Petit, William (DNB00)

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PETIT, WILLIAM (d. 1213), justiciar of Ireland, was a follower of Hugh de Lacy, first lord of Meath (d. 1186) [q. v.], and probably went over to Ireland with him in 1171. He received from him Castlebrack in the present Queen's County, and Rathkenny, co. Meath. In 1191 he served as justiciar of Ireland. He again appears as co-justice with Peter Pipard in a charter granted between 1194 and 1200 to St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin. He was a witness to two charters to the same abbey, which can be dated 1205 and 1203–7, and to other charters of less precise date granted to St. Mary's and to St. Thomas's Abbey, Dublin. On 26 March 1204 he was appointed, with three others, to hear the complaint of Meiler FitzHenry [q. v.], justiciar of Ireland, against William de Burgh (Patent Rolls, p. 39). On 20 March 1208 he was sent by John with messages to the justiciar of Ireland (Close Rolls, i. 106 b). On 28 June 1210 Petit appeared at Dublin, with others, as a messenger from Walter de Lacy, second lord of Meath [q. v.], praying the king to relax his ire and suffer Walter to approach his presence (Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, i. 402). In 1212 he and other Irish barons supported John against Innocent III (ib. p. 448). He died in 1213. He granted to St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin, certain lands at Machergalin, near the abbey of Kilsenecan. His son was taken by King John as a hostage for Richard de Faipo. His widow in February 1215 offered 100 marks for liberty to remarry as she pleased, and for the replacement of her son as hostage by the son of Richard de Faipo himself (Close Rolls, ii. 86).

[Close and Patent Rolls, and Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, vol. i., as quoted above; Munimenta Hibernica (Record Comm.) iii. 56; Francisque Michel, Anglo-Norman Poem on the Conquest of Ireland, pp. 148–9; Annals of Ireland in Cartulary of St. Mary's Abbey, ii. 312; the same cartulary, i. 30, 69, 143, 144 et passim, Register of St. Thomas's Abbey, pp. 9, 12, 34, 38, 48, 253, 254, 255 (both in the Rolls Ser.); Gilbert's Hist. of the Viceroys of Ireland, p. 55.]

W. E. R.