• Title
    Anne Knight papers
  • Reference
    MS BOX W2
  • Date
  • Scope and Content
    The fonds consists of letters and papers to and from Anne Knight, together with letters of her family.
  • Extent
    1 box
  • Level of description
  • Condition governing access
  • Creator
    • Knight, Anne, 1786-1862
      Anne Knight was born on 2nd November 1786 to William Knight, 1756-1814, a grocer in Chelmsford, Essex, and Priscilla Knight (born Allen), 1753-1829. Both families were Quakers and members of both families were active in different political movements. In 1824, Anne travelled on the continent with a group of fellow Quakers. Anne had good knowledge of French and German. The trip combined sightseeing with religious and philanthropic concerns. Anne became involved with several radical political movements of the time. She was deeply involved with the anti-slavery movement and was a member of Chelmsford Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society, although she also travelled extensively to spread the abolitionist cause and worked with key figures such as Thomas Clarkson, Joseph Sturge, Richard and Hannah Webb, and Elizabeth Pease. She travelled to France in this period on a speaking tour for the same cause and attended the 1840 World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London where she met American abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips and Lucretia Mott. Knight was also an early proponent of women’s rights. A pamphlet in 1847 was issued in Britain claiming ‘Never will the nations of the earth be well governed, until both sexes, as well as all parties, are fully represented and have an influence, a voice, and a hand in the enactment and administration of the laws’ which though issued anonymously, has been attributed to Knight. She was involved in the formation of the first organisation for women’s suffrage in Britain, the Sheffield Female Reform Association, formed in 1851. Anne Knight was a sympathizer with Chartism, she was interested in the British and French utopian socialist movements, maintained links with the White Quakers in Ireland, and in the 1840s supported the radical Garrisonian wing of the American abolition movement. In 1847 or 1848 Anne Knight moved to France, attending an international peace conference there in 1849. She later moved to Waldersbach, a village in the Vosges, south-west of Strasbourg, France; the home of the pastor, Jean-Frédéric Oberlin (1740–1820). Here she lived for the last few years of her life, lodging with Oberlin's grandson, and died there after a short illness on 4 November 1862.
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