Sir Neil Loring, KG (also "Neel", "Nele", "Nigel", "Loryng", "Loringe"; Latin: Nigellus; (c. 1320 – 18 March 1386) was a medieval English soldier and diplomat and a founding member of the Order of the Garter, established by King Edward III in 1348. The central character in two historical novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Nigel and The White Company, is loosely based on Neil Loring.


Neil Loring

Illustration from the 1430 Bruges Garter Book made by William Bruges (1375–1450), first Garter King of Arms
Bornc. 1320
Chalgrave, England
Died18 March, 1386
Chalgrave, England
Wars and battles
Arms of Sir Neil Loring



He was born in Chalgrave, Bedfordshire,[1] the son of Roger Loring by his wife Cassandra Perrott.



Loring fought at the Battle of Sluys in 1340, following which he was knighted for his bravery and awarded a pension of £20 a year. In 1347 he was with King Edward III during the Siege of Calais, and the following year was invested as one of the founding Knights of the Garter. By 1351 Loring was chamberlain to the Prince of Wales, and a member of his council. He accompanied the prince to Aquitaine in 1353, and distinguished himself in the Poitiers Campaign, during which he was "appointed to be in attendance on the prince's person". He was sent back to England after the Battle of Poitiers on 19 September 1356 to report news of the English victory. For his service to the prince he was given an annual pension of £83 6s 8d for life as well as lands in Wales.[2]

In November 1359 Loring was back in France accompanying Edward III on his military campaign that resulted in the Treaty of Brétigny, signed on 25 May 1360. He was appointed a guardian of the truce and one of the commissioners responsible for overseeing the transfer of lands as agreed in the treaty. Loring was with the Prince of Wales in Aquitaine in 1366, and fought in the prince's division at the Battle of Nájera on 3 April 1367. In 1369 he served under Sir Robert Knolles at the Siege of Domme, and the following year in Poitou, under the Earl of Pembroke.[2]

Later life


Loring spent his latter days in retirement at his ancestral home in Chalgrave, where in 1365 he had received a royal licence to enclose a park.[2] He died on 18 March 1386, and according to Leland was buried in the Church of the Black Canons at Dunstable.

The central character of Sir Nigel Loring in two historical novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Sir Nigel and The White Company – is loosely based on Neil Loring.[3]


Neil Loring in the original robe of Order of the Garter (14th century), depicted as giving alms to St Albans Cathedral

Loring was the founder of a chantry in Chalgrave church.[2] In the list of Benefactors to St. Albans Abbey, Sir Nigel is introduced as the donor of 10 marks and depicted as an old man with a red cap or hood on his head, wearing red shoes, covered with a white robe powdered with Garters, and holding a purse in his left hand.

Marriage and children


He married Margaret de Beaupel, the daughter, and apparently the heiress, of Ralph de Beaupel whose home was the sub-manor of Beaupel, in the parish of Knowstone, North Devon. There exists today about 1 mile SW of Knowstone village the still-important farmhouse called "Beaple's Barton", bordered to the south by Beaple's Moor and to the north by Beaple's Wood. He appears in ancient records as "Nele Loring of Knowston-Beaupell". By marriage he also came to hold the manor of Landkey, 2 miles east of Barnstaple and 16 miles west of Knowstone. They had two daughters and co-heiresses:


  1. ^ The Loring Genealogy online. By Charles Henry Pope assisted by Catherine Peabody Loring; Murray and Emery Company, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1917. Book Page xi (Introduction)
  2. ^ a b c d Kingsford, C. L.; rev. Barber, Richard (2004). "Loring, Sir Neil (c. 1315 – 1386)'". In Barber, Richard (ed.). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/17024. Retrieved 31 August 2013. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ "Sir Nigel | Arthur Conan Doyle (". 18 August 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-08-18. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  4. ^ "Person Page".
  5. ^ Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, new edition, vol. V, p. 502, Baron FitzWarin
  6. ^ Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, new edition, vol. V, p. 500-1
  7. ^ Strong, H.W., History & Description of Tawstock Church, Barnstaple, 1889, p. 8
  8. ^ Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, new edition, Vol. 6, p. 316

Further reading

  • Thomas Johnes, Sir John Froissart's chronicles of England, France, Spain, and the adjoining countries: from the latter part of the reign of Edward II. to the coronation of Henry IV, Volume 3, Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, 1805, p. 123 ("see his life in Ashmole").
  • Loruge in 00The Battle Abbey Roll, with some account of the Norman lineages by the Duchess of Cleveland, John Murray, London, 1889 (online version by Michael A. Linton, 2007).