The Guys of Bottesford, Leicestershire


Associated Families.

The Coat of Arms of Lieutenant John Percy Hugh Guy *

Worn on his helmet and flown above his slit-trench during W.W.2

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The Guy family from, it seems, the time of Domesday, 1086, have by and large dwelt and farmed in a relatively small, by today's standards, area of north Leicestershire. It also appears that they have been a moderately religious family who, like a lot in their time, hope for a future life after death secured by offerings to the church. This practice although at one time widespread now seems to be dying out.

Possibly due to the owning and renting of land there is an almost unbroken record of the family through the Wills left, one can trace the fortunes through good times and hard times to the present day. One tragedy by no-means unique to this family was the loss of a son in the second world war, this instance hit my grandfather hard as he was only too aware that the untimely death of his son spelt the end of this Guy lineage in tail male.

When you read this account of the Guys take a few minutes to dream, as this is not just a list of names, but an account of lives in times gone by. When men and women lived and struggled to survive in both happy times and also times of plague, war and authoritarianism. We are free, we enjoy a reasonably easy life of affluence, they fought every day for, or against their Lords and the will of nature.

I have included not only photographs of the family members, where possible, but also photographs of the gravestones and plans of the churchyards. As, far from them being eternal resting places it now seems that the authorities have a right to move not only the headstones and memorials but also to re-inter the remains if it is deemed necessary. A practice I heartily oppose.

I hope that even if you have no interest in this pedigree yourself, you pass down the knowledge and keep it up to date.


In 1086 in the FRAMLAND Wapentake WIDON DE CREDVN (Guy de Credun) and later his great grandson holds 8c. of land in Stonesby from the King. He also holds 21/2 of land in WALTHAM (on the wolds) with full jurisdictio and 1/2c. of land without full jurisdiction. Also Warin holds 3c. of land in SPROXTON from Guy. There is also mention of half a Bovate of land said to lie in LESTONE (Laughton near Gainsborough Lincs.) held by Guy de Credun and Alfred under him. There were also other lands in Lincolnshire held by Guy.

White's Leicestershire & Rutland Directory 1863 notes the following in the section about the Domesday Book (Pg.40)

Wido de Credun ...........................3

His inheritance passed by a female to the family of the Vaux and afterwards by another female to the Lords Roos, ancestors of the present Duke of Rutland.

Sometime in the years 1124-1129, the darkest period of English history, the assessments, which form the LEICESTERSHIRE SURVEY, were taken. This shows ALAN DE CRAON 21/2 carucates of land at Waltham on the wolds 8 carucates of land in Stonesbia (Stonesby) and 2 carucates in SPROXTON.

"About 1190 Robert Fitz-Parnell was lord of the manor of Waltham, a parish adjoining Claxton and had under him the following free tenants, who were all pares in libertate: Henry le Knight held three ploughlands. Guy held two ploughlands and a messuage near the fountain. Bernard held two ploughlands."

As yet there is no link to tie in these Guys with the present day lineage, but as the name was uncommon in those days, it is possible that with usage became a surname for the family who still own land in this area of the county.

The earliest proven ancestor so far discovered is ROBERT GYE born circa 1450 from whom descend the Guys of Bottesford, Claxton and Nottingham.

From Robert Gye, we can trace an unbroken descent to the present day including many collateral lines. In particular there are Wills from as far back as Robert Gye’s son, also called Robert, for a period so far traced of 250 years to 1723. They show the fortunes of the Guy family through good times and not so good times; giving a picture of a family who, for the most part, stayed in a comparatively small area of North Leicestershire and South East Nottinghamshire with a few forays elsewhere.

* The phrase "Coat of Arms" is in reality a misnomer, as a Coat of Arms is a surcoat worn on top of armour, the correct term should been "the achievement".
Lieutenant Guy used his "arms" in the time honoured tradition, as Battalion Intelligence Officer, to enable his men to quickly locate his position by the banner flying above his slit-trench. This may have been the last time a individual's "coat of arms" was used in battle.

Copyright Guy Etchells © 1998 - 2001 All rights reserved.

Permission is granted for all free personal and non-commercial uses. It is my intention to make all data contained herein freely available for all private, non-profit and non-commercial uses. Commercial use of any portion contained herein is expressly prohibited.

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