Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lacy, John de

LACY, JOHN de, first Earl of Lincoln of the Lacy family (d. 1240), was son of Roger de Lacy, second earl [q. v.], by Maud de Clere. He was probably a minor at the time of his father's death in January 1212, as he did not receive full livery till September l213, when, although apart of the fine was remitted, his castles of Pontefract and Donington were still retained in the king's hands. Donington was restored in July 1214, Lacy giving hostages for his good conduct (Cal. Rot. Claus. i. 151, 167, 169). In 1215 he was one of the confederate barons, and was among the twenty-five appointed to see to the observance of the Great Charter. Afterwards he appears for a time to have gone over to the king, for on 1 Jan. 1216 he received the royal pardon, and his lands were restored, and in August he received letters of protection (Hardy, Cal. Rot. Pat. pp. 162, 176, 179, 180). Nevertheless he had been excommunicated by Innocent III with the other barons, and his fortress of Donington was destroyed by order of the king (Matt. Paris, ii. 639, 643). In September 1216 his land at Navesby, Nottinghamshire, was entrusted to Ernald de Ambleville, but he was finally pardoned and his lands restored in August 1217 (Cal. Rot. Claus. i. 289, 318, 339). In 1218 he went on the crusade with Earl Randulf of Chester [see Blundevill, Randulf De], and was present at the siege of Damietta (Matt. Paris, iii. 41); he had taken the cross as early as March 1215 (Gervase of Canterbury, ii. 109). After his return to England, about August 1220, he joined with Earl Randulf in his opposition to the king's government, but submitted at the same time as his leader, and surrendered his castles. In September 1227 he was sent on an embassy to Antwerp(Fœdera,i. 187), and on 6 Sept. 1230 was a commissioner to treat for a truce with France. After the death of Earl Randulf, Lacy was made Earl of Lincoln on 22 Nov. 1232, in right of his wife, Margaret, daughter of Robert de Quincy, and Hawise, countess of Lincoln, a sister of Earl Randulf. In 1233 he at first supported Richard Marshal, earl of Pembroke [q. v.], in his opposition to Peter des Roches, but was eventually won over by a bribe of a thousand marks from the bishop. His followers in Ireland refused to submit to Gilbert Marshal (Ann. Mon. i. 91). In 1236 Lincoln appears as one of the witnesses to the confirmation of the charters, and at the queen's coronation attended as constable of Chester. On 20 Nov. 1237 he was one of those who were sent by the king to the legate Otto and the council at St. Paul's to forbid them from taking any action. Lincoln had by this time attached himself completely to the court party, and he is mentioned in this year along with Simon de Montfort as one of the king's unpopular counsellors (Matt. Paris, iii. 412). He used his position to secure the marriage of his daughter Maud to Richard de Clare, earl of Gloucester, and his influence over the king was so great that Earl Richard of Cornwall made it a subject of reproach against his brother. Lincoln, however, made his peace with Earl Richard by means of prayers and presents. He died on 22 July 1240, and was buried at Stanlaw Abbey, Cheshire, of which he, like his father, had been a great benefactor; Dugdale gives two epitaphs (Mon. Angl. v. 648). Lincoln had acted as a justice itinerant in Lincolnshire and Lancashire in 1226, and in the former county in 1233, and was sheriff of Cheshire in 1237 and 1240. He was twice married: first, to Alice, daughter of Gilbert de l'Aigle; and, secondly, before 21 June 1221, to Margaret de Quincy (Cal. Rot. Claus. i. 462), who after his death married Walter Marshal, earl of Pembroke, in 1241. By his second wife he left a son Edmund (b. 1227) and two daughters. It is sometimes said that Edmund was never Earl of Lincoln, but he is so styled on 5 Sept. 1255. Edmund married, in May 1247, Alicia, elder daughter of Manfred III, marquis of Saluzzo, and died on 21 July 1257, leaving an only son Henry, third earl of Lincoln [q. v.]

[Matthew Paris; Annales Monastici (both in Rolls Ser.); Monasticon Anglicanum, v. 534, 647-648; Dugdale's Baronage, i. 101-2; Doyle's Official Baronage, ii. 373; Foss's Judges of England, ii. 379-80.]

C. L. K.