Cresswell describes Knox's work and life as an enigma. in that his underlying inspiration and motivation remain elusive. Unique amongst artists and designers Knox designed many memorial stones, nearly all on the Isle of Man and all inspired by, though seldom copies of, the Manx carved cross slabs and especially of the interlaced patterns found on many. Knox was also an Anglo-Catholic and some of this comes across, especially in his use of the 'sacred heart' motif for many of the 'O's in the lettering - it has been remarked that the lower the church of the those memorialised the more hearts Knox gave them ! It is interesting that apart from that for uncle John Knox he produced no designs for any close members of his family.
Most of the memorials are in Douglas, either at New Braddan cemetery or in the Borough cemetery; they are generally easy to identify being very distinctive both in design and lettering. However, though the Island is free from industrial pollution, the wind and rain of some 70 or more years has left some of the stones in less than pristine condition.
Knox worked mainly with Thomas Quayle, stone mason and sculptor, and his stonemasons (Quayles son and grandson were all masons). Knox's first memorial was for the daughter of Thomas Quayle and was apparently sculpted by Thomas Quayle himself who left the various panels for members of the family.
The exact number of Knox designed memorials is not known - it is thought to be about 36; some designs have been challenged by Miss Annie Knox (niece) and Tim Quayle (grandson of Thomas) as not by Knox. The Manx Museum has a 1964 collection of photographs, some with annotation attributed to Annie Knox or Tim Quayle - the deterioration in the last 40 years is quite marked.
(In order of inscription - not necessarily design or execution)
(on CD_ROM click thru for larger image)
Catherine Louise Quayle
Now quite badly weathered
|New Braddan (S2/4378).|
(dates from 1921 - 1899 commemorates death of a child)
|New Braddan. (S3/4212)|
Identical in design to that of Dorothy Gell - the two stones are side by side.
|New Braddan. (S3/4212)|
Nina (Jane Isable) Moughtin (Shaw nee Moughtin).
The first of a small group of wheel/ring headed crosses (Moughtin, Beale, Liberty & Dawsey)
The lettering does not appear to be designed by Knox - however it is set in a panel with typical Knox outline.
William Twigg Hale
(not on list but surely lettering is Knox's)
Tim Quayle is recorded in a annotation on the reverse of a set of photographs in the Manx Museum as saying 'Definitely not Knox'
||New Braddan. (S3/5366)|
|Onchan Parish. (in old section far corner - needs cleaning and some TLC) Apparently the stone was picked, almost at random, by members of the family as it had been cut (but not lettered) without a specific client in mind.|
|1914||10th March. .||
|Old Marown - a large flat tomb to the south of the church in a small but very overgrown yard (good shoes necessary + tolerance to nettles !). Weathering and location make it very difficult to appreciate|
A non-Quayle stone
|Borough Cemetery.(G 49/50)|
Phillip Henry Cannell.
|New Braddan (S3/4167)|
John KnoxThe stones form a sort of tray around the grave, the cross is on the head end,the lettering on the left hand side can be barely made out and proved impossible to obtain a small photograph in which any lettering was visible
|Lezayre (near far wall, centre of yard)|
Sir Arthur Lazenby Liberty.
(on reverse of cross)
|Lee Cemetery, Buckinghamshire (to south of Lee New Church in a small private section of graveyard)|
|Borough Cemetery. (D 21 along path)|
Joseph & William Lace (sons of Margaret Lace)
(not in list but surely lettering is Knox's)
Charles Michael Parkinson.
|Borough Cemetery.(G 74)|
Margaret Adela Thomason.
|Onchan Parish. (central part of yard not far from church porch)|
The lettering is now almost impossible to read -
thought to be the least successful of Knox's designs
|Borough Cemetery. (L 61)|
(the Knox designed lettering, top rh, is obscured by the regilding work - the other lettering post dates Knox's death.
|New Braddan. (S3/3786)|
Jane Christian Callister.
|Borough Cemetery. (M 254)|
|Borough Cemetery. (G 124)|
Kennaugh, William, Robert.
|New Braddan. (S3/3441)|
|Borough Cemetery. (NE 233)|
The stone was originally designed for one of the Quayle family but apparently there was a family disagreement and following Knox's sudden death it was thought appropriate to use one of his designs for his own grave.
|New Braddan. (S3/3506)|
Canon John Quine. Unlike the other designs it is angular - Annie Knox claims that it was actually Quine's own design (though as Quine was a great friend of Knox, the latter may have had a hand). Tim Quayle however is on record as saying that Knox personally drew the design direct onto the massive slate (it is probably the largest memorial on the Island)
Mary Agnes & Letitia Kelly
The stone is badly weathered and the design is barely visible (presumeably the lettering, though in the style of Knox, was done after his death)
|New Marown (west yard).|
|Borough Cemetery. (ND 91)|
William Edward Callister.
|Originally in Onchan ? No longer on Island.|
||G.P.O. Staff War Memorial.||Post Office, Regent Street, Douglas.(currently 2004 temporarily removed whilst building work in progress - to be replaced 'shortly') (thanks to IOM Post for photo)|
|Kirk Michael War Memorial.||Kirk Michael.|
|Lonan and Laxey, 2 War Memorials.||All Saints, Laxey.|
|Onchan Parish War Memorial. .||Onchan|
|Manx Advocates War Memorial.||Douglas Court House.|
|St Barnabas's Church R.O.H.||Entrance Foyer St George's Church, Douglas (original church demolished)|
||St. Thomas's Church War Memorial.||Douglas|
|St. Matthew's Church War Memorial. (The lettering is by Knox but now virtually unreadable)||Douglas|
|St. Ninian's School War Memorial||Douglas.|
|Roll of Honour for the Scholars of St. Ninians. Illuminated Manuscript.||St. Ninian's School, Douglas.|
|1902-3||Commemorative plaque for the visit of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra to Sulby Bridge||(no longer extant).|
||Lord Raglan. Plaque.||Onchan Parish Church.|
|1914-1915||The Deers Cry. Illuminated manuscript.||Manx Museum.|
|1930||T. E. Brown. Centenary plaque.||Manx: Museum.|
Yvonne Cresswell Designs and Beliefs set in Stone pp147/161 in S Martin Archibald Knox London: Artmedia (ISBN 1-902889-02-9) 2001
Kate Turner The Memorial Work of Archibald Knox on the Isle of Man - thesis for Chelsea College of Art 1987 - Manx Museum MD15155
Edith Quaggin The Memorial Designs of Archibald Knox n.d.[?1997] - A-level course work - Manx Museum MS09947
| Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The
© F.Coakley , 2004