Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 50.djvu/159

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alarmed at the fall of the neighbouring towns that they abandoned the place, and the French re-entered on 8 April (Guillaume de Nangis, i. 288–9). Much quieter times ensued. In 1296 Edmund of Lancaster took the command, and, after his death, Henry de Lacy, third earl of Lincoln [q. v.] But the brunt of the hard work still fell on Saint-John, who continued to be seneschal. Bayonne remained the centre of the English power, and on 28 Jan. 1297 Saint-John marched with Lincoln to convey provisions to Bellegarde, which was closely besieged by Robert, count of Artois. The army passed through Peyrehorade in safety, and, approaching a wood within three miles of Bellegarde, was divided into two divisions, of which Saint-John led the former. Beyond the wood he was suddenly attacked by the French. Saint-John, though outnumbered, fought bravely; but Lincoln and the second division failed to give him proper support. Night approached, and the Gascon contingent ran away. Supported only by the English knights, Saint-John was utterly defeated, and taken prisoner along with ten other knights (Trivet, pp. 353–4; Rishanger, pp. 168–9; Knighton, i. 363, who calls the place ‘Helregard;’ Langtoft, ii. 280–2; Hemingburgh, ii. 74–6, gives a rather different account, which seeks to explain away the English defeat; (Guillaume de Nangis, i. 295, says that night alone prevented Lincoln's destruction). The prisoners were sent in triumph to Paris, and the French rejoiced over Saint-John's capture as the Philistines rejoiced over that of Samson (Flores Hist. iii. 100). Saint-John was only released after the treaty of L'Aumône in the summer of 1299. His captivity involved him in heavy debts, and on 3 Nov. 1299 he was forced to pledge four of his manors for sixteen years to the merchants of the society of the Buonsignori of Siena (Cal. Patent Rolls, 1292–1301, p. 482).

The Scots war soon furnished Saint-John with new occupation. On 3 Jan. 1300 he was appointed the king's lieutenant and captain in Cumberland, Westmoreland, Lancashire, Annandale, and the other marches west of Roxburgh (ib. p. 484). He was soon busy raising troops and receiving submissions of the Scots favourable to Edward (Hist. Doc. Scotland, ii. 407–8). In the famous siege of Carlaverock in 1300, Saint-John took a conspicuous part, being entrusted with the custody of Edward, the king's son, who was then making his first campaign (Nicolas, Siege of Carlaverock, pp. 42, 46, 50). In 1301 he is described as warden of Galloway and the sheriffdom of Dumfries, as well as of the adjacent marches (Cal. Patent Rolls, 1292–1301, p. 590). In the spring of that year he was appointed, with Earl Warenne and others, to treat at Canterbury of a peace between the English and the Scots with the envoys of Philip the Fair (ib. p. 580). The entries against Saint-John's name in the wardrobe accounts of the twenty-eighth year of Edward I show in detail his losses, confidential charges, and retinue as lieutenant of the western marches (Liber Quotidianus Garderobæ, pp. 176, 183, 200, London, 1787). In January 1301 Saint-John was at the Lincoln parliament, and signed the famous letter of the barons to the pope (Fœdera, i. 926; the description of the signatory as ‘lord of Halnaker’ shows clearly that it was John, and not his son). On 12 July 1302 he was with the king at Westminster (Fœdera, i. 941), but must soon have returned to his border command. He died on Thursday, 6 Sept. 1302, at Lochmaben Castle (‘Ann. London,’ in Stubbs, Chron. Edward I and Edward II, i. 128). He is described as a ‘most faithful and most valiant knight’ (Flores Hist. iii. 387), as ‘discreet, strenuous in arms, and experienced in battles’ (Trivet). ‘No more valiant and prudent man could be found’ (Siege of Carlaverock, p. 46). His arms were argent, on a chief gules, two mullets or, and his crest a lion passant between two palm branches (Siege of Carlaverock, p. 248; Archæological Journal, xxi. 224–6).

Saint-John's wife was Alice, daughter of Reginald FitzPeter, who survived him. Their eldest son, John, was either twenty-eight or thirty years old at his father's death (Calendarium Genealogicum, p. 624), and succeeded to his estates. He had already been for some years actively engaged in war and politics, had fought at Falkirk in 1298 and Carlaverock in 1300 (Gough, Scotland in 1298, p. 152), and had been summoned to parliament in 1299 as ‘John de Saint-John junior.’ The peerage writers take this summons as the beginning of the ‘barony by writ’ (G. E. C., Complete Peerage, i. 256; Nicolas, Historic Peerage, ed. Courthope, p. 412). There is some difficulty in distinguishing father and son in the last years of the former's life, though he is commonly distinguished as ‘John de Saint-John senior.’ The younger John married Isabel, daughter of Hugh Courtenay, and died in 1329. His son and successor, Hugh, died in 1337, and was never summoned to parliament. His heir, Edmund, died in his minority, and the barony fell into abeyance. The estates went to two coheiresses, but ultimately the whole passed to Isabel, Edmund's sister, and to her chil-