Richard de Percy was born before 1181, when he is named in the Pipe Rolls. His parents were Joscelin de Louvain and Agnes, who was heiress to the original Percies.
Richard's older brother Henry died in 1198, and, following his mother's death in 1202, Richard was able to claim her lands. Among the lands he inherited was the Barony of Topcliffe, based in Yorkshire.
During the first years of the reign of King John, Richard often fought for him. But in 1214 he refused to fight in France. The following year he became one of the Surety Barons for the Magna Carta. Along with others who rebelled against King John, he was excommunicated in December 1215. he allied himself with the invasion forces of Louis, Dauphin of France, and in 1216 helped to secure Yorkshire for Louis.
In May 1217 Henry III gave Richard's lands to his nephew William, but they were restored by the end of that year. In the 1220s he fought for Henry III.
Marriages; Illegitimate Son
Richard married twice. His first wife was called Alice, but her origins are unknown. His second wife was Agnes de Neville. He had a son called Henry, who appears to have been illegitimate as Richard's main heir was his nephew William.
Richard died before 18 August 1244, and may have been buried in Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire, of which he was a benefactor.
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."
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.
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: