Roger 'Helle' DE LACY Lord Pontefract, Constable of Chester 574,735,736,3673,5189
- Born: Abt 1176, Halton Castle, Runcorn, Cheshire, England
- Married: Before 1192
- Died: 1 Oct 1211, Pontefract, West Riding Yorkshire, England
Baron of Lacy, Lord of the Castles of Halton and Pontefract.
From Magna Charta, p. 88-89:
"Under the banner of Richard the Lionhearted, Roger assisted at the siege of Acon in 1192. About this time Ranulph, Earl of Chester, having entered Wales at the head of some forces, was compelled to shut himself up in the Castle of Rothelan, and found it necessary to send for aid to Roger, the constable. Hugh Lupus, the Ist Earl of Chester, in his charter of foundation of the abbey of St. Werberg at Chester, had given a privilege to the frequenters of the Chester fair "that they should not be apprehended for theft, or any other offence during the time of the fair, unless the crime was committed therein". Thus the fair was of course made the resort of thieves and vagabonds from all parts of the country. When Roger de Lacie as constable marched to the relief of the Earl, he took with him a great company of people which he had collected at the fair, consisting of minstrels and loose characters of all descriptions, forming altogether so numerous a body that the besiegers of the Castle, at their approach, mistaking them for soldiers, immediately surrendered. For this timely service the Earl of Chester conferred upon Baron Lacie and his heirs, the patronage of all the minstrels in those parts, which patronage the constable transferred to his steward, Outton, and his heirs."
Roger de Lacy, constable of Chester, assisted at the siege of Acon in 1192 under the banner of the lion-hearted Richard, and shared in the subsequent triumphs of the chivalrous monarch. At the accession of John in 1199, he was a person of great eminence, for we find him shortly after the coronation of that prince deputed with the sheriff of Northumberland and other great men to conduct William, King of Scotland, to Lincoln, where the English king had fixed to give him an interview, and the next year he was one of the barons present at Lincoln, when David, of Scotland, did homage and fealty to King John.
In the time of this Roger, Ranulph, Earl of Chester, having entered Wales at the head of some forces, was compelled by superior numbers to shut himself up in the castle of Rothelan, where, being closely besieged by the Welsh, he sent for aid to the constable of Chester. Hugh Lupus, the 1st Earl of Chester, in his charter of foundation of the abbey of St. Werberg, at Chester, had given a privilege to the frequenters of Chester fair, "That they should not be apprehended for theft or any other offence during the time of the fair, unless the crime was committed therein." This privilege made the fair, of course, the resort of thieves and vagabonds from all parts of the kingdom. Accordingly, the constable, Roger de Laci, forthwith marched to his relief at the head of a concourse of people then collected at the fair of Chester, consisting of minstrels and loose characters of all descriptions, forming altogether so numerous a body that the besiegers, at their approach, mistaking them for soldiers, immediately raised the siege. For this timely service, the Earl of Chester conferred upon de Lacy and his heirs the patronage of all the minstrels in those parts, which patronage the constable transferred to his steward, Dutton, and his heirs; and it is enjoyed to this day by the family of Dutton.
It is doubtful, however, whether the privilege was transferred to the Duttons by this constable or his successor. The privilege was, "That, at the midsummer fair held at Chester, all the minstrels of that country, resorting to Chester, do attend the heir of Dutton, from his lodging to St. John's Church (he being then accompanied by many gentlemen of the country, one of them walking before him in a surcoat of his arms depicted on taffeta, the rest of his fellows proceeding two and two, and playing on their several sorts of musical instruments."] When divine service terminates, the like attendance upon Dutton to his lodging, where a court being kept by his steward, and all the minstrels formally called, certain orders and laws are made for the government of the society of minstrels.
Roger de Lacy was s. by his son, John de Lacy, constable of Chester. [Sir Bernard Burke, Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages, Burke's Peerage, Ltd., London, 1883, p. 310-311, Lacy, Earls of Lincoln]
The following was given in a post-em from Curt Hofemann, curt_hofemann AT yahoo.com (I orginally had Roger's death date as "bef. 1196"):
1 Oct 1211 [Ref: Watney #588]
1211 [Ref: ES III:709, Holloway p15]
Jan 1212 [Ref: Mg Crt Barons, Turton]
buried: Jan 1212 [Ref: Turton] place: Stanlow Abbey [Ref: ES III:709] Stanlow [Ref: Turton] Having died in 1212 Roger was interred at Stanlaw Abbey, of which along with Fountains he was benefactor. [Ref: Lacy Homepage http://www.gengateway.com/genealogy/roger.htm]
Jim, there is an extensive well sourced bio at the above Lacy website.
Holloway = Naomi D. Holloway, "The Genealogy of Mary Wentworth, Who Became the Wife of William Brewster", Oct 1969, LDS Film 1738313
Mg Crt Barons = Carr. P. Collins Jr., "Royal Ancestors of Magna Carta Barons, The Collins Genealogy", 1959
Crusader, Earl of Lincoln, Baron of Halton and Pontfract, Constable of Chester [Ref: Holloway p15]
Constable of Chester [Ref: Watney #588]
of Pontefract, co. York, and of Halton, Cheshire [Ref: Watney #588]
Baron Lacy, Lord of the Castles of Halton and Pontefract [Ref: McBride2 citing Burke's p118-120, CP VI p498-503, Wurts p47-70]
1191: at the storming of Acre [Ref: Watney #588]
1193: succeeded to the Lacy property on the death of Robert de LACY in 1193-4, and soon afterward assumed the name LACY [Ref: W. Paley Baildon, "Baildon and the Baildons: A History of a Yorkshire Manor and Family" p350 LDS Film 1441042]
Constable of Chester, Lord of Pontefract, Buried in Stanlow Abbey. [Ref: Utz 5 Jan 1999 citing: W.E. Wightman, *The Lacy Family in England and Normandy, 1066-1194, genealogical chart following p 260]
Sidney Painter (Studies in the History of the English Feudal Barony) did a [preliminary] study of baronial incomes between 1160 and 1320 (chapter VII). Of fifty-four barons he tallied figures for during a part of that period, Roger de Lacy, constable of Chester, had the highest income in England at his death in 1210 (800 pounds per annum). Next was William, Earl of Gloucester at 700 pounds, Robert, Earl of Leicester, at 560 pounds, and then Earl William de Mandeville at 504 pounds per annum. So this would explain, in part, why John de Lacy was vaulted to the peerage when the opportunity presented itself without much dispute. The palatine Earl of Chester only had an annual income of 327 pounds per annum in Henry II's reign. [Ref: Dave Utzinger 5 Jan 1999 msg to SGM. NOTE: Should be attributed to Paul Reed, 10 Jan 1998
Roger married Matilda "Maud" DE CLARE, daughter of Richard DE CLARE MCS, 3rd Earl of Hertford and Amice Fitzrobert DE MELLENT Countess of Gloucester (1183-1224), before 1192. (Matilda "Maud" DE CLARE was born in 1182 in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England 803,808 and died in 1249 in England 803,808.)