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Henry de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Warwick

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Henry de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Warwick or Henry de Newburgh[1] (died 20 June 1119) was a Norman nobleman who rose to great prominence in the Kingdom of England.

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Henry was a younger son of Roger de Beaumont by Adeline of Meulan,[2] daughter of Waleran III, Count of Meulan, and Oda de Conteville.

Early career

Henry was given by his father the modest lordship of Le Neubourg, in central Normandy, 12 km (7.5 mi) to the northeast of his father's caput of Beaumont-le-Roger on the River Risle. From this lordship he adopted for himself and his descendants the surname Anglicised to "de Newburgh", frequently Latinised to de Novo Burgo (meaning "from the new borough/town").

Henry was said, by Orderic Vitalis the Norman monk historian, to have been with William the Conqueror on his 1068 campaign in the Midlands when he was supposedly given charge of Warwick Castle, but there is no supporting evidence for this late source.[3] Little is in fact known of his career before 1088. However, he took a leading role in reconciling the Conqueror with his eldest son Robert Curthose in 1081, so he stood high in the Conqueror's favour. In 1088 he was a royal agent in the arrest and trial of the traitorous bishop of Durham, William de Saint-Calais.

Under William II

Henry acquired a much greater land-holding in England when, in reward for help in suppressing the Rebellion of 1088, King William II made him Earl of Warwick in 1088.[2] The lands of the earldom were put together from several sources. The bulk was provided by the majority of the lands in Warwickshire and elsewhere recorded as those of his elder brother Robert, Count of Meulan in the Domesday Survey of 1086. He also received large royal estates in Rutland and the royal forest of Sutton, which became Sutton Chase. The complicated arrangement to endow his earldom is unprecedented, and must have been the result of a three way arrangement between his father, his brother and the king.

Under Henry I

Henry became the companion and friend of King Henry I, William II's successor. When a division took place among the barons who had gathered together in the aftermath of the king's sudden death in 1100 to choose a successor, it was mainly owing to de Beaumont's advice that Henry, the conqueror's fourth son, was selected. However, in the following year most of the barons were openly or secretly disloyal and favoured the attempt of Henry's elder brother Robert Curthose, now Duke of Normandy, to gain the Crown. Henry de Beaumont and his brother Robert, King Henry's foremost advisors,[4] were among the few that remained faithful to the King.

Henry acquired the Lordship of Gower in Wales around 1107 from the favour of King Henry and built a castle at Swansea, which was unsuccessfully attacked by the Welsh in 1113; he also captured the Gower Peninsula in south west Glamorgan. He or his barons built other castles at Penrhys, Llanrhidian and Swansea in 1120, together with the others at Oystermouth and Loughor, the only remains of the latter are a mound and a keep.[5][6][6]

Marriage and offspring

Before 1100 Henry married Margaret (died after 1156), daughter of Geoffrey II of Perche and Beatrix of Montdidier, daughter of Hilduin IV, Count of Montdidier.[2] They had two daughters and the following sons:

  1. Roger, 2nd Earl of Warwick (c. 1102 – 1153), who succeeded Henry.
  2. Robert de Neubourg (died 1159), who inherited Henry's Norman lands and was Steward of Normandy. Robert's eldest son Henry de Neubourgh (c. 1130 – 1214) inherited his lands in Normandy, while his younger son Roger de Newburgh (c. 1135 – 1192) inherited his lands in Dorset.
  3. Rotrou (died 1183), who was successively Bishop of Évreux and Archbishop of Rouen, Chief Justiciar and Steward of Normandy. In 1167 he led the funeral service of Empress Matilda, daughter of Henry I and mother of Henry II.
  4. Geoffrey de Neubourg. He moved to England at the end of 1137 and resided thereafter with his eldest brother Earl Roger of Warwick. He made a number of appearances in Earl Roger's charters as "Geoffrey the earl's brother." When Roger died in 1153 and was succeeded by his son, Earl William, "Geoffrey the earl's uncle" continued to live in the Warwick household. He appears as a ducal justice in Normandy in his later years. See Haskins Society Journal 13 (2004): 50.
  5. Henry de Neubourg, otherwise known as "Henry of Gower". He re-conquered the family's Welsh estates in around 1136, holding the lordship of Gower throughout the reign of King Stephen.

Death and legacy

Henry entered the Abbey of Saint-Pierre de Préaux before his death and died as a monk there on 20 June 1119. An eighteenth-century woodcut of his tomb in the chapter house, with those of his brother and father beside him, survives, though the abbey is long ruined.

See also


  1. ^ David, Crouch. "Beaumont [Newburgh], Henry de, first earl of Warwick", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 23 September 2004. Accessed 11 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Thompson 2002, p. 50.
  3. ^ George Edward Cokayne, edited by Geoffrey H. White (1959). The Complete Peerage Vol. 12 part 2, p.358
  4. ^ Hollister, C. Warren. "Henry I", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 23 September 2004. Accessed 15 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Swansea Castle; New Castle, Swansea – Site Details – Coflein". The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales website. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. 2009. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
  6. ^ a b "Loughor Castle – Site Details – Coflein". The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales website. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. 2009. Retrieved 2008-09-11.


Peerage of England
New creation Earl of Warwick
1st creation
Succeeded by
Roger de Beaumont
This page was last edited on 20 September 2019, at 13:56
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