Anne Knollys, Baroness De La Warr

The women of the Tudor court have some of the most amazing stories but they are often overshadowed by their husbands, fathers and brothers. Anne Knollys is not someone we often read about, but her story and the story of her descendants is one that needs to be told.

Anne Knollys was born on the 19th of July 1555 to Sir Francis Knollys and Lady Catherine Carey. If you believe the rumors that Catherine Carey was the illegitimate daughter of Henry VIII and Mary Boleyn, it would make Anne the late King’s granddaughter. Regardless, she was related to Queen Elizabeth and sister to Lettice Knollys.

Prior to her marriage:

She was a maid of honor before her marriage. During that time (1570), she received fifty-three pairs of shoes, thirty-one made of calves’ leather.


Anne and Thomas had thirteen children together. It is through these children that their legacy is made.
On the 19th of November 1571, at the age of sixteen, Anne Knollys married Thomas West. Thomas was the eldest son of William West, 1st Baron De La Warr, by his first wife, Elizabeth Strange. He would eventually inherit the title Baron De La Warr in 1595 and hold it until his death in 1602.


Walsingham (died young), Elizabeth (b. 1573?), Robert (b. 1573/4), Margaret (b. 1576), Thomas (b. 1577), Lettice (b. 1579), Anne (b. 1581), Penelope (b. 1582), Catherine (b. 1583), Francis (b. 1586), Helena (b. 1587) John (b. 1590) and Nathaniel (b. 1592)


Thomas West inherited the title Lord De La Warr upon his father’s death in 1602. He was an English Politician, member of Queen Elizabeth’s Privy Council and was well-educated. In 1609, De La Warr was appointed governor-for-life and captain-general of the Colony of Virginia but did not arrive there until 1610.

Francis West traveled to the new colony of Virginia in 1608 as a Captain, returned again in 1610 and served as Deputy Governor of Virginia from 17 November 1627 to 5 March 1629.

John West arrived in Virginia in 1618, the same year his brother Thomas, Lord De La Warr died. In 1635, after the suspension and impeachment of Governor Sir John Harvey, West was chosen as temporary replacement for Harvey and served until 1637. Harvey had been sent back to Virginia by King Charles I in 1636 and was described as tyrannical and was very unpopular. In 1640, John West was ordered back to England along with the others involved with the initial removal of Harvey, to answer charges in the Star Chamber. They were eventually cleared, and were able to return to Virginia.4

The De La Warr family would eventually be responsible for the name Delaware for one of the original thirteen colonies. The colony took its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr – the son of Anne Knollys.

Through her children Anne’s legacy lives on. We might not know about her but early American history marks the achievements of her sons. In turn we learn about her while researching them.


Anne Knollys Elizabeth l History

18 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Lady Anne Knollys is my 11th great-grandmother on my grandmother Ethel Houghton’s side.

    Laura Petersen, Vancouver, British Columbia

  2. I’m a West descendant, would love to connect with others who have done their genealogy and DNA. I’ve done both and am willing to trade info.

  3. Anne Knollys West is my 11th great grandmother. Ancestry’s We’re Related app shows her father as Sir Robert Dudley First Earl of Leiscester. I’m finding that Anne was Lettice’s sister, but find tracing these roots is maddening…lol.

    Anne Knollys
    -> Mother of
    Richard West
    -> Father of
    John West
    -> Father of
    William West
    -> Father of
    Joseph West
    -> Father of
    John West
    -> Father of
    Anna Johnson
    -> Mother of
    Solomon Johnson Nichols
    -> Father of
    Minerva Ann Nichols
    -> Mother of
    Marvin Monroe Mitchell
    -> Father of
    Joseph Walker Mitchell
    -> Father of
    Vonnie Ray Mitchell
    -> Mother of

  4. YES: Geni still shows Ann Knolleys as my Great Grandmother via the De la Wares and Catherine Carry Mary Boelyne. I make no claim upon the bloodline of the current House of Hanover/Windsor’s except to celebrate their roles. But the DNA message is clear to me. I have confirmation of two or three Sutton Dudley’s. DCR

  5. I just found your question 7 mos. after you posted, so apologies on being non responsive. To your direct question which Tudor is royal in America there are none from Loins of Henry VII. Tudor is a Scandanavian name and you can find it on the DNA scale as NORSE or Norman French in Origin. The Royal Tudors descend from my mothers 14th great great grandfather Owen Tudor who married Henry V widow and French daughter of Charles VI: Catherine of Valois. Their Blood remains alive and active in the Grey Sisters who’s sister Jane Grey was killed by MAry Tudor. They were named by Henry VIII to be the next Royal line after his Edward VI should he not have a son. My line is not TUDOR by name but is by blood descent down two bastard lines of Henry VIII. My mother’s line was from Windsor Castle 1541. and most likely the Laundress there gave birth to twin girls believed to be Henry’s off spring. My father’s line came down from the Daughter of Hester Harringron Anne, Steubbs- Codrington. When Robert Codrington died the Home given to Ethelralda’s daughter Herster passed to Anne’s new Husband Ralph Marsh of London. My Paternal great great grandmother is named WHITEHALL Marsh, and his story to me in 1978 is in the last stages of Confirmation. The Property at Bath went like this: Henry VIII to John Maulte the Kings Taylor & Ethelralda adopted by Maulte/ Joan Dingly Dobson being her Laundress mother. Hester was her daughter by John Harrington, Hester married very young to Steubbs in London, and the property was transferred from Hester to Anne and her Husband Robert Codrington. Anne went onto mary my Paternal 7th great grandfather Ralph Marsh and the story came down to my father born 1887 from his mother Clairissa Elizabeth Marsh who married Andrew Rice about 1880. We are further blood connected by our 6th great grandfather John Rice of Dedham, Ma. 1624 and his father Perrot ap Rice born to Margaret Mercer – Rice 1580. The Kings son JOhn Perrot 1528 is said to be the father of Margaret Mercer by her mother Johanna Lovelace- so the Tudor Blood seems to find it’s way forward in time. It has fallen to me to find the pathway and that means I was summoned from my heavenly home by my father’s negotiation with my mother in 1947. This is now my life’s work only begun 6years ago based upon a 1 hr conversation in 1978 with my dad. DCR 1948 of the Nebraska Rice’s (40 surviving members of this Tudor line)

  6. You must exciting to find out so much information all at once. My family are descendants of Queen Isabella and have the tranced the first one that set foot in the New World in the 1500 hundreds. We have all those related here and not through the internet but through 45 years of visiting churches, and record places and this year the last aunt of the pure Spanish line passed away. We hope to open a museum of records and pictures and antiques in Texas. I hope to spend time in Spain and continue my search to those still living in Spain. All I have is the name of cousin and his family connects in court of the Queen who is our ancestor who came because the Queen was trying to populate the Americas. I have a question about those of lineage of the Tudors. I have seen people with the last name Tudor every once in a while. Are they in anyway related or did they just pick the name and are not of the lineage? Tudor is not a common last name.

  7. Anne Knolley’s is my Maternal 13th great grandmother and Mary Bolyne is my 15th great grandmother same side of the family. I have just concluded a 5 year effort to find the truth behind my father’s assertion in 1978 just before he passed away at age 92. The fact is that my mother was chosen because of her descent from the Twin Girls: Elizabeth and Lucy Chalfant 1541…daughters of Windsor Castle staff, William Chalfant and his wife. My father conducted his selection of a bride like he was the King’s 8th great grandson & waited until he was 42 years old. His mother is a descendant of Ethelralda Mault’s Daughter Hester Harrington,
    who did not die young. That’s been proved by the inheritance records of Watchfield Manor at Bath where Hester’s daughter Anne Steubbs married the Codrington family and her daughter married the Whitehall Marsh family: My Paternal great grandmother’s line. In any event, It is my mother’s family which is Loaded with Legitimate French Kings through the Valois, Bourboun, Holy Roman Empress and Spain/Portugal Kings Ferdinand and Isabella. All of this has surfaced in the last 24 months and I am working hard putting the discovery forward to a Disbelieving World. My father had information that only an insider could know which will blow the hair back for some when I publish next year. I am playing a very fast CATCH Up on the Tudor’s as you might imagine and had no clue that any of these people existed let alone could be related in any meaningful way. Your’s Very Sincerely: D. Charles Rhys-Rice 1948 of the Nebraska Rice’s

  8. I knew Mary Carey had more than child by Kind Henry but I never read anything about them or what happened to them. This most interesting and I too never knew the origin of Delaware. I had read that Queen Elizabeth tired to generous to her Mary’s children but I never knew how. Thanks for the information and look forward to more interesting facts.

  9. So interesting! Had no idea how the name Delaware came to be and how the children were so involved here in the colonies. I do think I have this name in my tree and I am excited to do more digging now.

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