KNYVETON (KNIVETON), Sir Gilbert (1582-1634), of Mercaston, Derbys. and Tannis, Herts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press




Family and Education

bap. 8 Feb. 1582, 1st s. of William Knyveton* and Matilda, da. of John Rollesley of Rollesley, Derbys.1 educ. G. Inn 1602; MA Oxf. 1605.2 m. (1) 1 Mar. 1606, Jane, da. and coh. of Andrew Grey of Hinxworth, Herts., 2s.; (2) 30 May 1634, Frances (d. by 6 Feb. 1641), da. and coh. of Sir Robert Dudley, formerly of Kenilworth Castle, Warws., self-styled duke of Northumberland,3 s.p. kntd. 29 May 1605;4 suc. fa. as 2nd bt. 19 Jan. 1632.5 d. 15 Nov. 1634.6 sig. Gilb[er]t Knyveton.

Offices Held

Freeman, Derby 1614;7 j.p. Derbys. 1620-3,8 commr. subsidy 1621-2, 1624,9 sheriff 1623-4,10 dep. lt. 1623-at least 1625;11 commr. mines, Card. 1625.12


After finishing his education, Knyveton attended the Court, where he was knighted in May 1605. Three months later he was awarded an honorary MA when the king and queen visited Oxford University.13 The following year he married a Hertfordshire heiress and settled at Tannis, in the north of the county.14 He probably owed his election for Derby in 1614 to his father’s patron, Gilbert Talbot†, 7th earl of Shrewsbury who, as the borough’s high steward, had helped the town procure a new charter in 1611.15 He may perhaps also have benefited from the fact that his father owned property in Derby, which he may have settled on Knyveton before the election.16 He left no mark on the surviving records of the Addled Parliament.

Knyveton’s father-in-law died in 1615, whereupon Knyveton commenced legal proceedings to secure his wife’s inheritance. These proved successful, and in 1618 he sold his wife’s property in Herefordshire.17 In about 1617 his father made over the family’s principal estate at Mercaston to him, and three years later he was added to the Derbyshire bench. As sheriff of Derbyshire in 1623-4 he was sued by the vicar of Mercaston for failure to pay tithes, and this may explain why he does not seem to have been restored to the bench after his term in office was finished.18 In 1634 he remarried, taking as his wife the daughter of the illegitimate son of Sir Robert Dudley, who was living in Italy where he had converted to Catholicism and, with the support of the Holy Roman Emperor, assumed his grandfather’s title of duke of Northumberland. However, six months after he remarried Knyveton was dead. He evidently left no will, and no grant of administration has been found. His heir, Sir Andrew, the royalist governor of Tutbury Castle, was forced to sell most of the estate, and on the death of the latter’s younger son Thomas in about 1706 the family became extinct.19

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Virginia C.D. Moseley


  • 1. Add. 6675, f. 311.
  • 2. GI Admiss.; Al. Ox.
  • 3. C142/486/104; CB, i. 51; Oxford DNB sub Dudley, Sir Robert; PROB 11/185, f. 179.
  • 4. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 138.
  • 5. C142/486/104.
  • 6. C142/530/157.
  • 7. HEHL, HA5458.
  • 8. C231/4, f. 105; C66/2310.
  • 9. C212/22/20-1, 23.
  • 10. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 31.
  • 11. C231/4, f. 153; E401/2586, p. 144.
  • 12. T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 1, p. 48.
  • 13. J. Nichols, Progs. of Jas. I, i. 556.
  • 14. VCH Herts. iv. 20, 22; PROB 11/125, f. 225.
  • 15. C66/1909/4.
  • 16. C2/Jas.I/K2/3.
  • 17. Add. 38476, f. 46; VCH Herts. iv. 20, 22.
  • 18. C2/Jas.I/B37/8.
  • 19. D. Lysons and S. Lysons, Magna Brittannia, v. pp. lxix-lxx; CB, i. 51.