Sir Francis Knollys, MP

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Francis Knollys, Jr.

Death: 1643 (50-59)
Immediate Family:

Son of Rear Admiral Sir Francis Knollys, Kt., MP and Lettice Knollys
Husband of Cecilia Browne and Ellen Knollys
Brother of Leticia Hampden and Richard Knollys

Occupation: MP for Reading
Managed by: Vance Barrett Mathis
Last Updated:

About Sir Francis Knollys, MP

Family and Education b. c.1592, 2nd s. of Sir Francis Knollys I* (d.1648) and Catherine, da. of William Carey of Aldenham, Herts.; bro. of Robert*. educ. Queen’s, Oxf. 1604, aged 12, BA 1607; M. Temple 1610.1 m. (1) 26 Dec. 1611, Ellen (bur. 3 Oct. 1629), da. and h. of Richard Milles of Lower Winchendon, Bucks. 3s. (at least 1 d.v.p.);2 (2) 8 Aug. 1633, Cicely (bur. 12 Sept. 1677), da. of Richard Browne of Betchworth Castle, Kent, wid. of Robert Edolph (d.1631) of St. Anne, Blackfriars, London and Hinxhill, Kent, ?s.p.3 kntd. by 5 Mar. 1623.4 bur. 17 May 1643.5

Offices Held Commr. sewers, Berks. 1638, Berks. and Wilts. 1639, oyer and terminer, Berks. 1640,6 assessment 1643, sequestration of delinquents 1643, levying of money, Berks. and Reading 1643.7

Biography Knollys was sent to university with his elder brother Robert, but thereafter their paths diverged. While Robert embarked on a military career and foreign travel and remained unattached, Knollys married the daughter of a Buckinghamshire squire and settled in his native Reading. The date on which his knighthood was bestowed has not been firmly established, but it was sometime before 5 Mar. 1623, when the Reading corporation referred in its minutes to his father as Sir Francis ‘the elder’. During the 1620s Knollys was elected to Parliament for Reading on four successive occasions, each time backed by his uncle, Viscount Wallingford (William Knollys†). In the contested elections of 1626 and 1628 John Saunders* garnered more votes than Knollys, but in deference to the latter’s superior social status Saunders was always returned as the junior burgess.8 Knollys played almost no recorded part in the parliaments of the 1620s. However, on 3 Feb. 1629 he was added to the committee that was appointed to examine the information that was to be presented that afternoon by the merchants John Rolle* and Richard Chambers concerning the seizure of their goods by the customs officers.9

The elder Sir Francis Knollys proved extraordinarily long-lived, and consequently Knollys himself was denied local office until his father was in his dotage: the claim that he was a magistrate as early as 1627 is questionable.10 Both men were returned to Parliament for Reading in April 1640, and were subsequently elected to the Long Parliament later that year. On both occasions Knollys took the junior seat. He expired in May 1643, outlived by his father, and was buried in the church of St. Laurence, Reading. No will or administration has been found.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629 Author: Andrew Thrush Notes 1.Al. Ox.; M. Temple Admiss. 2. C. Coates, Hist. and Antiqs. of Reading, 230; F.G. Lee, Hist. Church of Thame, 595-6. 3. GL, ms 4509/1; Allegations for Mar. Lics. issued by Bp. of London 1611-1828 ed. J. Chester, 806; P. Parsons, Monuments and Painted Glass in Kent, 49; Coates, 231; PROB 11/355, f. 174. 4.Reading Recs. ed. J.M. Guilding, ii. 117. 5. Coates, 230. 6. C181/5, pp. 198, 270, 354. 7.A. and O. i. 89, 110, 146. 8.Reading Recs. ii. 169, 270, 273, 386-7; HMC 11th Rep. VII, p. 221. 9.CJ, i. 926a. 10. M.F. Keeler, Long Parl. 244, bases her assertion on Reading Recs. ii. 353, which shows merely that he was present with other leading figures in the town at the reading of the will of the wealthy clothier John Kendrick.

Sir Francis Knollys (1592 – 1643) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons variously between 1624 and 1643.

Knollys was the son of Sir Francis Knollys of Battle Manor at Reading in Berkshire and his wife, Lettice, daughter of John Barrett of Hanham in Gloucestershire. He matriculated at Queen's College, Oxford in 1604 aged 12. He was awarded BA on 23 January 1607, and was a student of Middle Temple in 1610.[1]

In 1624 Knollys was elected Member of Parliament for Reading and was re-elected in 1625, 1626 and 1628. He sat until 1629 when King Charled decided to rule without parliament.[2]

In April 1640, Knollys was re-elected MP for Reading in the Short Parliament with his father. He was re-elected for the Long Parliament in November 1640 and sat until his death in 1643.[2]

Knollys was Deputy Lieutenant of Berkshire. He married twice and had three sons and two daughters by his first wife. He predeceased his father, dying at the age of 51, and was buried in the family vault in St Laurence's Church, Reading on 17 May 1643.[1]