Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln

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Henry de Lacy
Earl of Lincoln
Baron of Pontefract
Lacy Coat of arms.svg
Arms of Henry de Lacy: Or, a lion rampant purpure
PredecessorMargaret de Quincy, Countess of Lincoln
SuccessorAlice de Lacy, 4th Countess of Lincoln
DiedFebruary 1311 (aged around 54)
Lincoln's Inn, London, England
BuriedSt Paul's Cathedral
Spouse(s)Margaret Longespée
Joan Fitz Martin
IssueAlice de Lacy
FatherEdmund de Lacy, Baron of Pontefract
MotherAlésia of Saluzzo

Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln (c. 1251 – February 1311), Baron of Pontefract, Lord of Bowland,[1] Baron of Halton and hereditary Constable of Chester, was an English nobleman and confidant of King Edward I. He served Edward in Wales, France, and Scotland, both as a soldier and a diplomat.[2] Through his mother he was a great-grandson of Amadeus IV, Count of Savoy. He is the addressee, or joint composer, of a poem (a tenson) by Walter of Bibbesworth about crusading, La pleinte par entre missire Henry de Lacy et sire Wauter de Bybelesworthe pur la croiserie en la terre seinte.


Arms of Henry de Lacy from early in his life, as displayed in Westminster Abbey[3][4]
Seal of Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln.

Henry was the son and heir of Edmund de Lacy, Baron of Pontefract (c. 1230–1258) (eldest son and heir apparent of John de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln (c. 1192–1240) and his wife Margaret de Quincy suo jure Countess of Lincoln (c. 1206–1266)) by his wife Alice of Saluzzo, a Savoyard noblewoman descended from Amadeus IV, Count of Savoy.


Henry's father died in 1258 when he was a young child aged about 7, and he went into wardship, which was re-purchased by his mother, with the help of his grandmother. As his father had predeceased his own mother, suo jure the Countess of Lincoln, Henry became her heir when she died in 1266, when he was aged 15 and still in wardship. As the ward to large and important estates from both his father and more importantly his grandmother, he was educated at the court of King Henry III.

In 1258, he inherited from his father the titles and offices Baron of Pontefract, Baron of Halton and hereditary Constable of Chester and in about 1266 from his paternal grandmother, Margaret de Quincy, he inherited lands and titles including Earl of Lincoln. In 1272,[5] he attained the age of majority (21), was knighted and became the Earl of Lincoln.


He became Chief Councillor to King Edward I, son and successor of Henry III. While the king was engaged in military conflicts with the Scots, Henry was appointed Protector of the Realm. Having taken part in the Conquest of Wales in 1282, Henry was granted the Lordship of Denbigh and built Denbigh Castle.[6]

In 1296, he went to France with Edmund, Earl of Lancaster ("Edmund Crouchback"), the king's younger brother, on whose death in that year he succeeded as commander of the English forces in Gascony; he returned to England early in 1298.[2] He was at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298 and at the Siege of Carlaverock Castle in 1300, both in Scotland. The Roll of Carlaverock records his coat of arms in verse as: Or, a lion rampant purpure.[7] In November 1300 he was sent on a mission to Rome to complain to the Pope about injury done by the Scots.[8]

He was present at King Edward's death in July 1307. For a short time he was friendly with the new king Edward II, and with his favourite Piers Gaveston, but quickly changed his loyalties and joined Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster and the baronial party. He was one of the "Ordainers" appointed in 1311 and was Regent of the Kingdom during the king's absence in Scotland in the same year.[2] He transferred Stanlow Abbey, the Cistercian monastery of which his family was patron, to Whalley Abbey.

Marriage and issue[edit]

He married twice:

Death and burial[edit]

He died at Lincoln's Inn, his City of London townhouse, and was buried in nearby St Paul's Cathedral. His grave and monument in the choir[11] were destroyed when the Cathedral was burnt down during the Great Fire of London in 1666. A modern monument in the crypt lists De Lacy among the important graves lost.


Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Lord of Bowland, so-called Lord of the Fells, being the last member of his family to hold that title
  2. ^ a b c  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Lincoln, Earls of". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 16 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 703.
  3. ^ "Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln". Westminster Abbey. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  4. ^ Scott-Giles, C.W. (1962). "Medieval Heraldry in Westminster Abbey". Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  5. ^ He was knighted this year, and seems to have taken seisin of his lands and title at the same time: J. S. Hamilton, 'Lacy, Henry de, fifth earl of Lincoln (1249–1311)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 (accessed 29 Jan 2008)
  6. ^ Denbigh History
  7. ^ (F.) (i.e. Falkirk Roll of Arms); Nobility and Parliamentary Rolls, "Some Feudal Coats of Arms", page 145.
  8. ^ J. S. Hamilton, Lacy, Henry de, fifth earl of Lincoln (1249–1311)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, January 2008. Accessed 13 May 2013.
  9. ^ Douglas Richardson. Magna Carta Ancestry, Genealogical Publishing, 2004. pg 481.
  10. ^ Sanders, Ivor, English Baronies, Oxford, 1960, p.105
  11. ^ "Memorials of St Paul's Cathedral" Sinclair, W. p93: London; Chapman & Hall, Ltd; 1909
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Margaret de Quincy
Countess of Lincoln suo jure
Earl of Lincoln
Succeeded by
together with her spouse
Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster,
Earl of Lincoln
jure uxoris

Alice de Lacy
Countess of Lincoln suo jure