Mr Robert Knight

Mr Robert Knight was born around 1870 in Belfast, Ireland.

He was the son of an Irish father from Belfast, William Knight (b. 1828) and an English mother from Yorkshire, Jane Briggs (b. 1831).

Apprenticed as an engineer, Knight commenced work at Harland & Wolff's Queen's Island as a fitter on 2 June 1891. A valued and reliable employee, he was promoted to the position of leading hand engineer on 1 January 1903. 

He was married in St Stephen's Church, Belfast on 31 March 1894 to Sarah McEvoy (b. 1870), a native of Scotland, and the couple had four children: Jane (b. 1897), Hugh Robert (b. 1898), Joseph McEvoy (b. 1900) and William (1904-1941).

The family appear on the 1901 census of Ireland living at 16 Tasmania Street off the Shankill Road in Belfast. By the time of the 1911 census they had moved to 2 Yarrow Street in Clifton, north Belfast; on both occasions, Robert was described as an engine fitter. He was a Freemason and was attached to the Hertford Lodge.

Such was his standing at Harland & Wolff that Robert was one of the nine-strong "guarantee group" of Harland and Wolff employees chosen to oversee the smooth running of the Titanic's maiden voyage. The contemporary press was in no doubt that Mr Knight was destined for promotion in due course. 

Robert Knight, like the rest of his counterparts, died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.

A year after his death his widow place a memorial to him in the Belfast Newsletter (15 April 1913):

KNIGHT--In sad and loving memory of my dear husband, Robert Knight (late of Messrs Harland & Wolff's, Ltd.) who perished with White Star Liner Titanic on April 15th, 1912.

5 Yarrow Street,     Sarah Knight

What became of his widow following the disaster is not clear but it is understood that she and her family remained in Belfast.



Gavin Bell, UK

References and Sources

Northern Whig, 24 April 1912, Messrs Harland & Wolff Representatives
Belfast Weekly News, 25 April 1912, The Queen's Island Representatives
Belfast Newsletter, 15 April 1913, In memoriam

Link and cite this biography

(2018) Robert Knight Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #480, updated 20th March 2018 21:52:22 PM)

Comment and discuss

Leave a comment...