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Brookfield Ancestor Project - Surety Barons

Magna Charta Baron Page
Richard De Montfichet
A feudal baron in Essex

Montfichet Shield

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WURTS’ MAGNA CHARTA provided a brief accounting of the feudal headquarters of some of the Magna Charta Barons. Some of the castles have been badly damaged. Some have disappeared entirely. Often we can learn of them through Medieval and Renaissance accounts, and some of them require the discerning eye of the archeologist. Others await the evidence brought out with a shovel and pick, by the trained archeological historian.

A portion of the information concerning Surety Baron RICHARD de MONTFICHET is as follows:

RICHARD de MONTFICHET, the Surety, was under age at the time of his father's death, and his wardship was committed to Roger de Lacie, Constable of Chester. He evidently came of age almost within the month of the signing of Magna Charta. It is notable that so young a man was so soon elected a Surety for the observance of Magna Charta, and to a position of political responsibility. As he was not of age until the Spring of 1215, his first public act appears to have been that of joining the Baronial party in arms against the King. The next year he went with the Surety Robert FitzWalter into France to solicit aid and continued to be one of the most enthusiastic of the Barons, until he was taken prisoner at Lincoln. Even after he was released he attended a tournament at Blithe in the 7th of King Henry III, contrary to the King's, that is, the Protector's prohibition, for which his lands were seized Later he made peace with the King and was, in 1236/7, constituted Justice of the King's forests or game parks in nineteen counties of England, and in 1241/2 was made sheriff of Essex and governor of Hertford Castle. It would appear that he was the last survivor of the Sureties.

Richard de Montfichet died without issue, never having married and after 1258 his lands were divided among his three sisters, one of whom was Aveline, wife of William de Fortibus, the Magna Charta Surety.

Appreciation is expressed to Reed M. W. Wurts, one of the Heralds of the Society for furnishing the Baron’s Shield on this page.

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