William KNIBBS, son of Hannah KNIBBS , was born abt. 1803 in Somerton, Oxfordshire, England. He married Jane BURGINS 16 October 1820 in Lower Heyford, Oxfordshire, England. He died 17 October 1863 in Kingswinford, Staffordshire, England. Jane BURGINS was born abt. 1799. She died bef. 01 April 1825.

Children of William KNIBBS and Jane BURGINS are:
1. Anne KNIBBS, b. bef. 25 June 1822

Marriage Notes for William KNIBBS\Jane BURGINS:

Witnesses to the marriage were John COGINS Maria BURGINS.

Other Marriages/Unions for William KNIBBS:

Notes for William KNIBBS:

This is a major conjecture that this William Knibbs was the son of Hannah Knibbs. William suddenly appears in the 1851 census where it clearly states that he was born in Somerton, Oxfordshire, in about 1803. The 1861 census confirms the same place and date of birth, so I have no doubt that he was connected to this part of the family, but just how remains a mystery.
We know from the parish records of Somerton that the only Knibbs seen to be having children at that time in that parish was Nathaniel Knibbs and his wife Elizabeth Kerrick who had 8 children in total, all of whom were baptised within the parish.
On the basis that there's no sign of a baptism for William, I believe it unlikely that William was a son of Nathaniel. However, Nathaniel had several older sisters, and we know for sure that Hannah didn't ever marry. So the suspicion and my conjecture is that William may well have been an illegitimate son of hers.


In 1851, we see William living at Rocks Hill, Kingswinford, Brierly Hill, Staffordshire:
John Hickson Head Man 28 Boatman Oxford
Jane Hickson Wife Mar 24 Oxford
John Hickson Son 3 Kingswinford Staffordshire
George Hickson Son 6 months Kingswinford Staffordshire
William Knibs Lodger 47 Mar Boatman Somerton Oxfordshire
Mary Knibs Wife 40 Somerton Oxfordshire
Emma Knibs Sister in Law 16 Kingswinford Staffordshire
Hanna Knibs Sister in Law 6 Kingswinford Staffordshire
Joseph Knibs son in Law 4 Kingswinford Staffordshire

Note that Jane Hickson is William's daughter. Emma, Hanna and Joseph are William's other children.

In 1861, we see William living at Dock Street, Kingswinford, Staffordshire:
Samuel Price Head Wid 46 Cordwainer Hertfordshire Hertford
William Kibbs Lodger Mar 58 Boatman Oxfordshire Somerton
Mary Kibbs Wife 50 Oxfordshire Tackley
Joseph Kibbs Son 14 Boatman Straffordshire Kingswinford
Hannah Kibbs Daur 16 Staffordshire Kingswinford

From the Birmingham Daily Post, November 1863:
October 27 1863
The adjourned inquest was held at the Delph, yesterday morning, before T M Phillips, Esq.,Coroner, on the body of William Knibbs, a boatman, who died in consequence of being thrown into the canal, at the Delph, on the 17th inst., by another boatman, named David Allport. The inquest was adjourned in order that a post mortem examination of the body might be made. Mr John Ireland, surgeon, Kingswinford, said he had made an examination of the deceased's body. A lacerated scalp wound was the only external injury he saw. There was no fracture of the skull, nor was there any effusion of blood corresponding with the scalp wound. The brain was congested. The lungs were very greatly engorged with blood, and the liver was also congested. He was of opinion that congestion of the lungs was the cause of death, and that the congestion was caused by the deceased having been immersed in water.
Allport, who was present during the enquiry, made a statement to the coroner, the purport of which was that the deceased was thrown into the lock by him (Allport) pulling the lock gate open. He immediately ran for a line, and got the deceased out as soon as possible.
The Jury returned as their verdict that the deceased had been feloniously killed by being thrown into the canal by David Allport. Allport was then committed for trial for manslaughter.
In the afternoon, Allport was brought up at the Wordsley Petty Sessions, before F Smith and T Evers, Esqrs., charged with having, on the 17th instant, feloniously killed William Knibbs. Mr Travis, of West Bromwich, and Mr Miller Corbet, of Kidderminster, ostensibly appeared to prosecute, and Mr Burbury for the defence. On the case being called on, Mr Travis said: In this case I appear on behalf of the prosecution, for the friends of the deceased.
Mr Corbet: Before Mr Travis goes further, I think it nothing but right to state that I also am instructed by the friends of the deceased.
Mr Travis: Name them, name them.
Mr Corbet: By the widow, Mary Knibbs. I hold in my hand a written retainer, and I am perfectly willing to inform the Bench how I became possessed of it.
Mr Travis: What is the date of that retainer?
Mr Corbet: The 25th
Mr Travis: I hold a retainer from the widow and others, dated a week ago.
Mr Corbet said he had seen the widow, and she informed him that on Tuesday, only twenty four hours after the death of her husband, when in a state of great agitation, she was waited upon by a policeman, and a lad, who, he supposed, was Mr Travis's clerk, and she placed her signature to
something. She was not aware she had signed a retainer.
Mr Travis said the son and son-in-law of the deceased were present, and he wished them to be questioned as to who was to conduct the prosecution.
Mr Corbet said before that was done, he wished on behalf of himself and other professional men, to mention one or two things.
Mr Travis: I -------
Mr Corbet: I see your reason for the interruption.
Mr Travis: If the friends of the deceased wish, I will at once withdraw.
Mr Corbet: You have thrust yourself into the case, and ------
Mr Travis: I ask the Magistrates to ask the prosecutor himself whom he wishes to conduct the case.
Mr Corbet: And I should like them to know how you came to act for the prosecution. With regard to the son-in-law, I submit he is not a person to give instructions in the case. The widow is more interested than anyone else. A gentleman in Court can explain how I obtained my retainer. The
only title that Mr Travis has is that he happens to be the son-in-law of Major McKnight, the second in command of the police force in Staffordshire.
Mr Travis: I deny it.
Mr Corbet: It is notorious whenever there is a case of this kind, and the allowance for the prosecution is likely to be liberal, Mr Travis is at once placed in the position of prosecuting attorney. In reply to Mr Smith, Mr Travis said his retainer was dated the 20th, and he had another dated the
26th. He had been attending the inquest, but Mr Corbet had not.
Mr Corbet explained how his retainer was given him. Having alluded to a policeman accompanying Mr Travis's clerk to the friends of the deceased on the 20th , he said there was an order at the Quarter Sessions which directed that no policeman should act as an agent to an attorney.in any prosecution. How did his friend get informed of the case?
Mr Superintendent Mills said that the policeman Mr Corbet spoke of only acted as a guide on the occasion he spoke of.
After some further discussion, Mr Travis said he stood on his rights in respect to the retainers he had mentioned.
Mr Corbet said he thought it must be evident that his friend did not think much of his first retainer, or he would not have taken the trouble to get another.
The son was then questioned, but could give no satisfactory account of his mother's wishes in the matter.
After some further recrimination, Mr Corbet said his only object was to have the matter ventilated, and he was only doing his duty in mentioning it.
Eventually both Mr Travis and Mr Corbet withdrew from the case, and the examination was conducted by the Magistrates' Clerk.
John Male, lock keeper at the Nine Locks, the Delph, said he knew the deceased, William Knibbs.
He was at the fifth lock on Saturday, the 17th. The deceased was at the lock, and prisoner came down and said, “How is it you didn't let the boy fill the lock”. No sooner had he spoken these words than the prisoner pushed the old man into the canal. Witness said, “Oh dear, oh dear, you
have killed the old man”. Prisoner made no reply. The deceased was got out of the water as quickly as possible. The prisoner and three others pulled the deceased out. When the deceased was pulled out he said, “Oh dear, John, what have I done?” Deceased was taken home in a cart. Before deceased was pushed into the canal he was in good health. It was 15 feet to the water, and there was 5 feet of water in the lock. In cross-examination, witness said the prisoner appeared very sorry for the old man. The old man was near to the edge of the lock when prisoner pushed him in. He could not say where the prisoner touched the deceased.
Joseph Darby also gave evidence as to the deceased being pushed into the canal by the prisoner. There was no time for deceased to give prisoner a blow, for the moment prisoner got to him he was in the water. The deceased was sober. He supposed the other man was sober. Cross-examined: It did not appear to him to be by accident that deceased was tilted into the water.
Cornelius Wood, boatman, said he was employed on the prisoner's boat on Saturday week. He stated that he was sent down by the prisoner to open the lock, and the deceased would not let him. Allport came down, and there was a scuffle between him and the deceased. The deceased fell into the lock immediately afterwards, Cross-examined: the deceased slipped into the lock “accidentally” in the scuffle.
Mr Ireland, surgeon, was also examined, and gave similar evidence to that at the inquest.
Sergeant Heathcote was also examined, and said the prisoner had told him he did not mean to injure the deceased, but only to give him a ducking. The witness was severely cross-examined. Mr Burbury then addressed the Court in defence of the prisoner, and he was afterwards committed for trial at the Assizes.


From the Wolverhampton Chronicle, March 1864:
16 March 1864
David Allport (on bail), a boatman, was indicted for the manslaughter of William Knibbs, also a boatman, on the 17th of October last, at Kingswinford.
The defence was that the deceased was knocked into the water by the prisoner accidentally running up against him.
The jury found the prisoner Guilty, with a recommendation to mercy, and he was sentenced to six months imprisonment.

Sources for William KNIBBS:

  1. 1851 British Census,
  2. 1861 British Census,
  3. FreeBMD, as Knibb. 
  4. Newspaper Article,
  5. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Lower Heyford,

Notes for Jane BURGINS:

Sources for Jane BURGINS:

  1. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Lower Heyford,

Notes for Anne KNIBBS:

Sources for Anne KNIBBS:

  1. Oxfordshire Parish Register - Lower Heyford,