William de Vescy

(1245—1297) baron

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Justiciar of Ireland 1290–4, lord of Alnwick in Northumberland. He inherited the liberty of Kildare in 1290 and was appointed justiciar on 12 September. Although relations with the Irish were comparatively peaceful during his justiciarship, it was marked by a series of legal disputes and a violent disagreement with the baron of Offaly, John fitz Thomas. Various complaints were made against de Vescy in the English parliament in 1293, and at a council in Dublin in April 1294 he and fitz Thomas made mutual accusations, the latter alleging that de Vescy had slandered the king. They challenged each other to battle but de Vescy won by default when fitz Thomas failed to appear on 24 July. By then, however, he had been removed from the justiciarship. In 1297 he surrended his liberty of Kildare to the crown.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.

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