Robert de Umfraville

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Arms of Sir Robert de Umfraville, KG

Sir Robert de Umfraville KG,[1] Lord of Redesdale (c. 1363 – 1436) (a.k.a. Robin Mend the Market)[2] was a late medieval English knight who took part in the later stages of the Hundred years war, especially in the Kingdom of Scotland.


Umfraville was the son of Sir Thomas de Umfraville, Lord of Redesdale (d. 1387) by his wife Joan Roddam. His paternal grandfather was Robert de Umfraville, Earl of Angus. Sir Robert was appointed governor of Roxburgh Castle in 1399, in 1408 he was appointed a knight of the order of the Garter, and in 1410 was appointed Vice Admiral of England until his death.

He was tutor of his nephew Gilbert titular Earl of Angus, following the death of his elder brother Thomas de Umfraville in 1390.

In 1406 Umfraville, with his nephew in tow, led an English force into Scotland and burnt the town of Peebles on market day, whereby by got his byname – Mend the Market. This could however be down to later raids in 1410 that he made by sea on the Firth of Forth. The captured booty was said to have reduced the prices being charged at markets in Northumberland.[3]

Georgette Heyer in her novel My Lord John identifies Sir Robert Umfraville as acting as lieutenant for the Admiral of the North "and taking advantage of the expiration of the truce, had put to sea with six vessels, which carried, besides their crews, a small force of men-at-arms and archers, and had sailed boldly up the Forth, doing great scathe. The Scots were taken unawares, for it was by no means the season for expeditions by sea, and before a sufficient number of ships of war could be sent to engage his tiny fleet, he was away, with thirteen captured vessels crammed with every sort of merchandise, from wheat to wine and spices." (p. 427 of 428)

Umfraville died in 1436 the last of his house, as his nephew Gilbert had been killed at the Battle of Baugé in 1421.




  • Chronicle of John Hardyng, ed Ellis, H., London 1812. [1]
  • Beltz, G. F. Memorials of the most noble Order of the Garter, from its foundation to the present time. London 1841. [2]
  • Chambers, W., A History of Peebleshire, Edinburgh 1861.
  • Denham Tracts, ed. Hardy Dr. J., London 1892.[3]