Hugh de Moreville, Lord of Cumberland

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Hugh de Moreville, Constable of Scotland

Also Known As: "Lord Burgh", "Hugo de Morville", "Lord of Cumberland"
Birthdate: (47)
Birthplace: Kirkoswald, Cumbria, England, United Kingdom
Death: 1162 (43-51)
Dryburgh, Scottish Borders, Scotland, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Hugh de Morville, Kirkoswald and Ibria Trivers
Husband of Beatrice de Beauchamp
Father of Roger Morville; Hugh de Morville, Knt.; Malcolm Morville; Richard de Moreville, Constable of Scotland; Maud De Morville De Vipont and 1 other
Brother of Guillaume (William) de Morville of Bradpole and Simon Morville, de Morville

Occupation: Constable of Scotland
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Hugh de Moreville, Lord of Cumberland

The first person recorded with this name in Scotland is Hugh de Morville. He came from the Burgh on the Sands, in Cumberland, sometimes around 1100, and acquired extensive possessions in Tweeddale, Lauderdale, the Lothianas, Clyesdale, and especially in Cunningham, Ayrshire. He also held the hereditary office of lord-high-constable of the kingdom. He was a witness to Inquisitis Daridis, 1116.

In 1140, Hugh de Morville founded the abbey of Kilwinning, in Cunningham. In 1150, he founded Dryburgh abbey. He died in 1162. By his wife, Beatrice de Beauchamp, he is said to have acquired still greater possession than his own. He had a son, Richard de Morvill, and a daughter who married Richard de Germin.

~The Scottish nation: he Scottish Nation: Or, The Surnames, Families, Literature, Honours, and Biographical History of the People of Scotland, Vol. III, pages 730-731

Hugh de Morville, Lord of Cunningham and Lauderdale (d.1162), from the Cotentin Peninsula, accompanied David I of Scotland to Scotland. Barrow ponders on "the rise in only one or at most two generations of an obscure knightly family from the unfashionable side of Normandy to the highest baronial rank in the Scottish realm."[2]

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."[1]


Quoted from Keith Stringer, ?Morville, Hugh de (d. 1162)?, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [, accessed 25 May 2007]:

The constableship and the stewardship were the key lay offices to emerge from David I's refashioning of the royal household, the focal agency of government, and Morville's influence appears to have ensured his pre-eminence over the steward as the more senior figure at court and in the conduct of business. In wartime the constable was responsible with the earls for leading royal armies under the king, and Hugh may have been in post by 1138. He participated prominently in King David's invasions of northern England in that year, and was one of the five magnates, including three Scottish earls, compelled to surrender hostages under the Durham treaty of 1139. His first recorded appearance as constable, however, was on 1 November 1140; and, curiously, David's first known constable, Edward son of Siward, remained in office alongside Hugh until c.1144. When from 1141 David and his household switched from war enterprise to the political consolidation of the Scoto-Northumbrian realm, there is strong evidence that he entrusted Hugh de Morville with the strategically vital lordship of north Westmorland. Its caput was Appleby, where Hugh possibly built the twelfth-century keep. He also seems to have held superiority over Kendal or south Westmorland. He served Malcolm IV from 1153 as assiduously as he had David I, and he remained constable until his death or shortly before it, when he took the canonical habit at Dryburgh.

Hugh de Morville married Beatrice, one of the Beauchamps of Bedford, who figures in a famous anecdote by William of Canterbury. It tells how Beatrice succumbed to an illicit passion for a youth named Lithulf, and how, finding her advances rejected, she revenged herself by persuading Lithulf to come into her husband's presence with his sword drawn, in consequence of which he was condemned to be boiled alive. Little confidence can be placed in the historicity of this story.

Hugh and his Morville successors introduced into Scotland numerous fellow Anglo-Normans, several of whom founded notable Scottish dynasties, including the Haigs and the Sinclairs. But the Morville family failed in the male line in 1196, thirty-four years after the death of the elder Hugh, presumably at Dryburgh Abbey, in 1162.

Hugo de Morville, Constable of Scotland, was from Morville at Manche, Normandy.

He was tenant of the honour of Huntingdon between 1118 and 1129. He was founder of the abbeys of Kilwinning and Dryburgh. He was constable of Scotland after 1140.


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Hugh de Moreville, Lord of Cumberland's Timeline

Kirkoswald, Cumbria, England, United Kingdom
Age 12
Age 13
Burgh by Sands, Cumbria, England, United Kingdom
Age 14
Of, Burgh-By-Sands, Cumberland, England
Age 27
Kirkoswald, Cumberland, England
Age 29
Burgh-By-Sands, Cumberland, England
Age 47
Dryburgh, Scottish Borders, Scotland, United Kingdom
Age 47