Index | The sale of Knelle Manor



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Sir Robert Belknap, son of Robert and grandson of John, died on Jan 19, 1401 (C.P.R. 28 Feb. 1401).

John Bilknap was juror for an IPM at Wiltshire in 1348. John Beleknappe was practising as a lawyer in London in 1346.  On 46h July  1356 Hugh Nevill, John Bilknap and Robert Elnsted received a commission in the diocese of Chichester, Sussex, regarding the maintenance of a chapel by the bishop. (CPR). -

Writ of Thomas Travers, grant with warranty to Robert Beleknappe and Amy Aunger his wife and their heirs and assigns the reversion of all lands, rents, services etc. in Ditton and East Malling, Kent...... (Cal. of Close Rolls) - In 1352 Robert succeeded William de Pagham as stewart of Battle Abbey. -The king in 1359 sent a letter to the abbots of Battle and Robertsbridge, Robert Belknap a.o. ordering them to prepare for the enemy of France. On 7 July 1366 Robert and  Amy his wife were pardoned for acquiring for life from the Abbot and Convent of Battle the manor of Kingswode , held in chief (CPR Edw. III, Vol. 13, p. 285) - From Sussex Arch. Coll: 1347 - In 20th Edward III, John de Wybourne paid aid for several lands at the making of the Black Prince, Knight. They relinquished the property of Crofton to Sir Robert Belknap. -

Robert son of Robert married Juliane, (d. 1415), and they had a son Hamon, a daughter Jane or Joanna, a daughter Juliana  (SC 8/95/4704). There were two younger sons: Thomas and John.  Juliane's surname was probably Dorset or Darsett, derived from a manor which was owned later by her descendants.

Who was Robert de Belknap?

 During 25 years he was bailiff of the Liberty of the Archbishop of Canterbury. But mainly he acted as a justice of whom traces can be found in Cal. Pat. Rolls from 1362 and assize rolls between 1373-1387 covering almost all of the southern English counties. On June 26, 1377 he was appointed chief justice of the Common Bench by King Richard II (C.P.R.)

1365 - Robert was creditor to John Kentays of Brabourne in Kent who owed him 40 lbs. (C 131/115/13). - In 1366 Ralph Spigurnel, Robert Bealknapp and others were ordered to view and repair the marshes within the liberty of Rye in the eastern part (SAC, History of Rye).

In 1367 Robert Bealknapp, John Bealknapp and others received a commission of oyer and terminer in Sussex concerning a court case relating to the manor of Gretham (C.P.R.) . At that time he was a serjeant at law.

On July 1st 1370 Robert Belknap and others received a commission “de walliis and fossatis” between a place called Knellesflote, in the confines of Kent and Sussex, and Robertsbridge, co. Sussex . In the same year he got an appointment as steward and surveyor of the king's castles, manors, lands, etc. in Kent and was invested with full power to hold courts. A commission of array in Kent followed. (C.P.R.). -

According to VCH Sussex, the manor of Wilting in Baldslow Hundred was granted to Robert Belknap and Juliane his wife, in 1373, by Alexander de Goldingham. This year saw him as member of a commission of oyer and terminer in Essex to inquire into crimes committed against the king or his tenants in the lordship of Boure (C.P.R.).

In 1374 he had a license to grant to the convent of St. Andrews in Rochester the manor of Sharsted, a moiety of the manor of Lidsing and other lands.  In that year he is mentioned as chief justice. (C.P.R.)

Commissions of oyer and terminer were given to Robert Belknap and others on Nov. 16, 1375, 20th July and 5th Sept. 1376. (Cal. Pat. Rolls). In that year he obtained a grant from the king as knight to hold the wardship and lands late of John de Leyhamme. - In the same year the Wybourne family of Kent sold him their property of Crofton.

The following three commissions were recorded: The first under Richard, earl of Arundel on Oct 20 1376, with Roger Dalyngridge, William Batesford, Edward St. John and others for the county of Sussex; the second one on Nov. 22  with Peter de Brewes, Roger de Ashburnham and others to look into the matter of a ship wreck in Shoreham and another with William de Echingham, William de Batesford and Roger Ashburnham in a case of violence done to the parson of Brede on Dec. 20.  - On July 12  and Sept. 5  a commission of oyer and terminer were issued to Guy Brian, William de Lucy, Robert de Belknap and others to look into the complaint of Robert Knolles, kt., whose ship had foundered and was entered by several men who carried away his goods and assaulted his men and servants. (Cal. Pat. Rolls).

1377 – Commission to Robert Bealknap, Roger de Fulthorp and others to examine at the church of St. Martin le Grand, London, in the presence of the mayor and sheriffs of London, any error found to exist in the record of judgment in a suit.....(Cal. Pat. Rolls) and commission of array to Robert Bealknap, John Cobham and others.

Sept. 24, 1378 - Commission to the constable of Dover Castle and warden of the Cinque Ports, or such as supplies his place, John de Cobham, Robert de Bealknap and others. Also in the same year a commission of oyer annd terminer to Robert Bealknap, John de Cobham, Roger Ashburnham and others in Kent as well as a commission of peace in Middlesex.

Aug 30 1380 - A commission of the peace was issued to Roger Skales, Robert Belknap, John Dengayne and others, in the town of Royston, which is on the borders of the counties of Cambridge and Hertford, persuant to the statutes of Winchester, Northampton and Westminster. (Cal. Pat. Rolls)

1381 – Commission of oyer and terminer to Willam de Wyndesore, Hugh la Zouche, Robert Bealknap, Willam Cheyne, John Holt, Simon de Burgh and others, touching treasons, felonies etc. in the counties of Cambridge and Huntingdon. (Cal. Pat. Rolls). - Commission of array in the county of Kent - Robert, John lord Cobham and others were deputies for Robert de Ashton, constable of Dover castle and warden of the Cinque Ports.

Charles Oman “The Great Revolt of 1381”, Chapter III – The Outbreak in Kent and Essex.....The Government, still misconceiving the aspect of affairs sent down to Brentwood Robert Belknap, Chief Justice of the Commmon Pleas, on a commission of Trailbaston, with orders to seek out and punish the rioters...When Belknap came down to Brentwood on June 2 and opened his commission, he and his clerks were suddenly set upon by an armed multitude....Belknap was seized, and forced to swear on the Bible that he would never hold another such session; his papers were destroyed, yet he was finally allowed to escape. But the mob beat to death and then beheaded three of the local jurors who had been called up to ‘present’ the original rioters before the chief justice, and then killed three unfortunate clerks. Their heads were set on poles, and paraded round Brentwood and the neighbouring villiages......

And then: It is said that the catalogue of ‘traitors’ drawn up by the men of Kent embraced the names of John of Gaunt, Archbishop Sudbury, Treasurer Hales, Courtenay, Bishop of London, John Fordham, Clerk of the Privy Seal and Bishop-Elect of Durham, Chief Justice BELKNAP, Chief Baron Plessington, Sir Ralph Ferrers, etc.

On 15th June 1381 Robert Bealknap, Robert Knolles and others received a letter patent to be commissioners for safeguarding the City of London and suburbs and preventing insurrections. (Calender of letter-books of the city of London: H, folio XCCCIV) - Commission of oyer and terminer to the mayor of London, Robert Belknap, Robert Knolles and others "on information that rioting labourers of Essex, Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Middlesex killed many of the king's lieges, entered London, burned houses and killed Simon, the archbishop and chancellor, and Robert de Hayles, prior of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem". (C.P.R.) On 7 Aug. of that year he, the sheriff of Essex and others had the task to enquire who were the insurgents who had gone to the abbey of Stratford, carried away goods and burnt charters, and to imprison them. The king appointed 4 new City Knights in London, Robert Belknap, Robert Knolles and others with full powers to investigate the guilty and punish them.

On Feb. 1382 another commission “de walliis, forsatis, etc.” was given to Robert Bealknap, Edward Dallyngrugge, Roger Ashburnham, Robert Echyngham, John Edwardes and John Brook between a place called Knellesflote etc. (Cal. Pat. Rolls).

In 1383 the manor of St. Mary Cray in Kent became the property of Robert which was held afterwards by Juliana his wife after his attainter and went by inheritance to Hamon. Until his attainter, Robert had held land also in Benenden, Kent (The Topographer, V. 3). The manors of West-Combe and Spittle Combe were held of the manor of Dartford and were granted to Robert after Bartholomew de Badlesmere's attainter, after Robert's attainter held by Juliane. Keston manor escheated to the crown, too, and was recuperated by his son Hamon.  (Hasted's Kent)

1384 Letters Patent to appoint John Montagu, Steward of the Household, Robert Tresillian, Robert Bealknap, David Harmere, John Holt, William de Burgh,  Walter Clopton and William Rikhill, justices of the Tower prison.

1384 - Robert Belknap kt. and Julian his wife and John Preston from Warehorn v. William Batlesford and Richard Cristelton, clerk; manor of Knelle and 90a land, 32 s rent in Beckley - to John for life of William de Welles of Canterbury, remainder to Robert and Julian and heirs of their bodies, contingent remainders to Thomas Lyvet, John Lyvet, Robert de Oxenbrugg', Laurence Curboil, heirs of their bodies, or right heirs of Robert de Beleknappe. (Sussex Fines)

Consequently, later in that year Thomas and John Lyvet, Robert Oxenbrigge and Edward Dallingrigge quitclaimed the manor and land and rent in Beckley to Robert Belknapp.

May 1386 – Sir Robert Belknap. Sir William Skipwith, Sir Robert Fulthorpe, Sir John Holt and Sir William de Burgh, justices of the common bench.....(Nat. Arch. SP46/183/fo11) -In  this year Robert had been sent to treat with the pope's nuntius regarding the reformer Wicliff.

Sir Robert Belknap was sentenced for treason to death  in the Parliament of Feb. 1st 1388. But the sentence was finally commuted to banishment  to Ireland. He forfeited his lands which lay in Kent, Essex, Hertfordshire. Hampshire and Sussex. The forfeiture of Robert's lands caused an avalanche of petitions for justice to be done of persons who had been wronged by this decision due to earlier enfeoffments etc..- "Accused by the Commons, condemned to be fined and imprisoned at the will of the King. Lords Appellants accused several lords and commoners, whom the Commons it seems had a mind to impeach; ..... The Commons then impeach Robert Belknap, Lord Chief Justice, Sir John Cary, Chief Baron, and other judges, who were condemned by the same Parliament." (House of Lords Journal Vol. 14, 30 Oct. 1690 - A 10). -

The reason for this had been that the parliament had voted to restrict the household and other expenses of the King and to check his favourites.  11 commissioners were voted to control the revenues. (The favourites had been charged of treason by the Duke of Gloucester and the earls in November 1387). However, the Duke of Ireland, Robert de Vere, earl of Oxford, the earl of Suffolk, William de la Pole, and Chief Justice Tresilian prevailed on the king to resist. So the judges named below were summoned to Shrewsbury and asked to declare the Parliament's ordinance for illegal. A document had been prepared accordingly by Tresilian. Robert Belknap refused, but his life was threatened by the Duke and the Earl. So he gave in, but uttered that his death was sealed in either case by the Parliament or by the King. In the next Parliament on 2 Feb. 1388 the judges, except Skipwith, were arrested and sent to the Tower. Tresillian and Belknap had been removed earlier. Tresillian was executed. The Commons convicted them all and sentenced them to death and forfeiture of their property to the king, save those which were entailed, including their chattels and goods. Michael de la Pole, the chancellor (d. 1389), had been empeached also.  (A Biography Dictionary of the judges of England). He, the Duke and the archbishop of York fled and died in foreign countries.  Robert Tresillian, Nicholas Brembre, kt. and Sir John de Salisbury  and others were drawn and hanged. Others were beheaded in the Tower.

[1388] - Petitioners: Robert Bealknap. Roger Fulthorp, John Cary, John Holt, William Burgh and John Lokton. Addressees: King and Council - They state that they have long been in prison, and all their lands and tenements have been seized into the King’s hands, so that they have nothing on which to live (Nat. Arch. SC8/32/1570).

The mandate of forfeiture of their goods dates from July 12 1388. On July 18 another mandate ordered to deliver Robert Belknap to the Tower of London.  Afterwards it was ordered to give pass and passage for Belknap, Holt, Fulthorpe and Burgh to go to Chester and from there to Ireland. Robert Belknap and the other judges were exiled for life. Robert  and John Holt were sent to Drogheda and could not travel beyond 3 respectively 1 miles of the town. (The Letter of the Law....)

1388 - Immediatelay after Robert's forfeiture  William bishop of Winchester was committed to hold the manor of Crokes Estan in Southampton which Robert had forfeited.(CFR V. 10). - Cal. Close Rolls, 17 Dec. Westminster, commitment to Hugh de Calverley by mainprise of John Kentwode, ‘chivaler’, and William Hangeford of the keeping of the manors of Knell, co. Sussex, and Lyde, co. Kent, which are in the king’s hand by the forfeiture of Robert Bealknap’, ‘chivaler’, to hold the same from Michaelmas last for ten years. The manor of Knell was worth 24 lbs 6s 1d and Lydd 12 lbs 10 s. to be paid to the Exchequer. -  Thomas Garwenton and the escheators in Kent, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex were sent to enquire after the true yearly value of Belknap's manors Kyngsnoth and Lede as well as other properties in the hundred of Wy, the manor of St. Mary Cray, lands in Crokornfeld, all in Kent, Wittersham in Sussex, the manor of Westhorsle in Surrey, Bernersbury in Middlesex and so on.

During the rest of the year Robert Belknap's properties were shared out under the King's trustees, after Robert Kent and John Olyver, the escheators of Surrey and Sussex had been ordered to have the goods of the bishop of Chichester, Robert Bealknap and James Berners, kts., to be sold. William Horbury, king's clerk, was to receive all the manors, lordships and lands in the counties of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset late of Robert Tresillian, Robert Belknap, Robert de Veer, Duke of Ireland, and others. - William Barrok to keep the lands in the towns of Wy and Bocton Allulph - Reynold Braybroke to hold the manor of Holwell in Bedford. - John Colvyle the elder to keep a moiety of the manor of Strete in Kent. - Thomas Duke of Gloucester received the manors of Holewell, Bedford, Gamelynge, Wympole, Marden, Caldecote and Toft in Cambridge and Salthous and Kelling in Norfolk. - Thomas Maydenstone of Middlesex to keep for the king land in Baldok, Wylyen, Weston, Clothale and Bygrave in Hertford as well as land and rent in the town of Rysheiden. - William Hunte, king's yeoman, got the manors of Wilting and Hollington in Sussex. (CFR V. 10).

1389 - James de Echingham and Joan his wife claimed the manor of Hempsted etc. in Kent, which  had been confiscated after Robert Belknap's forfeiture who had acquired the premises. However, afterwards he had regranted  it in fee tail to them. So William Rikhill, Richard Skippwith, escheator in Kent, and others were ordered to enquire. - On Feb. 12, 1389 Katherine lady Engayn, wife of Thomas Engayne, kt., was committed to the keeping of a moiety of the manor of Kingsnode with apputenances with other properties and rents in other places as well as the manor of Hempsted in Bennenden. Further the manor of Lydd with outlying properties, the manor of Seyntling in Seynt Mary Cray, Kent and the manors of KNELL and Holyngton in Sussex. Therefore she had to render 104 lbs 6s 8d yearly to the exchequer and additional 10 marks for Knell and Holyngton. - This sharing out of the properties once of Robert Belknap went on and on for years.

1390 - Juliana, wife of Robert de Beleknapp addresses King and Council stating that her husband has lost all his possessions, has been banished, leaving her and  f i v e  children in England and that only 40 pounds out of his former lands have been granted him yearly. But most of those lands were sold meantime so that she cannot pay that sum any more. She also pleads that certain lands are entailed to Robert's heirs and others held jointly with him. She also requests 10 pounds rent out of tenements of her inheritance. - (SC 8/95/4704)

1390, Feb 20 – Grant with the assent of the Council in the present Parliament, for the more speedy payment to Robert Belknap, kt., who by the King’s appointment is staying in Ireland, of the 10 lbs a year granted to him for his maintenance by letters patent dated 13th July 12 Richard II, now surrendered to Juliana his wife and others at farm for the term of the said Robert Bealknap’s life of the manors of Knelle, Sussex and of holdings in Kent, Essex and Hertfordshire. (Cal. Pat. Rolls)

March 15th of the same year: Grant reciting the preceeding part with the assent of the Council, in consideration of her great poverty, to the said Juliana de Bealknap, of the said residue during her husband’s life, in aid of the maintenance of herself and her children. (Cal. Pat. Rolls)

Oct. 26, 1390 – Revocation, giving effect to a decision of the Chancery of letters patent committing to Katherine, Lady Dengayne, for a certain yearly farm the custody of the manors of Seyntling, St.Mariecraye, Kent and Knelle, co. Sussex and other lands lately Robert Belknap’s, in the King’s hand by reason of his forfeiture and confirming letters patent dated Feb. last ....granting the said manor to Juliana Belknap and others. (Cal. Pat. Rolls).  Lady Katherine held Knelle manor for a short time only.

[1391] - Inheritance court case for manors of Crux Easton in Hampshire, Shute in Devon, Gamlingay in Cambridgeshire and Lincoln in Lincolnshire. - Thomas and Isabel Bradefeld request remedy because she is the rightful heir of Robert Avenell....son of John Avenell....The bishop of Lincoln occupied these lands and for 40 lbs paid in Chancery had letters of patent of Robert's marriage with the keeping of the manor of Crux Eaton and its adwovson during Robert's minority which he then granted to Belknap along with the lands in Gamlingay, all of which were seized into the king's hand by Belknap's conviction and forfeiture. (SC 8/250/12461). - Isabel was probably a sister of Robert.

May 2, 1392 at Westminster - The Council agreed to grant the manors forfeited by Robert Beleknapp in the counties of Lincoln, Cambridge, Norfolk and Bedford, which had been held by Robert for a term of 15 years, but which on 1 Dec. 7 Richard II (1383/4) John of Buckingham, bishop of Lincoln, had granted in tail to Robert son of John Avenel and Juliana, daughter of Robert de Belknap, failing issue to Robert and Juliane Belknap and their heirs. This change took place as Robert Avenel had died afterwards and by Robert de Belknap's  forfeiture in 1388 the properties had escheated to the king. The manors, land etc. were granted to several persons saving the interests of Juliana the daughter and Juliana the mother (CPR Rich. II, Vol. 5, p. 47).

Shortly after 1384 Robert Belknap had got hold of the manors of La More in Sandon and Rushden. After Robert's forfeiture Rushden was granted to his wife Juliane for his and their children support. His son Hamon sold it in 1419. (VCH Hertfordshire, Vol. 3).

Robert Belknap was allowed to return to England in 1397 (Dict. of Nat. Biography) but his attainter was not lifted. Therefore  he addresses the King requesting the restoration of his lands in the king's hands, some of which being held by Dalingerugge, Echingham, Lady Engaine and Parker. (SC 8/249/12417). On 21 May 1398 a mandate was issued to deliver certain lands to him, (Cat. of Manuscripts Library of the Soc. of the Inner Temple), for example the lands which were farmed by Thomas Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester. From VCH Kent, Vol. 4: "The king considered him as a martyr to his interest, granted him several of his estates again among others his moiety of Lidsing which he then gave to the Priory of St. Andrew in Rochester for one monk to celebrate mass in the Cathedral for ever for the souls of himself, his predessors and successors".

1401, Feb. 28 - Commission to William Brenchesley, John Tauke, Vincent Fynch and the sheriff and escheator of Sussex to enquire into the petition of Juliane Belknap that by a fine levied on Michaelmas 9 Richard II by William Batelesford and Richard de Cristelton who had granted the manor of Knell, 90 acres of land and 32s rent in Beckley to John de Preston for the life of William de Welles of Canterbury, and the remainder to Robert and Julian and their heirs. But then William de Welles died and shortly afterwards John de Preston. (C.P.R:) She states there that her husband had died on Jan 19 of that year. (see above)

On the same day commissions were issued to William Brenchesley, Thomas and Robert Oxenbrigge, the sheriff and escheator of Sussex and others to enquire into the petition of Juliane Belknap regarding the manor of Knell and 90 acres of land and 32s rent in Beckley. The same to William Rikhill, John Culpepper, William Makenade, the sheriff and escheator of Kent to enquire into her petition concerning the manors of Wyghtresham (Wittersham) and Seintlyngge in Kent. (C.P.R.)

March 14, 1401 Grant to the king's brother, Thomas de Beaufort, his heirs and assigns in lieu of the one vaccated dd 18 Nov. 1, Henry IV (see above)..of the manors of Seintlyng in Seint Marycreye, Kent, Knell in Sussex and Crokkeston in Southampton of the yearly values of 20 lbs, 40 marks and 10 lbs respectively, to hold from that date with knight's fees, adwowsoms and other benefices... (C.P.R.)

In 1407 Richard Coble and John Westan with Alice his wife sued John de Burg and Joan his wife for a messuage in Seynt Mary Craye, and they sued John Marchall and Joan (Juliand), formerly the wife of Robert Belknap, kt. and Thomas de Dyngeley for lands in St. Mary Craye, Paulys Craye, Orpyngton, Farmbergh and Chellefeld claiming that those lands being held in gavelkind. Obviously, they lost the plea (De Banco Roll).

Juliana Belknap after many difficulties was able to hold Knelle manor until her death on  22 July 1414 (VCH). - In the Subsidy Roll of 1411-2 she appears holding the manor of Knell, worth 20 lbs yearly. - Belknap, Julia who was the wife of Richard, kt, Kent, 1415. (Inq. p. m.) Whether Richard should  read Robert or whether she married after her husband's death again, remains a question.

Joan (Juliane) late the wife of Robert Bealknap, kt. held on the day of her death for the term of her life  the manors of Seyntlynge in the towns of Orpington, Seyntmariecray, Paulynescraye, Chiselhurst, Chellefeld and Sevynton with appurtenances in Kent  with remainder to Thomas, son of the said Robert and Juliane, remainder to John, brother of Thomas, of the gift of Nicholas Bond which he had made to Robert Belknap and Juliane .


John Burke’s “A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland” relates that Sir Ralph de Stonor, kt. married secondly Jane, daughter of Sir Robert Belknapp, kt. who was constituted chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas, 10th Oct. 1375. (See also SC 8/24/1167). His first wife had been a daughter of James Butler, second earl of Ormond (d. 1359). Jane's first husband had been Edmund de Hampden from Buckinghamshire. From both marriages she had descendancy. Her son with Ralph Stonor was Gilbert who d. 1397.


is mentioned as wife of Robert, son of John , son of John Avenel, kt., (d. 1360), son of William and Joan Avenel,  (CPR, 15 Richard II, Vol. 5, p. 47) who had died childless  in 1387 in custody with Robert Belknap. A John Avenel appears in Sussex in 1194, a Gilbert in Nottingham. (Curia Regis Roll). According to 'Recherches sur le Domesday': Jean de Recete, Normandy, had the sons Hugh de Recete who died before 1067 and had illigitimate issue. Hervey de Braviard en Biars was the younger son whose son Osmellinus was called Avenel by 1080. He had a brother Sigembert de Biars who dsp.

Thomas and John died without issue. They are mentioned in the order to the escheator of Kent to deliver the property in Kent which their mother had held at her death on 22 July 1414 to her eldest son Hamon,  Thomas and John who were to inherit having died without leaving issue. (CFR V. 14). 

Hamon -  had married Joan Botiller (d. before 1473), daughter of Sir Thomas Boteler, baron of Wemme, and Alice, daughter of John Beauchamp of Powick (her second husband was John Denham),  and coheir of her brother Ralph, who had been created Lord Sudeley, of Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire in 1441.

Oct. 8, 1414 - Order to the escheator of Kent to cause Hamo Belknap full seising of his mother's properties, the king having taken fealty of him, as per his mother's Inq.p.m. He had inherited the manor and demesne lands of St. Mary Cray in Socage as well as Crawton manor.  (The Tenures of Kent)

As son and heir of Sir Robert Belknap, kt., in 1401 Hamon  petitioned the Commons in Parliament for the restoration of the forfeited lands and tenements and to recall his father's attainter, as other exiled persons had had their possessions restored by then. (SC 8/23/1136). Another appeal by him to the King at Westminster for the reversion of Knelle and other  manors  dates from 1425/6, where he pleads that John Holt's and William Burgh's lands had been restored, whereas he was a minor in 1401 and could not protest.. (SC 8/25/1206). According to VCH he died seized of Knelle manor  and Orpington in Kent  in 1429. He had been in the retinue of the Duke of Bedford in 1420, mentioned as captain in the battle of Agincourt where John Oxenbridge of Sedlescombe and John Fenys served under him. (Sussex men at Agincourt).

From 'Chronique du Mont St. Michel': John, regent of France, Duke of Bedford informs Hamon de Belknapp that he has been made treasurer and general financial governor. Before that he had ordered the abbot of St. Michel, Hamon and Raoul le Sage to come to Normandy -  On 28 April 1418 Hamo de Belknap and others had been appointed commisioners of array in Kent. (CPR Henry V, Vol. 2, p. 199).  In 1414 we hear of him as  member of a commission of 'walliis et fossatis' in Kent and Sussex, together with William Cheyney, Robert Oxenbregg, William Marchaund and others. - Hamon is buried in the chapel of our Lady in Beckley which funeral cost 8 d. In 1415 Thomas Stonor granted to Hamon and others lands etc. in Aylesbury, Stone, Stoke Mandeville and Stoke Halling in Buckingham. Thomas Stonor would have been the son of the earl of Ormond from his first marriage).

From 'Les Etats de Normandy', Appendice pp. 138: Hamon Belknap, Esq. was first Treasurer and master of the Exchequer in the 'Hôtel du Régent' and later was named Treasurer and General Governor of the French finances in the Duchy of Normandy by letter patent of 2 Jan. 1423.  - Joan his wife was received by the Regent on 13 Nov. 1423 and received 600 lbs in consideration of the grand and notably constant services she had rendered to the Duchess of Bedford, wife of the Regent, as maid of honour - By a royal grant his eldest son John received possession of fiefs in the bailiwick of Rouen which had belonged to John Malherbe.

Hamon died in the first days of January 1429. On 22 Jan. a writ of 'clausit extremum' for Hamon Bealknap, esq., Kent, Sussex, Essex was issued. Thomas Broun and William Burgh received a commitment of the keeping of the manor of Crokeseston, Southampton, which had been forfeited by Robert Belknap on 7 Feb. - Ralph Botiler, kt., John Montgomery, kt. and Joan late the wife of Hamon Belknap were to keep all the lands late of Hamon for the service of one half of a kinght's fee to hold until the full age of John his son and heir.  (CFR V. 10- 15).

Hamon and Joan had the following children:

John - appears with his mother in a court case (C 1/11/497).  On 16 Feb. 1434 Joan, lady Denham, wife of John Denham, kt., received a commission of the marriage of John Belknap, son and heir of Hamon Belknap, tenant in chief by paying a fine of 40 lbs (CPR Henry VI, Vol. 2, p. 332). Joan and John pleaded against John Ferby, feoffee of John, regarding the manors of Crockenhill and Kingsnorth in Kent. (C 1/11/497). John proved his age in 1434 (C 139/67/55) and died in 1436 (PSO/1/62/52 and C 139/84/716, IPM)).  On 1st Oct. 1436 a writ of 'clausit extremum' was issued of John Bealknap, esq. Kent.  On Jan. 15, 1437 the escheator of Kent received order  to cause William, John's brother, to have full seising of his inheritance, as the king has taken his fealty: John at the day of his death held two thirds of the manor of Seyntling in Seyntmartcraye, held in chief (CFR V. 16). - John had been granted land in Normandy by the King.

William, esq. (d. 1484  SP; IPM nº 97, Sussex Rec. Soc. XI) - He is mentioned in the early Chancery Proceedings. Later he became heir of his older brother John. He lived at St. Mary of Cray in Kent but also held Knelle manor. In 1415 William with others had grants from Thomas Stonore of several lands and tenements in Buckinghamshire. (705:349/12946/494334). He died without issue and seems to have held property in the counties of Kent, Sussex, Worcs, Warws (C 141/6/16). 1446 sees him as Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex. In 1470 land of William Belknap esq. is mentioned in connection with Sir John Norbury as lying next to the tenement late of Philip atte Well', called Pakenhame, in Kent (Kent Archives). In 1477 William  and Sir John Norbury - they were cousins - had licence to enter into possession of the lands formerly of Ralph Boteler of Sudeley, namely the manor of Belbroughton or Fairfield (VCH Worcestershire). After the division of the lands he received Fairfield manor entirely. Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Norbury had married Ralph Boteler Lord Sudeley, and after his death Sir John Montgomery. (William's mother was a sister of Ralph Boteler).

Elizabeth (d. 28 May 1471) - married Sir William de Ferrers of Chartley, 7th lord Ferrers (d. 9 June 1450),  son of Sir Edmund de Ferrers. (C 139/144/50). Their only daughter and heir Anne became the wife of Walter Devereux of Weobley in Herefordshire, Lord Ferrers  in right of his wife  who died in 1485 in the Battle of Bosworth fighting for King Richard III.  - In 1484 Edmund Ferrers with a large company of armed men ejected William Belknap esq. of Knelle in Beckley (Plantagenet Ancestry).  -

Griselda -  had married John Hende, son of John Hende, (d. 1418) twice mayor of London and sheriff of London and Middlesex in 1381, 1401-2 and1404-5. He was a draper. (The Worthies of Kent) -  In 1381 John Hende  had to deal with the insurgents of Kent together with John Rote his fellow sheriff and John Charneye, Coroner of London.  -The years 1405-7 sees him as tax collector of the subsidies of wools, hides and woolfells in London (CFR V. 13). - Griselda's husband also became a tax collector recorded in 1447 and 1451. (CFR V. 18).- In 1412 John junior held the manor of Mokynghall which was worth X lbs. Also he has the manor of Shobury at X lbs, Bradwell at XX lbs, Pycoots at XI lbs, Rothing at XX marks, Chitchell at X lbs and the manor in the ville of Stahunden called Gobyn at XX marks (Feudal Aids Essex).

John and Griselda  had a daughter Joan, who married Walter Wrytell. Their son John d. 1485 (VCH Huntingdon, the manor of Southoe).  Writ of 'clausit extremum' dates from 21 March 1485 ( CFR V. 19) - Griselda's name appears  in the manor of Stondon Massay as daughter of Hamon de Belknap. This manor was held by John Hende by 1412. (VCH Essex). 

Philip -  sheriff of Kent in 1454 and mayor of Canterbury in 1458. On 4 Nov. 1456 he is ordered to commit the county and castle of York to Thomas Haryington, kt. and sheriff. Philip is also known from an inquisition dated 1457 on his goods. It says laconically "no lands" (E 199/20/15). He lived in La Mote, near Canterbury, Kent.  Philip was uncle to Edward, son of his brother Henry.

    - His only daughter Alice married Henry Finch, esq. of Netherfield in Sussex , son of William Herbert alias Finch and Agnes de Dartford, grandson of Vincent Herbert and Isabella, sister to Richard or Robert Cralle. Vincent Finch was lord of the manor of Netherfield in 1429.  Alice and Henry had a son William (de la Mote), who married twice and thus created a large descendancy (Visitation of Kent).  One of his wives was Catherine, eldest daughter and coheir of Sir Thomas Moyle, of Eastwell.  Their son Thomas had three sons and one daughter. The eldest, Sir Moyle Finch was created a baronet. Henry, the third son became chief justice of the common pleas and lord keeper. King Charles I. created him lord Finch, baron of Fordwich. He died in 1661. Daniel Finch (dsp 1769) became earls f Winchelsea and Nottingham (Hasted, Kent).

The Herbert or Finch family descended from Henry FitzHerbert, chamberlain of Henry I, same as the FitzHerberts of Wales, earls of Pembroke. King Henry III gave the manor of Warblington with the hamlets of Empsworth, Estney and Watlington to Matthew FitzHerbert, son of Herbert FitzHerbert,  within the liberty of the rape of Hastings. Matthew was sheriff of Sussex in 1211-16 and later until 1230. His sons were Herbert and Peter. Herbert fought with honour  in France in 1242 and held the manors of Barton and Warblington with a market in Emelesworth granted in 1239, as well as several other properties. Peter died in 1268 seized of land belonging to Warbleton manor. A Matthew son of John and Alianor held Warbleton and various properties including the castle of Devizes in Wiltshire and Devon in 1286. Matthew was living in 1301. In 1312 another Matthew FitzHerbert held Warbleton with appurtenances. Vincent FitzHerbert lived in the reigns of Richard II and Henry IV (1377-99 and 1399-1413).(A Topographic History of Surrey).

In 1411-2 Vincent Fynch held manors and lands worth 40 lbs yearly in Echingham and Netherfield (Subsidy Roll of the 13th). - Arch.  - In 1479 Alice was assigned a quarter of the manor of Dolham as her dower. (VCH) - 'Cantiana' states that the Finches were descended from Herbert, Chamberlain to Henry I and that the Herberts of Pembroke and of Ireland and those of Eastwell were related. - Arms: argent, a chevron between 3 griffons passant sable.

Henry Fynch on 19 July 1476 had a court case against John Fynch regarding lands in Sussex including Ewhurst, Playden, Beckley and Peasmarsh, probably a matter of inheritance rights (C 1/47/44). A document dated 11 May 1479, shows that Henry Fynch, esq. grants to Thomas Mountgomery, kt, John Norbury, kt. and others for dowry of Alice Belknapp, the manor of Marley and others in Sussex and rights in Beckley, Playden, Wittersham, Ewhurst and elswhere. (FH2671). John Norbury was coheir with Alice's uncle William in Ralph Boteler's lands, and Thomas Montgomery turns up in a grant with her uncle Henry.  Henry held woodlands called the Ferme in the parish of Penhurst (ASH/4501/126). - His great grand mother was Isabel, daughter and coheir of Robert Cralle of Cralle in Sussex and thus related to William de Batelesford.

Henry married  Margaret Knolles or Knollys (see intro 9). They had a son Edward and several daughters and resided at Knelle manor. When Edward died young without legal issue, the family possessions were divided between his 4 (surviving) sisters. Henry in 1440 appears in a deed in Yorkshire where the family held land (SP 46/183/fo28). He also held a moiety of the manor of Kinswood come down to the family by Ralph Botiler.

Henry might have been born c. 1425.  In 1465 Henry Belknap, esq., Thomas Montgomery and Christopher Huet are grantors of the manors of Stoke d'Abernon, Fetcham and Albury in Surrey (LR 14/63). He is mentioned in a commission along with John Guildford, Thomas Oxenbrigge, Henry Fynche and Vincent Fysshe (Finch) regarding the trial of Richard Hill of Reynam, Kent. Henry was several times mainpernor,  in 1452 to Henry Skenward and William Bertram, in 1453 to Margaret, countess of Shrewsbury, who had been committed to hold the lands of John late Viscount Lysle and the marriage and wardship of his minor son Thomas.  In 1457 again to Thomas Wylde and William Bertram  who were allowed to keep some small parcels of land belonging to the king (CFR). In 1484 the escheators of Warwickshire and Worcestershire were ordered to give him seising of his brother William's land.

Henry's  will was proved on 2 Dec. 1488 (PROB 11/8). He died on 20 June 1488. His Inq.p.m. says that Edward, his heir, was aged 17 at his death. (IPM Sussex, V. 4, nº 23).  Henry was buried in the church of Beckley on 25 June 1488. Margaret (1432- after 1488), his widow, received Knelle manor as her dower for life with land in Peasmarsh.

Sir Edward Belknap, kt. KG, (born 1471) in of Weston-under-Weatherley,  Henry's son,   was married to Alice Burnby,  who secondly married John Brygges (C 1/739/49  and C 1/474/48). According to a document preserved in the Nat. Arch. (DE/Z/120/44984) dated 1498, he was married to Alice Broun -  "...his lands and tenements in...If William Broun has no heirs  remainder to Alice, wife of Edward Belknnapp, esq., sister to William..

He had, however, an illigitimate daughter Elizabeth with  the widow of Walter Scott of Staplefield Tany in Essex, who married Thomas Bushop of Hendfield in Sussex. Their son Thomas, kt., born 1555, became the first Baronet Bisshop of Torham and Viscount of Sussex and died in 1626. (Visitation. of Sussex).  He was also a member of Parliament and sheriff of Surrey and Sussex.  Sir Thomas married firstly a daughter of William Cromer of Kent and his wife Katherine, da. of Sir Thomas Kemp, kt.; and secondly Jane, da. of Sir Wichard Weston and Jane Dister (

Edward made his will in in 1520 (ER 101/38) and died on 25 March 1520. (Inq. p.m. of 1521-2, nº 133 Sussex). There seems to exist an earlier will of 4 Nov. 1505 with the Grey Friars of the city of London to be buried there in the church of St. Sepulcre of London (North Country Wills). This will was proved in 1521 (PROB 11/20) After Edward's death several court cases are registered concerning  his former manors. His coheirs were his suviving  sisters or their descendancy.

Edward had been Chief Butler for many years (E 122/00/13), and in 1478 he was appointed constable of the Castle and steward of the town of Warwick (VCH, Vol. 8). 1501  created sheriff of Warwickshire and Leicestershire (CFR).  From the year 1507-8 exists an account of Edward concerning seized goods, fines of outlawry and licenses to marry  (E 101/517/14). - The surveyer and receiver of Solihull and Henley-in-Arden and Woodward park of Solihull was given in survivership to Walter Devereux, Lord Ferrers and Edward Belknap in 1511 (Hist. of the Cty of Warwick, V. 4). In 1513 he accompanied Henry VIII to war in France where he was knighted at Tournai. Sampson Norton and Edward were masters of the Ordonance in 1514-5 (E 36/236).  He is mentioned as crown official who abused his position (Google Book Search) and in 1516-7 surveyer general of crown lands (AA E41/267). -Shortly before his death he and other commissioners were responsible for preparing "The Field of Cloth" for King Henry VIII in France and making sure that the archbishop's tent stood on dry ground. (VCH). He had been member of the Privy Council both of Henry VII and VIII.

At the division of Ralph de Boteler's lands, Lord Sudeley,  in 1496 Edward was assigned the manor of Sheriff's Lench and held lands in Horseley and Castelhouses (C 1/342/4) as well as the manors of Darsett and Northend in Warwickshire.(CRO457/6/1) in 1505. He was also lord of Worthies in Essex (VCH Vol. 4).  Edward  in 1511-2 was enfeoffed by William Suffolk and Margery his wife of all their lands in KingshullI (DR 10/1191 & 3).  Wolston manor in Warwickshire came into Edward's possessions by exchange with John Cotes (VCH). In 1513 he acquired a moiety of Bubbenhall manor in Warwick (VCH), and in 1514 he held Northend manor. His tenant there was Thomas Cheyney who died that year (VCH).  At London in 1518 Edward, William Shelley, his brother-in law, and others received a gift from Edward Ferrers, kt , of property in London. (DR3/558). An undated charter shows the conveyance of the manor of Hampton Ardern to Edward and master William Shelley  from Sir Henry and Dame Margaret Guildford (CR 1998/Box 72/13).

Edward had acquired Weston-under Wetherley in the County of Warwick after 1485. He gave it to his wife Alice from whom it passed later on to his nephew John Shelley (d. 1550-1), son of William Shelley and Alice, his sister. At his death he owned lso Griffe in Warwick, Croton in Kent and Clapham in Sussex. The manor of Knelle he bequeathed to Alice his wife,  to Alice his sister and her husband William Shelley as well as to his niece Beatrice Ranson.

Thomas Burnby esq., son and heir of George Burnby esq. sues William Shelley, executor of Edward Belknap, kt, son-in-law of complainant and Eustace Burnby for detention of a deed relating to the manors of Watford Wappenbury and half the manor of Woolthorpe. (C 1/474/48).

Mary  (b. 1477) - is referred to under C1/1087/49-50 as being married to Gerard Danett, esq. (of Darnetthall). In a law suit against Alice Brugge, late the wife of Edward Belknap, knight, brother of the said Mary and uncle of Sir Edward Woton and John Coke. (Anthony Coke, esq., son and heir of John Coke, and Edward Woton were also plaintiffs).  Mary Danett, Anthony Cook, grandson of of Philip - see Elizabeth - and Edward Wotton, knight, (see Anne) sued Alice Brugge or Brygge, once the wife of Edward Belknap for portions of the manor of Avon Dassett in Warwickshire. (C 1/108751)

Anne - (born 13 May 1460, -  married Sir Robert Wotton of Boughton Malherbe, Kent,  Deputy Lieutenant of Guisnes and comptroller of Calais, whose daughter Margaret (d.1535) espoused first William Medley, esq., son and heir of Benedict Medley of Whitchurch, and secondly Thomas Grey Marquess of Dorset. ( Thus she became ancestress to the 10 day's queen Jane Grey, her great grand daughter, executed in 1559.  Robert and Anne had also three sons of which, Henry was dean of York and Canterbury.

Anne's son Dr. Nicholas had been educated for the church. He was patronised by Fonstall, bishop of Durham whose official he became in 1528, prebendary of York 1530 and 1536 proctor of Anne Boleyn until her sentence. In 1539 he was one of the commissioners to negotiate the marriage of Anne of Cleves to Henry VIII.  He was resident ambassador at the court of France. In 1549 he had mandate to proceed against the Proctor of Somerset, (Seymour) and in October of that year he became Secretary of State.  He died in 1546-7. (England under the Reign of Edward VI).

Edward, the heir (d. 1550) married Dorothy, daughter of Sir Robert Read.  He was Treasurer of Calais. Their son Thomas (d. 1587) was imprisoned in Fleet Prison in London in 1553 by Queen Mary, but later pardoned. Thomas was twice sheriff  and entertained Queen Elizabeth in July 1573. He was twice married. From his second marriage he had Henry, whowho was knighted and  became Provost of Eton college.  From his first marriage he had several children and his heir

Sir Edward, who was co-heir of Edward Belknap,  was Treasurer of Calais, Privy Council of Henry VIII, and later created Lord Wotton, Baron Merley in 1604. He had also been ambassador on several occasions, comptroller of the Queen's household, sheriff once, and represented Kent in Parliament as lieutenant of Kent. He died in 1628. His son Thomas married Mary Throckmorton and d. 1630, leaving Margaret, their daughter,  married to Sir John Tufton, and Catherine wife of Henry Lord Stanhope. She married  secondly John van den Kerckhoven. Philip Stanhope, her son,  was created earl of Chesterfield. - There were two more daughters.

The Wottons were Lords of Boughton Malherbe in Kent, held in 'capite' of the king's manor of Ospringe (Hasted's Kent) - Their arms wereArgent, a cross patee, pitched at the foot, sable, quartered with Corbie, Argent, a saltire ingrailed sable by marriage of Joan, daughter of Robert Corbie, sheriff in the reign of Richard II (1377-99), with Nicholas Wotton of the Draper's Company who was twice Lord Mayor of London and also alderman. His descendant, Nicholas (d. 1448) was the father of Robert who married Anne Belknap.

Elizabeth married Philip Cooke  of Giddyhall in Essex. (Rootsweb). Anthony (b. c. 1500-4), son of her son John, was coheir of Edward Belknap. Annne,  second daughter of Sir Anthony Cook, who was governor to Edward VI, married in 1558 Sir Nicholas Bacon, kt., attorney at the Court of Wards and lord keeper of the Great Seal of Queen Elizabeth. (The Worthies of Suffolk). Elizabeth's  great-grand daughter, Mildred Cooke, became  the wife of William Cecil, Lord Burghley, who is  a descendant of Isabel Knell of Knill Court in Herefordshire, by her marriage to James Seisyll or Cecil in the 13th C. (Whittingdon genealogy). Mildred's son Thomas became Earl of Salisbury and had descendancy.  -

Sir Edward Wotton, Anthony Cooke and Mary Danet claimed portions of Burton Dasset manor against Alice Brugge, late the wife of Edward Belknap. They also held land in Arbury of the manor of Stockingford granted to them after the dissolution. In 1544 Mary Danett, mortgaged her purparty to George Medley to the use of Sir Edward Wotton, her nephew. (VCH Warwick).

Funeral Certificates 1596: Elizabeth Brooke,  lady of the Privy chamber and bedchamber of the Queen, buried in Abbey church, Westminster, widow of Sir Robert Cecil,  secretary to Queen Elizabeth, daughter of Lord Cobham KG., chamberlain of the Queen's household. The four banners were born by Sir Edward Hobby, Sir Edward Denny, Sir Edward Wotton and Sir Anthony Cooke, kts.

Edward Cooke (d. 17 Sept. 1568, IPM), son of William Cook, died seised of the manors of Field and Knell or Knoll in Goring, lands and rent in Goring and Tarring and 40 acres of land called the 'Field and Knell lands', He held further properties in Durrington and Clapham and lands in Sompting and Wiston. Those lands were held of the Queen in chief by kinght's service. The lands in Durrington and Clapham were held of the manor of Broadwater. - Edward's heir was Richard Cooke of Felde. (b. 1547) - Thomas Cook who was married to Margaret Weston, yeoman of Heene, d. 20 Feb. 1573. He held also land and tenements in Petworth.  John Cook was of Broadwater (Sussex IPMs) - This is interesting as all those properties were owned by the Knell-Knoll families between 1200 and the late 14th C.

Griselda - has been dedicated a brass in the church of Clapham with the following inscription : "Hic jacet bona et virtuosa Griselda, nup. ux. Joh'is Cargyll, una filiar' Henr' Belknap, armigeri, consanguinii et unius heredu' Rad'i Boteler, militis, d'i de Sudeley, que obiit XI die Julii aº d'ni mºCCCClXXXXViii (1498), cujus anime propitietur Deus. Amen" (Here lies the good and virtuous Griselda, wife of John Cargyll, a daughter of Henry Belknap, kt., relative and only heir of Ralph Boteler. esq., of Sudeley, who died the 11th of July. God take her soul. Amen). [The Battle Abbey Roll ] John Caryll (d. 1523) was of the Inner Temple.

"Grisell de Bealknap, living with Dame de Boteller, received by royal command a silver collar to adorn her livery (The Progress and Public Processions of Queen Elizabeth by John Nichols)."

Margaret - There is only one source where she is mentioned as having married John Butler of Hertfordshire. The Visitation of Hertfordshire does not show this marriage. Another source says that she was married to Thomas Lewknor of Kent (Hasted).

Alice (d. c. 1537-42)  married William Shelley, then Justice of the Common Pleas on 10 July 1512 when his parents settled property on them  including lands in Petworth, Heen, Sullington.  - John Shelley, esq. of Michelgrove, son of Gilbert,  William's father,  d. 3 Jan. 1527 (IPM V. 46, nº 14). On 26 Sept. 1526 he had settled the manor of Applesham and lands in Combe on Alice, wife of William Shelley, his son and heir. They further received a moiety of the manor and advowson of Denton and Skam in Shermanbury. Elizabeth, wife of John Shelley,  daughter of John Michelgrove or Faulkenor, d. 30 July 1514 (IPM V. 46, nº 15). Her heir was her son William, then aged 40 or more. Sir John and Elizabeth  have a brass in the Holy Trinity in Clapham dated 1526.

Alice as wife of William Shelley, serjeant-at-law,  sister and co-heir of Edward Belknap, kt., son of Harry Belknap, esq., “petitioned for the examination of witnesses as to her title to share under the will of said Henry the manors of K n e l l, Wolston, Marston, Mecallsbury and Stondon (Massey), and in one-third of the manor of BLO.” (C 1/579/28). Alice was obviously assigned the manors of Wolston and of Knell .

Sir William succeeded in 1527. His inheritance included Patching, and he bought immediately also the manor of Clapham from Edward Wood, a descendant of the St. Owen family.. William made his will on 6 Nov. 1548: "I give to my son Richard one hundred pundes whiche the executors of the late Kinges grace, kinge Henry the VII owe me for I lent yt to our said late souveraigne lord at his being at the sege of Bolloyn" ( Sussex Rec. Soc.) Henry VIII promoted William to a judge of the common pleas and recorder of London.

In 1538 William received from the hanaper 1.000 lbs for purchase of lands. 1542. In 1541 he and his son John received a grant in fee of the manor of Ederston and lands which had belonged to Thomas Cromwell of Essex, attainted.

Sir William Shelley to Cromwell: "...Shelley will commune with his council for the sale of the manor of Knell. Has never been moved for the sale of the manor,  but only for the woods, and that was by Cromwell..." - Sir William Shelley to Wriothesley: "In compliance with my lord Privy Seal's command gives a valuation of the manor of Knell and the woods there which is  the King's pleasure to have for the commodity of his town of Calais. The lordship is worth 48 lbs a year and the yearly wood sale has been 40 lbs or 40 marks....Thinks he could sell the wood for over 2000 lbs. Has been offered 1.500 lbs. It would be hard to find such plenty of timber so near the water....The lordship of Knell is the old house of the Belknaps given to the writer by Mr. Belknap as part of his late wife's portion...." (Letters and State Papers V. 12 & 14, Henry VIII). - The king sent Sir William Shelley, to Cardinal Wolsey to surrender York Place, near Westminster to the king.

Alice and William had 7 sons and 7 daughters, all pictured in Clapham Church. In William's will are mentioned 4 sons and 4 daughters, the surviving ones.

      - Catherine married Henry Brown as his second wife.  He predeceased his father Matthew, kt. of Beechworth Castle, who was sheriff of Surrey in 1496, and married to Fridiswide, daughter of Sir Richard Guildford KG of Hempsted in Kent. Matthew still lived in 1530 (Burke).

       -  Elizabeth married Sir Roger Copley, kt. of Roughway in Sussex (The Visitation of Sussex).

       -  Frances and Margaret. One of them became a nun.

       -  Thomas of Mapledurham in Southampton

       - Sir Richard, became Grand Prior of the Order of St. John in Jerusalem, retired to Spain but died in Venice.

       - Sir Edward,  lost his life in the battle of Muselborough, Scotland,  in 1547. (

       - Francis,  was a knight of Malta (Vis. of Sussex). 

       - James  was a knight of Malta

       - son

       -John the eldest son and heir married Mary, daughter of William FitzWilliam and d. 16 Dec. 1550 after having made his will on 8 August 1550: "I give to Syr Robert Brigges my Chapleyn foure marks yerely out of my mannor of  K n e l l  in the county of Sussex...."John died seised of the manor of Knell. He ordered to be buried in the church of Clapham. Mary married secondly Sir John Guildford.

John and Mary  had 12 children, of whom 3 sons and 5 daughters survived him. 

                 - William (b. 1538), a justice, succeeded him at the age of 12 years. He received Stondon Hall in Essex, Wolston and Marsdon in Warwick and inherited from his uncle Richard land in Rudgwik. Mary his wife got the manor of Chalfyrim in Hertshire. The manors of Knelle and Orpington in Kent he held also. William was imprisoned in 1580 for recusancy and attainted for High Treason in 1586-7 for his part in the Throgmorton Plot to free Mary Queen of Scots.. In 1596 he was released from the Tower. His estates were leased to John and Henry Shelley, Sir John Caryll and others by the Crown. But these estates were restored to his nephew John, son of his brother John, for a payment of 11.000 lbs as late as 1604 when Queen Elizabeth had died. (VCH). Meanwhile Knelle manor had been granted to Henry Selhurst and Thomas Sere in 1587 and to Giles Sere in 1594-5 (CPR). William married Mary daughter of Thomas Writhosley, Earl of Southampton, but died s.p.

               - John   married Elianor daughter of Sir Thomas Lovell of Norfolk and had 2 children: Sir John Shelley of Michaelgrove, knight and Baronet, married  Jane daughter of Sir Thomas Reresby, kt.  of Yorkshire;   Elizabeth  wife of Thomas Tymberley of Suffolk.      - John and Richard were to receive the manors of Exton Bassett and Luces in Wiltshire.

              - Richard founded the Patchham branch near Lewes and d. 1552. - C. 1546 Patcham Place was acquired by the Shelley family from a family named Scott, where William's third son Richard settled.   In 1552 his son John succeeded whose will was proved in 1587. His son Richard died in 1594 and was buried at Patcham. In 1620 Henry,  his son sold the estate to Anthony Stapley - a capital messuage, 2 virgates of land. (VCH, the Rape of Lewes).  

               -  Edward founded the branch of Warminghurst.

               -  Bridget married to Anthony Hungerford

               -  Mary wife of George Cotton, son of Sir Richard

               -  Elizabeth married to Sir Thomas Gifford, kt.

               -  Margaret  wife of Edward Gaye

               -  Elinor married to Thomas Norton, son of Sir John Norton of Kent.

The family lived at Knelle and Michelgrove and became quite wealthy. They  can be traced back to Sir Richard Shelley in the time of King Rufus. Sir Thomas Shelley, knight, was sent as Ambassador to Spain in 1205 ( -

The Shelleys of Michelgrove held  Knelle manor until 1777, when they sold it (AMS 4898). At their marriage Michelgrove estate and other properties were settled on William and Alice. They also held Applesham and Denton and land in Shermansbury (Sakham farm) and Combes. In addition William acquired land in Suffolk and Herfordshire as well as Kingdom House in Chichester.

The Dictionary of Biographie says that William and Alice were married in the church of Beckley. - There is a tomb where they are buried. (Sussex Arch. Coll.) William Shelley appears as executor of Edward Belknap's will  under the title Justice of the Common Pleas - since 1526 -. (C 1/415/24).  William was much esteemed by King Henry VIII. He was involved of the trials of Edward Stafford for High Treason in 1521, where he was made serjeant-at-law. Further he was present at the trial of the bishop of Rochester, Fisher, in 1535 und at the one of Anne Boleyn in 1536. Also he was involved in the trial of the young Lord Dacre who was sentenced to death at the age of 24. William Shelley avoided the final trial because he was not convinced of his guilt. He received permission to crenellate his manor of Michelgrove where he later entertained the King.

Knelle with all his appurtenances was sold again in 1848 (DAP/Box325) and Knelle wood in 2005. (Real Estate ad). In the same year permission was given to build on Knelle dower house which dates from the 15th C. (Beckley Council).

Shelley arms taken from the British Herald:

Sable a fesse engrailed between three escallops or (ancient Sussex); Shelley Lewes, Michelgrove and Patcham the same as of Maresfeld Park: sable: a fess engrailed between three welk-shells, or - Crest a griffin's head, erased, argent, beaked and ducally gorged or.