Francis Knyvett, third son of William Knyvett, was born in London in 1807.In 1838 he married Ann, born 1818, daughter of William Turner of Parkia, High Sheriff of the County of Carnarvon, and sister of Sir Llewellyn Turner, the well-known archaeologist who restored Carnarvon Castle. William Turner was born at Low Moorhouse in Seathwaite Parish, Lancashire, and his wife, Jane Williams, was of Irish and Welsh descent.
In a pamphlet entitled Thirty-one Years' Work in the Repair of Carnarvon Castle (Cambrian Press, Carnarvon, 1902), Sir Llewellyn Turner tells how, at the invitation of Lord Carnarvon, Constable of Carnarvon Castle, he accepted the post of Deputy-Constable and undertook the management and repair of the building. He had interested himself in mediaeval matters since boyhood, especially with the great Castle of Carnarvon, which was built by Edward the First and in which the first Prince of Wales (afterwards Edward the Second) was born. During a period of thirty years the restoration of the Castle was carried out almost entirely from the fourpence entrance fees paid by visitors. These totalled an average of £222 a year, from which 18/- a week was paid to Mrs. Watkins, "the careful keeper".
In his book., The Memories of Sir Llewellyn Turner, published by Isbister & Co., London, 1903, he recounts his experiences as Chief Magistrate and High Sheriff of Carnarvon and Commodore of the Royal Welsh Yacht Club, tells of the bad but amusing old times of the Welsh judiciary, and gives intimate portraits of thirty English judges and seventeen admirals who were his friends. He describes his efforts to "cleanse the Augean Stable" as Carnarvon was justly described before the cholera and the railway cleaned out most of the slums. Despite continued opposition from Mr. Gladstone, he never relaxed his efforts to have English adopted as the spoken language of the Welsh people, with a view to helping them obtain the higher government positions ,which were filled by the Irish and Scotch because of their superior knowledge of English. He addressed extensive meetings in Lancashire, Yorkshire, and Wales on the subjects of Temperance, Education, and Perjury. He devoted considerable time and energy, as late as 1903, to dissuading the Welsh people from upholding a belief in ghosts, citing instances where such superstitions tended materially to "assist knaves and murderers and to render the detection of crime more dlifficult." He was knighted for his services to Wales, especially in raising volunteers for the Navy.
In 1852, at the age of 45, Francis Knyvett migrated to Australia, with his wife, Ann, and family, to apply for a position with the new banking company. He brought with him from England several letters of recommendation. One, from Earl Grey to the Governor-General, was a testimonial in support of an application he made as Chairman of the projected Bank in Sydney. Another was addressed to W. M. Manning, Esq., M.L.C., from his brother, Edye Manning, of Exeter:-
My dear William,I beg to introduce to your acquaintance Mr Frank Knyvett, a member of a family whose name must be well known to you. I think it is very probable that either Mr Wise or W. 0. Manning may have forestalled me in this introduction but if they have it may do no harm for me to add my recommendations in favour of this gentleman. I trust he may succeed in the object he may have in view and any kindness shown to him or good advice he would I am sure be thankful for. I trust to make my own appearance in Sydney in 3 or 4 weeks after him, having engaged my passage in the Vinerva.Believe me ever your
The Vicar of Lancaster wrote to the Rt. Rev. the Lord Bishop of Sydney: -
My Lord,As I am personally unknown to your Lordship I fear many apologies may be necessary for thus venturing to address your Lordship.
I trust however the object I have in doing so will in some measure be my excuse.
The bearer of this note. Mr Knyvett, is about to settle with his family in Sydney and as he has obtained some letters of introduction to your Lordship he has requested me to bear my testimony to the respectability of his character and family connections. I have much pleasure in now doing so. And in apprising your Lordship that I have reason to believe him not unworthy of any notice which your Lordship may be able to bestow on him, so as to forward his views and wishes in settling in his new and adopted home.I have the honour
My Lord to be with much respect
Your Lordship's most obt.
J. V. Turner
Vicar of Lancaster
Records in the archives of the Bank of New South Wales, Sydney, show that Francis Knyvett was an applicant for the position of Accountant of the Australian Joint Stock Bank in December, 1852. He was allotted 20 shares in the bank in the first issue of shares in November, 1852. Mr Ashton B. Ottley was appointed to the position of Accountant at a salary of £350 a year, security being given to the amount of £2,000.
Francis Knyvett turned his attention to grazing, and when he died in 1860 was residing on his property at Liberty Plains, near Parramatta. The Registrar-General's Records describe him as -
Gentleman. age 52 years, 6 years in the Colony, son of William Knyvett. Organist and Composer to Her Majesty.
Francis Knyvett left a widow, four sons, and one daughter. Two daughters had predeceased him. The three eldest sons remained in Australia, while the widow returned to England with the two younger children, Charles Felix, 6, and Julia Zillah, 4. Immediately on her arrival in England she died, leaving the two children to be brought up by their uncle, Sir Llewellyn Turner, at Parkia, Carnarvon. In their teens they returned to Australia. Their eldest brother, Francis, had married Alice Dulhunty, a daughter of R. V. Dulhunty, and had settled on a property in the Dubbo district. In 1877, Julia Zillah, at the age of 21, married Robert George Dulhunty, thus causing the Plantagenet blood to flow under yet another name.
Edmund Francis Knyvett, born 1879, and his son, Edmund Dulhunty Knyvett, born 1914, graziers, of Leadville, near Cowra, New South Wales, were the only surviving male members of this branch of the Knyvett family until the latter's son, David Edmund. was born in 1959.