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The Knapp family of Mount Bures

Nicholas Knapp emigrated to the New World on the MayFlower Fleet in 1630,
together with William Knapp.

Where did they live and were they related ?


Background Information
"The Mayflower" set sail from Plymouth in 1620, taking the Pilgrim Fathers to America.

The Mayflower was the Vessel which transported the English Separatists better known as the Pilgrims, from Southampton, England, to Massachusetts.
With their religion oppressed by the English Church and Government, the small party of religious separatists who comprised about half of the passengers on the ship, desired a life where they could practice their religion freely.
The Mayflower was built locally in Harwich and was most probably a "Whaling ship" before being seconded to carry passengers.
The vessel left Plymouth on September 6, 1620 and after a grueling 66-day journey, the ship dropped anchor at Cape Cod on November 11.
It carried 102 passengers with a crew of around 130
This should be read in conjunction with the Bures Mayflower page and the Knapp family


One person who emigrated to the New World was a Nicholas Knapp. On the same voyage (probably not the same vessel) was William Knapp who can be identified as living in Bures.
Whether these two men were related, seems to be a mystery.
Researchers have decreed, they cannot see any connection between these two and they came for quite separate families.
Personally, I find it unbelievable that two men living in the same community with the same surname are not related.
Secondarily, they list Nicholas as living in both Bures and Mount Bures.

The object of this research is to find out whether any Knapps lived in Mount Bures.

No1. In the Essex County Records Office they have two pieces of vital evidence in their vaults.

A Medieval cast lead seal matrix, early 13th century. It is of ‘pointed oval’ type with a perforated lug on the reverse. The legend reads in Lombardic lettering ‘+:S’[K]ATERIH:KNO?PT:’ and the design is of two joined petals. The matrix measures 35mm long by 21mm wide by 9mm thick. It has not been possible to locate a close parallel for this seal design. It appears to be a variant of the limited range of fleur-de-lis or cross-like designs used on personal seals of this period.

Records Office Quote:- The original owner of the seal was probably a woman named Katherine Knope. Knope is a variant spelling of Knape, which is a surname derived from the Old English word cnapa meaning youth or servant

No2. The records office also holds a Will.

Will of Katherine Cnope of Mount Bures, widow

Date of Will, 27th December 1548

The Will was sent to Michelle Coughlin in Massc, USA.
Michelle very kindly transcribed it, into readable English.

Download Will Part 1
Download Will Part 2

Katherine's "Will" bequeaths many items to various people, including Henry Bynney, John Bynney, Edward Gymer, Elizabeth Stonnard.
These names have been difficult to decipher from the text, if they are correct I have currently been unable to trace any of the surnames during the 1500`s

Katherine's also states: " ..............called mutchcroft, the hold of William Waldegrave, to have and to hold of him and to his heirs his body not forgotten.
This implies that she knew William Waldegrave, who owned Smallbridge and Wormingford Hall.
Consequently, Katherine must have had a high social standing in the community.

Searching through the internet revealed nothing about Katherine or any connection with the Cnoppe/Knoppe and Waldegrave family.

However, the Knoppe family is mentioned in Ida McMasters book, as being land and property owners.

Property:- Old Wythers
1494: John Knoppe and his wife Margaret transferred one tenement called Wythers to his son John and wife Margaret
1521: Geoffrey, James, Robert, William, Jane and Margaret Knoppe named in the Will of their father John, bequeathed a house called Wythers.
1526: Geoffrey Knoppe held 6 acres of land at Muchcroft, part of Old Wythers. ( this is mentioned in Katherines Will)
1565: Robert Knoppe causing harm to the Queens highway (a Robert Knapp is recorded as 1538 - 1584)
1614: Mr Knoppe of Wythers owned one acre in Pondsfield
1769: Rebecca Knoppe, widow of Thomas for Wythers
1770: Abraham Newman purchased second parcel of land from Rebecca Knoppe

Property: Hobbs at the Well
1501 John Knappe for Hobbs Well tenement and appurtenances, late held by John Knappe Senior
1549: Tenancy of Hobbs Well to scour three perches of ditches
1553: Tenant to cut trees, overhanging road
1615: Robert Knappe senior
1646: Robert Knappe junior and his wife Mary, released by Thomas Everard
Property: Peacocks
1506: Geoffery Knope and his wife Katherine and their son John had one tenement later called Ruffles
Peacocks 2017>

Property:Elms Farm
Third Parcel of land
A Messuage called Saunders with 30 acres:
1506: Matilda Intelsham, surrendered a tenement called Saunders with appurtenances to Geoffrey Knoppe and also passed to him a tenement called Ruffles
1549: John Jenor from Katherine Knoppe, widow of Geoffrey, copyhold tenement and land of Ruffles

Property: Hammonds Farm
1549: Geoffrey Knoppe for the same tenement and 30 acres, once owned by John Quilter Senior and lately Katherine Knoppe
1553: Thomas Jenor, there was a full description of his position and abuttels all of the late John Knoppe

Property: Mount Bures Hall
"the rental dated 1614 stated "Knappe for the Hall and parcel of demense land"
The status by now of the Knopps must have been very high, to acquire the Hall which was previously owned by the Sackville family
The Knappes must have left by 1722, when the tenancy was taken over by Robert Newman

Court Rolls dated 1503
Peter Upcher insulted John Knoppe and beat him with a cudgel and stick, contrary to the Kings peace. Fined 8s

1769 Rentals in Mount Bures
Tenant Henry Pettit
Owner Rebecca Knappe
Property Brookhouse
£2.0.0 per year

1534 Tithes
Apart from tithes which the villagers had to pay to the Church from Saxon times, the King was also entitled to make other levies when necessary
The poorest in the Community were not accessed nor were the women, presumably as they had no money or income of their own
Jeffrey Knapp Junior payed 40s to the Church and 12p to the King
Jeffrey Knapp Senior payed 53s to the Church and 16p to the King

Parish Records 1596
Robert Knappe b1596 and buried 1614



Notes:
(1) Katherine mentions William Waldegrave in her "Will",
This was because Elms Farm and Old Wythers lands, were part located in Wormingford during the 1500`s and
under the control of the Waldegraves at Wormingford Hall.
During the period when Katherine was alive, William Waldergrave would have been the Lord of Wormingford Manor.
That would substantiate the relationship between Katherine ("Will" entry) and William.

It was not unusual for lands in Mount Bures to be held by the Manor of Wormingford and vice-versa
Even as far back as 1275, the Mount Bures Sackville family held 60 acres of land belonging to the Wormingford Manor

PRE 1526: Parcels of land called Inhams, Muchcroft and Doddingfords at Wythers were held by Wormingford Manor
1550: two parcels of land called "le-deane" are jutting out of Mount Bures into Wormingford

Today Wormingford Hall lies on the parish boundary with Mount Bures

(2) The Knapp`s were recorded as being in Mount Bures between 1494 until 1769, when Rebeccas rental was recorded

(3) Many variations in the spelling of Cnoppe/Knoppe/Knappe




Conclusion:-

Unfortunately, although there was a proliferation of Knapps in Mount Bures, Nicholas has not been mentioned.
Not surprising as the names listed, are either property owners or tenants and not children.

I have the entire collection of Ida McMaster research notes for Mount Bures and there are no entries for the Knapp family after 1769 ?
So where did they all go ?

Ref:- Ida McMaster: Mount Bures, its Lands and it`s People
Acknowledgement to Michelle Coughlin for assisting with Katherines Will
Hilton Cass, California