Eustace (Vesci) de Vescy

Eustace (Vesci) de Vescy (1169 - 1216)

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Eustace "Lord of Alnwick" de Vescy formerly Vesci aka de Vesci
Born in Alnwick, Northumberland, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 1193 in Roxburghmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Barnard Castle, Durham, Englandmap
Profile last modified 12 Apr 2019 | Created 15 May 2012
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Magna Carta Surety Baron
Eustace de Vescy was one of the twenty-five medieval barons who were surety for Magna Carta in 1215.
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Eustace (Vesci) de Vescy was a member of aristocracy in England.

Eustace de Vesci (1169/70-1216) was one of the group referred to by contemporaries as 'the Northerners', the original hard-line leaders of the baronial resistance to King John.


The son of William de Vesci and Burga, daughter of Robert de Stuteville, lord of Cottingham (Yorks.), he was lord of Alnwick in Northumberland and an extensive landowner in northern England. He was married to Margaret, illegitimate daughter of William the Lion, king of Scotland and half-sister of Alexander II of Scotland. At Richard the Lionheart’s second coronation in 1194, following his release from captivity in Germany, he witnessed a royal charter in favour of his father-in-law.


At the end of 1194 Eustace is found engaged in Richard’s service at Chinon, the great Angevin castle in Anjou, and five years later was one of the guarantors of the treaty between King John, newly succeeded to the throne, and Count Renaud of Boulogne.

In 1210 he accompanied John on his expedition to attempt the pacification of Ireland. Accused in 1212, alongside another important northern lord Robert FitzWalter, of plotting against John’s life, he fled to Scotland, and his lands were seized.

After John’s submission to the pope in 1213, he was allowed back, and a few months later he was awarded restitution of his lands, although his castles at Alnwick and Malton were destroyed.

Later in 1213 in a gesture indicative of his continued defiance of the king, he refused to enlist in John’s expedition to Poitou, in south-west France, and the following year he refused to pay scutage (money in lieu of military service).

His intense dislike of John was well known to the pope who, in 1214, warned him to remain loyal to the king, since his submission to the pope regarded as a faithful son of the Church.

In 1215 he was deeply involved in the military operations that led up to the making of Magna Carta, associating himself closely with a Yorkshire rebel, his kinsman Robert de Ros of Helmsley.

In September he was one of a group of nine malcontent barons singled out for excommunication by the pope. Although by the following May he was seeking a reconciliation with the king, as soon as Louis, the French king’s son, took on the leadership of the baronial cause he went over to him.


He met his death in late August 1216 at Barnard Castle in County Durham, where he was shot in the head by an arrow while conducting siege operations. He left a young son William, who came of age in 1226.


  • Saul, N. (n.d.). Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee.
See also:
  • Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham. Salt Lake City: the author, 2013 (Volume IV, page 589 SCOTLAND See also WikiTree's source page for Royal Ancestry.
  • 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.
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  • Wikipedia: Eustace de Vesci


Edited according to Jan 2014 Style Standards. Gedcoms in Changes.

Magna Carta Project

As a surety baron, Eustace de Vescy is managed by the Magna Carta Project, even though he is one of the eight barons with no traced ongoing line of descendants. ~ Noland-165 00:47, 27 January 2018 (EST)

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Eustace de Vescy coat of arms
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Eustace is 28 degrees from Tanya Lowry, 21 degrees from Charles Tiffany and 12 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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Categories: First Barons' War | Early Barony of Alnwick | Magna Carta | Surety Barons