Montacute, Simon de (DNB00)

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MONTACUTE, SIMON de, first Baron Montacute (d. 1317), descended from Drogo de Montacute, who came across with the Conqueror, and received grants in Somerset, was son of William de Montacute (fl. 1257) and Bertha, his wife. William had constantly served in the Welsh wars, and Simon first appears during Edward's great campaign in 1277 against Llywelyn ab Gruffydd (d. 1282) [q. v.] (Parl. Writs, i. 742); in 1282 he served in a similar campaign, when Edward finally crushed that prince (ib.; Dugdale, Baronage, i. 644; Rymer, Fœdera, i. ii. 619), and during the autumn attended the king at Rhuddlan. Next year he was summoned to the parliament which met on 30 Sept. at Shrewsbury for the trial of Llywelyn's brother, Davydd III [q. v.] In 1290 he was apparently confirmed in the possession of Shipton Montacute, Somerset and received additional grants in Dorset Devonshire, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire (cf. Dugdale). On 14 June 1294 he was summoned to meet the king at Portsmouth on 1 Sept. and accompany him to Gascony (Rymer, i. ii. 801), but his services were apparently for the time dispensed with (Parl. Writs, i. 742). In 1296, however, he was in command of a vessel, and by his bravery broke through the French fleet blockading Bordeaux, revictualled the town, and caused the siege to be raised (Walsingham, Hist. Anglicana, Rolls Ser., i. 55; Leland, Collectanea, i. 180); he appears to have remained in Gascony until 1297. In March 1298 a truce was made with France, and in May Montacute was summoned as a baron to an assembly of the lay estates at York; on 26 Sept. he was summoned to serve in the war with Scotland, and again in August and December 1299. In the latter year he was made governor of Corfe Castle. The next two years he attended parliament, and served in the Scottish war, and in 1301 signed, as 'Simon dominus de Monte Acuto,' the famous letter of the barons to the pope (Chronicles of Edward I and Edward II, i. 123; Rymer; Parl. Writs, i. 742; Dugdale). In 1306, for his services in Scotland and elsewhere, he was pardoned a debt of 120l. which his father had owed to the exchequer (cf. Memoranda de Parliamento, ed. Maitland, Rolls Ser. pp. 112, 280, 283); on 5 April he was asked for an aid on the occasion of the knighting of Prince Edward, at which he was present, and was serving in the Scottish wars until Edward's death on 7 July 1307. He was summoned to attend parliament at the coronation of Edward II, and in 1308 was made governor of Beaumaris Castle, Anglesey; during this and the next year he was serving against the Scots, and was also appointed justice to try persons guilty of forestalling in London. In 1310 he was constituted admiral of the fleet employed against the Scots; and from 1313 was in constant attendance in parliament and in the Scottish war. He was stationed in the north to watch the frontier during the winter campaign of 1315-16, and was summoned to the parliament of Lincoln in January 1316. He died in 1317 (Continuatio Nicholas Trivet, ed. 1722, p. 24; Parl. Writs}. Montacute married Aufricia, daughter of Fergus, and sister of Orray, king of Man, by whom he had two sons, William, who succeeded him, and is separately noticed, and Simon.

[Rolls of Parliament, vol. i.; Parliamentary Writs; Rymer's Fœdera, passim; Chronicles of Edward I and Edward II, i. 123; Walsingham's Historia Anglicana, i. 55; Cal. Rot. Pat. 76; Memoranda de Parliamento, ed. Maitland (Rolls Ser.); Dugdale's Baronage, i. 643–5; Peerage, ed. G. E. C.; Burke's Extinct Peerage; Collinson's Somerset, iii. 45–9; A Compleat History of Somerset, 1742, fol., p. 87.]

A. F. P.