Lighthouse Keepers

The Knott Family

The photo above shows lighthouse keeper George Knott with one of his famous models.

The Knott family were the longest continuously-serving family in the history of lighthouse keepers, a record that is unlikely to be broken now that lighthouses are mostly automatic.

Article about the Knott family first published in The Lightkeeper, Vol IV, No 6 (1911).

Article by Ken Trethewey published in LAMP, Issue 95, Spring 2013.


Generation 1

William Knott
Born: 1706 Acrise, Kent
Served: 1730 Appointed South Foreland
Died: 1780 South Foreland lighthouse. Served 50 years.


Generation 2

Henry Knott
Born: 1748 South Foreland lighthouse
Served: 1777-1818 South Foreland
Died: 1828 St Margarets-at-Cliffe, South Foreland. Served 41 years.


Generation 3

Henry Thomas Knott
Born: 1797 South Foreland low lighthouse
Served: 1818-63 South Foreland low lighthouse
Died: 1870 South Foreland low lighthouse. Served 45 years.


Generation 4

Henry Knott
Born: 1819 South Foreland lighthouse
Served: 1841 South Foreland
1851-80 Flamborough Head
Died: 1880. Served 39 years.


John Knott
Born: 1820 South Foreland lighthouse
Served: 1851 South Foreland
Died: 1851 South Foreland lighthouse


George Goldsack Knott (model maker)
Born: 1828 South Foreland low lighthouse
1847-61 South Foreland low lighthouse
1861-66 PK Eddystone (Smeaton tower)
1866-79 Bideford Bar
1879-88 Bull Point
1889 North Foreland
1891 Retired
Died: 1904 Dover. Served 43 years.

Generation 5

Henry Thomas Knott
Born: 1851 South Foreland low lighthouse
1873 Entered lighthouse service
1874-86 Skerries
1886-87 South Foreland,
1887-90 Minicoy, Lakshadweep, India
1890-94 St Anns Head,
1898- S. Stack,
1901 Skerries
1905 Start Point,
Subsequently served at Bideford and Bull Point at unknown dates
1908 retired. Served 35 years.
Died: 1910 Crewe


Edmund Horton Knott
Born: 1872 Braunton, Devon
1892 Entered lighthouse Service
1901 Assistant Keeper, South Foreland
1894 Smalls
1899-1901 South Foreland
Died 1943. Left the lighthouse service in early 1900s. Served for about 10 years. Became a greengrocer in Watford, Hertfordshire.