The English surname Knappe is a topographic name for someone who lived by a hillock, Middle English knappe, Old English cnæpp, or habitational name from any of the several minor places named with the word, in particular Knapp in Hampshire and Knepp in Sussex. The first recorded reference to the name was in 1294 when William atte Kneppe, was recorded in the Pipe rolls of Surrey. Other early records of the name include Elizabeth Knapman who married Richard Hill at St Michaels Cornhill, in the city of London, on February 2nd 1648, and William Knapp (1678 - 1768), a well known musical composer in his day who published "A sett of New Psalm Tunes and Anthems", in 1738. John Leonard Knapp (1767 - 1845) a renowned botanist published "Gramina Britannica or Representations of British grasses" in 1804.
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