Image Library now online

Brother Rufillus Illuminating the Initial R, from The Lives of the Saints, c.1170-1200

Rochford of Fenne and Stoke Rochford, Volume One contains about sixty illustrations. These are now all available online in the new Image Library.

They include a large number of tombs and effigies, heraldic artefacts and coats of arms recreated from original records. They also include photos and engravings of places and buildings associated with the Rochfords, and a number of medieval illuminations illustrating events they were involved in.

Browse the Image Library here

Illumination: A medieval illuminator at work – Brother Rufillus Illuminating the Initial R, from The Lives of the Saints, c.1170-1200 (Bibliotheca Bodmeriana, Geneva, Cod. 127, fol. 244)


Draft eBooks for Volumes One and Two

At length, final drafts of the PDFs for Volume One and Two print editions are now available. You can download and read them from this site – but please note that the text may change (in particlar the first few chapters of Volume One).

Continue reading “Draft eBooks for Volumes One and Two”

New poster-size genealogical chart

Thumbnail of the genealogical chart of the Rochfords of Fenne and Stoke Rochford

I have put a huge, poster size genealogical chart online (and also some lower resolution charts, more practical for on screen use) of the Rochfords of Fenne and Stoke Rochford, and related families.

Also available are nine smaller, individual genealogical charts from the print edition of Volume One, covering:

  • The earliest Rochfords
  • The earliest Fennes
  • Rochford of Fenne, 1190-1320
  • Rochford of Fenne, 1320-1370
  • Rochford of Fenne, 1370-1450
  • Rochford of Fenne & Stoke Rochford, 1450-1550
  • Stanhope heirs of the Rochfords
  • Rochford of Walpole
  • Rochford of Boston

Browse and download here.

Volume One online

My first proof copy of Volume One
The first proof copy of Rochford of Fenne and Stoke Rochford, Volume One

Rochford of Fenne and Stoke Rochford, Volume One is now available to read online here. Meanwhile, here is a photo of my first proof of the printed edition, and blurb from the back cover:

On 23 April 1430, Sir Ralph Rochford III set sail for Calais with the nine-year-old King Henry VI of England and an imposing retinue of lords, knights and bishops. They were heading for Reims, where they intended to crown the boy as king of France behind enemy lines, and put an end to the Hundred Years’ War. As Henry’s personal guardian and mentor in chivalry, Sir Ralph’s task was to get him there alive.

Continue reading “Volume One online”

Rediscovering a lost medieval English family, 1066-1550

Volumes One and Two draft covers together

In the early 1400s, everyone in England knew the name Rochford. Family members were among the leading knights of the royal household and the realm. Yet today, all that survives are a few old place names, some muddled local histories, and very little else. The story of this family has been a mystery for half a millennium.

My aim is to unravel that mystery. Over the years I have collected thousands of pieces of primary evidence about the Rochfords. I have used these to reconstruct their story, from the 1100s until their final days in the time of Henry VIII. On this site, I am sharing it all.

The book – Volume One
Rochford of Fenne and Stoke Rochford, Volume One: The Origins Rise and Fall of an English Family, 1066-1550, tells the story of the family through biographies of its eighteen principal members. Read online or download the PDF.

Original records – Volume Two
A companion volume of records, citations, working notes, etc., for researchers. Contains all the citations for Volume One, 1200+ abstracts and transcripts, and commentary on their interpretation. PDF only.

Genealogical charts
One huge genealogical chart showing thirteen generations of the family from the 1100s to the 1500s, with coats of arms and illustrations. Also several smaller charts, and a few maps from the book showing various places associated with the Rochfords.

Continue reading “Rediscovering a lost medieval English family, 1066-1550”