' LUTGERSHALL CASTLE.
IT was in being before the year 1141, for in that year the Empress Maud took shelter in it, in her flight from Winchester to the Devizes. Here probably she made some stay, as about that time the castle of the Devizes, as we learn from William of Malmsbury, fol. 105, was in the possession of Robert Fitz-Her-bert, who refused to surrender it to her use.
AMONG the donations of King Rich. I. to his brother Johiij in the firft year of his reign, Hoveden mentions the castles of Marlborough and Lutgershall, as does also Stowe, who has transcribed this particular in his annals.
IN the reign of King John it belonged to Geoffrey Fitz-Piers, chief juftice of England, in the right of Beatrix his wife, one of the coheirs of Wm. de Mandeville, earl of Essex.
THIS Geoffrey Fitz-Piers was a man of vast riches and authority, and greatly instrumental in seating King John upon the throne; who, in return, on the day of his coronation, created him earl of Essex. Matthew Paris says, he was generous and learned, and the main support of the nation ; so that at his death ( which happened anno .1213 ) England became like a ship without a rudder. He had the chief hand in the management of all affairs, and was more feared than loved by the king, who, when, news was brought him of his death, said, "Now I shall be king and lord in England,".... '
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