William Knowles [Obituary]

Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 1897, Vol. XXIX, p.44.

Prepared by Michael Steer

The obituary was read at the Association’s July 1897 Kingsbridge meeting. A great deal of information about Mr Knowles’ ancestry is provided at the Old Ashburton website. The Knowles family in Highweek might generally be described as ‘gentry’ with descent traceable to John Knowles, a shipwright at the Royal Deptford Dockyard, Kent, in the 1780s. Knowles Hill, with Knowles Hill Road can still be found in Highweek. An obituary for William Knowles’ father, Samuel Posgate Knowles, as well as for his sister Harriet both appear on the Genuki Highweek page under Biography. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.
William Knowles was the only son of S. P. Knowles, of Highweek, Newton Abbot, of whom an obituary notice appeared in the volume of the Transactions of the Association for 1889. He was born in Surrey, but came into Devonshire in his boyhood with his parents. After passing with much credit the examination for the Civil Service, he was first appointed to a situation in Devonport Dockyard, and was afterwards transferred to more congenial work in the Education Department in London, where he laboured diligently until, from continued ill-health, he was obliged to send in his resignation in 1896. He had been a member of the Association since 1884, and was wont to attend its meetings regularly during the annual visit which he paid to Highweek. The perusal of the volumes of its Transactions always afforded him pleasure, and led him to procure and study other publications relating to Devonshire. He had lived at Sydenham, in Kent, for several years, but in 1896 returned to Devonshire, occupying a house in Teignmouth, where he had been at school. He died there in May, 1897 and was buried in Highweek Churchyard on Ascension Day by the side of his father’s remains, and in the same grave with his only sister, Emma Knowles, also a member of the Association, who died in 1894.