Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 31.djvu/345

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his right hand, and there is a detailed account in Stow's ‘Annals,’ p. 581, of all the different household officials required to assist in what was evidently a new form of punishment. The assistants include the master cook for the king with the knife, the sergeant of the larder to set the knife right in the joint, the sergeant of the poultry with a cock, its head to be smitten off on the same block and by the same knife to be used for the criminal's hand, finally the sergeant of the cellar with ale and beer. All being ready, Knyvet was brought out, and after humbly confessing his guilt begged that the left instead of the right hand might be taken. ‘For,’ quoth he, ‘if my right hand be spared I may hereafter do such good service to his grace as shall please him to appoint.’ The justices, pleased by this submission, interceded with Henry VIII, who, ‘moved by the gentle heart of the said Edmund and the good report of lords and ladies,’ granted him a free pardon. Knevet died on 1 May 1546, and was buried in Ashwellthorpe Church, in a chapel adjoining the chancel; the inscription on his tomb is given in Weever's ‘Funerall Monuments,’ p. 815. His widow survived him till 17 Feb. 1561, and was also buried at Ashwellthorpe. Their son John, born, it is said, in 1524, died before his mother, and by his wife Agnes, daughter of Sir John Harcourt of Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire, was father of Sir Thomas Knyvet (d. 9 Feb. 1616–1617), who unsuccessfully claimed the title of Lord Berners. The signature ‘E. K.’ attached to poems in a manuscript collection preserved in the British Museum (Addit. MS. 17492) is explained as that of Knyvet; the principal contributors to the collection are Wyatt and Sir Thomas Howard.

[Holinshed, iii. 953; Dugdale's Baronage, ii. 424; Nichols's Proceedings of the Privy Council; Cobbett's State Trials, i. 443; Blomefield's Norfolk, i. 379; Cal. of State Papers; Le Neve's Pedigrees of Knights, p. 21; Notes and Queries, 6th ser. v. x. 269, 379, 477; Lupton's Life of Colet.]

E. T. B.

KNYVET or KNIVETT, Sir JOHN (d. 1381), chancellor of England, was eldest son of Richard Knyvet of Southwick, Northamptonshire, and custos of the forest of Clyve in that county, by Joanna, daughter and heiress of Sir John Wurth. Knyvet was practising in the courts as early as 1347; in 1357 he was called to the degree of serjeant-at-law, and on 30 Sept. 1361 was appointed a justice of the court of common pleas. On 29 Oct. 1365 he was raised to the office of chief justice of the king's bench (Fœdera, iii. 777, Record ed.) In the parliament of 1362 he served as a trier of petitions for Aquitaine and other lands over sea, and afterwards in each parliament down to 1380, except while he was chancellor, as a trier of petitions for England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland (Rot. Parl. vols. ii. and iii.) On 30 June 1372, after the death of Sir Robert Thorpe, who had been appointed chancellor in consequence of a petition by the commons that the great seal should be entrusted to laymen, Knyvet was appointed his successor. Knyvet held the office for four years and a half, acting with great wisdom and discretion; three speeches which he made at the opening of parliament in 1372, 1373, and 1376 respectively, are given in the ‘Rolls of Parliament’ (ii. 309 a, 316 a, 321 a). In January 1377 Edward III, under the influence of John of Gaunt, reverted to the custom of appointing ecclesiastical chancellors, and Adam de Houghton [q. v.] was appointed to succeed Knyvet on 11 Jan. Knyvet did not again hold judicial office, though he was appointed with the two chief justices to decide a question between the Earl of Pembroke and William la Zouch of Haryngworth (Rot. Parl. iii. 79). Knyvet died in 1381. Sir Edward Coke speaks of him as ‘a man famous in his profession,’ and praises his administration of the law (Fourth Inst. 78, 79). Further testimony to his worth is given by his appointment as executor of Edward III, and of other eminent persons. He married Eleanor, daughter of Ralph, lord Basset of Weldon, and by her left two sons, John and Ralph (cf. Bridges, History of Northamptonshire, ii. 354–5). He owned large estates in various counties, but especially in Northamptonshire (Cal. Inq. p. m. ii. 333, iii. 30).

[Authorities quoted; Foss's Lives of the Judges, iii. 451–3; Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors, i. 264–8.]

C. L. K.

KNYVET, Sir THOMAS (d. 1512), officer in the navy, eldest son of Edmund Knyvet of Buckenham in Norfolk, by Eleanor, sister of Sir James Tyrrell of Gipping, Suffolk, was brother of Sir Edmund Knyvet [q. v.] Thomas was knighted by Henry VIII in 1509, became master of the horse 26 Feb. 1509–10, and held among other offices that of keeper of the New Park belonging to the lordship of Berkeley (27 Aug. 1510). He married the widow of John Grey, second viscount Lisle, whose christian name appears in the ‘State Papers’ as Marcella, and in the genealogies as Muriel. She was daughter of Thomas Howard, second duke of Norfolk, and thus sister of Sir Edward Howard, lord high admiral [q. v.] In 1512 Knyvet was captain of the Regent, the largest ship in the navy royal, one of the fleet with his brother-in-law off Brest. In