James de Berkeley "The Just", 1st Baron Berkeley

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James de Berkeley

Also Known As: "James the Just", "'The Just'", "James Berkley Lord Berkeley", ""The Just""
Birthplace: Raglan, Monmouthshire, Wales
Death: November 22, 1463 (64-73)
Berkeley Castle, Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England
Place of Burial: Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir James de Berkeley and Elizabeth de Bluet, Heiress of Raglan
Husband of Joan Talbot; Wife of James Berkeley and Lady Isabelle Berkeley
Father of Alice Arthur (de Berkley); Elizabeth de Berkeley; Sir William de Berkeley, 7th Lord Berkeley; James de Berkeley, Lord; Maurice Berkeley and 2 others
Brother of Maurice Berkeley

Occupation: 1st Baron Berkeley, Lord Berkeley, 1st baron by writ: 1421. Recovered the castle from the Warwicks
Managed by: Patricia Norton Chong
Last Updated:

About James de Berkeley "The Just", 1st Baron Berkeley

James de Berkeley "The Just", 1st Baron Berkeley

  • Son of Sir James de Berkeley and Elizabeth de Bluet, Heiress of Raglan
  • Birth: circa 1394 in Raglan, Monmouthshire, Wales
  • Death: November 22, 1463 (65-73) at Berkeley Castle, Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England
  • Place of Burial: St. Mary's Church, Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
  • JAMES de Berkeley (Raglan [1394]-Berkeley Castle Nov 1463, bur Berkeley). The will of "James Lord Berkley", dated 20 May 1404, bequeathed property to “James my son” and appointed “Isabel my wife and James my said son” as executors[1426]. Lord Berkeley.


  • Married: firstly (contract 9 Apr 1410) --- St John, daughter of JOHN St John & his wife ---.
  • Married: secondly (1415) --- Stafford, daughter of HUMPHREY Stafford of Hook, Dorset & his wife.
  • Married: thirdly ([1423/24]) as her second husband, ISABEL Mowbray, widow of HENRY Ferrers, daughter of THOMAS Mowbray Duke of Norfolk & his second wife Elizabeth FitzAlan of Arundel (-27 Sep 1452, bur Gloucester Grey Friars). m fourthly (settlement 25 Jul 1457) as her first husband, JOAN Talbot, daughter of JOHN Talbot Earl of Shrewsbury & his first wife Matilda Neville Baroness Furnivalle. She married secondly (before 26 May 1474) Edmund Hungerfold.


Source - Projects MedLands Nobility Medieval 3 - http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/ENGLISHNOBILITYMEDIEVAL3.htm#Thomas... Source Projects MedLands Nobility Medieval 3 - - http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/ENGLISH%20NOBILITY%20MEDIEVAL.htm#I...

  • Married Thirdly to Isabel de MOWBRAY was born 1396 in Epworth, Lincolnshire, England. She died 29 Sep 1452 in Gloucester Castle, Gloucestershire, England. Isabel married Sir James de BERKELEY Lord Berkeley on 1424 in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England. In about 1424, he was wed to Lady Isabel de Mowbray (b. 1396 - d. 29 November 1452), in which James was her second husband and Henry Ferrers was her first. They had the following issue:

Sir James de BERKELEY Lord Berkeley & Isabel de Mowbray had 7 Children

  • Elizabeth de Berkeley (b. 1425 - d. 1482)
  • Sir William de Berkeley, Earl of Nottingham (c. 1427 - 1492); William became the 2nd Baron Berkeley sometime after his father's death in 1463.
  • James de Berkeley, Esquire (b. 1429)
  • Alice de Berkeley (b. 1432)
  • Sir Maurice de Berkeley VI, Lord Berkeley (c. 1435 - 1 September 1506), who was married to Isabel Meade, daughter of merchant Phillip Meade and his wife Isabel, in 1465 and had issue.
  • Thomas de Berkeley, Esquire (b. 1435 - d. 1484)
  • Isabel de Berkeley (b. 1438 - d. 1482)

Source - James Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Berkeley,_1st_Baron_Berkeley

James I. Eleventh Lord. 1417 to 1463.

James Berkeley had been brought up at the Castle as his uncle's heir, but at the time of his death he was in Dorsetshire at the house of Sir Humphrey Stafford, whose daughter he had married. The Earl and Countess of Warwick however were at Berkeley, and they immediately proceeded to set up a claim to the Castle and the whole of the manors held by the deceased lord. Availing themselves of their position they took possession of all the deeds and evidences, taking away a great many, and having copies and abstracts made of others. James of course used such means as were in his power to assert his rights, but the late lord's executors and servants adhered to lord and lady Warwick as the stronger party, and in the then state of the law, James was unable to prevent the Earl and Countess from receiving the rents, and holding the Manor Courts for the next three years. After much litigation however, James was declared heir to his uncle's Castle and Barony of Berkeley, but the Earl and Countess kept possession of the whole for some time, and afterwards re-entered forcibly on the manors of Wotton, Symondshall, and Coaley. By the mediation of the Bishop of Worcester an arrangement was made by which the Earl was allowed to retain those manors on permitting James to have peaceable possession of the others; this however did not last long; the Earl still pressed his claim to the whole, and in 1420, laid siege to the Castle. In this extremity, the law being powerless to help him against so potent an adversary, James obtained the assistance of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, the king�s brother, by the gift of one thousand marks, and by his interest succeeded in getting license to sue out his livery, and soon after paid his relief of one hundred marks as a Baron and Peer of the realm. The Earl and Countess however continued to assert their claim, and much quarrelling took place between them, and much fighting between their servants and followers whenever they met. At length the intervention of the Bishop of Worcester was again invoked, and a settlement was agreed upon for their joint lives, which lasted till the death of the Earl of Warwick in 1439. On this event the feud again broke out, the three daughters and co-heiresses of the Earl of Warwick, married respectively to the Earl of Shrewsbury, the Duke of Somerset, and lord Latimer, reviving their father's and mother's claims, backed by the most powerful interest. James lord Berkeley resisting their proceedings rather roughly, was by their contrivance committed to the Tower, but was released after a few days on entering into a bond to keep the peace. During the litigation which ensued both parties were frequently bound over to keep the peace. No settlement of the matters in dispute was come to, though they were several times referred to arbitration. In 1440, one David Woodburne being sent to Wotton by lord Lisle, son to the earl of Shrewsbury, to serve a subpoena on lord Berkeley, the latter not only beat the unfortunate messenger, but compelled him to eat and swallow the summons, wax and parchment!

In 1449, the Warwick party obtained an award in their favour, but James garrisoned his Castle, and prepared to resist its execution. In order the better to prosecute his cause lady Berkeley went to London, from whence she wrote to her husband a highly interesting and characteristic letter, reporting progress and cheering him with hopes of success; concluding by asking him to send her some money for her expenses, or she should be obliged to sell her horse and return to Berkeley on foot.

Both parties now had recourse to arms, and many were the skirmishes between them, and the armed incursions upon the lands in dispute, first by one party and then by the other. Lord Berkeley attacked, sacked, and almost destroyed Wotton manor house, where lady Shrewsbury then resided, in return for which her son, lord Lisle, by a surprise, broke into Berkeley Castle in 1452, and seized lord Berkeley and his four sons, whom he kept prisoners eleven weeks and compelled to sign various deeds and bonds. During these contests the town of Berkeley was half destroyed, and the Castle many times attacked, taken, and re-taken.

Lord Berkeley in 1452 sustained a severe loss in the death of his wife, in prison at Gloucester, where she had been committed by the contrivance of the countess of Shrewsbury. Her death was afterwards severely avenged by her son William at the battle of Nibley Green, where lord Lisle, lady Shrewsbury�s grandchild and heir, was killed, and her family in that line extinguished. This Lady Berkeley was James's second wife; she was the daughter of Thomas Mowbray Duke of Norfolk, a lady of great virtues, devoted to her husband and children, and their great stay and support in the troublesome suits in which they were involved. She was buried in the chancel of the Greyfriars church in Gloucester, which her grandson, Maurice Berkeley, afterwards repaired in memory of her.

In 1457, James lord Berkeley married his third wife, Joan sister to John, 2nd earl of Shrewsbury, an alliance with the family of his former enemy, which no doubt assisted in the settlement of the family quarrel which took place six years afterwards, by which lord Berkeley and the countess of Shrewsbury agreed to let their differences rest and thenceforward live in peace. This was in 1463, and thirty-six days afterwards lord Berkeley died. He was buried in Berkeley church, beneath an alabaster tomb, highly ornamented with escutcheons and sculpture, under an arch between the chancel and the beautiful mortuary chapel which he himself had built. The tomb bears his effigy in complete armour, and also a smaller but similar one to commemorate his second son James, who was slain in France serving under the celebrated John Talbot. James lord Berkeley was the first of his family who never bore arms in the service of his country, being probably too much occupied with the unfortunate family contests. He was also thereby withheld from taking any part in the conflict for the crown between the rival houses of York and Lancaster which was then raging, and the Berkeleys were almost the only great family which did not suffer in life or estate in those wars.

Smyth says that James was "an honest, humble and just lord," and that "of all his family none is found to have walked more with God in a virtuous and harmless life."

James Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley (c. 1394 – 22 October, 1463), also known as "James the Just", was an English peer.

Berkeley was the son of Sir James de Berkeley and his wife Elizabeth (née Bluet). He was made heir to his uncle Thomas de Berkeley, 5th Baron Berkeley. He was married four times. His third wife was Lady Isabel, daughter of Thomas Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk, and his fourth wife was Lady Joan Talbot, daughter of John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury. Lord Berkeley was involved in a bitter feud with his cousin Elizabeth, daughter of the fifth Baron Berkeley and wife of Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick. He was unable initially to claim Berkeley Castle, as it was taken in possession by the Earl and Countess of Warwick. In 1421, when the Warwicks finally gave up Berkeley Castle, James was summoned to Parliament by writ as Lord Berkeley. The feud did not end there as his third wife Isabel was captured by the Countess of Warwick's son-in-law the Earl of Shrewsbury, and held imprisoned until her death in 1452.

Lord Berkeley was succeeded by his son from his third marriage, William, who was created Marquess of Berkeley in 1489.

James Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley (c. 1394 – 22 October,1463), also known as "James the Just", was an English peer

6th Lord Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley, "James the Just"

Son of Sir James de Berkeley and Elizabeth Bluet. Grandson of Sir Maurice de Berkeley and Elizabeth le Despenser, Sir John Bluet and Katherine Wogan.

James married the daughter of John Saint John. They were married by contract dated 19 April 1410 and had no issue.

Secondly, James married the daughter of Sir Humphrey Stafford of Hook Dorset. They were married in 1415, and had no issue.

Thirdly, James married Isabel de Mowbray, the daughter of Sir Thomas Mowbray, Knight of the Garter and Elizabeth de Arundel. She was also the widow of Sir Henry Ferrers. They had four sons and three daughters:

  • Sir William, Marquess of Berkeley, Earl Marshal, Viscount Berkeley
  • Sir Maurice, Lord Berkeley
  • James, Esquire
  • Thomas, Esquire
  • Elizabeth, wife of William Burdet, Esq.
  • Isabel, wife of William Trye
  • Alice, wife of Richard Arthur, Esq.

Isabel was arrested by order of Margaret, the Countess of Shrewsbury, the granddaughter and co-heiress of the last Lord Berkeley, and the wife of the Earl of Shrewsbury, the son-in-law of the James' cousin, Elizabeth, who was forced to concede Berkeley Castle to James after a feud between James and Elizabeth, Countess of Warwick, daughter of the fifth Baron Berkeley and the wife of Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick. Isabel was imprisoned at Gloucester Castle and died there 27 Sept 1452.

James married a fourth time to Lady Joan Talbot, the daughter of Sir John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury and Maud de Neville, the daughter of Thomas. They married by settlement dated 25 July 1457.

James was heir to his uncle, Sir Thomas Berkeley, 5th Lord Berkeley, and succeeded to Berkeley Castle and other estates under an entail (settlement of the inheritance) of his great grandfather, but the actual possession was obstructed by his uncle's daughter, Elizabeth Beauchamp. James was summoned to Parliament 1421 to 1461 as Lord Berkeley. Sometime between 1421 and 1437, he sued for land and tenement Anselm Gyse's, previously of Ralph Bluet in Daglingworth, Gloucestershire.

Sir James died at Berkeley Castle in Nov of 1463, and buried at Berkeley. His widow, Joan remarried to Edmund Hungerford, Esq., before 26 May 1474.


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James de Berkeley "The Just", 1st Baron Berkeley's Timeline

Raglan, Monmouthshire, Wales


January 23, 1403
Age 9
Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
January 23, 1403
Age 9
Berkeley Castle, Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England
January 23, 1403
Age 9
Berkeley Castle, Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England
Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
Groby, Leicestershire, England
Thornbury, Gloucestershire, , England
Berkeley, Gloucestershire, , England