Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln

Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln, Baron of Pontefract[1] (c. 1251  February 1311) was an English nobleman and confidant of King Edward I 'Longshanks'. He served Edward in Wales, France, and Scotland, both as a soldier and a diplomat.[2]

Henry de Lacy
Earl of Lincoln
Baron of Pontefract
Arms of Henry de Lacy: Or, a lion rampant purpure.
PredecessorMargaret de Quincy, 2nd Countess of Lincoln
SuccessorAlice de Lacy, 4th Countess of Lincoln
DiedFebruary 1311 (aged around 60)
Lincoln's Inn, London, England
BuriedSt Paul's Cathedral
Spouse(s)Margaret Longespée
Joan FitzMartin
FatherEdmund de Lacy, Baron of Pontefract
MotherAlasia of Saluzzo


Henry was the son of Edmund de Lacy, Baron of Pontefract who died when he was a young child. He was also heir to his paternal grandmother Margaret de Quincy, Countess of Lincoln who died when he was a teenager. As ward to large and important estates from both his father and more importantly his grandmother, he was educated at court.

In 1258 he had inherited his titles and lands from his father, which included Baron of Pontefract, Baron of Halton, and Constable of Chester and in about 1266 he had inherited his titles and lands, which included the Earl of Lincoln, from his paternal grandmother Margaret de Quincy. However being a minor in both cases his inheritance was held in a wardship by his mother, and with the help of his grandmother in the years before her death. In 1272,[3] on reaching the age of majority, which was 21, he became the Earl of Lincoln.

He became Chief Councillor to Edward I. While the king was engaged in military conflicts with the Scots, Henry was appointed Protector of the Realm.

Following the English Conquest of Wales in 1282 (known in Wales as the Norman Conquest) in which Henry took part, he was granted the Lordship of Denbigh. He authorised the building of Denbigh Castle.[4] He went to France with Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, in 1296, and when Edmund died in June of this year, succeeded him as commander of the English forces in Gascony, but returned to England early in 1298.[2]

At the battle of Falkirk 1298 and in the siege of Carlaverock 1300 he bore as arms: Or, a lion rampant purpure.[5]

In November 1300, he was sent on a mission to Rome to complain to the Pope about injury done by the Scots.[6]

Lincoln was Lord of Pontefract, the 10th Baron of Halton, and Lord of Denbigh. He was also the 7th Lord of Bowland, so-called Lord of the Fells, being the last member of his family to hold that title.

Lincoln was present at Edward's death in July 1307. For a short time he was friendly with the new king, Edward II, and his favourite, Piers Gaveston, but quickly changed his loyalties and joined Earl Thomas of Lancaster and the baronial party, 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]

Lincoln transferred the Cistercian monastery from Stanlow to Whalley.[7] 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.

Marriage and children

He married twice:


He died at his London home, Lincoln's Inn, and was buried in Old St Paul's Cathedral. His grave and monument were destroyed along with the cathedral in the Great Fire of London in 1666. A modern monument in the crypt lists De Lacy among the important graves lost.


Notes and references

  1. De Lacy - 1000 years of history, published 2013 by Bernhard Lascy, pg. 58
  2.  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Lincoln, Earls of". Encyclopædia Britannica. 16 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 703.
  3. 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)
  4. Denbigh History
  5. (F.) (i.e. Falkirk Roll of Arms); Nobility and Parliamentary Rolls, "Some Feudal Coats of Arms", page 145.
  6. J. S. Hamilton, ‘Lacy, Henry de, fifth earl of Lincoln (1249–1311)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 accessed 13 May 2013
  7. Kingsford
  8. Douglas Richardson. Magna Carta Ancestry, Genealogical Publishing, 2004. pg 481.
  9. Sanders, Ivor, English Baronies, Oxford, 1960, p.105
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Margaret de Quincy
2nd 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
4th Countess of Lincoln suo jure
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