This is the story of a family whose exploits, adventures and relationships have been recorded for over seven hundred years.

Since the 15th century, members of the Woodforde family have been writting about their lives and creating documents in the course of their professions as lawyers, clergymen, artists, musicians, soldiers and writers.

Diaries from several generations tell of love affairs, shipwrecks and subterfuge.  A medieval cartulary records land transactions from 1317.   In the 19th century, a 'family book' was compiled containing known stories and ephemera which has been added to by later generations.


The opinions and attitudes of our ancestors were moulded by contemporary events, social, environmental, political and religious.  This is still largely the case, but now our knowledge of the past should help us understand the present and the future.

No history can be written unless others have previously recorded it.  I have drawn from the work of many writers and researchers, and acknowledge their work and intellectual property rights.  Where possible and relevant, I have included references and details of source material.

There will always be errors in the transcription of family documents, and at times family members have written their own stories about their past.   Family pedigrees are often incorrect and even public documents can be misleading.  Any corrections or additions to this research are welcomed, and I accept responsibility for any errors you may find.