The Early Years
The exact date of Hugh’s birth is not known but it was most likely between 1286 and 1290. He was the eldest son of Hugh Despenser (the elder) who was the son of another Hugh (the even elder) who fought alongside Simon de Montfort against Henry III during the Baron’s war of 1265. He was killed by Roger de Mortimer (grandfather of the Roger de Mortimer who became Queen Isabella’s lover and deposed Edward III) at the Battle of Evesham, thereby starting a feud between the Despensers and the Mortimers which was to have deadly echoes decades later. His mother was Isabelle de Beauchamp, the daughter and sister of two of the Earls of Warwick, so he was certainly well connected.