DUCYE / DUCIE / DUCEY of England: Family Lineage

1326                “The family came out of Normandy and had its estates in the County of Stafford from the time of Edward II, when —— Ducy, their ancestor, raised a regiment for Queen Isabel against that king, out of the Normans, his countrymen.” [1]

1401                The earliest English Ducey yet identified is Roger Ducye, listed at Walsall in a land transaction:  “Gift:   1. Agnes Abell of Walsall.  2. Henry Pots (?) Roger Ducie (?) and Richard Briggend  (1) to (2) pasture and meadow in Walshale. (Walsall).[2]

1532                Feb. 10, a one line note in the state papers of Henry VIII grants citizenship to 11 French men.  One is “Stephen Ducye, born in Normandie.[3]

1532                Henry Ducye (1), listed on tax roll at Willenhall,   with wife Marjorie and 4 children.[4]

c. 1520            James  Ducye(1)  heir.

c. 1525            John (1)  2nd son.  No further direct link to him but see note of 1572.

A -  DESCENDANTS OF JAMES (1) DUCYE

James Ducye (1) lived in Walsall, and is said to have prospered by selling the greater part of the Ducye family lands.  Became very rich. He served  one-year terms as Mayor of Walsall in 1558 and 1570 and several terms on town council.  Last record for him at Walsall was in 1583.   James (1) first married Aleanor(sic), daughter of Robert Sheffield, a son of the Recorder of the city of London. She bore two  daughters, Elizabeth and Agnes, of whom we have no further information.  He later  married  Alice, of the Pipe family, of Bilston, who produced two sons. Her brother, Sir Richard Pipe, was a  Lord Mayor of London and made a knight, so this Ducye family was already well-connected before Sir Robert arrived in 1575.[5]

Sons of James (1) and Alice Pipe

- Richard (1) heir, remains in Walsall.  Follows in his father’s footsteps.

- Henry (2).   He will move to London by 1571.

1563                First land record for James (1)  in Walsall as he  ”leases a cottage and close called Burchell’s house, in Walsall to Wm. Wynsshurst, laborer, for 21 years at 8 s. per year.”  In 1566 another notation dealing with the same property states that James leased it to Wynnsshurt for “a paire of ferde gloves.[6]

1566                James leases 2 acres of land in Wyndmyle Field, Walsall, for 21 years, to son Richard (1) Ducye.  Richard serves terms  as mayor of Walsall in 1601 and 1611.  He is last found in Walsall land records in 1618 when he is described as a “merchant.”.[7]

c.1566-71        Henry Ducye (2) moves to London and joins Merchant Taylors’ Company.  He marries Mary Hardy, daughter of Robert Hardy.  They have four sons.[8]

Sons of Henry Ducye and Mary Hardy

son # 1            Robert (1), heir, Alderman, Sheriff  and Lord Mayor London, etc.  He was a  banker at Merchant Taylors’ Co. and also became banker to King Charles 1, who created for him baronet.  (1575-1634)[9]

son # 2            John(2)  commonly known as Hugh, upon death of brother Robert, becomes 2nd Baronet in July 1634.  He is poorly treated in peerage histories.[10]

Hugh, along with his nephew William, is appointed Knight of Bath, on the same day in 1661, upon the coronation of Charles II.  He married Sarah Fisher but had no children.  He lived at Islington, dying there in 1662 but was buried at the estate of Tortworth.

son # 3            Henry (3), with the support of brother Robert, he will enter in the employ of the East India Co.  in 1619, he goes to Sarrat, East Indies,, dying there without family in 1627.[11]

son # 4           James (2) Said to have been slain in Virginia, no children.[12]

1608                Robert (1) Ducye marries Elizabeth Pyott, daughter of Richard Pyott, also a London alderman.  Like his parents, Robert and Elizabeth will have 4 sons[13]

Sons of Robert Ducie and Elizabeth Pyott

son # 1            Sir Richard(3)  Ducie, heir,  2nd Baronet, loyal to King Charles, he endured political persecution for his support of King Charles 1 in the Civil War.[14]

Richard had been Sheriff of Gloucestershire in 1637- 38 but in the Civil War was jailed and later released after a harsh fine.  Unmarried, upon his death In March 1656, the Ducie estates succeed to brother William.[15]

son # 2            William Ducie, b. abt. 1632, became 3rd Baronet on death of Richard.  He was also appointed Viscount Downe of Ireland, an honorary title.[16]

1656                William m. Frances Seymour. no children.[17]

1697                William dies, is buried at Tortworth.  Having outlived  his younger brother Robert (2),  the residual Ducie estates pass to niece Elizabeth, daughter of Robert (2).[18]

son # 3            Henry (3). Henry may have died in childhood. Although listed by early peerage historians, there is as no further record of this 3rd son.  Robert Ducie’s will in 1634 left his estate “for the advancement of his 3 eldest sons.”  They were mentioned in the will as Richard, William and Robert. [19]

son # 4            Robert (2) Given estate of Little Aston by his father.  Not popular with some in terms of his self-admiration, he wants to be known as “Ducie of Little Aston.” He dies in 1654 but is survived by daughter  Elizabeth, the sole heir of her father’s estate and those of Sir Robert Ducie and her uncle, William Ducie.[20]

1687                Elizabeth Ducie marries Edward Moreton.  One son:  Matthew Ducie Moreton.[21]

1717                After service in the war in Flanders, he is appointed Vice Treasurer and Pay-master of Ireland until 1720.[22]

1720                Matt. Ducie Moreton, is created First Lord Ducey, Baron of Moreton, Staffordshire.

He marries  Arabella Prestwich b. 1660.  They have one son Matthew Ducie Moreton 2nd.[23]

1735                Matt. Ducie Moreton (1) d. 02/05/1735.[24]

1981                Lord Moreton Ducie[25]

B – SEARCHING DESCENDANTS OF JOHN DUCYE (1), and some others:

c. 1525            Est. birth of John (1), 2nd son of Henry Ducye (1) and younger brother of James (1), heir.  Both are listed on a tax roll at Wilenhall in 1532.

1533-38           The period cited in a Court of Chancery claim in 1629 by William Lowe, an Articled Clerk, on behalf of the “great-grandson and heir of John Ducye and his wife Alice.”  Plaintiff and result not identified. The claim was over land at Northfield, Worcester, 60 miles south of Walsall.[26]

1532                Among 11 French men granted citizenship and entry into England, four of whom were born in Normandy, is Stephen Ducye.  No further information.[27]

1572                A John Ducye, marries Christpiane Slie at Trowbridge, Wiltshire on 13 October.[28]

1605                Burial of a Samuel Ducye, at the Church of St. John the Baptist, Somerset, England.  No further information.[29]

1611                John Ducie marries Margeret Whitechurch at Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire.[30]

1611                John Ducye is named as co-executor, with John Willis, for the will of John Druse, of North Bradley, Wiltshire, 21 December 1611.  Druse dies in July 1612, leaving  five unmarried children.[31]

Searching Descendants of John Ducye (1) and some others (cont.)

1628                North Bradley,Wiltshire.  Elizabeth Ducie, baptized November 7, only child of Thomas Ducie and an unknown mother.  Thomas Ducie, (Ducy), dies and is buried at North Bradley, 10 August, 1669 [32]

1645                License to Wm. Ducie to bind apprentice John Ducie, to Isaac Lee of Hamburg, Merchant.  (Lee acted as a British envoy in Germany.)[33]

1692                John Ducy, a Tellisford mason, is identified on a plaque as having built the original bridge at Tellisford, Wiltshire.[34]


[1]Henry Sanders, History and antiquities of Shenstone, in the county of Stafford (London, J. Nichols, 1794), 175 .See also, E. Brydges, Collins Peerage of England, Vol. VII, (London, et. al., 1812), p.410.  .  Also: Rudder, History of Staffordshire;  Also :Robert Atkyns, History of the County of Gloucester(Compressed) ( Thomas Rudge (London, G.F. Harris 1803), 355. A handful of French knights are identified by sources but like ‘de Ducey,’ many are not.  See also Natalie Fryde, The Tyranny and Fall of Edward II, 1321-26 (Cambridge University Press, 1979), p. 211.

[2] www.nationalarchives.gov.uk records (no title) 2 Henry IV (1401), also Walsall Archives/Local History Centre.  Original record in Latin and question marks about spelling of his name are added in the English translation

[3]www.british-history.ac.uk: Letters and Papers, Henry VIII, No. 25, 10 February 1532.

[4] M. Harbach, Families in the Archdeaconry of Stafford, 1532-33, Willenhall Page.

[5] Collins, 410.

[6] Ibid. p. 410 .  Sales of the greater parts of family lands by James Ducye; also: Borough of Walsall: calendar of Deeds and Documents, leases and sales by James Ducye, p. 34.

[7] Richard Sims, Borough of Walsall, calendar of Deeds and documents belonging to the corporation, (T. Kirby, printer, The Bridge, Walsall, 1882) 34, 38, 56,. Etc.

[8] Collins Peerage, p. 229.  Henry (2) born circa 1538, (Walsall?) moves to London and joins Merchant Taylor.  Marries Mary Hardy, dtr. of Robt. Hardy, at St. Lawrence Jewry  and  Saint Magdalene 02 July  1571.    He is listed on London subsidy Returns of 1576.  He dies in 1587.

[9] Collins, 229, 411.   Sanders, 175 .

[10] Collins, p. 410 – 412 lists him as John.  Both Sanders ‘ History of Shenstone and Stafford, 1794, and Burke’s Peerage list him as Hugh Ducie, created Knight of Bath in 1661.

[11] Colonial Record, Calendar of State, East India Company, p. 74.

[12] Collins, 229.

[13] Marriage of Robert to E. Pyott.

[14] Collins , 411.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Collins, 412.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] The Index Library, Abstracts of Inquisitions Post Mortem, Returned to the Court of Chancery in the Reign of King Charles 1. (Stephen Austin & Sons, , Co. of Gloucester, 1932), 146 – 148, nos. 213 – 215.

[20] Loc cit.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid, 413.

[25]The 7th Earl of Ducie is David Leslie Moreton, b.  20 September 1951.  His son and heir is the Hon. James Berkeley Moreton, styled Lord Moreton, b. 6 May 1981.  Cracroftpeerage.co.uk/online/

[26]British National Archives, Item Ref. C 1/840/50.

[27] Feb. 10, 1532, Fiats for letters of denization, Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, In the Reign of Henry VIII, Public Records Office, Vol. XVII, London, 1900 p. 58, no.26.   Also,  British History online.

[28] Marriage record, www.familysearch.org

[29] Burials at St. John the Baptist, Somerset Co., from 1558 to 1616.

[30] www.uk-genealogy.org.uk, Wiltshire Parish Records,, Marriages, Vol. 7.

[31] British National Archives.

[32] www.familytrees.genopro.com/appleshaw/   North Bradley, Wiltshire, from 1600 to 1837.

[33] Gloucestershire Archives, Ducie family testamentary papers.

[34] British History Online, Tellisford Bridge.

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