Robert William Knollys
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Robert William Knollys (1585 - 1613)

Robert William Knollys
Born in Faldingworth, Lincolnshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died [location unknown]
Profile last modified | Created 21 Sep 2016
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Date of birth from England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975.

From David Nash Ford's "Royal Berkshire History" (See [1])

"Robert had been appointed Usher of the Mint in the Tower of London on 5th February 1578 and by 1587 was a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber. He inherited the office of Keeper of Sion House upon the death of his father in 1596 and, the following year, accompanied his nephew, the Earl of Essex, on the 'Islands Voyage' to the Azores. They attacked the Spanish but defied the Queen's orders by pursuing the treasure fleet rather than ensuring the Spanish royal navy was disabled. Robert became a key member of the Earl's entourage and, later that year, is recorded in Finisterre, carrying messages from him to the Queen. However, unlike his brother, Francis, he was never implicated in the infamous Essex Rebellion.

Robert was quite a sportsman. He used to play bowls against the Earl of Shrewsbury and was famous in the tilt-yards, where he was so badly hurt in 1602 that it was thought he would not recover. However, by the following year he had been made an esquire of the Body and on 24th July, he was created a Knight of the Bath. He did eventually die after a fall from his horse, not in the jousts, but while riding on his brother's estate at Caversham in January 1619. Sir Robert and his wife had no sons, but two daughters: Lettice the wife of the Sheriff of Norfolk, Framlingham Gawdy of West Harling, and Frances (sometimes mistakenly called Catherine) the wife of Sir Charles Vaughan, eventually of Porthamel."

[Note: Robert's listed son, immigrant Henry Knollys, may not be his. Although there are multiple family trees on that make that connection, there is no record for Henry's DOB which mentions Robert on it there.


  • WikiTree profile Knowles-1189 created through the import of Terrass Family Tree.ged on Jul 7, 2011 by Richard Terrass. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Richard and others.

Henry Knollys, Oxford University Alumni, 1500-1886 1500-1714, Volume II K[2]

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Comments: 5

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This biography conflates Robert son of Sir Francis the younger with Robert Knollys-153 son of Sir Francis the elder. I will research this Robert and add some sources.
Is there any sourced for a second given name? Very unusual for the time.
posted by C. Mackinnon
In your note you mention that there is a record which lists Henry Knowles at Oxford and lists his father as "Rob." It then states, "having matriculated at 17 in 1704." Since Robert William Knollys died in 1613, the matriculation cannot be referring to him. Since Henry Knowles, the supposed son of Robert, died in 1670, it cannot be referring to him, either. Since the John Knowles you have researched do not fit the bill, how about Thomas? There's a listing on (not always the best researched) for Thomas Knowles, born 1587 in West Riding, England, died 1676 in England. Spouse was Jane Conant.
posted by Harold Templeton
The text says he had no sons but lists Henry Knowles as his son. This contradiction confuses me.
posted by Daniel Allen

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