Sir Henry Knollys, MP

Is your surname Knollys?

Research the Knollys family

Sir Henry Knollys, MP's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Henry Knollys, MP

Birthplace: Kingsbury, Warwickshire, England
Death: Died in Berkshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Francis Knollys and Catherine Carey, Chief Lady of the Bedchamber
Husband of Margaret Knollys
Father of Elizabeth Willoughby and Lettice Knollys
Brother of Lettice Knollys, Countess of Essex & Leicester; Mary Stalker; William Knollys, 1st Earl of Banbury; Edward Knollys, MP; Sir Robert Knollys, MP and 8 others

Occupation: Member Of Parliment
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Sir Henry Knollys, MP

  • KNOLLYS, Henry II (c.1542-82), of Ewelme, Oxon. and Kingsbury, Warws.
  • b. c.1542, 1st s. of Sir Francis Knollys and bro. of Edward, Francis, Richard, Robert and William. educ. Magdalen Coll. sch. Oxf.; ?Magdalen Coll. Oxf.; ?G. Inn 1564. m. 1565, Margaret (d.1606), da. and h. of Sir Ambrose Cave, 2da.1
  • Offices Held
    • Keeper of Moulton park, Northants. 1568; esquire of the body by 1570; master of the toyles 1570; capt. in Ireland 1573; j.p.q. Warws. from c.1574, Oxon. from c.1578; commr. musters, Warws. by 1573, Oxon. 1580; constable, Wallingford castle and steward of honour of Ewelme and keeper of park 1578.2
  • Under Mary, Knollys either went abroad or continued quietly with his education at Oxford. His father, who had returned from Strasbourg by the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign, was no doubt responsible for bringing him into Parliament for Reading. No mention of him has been found in the journals for his first two Parliaments. In the first session of the 1572 Parliament his name appears next to his uncle Henry’s in the list of the conference with the Lords to consider the question of Mary Queen of Scots, 12 May 1572, and in the last session he was named to the committee of the seditious practices bill, 1 Feb. 1581, and to examine the charge of outlawry against Walter Vaughan, 6 Feb.3
  • Knollys succeeded in right of his wife to estates in Hemlingford, Kingsbury and Nuneaton, Warwickshire, much of it formerly monastic property, and to lands in Herefordshire and Leicestershire. He had a residence at Ewelme, Oxfordshire, and a house at Greenwich. He served against the northern rebels in 1569, and on 16 Jan. 1570 the Queen wrote to the Earl of Sussex and Sir Ralph Sadler asking them to give custody of rebels’ lands and goods to Knollys, ‘whom you know what reason we have to regard, in respect of his kindred to us’. Sussex would gladly have ‘pleasured my cousin [Knollys] before any man in the southern army except Charles Howard’ but had already granted the property in question to Sadler’s son.
  • Next, Knollys served in Ireland under his brother-in-law Walter Devereux, Earl of Essex, and in 1578 he sailed with Sir Humphrey Gilbert on his voyage to North America. In November Gilbert wrote to Walsingham about ‘Mr. Knollys’s unkind and ill dealing ... and of his separating company on the voyage’ Between October and December 1579 Knollys was accused of receiving goods taken by pirates, and of spoiling a subject of the King of Spain on the seas. Finally, just before his early death, Knollys fitted out an expedition in the service of the Portuguese claimant Don Antonio. The Privy Council objecting, he was ordered to return to court upon his allegiance. He made his will in the Netherlands on the day he died, 21 Dec. 1582, committing it to his ‘cousin’ John, later Sir John Norris. Apart from a religious preamble the whole will deals with his debts. His wife, the executrix, was to sell his house at Greenwich and take the advice of ‘Mr. Edward Williams, of the Inner Temple, whose counsel I have always used in my business’. Two daughters are mentioned, Elizabeth, who married Henry Willoughby, and Lettice, later the wife of William, 5th Lord Paget. The will was proved 14 May 1583.4
  • From:


  • Henry Knollys1
  • M, #61539, b. circa 1542, d. 1582
  • Last Edited=1 Feb 2015
  • Henry Knollys was born circa 1542.2 He was the son of Sir Francis Knollys and Katherine Carey.2,1 He married Margaret Cave, daughter of Rt. Hon. Sir Ambrose Cave and Margery Willington, in 1565.3,2 He died in 1582.2
  • He held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Reading in 1563.2 He lived at Kingsbury, Warwickshire, England.1
  • Child of Henry Knollys and Margaret Cave
    • Lettice Knollys+4 d. 1655
  • Citations
  • [S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume X, page 284. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
  • [S37] BP2003 volume 2, page 2808. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  • [S37] BP2003. [S37]
  • [S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume X, page 283.
  • From:


  • Henry KNOLLYS (Sir Knight)
  • Born: ABT 1541, Kingsbury, Warwickshire, England
  • Died: 1582/3
  • Notes: eldest son, lived at Kingsbury, Warwickshire, was educated at Magdalen College School, Oxford, and, after accompanying his father to Germany, is said to have matriculated at the college (although his name does not appear in the university register) and to have obtained there the reputation of being a very cultivated and religious man. He was elected Member of Parliament for Shoreham in 1563 and for Oxfordshire in 1572. He accompanied his brother-in-law, Walter Devereux, Earl of Essex, to Ireland in 1574 and was made an Esquire of the Body to Queen Elizabeth. He married, before 11 Apr 1568, Margaret (1549-1600), the daughter of Sir Ambrose Cave, by whom he had two daughters, Elizabeth (died before 1632), wife of Sir Henry Willoughby of Risley (d.1649) in Derbyshire, and Leticia, wife of William, 4th Lord Paget (d. 20 Aug 1629), from whom descend the Marquises of Anglesey. Henry died in 1583.
  • Father: Francis KNOLLYS (Sir Knight)
  • Mother: Catherine CAREY (Chief Lady of Bedchamber)
  • Married: Margaret CAVE (d. 1606) (dau. of Sir Ambrose Cave, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Margaret Willington) 16 Jul 1565
  • Children:
    • 1. Elizabeth KNOLLYS
    • 2. Lettice KNOLLYS (B. Paget of Beaudasert)
  • From: KNOLLYS1


  • Sir Henry Knollys
  • Birth: 1542 Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire, England
  • Death: Dec. 21, 1582, Netherlands
  • Sir Henry Knollys was the eldest son and heir of Sir Francis Knollys (Treasurer of the Royal household) and Catherine Carey (Lady of the Bedchamber to Elizabeth I).He married to Margaret Cave daughter and heir to Ambrose Cave. The weding took place at Durham House on the Strand. The wedding attended by Queen Elizabeth. It was celebrated with a ball, a tourney, and two masques. They had two daughters, Elizabeth (c.1579-before 1632) and Lettice (c.1583-1655). He studied at Magdalen College, Oxfordshire, England. where he obtained the reputation of being a very cultivated and religious man. At the age of 21 he was an elected Member of Parliament for Shoreham in 1563 and for Oxfordshire. In 1563he was also named to the Privy Council. The courts of law took over the business of dispensing justice, while Parliament became the supreme legislature of the kingdom. He had joined his half-third cousin - John Norreys, fighting for Dutch independence from Spain. He died in the Netherlands, presumably of wounds or disease, on the day he made his will 21st December 1582. (this bio was prepared by 9th great granddaughter of Sir Henry Knollys)
  • Family links:
  • Parents:
  • Francis Knollys (1514 - 1596)
  • Katherine Carey Knollys (1524 - 1568)
  • Spouse:
  • Margaret Cave Knollys (1549 - 1606)*
  • Siblings:
  • Henry Knollys (1542 - 1582)
  • Lettice Knollys Dudley (1543 - 1634)*
  • William Knollys (1545 - 1632)*
  • Robert Knowles (1547 - 1619)*
  • Richard Knowles (1548 - 1596)*
  • Elizabeth Knowles Leighton (1549 - 1605)*
  • Francis Knowles (1550 - 1648)*
  • Anne Knollys West (1555 - 1608)*
  • Anne Knowles West (1555 - 1633)*
  • Katharine Knowles Boteler (1560 - 1632)*
  • Burial: St Nicholas Stanford-on-Avon, Stanford-on-Avon, Daventry District, Northamptonshire, England
  • Plot: Monument
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 100279852
  • From:


  • CAVE, Sir Ambrose (by 1503-68), of Duddeston, Nuneaton and Kingsbury, Warws.; Stanford, Northants. and Rothley, Leics.
  • b. by 1503, s. of Richard Cave of Stanford by his 2nd w. Margaret, da. of John or Thomas Saxby of Northants.; bro. of Francis. m. Margaret, da. and coh. of William Willington of Barcheston, Warws., wid. of Thomas Holte† (d.1546) of Duddeston, 1da. Kntd. 1525.1
  • Offices Held
    • .... etc.
  • .... The wedding of his 17 year-old daughter Margaret to Henry Knollys was celebrated in 1565 with such magnificence that the Spanish ambassador included an account of it in his despatches to Philip II. The Queen attended the supper and the French ambassador, expected for dinner only, then wished to stay, causing Cave to ask the Spaniard to withdraw his acceptance. He would ‘certainly not stay at home for the sake of the French ambassador’, and complained to the Queen, who had to smooth things over. It may have been the expense of these celebrations, and the large marriage settlement, that forced Cave to sell his manor of Rothley to the Babingtons.7
  • Cave died 2 Apr. 1568. His funeral, at which Sir Francis Knollys was a chief mourner, took place at the Savoy chapel on the 10th. .... The list of bequests to friends shows his close connexion with many of the leading statesmen and courtiers of the time—to Cecil a piece of plate ‘well worth £10’, to Sir Francis Knollys ‘my best gown’, to Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, a silver flagon, and to Sir Edward Saunders, chief baron of the Exchequer, another £10 worth of plate. These four, with Richard Onslow and Miles Sandys, were asked to act as overseers to the executors, Francis and Brian Cave, Henry Knollys and Cave’s servants John Cade and Edward Williams. The last named, for his ‘expert keeping’ of his master’s books, reckonings and inventories, was to have £20, a gelding and a mare. There were also generous and detailed bequests to other friends, relatives and servants, as well as charitable legacies, including money to support four poor scholars to study divinity, two at each university. The residuary legatees were Cave’s daughter and her husband.8
  • From:


  • HOLTE, Edward (1542-93), of Aston and Duddeston, Warws.
  • b. 1542, 1st s. of Thomas Holte† by Margaret or Margery, da. and coh. of William Willington of Barcheston. educ. M. Temple 1561. m. Dorothy, da. of John Ferrers of Tamworth castle, 3s. 7da. suc. fa. 1546.
  • Offices Held
    • J.p. Warws. from c.1574, sheriff 1583-4.
  • Holte was brought up in the household of Sir John St. Leger. He was related through his mother (who married Sir Ambrose Cave) to numerous influential families—Grevilles, Plowdens, Sheldons, Throckmortons and others. His step-sister Margaret Cave married before 1571 Henry Knollys II, son and heir of Sir Francis, to whom, presumably, Holte must have owed his return to Parliament for a Cornish borough, and whose religious views he may have shared. .... etc.
  • From:


  • Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 09
  • Cave, Ambrose by Sidney Lee
  • CAVE, Sir AMBROSE (d. 1568), chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, was fourth son of Roger Cave of Stanford, Northamptonshire, by his second wife, Margaret Saxby. It is stated that he was a student at one time at St. John's College, Cambridge, and at another at Magdalen, Oxford. .... Cave died 2 April 1568, and was buried at Stanford.
  • He married Margaret, daughter of William Willington of Barcheston, Warwickshire, and widow of Thomas Holte, justice of North Wales. By her he had one child, Margaret, wife of Henry Knollys, son of Sir Henry Knollys, K.G.
  • .... etc.
  • From:,_Ambrose_(DNB00)


  • Genealogical Memoirs of the Extinct Family of Chester of Chicheley ..., Volume 1 By Robert Edmond Chester Waters
  • .... etc.
  • IV. SIR AMBROSE CAVE is called in his father's Will a Knight of Rhodes, which was the popular name for a Knight Hospitaller of the aristocratic Order of St. John of Jerusalem. He was admitted into the Order in 1525, and claimed the Commandery of Shengay, which involved him in much litigation. When the Order was dissolved by Statute in 1540, a pension of 100 marks per annum was assigned to him. His release from his vows must have been highly acceptable to him ; for we soon find him married to an heiress and engaged actively in political life. He was M.P. for Leicestershire in two Parliaments of Queen Mary, and then for Warwickshire until his death. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth he was sworn of her Privy Council, and on 22d December 1558 was made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. With all the zeal of a convert he formally complained to the House of Commons on 6th March 1558-9, that Alderman White had slandered him by stating that he misliked the Book of Common Prayer ; but the Alderman explained, that Sir Ambrose had only wished that the book might be well considered ; and so the matter ended, after having fulfilled its probable purpose of displaying the zeal of the new Chancellor for the religious innovations of his royal mistress. He was constantly employed by Queen Elizabeth unil his death, which took place on 2d April 1568. He died in
  • London, and his obsequies were solemnly performed in the Church of the Savoy on 10th April 1568, but his body was afterwards carried to Stanford. His only daughter Margaret was born 25th April 1559, and married before her father's death Henry Knollys, the son and heir apparent of Sir Francis Knollys K.G. Sir Ambrose Cave seems to have been educated at St. John's College Cambridge and Magdalen College Oxford ; for he founded two scholarships in each of those colleges with preference to his kindred. His flattery of Queen Elizabeth has been perpetuated by a portrait of him with a yellow garter round his left arm. One night at Court the Queen's garter had slipped off whilst she was dancing : Sir Ambrose picked it up and tied it on his left arm, vowing that he would wear it there for his mistress's sake as long as he lived. (8)
  • V. .... etc.


view all

Sir Henry Knollys, MP's Timeline

Warwickshire, England
Age 37
Of, Rotherfieldgrays, Oxfordshire, England
December 21, 1582
Age 40
Berkshire, England
Age 40
Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire, England
Of Stanford, Berkshire, England
Of Stanford, Berkshire, England