KNOLLYS, Henry II, of Downton, Hants.
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Family and Education
2nd s. of Henry Knollys. m. da. of one Stonner, 1s.2
Henry Knollys’s Membership is known only from the list of Members revised for the last session of the Parliament of 1547. At first sight he and the Member for Grampound would appear to be one and the same, the list thus recording a double return, but the revision of the list either late in 1551 or early in 1552 rules out this possibility. There is also the possibility that he was a replacement for a man returned in 1547 but who for some reason or other had ceased to be a Member by the last session. However, the identity of Knollys and the patronage operating at Portsmouth create the presumption that he sat throughout the Parliament. He was a Hampshire man from a family settled near Lymington, where during the 1540s Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, acquired much property. As lord of the manor of Portsea Wriothesley could well have sponsored both the Members returned for Portsmouth in 1547; Wriothesley had nominated his physician John Fryer there to the previous Parliament and similar intervention by him in 1547 accords with what is known of his part in the elections elsewhere in the county that year. If the marriage connexion between Knollys’s family and the Norths had been established by then, Knollys may also have enjoyed some patronage from that direction, in the person of Sir Edward North, a Privy Councillor who procured his own return as one of the knights for Cambridgeshire. Apart from his Membership and some details of his pedigree little has come to light about Knollys. His family was not of much consequence until one of his descendants became comptroller of the Household to Charles I, and nothing has been learnt about Knollys’s father beyond his name. His elder brother settled at Winchester, but Edward Knollys died leaving only a daughter who married one of the Norths, so that his patrimony presumably passed to his nearest male relative, either Henry Knollys or Knollys’s son John.3