Sir Simon de Burley, K.G., Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports

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Sir Simon de Burley, K.G., Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports

Birthplace: Woebly, Herefordshire, England (United Kingdom)
Death: May 15, 1388 (47-56)
Tower Hill, London, Tower Liberty, England (United Kingdom)
Immediate Family:

Son of John Burley, of Birley and N.N. Burley
Brother of Richard Burley; Sir John Burley, K.G. and Maud Burley
Half brother of John Burley of Broncroft

Managed by: Private User
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About Sir Simon de Burley, K.G., Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports

BURLEY, Sir SIMON (1336–1388), warrior and favourite, was born in 1336 (Nicolas, Scrope and Grosvernor, p. 206), of a Herefordshire family. His parentage is uncertain, but he appears to have been a younger brother rather than a son of the Sir John Burley who received the Garter at the accession of Richard II.

In 1392, Lyonshall passed to Sir Simon de Burley, a royal favourite. Introduced to court at a young age, he went to sea at the age of 14 to fight the Spanish, and he was a soldier until his capture by the French at Poitou in 1369. He was a court tutor, and his former pupil, Richard II, made him Governor of Windsor and Llanstephan, Master of Falconry and Keeper of the Royal Mews; he also received a great number of manors and estates in reward for his service. However, he was charged with treason by the Duke of Gloucester and although the king and queen personally knelt to beg for his pardon, he was executed on 15th May 1388.

Wikipedia: Sir Simon de Burley, KG (ca. 1336 – 1388) was holder of the offices of Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover Castle between 1384-88, and was a Knight of the Garter. Sir Simon Burley was one of the most influential men in the court of King Richard II of England. Although of humble origin, he was brought up with Edward, the Black Prince; they became intimate friends, and Burley was raised to become a tutor to the prince's son, later Richard II. He first served in the fleet which destroyed the Spanish corsairs in 1350. In 1355, he took part in Edward‘s abortive expedition from Calais, and in 1364 he appears in attendance on the Black Prince in Aquitaine, By him he was sent on the embassy to Peter of Castile in 1366, and shared in his restoration and the victory of Najara in 1367. On the war being renewed in 1369, he was attacked near Lusignan, when with a detached force, and made prisoner by the French. On the release of the Isabella of Valois, Duchess of Bourbon he was exchanged (1370) and rejoined the Black Prince at Limoges.[1] In 1377, Richard II confirmed an annual grant of £100 to Burley granted to him by first by Sir John Chandos and then by Edward III along with the custody of Carmarthen castle, in terms referring to him as "the King's father's Knight." In the same year, Burley was given the office of Master of the Falcon and Keeper of the Mews near Charring, and was appointed constable of Windsor Castle for life. The following year, the King further granted Burley the manor of Chiltenham in Gloucester and the 'fee simple' of the castle and lordship of Llanstephan. In 1382, Richard granted him the office of under-chamberlain of the King's household for life, and appointed him surveyor of the lands in South Wales in the King's hands during the minority of the heir of Edmund Mortimer. In 1384, the King granted him for life the constableship of Dover Castle and the wardenship of the Cinque Ports,[1] and three hundred pounds yearly (for the maintenance of himself, chaplains, etc.) with provision that he exercise the office himself. His long connection with the family of Richard II is indicated by his being named by Joan of Kent, King Richard's mother, as one of the executors of her will in 1385. In 1388 Burley, along with other favourites of the King, was impeached for treason by the commons and executed in the Merciless Parliament of 1388.[1] Simon Burley had no children (that survived). His father was a John Burley of Birley, Hereford, and Simon was the younger brother of another Sir John Burley who, along with his son Richard had also served under the Black Prince and were also both Knights of the Garter.[1]

Burley's Execution

"The session continued through April and May as Richard's chamber knights were tried and executed. Richard's intermediaries who had been negotiating with France were discovered and executed. By the end of April, most of what remained of Richard's staff had fled to the countryside or left the country altogether and many were convicted in absentia. The session began to come to an end with the trial of a knight named Simon Burley, who was accused of involvement in the plot. He was a veteran of the war and had been an adviser of the Black Prince, Richard's father. He had friends among the nobility and was a close friend of Edmund Langley, Duke of York. Langley was an influential lord who represented a significant bloc, and rose to defend Burley. The Duke of Gloucester endorsed Burley's condemnation. The two men became increasingly hostile in the first week of May. The King, who was presiding during the entire session, rose for the first time to join the Duke of York in resisting the effort. Gloucester and the King began quarreling and nearly came to blows. Before the entire council, Gloucester informed the King that if he wished to retain his crown, he should stop attempting to defend his friends. The King gave in. Burley was condemned and executed. The Duke of York was furious over the treatment of Burley, threatening to break the coalition of lords, leading Gloucester to support ending the Parliament. A series of peasant revolts broke out in Kent and southwest England, necessitating military action in late April. A second recess was agreed to after Easter and resumed on May 20. The remainder of the session was spent dealing with financial issues and the Parliament was finally dissolved on June 4.[15]"

Aftermath: Most of the Appellants were executed during the 1390s. Gloucester was exiled to Calais where he was suffocated, probably on the orders of Richard. Bolingbroke and many other lords were eventually exiled. In 1399 Bolingbroke led a group of exiles back to England, seized the country, forced Richard to abdicate, and then starved Richard to death. Bolingbroke, Richard's cousin, was crowned Henry IV.

Sources: This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Round, John Horace (1886). "Burley, Simon". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography 7. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

Lyonshall History

The Merciless Parliament

“The history and antiquities of the Tower of London: with ..., Volume 2”. By John Whitcomb Bayley. Page 304. GoogleBooks

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Sir Simon de Burley, K.G., Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports's Timeline

Woebly, Herefordshire, England (United Kingdom)
May 15, 1388
Age 52
Tower Hill, London, Tower Liberty, England (United Kingdom)