Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Thweng, Robert de

THWENG, THWING, or TWENG, ROBERT de (1205?–1268?), opponent of Henry III's foreign ecclesiastics, born probably about 1205, appears to have been son of Marmaduke de Thweng or Thwing (d. 1226?), who held Thwing, Kilton Castle, and other manors in the East and North Ridings of Yorkshire and in Westmoreland. Matthew Paris describes Robert as of gentle birth, ‘juvenis elegans et miles strenuus.’ In 1231 he was pledge for the payment of 100l. by John de Balliol (Bain, Cal. Doc. rel. to Scotland, i. 1231). In the following year he became conspicuous by his opposition to the foreign ecclesiastics who invaded England during Henry III's reign. One of these had been intruded into the living of Kirkleatham, the advowson of which belonged to Thweng. Failing to get redress, Thweng adopted a pseudonym, William Wither, placed himself at the head of an agitation against the foreigners, and about Easter 1232 raised an armed force which infested the country, burning the foreign ecclesiastics' corn and barns. Letters patent were shown forbidding opposition to their proceedings, the priests sought refuge in abbeys, not daring to complain of the wrongs done them, and the rioters distributed alms to the poor. When these outrages came to the pope's ears he warmly remonstrated with Henry III, and in response the king ordered the arrest of various sheriffs who were accused of connivance at the disturbances. Hubert de Burgh [q. v.] was charged with having issued the letters patent used by Thweng and his men (Stubbs, Const. Hist. ii. 43). Thweng himself justified his conduct before the king, and escaped unpunished (Rog. Wend. iii. 27, 29). Henry III advised him to lay his grievance in person before the pope, to whom he gave him letters of recommendation. It was not till 1239 that Thweng set out for Rome. He was then made the bearer of a general letter of complaint from the English barons (printed in Matthew Paris, iii. 610–12). Perhaps through the influence of Richard of Cornwall [q. v.], whose adherent Thweng was, his mission was successful. Gregory IX sent letters to Richard and to the legate Otho confirming the rights of lay patrons, and particularly Thweng's claim to Kirkleatham (ib. iii. 612–14).

Early in the following year Thweng started with Richard of Cornwall on his crusade. Gregory, however, and the emperor endeavoured to stop him at Paris; but Richard rejected their counsels, and sent Thweng to the emperor to explain his reasons. Probably Thweng went on with Richard to Palestine, returning in 1242. He was afterwards employed in various negotiations with Scotland, receiving in February 1256–7 an allowance for his expenses in ‘divers times going on the king's message towards Scotland’ (Bain, Cal. Doc. i. 2079). Apparently he sided with Henry during the barons' war (cf. John Mansel or Maunsell [q. v.] to Thweng apud Shirley, Royal and Hist. Letters, ii. 157). In March 1266–7 he procured letters of protection for William Douglas (Bain, Cal. Doc. i. 2427). He died probably about 1268.

Thweng was no doubt father of Marmaduke de Thweng of Kilton Castle, who married Lucy, sister of Peter Bruce, and left two sons: Robert, who died without male issue before 1283, and Marmaduke, first Baron Thweng (d. 1322). This Marmaduke was prominent in the Scots wars throughout the reign of Edward I. He fought with great bravery at Stirling in 1297, and after the battle was put in charge of the castle (Rishanger, p. 180; Chron. de Melsa, ii. 269, 270, 307). In 1299 he was a prisoner in Scotland, being exchanged for John de Mowbray (Bain, Cal. Doc. ii. 1062; Chron. Pierre de Langtoft, ii. 300, 304). He was summoned to parliament by writ as a baron on 22 Feb. 1306-7, and took part in all the important councils of that and the succeeding reign (Parl. Writs, passim). In 1321 he joined Thomas of Lancaster (Chron. of Edward I and Edward II, ii. 61). He died in 16 Edward II (1322-3), his manors at his death being thirteen in number, and including Grasmere and Windermere in Westmoreland (Cal. Inq. post mortem, i. 304). His shield of arms was argent, a fess gules between three parrots, vert (Matt. Paris, vi. 477). He was succeeded in the barony by his three sons, William, Robert, and Thomas, who all died without issue. On the death of Thomas, the fourth baron, in 1374, the barony fell into abeyance (G. E. C[okayne], Complete Peerage, vii. 400). Thwing and Kilton Castle passed into the hands of the Lumley family by the marriage of their sister Lucy to Sir Robert Lumley (Ord, Hist. of Cleveland, p. 269).

John of Bridlington (d. 1379) [q. v.], sometimes called John Twenge or Thwing, probably came of the same family as the Barons Thweng.

[Matt. Paris's Chron. Majora, ed. Luard, iii. 217-18, 609-13, iv. 47, vi. 72, Bartholomew Cotton, p. 216, Annales de Dunstaplia ap. Ann. Monastici, iii. 129 (Rolls Ser.); Pedes Finium Ebor. (Surtees Soc.), p. 11 n.; Lingard's Hist. ii. 207. For Marmaduke see, besides authorities cited, Raine's Letters from Northern Reg. pp. 237, 247, 351, Hardy's Reg. Pal. Dunelm. ii. 438, 1050 (Rolls Ser.); Stevenson's Doc. illustr. Hist. of Scotland, i. 113; Rymer's Fœdera (Record edit.), vol. i. pt. ii. passim; Roberta's Cal. Genealog.; Survey of the County of York (Surtees Soc.), pp. 129, 307; Cal. Patent Rolls, Edward I and Edward II, passim.]

A. F. P.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.265
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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362 i 39 Thweng, Robert de: for the North Riding read East and North Ridings