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Robert Knolles

Also Known As: "Knollys"
Birthplace: North Mimms, Herefordshire, England
Death: circa 1485 (64-73)
North Mimms, Herefordshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas ll Knolles and Isabel Knolles
Husband of Elizabeth Knollys
Father of Anne Frowyke and Elizabeth Stracheley
Brother of Richard Knolles; John Knolles; Sister Beatrice Knolles; Johanna Baron and Isabella Knolles

Managed by: Brian Dennis Siney
Last Updated:

About Robert Knolles

1485 pos. date of death


Robert Knollys, son of Thomas and Isabell, was born some time before 1417 based on his age of 28 or above given at the Inquisition Post Mortem of his father Thomas in 1445.[1]

Robert was then named in the 1434 will of his grandfather Thomas Knolles [3] and then in the 1445 will of his father. [4] Soon after the death of his father, Robert entered into an agreement with his younger brother Richard that he would pay him 100 marks a year from the North Mymms estate in Hertfordshire which he had just inherited. [5] Attornment by Robert Knolles, esquire, son and heir of Thomas Knolles, late citizen and grocer of London, deceased, to Richard Knolles his brother, whom he has put in peaceable possession, by the payment of 1d. of a yearly rent of 100 marks issuing from the manor of North Mymmes. Nicholas Wotton, citizen and clothier of London, Richard Hardy, and Thomas Selowe, granted the said rent to John Fray, chief baron of the king's exchequer, and Gilbert Worthyngton, clerk, on 26 March, 24 Henry VI. and on 27 March of the same year, demised the said manor to the said manor to the said Robert in tail male, with remainder to his brother, Richard Knolles, in tail male; and the said John and Gilbert on 28 March of the same year, granted the said rent to the said Richard Knolles, in tail male: Herts. Dated: 29 March, 24 Henry VI. [6]

Robert and Elizabeth reputedly had two daughters: Anne, who married Henry Frowick, and Elizabeth who married James Stracheley. [5] There are no sources that suggest they were the parents of Robert Knollys who resided at Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire.

Robert died with no living male heirs [14] and the North Mimms manor went to his daughters Ann and Elizabeth and their respective husbands Henry Frowyck and James Stracheley. [11] Suggests he was first married to In about 1436 Elizabeth Seman, daughter of London goldbeater and Master of the King's Mint, Bartholomew Seman sometimes known as Bartholomew Goldbeter.

North Mymms History Project A short history of the Knolles and Frowick families link

Robert Knolles married Elizabeth Troutbeck of Dunham, Cheshire, widow of Sir Hugh Venables and daughter of Sir William Troutbeck, Chamberlain of Chester. Elizabeth's brother, Sir John Troutbeck, was killed at the battle of Blore Heath in 1459 (the first battle of the War of the Roses), fighting on the Lancastrian side. Robert and Elizabeth had four children, two boys who died young, as represented on the brass memorial in the chancel of St Mary's Church at North Mymms, and two daughters, Anne, who married Henry Frowick, and Elizabeth who married James Stracheley.
The date of Robert's death is not known for he did not leave a will and on the memorial inscription there is left a blank, suggesting that Robert's wife died before him. A translation of the inscription (in Latin) reads

"Here lie Robert Knolles, esquire, who died [blank] day of the month [blank] the year of our Lord one thousand four hundred [blank] and Elizabeth his wife, who died the 28th day of the month of November, the year of our Lord four hundred and fifty eight : and their sons ; God have mercy on their souls. Amen"

With his death the main branch of the Knolles family died out, to be continued in a cadet line by his brother Richard, ancestor of Sir Francis Knollys, and the current Viscount Knollys. North Mymms manor was divided into two halves with each daughter receiving a moiety.


  • 'Parishes: North Mimms', in A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 2, ed. William Page (London, 1908), pp. 251-261. British History Online [accessed 16 May 2021]. This Thomas Knolles, lord of all the manor of North Mimms, died in 1435–6, and left as his heir a son Thomas, (fn. 53) who, like his father, is called citizen and grocer of London. (fn. 54) He devised the manor to his son Robert, who came into possession in 1446, and in that year settled it on himself and his heirs, with remainder to his brother Richard, in tail male. (fn. 55) In 1457 Robert did homage to Richard duke of York for the manor which he held of the honour of Clare by military service, (fn. 56) and in 1478 he paid 6s. 8d. which he owed for suit at the court of the same honour. (fn. 57) In 1483 he discharged to the feodary of Essex and Hertfordshire the suit due from North Mimms to the honour of Stamlorne, (fn. 58) and in 1484 he paid 3s. 4d. to the feodary of the duchy of Lancaster in Essex and Hertfordshire, as suit of court to the honour of Mandeville. (fn. 59) Further, in 1484 he paid 4s. 4d. due to the sheriff of Hertfordshire, to the gardener of the 'king's grenewey,' (fn. 60) and in 1447, as the holder of one knight's fee in North Mimms, he contributed 2s. to the aid for the marriage of Princess Anne, the king's eldest daughter. (fn. 61)
  • Up to this date the manor appears to have been thickly wooded, (fn. 62), but Robert is responsible for the cutting down of much timber. (fn. 63) A moiety of his property was inherited by each of his two daughters, Anne who married Henry Frowick, and Elizabeth the wife of James Stracheley. (fn. 64) Henry and Anne Frowick held their share in 1495, (fn. 65) and in 1507 sued John More and Joan his wife for rent at their court of North Mimms. (fn. 66) They had a son Thomas who died without issue, and two daughters, Isabel who married Thomas Bedlowe and Elizabeth the wife of John Coningsby. (fn. 67) Anne's share of the manor came to John Coningsby and Elizabeth, (fn. 68) and in 1529–30 James Stracheley and Elizabeth conveyed their half of the manor to John Coningsby, (fn. 69) who thus became possessed of the whole manor. Elizabeth Coningsby survived her husband and afterwards married William Dodds, (fn. 70) and the manor was settled upon them for their lives in 1557 by Henry (later Sir Henry) Coningsby, son of John Coningsby and Elizabeth, with reversion to Henry. (fn. 71)
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Robert Knolles's Timeline

North Mimms, Herefordshire, England
Age 69
North Mimms, Herefordshire, England