Goodwin Kneen
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Kneen family

"Gunhilda was a bit angry I got back so late. I had to duck a couple of nasty jinxes but I've got my fingers back now."
—Goodwin Kneen on his letter to his cousin Olaf.[src]

Goodwin Kneen (fl. 12th century) was a wizard who lived in Yorkshire, England, in the twelfth century. A Kwidditch player (a forerunner to the modern game of Quidditch), a letter he once wrote to his Norwegian cousin Olaf demonstrates the spread of the sport throughout Great Britain.[1]


"We enjoyed a spirited game of Kwidditch last Saturday night, though poor Gunhilda was not up to playing Catcher, and we had to use Radulf the blacksmith instead. The team from Ilkley played well though was no match for us, for we had been practising hard all month and scored forty-two times. Radulf got a Blooder in the head because old Ugga wasn't quick enough with his club. The new scoring barrels worked well. Three at each end on stilts, Oona from the inn gave us them. She let us have free mead all night because we won as well."
—Kneen's description of Kwidditch.[src]

Kneen lived with Gunhilda in Yorkshire some time around the mid-twelfth century. He also had a cousin in Norway, Olaf, which seemed to be an occasional correspondent of his.[1]

Kneen played "Kwidditch" along with his wife Gunhilda (who played "Catcher"), Ugga (who played Beater) and Radulf (a reserve "Catcher").[1]

On a match against a team from Ilkley, on a Saturday night, Kneen's team scored forty-two times and won. This match was crucial for the introduction of goal posts in modern Quidditch, as they introduced "new scoring barrels", three on each end of the pitch on stilts, given to them by Oona, a innkeeper.[1] Following the match, Oona offered the team free mead all night. Gunhilda was not pleased with the late hour of his return home, and he had to "duck a couple of nasty jinxes", ending up with his fingers temporarily jinxed off.[1]

Later that same week, Kneen wrote a letter by owl to his cousin Olaf, relaying the match. This eight-hundred-year old letter is preserved in the Norwegian Ministry of Magic archives as an important artefact about the evolution of the game.[1]


The name "Goodwin" means "friend of god", derived from Old English god combined with wine "friend". This was the name of the powerful 11th-century Earl of Wessex, the father of King Harold II of England.


Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Quidditch Through the Ages - Chapter 3 (The Game From Queerditch Marsh)

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