White Hart Crest of the Royal County of Berkshire David Nash Ford's Royal Berkshire History

Nash Ford Publishing

 Click here for all things RBH designed especially for Kids

Search RBH using Google

Almaric St. Amand Senior (1269-1310)
Born: March 1269 at Milbrook, Bedfordshire
Baron St. Amand
Died: 29 July 1310

Almaric (or Amaury) was the second son of Sir Almaric St. Amand, a landed knight banneret who had served in King Edward I's campaigns in Wales, and his wife, Isabel. Almaric's father died in 1285 and his elder brother, Guy, only two years later. So, at the age of only eighteen, Almaric inherited the vast family estates in Berkshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey, Sussex, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, though he was still a ward of the King. On 21st August 1289, he seems to have married, at Leeds Castle in Kent, Mary, the daughter of John Pinkney, the Vidame of Amiens and a distant cousin of Queen Eleanor (of Castile). The couple's most favoured residence seems to have been West Woodhay Castle, at the centre of their chief estate in Berkshire. Although they almost certainly built themselves a more comfortable house adjoining the old Norman motte and bailey there. Other Berkshire lands included East Ilsley Manor and Balsdon Castle in Kintbury.

In October 1293, Almaric was present at the agreement between the Kings of England and Scotland. He was to summoned to serve in the King's expedition into Gascony in June 1294, but was, unfortunately, there  taken prisoner, along with his brother, Thomas, in April of the following year. He was, no doubt, ransomed soon afterward and continued to serve in Royal campaigns elsewhere. In 1299, Alamric acted as one of the proxies for England in the preparations for a peace with France, and, by the December of that year, he had risen so high in the King's favour that he was summoned to Parliament, as the first Lord St. Amand. The next year, Almaric was called upon to perform, in person, military service (of two knights' fees) against the Scots, attend the musters at Carlisle in the June and at Berwick-upon-Tweed a year later. He was one of the besiegers of Caerlaverock Castle in July 1300 and campaigned in Scotland for the next ten years.

Almaric continued to serve in Parliament until his death, including at the famous parliament called at Lincoln in January 1301 where he examined, with the other barons, a letter from Pope Boniface VIII which attempted to assert his rights as feudal overlord of Scotland. Almaric signed the barons' rejection letter as 'Lord of Woodhay'. Four years later, he was Governor (or Mayor) of Bordeaux and during his tenure there, he was commanded to render his accounts. In the same year, he was Keeper of Oxford Castle, where he was accused of assisting in the escape of a number of prisoners. He was apparently imprisoned in the Tower of London for a time, but was ultimately found innocent and quickly returned to Royal favour. For, in 1306, he was one of those summoned before the King and Council to treat and ordain as to the aid upon the knighting of the Prince of Wales. Upon the accession of the prince, as King Edward II, he was commanded, with four others on 18th January 1308, to meet the King at Dover on 4th or 5th February upon his return fro France with Queen Isabella and there to form part of her entourage. He and his consort were also summoned, three days later, to attend the Coronation in the train of the King and Queen.

Further summons were issued to the musters at Carlisle, on 22nd August 1308, and at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on 29th September 1309, for service against the Scots. Almaric died on 29th July the following year. He had no children. His widow soon remarried to John, Lord Peyvre, while Almaric was succeeded in his title and estates by his younger brother, John, the father of the second Almaric, Lord St. Amand.

    Nash Ford Publishing 2006. All Rights Reserved.