The Lucey and Lucy Family History Web Site


Lucy coat of arms


Fulbert de Lucie

Lucey and Lucy Family History Web Site

..Fulbert de Lucy and Richard de Lucy - The Justiciar 



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Contents:-      ■  Fulbert de Lucie     ■  Richard de Lucy     
■  Geoffrey de Goreham     ■  Lesnes Abbey     ■  Godfrey de Lucy

Fulbert de Lucie


This webpage provides information on the very earliest known Lucy ancestors. A timeline is available at the bottom of this page to illustrate these individuals.

The antiquarian William Dugdale states that in a Charter of 1166, Richard de Lucy (d. 14th July 1179), confirmed that his ancestors performed the service of Castle Guard at Dover. Richard de Lucy became the Lord Justiciary of England, the highest post of honour that could be held by a subject and in 1173 was constituted Lieutenant of England, in the King's absence.

In the 12th of Henry II reign (1166), "upon the aid then assessed
for marrying the king's daughter, he certified his knight's fees
(lying in the cos. of Kent, Suffolk, and Norfolk) de veteri feoffamento,
to be in number seven, and that his ancestors performed the service of
Castle Guard at Dover, for the same, as also that he held one knight's fee
more, de nova feoffamento, in the co. Devon."

The only Barony with knight's fees outside Kent, for Castle Guard at Dover, was that of William d'Avranches (c1120-1177) - also in Suffolk and Norfolk; Lord of Folkestone and related to Richard le Goz of Falaise. His grandfather Nigel de Muneville, Lord of Folkestone married Emma d'Arques. Her father William d'Arques and wife Beatrix (de Bolbec or Malet) had a direct link with Lonlay-l'Abbaye in a grant of 1095. Folkestone Priory was dependent on Lonlay. The upkeep of Lonlay was the responsibility of the Barony of Lucé-sur-Orne. Richard de Lucy's brother, Walter de Lucy was initially a monk at Lonlay-l'Abbaye. Folkestone and all its dependencies were held by William d'Arques from Bishop Odo of Bayeux.

Various early nineteenth century texts, refer to Fulbert de Lucy or Lucie, Lord Chilham, who married Athelix (also spelt Adelit or Athelize); one of the eight knights who under the command of Sir John de Fiennes, built and maintained one of the eight towers erected as an additional defence at Dover Castle. His widow remarried before 1130 and the dowry and marriage is recorded in the 1129/1130 Pipe Roll for Devonshire, "uxore Fulbti de Doura cum dote et maritagio suo" on her behalf by William FitzRichard (died after 1136), son of Richard FitzTurold, Lord of Cardinham, Cornwall. The relationship between William FitzRichard and the family of Fulbert de Lucy was clearly close.

Sir John de Fiennes is first recorded in the Merton Register of the Red Book of the Exchequer (c1230) and was referred to again by William Lambarde in his "Perambulation of Kent" of 1576 and by John Philipot (1589?-1645) in "Villare Cantianum". He states "John Fynes, created by William the Conqueror, Wardein of the Portes, and Constable of Dover, by gift of inheritance".

Apparently John de Fiennes acted as Constable at Dover for a very short period after the disgrace of Odo (Bishop of Bayeux) in 1084, when the 56 knight's fees for Dover became forfeited possessions - John apparently died in 1085. His responsibilities were taken on by his son and grandson, named James and John, from 1085 and 1111 respectively. We are told that John was the third son of Eustace of Boulogne and Alice of Silvesse.

Dover was besieged by Eustace de Boulogne (d. 1087) in 1067 and his great-grandson Eustace de Boulogne (son of King Stephen) became Constable of Dover 1140-1153. After his death the post was taken by Pharamus de Boulogne. Pharamus was in charge of King Stephen's family when he was captured in 1141. Pharamus was also the uncle of Godfrey de Lucy, second son of Richard de Lucy the Justiciar (d. 1179). Sybilla, the daughter of Pharamus married Ingelram de Fiennes. Their son William de Fiennes became Constable of Dover in 1184.

Chilham or the later named Calderscot Tower at Dover Castle was built and maintained by Fulbert de Lucy, named after his estate at Chilham. He later styled himself Dover. The keep at Dover was reconstructed much later in 1180.

Fulbert de Lucie had two sons:-
(1) Hugh de Dover, who married Mathilde Peverel (also spelt Matilda or Maud) and died after 1168. Mathilde was the daughter of Payn Peverel, apparently one of three illegitimate sons of William the Conqueror, by Ingelrica, the wife of one of the King's retainers, Ranulph de Peverell. Hugh was granted Chilham in 1140 but had no surviving offspring by Maud and his nephew, John, son of William de Dover became heir to the Chilham estate. He was Sheriff of Kent 1143-1146. This role was taken over by Richard de Lucy in 1148 after he was recalled to England from Falaise in 1140.

(2) William de Dover, who was alive in 1140, had three sons, John, William and Ralph. John married Roesia de Lucy, daughter of Geoffrey de Lucy and granddaughter of Richard de Lucy. John was alive in 1140 and was the heir to his Uncle Hugh's estate of Chilham. He died after 1174 when he made claims for "Garcote" - possibly Charlecote and "Whittesage" in Warwickshire and Leicestershire. Charlecote came through the female line via Cecily de Lucy, around 1200 and her sons William and Simon styled themselves de Lucy. A deed by John de Dover in the Surrenden Library referring to the mill near St.Mildred's Church, Canterbury, given to him by his Uncle, Hugh de Dover was witnessed by Robert de Lucy.

John and Roesia's son was another Fulbert de Dover (or Robert of Dover) who was granted Chilham Castle in 1180. It had been rebuilt in 1171-74. Fulbert de Dover's seal is a Chequy a Luce hauriant (a single Luce over a chequered background). A reference to his Lucy connections.

The arms of Fulbert de DoverThe seal of Fulbert de Dover

From the 'History of Kent' by William Henry Ireland 1829..........

"Fulbert de Dover's Tower was erected by Fulbert de Lucie, who accompanied the Conqueror to England. Being appointed one of the knights to defend the fortress, by John de Fiennes, he assumed the name of Dover, and on his personal services being no longer required at the castle, retired to his baronial residence of Chilham: his successor, Hugh de Dover, his son, and Richard de Dover, a descendent of the latter, held the vast possessions of his progenitors: he ultimately retired to the abbey of Lesnes, which he had founded in 1179; and dying there, this famous name became extinct, when the estates passed, by the marriage of a female relative, to an illegitimate son of King John" NB: This history goes as far as stating that Richard de Dover (ie. Lucy) was the descendent of Hugh de Dover although further reading about this author may put some doubt on this, particularly as they were of similar age.

From the earlier 'History of Town and Port of Dover' by Rev. John Lyon 1814..........

The history states that Richard de Dover (Chief Justice) was probably interred with some of his ancestors at Lesnes, for on digging up the foundations of the chapel in the reign of King James, the workmen discovered a vault in which there were several coffins, richly ornamented, with the arms - Gules, three lucies hauriant, between eight cross crosslets, or.

In 'Villare Cantianum' by John Philipot (1589?-1645) he stated that "this Richard de Lucy, the founder, was son of Richard, who was son of Roger de Chilham, and he was son of Fulbert de Dover, who entered England with William the Conqueror, and changed his name of Lucy to Dover..."

In 1140 Hugh of Chilham granted the Church of Chilham to the Church of St. Bertin for his soul, and that of his father Fulbert de Dover, mother Adelit, his relations and that of Matilda his wife. In Domesday, Fulbert is recorded holding Chilham of the Bishop of Bayeux in 1086. On the Bishop's forfeiture and the creation of the Barony of Fobert, as one of the eight Lordships constituting the Constabulary of Dover Castle, the King granted Chilham, as part of that Barony, to Fulbert. This Barony consisted of 15 knight's fees of which Chilham furnished two. The Manor of Kingston was part of the lands given by the Conqueror to Fulbert de Dover, being held "in capite" by barony. In the 1600's this was sometimes known as the Barony of Fobert or Chilham.

The historian Sir Alfred Clapham in his 1915 History of Lesnes Abbey also agrees that Richard de Lucy's father was Robert de Lucy together with listing his wife as Rohese and Richard's brothers, Walter and Robert.

He cites that "from another charter it appears that this Robert was brother to Walter de Lucy, Abbot of Battle, who is known to have been brother to Richard, the founder of Lesnes; thus Robert de Lucy (the elder) was the father of all three brothers."

"A copy of the charter is preserved amongst the state papers of Henry VIII. He calls himself Robert, son of Robert de Lucy and continues: 'Be it known that I have given for the love of God and the good estate of my most dear lord Richard de Lucy and for the souls of my father and mother and of all the faithful, to the Abbey which the said lord Richard de Lucy founded at Westwood, in Lesnes, in honour of God and the blessed Thomas the Martyr" (ref: PRO vol. 4 no. 3587).

Richard de Lucy


A charter for Henry I, from the summer of 1131, possibly at Dieppe confirms an earlier charter of February that year from Rouen:-

"Ad dominium autem et proprium usum Sagiensis episcope damus et
confirmamus totumfeodem Alodii (Laleu, Orne) quem tenuit Guillelmus
Ghot, hoc est quicquid ipse habuit inter Sartam et Tancham tam in
terries quam in pratis et aquis et molendinis et silvis et hominibus
et telonesis et consuetudinibus et omnibus omnino rebus, sicut idem
Guillelmus quietus et liberius tenuit tempore patris mei; quem feodum
ego emi de nostra propria pecunia de Avelina nepte ipsius Guillelmi
et Ricardo de Luceio filio ipsius Aveline et de justis heredibus
predicti Alodii, et ipsi, Avelina scilicet et Ricardus, et iusti
heredes eiusdem feodi eum in manu Roberti filii nostri comitia
Glocestrie videntibus multis reddiderunt et postea coram me
vendicionem istam cognoverunr et confirmaverunt et eam quietam de se
et suis heredibus cesserunt."

This early record for Richard de Lucy (Ricardo de Luceio) infers that Aveline (the mother of Richard de Lucy) was probably the granddaughter (nepte) of William Goth. The use of 'nepte' in early documents can also refer to a neice. This charter has been transcribed from the "Red Book of Seéz". It also records that Aveline and Richard held the allodial inheritance of Laleu (S.E. of Seéz - now Sées, between the rivers Sarthe and Tanche) and therefore had to sell to the King as 'joint owners', probably because Richard had not come of age; for the benefit of Henry's illegitimate son Robert Earl of Gloucester (Robert FitzRoy), who granted it to Seéz Cathedral. Robert held the honour of Sainte-Scolasse-sur-Sarthe adjoining Laleu to the north, through his wife Mabel FitzRobert; brought to the family via her mother Sybil de Montgomery and her mother Mabel de Bellême. The castle at Sainte-Scolasse was destroyed circa 1150. Another early charter of 1202 records a Walter de Laleu who married Isabelle Gruel, daughter of William Gruel and Jeanne de Randonnai from Mauves-sur-Huisne.

This document appears to post-date, the February 1131, Rouen Charter for Séez Cathedral, recorded by Dugdale, which mentions a fief which Henry I bought from Richard de Lucy and his mother Aveline, the niece and heiress of William Goth. The surname Goth is apparently difficult to decipher in the original. It could actually read 'Goz'. Horace Round considered 'Goz' to be variant of 'Goiz' and 'Guiz', recognised variants of 'Gouviz' and 'Gouvis'. It should also be noted that Thurstan Goz was viscount of the encompassing county of Hiémois between 1017 and 1025. Hugh d'Avranches (1047-1101) was the son of Richard le Goz. S. Baring-Gould in 1910 believed that 'le Goz' was used to distinguish the family as Gothlanders, descended from Rollo (Hrólfr), the first ruler of Normandy and Count of Rouen.

The 'Complete Peerage', referring to Dugdale, confirms that the family appeared to have taken their name from Lucé-sur-Orne, a commune in the department of Orné, a short distance south-east of Domfront, and in the Bailiwick of Passeis. In the return of the Norman fees of 1172 there occurs the following: "De Baillia de Basseis/Passeis . . . Ricardus de Lusceio j militem et sibi xvij milites". Lucé lies geographically in Maine, and its real connection with Normandy dates from the occupation in 1092 of Domfront, the castle of Robert de Bellême, by Henry Beauclerc, the Count of the Cotentin. It seems probable that this particular connection between Henry I and the southern border of Normandy may have first brought the family to the King's notice.

There is also a record in a charter regarding Sheppey Monastery, Kent c1130
referring to a fee and a half of plough-land of Richard de Lucy in the
Isles of Sheppey and Grain, acquired by William Archbishop of Canterbury
(1123-1136), from Aveline, the mother of Richard de Lucy of Newington.
" dimidium sulingum terre de feodo Ricardi de Lucy ex adquisitione
ejusdem Willielmi archiepiscopi per Avelinam matrem praefati
Ricardi de Lucy de Newenthon et terram de Rypen in insula de Scapeye
et in insula de Gryen redditus sex librarum quas predictus archiepiscopus
mercatus est de ipsis heredibus......"

Prior to this, c1100 a Robert Latin or Latimer (the interpreter), a sheriff's officer in Kent, made a deathbed bequest for the sake of his soul to the church of St Andrew (Rochester) of marshland in the Isle of Grain which he held of Archbishop Anselm. This same Robert Latin held Litelai or Lesnes on behalf of Bishop Odo in 1086.

Newington, Kent was a prebendal manor, historically held by the realm's top administrators. It was originally part of the adjacent Milton Regis, the King's manor; before 1066, held by Swithgar (Sidgar), the King's secretary or scribe. By 1086 Newington was the manor of Albert of Lorraine, the King's clerk and chaplain. Both these individuals were from the religious community. Ralph or Richard Goiz held Newington 1107-16 after which Richard de Lucy held it as a paternal inheritance granted by Henry I. Richard Goiz, the son of Torstein Goiz (le Goz), was with William the Conqueror at Exeter in 1069.

Orderic's Chronicle and Dugdale confirm that on 1st October 1138, Richard de Lucy was Constable of Falaise in Normandy for King Stephen, and held it so stoutly against Geoffrey Earl of Anjou that he was rewarded with thirteen additional knight's fees in Essex, including the town of Grinstead. He followed King Stephen to England at the end of 1138 and fought on the King's side throughout his contest with the Empress Maud, and routed the forces of the latter in a pitched battle near Wallingford. Richard was in constant attendance on Stephen and witnessed 135 of his charters. He first witnessed King Stephen's charters in 1138. He was with Stephen at Oxford, Norwich and London in 1139-40 and at Lincoln in March 1140-February 1141. At Christmas 1141 he was in Canterbury.

When the agreement between Stephen and Henry Duke of Normandy was entered upon in 1153, by which Henry was named as successor to the throne, "for the better securing of that Accord, the Tower of London, and Castle of Windsor, by the advice of the whole Clergy, were then given into the hands of this Richard de Lucie, he (by his solemn Oath) promising that upon the death of King Stephen he would faithfully deliver them to Henry; and for his more effectual performance of that Trust, gave up his own Son as a Hostage." (Dugdale).

"Etiam turris Lundoniensis Ricardo de Luceio, et mota Windlesores consilio
sancte ecclesie ad custodiendum tradite sunt. Ricardus autem de Luceio juravit,
et in manu archiepiscopi et custodiam filium suum obsidem dedit quod post meum
decessum predicta castra duci redderet." (Regesta III 97-99 no. 272).

The new King, on his accession, rewarded and employed him. He had a grant of the whole hundred of Angré (Ongar) with other manors in Essex; although Richard had been a tenant in Essex to the Honour of Boulogne before 1152 and definitely by 1153. Richard built his castle at Chipping Ongar, Essex between 1153-54. He was the sole witness to the coronation charter of Henry II in 1154 and during 1162 was appointed Lord Justiciary of England, the highest post of honour that could be held by a subject.

Richard de Lucy retained possessions in France and in 1172 is recorded as Lord Gouviz and Baron Crétot, and militarily responsible for the Bailiwick of Passeis, near Domfront, of which Lucé forms a part. He originally held this responsibility in conjunction with Gervase Paynell. Tollard Govis in Wiltshire was held by Roger de Govis; it had previously been held by Richard de Govis (de Gouvis) in 1166-1167. Robert de Lucy (c1210-1261), son of Hubert de Lucy (nephew of Richard de Lucy) who married Marjory de Tollard, granddaughter of Richard de Govis, held the adjacent Tollard Lucy; it had been previously held between 1223-1227 by Robert de Lucy's relict Margery de Sackville, of Crichel Lucy in Dorset, adjacent to Tollard. Crichel Lucy was the eastern manor of Long Crichel, the western being Crichel Govis. The ancient arms for Lucy of Dorset were gules a single luce (pike) hauriant or. Robert's effigy can be seen in nearby Berwick St. John church with two lucies hauriant on his shield. Arms with both two lucies (Gules semée of cross crosslet two lucies hauriant or) and three lucies, together with the arms of Lesnes Abbey, can be found in the sets of heraldic bosses in the roof of the cloisters at Canterbury Cathedral (erected 1391-1411).

Unfortunately the early history of the Lords of Gouviz is unknown, however the church in Gouviz, Normandy (now Gouvix), built by Robert de Gouviz in 1136, still stands together with the Knights Templar chapel of the Commandery of Voismer. Roger de Gouvis and Guillaume, his son, founded the Commandery of Voismer at Fontaine-le-Pin in 1148, 3 miles south of Gouviz. This included a crenellated tower that defended the bridge over the River Laise (La Laize). Their donations were confirmed in 1202 by Robert de Gouvis, their son and grandson. The Voismer Commandery belonged to the Templars until 1307. The Bretteville Commandery, 1 mile east of Gouviz had also belonged to the Lords of Gouviz. As prevously stated, Richard de Lucy was Lord of Gouviz in 1172. In 1181 Raoul de Govis is recorded in a foundation charter for the Abbey of Barbery, sister to Savigny Abbey. He donated the rights he had over the church of Saint-Germain-du-Chemin, located in Fontenay-le-Marmion, 3 miles north of Gouviz. Robert and Roger de Gouvis, around 1191, made donations to the Ardenne monastery, founded near Caen. Guillaume, Richard, Robert and Raoul de Gouvis are all registered in the charters of donations made to the Abbey of Saint-Étienne, Caen and Robert de Gouvis was Governor of Caen in 1204.

Gouvix is an arrondissement of Falaise, located just north of Falaise on the River Laise, where there still remains amongst gardens, the ruins of the lower walls of a castle on the banks of the river. According to Master Wace in his poem, William, the Sire of Gouviz was present at the Battle of Hastings. Robert de Gouviz (c1150-1200) held the arms on seals of vaire a bendlet (probably using squirrel fir). Despite the problems with the Battle Abbey Rolls, the surname Lucy does occur in several versions; as 'Lucy' in Holinshed and Duchesne and as 'Luscy' in the Auchinleck Manuscript and Leland, all purporting to record those present at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. However no christian name is recorded and Fulbert de Lucy would probably have been born after 1066.

The connection with Crétot is more distant. As mentioned previously, Richard de Lucy was also Baron Crétot in 1172. Crétot (later known as Criquetot), north-west of Goderville, still has a large motte with surrounding ditch. Before Richard, in 1118, Guy le Bouteiller, Constable of Rouen, was Lord of Crétot and slightly later still it was held by William Martel, Lord Bacqueville-en-Caux and Baron Goderville, the son of Geoffrey Martel. William Martel donated Bacqueville Church in 1134. In 1149/54 William's son Geoffrey Martel witnessed a charter for Abbotsbury Abbey with Richard de Lucy.

Robert (-1195), Sire of Criquetot-l'Esneval, married Héloïse d'Avranches Briquessart, daughter of William d'Avranches de Briquessart, le Meschin (1085-1134), Baron Egremont and grandson of Richard le Goz. According to the Falaise Roll, Ansger de Criquetot was at Hastings in 1066. William Tregoz de Criquetot of Norfolk, son of Geoffrey Tregoz (-1175), was a minor at his father's death and was put under the guardianship of Robert de Lucy of Norfolk. William married Robert de Lucy's daughter, probably Agnes, in 1187-8.

Geoffrey de Goreham


In the early 1100's, the Lord's of Mayenne surrendered the custody of their castles at Ambieres and Gorron. A Geoffrey de Goreham or Gorron/Gorram (born in le Mans of a noble Normandy family), the Abbot of St. Albans (1119-1146), was summoned from Maine and was recorded as a kinsman of Robert de Lucy who he 'introduced to the royal circle'. Some sources record him as Geoffrey de Lucé. His grandfather was Rivallon de Dol. It has also been suggested that William Goth, the grandfather or uncle of Aveline (mother of Robert de Lucy), could have been mistranscribed from 'Gorh', shorthand for Goreham.

Walter de Lucy, brother to Richard de Lucy, originally a monk of Lonlay, lived for some time with Geoffrey de Goreham (again noted as a relative) prior to being appointed the Abbot of Battle Abbey (1139-1171). A nephew of Geoffrey, Robert de Goram (1151-1166) was a sacrist at St.Albans and there is evidence of the marriage of a Gorram to Cristina in the Thorney Abbey Annals. Geoffrey's remains were removed from the Chapter House at St.Albans Cathedral in 1978 and reburied in the choir of the Abbey Church. He had a brother William de Gorron of St. Berthevin-la-Tanniere, who married Matilda and had sons Giles, Ive, Robert (mentioned above), another brother Ralph (who married Hersendis, daughter of Walter, Lord of Maine) and a sister Olivia (who married Hugh, son of Humbald of Westwick, Hertfordshire, later Gorhambury). St. Berthevin-la-Tanniere is located just west of Gorron.

There is also a record of a Geoffrey de Lucy (monk) mentioned at Savigny in 1137 (possibly a younger son). A group of monks from Savigny formed Jervaulx, Wensleydale in 1145 among other English settlements. A Ralph de Lucy is recorded in 1140-48 in a charter regarding Foucarmont. Their first Abbot came from Savigny when it was founded in 1130. Richard's brother, Walter de Lucy was initially a monk at Lonlay-l'Abbaye, which is only five and an half miles from Domfront. Another of Richard's brothers was Robert de Lucy of Chrishall and Elmdon, Essex.

Lesnes Abbey


On the 11th June 1178, Richard de Lucy founded the priory of Westwode (later known as Lesnes Abbey) in the diocese of Rochester, Kent in honour of St. Thomas, of Canterbury, the martyr, which he munificently endowed. In this priory he subsequently assumed the habit of a canon regular and departing this life soon after (14th July 1179), was buried there, possibly in the chapter-house.

There is also a reference to "Anselm de Lucy, who granted to the Church of St. Thomas the Martyr of Leanes, for the benefit of his soul and for the soul of Richard de Lucy, his father, and Richard de Montfichet, his son 40/- of rent out of its land at Thorney, by Stowmarket, Suffolk". Obviously this is a previously unrecorded son of Richard de Lucy (Justiciar). Geoffrey de Lucy, Constable of Berkhamsted was also a benefactor. On the death of Richard de Lucy the patronage of Lesnes was continued by Godfrey de Lucy, his son, who entered the Church and became Bishop of Winchester (1189-1204).

From other references, it is recorded that Emma de Lucy, granted to Missenden Abbey a quit rent of 3s payable by Lesnes Abbey in respect of 12 acres held in Elmdon (Essex); the money provided by herself and her brother Robert de Lucy and her lord Serlo de Marci. This Emma was the daughter of Robert de Lucy, brother of Richard de Lucy. Besides the site, the founder granted to Lesnes Abbey the churches of Newington and Marden, and his brother Robert, the church of Emdon in Essex. His son Hubert had the lordship of Stanford, Essex and the hundred of Angré for his lively-hood, but died without issue.

On Richard de Lucy's tomb in Lesnes Abbey was written the following epitaph:-

"Rapitur in tenebras RICHARDUS lux Luciorum
Jufticie pacis dilector & vrbis honorum
CHRISTE fibi requies tecum fit fede piorum.
Julia tunc orbilux bis feptena nitebat,
Mille annos C. nouem et Septuaginta mouebat:"

According to John Weever in his 1630 "Discourse on Funeral Monuments", he states that a Sir John Hippesley, the then owner of the Lesnes property, "appointed certaine workemen to digge amongst the rubbish of the decayed fabricke of the Church (which had laine a long time buried in her owne ruins, and growne over with oke, elme, and ashe-trees) for stones, and these happened upon a goodly funerall monument; the full proportion of a man, in his coate armour, his sword hanging at his side by a broad belt, upon which the flower-de-luce was engraven in many places: (being, as I take it, the rebus, or device, of the Lucies:) this, his (Sir Richard Lucie's) representation, or picture, lay upon a flat marble stone; that stone upon a trough, or coffin, of white smooth hewn asheler stone: in that coffin, and a sheet of lead, (both being made fit for the dimension of a dead body,) the remaines of an ashie drie carkasse lay enwrapped, whole, and undisjointed, and upon his head some haire, or a simile quiddam of haire, appeared; they likewise found other statues of men in like manner proportioned, as also of a woman in her attire and abiliments, with many grave-stones and bones of the deceased; to see all which, great confluence of people resorted, amongst which number I was not the hindmost."

William Stukeley (1687-1765) the antiquarian, surveyed the ruins of Lesnes Abbey in April 1753 and his plan illustrates the position of the church and cloisters, together with the location of the founders tomb in the north transept of the church.

Lesnes Abbey as surveyed by Stukeley in 1753

In 1909, Sir Alfred Clapham excavated the buried remains of Lesnes Abbey again and within the Lady Chapel a stone effigy of a man in mixed mail and armour plate was found, representing a member of the de Lucy family from about 1320. This is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

There is some confusion in the early records regarding the final resting place of Richard de Lucy's wife Rohese. She was most probably buried in Holy Trinity Priory, Aldgate, London. This is confirmed in a sealed charter of gift by Richard de Lucy dated 1151 of 20/- to the Church from his rent of Newington in Kent. Elsewhere it is stated that she was buried in Faversham Abbey (founded by Stephen and Matilda) or alternatively in the Crypt of Canterbury Cathedral; but not at Lesnes Abbey.

Godfrey de Lucy


Godfrey de Lucy was the second son of Richard de Lucy and his wife Rohese. He became Dean of St. Martin le Grand in London before being appointed Archdeacon of Derby in the diocese of Lichfield about 1171. He was Archdeacon of Richmond in the diocese of York before 18th August 1184 and also held prebends in the Dioceses of Exeter, Lincoln, London and Salisbury. He was also a Royal Justice and was nominated to the See of Winchester on 15th September 1189 and consecrated on 22nd October 1189. He died on the 11th September 1204. There is evidence of a long standing clandestine marriage with Agatha (a wet nurse employed by Eleanor of Aquitaine) who later married William of Gaddesden. Godfrey held property in the Strand, London and had three known illegitimate sons namely, Geoffrey (d. 1241) Arch Deacon of London, Dean of St. Pauls and Chancellor Oxford University; John (who received gift of the house in the Strand) and Philip, clerk of chamber until 1207. Godfrey also referred to Pharamus de Boulogne (nephew of Queen Matilda of England 1103-1152) as his 'avunculus' or uncle.

Despite there being an existing tomb for Godfrey at Winchester Cathedral, according to his will he was interred in Lesnes Abbey. On the Lesnes tomb it stated that he died on 2nd December, not 11th September as recorded elsewhere. On this epitaph was written:-

"Lux mea lux CHRISTI, si terre ventre quiesco,
Attamen in celo sanctorum luce lucesco.
Presul de Winton, fueram quondam cathedratus
Multum resplendens, & alto sanguine natus.
Nunc id sum quod eris puluis, rota non retinenda
Voluitur, inuigila prudens nec differ agenda.
M. C. bis: quatuorque annos his insuper addas,
Carnis vincla dies soluit secunda Decembris,
Vos qui transitis ancillam poscite CHRISTI,
Sit Dominus mitis pulso purgamine tristi."

Some other contemporary individuals with this name were:-

(1) Maurice de Lucy (a relative of Geoffrey de Lucy, who became Warden of the Channel Isles in 1204 and was "Keeper of the coast from Pevensey to Bristol" in 1224 under Henry III) who married Nichola de Barneville. He was warden of the islands in 1206-7 and again from 1224 to 1226; killed during one of the invasions of Guernsey during the reign of King John. He owned Sutton-Lucy in Widworthy and Lucyhays in Devon during the reign of Henry II. Maurice's son was Jordan de Lucy (this is recorded in a writ of 29 January 1230). Incidentally, Richard de Lucy, on his return from Falaise in 1138, had fought to suppress rebellion in Devon and also Bodmin, Cornwall, under Count Alan, 1st Earl of Richmond (d. 1146), to recover Alan's Breton inheritance. Alan was subsequently captured with King Stephen at Lincoln in 1141 and tortured until he relinquished his claim to the Earldom of Cornwall. Between 1139-1140 Richard de Lucy constructed an adulterine castle at Truro where he resided. This was released to Reginald FitzRoy, an illegitimate son of Henry I, in 1140. Richard held ten knight's fees in Cornwall prior to 1135, plus nine of the fee of Adam de Malherb, probably at Thorne, near Bude.

(2) Alexander de Lucy, an official of Carlisle, who became Archdeacon of Carlisle on 8th June 1203. He appears to have lasted less than a year in this post. He does however witness a charter concerning the parish church of Malden in 1216.

(3) Giosberto di Luci or Josbertus de Luci (c.1091-1119), Josbert de Lucy in French, was involved in the Norman administration of Sicily under King Roger II (1095-1154). He married Muriella Altavilla (c.1080-1119), third daughter of Roger I, Count of Sicily (c.1031-1101) and his second wife Eremburge de Mortain. His son, Bartholomew was made Count of Paternó by King Henry VI in September 1194, married Desiderata Policastro and died in 1200. Bartholomew founded the Cistercian Abbey of Santa Maria di Roccamadore in Tremestieri near Messina, based on the French model of Saint Mary of Rocamadour near Quercy. An Anfusus or Alphonse de Luci (son of Philippi de Luci), probably a kinsman of Bartholomew, described himself as a relative of King William in a charter of 1171. The family held many possessions in Sicily and Calabria. It is probable that de Lucy of Sicily came from a different family than that of Richard de Lucy from Orné - possibly from Lucy in the former province of Lorraine (there is a close resemblance in the arms); but this is unproven.

(4) Guy de Lucy joined the Albigensian crusade (1209-1229) having a close connection to the crusade's leader Simon de Montfort. He came from the Orléanais and in June 1211 received the fief of Puylaurens near Toulouse. He disappears from the record after 1212. Another Guy de Lucy married Agnes in 1228, the widow of Gervase (Lord of Saint-Cenery Giroie) who died 1223, the son of William Giroie (d. 1209). In 1044 their ancestor William Fitz Giroie built the castle at Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei in Orné, on the River Sarthe, the walls of which still remain today. Guy de Lucé (1227-1281) is also found in Maine.

View timeline to illustrate these individuals

Further information on the family of de Lucy in the 12th Century

See the de Lucy heraldic bosses at Canterbury Cathedral

Further information on the genealogy of the ancient de Lucy family

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Published by Norman Lucey
© Copyright 2008-2024, Norman Lucey. All rights reserved.

Page created 28th March 2008 and
updated on 6th November 2011 and 29th August 2014.
Further revised 28th November 2015, 2nd December 2016, 22nd March 2017,
4th September 2018 and 23rd September 2020.
This minor revision dated 22nd February 2024.