Roy has found records
indicating two PACES were active
in military conflicts in the 1300s
During the reign of King EDWARD III

CLICK HERE=To go to that site
early Paces


Researching John Pace's captain and commander I found that they were Devonshire men (the county, or shire, is just called DEVON in England). It is on the southern coast of England; the chief town is PLYMOUTH.

I found his captain, Benedict Botteshale, as a rich merchant who was designated as a collector of the 1377 Dartmouth poll tax, a tax implemented by Parliament to help pay for the war against France.

DARTMOUTH is a town in County Devon. I did not find his commander, Philip de Courtenay, but the Courtenay family, of French origin, became Earls of Devon, a title that remains to this day.

Therefore it is most likely that John Pace was a Devon man.

JOHN PACE was a man-at-arms.

The free dictionary defines a man at arms as "(Military) a soldier, esp a heavily armed mounted soldier in medieval times". To be mounted at that time meant a higher status than that of a normal foot soldier. The chart indicates that he was involved in a naval expedition in 1374. What was a mounted horseman doing in a naval expedition? Perhaps just en route to France to fight there.

In Wikipedia I read that in 1374 John of Gaunt reached Bordeaux, France. That is the only event I can find for that year, but it was not a naval expedition. John of Gaunt's exhausted army reached Bordeaux after marching through France, and they were beaten back and had to return to England. John Pace was a mounted horseman; was he at Bordeaux? I don't know how this squares with "Exped Naval." Maybe John Pace was one of the contingent that brought John of Gaunt back to England. We can only speculate.


There is even less to go on for WILLIAM PACE, but from general knowledge and other reading, I know that not just anyone could be an archer.

The English longbow
required a lot of strength and much skill. It was a better weapon than the muskets that colonists brought to Jamestown and remained so for some time after. Among other things, a group of archers could shoot a shower of arrows high in the air to rain down behind enemy lines, terrorizing the fighters there. The musket was only popular because it did not require strength or much training or skill. Almost anyone could fire a musket; not so a powerful English longbow.

WILLIAM may have been involved in any of the altercations of the years 1369-72.

In 1372 England was losing badly in France; perhaps he was killed there and that is why this year terminates his service.

The following events
that may have involved WILLIAM PACE
came from Wikipedia:

Wikipedia - TREATY of BRETIGNY

The TREATY of BRETIGNY in 1360
ceded huge areas of northern and western France to English sovereignty. Hostilities arose again in 1369 as English armies under the king's third son, JOHN of GAUNT, invaded France.

English military strength, weakened considerably AFTER THE PLAGUE, gradually lost so much ground that by 1375,

EDWARD agreed to the TREATY of BRUGES, leaving only the coastal towns of Calais, Bordeaux, and Bayonne in English hands.

Mercenary troops replaced feudal obligations as the means of gathering armies. So William Pace was probably paid for his services.

HOWEVER, an understanding of possible events of JOHN PACE and WILLIAM PACE's military careers might be better understood by looking at the Royalty of that and previous eras and conflicts involved.

In those days England and France shared close relationships between the Nobility and Royalty of both countries. This was often the source of common conflict and no doubt these PACE men were likely involved in the conflicts.


RETURN TO MAIN PAGE - Britain 1066-1485

The surname Pace is tied to an earlier form, Pacy.
presented by James R. Pace - [PACE-L] re:The Earliest Paceys 08/03/2004

Pacy is evidently a name that arose in Normandy. One of the best and most quoted analyses of Anglo-Norman place names is the tract by Lloyd.

Lloyd is quoted in the book as writing: “The people I treat of are those who were settled in England at ay time between 1066 and 1205.”

The following is a citation from Loyd. His sources were noted French historians and genealogists. Hence, a translation from the French is required.

Loyd’s book was originally published by the Harleian Society in England and I am using the reprint.

For reference, the source is:
Loyd, Lewis, Clay, Charles Travis, & Douglas, David C., ed, “The Origins of Anglo-Norman Families,” Baltimore, Gen. Pub. Co., Inc., 1975. pp. 75-76. The text of the citation reads: PACY, PASCI, DE PACEIO

Pacy-sur-Eure: Eure, arr. Eveaux, cant. Pacy By a charter of 1153, Henry duke of Normandy and count of Anjou gave Robert son of Robert earl of Leicester ‘Pasci cum toto honore et totem terram quam Willelmus de Pasci in Anglia et Normannia tenuit.’ William Pacy died in 1153. His lands in England have not been identified, but the charter proves his Norman provenance.

The death of William Pacy is cited in the reference: Delisle, Leopold, “Chronique de Robert de Torigni ... suivie de divers opuscules historiques,” 2 Vols.(Soc. Hist. Norm., 1872, 1873). I give this reference to show the difficulty involved in tracking down original sources in medieval genealogy.

Two points are to be made. First, there is no explanation why William’s lands in England and Normandy passed into Earl of Leicester’s hands. Did William have any heirs? Secondly, ‘Robert Leicester, son of Robert earl of Leicester’ can be identified. There are actually three generations of Robert de Beaumonts, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Earls of Leicester. I would hazard that the father was the second Earl Leicester (Abt 1104- 1168) who md. Amice de Montfort. I have that Amice de Montfort was a second cousin of William de Pacy. The son would be the 3rd Earl, Robert de Beaumont (Abt 1121- 1190). I have a genealogy for William de Pacy, developed while researching lines other than Pace. Thus:

Genealogy of William de Pacy

  • 1. William FitzOsbern Abt 1030-1070) === Alice de Toeni (b.. Abt 1035)

  • 2. William de Breteuil(Abt 1052-1103) == Adeliza de Montfort (b. Abt 1070)

  • 3.Eustace de Pacy (Abt 1085- 1136) == Juliane of Normandy (Abt. 1093- Aft 1136)

  • 4.William de Pacy (Abt 1116- 1153) Juliane of Normandy is said to have been an illegitimate daughter Henry I "Beauclerc" King of England by a mistress Ansfride. William FitzOsbern and his son, Eustace de Pacy were probably Seigneurs de Pacy.

I think I can say that Pacy is a place name, originating in Normandy. It is also a occupation based name. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the castle at Pacy-sur-Eure was an important outpost on the boundary between the Dukedom of Normandy and little France. The man holding the title Seigneur of Pacy had some importance. Thus, William de Breteuil was the Lord of Breteuil and Pacy. His son’s pick up the surname Pacy. After King John lost his hold on Normandy, Phillip Augustus found the fortress at Pacy redundant, to use a modern term, and had the fortress leveled. This I recall from reading a history a number of years ago, though I can’t recall the source.

I find Noble Pace, in his collection of notes on the Paces of North Carolina, is in agreement with much of what is said above.

I expect to be challenged of on some of the above, as there always seems to be disagreements on such matters.

James R. Pace

Hall of Names - web site