Lady Frances Kniveton

Last week I did a post about St. Giles-in-the-Fields, a church that I had never stopped to examine.   But I was unable to get in.   This week the doors were open and I was able to study not only the well preserved early eighteenth-century interior during what was supposed to be evensong, but also admire the tomb of Lady Frances Kniveton which must have been preserved from the earlier church and was tucked by Flitcroft into one of the side windows.   The tomb was commissioned by her sister Anne from ‘Mr. Marshall, a stone cutter in Shoe Lane’ and cost £120:-

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5 thoughts on “Lady Frances Kniveton

  1. Edward Chaney says:

    I must of mist this post… the most interesting thing (now) inside St Giles’s (for me at least) is the tomb of the great George Chapman, Inigo Jones’s ‘exceeding good Friend’, in the form of a Roman altar signed off (and paid for?) by a rarely latinizing ‘Ignatius Jones Architectus Regius’; see Inigo Jones’s Roman Sketchbook, ed. e chaney, ii, pp. 15-16. ,

  2. Ivan Gaskell says:

    Mere idle maundering, but I couldn’t help wondering why Frances Kniveton is styled “Lady Frances Kniveton” in the inscription on her tomb as given in Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica V (1904)? Her marriage to a baronet cannot account for it (by which she would be Frances Lady Kniveton). Is this deference to the claims by her father, Robert Dudley, to the earldoms of Warwick and Leicester, as well as the duchy of Northumberland, discredited when he failed to prove his legitimacy in Star Chamber in 1604-5? Or is it in respect of the creation of her mother, Alice, as duchess of Dudley for life by the English king, Charles I, in 1644? My understanding is that although Charles recognized Dudley as legitimate, he disallowed the latter’s claim to titles. So is the style in question an example of early modern feminism? Dudley was in Medici service, so I imagine that Edward Chaney may be well placed to advise. (I acknowledge that this is a pedantic query by a U.S. citizen, hence a republican to whom all titles of nobility are odious, but it opens a fascinating window onto the pursuit of status, rank, and legitimacy in seventeenth and eighteenth-century England and beyond.)

    • Dear Ivan, For a republican this displays an unexpected knowledge and interest in the niceties of titles. Her husband was indeed a baronet. She was his second wife. He died six months after their wedding in 1634. Is the widow of a baronet not allowed to be known as Lady Frances Kniveton ? If so, I bow to your superior knowledge.

      • Ivan Gaskell says:

        Dear Charles, I believe that the style of the wife or widow of a baronet, like that of a knight, is “X Lady Y” rather than Lady X Y,” but no style is forever stable. However, if such niceties are abandoned, how could one tell the difference between the successive positions of, say Lord John Russell, as he was until 1861, and John Lord Russell, as he became in that year when created Earl Russell? (Not that it matters…)

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