Knight's Fee
First edition cover






Young adult

Historical era

Norman, 11th-12th century


Charles Keeping


The Best of Rosemary Sutcliff

Knight's Fee is a novel published in 1960 by Oxford University Press, with illustrations by Charles Keeping. It is set near Arundel, Sussex, where Rosemary Sutcliff and her father lived at the time of writing.[1] It was collected in the 1987 omnibus volume The Best of Rosemary Sutcliff.

A half-Saxon, half-Norman orphan is adopted as a squire in a Norman knight's family.


Randal, an orphan kennel-boy at Arundel Castle, accidentally drops a fig off its battlements onto the arriving new lord, Hugh Goch, then to his horror is summoned into his presence (1). Hugh recognises him and Randal throws himself on the mercy of Herluin, Hugh's brother Robert de Belleme's minstrel, who challenges Hugh to a game of chess for the ownership of Randal and wins him (2). Herluin gives Randal to be raised by Sir Everard d'Aguillon, the father of an old friend newly landed with King William's brother Henry, and Randal, running away to sulk alone, overhears Hugh Goch plotting against King William with a man who smells of musk (3).

Sir Everard takes the despondent Randal to his manor of Dean, where Randal experiences a powerful feeling of homecoming despite himself (4). He is set to train as a squire with Everard's grandson Bevis. About a week after Randal's arrival, he and Bevis make friends over an accident at cider-making, and Bevis shows Randal his beautiful lump of red amber, a gift from Everard's merchant friend Laef Thorkelson. But Randal overhears Sybilla the cook blaming him for a theft of food and saying that Bevis would make friends with anyone he felt sorry for, and Randal, deeply wounded, steals the amber on impulse (5). Bevis catches him hiding it in the woods and, also deeply wounded, attacks him and demands to know why he did it, and then dismisses Sybilla's words. He takes Randal to the bothy of his uncanny foster mother Ancret the wise woman to be patched up, where she makes some inscrutable remarks, and Bevis gives Randal half the piece of amber (6).

Laef Thorkelson visits, bringing news of the Mowbray revolt of 1095 and its conclusion, which Hugh Goch has largely escaped (7). The next year, a knight named Thiebaut de Coucy working for the King's Chancellor Ranulf Flambard passes through on All Souls' Eve and is excited by the local legend of treasure buried under Bramble Hill, and Randal recognises his voice for that of the musk-scented man Hugh Goch met at Arundel, but is too afraid to say anything to anyone (8). Two springs later, when Sir Everard takes Bevis and Randal to his liege lord William de Braose's castle at Bramber for his son Philip's wedding, they hear that de Coucy plans to ask the Chancellor for the grant of Dean. Randal seeks out de Coucy to threaten him with exposure to the paranoid King William if he doesn't drop the request, and knows he's made an enemy for life (9). They return to Dean, where the shepherd shows Randal an ancient flint hand-axe, and Randal feels as though because he has put himself at risk for Dean, he is now receiving seisin–true belonging to the place (10).

That summer of 1100 King William is killed hunting and his younger brother Henry seizes the throne of England. The next autumn, de Coucy disguised as a friar returns at the head of a witch-hunt looking for Ancret as an excuse to attack Randal, and Sir Everard is wounded trying to drive them off (11). De Coucy escapes, after Randal marks his face with his dagger, and Randal exposes him to their liege-lord William de Braose, but they don't catch him on his way to the coast to join Ranulf Flambard, who has allied with King Henry's older brother and rival, Duke Robert of Normandy. Sir Everard never totally recovers from his wound, and two springs later he and his old friend William de Braose die within days of each other. Their new lord Philip de Braose summons Randal and Bevis to Bramber to serve out the rest of Bevis's squirehood (12).

A year later Randal meets Gisella, the Lady Aanor's newest handmaiden, interfering in the kennels and they part mutually displeased, but a year later still, Randal rescues her from a dog fight and they become friends, just before Randal and Bevis are due to go to war in Normandy with King Henry (13). Bevis is knighted at home in Dean, with Randal also furtively sitting vigil outside the church (14), and they depart for their first summer on indecisive campaign in Normandy. The next year, the English return to Normandy, and by Michaelmas Eve, the forty-year anniversary of the Conqueror's landing at Hastings, they are preparing for the decisive battle at Tenchebrai. An old woman Randal encounters near the camp prophesies that he will be knighted by the end of the next day's fight (15).

Henry dismounts his knights into an infantry phalanx, with their squires in the second rank, and in the Norman cavalry's charge, Thiebaut de Coucy cuts down and tramples Bevis. Randal kills him, but can't get back to Bevis, and finds him dying in camp of his internal injuries. Bevis tells him that he had agreed with Philip de Braose that Randal should hold Dean after him, and Randal insists that Bevis be the one to knight him. Bevis dies hours later in Randal's arms, surrounded by Dean's men-at-arms. The English have won the day, in vengeance for Hastings (16).

At Philip de Braose's tent, Randal finds that he has captured Herluin. De Braose offers him a year's trial in Dean, and Randal asks if he can ransom Herluin. De Braose points out that Randal may not keep Dean long enough to pay the ransom and offers one or the other. Randal painfully chooses his debt to Herluin, and de Braose gives him both for his demonstration of kept faith. Herluin leaves to rejoin his defeated master Robert de Belleme, not before asking whether he had done the right thing in giving Randal to the d'Aguillons, forcing Randal to realise that he did, despite the pain it's now causing him (17). Randal returns to Bramber, where he rebuffs Gisella, and thence to Dean, where the villeins accept him as their new lord, except for Ancret who disappeared shortly after Bevis's death. As he gradually surfaces from his despair, Randal resolves to call on Gisella, whom it will eventually occur to him to marry (18).


  • Year -30: 1066 (4): The Norman conquest. Michaelmas Eve (15): William landed at Hastings, or Senlac.
  • Year -9 (1): Randal born and his mother dies
  • Year -5, Randal is 4 (1): Randal's father dies
  • Year -3 (1), Old Lion retired to Shrewsbury
  • Year 0: 1094
    • July (2), Red William stripped the English Fyrd of their cash at Hastings
    • August, Randal is 9 (1): Hugh Goch comes to Arundel. Red William fighting Robert in Normandy. Herluin wins Randal.
    • Autumn (3): Unrest
    • October (3): Henry lands in England. Randal goes to Dean with Sir Everard. Randal is 10.
      • A week later (5): Randal and Bevis make friends
    • Winter (7): Wales goes up in flames [tm]
  • Year 1: 1095
    • Easter Court (7): Mowbray revolts
    • Harvest: Mowbray taken
    • November: Pope Urban proposes a Crusade
    • Christmas Court: Rebel barons tried
  • Year 2: 1096
    • After Easter (7): Laef Thorkelson arrives. William buys out Robert.
  • Year 3: 1098
    • Summer's end (8): Bevis made squire. Hugh Goch dead.
    • All Souls' Eve: de Coucy arrives
  • Year 5: 1099
    • Spring (9): William returns, is crowned again
    • Autumn: Robert returns
  • Year 6: 1100. Apocalypse predicted (9).
    • February: Randal made squire early. Blackmails de Coucy at Bramber. Philip de Braose marries.
    • Summer (11): Omens and marvels
    • Lammas: Ancret predicts the King's death
    • August 2: Red William dies.
    • August 5: Henry crowned
    • Autumn: Henry marries Saxon Eadgyth
  • Year 7: 1101
    • February: Ranulf Flambard escapes the Tower
    • Spring: Duke Robert mustering support
    • Summer: Norman fleet massing. Randal is 16.
      • New moon: Witch hunt. Sir Everard wounded.
      • 2 days later (12): Bramber and Dean muster for the King
      • Harvest: Henry and Robert treat and Bevis returns. D'Aguillon mends.
      • Winter: d'Aguillon ill.
  • Year 8: 1102
    • May Eve: d'Aguillon weakened.
    • Summer: Henry campaigning against de Belleme
    • December: d'Aguillon dying
  • Year 9: 1103
    • Winter: de Braose also dying.
    • April: de Braose dies
    • 2 days later: d'Aguillon dies
    • A few days later: Philip de Braose summons them to be his squires
  • Year 10: 1104
    • Summer (13): Randal meets Gisella
  • Year 11: 1105
    • Lent: Henry preparing for war
    • Easter Monday: Randal makes friends with Gisella
    • Next day, April (14): Bevis's vigil
    • Next day (15): Dean marches to Shoreham
    • Summer: campaigning in Normandy
    • Harvest: return to Dean
  • Year 12: 1106
    • June: Last night at Dean
    • September: two-week siege of Tenchebrai.
    • Michaelmas Eve (16): battle of Tenchebrai. Bevis killed. Randal knighted. Philip gives him Dean and Herluin.
    • 2 days later (17): Herluin leaves for de Belleme
    • Late October (18): Randal returns to Bramber and Dean.


  • Randal (1), a nine-year-old orphan bastard of a Breton man-at-arms and a Saxon waiting-woman. A dog-boy under Lovel the Huntsman. "something of no account, to be kicked by anyone who felt like kicking...But for the most part he contrived, somehow, to enjoy life." "he always stole anything he got the chance to, because nothing ever came to him otherwise" "barley pale" hair. "Randal ducked, as he always did when anyone looked as though they were going to hit him" (1). 'In this Castle of Arundel, there are no doubt many boys with skin as dark and hair as pale as yours?' "in his kind of life one learned many things" (2). "now that he belonged to Herluin...nothing would have induced him to sit elsewhere." 'There is no music in the Imp. Mercy of God! There is no music in the Imp!' 'he needs to strike root, greatly.' 'He has lived so long with hounds that along with most of their faults he has learned the hound's chief virtue of faithfulness.' (3). Ten years old when he goes with Sir Everard to Dean. He "had never been on a horse before" (4). "He was quick to learn all these new things–his old life had at least taught him to be quick-witted" 'I never saw anybody with their backs all stripy [from whipping] before' "something in him answered to the smoky flame in the heart of the amber as the music-maker and word weaver in Herluin might answer to a new song of Roland" (5).  "he he knew that he was running away from something, but he always ran away from things." "He had never kept anything from Bevis but this one thing." (8). "He had never, after the first...envied Bevis his foster-brother for the things he had, only for the things he was; he envied him for being the sort of person who did not run away from things, but not because his grandfather was d'Aguillon of Dean." "He had always been afraid of things and of people. Men had put that fear into him with many kicks when he was so small that it had become a part of him." (9). Right-handed (10). "Randal broke down and cried like a child, with his head on d'Aguilon's knees...'If you takea half-starved dung-whelp and bring it up to be your hunting dog and hearth companion, you're likely to find in the end that the silly brute loves you!' Randal wept, almost defiantly." (12). "snarling at [the dogs], not as a man giving orders, but in something very like their own tongue." "Randal had been bitten so often before he was seven years old that it no longer seemed to him a thing to make a fuss about." (13). 'Don't you know Randal would give Bevis his head if Bevis had a use for it?' (15). 'The colt is worthy of his is in my mind that he who keeps faith in one thing, even to the breaking of his heart, is like to keep it in all. You're a fool, Randal, but such a fool as I would have among my fief knights.' (17).
    • Swallow (8), his beloved horse

Arundel Edit

  • Lovel the Huntsman (1), kennel master, "the only person who had ever shown him any kindness, and that was of a rough and ready sort" (1).
  • Sir Gilbert (1), steward of Arundel (1).
  • Lady Adeliza (1), "saintly" and given to good works (1). Second wife and widow of the Old Lion (2).
  • The Old Lion (1), Lord of Arundel, retired to Shrewsbury abbey these 3 years (1). Led the Norman centre at Hastings (8).
  • Hugh "Goch" Montgomery (1), new lord of Shrewsbury and Arundel, younger son of the Old Lion. 'They were devils then and they're devils now, but they don't turn their devilry against each other...They have no more love for Red William than most of his Barons, I reckon, and they're as fire-headed as he is himself.' "whom the Welsh called Hugh Goch–Hugh the Red–for the colour of his hair and maybe for other reasons. He was a tall man...flame-haired" "what they really were, were birds of prey–like the great, beautiful, half-mad hawks and falcons in the Castle mews." "Hugh Goch's face was white and thin under the flame of his hair, long-boned and almost delicate, but his eyes wre the cold, inhuman, gold-rimmed eyes of a bird of prey" (1). "the new Lord of Arundel was a gambler to the bone." (2). Intriguing against the king (3). Revolts with Mowbray. Avoided serious punishment (7). Killed by an arrow to the eye in Wales (8).
  • Robert de Belleme (1), elder son of the Old Lion, 'They were devils then and they're devils now, but they don't turn their devilry against each other...They have no more love for Red William than most of his Barons, I reckon, and they're as fire-headed as he is himself.' "red also, but a darker red, the colour of a polished chestnut." "not Montgomery but de Belleme, for he had taken the name of his mother's lands in Normandy." "what they really were, were birds of prey–like the great, beautiful, half-mad hawks and falcons in the Castle mews." (1). "De Belleme's voice was like Hugh Goch's, but with a note of mockery, darker in tone as the flame of his hair was darker in colour." "fashionable red, forked beard" (2). Sails to Normandy with William (3). Inherits Arundel from Hugh (8). Campaigning in Wales in February 1100 (9). Out for Duke Robert against Henry, for the promise of more lands in Normandy (12). Commander of the Norman rear at Tenchebrai (16). Freed to the last of his lands in Normandy, joined by Herluin. 'At least life will never be dull, where de Belleme is.' (17).
  • Herluin (1), de Belleme's minstrel, "a long, loose-limbed man clad from throat to heel in monkish black–save that no monk ever wore garments of that outlandish cut" (1). Rescues Randal from Hugh Goch. "mouse-coloured hair...high, sallow forehead" "for sheer, cold courage he had seldom seen the equal of Herluin the Minstrel, that night in the Great Hall of Arundel." 'I never yet found any means to persuade this Herluin of mine to wake his harp when he was not minded to.' "slow, somewhat fantastic grace that was very much a part of him" "cool, light eyes" "his face cracking into its winged and twisted smile" (2). "no Norman but French to his very bones." Follows de Braose because 'I am something of a fool, as well as a minstrel...' 'I am Herluin, de Belleme's minstrel; any man will tell you that I have no heart to remember with!' "cool, affected drawl"  Sailing to Normandy with de Belleme (3). Captured at Tenchebrai by Philip de Braose. Ransomed by Randal, follows de Belleme (17).
  • Gildon (1), huntsman
    • Beauty (1), a hound
    • Garm (1), a hound
    • Bran and Gerland (1), an Irish wolfhound, former companion of the Old Lion, now Randal (1). Brothers (13).
  • Reynald (2), Hugh Goch's squire

Elsewhere Edit

  • William the Conqueror (1), left England to his younger son Red William (1).
  • Red William (1), king of England, second son of the Conqueror, unbeloved of his barons (1). Fighting Duke Robert in Normandy (2). 'The King is half-mad with suspicion–all men know it–and loves not those who are even whispered to have plotted against him.' (9). "the Red King was dead, shot while hunting in the great New Forest that he had made for his pleasure." "Red William had belonged to the Old Faith, scarcely even paying lip service to the faith of Christ, all men knew that; and he had red hair, even as the man under the oak tree in Ancret's dream. Red, the colour of fire, of blood, of sacrifice. Was it not always a red-haired man who died for the life of the people?" (11).
  • Duke Robert of Normandy (2), William the Conqueror's eldest son, fighting Red William in Normandy (2). Keen to go crusading (7). Returns to Normandy in 1100 (11).
  • Ranulf Flambard (2), Red William's chaplain change-collector at Hastings. Chancellor (7). Created Bishop of Durham (9). Jailed by King Henry (11).
  • Henry of Coutances (3), Red William and Duke Robert's younger brother, William's deputy in England. De Braose and d'Aguillon land with him (3). Lord of Castle Domfront, 'which is about all that the other two have left cannot blame the young one for the times that he has joined whichever brother offers the best chance for his sword, against the third, since whenever they make common cause it is to turn against him.' (7). "Some believed that Brother Henry, who had lately joined him in England, had loosed the arrow. Certainly he had been quick and purposeful in action after his brother's death, securing the fealty of as many of the leading Barons as he could gather in two days, and crowned at Westminster on the third" 'Our Henry may be his brother's murderer, but he is a wise man as well as a strong one.' (11). Musters against Duke Robert (12).
  • Mowbray of Northumberland (3), 'has plundered four Norwegian trading camps, and is likely to make trouble when the King calls him to account for it.' (3). Does
  • de Lacy (3), a conspirator. Revolts with Mowbray (7).
  • Sir Thiebaut de Coucy (3), conspirator with "a curiously smooth, hairless voice, with the suggestion of a lisp", who wears musk (3). "a plump, smooth face and brilliant, colourless eyes on either side of a surprisingly thin, high-bridged nose". Scouring Sussex for craftsmen for Ranulf Flambard (8). Keen to take Dean for the alleged treasure of Bramble Hill. Hates Randal for blackmailing him (9). Disguises himself as a wandering friar and incites a witch hunt in Steyning against Ancret and Randal that injures Sir Everard. Randal marks his face with his dagger (11). "'a man with two fresh dagger cuts in the face, crossing each other–here,' he touched his own left cheek". 'He's a coward in some things, and he's no gambler;" (12). Kills Bevis at Tenchebrai and Randal kills him (16).
    • Grisart (8), "a fine bay palfrey"
  • Stephen of Aumale (3), prospective replacement for Red William
  • Count Alain of Brittany (6), came over with the Conqueror
  • William of Eu (7), revolts with Mowbray
  • Harold Godwinson (7), Saxon king of England killed at Hastings/Senlac
  • Pope Urban (7), preached a crusade at Clermont in November
  • Raymond of Toulouse (8), crusader
  • Tancred (8), crusader
  • Sir Walter Tyrell (11), friend and possible assassin of William
  • Queen Eadgyth (11), daughter of Malcom of Scotland, and descendant of Alfred of Wessex; King Henry's queen
  • de Warrenne (12), Lord of the Honour of Lewis, out for Robert?
  • William de Mortain (15), Lord of Tenchebrai, formerly of Pevensey before rebelling. Commander of the Norman vanguard at Tenchebrai (16).
  • A little old woman outside Tenchebrai (15),
  • de Salynges (15), rival manor in Henry's army at Tenchebrai
  • Taillefer (16), the Conqueror's minstrel, led the charge at Hastings
  • Waldric (16), Henry's Chancellor, captures Duke Robert
  • Rahere (17), Henry's jester, "shows signs of exchanging his motley for a monk's habit and his harp for a rosary."
  • Roland and Oliver, famed in song

Bramber and Dean Edit

  • Sir Everard d'Aguillon (3), de Braose's man, known to Herluin. "a tall bony man" "very dark eyes" "thick, badger-grey hair" "a mouth like a trap and the kind of eyes that you could not lie to." (3). 'D'Aguillon is d'Aguillon of Dean' to his peasants. Once sailed to the far north with his BFF Laef Thorkelson, pre-Dean (7). 'A gentle soul, d'Aguillon, overly gentle, maybe, but it has brought him the love of his stubbord Saxons...' "Sir Everard, always a quiet man, died on the quietest of spring evenings...So the dark Norman knight who had held his English Manor for more than half a lifetime, was laid beside his wife in the little flint church in the land that had become home to him; and his Saxon villeins grieved for him as deeply as they could have done for a Saxon Thegn." (12).
    • Valiant (3), his horse, a roan stallion (4)
    • Luath (4), a hound
    • Luffra (4), a hound
    • Matilda (4), a hound
    • Hector (5), second horse
    • Tyri (7), a Norway goshawk
  • William de Braose (3), d'Aguillon's liege-lord and friend. "fat and gout-ridden, with his pouchy, used-up face in which only the eyes still seemed really alive". Fought at Senlac (10).
  • Sir Philip de Braose (3), William's son. Married February 1100 to Aanor. "A thick-set young man with brown hair and a square, steady face...something of mastery in the level, iron-grey eyes...very well worth the serving."(9). 'You will find that I do not do things for kindness.' (12)
  • Richard d'Aguillon (3), Sir Everard's dead son, Herluin's friend and schoolmate at Bec Abbey
  • Bevis d'Aguillon (3), Richard's son, "a tall boy, maybe a year or so older than Randal, with a thin, eager face that looked white in the twilight, under a feathery tangle of dark hair" (4). "usually grave face" "the soft little heart he has" (5). "face had a queer pearly whiteness and his mouth looked exactly like d'Aguillon's" "nearly two years older" than Randal (6). "the quick back-toss to his head which was so much a part of him" (8) "Bevis, very tall, very dark, very grave, suddenly not a boy anymore, but a man." "gave his shoulder the little shake that he used sometimes instead of words." 'God forbid that I should part Roland and Oliver!' (12). "Bevis, being something of a dandy, wore close-fitting hose in the new fashion" 'It's a good thing Grandfather and I were much of a size.' 'Aye, 'tis d'Aguillon. Did you never see before that the boy was somewhat like his grandfather?' 'It is uncanny! He even frets with his sword belt as Everard used to do.' "His arms above the elbows were very white; all his bory where the clothes covered it from sun and wind was white as the flesh of a just-ripe hazelnut." (14). Stabbed and trampled by de Coucy at Tenchebrai, and knights Randal before he dies (16). "In an odd way that he could not have put into words, he felt that Bevis, whose body would sleep in Normandy, was part of Dean, part of the marshes and the downs and the river woods in springtime, woven into them by his love. Nothing could ever take Dean from Bevis now; the Wealden blackbird would always sing for him..." (17).
    • Joyeuse (7), Matilda's puppy, an inveterate retriever (8)
    • Durandal (8), his horse
  • Ancret (4), wise-woman (4) and Bevis's foster-mother. "a small woman, slight and narrow-boned, but...she always looked tall". 'we see the conquerors come and go, and marry and mingle, but we know that all things pass, like a little wind through the bramble bushes.' (6). "he had never seen anything human that took on the colour of its surrounds as perfectly as Ancret did." (11). 'Sometimes the pictures come, thte pictures of what will be, but never for any looking of mine." (12). Disappears from Dean at Bevis's death (18).
  • Wulf (4), stableman at Dean, "a little man, knotted like a tree root"
  • Lewin Longshanks (4), Dean shepherd. "deep, gentle, grumbling voice" "very blue eyes that were crinkled at the corners...though he was still quite young" 'I was six years old on the day that Harold died' (7). "golden beard" (8). Left-handed (10). "huge and quiet as always, and seeming to dwarf the whole place." (14).
    • White-Eye (5)
    • Ship (10)
  • Adam the Clerk (5), priest and tutor. 'he's a Christian priest and thinks it is his duty to stamp out all that has to do with the Old Faith. But the trouble is that...he's such a very gentle stamper!' (8). Presides over Bevis's vigil. "Old, brown Adam growing to look more and more like an autum leaf these days" (14).
  • Reynfrey the Steward (5), ex-man-at-arms. Norman. A veteran of Senlac, with a scar on his forearm (7). Left behind in charge of the manor in 1101 (11). "looked, as always, to have been made of harness-leather" (14).
  • Sybilla (5), Dean housekeeper, very fat. "making less outcry than for many smaller griefs, though the tears trickled down her fat cheeks" (18).
  • Laef Thorkelson (5), a Norwegian merchant-seaman who gave Bevis a piece of amber (5). "a fat man with pale blue eyes in a round weather-beaten face, who wore his sandy hair in braids"
  • Cerdic the Oxherd (5), "big and patient like the oxen he worked with". Has multiple sons and geese (7).
  • Horn (5), old man of the Mill
  • Alfwine (5), ploughman. Killed at Caen in 1105, leaving his distraught widow (13).
  • Sir Robert le Savage of Broadwater (7), liegeman of Red William, neighbour of Dean. "his big nose reddening as it always did in times of stress" (12). Attends Bevis's knighting. Was at Senlac with d'Aguillon and de Braose. "big red face and bald yellow head" "le Savage was shaking his shoulder in kindly exasperation, and trumpeting into his ear." (14).
  • Gyrth (7), Alfwine's quarrelling neighbour
  • Gudram (7), his best apple tree blew down. 'never one for a last minute flurry, our Gudram.' (15).
  • Wulfhere (7), Thegn of Dean before Hastings
  • Cissa (8), "the little black-browed Manor smith"
  • Elli (8), stable boy
  • Edda (8), a flint waller
  • Wilfram (8), a wheelwright
  • Lady Aanor (9), married by the King to Philip de Braose, "a tall girl with a grave face that had laughter and eagerness somewhere at the back of it" (9). "her plump face alight with eagerness–for the marriage, made by Red William for his own ends, had grown to be a happy one, and the Lady Aanor, ewho had first come to Bramber riding her big white mare as lightly as a boy, was running to soft, sweet fat, like a full-blown rose in the sunshine." (18).
  • Bevis's mother (11), planted the Dean strawberry beds, the only one in the region
  • Brother Thomas (11), monk of Steyning Priory who warns Reynfrey about the witch hunt
  • The miller's wife (11), dotes on her goat
  • Rafe One-Eye (11), mob member with a sick cow
  • Aylwin (12), Philip de Braose's previous squire
  • Guthlac (13), chief hunstman of Bramber
    • Rollo (13), an old hound
    • Thuna (13), a hound
    • Linnet (13), de Braose's favourite bitch
    • Math and Mathonwy (13), de Braose's red brother wolfhounds
  • Perrin (13), Bramber dog-boy
  • Gisella (13), youngest and newest handmaid of Lady Aanor, "a tall girl with hair as red as Hugh Goch's" "she was fourteen...came from a manor away northward into the Weald where there were too many daughters even though two of them had been given to a nunnery." "they had taken great care to ignore each other ever since their first encounter" "Grey-green eyes with a feathering of tawny gold." "they stood for one moment looking at each other with a queer, unexpected wretchedness for something that they were losing before it could have even been said to have begun." Gives Randal a sprig of rosemary (13) which he buries with Bevis (16). Meets Randal again at Beamber after Tenchebrai (18).
  • Gervase de Machault (13),"de Braose's senior squire, a strong and very ugly young man with a disarming grin and a trick of making friends". Sponsors Randal's knighting at Tenchebrai (17).
  • Hugo (14), le Savage's squire, left in charge of Broadwater
  • Martin (15), de Machault's squire
  • Wilfred (15), Saxon knight of de Braose's, a squire at Bramber with Randal
  • Roger (15), Saxon knight of de Braose's, a squire at Bramber with Randal
  • Ulf (16), Dean man-at-arms at Tenchebrai
  • Garin (18), "a small, impudent varlet" at Bramber
  • Sir Herbrand the Seneschal (18), of Bramber


England (1), left by William the Conqueror to William the Red

  • Sussex (1)
    • Arundel Castle (1), seat of Hugh Goch. Site of a Bronze Age hill fort (3).
      • Haute Rey (Arun River) (1), flowing through the South Downs past Arundel to the sea
      • Shrewsbury (1), castle and abbey belonging to Arundel
      • Bridgenorth (12), castle belonging to de Belleme
    • The Wealden Forest (1), edged by a Bronze Age dyke (3)
    • Portsmouth (3), Henry lands there
    • Bramber (3), "a grey, stone-built castle on the last low shoulder of the downs", de Braose's seat. "the great Castle guarding the pass through the Downs" (10).
      • St. Nicholas's College (9)
    • Steyning (4), "a town of reed-thatched houses under the downs", market-town (11)
      • Steyning Priory
    • Dean (4), d'Aguillon's manor under de Braose, south and downriver of Bramber, a village in a coombe of the downs
      • Long Down, "the whale-backed ridge...a mile and more to the westward", west boundary of Dean
      • Bramble Hill, south boundary of Dean, "downriver...thrust across half the valley, and, so they said, the King of a forgotten people slept" (3). 'the Hill of Gathering' (6).
        • Ancret's bothy (6), a green mound in a clearing behind her herb-plot
      • River Woods (6), "licked in a long tongue up the steeply-winding coombe following the course of the chalky stream"
      • Muther-Wutt Field (6),
    • Andred's Weald (7), forests north of Long Down
    • Thunder Barrow (7), four miles seaward of Long Down
    • Durrington (8), downriver from Dean
    • Broadwater (8), downriver from Dean, seat of Le Savage
    • Shoreham (8), other side of the river
  • London (8), undergoing improvements under Ranulf Flambard
  • Pevensey (12), Henry's forces muster there in 1101 against Robert's landing
  • Portsmouth (12), where Robert actually lands
  • Alton (12), where Henry and Robert treat

Wales (1), Hugh Goch and de Belleme have been fighting there

Normandy (1), fought over by Duke Robert and his brothers

  • de Belleme (1), seat of Robert de Belleme from his mother
  • Bec Abbey (3), Herluin and Richard d'Aguillon's old school
  • Domfront (), Henry's castle
  • Barfleur (15), in the Cotentin. Henry's fleet lands in 1105
  • Flanders, Main, Anjou, Brittany (15), Henry's allies
  • Bayeux (15), Randal and Bevis's first battle
  • Caen, Falaise (15), further battles
  • Tenchebrai (15), castle in the valley of the Orne, south of Domfront, of William de Mortain
    • A clearing in the woods between the English camp and the outlying village
  • Lisieux (18): Henry's first Council

Europe and the Holy Land

  • Saragossa (7), source of Sir Everard's sword
  • Jerusalem (8), crusaded
  • Nicaea (8), crusaded
  • Antioch (8), crusaded
  • Doylaeum (8), crusaded
  • Constantinople (9), home of the Varangian Guard. And less importantly the Emperor.

Historical and literary backgroundEdit

Rudyard Kipling:

  • Puck of Pook's Hill:
    • "Weland's Sword": seisin
    • "Young Men at the Manor": A Saxon manor given to a kind young Norman knight after Santlache; a horse named Swallow
    • "The Knights of the Joyous Venture": knights sailing to far-off lands with Scandinavians
  • "The Tree of Justice", Rewards and Fairies: people under the protection of long-legged impertinent minstrels

The Song of Roland: source of references to Roland and Oliver, also of Bevis's dog Joyeuse and horse Durandal, named after Charlemagne and Roland's swords.

Adaptations Edit

Knight's Fee was adapted in five parts for the BBC One children's television programme Jackanory, broadcast the week of 15-19 November 1982. It was adapted and directed by Christine Secombe, read by Benedict Taylor with pictures by Charles Front, designed by Andrew Howe Davies and produced by Angela Beeching.[2]

  • Part 1 (BBC One London, 15 November 1982)[3]
  • Part 2 (BBC One London, 16 November 1982)[4]
  • Part 3 (BBC One London, 17 November 1982)[5]
  • Part 4 (BBC One London, 18 November 1982)[6]
  • Part 5 (BBC One London, 19 November 1982)[7]

Publication historyEdit

In English

  1. London : Oxford University Press, 1960. Illus. Charles Keeping.[8]
  2. London : Oxford University Press, 1961. Illus. Charles Keeping.[9]
  3. London : Oxford University Press, 1966. Illus. Charles Keeping.[10]
  4. London : Oxford University Press, 1973. Illus. Charles Keeping.[11]
  5. London : Oxford University Press, 1974. Illus. Charles Keeping.[12]
  6. Random House, 1980.[13]
  7. London : Red Fox, 1990. Illus. Charles Keeping.[14]
  8. London : Arrow Books, 1990.[15]
  9. Asheville, N.C. : Front Street (Boyds Mills), 2008.[16][17]
  10. London : Red Fox Classics, 2013.[18]
  11. London : RHCP Digital, 2013.[19]

Omnibus edition

  1. The Best of Rosemary Sutcliff. With Warrior Scarlet, The Mark of the Horse Lord. Illus. Charles Keeping. London : Chancellor Press, 1987.[20]

In translation

  1. Randal, der Ritter: Eine Erzählung aus dem englischen Mittelalter. [Randal, the Knight: A Tale of the English Middle Ages]. German by Gustav Keim. Stuttgart : Union-Verl., 1967.[21][22]
    • Stuttgart : Verlag Freies Geistesleben, 1982.[23]
    • München : Dt. Taschenbuch-Verl., 1987.[24]
    • München : Dt. Taschenbuch-Verl., 1988.[25]
    • München : Dt. Taschenbuchverl., 1989.[26]
    • München : Dt. Taschenbuch-Verl., 1991.[27]
    • München : Dt. Taschenbuch-Verl.. 1992.[28]
    • München : Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag, 1993.[29]
    • München : Dt. Taschenbuch-Verl. 1996.[30]
    • Randal, der Ritter. Stuttgart : Verl. Freies Geistesleben, 2000.[31]
    • Randal, der Ritter. Stuttgart : Verl. Freies Geistesleben, 2006.[32]
    • Randal, der Ritter. Stuttgart : Verlag Freies Geistesleben, 2012.[33]
  2. Plačilo za viteštvo. Slovenian by Mira Mihelič. Illus. Charles Keeping. Ljubljana : Mladinska knjiga, 1972.[34]
  3. Unmei no kishi. Japanese by Yōko Inokuma. Tōkyō : Iwanamishoten, 1994.[35]
    • Tōkyō : Iwanamishoten, 2009.[36]

References Edit

  1. Elaine Moss, “Rosemary Sutcliff: A Love of Legend”. Part of the Pattern: A Personal Journey through the World of Children’s Books, 1960-1985. 1986. pp.16-18