George Knight-Bruce

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from George Wyndham Knight-Bruce)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Memorial in Exeter Cathedral

George Wyndham Hamilton Knight-Bruce was an Anglican bishop serving in Southern Africa, first as bishop of Bloemfontein and then as the inaugural bishop of Mashonaland, in the late nineteenth century. Knight-Bruce was born in 1853 and, having retired early owing to ill health, died in 1896.

Education and early appointments[edit]

Coats of Arms of George Knight-Bruce

He was born in 1852 in Devonshire, was the eldest son of Lewis Bruce Knight-Bruce of Roehampton Priory, Surrey, and his wife, Caroline Margaret Eliza, only daughter of Thomas Newte of Tiverton in Devonshire. Sir James Lewis Knight-Bruce was his grandfather.[1]

He was educated at Eton and Merton College, Oxford,[2] and ordained in 1887.[3] He began his career with curacies at Bibury and Wendron. He then held incumbencies at St George's Church, Everton and Bethnal Green. During this period the Oxford House Settlement was established.[1]

Southern Africa[edit]

On 25 March 1886, he elevated to the episcopate, Knight-Bruce went to South Africa as bishop of Bloemfontein in 1886.[4] Translated to Mashonaland as its first bishop in 1891,[5][6] he resigned in 1895.

Knight-Bruce was accompanied by the lay catechist and, ultimately, martyr, Bernard Mizeki, (c 1861-1896) who under Knight-Bruce and his successor Bishop Gaul would carry out missionary work amongst the Shona people.

Knight-Bruce left an account of this missionary endeavour in his published Journals of the Mashonaland Mission 1888 to 1892,[5] and in subsequent reminiscences under the title Memories of Mashonaland.[7]

The Bishop retired early due to ill health.

Return to England[edit]

On his return to England he was appointed rector of Bovey Tracey and an assistant bishop within the Diocese of Exeter, posts he held until his death on 16 December 1896.[8]


On 21 August 1878, he married Louisa, daughter of John Torr of Carlett Park in Cheshire. By her he had a daughter.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Carlyle 1901.
  2. ^ "Who was Who" 1897–2007 London, A & C Black, 2007 ISBN 978-0-19-954087-7
  3. ^ "The Clergy List, Clerical Guide and Ecclesiastical Directory" London, Hamilton & Co 1889
  4. ^ Stubbs, William (1897). Registrum Sacrum Anglicanum: An Attempt to Exhibit the Course of Episcopal Succession in England from the Records and Chronicles of the Church. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  5. ^ a b Knight-Bruce, G. W. H. (1892). Journals of the Mashonaland Mission 1888 to 1892. Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts – via Project Canterbury.
  6. ^ Wits Historical Papers
  7. ^ Knight-Bruce, G. W. H. (1895). Memories of Mashonaland. London and New York: Edward Arnold – via Project Canterbury.
  8. ^ The Times, Thursday, 17 Dec 1896; p. 6; Issue 3576; col C Obituary Bishop Knight-Bruce

Wikisource Carlyle, Edward Irving (1901). "Bruce, George Wyndham Hamilton Knight-". Dictionary of National Biography (1st supplement). London: Smith, Elder & Co.

Anglican Church of Southern Africa titles
Preceded by Bishop of Bloemfontein
Succeeded by
Anglican Communion titles
Preceded by
Inaugural appointment
Bishop of Mashonaland
Succeeded by