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VCH Goldspur Hundred, Peasmarsh Church St. Peter + Paul
“In the 14th C. A great diagonal buttress was built at the NW corner. Stones with early 12th C. Carving are used in the walls outside. Above the priest’s doorway on the South is the figure of a lion couchant in low relief. Below the plinth of the buttress at the East end of the South wall is the figure of A flying bird. Chancel arch: The second quoin stone below the impost on both sides of the arch facing the nave is carved in low relief with a crude figure of a lion couchant”. As far as I have seen, the lion couchant is very rare in heraldry
At the sale of Knelle manor the Knelle family still held land in Peasmarsh. Edmund de Knelle's armorial seal shows a lion rampant and cross crosslets fitchées.
VCH Goldspur Hundred - Playden manor
After the conquest it was held in demesne by the Count of Eu. The land, however, was leased, 1 hide to Ednod, 1 hide to Walter, 1 hide to Reinir, ½ hide to Geoffrey (60 acres.) (DB).
Iden manor - In 1086 one virgate was held by Geoffrey under Ct. Robert of Eu. - At the sale of Knelle manor the family still held land in Iden and Playden.
Stephen de Knelle seems to have been close to the St. Martin family and to the Counts of Eu. As mentioned above, he was one of the early donors to Robertsbridge abbey, which had been founded by Alured de St. Martin in 1176. The earliest charters have been localised, containing mostly donations of the St Martin family, William Albini, earl of Arundel, his wife Alicia, daughter of the Count of Flanders and Duke of Lorraine, former wife of king Henry I, whose daughter Alice had been married to John Count of Eu, and secondly to Alured de St. Martin, as well as other confirmation charters.
In Dugdale’s Monasticum “The Abbey of Robertsbride” is published the charter issued by Richard I in 1198, confirming the donations to the Abbey:...”all the land which Alured de St. Martin had from Galfrido de St. Martin (Geoffrey) and his heirs in the rape of Hastings. Stephen de Knelle appears therein as Stephano de Cnell. In the confirmation charter of Edward III the name is spelled Cuell.- Geoffrey was a family name.
Stephen held his fee of Cnelle or Knelle directly as demesne land of the Count of Eu and may have taken the name of his fief as so many others did. At that time many norman families had adopted the names of their fiefs. In the inquest of 1166 John count of Eu says that he holds 56 knight's fees from the king, but listed are only 55. Further he states that he has 6 knights in his demesne lands, who hold 1 knight's fee each and 4 others who hold half a fee each, and that he has none of the 'new feoffment', i.e. after the reign of King Henry I. The name of a Cnell holding a fee of the Count does not appear in that year but in 1210-12.
VCH - Gostrow Hundred, Udimore
Knellston stands on upland overlooking the Brede Valley. The name suggests that it might have been held one time by the Knelle family.
Of Stephen, his son Geoffrey and grandson Matthew the names of their wives are not known, neither the one of Matthew's elder son Geoffrey, nor from which family their wives came. According to the documents preserved in the Calender of Ancient Deeds in PRO, Sussex Fines and others, a strong connection between the Lyvet, Oxenbridge atte Gate and the Knelle family can be seen. There are probably also connections to the Brook and Batelesford families. All of those families held land in Beckley, except of the Lyvets, who had land nearby in Catsfield.
In 1358 John Lyvet and John de Oxenbrugg' atte Gate quarrel about the manor and land of West Firle and Bedington. It went to John for life, remainder to John Cockfield and Margaret his wife, daughter of John Lyvet. - John de Oxenbrigge atte Gate and John de Welles claim Knelle manor against William de Welles and Margaret de Knelle, land and rent in Beckley; It went to William and Margaret (1362) with contingent remainders to John Lyvet and his daughter Margaret.
John Brook and others challenge Agnes de Knelle for Knelle manor in 1384, when it is adjudged to John Brook. - Robert Oxenbridge, represented by John Brook, petitions William Batelesford; Robert de Belknap, his wife Julian and John Preston, who is probably the John de Welles mentioned before. They sue William de Batelesford and Richard de Cristelton, for the same purpose. In the latter case the judge orders the manor to go to John Preston, with remainder to Robert and Julian, with contingent remainders to Thomas Lyvet, John Lyvet and Robert de Oxenebrugg, who later on quitclaim the manor to Robert de Belknap. For his claim see 'The sale of Knelle manor, Belknap).
The wife of Matthew de Knelle, son of Matthew, was Margaret, probably a Lyvet. Robert de Oxenbrugge's grandfather was John atte Gate. The name of his wife is not known. It is probable, that he was married to a Knelle daughter. From the first two documents above results that John Oxenbrigge atte Gate must have lived till 1362.The sons of the later Matthew were Geoffrey, dsp, and Edmund married to Joan, who in 1335 still had a guardian. She must have been his second wife calculated from Edmund's son Edward's military activities. There is also a possibility that this Joan was a Oxenbridge atte Gate.
Unfortunately, there are still large voids in the Knelle genealogy.