Page:Devonshire Characters and Strange Events.djvu/286

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DEVONSHIRE CHARACTERS

does not seem that Sir William was ever dispossessed. Marisco was one of the prisoners captured from the French in a sea fight in 1217, and was afterwards reinstated in his island, along with his wife and children, who had also been taken. In 1222 he removed to Lundy some guns he had taken from his lordship of Camley in Somerset, and, turbulent to the end, he was, in 1233, amerced in a fine of 300 marks to the King for his ransom.

His younger son, Sir William, was outlawed in 1235 for slaying in London an Irish messenger. His elder brother Jordan, or Geoffrey, had made a descent on Ireland and was killed at Kilkenny in 1234.

Sir William got into further trouble on an accusation of an attempt to assassinate Henry III, and this led to the breaking up of the robbers' nest, and its being wrested from the Marisco family for many years.

But before telling the story, it will be well to say a few words about the castle erected by this turbulent family, of which some remains may still be seen. It was probably originally erected by the first Sir Jordan, in the reign of Henry II.

The keep is all that now remains, and it is turned into cottages. The basement wall is nine feet thick, and the lines of bastion and fosse may still be traced. Two engravings and a plan of the castle, as it was in 1775, appear in Grose's Antiquities. He thus describes it:—

"The castle stood on two acres of ground, and was surrounded by a stone wall, with a ditch, except towards the sea, where the rock is almost perpendicular. The ditch is very visible, and part of the wall. The walls of the citadel (i.e. keep) are very perfect, of a square form. It is converted into cottages, the turrets, of which there are four, one at each angle,