Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Knevet, Ralph

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1446689Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 31 — Knevet, Ralph1892Sidney Lee

KNEVET, RALPH (1600–1671), poet, was a native of Norfolk, and seems to have been closely associated as tutor or chaplain with the family of Sir William Paston of Oxnead. He is probably identical with the Ralph Knevet who was rector of Lyng, Norfolk, from 1652 till his death in 1671, at the age of seventy-one. He was buried in the chancel of his church (Blomefield, Norfolk, viii. 251–2).

Knevet published: 1. ‘Stratisticon, or a Discourse of Militarie Discipline,’ 1628, 4to, in verse. 2. ‘Rhodon and Iris, a Pastoral, as it was presented at the Florists' Feast in Norwich, May 3, 1631,’ London, 1631, 4to, dedicated to Nicholas Bacon, esq., of Gillingham, with an address to ‘the Society of Florists,’ and verses by Ri. Pert, Will. Dennye, and John Mingay. The scene is laid in Thessaly, and the metre is very irregular (Brit. Mus.). 3. ‘Funerall Elegies, consecrated to the Immortal Memory of the Right Hon. Lady Katherine Paston, late Wife to the truly Noble and Heroicke William Paston of Oxned, esquire,’ London, 1637, 4to, dedicated to Lady Katherine's sister, Lady Elizabeth Bertie, daughter of Robert, earl of Lindsey. The book is very rare. A copy is in the Grenville Library at the British Museum.

Among unpublished papers, now in the British Museum, of Sir William Paston and other members of the family, is a collection of sacred poems by Knevet, entitled ‘A Gallery to the Temple. Lyricall Poemes upon sacred occasions, by Ra. Kneuett’ (Addit. MS. 27447, ff. 11–67). The verse is imitated from George Herbert, and the collection is intended to form a supplement to Herbert's ‘Temple.’ Some of the poems are worth printing.

[Knevet's Works; W. C. Hazlitt's Bibliographical Handbook.]

S. L.