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The Hartford Banner

Post Norman Hartford

13th Century

Hartford (or Hertford as it was then) was at one time held by a family to which it gave its name. From the Plea Rolls - parchment records of legal court proceedings - we learn that in the 27th year of the reign of Edward I (~1299) "William, son of Randle de Herteford was sued by Agnes, who was the wife of Henry fitz Gilbert de Rode, for dower of a messuage and two bovates of land in Hertford".
dower = a provision accorded by law to a wife for her support should she survive her husband.
messuage = a dwelling and its associated outbuildings, orchards and gardens.
bovate or oxgang = an old land measurement equal to approximately 15 acres but variable.
acre = traditionally the amount of land tillable by one man behind one ox in one day.
fitz = "son of" - used when names were patronymic rather than hereditary.

14th Century

In the 35th year of the reign of Edward III (~1362) "Simon de Hertford, and William his son, surrendered their lands to Hugh, son of Hugh Venables, who re-granted the same to to William de Horton."
In the 4th year of the reign of Richard II (~1381) "John del Redmore, chaplain, grants to this William (son of Ranulph de Horton) and Alisonia, his wife, and his heirs male, other lands in Horton in Hertford, being the lands held by Adam del Wode de Hassal, remainder to Roger, Thomas and John de Horton.
In the 16th year of the reign of Richard II (~1393) "The same William was grantee of lands in Hertford from Ranulph le Vernon de Hertford, Cecilia his sister and Thomas de Venables."

15th Century

In the 6th year of the reign of Henry V (~1419) "It appears by an award respecting some differences between the Winningtons and the heirs of Horton, that Maud de Horton brought this estate (Hartford) in marriage to her husband William Massey of Rixton and Horton, by whom she had two daughters and co-heiresses, Ellen, wife of Hamlet Massey of Rixton, and Margaret, wife of Piers Massey his brother."
"In 1429 William, son of Hamo de Mascy of Rixton, granted to William Troutbeck esq., Richrad de Bolde of Chester, Robert del Mere, John Hawardyn, and William de Hulme chaplain, the fee of a moiety of the manor of Horton, and all his lands, &c., in Horton and Hertford."
moiety = a legal term in the division of ownership of land and property.