KNIGHT, Sir Richard (1639-79), of Chawton, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



11 Feb. 1678

Family and Education

b. 21 Nov. 1639, o.s. of Richard Knight of Chawton by Elizabeth, da. of John Fielder of Burrow Court, Berks. educ. Queen’s, Oxf. 1657; G. Inn 1658; travelled abroad. m. c.1667, Priscilla, da. and h. of Sir Robert Reynolds of Elvetham, Hants, s.p. suc. fa. 1642; kntd. 10 Jan. 1668.1

Offices Held

Lt. of militia horse, Hants Nov. 1660, capt. 1668-d., lt.-col. of ft. by 1679, dep. lt. 1669-d.; freeman, Portsmouth and Winchester 1669, Lymington 1677; commr. for assessment, Hants 1673-d., wastes and spoils, New Forest 1679.2


Knight’s ancestors had been substantial yeomen in Chawton since the reign of Edward II, and bought the freehold of the demesne in 1551. His great-uncle, John Knight, sat for Lymington in 1593. Knight’s father died before the Civil War, and he himself only came of age after the Restoration. But his sympathies were royalist; he was given a commission in the militia, though he never became a j.p. He was probably the ‘Edward Knight, esquire of Chawton’ included in the list of proposed knights of the Royal Oak with an estate of £1,000 p.a. He was returned for Lymington at a contested by-election towards the end of the Cavalier Parliament. He was appointed to no committees, but marked ‘doubly vile’ by Shaftesbury, and entered on the government list of the court party. It is not known whether he stood for the first Exclusion Parliament, but he was unsuccessful for Hampshire against the country candidates on 11 Aug. 1679. ‘What with a former indisposition and present drinking, poor man, he died the next day after.’ He was the last of the male line, but his heirs all took the name of Knight, two of them sitting for Midhurst in the 18th century.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. W. A. Leigh and M. G. Knight, Chawton Manor, 91, 93; Wards 7/97/86.
  • 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 82; v. 303; R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 360; Winchester assembly bk. 5, f. 61; E. King, Old Times Revisited, 190; CSP Dom. 1679-80, p. 61.
  • 3. Leigh and Knight, 183, 200; Dom. Intell. 5 Sept. 1679; BL, M636/33, John Stewkley to Sir Ralph Verney, 3 Sept. 1679.