Lacy, William (DNB00)


LACY, WILLIAM (1610?–1671), royalist divine, son of Thomas Lacy of Beverley and his wife, ‘Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Franceys of Beckenham in co. Nott’ (Dugdale, Visitation of the County of Yorke, 1665–6), was a descendant of the noble family of Lacy. He was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he was probably admitted before 1629, as his name does not appear in the admission registers of the college, which commence with that year. He proceeded B.A. in 1632, M.A. in 1636, was admitted fellow of his college on 5 April 1636, and was tutor during 1640–2. He obtained the degree of B.D. in 1642, and was made preacher at St. John's at Michaelmas, 1643. He was associated with John Barwick [q. v.] and others in writing ‘Certain Disquisitions’ against the covenant, which was seized by the parliamentary party, but reissued at Oxford.

Lacy was ejected from his fellowship in 1644, after which he joined the royal army, and became chaplain to Prince Rupert. He was taken prisoner at the storming of Bridgewater by Sir Thomas Fairfax on 23 July 1645 (Fairfax, Letter to Lenthall, p. 6), was for some time in prison, where, being in great want, he was relieved by John Barwick, and in 1649 compounded for his estate by paying 26l., one-sixth of its value (Royalist Composition Papers in Record Office). Towards the end of 1651 he was in great want of money (Cal. of Committee for the Advance of Money, 1642–56, pt. iii. p. 1382).

At the Restoration he was restored to his fellowship by a letter from the Earl of Manchester, dated 27 Aug. 1660 (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1661–2, p. 24). He was admitted to a senior fellowship on 4 Nov. 1661, and recommended by the king for the degree of D.D. on 3 Oct. 1662 (ib. p. 505). On 23 Oct. 1662 he was presented by Sir George Savile to the rectory of Thornhill, Yorkshire. Lacy died there on 12 May 1671, and was buried in the church, where there is a tablet to his memory. He married ‘Ann, daughter of William Sherman of Newarke, near Leycester, gent.’ (Dugdale, Visitation), and had a son, who died in infancy in 1663.

While at Thornhill he rebuilt the rectory-house, which had been destroyed during the civil wars. In his will, dated 7 Sept. 1670, he left 350l. to found two scholarships of 8l. each at St. John's College, Cambridge, for the benefit of students of the grammar school at Beverley (Poulson, Beverlac, p. 459). He contributed 5l. towards the building of the third court at St. John's College in 1669.

[Baker's Hist. of St. John's Coll. Cambr. pp. 238, 295, 327, 335; Kennett's Register, pp. 239, 524; Peter Barwick's Life of John Barwick, pp. 33–40, 107, 349–50; Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, pp. 149, 277; Mayor's Admission Registers of St. John's Coll. Cambr. pp. 54, 63; Cole's Cambr. B.As. in Addit. MS. 5885, f. 103; Harleian MS. 7028, ff. 476, 488; Notitia Academiæ Cantabrigiensis, Lambeth MS. 770, f. 265; Whitaker's Loidis and Elmete, pp. 324, 326; monument in Thornhill Church; parish registers kindly communicated by the Rev. F. R. Grenside.]

B. P.