'Despencer1'Index links to: Lead / Letter
Families covered: Despenser of Camoys Manor, Despencer of Gloucester, Despenser of Goxhill, Despenser of King's Stanley, Despenser of Loughborough, Despencer (Despenser) of Winchester

There is confusion concerning the various families called Despencer, a name taken from the position of a dispensator or steward. BE1883 appears to mix up, or at least makes it easy for people to view as closely connected, two of the most important. We show them both on this page to help clear the position with regard to what various sources report. On the second of these families, in Volume IV page 259 note (c), TCP reports as follows: "Their pedigree has been distorted by the unscrupulous efforts of many heralds and genealogists to derive the Spencers of Althorpe from an illustrious origin: with the result that (1) these Despensers, who appear to have been dispensatores of the Earls of Chester, (2) the Despensers of King's Stanley, co. Gloucester, who were dispensatores Regi, and (3) the above-named (now ducal) family of Spencer, who emerge from obscurity, as wealthy graziers, towards the end of the 15th century, have been associated in a single pedigree in which "fact and fiction are cunningly intertwined." "

For the first of these families, BE1883 starts with the following Robert, younger brother of Urso de Abitot, Sheriff of Worcestershire:

Robert 'le Despencer' (steward to William the Conqueror)
BE1883 then reports that in the reign of Henry I (1100-1135) was ...
1. William le Despencer (steward to King Henry I who r. 1100-1135)
  BE1883 then reports that the next person holding this office "and in the same reign" was ...
  A. Thurstan Dispenser (steward to King Henry I)
  i. Almaric de Spencer, Sheriff of Rutland (a 1188, 1205)
  m. Amabil (dau of Walter de Chesnei)
  a. Thurstan de Spencer, Sheriff of Gloucestershire (d 1248)
  b. Almaric de Spencer
  It is at this stage that (as we follow TCP) we believe that BE1883 confuses the families for it says that a contemporary of Thurstan (just above) "and doubtless of the same family" was the Hugh (d 1238) we show in the second family below as of Loughborough.
We now report what TCP says for this family of Despensers (vol IV, pages 287-8).
Thurstan le Despenser (steward to King William II who reigned 1087-1100)
1. Hugh le Despenser (steward to King Henry I in 1105)
  m. Hawise
  Whether or not by Hawise is not known but TCP says it is "highly probable" that Hugh was father or grandfather of ...
  A. Thurstan le Despenser
  i. Walter le Despenser of Worthy and Stanley
  ii. Aymer le Despenser of Worthy and Stanley (a 1204)
  m1. (before 15.07.1186) Amabel (dau of Walter de Chesney)
  a. Julian le Despenser
  m1. William Bardolf
  m2. Piers de Stokes (dsp)
  m3. Geoffrey de Lucy
  m2. Alda Bloet
  b. Sir Thurstan le Despenser of Stanley, Leckhampton, etc (d before 03.09.1249)
  m. Lucy
  (1) Sir Adam le Despenser of King's Stanley, Leckhampton, etc (d before 18.06.1295)
  m1. Lucy
  m2. Joan (d before 25.06.1309)


The second family is the one that obtained some notoriety through the actions of the two Hughs: the elder and the younger.

Thomas le Despenser
1. Thomas le Despenser (dsp 1218)
2. Hugh le Despenser of Loughborough, etc (d c23.02.1238)
BE1883 suggests that this Hugh was grandfather rather than father of ...
  A. Sir Hugh le Despenser of Loughborough, etc (b by 1223, d Evesham 04.08.1265, Justiciar)
  m. (by 1260) Aline or Aliva Basset (dau of Sir Philip Basset of Wycombe)
  i. Sir Hugh le Despenser (or Despencer) of Loughborough, 'the Elder', Earl of Winchester (b 01.03.1260/1, d 27.10.1326)
  Hugh and his son were great favourites of King Edward II but abused their position and earned the enmity of many other barons which ended in their downfall and that of King Edward. For the main line, we move here from identifying the family name as le Despenser to Despencer to make it consistent with most other sources and cross-references. However, TCP continues to use the name "le Despenser".
  m. (by 1286) Isabel de Beauchamp (dau of William de Beauchamp, 1st Earl of Warwick)
  a. Sir Hugh Despencer, 'the younger', Lord Despencer (d 11.1326)
m. (after 14.06.1306) Alianore de Clare (b 1292, d 30.06.1337, dau of Gilbert 'the Red' de Clare, Earl of Hertford & Gloucester)
  (1) Hugh Despencer, Lord Despencer (b c1308, dsp 1349)
  m. Elizabeth de Montacute (dau of William de Montacute, 1st Earl of Salisbury)
  (2) Edward Despencer of Buckland (d 30.09.1342)
  m. (20.04.1335) Anne Ferrers (d 08.08.1367, dau of William Ferrers, 1st Lord of Groby)
  (A) Sir Edward Despencer, 1st Lord (b 24.03.1336, d 11.11.1375)
  m. (before 02.08.1354) Elizabeth Burghersh (d 26.07.1409, dau of Bartholomew de Burghersh, 4th Lord)
  (i) Thomas Despencer, Earl of Gloucester (b 22.09.1373, d 17.01.1400)
  Thomas supported King Richard II. When that king fell, Thomas was captured, attainted and beheaded.
  m. (1386) Constance Plantagenet (d 28.11.1416, Edmund Plantagenet of Langley, 1st Duke of York)
  (a) Richard Despencer (b 30.11.1396, dsp 07.10.1414)
  m. Elizabeth (or Eleanor) Nevill (dau of Ralph Nevill, 1st Earl of Westmorland)
  (b) Elizabeth Despencer (d young)
  (c) Isabel Despencer (b 26.07.1400, d 27.12.1439)
m1. Richard de Beauchamp, 2nd Lord of Abergavenny, Earl of Worcester (b c1397, d 18.03.1421/2)
  m2. Richard de Beauchamp, 5th Earl of Warwick, Earl of Albemarle (b 28.01.1381, d 30.04.1439)
  (ii) Hugh Despencer (d 1424)
  (iii) Cicely Despencer (d young)
  (iv) Elizabeth Despencer (d 10/1.04.1408)
  m1. John FitzAlan, Lord Maltravers (b 1365, d 1391)
  m2. (after 28.04.1393, sp) William la Zouche, 3rd Lord (b by 1342, d 13.05.1396)
  (v) Anne Despencer (d 30/1.10.1426)
  m1. Sir Hugh Hastings (d 1386)
  m2. Sir Thomas Morley, 4th Lord (d 24.09.1416/7)
  (vi) Margaret Despencer (d 03.11.1415)
m. Robert de Ferrers, 5th Lord of Chartley (d 13.03.1412-3)
  (3) Gilbert Despencer of Melton Mowbray
  (4) Elizabeth Despencer (d 13.07.1389)
  m. (1338) Maurice de Berkeley, 4th Lord (b 1330, d 08.06.1368)
  (5) Isabel Despencer
  m. (div 1345) Richard FitzAlan, 9th Earl of Arundel (b 1306, d 1376)
  b. Philip le Despenser of Parlington, etc (d 24.09.1313) shown by BE1883 as a generation later
  m. Margaret Gousell (b 12.05.1294, d 29.07.1349, dau of Ralph de Gousille of Goxhill)
(1) Sir Philip le Despenser of Camoys Manor (b 06.04.1313, d 22/3.08.1349)
  m. Joan Cobham (dau of Sir John de Cobham, 2nd Lord)
  (A) Sir Philip le Despenser of Goxhill and Camoys Manor, 1st Lord (b 18.10.1342, d 04.08.1401)
  m. Elizabeth
  (i) Sir Philip le Despenser of Nettlestead, Goxhill and Camoys Manor, 2nd Lord (d 20.06.1424)
  m. Elizabeth de Tiptoft (b 1371, dau of Robert de Tibetot, 3rd Lord)
  (a) Margery le Despenser (d 20.04.1478)
  m1. John de Ros, 8th Lord (dsp Beauge 1421)
  m2. Roger Wentworth of Nettlestead (d 24.10.1445)
c. Isabel Despencer (d 04.12.1334)
  m. John de Hastings, Lord (d 10.02.1313)
  d. Aline Despencer (d before 28.11.1353)
  m. (after 03.05.1302) Edward Burnell of Acton Burnell, Lord (dsp before 01.09.1315)
  e. Margaret Despencer
  m. (c12.1313) John de St. Amand, 1st Lord (d before 25.01.1329/30)
  ii. Alianore Despencer (d 11.10.1328)
  m. Sir Hugh de Courtenay, Lord of Okehampton (d 28.02.1291)
  iii. Joan Despencer
  m. (by 1272) Sir Thomas de Furnivalle, 1st Lord (d 1332)
  iv. Anne Despencer
  m. William de Ferrers of Groby (b c1240, d before 20.12.1287)
B. Pernell le Despenser
  m. Geoffrey le Sauvage of Hintes (d 1230)
  Probably also of this family and of this generation was ...
  C. daughter
  m. Sir Roger de St. John (d Evesham 04.08.1265)
3. Geoffrey le Despenser of Mart (d 1251)
  m. Emma d'Harcourt (a 1265, dau of Richard d'Harcourt)
  A. John le Despenser (dsp 1275)
  m. Joan (d 1266, dau of Robert le Lou of Castle Carlton)
4. Rohese Despenser probably also of this family
  m. Stephen of Segrave, Sheriff (d 1241)

Main source(s):
(1) TCP (Despenser) which is in three different sections: one for the line that produced the Earls of Winchester and Gloucester, one for the family of King's Stanley, and one for the branch of Goxhill
(2) BE1883 (Despencer of Winchester), BE1883 (Despencer of Gloucester)
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