Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Knyvet, Thomas (d.1512)

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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 the engagement of 10 Aug. the Regent was grappled by the Marie la Cordelière, the largest ship in the French fleet, commanded by the Sieur de Portzmoguer, whose house had been burnt a few months before. Owing to an outbreak of fire on board the Cordelière, both ships burnt and blew up, with the loss of almost all their men, estimated at about seven hundred on board the Regent and one thousand on board the Cordelière. It was said that Howard, who was warmly attached to his brother-in-law, swore that he would not see the king's face till he was revenged on the French for his death; and it was probably the desire to wreak this revenge that prompted the enterprise in which, in the following April, he lost his life. Knyvet left four sons and a daughter. Sir Edmund, his heir, succeeded him at Buckenham. Sir Henry, his third son, obtained the estate of Charlton, Wiltshire. The name has been spelt in many different ways. No signature of Sir Thomas's can be found, but the spelling here adopted is that followed by his representative, Sir Rowland Knyvet Wilson.

[Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, i. 1491, 3308; Jal, in Annales Maritimes et Coloniales (1844), lxxxvi. 993; Egerton MS. 1075, f. 26 b; Addit. MS. 5530, ff. 168–70; Metcalfe's Book of Knights; Chronicle of Calais (Camden Soc.), p. 9; Blomefield's Norfolk, i. 379.]

J. K. L.