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The Barony of Courtenay, called Baron Courtenay, was created in 1299. The Earldom was confirmed by King Edward III and conferred on Hugh de Courtenay, Earl of Devon's summons to be a Lord of Parliament during his father's lifetime on 23 April 1337. This was Edward III's first Parliament as an adult king in charge of his own rule, and all writs were codified in Latin; Hugh was styled Hugoni de Courteney juniori. The writ of title was originally by Edward I in 1299. His father died at Christmas 1340, whence Hugh became Earl of Devon. Cokayne discussed the summons and esoteric point as to whether the writ had its origination in 1337 or earlier. In essence the title was a courtesy for the earldom, bestowed upon the eldest son and heir apparent.
De Courtenay family
As a result, the Lords attempts to secure English rights in the Forest Perambulation were unsuccessful, because the King saw this as a challenge to his inherited right to determine the law. Edward I was a notoriously ruthless soldier and executioner, but he was widely respected by the Lords of Parliament for his honesty and good sense. The de Courtenays were natural King's or Privy Counsellors due to their martial prowess. As a family of campaigning soldiers they were a natural choice as loyal advisers, noblesse oblige. Hugh was a Lancastrian follower of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster. His summons was a call-up to fight the French in the first of Edward III's many campaigns on the continent. The Lords would be responsible for raising their own troops, whilst the Commons would be expected to tax the towns and villages as well as the church. The Lords also played a role in raising the profile of the wars by being good ambassadors, both as diplomats abroad, and on progress throughout the country.
- Cokayne, p. 325
- Cokayne, G. E. (1937). The Complete Peerage of Great Britain and Ireland. vol. III (revised ed.). Appendix G.
- Doherty, Peter (2003). Isabella and the strange death of Edward II. London: Constable & Robinson.
- Morris, Marc (2008). The Great and Terrible King: Edward I.
- Mortimer, Ian (2002). Edward III.
- Prestwich, Michael (2003). The Three Edwards: War and State in England, 1272-1377. London: Routledge.
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