Peter Jeffree's Photos of the House
From Cashio Hundred to Cassiobury
Cashio Hundred is listed in the Domesday Book under the ownership of St Albans Abbey. Watford is not in the book. It seems to have been created in the 12th century. However Cashio Hundred included most of what is now the south of Hertfordshire. Ownership of Cashio would have transfered to the crown during the reign of Henry VIII in the Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1536 and 1541.
King Henry VIII is said to have separated off Watford, and Cassiobury was sold to Richard Morrison (humanist scholar, diplomat, and ambassador to the Hanseatic League), who started to rebuild Cassiobury House. Some sources say that this was not a new building.
There is said to have been an H shaped building already on the site that the Morrisons incorporated into their rebuild.
This work was completed by his son Charles Morrison. The estate of Cassiobury passed to Lord Arthur Capel (1st Baron Capell of Hadham), who had married Charles Morrison's daughter Elizabeth (Viscountess Munden), the heiress of Cassiobury. Arthur was executed as a traitor by Cromwell's army in 1649 during the English Civil War.
Their son (also named Arthur Capell) became 1st Earl of Essex, but he was charged with having been involved in the Rye House Plot. Prior to his trial he died while a prisoner in the Tower of London. He was succeeded by his son Algernon Capell and his heirs and successors continued to own Cassiobury until early in the 20th century.