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Geoffrey Luttrell

b.  11...       d. 1215-16
m. Frethesant Paynell, daughter of William Paynell

The following is an account from DUNSTER AND ITS LORDS by H. C. Maxwell-Lyte, 1882

"During the absence of Richard I in Palestine, this Geoffrey Luttrell took part in the unsuccessful rebellion of John, Earl of Mortain, and was consequently deprived of his estates in the county of Nottingham.  He was reinstated, however, on the accession of the Earl of Mortain to the English throne, and from that time until his death he seems to have been constantly employed in the King's service.

In 1201, he was appointed one of the overseers of the expenses incurred in the enclosure of the royal park of Bolsover.  In 1204, he was sent into Ireland with a recommendatory letter to the archbishops and bishops, and received ten pounds for his maintenance.  In the following year he went to Poictiers in charge of the King's treasure, and in 1210, he held the responsible office of paymaster of the navy.  In 1215, he was sent on an embassy to Pope Innocent III, partly to explain the arrangement that had been made about the dower of Queen Berengaria, and partly to denounce the barons who had extorted Magna Charta from the reluctant king.  In one of these commissions he is styled 'nobilis vir'.   He received several grants of land from his royal patron, but the real foundation of the future wealth of the Luttrell family was laid by his marriage with Frethesant, daughter and coheiress of William Paganel."  Her inheritance included property in the counties of York, Nottingham and Lincoln. 

Sir Geoffrey Luttrell appears to have died on his journey to Rome in 1216, leaving a widow and a son named Andrew, who was under age at the time."
From John Burke's "A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland", Vol. 1.  Henry Colburn, Page 142.

The family of LUTTRELL, or LOTERELL, was established in England by one of the chiefs in the Norman Conquest, whose name is to be found in the Roll of Battel Abbey.

In the reigns of HENRY I.* and King Stephen*, Sir John Luttrell held, in capite, the manor of Hoton Pagnel, in Yorkshire, which vested in his male descendants until the time of HENRY V*. when it devolved upon an heiress, who espoused John Scott, feudal lord of Calverley, and steward of the household to the Empress MAUD.

The estates of Sir Geoffry Luttrell, knt. in the counties of Derby, Leicester, Nottingham, and York, were confiscated in the reign of RICHARD I. for his adhesion to John, Earl of Morton, but they were restored upon the accession of that prince to the throne, as King JOHN. Sir Geoffry subsequently accompanied the king into Ireland, and obtained from the crown a grant of Luttrellstown, in that kingdom. The descendants of Sir Geoffry were afterwards feudal barons of Irnham, and one of those barons, ROBERT DE LUTTRELL, had summons to parliament on the 24th June, and 2nd November, 1295. (See Burke's Extinct and Dormant Peerage.)

*Webmaster's note:  Henry I died 1135 A. D.    The reign of Stephen was 1135-1154.    The reign of Henry V was 1413-1422.  The reign of Richard I was 1189 - 1199. 

The following is from Ball's "A History of the County Dublin, Parish of Clonsilla"

"Luttrell's connection with Ireland appears to have begun in the year 1204.  In the beginning of that year he was appointed on a commission to settle the disputes then existing in Ireland between the justiciary and the Anglo-Norman magnates of this country, and before its close he was named as a member of an advisory commission sent to this country with an injunction to the authorities to place undoubted reliance on all that the commissioners might expound concerning the King's Irish affairs.

Six years later, in the summer of 1210, he accompanied King John on that monarch's visit to Ireland, when we find him acting as one of the paymasters of the mariners and galleymen employed in the large fleet required for the expedition, and forming one of the King's train at Kells, Carlingford, and Holywood, as well as at Dublin.

Hardly had the King returned to England when Sir Geoffrey Luttrell was once more sent to this country on a mission of state, and during the next few years we find him corresponding from this country with the King by means of a trusty messenger whom the King rewarded with liberality for his arduous services.

In 1215 he was again in England in attendance on the King's person, advising King John in all matters relating to his Irish kingdom and witnessing many acts of the fling concerning this country.  Luttrell received several marks of royal favour, including the honour of knighthood, and as a culminating proof of the trust reposed in him was sent on an embassy to the Pope.  While on this mission his death took place.

There is little doubt that from Sir Geoffrey Luttrell the Irish, as well as the Somersetshire Luttrells are descended either in a direct or collateral line.  His only son is said to have succeded to his English estates, and in connection with his Irish property a daughter, who was given by the King in marriage to Philip Marc*(? possible error ? Sir Andrew, son of Geoffrey, married the daughter of Philip Marc), is mentioned as his heir, but he purchased in Ireland shortly before his death the marriage of the second daughter of Hugh de Tuit, whose hand he probably conferred on some male representative of his family in this country."

* "On the Close roll of the second year of the reign of Henry the Third are these entries; "Of the marriage of the heir of Geoffrey Luterel. The king to Philip Marc, greeting. Know ye that we are full willing and in as much as belongs to us, we grant that you may have the son and heir of Geoffrey Luterell to marry to your daughter. . ." 
Memoirs Illustrative of the History and Antiquities of the County and City of York:
Communicated to the Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Held at York, July, 1846, with a General Report of the Proceedings of the Meeting, and Catalogue of the Museum Formed on that Occasion

On the National Society Magna Charta Dames and Barons webpage,,
Geoffrey de Luttrell is listed as "one of the Barons in arms to procure the Great Charter of Liberties from King John A.D.1215".

Webmaster's note:  Is this realistic considering the close relationship Geoffrey had with King John for many years (see above references)? 
If it is true that Geoffrey Luttrell was one of those at Runnymede in support of Magna Charta (opposed to the King), would King John have subsequently sent him on the "embassy to the Pope" (the Pope sided with King John and ex-communicated all of the Barons who forced the King to sign the Magna Charta)?
Could Geoffrey Luttrell's death, while on this "embassy to the Pope" be a result of his support for Magna Charta, in defiance of King John?

For more information click here

In addition to his properties in England and Ireland, Geoffrey Luttrell was for a time placed in control of the great castle Dunamase. 

In 1210 King John took Dunamase into his own hands as punishment for Marshal's supposed half hearted support for John's expedition against the de Lacys. For a time it was in the hands of Geoffrey Luttrell but it was restored to Marshal in 1215.  Despite their disagreements Marshal proved loyal to the king, standing by him at Magna Carta and ending his days as Regent during the minority of John's son Henry III.

1215 - The King commands Godfrey (sic) Luterel to deliver to Wm . Marshal Earl of Pembroke, or his emissary, the castle of Damas.  The King commands the justiciary of Ireland to order Godfrey Luterel to deliver to William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, the castle of Dunmath, which the K has restored to him as his right, the K. has already so commanded Godfrey.   From "The Sources for the History of Dunamase Castle in the Medieval period", By: B.J. Hodkinson.  (CDI, Vol. 1, Nos. 644 & 647, dated Aug. 20th and 31st, respectively. See also 664, 684 and 685, which show the handover was not done quickly or willingly) CDI = Calendar of Documents Relating to Ireland. (Sweetman 1875-86).

Marshall was one of the few barons who supported King John in opposition to Magna Charta at Runnymede. 

Other properties of Geoffrey Luttrell

The name CRATLOE is derived from the gaelic CREAT-SHAILEÓG, meaning the sallow wood, or the land of sallow trees. At one stage the Cratloe Woods were famous for primeval oak woods. In the ninth century the Ulstermen invaded the MacNamara territory and carried home oak timbers to roof the Royal palace of Aileach near Derry. Cratloe also supplied the oak beams for the roof of Westminster Hall, London and the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. In 1215 Geoffrey Lutterel was granted "the land of Crateluach" by King John for thirty ounces of silver. From that time the great woods of Cratloe were gradually cut away. In more recent times an 800 acre state forest has been planted on the slopes of Woodcock Hill.

Maxwell-Lyte, in "A History of Dunster", shows "twenty ounces of gold. . .for property at Cratelach in Thomond." (western Ireland - now County Clare)  "The King also granted to him some land at Croxton, in Leicestershire."  And, "As a reward for personal services, Sir Geoffrey Luttrell received from King John grants for life of the houses of the Jew, Isaac of York, at Oxford and Northampton, and those of another Jew named Bonnechose at the former place".

from Memoirs Illustrative of the History and Antiquities of the County and City of York:
Communicated to the Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Held at York, July, 1846, with a General Report of the Proceedings of the Meeting, and Catalogue of the Museum Formed on that Occasion (Google eBook)
By Royal Archaeological Institute (Great Britain)

On the roll of Fines of the seventeenth year of King John (1215), are these entries;
"Ireland. Geoffrey Luterel gives to the lord the king £88. 13s. 4d. for the marriage of the second born daughter of Hugh de Tuit.
Ireland. From Geoffrey Luterel twenty ounces of gold for having the land of Cratelache with the wood." On the roll of Letters Patent of the same year is this entry; "Ireland. Wood given. The king to Geoffrey des Marais, greeting. Know ye that we have given to our beloved and faithful Geoffrey Luterel all his wood of Cratelerche in Thomond with all its appurtenances to be for ever his possession. And therefore we enjoin you that, having received security from him of rendering to us twenty ounces of gold, you cause the same Geoffrey to have full seisin of the same wood with all its appurtenances. And in testimony of this act we have caused these letters patent to be made to the same Geoffrey. Witness myself at Worcester, second day of August, in the seventeenth year of our reign. Through the Lord Henry archbishop of Dublin."

The above act of Geoffrey Luttrell obtaining the "marriage of the second born daughter of Hugh de Tuit" is certainly not considered "property" but is listed here because of its proximity in the record to the purchase of the land in Thomond.  Was one intended for the other?  The great historians Ball and Lyte both note that Geoffrey obtained a bride for some unnamed relative or heir of his in Ireland.  Some internet listings seem to confuse this land grant in Thomond with (what was to become) Luttrellstown near Dublin. 

Regarding Luttrellstown

There seems to be no documented reference to Sir Geoffrey Luttrell and the property at (what was to become) Luttrellstown, County Dublin, Ireland other than the reference by Burke, above.  However, there is recorded evidence that Luttrellstown was established in the thirteenth century (Geoffrey died 1216).  See the Luttrellstown page for more information.

County Dublin, Ireland

From "The Tyrrells" in History of Dublin by F. E. Ball we find
". . .from various references in the State Papers, and especially from two inquisitions into the lands of Castleknock - one made in 1299 and the other in 1408 - we obtain fairly complete descriptions of the different properties held by the Tyrrells as vassals of the Crown. In general, the lands of Castleknock embraced all the territory west of the city, from Island Bridge almost to Lucan northward between the River Liffey and the Tolka, and in places even beyond the latter river.
       It was a fairly intensive territory, containing probably 10,000 to 12,000 Irish acres. It embraced the Phoenix Park, and stretched as far as Clonsilla and Luttrellstown on the south , and northward beyond Blanchardstown, and apparently even to place north of the Tolka, from Cappagh to Clonee, on the borders of County Meath.
       During the thirteenth century many Norman families settled on this district as dependants of the Tyrrells - or by grant from the Crown. Most of these families have given their names to the lands which they occupied either by additions of the word "town" to their surname or even by the use of the surname alone. Thus we have Luttrellstown, Blanchardstown, Pilatestown (Pelletstown), Abbotstown, Carpenterstown, Keppoge (Cappagh), etc. while some of the older names still survive, as Clonsilla, Mullaghahiddert (Mulhuddert), Astagob, etc. These names give an idea of the extent of the Castleknock estate, and at the same time show how thoroughly the district came into the power of the Norman occupiers, to the exclusion of the native Irish."

and again . . .
“To the south-west at Clonsilla the family of Luttrell had been enfeoffed by the Tyrrells, subject to homage and an annual service of forty pence”

It is doubtful that a fortified castle was yet in existence in the thirteenth century.

. . .” When the Irish tribes began to invade the country near the mountains in the last decade of the thirteenth century, some of the inhabitants took refuge at Castleknock, which, as has been already mentioned, was then known as " the land of peace." One of them, Paul Lagheles by name, found, however, that the land of peace was not necessarily a land of safety, and his sheep, to the number of two hundred, were carried off while grazing in Luttrellstown by, as he alleged, men from Louth, who were coming to fight the king's enemies in the mountains.”

Sir Geoffrey Luttrell and King John of England

We see from Lyte's writing, above, that Geoffrey Luttrell had property in Nottingham, and elsewhere, which was conficscated because of his allegiance to John, Earl of Mortain, in the war against his brother King Richard (1191-94).  The property was restored to Geoffrey when Richard died and John assumed the throne.  Geoffrey seems to have always been in the service of King John and being enriched for it.  We find numerous instances of Sir Geoffrey Luttrell and other "household knights" being used by King John, in stead of the English Barons, for counsel and to represent him in matters of diplomacy and justiciary.  It seems that King John trusted his "household knights" more than the men of higher rank and status, the barons.  This was one of the causes for the barons' revolt against John in 1215. 

Among the services performed by Geoffrey for King John are the following:

(From The Household Knights of King John by S. D. Church, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1999)
“Geoffrey Luttrell seems to have a long connection with royal business in Ireland.  On 26 March 1204, he was ordered to preside over a case between Meiler fitz Henry, the king’s Justiciar of Ireland, and William de Burgh. 

In November the same year, Geoffrey was again dispatched to Ireland.  This time he was accompanied by David, bishop elect of Waterford, Henry Biset, Ralph of Cirencester, and Reginald of Cordewan.  Although the order does not say for what purpose Geoffrey and his colleagues were sent, it seems likely that it was to ensure the investiture of the new bishop of Waterford.

Geoffrey Luttrell also played a major part in the transportation of the expeditionary force that was sent to Ireland in 1210.  In September 1210, he returned to Ireland ‘in nuntium domini regis’.  With the lacuna in the sources during this period, it is not possible to be certain about whether he remained in Ireland between 1210 and 1212 or returned to England.  It is clear, however, that Geoffrey was in Ireland in the summer of 1212, when Wilekin, his messenger, was sent to him with a message from the king.  Geoffrey remained in Ireland as the king’s bailiff, and also sheriff of Dublin, at least until the summer of 1215, when he was recalled so that he could be sent to the papal curia on John’s behalf.”

Geoffrey was in Rome at the end of 1215, when he was to stand surety for an agreement between King John and Berengaria, the widow of King Richard.

In 1215 at the Fourth Lateran Council, John’s representatives who spoke against Stephen Langton were the household knights Thomas of Erdington and Geoffrey Luttrell and the abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Beulieu, John’s own foundation and so endowed with a special relationship with this king.

In a review of “The Household Knights of King John” by s. D. church, by Kristen Lee Over publ. 2000
Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 31(1)  p. 239

“The majority of John’s household knights—and the majority of those rewarded—were Englishmen ‘of the middling sort’.  These are men who, both in and out of wartime, accumulated wealth, power and social status and John bestowed the bulk of his patronage on the “lesser of God’s creatures” whom he could control with the promise of rich reward.  Men like Geoffrey Luttrell and John Russell held little to no land before entering the ranks of John’s trusted familiars.  Their loyalty and lengthy service earned them wealthy brides and numerous land grants ‘catapulting’ both of their families into the baronial elite.  As Church explains ‘the knight who owed everything to the largess of his master would provide a dependable custodian much preferable to an independent minded magnate.’”

Geoffrey, as has been noted, presumably died prior to returning from his papal audience about 1216/17.  King John died, while at war with his barons, from disease in October 1216.