Royden’s “Three Roydon Families”

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My forbears are descended from a family of Roydons, remembered principally for Roydon Hall, Kent where the Twysdens lived for nearly three centuries.

All I knew of these Roydons was from J R Twisden's scholarly work on his family which included some information about the Roydons. But now I have found this excellent book by E B Royden who had made it his life's work to collect what he could of any medievals whose names were similar to his: Royden, Reyden, Royden, etc.

The remarkable feature about Royden is the thoroughness and scholarship with which he did this. His research was principally from surviving documents of those times. Some of these documents he quoted extensively, giving me the impression that he had worked from the originals. Where he had not worked from the originals he worked from well-produced compilations of medieval source documents. He made it clear through his references where he got each fact from so that for each we know where to go to check his account of each piece of information. As such his work is one of the finest studies to have been produced in the 20th century.

Curiously while he took some trouble to trace the descent or the principal Suffolk Royden property through the senior line of the Bures family, he did not go to the same trouble with the junior line who eventually recovered the property after the senior line expired completely. And later research has established that he did not do adequate work on the St Johns who, in their turn, married into the Roydons and inherited some of their property. Fortunately Charles Evans did a study on the St Johns of Lambeth in Volume 63 of the Surrey Archaeological Society's Collections.

Royden's book was published, probably privately, in exquisite handmade paper in 1924. I would imagine very few were printed.


I have later found that he was Sir Ernest Bland Royden and owned a family shipbuilding firm in the Wirral area. Further it seems that he employed John Brownhill to do some of the book. See this very well informed site by Mike Royden for details:


I've made up a genealogy file solely of everyone mentioned is the first part of his book that contains the linked families of Suffolk, Essex and Kent:

Obviously I will have made the odd, hopefully minor, error in copying out all this. Please get in touch about any problems.