Hugh de Beauchamp
(Bef 1050-After 1097)
Robert de Beauchamp
(Abt 1081-)
Miles de Beauchamp


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Miles de Beauchamp

  • Born: Bedford, Bedfordshire, England

bullet  Information about this person:

• Background Information: Victoria County History A History of the County of Bedfordshire, Vol. III. 1200
Hugh de Beauchamp's successor was Simon de Beauchamp, in all probability his son, (Dugdale's version which makes Simon the elder and Payn the younger son of Hugh de Beauchamp is not compatible with documentary evidence and has been discarded.) who had succeeded some time before 1114, about which date he was overlord of Robert de Brienne and others in Bedfordshire. [Cart. Mon. de Rames. (Rolls Ser.), i, 83, 143] His death took place c. 1137, when he left a daughter as heir. [Hist. Eccl. Orderici Vitalis, 966] The following year the castle is found in the possession of Miles de Beauchamp, described as one of the sons of Robert de Beauchamp, [Ibid.; Gesta Steph. (Rolls Ser.), iii, 30] who is presumed to be a younger brother of Simon de Beauchamp. Miles appears to have held in trust only, for the king having arranged a marriage between Simon's daughter and Hugh the Pauper, Earl of Bedford, sent to Miles commanding him to render up Bedford Castle to Hugh. [ibid] On Miles' refusal to comply, Stephen advanced against him with a large army, and Miles, provisioning the castle with forced supplies from a neighbourhood which he had hitherto treated with consideration so unusual as to call for remark, prepared for the long blockade which formed the usual military tactics of the period. Stephen at first attempted an assault, but so great was the strength of the entrenchments and ramparts that he determined to starve the garrison into surrender. He was strengthened in this resolution by the raids of King David of Scotland in Northumberland, which made his presence in the north imperative, and so he departed, leaving Hugh le Pauper with the greater part of his army encircling the castle. Miles and his men were eventually obliged to surrender, but the triumph of Hugh, 'vir laxus et effeminatus,' was short-lived, for Miles, erstwhile humiliated and depressed, to use the expression of the chronicler, returned elated and keen, recovered the castle and drove out the intruders. [Ibid. iii, 73; iv, 134; Hoveden, Chron. (Rolls Ser.), i, 192; Matth. Paris, Chron. Maj. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 166; cf. also V.C.H. Beds. ii, 24] Miles de Beauchamp, who appears to have retained the castle, was an adherent of the Empress Maud, for his signature is found attesting her charters in 1141 and again in 1142. [V.C.H. Beds. ii, 25] In 1146 the Earl of Chester joined the king's party and took Bedford 'civitatem,' [Chron. Steph. (Rolls Ser.), iii, 117] and apparently proceeded to the siege of the castle as well, for the earliest Pipe Rolls of Henry II have an entry of 20 marks levied on the burgesses of Bedford for being in the castle against the king. [Hunter, Great Roll of the Pipe, 22. Mr. Chambers (cf. political history) is inclined to surmise a second siege c. 1150] No further opposition is found to the claims of Miles de Beauchamp to the castle and barony, which he continued to hold till his death\emdash of which the date is uncertain. His heir was Payn de Beauchamp, who is expressly so described in a grant made by Miles of Bedford Mill to Bermondsey Priory, [Ann. Mon. (Rolls Ser.), iii, 445. ] and who was probably the brother who in 1138 assisted in the defence of Bedford Castle. By 1155\endash 6 both Miles and Payn were dead and Simon de Beauchamp, son of the latter by Rohese widow of the notorious Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of Essex, [Harl. MS. 3656; Rot. Cur. Reg. (Rec. Com.), ii, 252; J. H. Round, op. cit. 392\endash 3.] was under age, and his lands valued at £40 farmed by the sheriff of the county. [Hunter, Great Roll of the Pipe, 22]

~V.C.H., A History of the County of Bedford, Vol. III, pp 9-15

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