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Alice de Lacy, Countess of Lincoln (1281-1348)

Alice de Lacy was born at Denbigh Castle in Wales on 25 December 1281. She was the daughter of Henry de Lacy Earl of Lincoln and Margaret Longespee , Countess of Salisbury. Margaret was the heir of an illegitimate son of King Henry 2nd.

Alice had two brothers, Edmund and John, who both died young due to separate tragic accidents. This left Alice heiress to two Earldoms, Lincoln from her father and Salisbury from her mother.

King Edward 1 arranged for her to be betrothed to his nephew Thomas of Lancaster. Thomas was the heir to the Earldoms of Lancaster, Leicester, and Derby. Alice and Thomas were married on 28 October 1294, she was 13 and he was 16. It was not a successful marriage, they lived separate lives and they did not have any children.

Thomas rebelled against his cousin King Edward 2nd and in the Spring of 1317, Alice was abducted from her manor in Dorset by knights of John de Warenne the Earl of Surrey. Thomas waged a private war against de Warenne, but he never asked for the return of Alice. Thomas was executed for treason at Pontefract Castle on 22 March 1322. As the wife of a traitor Alice was arrested and her lands were confiscated by the king. She was only released once she had paid an indemnity of £20,000 to the Crown. This meant she could also remarry.

On September 20, 1322 King Edward 2nd granted her the Constableship of Lincoln Castle, and restored for life the annuity which her father received in lieu of the “third penny” for the County of Lincoln.

Aged 42 Alice remarried in 1324, her second husband was Eubulus le Strange. This was thought to have been a loving and happy union. Although Alice remained childless.

 Alice died at Barlings Abbey Lincolnshire in 1348. By the terms of her first marriage settlement her lands from her father’s inheritance went to her nephew by marriage Henry Grosmont 1st Duke of Lancaster.

Henry Grosmont was the father of Blanche of Lancaster, the first wife of John O’Gaunt, a son of King Edward 3rd. Blanche and John were the parents of Henry of Bolingbroke, the future King Henry 4th.

Blog written and researched by our Visitor Experience Officer - Vanessa 
Upload Friday 7th January 2022