Earl Hugh De Beaumont BEDFORD
- Born: Abt 1106, Leicester, Leicestershire, England
Other names for Hugh were BEDFORD Earl and "The Poor".
Ancestral File Number: GQP8-GN.
"The Poor", Earl of BEDFORD 1137.
The Political History of England, Vol II, George Burton Adams LongmansGreen and Co, 1905, Ch X
p212: "...Stephen owed much, as had all the Norman kings, to the house of Beaumont, and he noew attempted to make some return. Simon of Beauchamp, who held the barony of Bedford and the custody of the King's castle in that town, had died shortly before, leaving a daughter only. In the true style of the strong kings, his predecessors, Stephen proposed, without consulting the wishes of the family, to bestow the hand and inheritance of the heiress on Hugh,known as `the Poor,' because he was yet unprovided for, brother of Robert of Leicester and Waleran of Meulan, and to give him the earldom of Bedford. The castle had been occupied with his consent by Miles of Beauchamp, Simon's nephew, and to him Stephen sent orders to hand the castle over to Hugh and to do homage to the new Earl of Bedford for whatever he held of the king. It was to this last command apparently that Miles especially objected, and he refused to surrender the castle unless his own inheritance was secured to him. In great anger, Stephen collected a large army and began the siege of the castle, perhaps on Christmas day itself. The castle was stoutly defended. The siege had to be turned into a blockade. Beforeit ended the king was obliged to go away to defend the north against the Scots. After a siege of five weeks the castle was surrendered to Bishop Henry of Winchester, who seems for some reason to have opposed his brother's action in the case from the beginning."
p221: "During this year, 1138, Stephen adopted a method of strengthening himself which was imitated by his rival and by later kings, and which had a most important influence on the social and constitutional history of England. We have noticed already his habit of lavish gifts. Now he began to include the title of earl among the things to be given away to secure fidelity. Down to this time the policy of William the Conqueror had been followed by his successors, and the title had been very sparingly granted. Stephen's first creation was the one already mentioned, that of Hugh `the Poor,' of Beaumont, as Earl of Bedford, probably just at the end of 1137. In the midst of the insurrection of the south-west, Gilbert of Clare, husband of the sister of the three Beaumont earls, was made Earl of Pembroke. As a reward for their services in defeating King David at the battle of the standard, Robert of Ferrers was made Earl of Derby, and William ofAumale Earl of Yorkshire. Here were four creations in less than a year, only a trifle fewer than the whole number of earls in England in the last years of Henry I. In the end Stephen created nine earls. Matilda followed him with six others, andmost of these new titles survived the period in the families on which they were conferred. It is from Stephen's action that we may date the entry of this title into English history as a mark of rank in the baronage, more and more freely bestowed, a title of honour to which a family of great possessions or influence might confidently aspire..."
Ancestral File Ver 4.10 GQP8-GN.
Hugh married Alice De ESTOUTEVILLE.