Edmund de Lacy

Edmund de Lacy was only around ten years old when his father died. He became a ward of the king and most of the de Lacy lands were held by the archbishop of York for a term of five years. The fine rolls of Henry III record this agreement made on 5th May 1242 and the payments required give some idea of the relative value of the estates:

  1. 5 May. Portsmouth. Concerning the lands of J. de Lacy, formerly earl of Lincoln, handed over to the archbishop of York.To the barons of the Exchequer. The king has committed to the venerable father in Christ W. archbishop of York, primate of England, all lands, castles and vaccaries with all their appurtenances formerly of J. de Lacy, formerly earl of Lincoln, which are in the king’s hand outside the county of Chester, excepting the castle and manor of Donington and the manors of Snaith and Wadenhoe, to hold at farm for the five years next following the Invention of the Holy Cross in the twenty-sixth year, rendering for each manor per annum at the Exchequer the extent at which they have been extended by Nicholas de Molis, sheriff of Yorkshire, by the king’s order, one moiety thereof at Michaelmas and the other moiety at Easter, namely £122 19s. 10d. for the manor of Pontefract, £10 11s. 4d. for the manor of Carleton and Spittal Hardwick, £23 6s. 2d. for the manor of Knottingley, £6 7s. 2½d and 1 lb. of pepper and a pair of gilded spurs for Campsall, £23 13s. 2½d. and a pair of deer-skin gloves lined with wool for North Elmsall, 24s. 1d. for Skelbrooke, £36 16s. 5d. and 4 lbs. of pepper for Rothwell, £4 14s. 0½d. for Lofthouse, 77s. 3d. for Carlton, £7 3s. 8d. for [Aul…],1 £29 19s. 3d. for Barwick in Elmet, 51s. 2d. and 1 lb. of cumin for Barnby, £14 7s. 5d. and one spear for Bradford, £4 14s. 7d. for Manningham, 8s. for Oxenhope, 22s. 8d. for Allerton, 16s. 3d. for Stainburn, 10s. 3d., a pair of iron spurs and a spear for Great Horton, 3s. for Wyk, 26s. 1d. for Meltham, £18 6s. 8d. for Almondbury, £34 9s. 10d. for Leeds, £15 4s. 3d. for Slaidburn, £14 14s. 6d. for Grindleton, £8 18s. 4d. for West Bradford, 40 m. from the free men of Great Mitton, Newton, Hammerton and Withgill, £25 10s. 6d. for Clitheroe, £8 23½d., a sore sparrowhawk and a pair of white gloves for Worston, 51s. for Little Marsden, 40s. 8d. for Briercliffe, £16 4s. 2d. for Burnley, £4 9s. 11d. for Ightenhill, 8s. for Habergham Eaves, £8 6d. for Padiham, 30s. 3d., a pair of gloves and two greyhound collars for Worsthorne, £7 19s. 7d. for Chatburn, 6s. for Pendleton, 11s. for Chipping, 7s. for Utteley, £8 16s. 11d. for Penwortham, 22s. 9½d. for North Meols, 28s. 10d. for Sakfe of the fee of Penwortham, £4 14s. 10d. for Widnes, 22s. 8d. for Cronton, 23s. 2d. from external men, 40s. 6d. 2 for the wards of Qwyshinton’ and Blackburn, and 100 m. for the vaccaries and studs of the same lands. Order to cause this to be done and enrolled thus.

Edmund was brought up at the royal court of King Henry III and Queen Eleanor.  He was placed under the tutelage of a Dominican friar named Richard Wych who became bishop of Chichester and was later made a saint.

In May 1247, at the age of eighteen, he was married to Alesia, the eldest daughter of Manfred, viscount of Saluzzo, who was a cousin of Henry’s queen. The marriage took place at the royal palace of Woodstock, and at the same time the younger sister of Alesia, Agnes, was married to John de Vesci of Alnwick. It was on this date that Edmund was allowed to succeed to his father’s estates.

Although he was sometimes given the courtesy of being addressed by as the Earl of Lincoln, Edmund never technically inherited the title as his mother outlived him.

 In 1249, possibly on 19th December, their son, Henry, was born.  They also had a daughter, Margaret, and a son John who died in infancy.

In 1256, after the death of Richard Wych, Edmund de Lacy founded a house of Dominican Friars at Pontefract.  The story is that he laid the foundation stone with his own hand and said: ‘In honour of our lady Mary, Mother of God and Virgin, and of St. Dominic the confessor, to whose fraternity I assign this place, and of St. Richard, bishop and confessor, formerly my teacher and dearest friend, desirous of establishing a church on this spot, I lay the first stone.’   And as he laid the stone it split into three, as if to approve the choice of the three patron saints.

Edmund asked that after his death his heart was buried in the Dominican church at Pontefract.  A list of burials at the friary, written by John Wriothesley, Garter King-of-Arms, who died in 1504, which could have been taken from the obituary of the house include: the heart of Edmund Lacy, his wife Alice daughter of the Marquess of Saluzzo, their infant son John and daughter Margaret; the heart of her husband George de Cantloupe and their infant son: and Agnes de Vescy, sister of the said lady Alice Lacy.

 The six acres of land given by Edmund de Lacy for the priory were called East Crofts, and in exchange for this land he granted 26 acres of his own land to the town of Pontefract. 

In 1257 Edmund de Lacy was granted permission from the king for a weekly market to be held at Tanshelf on Wednesdays and for a three day summer fair to be held at Pontefract on Trinity Sunday and the days before and after.  About Easter 1258, Edmund granted to ‘his men dwelling at Westchep, near Tanshelf, the same liberties and customs which his other burgesses of Pontefract had from his ancestors’.  It seems that the charter was designed to incorporate the western and eastern parts of the town.

Edmund died later that year, on 2nd June 1258 at the age of about twenty-eight.   But before his death he contracted a marriage for his son, Henry, with Margaret Longspee, the daughter of William Longspee who was descended from an illegitimate son of Henry II. 

Edmund was buried at Stanlaw Abbey with his father and grandfather and his remains were later removed to Whalley, but his heart remains in Pontefract.


 

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