Name: Eustace De Vescy
Death: AUG 1216
Occupation: Magna Carta surety
Cause: Killed in seige of Barnard Castle 1
Change Date: 18 NOV 2004
William de Vescy died in 1184, and was succeeded by his son Eustace. During the reign of Richard I comparative peace prevailed on the Borders, but on the accession of John in 1199, William the Lion took advantage of the English King's unpopularity to lay claim to the English counties of Northumberland and Cumberland.
Eustace de Vescy had married William the Lion's illegitimate daughter and John commissioned him to assure the Scottish King that he would satisfy his claims. As this promise was not redeemed, William, after having rendered homage to John at Lincoln, again demanded the restitution of the two counties, and in the meanwhile visited the Border, and stayed at Alnwick Castle on February 12th, 1201. The question at issue remained unsettled, although in 1209 large armies were assembled by both Kings, and on this occasion John again visited Alnwick Castle on April 24th, 1209. At length, on August 7th, a treaty was concluded which put an end to hostilities, and Alexander, the Scottish King's eldest son, paid homage to John at Alnwick.
In 1212 the revolt of the barons against John broke out, and Eustace de Vescy was one of the ringleaders. Eustace was forced to flee into Scotland, and in 1213 John gave orders for Alnwick Castle to be destroyed, but subsequently seems to have cancelled them, for they were certainly not carried out. Soon afterwards a reconciliation took place, and Eustace's possessions, which had been confiscated, were restored to him. Early in 1213 John had again visited Alnwick, probably with the object of replacing the northern nobles.
In 1215 Eustace joined the great confederation of the barons against John, and he was one of the 25 barons appointed to enforce the observance of Magna Carta. In that same year, Alexander, King of Scotland, invaded Northumberland. He was joined by the Northern barons, of whom Eustace was one. John marched north towards the end of the year and burnt Alnwick, as well as several other places. After an incursion into Scotland he retired and the barons, despairing of success without foreign aid, offered their allegiance to Philip, King of France. The landing of a French force encouraged Alexander again to invade England, and Eustace and other Northern barons joined him. While besieging Barnard Castle in 1216 Eustace was killed.
Father: William De Vescy
Mother: Burga de Stuteville
Margaret of Scotland
- William De Vescy b: 1205
- Text: Alnwick Castle website.