Hugh le Despenser The Younger 2024,2026
- Born: 1 Mar 1286 2024,2026
- Marriage (1): Eleanore de Clare in 1306 2024
- Died: 24 Nov 1326, Hereford, England at age 40 2024,2026
- Buried: Family Estate, Gloustershire, England 2024
Noted events in his life were:
• Titles and possessions, 1314, England and Wales. 2024,2026 When Hugh's wife Eleanor's brother, Gilbert, was killed in 1314 at the Battle of Bannockburn she unexpectedly became one of the three co-heiresses to the rich Gloucester earldom, and in her right, Hugh inherited Glamorgan and other properties. In just a few years Hugh went from a landless knight to one of the wealthiest magnates in the kingdom.
He was knight of Hanley Castle , Worcestershire, King's Chamberlain , Constable of Odiham Castle , Keeper of the castle and town of Portchester , Keeper of the castle, town and barton of Bristol and, in Wales , Keeper of the castle and town of Dryslwyn , and the region of Cantref Mawr , Carmarthenshire .
Also in Wales , he was Lord of Glamorgan which gave him possession of Cardiff Castle .
He was also Keeper of the castles, manor, and lands of Brecknock , Hay , in County Brecon , and, in England of Huntington, Herefordshire .
He was given Wallingford Castle although this had previously been given to Queen Isabella for life.
• Death, 1326, Hereford, England. 2024 Hugh le Despenser the younger tried to starve himself before his trial, but he did face trial on 24 November 1326, in Hereford , before Mortimer and the Queen. In Froissart 's account of the execution, Despenser was then tied firmly to a ladder, and -in full view of the crowd- had his genitals sliced off and burned in his still-conscious sight, then his entrails slowly pulled out, and, finally, his heart cut out and thrown into the fire. Froissart (or rather Jean le Bel 's chronicle, on which he relied) is the only source to describe castration, where all other contemporary accounts have Despenser hanged, drawn and quartered (which usually involved castration).
Finally, his corpse was beheaded, his body cut into four pieces, and his head mounted on the gates of London.Mortimer and Isabella feasted with their chief supporters as they watched the execution.
Four years later, in December 1330, his widow was given permission to gather and bury his remains at the family's Gloucestershire estate, but only the head, a thigh bone and a few vertebrae were returned to her.
What may be the body of Despenser was identified in February 2008 in the village of Abbey Hulton in Staffordshire, the former site of Hulton Abbey . The skeleton, which was first uncovered during archaeological work in the 1970s, appeared to be that of a victim of a drawing and quartering as it had been beheaded and chopped into several pieces with a sharp blade, suggesting a ritual killing. Furthermore, it lacked several body parts, including the ones given to Despenser's wife. Radiocarbon analysis dated the body to between 1050 and 1385, and later tests suggested it to be that of a man over 34 years old. Despenser was 40 at the time of his death. In addition, the Abbey is located on lands that belonged to Hugh Audley, Despenser's brother-in-law, at the time
Hugh married Eleanore de Clare, daughter of Gilbert de Clare Earl Gloucester and Hertford and Joan Plantagenet of Acre, in 1306.2024 (Eleanore de Clare was born on 3 Oct 1292 in Caerphilly Castle, Glamorgan, Wales 2025 and died on 30 Jun 1337 2025.)