Catalogue description Knight Archive

This record is held by Hampshire Archives and Local Studies

Details of 39M89
Reference: 39M89
Title: Knight Archive

Knight of Chawton


Estate records of the Knight family of Chawton including: manorial records for Farringdon, Neatham, Truncheants, Alton Westbrook, Steventon, Chawton, Chilham, Kent, Collaton Stephay, Devon, Dallingridge, Sussex manors and borough of Midhurst, 1447-1813; title deeds concerning the Westdean estate, Sussex, 1615-1736; survey and deeds concerning Ensham, Oxon, 1650-1705; copy of court roll of Chawton manor, 1525; copies of court roll for Rawmere, Sussex, 1587-1621; leases for properties in Alton, Neatham, Chawton, Farringdon, Holybourne, East Worldham, and out of county, 1633-1956; list of Elisham and Horton tenants, 1699; correspondence concerning leases, 1720-1933; sale particulars for Knight estate properties, 1851-1891; papers concerning the sale of George Chaffin's estate, c1746-8; surveys and valuations of the Knight estate, 1665-20th cent; correspondence about estate management, 17th-19th cents; correspondence and valuations concerning individual farms, 18th-20th cents; plans of woodland, 1706-c1886; papers concerning the Alton, Alresford and Winchester Railway, 1861-1866 and the Meon Valley Railway, 1898; household and estate accounts, 1738-1779; bonds re debts and vouchers, 1565-1920; land tax assessments for North Alton division, 1706-1710, for Shalden 1742, and for Chawton, 1841; papers concerning tithes, 1671-1840 & nd; illustrated atlas of the Knight estate, c1741; estate maps, 18th-19th cents; certificate for servant's good behaviour, 1667; servants' agreements, 1734-1746; lists of servants, 1908-1913; detailed plans of parts of Chawton house, 20th cent; notebooks concerning archives and household goods, nd; plans and related papers concerning Chawton school, 1882-1912; draft scheme for Holybourne Free school, 1892; papers concerning the proposed division of Winchester diocese, 1913-1914; report on Alton church bells, 1879; account of dispute concerning Bentworth poor relief, c1747-8; pew list for Chawton church and papers concerning the church fabric, 1733-1953; correspondence concerning West Worldham church, 1878; receipts for preaching at Harold Church, Beds, 1815-1822; estimate and drawings for new bells at Badsworth, Yorks., 1894-6; papers concerning Knight charities in Alton, Shalden and Chawton, 1713-1848; poor rate book for Little Dunmow, Kent, 1796-7.


Family and official papers including: pedigrees and genealogies, 19th cent; correspondence and notes, 1641-1895; military commissions, 1792-1891; papers concerning the Hampshire Hunt, 1825-1908; minutes of the Chawton Workingman's Improvement Club, 1873-1909; accounts of choral union, 1878-9; minutes of Chawton parish council, 1894; rules of North East Hants Agricultural Association, 1902-3; rules and minutes of Conservative Association, 1885-1939; minutes of Alton Rural District Local Welfare Committee, 1920-1; certificate of purchase of a Dutch ship (in Latin), 1646; accounts and related papers re Alton fair, 1704-1880

Date: 1523-1950

M1-13 MANORIAL 1641 - 1853




E/B1-73 Leases and leasing 1525 - 1953


E/B74-110 Sales particulars and sales 1851 - 1919


E/B111-145 General estate management 1636 - 1946


E/B146-248 Individual farms and properties 1706 - 1933


E/B249-251 Shooting 1892 - 1900


E/B252-271 Woodland 1702 - 1885


E/B272-287 Railways 1861 - 1898


E/B288-375 Finances 1683 - 1936


E/B376-383 Tithes 1671 - 1840


E/B384-435 Maps and plans 1739 - 1950


E/B436-442 Schedules of deeds and documents 1873 - 1900


E Correspondence surveys valuations and rentals Printed Acts


H1-18 HOUSEHOLD 1667 - 1930


K1-9 CHARITIES 1724 - 1912


R1-19 ECCLESIASTICAL 1815 - 1953


F1-76 FAMILY AND OFFICIAL 1641 - 1921


Z1-7 MISCELLANEOUS 1646 - 1913







Held by: Hampshire Archives and Local Studies, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Knight family of Chawton, Hampshire

Physical description: 72 series
Immediate source of acquisition:

The first collection of Knight papers was deposited in 1961 and has the reference 18M61. There is a detailed catalogue of this collection (see Knight Vols 1-2) but it is listed as items were found in their original boxes rather than in any archival or subject based order. The place names (with some subjects) index at the back of Knight Vol 2 is a helpful tool for using the 18M61 catalogue. Unfortunately much of the material suffered extensively from damp in the past and is consequently Not fit for production but some of these documents have since been conserved and are now available for consultation.


The second collection of Knight papers was deposited in 1989 and has the reference 39M89. Bundles of documents have been retained as they were found when the collection was received except where the documents bore no obvious relationship to each other.


The 18M61 and 39M89 collections both form part of a single Knight archive (there are title deeds, records concerning estate management, family papers and so on in both collections) and the two catalogues should be used in conjunction with each other.


Additional deposits:


15 May 1990 E/B443-EB446/1-7


5 June 1991 E/B447-EB504; F77-F81; G1-3


3 August 1994 Additional deposits








E/505-537 Leases and leasing


E/B538-542 Sales particulars and sales


E/B543-60 General estate management


E/B604-638 Correspondence


E/B639-64 Surveys, valuations and rentals


E/B641-647 Woodland


E/B648-728 Finances


E/B729-731 Maps and plans


E/B732-735 Printed Acts


E/B736-738 Schedules of deeds and documents










F82-110 Personal papers


F111-133 Correspondence


F134-145 Hampshire Hunt


F146-154 Rifle Clubs


F155 Choral Union


F156-168 Conservative Association

Publication note:

For further information on the Knight family see:


1. Chawton Manor and its Owners. A family history. by William Austen Leigh and Montagu George Knight, London 1911 (Book 41, shelf 1);


2. Pedigree of Knight of Chawton and Godmersham, Winchester (Book 1095, shelf 27);


3. Victoria County History of Hampshire, especially volume 2, Folkestone and London, 1973 (Books 818a-f, shelf 17).


Some of the letters in this collection have been mentioned in the book Chawton Manor and its Owners, A family history, by William Austen Leigh and Montague George Knight (London, 1911). In particular 39M89/R24-26 (pages 57-60 of the book), 39M89/E/B619-620 (pages 143-145) and 39M89/E/B561/9 (page 143)

  • Chawton, Hampshire
Administrative / biographical background:

The Knights of Chawton


The Knight family was first connected with Chawton in the fifteenth century when they leased a farm and land at Chawton from the West family. In 1578 Nicholas Knight bought the manor of Chawton from William Arundel and the property remained in the family until 1679 when the direct male line ended. Sir Richard Knight thus devised the estate to the grandson of his Aunt Dorothy who had married Michael Martin of Ensham, Oxfordshire. The grandchildren, Richard Martin, Christopher Martin and Elizabeth Martin respectively succeeded to the property of Sir Richard Knight, and took on the surname Knight as one of the conditions for succession to the property (see 39M89/E/T5). Elizabeth (Martin) Knight married twice but had no children. She chose her cousin Thomas Brodnax (who had already changed his name to May and now altered it to Knight) as her successor and he united the properties of Godmersham in Kent and Chawton. Thomas (Brodnax/May) Knight and his wife Catherine (Knatchbull) were childless and they chose to leave their estates to George Austen, a second cousin, who thereupon took the name Knight. The family estate has been passed on to successive generations of the Knight family until the present day.

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