This page was last updated on 11 August 2021

Click here to 
Print this page

Biography finder





























Index of first names

Hartlepool (Hertlepole)- Durham - 1312







Hartlepool wallsRobert de Brus died in the year 1245 and was succeeded by his son Robert who “...builded the haven and wall about the towne of Hertlepole, with ten towers on eche syde of the haven, and a chayne to be drawn between them near the haven, which haven would hold a C (sea) sayle...” The importance here was that this haven was capable of receiving ships and soldiers from the continent. Moreover, because of the improvements “...Brus was enabled to support his market and fair at Hartlepool, and to levy duties on ships and fishing-boats entering his harbour...” This Robert died in 1295.

In 1306, his son, Robert, asserted his claim to Scotland (a claim which his father too would like to have made). He (Brus) was declared a traitor and rebel by King Edward II and as a retaliation “...his manor of Hart, the borough of Hartlepool, and all other property (owned by him) in the bishoprie of Durham, were granted to (a favoured Englishman) Robert de Clifford and his heirs for ever, saving the rights of the church of St Cuthbert...” The de Clifford family held Hart for three centuries.

“... In 1312 the Scots, under Sir James Douglas, (as a pay-back) penetrated to Hartlepool carrying off much spoil, and many prisoners of both sexes...” Two years later they again ravaged the county plundering and destroying villages. The frightened inhabitants of Hartlepool took to the sea in ships for safety.


In 1315, James Douglas is said to have torched the town while its hapless inhabitants took to the sea for safety and watched from boats as their homes burned to the ground. Shortly afterwards, the town walls were built.

Grimm’s sketch (above) shows the western walls reinforced with earthwork defences in front, perhaps a result of repair and re-fortification made by a Scottish garrison during the Civil War in the 1640s. Sadly, everything in this view was demolished in the 19th century.


  • In historical, topographical, and descriptive view of the county – Duram – Volume 1 – by Eneas Mackenzie and Marvin Ross – 1834 – Mackenzie and Dent, Pilgram Street, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • The Local Records of Stockton and the neighbourhood... – by Thomas Richmond – 1868 – William Robinson, London

26th January, 2013

Sally E Douglas






Any contributions will be gratefully accepted




Errors and Omissions

The Forum

What's new?

We are looking for your help to improve the accuracy of The Douglas Archives.

If you spot errors, or omissions, then please do let us know


Many articles are stubs which would benefit from re-writing. Can you help?


You are not authorized to add this page or any images from this page to (or its subsidiaries) or other fee-paying sites without our express permission and then, if given, only by including our copyright and a URL link to the web site.


If you have met a brick wall with your research, then posting a notice in the Douglas Archives Forum may be the answer. Or, it may help you find the answer!

You may also be able to help others answer their queries.

Visit the Douglas Archives Forum.


2 Minute Survey

To provide feedback on the website, please take a couple of minutes to complete our survey.


We try to keep everyone up to date with new entries, via our What's New section on the home page.

We also use the Community Network to keep researchers abreast of developments in the Douglas Archives.

Help with costs

Maintaining the three sections of the site has its costs.  Any contribution the defray them is very welcome



If you would like to receive a very occasional newsletter - Sign up!
Temporarily withdrawn.



Back to top


The content of this website is a collection of materials gathered from a variety of sources, some of it unedited.

The webmaster does not intend to claim authorship, but gives credit to the originators for their work.

As work progresses, some of the content may be re-written and presented in a unique format, to which we would then be able to claim ownership.

Discussion and contributions from those more knowledgeable is welcome.

Contact Us

Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024