William de Percy 1st Baron de Percy.
In 1070 he was engaged on works connected
with the rebuilding of York Castle after its destruction by the Danes
and in 1072 he took part in the Conquerors expedition to Scotland. At
the Domesday survey he was tenant in chief in the three ridings of
Yorkshire, in Lindsey, with a small holding in Nottingham and of
Humbledon Hants which he had received with his wife (Emma de Port). He
was also an under tenant of the Earl of Chester in Whitby and in Catton
and in the city of York and of the Bishop of Durham in Scarborough and
He built the castle at Topcliffe and before 1086 he refounded the monastery at Whitby. He was among the Barons present when the Conqueror heard a plea relating to property of the Abbey of Fecamp and he witnessed charters of William II in the period before 1095. In 1096 he set out on the first crusade and died and was buried at Mount Joy near Jerusalem. (This was also the ancient burial site of Samuel of the Old Testament and the hill today is called Nebi Samwel) just 10 km's NW of Jerusalem. Following Williams dying wishes Sir Ralph Eversly a Knight carried his heart back to England and it was buried at Whitby Abbey. William had sons Alan, Walter, William, Richard and Arnolde.
William became the 2nd Abbot of Whitby in 1102.
From Richard sprang the Percies of Dunsley.
Arnolde de Percy witnessed his father William de Percy's charter to Whitby and from him came the Percies of Kildale and Kilnwick Percy.
William de Percy had 2 brothers. Serlo de Percy became prior of Whitby Abbey and Picot de Percy was a tenant of William at Bolton upon Dearne and Sutton upon Derwent. Picot de Percy donated the church at Bolton Percy to Nostell priory. His son Robert de Percy gave the church at Sutton upon Derwent to Whitby Abbey witnessed by his son William. There was further issue from this branch of the family for in 1266 Piers de Percy held Wharram Percy in Chief and had other lands in Sutton upon Derwent, Carnaby and Bolton Percy which all came under the Percy fee. Piers de Percy was of the direct male Percy lineage, which apparently became extinct in 1168.
Alan de Percy, 2nd Baron de Percy (Magnus Alanus).
The son and heir of William de Percy was born in 1069. Alan issued charters to Whitby Abbey confirming gifts made by his father in Yorkshire and Lindsey and adding gifts of his own. He was a benefactor of St Peter's hospital York. He sired an illegitimate son Alan de Percy who became a renowned soldier. Alan married Emma de Gant and died in 1120. His widow with consent of their son William gave land in Wold Newton to Bridlington Priory. There were three other sons, Walter Baron of Rougemont, Geoffrey de Percy, Henry de Percy, Robert de Percy and Gosfrid de Percy who was Abbot of St Mary's at York. William de Percy 3rd Baron de Percy and son and heir of Alan. Married Alice daughter of Everard, Baron de Ros. He died in 1133.
William de Percy 4th Baron de Percy
The son and heir of William he was born in 1112. In February 1136
King Stephen confirmed to Whitby Abbey the gifts made by him, his
father and grand father and he attended the Kings court at Easter. In
1138 he was among the Yorkshire Barons who fought for Stephen at the
battle of the Standard. He witnessed the confirmation charters of Henry
II to Nostell Priory in July 1157 and to Whitby Abbey. In 1166 he held
knights' fees of the Bishop of Durham and in the honour of Richmond and
had an inheritance in Normandy. He was the founder of Sallay (Sawley)
Abbey on January 6 1147 on a site given by him, and to which he added
several of the Percy lands in Craven. He also founded Stainfield Priory
in Lincolnshire and was a benefactor of Byland and Fountains Abbeys and
of Marksby and Sixle Priories in Lincolnshire. He also gave the church
at Topcliffe to St Peters York. He married firstly Alice de Tonbridge
and secondly Sibyl de Valognes widow of Robert de Roos.He died in 1168
and was buried at Fountains Abbey and was apparently the last of the
direct male line. This is now shown to be incorrect.
Alan de Percy son and heir by his first wife witnessed his father's early charters to Sallay Abbey. He died s.p as did all his brothers Walter, Richard and William who was the Abbot of Whitby. So at Easter 1175 the Percy inheritance was divided between the two daughters and co heirs of Willam de Percy, Maude wife of William Earl of Warwick and Agnes wife of Jocelin de Louvain the only one who had issue.
Agnes de Percy heiress married Jocelin de Louvain who was the half brother of Queen Adeliza 2nd wife of Henry I. Their father was Godrey Barbatus, Count of Brabant and Louvain and it was through her (Adeliza's) endowment that Jocelin recieved the honour of the estate of Petworth in Sussex. In 1166 Jocelin held Knights fees amongst the tenants in chief in Yorkshire. Jocelin died in 1180. Agnes died in 1204. They had five sons.
Ralph de Percy returned to France and had issue.
Robert de Percy.
Josceline de Percy.
Richard the younger son was given interests including knights' fees in Catton, Stamford Bridge, the city of York, and in Ludford Lincolnshire and he as did his elder brother took on their mother's name.
In 1204 Richard de Percy was confirmed by the Sheriff of Yorkshire all the land in the bailiwick which his Mother had and that which the countess Maude his aunt held in the Chester fee. In 1205 the King confirmed to Sixle Priory the Manor of Ludford.
These divisions of the Percy inheritance led to several years of disputes between Richard and his brother's son William. Richard managed to maintain possession of his share until his death but it did not pass to his own son Henry to whom however he had granted the manor 'de Bello Alneto' and the will of Settle in Yorkshire but to his nephew William!
Richard built a chapel in the churchyard at Topcliffe and was of the Barons appointed to enforce the provisions of the Magna Carta and was among those whose excommunication by the Pope was procured by the King in 1216. In the same year he was one of the Yorkshire Barons who subdued that county on behalf of the King of France and on May 11 1217 the King ordered the seizing of all his land to be given to his nephew William. But his allegiance returned to the King and restoration was ordered and he became a justice at York. He married 1stly Alice and 2ndly Agnes daughter of Neville of Raby. Two sons Henry and Alexander were born as was a daughter Alicia de Percy. Richard died in 1244 and was buried in Fountains Abbey. His son Henry had issue.
Sir Henry de Percy Kt and 5th Baron de Percy,
Was the eldest son of Agnes de Percy and Jocelin de Louvain. He too took his Mothers name. He inherited the honour of Petworth from his father and other fees from his mother in Yorkshire. He married Isabel de Brus and died in 1198 and was buried at the Abbey at St Lo in Normandy.
William de Percy 6th Baron de Percy
Sir Henry de Percy 7th Baron de Percy
Henry de Percy 8th Baron de Percy and 1st Lord Percy of Alnwick
Was born at Petworth in 1272 and succeeded his brother John in 1293.
He was Regent during the Kings absence abroad and was among English
magnates summonsed to a convention at York to which the Scottish
prelates and nobles were ordered to attend.
In 1299 Henrico de Percy was summonsed to parliament with a Barony By Writ, whereby he is held to have become the 1st LORD PERCY. In July 1300 he was with his maternal grandfathers retinue at the siege of Carlaverock where he displayed for the first time a yellow banner with a blue lion. This represented a major change from the Percies ancient arms, azure, a fess engrailed argent and then azure, a fess engrailed d'or to this blazon D'or a lion rampant azure. The reasons why Henry de Percy changed his arms is unsure and it is still a matter of conjecture where this new blue lion originated. Some have associated the blue lion with that of Louvain, others with that of Fitzalan Earls of Arundel.
Henry was the constable of Scarborough castle by 1307 and was summonsed to the coronation of Edward II and in November 1309 purchased Alnwick castle from the Bishop of Durham.
He married Eleanor de Arundle and they had two sons Henry and William. Henry died in 1315 at Alnwick and was buried at Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire. His widow a Dowager died in 1328 and was buried in Beverley, Yorkshire where her orbit is celebrated.
Locations of Percy interest in Yorkshire.
St Mary's York.
St Denys Church, York.
Links to some of these places will be added at a future stage.