PICOT DE SAY
"Cil de Saie," mentioned by Wace (l. 13,712), is supposed to be Picot de Say, one of a family deriving their name from Say, near Argentan, the lords of which were vassals of Roger de Montgomeri in Normandy, as well as subsequently in England.
In 1060, Robert Picot de Say, Adeloyse his wife, their sons Robert and Henri, and Osmelin de Say and Avitia his wife, were benefactors to the Church of St. Martin of Séez, and in Domesday we find Picot de Say registered holding under Earl Roger twenty-nine manors in Shropshire. In 1083 he was amongst the barons invited by the Earl to witness his foundation of the Abbey of Shrewsbury. He had probably followed his feudal lord to England in 1067, and would not, therefore, in that case have been at Senlac; but, at the same time some of the family might have been in the invading army, and as Wace has represented Roger de Montgomeri as a leader in it, he would be likely to name one of his principal vassals as fighting in his company. Picot appears to have been the hereditary name of the family, it being sometimes used by itself, as in the instance of Picot Vicecomes, or Picot of Cambridge, one of the founders of the Priory of Barnwell, or with a baptismal name prefixed to it, as in that of Robert Picot de Say above mentioned. It is doubtful, however, whether the Picot of Cambridge was of the same family as Picot de Say, and it is the name of Say that is most prominent in Anglo-Norman history; Enguerrand de Say having been a distinguished warrior in the reign of Stephen and William de Say, and by his marriage with Beatrice, sister of Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of Essex, increasing the wealth and power of both families. [Pat's note: that's accurately typed here, but Planche's "and" before Wm is surely an error]
A William de Say, the grandfather of that William, married Agnes, daughter of Hugh de Grentmesnil (see page 83, ante), and might have been in the battle with his father-in-law, as confidently stated in the pedigree of the Lords Say and Sele, who deduce their descent from him through the family of Fiennes, as do also the Dukes of Newcastle.
The Pigots, or Pigotts, assume to be the descendants of the Norman Picots of Domesday, one family from the Shropshire and the other from the Cheshire branch. We have nothing, however, but probability to guide us in our attempt to identify the actual companion of the Conqueror indicated by Master Wace, nor have we any materials for the biography of any Sire de Say who might be entitled to that distinction.
Added to the site through the courtesy of Fred L. Curry, who provided a photocopy of the chapter.