KNYVET, Sir Thomas (by 1528-69), of Buckenham Castle, Norf.
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Family and Education
b. by 1528, 1st s. of Sir Edmund Knyvet of Buckenham Castle by Anne, da. of Sir John Shelton of Carrow. educ. Corpus, Camb. matric. 1544. m. settlement 4 Mar. 1565, Catherine, da. of Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl of Derby, 2s. suc. fa. 1 May 1551. Kntd. 2 Oct. 1553.1
J.p. Norf. 1554-60, 1566-d.; commr. sewers 1566.2
Thomas Knyvet was rising 23 when his father died. In October 1551 he became administrator of his father’s will but he had to wait for another year before being licensed to enter on his inheritance. He must have declared for Mary in 1553, for he was knighted at her coronation and put on the Norfolk commission, but save for his Membership of Parliament he is little heard of in public life. In May 1557 he led reinforcements from East Anglia to Calais.3
Knyvet was well connected. The 4th Duke of Norfolk was his second cousin and among his other kinsmen were three earls, Bath, Derby (one of whose daughters he was later to marry) and Sussex. Of these the 2nd Earl of Bath, a large landowner in Devon, was best placed to help him to his first seat at Plymouth, with the earl’s kinsman George Ferrers as the likely intermediary: Ferrers, who had himself sat twice for Plymouth, was to be a colleague of Knyvet’s in this Parliament as one of the Members for Brackley, and Brackley was in turn to provide Knyvet with a seat in 1559. At Bramber in 1555 it was doubtless the young Norfolk who was Knyvet’s patron. Knyvet’s appearance in the first Elizabethan Parliament was followed by his removal from the bench, probably on the ground of his religion, although he was to be restored to it three years before his death on 22 Sept. 1569.4