The French agreed to lay down their arms, and were
escorted through royalist Kent to Dover, whence they took ship for
Hubert de Burgh’s close connection with the county continued
throughout the minority of the young king, who owed so much to his
faithful service. In addition to holding the shrievalty, he had the
custody of Tonbridge Castle, became governor of Rochester Castle, and on
11 February 1227 was made Earl of Kent, when the castle and port of
Dover, with the revenues of the haven, the castles of Rochester and
Canterbury, and a fee of 1,000 marks per annum for their custody, were
granted him for life.62 In the early part of the reign of
Henry III he was the most powerful man in England; but he had numerous
enemies, and he was deprived of his castles and honours in 1232.
Restored two years later, they were again taken away in 1239; but he was
once more reconciled to the king, and died in 1243 in full possession.
Neither of his sons appears, however, to have borne the title of Earl of
As the baronial opposition to Henry III took shape, the Earl of
Leicester’s chief supporter in Kent was at first Richard de Clare. The
custody of the castle of Dover was granted by the council of fifteen in
1258 to another of his most important associates, the Justiciar, Hugh
Bigod ;64 but when the breach between the Earls of Gloucester and
Leicester was followed in 1261 by the king’s temporary recovery of
his position, Bigod was expelled. The abandonment of the Provisions of
Oxford 65 made it imperative that Leicester and Gloucester
should arrange their feud, but the enmity was only in abeyance when
Gloucester died in 1262 and was succeeded by his son, then a minor and
Montfort’s devoted disciple. In 1263 Dover was once more placed in
the hands of the baronial party, and Richard de Grey was put in
possession. Henry twice attempted in person to gain admission (December
1263, and January 1264), but Grey refused to admit him.66
Among the first to repudiate the Mise of Amiens in 1264 were the men of
the Cinque Ports, and the resistance in the south was organized by
Montfort himself, who, to open up communication with his allies in the
Cinque Ports, marched with a large following of Londoners to Rochester.
The castle was held for the king by Earl Warenne, who thus blocked the
passage of the Dover road. The town was captured and the castle besieged
in April 1264. The besiegers were largely drawn from Kent, and men were
impressed for their services and the manning of Dover Castle under
authority from the young Earl of Gloucester, by Sir Roger de Leyburn,
warden of the Cinque Ports and keeper of the county, and Sir John de la
Haye, his lieutenant and successor, who had charge of the coast to
prevent the landing of the forces collected by queen Eleanor in
Flanders. The wall of the castle was sapped by Richard Lambard of
Bostall in Plumstead in the county and the outer bailey stormed. Warenne
was on the point of surrendering, when the royalists came from
61 Ibid. 225.
62 Ann. Mon. (Rolls Ser.), iii, 102.
63 Ibid. i, 86, 112, 130; iii, 138; Cal. Pat. 1225—32, p. 496.
64 On the landing of Richard, king of the Romans, 27 Jan. 1259-60, the
oath tendered by the barons was administered to him at Canterbury by
Richard de Clare at the reception there by the king and archbishop. He
had at first refused to take it, but the barons armed against him,
assembled the ships of the Cinque Ports, and would not allow him to land
at Dover until he promised to do so. The king had gone to sea to meet
him. Matth. Paris, Chron. Maj. (Rolls Ser.), V. 733.
65 Rishanger, Chron. (Rolls Ser.), 10. In 1261 the king visited
Dover Castle and gave it into the custody of Walrond.
66 Gervase of Cant. (Rolls Ser.), I I, 222-3, 232.