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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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KNIGHT, MATTHEW RICHEY (1854-1926)

KNIGHT, MATTHEW RICHEY, Methodist minister, Boiestown circuit, 1898-1902; author and editor; b. Halifax, 21 Apr 1854, s/o Thomas Frederick Knight and Mary Augusta Richey; m. 1st, 1879, Louisa Wright Beer, of Charlottetown, and 2nd, 1888, Alicia R. Weeks, of Alberton, P.E.I.; d. Avondale, Hants Co., N.S., 27 Jan 1926.

Matthew Richey Knight was the grandson of two early Methodist clergymen, the Rev. Richard Knight, DD, and the Rev. Matthew Richey, DD, and he was a nephew of Lieut. Gov. Matthew Henry Richey of Nova Scotia. He was educated at Mount Allison College (BA 1875) and taught school for a short time before entering the ministry. Ordained in 1879, he devoted much of his career to Methodist circuits in rural New Brunswick. He arrived in Boiestown in 1898 from St James in Charlotte County, and when he left in 1902, he went to Keswick.

During his student years and the earlier period of his ministry Knight was an energetic and prolific writer. While at Mount Allison he was associated with the founding of the student paper, The Argosy, which first appeared as Eurhetorian Argosy in January 1875. After he graduated, he became a contributor of prose and verse to newspapers and to such discriminating periodicals as Harper's Monthly. In 1887, he published a collection of his verse entitled Poems of Ten Years, 1877-1886 which, according to the literary critic Fred Cogswell, is comprised of "sonnets, epigrams reminiscent of those of William Savage Landor, and a tribute to Thomas Carlyle conceived and executed in the true spirit of its subject."

While stationed in Carleton County in 1891, Knight introduced the magazine Canada, a monthly journal of religion, patriotism, science, and literature. Its purpose was "to create, where it is uncreated, and to foster and develop where it exists, a spirit of Christian patriotism in Canada." The publication expired in 1892. In 1896, when he was based in Charlotte County, he began publication of the Philatelic Messenger and Monthly Advertiser for stamp collectors, and he continued to issue the paper at Boiestown until August 1901. He then became the editor-in-chief of a new newspaper called the Boiestown Record, a single issue of which was published at Christmas 1901. While residing at Boiestown, he also founded and conducted the Boiestown Debating Society.

Knight returned to his native Nova Scotia in 1912. In 1921 he retired at Avondale, Hants Co., where he died in 1926, at age seventy-one. He was survived by his second wife, Alicia R. Weeks, and four children.

Sources

[b/m] Morgan (CM&W) 1912 [d] Halifax Herald 29 Jan 1926 / Cogswell; Cornish; Morgan (CM&W) 1898; NB Newspapers; News (article by David Folster) 9 May 1984; Walkington; World 7 Feb 1900


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