The family of Bartholomew de Badlesmere and Margaret de Clare
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  His Parents:   Her Parents:
   Guncelin de BADLESMERE   Thomas de CLARE
   Joan FITZBERNARD   Juliane FitzMaurice FitzGERALD
Bartholomew de BADLESMERE Margaret de CLARE
Married in/before 1306
Bd 1274 Chilham Castle Kent Bd ~1284
Bp   Bp  
Dd 14/04/1322 - executed Dd  1333
Bur Canterbury Kent Bur  
Occ   Occ   
 Their Children:
1   Margery Bd  1306 Chilham
2   Maud Bd  ~1310
3   Elizabeth Bd  1313
4   Giles Bd  1314
5   Margaret Bd  1315



Bartholomew de Badlesmere served in Gascony in 1294, in Flanders in 1297, when he became one of Edward I's household knights, and in Scotland in 1303-4. Almost alone among Edward's household knights, he was elected to parliament, sitting at the Carlisle Parliament of 1307. In 1307 he became governor of Bristol Castle. Edward II appointed him steward of his household. Badlesmere made a compact with some other noblemen to gain supreme influence in the royal council.

In 1309 he was granted Chilham castle in Kent, henceforth his principal seat, he also held Leeds Castle in Kent. From then on he attended parliament as a baron. An influencing factor here may be the patronage of the Earl of Gloucester, whose principal retainer he was, and whom he assisted as keeper of the realm in 1311. The royal grants accompanying Badlesmere's rise culminated in his appointment in 1318 as steward of the royal household, an office of first-rate political importance offering intimate contact with the king. In 1316 the king retained him for life for 400 in peace and 5,000 marks (3,333) in war, when he was to serve with 100 men-at-arms, and in 1317 added 1,000 marks for his counsel: high valuations indeed for his service.

Although very hostile to Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, Badlesmere helped to make peace between King Edward II 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. It was therefore entirely logical that in 1321 Edward II should send Badlesmere to persuade the northerners not to join the marcher lords against the Despensers, but Badlesmere deserted and demonstrated his hatred of the Despensers by concocting the false charge of treason against them. His reasons for rebelling are not clear. Certainly the rise of the Despensers to favour with the king deprived Badlesmere of much of his influence. However that may be, the desertion of the steward of his household, bound to him by intimate personal ties, made Edward II into his most vengeful enemy.

That Badlesmere's Kentish lands were isolated from those of the other rebels offered King Edward II the means of revenge. It was probably a deliberate ploy to provoke a crisis that provoked him to send Queen Isabella to Badlesmere's Leeds Castle in October 1321 and, when Lady Badlesmere predictably refused admission, King Edward II reacted to the affront by besieging the castle. Badlesmere's only hope was support from the marchers and northerners, but this Lancaster denied him. Lady Badelesmere (Margaret de Clare) was taken and imprisoned in the Tower of London, a dozen or so of her garrison were summarily hanged. She was later released. After the defeat of the Earl of Lancaster at the Battle of Boroughbridge, Bartholomew de Badlesmere was captured and hanged, drawn and quartered at Canterbury, Kent on April 14, 1322.

Page updated October 2010