Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Knolles, Thomas
KNOLLES, THOMAS (d. 1537), president of Magdalen College, Oxford, was born in Westgate, York. He was a secular priest, educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, whence he graduated M.A., and became in 1495 fellow of the college, proceeding B.D. on 19 April 1515, and D.D. June 1518. He is said to have been rector of South Kirkby, Yorkshire. From 31 July 1502 till his death he was vicar of All Saints, Wakefield. Wood calls him ‘a learned man,’ and says he was much followed for his preaching in Yorkshire. From 1507 to 1529 he was subdean of York, and in 1529 became a prebendary of the cathedral. On the resignation of Laurence Stubbs in 1527 Knolles was elected president of Magdalen. He seems to have exerted some influence at the university, and was a friend of Cromwell, with whom he corresponded (see Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, vols. v. viii. ix. x.) On 3 Feb. 1535 he resigned his headship, in accordance with a promise made the year before to Cromwell, who desired the post for another friend (Marshall). The latter was, however, not elected. Knolles retired to Wakefield, where he died on 9 May 1537. By his will, which is still extant at York, he desired to be buried near his parents in the south aisle of All Saints' Church, Wakefield. The gravestone has disappeared, but Walker (see Cathedral Church of Wakefield, p. 191) copied the Latin inscription from Dodsworth's notes in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
[Le Neve's Fasti, iii. 131, 316, 561; Wood's Fasti, ed. Bliss, i. 35, 43, 48; Oxf. Univ. Reg. (Oxf. Hist. Soc.), i. 82; Sisson's Hist. of Wakefield Church, p. 15; Bloxam's Register of Magdalen College, ii. 321, iii. 82, iv. 7, 10, 46.]