Website of the Laceby History Group

The Middle Ages

The first significant act following the Domesday Book Survey was the signing of a charter at Laceby by King Stephen.

"Teste Willelmo, tibio Bacon, apud Leisebi"

The above translated states that the charter was witnessed by William, son of Bacon, William must have been quite an important person in Lincolnshire, but all that is known of him was that he was Sheriff somewhere about 1130 - 1133. The charter was probably signed in 1137 when it is known that Stephen was in the County. Stephen, (the Son of William the Conqueror's Daughter, Adela), must have had a liking for the county he was captured during a civil war by Mathilda's army in Lincoln.

Henry I had granted the tenth penny of his rent from Laceby to the Monks of Wellow and in 1155 there is a further reference to the Kings Manors of Laceby and Grimsby. By 1186 the Soke of Laceby was part of the Saoke of Appleby, along with the villages of Appleby, Santon and Risby, and in 1200 Laceby Manor seems to have been in the possession of Mansero, Son of the Count of Gisnes.

The following year, Gerard de Camville held it, and as he was not Sheriff in that year he nay have obtained administration of it during vacancy, often a lucrative investment. The same year, 1201, King John granted it to his Chancellor, Geoffrey de Nevill, in exchange for the latters Manor of Bere in Dorset. It is probably that the interest of Geoffrey in Laceby came from the inclusion of its Soke in properties of a branch of the de Nevill family some years previously, though this point still needs to be clarified.

Geoffrey de Nevill was a Son of Alan, who was perhaps the second of seven sons of Gilbert de Nevill, he died in 1221 and was succeeded by his Son John, to whom the King confirmed all the gifts made to his Father.

When John died in 1253 the Manor passed to his Son Geoffrey and then on to Hugh, Son of John's Brother, Geoffrey in 1266-1.

Hugh de Nevill's Daughter, Joan, married John de la Linde (also spelt Launde, Lynde) , and in 1268 Hugh sold the Manor to Sir John who became responsible for debts on the estates.

Between John de la Lynde, querent, and Hugh de Nevill, impedient, of the Manor of Lesseby.

Plea of warranty charter. Hugh has acknowledged the Manor with the appurtenances, as in demesnes, homages, services of free men, villeinages, the advowson of the church of the manor, woods, meadows, pastures, waters, ponds, mills, gardens, fisheries, liberties and all other things to the manor belonging, to be the right of John, as that which John has of his gift: to hold to John and his heirs of Hugh and his heirs forever; rendering therefor yearly 1d at Easter for all service. (Warranty) And John he released and forgiven to Hugh and his heirs 8101. .6s sterling in which Hugh was bound to the king in respect of the numerous debts of his ancestors, which debts John had of the gift and grant of the king. And, moreover, John has released and forgiven to Hugh and his heirs a certain debt of 281. for which Hugh was bound every year to Manasser de Bradewrth, the Jew, by a certain charter of fee thereof made in the name of Hugh, and likewise all the arrears of the same debt, which arrears and debt John had likewise of the gift and grant of the king, for ever.

In 1273 the Manor was recorded as being worth £32.12.0 1/4d. John'sSon, Sir Walter de la Linde, born in 1249, inherited the estate in 1280.

Relations with the neighbouring port of Grimsby were becoming strained, the twelth and thirteenth centuries were notorious for the lack of law and order and the free pursuit of private and business feuds, especially regarding the Lords of the Manor.

In 1204 a Walter of Laceby and a William of Cotes acquired the rights over tolls and mills in Grimsby with the Soke of that town. They seemingly thought that the profits made it worth outbidding the bugesses of Grimsby and so the Sheriff was instructed to grant the rights according, to the greatest profits to the King. This acquisition probably started the interference by Laceby inhabitants in the affairs of Grimsby and the Port of Fre shney , in about 1274 an inqui si tion was held in the hundred court to examine such practices.

By now, Sir Walter de la Linde (Launde), had become Lord of Laceby Manor. He had his own court, with the right to a gallows and a ducking stool. It was alleged at the inquiry that the men of Sir Walter and those of Gilbert de Li ttlecotes, unjustly waylaid men on the King's highway between Grimsby and the Port of Freshney, and that they exacted tolls, having no right to do so. It was further alleged that Sir Walter's men had commandered carts of fish and imprisoned the carriers, keeping the goods until they were rotton, they were said to have done this as a form of persuasion to induce the merchants to pay the tolls.

The culmination of the series of disputes was an invasion of Grimsby when the private army of Sir Walter de la Linde marched out of Laceby to renderzvous with the men of Gilbert De Littlecoates, outside Grimsby. Armed with swords, pikes and cudgels, this formidable body of men led by Sir Walter on horseback, entered the town and occupied the Port of Freshney.

Resistance was put up by the Mayor of Grimsby's men, but they were soon forcibly ejected from their posts.

When in control Sir Walter de la Launde delivered the following speech to explain his actions -

"For too many years Gilbert de Littlecoates and I have paid tolls to the Burgesses of this town for the right to load and unload my goods onto the ships in this port. They have seen fit to ignore our tolls for allowing their merchants to pass through our villages, carrying their goods inland. From today we take control of this port, and collect the tolls here. We willalso seize the goods of any merchant who passes along our roads, and who refuse to pay our tolls".

On hearing this the Burgesses of Grimsby rallies the Townspeople and led them to eject Sir Walter and his men from the port. Sir Walter had by then taken some of his men to take over the Market, and it was here that the two opposing forces met. Fierce fighting broke out in the course of which many people were injured. Stalls were overturned, -and the fish and other merchandise on sale were destroyed in the fighting.

The Burgesses men fled in defeat. Sir Walter captured four of the principal Burgesses and sent them under escort to Laceby where they had been put in the dungeons of The Hall. Their fate is not known, but Sir Walter with the power of a Baron, has the right to execute them by hanging if he wishes.

The town was then quite with Sir Walter de la Launde and his Supporters firmly in control.

A similar case was recalled from the time of Hugh de Nevill when his reeve, Walter, son of Ranulph of Laceby, had organised the seizure of one William, a carter, with his wares and the inevitable fish. Again these wares were kept until rotten, and the unfortunate \filliam, son of Bernard of Grimsby was imprisoned for a day and a night without food or drink.

On the death of his father, Sir John, Sir Walter de la Launde had some difficulty in establishing himself as Lord of the Nanor, for Roger de Stratton and Michael Scot commandered the estates on behalf of Hugh de Nevill of Cadney, but Hugh's claim was successfully opposed.

Sir Walter held the estates until 1315, when, having no male heir the Manor was divided between his sons-in-law, Herbert de Flynton and John de Dallyngregge, although some land must have remained in the de la Launde family as a William Robert was buried at Laceby Church in 1424.

In 1315 Sir Walter had obviously lost some of his authority, for in that year he obtained licences at one hundred shillings each to dispose of the two mneties of his Manor, as above, to the husbands of two of his five daughters, there is a record of a disturbance. Alexander of Laceby complained that several people including Herbert de Flynton, John de Stretton, parson and others of his family, with a certain Benedict with the appropriate surname of Typle, had assaulted him at Laceby. He won his case and those concerned were fined.

From an inquisition into waste at Wellow Abbey in 1372, it was shown that the Abbot and a certain William became dealers and bought sixty-one quarters of wheat due from the Rectory of Laceby from Robert Whyn and Robert de Bernaby of Barton, this was loaded on a ship in Grimsby to be taken to London and sold. They lost money on the sale, ninepence in the quarter, but impertinently charged the Monastery with £13.10.0.

At another inquiry in 1359, Robert of Toynton and William, son of John, son of Geoffrey of Laceby said they started to build a ship called "La l1audelayn" on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul in a certain year, that they finished her at the next feast of St. Mathew and that on the feast of St. Denis following, they launched her on the Humber at the Port of Grimsby.

In 1374 the moieties of Laceby Manor and the advowson of the church etc., were held by Walter de Flynton and Roger Dallyngregge, but in 1380-1 it seems the de Flynton Manor passed to William de Skipwyth, who in 1240 had married Margaret, daughter of Herbert de Flynton.

In 1394 it was recorded that a pardon was granted to Thomas Coke of Laceby, who was confined in Lincoln Castle Gaol for the death of William Wordale also of Laceby. It appeared that it was found that Thomas killed William in self defence.

In 1396 a de Flynton was a parson of Laceby and in 1436 a Waltus Flynton appears in the Subsidy Roll. The de Flynton Manor remained in the Skipwyth family until after 1586, and the Skipwyth arms weredescribed by Gervase HolIes as being in the chancel window of Laceby Church.

In 1586 Sir Richard Skipwyth inherited from William his Father, and the estates declined, many of them being sold before the end of the century.

It is not known what became of the Dallyngregge half of the Manor but, in 1545 Thomas Grimston of Smyton, Yorkshire, had the advowson jointly with the Skipwyths, while in the following century it was held by Sir John Wray and his heirs with the family of Nicholas Sanderson.