Medieval fun facts…

On names…
“When Henry the young King held court in Normandy at Christmas 1171, the guests supposedly included 110 knights named ‘William’.”

The most common names in English society by 1225 were William, Robert, Richard, Roger, and Hugh. (Contrast that with a May 2013 list: Jacob, Mason, Ethan, Noah, William. 842 years & William is still at the top of the charts!)
England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1075-1225, by Robert Bartlett.

And a p.s.: Check out the UK site for Oliver, Jack, Charlie, Harry, and Oscar

On marriage…
“Under Henry II, the average fine [for marrying off your daughter without your lord’s permission] was £75.”  Wow! That was a lot of money back in the 12th century, “roughly equivalent to five years’ income for a knight.” —England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings, 1075-1225, by Robert Bartlett.

Major Oak at Sherwood Forest
The Major Oak

On Sherwood Forest…
In the 12th century, Sherwood covered about 100,000 acres, stretching north from Nottingham to Yorkshire. The main road from London to York – the Great North Road – cut through the heart of the forest.

Today, one must drive about 20 miles north of Nottingham to see Sherwood’s 1,000+ acres. (It’s well worth the drive!)

While many of the legends place Robin Hood’s hangout as Barnsdale Forest in south Yorkshire, I will use Sherwood as a base…in book 3 of Battle Scars. Nottingham will feature prominently in book 2.


Charlene Newcomb is the author of the Battle Scars series, 12th century historical fiction filled with war, political intrigue, and a knightly romance of forbidden love set during the reign of Richard the Lionheart.

Char also writes science fiction. Echoes of the Storm was published in July 2020.

Download the free short story, A Knight’s Tale, when you sign up for Char’s Newsletter. You’ll also be first to know about book news before everybody else, and take part in giveaways and special offers.

2 thoughts on “Medieval fun facts…

  1. My youngest boy is named William, so, yes, a popular name still! Sad about so much of Sherwood being gone. What’s left is lovely, though – as you say, well worth a visit.

    • Jadey – were any of those Williams at Young King Henry’s court related to you? 🙂

      oh oh oh – it just struck me that I should be looking for popular boys’ names in England rather than the U.S.! My bad! Back to the web!

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