Hubert de Burgh, 1st Earl of Kent

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Hubert de Burgh, 1st Earl of Kent (c. 1160 – before 5 May 1243) was Earl of Kent, Justiciar of England and Ireland, and one of the most influential men in England during the reigns of John and Henry III.


Birth and family

De Burgh was the son of Walter de Burgh of Burgh Castle, Norfolk. He was the younger brother of William de Burgh (d. 1206) who accompanied Prince John, to Ireland in 1185, and eventually became Lord of Connacht.

Hubert and William's two younger brothers, Geoffrey and Thomas, became Archdeacon of Norwich (1202) and then bishop of Ely (1225), and castellan of Norwich (1215–16) respectively.

Early life

He was a minor official in the household of Prince John in 1197, and became John's chamberlain the next year. He continued as John's chamberlain when the latter became king in 1199.

Honours from John

In the early years of John's reign de Burgh was greatly enriched by royal favour, receiving the honour of Corfe in 1199 and three important castles in the Welsh Marches in 1201 (Grosmont Castle, Skenfrith Castle, and Llantilio Castle). He was also high sheriff of Dorset, Somerset, Herefordshire and Berkshire, and castellan of Launceston[1] and Wallingford castles.

The next year de Burgh was appointed Constable of Dover Castle, and also given charge of Falaise, in Normandy. He is cited as having been appointed a Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports by 1215, and although the co-joint position of this office to that of the constableship of Dover Castle was not fully established until after the Baron's War, a rather long period seems to have elapsted between the two appointments. (White and Black books of the Cinque Ports Vol XIX 1966)

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