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Isabella de Beauchamp

Isabella de Beauchamp, Lady Kidwelly, Lady Despenser (born c. 1263 - died before 30 May 1306), was an English noblewoman and wealthy heiress.


Family

Isabella was born in about 1263 in Warwickshire, England. She was the only daughter of William de Beauchamp, 9th Earl of Warwick and Maud FitzJohn. She had a brother, Guy de Beauchamp, 10th Earl of Warwick who married Alice de Toeni, by whom he had seven children. Her paternal grandparents were William de Beauchamp of Elmley Castle and Isabel Maudit, and her maternal grandparents were Sir John FitzGeoffrey, Lord of Shere, and Isabel Bigod.

Marriages and issue

Sometime before 1281, she married firstly Sir Patrick de Chaworth, Lord of Kidwelly in Carmarthenshire, South Wales. The marriage produced one daughter:

Following Patrick's death in 1286, Isabella had in her possession four manors in Wiltshire and two manors in Berkshire, assigned to her until her dowry should be set forth along with the livery of Chedworth in Gloucestershire and the Hampshire manor of Hartley Mauditt which had been granted to her and Sir Patrick in frankmarriage by her father.[1]

That same year 1286, she married secondly Sir Hugh le Despenser without the King's licence for which Hugh had to pay a fine of 2000 marks.[1] He was created Lord Despenser by writ of summons to Parliament in 1295, thereby making Isabella Lady Despenser.

Together Hugh and Isabella had four children:[2]

Isabella died sometime before 30 May 1306. Twenty years later, her husband and eldest son, favourites of King Edward II, were both executed by the orders of Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March and Queen Isabella. The couple were by that time the de facto rulers of England, and along with most of the people in the kingdom, they had resented the power both Despensers wielded over the King.

As her husband had been made Earl of Winchester in 1322, Isabella was never styled as the Countess of Winchester.

References

  • Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Earls of Warwick
  • Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Earls of Winchester
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