The Ladder | The Story of Hugh Despenser the Younger

The Ladder | The Story of Hugh Despenser the Younger

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The Ladder | The Story of Hugh Despenser the Younger

The 3rd August 2020 – 3rd August 2021 was Stephen and Yhana‘s first year on YouTube – To celebrate they are sharing one video a day across all of their favourite social media platforms – Facebook Page, Twitter and Website, as well as a daily shout out on their youtube community page. – So please check often incase you missed any of their videos during that first year.

They have also published their very first youtube almanac – Which was released 3rd august 2021.

The book will be available to buy via Amazon shortly – Although you can get a free signed copy by signing up and supporting their journey on Patreon

All Patreon‘s will get a regular mention on YouTube and on their channel publications – As your support is very much appreciated and will help to purchase filming equipment and trips to historical sites, so they can keep their films coming.

Stephen and Yhana - History and Adventure Hunters Almanac - OUT NOW
Stephen and Yhana – History and Adventure Hunters Almanac – OUT NOW

The Ladder | The Story of Hugh Despenser the Younger

The Ladder | 13 Terrifying True Stories For Halloween | Story Twelve

as a thief therefore you shall be hanged; as a traitor…you shall be drawn and quartered, and your quarters dispersed throughout the kingdom; and as you were outlawed, by our Lord the King and by general consent, and have come back to the court…you shall be beheaded; and because at all times you have been disloyal and a formenter of strife between our Lord the King and our most noble Lady the Queen…you shall be disemboweled, and after that you bowels shall be burned. Confess yourself a traitor and a renegade! And so go to meet your doom. Traitor! Evildoer!! and Convicted!!!

Welcome to the 12th of our 13 terrifying stories for Halloween, today we are going to take a deep dive into the execution of Hugh Despenser, . This is a true story, and makes up just one of the dark and twisted tales that exist in my family history.

Hugh Despenser the Younger, who was titled 1st Lord Despenser and born in 1286 he was the son and heir of Hugh le Despenser, Earl of Winchester (the elder Despenser), and Isabella daughter of William, 9th Earl of Warwick. He rose to national prominence as royal chamberlain and a favourite of Edward II of England. A series of subsequent controversies eventually led to his being hanged, drawn and quartered.

He is believed to have been the lover of King Edward II (as so too was; Piers Gaveston, 1st Earl of Cornwall).

The Despenser family had fallen from power by 1326 following civil war ‘The Despenser War’. The trigger for the conflict was the tension between many of the barons and the Despenser family. Hugh Despenser the Elder had served both Edward and his father, while Hugh Despenser the Younger had married into the wealthy de Clare family, he became the King’s chamberlain, and acquired Glamorgan in the Welsh Marches in 1317. Hugh the Younger had then begun to expand his holdings and power across Wales, mainly at the expense of the other Marcher Lords. The Earl of Lancaster and the Despensers were fierce enemies, and Lancaster’s antipathy was shared by most of the Despensers’ neighbours, including the Earl of Hereford, the Mortimer family and the recently elevated Hugh Audley and Roger Damory. Edward, however, increasingly relied on the Despensers for advice and support, and he was particularly close to Hugh the Younger, whom one chronicler noted he “loved … dearly with all his heart and mind”.

The Despenser family had lost this war and as a consequence Hugh Despenser the younger and his father Hugh Despenser the Elder (1st Earl of Winchester) were executed for treason and King Edward II had abdicated his throne.

Hugh the Elder was executed on the 27th October 1326, he was hanged immediately in his armour at Bristol. He was then beheaded and his body cut into pieces for the dogs. His head was sent for display to Winchester, which had supported King Edward II.

His son faced trial in Hereford, led by Queen Isabella, the bitter wife of Edward II and her consort Roger Mortimer. THEY ATE their dinner whilst watching the execution. Isabella’s character was very manipulative, known by many as a ‘She Wolf’ a far cry from her loving and sentimental portrayal in the movie (Brave Heart).

Isabella was outraged by Hugh Despenser the younger and perhaps in particular his relationship with King Edward II as a result his execution was brutal and cruel.

…as a thief therefore you shall be hanged; as a traitor…you shall be drawn and quartered, and your quarters dispersed throughout the kingdom; and as you were outlawed, by our Lord the King and by general consent, and have come back to the court…you shall be beheaded; and because at all times you have been disloyal and a formenter of strife between our Lord the King and our most noble Lady the Queen…you shall be disemboweled, and after that you bowels shall be burned. Confess yourself a traitor and a renegade! And so go to meet your doom. Traitor! Evildoer!! and Convicted!!! (Brigstocke Sheppard, 1889:413)

On 24 November 1326 …Despenser was roped to four horses…and dragged through the city to the walls of his own castle, where enormous gallows had been specially constructed…Despenser was raised a full 50 feet…and was lowered onto the ladder. A man climbed along side him sliced off his penis and testicles, flinging them into the fire below…he then plunged a knife into Despenser’s abdomen and cut out his entrails and heart…the corpse was lowered to the ground and the head cut off. It was later sent to London, and Despenser’s arms, torso and legs were sent to be displayed above the gates of Newcastle, York, Dover and Bristol.” (Mortimer 2003:162).

In the 1970’s the remains of Hugh Despenser were found whilst excavations took place at Hulton Abbey.

His bones bare the marks of beheading, and his vertebrae reveals he was cut in half.

  • Published: 30 October 2020
  • Location: England
  • Duration: 7:51
  • Photography – Stephen Robert Kuta / Yhana Kuta
  • Written by – Stephen Robert Kuta

Music –

Ethelda’s Last Breath by Sage Oursler

Music Licensed by Epidemic Sound

The Ladder | The Story of Hugh Despenser the Younger

​Stephen and Yhana – History and Adventure Hunters Almanac

Stephen and Yhana - History and Adventure Hunters Almanac - OUT NOW
Stephen and Yhana – History and Adventure Hunters Almanac – OUT NOW

Support us on Patreon / Stephen and Yhana YouTube Channel

Become a Patron!

On the 30th of January, 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). In the following weeks, the virus quickly spread worldwide, forcing the governments of affected countries to implement lockdown measures to decrease transmission rates and prevent the overload of hospital emergency rooms.

The United Kingdom implemented lockdown on the 16th of March, 2020 and from this date and up until the 3rd August, 2021 the UK had suffered three national lockdowns which all included Restrictive measures on border controls, closing of schools, markets, restaurants, nonessential shops, bars, entertainment and leisure facilities, as well as a ban on all public and private events and gatherings. In between these lockdowns we saw tier systems and heavy restrictions on how we all lived our lives.

We all decided on different approaches on how we spent that free time as many people were on Furlough as their businesses were shut, only key-workers carried out their working duties. Although I continued working as a key-worker, I still had a lot more free time as Yhana was not at school.

Both Yhana and I spent those first few months experimenting with tiktok and photography, we explored our home village of Great Leighs and took some incredible photographs as spring and eventually summer took hold.

Tiktok was a short-lived adventure for us, although we enjoyed it all the same — tiktok like so many Social Media platforms had exploded during the pandemic but none more so then YouTube.

In 2020 alone YouTube had more than 9 billion views globally

66% of people used YouTube to develop a new hobby in 2020, and a whopping 94% of people in India used YouTube to learn to do things themselves, Whilst Globally, 82% used YouTube to the same. What were they learning to do, exactly?

• Views of beauty tutorials increased nearly 50% in 2020.

• There was a 90% increase in bike maintenance and repair videos.

• Daily views of videos with “raising chickens” in the title increased 160%.

• Videos related to learning guitar saw 160 million views from mid-March to mid-April.

• Videos about container gardening saw 6 million views in the same period.

• There was a 215% increase in daily uploads of videos related to self-care.

• There was a 458% increase in daily views of videos about making sourdough bread and a 200% increase in daily views of recipe videos for bubble tea.

• Videos of how-to videos for home haircuts also spiked in April.

Even though these giant increases in YouTube views began as early as March 2020, it took Yhana and I up until August of that year to begin our own channel, and Yhana’s encouragement certainly helped on that matter.

So it began, 3 August 2020 – We went out and filmed our very first video. To be honest I wasn’t sure what our plan would be for our channel, I had a rough idea of what kind of content I would like Yhana and I to make and as a historian I looked at the channel as a way to record at least one year of our life, not just any year either, but our life during the Covid-19 Pandemic. So for me, it was a great way to record a piece of social history.

This book in front of you developed from that period of our lives also, and is a showcase / diary / almanac of all the videos we created, many of the photographs we took, the treasure hunts we went on and some of the incredible finds we discovered just a short walk from where we lived. In truth, those finds would never have been discovered if it wasn’t for lockdown.

So for prosperity, social history, a window into our lives during the Covid-19 pandemic and a transparent visual look at what its like to create a YouTube channel in that first year including channelytics, descriptions of videos, thumbnail artwork, viewer comments and more.

We have written this full guide, our first joint book –

Stephen and Yhana – History and Adventure Hunters Almanac.

Stephen and Yhana - History and Adventure Hunters Almanac - OUT NOW
Stephen and Yhana – History and Adventure Hunters Almanac – OUT NOW

The book is available to buy through Amazon and via all good bookshops.

LINK BELOW –

RECEIVE A FREE SIGNED COPY BY SIGNING UP AND SUPPORTING OUR JOURNEY ON PATREON.

Support us on Patreon / Stephen and Yhana YouTube Channel

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