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Barons of Bedford
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Early 13th Century

The early Medievil history of Belchamp Walter cannot be understood without some reference to the Barons of Bedford and their dealings with the monachy.

I have coined the term "the first 200 years" for this period of Belchamp Walter's history.

During this period Magna Carter was signed and ended in 1266 with Dictum of Kenelworth, the outcome of the 2nd Barons War.

From Thomas Wright

Modified a little for readability

(The manor of Belchamp Walter was).... held by her second husband, Pegasus, or Payne de Beauchamp, baron of Bedford.

The second husband of Rhoese (or Roese) de Vere. The first was Geoffrey de Mandeville, 1st earl of Essex.

Payne de Beauchamp's son, Simon de Beauchamp, was steward of the household to King Stephen. His son and successor, William, acquired military fame by his prowess and conduct, but proving unfaithful to King Henry III his castle at Bedford was ordered to be demolished.

According to the Wikipedia entry for the castle it was destroyed in 1224.

Henry III of England besieged the castle in 1224 following a disagreement with Falkes de Breauté; the siege lasted eight weeks and involved an army of as many as 2,700 soldiers with equipment drawn from across England. After the surrender of the castle, the king ordered its destruction.

William Montchensy, of Edwardstown

1040-1125 Montchesney, Companion to William the Conqueror - I need to check these dates as this is probably an earlier Montchensy for these dates.

John de Steyngreve - 1245-1295

An alternate spelling is Sir John de Stonegrave.

Below is acopy of the text I have on my de Vere page - some of the links may be broken.

On William (de Beauchamp)'s death, in 1264, he was succeeded by the third and last brother (John de Beauchamp?); but, sometime in that year, being among the barons who rose in arms against King Henry III, he was slain at the battle of Evesham (1265), and his confiscated lands given to prince Edward, the king's eldest son.

Maud, the eldest daughter of William de Beauchamp, was married to Roger de Mowbray.

Beatrix became the wife of Thomas Fitz-Otho, and, on his death, was married to William Montchensy, of Edwardstown.
Ella, the youngest of these sisters, was married to Baldwin Wake, to whom she bore Ida, married to John de Steyngreve,
Elizabeth, the wife of John de Horbiry; and Joan, married to Michael Picket.

These co-heiresses and their husbands, or joint heirs, upon paying their compositions, in pursuance of the "Dictum of Kenelworth," J(oan) had livery of the barony of Bedford, and the great estates which belonged to them, and, in 1278, on the death of Avicia, widow of William Beauchamp, of Bedford, a partition was made between these co-heiresses.

Roger de Mowbray, the son of Maud de Mowbray (daughter of William de Beauchamp), held lands here in 1281, of the earl of Oxford; his successor was his son John (de Mowbray)
and John de Steyngreve, on his death in 1295, also had possessions here.
Isabel, his only daughter, was married to Simon de Pateshull, who, in her right, held these lands at the time of his death, in 1296.

He left a son named John, and Isabel, his widow, was married to Walter de Tey (born between circa 1250 and circa 1270).

In 1286, William de Montchensy died, holding this manor and other estates, of the inheritance of his wife Beatrix, deceased, formerly wife of Thomas Fitz-Otho. His son William was his heir.

Avicia de Beauchamp

Avicia, widow of William Beauchamp, of Bedford who died 1170. My previous link was to William de Beauchamp (of Elmley) - Worcestershire

Thomas Wright's date of 1170 - this is a hundred years earlier! could be an error. The Dictum of Kenilworth was 1266. This was the time frame of the co-heiresses - I need to check the offspring.

The relationship with de Vere

The region including Belchamp Walter was officially "held" by the de Veres. However, there seems to have been a fair amount of "Political" activity in the 200 years after Conquest.

The account given by Thomas Wright does not really give much of an insight into what was going on. To get some possible insight I think you need to look at what else was going on in the country at the time. This is probably the same situation with all parts of the country as historical events were not always recorded and a lot is now left to interpetation.

One could say that this period was one of the most formative in English history as it was the time of Magna Carter and as others have observered the basis of Law and Human Rights were formative.

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