Nichola de la Haye, castellan of Lincoln Castle

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Nichola de la Haye, castellan of Lincoln Castle's Geni Profile

Records for Nicholaa de la Haye

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Nicholaa "Defender of Lincoln Castle" de la Haye

Also Known As: "Also called 'Nichola' and 'Nicholaa'"
Birthdate: (79)
Birthplace: Brattleby, Lincolnshire, England
Death: circa 1230 (71-87)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Richard, baron de La Haye du Puits, 2nd Baron of Shipbrook and Matilda de Vernon
Wife of William fitz Erneis and Gerard de Camville, castellan of Lincoln Castle
Mother of Elisabeth Deincourt; Richard de Camvill, IV; Nichola de Camville; Thomas de Camvill and Matilda de Camvill
Sister of Gillette de La Haye, Héritière des baronnies de la Haye; Agnes de la Haye and Maud Haye

Occupation: Sheriff of Lincoln
Managed by: James Frederick Pultz
Last Updated:

About Nichola de la Haye, castellan of Lincoln Castle

Nicola was also appointed Sheriff of Lincolnshire by King John.

Nichola (Niholaa) de la Haye (born between 1150 and 1156 to 1230) was the eldest daughter and co-heiress of Richard de la Haye (d. 1169), a Lincolnshire lord, and a descendant of the pre-Conquest lord Colswain of Lincolnshire. Nicholaa's first husband was William fitz Erneis (d. 1178). Before 1185 she married Gerard de Camville.... She inherited the office of castellan of Lincoln castle and her husbands generally carried out the duties of that office by her right. At times, however, she was directly in charge of the castle, most notably in 1191, when Gerard was with Prince John at Nottingham and Nicholaa held out against a month-long siege, and in 1215-17, when she directed the defense of Lincoln against the rebel barons in 1217. She was aided by William Marshal in the latter endeavour. She also served as sheriff of Lincolnshire for five months in 1216 on the appointment of King John of England.[1]

Reign of King John

King John came to Lincoln several times during Nicholaa's tenure as castellan, the last visit occurring in 1215, when he personally inspected the castle's defenses. Sixty years later, elderly men of Lincoln told royal commissioners of that visit:

"And once it happened that after the war King John came to Lincoln and the said Lady Nichola went out of the eastern gate of the castle carrying the keys of the castle in her hand and met the king and offered the keys to him as her lord and said she was a woman of great age and was unable to bear such fatigue any longer.

"And he besought her saying,‘My beloved Nichola, I will that you keep the castle as hitherto until I shall order otherwise.’ And she retained it as long as King John lived and after his decease she still kept it under King Henry, father of the king that now is."[2]


Nicholaa had at least one daughter by William fitz Erneis and three children by Gerard de Camville. Her granddaughter and heiress Idonea married William II Longespee, earl of Salisbury.


Her father had stated that his barony had 20 knights’ fees in chief in 1166. After 1172 the heirs were only charged for 16 fees, making this a relatively minor barony.[3]

Fictional adaptations

Nicholaa was part of the inspiration for the character of Isabella of Gisborne from the BBC's Robin Hood, as was her husband Gerard part of the inspiration for the character of Guy of Gisborne, from the same show.

Read The Alehouse Murders

"When news that four murdered bodies have been found in an alehouse reaches Nicolaa de la Haye, the castellan of the castle, she immediately knows that she must see to it that the murders must be investigated swiftly and competently. After all the midsummer's fair is about to take place and gossip that there is a mad killer loose in the city of Lincoln will not help Lincoln's reputation at all. And so the lady turns to Templar Bascot de Marins for help in discovering who murdered these unfortunates and why.

Held captive by the Saracens for eight years, de Marins has returned to England broken in body and spirit. Plagued with self doubts and afraid that he has lost his faith, de Marins had hoped to regain his faith and purpose in Lincoln. But would investigating a horrific murder help him rediscover his faith? Determined to ferret out the truth, de Marins soon finds himself enmeshed in the middle of the family intrigues and quarrels of a local landowner's family, and confronted with the cold blooded determination and ruthlessness of a very single-minded killer... "

Additional Biography

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Nichola de la Haye, castellan of Lincoln Castle's Timeline

Brattleby, Lincolnshire, England
Age 24
Age 26
Stratton Audley, Oxfordshire, England
Age 38
Brattleby, Lincolnshire, , England
Age 79