Joscelin of Louvain

Joscelin of Louvain, also spelled Jocelin de Louvain and Jocelyn of Leuven,[2][3][4] (1121/36–1180) was a nobleman from the Duchy of Brabant who settled in England having married an English heiress. Through his son, the House of Percy—as the Earls and later the Dukes of Northumberland—became the most powerful family in Northern England. He was brother-in-law to King Henry I, whose second wife was Joscelin's half sister Adeliza of Louvain.

Joscelin of Louvain
Royal Arms of Belgium.svg
Coat of armsThe "Lion of Brabant", Sable a lion rampant or, arms adopted late in the 12th century at the start of the age of heraldry by the Dukes of Brabant. It is said to be the origin of the "modern arms" adopted by the Percys and the base of the escutcheon of what would become the Kingdom of Belgium: Or, a lion rampant azure[1]
Leuven, Duchy of Brabant
Died1180 (aged 68-69)
Petworth, Sussex
Noble familyHouse of Reginar
SpouseAgnes de Percy
FatherGodfrey I of Leuven
MotherClementia of Burgundy (possible)


He was a son of Godfrey I, Count of Louvain by an unnamed woman, not his only known wife Ida de Chiny

He married Agnes de Percy (d.1203), one of the two daughters and co-heiresses of William II de Percy (d.1174/5), 3rd feudal baron of Topcliffe, Yorkshire.[5] Upon his marriage, he adopted the Percy surname.[6]


Joscelin was granted the manor of Petworth, in Sussex, by his half-sister Adeliza of Louvain, the widow of King Henry I of England.[2][7] His descendants were seated at Petworth House for many centuries.

Though they originally intended Petworth to be their southern home, the Earls of Northumberland were confined to Sussex by Elizabeth I in the late 16th century, when she grew suspicious of Percy allegiance to her rival, Mary, Queen of Scots. Petworth then became their permanent home.[2]

Marriage and progenyEdit

He married Agnes de Percy (d.1203), one of the two daughters and co-heiresses of William II de Percy (d.1174/5), 3rd feudal baron of Topcliffe, Yorkshire[5] and settled in England. He and his descendants, later created Earls of Northumberland, adopted the surname Percy. By his wife he had at least seven children:

  • Henry de Percy (d.1190/98), eldest son, who predeceased his mother and married Isabel de Brus, daughter of Adam de Brus (d.1196). He was survived by a son William III de Percy (1197-1245), who inherited from his uncle Richard de Percy (d.1244) his grandmother's moiety of the barony of Topcliffe.[5]
  • Richard de Percy (d.1244), younger son, who inherited from his mother her moiety of the barony of Topcliffe.[5] He himself died without issue when his heir was his brother's son William III de Percy (1197-1245), who thus regained the whole of the Percy barony of Topcliffe, having inherited the other moiety from his great-aunt Maud de Percy (d.1204), sister of Agnes.[5] He was a Magna Carta surety.
  • Joscelin
  • Radulph, went to France
  • Eleanor
  • Maud (born c. 1164)
  • Lucy


  1. ^ Howard de Walden, Lord, Some Feudal Lords and their Seals 1301, published 1904, p.43, commenting on the seal of Henry Percy, 1st Baron Percy (d.1314)
  2. ^ a b c "Petworth House and Park: History". National Trust. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  3. ^ Josceline de Louvain, Joscelyn de Louvain, Joscelin de Louvaine, Jocelyn Percy, Jocelyn of Leuven, Gosuinus.
  4. ^ Cawley 2012, Joscelin de Louvain cites Dugdale Monasticon V, Sawley Abbey, Yorkshire XXII, Genealogia Perciorum, p. 516.
  5. ^ a b c d e Sanders, I.J., English Baronies, Oxford, 1960, p.148
  6. ^ George Russell French (1841). The Ancestry of Queen Victoria, and of Prince Albert. p. 399.
  7. ^ MacDonald, E. J. (17 June 2006), "Chapter 3: Arundel", Castles of England and Wales, New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons