Hugh de Port, Domesday lord of Basing

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Hugh de Port, Domesday lord of Basing

French: Hugues de Portu, Domesday lord of Basing, Latin: Hugonis de Portu, Domesday lord of Basing
Also Known As: "Herbert", "Hughes", "St. John", "Gospatric", "Hubert "Lord Seamer""
Birthplace: Port-en-Bessin, Calvados, Normandy, France
Death: March 22, 1096 (61-85)
Basing (as a monk), Old Basing, Hampshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of N.N. de Port and N.N.
Husband of Orence de Port St. John, of Basing
Father of Emma de Porte; Henry de Port, sheriff of Hants. and Adelaide de Port
Brother of Hubert de Port, I, of Mapledurwell

Occupation: Norman knight; Domesday lord of Basing
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Hugh de Port, Domesday lord of Basing

From Wikipedia retrieved 7 December 2019

Hugh de Port (died 1096) was an 11th-century French-English Norman aristocrat. He was believed to have arrived in England from Port-en-Bessin ... . It is possible that Hugh was the first Norman sheriff of Kent.


Mired in obscurity. Seen as c 1015, c 1045, c April 17, 1051, aft 1066 ... his death date is firm, and he was a soldier in 1066. Call it “say 1030.”


  • (Probably) the brother or other close collateral relative of Hubert de Port, I, of Mapledurwell ; Cawley notes “possible brother”
  • Husband of Orence, but died as a monk
  • Father of Henry de Port, Lord of Basing and Tong & sheriff of Hampshire, who married Hawise
  • (Probably) the father or other close collateral relative of Emma de Port, who married William de Percy
  • Father of Adelaide de Port, who was living in 1107/15
  • Seen as the father of Adam de Port, I, of Mapledurwell; however, Round placed Adam as son of Hubert
  • Seen as husband of Eleanor de Leon without supporting evidence

Family notes

It is likely that he was a brother or close relative to Hubert de Port, also a Domesday tenant-in-chief in Hampshire, who had apparent connections to Port-en-Bassin, "since" according to Complete Peerage, "among the undertenants of Adam de Port, his representative in 1166, are men taking their names from Argouges, Le Fresne and Marigny, all within 4 miles of Port-en-Bessin".
(Hubert and Hugh were sometimes confused before 1900 when Round, in the words of Complete Peerage, "placed the genealogy of both families on a sound basis and cleared up the confusion between the Ports of Basing and those of Mapledurwell or Herefordshire which had previously existed." See Round.

The Aristocracy of Norman England theorizes that he might be the first Norman sheriff in Kent (after the conquest of 1066), and says that his son held land in Normandy in 1033. There may also be a father and son both named Hugh involved - this is very unclear from the link given above.

Biographical notes

From Cokayne's Complete Peerage, 2nd Edition, Vol. XI, (Saint John), pp. 316-317

Hugh de Port was an undertenant of Odo Bishop of Bayeux in Normandy. He witnessed a charter of Duke William sometime before the Conquest. In the Domesday Book, he appears as the most important lay tenant-in-chief in Hampshire, holding Basing, Sherborn St. John and fifty-three other manors in that county. Of his overloard, the Bishop of Bayeux, he held thirteen manors there and a further thirteen in Kent. He was at one time the Sheriff of Hampshire, and in the address of a royal writ for Hampshire of 1080/1, his name took predence of the sheriff. He was one of the barons present at the King's court in Normandy in 1085. In 1091, he attested charters of William II. He was married to Orence and died as a monk in 1096.


Hugh was married to a lady called Orence but had become a monk by the time of his death in 1096 – a wise precaution in view of the orgy of killing and expropriation in which he was implicated. His former patron, Odo, also died in that year, having reinvented himself as one of the spiritual leaders of the First Crusade. Hugh’s son Henry and grandson, another Hugh, were the founders of Sherborne Priory on their Hampshire estate and still clung in 1133 to the three knight’s fees in Normandy – Fontenelles, Commes and Létanville, all close to Port-en-Bassin – which they continued to hold of the Bishop of Bayeux.


Source <Anglo-Norman Studies: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1982> publié par R. Allen Brown,Reginald Allen Brown:

"... Hugh de Port was a man who did spectacularly well out of the Conquest. He was probably sheriff of Hampshire, Kent, and Nottinghamshire; in the former county he was the most important tenant-in-chief in 1086, and in both Hampshire and Kent held a number of estates from Odo. In all his lands were worth some £268 in chief and a further £189 as an under-tenant, putting him in the top 42 magnates outside the royal family. He came from Port-en-Bessin. where his family held land owing five knight's service to the bishop, and it would appear that this link, established in Normandy and strengthened in England, did much to assist his career. ..."

Visitors could be forgiven for being slightly underwhelmed by Basing House because in short, there is no house, nothing left of the four hundred room, five storey structure that once stood on the site. It was damaged beyond repair as siege after siege during three years of the English Civil War...
The Normans, upon landing on English soil, were quick to construct wooden motte and bailey castles at strategic places. They constructed a castle close by the present Basing House at a place now known as Oliver’s Battery. This castle is thought to have been part of William the Conquerors campaign to march on London.
So what purpose did the early Medieval house serve? Basing occupied an important East to West road between London and the west country. All manner of trade and communications passed the door of this well fortified castle. Originally the castle would have been built of timber, surrounded by a number of outer baileys. It was an estate office, an administrative centre, from which the de Port and subsequent families could run their large Hampshire estate. The property was well placed sitting between Winchester and London, the heart and stomach of English monarchical and ecclesiastical rule...
It was this castle, along with many other manors in Hampshire, that passed into the hands of one of Hampshire’s earliest families, the Norman de Port family. This family chose to live in the castle for only a short period before moving to their preferred position, that of the present Basing House ruins.
Hugh de Port fought beside William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings, his actions won him the lordship of no fewer than 53 manors, Basing being one of them.

Supporting data

Source <>: "[Two possible brothers]:

1. HUGUES de Port Port-en-Bessin, Calvados, arr. Bayeux, cant. Ryes (-1096 or after). "…Hugo de Portu…" witnessed the charter dated to [1060] under which Guillaume II Duke of Normandy granted "Brenerias" to the abbey of Bayeux. "…Hugo de Portu…" witnessed the charter dated to [1066] under which Guillaume II Duke of Normandy donated "terram…Brenerias" to the church of Bayeux. "…Roger Bigot, Henry de Ferrars, Bernard de Neufmarché…Hugo de Port, Richard Goiz, Eudo dapifer…Robert fitz Tetbald, William de Perci, Robert of Rhuddlan, Nigel de Torp, Roger de Corcella, Alured of Lincoln, William de Falaise, William Malconduit, Godfrey his brother…" witnessed the charter dated to [1086] which notified a plea held by William I King of England concerning "William de Braiose" and Fécamp abbey. Domesday Book records that "Hugh de Port" held land in Milton Regis, Ash, Tunstall, Upchurch and Tonge in Milton Hundred, Kent, Hawley in Axton Hundred, Paddlesworth, Ryarsh and Offham in Larkfield Hundred, Norton and Herste in Faversham Hundred, Poison and Pineham in Bewsbury Hundred, of the bishop of Bayeux in Kent, Abbotstone in Bountisborough, part of St Clair's in Droxford in Droxford Hundred from the bishop of Winchester, land from the abbot of St Peter Winchester, and his own landholdings in Hampshire, Great Shefford in Eagle Hundred and Purley in Reading Hundred in Berkshire. "…Hugo de Portu…" witnessed the charter dated 27 Jan 1091 under which William II King of England confirmed the status of Bath abbey. "…Hugonis de Port…" witnessed the charter dated [May 1092] under which William II King of England confirmed previous grants to Lincoln cathedral. "…Hugonis de Port…" witnessed the charter dated Sep 1093 under which William II King of England donated property to Lincoln cathedral[ The History of Gloucester St Peter records that "Hugo de Portu factus monachus vicarious Wyntoniæ" donated "Lyteltone in Hamptaschire" to Gloucester St Peter in 1096, adding that "Henricus filius Hugonis de Portu" confirmed his father's donation, and that "Adam de Portu" also later confirmed it "tempore Serlonis abbatis".

m ORENCE, daughter of ---. Her marriage is confirmed by the Liber Vitæ of the New Minster of Winchester which names "Hugo de Port, Orence coniunx eius".

Hugues & his wife had [three] children:

  • a) HENRY de Port (-after 1133). ...
  • b) ADELAIDE de Port (-after 1107). ...
  • c) [EMMA de Port (-after 1107). ..."


  • The picture attatched to this page on 11 26 13 is also found on the following: Bayeux tapestry commissioned by Bishop Odo of Bayeux in 1077
  • “Earl Tostig, treacherous brother of Harold, the last Saxon King, held Holdenhurst prior to the Norman Conquest. After 1066, William the Conqueror first held it himself, later bestowing it upon Hugh de Port who distinguished himself by killing so many English at the Battle of Hastings.“
  • Thirty One Generations :A Thousand Years of Percies and Pierces from 972-1948 (Colby, Barnard L. 1947, p. 8) Chapter ll "The Beginning" "Williams Wife Emma, daughter of Hugh de Port, a great Hampshire Baron gave him several sons." (Hugh de Port should be Baron Hugh de Port). "
  • Wikipedia source for Baron Hugh de Port states he born 1015-1096 . The DOB/DOD, son Adam and reference to Hampshire fits the Colby book reference.
  •,_Scarborough Hugh de Port, Lord of Seamer@Hugh de Port was born in 1030, Port-en-Bessin, Calvados, Normandy, France and died 1066 (36) Seamer, Scarborough, North Ride Yorkshire, England.” Is this accurate?
  • Read Proceedings, Volume 2 By Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society (free ebook) Candover Manor is mentioned, part of Hampshire; service in military.
  • Map of lands held by Hugh de Port from Pace Domesday
  • Green, Judith A. (15 August 2002). The Aristocracy of Norman England. Cambridge University Press. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-521-33509-6. GoogleBooks
  • "De Port". Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  • ”Bramshill". Hampshire Gazetteer – JandMN: 2001. Retrieved 30 January 2015. link
  • Fantosme, Jordan (1840). Chronicle of the War Between the English and the Scots in 1173 and 1174. J. B. Nichols and son. p. 132. GoogleBooks
  • The baronage of England, or, An historical account of the lives and most memorable actions of our English nobility in the Saxons time to the Norman conquest, and from thence, of those who had their rise before the end of King Henry the Third's reign deduced from publick records, antient historians, and other authorities. Dugdale, William, Sir, 1605-1686. link
  • Sanders, I. J. (1960). English Baronies: A Study of Their Origin and Descent 1086–1327. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press. p. 57. OCLC 931660.
  • Round, J. H. (1900). "The Families of St John and of Port". Genealogist. xvi: 1–
  • “Domesday People: Domesday book” Page 257 GoogleBooks
  • Early Yorkshire Charters: Volume 11, The Percy Fee, Volume 11. edited by William Farrer, Charles Travis Clay. (2013) Page 1. GoogleBooks
  • Note:  After nearly a thousand years, it is difficult to say with exact certainty who was present at the Battle of Hastings.  Scholars of History seem able to agree on only about twenty-five or so persons as having been at Hastings for sure.
    • Falaise Roll. Recording the Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Names applied to the Falaise Roll were compiled from Vital, Wace, the Bayeux Tapestry and the Researches of La Rue 24 and others. Hugue de Port.
    • DIVES-SUR-MER LIST. Recording the Companions of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR on his invasion of England in 1066. This list is taken from the plaque in the church at Dives-sur-Mer, Normandy. Hugue de Port.
  • Main source(s): TCP (Saint John of Basing), BE1883 (St. John of Basing), 'TUDOR‘
    • Hugh de Port of Basing, Sheriff of Hampshire (d 1096) m. Orence
      • 1. Henry de Port, lord of Basing, Sheriff of Hampshire (d after 1153) m. Hawise of Basing
      • 2. Adelidis
      • 3. Emma de Port m. William de Percy (a 1066, d c1096)
view all

Hugh de Port, Domesday lord of Basing's Timeline

Port-en-Bessin, Calvados, Normandy, France
perhaps, Cil de Port, Calvados, Normandy, France
Perhaps of, Portchester Castle, Hampshire, England (United Kingdom)
March 22, 1096
Age 81
Basing (as a monk), Old Basing, Hampshire, England
Perhaps, Calvados, Normandy, France