Hanserd Knollys

Broken Wharf, London

(from R. Hadyen. English Baptist History and Heritage, Didcot. Oxon: The Baptist Union, 1990)

Knollys was born in Chalkwell, Linconshire, and educated at Cambridge University. He was ordained to the priesthood in Church of England in 1631 and incumbent at Humberstone (Lancashire). Due to his Puritan convictions he became a dissenter and resigned his living, moving to London. In 1638 he was imprisoned for unlicenced preaching. Being allowed to escape he fled to America and established a church in New Hampshire. In 1641 he left America and returned to England arriving there in December of the same year. By about 1643/44 he had come to adopt baptist convictions.

In London he was instrumental in the formation of a baptist church at Great St. Helen's, Bishopsgate. Knollys took part with Kiffin and Keach in many baptist endeavours. Knollys was one of the seven men who sent out the invitation to the 1689 General Assembly. Two years after he had subscribed the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, he was called to his Master.