Catherine (Stanley) Knyvet
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Catherine (Stanley) Knyvet (abt. 1546 - bef. 1568)

Catherine Knyvet formerly Stanley
Born about in Lathom, Ormskirk, Lancashire, Englandmap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married about 4 Mar 1565 [location unknown]
Died before in New Buckenham, Norfolk, Englandmap
Profile manager: Rob Pavey private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 3 Apr 2019 | Last significant change: 11 Jan 2022
03:05: Susie (Potter) Officer edited the Biography for Catherine (Stanley) Knyvet (abt.1546-bef.1568). (Categorization. ) [Thank Susie for this]
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The Birth Date is a rough estimate. See the text for details.



Early Life

Artist's impression of Lathom House.

Catherine was born sometime between June 1538 and March 1551 (see research notes). She was the daughter of Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby and his 3rd wife, Margaret Barlow.[1][2][3] Most likely she was born at Lathom House in Lancashire, the home of her father.[4]

She was the youngest child of Edward Stanley. There is some disagreement over the mother of her sister Margaret but most likely she had one older full sister Margaret and seven older half-siblings.[1]

Her mother died on 23 February 1558/9. Her father remarried about 3 years later to his fourth wife Mary Cotton

Marriage and Children

Buckenham Castle

Catherine married Sir Thomas Knyvet MP, son of Sir Edmund Knyvet and his wife Anne Shelton in about 1565. The date of the marriage settlement was 4 March 1564/5.[2] There is a record in the General Court Roll a few days later of her father and her husband acknowledging that they owed each other thousands of pounds.[5]

They lived at Buckenham Castle in Norfolk, Thomas' ancestral home, where there were ten chambers for the family, four living rooms, five service rooms and twelve chambers for the servants.[2] Buckenham Castle was adjacent to New Buckenham but actually in the parish of Old Buckenham.

Catherine bore her husband three children:

  1. Thomas the first son and heir. Born 14 January 1565/6 and baptised seven days later in New Buckenham.
  2. Henry the second son. Baptised 2 June 1567 at St George Colegate in Norwich.
  3. Jhone a daughter who died soon after birth and was baptised and buried on the same day, 2 June 1568, in New Buckenham.
Location of Buckenham Castle in relation to New and Old Buckenham (map 1836)

Death and Legacy

Catherine died about twenty days after the birth of her third child and was buried on 22 June 1568 in New Buckenham, Norfolk, England.[6][7]

Her husband Thomas died just over one year later on 22 September 1569. In his will he provided for their sons Thomas and Henry so they must still have been alive at that point, son Thomas being almost 4 and Henry being 2 years old.[8]

Their son Thomas' wardship was granted to Lord Cobham on 11 November 1570.[2]

The will put their son Henry under the care of the executors until he was 8 and then into the care of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge where he was to be educated until the age of 16.[8]

Catherine's father, the Earl of Derby, was one of the supervisors of her husband's will. He died on 24 October 1572 less than 3 years after her husband's death. Of the four supervisors, all kinsmen to her husband, Thomas Earl of Sussex (1525 - 1583) lived the longest. When he died Catherine's son Henry would have been about 16 (if he was still living).

Research Notes

Estimate of birth date

Estimating earliest possible birth date

We do not have birth or baptism records for any of Catherine's siblings.

Her father married his 2nd wife Dorothy Howard after October 1530 (when her brother the Duke of Norfolk was asking for a dispensation for the marriage).[9]

That couple had 7 children (some profiles say 8). The first could not have been born before June 1531. There could have been twins but probably unlikely to be more than one set. Say the last of seven children was born (at the earliest) 5 years later in June 1536.

If we assume at least 6 months passed until he married his 3rd wife Margaret Barlow then the earliest date for that marriage would be December 1536.

Then 9 months until Catherine’s old sister Margaret Stanley was born would give Margaret an earliest birth date of September 1537.

Then at least 9 months until Catherine’s birth gives the earliest birth date estimate of of June 1538.

Estimating latest possible birth date

She had her first child baptized 14 Jan 1565/6 so she could not have married Thomas Knyvet before April 1565. There is a marriage settlement date of 4 March 1564/5 which fits with that.

The church did not approve of marriages under the age of 14 so she must have been born before March 1551.

Also, her mother died on 23 February 1558-9 so she was born before that.

Where in the range is most likely?

So we have an estimated birth range of June 1538 - March 1551.

There are no records that give any guidance within that range. We could assume that the most likely age for her to marry might be 18. Which would give a birth date of March 1547. A date of somewhere in the year 1546 seems reasonable to imply that she had reached the age of 18.

Thus the birth estimate of "About 1546".

Was she the first wife of Thomas Knyvet?

In Thomas' will it refers to her as "the ladie Catherine my laste wyfe". That could be an indication that he had a previous wife but no other evidence has been found to suggest this.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Visitation of Lancs 1567: "The Visitation of the County Palatine of Lancaster, made in the year 1567 by William Flower, Esq, Norroy King of Arms"
    in "Remains Historical & Literary connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester, LXXXI, (Manchester: The Chetham Society, 1870)", Rev F R Raines, ed. Family Tree on page 78. (accessed 18 December 2020)
    Also at Hathi Trust (accessed 18 December 2020)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Husband's MP Biography (Mimardière): "KNYVET, Sir Thomas (by 1528-69), of Buckenham Castle, Norf." Author: A. M. Mimardière
    Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981 History of Parliament online (accessed 13 December 2020)
  3. Husband's MP Biography (Virgoe): "KNYVET, Sir Thomas (by 1528-69), of Buckenham Castle, Norf]" Author: Roger Virgoe
    Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982 History of Parliament online (accessed 13 December 2020)
  4. Lathom House: British History Online (accessed 19 December 2020)
  5. Debts between Edward, her father, and Thomas, her husband:
    "General court roll" 1563-1564 National Archives (accessed 12 December 2020)
    Memo. 14th March, 7 Eliz. Edward Earl of Derby acknowledged that he owes Thomas Knivett of Buckenham Castell, co.Norfolk kt. £2000 for worn wool and other merchandise
    Memo. 14th March 7 Eliz. Thomas Knyvett of Buckenham Castell co.Norfolk, kt. acknowledges that he owes Edward Earl of Derby £6000
  6. Burial: Original Parish Records for New Buckenham
    FindMyPast Image
    "Cathryn Knyvet gentlewoman ye wyfe of Sr(?) Thomas(?) Knyvet was buried ye XXij of June”
    FindMyPast Transcription (accessed 12 December 2020)
    First name(s) Cateryn
    Last name Knyvet
    Sex Unknown
    Occupation Gentellwoman
    Birth year -
    Burial year 1568
    Burial date 22 Jun 1568
    Parish New Buckenham
    Diocese Norwich
    Next of kin name Sr Thomas Knyvet
    Next of kin relationship Wife of
    County Norfolk
    Country England
    Archive Norfolk Record Office
    Archive reference PD 540/1
    Archive year range 1538-1579
    Record set Norfolk Burials
  7. Burial: Neat version of Parish Records for New Buckenham
    "Catheren the wife of Sr Thomas Knivet was buried the 22 day of June"
    FindMyPast Transcription (accessed 12 December 2020)
    First name(s) Katheren
    Last name Kinvet
    Sex Female
    Birth year -
    Burial year 1568
    Burial date 22 Jun 1568
    Parish New Buckenham
    Diocese Norwich
    Next of kin name Thomas Kinvet
    Next of kin relationship Wife of
    County Norfolk
    Country England
    Archive Norfolk Record Office
    Archive reference PD 540/3
    Archive year range 1538-1694
    Record set Norfolk Burials
  8. 8.0 8.1 Husband's Will: "England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858"
    Ancestry Browsable Image
    Free Ancestry Sharing Images: Page1, Page2, Page3, Page4, Pages5
    Transcribed here
    Ancestry Record 5111 #913488 (accessed 4 December 2020)
    Name: Thome Knevet [Thomas Knevet]
    Residence: Buckenham Austell, Norfolk, England
    Transcription error: should be Buckenham Castell
    Probate Date: 11 Feb 1569 [1570 Feb 11]
    Death Year: Abt 1569
    Source Citation The National Archives; Kew, Surrey, England;
    Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Series PROB 11;
    Class: PROB 11; Piece: 52
    Original data: Prerogative Court of Canterbury: Wills of Selected Famous Persons.
    Digitized images.
    Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Series PROB 1.
    The National Archives, Kew, England.
  9. Marriage dates of her father:
    "A New Wife for Edward, 3rd Earl of Derby" by E.M. Zevin, M.A., M.Phil.
    Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, Vol. 134, 1984.
    Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire (accessed 12 December 2020)

See also:

  • This profile has been improved by a member of the England Project Orphan Trail

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