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John de Beauchamp

Death: Died in He was saved from execution and released in 1399.
Cause of death: Executed, beheaded, for treason
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Richard Beauchamp, 2nd Baron Beauchamp of Powick and Eustache Beauchamp
Husband of Joan De Beauchamp
Father of John Beauchamp
Half brother of Elizabeth Willoughby; Pole Beauchamp; Anne Lygon; Margaret Reade; Richard Beauchamp and 1 other

Managed by: Steven Wesley McRorie
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About John de Beauchamp

Sir John de Beauchamp, 1st Baron Beauchamp of Kidderminster (died 1388) was an administrator and landowner. He came from Holt, Worcestershire, and belonged to a cadet branch of the great family of Beauchamp, whose head was the Earl of Warwick. He was the son of another John (born 1319), whom he succeeded in the 1360s. A favourite of the ailing King Edward III, in the years 1370 to 1375 he received several grants of offices, including the constableship of Bridgnorth Castle. He was elected for Worcestershire to Edward III's last parliament (January 1377) and Richard II's first (October 1377).

Richard II regarded him warmly, and acted as godfather to his son. Retained in the household, Beauchamp soon received substantial further patronage, and by 1384 he had been made Receiver of the Chamber and Keeper of the King's Jewels. He took the order of knighthood on Richard II's entry into Scotland in 1385. That December he was granted for life the office of Justiciar of North Wales, to which was added in August 1386 a charter of liberties within his recently purchased estate at Kidderminster. Even though the Commons demanded in October that a new Steward of the Household be appointed only in parliament, Richard II refused to comply, and in January 1387 he promoted Beauchamp to the stewardship. Even more provocative was Sir John's creation on 10 October following as ‘Lord of Beauchamp and Baron of Kidderminster’, a new dignity to be maintained from the estates of Deerhurst Priory. This was the first creation of a peerage by letters patent.

Beauchamp's rapid rise from esquire to baron could not be borne by the Lords Appellant, who included his kinsman, Thomas Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick. The latter probably saw the rise of his cousin as a threat to his dominance of the midlands.[1] Arrested and imprisoned along with three other household knights, Lord Beauchamp[2] was impeached in the Merciless Parliament in 1388 and condemned by the lords for treason. He was beheaded on Tower Hill and buried in Worcester Cathedral. Fortunately for his heir, John Beauchamp, 2nd Baron Beauchamp of Kidderminster, then aged eleven, he had entailed certain of his manors, so these were exempt from forfeiture.[3]


  1. Saul 179
  2. Although the Lords Appellant disregarded his peerage and addressed him simply as a knight (Ross 564).
  3. Ross 563-564

The Beauchamp family were an important family in the middle ages, a family that, following the Norman Conquest, had property in many parts of England.

  • Sir John Beauchamp of Holt was born sometime between 1320 and 1330. The Beauchamp family had held Holt Manor from the 13th century, when William Beauchamp gave it to his younger son John, sometime between 1235 and 1269.
  • The Sir John Beauchamp in this article, was the son of another John, who fought at Sluys in 1340 and at Crecy. * He was one of the knights of the shire in the Parliament of 1352 but died sometime in the early 1360’s.
  • He was succeeded by his son John, who married Joan daughter and heir of Robert Fitz ? Like his father he served his country in wars in Europe. He served under John of Gaunt in the Spanish Campaign of 1372. In the reign of King Richard II, John Beauchamp rose rapidly to fame. He fought with the King in France and in 1385, was awarded a knighthood for his service to the King against the Scottish people. He was granted land in Carnarvonshire and made Justice of North Wales.
  • Sir John Beauchamp continued his rise up the greasy pole of politics

By October 1387, he had risen yet further. He was created a peer and baron of the realm, gaining the title Lord Beauchamp, Baron of Kidderminster, another of his estates. ‘in consideration of the noble and trusty family from which he sprang, and of his own great sense and circumspection,’

  • His fall however was as rapid as his rise. * Sir John Beachamp and the 100 years war
  • The young King Richard II, sought peace with the French by negotiation but this failed to satisfy many of England’s Lords who saw Englands loss of French soil as a treacherous thing. In 1386, they authorized a commission of nobles known as the Lords Appellant to effectively take over management of the kingdom and act as Richard’s regents. Within two years, a parliament would sit, known as the ‘Merciless Parliament’. Here King Richards closest advisors were accused of treason, Sir John Beauchamp amongst them.
  • By the authority of the Lords Appellants, Sir John was attained of high treason, imprisoned in Dover Castle and then brought to London where he was beheaded in the Tower of London on the 12th May 1388.
  • It is interesting to note that one of the Lords Appellants was Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, a cousin of Sir John Beauchamp. He was opposed to King Richard and after Richard had regained power he removed himself from politics and retired to his estates. He was charged with high treason in 1397 and imprisoned in the Tower of London. The Beauchamp Tower is supposedly named after him. He was saved from execution and released in 1399.
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John de Beauchamp's Timeline

Age 58
Age 80
He was saved from execution and released in 1399.