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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 WILLIAM MALET is as follows:
WILLIAM MALET, the Surety, was mentioned as a minor in the year 1194, in connection with an expedition made that year into Normandy. His principal estate was Curry-Malet. From 1210 to 1214 he was sheriff of counties Somerset and Dorset. He then joined the Barons against King John and became one of the Sureties. He had lands in four counties which were confiscated and given to his son-in-law, Hugh de Vivonia, Thomas Basset, and to his father-in-law, and Malet was excommunicated by the Pope in 1216. He was also fined 2,000 marks, but the sum was not paid until after his death, and at that time 1,000 marks were remitted, being found due to him for military service to King John in Poitou. It is interesting to note that there were five contemporary relatives named Malet, all of whom held lands in England or in Jersey. William Malet died about 1217, having married Mabel, called also Alice and Aliva, daughter of Thomas Basset of Headington. Nothing now remains of Malet's estate of Curry-Malet.
Appreciation is expressed to Reed M. W. Wurts, one of the Heralds of the Society for furnishing the Barons Shield on this page.