Friday, February 12, 2010

Question from Rachel - Death of Anthony Knyvett

I have a question concerning Sir Anthony Knyvett. He has said to have died in 1549 and I had read somewhere on a message board that he died in a shipwreck. Does anyone know if this is true? And if so was it a war ship? I have tried to research this but have been unable to find out much information about him using the internet.


Unknown said...

Hello Rachel,

Sir Anthony Knyvett was Teller of the Mint and Gentleman Waiter of the King's Majesty's private Chamber (Henry VIII) and died in 1549. It was his brother Sir Thomas Knyvett, who married the Duke of Norfolk’s daughter, Lady Muriel Howard, who died at sea.
From the DNB: Knyvet, Sir Thomas (c.1485–1512), courtier and sea captain, was the eldest son of Edmund Knyvet of Hilborough, Norfolk (d. 1503/4), himself the eldest son of Sir William Knyvet of Buckenham, Norfolk (c.1448–1515). Thomas's mother was Edmund's wife, Eleanor (d. after 1540), daughter of William Tyrell of Gipping. He came to notice at court towards the end of Henry VII's reign, jousting in the tournaments of May and June 1507 and serving as an esquire for the king's body. He was closely attached to the Howard family from the time of his marriage, by 9 July 1506, to Muriel (d. 1512), daughter of Thomas Howard, earl of Surrey and later second duke of Norfolk (1443–1524), and his first wife, Elizabeth Tilney (d. 1497), and widow of John Grey, Viscount Lisle (d. 1504). From 1509 he emerged as one of the favourites of Henry VIII, taking a leading part in many tournaments and revels at court. The king made him knight of the Bath at his coronation on 23 June 1509 and appointed him bearer of the king's standard on 27 July 1509 and master of the horse on 22 February 1510. He was also rewarded with local offices on the crown lands, customs licences, and a lease of those Lisle estates not already allocated to his wife in dower. Muriel served as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine, and their links with the queen were presumably reflected in the names of two of their children, Katherine and Ferdinand; another, Anne, would serve the queen in the 1520s and receive a dowry from her mistress.
On the outbreak of war with France in 1512 Knyvet was given command of the Regent, one of the two largest ships in the fleet led by his brother-in-law, Sir Edward Howard. On 10 August, in an engagement outside Brest, the Regent grappled and boarded the Cordelière, the largest ship in the French fleet. The Cordelière caught fire and both ships burnt, killing some 600 or 700 men on the Regent and 900 or more on her opponent. Sir Thomas, who according to one report was killed by gunfire before the conflagration, was among the dead. Sir Edward Howard vowed to avenge Knyvet's death before he saw the king again, and was killed in the attempt in April 1513. Knyvet's widow died in childbirth between 13 and 21 December 1512, leaving their three sons and two daughters to be brought up by their grandmother, Eleanor Knyvet. The eldest son, Edmund (1508–1551), eventually succeeded to most of his great-grandfather's estates, while his brother Henry (d. 1546) became a gentleman of Henry VIII's privy chamber. Four of Sir Thomas's five brothers also served the king at court or in the navy. Sir Thomas Knyvet's portrait, which does not survive, was painted by the Venetian artist Antonio da Solario, and he was commemorated in a poem by John Leland; his fatal encounter with the French inspired a poetic exchange between Thomas More and Germain de Brie.
Let me know if you want more information on Sir Anthony

Elizabeth M. said...

I would be very interested. I know The Tudors is very historically inaccurate, but I could not find much about Sir Anthony Knyvet. So I am wondering of the character was based on Sit thomas, or if Anthony was renowned himself as a close friend of Henry VIII?

Unknown said...

More information on Anthony Knyvet, the fifth son of Sir Edmund Knyvet:
He had apparently entered the Royal Household early in King Henry's reign and was to have a long and successful career there. Like his brothers, he was one of Lord Howard's lieutenants for the naval campaign of 1512-13, and, with Christopher and James, shared the grant of property at Tournai in 1515. In the following year he was receiving an annuity of £20 p.a. during pleasure and was clearly becoming one of the King's intimates, being skilled in courtly pursuits, like his brother, Sir Thomas, before him. He was one of a group of emissaries sent to Flanders in 1518 and took part in jousts at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520 and at the revels of 1522. By 1526 at the latest he was one of the powerful group of Gentlemen of the Privy Chamber and was already apparently, influential in the making of appointments to dignities in the Irish Church. He received a number of small grants, including some valuable lands in Essex and the office of Black Rod at Windsor, though these were not enough to save him from falling into serious debt by 1536. In 1541 he was knighted and became gentleman-porter of Calais and soon after was made Lieutenant of the Tower, in which post he figures, not dishonourably, in Foxe's account of the torture of Anne Askew. He was sent to Portsmouth in 1544 to supervise the building of fortifications there. He retired from his office at the Tower in September 1546 and from his Calais duties in October 1547 but under Edward VI, he remained a 'gentleman wayter of the King's Private Chamber', as he styled himself in the will he made in June 1548.

Anthony Knyvett married twice. His first wife, Matilda, widow of John Dennis, whom he married about 1527, he seems to have discarded in 1536 at the height of his financial embarrassment, in order to wed shortly afterwards Avice, the wealthy widow of Nicholas Gibson, a London merchant. Knyvett's will granted to her all his goods and she was made sole executrix. She proved the will in July 1549 and he must have died, apparently without surviving children, shortly before then. His widow died in 1554.

Kathy said...

Elizabeth M, don't base any opinion on the first season of The Tudors. The word at the time was that Callum Blue (who played Anthony Knivert) was injured in one of the early scenes with horses and most of his role was merged with Kristen Holden-Ried's William Compton. In any case, the first season of The Tudors was abysmal as far as to accuracy. I try to just ignore it.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me. I chose NOT to ignore the Tudors series as most of you do here. I feel that while I am not a scholar I love all things Tudor and I am grateful that Showtime did a series on the Tudor's. I belong to a wonderful board where we understand Showtime is inaccurate. But-it has drawn interest and lead many to read historical info when they knew nothing at all. I try NOT to limit myself. I know enough to know when things on that show are inaccurate. I think it is wonderful. ANYTHING that draws Tudor attention works for me. Thanks for the responses-Rachel

RogueFire said...

Then this is not the Anthony Knyvett executed at the tower in 1554?