Richard (Percy) de Percy
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Richard (Percy) de Percy (bef. 1181 - 1244)

Richard "5th Baron Percy" de Percy formerly Percy
Born before [location unknown]
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died after age 63 [location unknown]
Profile last modified | Created 24 Apr 2012
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Magna Carta Surety Baron
Richard de Percy was one of the twenty-five medieval barons who were surety for Magna Carta in 1215.
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Birth and Parentage

Richard de Percy was born before 1181, when he is named in the Pipe Rolls.[1] His parents were Joscelin de Louvain and Agnes, who was heiress to the original Percies.[1][2]


Richard's older brother Henry died in 1198, and, following his mother's death in 1202, Richard was able to claim her lands.[1] Among the lands he inherited was the Barony of Topcliffe, based in Yorkshire.[3]

During the first years of the reign of King John, Richard often fought for him.[1] But in 1214 he refused to fight in France.[1] The following year he became one of the Surety Barons for the Magna Carta.[1][2] Along with others who rebelled against King John, he was excommunicated in December 1215.[1] he allied himself with the invasion forces of Louis, Dauphin of France, and in 1216 helped to secure Yorkshire for Louis.[1]

In May 1217 Henry III gave Richard's lands to his nephew William, but they were restored by the end of that year.[1] In the 1220s he fought for Henry III.[1]

Marriages; Illegitimate Son

Richard married twice. His first wife was called Alice, but her origins are unknown.[1][2] His second wife was Agnes de Neville.[1][2] He had a son called Henry, who appears to have been illegitimate as Richard's main heir was his nephew William.[1][2][3]


Richard died before 18 August 1244, and may have been buried in Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire, of which he was a benefactor.[1]

Inquisitions Post Mortem in the reign of Henry III for the substantial Yorkshire lands of Richard and his nephew William de Percy (they appear to be for both of them, probably because William inherited from Richard and they died in fairly quick succession) are undated, though some were endorsed in 43 Henry III (1258-9). The lands may not all have been Richard de Percy's: some may have been lands which William held independently. Among those holding lands of either or both Richard and William was a Henry de Percy, at Settle in Yorkshire, who may have been Richard's probably illegitimate son Henry, though he is not the only fairly closely-related Henry de Percy of this period. Also mentioned is a Peter de Percy holding land at Ilkley, Yorkshire.[4]

Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Biography

by Professor Nigel Saul
"Richard de Percy (before 1181-1244) was the second son of Agnes, heiress of the original Percy family, and Jocelin de Louvain, a younger son of Godfrey, duke of Lorraine, and brother of Adeliza, second wife of Henry I. His background and parentage are illustrative of the cosmopolitanism of the Angevin world.
"Early in John’s reign Richard served on military expeditions with or for the king, but as the community of northern lords of which he was part moved into opposition to the king, so he went along with them, and in 1214 he refused to join John’s Poitevin expedition. On 26 June 1215 he was excommunicated by the pope for his disobedience, and in the following year he and other Yorkshire lords went over to Louis, the French king’s son, the leader of the baronial armies. He only returned to the king’s peace in November 1217.
"Richard married, first, Alice, of unknown parentage, and, on her death, Agnes de Neville. He died in 1244, before 18 August. In his lifetime he had been a benefactor of two Yorkshire abbeys, Sawley (or Salley) and Fountains, and he specified in a grant to Fountains that, if the arrangements specified in the grant were carried out, he was to be buried in that house.
"A shadowy figure, he stands out less vividly than some of the northern lords with whom he was associated."

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

Research Notes

Richard's Wikipedia entry calls him the ancestor of the House of Percy, but this is of course incorrect. He is one of the 8 Magna Carta sureties with no traced ongoing line of descendants.[5]


  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 1.13 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, entry for 'Percy, Richard de', print and online 2004, revised online 2005, available online via some libraries
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Charles Cawley. Medieval Lands, entry for Richard de Percy at Joscelin de Louvain 2
  3. 3.0 3.1 I J Sanders. English Baronies. A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086-1327, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1960, p. 148
  4. 'Inquisitions Post Mortem, Henry III, File 23', in Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Volume 1, Henry III, ed. J E E S Sharp (London, 1904), pp. 122-129, British History Online, accessed 2 December 2021
  5. Wikipedia: Richard de Percy
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, entry for 'Percy, Richard de', print and online 2004, revised online 2005, available online via some libraries
  • Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Vol. 44, pp. 428-429, entry for 'Percy, Richard de', Wikisource
  • Cawley, Charles. "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. Entry for Richard de Percy at Joscelin de Louvain 2
  • Brennan, Gerald. A history of the house of Percy, Vol. II, Fremantle & Co, London, 1902, pp. 15-17, Internet Archive


Magna Carta Project

As a surety baron, Richard de Percy is managed by the Magna Carta Project, even though he is one of the eight barons who had no descendants past the fourth generation. ~ Noland-165 00:06, 27 January 2018 (EST)
This profile was revised for the Magna Carta Project by Michael Cayley, finishing 3 February 2020.

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Richard by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:

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Comments: 12

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Added Inquisitions Post Mortem
posted by Rose Edwards
Thanks. I am sending you a private message.
posted by Michael Cayley
The DNB gives Richard's first wife as a sister of William Brewer, but nothing further.
posted by William Collins
The ODNB, which is much more recent, has not repeated that, saying she is of unknown parentage. Medlands agrees with the ODNB. I do not think we should place any reliance on the DNB.
posted by Michael Cayley
There appears to be no evidence that Richard de Percy's first wife Alice was a member of the Braose family - sources indicate that her family origins are unknown. The profile of Joan Alice Braose (who is currently shown as a wife) is unsourced and the product of 2 GEDCOM imports.

Son Henry was almost certainly illegitimate, mother unknown (see the bio).

I have asked a question in G2G. Subject to any answers to that, I am minded to detach Joan Alice Braose, and detach Richard's son Henry from her, with research notes in the relevant profiles.

posted by Michael Cayley
Since sources indicate that he married twice, it seems that rather than detaching Joan Braose, we should instead change her LNAB to Unknown and detach her from her parents...
Good idea. And make her first name just Alice, to accord with Medlands and the ODNB
posted by Michael Cayley
I have now done as you suggest, Darlene. Thank you.
posted by Michael Cayley
I plan to do some work soon on this profile as part of what I am doing for the Magna Carta Project on Magna Carta Surety Barons
posted by Michael Cayley
Could someone check on the descendants of Percy-388? He's one of the eight barons marks in the sidebar with

† These eight barons have no descendants after four generations and do not link to any colonial Gateway Ancestors.

In WikiTree, he does.

Quite a full tree, actually - on down to Anne Fairfax who married Lawrence Washington (brother of 1st US President George Washington). The profile for Anne's father, Fairfax-218, has at the top:

Has been called a "gateway ancestor."

The previous comment suggests profiles attached to Percy-8 are the problem.

Thanks for the help!

posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Note: Percy does not have lineal descendants living today, despite what WikiTree Special:Relationship says :D

The problem appears to be profiles attached to that shouldn't be. The Magna Carta project is looking into it.

Cheers, Liz

posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Richard de Percy was one of the twenty five barons appointed to enforce the observance of Magna Carta. Along with his nephew William (c. 1183-1245), latterly the 6th Baron Percy, he was amongst the lords who rose in arms against King John and his estates declared forfeit.[1] Upon John's death Percy immediately made his peace with Henry III, and had his lands restored to him.
posted by Donald Driebeek

Rejected matches › Richard Percy (1527-)

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Categories: House of Percy | Magna Carta | Surety Barons