Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 31.djvu/251

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Knight
Knight
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subsequently became quite as skilful as Bartolozzi himself. He was at first employed on somewhat indifferent prints for such works as Harding's ‘Shakespeare Illustrated,’ ‘Memoirs of Grammont,’ &c., but later obtained a good reputation, and was extensively employed on more important work. He engraved numerous subjects after H. W. Bunbury, Angelica Kauffmann, F. Wheatley, T. Stothard, J. H. Benwell, J. Hoppner, J. Northcote, J. R. Smith, and others, as well as many portraits after Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir Thomas Lawrence, &c. Others are often credited with his work. His engraving of ‘The Spirit of a Child borne to Heaven,’ after W. Peters, is usually ascribed to W. Dickinson; and his fine full-length portrait of Elizabeth Farren, countess of Derby, has been ranked among the best productions of Bartolozzi. One C. Knight exhibited four miniatures at the Royal Academy between 1793 and 1816. Knight resided in 1781 in Berwick Street, Soho, in 1792 in Brompton, and later in Hammersmith, where he was still living in 1826, when he published, although aged 83, a portrait of the Rev. Thomas Stephen Attwood, minister of Hammersmith. He probably died soon after this. In 1803 Knight was one of the original governors of the abortive Society of Engravers. His daughter Martha also practised as an engraver.

[Dodd's manuscript History of English Engravers (Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 33402); Redgrave's Dict. of Artists, p. 253; Leblanc's Manuel de l'Amateur d'Estampes; Tuer's Bartolozzi and his Works.]

L. C.

KNIGHT, CHARLES (1791–1873), author and publisher, son of Charles Knight, bookseller of Windsor, was born in 1791. The elder Knight, a man of cultivation and public spirit, published the ‘Microcosm,’ written by George Canning, Robert Smith, John Frere, and other Eton boys in 1786 and 1787, and its successor, the ‘Miniature,’ edited by Stratford Canning sixteen years later. The father also spent much time on local affairs. He was on very friendly terms with George III, who used to come to turn over his books. One morning in 1791 he was horror-struck at finding the king in his shop poring over Paine's ‘Rights of Man,’ then just published. The king made no comment. In 1803 Knight was sent to a school kept by a Dr. Nicholas at Ealing. Before he could acquire more than a rudimentary knowledge of the classics, his father removed him from school, and took him as an apprentice in the summer of 1805. The elder Knight sold old as well as new books, and Knight acquired a good bibliographical knowledge. An imperfect copy of the first folio Shakespeare, bought by the father in a library, was given by him to the son. Having access to a fount of similar type, and ‘abundant flyleaves of 17th-century books which matched the paper,’ Knight composed, with the aid of the facsimile, and printed himself every missing or defective page, and made his copy perfect. He sold it for a ‘tempting price’ to an Eton tutor; but his careful study of the text was of value to him in later days. About this time he began a lifelong habit of dabbling in verse. He wisely burnt his early attempts, but later he published a little of his work. In 1813 he wrote a play, ‘Arminius,’ which, though declined by the management of Drury Lane, was printed. On the marriage of Princess Charlotte he produced a ‘mask,’ entitled ‘The Bridal of the Isles,’ called by Leigh Hunt ‘very crisp and luxuriant.’ He was among the founders in 1810 of a short-lived ‘Reading Society’ at Windsor. The ambition to become a popular instructor already possessed him. His first idea was to achieve this end by journalism, and during the session of 1812 he began to learn the trade by reporting for the ‘Globe’ and ‘British Press.’ On 27 Feb. he was accidentally left alone to report a speech by Canning. In August 1812, as joint proprietor with his father, he started the ‘Windsor and Eton Express.’ His experience made him aware of the obstacles placed in the way of ‘popular instructor’ by the stamp, advertisement, and paper duties.

In 1818, his father being mayor of Windsor, Knight was appointed overseer of the parish. He threw himself into the work with his usual enthusiasm, startled his brother officials with a proposal that they should visit the ‘out-poor’ at home, and once successfully chased a supposed bigamist, who had left a wife ‘on the parish’ at Windsor, into Oxfordshire. He took the opportunity of visiting the house at Burford reported to have been Lord Falkland's, and pushed on to Wantage, that he might see the birthplace of King Alfred. In 1817 he edited and published an edition of Fairfax's ‘Tasso’ (Singer's edition appeared in the same year). He was still keen about popular instruction, and so early as 1814 had sketched out the plan of a weekly series, which should bring all kinds of knowledge, mixed with lighter matter, within the reach of the poorest. At last, on 1 Feb. 1820, in conjunction with Edward Hawke Locker [q. v.], Knight produced the first number of the ‘Plain Englishman,’ comprehending original compositions and selections from the best writers, under the heads of ‘The Christian Monitor,’ ‘The British