Author Topic: Knowles Family questions  (Read 432 times)

Offline Forfarian

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Knowles Family questions
« on: Monday 15 January 18 17:30 GMT (UK) »
This may not be quite the right forum for this, but the Knowles family had strong naval connections.

For some time, while pursuing my search for information about Joseph Leslie Fraser Duncan, who became notorious in 1890-1891 for a breach of promise of marriage case brought by Miss Gladys Knowles, I have been puzzling over the following exchange of letters in The Times:

Knowles v Duncan. To the editor of the Times. Sir - With reference to the above breach of promise action, which has recently appeared in your columns, I have to request that, in the interests of myself and my family, you will be good enough to publish the following disclaimer, viz - That inasmuch as I am the only legitimate son of my father, Sir Francis Charles Knowles, third baronet, that I never had a brother, and that my three sisters died infants and unmarried, the plaintiff in this action cannot, legitimately and properly, be styled 'the niece of Admiral Knowles', that is to say, my niece, as I am the only admiral of that name since the death of my grandfather, Admiral Sir Charles Henry Knowles, Bart, in 1831. I am not, and never have been, acquainted with the plaintiff, and, so far as I know, she is no relative of mine whatsoever. I am, Sir, your obedient servant, Charles George Frederick Knowles, Rear Admiral (Retired List), Carraleena, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, August 14. [The Times, 16 August 1890]

Letters: Knowles v Duncan. To the Editor of the Times. Sir - With reference to the letter of Admiral C G F Knowles in 'The Times' of August 16 last, we have been instructed by Sir Francis Charles Knowles, the grandfather of the plaintiff and father of Admiral Knowles, to request you to publish his statement, which is: Miss Gladys Knowles is my granddaughter. She is the daughter of the late Charles Henry Knowles, my son by Carlotta Knowles, my wife, born in 1828. She died in 1828. Admiral Knowles is the son of my wife, Emma Knowles, born in 1832. Whether the plaintiff is or is not the niece of Admiral Knowles you can now draw your own conclusion. Trusting you will insert this in your next issue, faithfully yours, Hatchett, Jones and Co, 47, Mark-lane, EC, September 4. [The Times, 16 September 1890]

In the 1881 census is a family consisting of Elizabeth Knowles, head, widow, 42, born Wortley, Yorkshire, with her daughter Theresa C Knowles, 12, son Robert, 10, both born in Belgium. In 1891 there is a household consisting of Elizabeth T Knowles, widow, 55, born Wortley, son Robert D, 20, born Belgium, and father-in-law F Chas Knowles, 88.

Theresa C's full name was Theresa Carlotta Gladys Knowles. In the 1890 breach of promise of marriage case she is named as Miss Gladys Knowles. Her marriage certificate in 1891 names her as Teresa Carlotta G Knowles.

If Charles Henry, father of Gladys, was Sir Francis C Knowles' elder son, why did Admiral Sir Charles G F Knowles inherit the title, and not Gladys' younger brother Robert? If he was illegitimate, why did Sir Francis describe Carlotta as his wife? Where was Charles Henry born and when and where did he die? And why did Admiral Knowles not know of the existence of his elder half-brother's family?
Researching

AITKENHEAD, Lanarkshire; BINNY, Forfar; BLACK, New Monkland; BRYSON, Cumbernauld; BURGESS, North-East Scotland; CRUICKSHANK, Rothes; DALLAS, Botriphnie; DAVIDSON, Oyne; GUTHRIE, Angus; HOGG, Larbert; LESLIE, Rothes/Mortlach; MENDUM, England; MOLLISON, Lethnot; PATERSON, Larbert; RHIND, Forfar; SANG, Scotland; SCOTT, East Kilbride; STOR(R)I/E/Y, Shotts; THORNTON, Shotts; WADDELL, New Monkland; WILKIE, New Monkland; WILKIE, Tannadice; WYLLIE, Angus; YOUNG, Keith

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Offline jim1

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Re: Knowles Family questions
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 16 January 18 11:15 GMT (UK) »
If Charles was the heir that would make Sir Francis Jnr. the spare & would have been entitled if Charles died before he could inherit.
It's also possible Charles was illegitimate & therefore not entitled to the Baronetcy.
Reading between the lines I would think Sir Francis Jnr. knew of the existence on his half brother's family but refused to recognise them.
One question remains & that is how can Sir Francis Jnr. refer to himself as 3rd. Baronet when his father is still alive?
Warks:Ashford;Cadby;Clarke;Clifford;Cooke Copage;Easthope;
Edmonds;Felton;Colledge;Lutwyche;Mander(s);May;Poole;Withers.
Staffs.Edmonds;Addison;Duffield;Webb;Fisher;Archer
Salop:Easthope,Eddowes,Hoorde,Oteley,Vernon,Talbot,De Neville.
Notts.Clarke;Redfearne;Treece.
Som.May;Perriman;Cox
India Kane;Felton;Cadby
London.Haysom.
Lancs.Gay.
Worcs.Coley;Mander;Sawyer.
Kings of Wessex & Scotland
Census information is Crown copyright,from
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

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Offline KGarrad

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Re: Knowles Family questions
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 16 January 18 11:58 GMT (UK) »
Burkes Peerage has this to say:

Admiral Sir Henry Charles Knowles, 2nd Bt. was born on 24 August 1754. He was the son of Admiral Sir Charles Knowles, 1st Bt. and Maria Magdalena Theresa de Bouget. He married Charlotte Johnstone, daughter of Charles John Johnstone and Mary Beddoe, on 10 September 1800. He died on 28 November 1831 at age 77.
     He succeeded as the 2nd Baronet Knowles, of Lovell Hill, Berkshire [G.B., 1765] on 9 December 1777. He fought in the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1797. He gained the rank of Admiral of the Red. He was appointed Knight Grand Cross, Order of the Bath (G.C.B.)
Children of Admiral Sir Henry Charles Knowles, 2nd Bt. and Charlotte Johnstone

    unknown son Knowles
    unknown son Knowles
    unknown daughter Knowles
    unknown daughter Knowles
    unknown daughter Knowles
    unknown daughter Knowle
    Sir Francis Charles Knowles, 3rd Bt.+ b. 10 Jun 1802, d. 19 Mar 1892

Sir Francis Charles Knowles, 3rd Bt. was born on 10 June 1802. He was the son of Admiral Sir Henry Charles Knowles, 2nd Bt. and Charlotte Johnstone. He married Emma Pocock, daughter of Sir George Pocock, 1st Bt., on 26 May 1831. He died on 19 March 1892 at age 89.
     He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, with a Master of Arts (M.A.) He succeeded as the 3rd Baronet Knowles, of Lovell Hill, Berkshire [G.B., 1765] on 28 November 1831. He was a practising barrister. He was appointed Fellow, Royal Society (F.R.S.)
Children of Sir Francis Charles Knowles, 3rd Bt. and Emma Pocock

    unknown daughter Knowles
    unknown daughter Knowles
    unknown daughter Knowles
    Vice-Admiral Sir Charles George Frederick Knowles, 4th Bt.+ b. 14 Mar 1832, d. 3 Mar 1918

Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

Offline Forfarian

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Re: Knowles Family questions
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 16 January 18 12:01 GMT (UK) »
Thank you.

I have the names of all but one of the 'unknown' sons and daughters of Admiral Knowles, and the name of one daughter and birth date of another daughter of Sir Francis Knowles and Emma Pocock, and once I have a bit more information I will send it on to 'The Peerage'.
Researching

AITKENHEAD, Lanarkshire; BINNY, Forfar; BLACK, New Monkland; BRYSON, Cumbernauld; BURGESS, North-East Scotland; CRUICKSHANK, Rothes; DALLAS, Botriphnie; DAVIDSON, Oyne; GUTHRIE, Angus; HOGG, Larbert; LESLIE, Rothes/Mortlach; MENDUM, England; MOLLISON, Lethnot; PATERSON, Larbert; RHIND, Forfar; SANG, Scotland; SCOTT, East Kilbride; STOR(R)I/E/Y, Shotts; THORNTON, Shotts; WADDELL, New Monkland; WILKIE, New Monkland; WILKIE, Tannadice; WYLLIE, Angus; YOUNG, Keith

Offline KGarrad

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Re: Knowles Family questions
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 16 January 18 12:10 GMT (UK) »
Burke's Peerage was never noted for it's accuracy! :o
They spent more time keeping certain people "sweet", and/or accepting money - which probably explains the many "unknowns" ;D
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

Offline Forfarian

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Re: Knowles Family questions
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 16 January 18 12:14 GMT (UK) »
Burke's Peerage was never noted for it's accuracy! :o
They spent more time keeping certain people "sweet", and/or accepting money - which probably explains the many "unknowns" ;D
No, indeed :). I wouldn't trust it any more than I would trust Ancestry etc. I have supplied quite a few corrections and additions to www.thepeerage.com over the years.
Researching

AITKENHEAD, Lanarkshire; BINNY, Forfar; BLACK, New Monkland; BRYSON, Cumbernauld; BURGESS, North-East Scotland; CRUICKSHANK, Rothes; DALLAS, Botriphnie; DAVIDSON, Oyne; GUTHRIE, Angus; HOGG, Larbert; LESLIE, Rothes/Mortlach; MENDUM, England; MOLLISON, Lethnot; PATERSON, Larbert; RHIND, Forfar; SANG, Scotland; SCOTT, East Kilbride; STOR(R)I/E/Y, Shotts; THORNTON, Shotts; WADDELL, New Monkland; WILKIE, New Monkland; WILKIE, Tannadice; WYLLIE, Angus; YOUNG, Keith

Offline Forfarian

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Re: Knowles Family questions
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 16 January 18 12:41 GMT (UK) »
It's all a bit confusing. There are three main Knowles players in this story

- Sir Francis Charles Knowles FRS (1802-1892), 3rd baronet
- Charles Henry Knowles (1828-before 1890), son of the above by his wife Carlotta
- Vice-Admiral Sir Charles George Frederick Knowles (1832-1918), 4th baronet, son of Sir Francis by his wife Emma Pocock

I have since discovered that Admiral Knowles sent copies of his letter to at least half a dozen other newspapers.

That suggests that he was very strongly motivated to disown his half-brother's family, but why? If Charles Henry was illegitimate, Admiral K had nothing to lose from them. So he must have believed that Charles Henry's family was some sort of threat to him.

Sir Francis Knowles died in 1892 in the home of his daughter(-in-law) Mrs Charles Henry Knowles in London, where he was living in 1891.

His wife Emma was living with Sir Francis' sister in Ryde in 1891, listed as 'visitor', which is odd, not least because she was there with her husband in 1881, and she died in 1895 in the Isle of Wight. Could they have become estranged as a result of Sir Francis' admission that she was not his first wife?

I don't think Admiral K is referring to himself as 3rd baronet. The reference is to his father, Sir Francis K, 3rd baronet.

What really perplexes me is that I have completely failed to find any reference whatsoever to Charles Henry himself apart from Sir Francis' statement that he was his son.
Researching

AITKENHEAD, Lanarkshire; BINNY, Forfar; BLACK, New Monkland; BRYSON, Cumbernauld; BURGESS, North-East Scotland; CRUICKSHANK, Rothes; DALLAS, Botriphnie; DAVIDSON, Oyne; GUTHRIE, Angus; HOGG, Larbert; LESLIE, Rothes/Mortlach; MENDUM, England; MOLLISON, Lethnot; PATERSON, Larbert; RHIND, Forfar; SANG, Scotland; SCOTT, East Kilbride; STOR(R)I/E/Y, Shotts; THORNTON, Shotts; WADDELL, New Monkland; WILKIE, New Monkland; WILKIE, Tannadice; WYLLIE, Angus; YOUNG, Keith

Offline Forfarian

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Re: Knowles Family questions
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 16 January 18 14:25 GMT (UK) »
Stunned.

Just found the civil registration records from Liège, Belgium. There are births of four daughters and three sons there to Francis Charles Knowles and Elisabeth or Marie Elisabeth Lee.

Most of the children died in infancy, and in the 1866 death records the father's age is given as anything from fifty-five to sixty!

So it looks as if Miss Gladys Knowles was indeed not the granddaughter of Sir Francis Knowles, but his daughter, who must have been illegitimate because he was married to Emma Pocock in 1831, in the same household as her in 1881, and apparently still married to her when he died in 1892.

So it looks rather as if Sir Francis Charles Knowles MA FRS, barrister, 3rd baronet, was of rather less than 100% unimpeachable character.  :o :o :o
Researching

AITKENHEAD, Lanarkshire; BINNY, Forfar; BLACK, New Monkland; BRYSON, Cumbernauld; BURGESS, North-East Scotland; CRUICKSHANK, Rothes; DALLAS, Botriphnie; DAVIDSON, Oyne; GUTHRIE, Angus; HOGG, Larbert; LESLIE, Rothes/Mortlach; MENDUM, England; MOLLISON, Lethnot; PATERSON, Larbert; RHIND, Forfar; SANG, Scotland; SCOTT, East Kilbride; STOR(R)I/E/Y, Shotts; THORNTON, Shotts; WADDELL, New Monkland; WILKIE, New Monkland; WILKIE, Tannadice; WYLLIE, Angus; YOUNG, Keith