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Basset, Richard (DNB00)


BASSET, RICHARD (d. 1144?), justiciar, was son of Ralph Basset [see Basset, Ralph, d. 1127?], and associated with him in the administration. Henry of Huntingdon speaks of him as a ‘justiciary of all England,’ and Orderic (lib. xiii. cap. 26) asserts that, under Henry I, he had power ‘utpote capitalis justitiarii,’ and built himself a stately keep on his paternal fief of Montreuil (au Houlme), which, however, was wrested from him on Henry's death. He appears in the Pipe Roll of 1129–30 as succeeding to his father's circuit, and as joint sheriff with Alberic de Vere for eleven counties. He married Maud, daughter of Geoffrey Ridel, the justiciary, and founded, with her, the priory of Laund, Leicestershire. Foss maintains (from the Pipe Roll of 1 Hen. II) that he was still living in 1154, but this roll does not exist, and he is mentioned as dead in the ‘De Contemptu’ of Henry of Huntingdon, which is attributed to 1145.

[Rot. Pip. 31 Hen. I; Ordericus Vitalis, xii. 26; Henry of Huntingdon (Rolls series); Dugdale's Baronage, i. 378; Foss's Judges of England, 1848, i. 101.]

J. H. R.