John Darcy, 1st Baron Darcy de Knayth

John Darcy, 1st Baron Darcy de Knayth (c. 1290 – 30 May 1347) was an English peer. He was created 1st Baron Darcy in 1317.[1]

John Darcy
Knaith, Lincolnshire
Died30 May 1347(1347-05-30) (aged 56–57)
TitleBaron Darcy de Knayth
Spouse(s)Emmeline Heron
Joan de Burgh
IssueJohn Darcy, 2nd Baron Darcy de Knayth
Elizabeth Butler, Countess of Ormond
ParentsRoger Darcy
Isabel d'Aton

The son of Roger Darcy and Isabel d’Aton, he may have been born at Knaith, Lincolnshire, circa 1280. Darcy became one of the most trusted advisors to Edward III of England and was appointed High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and the Royal Forests in 1319, High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1323 and High Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1327. He served as Member of Parliament for Nottinghamshire in 1320. He was summoned to Parliament in 1331, 1333 and 1341 as "Johanni Darcy le Cosin".

In 1323 (until 1326), 1332 (until 1333) and again in 1340 (until 1344) he was Lord Justice of Ireland. In 1324, he presided at the trial of Alice Kyteler, the celebrated Witch of Kilkenny and her associates, and condemned several of them to death by burning (Alice herself, helped by influential friends, escaped from prison and fled the country).

Darcy was named a Knights Bachelor in 1336.[2]

He was steward to the king (1337–1340) and then chamberlain (1342–1346).[3] An ambitious programme to reform the Irish administration produced little result, possibly because it was delegated to his Deputy, John Morice, a long serving and conscientious but not very competent civil servant.[4]

In 1342, he joined the Earl of Northampton on an expedition to Flanders and on his return was made Constable of Nottingham Castle (1343–1344) and of the Tower of London (1345–1346). He took part in a number of wars against the Scots and French and fought at the Battle of Crecy in 1346, being sent home by the king to announce the victory in Parliament. He was created the first Lord Darcy of Knayth.[5]

Marriage and issueEdit

Darcy married twice. He had one son with his first wife, Emmeline. She was the daughter of Sir Walter Heron of Silkston and Alice de Hastings. Darcy's second wife was Joan, widow of Thomas FitzJohn, 2nd Earl of Kildare. Her parents were Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster and his second cousin once removed Margaret de Burgh. Darcy and Joan de Burgh had a daughter, Elizabeth, who married James Butler, 2nd Earl of Ormonde.[6]


After Darcy died in 1347, his son John by Emmeline, succeeded to the barony. Darcy was buried at Gisborough Priory.


  1. ^ "Lady Darcy de Knayth" (2008, March 12). The Telegraph. Retrieved October 18, 2014 from
  2. ^ Shaw, Wm. A. (1971). The Knights of England: A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of All the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and of the Knights Bachelors. 2. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. p. 5. OCLC 247620448.
  3. ^ O'Mahony, Charles (1912). The Viceroys of Ireland. pp. 27–30.
  4. ^ Frame, Robin Ireland and Britain 1170-1450 Hambledon Press London 1998 p.118
  5. ^ "High Sheriffs of Lancashire 1272-1327 by Colin Penny PhD". Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  6. ^ Richardson, Douglas, Everingham, Kimball G. (2005). Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc. p.161
Peerage of England
Preceded by
New Creation
Baron Darcy de Knayth
Succeeded by
John Darcy