Geoffrey de Lucy

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Geoffrey (Geoffroi) de Lucy, Warden of Guernsey 1206-1207, Warden of the Isles 1224-1226

Family background

The de Lucy family originated in Lucé, in Orne, Normandy and settled in Newington, Kent, after the Norman Conquest. The first member of the family to go to England may have fought in the Battle of Hastings. Geoffroi was probably born in Newington about 1170, the son of Sir Geoffroi de Lucy, whose father was Richard de Lucy, the first member of the family born in England, in 1098. His father was Adrian de Lucy, born in Normandy in 1064.

Royal service

Geoffrey de Lucy was justiciar of England under John and Henry III. At Christmas 1205 he was one of the King's barons assembled "in plena curia nostra" at Marlborough. He was appointed to see that no ship or boat left any port without the King's special precept, and in 1205 was Keeper of Sussex, and of Guernsey for a short time in 1206-07. In 1206 he was in the King's service abroad.

He was appointed keeper, of the castle of Merpins in Anjou, 6 September 1214. Though not originally of the Barons' party, he joined them before Magna Carta was wrested from King John; he seems to have returned to his allegiance immediately after that King's death, and was one of the leaders of the royal forces in the relief of Lincoln Castle, in May 1217, where he saved the life of William de Mandeville, Earl of Essex, a leader of the Barons.

In 1219 he set out for the Holy Land, returning before 1223, when he was in the King's service in Wales in the household of William de Mandeville. In November of that year he was appointed constable of Berkhamstead Castle; in 1224 joint keeper of the sea coast from Pevensey to Bristol with the barons of the Cinque Ports; from 1228 to 1233 keeper of Porchester Castle; in 1229 a justice in Eyre.

Marriage

He married, in 1207, Juliane, widow of Piers de Stokes, steward to King John, and daughter of Aymer Le Despenser, by Amabel or Maud, daughter and coheir of Walter de Chesney.

The family appears to have taken its name from Luce, a commune in the department of Orne, about 6 kilometers SE of Domfront, and in the bailiwick of Passeis. In the return of the Norman fees of 1172 there occurs the following: "De Passeis . . . Ricards de Lucceio j militem et sibi xvij milites"

Luce lies geographically in Maine, and its real connection with Normandy dates from the occupation in 1092 of Domfront, the castle of Robert de Belleme, 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, a view which is supported by the fact that in a charter for Seez Cathedral dated Feb 1131, Henry mentions a fief which he had bought from Richard de Lucy, and his mother Aveline.

Gardien of Guernsey

Geoffroi de Lucy was appointed Gardien of Guernsey by King Johnin the wake of the Channel Islands' split from Normandy in 1204, but not until after the subsequent capture of the islands by the French. They were driven out by a force led by mercenary Eustace the Monk, so it is ironic that when they were again attacked in about 1216, both Eustace and de Lucy had changed sides and led the raid on the islands. de Lucy was one of the English barons who fell out with King John.

He clearly changed sides once more and was put in charge of all the islands by John's son Henry III some eight years later.

His first appointment in Guernsey was from 19 May 2006 at the latest. On 2 July that year there was correspondence over a delivery of flour he had ordered for Guernsey.

Warden of the Isles

His second appointment as Warden of all the Channel Islands started in October 1224. On the 8th of that month he was in England and by the 22nd he received an order as Gardien. On 9 January 1225 he received an official appointment as Gardien and he can be seen acting in this role on several occasions during 1225 and up to 16 May 1226.

On 14 December 1225 the King allowed him 445 livres for his expenses up to 24 November and 171 livres 10 sous for 25 November 1225 to 3 January 1226.

From February 1226 Hugues de Saint Philibert was appointed Gardien for Jersey under de Lucy and by May of that year he had left office, his last Act being on 16 May. By the 17th his successor, Richard de Gray had been appointed.

Descendants

There is a strong family connection with Guernsey down the line from Geoffrey de Lucy. His son Maurice (1197- ) married Nicolaa de Barneville. Their son Jordan (1209- ) had a daughter Alianor de Lucy de Barneville (1225- ) who married Nicholas de Sausmarez (1205- )

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