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First Name

Middle Name

Last Name
James Knott


Will of James Knott


“Adventurers of Purse and Person”, P 386

James Knott came to Virginia in the George in 1617.

He was living on the Eastern Shore Feb. 16, 1623/24 when the Census was taken and appears there in the muster Feb. 7, 1624/25.

He apparently lived on land belonging to Capt. William Epes who was no longer in Virginia and was in court several times because this was done evidently without authorization from Epes or his representative.

On Sept. 8, 1634 John Fisher, aged 30, a cousin of Capt. Epes, testified that James Knott lived on Capt. Epes’ land two years after the death of Henry Glover, to whom it had been leased and refused to give it up to Fisher as Epes’ representative.

Elinor, wife of James Knott, testified June 16, 1635 about gossip concerning Mrs. Hannah Savage she heard “a Sunday comeing from church.”

He is last mentioned on the Shore in Feb. 1635-36.

The Descendants of Thomas Thomas and His Wife, Elizabeth, Daughter of James Knott by Dr. W. Cary Anderson

James Knott was convicted of a felony 1 September 1617 in London, sent to prison on 3 September. The court records read:

"James Knott of London, yeoman and defendant, was broutht before the Sessions of Peace, City of London, 1 September 1617. The crime was theft of jewelry. James was sent to Newgate Prison, a famous prison in London history, located in the central city. However on 30 September 1617, after less than a month in the prison, he was delivered out for shipment to Virginia to Sir Thomas Smith with the stipulation that James Knott could never return to England again. Smith was involved in both the East Indies Company and as of May 1617 in the Virginia Company. King James 1 of England had decreed in May 1617 all prisoners should be transported to Virginia and not other destinations. (like India)."

James Knott sailed from Gravesend, England, downriver on the Thams River from London a few miles, in October 1617 on the ship GEORGE for Virginia and arrived in James City (now Jamestown) Virginia in 4-8 weeks. When James Knott arrived in VA, there were less than 400 English people, as a 1616 census listed 351 colonists. James Knott was sent to "Smith's Hundred", part of a grant of 80,000 acres on the north side of the James River between Chickohominy River and Tanks Weyanoke. However Indian massacres occured in 1622 and Smith's Hundred was abandoned.

James Knott was moved to Hog Island on the Eastern Shore of VA. It is estimated that by April 1623 only 2500 of the 6000 English settlers sent to VA since 16James Knott however prospered on the Eastern Shore. By 1637 he was a man of means for that time, and was a landowner, trader, and craftsman. He married Eleanor Harris (or Butler) of Elizabeth City, VA (no NC) and in 1632 leased land and ran an inn on the mainland Virginia and in addition by 1636 received 1200 acrews of land across the James River from Elizabeth City, VA. By the late 1640's James Knott was considered a gentleman and was acquainted with then Govenor Leonard Calvert of Maryland, but we do not know if his death in 1653 was in Maryland or VA. From yeoman to convict to friend of governors, James Knott survived and prospered during his life.

Graciously acquired from Mrs. Charlene Morris of Guion, AR 2002

Note: The information about James Knott of London being convicted of a felony is from the London Record Office, P. O. Box 270, Guildhall, London EC2P 2EJ, England., SF. 78, Sessions of Gaol Delivery 3 Sept. 15 James 1 (1617) and Session of the Peace 1 Septl 1717.

Virginia Land Patent Bk 1, P 133----March 12, 1632-33

James Knott planter of Accomack County, patented 50 acres at the mouth of Hampton River to keep a house of entertainment adjoining Capt. Francis West and the glebe land with the house commonly called the “Great Howse”.

In a neighboring patent June 3, 1635 this land is described as on Nansemund River. It is now the city of Hampton.

Elizabeth City County was formed in 1634.

Virginia Land Patent Book l, P 334----March 24, 1635-36

James Knott patented 1200 acres in Elizabeth City County on the Nansemund River. For the personal adventure of his wife and the transportation of 23 persons.

Virginia Land Patent Book 1, P 457----Aug. 15, 1635

James Knott renewed the above patent.

This land was now in New Norfolk County.
In 1635 this County was divided into Upper Norfolk and Lower Norfolk.
In 1637 Nansemond County was formed from Upper Norfolk.

“Adventureres of Purse and Person”, P 386

In 1638 James Knott of “Mausanum” (Nansemond) in Virginia, Gent., aged 35 years or thereabouts, deposed converning the Massacre of 1622 having been a resident for 20 years.

“Adventurers of Purse and Person”, P 387

James Knott again had the urge to move, this time to Maryland.
He did not live to enjoy his new residence long.

Maryland Land Office, Bk ABH, P 237----Dec. 31, 1652

Mr. James Knott demands 200 acres for transporting himself and Nathaniel Knott, his son, into this province in March last.

Maryland Proprietary Will Bk 1, P 51

Will of James Knott
Written Sept. 4, 1651----Probated May 13, 1653.
Sons Bernard, Nathaniel and William Knott, all under 21.
Daughter Mary Knott under 16.
Daughter Eliza Thomas for the benefit of her unnamed son.
Sister E. M. Collins
Wife Ellinor.

“Adventurers of Purse and Person”, P 387

Thomas Thomas, husband of Elizabeth Knott, had a Will written Dec. 8, 1670 and probated
Feb. 21, 1671/72 in Maryland.