Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 04.djvu/33

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BEAUCHAMP, Sir JOHN de, Lord Beauchamp (d. 1388), minister of Richard II, the grandson and heir of John de Beauchamp of Holt (brother of William, earl of Warick). He was steward of the household to Richard II from his accession; was created by him 'Lord de Beauchamp and baron of Kidderminster' 10 Oct. 1387 (being the first baron created by patent); was impeached of treason at the instance of the lords appellant, with Sir Simon Burley [q. v.] and others, by the 'Wonderful Parliament,' 12 March 1388, and was convicted after Easter, and beheaded on Tower Hill (Knighton).

[Thomas of Walsingham (Rolls Series), ii. 173-4; Dugdale's Baronage, i. 250; Reports on the Dignity of a Peer, i. 345, v. 81.]

J. H. R.

BEAUCHAMP, RICHARD de, Earl of Warwick (1382–1439), a brave and chivalrous warrior in an age of chivalry, of an ancient family, whose ancestry was traced to the legendary Guy of Warwick, was the son of Thomas, earl of Warwick [see Beauchamp, Thomas de], by Margaret his wife, daughter of William, Lord Ferrers of Groby. He was born at Salwarp, in Worcestershire, on 28 Jan. 1382. His godfathers at baptism were King Richard II and Richard Scrope, afterwards archbishop of York, who was esteemed a saint by the people after he was beheaded for rebellion against Henry IV. Earl Richard's first biographer, Rous — who speaks of Scrope 'then bishop of Lichfield' — has been followed by later writers hitherto, though a reference to Le Neve shows that he was not a bishop till 1386. We have no record of Beauchamp's boyhood, but in his eighteenth year he was made a knight of the Bath at the coronation of Henry IV. He succeeded his father as earl of Warwick in 1401, from whom he received as a bequest, in addition to his inheritance, 'a bed of silk, embroidered with bears, and his arms' (Dugdale, i. 238). On 26 Jan. 1403, when within two days of attaining his majority, he jousted at the coronation of Henry IV's queen, Joan of Navarre. On 13 Feb. following he had livery of his lands after performing homage. That same year he was retained to serve the king with 100 men-at-arms and 300 archers, John Lord Audley being then of his retinue, and was put in commission for arraying the men of Warwickshire. He put Owen Glendower to flight and captured his banner. He fought against the Percys at the battle of Shrewsbury (1403), and is said to have been made knight of the Garter not long after. Some, however, have questioned this date upon internal evidence, thinking his admission to the order must have been about 1420; but if the accounts of the Wardrobe have been correctly enrolled, it was at least not later than 1416 (Rymer, ix. 335).

In 1408 he obtained leave of the king to visit the Holy Sepulchre. He crossed the Channel and first visited his kinsman, the Duke of Bar, with whom he spent eight days; then went on to Paris, where at Whitsuntide he was the guest of Charles VI, who, wearing his crown at the feast, caused him to sit at his own table, and afterwards gave him a herald to conduct him through his realm to Lombardy. Here he was presently met by another herald, despatched by Sir Pandolph Malatete or Malet, to challenge him to certain feats of arms at Verona before Sir Galeot of Mantua. He accepted, and after performing a pilgrimage to Rome, the combat took place, in which he gained the victory. Indeed, he was on the point of killing his opponent outright, when Sir Galeot cried 'Peace,' and put an end to the combat. He went on to Venice, where the doge received him in state, and in course of time reached Jerusalem. He performed his vows, and set up his arms on the north side of the temple. While in the Holy City, he is said to have received a visit from the sultan's lieutenant, who said that he was familiar with the story of his ancestor, Guy of Warwick, which 'they had in books of their own language.' As remarked by Warton (Hist, of Engl. Poetry, section iii.), the thing is by no means incredible; but it may be observed that it is an error to talk of Rous, on whose authority it rests, as a contemporary writer. It is added that the sultan's lieutenant declared to the earl privately his belief in Christianity, and repeated the Creed to him, but said he dared not profess himself a christian openly.

From Jerusalem he returned to Venice, and after travelling in Russia, Lithuania, Poland, Prussia, Westphalia, and other parts of Germany, he returned to England in 1410. The king immediately retained him by indenture to serve with his son Henry, Prince of Wales, he receiving a pension of 250 marks a year out of the prince s exchequer at Carmarthen. That same year he was also joined with the bishop of Durham and others to treat with the Scots. In 1413 he was lord high steward at the coronation of Henry V, and was soon afterwards appointed a commissioner, both for an alliance with Burgundy and for a truce with France (Rymer, ix. 34-38). In the beginning of the year 1414 he was very instrumental in suppressing the Lollard rising; and about this time we find him first mentioned as deputy of Calais (ib. 111). On 20 Oct. in the same year he was commissioned to go with certain bishops to represent