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Bigod, Roger, 5th earl of Norfolk

Bigod, Roger, 5th earl of Norfolk (1245–1306). Bigod was one of the most powerful barons in Edward I's reign. He succeeded his father Hugh Bigod, justiciar, in 1266 and his uncle as earl and hereditary marshal of England in 1270. His life was spent in the service of Edward I and he saw much campaigning in Wales and Scotland: he was present at the defeat of Wallace at Falkirk in 1298. But relations with the king, who made heavy demands on his subjects, were by no means easy. In 1297 Bigod refused to lead a campaign in Gascony. ‘You will either go or hang’, Edward is reported to have said, to be met with the retort, ‘I will neither go nor hang.’ Edward was forced to give way and confirm charters, but the dispute simmered on and surfaced once more on the Scottish campaign of 1298. Bigod's political position was weakened by heavy debt and in his last years he was obliged to come to terms with Edward.

J. A. Cannon

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