John Baverstock Knight

(3 May 1785 - 14 May 1859)

Born at the parsonage, Langton, near Blandford, Dorset, was second son, the third of eight children of James Forster Knight (1751-1808), captain, 3rd Dorset militia, and his wife, Sophia (1751/2-1820), daughter of Colonel John Kay. He was educated at home and in a commercial school at Child Okeford. He became assistant to his father as land surveyor and agent, but from a love of art, which his father encouraged, took to water-colour painting.

His careful studies from nature brought him much local reputation, and he exhibited one or two architectural subjects at the Royal Academy. In 1816, he published some etchings of old buildings in Dorset, one of which, a view of Bradford Abbas Church, was published in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1818. After the death of his father and his own marriage, the care of his mother and younger brother devolved on Knight, and this, coupled with increasing bad health, led him to abandon art as a profession. He died at West Lodge, Piddle Hinton, Dorset. His works were favourably noticed by Henry Fuseli, Sir Thomas Lawrence, and other competent authorities. A neighbour and intimate friend of Knight's was Thomas Rackett [q. v.] the antiquary, rector of Spetisbury, Dorset.

[Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 31, by Lionel Henry Cust; Gentleman's Magazine 3rd ser. 1859, vii. 310; Graves's Dictionary of Artists, 1760–1880.]

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