Matching family tree profiles for Hugh Fitz Osbern, 3d Baron of Burford
About Hugh Fitz Osbern, 3d Baron of Burford
Cokayne, G.E. "Mortimer of Richard's Castle" in "The
Complete Peerage" Vol. IX, pp.257.
THE THIRD "BARON BURFORD"
In the confused politics of The Anarchy (i.e. the struggle 1135 - 1153 for the English throne between Stephen of Blois and Matilda / Maude, both grandchildren of William the Conqueror / King William I, subsequent to the death of King William II) something unusual seems to have occurred with the BURFORD BARONY. It is well known that the major barons made private military and even civil agreements, but what the minor baronage got up to is less clear. It has been shown that Roger Port of Kington managed to acquire Presteigne from OSBERN FITZ HUGH before 9 April 1145, when Thomas Fraxino granted the church there to St. Guthlac's priory, Hereford. However, this does not seem to fit well with the string of royalist (partisans of Stephen of Blois) victories that were then occurring in the Marches, as the loss of Presteigne would have seriously jeopardized Hugh Mortimer's successful actions in the Welsh marches of Herefordshire between 1144 and 1148. During this time, OSBERN FITZ HUGH seems to have come over to the side of Earl Roger of Hereford. The idea that Roger Port supported the Angevins at this time is also suspect and the evidence may suggest that his relations with them were as a defeated enemy, rather than a loyal friend. The Lord of Richard's Castle seems to have continued in his loyalty to the family of the Earl of Hereford and in the period 1159 - 1165, together with Miles Hereford, Archdeacon Jordan, Walter de Clifford, Ralph Baskerville, Roger Burghill and many other French, Welsh, and English witnessed a grant of Earl Roger's brother and heir, Henry Hereford. From the above it can be suggested that OSBERN came to some form of agreement with the Angevins in the Marches. However, as will be argued below, he does not seem to have forgotten his old allies either and probably made an agreement with both parties, hedging his bets in the ongoing and apparently never ending civil war of The Anarchy.
OSBERN seems to have lost about ten knights' fees in The Anarchy of King Stephen's reign and in 1160 - 1161 was only recorded as owing fifteen knights in Herefordshire. It seem likely that these ten missing fees included the lands of Presteigne (five fees) and Bleddfa. BY 1211 - 1219 ROBERT MORTIMER, THE HUSBAND OF THE SAY HEIRESS OF RICHARD'S CASTLE, WAS SAID TO BE HOLDING 25 FEES OF THE BARONY WITH THE HEIRESS OF HUGH SAY, WHO WAS THE HEIR OF OSBERN FITZ HUGH. THIS SUGGESTS THAT EITHER ROBERT OR ONE OF HIS PREDECESSORS HAD RECLAIMED THE MISSING TEN FEES, OR MORE LIKELY HE WAS JUST STATING THAT THEY SHOULD BE OWED TO THE BURFORD BARONY.
During the above period, OSBERN seems to have continued his families' association with THE HOUSE OF CLIFFORD, which had apparently begun with his adherence to the Angevin cause in the mid 1140's. Presumably, around the same time OSBERN married WALTER CLIFFORD'S daughter, AMICIA. In the period 1172 - 1174 WALTER CLIFFORD, with the assent of MARGARET TOSNY, his wife, together with OSBERN FITZ HUGH, made a grant to St. Mary's of Abbey Dore of the land which William Ford held in Cantref Selyf. The purpose of the grant was for the monks to build an abbey at Trawscoed, which they soon afterwards did. The grant was witnessed by Bishop David of St. David's, William Bray, OSBERN FITZ HUGH, MARGARET CLIFFORD, WALTER CLIFFORD THE YOUNGER (d. 1120), ROSAMUND CLIFFORD, Ralph Baskerville, Helias Marun, HUGH SAY (d. 1190), William Burghill, Simon the Monk, Richard the Chaplain, and many others. The grant was made for all his sucessors and predecessors of the three grantees, as well as for WALTER CLIFFORD'S soul and those of his wife and their sons and daughters. THIS SUGGESTS THAT ALREADY, BEFORE 1174, OSBERN FITZ HUGH DID NOT INTEND TO PASS HIS BARONY ON TO HIS CHILDREN, BUT THAT HUGH SAY WAS EVEN AT THAT EARLY DATE HIS HEIR. The following evidence seems to confirm this.
THE GENEALOGY OF THE SAY FAMILY IS DIFFICULT, BUT CHARTER EVIDENCE SUGGESTS THAT BY 1155 THE SAY FEE, AS HELD BY HELIAS SAY, THE GRANDSON OF THE DOMESDAY PICOT, HAD DISINTEGRATED. SO, TOO, HAD THE BARONY OF BURFORD, AND THE TWO DISINTEGRATIONS SEEM INEXTRICABLY LINKED. AN ANSWER SEEMS TO LIE IN WHAT OCCURRED NEXT.
IN 1186, OSBERN FITZ HUGH OF RICHARD'S CASTLE DIED AND WAS SUCEEDED IN THE REMNANTS OF HIS BARONY OF BURFORD BY HUGH SAY, WHO ONLY SURVIVED HIM BY FOUR YEARS. ONE OF HUGH'S FIRST ACTS AS THE NEW LORD OF BURFORD SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN TO CONFIRM THE GIFTS OF OSBERN "HIS BROTHER", NAMELY WYCHBOLD MILL AND A VIRGATE OF LAND AT WHITEBROOK (Witebroc), TO HAUGHMOND ABBEY. THIS CHARTER WAS WITNESSED BY WALTER CLIFFORD (d. 1190) AND RICHARD (his brother), GILBERT GIFFARD, ROGER SOLARS, WILLIAM CARBONEL, ACHILLES AND ROGER (his brother), RICHARD THE CHAPLAIN, THOMAS THE CHAPLAIN, WALTER THE CLERIC, AND HUGH KATIFORD AND HAS CAUSED MUCH CONFUSION IN THE SAY AND FITZ RICHARD GENEALOGIES. THIS IS BECAUSE HUGH DESCRIBED OSBERN AS HIS BROTHER, AS, BY THE PARLANCE OF THE DAY, HE INDEED WAS. HOWEVER, OSBERN WAS NOT HUGH'S UTERINE BROTHER, BUT HIS BROTHER IN LAW, BOTH MEN HAVING MARRIED A DAUGHTER OF WALTER CLIFFORD, WHO WAS SO PROMINENT IN THE ANARCHY AND DIED AT A RIPE OLD AGE AROUND 1190. HUGH SAY HAD MARRIED LUCY CLIFFORD AND OSBERN FITZ HUGH, AMICIA CLIFFORD. YET THIS DOES NOT EXPLAIN WHY OSBERN GRANTED RICHARD'S CASTLE TO HUGH SAY, PROBABLY TO THE EXCLUSION OF HIS OWN APPARENT SON, WILLIAM. IT WOULD SEEM POSSIBLE THAT OSBERN WAS MERELY FULFILLING PART OF AN AGREEMENT STRUCK IN THE ANARCHY OF STEPHEN'S REIGN. WHAT EXACTLY THAT AGREEMENT WAS IS DIFFICULT TO SAY, BUT THE KNOWN FACTS DO SEEM TO SUGGEST AN ANSWER.
Fact -- Helias Say, the royalist Lord of Clun, lost possession of Clun Castle to a daughter who was married to an Angevin.
Fact -- OSBERN FITZ HUGH lost possession of Presteigne Castle before 1148 to Roger Port, who may have been an Angevin (his relations with Earl Roger of Hereford do not seem to have been good).
Fact -- OSBERN FITZ HUGH, ON HIS DEATH, GRANTED BURFORD TO HUGH, THE SON OF THE ROYALIST HELIAS SAY who, according to two independent chronicles, battled against Earl Roger of Hereford before making peace with him.
Fact -- HUGH FITZ HUGH SAY'S DAUGHTER, MARGARET, INHERITED RICHARD'S CASTLE AND NOT ANY OF HIS RELATIONS WHO, LIKE RICHARD SAY, CERTAINLY HELD RIGHTS IN THE BARONY.
Taken together, this may suggest that there was a pact, or political agreement, drawn up between these three families in the maelstrom of changing allegiances which shook the reign of King Stephen.
Hugh Fitz Osbern, 3d Baron of Burford's Timeline
Of, Richard's Castle, , Herefordshire, Englamd
Of, Richard's Castle, Herefordshire, England
Richardss Castle, Herefordshire, , England