Gilbert de Lacy, 3rd Baron Lacy

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Gilbert de Lacy, 4th Baron Lacy, Knight Templar

Birthplace: Ewyas Harold, Herefordshire, England
Death: Died in Ewyas Lacy, Herefordshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Roger de Lacy, 2nd Baron Lacy and wife of Roger de Lacy
Husband of Agnes de Lacy
Father of Eve de Longchamps; Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath, 4th Baron Lacy and Robert De Lacy

Occupation: Gilbert de Lacy of Ewias, Weobley and Ludlow castles in the Marches of Wales
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Gilbert de Lacy, 3rd Baron Lacy

There are conflicting versions of his parentage, although most agree that he was a grandson of Walter de Lacy. One account, supported by the Wikipedia article referenced below, states that his father was Roger de Lacy, son of Walter de Lacy. Other scholars place him as the son of Emma de Lacey (daughter of Walter, sister of Roger, and sister and co-heiress of Hugh de Lacy). Emma as mother is supported by Charles Cawley in the Medieval Lands database, though he states that Gilbert's father was unknown. Others give his father's name as Hugh Talbot.

However, in Judith Green's well-researched article "Aristocratic Women in Early Twelfth Century England," pubblished pp. 59-82 in Anglo-Norman Political Culture and the Twelfth-century Renaissance (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1997) edited by Charles Warren Hollister, "The theory that Gilbert de Lacy was a grandson of Walter by a daughter Emma was dismissed by Wightman, The Lacy Family [in England and Normandy, 1066-1191 [Oxford 1966], p. 169; cf. Cronne, Reign of Stephen, pp. 157, 161." Green's account agrees with the Wikipedia version that Gilbert's father had lost his lands after the revolt of 1095.


Gilbert de Lacy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Retrieved 15 March 2015

[Image: The churchyard and church at Clodock, some of which dates from the time of Gilbert de Lacy.[1] De Lacy gave the church to Llanthony Priory in the 12th century.]

Gilbert de Lacy (died after 1163) was a medieval Anglo-Norman baron in England, the grandson of Walter de Lacy who died in 1085. Gilbert's father forfeited his English lands in 1096, and Gilbert initially only inherited the lands in Normandy. The younger de Lacy spent much of his life trying to recover his father's English lands, and eventually succeeded. Around 1158, de Lacy became a Templar and went to the Holy Land, where he was one of the commanders against Nur ad-Din in the early 1160s. He died after 1163.

Background and family

Gilbert de Lacy was the son of Roger de Lacy, who in turn was the son of Walter de Lacy who died in 1085.[a] Roger de Lacy was banished from England in 1096, and his estates were confiscated. These lands, which included substantial holdings along the border with Wales, were given to Pain fitzJohn, Josce de Dinan and Miles of Gloucester.[4] Roger de Lacy's lands in Normandy, however, were not confiscated, as they were held of the Bishop of Bayeux in feudal tenure.[5]

Stephen's reign

Llanthony Priory

Gilbert de Lacy had inherited his father's lands in Normandy by 1133, and by 1136 was in England with King Stephen of England. Although de Lacy recovered some of his father's lands, the border lands near Wales were not recovered.[4] Among the lands Gilbert recovered were lands about Weobley.[5] He also was granted some lands in Yorkshire that had been in dispute.[6]

Although de Lacy had spent time at Stephen's court, during the civil war that occurred during Stephen's reign, he switched sides and served Stephen's rival, Matilda the Empress.[7] In 1138, he was besieged by the king at Weobley along with his cousin Geoffrey Talbot, but both men escaped when the king took the castle in June.[8] De Lacy also led an army in an attack against Bath in the service of the Empress, along with Geoffrey Talbot,[7] which also occurred in 1138 and which some historians have seen as the opening act of the civil war.[9]

De Lacy witnessed charters of the Empress in 1141. During the later 1140s, de Lacy was able to recover many of his father's Welsh marcher lands, and one of his efforts at Ludlow was later embroidered in the medieval romance Fouke le Fitz Waryn.[4] He and Miles of Gloucester were claimants to many of the same lands, and during Stephen's reign were generally on opposite sides of the succession dispute.[7] In June 1153, de Lacy was in the company of Matilda's son, Henry fitzEmpress,[10] who became King Henry II of England in 1154.[11]

De Lacy gave land to the cathedral chapter of Hereford Cathedral. He also gave a manor at Guiting to the Knights Templar and two churches, at Weobley and Clodock to Llanthony Priory, which was a monastery founded by his family.[4]

Later years and death

Around 1158 de Lacy surrendered his lands to his eldest son Robert when the elder de Lacy became a member of the Knights Templar. He then travelled through France to Jerusalem, where de Lacy became precentor of the Templars in the County of Tripoli. In 1163, de Lacy was one of the crusader army commanders fighting against Nur ad-Din. His year of death is unknown, but he was commemorated on 20 November at Hereford Cathedral.[4] Robert died without children sometime before 1162, when Gilbert's younger son Hugh de Lacy inherited the lands.[5]

The Gesta Stephani called de Lacy "a man of judgement and shrewd and painstaking in every operation of war".[12]


a The evidence for this is detailed in W. E. Wightman's work on the Lacy family, where he disproves the occasionally encountered ancestry of Gilbert being the son of Emma de Lacy who was in turn a daughter of Walter de Lacy, with Emma being the sister of Roger de Lacy. This pedigree is based on a 16th century source, but no contemporary record gives this ancestry.[2] Wightman argues that Gilbert was the son of Roger rather than Roger's brother Hugh due to his inheritance of Roger's lands in Normandy.[3]


  1. "Church of St Clodock". English Heritage. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  2. Wightman Lacy Family pp. 169–170 footnote 6
  3. Wightman Lacy Family pp. 185–186
  4. Lewis "Lacy, Gilbert de" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  5. Keats-Rohan Domesday Descendants pp. 536–538
  6. Chibnall Empress Matilda pp. 100-101
  7. Newman Anglo-Norman Nobility p. 166
  8. Crouch Reign of King Stephen pp. 79-80
  9. King Stephen p. 88
  10. Crouch Reign of King Stephen p. 274
  11. Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 36
  12. Quoted in Keats-Rohan Domesday Descendants pp. 536–537


  • Chibnall, Marjorie (1991). The Empress Matilda: Queen Consort, Queen Mother and Lady of the English. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-19028-7.
  • Crouch, David (2000). The Reign of King Stephen: 1135–1154. New York: Longman. ISBN 0-582-22657-0.
  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
  • Keats-Rohan, K. S. B. (1999). Domesday Descendants: A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents, 1066–1166: Pipe Rolls to Cartae Baronum. Ipswich, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 0-85115-863-3.
  • King, Edmund (2010). King Stephen. The English Monarchs Series. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-11223-8.
  • Lewis, C. P. (2004). "Lacy, Gilbert de (fl. 1133–1163)" ((subscription or UK public library membership required)). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  • Newman, Charlotte A. (1988). The Anglo-Norman Nobility in the Reign of Henry I: The Second Generation. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-8138-1.
  • Wightman, W. E. (1966). The Lacy Family in England and Normandy 1066–1194. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press. OCLC 798626.

Charles Cawley's Medieval Lands database Retrieved 15 March 2015

EMMA de Lacy . A manuscript which narrates the descents of the founders of Lanthony Abbey records that “Hugo de Lacy primus” had “duabus sororibus…Ermelinæ…et Emmæ” who were his heiresses, adding that Emma married “---“[45]. m ---. The name of Emma’s husband is not known. Emma & her husband had one child:

GILBERT de Lacy (-[1158/63]). A manuscript which narrates the descents of the founders of Lanthony Abbey names “Gilbertus de Lacy” as son of Emma and her unnamed husband[46]. The Gesta Stephani Regis records that "Galfridus…Taleboth cognatus…Gislebertus de Laceio" was captured by King Stephen’s forces, dated to [1139/40][47]. "Gilbertus de Laci et Robertus filius eius" confirmed the donation of a tenement in Droitwich to the monks of Worcester Cathedral priory by charter dated to [1150][48]. A manuscript which records the foundation of Lanthony Abbey refers to “Hugo de Laci…nepos” who, after many contests, worked for the Christian cause "sub habitu Templariorum"[49]. Although not named, the nepos in question was presumably Gilbert[50]. A listing of Templar properties dated 1185 includes land “apud Guttingres…Holeford” donated by "Gileberti de Laci"[51]. Eyton conjectures that Gilbert de Lacy died, or at least retired from the world, between 1158 and 1163[52]. m ---. The name of Gilbert’s wife is not known. Gilbert & his wife had three children:

i) ROBERT de Lacy (-after [1150]). "Gilbertus de Laci et Robertus filius eius" confirmed the donation of a tenement in Droitwich to the monks of Worcester Cathedral priory by charter dated to [1150][53]. Robert must have predeceased his father, assuming that he was the oldest son.

ii) HUGH de Lacy (-killed 25 Jul 1185). A manuscript which narrates the descents of the founders of Lanthony Abbey names “Hugo…et Walterus frater eius” as the sons of “Gilbertus de Lacy”, adding that Hugh died childless[54]. This is contradicted by the Chronicle of Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire which records that "Gilbertus de Lacy" had a son "Hugonem" who had "filium Walterum"[55]. "…Hugoni de Lacy…" subscribed the charter dated [1172/78] under which Henry II King of England confirmed the freedoms of the city of Rouen[56]. Lord of Meath in Ireland. - LORDS of MEATH.

iii) [WALTER de Lacy . A manuscript which narrates the descents of the founders of Lanthony Abbey names “Hugo…et Walterus frater eius” as the sons of “Gilbertus de Lacy”[57]. This document identifies Walter as the father of Gilbert de Lacy (see below) and therefore by implication as Lord of Meath. However, this appears unlikely from a chronological point of view, and also ignores the existence of Hugh de Lacy Lord of Meath. This supposed parentage is disproved by the undated charter under which “Walterus de Lacy filius Hugonis de Lacy” confirmed his father’s donation to Lanthony Abbey[58].]


  • [45] Dugdale Monasticon VI, Lanthony Abbey, Gloucestershire, II, Fundatorum progenies, p. 135.
  • [46] Dugdale Monasticon VI, Lanthony Abbey, Gloucestershire, II, Fundatorum progenies, p. 135.
  • [47] Sewell, R. C. (ed.) (1846) Gesta Stephani, Regis Anglorum et Ducis Normannorum (London) ("Gesta Stephani Regis") I, p. 38.
  • [48] Darlington, R. R. (ed.) (1968) The Cartulary of Worcester Cathedral Priory (Register I) (London, Pipe Roll Society NS Vol. 38) ("Worcester Cathedral, I"), 179, p. 96.
  • [49] Dugdale Monasticon VI.2, Temple, XXIV, Inquisitio Terrarum, p. 823.
  • [50] Eyton (1857), Vol. V, p. 252.
  • [51] Dugdale Monasticon VI, Lanthony Abbey, Gloucestershire, I, Historia Fundationis, p. 130.
  • [52] Eyton (1857), Vol. V, p. 253.
  • [53] Worcester Cathedral, I, 179, p. 96.
  • [54] Dugdale Monasticon VI, Lanthony Abbey, Gloucestershire, II, Fundatorum progenies, p. 135.
  • [55] Dugdale Monasticon V, Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire V, In Chronicis Abbatiæ Tynterne in Wallia, p. 270.
  • [56] Berger, E. (ed.) (1916) Recueil des actes de Henri II roi d’Angleterre et duc de Normandie (Paris) ("Actes Henri II"), Tome II, DXXVI, p. 89.
  • [57] Dugdale Monasticon VI, Lanthony Abbey, Gloucestershire, II, Fundatorum progenies, p. 135.
  • [58] Dugdale Monasticon VI, Lanthony Abbey, Gloucestershire, V, p. 138.


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Gilbert de Lacy, 3rd Baron Lacy's Timeline

Ewyas Harold, Herefordshire, England
Age 22
Age 29
Ewias Lacy,,Herefordshire,England
Age 35
Ewyas Lacy, Herefordshire, England
Age 47
Age 73
Ewyas Lacy, Herefordshire, England
Age 73
August 24, 1937
Age 73
November 8, 1937
Age 73