WALTER, the first baron (died 1085), hailed from Lassy in Normandy, and ranked among the pioneers of Norman settlement in the southern March of Wales. After the Welsh estates had been held successively by his sons, ROGER (deprived as a rebel in 1094) and HUGH I (died without direct heirs in 1121), they passed eventually to a grandson GILBERT (fl. 1150), father of HUGH II (died 1186), who was a great crusader and a leading figure in the initial stages of the Irish Conquest. Hugh's three sons, WALTER, HUGH, and WILLIAM, though in the main preoccupied with questions of Anglo-Irish politics, had close associations with Wales.
Walter (died 1241), the elder son, by Rose of Monmouth, inherited the Welsh estates, and, having tasted of king John's vengeance during the Irish expedition of 1210 (he had become involved in the affairs of Llywelyn and William de Breos), thereafter appears as a staunch supporter of the Crown, being among the marcher lords on the side of John in the crisis of 1215, and on that of Henry III during the Marshal rising of 1233. Hugh, 1st earl of Ulster, proved less amenable; he spent many years in exile and may, for a short time, have been a fugitive in Wales.
William (died 1233), son of Hugh II by a daughter of Roderick O'Connor, married Gwenllian, daughter of Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, who, like her brother Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, was the child of an irregular union contracted before Llywelyn's marriage with Joan. During a long widowhood (she died in 1281), she may have resided at Llys Gwenllian on the royal manor of Ystrad Owain in the commote of Cinmeirch, supported from lands in that neighbourhood granted to her by her father, and from her dower lands in Ireland.
Owing to the eventual extinction of the male line, the De Lacy property in the March passed through marriage in the course of the 14th century to the Mortimers, earls of March. Members of the family were great benefactors of Llanthony and S. Peter's, Gloucester.
Published date: 1959
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