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THE CASTELLANS OF COLCHESTER

Eudo Fitz Hubert, Dapifer, erected the Castle of Colchester, and founded Colchester Abbey, which he endowed with numerous manorial and other lands. An unknown herald, circiter 1640, gives illustration of his lineage in the Harleian MSS, Number 154, in British Museum, which begins the pedigree with Hubert de Sancto Claro, and displays arms on a shield with a thick upright cross of gold dividing the quarters, three of which are gules or red.

A Hamon de St.Clare attests King Stephen's second charter to the English in 1136. The town of Colchester was held in fee-farm by Hamo during the reigns of King Stephen and Henry II His running accounts with the treasury were of this nature: "Hamo de St.Clair renders an account of the fee-farm of the town of Colchester; in the treasury, £38, 16 shillings and 7 pence; and he owes £23 and 10 pence There are frequent entries of such kind as this "Et idem Hamo de Sco Claro, r.c. de £10 de auxilio Civitatis Colecestriae. In thesauro £13, 2 shillings and 4 pence" And the same Hamo de St.Clair concerning the aid from the town of Colchester: In the treasury £13, 2 shillings 4 pence. The Ruber Liber Scaccarii has Hamo de Sco.Claro as one of its familiar names. There are several entries relating to him in the Roll of the Pipe, 1131. Another entry runs thus: "Muriel, the daughter of Ralph of Sainincio, renders an account of £18, 6 shillings 8 pence, that she has to pay for land free from all claim from Hamo de St.Clair. In the treasury ten marks silver; and she owes £11, 13 shillings 4 pence" Hamo de Sco.Claro gifted Stokes Manor to the church of St. John of Colchester, founded 1097-1104 by Eudo Dapifer.

He was succeeded by Hubert de St.Clere, the hero of Bridgenorth, who was also a benefactor to St.John's, to which he gave Greenstead Manor and Lexden Mill. A William de Sancto Claro was also a donor to that church. The Harleian collection in Bloomsbury preserves a charter of Hubert's. "Carta Huberti de Sco.Claro ecclesiae S. Trinitatis de Norwicae de ecclesiae de Chaucra et in eodem manerio terr. et ann. redd". "Charter of Hubert de St.Clair to the church of Holy Trinity of Norwich, about the church of Chalke, and land, and an annual return in the same manor". Hubert fell at Bridgenorth in 1165, having heroically sacrificed his life for his sovereign, Henry II, by receiving an arrow intended for him. When dying he commended his daughter to the care of Henry, who married her to William de Longueville.

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