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KNIPE, THOMAS (1638–1711), head-master of Westminster School, son of the Rev. Thomas Knipe, was born in 1638, most probably in Westminster. He was educated at Westminster School, whence in 1657 he was elected to a studentship at Christ Church, Oxford, but did not matriculate till 31 July 1658. He graduated B.A. 22 Feb. 1660, and M.A. 1 Dec. 1663. In the interval he acted as usher at his old school, and in 1663 became second master there. Dr. Busby [q. v.], the head-master, is said to have appreciated Knipe's merits. Knipe succeeded to Busby's post by a patent dated the very day, 6 April 1695, of Busby's death, and, though scarcely so brilliant as his predecessor, was respected and beloved by his pupils. A letter addressed by Knipe to Henry, lord Herbert of Cherbury [see under Herbert, Henry, 1654–1709], whose son was at Westminster School, shows that he was a strict disciplinarian (cf. Warner, Epistolary Curiosities, 1818, where Knipe's letter is printed). On 17 Oct. 1707 Knipe was installed a prebendary of Westminster, and died at Hampstead on 6 Aug. 1711 in his seventy-third year. He was buried on the 9th in the north cloister of Westminster Abbey, and a monument was put up to him by his widow in the south aisle. Knipe was married twice, first to a relative of Bishop Sprat, who died 26 Aug. 1685, and secondly to a widow, Alice Talbot, of St. Margaret's parish, who survived him until 8 March 1723; both his wives and several of his children also found sepulture in the abbey (see Chester, Registers of Westminster Abbey). A portrait of Knipe, painted by J. Dahl, has been engraved (see Noble, Continuation of Granger, ii. 119). Two of Knipe's descendants are also commemorated in the Abbey: Captain John Knipe, 90th regiment, who died at Gibraltar 25 Oct. 1798; and Captain Robert Knipe, 14th light dragoons, who was mortally wounded at the battle of Fuentes d'Onoro, 5 May 1811.

Knipe compiled and published two grammars for the use of Westminster scholars: ‘Ἀπολλοδὠρου τοῦ Ἀθηναίου Γραμματικοῦ Βιβλιοθήκη ἢ περὶ Θεῶν Βιβλίον,’ &c., London, 1686; and ‘Hebraicæ Grammaticæ Rudimenta,’ 1708. He also certainly took some part in, and is even said to have been the author of, the ‘Grammatica Busbeiana.’ To Knipe were dedicated in laudatory terms the Greek dialogues (1706) of Maittaire, second master at Westminster, and the ‘Historical Account of the Heathen Gods,’ by Dr. William King, an old pupil of Westminster.

[Wood's Athenæ (Bliss), iv. 643; Wood's Fasti (Bliss), ii. 223, 266; Welch's Alumni Westmonast. 1852; Stanley's Memorials of Westminster Abbey; Le Neve's Fasti, iii. 364; Nichols's Illustr. iii. 270; Anecdotes, i. 26, 489, iv. 556.]

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