LUCY, Sir William (1353-1401), of Charlecote, Warws.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 11 June 1353, 2nd s. and event. h. of William Lucy (d.c.1357), of Charlecote by his w. Elizabeth (d.1361). m. bef. Dec. 1370, (?Isabel) da. of Thomas de la Barre of Rotherwas, Herefs., 2s. inc. Thomas*. Kntd. by Mar. 1378.

Offices Held

Steward of the duchy of Lancaster lordships of Monmouth and the Three Castles (by appointment of John of Gaunt); constable of Monmouth castle 24 July 1387-d. ; steward of Grosmont bef. 1399-d.

J.p Herefs. 24 Dec. 1390-July 1397.

Commr. of inquiry, Glos., Worcs. Dec. 1391 (salmon poaching); to make proclamation against confederations of lollards, Herefs. Sept. 1393; of array Dec. 1399; oyer and terminer, Warws. Feb. 1400; arrest, Herefs. Apr. 1401.

Sheriff, Herefs. 24 Nov. 1400-d.


The Lucys had settled at Charlecote in the early 13th century. In 1361, after the deaths of William’s parents, the heir was his elder brother, Thomas, the wardship of whose lands in Bodenham ‘Fourches’, Herefordshire, was granted to a local landowner, Sir Walter Devereux. Thomas died in 1369, whereupon William, too, was placed in Sir Walter’s care; but it was Sir John Burley and Thomas de la Barre who arranged his marriage to the latter’s daughter, though Burley’s claim to have the marriage by gift of Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford, was refuted by the Crown and he was fined 100 marks. When Lucy came of age in June 1374 he inherited, besides Charlecote and Bodenham, the manors of Kingstone (Herefordshire), Wick Rissington (Gloucestershire), Bishampton (Worcestershire) and Shrewley (Warwickshire).1

Lucy’s tenure of Shrewley from the duchy of Lancaster was a decisive factor in his career. In 1378, already a knight, he joined the retinue of William Montagu, earl of Salisbury, in the army about to set out for France under the command of John of Gaunt; and on 8 Nov. 1381 the duke granted him an annuity of £20 for life charged on the lordship of Monmouth, he being retained to serve Gaunt in peace and war as one of his bachelors. Four years later he accompanied the duke north on the royal expedition to Scotland, and in 1386 he prepared to campaign under his banner in Castile. In 1387 Gaunt, who was then still in Spain, rewarded him with the offices of steward and constable of Monmouth and steward of the Three Castles for term of his life. Moreover, when Lucy was first appointed as a j.p. it was in association with his lord.2 Lucy’s public service was to a large extent concentrated on the marches of Wales. But the family seat was in Warwickshire, and in 1395 he made a grant of land in that county to the Trinitarian friary at Thelsford, a house founded by his ancestors. Few other details of his personal affairs are known, although he apparently remained on amicable terms with his brother-in-law, Sir Thomas de la Barre*, being associated with him in financial dealings with the Shrewsbury lawyer, Thomas Skinner*.3

In March 1399, after Gaunt’s death, Richard II formally confirmed the payment of Lucy’s annuity from the confiscated duchy estates; but there can be no doubt where Sir William’s loyalty lay. He was elected to the Parliament which deposed Richard and acclaimed Gaunt’s son as King, and he continued to occupy his duchy posts. Furthermore, on 8 Feb. 1400 Henry IV awarded him an annuity of 100 marks for life at the Exchequer, and later that year appointed him sheriff of Herefordshire. Lucy was sometimes associated with William, Lord Beauchamp of Abergavenny, his feudal lord at Charlecote, and it was this connexion which led to his death in the troubled Welsh marches. On 12 May 1401 he was sent to see sentence carried out on three thieves at the gates of Abergavenny castle, but the townspeople, keeping Lord Beauchamp and his wife prisoner, rescued the condemned men from the gallows, and Lucy was killed in the ensuing riot.4

Lucy left two sons: Thomas, who inherited Charlecote, and William, who held Bishampton until his death in 1419. His widow, Isabel (possibly the woman he had married in his youth), took as her second husband one John Smart.5

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


He is not to be confused with Sir William Lucy (d.1391) of Hampreston, Dorset: Scrope v. Grosvenor, i. 77; ii. 261.

  • 1. Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. xviii. 187; CIPM, xi. 360; xiv. 42; CFR, vii. 266; viii. 76; CIMisc. iii. 766; CCR, 1374-7, pp. 55-56; Peds. Plea Rolls ed. Wrottesley, 51; VCH Glos. vi. 115-16; VCH Warws. iii. 119; v. 36; VCH Worcs. iii. 263.
  • 2. Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. xiv. 224, 245; C76/62 m. 19; DL29/615/9838; Reg. Gaunt, 1379-83, p. 9, nos. 41, 1240; Scrope v. Grosvenor, i. 66; Somerville, Duchy, i. 384, 647, 652.
  • 3. VCH Warws. ii. 107; CPR, 1391-6, p. 642; Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. xvii. 73.
  • 4. CPR, 1396-9, p. 492; 1399-1401, p. 193; J.H. Wylie, Hen. IV, i. 197; Adam of Usk, Chron. ed. Thompson, 63; CFR, xii. 84.
  • 5. Warws. Feet of Fines (Dugdale Soc. xviii), no. 2398.