Mag. vol. lxxvii. pt. ii. p. 1056). He was also minister of the parochial chapelry of Shipborne, Kent, to which he was presented by Lord Vane. The degree of D.D. was conferred on him by the university of Philadelphia. He died at Tunbridge on 6 Sept. 1821, aged 68, and was buried in the chancel of Tunbridge Church, where a monument was erected to his memory. An engraving by William Ward, after a portrait of Knox by A. J. Oliver, is prefixed to the first volume of his collected ‘Works,’ which were published in 1824 in seven volumes (London, 8vo). Knox married a daughter of Thomas Miller of Tunbridge, by whom he had three sons and an only daughter, Sarah, who became the wife of Robert Clement Sconce of Plymouth, and died on 17 June 1818. Mrs. Knox died on 29 May 1809. Vicesimus, the elder of their two surviving sons, was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1804, became the recorder of Saffron Walden and a bencher of his inn, and died on 25 Jan. 1855. Thomas, the younger son, succeeded his father as head-master of Tunbridge School, and held that post until his death, which occurred on 23 July 1843.
Knox was a good scholar, an impressive preacher, and a popular and voluminous writer. He was a staunch whig, and, though a strenuous supporter of the establishment, was strongly in favour of Roman catholic emancipation. A sermon which he preached on the unlawfulness of offensive war at the parish church at Brighton on 18 Aug. 1793 attracted notice, and some indignant militia officers drove him and his family out of the Brighton Theatre. He subsequently published extracts from this sermon in a ‘Narrative of Transactions’ (1793; 3rd edit., corrected, 1794), and the whole of it is printed at length in his ‘Works’ (vi. 351–70).
Boswell says that Knox ‘appears to have the imitari aveo of Johnson's style perpetually in his mind; and to his assiduous, though not servile, study of it we may partly ascribe the extensive popularity of his writings’ (Life of Johnson, iv. 390–1). Though as an original writer Knox has been forgotten, he is still remembered as the compiler of the once familiar ‘Elegant Extracts.’ Besides two single sermons and anonymously issued editions of ‘Juvenal and Persius’ (1784) and of ‘Catullus’ (1784; reprinted 1824), he published: 1. ‘Essays Moral and Literary,’ anon. Lond. 1778, 8vo; 2nd edition, corrected and enlarged, Lond. 1779, 8vo; ‘Volume the Second’ [containing thirty-nine additional essays] was published in 1779, Lond. 8vo, after the second edition of the original volume had appeared with Knox's name on the title-page; 12th edition, New York, 1793, 12mo, 2 vols.; another edition, Basil, 1800, 8vo; 17th edition, Lond. 1815, 12mo, 3 vols.; in Ferguson's ‘British Essayists,’ 2nd edition, vols. xxxv–vii. Lond. 1823, 12mo; new edition, Lond. 1823, 12mo, 3 vols., a duplicate of the preceding, without the collective title-pages; another edition in Lynam's ‘British Essayists,’ vol. xxii. and xxiii., Lond. 1827, 12mo. Other editions are given in Lowndes's ‘Bibliographer's Manual’ (Bohn). 2. ‘Liberal Education, or a Practical Treatise on the Methods of acquiring Useful and Polite Learning,’ Lond. 1781, 8vo; 10th edition, Lond. 1789, 8vo, 2 vols., with a letter to Lord North. 3. ‘Elegant Extracts, or Useful and Entertaining Passages in Prose, selected for the improvement of Scholars at Classical and other Schools in the Art of Speaking, in Reading, Thinking, Composing, and in the Conduct of Life,’ anon. Lond. 1783, 4to; 10th edition, anon. Lond. 1816, 8vo, 2 vols. ‘The Prose Epitome, or Elegant Extracts abridged,’ anon. Lond. 1791, 12mo. 4. ‘Winter Evenings, or Lucubrations on Life and Letters,’ anon. Lond. 1788, 12mo, 3 vols.; 2nd edition, Lond. 1790, 8vo, 2 vols.; 3rd edition, Lond. 1795, 12mo, 3 vols.; new edition, Basil [printed], Paris, 1800, 8vo, 2 vols.; new edition, Lond. 1823, 12mo, 3 vols.; another edition is contained in Lynam's ‘British Essayists,’ vols. xxix. and xxx., Lond. 1827, 12mo. 5. ‘Elegant Extracts, or Useful and Entertaining Pieces of Poetry, selected for the improvement of Youth,’ anon. Lond. 1789, 8vo; other editions, anon. Lond. 1801, 1805, and 1816; ‘The Poetical Epitome, or Elegant Extracts abridged,’ &c., anon. Lond. 1807, 12mo. 6. ‘Elegant Epistles, or a copious Collection of Familiar and Amusing Letters, selected for the improvement of young Persons, and for general Entertainment,’ Lond. 1790, 8vo; another edition, Dublin, 1791, 8vo. The ‘Elegant Extracts,’ both in prose and verse, and the ‘Elegant Epistles’ were frequently reprinted together; an edition was published by Sharpe in 1810, 18mo (18 vols.); ‘a new edition … prepared by J. G. Percival,’ 1842, Boston, Mass., 8vo (6 vols.); sometimes the ‘Family Lectures’ were added. 7. ‘Family Lectures, or Domestic Divinity; being a copious Collection of Sermons, selected from … Divines of the present century, for the Use of Schools,’ &c. [anonymously edited by Knox], Lond. 1791–5, 8vo, 2 vols.; the second, or ‘new volume,’ has a somewhat altered title; reprinted in 1815, and subsequently published in 1 vol. 8vo to match the ‘Elegant Extracts.’ 8. ‘Sermons, chiefly intended to promote Faith, Hope, and Charity,’ Lond. 1792, 8vo; 2nd edition, corrected, Lond. 1793, 8vo.