This book relates the genealogy of the descendants of JOHN KNIGHT, who left Romsey, Hampshire, England and emigrated to America in 1635, helping to settle the town of Newbury, Ma. His English background is set forth below.
Romsey is a small market town seven miles northwest of Southhampton, England, in the valley of the River Test. It is principally known for its great Norman Church of the 12th Century, originally the chapel of a
Benedictine nunnery, founded in the year 907 AD From medieval times, Romsey has been the seat of a large trade in woolen cloth and clothing. Romsey Abbey was famous for its roses at the time of William Rufus, who was the son of William The Conqueror, and was King of England from 1087 until his death in 1100.
The parish registers of Romsey were kept in the Cathedral, and began in
1569-1570, although there were a few scattered records of earlier date at
Romsey or Timsbury. The name of KNIGHT was common in the town at that time.
The parish registers of Romsey Abbey, Hampshire, show the following entries:
First English Generation data available. The earliest record at hand is for JOHN KNIGHT of Romsey, who died in 1549. His will dated 9 Sept. 1549 is at the Abbey, and lists his wife Mawde and two sons, JOHN and WILLIAM. Probate was granted on 13 Jan. 1550.
Second English Generation data available. JOHN KNIGHT, son of John and Mawde, died in Romsey in 1560, apparently a widower. His will is at the Abbey and lists two brothers and four children, William, died 1569; John, died Dec. 1598; Agnes, died June 1614, and Thomasine. A copy of the will is listed supra.
Third English Generation data available. WILLIAM KNIGHT, son of John, died in Romsey in 1569, a husbandman or farmer. He married Elizabeth Wild, who died 12 Feb. 1570. They had two sons, WILLIAM, born about 1564 and Nicholas, who are named in their wills, on file at the Abbey. A copy of his will is listed supra.
Fourth English Generation data available. WILLIAM KNIGHT of Romsey, son of
William and Elizabeth (Wild) Knight, was born about 1565. He married at
Romsey on 12 November 1588, Elizabeth Carter. They had four children:
Richard, bapt. 1589, buried 1596; Thomazine bapt. 1590; John bapt. 30 Jan.
1595 and Richard bapt. 1603.
Nicholas Knight of Romsey, son of William and Elizabeth (Wild) Knight, was married in Romsey 2 Nov. 1597 to Jane Hewatt. They had six children:
Elizabeth, John, John, Alis, Westwood and Thomas, all bapt. between 1598 and 1610. There is no additional information in the Romsey registers concerning this family, and apparently they moved to another area.
About three miles to the north of Romsey is the parish of Timsbury, where an armorial family of Knight was seated. They were minor gentry who had originally come from Northhamton Shire, and some of whom lived in Romsey. Andrew Knight, son of a Richard Knight, lived in Timsbury, and was a contemporary of William Knight of Romsey. Richard Knight had a brother William, while Andrew Knight had three brothers, John, William and Richard. Andrew died ca 1600 and his widow Joan then lived in Romsey with a son Edmond and a daughter Ursula. It is possible that some of the Knights listed above, in the four generations, were descended from younger sons of the Timsbury family, but this remains to be proven. The duplication of names makes an exact identification very difficult as to the genealogical chain.
Another William Knight of Romsey married Joan Hill on 1 Sept. 1588, only two months before the Knight-Carter marriage. However he left a will at his death in 1622, In which he mentions his wife Joan, and an only child William. This clears away any doubt as to which marriage produced our John Knight.
In the name of Goad Amen the 23 day of April in the year of Our Lord God 1560 I John KNIGHT of Cupernam in the parishe of Romsey hole of mynde and of perfecte remembrance doe make my last Will and Testament in forme and manner folowinge. Fyrste I bequethe my Sowle to Allmightie God my maker and redeemer and my body to the earthe to be buried in the churche yarde of Sainte Lawrence in Rossey being my parishe churche. Itm: I geve and bequethe to my mother churche of the blessed Trinite in Winchester 4d. Itm:I geve and bequethe to the alter of Sainte Lawrence in Ransey beinge my parishe churche and 8 decii oblig.' ( =tithes forgotten) 4d. Itm: I geve and bequethe to the Reparacons (=repairs) of my parishe churche 12d. Itm: I geve and bequethe to the poore people after harvest 2 bushel of wheate in breade. Itm: I geve and bequethe to John KNIGHT my son and to his heyres male of his bodyc lawfully begotten my free land and If my said son John dye without Issue then I geve my said free land unto my son William KNIGHT and to his heyres male of his bedye lawfully begotten. Itm: I geve and bequethe to my daughter Agnes KNIGHTE one fether bedd, a green coverlet, a payre of Shetes, a bolster of fethers, 2 platters, 2 potlngers, one Sawser, a blacke brasse panne, a brasse pott, a lytill kettill, a pappan (?), 2 candylstickes, her mother's best gowne, a worstede kyrtill, a (undecipherable) shete, and a pillow (undecipherable). Itm: I geve and bequethe to my daughter Thomeson KNIGHTE my best flockebedde, my best bolster of flocke, a payre of shetes, a coverlet of whitt (white) the best, my second brasse pott of the worst, two platters, two potingers, one sawcer, a blacke brasse panne of a bushell: two candylstickes, a kyttill that I bought of BRECKYNSALL (another person), a redd kyrtill with samlet colyer. Itm: I geve to my saide two daughters a redd (two lines here are undecipherable)
The Rest of all my goodes and cattell unbequethed my detts payed, my legacies fulfilled I geve and bequethe to Agnes HARDING and to John KNIGHT and Will lam KNIGHT my two sonnes whom I doe make my full executors of this my last Wyll and Testament and my goodes to be equal lie divided betweene them three. I will also my brother William KNIGHT John [YNG and John BAYLE to be my over seers of this my last Wyll and Testament and every of them to have for their paynes one of my best lambes. And if any of my said children dye then I will that parte to remayne amonge the other that leveth and so ( here it is again undecipherable) the first to the last. Itm: I geve and bequethe to Alice Coke my brother's mayd one bushel I of wheate: Itm: I geve and bequethe to John ROKE one bushel I of wheate: Itm: I geve and bequethe to my brother William KNIGHTE my best new midly cloke. Itm: I geve to Thomas RARDING a ywe sheepe.
by John KNIGHTE
Wytness hereof these persons whose names followeth:
the marke of John KYNG the marke of William KNIGHTE
the marke of John ROKE the marke of John BAYLE
the marke of William GYFFORDE the marke of Arkenwold BYRTEHE
Detts that John KNIGHTE doth owe
Itm : to Thomas KNIGHT for a legacy 20 sh.
Itm : more to the said Thomas for a mare 13 sh. 4d.
Itm : more to the said Thomas for the hyre of a cow
and a cow's byre Bsh.
Itm : more to the said Thomas for the hyre of six shepe 4sh.
Will of John KNIGHT of Romsey. dated 1560 (cont.)
Itm to Elizabeth KNIGHTE 20sh.
Itm to Roger BAYLE 6sh.
Itm to John KYNGE 7sh. 6d.
Itm to Thomas KNIGHT 15sh.
Itm : to William SHERPE (SHARP) 2sh. lid.
Itm : to Elizabeth ALMAN my servant 6sh.
Itm : to Mawd COOKE my servant a whytt peticote, a workydayes smocke, two (undecipherable) a
Payle, (undecipherable) for the holy dayes three aprons.
Will of William KNIGHT. of Romsey. 1569
In the Name of God Amen the 15th day of March Ao. Dmi. 1568 I William KNIGHT of the parishe of Romsey in the Countye of Southt. husbanoman beinge sycke of bodye and hole of mynde and of good and perfecte memorye Lawde and prayse be unto Almighty God I do make and ordeyne this my present last Testament concernynge herein my last Will in manner and forme a followinge. Fyrste I bequethe my Sowle unto Allmightie God my maker and redeemer and my bodye to the earthe to be buried in the churcheyarde of Ransey being my parishe churche. Item: I geve and bequeathe to my mother churche of the Blessed Trynitle in Winchester i~. It.: I geve and bequeathe for tythes forgotten 4d. Item: I geve and bequeathe towards the Reparacons of my parishe churche of Rossey
25. Item: I geve and bequeathe to Thomas KNIGHTE my kynsman my Russett coate and Jerkyn. The best of my goodes and cattells as well move able as unmoveable my dettes paide and my legacies fulfilled I geve and bequeathe to Elizabeth my wyfe, William KNIGHT and Nicholas KNIGHT my sonnes, whome I do ordeyne and make my sole Executors joyntly together them as farre for the one as thother, And I will William SHERGOE and John WILD to be overseers of this my last Will and Testament and either of them to game for theire paynes takinge one of my best lambes at show tyme. Wytnesses : William SHERPE ; Henrye CARD ; John BAYLYS, constable ; and Anthonye SKYTHE with others.
Probate granted 21 April 1569
© Mark A. Knight 1998