Robert and lvo de Vassy, in the arrondissement of Vere, and anglicised Vesci, are admitted to have been in William's expedition, and to have settled in England. Their family connection with the later Lacies, Earls of Lincoln, induces me to select them for the notice immediately following.
The relations of these two valiant Normans is as uncertain as that of Walter and Ilbert de Lacy, and the same difficulty exists of identifying the "Sires de Vaccie," mentioned by Wace with the Robert and Ivo aforesaid.
The former we find in Domesday the possessor of nineteen lordships in the counties of Northampton, Warwick, Lincoln, and Leicester, and Ivo equally well provided for, the Conqueror having presented him with the hand of Alda, the granddaughter of Gilbert Tyson, Lord of Alnwick, in the county of Northumberland,who had fallen on the side of Harold at Senlac, and only daughter and heir of his son William, Lord of Alnwick and Malton, to whom she bore an only daughter and heir, Beatrice, the first wife of Eustace Fitz John, whose son, by her named William, assumed the name of De Vesci and bequeathed it to his heirs. His grandson John was the first Baron de Vesci summoned to Parliament by writ, 24th December, 1264; and with William, the illegitimate son of his brother William, summoned by writ as third Baron, 8th January, 1313, and killed at the battle of Sterling in 1315, the title became extinct, and the estates were carried by the heiress of a collateral branch into the family of the Cliffords, Earls of Cumberland, with the exception of Alnwick, which was sold in 1309 to Henry de Percy, and thus became one of the noblest possessions of the Earls of Northumberland.
The present Viscount de Vesci and Lords Fitz Gerald and Vesci claim to be descended from a collateral branch of this family which settled in Scotland. M. le Prévost, in the supplement to his Notes on the " Roman de Rou," tells us that according to the information furnished to M. Lachesnaye des Bois, the family of Vassy descended from Richard, nephew of Raoul Tête-d'Ane (Raoul de Gacé so called) by his grandson Auvray, who inherited the lands of Vassy, and gave his name to the forest of Auvray; but that unfortunately such persons are only known to us from the traditions of the family at present bearing the name.
M. de Gerville remarks that there is a Vesey near Pontorson, but does not consider that it is in any way connected with the Vassys of Normandy, or the Vescis of England; the latter of whom, wherever they hail from, are undoubtedly descendants of the companions of the Conqueror.
Added to this site through the courtesy of Michael Linton, who provided scanned text.