Fonds KNY - Knyvett-Wilson Family Collection

Reference code



Knyvett-Wilson Family Collection


  • 13th century-19th century (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

930 pieces

Name of creator

(13th century-20th century)

Biographical history

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Received by the Norfolk Record Office on 14 June 1957 (MS 21534).

Scope and content

Title Deeds, Norfolk KNY 1-28
Berkshire KNY 29-31
Cambridgeshire KNY 32-34
Leicestershire KNY 35-400
London KNY 401-405
Northamptonshire KNY 406
Rutland KNY 407
Suffolk KNY 408-423
Wiltshire KNY 424, 425
Knyvett Family and Personal KNY 426-531
Wilson Family and Personal KNY 532-559
Knyvett Estate and Household KNY 560-572
Wilson Estate and Household KNY 573-585
Manorial KNY 586-589
Knyvett Correspondence KNY 590-811
Le Neve Correspondence KNY 831-927
Gawdy Papers KNY 928-938
Miscellaneous KNY 938-950

The Knyvett-Wilson Collection includes the archives of two families, the Knyvetts of Ashwellthorpe in Norfolk and the Wilsons of Didlington in Norfolk and Keythorpe, Alexton, and elsewhere in Leicestershire. The estates were united on the death in 1743 of Katherine, Baroness Berners, daughter of Sir John Knyvett, as a result of the marriage in 1720 of her kinswoman Elizabeth Knyvett of Ashwellthorpe and Henry Wilson of Didlington. The Knyvett papers had before this date passed into the hands of a kinsman Peter Le Neve (1661-1729), the herald and antiquary. He obviously then incorporated them into his own collections, adding a quantity of genealogical material (KNY 831-876). He also added Knyvett letters from the Gawdy Papers (KNY 928-938), and from his own personal papers (KNY 887-927). Papers of Lord Knyvett of Escrick (KNY 473-475, 482, 785-798) and of the senior branch of the family, the Knyvetts of Buckenham Castle (KNY 12-14, 429-30, 433-4, 445, 560, 812-815), may also have been added by him though some may have passed in the normal course of family business to the Ashwellthorpe Knyvetts. The papers were returned with his own additions to the family by Le Neve, perhaps for use as evidence in Lady Berners' successful peerage claim in 1720, with which he was concerned (see KNY 888-889) Other papers he retained and they were dispersed after his death; some, for example, he filed among the topographical collection known as the Frere MSS, now deposited in the Norfolk Record Office by the Norfolk Archaeological Society, and others are in the British Museum.
This collection comprises part only of the archives of the late Lord Berners. The residue relating to the Tyrwhit-Jones family of Shropshire was deposited in the Salop County Record Office.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

All dates are New Style.
Numbers not used: KNY 877-886
Previously listed as MS 21534.

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Related units of description

Survey book of Leicestershire estates of Robert Wilson, 1797, is in the Leicestershire Record Office.

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