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inherited the whole of the ancestral estates of the Thwengs on the death of his father in December, 1279. By his wife Isabel he had issue :
Marmaduke, born 1274.
Knt., of Lumley.
Marmaduke took a prominent part in the Scottish wars of the period. He was present at Newcastle when Baliol did homage to King Edward I for the Crown (1292), and took part in the capture of Berwick (March 30th, 1296).
At the disastrous battle of Stirling, September 11th, 1297, Marmaduke appears to have been the only baron in authority on the English side to keep his head. Sir William Wallace, the Scottish commander, had taken up a strong position on the north side of the River Forth, not far from the famous castle of Stirling, then one of the three chief fortresses in Scotland. John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, Governor of Scotland, and Cressingham, the Treasurer, with a well-appointed army, approached the river on the opposite side, a long and narrow old timber bridge then crossing the river at this point.
Cressingham urged an immediate attack, and insisted on the English crossing this bridge. Others, including Marmaduke, then a man 40 years of age, with considerable military experience, pointed out that were this done Wallace could defeat them in detail. Unfortunately, Cressingham's advice prevailed, and what Marmaduke had foreseen then came to pass. Wallace waited until the headstrong Cressingham with about half the English army had crossed the bridge, attacked them in full force, and totally defeated them, slaying a large number and driving the remainder into the river where they were drowned.
No quarter was given, for Wallace, contrary to popular opinion, was both
a brutal and treacherous man. Cressingham was killed and his body horribly mutilated. The other half of the English army, dismayed at the fate which had befallen their comrades, broke and fled in confusion. Had Wallace been able to cross the bridge, the remainder of the English army would have been cut to pieces.
Marmaduke, who up to that time had taken no part in the battle, at once realised the danger. Gathering his personal retainers together, he rushed for the bridge, cutting his way through the Scots who had already crossed. Strenuissimus ille miles," Walter de Hemingburgh terms him in his interesting contemporary account of the battle (vol. ii, p. 138). In the desperate combat which ensued, Marmaduke's nephew, one of the famous de Roos family, was unhorsed and very severely wounded, but staggering to his feet, he called out, “Master, save me.”
Marmaduke, a man of enormous height and tremendous strength, “fortis robere et staturae procerae," turned round, slew the Scots who were attempting to kill the youth, and called out, “Get up behind me, boy." His nephew made an effort to do so, but failed. “I cannot, my Lord,” he replied, "for my strength fails me.” At that moment Marmaduke's squire, probably one of the de Mauley family of Mulgrave, rode up, and while the baron kept the enemy at bay, dismounted and lifted the youth into the saddle. Finally, the little band reached the bridge, and whilst Marmaduke and his more heavilyarmed retainers held it against the advancing Scots, the others succeeded in setting fire to it, thus effectually preventing Wallace crossing the river. But the Scots who had already crossed outnumbered Marmaduke's force, and another fight took place. Finally, the baron defeated these, and no quarter being given, killed the whole of them.
In this battle Marmaduke lost his eldest son and heir, Marmaduke, a youth of 22, and his nephew Marmaduke, a youth of about the same age, an illegitimate son of Sir Robert de Thweng.
As a reward for his bravery, the Earl of Warenne entrusted Marmaduke with the command of the important castle of Stirling, which, however, was only provisioned for six weeks, promising him that if he could manage to hold out for ten weeks he would return with a strong army and relieve him. But the whole of Scotland was now in arms, and not only were the remnants of Warenne's army driven out of the country, but the north of England was ravaged by the victorious Scots. Marmaduke held Stirling for thirteen weeks until all food was exhausted, and then agreed to surrender the castle to Wallace, who was conducting the siege in person, on condition that he and the remainder of his men were allowed to retire unmolested, with their arms, to the nearest English fortress. This condition Wallace treacherously broke, imprisoning Marmaduke in Dumbarton Castle (Chronicon de Melsa, Rolls Series, ii, 355).
After the victory of Falkirk, Marmaduke received an important command in Scotland, and gained great distinction by the fearless and cruel manner in which he drove the roving bands of rebels from one part of the country to another, giving quarter to none. He fought at the battle of Methven, June 19th, 1306, when Bruce was defeated, and driven to take refuge in Ireland, and was one of the most trusted lieutenants of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, the commander-in-chief of the English army of occupation in Scotland.
Marmaduke was summoned to Parliament as a baron in 22 Edward I (1294), and regularly from 35 Edward I to 16 Edward II. He certified pursuant to writ tested at Clipston, March 5th, 1316, as lord of the manors of Thweng, Octon, and Swathorp, in the East Riding; and Lythe, Hinderwell, Kilton, Kirkleatham, and Thorp, in the Cleveland district (Palgrave's Parliamentary Writs).
From 1295 until 1307 Marmaduke spent nearly the whole of his time in Scotland, returning at intervals to Kilton for a short visit. After 1307 he does not appear to have again visited Scotland, and at the age of 51 settled down to a life of ease at his castle of Kilton, where he appears to have kept up considerable state. But two years later (1309) his wife, Isabella de Roos, died, and was interred in the north aisle of the chancel of Guisborough Priory. Marmaduke then retired to his manorhouse of Thweng, giving up Kilton Castle to his eldest surviving son, William.
In 1321, when 65 years of age, and in very feeble health, Marmaduke made a formal grant of the manors of Kirkleatham and Kilton, together with the castle of Kilton, to William. He died in April, 1323, at the age of 67, and was interred near his wife in the north aisle of the chancel of Guisborough Priory. An inquisition, held at Stokesley on the Saturday before the feast of St. Mark (April 23rd), 1323, proves that he held the
fief of Kilton of the Percy family by knight's service, and a similar return was made at Kilham on the previous Thursday with regard to the fiefs of Lund and Thwing (Inq. p. m. 16 Edward II, No. 51).
WILLIAM, the second Parliamentary Baron de Thweng of Kilton Castle, was the second son of Marmaduke, first Parliamentary baron, by his wife, Isabel de Roos, and was born and baptised at Kilton Castle in 1276. He seems to have possessed all the external advantages for which his house was famous, a handsome person, charming manners, great skill in all military exercises, and much affability. But he may be classed with his intimate friend, Peter de Mauley V, as one of the most profligate and dissolute of the northern nobles.
He fought at the battle of Stirling in 1296, in which his brother Marmaduke was killed, and afterwards distinguished himself in the defence of Stirling Castle. He also took part in the campaign of 1306.
William was summoned to Parliament a baron from 18 Edward II to 15 Edward III, but to the last summons he is noted on the roll mortuus est.”
He is principally noted as the avenger of the horrible and dastardly murder of the unfortunate King Edward II, and much may be forgiven him on this account. Sir Thomas Gourney, who devised and executed the crime, fled abroad, and for a long time escaped justice, “sed per dominum Willelmum de Thweng, militem, longe lateque quaesitus captus est, et, pro nimio dolore causa vindictae in ipsium exercendae victui parcens mortuus est in mari, sed tamen mortuus in Angliam est retuctus (Chron. de Meaux, ii, 355).
William died 14 Edward III (1341), and was interred in the chancel of the Priory Church of Handale, two miles east of the castle, a Benedictine nunnery founded in 1133 by William de Percy, of which not a trace now remains, although, according to Graves, the west end of the chapel was still standing in 1808. From his death the decline of Kilton Castle may be said to date. By his wife, Catherine de Furnival, he left no issue, and the barony passed to his brother Robert.
THE DESTRUCTION OF KILTON CASTLE.
ROBERT, third hereditary Baron de Thweng of Kilton, was born at Kilton Castle in 1277, and was 63 years of age at the time of his succession.
He was a priest, and does not appear to have ever taken up his residence at Kilton, where Catherine, his brother's widow, continued to live. But the life at the castle would be very different to what it had been thirty years previously, Catherine probably occupying only a few rooms-possibly those in the apsidal north-east tower—the rest of the fortalice being unoccupied.
Robert died 18 Edward III, and the following is the account given of the castle at this time : “ Et est apud Kilton quoddam parvum castrum et nichil valet infra muros et dicunt quod non potest reparari per annum minus quam de xls. quolibet anno et si in sufficienti statu debeat sustentari.”
Castles and manor - houses were exempt from taxation in these inquisitions, and the words "et nichil valet infra muros are merely those usually employed to convey this fact, and have no bearing whatever upon the condition of the castle, which is described as small.
Robert was interred with his ancestors, in the north aisle of the chancel at Guisborough.
THOMAS, the last of the Thweng lords of Kilton, was born at the castle in 1283, and was, therefore, 62 years of age at the time of his succession. At the age of 9 he had been appointed Rector of Kirkleatham by his father, Marmaduke, and would appear to have actually taken up his duties there about 1300.
HF seems to have been much attached to Kirkleatham, and in 1348, three years after inheriting the family estates, he founded a large and important chantry in the parish church there, consisting of no less than 12 chaplains and 4 clerks, who were to live together in one house (" within the mansion of the rectory, and also lodge there”), and were to obey the Rector submissively in all things, wear garments suitable to their order, receive 20 shillings per annum sterling, and a robe yearly at Martinmas of one sort, containing six ells of cloth, etc., and to be fed by the Rector and provided by him with fuel and lights. They were to say mass daily for the healthful estate of the founder, of the King and Queen, and of Lord Henry Percy—the overlord of the Kilton fief-and for the repose of the souls of Robert de Thweng and Matilda (de Kylton) his wife, of Marmaduke de Thweng and Lucia (de Brus) his wife, of Marmaduke and Isabel (de Roos) his wife, the parents of the founder, and of Marmaduke, William, Robert, John, and Nicholas, the founder's brothers, etc. etc.