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De Breaute, Falkes

People > De Breaute, Falkes

Falkes de Breaute c.1180-1226

Falkes de Breaute was a French soldier, mercenary and adventurer and a friend of King John.  This friendship led to political advantage and de Breaute was rewarded with land and and position including the royal manor of Luton where he built a castle.  During this period he also ejected William de Beauchamp from Bedford Castle.

Bedford Castle

Bedford Castle today

In 1215 King John repudiated the Great Charter and civil war broke out.  De Breaute supported the King against the Dauphin of France.  King John died in 1216 and his son - Henry - was proclaimed King. 

De Breaute was not popular however with the barons surrounding the young Henry III and he was found guilty (in his absence) of misappropriating land at a count in Dunstable.  The judge, William Braybrook, was captured on his way back from the court by De Breaute's brother and thrown in to Bedford Castle. Henry III then assembled an army at Northampton and marched on Bedford Castle to demand its surrender (in 1224).  In the meantime de Breaute had ridden to Wales to get help from the Welsh King Llewellyn.  The castle was subsequently besieged and fell in the August.  All the survivors, including de Breaute's brother William were hanged and the castle demolished.  De Breaute fled to the continent and died, it is said, on his travels from food poisoning.


Further Reading:

  • Kuhlicke, W.F. Falk de Breaute (A Bedfordshire Armorial 11) Bedfordshire Magazine, Vol. 2, p. 272, 1950-51

See also:

Falkes de Breaute, by Bedfordshire Libraries, 2007

Page last updated: 28th January 2014