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KNOX, Edward Baldwin John

Born: 1845
Died: 1903


Trained as a mechanical and civil engineer in England where he was a pupil of John Penn & Sons, mechanical engineers at Greenwich. He practised as an architect only after his arrival in South Africa aged thirty-one. Before leaving England, Knox was assistant engineer at the Croscombe Lead and Chemical Works and was later with Sir Joseph Bazalgatte as assistant engineer at the Metropolitan Board of Works. Between 1872 and 1875 he was confidential assistant to T Elliot Harrison on the Hartlepool and Tyne Docks extension. He became an Associate of the Institute of Civil Engineers in 1875.

In 1876 Knox arrived in Cape Town and commenced practice as an architect. He applied for Associate membership of the RIBA in 1876 and was elected a member in 1877. According to Radford (1979:76) Knox was the earliest Associate member of the RIBA to practise in Cape Town. He executed a number of works in the city before leaving for Johannesburg in 1889. One of his most arresting works in Cape Town is the mission church of St Paul in Bree St (1878-1880). Rennie describes the building as 'a very rare Cape example of Victorian polychromy' (Rennie 1978b:173) and Radford (1979:197) states that it is one of only two known examples of this High Victorian fashion to be found in Cape Town (Radford 1979:197). Both his church buildings in Cape Town are simple buildings with a minimum of decoration, apart from the colour introduced at St Paul's. In Johannesburg Knox was briefly in partnership with HA REID (1892), being appointed Acting Town Engineer of Johannesburg the same year. He died in Johannesburg in 1903. There is no information about Knox in his Associate nomination papers other than that he was resident abroad. He was a founder member of the South African Engineers' and Architects' Association, Cape Town (1884) and was the first President of the Association of Transvaal Architects (1902).

AMICE; ARIBA 1877. (Afr Archt Jul 1911:33; ANN V;34; ARIBA nom papers (1877); Edwards dir Jhb 1890; Inst CE Minutes of Proceedings vol 156, 1904 obit; SAAR Jun 1953:39)

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes

Cape of Good Hope Bank: 1880. Central, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Diocesan College, Brooke Chapel (Brooke Memorial Library): 1880 : 1927 : 1985. Rondebosch, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect 1880
Groote Schuur Estate - 2 houses: 1882. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
House de Villiers - Wynberg House: 1883. Wynberg, Western Cape - Architect
School bldg, alt: 1896. Jeppestown, Johannesburg, Gauteng - Architect
St Mary's Church: 1878. Woodstock, Western Cape - Architect
St Paul's Church: 1878-1880 : c1900. Central, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect *

Books citing KNOX

Brown, SM. 1969. Architects and others: an annotated list of people of South African interest appearing in the RIBA Journal 1880-1925. Johannesburg: Unpublished dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand. pp

Fransen, Hans. 2004. The old buildings of the Cape. A survey of extant architecture from before c1910 in the area of Cape Town - Calvinia - Colesberg - Uitenhage. Johannesburg & Cape Town: Jonathan Ball Publishers. pp 46, 107

McIntyre, Donald G. 1950. The Diocesan College, Rondebosch, South Africa: a century at Bishop's. Cape Town: Juta. pp

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1977. Victorian Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pp 54

Radford, D. 1979. The architecture of the Western Cape, 1838-1901. A study of the impact of Victorian aesthetics and technology on South African architecture. Johannesburg: Unpublished Ph.D thesis. Dept of Arch. University of the Witwatersrand. pp 197

Rennie, John for CPIA. 1978. The Buildings of Central Cape Town 1978. Volume Two : Catalogue. Cape Town: Cape Provincial Institute of Architects. pp 173