Etienne de Lancy - Stephen DeLancey

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Etienne de Lancy

Also Known As: "Stephen", "DeLancey", "Etienne De Lancy"
Birthplace: Caen, Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France
Death: Died in Albany, Albany, New York, United States
Place of Burial: New York, New York County, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Jacques de Lancy and Marguerite Bertrand
Husband of Anna de Lancy
Father of Col. Gov. James de Lancey; Pieter de Lancey; Susannah Warren; Major-General Oliver de Lancey; Anne DeLancey and 2 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Etienne de Lancy - Stephen DeLancey

Stephen Delancey (Etienne de Lancy in french) (October 24, 1663, Caen – November 18, 1741) was a major figure in the life of colonial New York. His children continued to wield great influence until the American Revolution.

Born in Caen, France, on Oct 24, 1663 as Etienne de Lancy, he was the only son of Jacques de Lancy and Marguerite Bertrand. The de Lancy family were minor French nobility ("Noblesse de France Royale") and, despite being of the Huguenot faith, served the French Crown as administrators and bureaucrats for over two hundred years.

Jacques De Lancy, ecuyer, was descended from Guy de Lancy, ecuyer, vicomte de Laval et de Nouvion (1432), whose son Jean, succeeding him in 1436, had a son Jean (1470). Charles, son of Jean, (1525), was married twice. By his second marriage, to Marie de Villiers he had two sons : Charles, fifth vicomte de Laval, (1535), and Christophe, seigneur de Raray. Charles married Isabeau Branche, daughter of Fourcy Branche, ecuyer, seigneur de Bréau, April 15. 1534. They had three sons : Charles, Jacques, and Claude. The second son, Jacques, Crown prosecutor in the provost, had a son Pierre, seigneur de Niville, whose son Jacques was the father of Etienne, the refugee. The American branch of the De Lancy family, represented in 1885 by Edward Floyd De Lancey, Esq., of New York, as its head, was the only one bearing the name ; the other branches having become extinct in the male line.

Dating back to the early 15th century, successive generations of the de Lancy family (or de Lanci in elder texts) held the titles of Vicomte de Laval-en-Laonnois et de Nouvion-le-Vineux, Baron de Raray, and Seigneur de Néry et de Faverolles, Vérines[3], Ribécourt, et Haramont (Viscount of Laval-in-Laonnois and of Nouvion, Baron of Raray, Lord of Nery and of Faverolles, Verines, Ribecourt and Haramont). Coat of arms: Or with Sable Eagle beaked and membered of Gules charged in the heart of an escutcheon of Azure overloaded with three spears of Or raised in pale. (Armes : d'or à l'aigle de sable becqué et membré de gueules chargé en coeur d'un écusson d'azur surchargé de trois lances d'or posées en pal.)


Around 1600, the land of Raray is sold to Nicolas de Lancy, advisor to the King, treasurer of the Ordinary of the War, Chamberlain of Gaston, Duke of Orléans. It is he who is the builder of the present castle of Raray and the two hurdles with hunting dogs that will make the reputation and honor of the castle. Raray Castle was the scene of shooting in 1945 of some scenes from the film Beauty and the Beast by Jean Cocteau.

In 1686, Etienne de Lancy was forced to flee bitter persecution by French Catholics following the Oct 18, 1685 revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV, in which some two hundred thousand Huguenots left their native land. Escaping first to Rotterdam with a portion of the family jewels which his mother had given him sewn into his clothing, Etienne sailed to England, obtaining an "Act of Denization" (naturalization) from King James II on March 3, 1686.

New York

Soon afterwards, Etienne sailed for the English Colonies in America, landing in New York City on June 6, 1686. Almost exactly one month later (July 7), he obtained additional letters of denization in New York from Governor Dongan, and on Sept 9th, 1687, took the Oath of Allegiance to the British Crown under the Colonial Act of 1683. It is at this time that he anglicized his name, becoming Stephen Delancey. He sold his portion of the family jewels for 300 British Pounds and became a merchant.[4]

On Jan 23rd, 1700, Delancey married Anne van Cortlandt. In the summer of 1700, Delancey began construction of a house at 54 Pearl Street in New York City, on land given to his wife by her father as a wedding gift to the young couple. In 1762 the house was sold at auction by Stephen's heirs to Samuel Fraunces, who converted it into the Queen Charlotte Tavern. (The house still stands today, and is known as Fraunces Tavern.)

Delancey was to become one of the most successful merchants in the colony of New York with his well-known granary, warehouse and retail store, known to all as "Delancey and Co." During Queen Anne's War, letters of marque against the French served as a cover for DeLancey to engage in trade with Red Sea Pirates. By the 1730s, he had become such a prosperous merchant that he was able to build a large mansion on Broadway, just above Trinity Church. The mansion was eventually demolished in 1792 to build the City Hotel, and the site is now occupied by the Boreil Building.

Stephen Delancey played an active role in the life of the city, serving as an Alderman for several years, and both a member of the New York Provincial Assembly and the Governor's Council. He is also credited with having presented as gifts to the city its first Town Clock and its first Fire Engine. At the time of his death on November 18, 1741, the erstwhile immigrant Etienne de Lancey left an estate valued in excess of £100,000 British Pounds (approximately $18,000,000 in US Dollars today).


On Jan 23rd, 1700, Delancey married Anne van Cortlandt, third child of Chief Justice of the Province of New York Stephanus van Cortlandt, and his wife Gertrude Schuyler. They had ten children, only five of whom survived infancy. The three surviving sons (James (1703–1760), Peter (1705–1770), and Oliver (1708-1785)) and two daughters (Susannah and Anne) all married and had issue.

James became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for the Province of New York, in addition to serving as Lieutenant Governor of New York. Peter became a merchant, maintaining a large mill in what is now the Bronx, and served in the New York Provincial Assembly for many years. Oliver, also a merchant, became a Brigadier General in the British Army during the American Revolution.

Stephen and Anne also had two daughters: Susannah de Lancey (1707–1771), who married Admiral Sir Peter Warren, and Anne de Lancey (1713-?) who married John Watts, a prominent businessman of the day.

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Within the next ten years Westbury had been purchased by Admiral Sir Peter Warren, K.B., (fn. 93) an Irishman by birth. He obtained his commission as a lieutenant in 1722, and from that time his promotion was rapid. He aided the New England colonies in the war with France, and in 1745, with General Pepperell, captured Louisbourg, as a reward for which he was made rear-admiral of the Blue. After the capitulation of Louisbourg Warren captured three French ships valued at £1,000,000, and from his share of the spoils of war realized a large fortune. In 1747 he won a great naval victory off Cape Finisterre, and for his gallantry on this occasion was made Knight of the Bath. On his retirement from active service in 1748 he received many civic honours, being elected M.P. for Westminster in 1750. He died of a violent fever in 1752 while at Dublin, whither he had gone to purchase estates. In 1735 he had married Susanna daughter of 'Stephen de Lancey, a wealthy citizen of New York', and by her he left three daughters and co-heirs—Anne, who married Lieut.-General Hon. Charles Fitzroy, first Lord Southampton, in 1758; Susanna, who married in 1767 Lieut.-General William Skinner; and Charlotte, who married Willoughby Bertie, fourth earl of Abingdon, in 1768. (fn. 94) The manor was at first divided among the three sisters, but in 1772 Charles Fitzroy and Anne and Willoughby, Earl of Abingdon, and Charlotte gave up their moieties to Lieut.-General Skinner and Susanna, (fn. 95) whose daughter and heir Susanna Maria married her first cousin Major-General Henry, third Viscount Gage, in 1789. Their son Henry, fourth Viscount Gage (1808–77), sold the manor to Mr. John Delawar Lewis, from whom it has descended to Colonel Le Roy-Lewis, the present owner.

From: 'Parishes: East Meon', A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3 (1908), pp. 64-75. URL: clark rout Date accessed: 25 December 2008.

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Added by David George DeLancey on 5/25/2014 at 11:54 A.M. E.S.T. Lanchy & Lancy 1220 too 1690 And other various family members _____ One may also add P after ?let=

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Etienne de Lancy - Stephen DeLancey's Timeline

October 24, 1663
Caen, Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France
Age 39
August 26, 1705
Age 41
New York
Age 43
September 1, 1708
Age 44
New York, New York, United States
Age 59
November 18, 1741
Age 78
Albany, Albany, New York, United States
November 18, 1741
Age 78
New York, New York County, New York, United States