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 26, 2018

In a way, defining the size of a knight's fee is nonsense.  A bit like answering the question, 'How big is your mortgage?' with, 'Some land and a house big enough for my family.'

The better question to a lord in medieval times would be, 'How muc...

March 20, 2018

In 1620, the vessel Mayflower took the first immigrants across the Atlantic to the New World of America.  One of its passengers was Thomas Rogers, born around 1572-73 in Watford parish.  Given this, Thomas became one of Watford's most well-known past citizens...

March 20, 2018

When a soon-to-be wife brought significant estate (eg a manor and lands) with her to a marriage, medieval custom provided that the husband held the wife’s possessions.  For the most part, the husband, in turn, used the estate for the benefit and upkeep of both himself...

March 18, 2018

In medieval England, landed estates were sometimes passed on by deed to a successor with the tag 'intail' (also 'in tail', 'entail').  This was done to prevent the heir giving or selling the estate to any individual other than the person(s) specified, often the next li...

March 17, 2018

England's Reformation was brought about largely by King Henry VIII.  The Act of Supremacy in 1534 finally broke the formerly Catholic churches away from Rome.  Other than precipitating great physical damage to many churches, over the following six years, the Catholic A...

March 15, 2018

Many know the stories surrounding King Arthur and his knights. Much of the legend is based on a book called ‘Le Morte d’Arthur’.  This was written in 1469 by Sir Thomas Malory, while in prison, albeit with privileges given his rank and wealth.

Thomas was a son of Sir J...

March 15, 2018

The gift of lands and / or a manor to an individual technically lasted 'forever'.  'Technically', because the 'gift' was conditional upon the continued performance by the grantee of the service specified.  When the person died his lands passed to his heir according to...

March 13, 2018

The individuals given lands in return for service of a knight's fee (or part thereof) inevitably grew older, eventually died and their lands and associated obligations passed on to one or several heirs.  He or she may not have been able to perform service in an army or...

March 13, 2018

Lands granted or enfeoffed to an individual were usually associated with a parish.  England's parishes, all of the Roman Catholic Church at the time, for the most part had been defined before the advent of William the Conqueror in the 11th century.  Twenty years after...

March 13, 2018

Originally, lands of any particular parish were often given, or enfeoffed, to an individual who had served the king well.  This gave meaning in medieval times to the expression 'The king's faithful servant'.  In return for being granted the lands, the beneficiary owed...

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July 29, 2018

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© September 2019 by Murray Johnston.