Malet, William (fl.1195-1215) (DNB00)

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MALET or MALLET, WILLIAM (fl. 1195–1215), baron of Curry Mallet and Shepton Mallet, Somerset, was the descendant in the fourth generation of Gilbert, brother of Robert [q. v.], and the younger son of William Malet [q. v.] of Graville. He was in Normandy with King Richard in 1195; in the following year he paid a fine of 100l. for livery of his inheritance; in 1204 he paid to the king a hundred shillings for liberty to sue William de Evermue for the lordship of Swinton; in 1211 he was appointed sheriff of Dorset and Somerset; and in 1214 he served King John with ten knights and twenty soldiers in Poitou. In the following year Malet took a prominent part on the popular side in the struggle between the king and the barons. He joined the confederacy of the barons at Stamford in Easter week, 1215, and was one of the twenty-five barons subsequently elected to guarantee the observance of the Great Charter. For the part which he took in the events of that year he was personally excommunicated, together with thirty other barons, by the pope. He appears to have died shortly afterwards, for early in the reign of Henry III his estates are found in possession of his two sons-in-law, Hugh de Vivonia and Robert Mucegros, who are ordered to pay into the treasury a fine which Malet had incurred. Malet married Alicia, the daughter of Thomas Basset, and his possessions passed to his two daughters, Mabel and Helewise, who became respectively the ancestresses of the families of Beauchamp and Poyntz. Monuments of this branch of the family still exist in the churches of Curry Mallet and Shepton Mallet.

[Stubbs's Select Charters, p. 306, and Constitutional History, i. 541–2; Rymer's Fœdera, i. 211–12, ed. 1704; Dugdale's Baronage, i. 111; A. Malet's Notices of the Malet Family, and in particular the private manuscripts in the possession of Sir Henry Malet.]

C. E. M.