Yeovil People

George Knight

Watch & Clock Maker


George Knight was born in 1849 at Warminster, Wiltshire, the son and one of the seven children of Watchmaker and Jeweller George Knight (1823-1902) and his first wife Hannah née Grant (1827-1860) - George Snr had another four children by his second wife Elizabeth Ann née Edwards (b1830). In the 1861 census George Snr (a widower between marriages) was living in Market Place, Warminster, with six of his children, including 12-year old George Jnr, and a domestic servant.

By 1871 22-year old George Jnr had left home and was working as a Watchmaker Journeyman in Eastgate Street, Chester, Cheshire. He was working for, and living in the premises of, widow and Goldsmith Mary Crawley Butt.

In the summer of 1874, at Holywell, Flintshire, George married Jessie Owen (1855-1888), originally from Scotland and the daughter of Richard Owen, the Manager of a Cement Works, and his wife Elizabeth. George and Jessie moved to Yeovil after their marriage and were to have two children, both born in Yeovil, George Richard (1875-1924) and Jessie E (b1876).

The Post Office Directory of 1875 listed George as a "Watch Maker of Middle Street". George set up his home and business at 111 Middle Street and is listed there in the 1881 census with Jessie, the two children, his step-mother Elizabeth and sister-in-law Mary Owen. George gave his occupation as "Watchmaker (Master)". Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser of 1882 listed George as a "Watch Maker & Jeweller of 111 Middle Street".

George rarely made the news during his time in Yeovil; in 1878 he had to take a debtor to court for an outstanding 16s 6d and in 1879 he took WC Bridges to court, Bridges having absconded from Yeovil to Newport, Monmouthshire while still owing George £2 11s 0d. In 1881 Joseph Coles of Street was arrested for obtaining by false pretences a silver watch and chain, valued at 26 shillings, from George. On the other hand, in 1877 George was taken to court by carpenter Thomas Jesty for an unpaid bill and the judge awarded for Jesty.

During the 1880s George had moved his family to Portsea, Portsmouth, where in the autumn of 1888 Jessie died. In the 1891 census George and his children were living at 12 Middle Street, Portsea. George gave his occupation as a Watchmaker, 16-year old George Jnr was a Watchmaker's Assistant and 15-year old Jessie was listed as the Housekeeper.

George Knight died at Portsea in 1894. I have only found one example of his work - see below.




George Knight's advertisement in the 1879 edition of Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser.


.... and his advertisement in the 1882 edition of Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser.


The following images are all of the same watch made by George Knight.