John fitz Richard

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John fitz Richard
Arms of John de Lacy.svg
Arms of John fitz Richard:
Quarterly, or and gules, a bend sable, a label argent [1]
Died11 October 1190
Successor Roger de Lacy
Spouse(s)Alice de Essex
Parents Richard fitz Eustace
Albreda de Lisours

John fitz Richard (died 11 October 1190 at Acre) was an Anglo-Norman soldier and nobleman, and constable of the Earls of Chester. He was also Baron of Halton, but historical records refer to him as 'John, constable of Chester'. [2]

Acre, Israel Place in Israel

Acre, known to locals as Akko or Akka, is a city in the coastal plain region of the Northern District of Israel.

Anglo-Normans Medieval ethnic group in England

The Anglo-Normans were the medieval ruling class in England, composed mainly of a combination of ethnic Anglo-Saxons, Normans and French, following the Norman conquest. A small number of Normans had earlier befriended future Anglo-Saxon King of England, Edward the Confessor, during his exile in his mother's homeland of Normandy. When he returned to England some of them went with him, and so there were Normans already settled in England prior to the conquest. Following the death of Edward, the powerful Anglo-Saxon noble, Harold Godwinson, acceded to the English throne until his defeat by William, Duke of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings.

A constable is a person holding a particular office, most commonly in criminal law enforcement. The office of constable can vary significantly in different jurisdictions. A constable is commonly the rank of an officer within the police. Other people may be granted powers of a constable without holding this title.



John was a son of Richard fitz Eustace (d. 1163: son of Eustace fitz John, Constable of Chester), and of Albreda de Lisours (d. 1194). His mother was a daughter and heiress of Robert de Lacy (d. 1193). His younger brother Roger fitz Richard was Lord of Warkworth Castle; [3] another brother, Robert fitz Richard, was the prior of the Knights Hospitaller in England.

Richard fitz Eustace English noble

Richard fitz Eustace was a prominent 12th-century noble. He was a son of Eustace fitz John and Agnes de Halton. He inherited the titles of his mother, becoming Baron of Halton, and the position of Constable of Chester. Richard died c.1163.

Eustace fitz John was a powerful magnate in northern England during the reigns of Henry I, Stephen and Henry II. From a relatively humble background in the south-east of England, Eustace made his career serving Henry I, and was elevated by the king through marriage and office into one of the most important figures in the north of England. Eustace acquired a great deal of property in the region, controlled Bamburgh Castle, and served jointly with Walter Espec as justiciar of the North.

de Lacy De Lacy Family

de Lacy is the surname of an old Norman family which originated from Lassy, Calvados. The family took part in the Norman conquest of England and the later Norman invasion of Ireland. The name is first recorded for Hugh de Lacy (1020–1085). His sons, Walter and Ilbert, left Normandy and travelled to England with William the Conqueror. The awards of land by the Conqueror to the de Lacy sons led to two distinct branches of the family: the northern branch, centred on Blackburnshire and west Yorkshire was held by Ilbert's descendants; the southern branch of Marcher Lords, centred on Herefordshire and Shropshire, was held by Walter's descendants.


After the death of his father in 1163 John inherited his rule Halton and the Office of the Constable of Chester, which he became the chief official of Hugh de Kevelioc, 5th Earl of Chester. After the death of Hugh in 1181 he served in the same capacity for his heir Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester. In 1166 he paid a fee of 1,000 marks to obtain his mother's possessions. After 1172 he founded the Cistercian Stanlow Abbey in Cheshire and a hospital in Castle Donington. [4] Earl Hugh thanked him with lands in Antrobus, Cheshire. In 1178 he confirmed John's donation of Little Stanney to Stanlow Abbey, and a little later he gave the monks the duty to pay in Chester.

Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester Anglo-Norman baron born in Wales

Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester and 1st Earl of Lincoln (1170–1232), known in some references as the 4th Earl of Chester, was one of the "old school" of Anglo-Norman barons whose loyalty to the Angevin dynasty was consistent but contingent on the receipt of lucrative favours. He has been described as "almost the last relic of the great feudal aristocracy of the Conquest".

Stanlow Abbey was a Cistercian abbey situated on Stanlow Point, on the banks of the River Mersey in the Wirral Peninsula, Cheshire, England.

Cheshire County of England

Cheshire is a county in North West England, bordering Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east, Staffordshire and Shropshire to the south and Flintshire, Wales and Wrexham county borough to the west. Cheshire's county town is the City of Chester (118,200); the largest town is Warrington (209,700). Other major towns include Crewe (71,722), Ellesmere Port (55,715), Macclesfield (52,044), Northwich (75,000), Runcorn (61,789), Widnes (61,464) and Winsford (32,610)

During the rebellion against Henry II of England in 1173, John was a loyal supporter of the king. In early May 1181, when Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath lost the King's favor and was removed from office as Justiciar of Ireland, John was sent to Ireland together with Bishop Richard Peche of Coventry to take control of Dublin. Nevertheless, they supported Hugh before he left Ireland in the construction of many castles in Leinster. The following winter, John and Bishop Richard were recalled to England, while Hugh de Lacy returned to Ireland. On 3 September 1189, John took part in the coronation of Richard I of England. In March 1190, he left England to participate in the Third Crusade. He died in the Holy Land during the siege of Acre. [2]

Henry II of England 12th-century King of England, Duke of Aquitaine, and ruler of other European lands

Henry II, also known as Henry Curtmantle, Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, ruled as King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Count of Anjou, Maine, and Nantes, and Lord of Ireland; at various times, he also partially controlled Scotland, Wales and the Duchy of Brittany. Before he was 40 he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland and the western half of France—an area that would later come to be called the Angevin Empire.

Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath, 4th Baron Lacy, was an Anglo-Norman landowner and royal office-holder. He had substantial land holdings in Herefordshire and Shropshire, England. Following his participation in the Norman Invasion of Ireland, he was granted, in 1172, the lands of the Kingdom of Meath by the Anglo-Norman King Henry II, but he had to gain control of them. The Lordship of Meath was then the most extensive liberty in Ireland.

Lord Chief Justice of Ireland

The Court of King's Bench was one of the senior courts of common law in Ireland. It was a mirror of the Court of King's Bench in England. The Lord Chief Justice was the most senior judge in the court, and the second most senior Irish judge under English rule and later when Ireland became part of the United Kingdom. Additionally, for a brief period between 1922 and 1924, the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland was the most senior judge in the Irish Free State.


John married Alice, a daughter of Robert of Essex and his wife Alice. With her he had several children, including:

Roger de Lacy (1170–1211) English Baron

Roger de Lacy (1170–1211), Baron of Pontefract, Lord of Bowland, Lord of Blackburnshire, Baron of Halton, Constable of Chester, Sheriff of Yorkshire and Cumberland, also known as Roger le Constable, was a notable English soldier, crusader and baron in the late 12th and early 13th centuries.

Norton Priory A historic site in Norton, Runcorn, Cheshire, England

Norton Priory is a historic site in Norton, Runcorn, Cheshire, England, comprising the remains of an abbey complex dating from the 12th to 16th centuries, and an 18th-century country house; it is now a museum. The remains are a scheduled ancient monument and are recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building. They are considered to be the most important monastic remains in Cheshire.

Another son, Eustace of Chester, may have been illegitimate. His heir was his eldest son Roger. [2]


  1. Dugdale, Baronage, i. p. 90
  2. 1 2 3 Suppe, Frederick (2004). "John (d. 1190), soldier and landowner". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/15854.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. "The History of Warkworth Castle". Amble and District Local History. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  4. Greene, pp. 6-7.

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