Hugh de Morville, Lord of Westmoreland

Hugh de Morville, Lord of Cunningham and Lauderdale

Hugh de Morville (died 1162) was a Norman knight who made his fortune in the service of David fitz Malcolm, Prince of the Cumbrians (1113-24) and King of Scots (1124-53).

His parentage is said by some to be unclear, but G. W. S. Barrow, in his Anglo-Norman era states: "it seems probable that the father of William, and the first Hugh de Morville, was the Richard de Morville who witnessed charters by Richard de Redvers for Montebourg and the church of St. Mary in the castle of Néhou in the early twelfth century.

Hugh came from Morville in the Cotentin Peninsula, territory controlled by David since it had been given to him by King Henry I of England some time after 1106. It must have been sometime soon after 1106 that Hugh joined David's small French household followers and military retinue. In 1113 David became Earl of Huntingdon-Northampton (by marriage) and Prince of the Cumbrians, after forcing his brother Alexander, King of Scots, to hand over territory in southern "Scotland". David achieved this with his French followers

David endowed Hugh with the estates of Bozeat and Whissendine from his Huntingdon earldom, and the baronies of Lauderdale and (perhaps later) Cunningham in Scotland. During David's take-over of northern England after 1136, Hugh was also given the lordship of Appleby - essentially northern Westmorland. After the death of Edward, Constable of Scotland, almost certainly in 1138 at the Battle of the Standard, Hugh was given this position.

In 1150 Hugh made a further mark on the history of southern Scotland by founding Dryburgh Abbey for Premonstratensian canons regular. Hugh eventually retired there as a canon, soon before his death in 1162. An ancient memorial to him in the South wall is said to mark his burial-place.

Hugh married Beatrice, the heiress of Houghton Conquest, and daughter of Robert de Beauchamp, a son of Hugh de Beauchamp of Bedford. They had at least two sons and two daughters, including his successor, Richard de Morville. Another son, Hugh de Morville, Lord of Westmorland, was a principal player in the assassination of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. He subsequently fell out of favour with the king and was forfeited (1174) when the Lordship of Westmorland (which he had inherited from his father who had received it from David I) was granted to his sister, Maud. Hugh II's other sister, Joan (d.1247), married Richard, a younger son of Ralph Gernon of Bakewell, Derbyshire.

Notes

Bibliography

  • Anderson, Alan Orr Scottish Annals from English Chroniclers: AD 500–1286, (London, 1908), republished, Marjorie Anderson (ed.) (Stamford, 1991)
  • Barrow, G.W.S., The Anglo-Norman Era in Scottish History, Oxford, 1980, p.71n.
  • Barrow, G. W. S., "Beginnings of Military Feudalism", in G.W.S. Barrow (ed.), The Kingdom of the Scots, (Edinburgh, 2003), pp. 250–78
  • Barrow, G. W. S., (editor) The Scots and the North of England in The Kingdom of the Scots, (Edinburgh, 2003), pp. 130–47
  • Duncan, A.A.M., Scotland: The Making of the Kingdom, (Edinburgh, 1975)
  • Lawrie, Sir Archibald, Early Scottish Charters Prior to A.D. 1153, (Glasgow, 1905)
  • Oram, Richard, David: The King Who Made Scotland, (Gloucestershire, 2004)
  • Stringer, Keith, Early Lords of Lauderdale, in Keith Stringer (ed.), Essays on the Nobility of Medieval Scotland, (Edinburgh, 1985), pp. 44–71
  • Stringer, Keith, Morville, Hugh de (d. 1162), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 27 Nov 2006
  • Watt, D.E.R. & Shead, N.F. (eds.), The Heads of Religious Houses in Scotland from the 12th to the 16th Centuries, The Scottish Records Society, New Series, Volume 24, (Edinburgh, 2001)

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