KNIGHT, HENRY HEY (1795 - 1857), cleric and antiquary

Name: Henry Hey Knight
Date of birth: 1795
Date of death: 1857
Parent: Harriett Mercy Knight
Parent: Robert Knight
Gender: Male
Occupation: cleric and antiquary
Area of activity: History and Culture; Religion
Author: Robert Thomas Jenkins

Born at Tewkesbury (christened 22 October 1795), third son of ROBERT KNIGHT (1764? - 1819), vicar of Tewkesbury (and also of Bayton, Worcestershire), from 1792 to 1818. His mother, Harriett Mercy Knight (1769? - 1846), was a grand-daughter of the famous Dissenting divine, Philip Doddridge. There were at least four sons and four daughters of the two marriages, H. H. Knight being the eldest son of the second marriage. The family of Knight of Tythegston, originally of Bristol, had by marriage in 1708 succeeded the Lougher family as owners of a cluster of manors around Newton Nottage in Glamorgan : Sker, Tythegston, Nottage, etc. The vicar of Tewkesbury predeceased his brother, the reigning head of the house, but his eldest son (1789? - 1854), also a ROBERT and also a clergyman (rector of Newton Nottage 1818-54), succeeded to Tythegston and the other manors in 1825; he subsequently alienated much of the land, but the Court is still in the occupation of his descendants.

H. H. Knight was at Merton and Exeter Colleges, graduated in 1817 with a first class in Lit. Hum., and was Fellow of the Queen's College 1820-7. On 31 December 1826 he was instituted rector of Neath, and served his cure with great diligence till December 1854, when he succeeded his elder brother in what was practically the family living of Newton Nottage. He resided at Nottage Court, which indeed he seems always to have regarded as his home (his mother lived there during her widowhood), and there he died, unmarried, 30 September 1857. The living then passed to the fourth of the brothers, EDWARD DODDRIDGE KNIGHT (1806? - 1873), who also occupied Nottage Court which is still in the hands of his descendants in the female line. The three brothers' (eldest) sister, ANNE BASSETT KNIGHT (1794 - 1825), married the Rev. John Blackmore, and was the mother of the novelist Richard Doddridge Blackmore (1825 - 1900), who when young spent much of his time at Nottage Court with his uncle Henry Hey Knight, is said to have depicted him in one of his novels, and benefited considerably by his will. His novel The Maid of Sker was begun at Nottage Court and is largely concerned with the neighbourhood.

It is as an antiquary that H. H. Knight deserves to be remembered. He was one of the earliest and most prominent members of the Cambrian Archaeological Association, and was the author of several antiquarian papers (list in Phillips, Hist. of the Vale of Neath, 115). The most important of these is the very valuable ' Account of Newton Nottage,' published in Archæologia Cambrensis in 1853 (90-8, 161-80, 229-62), which includes a history of the descent of the Tythegston and other estates of the Turbervils, the Loughers, and the Knights.


Published date: 1959

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