The following is my transcription of the Bec or Beke lineage including the Barons Beke of Eresby, as recorded in “A Genealogical History of the Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire.”
BEC OR BEKE — BARONS BEKE OF ERESCY.
By Writ of Summons, dated 23 Jun, 1295.
Walter Bec, Lord of Eresby, co. Lincoln, m. Agnes, dau. And heiress of Hugh, the son of Pinco, and had issue,
I. Hugh, who d.s.p. In his return from the Holy Land.
II. Henry, being a person of weak understanding, his two next brothers shared with him the inheritance.
III. Walter, | participators, with their brother Henry, in their father’s lands.
IV. John, | “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “
Nicholas, inherited the church patronage of his father.
The eldest surviving son,
Henry Beke, inherited Eresby and other manors. He m, Hawse or Alice de Multon, sister of Thomas de Multon, and was s. By his son,
Walter Beke, Lord of Eresby, who m. Eva, niece of Walter de Grey, archbishop of York, and had issue,
I. John, his successor in the lordship of Eresby.
II. Thomas, bishop of St. David’s, d. 14 April, 1293.
III. Anthony, the celebrated bishop of Durham, and patriarch of Jerusalem. “This Anthony,” says Dugdale, “was signed with the cross in the 54th Henry III, in order to his going to the Holy Land with Prince Edward; and on the 3rd of Edward I, being then a clerk, was made constable of the Tower of London. Moreover, in anno 1283, being present at the translation of St. William, archbishop of York, and at the whole charge of that great solemnity (the king, queen, and many of the nobility being also there), he was then consecrated bishop of Durham, by William Wickwane, archbishop of York, in the church of St. Peter, within that city. After which, anno 1.94 (22nd Edward I), the king discerning his great losses in Gascoigne, he was sent to Rodolph, king of Almaine, to make a league with him; and the same year, upon the arrival of the cardinals to treat of peace between King Edward and the King of France, he readily answered their proposals in the French tongue. Furthermore, in anno 1296, King Edward entered Scotland with a powerful army; he brought thither to him no less than 500 horse and 1,000 foot, besides a multitude of Welsh and Irish. After which, the same year, being sent ambassador into that realm, he was solemnly met by the king and nobles; and after much dispute, brought them to such an accord that they totally submitted themselves to the pleasure of King Edward. Also, upon that rebellion, which again broke out there the next year following (at which time they used great cruelties to the English), he was again sent thither to inquire the truth, and, to advertise the king thereof. And in the 26th of Edward I was again sent into Scotland, with certain forces, at which time he assaulted the castle of Dulton, and took it. And lastly, in 33rd of Edward I, being with the Earl of Lincoln and some other bishops, sent to Rome, to present divers vessels of pure gold from King Edward to the Pope, his holiness taking especial notice of his courtly behaviour and magnanimity of spirit, advanced him to the title of ‘Patriarch of Jerusalem.’”
“Amongst other works of this great prelate,” continues Dugdale, “he founded the collegiate churches of Chester and Langcester, as also the collegiate chappel at Bishops-Auckland, all in the county palatine of Durham. Moreover, it is reported that no man in all the realm, except the king, did equal him for habit, behaviour, and military pomp, and that he was more versed in state affairs than in ecclesiastical duties; ever assisting the king most powerfully in his wars; having sometimes in Scotland 26 standard-bearers, and of his ordinary retinue 140 knights; so that he was thought to be rather a temporal prince than a priest or bishop; and lastly, that he d 3 March, 1310, and was buried above the high altar in his cathedral of Durham.” This prelate was the first bishop that presumed to lie in the church, on account of the interment of the holy St. Cuthbert, and so superstitious were they in those days that they dared not bring in the remains at the doors, but broke a hole in the wall, to convey them in at the end of the church, which breech is said to be still visible.
I. Margaret, m. To Galfridus de Thorpe.
II. Another dau., a nun
The eldest son,
B E L
John Beke, s his father in the feudal lordship of Eresby, and was summoned to parliament as Baron Beke of Eresby, on 23 June, 20 September, and 2 November, 1295, and 26 August, 1296, having previously (4th of Edward, 1275 6) had license to make a castle of his manor-house at Eresby; his lordship m. ——, and had issue,
I. Walter, who must have d.s.p. And vita patris, before the gift of Eresby to Robert Willoughby.
I. Alice, m. To Sir William de Willoughby, Knt., and had issue,
Robert Willoughby, who inherited, at the decease of his grand uncle, Anthony Beke, bishop of Durham, the great possessions of that eminent prelate, and was summoned to parliament, temp. Edward II, as Lord Willoughby de Eresby. (See that dignity in Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage)
II. Margaret, m. To Sir Richard de Harcourt, Knt., ancestor of the Harcourts, Earls of Harcourt.
III. Mary, d. Unm.
Lord Beke gave Eresby to his grandson, Robert Willoughby, and d. 1303-4, when the Barony fell into abeyance between his two daus. And co-hers, the Ladies Willoughby and Harcourt, and so continues amongst their descendants.
Arms. — Gules, a cross moline, arg.
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