John (Lacy) de Lacy
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John (Lacy) de Lacy (abt. 1192 - 1240)

John "John of Chester, Earl of Lincoln, Constable of Chester" de Lacy formerly Lacy aka Lascy
Born about in Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 1214 in Englandmap
Husband of — married before 21 Jun 1221 in Englandmap [uncertain]
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 48 in Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 5 Jul 2011
This page has been accessed 22,177 times.
Magna Carta Surety Baron
John de Lacy was one of the twenty-five medieval barons who were surety for Magna Carta in 1215.
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"John de Lacy, the constable of Chester, was a member of one of the oldest, wealthiest and most important baronial families of twelfth- and thirteenth-century England, with territorial interests distributed widely across the counties of the north Midlands and north.

"John (c. 1192-1240) was the eldest son and heir of Roger de Lacy, constable of Chester (d. 1211) and his wife, Maud de Clere. He was a minor at the time of his father's death and did not enter into possession of his lands until September 1213. Like a number of the rebels, he was a young man at the time that he became involved in the revolt. Although a natural royalism is suggested by his decision to join John on his expedition to Poitou in 1214, he nurtured a sense of grievance against the king owing to the terms on which he was granted possession of his father's estates. The de Lacy inheritance was a highly valuable one, comprising more than a hundred knights' fees, together with the baronies of Pontefract (Yorks.), and Clitheroe, Penwortham, Widnes and Halton (Lancs.). John, when he permitted the young heir to enter, therefore exacted his price. He insisted that the latter offer a massive fine of 7000 marks repayable over three years, in the meantime handing over to a royal keeper his chief castles of Pontefract (Yorks.) and Castle Donington (Leics.), to be garrisoned by the king at Lacy's expense on pain of confiscation should the latter rebel.

"As late as the end of May 1215 Lacy was still assumed to be on the king's side. However, with the fall of London he threw in his lot with the rebels and was present at Runnymede and named to the Twenty Five. Thereafter he veered opportunistically between the rebel and royalist camps. On New Year's Day 1216 he submitted to the king, agreeing to terms which shed remarkable light on the latter's own attitude to the Charter imposed on him at Runnymede. Lacy was obliged not only to submit to the king personally but also to renounce the cause for which he had been fighting. In the words of the submission 'If I have sworn an oath to the king's enemies, then I will not hold to it, nor will I adhere in any way to the charter of liberties which the lord king has granted in common to the barons of England and which the lord pope has annulled'. Through the imposition of such terms, John was hoping to kill off the charter at birth. Although ostensibly entering into the terms of his own free will, Lacy was probably agreeing to a formula devised by the king's clerks. Precisely the same wording is found in the charter of submission of Gilbert FitzReinfrey, who likewise made his peace in January 1216.

"In May 1216 Lacy was still at the king’s side, but by the time of the latter's death at Newark in October he was in rebellion again. He was probably active on the rebels' behalf for much of 1217, but appears not to have been present at the baronial defeat at Lincoln. He submitted and was readmitted to fealty in August, a time when a good many rebels submitted to the new king. In the following month he was ordered to oversee the restoration of Carlisle Castle by the king of Scots. By now, however, his thoughts were now turning to the crusade, and in May 1218 he embarked for Damietta in Egypt with his overlord, Ranulph, earl of Chester. He did not return to England until August 1220. In 1225 he was witness to the definitive reissue of Magna Carta and in the following year he served as a king's justice in Lincolnshire and Lancashire. Following Ranulph's death in 1232 he was allowed to inherit one of the earl's titles, that of the earldom of Lincoln, as the son-in-law of the earl’s sister, Hawise.

"Lacy died on 22 July 1240 and was buried near his father in the choir of the Cistercian abbey of Stanlaw (Lancs.), his bones being moved to Whalley, when the monks transferred there in the 1290s. He left a widow, Margaret, daughter of Roger de Quincy (d. 1217), eldest son of Saer de Quincy, earl of Winchester (d. 1219), another of the Twenty Five. Margaret died in 1266 and was buried in the Hospitallers' church at Clerkenwell, London."

~ Biography courtesy of Professor Nigel Saul and the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee


John de Lacy (or Lascy, also known as John of Chester), Knt., of Pontefract, Yorkshire, Naseby, Northamptonshire, Hampton, Cheshire, etc., hereditary Constable of Chester,... Earl of Lincoln[1]
Born about 1192 (of age in 1213), John was son and heir of Roger de Lacy, Knt., by his wife[1] Maud de Clere.[2][3]
John de Lacy married twice:
  1. 1214 in Pontefract,[4] Alice de l'Aigle, daughter of Gilbert de l'Aigle of Pevensey, Sussex and his wife Isabel de Warenne.[1]
  2. before 21 June 1221, Margaret (born before 1217), daughter and heiress of Robert de Quincy by Hawise,[1] sister of Ranulph, earl of Cheshire; John was "allowed to inherit" the earldom of Lincoln from Ranulph.[2][5]
John died 22 January 1240 and was "buried near his father in the monk's choir at Stanlaw Abbey, his body being removed later to Whalley"[1] (see additional details below). His widow married (2) Walter Marshal, Knt., 8th Earl of Pembroke on 6 January 1241/2. Walter died 1245.[1] Margaret married (3) Richard de Wiltshire before 7 Jun 1252.[7][8] Margaret, Countess of Lincoln and Pembroke, died shortly before 30 March 1266.[1]

Research Notes


Richardson names only two of John de Lacy's three daughters and shows all of his children to be by his second wife, Margaret.[1] Another source, the Cheshire Visitation has Alice (Alicia) as his second wife, mother of Maud and Idonia, with Edmund the son of his first wife Margaret.[9][10]
The Cheshire Visitation also shows Idonia as wife of Roger de Camville.[9]
The History of the county of Lancaster names Margaret as second wife, giving the same marriage date as Richardson (before 21 June 1221) and, like Richardson, naming her mother of Maud and Edmund (with Alice as his first wife, "by whom he appears to have had no issue").[11][1]
While Richardson notes a third daughter, whom the Cheshire Visitation names Idonia, wife of Roger de Camville, Lewis gives her a second marriage, into the Dutton family, apparently based on Pedigrees of Some of Charlemagne's Descendants and Wurts.[12][13] Several questionable Magna Carta lines of descent extend from this marriage of "Alice (Idonia)" and the "Crusader" Geoffrey de Dutton, who dies in 1248. However, Geoffrey married a different woman - Alice de Lacy, daughter of John de Lacy's grandfather, also a John, also a Crusader, like Geoffrey, also a Constable of Chester, and Baron of Halton, like his grandson.
The WikiTree profiles for John's children are attached as children of Margaret, following Magna Carta Project policy of following Richardson unless there is clear primary proof to the contrary. While information from a Visitation can sometimes meet this criteria, information about a family in the 1200s centuries later (i.e., The Visitation of Cheshire in the Year 1580 [emphasis added]) does not. Still, the profile for Idonia is attached to Roger de Camville (but not Geoffrey de Dutton). See Idonia's profile for additional information.
Wikipedia: Citing Wightman's The Lacy Family in England and Normandy, 1066-1194 (1966), Wikipedia says that John's first wife Alice l'Aigle (married 1214, died 1216) "gave him one daughter, Joan" (but no additional information about her).[4]

Whalley Abbey

Whalley Abbey is also known as the Parish Church of St. Mary and All Saints, in Whalley, Clitheroe, Lancashire. The Abbey was partly destroyed in 1537 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Presently some fine ruins and other buildings. The intact parish church of St. Mary & All Saints, Whalley, antedates the founding of the Abbey. A premier visitor attraction.
Alton Rogers received an e-mail dated 29 February 2008 from Sharon at Whalley Abbey Reception noting that the Lacy family were major land owners in the area surrounding Whalley Abbey in Lancashire and other areas in Lancashire and Yorkshire. The family very generously donated the land for the Abbey to build upon and there is a de Lacy family tomb presently within its grounds.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Douglas Richardson. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 4 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham, 2nd edition (Salt Lake City: the author, 2011), volume II, pages 514-517 LACY 1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Professor Nigel Saul, Biography of John de Lacy (reprinted above with permission of the professor and the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee).
  3. "Maud, said to be a Clare" in Richardson (Magna Carta Ancestry, I:541 LACY 1). John's mother was not the daughter of surety baron Richard de Clare. See details on her profile (accessed 17 September 2019). Richardson say
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wikipedia: John de Lacy (accessed 17 September 2019), citing
    • W.E. Wightman, The Lacy Family in England and Normandy, 1066-1194 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966.), p. 261, Family History Library, 929.242 L119w.
  5. From his profile: "Prior to his death earl Randulph gave his earldom of Lincoln to his sister Hawys de Quency, who then granted it to her son-in-law John de Lacy, constable of Chester, which was confirmed by the king on 23 November 1232.[2]"
  6. Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, II:517 LACY 2.
  7. G.E. Cokayne, Complete Peerage, 2nd edn, Vol. 7, p. 680 (see WikiTree's source page for CP).
  8. Charles Cawley. John de Lacy, database entry (accessed 17 September 2019). "Medieval Lands": A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families © by Charles Cawley, hosted by Foundation for Medieval Genealogy (FMG). See also WikiTree's source page for MedLands.
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Visitation of Cheshire in the Year 1580, Volume 18, page 6 and Appendix: "The Visitation of a Part of Cheshire, A.D. 1533":
    • "Joh'es Lascy Comes Lincolnie Baro de Halton et Constabul. Cestriae fundator Abbatie de Whalley". First wife: "Margareta Quincy Comitissa Lincone vxor prima." Second wife: "Alicia filia D'ni Gilberti de Auila uxor secunda."
  10. See also this changes page (the previous version of this section).
  11. History of the county of Lancaster, page 306.
  12. Marlyn Lewis. Entry for Idonea Lacie, citing
    • Pedigrees of Some of Charlemagne's Descendants, Vol. III, p. 168
    • Magna Charta by Wurts, p. 1005
  13. Note that Lewis is not considered a reliable source for Magna Carta Project profiles. See "Databases", under "Reliable with Conditions", on the project's Reliable Sources page. (For example, Lewis generally follows Richardson, but the database entry for John de Lacy shows John's marriage to Alice as c1210. Richardson does not give a date for their marriage.)


Thank you to everyone who contributed to this profile. Click the Changes tab to see edits to this profile; from that list, click WikiTree IDs other than Lacy-284 to see changes to those profiles prior to being merged.

Magna Carta Project

John de Lacy is a Magna Carta surety baron and has the Magna Carta Project as a manager.
See Lacy-284 Descendants for profiles of his descendants that have been improved and categorized by the Magna Carta project and are in a project-approved trail to a Gateway Ancestor. See this index for links to other surety barons and category pages for their descendants. See the project's Base Camp for more information about Magna Carta trails.

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Comments: 8

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update: re-review completed.

I'm just starting on a re-review of this profile.

posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Complete Peerage 2nd ed. Vol.7 pp.676ff is an important source. (Better than Richardson for many purposes such as titles and name forms.) Also mentions: "A full account of the Lacy family by William Farrer is to be found in V.C.H. Lancs, vol. i, p. 312, and V.C.H. Yorks, vol. ii, p. 161. Illustrative charters are collected in his Early Yorkshire Charters, vol. iii, pp. 123-433. See also A. S. Ellis in Yorks Archeol. Journ.,vol. iv, p. I 38."
posted by Andrew Lancaster
Hi! In the notes for "Questionable Daughter Idonia" is a statement that seems to say daughter Maud is by Alice, not Margaret, based on the cited Visitation (of 1580):
"...Richardson has stated that there was no issue from first wife, Alice, but this Visitation pedigree has also given a verified daughter, Maud/Matilda, to Alice."

I'm working on a re-review of Maud's profile. It was my understanding that a pedigree given in a Visitation lost credibility the farther apart in time they were (e.g., Maud, born about 1220, is 350 years removed from the 1580 Visitation).

Am I misreading that statement or is the mother of Maud disputed?

posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Well, Chase - you have been busy. It is a challenge to keep up with you :)

John de Lacy is written "SIR JOHN DE LACY" by Richardson in Royal Ancestry, Vol III, page 467.

Regardless that there may be more to it than can be covered here, and this era produces conflicting opinions among experts, it is my opinion WikiTree should continue to use "SIR" unless a question in G2G produces changes in the guidelines.

Unless an original record can be produced that shows he was called "Sir", it should be deleted as a prefix since "Sir" supposedly wasn't used as an honorific in England until 1297 and, in any event, was for lesser mortal like knights and baronets.
posted by Chase Ashley

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