05 April, 2019

The Children of John, Lord Hastings (1262-1313)

John, Lord Hastings was born on 6 May 1262 ("aged six on the day of Saint John ante Porte Latinam, 52 Henry III") as the son and heir of Henry Hastings (d. 1268), and via his mother Joan Cantilupe was also the co-heir of his uncle George Cantilupe (d. 1273). He was a descendant of William Marshal, earl of Pembroke (d. 1219) and of David I, king of Scotland, which gave John a reasonable claim to the Scottish throne in the early 1290s. He married twice, and both his wives were also descended from William Marshal: Isabel de Valence (1260s-1305), one of the three daughters of Henry III's half-brother William de Valence and the sister of Aymer de Valence, both earls of Pembroke; and Isabella de Clare née Despenser (c. 1290/92-1334), second daughter of Hugh Despenser the Elder and sister of Hugh the Younger, a granddaughter of William Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, and the young widow of Gilbert de Clare, lord of Thomond (1281-1307), with whom she had no children.

John Hastings' second wife was younger than his children from his first marriage, and as both his wives were called Isabel(la), this has caused endless confusion among some modern writers. To be fair, even John's own descendants later in the fourteenth century were also confused, and his and Isabella Despenser's then sixty-two-year-old granddaughter Maud de la Mare née Hastings (born c. 1335) was asked to give testimony in 1397 on the issue of which Hastings relatives were descended from which wife. And to make the matter even more confusing, Maud wasn't entirely correct on a couple of points.

John, Lord Hastings died shortly before 28 February 1313 when the writ for his inquisition post mortem was issued. His widow Isabella née Despenser married thirdly, in 1318, Ralph Monthermer (b. c. 1262), the widower of Edward II's sister Joan of Acre (1272-1307) and formerly earl of Gloucester. The couple had no children, though Ralph had four from his first marriage. Isabella was widowed for the third time in April 1325 and died in December 1334, having survived the catastrophic downfall of her father and brother the two Hugh Despensers in 1326.

From his first marriage to Isabel de Valence (d. 1305), John Hastings had the following children:

William Hastings, born 4 October 1282*, died before 1 March 1311

William Hastings was born when his father was twenty, and was the Hastings heir until he died in his late twenties in early 1311, two years before his father. He may have died in Gascony, where his father was serving as Edward II's seneschal. In or after September 1297, William married Eleanor Martin, one of the three children of William, Lord Martin, but they had no children. Eleanor married secondly Philip Columbiers and had no children with him either. Her younger sister Joan (d. 1322) was briefly countess of Lincoln from her first marriage to the decades-older Henry de Lacy (c. 1250-1311) and had a son and a daughter from her second marriage to Sir Nicholas Audley (b. 1292). There were also two Martin brothers; see below. As for William Hastings himself, he's pretty obscure, as medieval noblemen who died in the lifetime of their fathers usually are.

*According to the Complete Peerage.

John Hastings, born 29 September 1286, died 20 January 1325

The second son and the Hastings heir after his brother William's death; his exact age is given in his father's IPM of 1313. At an unknown date John the younger married the Kent heiress Juliana Leyburne (b. 1303/4); the union was arranged by his maternal uncle Aymer de Valence, earl of Pembroke, who was granted the rights to Juliana's marriage after her grandfather William, Lord Leyburne died in 1310. John Hastings and Juliana were the parents of Laurence Hastings, earl of Pembroke (1321-1348), himself the father of John Hastings, earl of Pembroke (1347-75) and grandfather of John Hastings (b. 1372). John Hastings (b. 1286) and Juliana Leyburne's line ran out with the death of their great-grandson John Hastings (b. 1372) while he was jousting at Christmas 1389, aged seventeen; he was married to Philippa Mortimer, sister of the earl of March, but she was still only fourteen, so they had no children.

John Hastings born in 1286 and his cousins Joan Strathbogie née Comyn, countess of Atholl, and Elizabeth Comyn, later Lady Talbot, were named as the heirs of their childless maternal uncle Aymer de Valence, earl of Pembroke, when Aymer died in June 1324. John died in his late thirties in January 1325, before his son Laurence was even four years old. His widow Juliana became countess of Huntingdon in 1337 by her third marriage to William Clinton, and was the older half-sister of Thomas Beauchamp, earl of Warwick (1314-69). 

Jonetta Hastings, died 1307

Jonetta, daughter of John, Lord Hastings and Isabel de Valence, is mentioned on the Patent Roll on 3 November 1297. [Patent Rolls 1292-1301, p. 314] Her name must have been Joan, or Johane in contemporary spelling, and Jonete or Jonetta was her nickname. On 30 September 1397, so this entry states, her marriage had been arranged to Edmund, son and heir of William, Lord Martin. Edmund Martin's sister Eleanor was to marry Jonetta's brother William Hastings, and, as noted above, did. Edmund Martin was specifically said to be the eldest son of Lord Martin, and Jonetta Hastings was specifically said to the be the eldest daughter of Lord Hastings. Edmund, however, must have died fairly young, as their marriage seems never to have taken place, and Lord Martin's ultimate heir was his younger son William Martin (b. c. 1294). Jonetta Hastings may have been born c. 1284, between her brother William Hastings born in 1282 and her brother John Hastings born in 1286, or she might have been born after John. She ultimately married Sir William Huntingfield, had children, and died in 1307.

Elizabeth Grey née Hastings

Elizabeth was, to my knowledge, the only daughter of John Hastings and Isabel de Valence who lived into adulthood and had children. I cannot find her approximate date of birth or even her date of death; she was probably born in the 1290s, perhaps in 1297 when Isabel seems to have given birth. She married Roger Grey, lord of Ruthin, who died in 1353, and they founded a dynasty which endured for centuries. Their elder son John Grey died in his father's lifetime and so the Ruthin heir when Roger died was their younger son Reginald or Reynald, who was born in about 1319 and died in 1388. Elizabeth's grandson Reginald Grey the younger (1362-1440) was returned as the heir of his cousin John Hastings of Pembroke (1372-89, see above), but had a long-running feud with Sir Hugh Hastings, descendant of the other branch of the Hastings family (see below) over the right to bear the Hastings arms.


From his second marriage to Isabella Despenser, who was born c. the early 1290s and was close to three decades his junior, John, Lord Hastings (1262-1313) had the following children:

Hugh Hastings (d. 21 July 1347)

Born in 1310 or early 1311; he was said to be twenty-four years old in his mother's inquisition post mortem of February 1335. Hugh Hastings was named after his mother's father Hugh Despenser the Elder, made earl of Winchester in 1322. He was twenty-four years younger than his half-brother, the younger John, Lord Hastings (1286-1325), who was their father's heir. Hugh cannot have been more than three years old when his father died.

In June 1325, Edward II sold the marriage rights of two young sisters, heiresses called Margery and Margaret Foliot, to Isabella Hastings née Despenser and her brother-in-law Ralph Camoys (whose second wife was Hugh Despenser the Elder's youngest child Elizabeth) for £200 each. The Foliot sisters were about eleven and twelve years old in 1325. Margery the elder Foliot sister married Hugh Hastings, probably in 1325, brought him lands in Norfolk, and with him, founded a cadet branch of the Hastings family known as the Hastings of Elsing and Gressenhall. Hugh Hastings and Margery née Foliot had a daughter, Maud de la Mare (b. c. 1335), and their first son John Hastings was born around 1329 or 1331* and lived until 1393, though he had no children. Their second son Hugh (c. early or mid-1330s-1369) had a son Hugh born in or just before February 1354, who married back into the Despenser family in 1376 when he wed his third cousin Anne Despenser**, and died in Spain in 1386. The heir of Hugh Hastings III and Anne Despenser was their second son Edward Hastings (1382-1438), after Edward's elder brother died as a teenager in 1396, and Edward was also heir to his childless uncle John Hastings (1329/31-1393).

Edward Hastings had a long and bitter feud with his cousin Reginald Grey of Ruthin (d. 1440) over the right to bear the Hastings arms: Grey of Ruthin as the grandson of Elizabeth, sister of John Hastings (1286-1325), i.e. of the full blood but in the female line; and Edward Hastings as the great-grandson of John Hastings' half-brother Hugh (1310/11-1347), of the half blood but in the male line.

* He was said to be either sixteen, seventeen or eighteen at Hugh's IPM in July/August 1347.

** Born c. early 1360s as the eldest daughter of Edward Despenser (1336-75), lord of Glamorgan, grandson of Hugh Despenser the Younger, and Elizabeth Burghersh (c. 1342-1409). Edward Hastings (1383-1438) was named after his Despenser grandfather.

Thomas Hastings (d. January 1333)

Thomas is very obscure. His brother Hugh's marriage to an heiress was arranged in 1325, but no marriage was ever arranged for Thomas, and he didn't join the Church either. Thomas Hastings died on 11 January 1333 in his mother's lifetime, according to Isabella née Despenser's inquisition post mortem of February 1335. Decades later in 1397, Thomas's niece Maud de la Mare née Hastings, his brother Hugh's daughter, claimed that Thomas died soon after his baptism. [Close Rolls 1396-9, pp. 83-4] She also, however, claimed that Isabella Hastings née Despenser gave birth to only two children, Hugh and Thomas, evidently forgetting about her childless aunt Margaret Wateville née Hastings (see below). Maud stated that Isabella née Despenser was unable to bear more children after giving birth to Thomas Hastings, because her womb was "torn inside." If this is true, this would indicate that Hugh Hastings was older than his brother Thomas and probably that their sister Margaret was as well. An entry on the Patent Roll indicates that Thomas Hastings was still alive in July 1332, so his niece Maud de la Mare was wrong to state that he died soon after his baptism. He cannot have been born later than 1313, the year his father died, so certainly died as an adult.

Margaret Wateville née Hastings (d. 1359)

I wrote recently about Margaret Hastings and her two marriages to William, Lord Martin (c. 1294-1326), and to Sir Robert Wateville (d. 1330). She was perhaps older than her brother Thomas, as her niece Maud de la Mare stated in 1397 that Thomas Hastings was Isabella née Despenser's youngest child and that Isabella was unable to bear more children after giving birth to him. Then again, Maud de la Mare forgot about her aunt Margaret's existence, perhaps because Margaret had no children. Margaret's first husband William Martin (b. c. 1294) was the brother of Eleanor Martin, married to her oldest half-sibling William Hastings (1282-1311), and was the younger brother of Edmund Martin, betrothed to her half-sister Jonetta Hastings in 1297. There was a long-standing connection between the Hastings and Martin families which endured years past the death of John, Lord Hastings in 1313.

 Margaret was about thirty years younger than her eldest half-sibling, William Hastings (d. 1311). She died in 1359, and as she was childless, her heir was John Hastings (b. 1347), heir also to the earldom of Pembroke, grandson of her much older half-brother John Hastings (1286-1325).

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