KNIGHT, Thomas (1735-94), of Godmersham, Kent and Chawton, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1761 - 1768
1774 - 1780

Family and Education

b. 15 May 1735, o. surv. s. of Thomas May Brodnax, M.P. (who in 1737, on succeeding to Chawton, assumed the name of Knight), by Jane, da. of William Monke of Shoreham, Suss.  educ. Eton 1753-4; Magdalen, Oxf. 1754; Grand Tour.  m. 8 May 1779, Catherine, da. of Rev. Wadham Knatchbull, s.p.  suc. fa. 1781.

Offices Held


Knight was returned for New Romney on the interest of his friend Edward Dering. In Bute’s list of 1761 he is classed as a Tory. He appears in Fox’s list of Members favourable to the peace preliminaries, December 1762; voted against general warrants, 15 and 18 Feb. 1764; but was classed by Jenkinson as a friend normally voting with Administration. In July 1765 Rockingham classed him as ‘doubtful’, and in November 1766 as ‘Tory’; and Townshend in January 1767 as ‘country gentleman, doubtful’. He voted with the court over the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767.

He did not stand in 1768, and in 1774 was returned unopposed for Kent. He voted against the court on Wilkes’s Middlesex motion, 22 Feb. 1775; 12 Feb. 1779 was classed by Robinson over the contractors bill as ‘pro, absent’; and 6 Apr. 1780 voted for Dunning’s motion. There is no record of any speech by him; his attendance was poor; and he seems to have cared little for Parliament. He did not stand in 1780, and ‘spent the rest of his life in the quiet performance of his duties as a country gentleman’.1  He died 23 Oct. 1794.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. W. Austen-Leigh M. G. Knight, Chawton Manor and its Owners, 148.