Picot de Lascelles, I, High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire

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Picot de Lascelles (de Saye), I, High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire

Also Known As: "of Cambridge", "de Grentebrige", "de Laceles", "Robert Picot", "Picot de Saye", "Picot the Norman", "Lord of Bournand Madingley"
Birthplace: Sai, Orne, Normandy, France
Death: May 17, 1086 (59-68)
Shropshire, England, United Kingdom
Place of Burial: Cambridge, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert fitz Picot de Saye Avenel, II and Vicomtess Adeloyse de Say
Husband of Hugolina de Gernon
Father of Robert fitz Picot de Say; Roger de Lascelles, of Kirkby Knowle; Sir Humphrey de Lascelles of Hinderskelfe Castle, kt; Geoffrey de Lascelles; Saher de Saye and 2 others
Brother of Roger fitz Robert de Saye Avenel

Occupation: Baron
Managed by: James Fred Patin, Jr.
Last Updated:

About Picot de Lascelles, I, High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire

Picot at the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066:

Picot, which means "Pikeman" in early Norman language, was a Baron who had apparently come over with the Breton contingent of William the Conqueror's army, and was an important vassal of Earl Alan of Richmond's (a.k.a. Alan Rufus) in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire (Domesday). He is identified by means of an early Survey of the fiefs of the latter county, made about the year 1108; where he is there entered as "Picotus de Laceles." There are some people who may refer to him as "Picot de Say", yet the usage of surnames were in the infancy stages at this time. Multiple sources indicate that "the Say family branches off to form other families", as in this case.[1] Picot was probably born in Séez France which is in the region of Orne, but later in his life research indicates that he had, as a Baron, accumulated a multitude of land and manors in various different places, thus, he is known by several different names as it just depends on who is talking / writing about him. The surname "Lascelles" was not used until after the Norman conquest. The Domesday Book states that Picot had 64 hides of land in his own possession, and 87 held under him. Picot was one of the most land holding people listed in the Domesday Book.

The surname Lascelles is locational, from the place called 'La Selle' also in Orne, in northern France, and derives from the Olde French 'la', the , and 'Selle', in French meaning "the seat", as in "the Lascelles family seat"

A column of Norman cavalry belonging to Earl Alan Rufus of Richmond, second cousin to William the Conqueror, swept into the Cambridge area in late 1066 and upon the command of William the Conqueror built a castle on the hill just north of the river crossing. Earl Alan's first possessions in England were in Cambridgeshire.

Cambridge Castle was one of three castles built across the east of England in late 1068 by William the Conqueror in the aftermath of his northern campaign to capture York. Cambridge, or Grantabridge as it was then known, was on the old Roman route from London to York and was both strategically significant and at risk of rebellion. The initial building work was conducted by Picot, the high sheriff, who later founded St. Giles priory beside the castle. The castle was built in a motte and bailey design, within the existing town, and 27 houses had to be destroyed to make space for it. (See pictures in the "Media" tab.)

Barnwell priory was founded in 1092 by Picot of Cambridge, High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire as a house of Canons Regular in a church of St. Giles by Cambridge Castle. [2] Having strong links with Colchester priory the monks of Cambridge followed Colchester's lead in adopting Augustinian rule. Picot endowed the six brethren with an income from tithes and with a number of rectories. After his death the monastery fell into the hands of the king, who then gave it to Pain Peverel, Picot's son-in-law.

Pain gave land at Chesterton on which the monks built a new priory, Barnwell Priory, whose lands increased by donations from local landowners. Over time the priory itself grew in size and strength until there were 30 canons in residence.

The priory was finally dissolved on 11 November 1538 as part of the general Dissolution of the Monasteries and granted to Anthony Brown c.1546 and Edward, Lord Clinton c.1552. The buildings became ruinous and were almost thoroughly destroyed in 1810.

[1] Duncan, J. (1839). The Dukes of Normandy from the time of Rollo to the expulsion of king John by Philipp Augustus of France: ; by Jonathan Duncan,... (p. Page 383). London: J.

[2] "Houses of Augustinian canons: Priory of Barnwell". British History Online. Retrieved 30 March 2015.

This branch of Lascelles were loyal to Duke Robert of Normandy, William the Conqueror's first born son. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


The website, 1066: A Medieval Mosaic describes the following for the Lascelles family as thus:

"Of this ancient family, seated in the county of York, were divers persons," says Dugdale, "of great note many ages since." They had apparently come over with the Breton contingent of the Conqueror's army. Their ancestor, "Picot," an important vassal of Earl Alan of Richmond's in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire (Domesday), is identified by means of an early Survey of the fiefs of the latter county, made about the year 1108. He is there entered as "Picotus de Laceles," holding some land of Roger Marmion, "whose sister or daughter he may have married, as Roger de Laceles was his successor and son. We probably have a brother of Picot in William de Loceles, who occurs in the Survey as holding Strailley, in Bedfordshire, of Hugo de Belcamp."—A. S. Ellis. They were Barons of Messie in Normandy, and "derived their name from La Selle, near Falaise, which, with its church, belonged in 1154 to the Abbey of St. Sauveur, Evreux (Gall. Christ. IX.). William de Lacelles, who in 1165 held two fees in Yorkshire, was plaintiff in a suit against his uncle Ralph for Lacelle and the barony of Messie, which Ralph yielded to him as his inheritance. (Memoires de la Societe des Antiquaires de la Normandie, XV., 92.)"—The Norman People.

Picot probably died soon after 1108. His son Roger de Lacelles is mentioned in 1131 as one of the "men" of Earl Stephen of Richmond, and held Scruton and Kirkby in the North Riding. After him we hear of Picot, Roger and Robert Fitz Picot, and, lastly, of another Roger, who was summoned to parliament as a baron in 1294 and the two following years. He died shortly after his last writ of summons, leaving by his wife Isabel, the heiress of Thomas Fitz Thomas, four daughters his co-heirs: 1. Matilda, married first Robert de Hilton, of Swine in Holderness, and secondly, Sir Peter Tilliol; 2. Theophania, the wife of Ralph Fitz Randolph; 3. Johanna, the first wife of Thomas de Culwen; 4. Avicia, married to Sir Robert le Constable of Hailsham. His brother Richard was seated at Escrick, where his posterity continued for one hundred and twenty-seven years longer; but to none of his lineage was the writ of summons ever again repeated.

The collateral branches were numerous. Duncan de Lascells, (Scotland) in the reign of Coeur de Lion, acquired Bolton in Cumberland through Christian de Bastingthwaite; and their descendants held it for three generations.—Hutchinson's Cumberland. John de Lascells, mentioned in the Pipe Roll of 1131, "was probably ancestor of the Lascelles of Otterington in Holderness, and settled there by the Earl of Albemarle."—A. S. Ellis. Jordan and his brother Turgis are found in the same record. Jordan's grants to Nostel Priory were confirmed by Henry II. in 1154; and about the year 1146, his sons Gerard and Alan were benefactors to Byland Abbey (Mon. Angl. i. 1032). Alan's son Simon in 1165 held three fees of De Lacy, and "may have been the same Simon who had a duel with Adam Fitz Peter about land at Birkin, which he recovered by overcoming him (Pipe Roll, 5 Ric. I.). Branches of the family remained at Escrick, until 1424, and in Notts, until after 1700: and another branch is now represented by Robert Morley Lascelles, Esquire, of Slingsby. This time-honoured name is also now associated with the Yorkshire Earldom of Harewood."—Ibid.

In this latter case, however, there is considerable doubt and difficulty in determining the descent. Lord Harewood's pedigree begins with John Lascelles, seated at Hinderskelfe (now called Castle Howard) in the time of Ed. II.), and "thought (by Collins) to be a younger son of the house of Sowerby and Brackenbury, who bore the arms without the bordure." This coat, Sable a cross flory within a bordure Or, is not that of Roger Lord Lascelles, which was Argent three chaplets of roses vermaux, within a border engrailed Sable. The author of 'The Norman People' declares their ancestor to have been the Simon de Lacelles mentioned in the Liber Niger, "from whose son John descend lineally the Earls of Harewood." Here we are at once met by a formidable hiatus in the line of descent; for a blank of no less than one hundred and twenty-five years intervenes between these two Johns—John the son of Simon and John of Hinderskelfe. The latter, at all events, is the recognized and undoubted progenitor of the present house. His son was called "filius Johannis", or "Jackson", an attempt at utilizing patronomics, and for the next seven generations his descendants successively bore this name. About the end of the fifteenth century, they removed to Gawthorpe, also in the North Riding, where Harewood House was afterwards built, and thence to Stank and Northallerton. Daniel, the sixteenth child born to Francis Lascelles of Stank and Northallerton, served as High Sheriff in 1719, and was the father of two sons who settled in Barbadoes, where the younger, Henry, became Collector of the Customs. This Henry, who had married a West Indian, eventually inherited the estates, including Harewood, bought a few years before: and his son Edwin was created Baron Harewood of Harewood Castle in 1790. But he died childless in 1795 J and his cousin Edward, who became the head of the family, received first the barony, in the following year, and a Viscountcy and Earldom in 1812. Both these peers had been born at St. Michael's in Barbadoes.


"Yet how far those genealogists may be correct, who have consimilitated the descent of the Lascels family of the present day, with the blood of the illustrious baron in the time of Edward I., is not for controversy here; although the assertion is a pretty evident proof, that these gentle historians had never read the epitaph made by Henry Lascels, Esq., the collector of the Crown revenues at Barbadoes, who departed out of this transitory world anno 1753; for had that celebrated epitaph ever met their eye it is to be imagined their ideas of the noble lineage of the Baron of Harewood would have been confined to a more recent and a more humble extraction."—Banks.


1066 - Medieval Mosaic

1066: A Medieval Mosaic is a Guinness World Record-winning exhibition which has toured a number of locations in the UK before arriving at Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum (SOFO Museum), Woodstock. The mosaic took its creator Michael A. Linton 33 years to complete after he started work on the piece in 1979.

One can find short biographies of the Normans who fought with William the Conqueror in 1066 by clicking Genealogy. [http://1066.co.nz/] A short video gives a brief overview of a wonder mosaic art recreation of the Bayeux Tapestry, using scrap metal. Its first showing happened in 2019. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svr3ATCBWXU]


Another Lascelles chronicle:

This interesting name is of Norman origin, introduced into England by followers of William the Conqueror after 1066. The surname is locational, from the place called 'La Selle' in Orne, in northern France, and derives from the Olde French 'la', the , and 'Selle', in French meaning "the seat", as in "the Lascelles family seat". Although the first true recording of the surname does not appear until the mid 12th Century in England, it is known that one Roger de Lascelles held land in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire around 1130. London church recordings include one Margaret Lessells who was christened in 1584 at St. Peter's, Westcheap, Elizabeth, daughter of Phillip and Ann Lascelles, was christened at St. Antholin's, Budge Row, on August 31st 1692, and Edmond Lascelles married Mary Applebury on August 13th 1695. Edward Lascelles (1740 - 1820) was created the first Earl of Harewood in 1812. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter de Laceles, which was dated circa 1150, Charles of the Abbey of Rievaulx, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Stephen, Count of Blois, 1135 - 1154. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Yet another family surname name website describes that the surname of LASCELLES was a locational name 'of de Lascelles' a place in the Arrondissement of Alencon in Normandy, France. It is very likely that this location is an earlier origin of the Lacelles from the Messei, France area. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Normans were known for not placing much importance on the correct, or exact spelling of their surnames ~ particularly while the use of family surnames was a new process. This explains the many variations of a particular surname. In addition, many people were unable to read nor write in the medieval times, and thus a particular surname was easily changed because a person would simply write a given surname the way that it phonetically sounded.

According to an ancient manuscript in Leeds Library, the Lascelles surname was not used until after the Norman conquest.

The surname of LASSWELL was also a locational name 'of de Lascelles' a place in the Arrondissement of Alencon in Normandy, France. The name is also spelt LASCELL, LASCELLES, LASSWELL and LASSEL, Lascels, and Lasells, and more. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Lascelles/Lasswell DNA Project is just beginning on this line, and is currently underway. If you are interested in joining the project please submit your paperwork and samples through the y-DNA testing which is offered here at GENI, or at the My Family Tree DNA official test site: [http://www.familytreedna.com/project-join-request.aspx?group=Lasswell]. All spellings are welcome!


The Yorkshire Archaeological & Topographical Journal, Volume 5, page 319 states that Picot de Lascelles I ~ possibly had another two younger sons, John and Turgis de Lacelles (Lascelles). The name "Turgis" was used in Normandy France; but claims it's origin in Scandinavia. This is an important clue that the Lascelles are from Normandy France, and prior to that from Scandinavia. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This Norman family emanated from Say, west of Exmes in the Norman vicountcy of Roger de Montgomery, and was a branch of the Avenel family...." {-"Falaise Roll," M.J.Crispin (1938), p. 52.}

To view the places which were given to Picot de Lascelles after the Norman Conquest visit: http://opendomesday.org/name/403750/picot-of-cambridge/

Added by Virginia Diane (Davis) Valdez, Bennett.

President Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jonathan (Stonewall) Jackson and my 4th Great Grandfather Christopher Maccabeus Jackson born 1768 are all Grandson' of Picot. His families surnames changed often through the years. It finally went from De Lascelles to Jackson our modern day Surname. Picot is our Grandfather.

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Picot de Lascelles, I, High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire's Timeline

Sai, Orne, Normandy, France
Sai, Orne, Normandie, France
May 17, 1086
Age 64
Shropshire, England, United Kingdom
Kirby-Under-Knowle, Yorkshire, England
Sai, Orne, Normandy, France
Escryck, Yorkshire, England