This blog is intended to host discussion on knight's fees with their associated manors, as they were in medieval England, and of course the people who inhabited them.


And that may bring forward the manors and/or knight's fee of Watford and those who held them as examples.


The first post, 'The Manors of a Knight's Fee', introduces the fundamentals of landed estates, or manors, and the knight's fees that went with them.  Subsequent posts discuss the subject more widely.

March 3, 2019

A King’s Ransom Indeed!  The immense sum of £100,000 was paid for the freedom of King Richard the Lionheart … of which £1 was contributed by Lord Eustace of Watford.

What had led to this?

Never the most attentive of his home kingdom, Richard spent most of his time as a y...

December 31, 2018

The Catesbys were far from ordinary.  Members of the family occupy storied positions in England’s past.  The same family also held manors in Watford parish for well over two centuries.  History seems to have had greater impact on the Catesby manors of Watford than on o...

November 20, 2018

The family of Lady Diana Spencer have owned lands extending into the townships of Watford parish for nearly five centuries.

Charles, the current and 9th Earl Spencer, is Lady Diana's younger brother.  In his book, The Spencers, Charles identifies Sir...

October 28, 2018

In their Fall 2018 newsletter, the Thomas Rogers Society (TRS) published an article written by Murray Johnston, author of The Watford Knight's Fee. 

The TRS is an organization based in the USA celebrating the descendants of Thomas Rogers, a passenger of the vessel Mayfl...

September 30, 2018

William Rogers of Elizabethan Watford lost his elder brother when Thomas sailed away to Holland and eventually the new world of America on the Mayflower.  William, however, remained on the family farm in Watford.

The early 17th century in England saw the last of a tradi...

September 4, 2018

When Henry VIII ascended England’s throne in 1509, aged just under 18, there can be little doubt he had no idea of the impact he would have on the Kingdom - let alone the parish of Watford.  His elder brother, the Prince of Wales, had died when Henry was 10.  The new P...

July 29, 2018

From:                                                            18 May 2018

"What a fantastic piece o...

July 4, 2018

Sir Robert Clerke teetered on the brink of losing his Watford estate for decades.  He had inherited the Watford manor and lands after the death of his uncle George Clerke in 1689.  But his financial predicament did not originate by his own doing.

The root of the pr...

June 10, 2018

One source of funds for the king’s treasury in the Middle Ages was a fee or tax on landholdings across the nation.  Most often this was levied as an amount per knight’s fee, for example two marks or twenty shillings per knight’s fee.  However, the quantum of land repre...

June 4, 2018

Or perhaps both? 

Who was John de Swynford?

John was the son of William de Swynford of Newbold in Northamptonshire and should not be confused with another of the same name.  Our John de Swynford makes several appearances in medieval England during the time of Edward III...

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July 29, 2018

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© September 2019 by Murray Johnston.