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Cecily Norreys (de Massey)

Birthplace: England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Hamon de Massey and Matilda Massey
Wife of John Norreys
Mother of Henry le Norreys
Sister of Hugh Massey; Edward Massey; Henry Massey; Thomas Massey and Alice Stanley

Managed by: Donald Clarke McLean
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Cecily Norreys

According to Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire By Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire page 148-149

Cecily Massey, daughter of Hamon de Massey of Podington, temp Edward l, was contracted in marriage to John Norreys, son of Sir Henry le Noreis of Speke, Kt..

Their son was Henry le Norreys, named in refeoffment of lands in Speke, l Edward lll.

  • The Victoria history of the county of Lancaster; (1906)
  • Pg.132
  • .... William de Molyneux of Sefton granted in free marriage with his daughter Joan to Robert son of Richard Erneys, a citizen and merchant of Chester, all his lands and wood in the vill of Speke with the homages, wards, and reliefs of the heirs of Patrick de Haselwell and Roger de Molyneux, the grantor's brother.(8) This grant was confirmed by Richard son of William de Molyneux about 1290, or before the death of Robert Erneys.(9)
  • The origin of the Erneys family seems to be unknown. Robert FitzErneys was settled at Chester early in the thirteenth century.(10) He was sheriff of the city in 1257 and 1259, and his nephew Robert, who married Joan de Molyneux, served in the same office several times, and probably died during his term in 1292-3.(11)
  • Richard, the son of Robert and Joan, appears to have been but an infant at his father's death. The earliest deeds in which he took an active part concern the marriage ot his sister Mabel with Thomas de Carleton in 1308 ; but from 1311 onwards many of his charters are extant. In 1314 he and his mother made an exchange of lands in Speke with John le Norreys and Nicholaa his wife.(12) In 1332 he granted his manor of Speke to John le Norreys for life, by the service of a rose yearly for the first four years, and afterwards of 40 marks ; and at the end of 1339 he granted to Alan le Norreys, son and successor of John, and to his sons Alan and Hugh for life all his lands in Speke, and the rents of the free tenants and tenants at will, by the yearly service of a rose for four years and L40 in silver afterwards.(13) After this he intervened but little in Speke.
  • In 1341 he made a small exchange of land with Sir John de Molyneux, and a year afterwards a marriage settlement was executed in favour of his son Thomas and Agnes his wife, daughter of Alan le Norreys.(14)
  • Probably Thomas died without issue, for the next Erneys to be mentioned is Roger son and heir of Richard Erneys, who in 1369 made a feoffment of his lands and tenements, rents and services, mills and fisheries, in the vill of Speke, &c.(15) Richard Erneys, the father, seems to have been still living in 1351, and Roger is first mentioned nine years later in conjunction with Sir John de Molyneux and Sir Henry
  • Pg.133
  • le Norreys, in pleas concerning lands and encroachments at Speke. (1)
  • In 1379 he made an arrangement with Cecily, widow of Sir John le Norreys, as to the custody of the heir, Henry le Norreys.(2) The next step seems to have been the marriage of Henry le Norreys with Roger's daughter Alice ; and as the latter became heir of the Erneys properties on the death of John her brother about 1396,(3) the Norreys family acquired the lordship of Speke, in which their subordinate tenancy of a moiety became merged. .... etc.
  • .... etc. In 1334 the three lords of Speke, Sir John de Molyneux, Alan le Norreys and Richard Erneys, made an agreement with Robert de Ireland, lord of Hale, respecting the boundaries between the two vills, as to which there had recently been debate in a plea of novel disseisin at Wigan.(11) Alan pursued his father's policy, purchasing additional plots of land, making exchanges with Sir John de Molyneux, and renewing the lease of the manor from Richard Erneys.(12)
  • Alan died in 1349 or 1350.(13) Henry his son, who succeeded him as lord of the manor, had begun to add to the estate, and in 1360, being made a knight about that time,(14) exchanged certain lands with Sir John de Molyneux, agreeing on the view of four men that Sir John should have 4 1/2 acres lying between Speke Greves and the vill of Speke, saving to Sir Henry his mill, and should grant the same amount
    • (1) Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 8, m. 14 ; Assize R. 441, m. 5.
    • In 1367 Roger Erneys, being of full age, received a fifth part of the manor of Little Neston in Ches. in right of his mother, Joan, sister and co-heir of John le Blund (White) of Chest. ; Ormerod, Ches. ii, 539.
    • (2) She and Geoffrey de Osbaldeston, her second husband, were to take charge of the land and the heir, viz. Henry son and heir of Sir John, and half the manor of Speke (the Norreys part). Should Henry die while a minor they were to have charge of his sister Katherine, paying to Roger or his executors 25 marks of silver and an additional 10 marks within six months from Henry's death, supposing that Katherine should in that event be living and under 14 years of age ; Norris D. (B.M.), 588.
    • (3) Roger Erneys occurs down to 1395 ; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvi, App. p. 98. Most of these particulars are from the Norris Charters ; one of them, dated 1421, is a grant to Sir Henry le Norreys and Alice his wife, daughter and heir of Roger Erneys. At the Chester Port moot in June, 1395, John Erneys claimed an oven as grandson and heir of Richard Erneys. — Information of Mr. W. F. Irvine.
    • .... etc.
    • (12) Ibid. 518, 519, 553, &c. In 1334 he granted to Henry his son and his wife Agnes, daughter of Robert de Ireland, 9 1/2 acres in Speke in the Sheepcote Field and 8 messuages and 39 acres held by various tenants, for a service of a rose ; ibid. 525. A few years later he made provision for his other sons ; in 1339 he gave to his son John and his heirs a messuage and two oxgangs in the townfield of Speke, with turbary, pasture, and other liberties, with remainders in succession to John's brothers Richard, William, Alan, and Hugh ; ibid. 530. Later still he made provision for (a) his sons Hugh, Alan, Richard, and William, (b) Hugh, Alan, Richard and John, and (c) Alan, Richard, and John ; ibid. 550, 551,555.
    • In 1335 Alan le Norreys of Speke had exemption for life from being put on juries, &c., unless his oath were necessary pursuant to the statute, and from being mayor, escheator, &c., against his will. This was renewed in 1339. Cal. of Pat. 1338-40. p. 319.
    • (13) In 1350 Katherine widow of Sir Robert de Lathom sued Henry le Norreys of Speke, John his brother, and John Grelley, as executors of the will of Alan le Norreys of Speke, for the sum of 40 marks, afterwards increased by L20 ; De Banc. R. 362, m. 26 d.; 363, m. 79 d.; 364, m. 89 d.; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 1, m. 3 d.
    • (14) He is not described as 'knight' in August, 1360, but had become one before next year ; cf. Duchy of Lanc. Assize R, 8, m. 14 ; Assize R. 441, m. 1 d.
  • Pg.134
  • of land, as profitable to Sir Henry as that was to Sir John ; the moor to lie in common to them and their tenants as it used to be, with right of turbary.(1) In 1354 he obtained a grant of free warren in all his demesne lands of Speke.(2)
  • Sir Henry had a son and heir John, who married Cecily, daughter of Hamlet de Mascy of Puddington in Cheshire.(3)
  • Of Sir John le Norreys, the next lord of Speke, but little is known. In 1369 he granted to feoffees his manor of Speke, together with lands in Garston, Hale, Woolton, Walton, Ince, and Lydiate.(4) He died about three years afterwards, leaving a widow and three young children — Henry, Katherine, and Agnes. In November, 1372, an agreement was entered into by Cecily his widow with Nicholas le Norreys of Halsnead,(5) and Gilbert le Norreys, coroner, with regard to the children. She was to be responsible for their living and clothing, such as belonged to their estate, for the next twelve years, and to make suitable provision for each of them when they were married.(6) But as already stated Roger Erneys, as superior lord, quickly intervened,(7) and in 1379 released to Cecily and her second husband the custody of the heir. At this time Henry was still under age, and the daughter Agnes is not mentioned.
  • Except for the dispute with John Ie Norreys, related in a note, Sir Henry's tenure seems to have been undisturbed. By his marriage with Alice Erneys he became lord of the manor.(8) In 1416 he made provision for his son William on his marriage with Elizabeth, daughter of Sir James de Harrington.(9)
  • William, son and heir of Sir Henry, succeeded about 1431.(10) A grant of land was made by him in 1433-4, and he occurs in 1453 in a bond for L40 from William Gerard.(11) He had a large family, and was succeeded by his son Thomas, who married a distant cousin Lettice,(12) daughter and heir of Thomas Norris of West Derby ; by her he had six (or seven) sons and five daughters.(13)' He died in 1487-8, seised of a messuage and land in West Derby, of four oxgangs and other land in Formby, also of the manor of Speke and land, meadow, wood, heath, and pasture in Speke, but the jurors at the inquest did not know of whom he held the same. William Norris, his son and heir, was then twenty-eight years of age.(14)
  • Sir William Norris, the successor, must therefore have been born about 1459. His knighthood appears to date from 1487, after the battle of Stoke, in which .... etc.
    • (1) .... etc.
    • (3) The indenture in French settling this marriage is described by the compiler of the Norris pedigree about 1600; but he ascribes it to Edward I's reign ; see Ormerod in the Topographer, ii, 374.
    • Sir Henry had children apparently by several mistresses, for whom he thought it right to make provision in 1367, not long before his death, by enfeoffing Roger Poghden vicar of Childwall, of lands, &c., in the Wro in Halewood, in Oglet and Contelache in Speke. These lands the vicar at once regranted to Sir Henry, with remainders to Richard son of Cecily de Culcheth, to Henry son of Sir Henry, to Robert son of Alan son of Alan le Norreys, and to John son of John le Norreys of Woolton ; Norris D. (B.M.), 574, 575. By another deed he granted land for his son Henry and the heirs of the body of Margaret de Lancaster — in the Dep. Keeper's version it appears to be 'Henry son of Sir Henry, by Margaret de Lancaster' — with remainders to Richard son of Cecily de Culcheth, to Robert son of Agnes de Myntynge, and to John son of Agnes del Mosshead. Henry and Robert son of Agnes de Myntynge died without heirs male ; Richard son of Cecily de Culcheth had a son and heir, John Norreys, who was convicted of felony and hanged in 1401-2 ; and so the property, of the annual value of 22s. clear, was claimed by John Norreys, the son of Agnes de Mosshead of Great Woolton ; Lanc. Inq. p. m. (Chet. Soc), i, 79, and Towneley MS. DD. 1462. In a grant made directly to him, he is called son of Agnes Mosley ; Norris D. 191.
    • Naturally his claim was not well received by Sir Henry's grandson, another Sir Henry, then lord of Speke ; but it seems to have been successful, and it was agreed that this Sir Henry should have half the lands in dispute for John's life, rendering him a red rose, but John's heirs male were to succeed to the whole ; Dep. Keeper s Rep. xxxiii, App. p. 4 ; Norris D. (B,M.), 630-1. By later deeds (634, 635) it appears that the dispute went on for twenty years, and was referred to the decision of Sir Richard Molyneux of Sefton, who allowed the Speke family land of the value of 20s. yearly.
    • (4) Ibid. 584.
    • (5) He was one of the executors of the will, Cecily being the other ; De Banc. R. 459, m. 10.
    • (6) Norris D. (B.M.), 585-7.
    • (7) The plea as to the custody of land and heir by Roger Erneys v. Cecilia, who was wife of Sir John le Norreys appears in the De Banc. R. 455, m. 274; 456, m. 183 ; 462, m. 16 d.
    • (8) .... etc.
    • (11) Norris D. (M.B.), 611, 615. In 1458 a marriage was arranged between his daughter Elizabeth and Thomas son and heir-apparent of William Gerard of Ince, for which a despensation had been obtained as early as 1449, the parties being related in the third degree; ibid. 643-5.
    • .... etc.



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Cecily Norreys's Timeline

Age 20
Speke, Lancashire, England