Charles Knight

Date published: 24/06/2013
© Newbury Weekly News




The oldest almsman is possibly Charles Knight, 95, an inmate of Raymond's Almshouses, who is still hale and hearty, and his faculties have so far been preserved to him that he can read his daily paper without spectacles, and recounts his remembrances of Old Newbury with great gusto.


He was born in 1809, a year of great floods in Newbury, when the water ran in a stream down Northbrook -street, and people had to navigate it in punts. Mr Shaw, the seedsman of West-fields, and his family, living where now the Servants' Training Home, were confined to the upper floors of their house for three weeks. Knight was a boy of six when Waterloo was fought, but recollects the incidents of the great battle as retailed afterwards in Newbury. The Oxford Blues, now the Royal Horse Guards Blue were quartered in Newbury for a winter shortly after the war, and on their shifting quarters, their horses were sold by auction in Northbrook-street, being drawn up in line outside the “Jack”.


The old man's father was Stephen Knight, a name still in the family, who drove the first mail from London to Bristol, and was killed by being thrown off his seat owing to the vehicle colliding with a heap of stones on the road. Knight was a butcher by trade, and was in the employ of Mr. Jonathan Farrow, then in business in premises now occupied by the People’s Stores. He went to Bath, and subsequently returned to Newbury, where he set up in business for himself. He recollects when a large timber yard occupied the site of the present Beedon House, and is the only man living who saw the charred stakes, the chains and iron, found in Enbourn Gate Gravel-pits, which there can little doubt were relics of the Newbury martyrs. Many interesting stories he tells about the old times.


Newbury Weekly News 3 March 1904


Died 27 March 1906 aged 96


(Mrs Pattison page 26)

Sources:Newbury Weekly News 3 March 1904

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