IOW Photographers - Knight


Photographer Charles Knight
Active Period 1875 - 1898
Lifespan Born:  1853  Ryde, IOW Died: 
Studio Addresses 6 Royal Arcade, Ryde (c1875 - c1880)
26 Union Street, Ryde (c1881)
108 High Street, Newport (c1882 - c1898)
Associates Mary A Fry  (sister-in-law, assistant)
Trade History 1871 Census
Charles Knight, photographic artist pupil, 8/9 The Arcade, Ryde

1875 Kelly's Directory of IOW
Charles Knight, photographer, 6 Royal Arcade, Ryde

1881 Census
Charles Knight, photographer, 26 Union Street, Ryde

1891 Census
Charles Knight, photographer, Newport

1898 Kelly's Directory of IOW (pages 169 & 473)
Charles Knight, photographer, 108 High Street, Newport

1901 Census
Charles Knight, photographer, Aldershot, Hants

Evidence Found
1887 - photo of Queen Victoria - see below
1890 - photo of Alfred Urry - see below
c1895 - estimated date of photo - see below
Examples of
Trade Cards,
Adverts, etc
KnightAd.jpg (20122 bytes)
An advertisement from the IW County Press dated 4 January 1894

KnightAd2.jpg (34879 bytes)
Another advertisement from the IW County Press dated 22 August 1896

My thanks to Ann Barrett for locating these advertisements.

Knight1.jpg (16668 bytes)Knight1r.jpg (21012 bytes)
Example of a Charles Knight's photo and back thought to be c1890's

My thanks to Ray Powell (near Leeds) for the above photo.

Ray came across this photo whilst clearing his father's house but has no idea who the subject could be. He also found other photos of the same person taken at studios in Brighton. If you recognise the subject, please contact Ray at

KnightQV.jpg (29109 bytes)KnightQVr.jpg (26115 bytes)
Another example of a Charles Knight's photo and back dated 1887
This photo was taken of Queen Victoria in her carriage during her Golden Jubilee celebrations.

My thanks to Anthony Greenman (Ryde, IOW) for the above photo.

Knight1890.jpg (13445 bytes)
A different style mounting card with a fine red border, dated 1890
The reverse is plain beige and has no printing

My thanks to Janet Bush (Canada) for the above photo.

The above photo is of Alfred Urry, one of Janet's ancestors, and is dated on the reverse Nov 1890.

Family History Charles Knight was born in 1853 at Ryde, the son of Henry Knight from Worthing, Sussex, and his wife Harriet (nee King) from Dorset. His parents had apparently moved to the Island in the late 1840's, since their first child born on the Island was Mary Jane in 1851. Births of older siblings indicate the family's move was via Hertford and London; viz Harriet in Worthing c1845, Emily in Hertford c1846 and Henry in London c1848. At least four more children were born on the Island after Charles.

At the time of the 1861 census, the family was living at 8/9 The Arcade, off Union Street, Ryde, where his parents had a shop; his father being an importer of Italian statues. Charles was then recorded as being a 7-year old scholar. Also living with the family in 1861 was Henry senior's unmarried older sister Eliza from Worthing and a house servant Elizabeth Phillips from Sandown.

Charles must have started his photographic career at an early age, because the 1871 census records him as being a 17 year old photographic artist pupil. He was still living then with his parents and siblings at 8/9 The Arcade. There were several eminent photographers in the area to whom Charles could have been apprenticed.

Charles married Constance Fry in 1879 and they had their first child, Lily, in 1880. Constance was born in 1860 at Ryde, a daughter of Robert & Mary (nee Williams). In the 1881 census Charles is recorded as being a 27 year old photographer, living at 26 Union Street, Ryde along with his wife and 9 month old baby Lily - both born in Ryde. Also living with the family in 1881 was Mary A Fry, Constance's unmarried elder sister who was recorded as a photographer's assistant.

By the time of the 1891 census, the family had moved to 108 High Street, Newport, where 37 year old Charles had set up a photographic studio. The family had also increased in size by then with three more children - Daisy (9), Charles (4) and Marguerite (3) - accompanying his wife Constance (30) and first daughter Lily (10). Sadly, the family had suffered the loss of a fifth child, Lawrence, who died at the age of 7 months in 1889. The fact that Daisy had been born in Ryde and the latter children in Newport, indicates that the family moved from Ryde to Newport c1881-86. Also living with the family in 1891 was Martha Browning, an 18 year old general servant from Newport. 

By the time of the 1901 census, the family had moved to the mainland, where Charles had set up a photographic studio in Aldershot, Hants.

Further Notes "THE REV. E. F. RIDGEWAY - We are pleased to be enabled to state that the health of this highly-esteemed gentleman has been so far restored as to allow him to take part in the service of the church. During the week we have had the pleasure of viewing a striking likeness of this popular preacher, executed by Mr. Knight, of the Royal Victoria Arcade, whose ability as a photographer has now become thoroughly recognised; and we have no doubt the photograph will be extensively circulated among Mr. Ridgeway's admirers, who are here very numerous."
  -  IW Observer, 10 October 1874

"DERBY DAY PHOTOGRAPHS - Mr Charles Knight has succeeded in taking some excellent photographs of the Epsom race course on Derby Day. One of the pictures clearly depicts the finish of the Caterham Stakes, and another the crowd which throngs the course and enclosures immediately after a race. A deluge of rain spoiled the Derby finish."
  -  IW County Press, 30 May 1891 (page 5)

"AN INTERESTING PHOTOGRAPHIC GROUP - commemorating the devoted and efficient services of the medical profession and trained nurses during the recent epidemic is exhibited in the window of Mr C Knight. The portrait of the Mayor worthily occupies the central position in the picture, with those of three doctors on either side - Drs Foster, JP (borough medical officer of health), Groves, JP, and Coombs, and Drs Hutton Castle, Barr, and Thompson. In addition there are photographs of some 40 trained nurses."
  -  IW County Press, 12 January 1895 (page 6)

NEWPORT ... "Everyone should see the set of very fine Horse Photographs of the 3 horse spill, at Ashey Steeple Chases, taken by Charles Knight, Royal Photographer, Newport. Good photographs also of every race."
  -  IW County Press, 2 May 1896 (page 5)

My thanks to Ann Barrett for locating the above articles.


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