Revised 01/12/2019



[CRES481] William de Cressingham (born c.1220).

[CRES491] Hugh de Cressingham (born c.1245), Lord Chief Justice of England and King Edward I's Treasurer in Scotland. Latterly he held the living of Hutton Rudby (Cleveland), where the Norman church had been built, possibly in the early 12th Century, by the Meynill's of Whorlton Castle. Hugh was present at the Battle of Stirling.

The Battle of Stirling Bridge began at dawn (10th September 1297), when a party of English infantry was sent over the narrow bridge. It was not a good start, as they had to be recalled because John, 7th Earl of Surrey (see SURREY (WARENNE) EARLDOM), had overslept! Hugh de Cressingham was fuming with impatience, urging no more time should be wasted, and Earl John gave him the order to cross. A bloody massacre took place, with Hugh de Cressingham meeting his fate at the hands of the Scottish spearmen. Fortunately, Earl John had not crossed the bridge. Aghast at the slaughter he was witnessing, he lost his nerve and galloped in such haste to the border that his horse had nothing to eat between Stirling and Berwick and collapsed on arrival. Earl John later abandoned Berwick and it was lost to the Scots. Meanwhile at Stirling, the fleeing rank and file of the English were less fortunate, and were ambushed by the men led by James Stewart and the Earl of Lennox, whose offer had been rejected by Earl John the previous day, and were back on Wallace's side, and conveniently positioned on the south bank of the river. If only Earl John had taken their advice the day before and if only he had not overslept and been forced to give in to Hugh de Cressingham's impatience. For the first time an army of professional knights had been overcome by the common folk.

According to legend, Hugh's body was flayed, and from it a belt was fashioned for William Wallace.

[CRES502] Alice de Cressingham (born c.1285), married [ASPA501] Robert Aspale (born c.1274, see ASPALE).