Elizabeth le Despenser, Baroness Berkeley

Elizabeth le Despenser (c. 1327 13 July 1389) was an English noblewoman. She was the youngest daughter of Hugh le Despenser the younger and his wife Eleanor de Clare.[1] Her father is famous for being the favourite of Edward II of England, and being executed as a result of his position and actions. Through her mother, Elizabeth was a great granddaughter of King Edward I of England.

Elizabeth le Despenser
Baroness Berkeley
Tower of London, London, England
Died13 July 1389
BuriedSt Botolph's Aldgate, London, England
Spouse(s)Maurice de Berkeley, 4th Baron Berkeley
Thomas de Berkeley, 5th Lord Berkeley
James de Berkeley
John de Berkeley
Maurice de Berkeley
Catherine de Berkeley
Agnes de Berkeley
Elizabeth de Berkeley
FatherHugh Despenser the Younger
MotherEleanor de Clare

Early life

The exact date of her birth is disputed; it is possible that she (or her brother John) was born in December 1325. She may have been born to her mother sometime after her father's death, as she was not forced to take the veil like three of her older sisters. Not much else is known about her youth until August 1338, when she was sent to the care of her maternal aunt Elizabeth de Clare after her mother Eleanor's death the previous year.[2]

Marriage and later life

In August 1338, she married Maurice de Berkeley, 4th Baron Berkeley, who was ironically a grandson of Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, the man largely responsible for the execution of Elizabeth's father Hugh. She and her husband had seven children:

  • Thomas de Berkeley, 5th Lord Berkeley (born 5 January 1352/53 – 13 July 1417); married Margaret de Lisle, Baroness Lisle
  • Sir James de Berkeley (born c. 1355 – 13 June 1405), married Elizabeth Bluet; sired James Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley
  • John de Berkeley (born c. 1357–1381)
  • Maurice de Berkeley (born c. 1358; death date unknown), married Jane Hereford
  • Catherine de Berkeley (born c. 1360; death date unknown)
  • Agnes de Berkeley (born c. 1363; death date unknown)
  • Elizabeth de Berkeley (born c. 1365; death date unknown)


Elizabeth le Despenser, Baroness Berkeley died on 13 July 1389. She was buried at St Botolph's Aldgate, London, England.[1]



  1. Lundy, Darryl. "The Peerage: Elizabeth le Despencer". Retrieved 4 October 2009.
  2. Higginbotham, Susan. "Elizabeth le Despenser"; retrieved 1 October 2009.
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