"The Mayflower" set sail from
Plymouth in 1620, taking the Pilgrim Fathers to America.
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
should be read in conjunction with the Bures Mayflower page and the
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
According to the published map
reference, it was located in a field at Abberton south
Why was it so far from
Mount Bures ?
No2. The records office also holds
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
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
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
1565: Robert Knoppe causing harm to the Queens highway
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
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
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
£2.0.0 per year
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
(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
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
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