Ten things you (probably) didn’t know about the de Lacy family


  1. ‘Sire de Lacie’ is named as one of a party of seven or eight knights who charged the English at Hastings.
  2. Robert de Lacy (1) had all his lands confiscated by Henry I and was banished from England.  This was probably because of his support for Robert Curthose.
  3. Robert de Lacy (1) had an illegitimate son named Ralph the Red, from whom the Shireburns of Stonyhurst are descended.
  4. When Henry de Lacy (1) inherited the family lands after their restoration by King Stephen he had an argument with Nostell Priory about how much of his land Hugh de Laval had given them.
  5. Ilbert de Lacy (2) witnessed the second or Oxford Charter of King Stephen.
  6. Ilbert de Lacy (2) had a younger brother named Robert who was the only Norman knight to be killed at the Battle of the Standard in 1138.
  7. Ilbert de Lacy (2) fought for King Stephen at the Battle of Lincoln (1141).
  8. Robert de Lacy (2) was present at the coronation of Richard I and witnessed the coronation charter.
  9. John de Lacy was one of the barons whose signatures are on the Magna Carta.
  10. When Roger de Lacy heard that the earl of Chester was being besieged by the Welsh at Rhuddlan Castle he rounded up the minstrels from the fair at Chester and went to help.  The Welsh mistook them for an army – and fled.  This gave rise to a popular medieval expression: ‘Roger, and by all the fiddlers of Chester!’

9 thoughts on “Ten things you (probably) didn’t know about the de Lacy family

  1. Thanks for all those great pieces of information. My direct line of the family arrived in Virginia in the 1620’s. Best, David Lacy

  2. Very interesting to read about my ancestors. I love history!

  3. My gt. grandmother was Elizabeth Lacy whose family came from Ireland to Newfoundland in the early 1800’s. I’m still trying to make some connections in her family to the other Irish Lacys. However, I have to ask if you have ever considered writing about the de la Mares, who were also Normans and fought at Hastings? They, too, are my ancestors. Hugh de la Mare had the Kilpeck Church built, which is still in use today. They actually lived not far from the de Lacy’s in Herefordshire. Love historical novels!

    1. What wonderful ancestors you have, Bette. I don’t know much about the de la Mare family. I wonder if the poet Walter de la Mare was a descendant? I think I will have to find out more. I may write about them in the future but my next novel (By Loyalty Bound) is about King Richard III and his mistress. I hope you enjoy it.

  4. Those are some very interesting facts and its great to see that my ancestors had such a impact on England that their legacy is still spoke about this day

  5. Thanks for your comments Christy. It’s amazing that you can trace your ancestry back to these people. I’ve seen the copy of Magna Carta at Lincoln. I’m not sure that any of the barons physically signed even the original document or whether they signed a separate charter promising that they would enforce it. Roger de Lacy, who rounded up the minstrels, was John’s father.

    1. Given the general level of illiteracy at the time it is unlikely that anyone physically signed Magna Carta

      1. You are correct. No one did actually sign it. Not even King John. They added their seals. To say someone ‘signed’ it is a fairly acceptable way of describing that, but maybe I should do some editing to make that clear.

  6. Interesting! De Lacy is one of my family names during the period you speak of.

    Re: #9: The barons fought for and witnessed Magna Carta (many of the rebel barons, and King John and William Marshal are my ancestors), but there are no signatures on the surviving documents (I’ve seen at least three of the four or five extant). One of the MC copies, in the British Library, has a great seal dangling from it, which signified Crown acceptance.

    #10 is fantastic. How fun is that?

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