The Capels were originally London merchants who in the sixteenth century began Hadham Hall, a few miles west of Bishops Stortford. Arthur Capel, first Baron Capel of Hadham (1604–1649), was a supporter of Charles I and friend of William Cecil, second earl of Salisbury, who lived at Hatfield in the middle of the county. In 1627 Arthur Capel married Elizabeth Morrison, who was the heir of Sir Charles Morrison of Cassiobury, Hertfordshire. He added a new wing and garden to Hadham Hall in the 1630s, reflecting his rising status, as on the deaths of his father and grandfather he became one of the richest men in England. He was MP for Hertfordshire and the king raised him to the peerage in 1641. His son became the first Capel Earl of Essex and shifted the family’s principal residence to Cassiobury, which was closer to London. The record of musicians concerns the expenses of Elizabeth, Lady Capel, on a visit to London in February 1642.
Ronald Hutton, “Capel, Arthur, First Baron Capel of Hadham,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online edition. http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/4583. Accessed 9/30/2011.