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True Stories from the Manors of Watford.
Told in five parts covering 700 years from the Conquest.
Including 500 years of the heirs of one family, Ardern.

Part 1 :

The First Watford Manor


Far from being Robin Hood, Eustace de Ardern of Watford

pays all of £1 towards the £100,000 ransom for

King Richard the Lionheart.

... and more

King Richard, the Lionheart

King Richard the Lionheart
Part 2 : 
The Burneby 

Sir Nicholas de Burneby, rewarded by the Black Prince at the siege of Calais, dead from the plague 14 years later.

Agnes de Burneby, heiress to the manor, is married off at the age of 15 and dead at 19.

Thomas Burneby, in prison for debt, risks losing his manor. 

... and more

Arms of de Burneby
Part 3 : 
The Parles &
Cumberford Manor

Meet William de Parles, husband of an heir to a quarter of the manor.  Found guilty of murder and hanged in 1278, his family asserted his innocence and claimed a rigged trial …

all to no avail. 

... and more

Arms of de Parles
Part 4 :
The de Watford & 
Catesby Manor

John Catesby came to hold a manor in Watford by marriage to the heiress.  His great grandson, William, was beheaded for treason in 1485 by King Henry VII.  Robert, 120 years later, was shot dead after discovery of his part in the Powder Plot. 

... and more

Arms of de Catesby
Part 5 :
The End of the Watford Manors

George Clerke buys all the manors.  He dies on the same day King Charles is beheaded at the peak of the English Civil War.  George, his son, leaves massive debt for his heir, forcing breakup of the manor.

... and more

Images of the Ancient Arms of Burneby, Parles, and Catesby by Swyrich Corporation.

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