Edmund Knox (bishop of Manchester)

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Edmund Knox, Bishop of Manchester

Edmund Arbuthnott Knox (6 December 1847 – 16 January 1937) was the fourth Bishop of Manchester, from 1903 to 1921. He was described as a prominent evangelical.[1] Born in Bangalore, the second son of the Reverend George Knox and Mary Anne Reynolds and educated at St Paul's and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, he was ordained in 1872 and began his ecclesiastical career with a period as Fellow, Tutor, and Dean of Merton College, Oxford. He was also rector of St Wilfrid's Church in Kibworth from 1884 to 1891, then from 1891 vicar of Aston by Birmingham, and from 1894 to 1903 rector of St Philip's, Birmingham, Suffragan Bishop of Coventry and Archdeacon of Birmingham.[2]

Knox was the author of a distinguished history of the Oxford Movement written from an unsympathetic Evangelical viewpoint.

Knox was an early proponent of cremation. In a letter read at the 1903 opening ceremony of the Birmingham Crematorium, he wrote:[3]

in spite of strong sentimental objections very naturally entertained, we shall come to see that under the conditions of modern life cremation is not only preferable from the sanitary point of view, but that it is also the most reverent and decent treatment of the bodies of the dead.

Knox died on 16 January 1937. On 27 January 1937, a memorial service was held at All Souls Church, Langham Place. The Reverend H. Earnshaw Smith, then Rector of All Souls, officiated the service, the Reverend Sidney Nowell Rostron read the lesson and the Reverend T. W. Gilbert gave the address.[4]


Bishop Knox was married twice. Firstly he married Ellen Penelope French (1854–1892) in 1878, daughter of Thomas Valpy French, Bishop of Lahore. Secondly he married Ethel Mary Newton in 1895, daughter of Canon Horace Newton of Holmwood, Redditch and Glencripesdale Estate Argyllshire.

He was father of six children by his first wife Ellen French:


  1. ^ Cross & Livingstone (1984). The Oxford Dictionary of The Christian Church. p. 786. 
  2. ^ Appointment of Dr Knox as Bishop of Manchester, Leamington Spa Courier, 9th October, 1903.
  3. ^ "Birmingham Crematorium". The Lancet. 162 (4181): 1109. 17 October 1903. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(01)46268-4. 
  4. ^ "Memorial Service". The Times (47594). 28 January 1937. p. 17. 

External links[edit]

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Henry Bowlby
Bishop of Coventry
Suffragan title ended
Title next held by
Huyshe Yeatman-Biggs
as diocesan bishop
Preceded by
James Moorhouse
Bishop of Manchester
Succeeded by
William Temple