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William de Lanvalai

William de Lanvalei became the constable of Colchester Castle in 1196 and was responsible for the castle on behalf of the then king Richard I (the Lionheart).  De Lanvalei purchased the right to continue in office from Richard’s successor John in 1200, but died four years later.  His son William also became constable of Colchester Castle.  The younger William was a prominent baron in the reign of King John and was one of those responsible for upholding the Magna Carta in 1215.  His support for the king’s opponents resulted in his removal as the constable of Colchester Castle and he died shortly afterwards.  He is buried at Walkern in Hertfordshire where he was lord of the manor.

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