BURGH, Hugh (d.1430), of Wattlesborough, Salop and Dinas Mawddwy, Merion.
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Family and Education
s. of Hugh Burgh. m. (1) by 1413, Elizabeth (c.1389-bef. Oct. 1429), da. of John Mawddwy (alias de la Pole) of Dinas Mawddwy, by Elizabeth, da. and h. of Sir Fulk Corbet of Wattlesborough and h. of her bro. Fulk Mawddwy, 1s. John†; (2) c.1429, Agnes.1
Treasurer, Ire. 23 Feb. 1414-Feb. 1420.2
Commr. of inquiry, Ire. Jan., Aug. 1415,3 Salop May 1422 (concealments), Flints. July 1428 (claims to Mold castle); weirs, Salop Nov. 1424, Dec. 1427, to raise royal loans July 1426, May 1428.
J.p. Salop 10 Feb. 1416-Mar. 1419, Dec. 1420-d.
Sheriff, Salop 10 Feb. 1430-d.
Burgh apparently came from a Westmorland family, and his earliest connexions with Shropshire were as a retainer of Thomas Neville, Lord Furnival, the brother of the earl of Westmorland, and his wife Ankaret, Lady Strange of Blackmere and widow of Richard, Lord Talbot. Burgh served as Neville’s feoffee in the lordship of Worksop, Nottinghamshire, but before Neville’s death in 1407 he entered the service of Lady Ankaret’s younger son, Sir John Talbot (who had married Neville’s elder daughter and coheir by his former wife and was subsequently to succeed him as Lord Furnival). In 1405 Burgh was Talbot’s second-in-command of the garrison of Montgomery, and he was still lieutenant in June 1407 when he collected 100 marks at the Exchequer for the soldiers’ wages. It seems likely that he continued in Talbot’s company throughout the pacification of Wales. In 1408 Lady Ankaret named him as a feoffee of the lordship of Corfham for the settlement of the estate on Talbot, and three years later he performed a similar service as an attorney for the transfer of certain lands in Yorkshire to his superior’s wife. Burgh was involved in other transactions relating to the Talbot and Strange estates and he evidently occupied a position of trust in the Talbot family’s affairs. There is no record of him receiving an annuity from his lord, but in 1414 he was granted by him two thirds of the manor of Alberbury, Shropshire, no doubt in lieu.4
It was probably to his attachment to Talbot that the landless Hugh Burgh owed his connexion by marriage with one of the oldest families of Shropshire, that of Corbet of Moreton Corbet. The marriage had taken place by 1413 and in June 1414, on the death without issue of her brother, Fulk Mawddwy, Burgh’s wife came into a substantial inheritance. Through her mother she inherited all the Corbet estates which had not been entailed on the male line, including the Shropshire manors of Wattlesborough, Yockleton, Shelve and Wentnor, five other manors, two hamlets and a quarter of the forest of Caus; and through her father, who was descended from the princes of Powys Wenwynwyn, she inherited not only the Welsh lordship of Mawddwy but also the manor of Treffgarne and other lands in Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire. A third part of the combined Corbet and Mawddwy estates remained in the possession of Fulk Mawddwy’s widow, and did not fall to Burgh until her death in 1429 (less than a year before his own demise), but it was Burgh who as ‘lord of Mawddwy’ confirmed his father-in-law’s charter to the local burgesses. Burgh’s wife’s inheritance had been valued in 1403 at almost £57 a year, even though the Welsh lands had been devastated by the rebels under Owen Glendower (a cousin, but no friend, of her father’s). By the time of Burgh’s own death, nearly 30 years after the start of the rebellion, there had been little improvement, owing to pestilence and robberies, although the extent of the later economic disruption on the estates may well have been exaggerated.5
Shortly before she came into her inheritance, Burgh’s wife had given birth to a son, who was baptized at Wattlesborough on 12 June 1414 and named in honour of his principal godfather, John Talbot, Lord Furnival. In the preceding February Talbot had been appointed as Henry V’s lieutenant in Ireland, and had immediately nominated Burgh as treasurer and Lawrence Merbury (now appearing as the other godfather of Burgh’s son) as chancellor of the province. Burgh was sworn into office at Dublin on 18 Sept., and he acted as Talbot’s deputy in Ireland until November, when he returned to England to escort the lieutenant across the Irish Sea. Burgh conducted an inquiry into the state of Irish finances in January 1415 and remained in the province for most of that year, a period entailing military as well as administrative duties. As treasurer he enjoyed a fee of 3s.4d. per diem and was well placed to secure grants of the farm of lands in Ireland. He returned home at the end of 1415 in time to be elected to the Parliament which met in November, and he probably then remained in England until after his second spell as a Member of the Commons. Burgh apparently took no part in the conquest of Normandy, but instead acted, from early 1420, as attorney in England for Sir William Talbot and John, Lord Clifford, during their absence with Henry V’s army. By then he had relinquished his post in Ireland, for Lord Talbot had been succeeded as lieutenant by James, earl of Ormond.6
Burgh welcomed Lord Talbot as a visitor to Wattlesborough in April 1421, at about the time of his third election to Parliament. Although he had long served Talbot in Wales and Ireland he did not now accompany him to France, and, indeed, save for journeys to Westminster for two more Parliaments, he appears to have spent his remaining years in Shropshire. He attended the shire elections held at Shrewsbury in November 1421, 1423 and 1426, and acted as a feoffee of property in the county on behalf of William Burley of Broncroft (his fellow MP of 1421, 1422 and 1425), a lawyer who also had close connexions with Lord Talbot. Burgh’s own association with this nobleman gave him a prominence in local affairs beyond that to be expected of a mere ‘esquire’: some time before 1429, in a petition presented to the duke of Gloucester touching Burgh’s recovery, by a supposedly corrupt assize of novel disseisin, of certain tenements in Shrewsbury, it was stated that he was ‘officer to Lord Talbot and other great lords’, and thus had at his command an influence derived from these connexions and bolstered by his position as a j.p., which rendered futile any local inquiry or process. Burgh is known to have visited Talbot’s seat at Blackmere at Christmas 1424 and again in 1428, there carrying out duties as a member of the lord’s council. In 1429, after Talbot had been taken prisoner at the battle of Patay, Burgh was named by him as one of those who should handle contributions for his ransom.7
Burgh was appointed sheriff of Shropshire in February 1430, and in that same month, in association with William Burley and others, he took out a lease at the Exchequer of the manor of Monk Meole in Shrewsbury and other properties of which he was already acting as a trustee. He died on 18 Aug. before the end of his shrievalty. Burgh’s widow (his second wife) received dower in lands he had leased in Cardiganshire, while his first wife’s estates passed to his son (Talbot’s godson) John, then aged 16.8
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Authors: J. S. Roskell / L. S. Woodger
- 1. Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 59-60; C138/8/34.
- 2. Rot. Pat. et Claus. Hib. ed. Tresham, 205.
- 3. Ibid. 209, 213.
- 4. E101/44/6, 14; A.J. Pollard, ‘The Talbots’ (Bristol Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1968), 217-21, 417; CCR, 1413-19, p. 24; R. White, The Dukery Recs. 292; E326/B6114; T.F. Dukes, Salop, 107; CP25(1)195/21/2, 3; E403/591 m. 5.
- 5. J.E. Lloyd, Owen Glendower, 8; G.T. Bridgeman ‘The princes of Upper Powys’, Powysland Club Colls. i. 77, 88-98, 187-8; C138/8/34; VCH Salop, viii. 197, 312; CIPM, xv. 474, 742-3; xvi. 947; CCR, 1413-19, p. 147; CFR, xiv. 74; xv. 280; C139/49/32; Bull. Bd. Celtic Studies, xxiii. 329-45.
- 6. C139/72/43; Rot. Pat. et Claus. Hib. 205, 209, 211-14; Pollard, 112, 139; DKR, xlii. 336, 338, 341; CPR, 1413-16, p. 307.
- 7. CCR, 1419-22, p. 196; 1422-9, p. 207; 1429-35, p. 27; C219/12/6, 13/2, 4; C1/7/116; J.B. Blakeway, Sheriffs Salop, 67; Pollard, 143-5, 267, 326; Salop RO, Bridgwater pprs. 76 (1427-8), 85 (1424-5).
- 8. CFR, xv. 276, 322; xvi. 21-22; C139/50/47; R.A. Griffiths, Principality of Wales, i. 142; SC6/1161/3 m. 1d.