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Family and Education
This Member has not been identified. The detailed Knyvet pedigrees do not mention an Elizabethan Ralph or Ranulph. Possibly this Knyvet was related to the Sir Henry Knyvet who married a Killigrew widow and founded a short-lived family, Knyvet of Budock, Cornwall, about ten miles from Helston. The Killigrews would have been sufficiently influential at Helston to have Knyvet returned there. A less likely possibility (though Helston did return some Londoners) is a Randall Knevett, who made his will in December 1596, leaving 40s. for a ring to ‘Mistress Chrissett’, the testator’s ‘good friend attendant upon’ Lady Ralegh. No children are mentioned, but there were two stepchildren, a son and daughter of Randall’s wife Blanche. The only Knyvet or Knevett referred to in the will was a ‘kinsman’, John of Hairford or Hainford, Cheshire. No Cheshire place of this name appears in topographical dictionaries, and it is possible that Hainford, Norfolk is meant. This introduces a third possibility as the Helston MP, a Ralph Knyvet, ‘gentleman of Norfolk’, who wrote a pastoral, Rhodon and Iris, for the florists’ feast held at Norwich in May 1631. This was presumably the man who had a short time earlier produced Stratiotikon, or a Discourse of Military Discipline, with prefatory verses to Mr. Thomas Knyvet of Ashwellthorpe, ‘Auspicious be thy favours, like thy stars to mine and me’. In 1637 he wrote a funeral elegy on Lady Katherine Paston.
PCC 2 Cobham; Add. 19138, ff. 270-305 passim; Knyvett Letters (Norf. Rec. Soc. xx), 169.