Geoffrey (Say) de Say

Geoffrey (Say) de Say (abt. 1155 - 1230)

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Geoffrey "The Younger" de Say formerly Say
Born about in West Greenwich, Kent, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married before 1209 in Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Poitou, Francemap
Profile last modified 11 Sep 2019 | Created 17 Jun 2014 | Last significant change: 12 Sep 2019
01:19: Liz (Noland) Shifflett edited a message from Liz (Noland) Shifflett on the page for Geoffrey (Say) de Say (abt.1155-1230). [Thank Liz for this]
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Magna Carta Surety Baron
Geoffrey de Say was one of the twenty-five medieval barons who were surety for Magna Carta in 1215.
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Caution: Geoffrey has a half-brother named Geoffrey (see below)



"Geoffrey de Say sat in the baronial camp in an uneasy alliance with Geoffrey de Mandeville, his cousin but also his rival for the inheritance of the de Mandeville earls of Essex. The competition between the two men and their families affords a reminder that there were divisions within the baronial camp as well as between the rebel barons and the king. No more than such other medieval opposition movements as the Ordainers in Edward II’s reign or the Appellants in Richard II’s were the Twenty Five of John’s reign a solid monolithic bloc unhindered by faction or rivalry.

"The two Geoffreys both had a claim on the estates of another namesake, William de Mandeville, third earl of Essex, the last of his line, who had died without issue in 1189. De Say’s claim arose from his grandmother, the long-lived Beatrice de Say, the first Mandeville earl’s sister, who transmitted her rights to her son, while Geoffrey de Mandeville’s claim was inherited from his mother, another Beatrice, the wife of Geoffrey FitzPeter and daughter and eventual coheiress of William de Say II, William I’s son. Geoffrey de Say I, our Geoffrey’s father, obtained a grant of the disputed lands from Richard the Lionheart in 1189, but was unable to raise the huge sum of 7,000 marks (about £2333), which the king demanded as his price. The estates, accordingly, reverted to the king and were awarded instead to Geoffrey FitzPeter, a powerful man and later King Richard’s justiciar. FitzPeter and his wife were confirmed in their possession of the estates by a royal charter granted at Messina on 23 January 1191. The early stages of the dispute are told in a fascinating account in the Walden Abbey chronicle, The Foundation Book of Walden Monastery.

"The younger Geoffrey had started his career under Richard and John fighting in the defence of Normandy and had evidently lost property there when the duchy was finally overrun by the French. As early as 1202 the duchy’s seneschal was instructed to find as much as one hundred liberates of land with which to compensate him for the losses which he had suffered.

"In 1214, after his father’s death, he reactivated the family claim to the Mandeville inheritance, this time against FitzPeter’s son – Earl Geoffrey – taking advantage of his service with the king in Poitou to offer him no less than 15,000 (£10,000) marks for possession. John wrote to the justiciar in England ordering him to take advice on what might be the best course to take. No further action is recorded, and presumably the justiciar did nothing. It is no surprise, therefore, in 1215 to find Geoffrey on the rebel side, aggrieved at his failure to secure justice. In June he was named to the Twenty Five and in November he was involved alongside FitzWalter and de Clare in the fruitless negotiations with the king for a settlement. Siding with Louis and the French, he only made his peace with the royalists after the massive baronial defeat at Lincoln in May. He was not active in the politics of the Minority. In 1219 he went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and in 1223 to Santiago de Compostella, apparently in the company of Earl Warenne. He died on 24 August 1230 while campaigning with Henry III in Poitou.

"Geoffrey married Alice de Chesney, whose date of death is unknown, and he left a son William, who succeeded him and lived to 1271."

Above text courtesy of Professor Nigel Saul and the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee


Manor of Saye's Court
"Gilbert de Magminot (or Maminot, as this name was afterwards more frequently spelt) fixed the scite of his barony here, which therefore was afterwards esteemed caput baroniæ, or head of the barony, and he erected a castle on it, as was usual in those days, every part of which has been long since buried in its own ruins; though some remains of stony foundations seem to point out the situation of it, near Saye's-court, in Bromfield, on the bank of the Thames, near the mast dock. His grandson, Wakelin, died without issue, in the third year of king Richard I. having been a good benefactor to the monks of Bermondsey, to whom, in the year 1157, he gave ten shillings rent, out of the mill of Deptford. On his death his sister Alice* became his coheir, and brought this place, with much other inheritance, to her husband Geoffrey, second son of William de Saye, (fn. 8) who granted this manor of West Greenwich (as it was then called) with the advowson of the church and its appurtenances to the Knights Templars, in pure and perpetual alms.
His son Geoffrey regained the possession of it by giving the Knights Templars that of Sadlescombe, in Suffex, for it. He ratified to the canons of Begham the lands of Brocele, which were part of his barony, and the church of St. Nicholas, at Greenwich, which his father had given to them. Geoffrey de Saye, last mentioned, being in arms against king John, with others of the barons, in the 17th year of that reign, his lands and fees, lying in Kent and elsewhere, were given to Peter de Crohun, though after the death of the king he was taken into favour, and his lands were restored in the 8th year of king Henry III. (fn. 9)"[1]
  • Walkelin and Alice were more likely cousins. See: Notes


"GEOFFREY DE SAY, Magna Carta Baron, of West Greenwich, Birling, Cudham, Keston, etc., Kent, Leckhampstead, Buckinghamshire, Kimpton and Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, Edmonton, Middlesex, Hartwell, Northamptonshire, Allington, Hamsey, Saddlecombe, Streat, etc., Sussex, etc., 2nd but eldest surviving son of Geoffrey de Say (died 1214), of Edmonton, Middlesex, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, etc., Bailiff of Arques, by his 1st wife, Alice (or Adelise) de Cheyne (widow of Hugh de Periers, of Ditton Priors, Shropshire), and daughter and co-heiress of John de Cheyne, of Street, Brighton, and Hamsey, Sussex. He was probably born about 1180.

"In the period, 1197-1198, he confirmed his father's grant of the manor of Rickling, Essex, to his half-brother, Geoffrey de Say. In 1198 he and his father, Geoffrey de Say the elder, made a grant to the hospital of Drincourt, providing for prayers for the soul of Alice de Cheyne, mother of the younger Geoffrey. He married HAWISE DE CLARE, daughter of Richard de Clare, Knt., 3rd Earl of Hertford (but generally styled Earl of Clare), Magna Carta Baron, by Amice, 2nd daughter and co-heiress of William Fitz Robert, 2nd Earl of Gloucester. They had three sons, William, Knt., Geoffrey, and John, Knt. In 1202 Ralph Tesson, Seneschal of Normandy, was ordered to see that Geoffrey de Say the younger had a hundred librates (of the money of Anjou) of the land of Juhel de Mayenne to replace the land which he had lost through the war. In 1208 the Sheriff of Kent was directed to put Geoffrey de Say the younger into possession of that moiety of the manor of Burn, Sussex which Ralph Tesson held. In 1214 he made fine in 400 marks to have his father's lands, and in the same year the sheriffs of Kent, Herts, Bucks, Sussex, Middlesex, and Northampton had orders to give him seisin of the lands which had been his father's. He had scutage of the knights fees on 7 March 1215, which he held of the Earl of Clare in free-marriage. He joined the confederacy of the barons against King John. He was one of the twenty-five barons elected to guarantee the observance of Magna Carta, signed by King John 15 June 1215. In Oct. 1215 the king gave all of Geoffrey's lands except the manor of West Greenwich, Kent to Peter de Craon. In Nov. 1215 Geoffrey de Say, Richard, Earl of Clare, Robert Fitz Walter, and the mayor and two or three or four citizens of London had letters of safe conduct to speak with the Bishop of Winchester and others to treat of peace between the king and the barons. In July 1217 two of his knights had safe conduct to go to London as hostages. Having returned to fealty, he had restoration of his lands 14 Sept. 1217. He and Pernel Pirot renounced any claim in the advowson of Leckhampstead, Buckinghamshire before 1219. He went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1219, and to Santiago de Compostella in Spain in 1223. He was present at the siege of Bytham Castle in 1221 (he was allowed his scutage for the army of Bytham on the fees which he held in chief, which suggests that he was with the army). In 1222 he was granted a weekly fair at Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire. In 1224 he answered for 42 knights' fees in the scutage of Montgomery. In 1228 he gave the manor of Saddlecombe, Sussex to the Templars. At an unknown date, he granted land in Edmonton, Middlesex to Ralph Silvan, together with a covenant not to alienate the property to religious persons or Jews. By an undated charter, he granted five acres of land in West Greenwich, Kent to Symon de Thycheseia. At an unknown date, he confirmed the gift of his cousin, Walkelin Mamimot, to Bermondsey Abbey of of a rent-charge of 60 shillings per annum out of the lordship of Chippenham in Dillehurst. At an unknown date, he gave Alice Blund of Edmonton, Middlesex ½ virgate of land which Reginald Fitz Ralph formerly held in the manor of Edmonton of him, to be held by service of 5s. per annum. He went to France with the King in April 1230, taking with him his son William. He died on 19 August 1230 while in service in Poitou. Buried at the hospital of St. Mary, Dover, Kent, to which he had given the manor of Coldred with his body." (Source: Gen-Medieval Archives - 1 Nov 2007 posting of Douglas Richardson re: Complete Peerage Addition: Hawise de Clare, wife of Geoffrey de Say, Magna Carta Baron)


Note N41
He married Alice de Chesney, born ABT 1165 in Newtimber, Sussex, daughter of John de Casinento/Chesney/de Quesnay family. Geoffrey was one of the barons who opposed King John in 1215 which resulted in the Magna Charta. Geoffrey is listed as one of the 25 "Surety Barons" for the enforcement of the abrogated Magna Charta (all excommunicated by Pope Innocent). Of the 25 signatories, 16 died within 15 years.
Notes (Burke's Peerage): Geoffrey, born c1155; in 1210(?) was in Ireland with King John's Army, one of the barons (magnates rather than peers of Parliament) opposed to John and one of the 25 assigned to see that the Magna Charta was observed, pilgrim to Holy Land 1219; Married 1st Alice, daughter of John de Chesney and widow of Hugh de Periers; married 2nd in or after 1225 Margery (divorce12__), sister of William Briwere and widow of (a) ? de la Ferte and (b) Eudes de Dammertin (died 1225), and died in Poitou just Aug. 1230, leaving (presumably by his 1st wife) William, with a younger son (Geoffrey?).
Geoffrey de Say II, s & h of Geoffrey I, gr. S. William I, b. probably c1155, lord of West Greenwich, co. Kent, Magna Charta Surety, 1215, d. in Poitou shortly bef. 26 Aug. 1230, bur. Hosp. of St. Mary, Dover; m. (1) Alice, widow of Hugh de Periers, d. 1175, and poss daughter of John de Chesney, m (2) aft 1225, Marjorie, widow 1st of William de la Ferte, d. 1216, 2nd of Eudes de Dammartin, d. 1225, daughter and eventual coheir of William de Briwere, the elder, d. 1226, lord of Horsley, co. Derby. Geoffrey and Marjorie were divorced. She was living 1233, died 1237.

Research Notes

Confusion between Geoffrey and his brother Geoffrey

"Care should be taken to distinguish Sir Geoffrey de Say, the Magna Carta baron, from his younger half-brother, Sir Geoffrey de Say (died 1265/71)... which half-brother was the son of Geoffrey de Say the elder... by his second wife Agnes, daughter of Aubrey de Vere..."[2]

Confusion Regarding the Wife of Geoffrey de Say

The following is quoted from a post by Douglas Richardson, Douglas Richardson at the gen-medieval forum:

"The marital history of Geoffrey de Say (died 1230), the Magna Carta baron, is quite muddled in secondary sources. The authoritative Complete Peerage, 11 (1949): 470 (sub Say) states that Geoffrey de Say married (1st) Alice, widow of Hugh de Periers, and heiress and possibly daughter of John de Cheyney, yet contemporary records clearly show that Alice de Cheyne was actually this Geoffrey's mother. He is likewise stated by C.P. to have married (2nd) Margery Briwerre, widow of [William] de la Ferté and Eudes de Dammartin, yet this woman appears to have been the second wife of his half-brother, Geoffrey de Say (died 1265/71), of Rickling, Essex, Denham, Suffolk, etc. Rather, evidence indicates that Geoffrey de Say actually married Hawise de Clare, daughter of Richard de Clare, Knt., Earl of Hertford, also a Magna Carta baron, by Amice, 2nd daughter and co-heiress of William Fitz Robert, 2nd Earl of Gloucester. Gerald Paget, for instance, notes that Geoffrey de Say had scutage of the knights fees on 7 March 1215, which he held of the Earl of Clare in free-marriage [see Paget, Baronage of England (1957) 485: 3-4, citing Cl. 16 John m. 7]. About 1235 Geoffrey's widow, Hawise de Clare, and their son, William de Say, jointly issued a charter regarding property in Edmonton, Middlesex [see O'Connor Cal. of the Cartularies of John Pyel & Adam Fraunceys (Camden Soc. 5th Ser. 2) (1993): 240]. Hawise de Clare was presumably named for her maternal grandmother, Hawise, Countess of Gloucester.

"Hawise de Clare's existence was evidently not totally unknown to earlier historians and antiquarians, as I find that she is mentioned Brydges, Collins' Peerage of England 7 (1812): 16-39 (sub Twisleton, Lord Say and Sele) where she is called 'Hawise, daughter of _____ de Clare' and placed as the wife of an earlier Geoffrey de Say."


  1. Edward Hasted, 'Parishes: Deptford,' in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 1 (Canterbury: W Bristow, 1797), 340-371, accessed March 12, 2016, [1]
  2. Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, Royal Ancestry series, 2nd edition, 4 vols., ed. Kimball G. Everingham, (Salt Lake City, Utah: the author, 2011), 3:496, note 294. (Check - should be Alice not Agnes)
  • Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families, in 5 vols. (Salt Lake City, Utah, 2013), Vol. IV. page 562.
  • Gen-Medieval Archives - 1 Nov 2007 posting of Douglas Richardson re: Complete Peerage Addition: Hawise de Clare, wife of Geoffrey de Say, Magna Carta Baron


This page has been edited according to Style Standards adopted by January 2014. Click the Changes tab to see edits to this profile; from that list, click WikiTree IDs other than Say-76 to see changes to those profiles prior to being merged.

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Magna Carta Project

As a surety baron, Geoffrey de Say's profile is managed by the Magna Carta Project. See Say-76 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.
Magna Carta Project maintenance category:
  • Needs Re-review: The profile's bio needs to be refined. ~ Noland-165 08:14, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

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On 11 Sep 2019 at 19:55 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

On 12 Feb 2018 at 20:43 GMT April (Dellinger) Dauenhauer wrote:

Thank you Anon (Holland) Carroll

I added the Royal Ancestry source in your comment to the the profile text under sources.

Royal Ancestry continues the Say lineage back from Magna Carta baron Jeffrey de Say (died 1230), to Eudes the Steward, his wife and father in law. Eudes was Seneschal to William the Conqueror and to Henry I.

That brings the Say lineage from 1180 (birth of Geoffrey de Say) to the reign of William the Conqueror, (invaded England 1066).

A profile at WikiTree that is featured in Magna Carta Ancestry needs to have the accompanying source listed in Royal Ancestry as one of the major sources -- even when the wording in both sources is the same. This is so that descendants may find the rest of the lineage, going back to King William I.

Thank you!!

On 1 Feb 2018 at 21:32 GMT Anonymous (Holland) Carroll wrote:

Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families, in 5 vols. (Salt Lake City, Utah, 2013), Vol. IV. page 562.

Thank you!

On 21 Mar 2017 at 01:55 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

Good question Susan. The text only says Poitou & the suggestions given in the dropdown don't include a note for year 1230. Even though all the suggestions show France, when I did some checking, it's shown by FMG - - as a county in the duchy of Aquitaine (but also doesn't attach a date).

On 21 Mar 2017 at 01:21 GMT Susan (Knight) Gore wrote:

Should his place of death be Poitou, France?

Geoffrey is 27 degrees from Tanya Lowry, 21 degrees from Charles Tiffany and 11 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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Categories: Magna Carta | Surety Barons | Magna Carta Project Needs Re-review