Francis Knollys (admiral)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people named Francis Knollys, see Francis Knollys (disambiguation).

Sir Francis Knollys (c. 1552[1] – 1648[2]) was an English privateer and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1575 and 1648.

Knollys was the son of Sir Francis Knollys, of Greys Court in Oxfordshire, and of Reading, in Berkshire, and his wife, Catherine Carey[3] and was generally known as Francis Knollys the younger. He attended Magdalen College, Oxford in and around 1564. He was a student of Gray's Inn in 1565.[4]

In December 1575 Knollys was elected Member of Parliament for Oxford following the death of Edward Knollys, and held the seat unit 1589.[5] In those early years he was involved in piracy with Sir Francis Drake, serving as a rear-admiral on privateering activities in the Caribbean, returning in 1586 with considerable booty.[3] He soon after served with his brother-in-law, the Earl of Leicester, in the Netherlands campaign and was knighted by him at Flushing on 7 December 1587.[3][6]

Knollys was once again elected MP in 1597, this time for Berkshire.[3][5] He was awarded MA at Oxford on 10 July 1598.[4] In 1604 he was re-elected MP for Berkshire and sat until 1611. He was elected MP for Berkshire again in 1625.[5] In April 1640, Knollys was re-elected MP for Reading in the Short Parliament with his son, and was re-elected for the Long Parliament in November 1640. He sat until his death in 1648.[5]

Knollys died before May 1648 at the age of about 90, described by his colleagues as "the ancientest Parliament man in England". He was one of the oldest ever members of parliament and has the record for the longest span of service as an MP, 73 years between first being elected and his death. He was buried at St Lawrence church, Reading.[3] He had married in 1588 Lettice Barrett, daughter of John Barrett, of Hanham in Gloucestershire.[3] Knollys had three sons and six daughters, amongst them, Francis,[3][4] Robert[4] and Lettice who married the parliamentarian, John Hampden.[3]

References[edit]

Parliament of England
Preceded by
Edward Knollys
Member of Parliament for Oxford
1575–1589
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Sir Henry Unton
Sir Humphrey Forster
Member of Parliament for Berkshire
1597–1598
With: Sir Henry Norreys (II)
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Lovelace
George Hyde (Knight of the Bath)
Preceded by
Sir Richard Lovelace
George Hyde
Member of Parliament for Berkshire
1604–1614
With: Sir Henry Neville
Succeeded by
Edmund Dunch
Sir Richard Harrison
Preceded by
Edmund Dunch
Sir Richard Harrison
Member of Parliament for Berkshire
1625
With: Edmund Dunch
Succeeded by
Edmund Dunch
John Fettiplace
Preceded by
Parliament suspended since 1629
Member of Parliament for Reading
1640–1648
With: Sir Francis Knollys jun. 1640–1643
Tanfield Vachell 1645–1648
Succeeded by