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Knowles, O'Knowell, Ó Tnúthghail, Newell
Ireland, England, Canada, Australia, America, Bahamas, Caribbean


Surname explanation:  "The name carries us to the gently rising slopes in the woods, grassy and free of timber, the old form of Knowles being de la Cnolle which means of the hill."  Also termed as at the knoll or summit.   Early French/Norman versions of the surname are:

Robert de la Cnolle:  1185 Theobold De Cnolle: 1242 Thomas Knolle: 1279
William Atte Knole: 1296 Adam Del Knol Christopher Knolles

Sir Robert Knowles (1317-1407) English leader of free companies in France in opposition to DuGuesclin.  John (Jean Le Vaillant, or Le Conquerant), duke of Brittany from 1365, whose support for English interests during the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453) nearly cost him the forfeit of his duchy to the French crown. 

John was educated at the court of King Edward III of England. He ended the War of the Breton Succession in September 1364 by defeating Charles of Blois at Auray; he was recognized as duke of Brittany by King Charles V of France in the Treaty of Guérande (April 12, 1365). John secretly aided Edward's cause in 1370, giving the English soldier Robert Knowles a haven in Brittany when Knowles faced defeat at the hands of French forces. In 1372, after making an alliance with Edward, John was granted the earldom of Richmond for allowing the English to garrison his fortresses in Brittany.  source:  Encyclopedia Britannica  

 

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