Henry Knyvett.

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Tudor &' Stuart Library
The Defence of the

Henry Frowde, M.A.

Publisher co the University of Oxford

London, Edinburgh, New York

and Toronto

The "Defence


IS 96

Now for the first time printed, from a MS. in
the Chetham Library, Manchester

With an Introduction
by Charles Hughes

(LAt the Clarendon Tress



Printed at the Clarendon Press

By Horace Hart, M.A.

Printer to the University

This Treatise

in which

An Elizabethan Soldier


compulsory military training

for all Englishmen

is dedicated by permission


Field Marshal

Earl Roberts, K.G., V.C.
Tanto nomini nullum par elogium '


THE author of this treatise, which
was written in iS9^, and is now printed
for the first time_, was Sir Henry Kny vett,
of Charlton, near Malmesbury, Wikshire.
He was descended from a noble family
of Buckenham, Norfolk, and his great
uncle, Sir Edmund Knyvett, had been
Sergeant-Porter to King Henry VIH. His
life is not written in the 'Dictionary of
National Biography, where, however, a full
account is given of his brother Thomas,
afterwards Lord Knyvett of Escrick, who
took a prominent part in the exposure of
the Gunpowder Plot.

In the early days of Queen Elizabeth's
reign Henry Knyvett saw active service
at the siege of Leith against the French,
when he *" lost both lim and blood '. On
April 14, ij-iSo, EHzabeth wrote to Lord
Grey : ' For our trusty and faithflill servants
that be with you, we pray you give them
for their Service our comfortable thanks;



and specially let them, which adventured
themselves so worthely at the approche
to Lethe^ be remembered by name that
they may think their service well bestowed.
For indeed we here much commendation of
diverse, as of Sir Henry Percy, your own
son, Barnabye, Knevet (of whose hurt we
be very sorry) and of others of the Horse-
men.' ' His wounds did not prevent
Knyvett (for though the name is spelled
in a variety of ways we had better preserve
the spelling which he usually adopts in
his own signature) from holding a captain's
command in the garrison at Berwick, and
he says that he ' was twice after that
ymploved in yo"" Ma"" service in Scot-
land under the Lord Scroope that last died^
and the Earle of Sussex then yo^ Maiesties
President at York '. But soon after he
returned from the Scotch wars ; wounded
and covered with glory he married a rich
heiress, Miss Elizabeth Stumpe,the daughter
of Sir James Stumpe, of Charlton, near
Malmesbury. She was the granddaughter
of a rich manufacturer, William Stumpe.

' Haynes, Stjte Papers^ p. 289. This pass.igc, 2S
quoted in Ridpath's Border History^ is the only light
that is thrown upon the authorship of Tht Defcnct of
the I\ealme in the Chetham Library Catjiogue.



When Leland visited Malmesbury (about
15-40) he wrote: —

* The hole logginges of thabbay be now
longging to one Stumpe, an exceeding riche
Clothiar that boute them of the King.

'This Stumpes Siinne hath maried Sir
Edward Baynton's Doughter.

'This Stumpe was the chef Causer and
Contributer to have thabbay Chirch made
a Paroch Chirch.

' At this present tyme every Corner of
the vaste Houses of Office that belonged to
thabbay be flille of lumbes [looms] to weave
Clooth yn, and this Stumpe entendith to
make a stret or 2 for Clothiers in the bak
vacant ground of the Abbay that is withyn
the Toune Waulles.' ^

William Stump, then, was not only rich
but public-spirited, and besides buying the
Abbey Church for the town of Malmes-
bury, and the Abbey buildings for his
looms, he bought the woods and lands
of Charlton, where the Lord Abbot of
Malmesbury formerly had his seat, and
married his son James to a daughter of

* Hearne's Leland. Oxford, 1770, vol. ii, p. J3-



one of the oldest Wiltshire families, the
Bayntons of Bromham.

The marriage of Sir Henry Kny vett '
probably took place very soon after his
return from the fighting in Scotland, for
his eldest daughter, Katharine, who had
been left a childless widow by her first
husband, Richard Rich, took as her second
husband Lord Thomas Howard in lyS^.
It is probable, therefore, that she was born
not later than 15-52 or is^'i-^

Sir Henry Kny vett, through his wife's
property at Charlton, became one of the
leading country gentlemen of Wiltshire.
He was High Sheriff in i;-'77, and was for
many years one of the Deputy Lieutenants
of the county.

In is^'jS we find him writing to Sir
John Thynne, the builder of Longleat,
in reference to the rumoured child-murder

' I think that the writer of the life of Thomas
Lord Knyvett of Escrick in the Dictionary of National
Biography is in error in supposing him to be son to
a Henry Knyvett of Ch.ulton, for our Sir Henry,
the brother of Thomas Knyvett, seems to have been
the only Knyvett of Charlton.

" In Mr. Manin Hume's recently published book.
The Great Lord Bnrghley, we read (p. ll8) that in
I 5^9 the Spanish Ambassador, Dc Spcs, was placed in
the custody of Henry Knollys, Arthur Carew, and
' Sir ' Henry Knyvett. Our author's knighthood, how-



scandal connected with ' Wild Dayrell '
of Littlecote. The letter is as follows: —

'Syr, I besitch you lett me crave so
much favour of you as to procure your
Servant M"" Bonham moste effectually to
examine his sister tochinge her usage att
Will"^ Dorrell's, the berth of her children,
ho we many they were, and what became
of them. She shall have no cause of feare
trulie to confess the uttermost; for I will
defend her from all perill howe so ever the
case fall owte. The brute [i. e. bruit] of
the murder of one of them increaseth
fowlely, and theare falleth owte such other
hayghness matter against him_, as will touch
him to the quicke. From Charlton this
ij^^ of January 15-78 — your loving friend,

H. Knyvett.' '

In spite of the charges against Mr.
William Darell (or Dayrell or Dorrell),
which have resulted in the Littlecote tra-
dition of a midwife brought from a distance

ever, took place — as we find from Dr. Shaw's l^nights
of England — in September, i 574, when Queen Eliza-
beth conferred the honour upon several Wiltshire
gentlemen at Salisbury.

^ This letter was found among the Marquis of
Bath's papers at Longleat. See the Wiltshire Archae-
ological Maga-^ney vol. viii, p. 241.



who saw a newborn babe thrown by a
masked gentleman on a blazing fire, we
shall find Sir Henry corresponding with
the supposed murderer ten years later at the
time ot" the Spanish Armada.

About the year ij8o Sir Henry became
involved in a serious quarrel with a neigh-
bouring SQuire, Mr. Richard Moody (or
Mody), ot Garsden, and Aubrey relates
that this Mr. Moody's father 'was a foote-
man to King Henry VIH who falhng
from his horse as he was hawkeing I
thinke on Harneslow-heath fell with his
head into muddc, with which being fatt
and heavie he had been suHbcated to death
had he not been timely relieved by his
footman Mody, for which service after the
dissolution of the Abbies he gave him
the Manour of Garesden '.' The results
of this quarrel are related in a Record of
the Court of Chancery, published in the
Wiltshire Archaeological fJMagazine, vol
xxiii, p. 165-. It is in many ways so
characteristic of the time that I transcribe
the greater part ot it.^

' Aubrey's WUtshin CalUctiortj, edited by Cnnon
Jackson, and published by the Wiltshire
ological and Natural History Society, 1861, p. 14 1.

' For references and loan of these Wiltshire



''By reason of mortal and cruel hatred
there was a duel or single combat in
Garsden Marsh, in which fight Mr. Richard
Moody did grievously and^ as was supposed
mortally wound Sir Henry Knyvett, who
being so wounded, the place of the fight
being near the house or Antony Hunger-
ford.' Sir Henry Knyvett was brought
thither by Richard Moody and others.
Moody did lead Sir Henry Knyvett by
one of his arms thereunto ; and finding
Antony Hungerfords wife there her hus-
band being absent^ M"^ Moody did earn-
estly and passionately request her that
Sir Henry Knyvett might lack nothing
that was in her house or that she could
do to save his life, and that he would see
her satisfied. He sent her messages after
to the same effect. M"^ Hungerford's wife
performed all this. Sir Henry Knyvett

Magazines I am much indebted to Mr. T. H. Baker,
of Salisbury. I have not been able to trace the
whereabouts of this Chancery Record, and though
I have looked through the indexes of the Chancery
actions of this time, have not found this suit recorded.
Nor can it be found, as I had hoped, among the
Marquis of Bath's papers at Longleat.

* At The Lea, which was the next parish to Charlton
and Garsden. Aubrey says {i6g6), ' There is a good
old Gothique seat of the Hungerford's, and at one of
the windows and porch in stone are monk's heads.'



could not be removed for x6 days. The
physicians and surgeons sent by the Queen
had the whole house. M" Hungerford
provided them with lawns and cambrics
which were spoiled and stained with blood
and worn out. Hay was consumed to the
amount of ^30 and many great trees were
cut down for firewood. There was a
great concourse of friends of Sir Henry
Knyvetts^ much meat and victuals con-
sumed. The house like to be burned
down by reason of the great fires, if
Lord Viscount Wallingford, Sir W°^
Knightley, and others had not been
present and by extraordinary pains pre-
served the whole house.'

This quarrelsome and combative Mr.
Moody had his pious moments, for Aubrey
recorded more than one hundred years
later that one of the bells in Garsden
Church was inscribed ' Ricardus Mody
Armiger Secundus Mei Conditor '.'

In 15-85- Sir Henry Knyvett lost his
wife^ and the ftill account of the fiineral

^ I may also note that when the Moody family
sold Garsden it was purchased by Sir Lawrence
Washington, younger brother of the Washington of
Sulgrave, Northamptonshire, from whom George
Washington was descended.



is preserved in the Heralds' College.'
'The Right worshipful! Lady Knyvett,
daughter and sole here to Sir James Stumpe,
departed this mortal lyffe on Wensdaye
the xiiij of July, Ao is^S, whose fimeral
was worshipflilly solemnysed on Thurs-
daye, the xxix^'^ of the same monethe,
at the Church called Charlton Mamesbury
in the County of Wilts.' The certificate
is signed by Sir Henry Knyvett and his
son-in-law, Sir Thomas Howard; and the
facsimile of Knyvett 's signature ^

when compared with the facsimile of the
signature (or copy of signature) attached

' Printed in the Topographer and Genealogist, vol. i,
p. 469.

^ From a careful tracing furnished to me by Rouge



to the MS. in the Chetham Library, from
which our pamphlet is printed/

can leave no possible shadow of doubt as to
the authorship olThe Defence of the Realme.

Sir Henry Knyvett married a second
wife, the daughter of Sir John Sydenham
and widow of John Fitz, by whom he had
no issue.

In 15-88, when the preparations were
made to resist the Spanish Armada and
the army of Parma, Knyvett was one of
the Deputy Lieutenants for ordering the
county musters of Wiltshire, and was one
of the captains appointed to attend on the
Lord Chamberlain."- In a letter from Sir

' I think this is not an actual signature by Sir
Henry Knyvett, but has been drawn by the scribe,
who engrossed the MS., from one of his signatures.
It may, however, be an actual signature written with
some care and formality.

=* Hist. MSS. Commission, Fifteenth Report, Appen-
dix, Part V, MSS. of the Rt. Hon. F. J. Savile



Francis Walsingham to *" my verie loving
friend W^" Darell ' [the same gentleman
whom Knyvett had suspected of murder]
the Secretary of State writes: — *" The trust
reposed in Sir Henry Knevett by their
Lords [of the Privy Council] said letters
groweth partly of some speciall commenda-
tion of him to hir Ma"^ by the Erie of
Pembroke of late, for his sufficiencie and
forwardness in the Marshall services of
your Countie.' This letter was dated July
2-7, 15-88, and was in reply to an inquiry
from Darell in reference to the following
interesting letter from Knyvett, which
throws great light on the actual prepara-
tions to resist the Armada and the arming
of the Wiltshire contingent.'

' So yt is that upon Tuesday night last
very late, Hir Ma"*^ and my Lords of the
privie councell sent my brother Thomas
Knevett unto me at my house in St James

Foljambe, Book of Musters, 1588. It may interest
Shakespearian readers to learn that at this time the
three Deputies to the Earl of Warwick for Warwick-
shire were Sir Thomas Lucy, Sir John Harington,
and Sir Fulke Greville.

' This letter was found by C. E. Long, Esq., in
the Rolls Office, and is printed in the Wiltshire
Archaeological Maga-zinej vol. vi, p. 208.

b 2, pke


pke in Weston, straytly comaimdinge me to
hast me into the Cuntry w^^ all possible
speed when I should meet w^'^ Ires [letters]
from them \v<^^ should throughly directe me
in their will and pleasure. And because I
understood from them by word of mouthe
that it was principally to bringe upp twoo
thousand foote men armed out of o"" Shire
with all hast that might be, to attend her
Ma"^^ persons I thought it good to lett you
understand thereof in any wayes. In her
Ma^^ name earnestly requiringe you to see
forthwith all souldiers within your division
in present readiness to attend their Cap-
taines thorowly furnished in manner fol-
lowinge at Marlebroughe upon Sunday at
afternone at the furthest, if they here no
word to the contrary by the said Captaines
for that I thinke the fittest place of meet-
inge. Item that they be clenely armed
with their weapons fully furnissed. Item
that there be levyed for the conduct of
every souldier vj^ viij*^ the same to be
brought to Marlebroughe aforesaid, by the
constables of the hundred of every division
at the tyme assigned for lote money, I
can say little to it. Item that there be
provided for every Caliver shot iij pounds
of powder at the least, or so much money



as will buy the same after xiiij the pound,
which I like better because they shall not
spoil it by the way. And three score
bulletts at the least. And for every muskett
iiij^' of powder or money for the same and
fiftie bulletts. And for the more expedi-
ticon of this service I pray you fail not
to send this letter fourthwith you kepinge
the double thereof to M»' Brunker, Sir
James Marvign, and M^ Penruddock, and
the rest of the justices of that pte of the
shire. Whereby I do in like manner
require them to see the contents of the
same furnished on their behalf, the tenor
therof I hope they will accept my hast
considered. The rest of the Justices from
Sir Edward Baynton northwards I will
advertise upon my coming home. And so
in hast I hartely betake you to God and
salute you all. At Newbery this xxv"^^ of
July at two of the Clock after midnight.
Yours assured in all power
H. Knevett.'

This letter shows us that Knyvett had
a London house in St. James's Park. In
the three old maps of London which are
the best authorities for the period,' a few

' Civitas Londinum, by Ralph Agas, and the
views in William Smith's Particular Description of



houses are shown on the border of St.
James's Park, west of Charing Cross, and
we may assume that one of these houses,
on the fringe of the open country, and
conveniently near the Court_, was one of
the many advantages which Sir Henry
derived from his marriage with the Stumpe
heiress.' It also shows that Knyvett had
no apprehension as to any difficulty in
providing the 2,000 Wiltshire men, who
were to attend Queen Elizabeth at Tilbury
fort with gunpowder, if they had money
enough to pay for it. There must have
been merchants in London holding large
stocks of gunpowder tor sale. This letter
also shows Knvvett's activity and diligence,
for after riding from London to Newbury
he writes letters till two o'clock in the

Thomas Hobbes, who was born at
Malmesbury in 15-88, and whose father
held for a time the living of Charlton,
told Aubrey that Sir Henry Knyvett ' had

England, and in Braun and Hogenberg's Chitates
Orbis TerrarKtn. Charing Cross then stood near the
present site of King Charles I's statue on the south
of Trafalgar Square.

' The house probably descended to Knyvett's son-
in-law, the Earl of Suffolk, who died ' at his house at
Charing Cross ' in \6z6.



some command at the Invasion in 15-88
and shortly after his return died of a
Feaver he gott there ' ; but if he did take
a fever at Tilbury, it took ten years to
kill him.

Our pamphlet, and the comments I make
upon it, dispense with saying anything
here of Knyvett's militia work in iS£>s-
1^9^'-, but I may mention that on October 5,
IS91, the Privy Council appointed Sir
Francis Popham as a Deputy Lieutenant of
Wiltshire, after recording the following
preamble : ' Whereas we have found of
late that the want of Deputie Lieutenants
in the countie of Wiltshire hath bin a great
impediment to the dispatch of her Majesty's
service in that countie by reason that by
death or departure out of the shire there
are none left (except only Sir Henry
Knevett) of those that were formerly in
Commission, which want is so much the
more inconvenient by reason of the farre
absence of our very good Lord the Earl
of Pembroke, her Majesty's Lieutenant of
the said County, who is for the moste
parte resident in Wales.' ' Sir Henry
Knyvett died in the year following this
appointment of a new Deputy Lieutenant,

' Acts of the Council, Hist. AISS. Commission.



and I give in full the certificate of his
burial which is preserved in the Heralds'
College, and is printed in the Topographer
and Genealogist : —

'The sayd Sir Henry Knyvett Kt de-
p''ted this transitory lyfe intestate (at his
mannor of Charleton aforesayd) on Wednes-
day the i^^^ day of June I5"p8 from
whence he was worshipfiilly accompanied
w^^ mourners unto his parish Church of
Charleton where his flmeralls were solem-
nised on Tuesday ye is^^ of July following.
His standard was borne by Robt Moore
Gent. The preacher was M"" Richard
Meryddeth, Bachilor of Divinity. The
penon borne by M"" Edward Knyvett
[second son of Sir Edmund Knyvett, of
Buckenham, Norfolk] his kinsman. The
healme and creast by Samuell Thompson,
Portcullis, officer of amies. The sword
targe and coat by Tho. Lant Wyndsor
Herauld (deputy for W*" Camden, Claren-
cieux King of Armes of the province) by
whom the said funeral services were di-
rected and served. The body was borne
by his owne servants. The Chief Mourner
was M*^ Thomas Knyvett his brother^
a gent of his Majes Pry vie Chamber. The
assistants were Sir James Mervyn Sir Henry



Poole knt, and M"" Henry Dacres and
M' Philip Carey gents, and in wytnes y^
this certificate is true we whose names are
underwritten have hereunto subscrybed
the day and year above specified.

Subscribed by ^^^^ Knyvett.

T. Lant. Wyndsor. James Mervyn.

S. Thompson. Portcullis. Henry Poole.'

Not only was Sir Henry Knyvett
honourably interred, but he is commemo-
rated by a very handsome tomb with large
recumbent effigies of himself and his first
wife, and smaller figures of their children.
His coat of arms on this tomb shows his
descent from many of the most noble and
honourable families in the country, such
as Basset, Bottetort, Cromwell, Lupus,
Pickering, Lascelles, and Fenwick. His
numerous descendants have most distin-
guished connexions. His eldest daughter
married Lord Thomas Howard, second son
of the fourth Duke of Norfolk. He was one
of the bravest of Elizabeth's naval paladins.
Knighted for his valour in the fight with
the Spanish Armada off Calais, he com-
manded the squadron at the Azores when
Sir Richard Grenville's last fight took
place as recorded by Raleigh and Tenny-


son. After the accession of James I he
was created Earl of Suffolk, and from him
and his wife the Knyvett heiress, the
present holder of Charlton Park, the Earl
of Suffolk and Berkshire, is descended.
Of Sir Henry Knyvett 's two other daugh-
ters, Elizabeth married Thomas Clinton,
third Earl of Lincolrl, and Frances married
firstly Sir Wm. Bevill, and secondly Francis
Manners, sixth Earl of Rutland. Sir Henry
Knyvett must be the ancestor of a large pro-
portion of our present English aristocracy.
Though Sir Henry dates his pamphlet
from ' my poor Cottage at Charlton ', we
must remember that he is addressing Queen
Elizabeth, and that in speaking to a sove-
reign or with extreme politeness to a
stranger this Japanese-like depreciation of
his dwelling-house was quite a correct
form — Capulet speaks of ' my poor house '
to Paris, and in Act I, Scene <^, of Henry
f^/II, Cardinal Wolsey, the proudest man
in England with the finest palace, gives
the message —

Say, lord Chamberlain,
They have done my poor house grace.

Though the present great house in
Charlton Park, which lies between Charlton



village and the town of Malmesbury,
was not commenced till after Sir Henry's
death, his house at Charlton was, no doubt,
a suitable country residence for a man of
his position. It may possibly have been on
the site of the present ' Charlton Cottage ',
the residence of the late Lady Victoria
Howard, who endeavoured, without success,
to find for me a portrait of her ancestor.
The effigy on his tomb is the only record
we possess of his personal appearance.

The crisis which decided Knyvett to
present his T)efence of the Reahne to
Qiieen Elizabeth was the capture of Calais
from the French by the Spaniards. The
Cardinal-Archduke, who commanded in
the Low Countries for Philip II, had
assembled an army of i5-,ooo foot and
3,000 horse at Valenciennes, and it was
expected he was going to relieve La Fere
which Henry IV was besieging. Suddenly
he detached de Rosne with 4,000 men to
Calais, captured the town on April 17,
lypiS, and arranged for the surrender of
the citadel if it were not relieved within
six days. Henry asked for help from
Elizabeth, who ordered (5,ooo men to be
mustered at Dover by Essex, and sent Sir
Robert Sidney to stipulate that the price of



her help should be the surrender of Calais
to England. Henry indignantly refused.
Two hundred men made their way across
the sands to relieve Calais fortress, which
was stormed by the Spaniards, and the
entire garrison put to the sword. 'Le
SerenissimeCardinal,'says a Catholic writer,
' ainsi eust la ville de Calais et le chasteau
qui semblait et aux Fran9ois et a plusieurs
estre imprenable, et ainsi mis les clefs de
France dans les poches de son Roi.' Henry
IV had a favourite saying that there were
three things which nobody would believe —
firstly, that the Cardinal Archduke was
a good general ; secondly, that he, the
King of France, was a good Catholic; and
thirdly, that Elizabeth was a virgin queen,
yet that these things were all et]ually true.
There was not much danger of a Spanish
invasion of England at this moment, but
great nervousness seems to have been felt.
The militia of the Southern counties had
been ordered to be in special readiness.
A joint English and Dutch expedition
under the Lord High Admiral, with Essex,
Raleigh, and Lord Thomas Howard,
captured and plundered Cadiz ; and from
May to August negotiations were going
on, which resulted in an alliance between



England, France, and the United Provinces,
the French Ambassador being received
with great splendour in August by Queen
Elizabeth in her palace ot" Nonsuch.

Knyvett finished his treatise at the
end of April iS9^y and it would then be
engrossed, and have the gold lettering of
the title carefliUy wrought to commend it
to the Queen's Majesty. If Knyvett pre-
sented this Chetham Library MS. himself

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