KNIGHT, John II (c.1686-1733), of Gosfield Hall, Essex

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1710 - 1722
1722 - 2 Oct. 1733

Family and Education

b. c.1686, o. s. of John Knight I†.  educ. Wadham, Oxf. matric. 26 Mar. 1703, aged 16; M. Temple 1702.  m. (1) Elizabeth Slaughter of Cheyne Court, Herefs., s.p.; (2) 13 Mar. 1724[–5], Anne, da. and coh. of James Craggs I*, wid. of John Newsham†, sis. of James Craggs II*, 1s. d.v.p. 1da.  suc. fa. 1708.1

Offices Held

Asst. R. African Co. 1716–22; sec. Leeward Is. 1718–22.2


Knight’s father had been expelled from the Commons in 1698 for falsely endorsing Exchequer bills, and had thereafter struggled to clear his accounts. After succeeding his father in 1708, however, Knight appears nevertheless to have enjoyed a significant inheritance, as in about 1710 he purchased many of the Cornish estates of John Tredenham*, and in the same year was listed as owning over £500 of Bank of England stock. Although the Tredenham property carried an interest for one seat at St. Mawes, Knight first entered Parliament in 1710 for St. Germans. In 1711 he was included upon the list of ‘worthy patriots’ who had helped detect the mismanagements of the previous ministry, but this suggestion of Tory loyalties is contradicted by his vote of 7 Dec. 1711 in favour of the ‘No Peace without Spain’ motion. Knight’s only other significant activity in this Parliament was his vote on 18 June against the French commerce bill, the printed list of this division classing him as a Whig. The veracity of this judgment was confirmed in the 1713 Parliament when, on 18 Mar. 1714, he voted against the expulsion of Richard Steele, and the Worsley list classed him as a Whig. After the accession of George I he continued to sit in Parliament, voting with the Whigs until his death on 2 Oct. 1733. His estates were left to his wife, who later married Robert Nugent†.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Morant, Essex, ii. 382; IGI, London.
  • 2. CSP Col. 1717–18, p. 437; 1722–3, p. 153.
  • 3. Courtney, Parl. Rep. Cornw. 92; Egerton 3359 (unfol.); Morant, 382; PCC 261 Price.