There is a report that Sir George Knighton had leanings towards ‘the old faith’ of Roman Catholicism, which could be dangerous in Elizabethan times. He died in 1612 age 76. His tomb in St Mary’s church, Bayford has survived despite the church being rebuilt twice. His will dated 1607 and proved in 1613 is believed to be at the National Archives, Kew (ref PROB 11/122/492).
He wanted his wife Susan, and others who may live in his main house, to keep the almshouses in the same way as they were during his lifetime. Maintenance was catered for by a rent charge on his house. He gave 10s. a year for the poor, to be distributed each year on the anniversary of his funeral.
According to Victoria County History (1902) page 423 the annuities were redeemed in 1863 by the transfer to the official trustees of £33 6s. 8d. consols, who also hold a further sum of £30 16s. 3d. consols, arising from accumulations of income. The dividends on the stock, amounting to £1 12s. yearly, were distributed to the poor periodically.
In time the almshouses fell into ruin and, it seems, were forgotten by the community. This is recorded in an article published in the Hertfordshire Mercury and Reformer in 1889.
The History and Antiquities of the County of Hertford, by Robert Clutterbuck
Pub John Nichols & Son 1821
Vol 2 p44
History of Hertfordshire, by John Edwin Cussans
Originally pub Stephen Austin & Sons; republished 1972 by EP Publishing Ltd in collaboration with Hertfordshire County Library. © in reprint EP Publishing
Pub 1874-8 ISBN 0 85409 834 8
Vol 2 Hundred of Hertford p152
The Victoria County History of the County of Hertford (4 vols). Ed William Page
(part of Victoria County History of the Counties of England Ed H Arthur Doubleday)
Issued Archibald Constable & Co. Reprint by Dawsons of Pall Mall 1971
Vol 3 pp 421/3 1912 (Dawsons ISBN 0 7129 0477 8)
This publication been digitised by British History Online (BHO) and is available onlineat http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/herts/vol3/pp419-423
HALS document D/EGr/13 (part of the Gerish collection).
Hertford Mercury and Reformer. Saturday 20 April 1889 page 4.
This article can be viewed on-line at
https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000756/18890420/069/0004. Site accessed Jun 2019