Francis Knollys (the elder)

Francis Knollys (The Elder)

Francis Knollys (the elder)

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Sir Francis Knollys (the Elder), of Greys Court, in Oxfordshire, KG (c. 1514–1596) was an English courtier in the service and favour of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Elizabeth I of England, and was a Member of Parliament for a number of constituencies.

Early appointments

Francis, born about 1514 to Robert Knollys and Lettice, the daughter of Sir Thomas Penystone, appears to have received some education at Oxford. He married Catherine Carey. Henry VIII extended to him the favour that he had shown to his father and secured to him in fee the paternal estate of Rotherfield Greys in 1538. Acts of parliament in 1540–1541 and in 1545–6 attested this grant, making his wife in the second act joint tenant with him. At the same time Francis became one of the gentlemen-pensioners at court, and in 1539 attended Anne of Cleves on her arrival in England. In 1542 he entered the House of Commons for the first time as member for Horsham.

At the beginning of Edward VI's reign he accompanied the English army to Scotland, and was knighted by the commander-in-chief, the Duke of Somerset, at the camp at Roxburgh on September 28, 1547.

Knollys's strong Protestant convictions recommended him to the young king and to his sister the Princess Elizabeth, and he spent much time at court, taking a prominent part not only in tournaments there, but also in religious discussion. On November 25, 1551 he was present at Sir William......
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