Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Percy [pierce-eye].

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Percy [pierce-eye].
When Malcolm III. of Scotland invaded England, and reduced the castle of Alnwick, Robert de Mowbray brought to him the keys of the castle suspended on his lance; and, handing them from the wall, thrust his lance into the king’s eye; from which circumstance, the tradition says, he received the name of “Pierce-eye,” which has ever since been borne by the Dukes of Northumberland.   1
        “This is all a fable. The Percies are descended from a great Norman baron, who came over with William, and who took his name from his castle and estate in Normandy.”—Sir Walter Scott: Tales of a Grandfather, iv.



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