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Richard Knight
Rhode Island Settler
Biographical Sketch

Biographical Sketch: From NEHGR, Jul 1933, Pg 264-5, article by G. Andrew Moriarity, of Bristol, Rhode Island:

"The founder of the family in New England was Richard Knight [** actually, not quite true, as there were other immigrant Knights in New England nmt**], who was at Newport as early as December, 1646. Austin knew nothing earlier than this about him; but there are references to him in the Essex Quarterly Court files at Salem, Mass., that show that prior to his arrival in Rhode Island he had lived at Hampton, N. H., where he had a mill.

Richard Knight, of Hampton, N. H., and Newport, R. I., was living in 1680, but died before Oct 27 of that year. He married first, in England, _________; and secondly, about 1647, Sarah Rogers, daughter of James and Mary Rogers of Newport, R. I. who was living at East Greenwich Feb 23, 1684/5, when she served on a jury of women with respect to the condition of a young woman.

Richard Knight probably came to Hampton, N. H. from Co. Norfolk, England, as most of the earliest inhabitants of Hampton (N. H.) came from that part of England.

On Aug 4, 1640, an agreement was made between the town of Hampton and Richard Knight regarding his building and keeping a mill at the landing there, and 100 acres were granted to him. On Sep 14, 1640 he contracted to build a meeting house. On Jan 29, 1640/1, it was voted that instead of working on the Common Richard Knight was to make a gate for the pound. He was the defendant in a suit brought by Stephen Kent in December, 1641. On Jul 9, 1645, a warrant for his arrest was issued to the constables of Boston, Mass., on account of certain thieving activities of his, and on Sep 9, 1645, Joseph Armetage was ordered by the Court to hold all the goods in his hands of Richard Knight "late of Hampton, now of Rhode Island." (Essex Quarterly Court Files, Vol 1, Pg 88, and History of Hampton.)

In Rhode Island he was a house carpenter by trade, and the items given above show that he practiced the same trade at Hampton. He probably fled to Rhode Island at some time between Jul 8 and Sep 9, 1645, to escape punishment for his misdeeds. This experience seems to have had a salutary effect on him, for thenceforth his life in Rhode Island was, so far as is known, entirely decorous.

Following are events in which he has been found recorded:

His children, thus forming the main branches of his descendancy, were: an unknown son in England, John, Jonathon, David, Richard, Priscilla, and Rebecca. To the best of my knowledge, the marriages and descendants of the girls are unknown.

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