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From: "Laurence Kinney" <>
Subject: [KINNEY] 'Sir' Thomas KINNE & King's Lynn
Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2002 16:34:22 +0100

I have no further information on this gentleman and remain convinced that he
was not entitled to style himself ‘Sir’. I do however have news on a KINNE
coat of arms and on John KYNNE of King’s Lynn.

The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland & Wales (1884) by Sir
Bernard Burke, Ulster King of Arms, gives a single line entry:-
“Kinne. Gu. a chev. ar.” There is no illustration but Gu is defined as
“gules or red”, chev as “chevron” & ar as “argent, or silver, or white”. It’
s clear that someone with this name was granted the right to bear arms but I
imagine that it would require the services of a herald at The College of
Arms to take matters further. I’m afraid that matters of heraldry are
completely beyond my abilities.

John KYNNE certainly did exist. He was a merchant and shipowner in King’s
Lynn, also serving as an alderman on the town council. He served as Mayor of
Lynn 1562-3 and in 1572, dying during that second mayoralty. He served as
member of Parliament for Lynn but nothing is known of his parliamentary
career. He married twice, firstly to Margaret and secondly to Anne, possibly
the widow of a man called BARBOR. His only son was called John. He left a
bequest to Roger BARBOR ‘my wife’s son’. His will was dated 15th January
1573 and he died before 7th August 1573. The will was proved in the
Prerogative Court of Canterbury.

He asked to be buried in St Nicholas, King’s Lynn, next to his first wife,

He appears to have lived in Tuesday Market and also held land in Gaywood,
then about a mile east of Lynn but now part of the town. In 1570 he bought
100 loads of stone from Greyfriars at 4d a load. Henry VIII had dissolved
the monasteries in the 1530s and the Benedictine priory and fours friaries
in Lynn were closed and plundered for building materials. KYNNE was possibly
rebuilding his house in Tuesday Market, for much of Lynn was rebuilt between
1550 & 1650.

There was also a KYNNE merchant family in Althorne, Essex.

I would refer you to The History of Parliament – The House of Commons
1558-1603 published by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (1981) & to King’s
Lynn by Dr Paul Richards (1990). There are also two unpublished theses that
are relevant. ‘Elite and Community: The Mayors of Sixteenth Century King’s
Lynn’ by S M Battley – State University of New York PhD (1981) and ‘The
Rulers and Merchants of King’s Lynn in the early Seventeenth Century’ by G A
Metters – University of East Anglia PhD (1982).

When did ‘Sir’ Thomas emerge from the shadows and are there any contemporary
records of his existence? The parish registers for St Margaret’s King’s Lynn
date from 1559 & those for St Nicholas from 1562.

I hope that this will be of help to those of you who are ‘Sir’ Thomas
groupies (my interests are in Ireland and Scotland & I have no connection
with Lynn). Lynn is a very attractive and historic town – well worth a visit
if you are ever in the UK. It was used as a film set for one of Hollywood’s
less successful films, Revolution. That should give you a ‘flavour’ of the

Best wishes

Laurie Kinney
Surrey UK

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