The Norman de Lacys as de Mitton family precursor`s & de Mittons as precursor`s to the de Lacy`s own feudal demise…

The coat of arms of the great de Lacy family at All Saints church in Whalley.



For a complete history of the early de Lacy’s please see; “The de Lacy Family in England” at the following website:

Hugh de Lacy (b.1009-d. 1095) is the Norman born father of the great conquest family. His feudal lord was Odo, Bishop of Bayeux and the half-brother of William, Duke of Normandy.

Hugh married Emma “de Bois L`Eveque” from that same named location and it was their sons who took part in the 1066 Conquest; Ilbert, whose descendants ruled in Yorkshire and Lancashire, and Walter, whose descendants ruled in the Welsh marches and later in Ireland. Emma de Bois L`Eveque was the second wife of Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Lassey, Normandy. She was one of two children of Ilbert, Marshall of Normandy from Bois L`Eveque. The Norman Marshall was the person in charge of the horses, falcons, etc. on behalf of the superior Lord or in this case probably the Duke of Normandy at the time.

The brothers de Lacy accompanied William the Conqueror and his army to England in 1066. Ilbert de Lacy was in the train of Bishop Odo of Bayuex and Walter de Lacy who came in the train of William fitz Osbern. They fought at the Battle of Hastings and both received lands as a reward. Ilbert was prominent in the “harrying of the north” in present day Yorkshire in the winter of 1069-70 led by King William as the final subjugation of the Saxons in England.

Ilbert de Lacy was a favorite of the Conqueror and William granted him 170 lordships in Yorkshire, Nottingham-shire, and Lincoln shire, including the Barony of Pontefract where he built a castle. He became a trusted companion and tenet in chief to both King William and his heir King Rufus until his death in 1093.

His son Robert was heir and successor Lord of Pontefract and the Blackburnshire 100. In 1102 he became lord of Bowland and held the honour of Clitheroe having been granted those crown retrieved lands by Henry l who had taken them back from Roger Potou.


Pontefract Castle -seat of the de Lacy`s from 1070-1311

The de Lacy family continued to accumulate vast areas of land in northern England until the death of Henry de Lacy (2) the 3rd. Earl of Lincoln Feb. 5, 1311 after which they reverted to Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster by right of a life estate from Henry de Lacy. Thomas had married Henry de Lacy`s only daughter and heir Alice.This did not have a happy ending. Thomas open hostility against his first cousin Edward the 2nd. was put to an end after a civil insurrection against Edward ll. Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster,  was executed in 1322 outside his wife’s family castle at Pontefract.  His then de Lacy lands later reverted to the Crown and became part the new Duchy of Lancaster in 1351. Please see:

The de Mittons had already been disenfranchised of their de Mitton manor holdings previously as a result of the above mentioned Henry de Lacy’s death, (3rd Earl of Lincoln). Henry had pledged his daughter to marry Thomas Plantagenet. The de Lacy lands became a life estate until Henry’s death in 1311when they became part of the Earl of Lancaster Thomas Plantagenet combined holdings. This life estate agreement was due to Henry’s other children having per-deceased Henry and Ann. It was instituted due to the close association of Henry de Lacy and Edward the 1st regarding the pledging of Ann (at age nine) to Thomas. As often happens in feudal England a lack of a male heir can change things for the remaining posterity.

The de Mittons ceased to be lords of their surname manor from that time forward. Alice de Lacy, like all women of the times (and to this day under primogenitor) could not keep possession of estate feudal lands even if their had been no life estate agreement. When the Bowland liberties came into possession of Tomas Plantagenet the de Mitton family manors were sub-feudal to anther family of Thomas Plantagenet choosing as his right under the feudal system. The ancient blood connection and feudal association of the de Mittons​ to the de Lacy’s was severed as a result of Henry de Lacy`s death and lack of a male heir.

Note: When the de Mitton family ceased to be Lords of Mitton manor after 1312 after the death of Henry de Lacy they were replaced as manor lords by Thomas Le Surreys as Lord of Mitton manor. Other lands did remain in de Mitton family possession including Aighton, Bailey, etc. as witness by later deeds in 1362 from the de Mitton sisters of Roger de Mitton to their cousin John de Bailey. Those holdings were part of what eventually became the Shireburne’s of Stonyhurst Hall. The Shireburne`s were all scions of the de Mitton family descendant's of Otto de Mitton or  Otto de Bailey.He was the progenitor of the de Bailey`s and later Shireburne family’s of Stonyhurst Hall.


image007Pontefract Castle first est. by Ilbert de Lacy of the Conquest circa 1070

“It’s recorded in the Historia Laceiorum, a 15th century genealogy of the de Lacy family, that several members of the de Lacy family lie here (near Pontefract castle). Robert’s parents, Ilbert and Hawise are said to be buried at the right and left of the altar. Robert’s son Ilbert is recorded as being buried between the tomb of his mother, Matilda, and the wall at the altar of St Benedict, and the founder himself is recorded as being buried at the right hand corner of the altar of St Benedict, within the priory church. Most historians dismiss this information and record that the date of death and place of burial of both Ilbert de Lacy and Robert de Lacy is unknown. The probable reason is that the Historia Laceiorum is a flawed document with provable errors which has led to it being widely mistrusted, but it would be reasonable to suppose that at least Robert’s wife, Matilda, and son, Ilbert, were buried here” –  Elizabeth Ashworth;      



The de Lacy lines of Normandy and the Conquest

 (Dates are approximate and difficult to substantiate)

Hugh (Hugues) de Lacy b.1018-49 Lassy, Vire, Normandie =  m. abt. 1038 Emma de Bois Eveque br.1022 (second wife of Hugh de Lacy


Three children, born in Lassy, Vire, Normandie, France. Hugh the father is lord of Lassy.


Emmeline de Lacy               Ilbert de Lacy (b. abt 1043 d, 1193 )= Hawise        Walter de Lacy


Robert (succeeds Ilbert) b. ? d. by 1129 = m. Matilda.  Hugh b.? d. 1090

Robert’s 4 Children:


Ilbert de Lacy(2) = Alace de Gant.  Henry.  Albreda(1) m. Robert de Lisoures.  Robert d. 1138

(Ilbert succeeds father Robert)  (Henry succeeds brother Ilbert)

 Ilbert Identifies Ralph the Red as his brother on second charter after 1135


*Robert (2) above and son of Henry, half brother of Ralph the Red, is end of direct male de Lacy bloodline from Ilbert de Lacy of the Conquest. He was a second cousin of Hugh de Mitton grandson of Ralph the Red.

de Mitton scion de Lacy line begins with

“Ralph the Red” born before 1100 and living after 1135

Robert de Lacy (3rd Robert) and son of Henry d.1193 with no heir. Last of the de Lacy male bloodline of the coquest. Please note: 3 Roberts, 1st. son of Ilbert of the conquest. 2nd.; his son Robert, killed at the Battle of Standard 1137. 3rd. Robert was son of Henry who suceeded to the de Lacy barony upon the disappearance and presumed death of his older brother Ilbert at the Battle of Lincoln in 1141. 

Second de Lacy  line begins with Roger in 1193;

Roger Fitz Eustace grandson of Albreda inherits and takes name de Lacy.

  Jordan de Mitton b. after 1100 & succeeds his father Ralph the Red.


(Mitton descendants)

*Some have suggested that Ralph the Red was really the brother of Robert. That would mean he died in his 70s in the 1140s.  It could have been what Ilbert meant when he identified Ralph as a brother on the charters.. But the date here would not have allowed Ralph to succeed. There is no record of that ever happening.

 *Ilbert identifies “Ralph the Red” calling him his brother on the charter which confirmed his grant of lands in 1135.

 *Robert, brother of Ilbert and Henry probably dies at the Battle of Standard 1138.

 *Albreda (2) is the daughter of Albreda de Lacy and Robert de Lisours. It is from her that the 2nd male line of de Lacys is begun after 1193 through her grandson Roger Fitz Eustace.  He takes the de Lacy name and is the first of the second line of de Lacys. Roger is of no direct male bloodline to Ilbert de Lacy of the Conquest

The First Line of Norman de Lacy Barons from the Conquest:

1.Ilbert de Lacy (of the Conquest), who dies before 1093. Succeeded by:

2. Robert de Lacy (1)  and “Ralph the Red’s” father who died before 1129.

3. Ilbert (2) eldest son of Robert (1) and who identifies Ralph the Red as his brother on a charter dated after 1135. (Ralph is the progenitor of the family de Mitton after the 1102 en-feudalisms). Ilbert(2) strongly supported King Stephen against Matilda . He fought at the Battle of the Standard [1138] at Cowton Moor where David I [Ceannmhor] of Scotland was defeated. Ilbert II de Lacy (2) dies (childless) in 1141 after the Battle of Lincoln and is succeeded by Henry.

4. Henry, son of Robert (2) and younger brother of Ilbert (2) inherits from his brother.

5. Robert (2) son of Henry (1) dies in 1193 leaving no direct heir. Robert (2) was “ the last of the true Norman line” of de Lacy’s in England. Hugh de Mitton was often a witness to this Robert de Lacy’s charters. Hugh would have been a second cousin removed to Robert de Lacy. Roberts father Henry would have been the half brother of Ralph the Red and Ralph was Hugh’s grandfather.

*For a time the de Lacy’s were banished by King Henry 1 around 1108 (?)-1135. The de Lacy’s were replaced  during that period as Lords of Pontefract and Clitheroe. Ilbert de Lacy (2) regained the de Lacy Barony upon King Stephen’s accession to the crown.

Interloper holders of de Lacy Barony

1. Hugh de La Val: 1114 to 1129.

2. William Maltravers: 1129 to 1135. ( richard of Hexham records that Maltravers was murdered by a knight named Paganus or Pain so that Ilbert could return.  Ilbert and his men were pardoned by King Stephen ‘for all that they had done amiss’ between the death of King Henry I and Stephen’s coronation. Ilbert immediately confirms Ralph the Red’s original 1102 grant from his father circa 1135 with the addition of a second restated feudal grant recorded.

The Second Line of de Lacy Barons begins:

1. Roger Fitz Eustace, also sometimes known as “Helle” beginning 1193. He was the great, grandson of Albreda de Lacy, sister of Ilbert (2), Henry and Robert. From the male line of the original de Lacy family the estates passed to the female. The heiress, Albreda (2), daughter of Albreda de Lacy (daughter of the first Robert) and Robert de Lissours, had bee married twice, first to Richard Fitz-Eustace and afterwards to William Fitz-Godric. She was a first cousin to their last possessor Robert de Lacy and closest blood relative to Robert de Lacy (2) at the time of his death in 1193. There is record of a fine levied in the King’s Court at Winchester, on April 25th, 5th year of Richard 1 (1194), in which Albreda makes Roger the heir to all the de Lacy estates, whilst he at the same time quits claim to her other lands, inherited from her father, Robert de Lissours.

Roger, immediately assume the surname of de Lacy. Thus a second de Lacy scion family came into existence from which the Constables of Chester, 5th Baron of Halton, and the Earls of Lincoln were incorporated from Fitz-Eustance side of the family. The Eustace’s had been the Constables of Chester and the Earls of Lincoln. Roger assumed the titles upon his fathers death and later inherited the lands and honor’s of the de Lacy’s, but not a drop of the de Lacy male bloodline.

Pontefract and the de Lacy lands remained intact of his successors until the beginning of the fourteenth century (1310), when another failure in the male line left it in the hands of Alice, daughter of Henry de Lacy, the 3rd Earl of Lincoln and wife of Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster who was executed at Pontefract in 1322 after the battle of Boroughbridge.

Roger having assumed the name of de Lacy, (even though he was not of a male de Lacy bloodline) as founder of the second de Lacy scion line made “their residence at the great fortress and place of Pontefract”. Roger was also the Constable of Chester from 1193 to 1211 as was his father. Roger de Lacy held the de Lacy lands until his death in 1211. He was married to Maud (or Matilda) de Clere and had at least three sons.

This genealogy of the de Lacy family comes from Arthur Langshaw’s,’ Clitheroe’s Thousand Years’. Langshaw was a local historian who died in 1952. (click to enlarge)

The Mittons and the de Lacys:

For another historical biography of the de Lacy family please see the following website by Elizabeth Ashworth, author of “The de Lacy Inheritance”. It has a history of the family members including Ralph the Red.

This is the family tree of the de Lacys of Pontefract [1] who were the holders of both Pontefract Castle and the Honour of Pontefract from 1067[2] to 1348[3]

*Ilbert (died c1090) Hawise
*Robert died in exile c1131) Matilda Hugh (2nd Abbot of Selby Abbey)
*Ilbert (died c1141) *Henry (died 1187) Albreda Robert de Lissours,
*Robert de Lacy (died 1192) Last of the origianl Norman mm Albreda

Succeser, makes great, great grandson sucesser.

Richard Fitz-Eustace (constable of Chester)
John Fitz-Eustace (died at Tyre, 1190)
*John signator of Magna Carta Margaret, d. of Robert de Quincey
*Edmund (died 1258) Alesia, d. of Manfred, a Spanish Marquis
*Henry 3rd. Earl of Linconln

(died Feb. 5, 1311)

Margaret, d. of William Longespée
Edmund (died young) John (died young) *Alice (died 1348)

Husband Thomas right

Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster (executed at Pontefract 1322)

* The holders of the castle and Honour of Pontefract are indicated by an asterisk.



  • Padgett p. 86 (Diagram: “PEDIGREE OF THE PONTEFRACT DE LACIES from 1066 to 1348”)
  • Padgett p. 55


  1. Padgett p. 85


Padgett, Lorenzo, Chronicles of Old Pontefract (1905) facsimile published 1993, Old Hall Press, Leeds


The above is the de Lacy Arms in Whalley near Whalley Abbey built by Henry de Lacy, 2nd. third Earl of Lincoln and Lord Protector of the Realm  for Edward the first (Regent to Edward 2nd.). Another pub of a similar name is in Clitheroe.