The Sacy Coat of Arms
Uncovering the Coat of Arms of Rogo and Emery de Sacy has proved to be quite a challenge. We have even contacted the “Royal” College of Arms to see if they had a record of our Knights. There reply was that:-
“Our sources for this early heraldry are extremely scarce however and there is much that we do not know. The earliest records of coats of Arms in manuscript form date from the thirteenth century; before that we must rely on seals and other such evidence.”
They went on to say that they could find no reference to our knights.
We have Coats of Arms for the Bassinburn and Coudroy Knights (see later) who inherited a portion of the manor each by arranged marriages to Emery’s two daughters but no sight of the de Sacy Knights after whom the village is named.
Heraldry at the time we are talking ( late 1100’s and early 1200) was relatively new and was used to identify Knights on the battle field or at tournaments. The Shields you see in the church are much later and the design is quartered as generations and marriages added to the original designs and combined elements from each family.
Our medieval shields are much simpler so we knew that we were probably looking for a very simple shield for our knights. That’s why when trawling the internet for their Arms we were reasonably sure that the many Stacey Coats of Arms on-line where not our men.
What our internet research did throw up though was some documents held at Hamshire Records Office that included one document with a seal (badly damaged) attached.
|Title||Pamber: grant of all the lands of Emeric de Sacey in Pamber [“Pambere”]|
|Description||(i) Emeric de Sacy
(ii) Peter de Sacy his son
Rents: 1 spur or 6d per annum
Witnesses: Robert de Bello Alneto, Henry de Faruligh, Fulc de Coudray, Geoffrey de Coudray, John Lanceleve, William de Pambere, Eustace de Gavelacre, Geoffrey de St. Vittore, Richard Bissop, Alexander de Hulindon, Augustine Forester, Hamon Hunter, Thomas de la Rugge, Thomas Forester and others
|Physical Description||Seal: badly worn, illegible.|
Our trip to the Records Office proved to be very valuable and we uncovered this wonderful seal attached to the document
Reproduced by permission of HRO and the Jervoise family of Herriard Collection
Given what the herald has said this is a very rare find and will be among one of the earliest Coats of Arms in England
Reading the badly damaged text is going to take some time but sufficient of the Shield is visible to recreate the Sacy Coat of Arms and our Seal may have looked something like this.
For the colours we have found a 1600-1700’s French de Sacy – a famous author who has a shield with a single Chevron in gold on a blue background – with a quill pen in one corner and two stars at the head of the shield. We are unlikely to ever know for sure what the Shield colours were but there is some logic to basing them on this French Shield.
For the time being until we find anything that’s gives us more information we are assuming that the Coat of Arms of Rogo and Emery de Sacy looked something like this.
From that point we can think of the Arms that would imply for Bertune Sacy ( Barton Stacey today).
Bertune is a Saxon word for Barley Town or farm so we can see that farming Barley went right back to before the Norman conquest in 1066. So by adding ears of barley to the de Sacy Coat of Arms we can represent Barton Stacey in full and our shield might look like these.
Now to briefly return to the Two Knights who inherited a share each of Barton Stacey. In the medieval period when a knight died before his heir was of age ( male of female) they were put under the protection of the King. The King would make the child the ward of a noble who would take over their lands and responsibilities until they were of age. It was very common in these circumstances for them to also agree a marriage contract between the two families which was a way of ensuring that there lands remained in the family.
Thus Emery de Sacy’s two daughters were married into the Coudroy and Bassingburn families with a dowry of a share of the manor of Bertune Sacy .
The next generation to inherit the Manor
|Sire de Coudroy||Sire de Bassingburn|
Both Peter De Coudroy and Warin de Bassingburn were also Knights and there are interesting records to uncover of their exploits as well.