Westminster. In 1204 he was employed in enforcing the payment of aids. He was keeper of the forests of Galtres, Derwent, and Wernedale. He died in 1209, leaving a son John, and a daughter Emma, who married, first, Robert de Maisnil, and, secondly, Robert de Stutevil. His grandson, Hercules Malebysse, is said to have married Beckwith, daughter of William Bruce of Pickering, and so to have become ancestor of the family of Beckwith of Silksworth and Trimdon, Durham. His brother Hugh survived him, and in 1210 took part in John's Irish expedition as one of the king's household (Sweetman, Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, i. 65). Richard Malebysse was founder of Newbo Abbey, Lincolnshire, in 1198 (Dugdale, Monasticon, vi. 887). Such importance as he had he seems to have owed to John's favour; William of Newburgh calls him ‘homo audacissimus, vero agnomine Mala-Bestia.’

[Roger of Hoveden; William of Newburgh; Foss's Judges of England, ii. 93–5; authorities quoted.]

C. L. K.