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m. ABT 1260
Facts and Events
Hugh le Despenser (1 March 1261 – 27 October 1326), sometimes referred to as "the Elder Despenser", was for a time the chief adviser to King Edward II of England.
He was the son of Hugh le Despencer, 1st Baron le Despencer (or Despenser), and Aline Basset, only daughter and heiress of Philip Basset. His father was killed at the Battle of Evesham when Hugh was just a boy, but Hugh's patrimony was saved through the influence of his maternal grandfather (who had been loyal to the king).
He married Isabella de Beauchamp, daughter of William de Beauchamp, 9th Earl of Warwick and Maud FitzJohn. He served Edward I on numerous occasions in battle and in diplomacy and was created a baron by writ of summons to Parliament in 1295. His son, Hugh Despenser the Younger, became a favourite of Edward II, in what is widely believed to be a homosexual relationship. Hugh the Elder was loyal to his son and the King, which worried the barons. To that time, his highest office was justice of the forests.
He was one of the few barons to remain loyal to Edward during the controversy regarding Piers Gaveston. Despenser became Edward's loyal servant and chief administrator after Gaveston was executed in 1312, but the jealousy of other barons - and, more importantly, his own corruption and unjust behaviour - led to his being exiled along with his son Hugh Despenser the younger in 1321, when Edmund of Woodstock, Earl of Kent replaced him as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.