Bartholomew de Badlesmere, 1st Baron Badlesmere

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Bartholomew de Badlesmere
Born circa 1275
Died 14 April 1322(1322-04-14)
Blean near Canterbury
Title 1st Baron Badlesmere
Tenure 1309-1322
Nationality English
Residence Leeds Castle
Offices Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
Successor Giles de Badlesmere, 2nd Baron Badlesmere
Spouse(s) Margaret de Clare
Parents Gunselm de Badlesmere, Joan
Arms of Badlesmere: Argent, a fess between two bars gemeles gules. As blazoned for Guncelin de Badlesmere, on the Herald's Roll of Arms also on The Camden Roll & St George's Roll[1]

Bartholomew de Badlesmere, 1st Baron Badlesmere (circa 1275 - 14 April 1322), English soldier, Member of Parliament, landowner and nobleman, was the son and heir of Gunselm de Badlesmere (died circa 1301). He fought in the English army both in France and Scotland during the later years of the reign of Edward I of England[2] and the earlier part of the reign of Edward II of England.


In October 1300, Bartholomew de Badlesmere, as one of the household of Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, was permitted by the King to accompany the Earl when he set out for Rome during the following month in order to complain to Pope Boniface VIII of injury done by the Scots.[3][4]

A writ issued on 13 April 1301, presumably soon after the death of Jocelin (Guncelinis, Goscelinus) de Badlesmere, initiated inquests into the identity of the next heir of lands that he held direct from the King. This led to a hearing on 30 April of that year in relation to property in Kent at Badlesmere and Donewelleshethe, where it was confirmed that the heir was his son Bartholomew, then aged 26.[5]

Bartholomew de Badlesmere and Fulk Payfrer were the knights who represented the county of Kent at the Parliament that sat at Carlisle from January 1306/7 until 27 March 1307.[6]

In 1307 Bartholomew became governor of Bristol Castle, and afterwards Edward II appointed him steward of his household.[2]

In the Scottish campaign of 1310-11, Bartholomew undertook the role of lieutenant to Robert de Clifford, who was his wife's brother-in-law. Bartholomew had already served in the royal armies in Gascony in 1294, Flanders in about 1297 and Scotland in 1298, 1300, 1301, 1303-4, 1306, 1397 and 1308.[7]

On 1 November 1317, the King appointed Bartholomew as custodian of Leeds Castle in Kent [8] This was followed by a transaction on 20 March 1317/18 by which the King granted the castle and manor of Leeds along with the advowson of the priory of Leeds to Bartholomew and his heirs in exchange for the manor and advowson of Adderley, Shropshire, which Bartholomew surrendered to the King [9]

On 1 October 1318, Bartholomew was with the King at York, setting out to repel an invasion by the Scots.[10]

Bartholomew made a compact with some other noblemen to gain supreme influence in the royal council. Although very hostile to Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, Bartholomew helped to make peace between the king and the earl in 1318, and was a member of the middle party which detested alike Edward's minions, like the Despensers, and his violent enemies like Lancaster.[2]

In 1319, he obtained the king's licence to found a Priory on his manor of Badlesmere. But nothing came to this licence. Then in 1320, he was constituted governor of Tunbridge castle.[11]

The king's conduct drew Bartholomew to the side of Lancaster. Bartholomew had already joined Edward's enemies when, in October 1321, his wife, Margaret de Clare refused to admit Queen Isabella to her husband's castle at Leeds.[2] The king made an assault on the castle; eventually capturing it. After he seized and imprisoned Baroness Badlesmere and their five children, civil war broke out.

On 26 December 1321, the King ordered the sheriff of Gloucester to arrest Bartholomew.[12] Later arrest warrants refer to the progress of Bartholomew and his companions across England. By 15 January 1321/2, they had occupied and burned the town of Bridgnorth and sacked the castles at Elmley and Hanley.[13] By 23 February, the rebels had been sighted in Northamptonshire.[14] On 1 March, Bartholomew was reported as one of a number of prominent rebels who had reached Pontefract.[15] On 11 March the sheriff of Nottingham and Derby was ordered to arrest the same group, who had taken Burton upon Trent but departed from that town when the royal army arrived there.[16]

On 16 March 1321/2, the Earl of Lancaster and his allies were defeated at the Battle of Boroughbridge.


Bartholomew fled south from Boroughbridge and, according to the "Livere de Reis", was captured in a small wood near Brickden and taken by the Earl of Mar to Canterbury.[17] John Leland's "Collectanea" states that "Syr Barptolemew Badelesmere was taken at Stow Parke yn the Manoyr of the Bishop of Lincoln that was his nephew."[18] Stow Park is about 10 miles north-west of the centre of Lincoln, where the current bishop was Henry Burghersh. Stow Park was one of the principal residences of the Bishop in that era but none of the medieval buildings still survive above ground.[19]

Bartholomew was tried and sentenced to death at Canterbury.[20] He was then drawn behind a horse to Blean where he was hanged on the gallows of his own manor and beheaded on 14 April 1322.[21] His head was displayed on the Burgh Gate at Canterbury.


A comprehensive overview of Bartholomew's children can be seen in the records of numerous inquisitions post mortem that were held after the death of his son Giles on 7 June 1338.[22] The evidence given at each hearing rested on local knowledge and there were some inconsistencies about the names of Giles' sisters and their precise ages. However, taken as a whole, it is clear from the inquisition records that the names of Bartholomew's children were as follows, listed in descending order of age:

See also the history of Chilham Castle, which was held from time to time by his descendants until the reign of King Henry VIII.

Bartholomew de Badlesmere, 1st Baron Badlesmere
Born: 1275 Died: 14 April 1322
Peerage of England
Preceded by
New Creation
Baron Badlesmere
Succeeded by
Giles de Badlesmere
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Cobham
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
Succeeded by
The Lord le Despencer


  1. ^ The Heralds' Roll, Part 5
  2. ^ a b c d  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Badlesmere, Bartholomew, Baron". Encyclopædia Britannica 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  3. ^ Calendar of Close Rolls, 1296-1302, p. 370.
  4. ^ J. S. Hamilton, ‘Lacy, Henry de, fifth earl of Lincoln (1249–1311)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 accessed 13 May 2013
  5. ^ Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, 1st series, Vol. 4, No. 38.
  6. ^ Calendar of Close Rolls, 1302-1307, pp. 524-5.
  7. ^ David Simpkin, The English Aristocracy at War: From the Welsh Wars of Edward I to the Battle of Bannockburn, Woodbridge, 2008, p. 54.
  8. ^ Calendar of Patent Rolls, Edward II, Vol. 3 (1317-1321), p. 46.
  9. ^ Calendar of Patent Rolls, Edward II, Vol. 3 (1317-1321), p. 128.
  10. ^ Calendar of Close Rolls, 1318-1323, p. 14.
  11. ^ Hasted, Edward (1800). "Parishes". The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent (Institute of Historical Research) 6: 467–481. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  12. ^ Calendar of Close Rolls, 1318-1323, p. 413.
  13. ^ Calendar of Close Rolls, 1318-1323, pp. 511-512.
  14. ^ Calendar of Close Rolls, 1318-1323, p. 519.
  15. ^ Calendar of Close Rolls, 1318-1323, p. 526.
  16. ^ Calendar of Close Rolls, 1318-1323, p. 522.
  17. ^ Glover, John (1865). Le Livere de Reis de Britannie E Le Livere de Reis de Engletere (edited). London. pp. 342–3. 
  18. ^ Leland, John (1770). Collectanea, Vol. 1, Part 2. London. p. 465. 
  19. ^ "Stow Bishops Palace". Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  20. ^ Calendar of Close Rolls, 1318-1323, p. 673.
  21. ^ 'Parishes: Bleane', The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 8 (1799), pp. 524-536. URL: Date accessed: 04 March 2014.
  22. ^ Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, 1st series, Vol. 8, No. 185.
  23. ^ Chisholm 1911.