Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 04.djvu/68

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Beaumont
Beaumont
64

ment. Louis does not seem to have been a very vigorous protector of his palatinate against the Scotch, though this was one of the pleas on which Edward II urged the pope to appoint him; and we have a letter from that king reproaching the bishop for being by no means a 'stone wall' against the enemy. On 24 Sept. 1333 Louis died at Brantingham, and was buried two days later before the great altar in his cathedral church. His character and even his personal appearance have been minutely sketched by his contemporary, Robert Graystanes, sub-prior of St. Mary's and his elected successor. This writer describes the bishop as comely-featured but limping in each foot, over-lavish in expenditure, and, by the number of his retainers, involved in such huge expenses that it was a saying of the time: 'Never was man so greedy to get, and yet so rashly improvident of what he had gotten.' Forgetting all that he owed to the prior of St. Mary's, he bluntly answered his requests by an unvarnished refusal: 'You do nothing for me, and I will do nothing for you. Pray for my death, for while I live you will get nothing.' Nevertheless he was a stern supporter of the rights of his see, whether against archbishop, earl, or baron. He appealed in parliament for his rights over Bernard Castle, Hert, Geyneford, and other forfeited manors of the Bruces and Baliols; and Edward II issued a confirmation of his claims against the Beauchamps (Warwick), Cliffords, and others into whose hands these estates had fallen. Towards the very end of his life Louis was formulating other claims on Norham and Westupsethington (Upsetlington) against the Scotch, who seem to have then secured them. For his unwavering assertion of the rights of his own see his biographer gives him great praise, and adds that though chaste he was unlearned. Indeed, of Latin the bishop knew so little that before his consecration he had to take several days' lessons before he could read his part of the service; and even then, when he came to the word 'Metropoliticæ,' which he could not master, even with the aid of a little prompting behind, after a long pause he had to exclaim, 'Seit pur dite,' 'Let it be taken as said.' The words 'in ænigmate' were a similar stumbling-block, and he could not refrain from whispering to those standing by, 'By St. Louis, the man who wrote that word had no courtesy in him.' Once consecrated he was very masterful in his own diocese, and got two bulls from the pope, one empowering him to appoint any monk he would prior of St. Mary's, and another to hold a third part of the priory's income while the Scotch wars lasted. He was a great builder, and commenced a spacious hall and kitchen with a chapel attached at Middleham. He was buried before the high altar in Durham cathedral in a magnificent tomb, 'wherein he was most excellently and lively pictured as he was accustomed to sing or say mass.' This tomb, which Louis had prepared in his lifetime, is fully described in Davies's 'Durham Cathedral,' and was marked by a Latin epitaph (in hexameters) which claimed for its occupant the character of 'a man of royal birth, lavish, gleeful, and a constant enemy to sadness.'

[Robert de Graystanes ap. Wharton's Anglia Sacra, i. 751-61; Godwin's Præsules, ed. Richardson, 45-6; Raine's Historical Papers from the Northern Registers (Rolls Series), 265-8, &c.; Hardy's Registrum Dunelmense (Ricardi Kellow), ii. 7, iii. &c.; Annales Paulini, &c., in Chronicles and Memorials of Edward I and II, vols. i. and ii.; Rymer, iii. 581, 670, 952, iv. 297, 405, 491; Surtees's History of Durham, i. xxxvii-xlv; Dugdale's Baronage, ii. 50; Davies's Ancient Rites of Durham Cathedral, 24-7; Jones's Fasti Ecclesiæ Sarisburiensis.]

T. A. A.

BEAUMONT, PHILIP. [See Tesimond, Oswald.]

BEAUMONT, ROBERT de (d. 1118), count of Meulan, feudal statesman, was son of Roger de Beaumont ('de Bellomonte' in the latinized form) and grandson of Humfrey de Vielles, who had added to his paternal fief of Pont Audemer, by the gift of his brother, that of Beaumont, afterwards 'Beaumont-le-Roger' (including Vielles), from which his descendants took their name. Roger de Beaumont had married Adeline, the daughter of Waleran, count of Meulan ('de Mellente') in France, and was allied paternally to the ducal house of Normandy, of which he was a trusted counsellor. Being advanced in years at the time of the invasion of England, he remained in Normandy at the head of the council, and sent his sons with William. Of these, Robert fought at Senlac (14 Oct. 1066), though confused with his father by Wace (Roman de Rou, 1. 13462):–

Rogier Ii Veil, cil de Belmont,
Assalt Engleis el primier front.

He distinguished himself early in the day by a charge on the right wing, in which he was the first to break down the English palisade (Will. Poitou, 134). On William's march into the midlands in 1068, he was rewarded with large grants in Warwickshire (Domesday, 239 b) and Warwick Castle was entrusted to his brother Henry [see Newburgh, Henry de]. He then practically disappears for more than twenty years.