Count Hugh De Lusignan LA MARCHE, X 1
- Born: Abt 1183, Lusignan, Vienne, France
- Married: May 1217-1220, , , England
- Died: 1248-1249, , Surrey, England
Other names for Hugh were "The Younger", LUSIGNEM, Hugues, LA MARCHE Count, "Le Brun" and "The Brown".
Ancestral File Number: 8JDV-Z6. User ID: 157945820.
"The Younger", "Le Brun", "The Brown", Count of LA MARCHE, Cousin of Isabella
The Political History of England,Vol II, George Burton Adams Longmans Green and Co, 1905, Ch XIX, p397:
 "...[John] sent off an embassy to ask for a daughter of the king of Portugal. In the meantime he went on a progress through the French lands which had been secured to him by treaty with Philip, and met the beautiful Isabel, daughter of the Count of Angouleme, then twelve years of age, and determined to marry her out of hand. The fact that she was already betrothed to Hugh `the Brown,' son and heir ofhis own vassal the Count of La Marche, and that she was then living in the household of her intended father-in-law, made no more difference to him than his own embassy to Portugal. It seems possible indeed that it was in the very castle of theCount of La Marche that the plan was formed. Isabel's father also did not hesitate in the choice of sons-in-law, and his daughter having been brought home, she was at once married to John. An act of this kind was a most flagrant violation of the feudal contract, nor was the moral blunder saved from being a political one by the fact that the injured house was that of the Lusignans, great barons and long turbulent and unruly vassals of Aquitaine. John had given them now a legal right of appeal to his suzerain and a moral justification of rebellion.
"After his marriage John went back to England for the coronation of his queen, which took place on October 8...In the meantime, as was to be expected, hostilities had begun with the family of the Count of La Marche, and the king sent out a summons to the barons of England to meet him at Portsmouth at Whitsuntide prepared for service abroad. On receipt of this notice the earls held a meeting at Leicester and by agreement replied to the king that they would not go over sea with him unless he restored to them their rights...
"...John was invited to Paris by Philip and entertained in the royal palace. It was at first proposed that the case between Johnand the Lusignans should be tried in his own court as Count of Poitou, but he insisted upon such conditions that the trial was refused...In the spring of 1202 he was ready for action. The barons of Poitou had already lodged an appeal with him as overlord against the illegal acts of John. This gave him a legal opportunity without violating any existing treaty. After an interview with John on March 25, which left things as they were, a formal summons was issued citing John to appear before Philip's court and answer to any charges against him. He neither came nor properly excused himself, though he tried to avoid the difficulty. He alleged that as Duke of Normandy he could not be summoned to Paris for a trial, and was answered that he had not been summoned as Duke of Normandy but as Count of Poitou...He said that the king of England could not submit to such a trial, and was answered that the king of France could not lose his rights over a vassal because he happenedto have acquired another dignity...Finally, John's legal rights of delay and excuse being exhausted, the court decreed that he should be deprived of all the fiefs which he held of France on the ground of failure of service..."
p399:  "...[Philip] invaded Normandy about June 1, capturing place after place with almost no opposition from John, Arthur, now sixteen years old, he knighted, gave him the investiture of all the Angevin fiefs except Normandy, and betrothed him tohis own daughter Mary. On August 1 occurred an event which promised at first a great success for John, but proved in its consequences a main cause of his failure, and led to the act of infamy by which he has ever since been most familiarly known. Arthur, hearing that his grandmother Eleanor was ath the castle of Mirebeau in Poitou with a small force, laid siege to the castle to capture her as John's chief helper, and quickly carried the outer works. Eleanor had managed, however, to send off a messsenger to her son at Le Mans, and John, calling on the fierce energy he at times displayed, covered the hundred miles between them in a day and a night, surprised the besiegers by his sudden attack, and captured their whole force...Besides Arthur, he captured Hugh of Lusignan the younger and his uncle Geoffrey, king Richard's faithful supporter in the Holy Land, with many of the revolted barons and, as he reported with probable exaggeration, two hundred knights and more...The prisoners and booty were safely conveyed to Normandy, and Arthur was imprisoned at Falaise..."
A History of the Plantagenets, Vol I, The Conquering Family, Thomas B Costain, 1949, Doubleday & Co.
p277: "After John's death his widowreturned to Angouleme, where her daughter Joan was being brought up as the future bride of the man she had jilted herself, Hugh the Brown of Lusignan. Isabella was in her early thirties and at the very peak of her dazzling beauty. Hugh saw herand declared fervently that she must be his bride and not the little Joan. Isabella was happy enough to make the change (probably she had it in mind in going over), they were married forthwith, and Joan Makepeace was sent back to England. Isabella had involved her new husband in trouble with the King of France by her plotting to create an English confederacy, and with his neighbors by her queenly ways, before the news reached England that the old romance had blossomed again."
A History of The Plantagenets, Vol II, The Magnificent Century, Thomas B Costain, 1951, Doubleday & Co, p46:
"...Hugh of Lusignan, who was now the Count of La Marche. In his disappointment over the fair Isabella, handsome Hugh le Brun (the Brown) had remained without a wife, and it was through sentimental regard for his old sweetheart that he had accepted Joanna as his future bride in return for assistance to John in one of the latter's abortive campaigns in France. The child was being educated in one of his castles.
"Count Hugh was away crusading when Isabella arrived. The Lusignans had played an important part in the struggle for the Holy City, and one of them had been King of Jerusalem. Hugh returned before the endof her visit, browner than ever, and he realized at once that his love for her had not lessened with the years..."
"They were married without waiting for the consent of the King's Council in England...They promptly confiscated all her dower lands and stopped the payment of her pension.
"Isabella and her devoted Hugh were highly indignant over this. Hugh was in love with his wife, but he was also very much attached to her broad acres and the handsome jointure she was supposed to receive each year. He demanded satisfaction and made many threats against the men who composed the Council..."
"Queen Isabella had left England in July 1217, returning to the peace of the high-walled city of Angouleme which had beenher home until John saw her and stole her away from the man to whom she had been pledged, Hugh of Lusignan. Her purpose was to visit her seven-year-old daughter, Joanna. The little princess, who was a beautiful child and blessed with a perfectdisposition which she could not have inherited from either of her parents was to marry in due course of time this same Hugh of Lusignan, who was now the Count of La Marche...
"...Hugh returned before end of her visit...and he realized atonce that his love for her had not lessened with the years. This was not surprising, for the royal widow at thirty-four was still beautiful, as lissome as ever, her manner gay and seductive. A troubadour would have compared her to a ripe peach hanging on a sun-kissed wall in Provence or an earth-bound spirit of beauty. Why should he wait seven or eight years more while the little Joanna grew up? Here was the lady of his first choice, free and abviously willing. He held out his arms and Isabella walked right into them.
"They were married without waiting for the consent of the King's Council in England. This was a mistake. The Council had the power to say whom she should marry or whether she should marry at all. As thesecond matrimonial ventures of queens aresupposed to be dictated by political expediency, it was certain they would not have selected Hugh le Brun for her. They promptly confiscated all her dower lands and stopped the payment of her pension... "Isabella was happy for a time in her second marriage, presenting her husband over the years with eight children. she had been a queen, however, and could not reconcile herself to the rank of a mere countess. Her dissatisfaction grew withthe years and led, as will be recorded later, to much trouble for her husband and her son, and much unhappiness for the people of England."
p155: "It had already been told that Isabella could not reconcile herself to the loss in rank whichresulted from her marriage to the Count of La Marche. She had been Queen of England and of the Angevin possessions beyond the seas, and three times each year she had worn in public a crown on her lustrous hair. Whenever she found herself now in the company of women who outranked her and took advantage of it, whe would return in a great rage, her fine eyes blazing, her color high. She was the widow of a king and mother of a king, she would declare, and she could not live under such rebuffs..."
"...In 1241 Louis decided that his brother Alphonse was to rule over Poitou and took him to Poiciters to receive the submissions of the nobility. Hugh of La Marche obeyed the summons with the greatest reluctance. Isabella accompanied him with even greater unwillingness, and it did not improve her state of mind that she was ignored for three days. Finally she was summoned to the royal presence.
"There was silence in the room while she walked to the far end where Louis and his mother were seated on raised chairs. Neither rose to greet her, nor did they speak. Isabella compelled herself to voice a brief expression of her loyalty, although each word must have cost her an effort. Louis nodded in response but said nothing. His mother, her eyes fixed triumphantly on this once admired Queen who had been her bitter rival, remained silent also. Isabella accepted their attitude as a dismissal and swept out of the state room in a towering passion... "...The humiliation of the ex-Queen who had tossed her cap over the windmill (and her royal prerogatives with it) had a result which Blanche could not have expected. The Count of La Marche was still in love with his wife and he resented the coolness of her reception as much as she did. She accompanied him when he arrived at the palace sometime later, ostensibly for the purpose of taking the oath of fealty. It was during the Christmas festivities, which may account for the way things fell out. Hugh stomped into the presence of the new ruler of Poitou and in a loud voice disputed Alphonse's right to control of the Poitevin realm. He then turned and left the palace. Before the ale-drowsy officials could order his detention,he and Isabella had mounted their horses and galloped out through the courtyard.
"Having thus committed themselves to rebellion, the daring pair put their heads together and planned the first steps in a conspiracy to unite the provinces of the South and West against the French King...
"...The campaign proved a disastrous failure. On his previous invasion the French armies had paid Henry the doubt ful compliment of leaving him alone, but this time it was different. Poitou had been overrun before he arrived. When he managed to make contact near Taillebourg with the troops that Hugh of La Marche had raised, he found himself confronted by a superior French army which, clearly, was filled with the determination to exterminate the invaders. With hostile troops ringing his position on three sides it was an uncomportable time for the King to discover that other men could be as ready as he to break promises and repudiate obligations. Word was brought to him that Hugh, convinced it was a lost cause, was negotiating with the French.
"When the two men met and Henry charged his mother's husband with treachery, the count was evasive at first. He studied a hill in the near distance above which Frenchplumes were showing and a cloud of dust raised by the approach of cavalry at a bend of the road. Turning then to the angry and spluttering King of England, he denied that there were treaty obigations between them to prevent him from taking whatever steps he deemed advisable in these circumstances. There had been no promise between them that one would not make peace except with the consent of the other.
"Henry declared he would produce documents to prove the promises on the strength of which he had come to Poitou.
"The count gave his shoulders a shrug and said he had signed no documents. If any promise had been exchanged, it had been the work of his wife and he had not been a party to it.
"There was only onecourse open to the English, to withdraw before the French could cut off their retreat. This they succeeded in doing...The Count of La Marche promptly gave in to the French King on a promise of favorable terms...
"A conspiracy is never anystronger than its least reliable member, but Isabella's husband cannot be charged with the full blame for the swift and ignominious failure of the confederacy he had been chiefly instrumental in forming. A thing of shreds and patches to beginwith, it now fell completely to pieces. He brought a degree of opprobrium on his name in which no one else shared, however, by turning his coat and assuming command of a French army in a drive southward against his former allies. Raimund of Toulouse, never a reso- lute partner, was brought to his knees..."
p159: "Ex-Queen Isabella seems to have taken things into her own hands after the disastrous failure of the confederacy. No records exist by which her course of action from that point on can be charted, but there is no doubt that from the first she was not reconciled to French domination. She must have realized that nothing more could be expected from her son. Henry had demonstrated that he was neither a military leader nor an organizer of causes. Her own husband was almost as unstable. Hugh's easy submission to Louis must have galled his implacable wife. Inasmuch as his treacherous change of sides was the price he paid for retaining the lands and honorsof Lusignan, it may have been that Isabella, who was completely realistic where property was concerned, did not blame him for that move.
"If that were true, she soon ceased to allow such considerations to control her actions. She had fivesons by her second marriage, and it must have been clear to her that anything which widened the breach between the French Crown and the family of Lusignan would make it still more difficult to provide for all of them. She had always been vain,capricious and troublesome, and at this state she seems to have permitted the worst sides of her nature to take possession of her mind to the exclusion of everything else.
"...[In an attempted poisoning of Louis, the captured suspects] babbled abjectly, declaring among other things that they had been in the pay of the ex- Queen of England. Louis had been long-suffering in respect to the troublesome Lusignans, overlook their arrogance and defiance of him, even forgiving them therecent hostilities. The final offense, in which he seems to have believed, had to be dealt with, however, in the manner prescribed for such crimes. An attempt to take Isabella into custody failed because she had been warned in time and had fled. Her husband was arrested, however, and thrown into prison with his eldest son, charged with complicity in the poisoning plot...
"Isabella said a prayer at the row of stately tombs where Eleanor of Aquitaine lay between her husband, HenryII, and her son, Richard the Lionheart, and was then escorted to the dark apartment where she would be free from molestation...
"Here the one-time lady of England existed in safety but great discomfort and unhappiness while her husband and son were charged with a share in the plot to kill the French King. Whether or not Isabella was guilty, it is certain that neither of the men had been involved. There does not seem to have been a shred of evidence against them, and the two cooks had already been executed and could not be tortured into more confessions. The proceedings took the form, therefore of a challenge to trial by battle. None of the champions of France, however, were ready to meet on the field of honor anyoneas tainted with treason as Hugh of Lusignan, and so nothing came of that. Finally the prisoners were allowed their freedom, although they emerged discredited and dishonored..."
p162: "The disgrace of the family of Lusignan had the effectwhich Isabella should have foreseen earlier. Her husband lost most of his possessions. There would be enough for Hugh, the first son, but what of the four younger sons and three daughters? There was only one way to provide forthem, and that wasto send them to England and let Henry assume the burden..."
Political History of England 1216-1377, Vol III, T F Tout, AMS Press, 1905,
p31: "...The powerful Viscounts of Thouars were constantly kept in check by their traditional enemiesthe Counts of La Marche, whose representative, Hugh of Lusignan, was by far the strongest of local barons. His cousin, and sometime betrothed, Isabella, Countess of Angouleve, the widow of King John, had left England to resume the administration of her dominions. Early in 1220 she married Hugh, justifying herself to her son on the ground that it would be dangerous to his interests if the Count of La Marche should contract an alliance with the French party. But this was mere excuse.The union of La Marche and Angouleme largely increased Count Hugh's power, and he showed perfect impartiality in pursuing his own interests by holding a balance between his stepson and the King of France..."
p34: "...Within six weeks of Louis VIII's death, Hugh of Lusignan, the viscount of Thouars, Savary de Mauleon, and many other Poitevin barons, concluded treaties with Richard of Cornwall, by which in return for lavish concessions they went back to the English obedience..."
p62: "...The lords of Poitou saw that the same process which had destroyed the feudal liberties of Normandy now endangered their disorderly independence. Hugh of Lusignan and his wife had been present at Alfonse's investiture, and the widow of King John had gone away highly indignant at the slights put upon her dignity. She bitterly reproached her husband with the ignominy involved in his submission. Easily moved to new treasons, Hugh became the soul of a league of Poitevin barons formed at Parthenay, which received the adhesion of Henry's seneschal of Gascony, Rostand de Sollers, and even of Alfonse's father-in-law, the depressed Raymond of Toulouse. At Christmas Hugh openly showed his hand. He renounced his homageto Alfonse, declared his adhesion to his step-son, Richard of Cornwall, the titular count of Poitou, and ostentatiously withdrew from the court with his wife. The rest of the winter was taken up with preparations for the forthcoming struggle..."
p64: "...A minor result of Louis' triumph was the well-deserved ruin of Hugh of Lusignan and Isabella of Anouleme. The proud spirit of Isabella did not long tolerate her humiliation. She retired to Fontevraud and died there in 1246. Hugh X followed her to the tomb in 1248. Their eldest son Hugh XI suceeded him, but the rest of their numerous family turned for support to the inexhaustible charity of the King of England. Thus in 1247 a Poitevin invasion of the king's half-brothers and sisters recalled to his much-tried subjects the Savoyard invation of ten years earlier. In that single year three of the kin's brothers and one of his sisters accepted his invitation to make a home in England..."
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1981, Micropaedia, Vol VI, p397, Lusignan: "Noble family of Poitou (a province of western France) that provided numerous crusaders and kings of Jerusalem, Cyprus, and Lesser Armenia. A branch of the family became counts of La Marche and Angouleme and played a role in precipitating the baronial revolt in England against King Henry III. The castle of Lusignan is associated with the medieval legend of Melusine.
"Hugh (Hugues) I, Lord of Lusignan, was a vassal of the counts of Poitiers in the 10th century. Early members of the family participated in the crusades; but it was Hugh VIII's sons who established the family fortunes.
"Hugh VIII's eldest son and successor, Hugh IX the Brown (died 1219), held countship ofLa Marche. In 1200 his fiancee, Isabella of Angouleme, was taken for wife by his feudal lord, King John of England. This outrage caused Hugh to turn to the King of France, Philip II Augustus, forming an alliance that culminated in John's lossof his continental possessions.
"John, in an attempt to pacify Hugh, gave his daughter Joan as fiancee to Hugh X (died 1249), but the marriage never took place. Instead, after John's death, Hugh X married his widow, Isabella, in 1220. Hughand Isabella fluctuated in their loyalty to John's successor (Isabella's son), Henry III. When Louis IX of France granted Poitou as a countship to his brother Alphonse, Hugh at first supported him. Isabella's anger caused a change of mind and, eventually, brought about a disastrous revolt supported by Henry III. In this revolt Hugh lost his principal strongholds, but Louis IX pardoned the Lusignans, and they swore loyalty again.
"Nine children were born to Isabella and Hugh X,five of whom went to England at the invitation of their half brother, Henry III. There they were rewarded with lands, riches, and distinctions at the expense of the English barons, who eventually revolted against Henry and forced the exile of the Lusignan borthers from England in 1258...
"Two other sons of Hugh VIII became kings of Jerusalem and Cyprus. Guy, through his marriage to Sibyl, the sister of King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem, got the kingdom in 1186 but lost his capital city in wars with the Muslims (1187) and finally exchanged his empty title for the sovereignty of Cyprus (1192).
"Guy's brother Amalric II (Died 1 Apr 1205) succeeded to the crown of Cyprus and became king of Jerusalem in 1197 by marrying Sybil's sister Isabella after the death of her two previous husbands. Amalric was the founder of a dynasty of sovereigns of Cyprus...His descendants after 1269 regularly enjoyed the title of King of Jerusalem..."
Ancestral File 8JDV-Z6 Hugh X of La Marche of Angoueme DELUSIGNEM, TMC Hugh of La Marche, Ver 4.10 JWRJ-CV Hugh I Of Lusignan.
Ancestral File v4.19 8XJ7-0S.
Hugh married Queen Isabella De Taillefer ENGLAND, daughter of Count Aymer De Taillefer ANGOULEME and Countess Alix De Courtenay ANGOULESME, in May 1217-1220 in , , England. (Queen Isabella De Taillefer ENGLAND was born about 1187-1188 in Angouleme, Charente, France, died on 31 May 1245-1246 in Abbey, Fontevrault, Maine-Et-Loire, France and was buried in Abbey, Fontevrault, Maine-Et-Loire, France.)