Geoffrey II (Say) de Say
Privacy Level: Open (White)

Geoffrey (Say) de Say (abt. 1180 - 1230)

Geoffrey (Geoffrey II) "The Younger" de Say formerly Say
Born about in West Greenwich, Kent, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married before 1215 in Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 50 in Poitou, Francemap
Profile last modified | Created 17 Jun 2014
This page has been accessed 16,593 times.
Magna Carta Surety Baron
Geoffrey II de Say was one of the twenty-five medieval barons who were surety for Magna Carta in 1215.
Join: Magna Carta Project
Discuss: magna_carta

Caution: Geoffrey has a half-brother named Geoffrey (see below)




Geoffrey de Say was the son of Geoffrey de Say and Alice de Cheyne.[1][2][3] (See below for a discussion fo Alice de Cheyne.) He was probably born in about 1180.[1]


Geoffrey held lands in Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Middlesex, Northamptonshire and Sussex, and also in Normandy.[1] He inherited the Barony of West Greenwich, Kent from his mother.[4] He is recorded in 1224 as having 42 knights' fees in Montgomeryshire, Wales.[1]

Geoffrey's father had granted Sayes Court, Deptford, Kent to the Knights Templar. Geoffrey recovered it in the later 1220s[1] in exchange for giving the Templars property at Saddlescombe, Sussex[1][5]


Geoffrey appears in documents from 1197/8 (when he confirmed a grant of his father's) onwards.[1]

In 1202 Geoffrey was awarded compensation for lands lost to the French king in Anjou.[1]

In 1215 Geoffrey sided with other barons against King John, and was one of the Surety Barons for the Magna Carta.[1][6] A few months later most of his lands were confiscated: they were not restored until he returned to allegiance to the English Crown in 1217.[1]

Geoffrey went on pilgrimage twice: in 1219, to the Holy Land; and in 1221, to Santiago da Compostella.[1]

Marriage and Children

Geoffrey married Hawise de Clare before 1215.[1] They had three sons:


Geoffrey died in Poitou on 19 August 1230 while campaigning with Henry III.[1] He was buried at the Hospital of St Mary, Dover, Kent, of which he had been a benefactor.[1]

Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Biography

by Professor Nigel Saul
"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."[7] [The marriage to Alice de Chesney is incorrect - see below]

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

Research Notes

Different People with the Name Geoffrey de Say

Great care is needed to distinguish between different people of this period with the name Geoffrey de Say. Besides the Surety Baron of this profile there are:

  • Geoffrey de Say, his father
  • Geoffrey de Say, his son[1]
  • A half-brother, Geoffrey de Say, who was his father's son by his second wife Alice de Vere[1]
  • Geoffrey de Say, son of his half-brother[1][8]
  • A clerk called Geoffrey de Say[8]

In the Complete Peerage Cokayne has conflated Geofrey with both his father and his half-brother.[9] So do Burke's Peerage[10] and some other secondary sources.


Douglas Richardson discusses confusions over Geoffrey de Say's marriage history in Magna Carta Ancestry[1] and his 2007 post in soc.genealogy.medieval.[8]

Cokayne in his main entry for Geoffrey ascribes two wives to him: Alice, probably heiress of John de Chesney/Cheyne, and Margery de Briwerre.[9] So does Burke's Peerage.[10] I J Sanders in his English Baronies states that Margery de Briwerre was a wife of the Geoffrey of this profile.[11] So does Cawley.[12]

  • Alice de Cheyne (or Chesney) was Geoffrey's mother, not his wife. This is evidenced by contemporary documents. For instance in about 1198 Geoffrey and his father Geoffrey made a gift to the hospital at Drincourt (now called Neufchâtel-en-Bray[13]) for the soul of Geoffrey's mother Alice de Chesney.[2] There is a correction to Cokayne on the Notes on Medieval English Genealogy website.[14] By way of extra evidence that Alice was Geoffrey’s mother, this correction to Cokayne cites a grant confirmed by Geoffrey de Say son of Geoffrey de Say and Alice "de Chemunei" (a variant spelling of Cheyne). Cokayne himself shows Alice as the mother of the Geoffrey of this profile in a Mandeville pedigree.[15]
  • Margery (or Margaret) de Briwerre was probably the second wife of Geoffrey's half-brother of the same name, who would have been her third husband.[8] Her previous husbands were William de la Ferté and Eudo de Dammartin, and she was alive in 1233.[11][16] (Sanders and Cawley disagree on which of these previous husbands was the first, and which the second.)

Confirmation that Geoffrey married Hawise de Clare is given by a charter of about 1235 issued by his widow Hawise de Clare and his son William relating to property in Edmonton, Middlesex. There is also a record dated 1215 of Geoffrey having knights' fees held from the Earl of Clare by "free-marriage".[8]


  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 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 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, Vol. III pp. 495-497, SAY 1
  2. 2.0 2.1 William Farrer. Honors and Knights' Fees, Vol. III, Manchester University Press and Longmans, Green & Co, 1925, pp.318-319
  3. I J Sanders. English Baronies. A Study of their Origin and descent 1086-1327, Clarendon Press, Oxford,1960, p. 98
  4. I J Sanders. English Baronies. A Study of their Origins and Descent 1086-1327, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1960, pp. 97-98
  5. Edward Hasted. 'Parishes: Deptford,' in The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent, Vol. 1 (Canterbury: W Bristow, 1797), pp. 340-371, accessed March 12, 2016, British History Online
  6. Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, Vol. I, p. ix
  7. Above text courtesy of Professor Nigel Saul and the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Douglas Richardson. 'Complete Peerage Addition: Hawise de Clare, wife of Geoffrey de Say, Magna Carta Baron', post in soc.genealogy.medieval, 10 Nov 2007, viewable on Narkive
  9. 9.0 9.1 G E Cokayne. Complete Peerage, revised edition, Vol. XI, St Catherine Press, 1949, pp. 468-470
  10. 10.0 10.1 See 'Geoffrey de Say' in
  11. 11.0 11.1 I J Sanders, English Baronies, p. 123
  12. Charles Cawley. Medieval Lands, entry for Geoffrey V de Say
  13. Wikipedia: Neufchâtel-en-Bray
  14. Some corrections and additions to the Complete Peerage: Volume 11: Say, accessed 28 November 2019
  15. G E Cokayne. Complete Peerage, revised edition, Vol. V, St Catherine Press, 1926, Mandeville pedigree before p. 217
  16. Charles Cawley. Medieval Lands, entry for Margaret de Briwere
  • Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham. Salt Lake City: the author, 2013. See also WikiTree's source page for ‘’Royal Ancestry’’. Vol. IV, p. 562
  • Richardson, Douglas. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 4 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham. 2nd edition, Salt Lake City: the author, 2011, Vol. III pp. 495-497, SAY 1. See also WikiTree's source page for ‘’Magna Carta Ancestry.’’ Partially viewable in snippets on Google Books.
  • 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
  • Richardson, Douglas. 'Complete Peerage Addition: Hawise de Clare, wife of Geoffrey de Say, Magna Carta Baron', post in soc.genealogy.medieval, 10 Nov 2007, viewable on Narkive, accessed 28 November 2019


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.
This profile was revised for the Magna Carta Project by Michael Cayley, finishing 4 December 2019.

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Sponsored Search by

No known carriers of Geoffrey II's DNA have taken a DNA test.

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Sponsored by Ancestry ®

Family History Search.


Enter a grandparent's name. Just one grandparent can lead you to many discoveries.

Comments: 10

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
Magna Carta project logo
100% 5-star profile (see more at Magna Carta Project Star Profiles)
posted by Michael Cayley
I have now finished the main work I intend on this profile, and have added two more children.
posted by Michael Cayley
I plan to start soon on some revision and rewriting of this profile on behalf of the Magna Carta Project.
posted by Michael Cayley
Rather more complicated than that, Isaac. King John accepted the French king as feudal overlord for Aquitaine. And this feudal relationship with France was to cause contention and difficulty till the end of the Hundred Years’ War.
posted by Michael Cayley
To the earlier question (2017) Poitou was not France when this man died there.

It was Aquitaine, which was Angevin (ie greater England) under Plantagenet rule until the Treaty of Paris in 1259, I believe. At no time during this man's lifetime would he (or anyone born anywhere outside of the actual borders of France) thought of Poitou as France. (French, sort of. France, no.) So, we shouldn't call it France.

Any more than we'd call "Boston, Massachusetts" part of the United States of America in 1730. Similarly, when say "Alsace" or "Jerusalem" or "Kiev" is changing hands periodically, we need to get the top-level placename/domain right too. Let's do that everywhere, everytime.

The ONLY logically-viable alternative^1 is to exclusively use current geopolitical labels, which would require the complete suppression of all extinct political entities (eg USSR, Holy Roman Empire, Roman Empire, Plymouth Colony, New Netherland etc) and exclusively using today's current boundaries/labels. Or changing the way the site is programmed to support both.^2 Neither of which is not consistent with our "use their conventions not ours" credo.

So, as weird as it may sound, no, Poitou isn't France, not in 1230.

^1 Or we could just eliminate labels entirely and use latlongs, which would be horrible.

^2 It's not crazy to have separate place fields in the database for What-It-Is-Called-Today (or a geocoded or latlong) and What-It-Was-Called-Then. That would solve a lot of problems. But it's not how things are now.

posted by Isaac Taylor
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!!

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!

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).
posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Should his place of death be Poitou, France?
posted by Susan (Knight) Gore

S  >  Say  |  D  >  de Say  >  Geoffrey (Say) de Say

Categories: Magna Carta | Surety Barons | Early Barony of West Greenwich | Feudal Barony of Patricksbourne