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In 1911 Oswald Greenwaye Knapp, M.A. wrote a book "A History of the Chief English Families bearing the Name of Knapp". However the major part of this chapter has been based on research by Paul White, also wills and the published family pedigrees prepared in the 16th and 17th Centuries at the Herald's "Visitations".


It may also be noted that Thomas Knappe (born c.1350), merchant selling wool and cloth abroad in France and Spain, was Bailiff at Bristol (1377), Member of Parliament (1386), Mayor of Bristol (1388/92/97, 1400/04), suggesting a slight possibility that the Suffolk Knapp family originated as merchants in Bristol. Thomas Knappe, Burgess of Bristol, died in 1404 and his will included references to his brother William, his late wife Avice/Agnes, and servant Avice Knappe ("50 pounds for her marriage"). He also had a daughter Margery, who married John Droyes (Mayor of Bristol, 1406/14). He also gave 20 pounds to St. Nicholas church and 133 pounds to the Chamber to be applied to good and charitable uses. It would appear therefore that Thomas had no male issue, but that this brother William probably had at least one child, a daughter Avice.



Entries marked IGI appear on the International Genealogical Index and have not been confirmed at source

[KNAP531] John I Knapp (born c.1388) married Elizabeth Howard of Shouldham, Nfk (born c.1391). John died c.1453 and Elisabeth died 1467.

[KNAP541] John II Knapp of Brockdish (born c.1400) married Julianne Folly (born c.1402). John died 1452 and Julianne died 6th August 1452.

[KNAP551] John III Knapp (born c.1430, married Jessie Christian.

[KNAP561] Richard Knappe (born 1464, Barking) married Agnes Badwell (born c.1452). Agnes died 1498 and Richard died c.1527.

[KNAP571] William Knapp (born c.1470, son of Richard) married Jilian [?Childs] (born c.1472, and they probably had only one child (Robert). Afterwards Jilian married 2. William Aldham. William Aldham died at Brome (probate dated 14th March 1540-41), and the beneficiaries under his will included:

Jelian his wife -- (to receive 7 mylche keen, 6 yearlings, 2 calves, 20 sheep, swine, geese, capons and hens, wheat, corn & malt, 4 spoons, household utensils and implements);

Robert Knapp -- (13s. 4d, plus a further 10s. as one of the executors);

John Knapp, son of Robert -- (10s.) [This John would have been the John known as John the elder, implying that the later children of Robert were all born after William's will was made (17th February 1539/40). John the elder was married prior to 1552, and in fact already had 2 children by then, so was born presumably before 1530].

When "Gelyan" died (probate dated 28th July 1552), the executor of her will (dated 27th March 1551-52) was her son Robert Knappe (who had married Margaret Poley), and the several references therein to "son's child" etc mean "Robert's child". The chief beneficiaries were as follows:

Edmund Knappe, son's child -- (£4);

John the younger, son's child -- (£4);

Robarde, son's child -- (£4);

Thomas, son's child -- (£4);

Myrable Knappe, son's daughter -- (£6. 13s. 4d. at marriage; featherbed; 2 pairs of sheets);

John Knappe, son's eldest son -- (20s);

Joane, wife of John the eldest son -- (gown);

John, child of John the eldest son -- (6s. 8d);

Robard, child of John the eldest son -- (6s. 8d).

The only child of Robert not mentioned was George, presumably born after the will was made (27th March 1552). All the other children were minors.

In accordance with the will of Jilian's second husband, William Aldham, the beneficiaries included:

Jelian, wife -- (7 mylche keen, 6 yearlings, 2 calves, 20 sheep, swine, geese, capons & hens, gelding, wheat, corn & malt, 4 spoons, household utensils & implements, 10 marks);

Robert Knapp -- (13s. 4d);

John Knapp, son of Robert -- (10s).

[KNAP581] Robert Knapp of Needham married 1. [POLY582] Margaret Delapole (see POLEY). They had seven children:

John the elder (1530), married Joan. (Although John was a beneficiary in Gelyan's will, his share was small. He also figured in Robert's will, see later. However he does not appear in the Pedigree listing, so it would appear he was perhaps illegitimate);

Edmund (1540, based on age 69 when died in 1609), "son & heir", married 1. (at Nedging, 2nd November 1562 IGI) Bridget Munninges; then 2. (at Stonham Parva, 25th November 1568 IGI) Elizabeth Woodstock; died 1609;

[KNAP591] John the younger (1543), "2nd son", see later;

Robert (1546), "3rd son", married Christian Browne;

Thomas (1548), "4th son", was a merchant in Ipswich (died 1631);

Myrable (1550), married (at Wetheringsett, 21st June 1563 IGI) Robert Hovel alias Smith of Ashfield;

George (1553), "youngest son".

Margaret died, and afterwards Robert married 2. (at Wetheringsett, 1st July 1560) Ann Horsman, widow. Robert, an Esquire, died at Wetheringsett (will made September 1563, proved May 1564.) A special request in Robert Knapp's will was that "No child of mine to benefit by my will if he sues my executors for any legacy given to him by my late mother Jilian Aldame". This clause may have something to do with his son "John the elder". The chief beneficiaries of Robert Knapp's will were as follows:

Anne his wife, late widow of Robert Horseman -- (£10 annuity for life from lands and tenements called Studdes in Needham & Barking, and after Anne's death this passes to John the younger; £5 annuity for life from lease of Bishoppes Hall in Battisford, and after Anne’s death this annuity passes to son George; close called Buttoler containing 6.5 acres purchased of Anthony Lockwood);

John the younger, son -- (tenement and land called The Fenn with one close called Pond Closse in towns and fields of Barking, Creeting, Battisford & Badley; featherbed; quarter of residue);

Robert, son -- (lands & tenements called Bungeons & hawl in towns of Barking, Creeting & Battisford, free & copyhold; meadow called Gruchin in Barking; lease in Northey; lands, tenements, woods & underwoods purchased of Robert Colchester the younger; featherbed; quarter of residue);

Thomas, son -- (lands in Coddenham called The Pole; after 10 years, meadow in Creeting purchased of Mr Alnutt; featherbed; quarter of residue);

John the elder, son -- (lands in Needham field & lands in Bosberowe, free & copyhold; lease of Bosberowe);

George, son (under 21) -- (lands & tenements purchased of Henry Aylin called Masons, Kings & Collyers in Battisford & Combes; best bed; quarter of residue);

children of John the elder -- (6s. 8d. when 21);

Mirable, daughter -- (copper cauldron).

[KNAP591] John the younger Knapp (born 1543) of Ipswich, married (at Ipswich, 1563) [BLOS592] Martha "Bloyse" (born 1540, see BLOSSE). He was a merchant and portman of Ipswich (formerly known as Gippeswyk, i.e. wick [village] on the river Gipping), where they had eleven children:

John, died young;

[KNAP601] John, "2nd son & heir", baptised at St. Mary at Stoke, Ipswich, (25 July 1581),.see later;

Thomas "3rd son", married Katharine Barker;

Margaret, married John Barron of Essex;

Mary, married John Randes of Ipswich;

Martha, married James Palmer a draper of London (mentioned later);

Elizabeth, married 1. Thomas Woodgate of Ipswich; then 2. Revd. Richard Holmested of Dinington [not identified], Norfolk;

Anne, married (at Ipswich, 17th February 1605 IGI) Newman Rookes of London;

Judith, married William Hobart/Hubbard of Essex;

Dorcas, married (at Belstead, 1612) Revd. Robert Stansbye;

Phebe, remained unmarried.

John purchased (September 1576) New Place (thought to be possibly a corruption of New Palace) in Stoke, near Ipswich, from [SULY581] Edward Sulyard (see SULYARD), where the family afterwards resided. The building, now known as Gippeswyk Hall, was extended in Victorian times, though the north end facing the River Gipping is basically Tudor original.

Gippeswyk Hall east facing frontage
(16 August 2013)

north facing bay window

east facing window

east door

fireplace with modern surround

fireplace original brickwork

John died at Ipswich (May 1604). There is a family plaque in St. Peter's Church (which had been temporarily held for safe-keeping in the town museum 1973 to October 2009).



Ipswich St Peter
(16 August 2013)

Ipswich St Peter
viewed from Stoke across
the River Gipping



Knapp brasses full view
(16 August 2013)

lower left brass

lower right brass

 The description in "County Churches: Suffolk" by T. Hugh Bryant (1912) reads:

"In the S. aisle is a brass bearing the effigies of a civilian in ruff and fur-lined gown, and his wife in calash and embroidered petticoat; there are groups of 4 sons, two of them in cloaks, and 8 daughters, five of them in hats, shield, and mantling, and inscription to John Knapp, merchant and portman, 1604, and Martha his wife."



centre brass

The inscription on the centre brass reads:







top brass

                                     The Knapp coat of arms on the top brass has "three close helmets above a lion passant".

By John's will, the beneficiaries included:

Martha his wife -- (house in occupation of testator, & houses, yards, gardens, etc. in St. Peter's Ipswich, and after Martha's death this passes to daughter Mary and her husband John Randes; also tenement in occupation of Robert Barwicke, in St. Mary Key [viz St. Mary-at-Quay, Ipswich], and after Martha's death this passes to son Thomas; also lands & houses in Stoke next Ipswich, free & copyhold, and after Martha's death this passes to son John; also house & lands called "Parnells" in Ipswich, Kesgrave, Rushmere & Playford, and this passes to son Thomas when he is 21; also rent from rent charge purchased of Robert Sampson, esqr, at Netherhall, in Harsteed, Suffolk. [Query Harkstead];

Mary, his daughter, and her husband John Randes -- (part occupation of house bequested to Martha by testator, & houses, yards, gardens, etc. in St. Peter's Ipswich)

Marye, daughter -- (an additional £100);

Elizabeth, daughter -- (£300; also house, purchased on John & Richard Smith, in Stowe Markett, Suffolk);

Anne, daughter -- (£200; also house in S. Peter's Ipswich bought of Edmond Harrold);

Judith, Dorcas and Phebe, three youngest daughters -- (£200 apiece; also after Martha's death, £100 from house bequested to Martha by testator, & houses, yards, gardens, etc. in St. Peter's Ipswich);

Thomas, son -- (lands in Battisford bought of brother, George Knappe; also £100 when 21);

John, son -- (£50 per annum from lands & houses in Stoke next Ipswich during his mother's lifetime; also lands in Sproughton ("??? Hilles Farme") purchased of Edward Cage & Richard Alexander, gents.

Martha died at Ipswich (1612).

[KNAP601] John Knapp the younger's son, known as "John of Stoke-juxta-Ipswich" (born 1581), married (1606, at Ipswich)  [HOWA602] Elizabeth Howard (born 1576, see HOWARD). They had seven children:



St. Mary at Stoke church
(16 August 2013 at Stoke">St. Mary at Stoke church
(16 August 2013)

Elizabeth (perhaps born c.1606) died young;

Margaret (baptised at St. Mary at Stoke, Ipswich, 28th September 1608); married James Palmer of Widnesham, Norfolk;

Martha (born 1612);

Edmund (born c.1613), latterly a gentleman;

John (baptised at St. Mary at Stoke, Ipswich, 26th October 1613);

[KNAP611] James, see later;

William, Clerk in Holy Orders M.A., married (at Bentley, 1662) Margaret Tesdale (daughter of John Tesdale).

John, a gentleman, received New Place in Stoke (1615). He immediately conveyed this property to James Palmer (December 1615). John was last noted at Kenninghall, Norfolk. Elizabeth died 1620.

[KNAP611] James Knapp and his wife Mary lived at Winfarthing (Norfolk).



Winfarthing Church
(26 April 2013 by AJZ)

They had (at least) four children born and baptised at Winfarthing, as follows:

James (baptised 18th April 1649);

[KNAP622] Mary (baptised 1st January 1651/2), married (between 1685-88) [WODS621] John Woods (born 1646). Fortuitously, the words "MARY WOODS wife of JOHN WOODS and daughter of JAMES KNAPP" are carved on a black ledger slab in Westleton Church, as this is the sole evidence of her  marriage, see WOODS);

William (baptised 19th January 1659/60);

Charles (baptised 1st March 1665/6).

James (a gentleman) died intestate at Winfarthing (buried there 16th April 1678), and Administration of his estate was granted to his widow Mary.