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The parish of Stithians (or Stythians) belongs to the deanery and Hundred of Kerrier. The little river Kennel (Tretheage) rises near Carn Meneles and intersects the parish. (www.genuki.org.uk/)
Domesday book 1086 records that the cream of the estates (in Cornwall), 227 of 350, were in the hands of Robert de Mortain, of the remaining ones 67 were held by Anglo-Saxons and the rest by Bretons and Flemings. Cornwall was devided into 7 (subsequently 9) administrative parts known as ‘hundreds’. The original hundreds were Penwith, KERRIER and Trigg.
Kenell manor was situated on a hill overlooking the river Kenel which reaches the sea a few miles further on at the firth of the Carrick Roads. The river drove mills, and on the demesne tin was mined.
The first mention of a member of the Kenell family has been found so far refers to “Select Pleas of the Crown”, time of King John - Plea nº 19 - Hundred of Triggshire in the year 1201 refers to Reginald of Kennell, whose son Roland had been murdered. At that time Reginald pleads that he has passed the age of sixty, which means he would have been born c. 1140 (www.fordham.edu/) .
1265 Henry de Kennel who gives half a mark for an assize to be taken before Henry de Bratton. The sheriff of Cornwall to see to it (FFH III).
On 4th June 1285 the King gave licence to Mathew Penfein to act as trustee to Oliver Carminowe and Elizabeth his wife for the Manors of Merthen, Wynyanton and Kenel (V/T/15). The manor was held of the castle of Launeston in chief, as of the Duchy of Cornwall.
John Ingeriam de Kenel or Kenell in Easter week, Thursday 29th March 24 Edward I or 1296, quitclaims at Kenel to the Carminow family "all right in his land of Kenel, in buildings, gardens, woods, meadows, pastures, ways, lands, acres, paths and all other appurtenances in dry and wet" (AR/2/202).
It seems that the manor itself had been granted to them earlier, as an oval seal has been preserved in the Cornwall Record Office: legend: S(igillo). Joh'is (de) Kenell. - On 20 Nov. 1300 Roger de Carminow, kt. holds Kenele, late of Edward of Cornwall. He was dead on 20 Dec. 1308 holding several properties including the hamlet of Kenel. His heir was Oliver who received livery on 2 Feb. 1309 (Knights of Edw. III, V. 1, p. 183). Edward was son of Richard earl of Cornwall, brother of King Henry and King of Germany. Therefore it is possible that one of the Kennel family accompanied him to Germany at his coronation at Aquis Gran (Aachen) and his progress allong the Rhine which took him many months and that tthis Kennel stayed there as the manor was in the hands of the Carminow family in 1285.
From the Carminows the manor with its tin production came later to the Arundel family by marriage, as Thomas de Carminow had died in 1396 and his daughter Joan, a minor, had died in the King's ward. Thomas's father had been Thomas and his grandfather Roger. This Roger had another son Oliver, whose daughter Elizabeth had married John Arundel. Her son John Arundel and John Trevarthian, son of Maud, sister of Elizabeth Carminow, were Joan's heirs. Kennell went to the Arundel's (CFR).
16 June 1311 Johannes Knohel was summoned to muster at Berwick-upon-Tyne for war in Scotland. He represented with Petrus son of John the Burgh of Launceston. In 1313 it was Johannes Knoyl (Parl. Writs).
Further Kenells are mentioned in documents deposited in the Cornwall Record Office:
1447-8 AR/2/894 Kenell manor: reeve John Noell
1469-70 AR/2/910 reeve Geoffrey de Kenell
1508-9 AR/2/945 reeve Roger de Kenell
1584 AR/2/971 reeve Ralph John alias Kenell
Arms: gules, a cheveron argent, with a cinquefoils argent. - Gules, on a chevron argent, three roses gules seeded or. Knolles Chester AR on a chevron GU three roses of the field. Knollys of Grove Place Hampshire GU on a chevron AR three roses of the field, a canton ERM. William Knollys Earl of Banbury 1626 GU on a chevron AR three roses of the field, also AZ semée of crosses crosslet, a cross molinne or, voided throughout of the filed. Ccrest: An elephant AR (The General Armory). - The family coat of arms includes a red shield, on which a silver chevron is emblazoned with three Tudor roses. The crest of the shield is a silver elephant. The famly motto is “In utrumque paratus" (The Visitation of Berkshire).
The arms of Sir Robert Knolles, Knight of the Garter, in the time of King Richard II, had been found in Wythiham Church near Buckhurst in Sussex: Gules on a chevron argent three roses gules, impaled with Sackville. - The arms of Constance, wife of Sir Robert Knowles of Gourney, along with the arms of the Black Prince and others, were found in the church of Harpley in Suffolk, namely a fess dancetté between three roses (The House of Gournay). Another one shows AR, a fess dancetté between three leopard´s faces SA. The same arms are described in her seal by Birch. - 1376 Robert de Knolles , on GU a chevron charged with 3 roses, on a helmet and wreath a ram's head. Sir Robert seems also to have used a cross recercelée voided between four cross-crosslets or (Coll. Topographica and Genealogica Vol. VIII). - Heraldic seals by Birch nº 11.102 V. 2. - This one reminds the one taken from 'English Crusaders ': Thomas de Knowles AZ a cross voided, cross-crosslets semées OR of 1191. - The armorial de Urfé: Messire Robert Canolle, de guelles à chevron d'argent à 3 roses de guelles.
The first of the family to bear arm was Thomas Knowles who went to crusade with King Richard I 1990 and used AZ a cross recerclée voided crusily OR (The Crusaders by James Dansey).
Messire Robert Canolle c.1315-1407, KG, from Cheshire, acquired Sconethorp manor in Norfolk, where he died, a retainer of John of Gaunt, and one of the military commanders in South England during the 1385 war in Scotland. For his service in France during the French wars he became Seigneur de Derval. He was ancestor of the earls of Banbury created 1772.
Constance de Beverley, his wife was born in Pontefract, Yorkshire, where they later founded the Knolles Almshouse at the same spot where her ancestral home had stood. From 'A History of Norfolk', V. 8: Harpley church was built by Sir Robert Knoweles, a famous general in the reigns of Edw. III and Richard II in the wars of France. In the chancel is painted a coat of arms gules, a chevron argent, 3 roses gules. - In 1465 occurs John Knowles as rector of the church, brother of Sir Robert Knowles. - Or 3 demi-lions passant guardant gules, Knolles, county Hampshire, and Knowles Downton Winchester (A Medieval Ordinary).
In Bodiam Castle several coats of arms were found engraved over the entrance of the southern tower. One of these shows three roses upon a chevron and surmounted with a helmet and the crest a ramshead. As the owner of the castle was Edward Dallingridge, he had it put there honouring Robert Knollys, his former warlord.
The Knolles, Knollys, Knowles family seems to have had their center of activities in Pontefract, London, North Mymms (Hertfordshire) and Norfolk.
Robert Knolles or Knollys, (b. 1312, d. 1407) and his wife Constance Beverley are the ancestors of such famous descendants as Sir Francis Knollys, whom Queen Elizabeth had appointed one of the judges at the trial of Mary Queen of Scots and France, and later made him Treasurer, having been on her council before that. His daughter Lettice was married to Walter Devereux, 1st earl of Essex. After his execution she married Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester. (In the British Library exists a letter which a Knell, Robert's secretary, wrote to Henry Sidney on suspision that the earl had been poisoned). Lettice was also sister-in-law to Queen Jane Grey. Sir Frances' second son William became treasurer of the household to James I and was raised to the peerage as Baron Knollys and Viscount Wallingford. Charles I made him later Earl of Banbury (Burke).
Robert's and Constance's had the following children:
- Emma who married Anthony Babington.
- Matilda, daughter of Sir Robert Knowle of Knowle and Aldrington, married John Babington, Devon, who held those manors in right of his wife. He also had been enfeoffed by Sir Thomas Camoys in the manor of Woton Surrey. In 1422 Maud died seised of a third part each of the manors Ingelpenne, Devon, Grendon, Bucks., Cotes, Bedfords., and a third part of the advowson of Edgecote, Bucks. (Coll. Top. & Gen. V. VIII).
- Thomas, who owned North Mimms, - one and a half knights's fees (Feudal Aids) - became alderman and Lord Mayor of London (1399 and 1410, list of Mayors of London) and began to build the new Guildhall of the grocers. - In 1391 John, son of Thomas Taillour of Herlawe, and Andrew Swayn sued Thomas Knolles and Joan his wife for 3 messuages and land in Herlaw, which Thomas quitclaimed to John and his heirs for 20 marks (Essex FF). - Thomas de Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, Thomas Knolles, mayor of London, and others in 1399 had to inquire into treasons and crimes committed in London and Middlesex, after the new King had come to the throne. In 1400 as mayor and escheator of the City of London he was to restore the temporalities of the Abbey of St. Saveur, Bermondsey in London.(CPR). - The King 1401 grants to Thomas Knolles and Richard Forster, citizens of London, properties in London, which had been of Thomas Romayn (CPR). - In 1411 he was again mayor of London. In 1413 he sued Roger Gofayre and Alice his wife for land and rent in Eastbourne, Sussex. It went to Thomas for a yearly payment to them of 20s (SSX FF).
Thomas Knolles, citizen and grocer of London, and Joan his wife in 1390, 1394 and 1414 sued for land in Herlawe, Latton and Alvythele, of which the first two were adjudged to them (Essex FF) - Robert Arnold, citizen and grocer of London, Thomas Knolles senior and others demanded from Robert Turnous of Alvithley and Agatha his wife 4a of land in Alvithley in 1414. Robert and Agatha and the heirs of Robert quitclaimed to Arnold (Essex FF). - A genealogy printed in the History and Antiques of Buckinghamshire V. 1 gives to Thomas as wife Margaret , widow of John Chicheley, Chamberlain of London.
From Thomas and Joan descended, as per Calendar of Wills in Husting,
Thomas Knolles, senior, grocer. In his will dated 20 May 1435-6 he wishes to be buried in the church of St. Antonin and makes bequests to his sons: Thomas, William, Robert and Richard and to his daughters Beatrice, Margery and Margaret. His trustees were ordered to convey his properties including North Mymms to his son Thomas. - In 1416 Thomas Knolles citizen and grocer of London junior and William Burton and William Olyver, the same, sue John Welles and Margery his wife, the same, for 4 messuages, land, wood and rent in Levesham which the deforciants quitclaimed to the demandants (Kent FF). - 1425 Thomas Knollys was one of the persons to prove the age of William, son of Nicholas Schoyne, near Eastbourne, Sussex (CPR). The next year he witnesses a grant in London, where he is described as alderman of London. The Feudal Aids of 1428 tell that Thomas Knollis holds one military fee in North Mymms from the earl of Gloucester. - Thomas was tax collector 1436 in Sussex. Thomas actually had made several wills and testaments in the Court of Hustings. On 26 May 1432 he legates to Friar John Snell, Preceptor of the Hospital of St. Anthony, a shop for maintenance of a lamp. In a further testament of 29 June 1435 he leaves his brewery called 'Le Crane on the hoop' in Fleetstreet, parish St. Dunstan, to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's.
- Margery was married to John, youngest son of William Chichele, Alderman and Sheriff of London and Beatrice, daughter of William Barnett, esq. John was Chamberlain of London. His uncle was Henry Chichley, archbishop of Canterbury, in which Cathedral he lies buried. John and Margery had 24 children. Agnes, the eldest daughter, married John Tattersall to whom she conveyed her inheritance, the manors of Eastborne and the mansion of Well Hall in Kent (England's Topographer V. 4).
- Margaret Knolles holds Doun in Compton manor of Elizabth, late the wife of Henry Fitz Hugh (CIPM).
- Richard - 1390 Richard Knowle was citizen and draper of London (CCR). 1403 Richard Knolles and others had a commission to enquire about woollen cloths in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Hertford (CPR).
- Robert, whose daughter Anne married Henry Frowyck of Weley in Hertfordshire. Their only daughter Elizabeth married John Coningsby, third son of Sir Humphry Coningsby, kt., Chief Justice, and a Ferreby of Lincolnshire, who thus became lord of North Mymms. Their son, Sir Henry Coningsby, married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Boteler of Watton Woodhall in Hertfordshire. The arms of that family were GU, a fess chequy AR and SA between 6 cross-crosslets OR. Crest - An arm embowed in armour holding a sword proper (See also Belknap). - The Visitation of Hertfordshire, 1634, shows Sir Philip Boteler of Woodhall married to Anne, daughter of Humfrey Congsby and their son Philip to Catherine, daughter of Sir Francis Knowles and widow of Lord FitzGerrard. Sir Francis was a descendant of Robert Knollys and Constance. - 1406 Robert Knolles v. John Drew, clerk and John Seymour of London regarding the manor of Tunstall, 1000a of marsh in Elmley, Kent and 4 lbs rent in Leysden. It went to Robert for life who pays 200 lbs Kent FF)..
1446 Robert Knolles, esq., son and heir of Thomas Knolles, citizen and grocer of London, to Nicholas Wotton, citizen and draper of London and others (CCR) - (See Wotton genealogy). - Again the pedigree of Nether-Winchendon and of Thame in Oxfords. (Hist. of Buck. V. 1) has Robert married to Elisabeth, da. and heir of William Troutbeck of Cheshire and states that his daughter Anne married Henry Frowyck or Fordwick and that there were sons shown in the monument in Mimms church.
- William - On 5 July 1432 William Knolles, citizen and grocer of London, leaves all his chattels and properties to Thomas Knollis the younger, citizen and grocer in London (CCR).
- John Aylmer and Margery his wife v. John Knollys and Helewise his wife - a messuage with appurtenances in Creth and Lesyns. John and Helewise quitclaim against a payment of 20 marks (Kent FF). - (It is not clear whose son John is
- Thomas, the heir, married Isabel - 1433 Henry Barton and Thomas Knolles the younger to Nicholas Tunwelle and Emma his wife. Quitclaim for 4 messuages and land to hold for life with reversion to Henry and Thomas (CCR) - 17 June 1434 Geoffrey Wyke, clerk, to Thomas Knolles the elder and younger, citizens and grocers of London, general release of all actions, suits, plaints and demands (CCR). - On 11 August 1435 Robert Shelley, esq., releases all his goods, debts and chattels to Thomas Knolles and Richard Sturgeon (CCR). 1439 Thomas, John Langeley and Thomas Lavyngton granted William Baron and Joan his wife a shop in the parish of St. Nicholas (Cal. of Ancient Deeds, V. 2). He was tax collector in London in 1440 and 1445 (CFR), and seems to have died shortly afterwards.
18 July 1461 Gregory William, alderman of London, in his will destines rent from lands and tenements in the Vintry to the Knolles Chapel of St. Vintry for the souls of Thomas Knolles, senior and Johanna his wife, and Thomas Knolles junior and Isabella his wife (Court of Husting, London)
- Beatrix mentioned in the testament of her grandfather Thomas 20 May 1435.
- Richard received from his brother Robert the reversion of North Mymms.
- Robert Knollys married Margaret d'Oilly. (Note: As per Wace's Chronicles of Normandy the family of d'Oilly was seated at Oilly-de-Basset near Falaise. Robert d'Oilly came to England with the Conqueror).
Robert came into possession of North Mymms in 1446 and settled the manor on himself and his heirs with remainder to his brother Richard. In 1457 he did homage to Richard Duke of York (VCH). 1461 William Sandre of North Mymms, Hertfordshire, to Robert Knolles, esq., William Lacy and others of North Mymms, gives them all his goods, chattels and debts (CCR). Robert was still living in 1484, when he paid subsidy to the sheriff of Hertfordshire (VCH).
Robert and Margaret had the following children:
- Margaret Knollys married Henry Belknap, grandson of Robert Belknap, who had bought Knelle manor in 1384. In his will Henry left Knelle manor as dower to Margaret, but had enfeoffed Henry Auger of Losenham and others of the manor to hand it on to her (see Aucher). She died seised of it on 7 Oct. 1488. She was aunt of Francys Knollys and grandaunt of Lettice Knollys (see Belknap genealogy in this web page)..
- Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Robert Knolles of North Mymms, married Richard Fortescue c.1500 (The Vis. of Cornwall). - In 1458 a monumental brass was erected in the church of North Mymms showing Elizabeth Knowles with her children (Monumental brasses Hertfordshire).
- Robert was gentleman of the Privy chamber to King Henry VIII. He had a grant from the King for some time of the manor of Rotherfield Greys in Oxfordshire. He married Lettice, daughter of Lord Penyford, Lord Haurage and Marshal in Buckinghamshire.
- His daughter Jane married Sir Richard Wingfield of Kimbelton Castle in Norfolk.
- Francys Knollys KG. married Catherine (d. 15 Jan. 1568-9), adopted daughter of William Carey, esquire of the body to Henry VIII, natural daughter of King Henry VIII and Lady Mary Boleyn, William's wife, sister of Queen Anne Boleyn (Geneal. of the extinct Brit. Baronage). - Catherine had a royal funeral in St. Edmund's chapel of Westminster Abbey. - Francys was treasurer in Queen Elizabeth's household, then vice chamberlain to her household, captain of the guard, member of her Privy Council and knight of the Garter. He had been exiled in Germany during Queen Mary's reign. - On 3 June 1547 Francis Knolles, esq., the King's servant, obtained licence to export 2000 tons of beer (Chancery Warrants). - In 1552 he was granted the lordships and manor park of Caversham Oxford and Berkshire, late of Edward (Seymour), Duke of Somerset, attainted for felony, as well as other properties (CPR).
Francis and Catherine had the following children:
- Sir Henry Knollys, b. c. 1542, d. 1582, married Margaret Cave (d. 1606), daughter of Sir Ambrose Cave, chancellor of Lancaster: Henry was MP for Reading in 1563. He was lieutenant of Lord Howard of Effingham, general of the horse (Lives and Letters of the Devereux, Earls of Essex). They had two daughters. - Elisabeth, who married Henry, son and heir of Sir John Willoughby, kt., of Risley in Derby. - Lettice who married William Lord Paget (d. 1629). They had 3 sons and 4 daughters.
- Sir William, (b. c. 1545, d. 26 May 1641), married Dorothy Bray, dsp., widow of Edmund Bruges, Lord Chandos. He married secondly in 1605 Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of Thomas Howard, earl of Suffolk and Lord High Treasurer of England. She married secondly Nicholas Lord Vaux.. He was treasurer of the household of Queen Elizabeth in 1601 and of King James in 1603 who created him baron Knollys in that year and viscount Wallingford in 1616. - On 10 April 1604 he received a Letter Patent as William lord Knolles, High Constable of the castle of Wallingford (The Manuscripts of Captain F.C. Loder-Symonds). - He was made earl of Banbury by King Charles I on 18 Aug. 1626, which title expired with his death. - William held Rotherfield Greys in Oxfordshire, Cholcey in Caversham, Berkshire. On 1 March 1630-1 he sold Rotherfield Grey to Sir Robert Knollys.
From his second marriage he had the sons Edward and Nicholas. Edward (b. 10 April 1627 died SP 1645, killed in France where he was buried. - Nicholas was born 3 Jan. 1630-1. After his father's death he assumed the title of earl of Banbury. He married first Isabella, da. of ... Blount, lord Montjoy, 1st earl of Newport and Anne, da. and heir of John Boteler. Isabel died dsp. Nicolas married secondly on 4 Oct. 1655 Anne, da. of William Sherard and Abigail, da. of Cecil Cave. Nicolas died on 14 March 1673 and was buried at the manor of Boughton, Northamptonsh. where he had died. This manor had been settled on his mother and him by her second husband Sir Vaux. Abigail died on 6 March 1680 also at that manor where she lies buried. They had a son Charles the heir, as Isabella's 2 sons had died in infancy. Charles's son Charles succeeded in 1740 and his son Thomas in 1776. His son William died 1793 and his son William Thomas in 1834- William Wallingford Knollys, his son was born 1862 and died 1834 (The Complete Peerage V. 7, pp. 229 -33).
- Edward Knollys, (1546-75)
- Sir Robert Knowles of Greys K.G., was M.P. for Reading (c.1547-1619). He married Jane Higham. They had a son, a grandson and a great grandson named Robert., as well as the daughters Francis and Lettice.
- Richard Knollys, Esq.(1548-1596 ) had a son Francis, a captain, who by his second marriage had two sons and a daughter.
- Sir Francis Knollys, (c.1550 -1648), a member of the 'Long Parliament', died at the age of 98. He inherited from his father the manor of Battle in Sussex and estates near Reading Abbey in Kent. MP of Oxford and of Berkshire. He married Lettice, daughter of John Barret, esq., of Hanham in Gloucestershire. In 1605 King James I granted him a lease for 40 years of the manor of Lewisham in Blackheath Hundred, Kent (Hasted, Kent).
Their son Sir Francis Knollys, kt., married Ellen, daughter and heir of Richard Miles, esq., of Lower Winchenden in Buckingham. The line goes on: Richard, Francis, Francis, Francis, Richard, Francis created a baronet in 1754, sheriff of Oxfordshire 1757, MP for Reading 1761. He died without issue so that the baronetcy expired with him. His brother Robert, kt., died SP. Francis and Robert had the sisters Anne, Elizabeth and Lettice. The latter married firstly Sir Thomas Vachell, kt. of Cowley, Berkshire, and secondly John Hampden, Esq., surnamed the Patriot. She was buried at Hampden 18 May 1668. (See also Belknap).
- Sir Thomas, commander in the Low Countries under Maurice, Prince of Orange (d. after 1596). He married Odelia de Morada, daughter of John de Morada, Marquess of Bergen. Their daughter Penelope married William Le Hunt.
- Lettice, b. 1540, is mentioned in Berkshire: ”primo nupta Waltero Comiti Essexiae postea Roberto Comiti Leicestriae post suius obitum renupta Christophero Blunt". She had married Walter Devereux, second Viscount Hereford, in 1561-2, both being about 22 years old. They had a son, Robert earl of Essex, who was executed by Queen Elizabeth for insurrection and treason, beheaded on Tower Hill on 25 February 1601. - Her second husband, Robert earl of Leicester, was a favourite of the Queen. He married Lettice on 21 Sept. 1578 clandestinely. They had a son, who died 1584 and lies buried in the Beauchamp chapel at Warwick. Robert died July 1589. Shortly afterwards Lettice married Christopher Blount, who later was accused of having been involved in the Earl of Essex's insurrection and therefore was also executed in 1601. After that she lived in Drayton Basset, which had been given to her by the earl of Leicester. Obviously, she was a vital person who lived to see the grandchildren of her grandchildren. She died at Christmas day 1634 at the age of 94. She was buried by the side of Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester, at Warwick (The Lives of the Devereux.). - The Devereux family originated in Evreux, Normandy. Robert Devereux came to England at the invasion of England with the Conqueror. He married a daughter of Roger de Lacy who held a great part of Herefordshire (Hist. of Herefords where the whole genealogy can be seen).
Lettice's husband Robert earl of Essex made his will in 1591(The Ancestor V. 7 p. 100): He commences: I Robert earl of Essex and Eu, Viscount Hereford and Bourchier, Lord Ferrers of Chartley, Lord Bourchier and Louvain, knight of the most noble order of the garter, Master of her Majesties horse, Captain General and conductor general of her Majesties forces etc. - As per 'English Crusaders' by Dansey, Leticia used a coat of arms, which was similar to one mentioned for Robert de Knolles, above, namely AZ a cross reciclée OR crusilly, and to that of Thomas de Knowles of 1191, a cruzader at Acre.
- Anne Knollys (c.1553, living 30 Aug. 1608), married Thomas West, 2nd Lord de la Warr, son of William (d. 1595), and Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Strange of Chesterton. The West family was descended in the female line from Thomas Peverel, lord of the manor of Sompting and others in West Sussex. He had a son Andrew and a daughter Lucy, who married Herbert FitzReynolds. They in turn had a son Edmund FitzHerbert (d. 1587) and a daughter Älice (1596), who married Sir Thomas West. - Thomas and Anne had 5 sons and 7 daughters.
- Elizabeth Knollys or Cecilia (d. in 1605), maid of Honour of Queen Elizabeth, m. 1578 Sir Thomas Leighton (1535- 1609). They had a son Thomas and the daughters Anne and Elizabeth. - On 25 April 1590 Sir Francis Knollys, father of Elizabeth, and her husband, who had requested Queen Elizabeth, for the manor of Hanbury in Worcestershire, was granted by her to Robert Cecil, Sir Francis Knolys, jun. and Henry Killigrewe to the use of Sir Francis Knollys, the father and Treasurer of the Household. The manor should be for Elizabeth and her husband if they paid 9441 lbs within seven years (VCH).
- Catherine Knollys, married 1578 Gerald FitzGerald, Lord Offaly, son and heir of the earl of Kildare. She married secondly Sir Philip Boteler of Woodhall in Hertfordshire, son of Sir Philip and Anne, daughter of Humphrey Coningsby. Philiip and Catherine had 4 children: Philip, Sir Robert of Watton, Christopher, and a daughter Penelope (The Historical Ant. of Hertfordshire). - The arms of the family were: GU a fess chequy AR and SA between 6 cross crosslets OR. Crest: An arm enbowed in armour holding a sword. - Catherine died in 1632. (The Worthies of Oxford a.o, see also above.)
The Knolles family founded the branches of Stanford and Reading in Berkshire (The Vis. of Berkshire), where the name is spelt Knol, Knolles, Knolys, Knollys and Knowles, and the other one in Norfolk. The Visitation of Norfolk of 1563 gives the descent of the Norfolk branch from Sir Robert Knolles and Constance his wife. Blomfield cites a row of Knolles, Knollys or Knowles rectors in Norfolk ranging from 1435 to 1616. Arms of the Lancaster branch: GU, on a chevron AR three roses of the field; in dexter chief a crescent OR, charged with a mullet SA for difference. Crest a ram's head, couped AR, armed OR, charged on the neck for difference, as in the coat.
The lives of Robert and Constance
The Golden Falcon Chapter VI/1 Fair (Melbourne Library)
On the Normandy coast Sir Robert Knollys led a large company of English and Navarrese troops, who pillaged, marauded and captured towns and castles with no opposition. Sir Robert Knollys had done this for a long time, acquiring about 100 crowns. He had many mercenaries in his troops, so well-paid, they were eager to follow him.
The charred gables, which marked Robert Knolle’s or Knolly’s passage through France, were called “Knolly’s Mitres”, the motto on his banner read “Qui Robert Cnolle prendera, cente mille moutans gagnera” (The moutans were coins, not mutton).
Patronymia Brittanica - The founder of the family, was the famous Sir Robert Knollys, a person of humble origin, who after the
Battle of Poictiers had established the supremacy of the English in France. He
greatly enriched himself by incursions, where he was known as 'The devil for
fighting' (le véritable demon de la Guerre).:
During the Hundred Years War between England and France, he was judged «...the most able and skillful man-at-arms in all the companies». He had risen from the ranks in the Breton wars and fought with the Thirty, gaining knighthood along the way. The French recorded him as Sir Robert Canole (and Cannolles), who “grievously harmed France all the days of his life”. - There is a place called Cahagnolles 15 km south of Bayeux.
In 1422 King Henry IV gave to Richard Sturgeon, royal clerk, a manor with
appurtenances situated near the church St. Peter, in the ville of Caen, which
were of Robert de Cahaignolles, once burgess of that vill (Mémoires de la
soc. des Ant. de Normandy, p. 233, nº 1338). - Sir Robert Canolle, Conolle, Quenolle, had given to Richard Norhenton, herald of the earl of
Hertford, the parish of Maiet during the ransom of that town and parish until
Lady Day (Cal. of Ancient Deeds V. 6).
According to “The White Company” and “The Dictionary of Chivalry” by Grand Uden, Sir Robert began his mercenary life within the English White Company led by Nigel Loring and Sir John Harwood. Sir Robert and Sir Hugh later left the ranks to raid the marches of Navarra.
Barbara Tuchman wrote in her book “A Distant Mirror”:
The object of Sir Robert Knolly’s savage raid through northern France in 1370 was to do as much injury as possible in order to damage the French war effort and hold back French forces from Acquitane. And: Edward Plantagenet “The Black Prince” (d. 1376) appointed him Captain of Knights and Squires of his personal household. In 1371 he received a letter summoning him and his companions to homage.
The Issue Roll of Thomas de Brambington, bishop of Exeter, contains several orders of payments to seamen's wages for the passage of Robert de Knolles to France. Sarjeant-at arms were ordered to retain shipping for his passage. Letters were issued to messengers, couriers and valets to send troops to join Robert for his passage. Admirals and officers were directed by the Great Seal to retain ships and take them to Winchelsea and Rye immediately for the passage of Robert and his retinue to France. Proclamations to call the men at arms and archers to proceed,who were to sail with Robert and so on. - A Roger Knolles seems to have been a valet of the prior of Sele Priory.
In 1361 Robert de Knolles had paid into the exchequer 2000 florins called 'motons' for the keeping of the castles of Gravele, Gugery and Chastelblanc in Brittany, which were returned to him (CCR). - 1365 Sir Hugh de Calvesley, Sir Robert Knolles, Matthew Gurnay and John Devereux took part in the campaigns in Spain under the Black Prince. Under the chapter 'A note upon arms attributed to Sir Hugh Calveley, count of Carrion, the author surmises that Sir Calveley and Sir Knolles were brothers and that Sir Hugh was a Calveley of Lea, a branch separated from the main stock by David, his fahter, second son of Kenric de Calveley of Calveley. Both branches bore silver a fesse gules between three calves sable. Sir Hugh died issueless upon the feast of St. George, 1393, and was buried in Bunbury Church. He goes on saying that on Sir Hugh's monument 3 shields are depicted and that the first two bear the remains of a fess and of a chevron (The Ancestor V. 5) - Was this the reason that a descendant of Sir Knolles, Sir William, was made earl of Banbury? Banbury lies in the Vale Royal. - The Shelley family descended in female line from the Calverley's (see Belknap genealogy).
1370 Robert to sail in the King's service to foreign parts and names John de Lakynghethe his attorney general ( CCR.) - 1371 Robert and his companions had to swear an oath on making an identure with the king for 4000 soldiers to go to France. On 10 Dec. of that year the escheators were ordered to take into the King's hands the lands of Robert Knolles 'chivaler' in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, London, Norfolk, Suffolk, York and Cambridge, of which he was seised at the day of his death (CIPM). But this was an error. Robert was to live another 30 years. Thus on 26 Jan. 1372 the King is informed that Robert is alive, and he gave order to restore all his properties to him (CCR). On 6 Feb. of that year Richard Norwich, escheator in Kent, had order to restore the manor of Dunstale and 1000 acres of marsh in Elmele to Robert and Constance.
When Richard II came to the throne 1377, Sir Robert was made governor of the castle of Brest immediately. Three years later he had to fight in France again. This is from Capgrave's Chronicle of England: "In 1380 Thomas Woodstock, earl of Buckingham, Hugo Caverley, Robert Knollis, Thomas Percy, William Windsor, kts., embarked for France to help John Montfort, Duke of Brittany. But they were received by French galleys so that they had to return to Calais, from where they set out to destroy whatever came their way in France." In 1381 he was one of the four persons in London, who received full powers to investigate the insurgents and punish the guilty (Cal. of Letter Books, London).
In his later years, Sir Robert spent much of his wealth on charity work, including building with Lord Cobham a “goodly fair bridge” over the River Medway at Rochester, Kent, where he founded the chapel of the Trinity (Leland's Itinerary), and a hospital in Rome for English travellers and religious pilgrims. Already on 29 Nov. 1356 he had donated to the Chapel of St. Stephen a black alb (noted in the exchequer).
He endowed a church at Pontefract with the booty ransacked in France. In 1389 John Knolles and others had for the custody of Knolles Almshouse in Pontefract 7 messuages there and 20a of land in Darthington, York (CIPM V. 3).
John Stowe related in his “Survey of London”:
Then was the White Friar’s church called “Fratres Beate Mariae de Monte Carmeli”. Sir Robert Knoles, kt, was a great builder there also in the raigne of Richard the Second and of Enrique de Trastamara the Fourth. He deceased at his manor of Scone Thorpe (Scunthorpe) in 1407 and was brought to London and honourably buried by the Lady Constance, his wife, (on Aug. 15) in the bodie of the said White Friar’s church, which he had newly builded." Another source says that he was buried with military honours.
According to the Calender Patent Rolls and National Archives the original spelling of Knollys is Knolles. Sir Robert de Knolles’ and his wife, Constance de Beverley’s, activities can be deducted from those documents between the years 1355 and 1395.
Between 1355 - 1370 there are numerous documents relating to military service (CPR). They include:
Between 1370 and 1387 survive various grants of properties and land to Robert and Constance in consideration of military service and for purchases of manors.
There is a list of manors granted by the king covering half a page.
1380 - 1394 covers the period when Robert and Constance dedicate themselves to good works.
In 1389 Robert Knolles, kt., made his will. He wished to be buried in the conventual church of the Carmelite friars near Fleetstreet in the City of London. This will was attested by his wife Constance on 31 Oct. at his mansion in Syredenlane (Cal. of Wills in the Court of Hustings). - In old age they had retired to their manor of Southorpe in Norfolk where they had also descendancy of which one branch came to Hampshire in the reign of King Henry VIII. Their arms were: GU on a chevron three roses, a canton ermine. The first of them was John Knolles, who had the sons Henry the heir and John and Edward. Henry's son Sir Henry was comtroller of the household of King Charles I. He married Catherine, daughter of Sir Thomas Cornwallis, groom porter of King James. They had 4 sons and 5 daughters (Misc. Geneal. & Heraldica V. 2, p. 19).
According to "la Nobilière de Guienne et Gascogne" (by M. O'Gilvy) the surname Knolle held a great significance in Brittany and Guienne in the 14th century, also spelt as Cnolle, Canolle or Canoles (Hist. of Brittany, the Langedoc and 'du Gesclin'). - Betrand de Guesclin was the great French army leader and Robert de Knolles' adversary general. - In the 19th C. a Knowles family in England still bore in its arms quarterly GU, a chevron AR and 3 cinqfoiles, the arms of Robert de Knolle.
The author of the book claims that Robert and Constance had descendancy in France by an unnamed son, who is buried in the church of St. Jacques de Beynac with his wife, and whose name had been changed to Canolle as the French pronounced Knolle. The whole genealogy is shown in this book.
- Pierre Joseph Henry Fort Robert, marquis de Canolle, was born on 16 May 1820 and his sister Léontine de Canolle in 1822. The former was married to Louise Marie Charlotte de Julien de Pégueiroles, daughter of Antoine Honoré Jules de Julien, marquis de Pégueiroles, and Marie Valentine Vaysse de Rainneville. They had a son Robert Henry de Canolle, who would have died by the end of the 19th C or the beginning of the 20th C (Obviously, the name Robert had been conserved through the centuries).
- Léontine married Charles Théophile de Seissan, baron de Marignan.
In the 15th C., even after the French had retaken Guienne definitely in 1451, the seigneurs de Canolle had feudal rights in the barony of Beynac, one of the four best baronies in the Périgord, which included burying rights in the church of St.Jacques there. For this reason it is assumed that a son of Robert de Knolles had married a daughter and heiress de Berjac.
Apart from the genealogy, Robert de Knolle is described as having served during 60 years under the kings Edw. III, Rich. II and Henry IV, as well as under all the famous princes and dukes, who were war leaders at that time. In 1370 he became lieutenant of the English king in France and commander of the Picardie. He had fortified Derval in Brittany, which was his main seat from where he went on his campaigns and raids, one of which led him to Paris where he camped in front of the walls. In 1377 he was governor of Brest in Britanny.
At the end of his military carreer, in 1399, he became great seneschal of Guienne. In the Feudal Aids of 1401-2 all his lands are enumerated, which he held in Norfolk.
In mid 18th century existed still a Richard Knollys esq. of Fleet Street in London, who was married to Hannah, daughter of Edward Salway of Stratford, Essex. Her eldest brother Theophilus was a director of the Bank of England and her younger brother a director of the South Sea Company, both dying s.p. (Burke's Hist. of the Commoners). This Richard in 1732 demanded from Thomas Thayer, esq., and Anne his wife a moiety of the manor of Broadwater and tenements there and in Lancing, Durrington and elsewhere in Sussex, with the advowsom of Broadwater, which were quitclaimed to him (Sussex Manors in FF). What a coincidence, the medieval family of de la Knelle in the 13th C. held land in Durrington of Broadwater.