Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/340

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

[q.v.], the bishop of Lincoln, hastened to join her, and with Orlton, bishop of Hereford, took the initiative in the measures which speedily led to Edward's deposition and murder. The important posts of constable of Dover Castle and warden of the Cinque Ports, which had been held by his father, were given to Burghersh, and he held both offices, with but slight intermission, to his death. In the unsettled relations between England and France, which lasted through the greater part of Edward IlI's reign, the responsibility devolving on the holder of these offices, which implied the command of the chief channel of communication between the two countries, was of the highest moment, and it evidences the confidence reposed in Burghersh that he should have held them almost continuously during so important an epoch. The commission, nven originally in the name of Edward II, out really proceeding from the party conspiring only too successfiuly against him, was renewed by his son in the mst year of his reign. The first royal missive to him in this capacity, contained in Rymer, is an order to have sixty does taken from the king's park of Braboume, and salted for the use of the parliament about to meet at Westminster. This is followed by an order to use his authority to put a stop to predatory incursions on the French coast. Burghersh evidently very speedily obtained the complete confidence of the younf^ king, which he retained uninterruptedly to the end of his life. His services were rewarded by large grants of land and manorial privileges, escheated to the crown, or in some other way falling to the sovereign to dispose of. The King despatched him repeatedly on diplomatic errands. In 1329 he was sent to Philip of France to explain the reasons for the delay in the rendering of his homage, and in the same year as an ambassador to the pope, to plead for pecuniary aid from the revenues oi the English church, a tenth of which was granted to the king for four years (Chronicler Edward II, III, Rolls Series, i. 348). Rymer contains a series of royal orders issued to him in his capacity of constable of Dover relating to prohibitions or licenses to cross the sea when the peace of the country was threatened, and to make arrangements for the passage of the king and other distinguished persons. He was entrusted with other offices calling for vigour of action and practical wisdom. In 1337, on the assumption by Edward of the title of king of France, he was made admiral of the fleet from the mouth of the Thames westward. He was also appointed seneschal of Ponthieu, warden of tne Tower, and chamberlain of the king, in which capacity his presence is often recorded at delivery the great seal. In one of Edward's grievos straits for money he was entrusted with the pawning of the crown and other jewels. As Keeper of the king's forest to the south of the Trent in 1341 he was commissioned to provide timber for the construction of engines of war and ' hourdes ' or wooden stages for the defenders of castle walls. As a good and experienced soldier he was oontinually in attendance on the king in his Sootch and French wars, taking part in the great victory of Crecy, 26 Ang. 1346. The confidence reposed in Burghersh as a diplomatic agent was equally great. He was frequently sent as may be seen in Rymer — often in company with Bishop Bateman of Norwich [q.v.]—to treat with the pope at Avignon, with Philip of Valois with the counts of Brahant and Flanders, and other leading powers, on the traces and armistices so repeatedly made and broken, and to arrange the often promised but long deferred final peace beween the two contending nations. As characteristic of the age, it is curious to find that under an excess of religious zeal, Burghersh, before the breaking out of the war with France when the return was comparatively quiet, had laid aside his arms and assumed the cross. Edward, unable to dispense with the services of so valuable a helper, when starting for Gascony in 1377, petitioned the pope to release him from his vow. Two years after Crecy we find him again taking part in the French wars, and despatched to Avignon to treat with the pope for a firm and lasting peace between the two countries. The next year (1349) he accompanied the earl of Lancaster to Gascony, to suppress the rebellion there. In 1355, when Edward was leaving England for a fresh invasion of France, Burghersh was appointed one of the guardians of the realm, but died at the beginning of August of that year. He was buried in the chantry of St. Catherine, which he had founded in Lincoln minster for the soul of his brother Henry, bishop of Lincoln, and their father, Robert Burghersh. Monuments to all three, with effigies of the two brothers, are still to be seen.

[Authorities as under Burghersh, Henry.]

E. V.

BURGHERSH, BARTHOLOMEW, Lord, the younger (d. 1369), the son of Bartholomew Burghersh the elder, adopted his father's profession of arms and rivalled him in military distinction. His recorded career begins in 1339, when he accompanied Edward III in his expedition to Flanders and took part in the first invasion of French terri-