I. Dramatic works: ‘Caius Gracchus,’ a tragedy in five acts, 1815; ‘Virginius,’ a tragedy in five acts, 1820; ‘William Tell,’ a play in five acts, 1825 (manuscript copy, Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 27719, f. 29); ‘Alfred the Great, or the Patriot King,’ an historical play in five acts, 1831; ‘The Hunchback,’ a play in five acts, 1832; ‘The Wife, a Tale of Mantua,’ a play, 1833; ‘The Beggar of Bethnal Green,’ a comedy in three acts, 1834 (an abridgment of ‘The Beggar's Daughter of Bethnal Green,’ 1828); ‘The Daughter,’ a play, 1837; ‘The Love Chase,’ a comedy in five acts, 1837; ‘Woman's Wit,’ 1838; ‘The Maid of Mariendorpt,’ a play, 1838; ‘Love,’ a play, 1839; ‘John of Procida, or the Bridals of Messina,’ a tragedy, 1840; ‘Old Maids,’ a comedy, 1841; ‘The Rose of Arragon,’ 1842; ‘The Secretary,’ a play in five acts, 1843. All of the above are in verse, with the exception of parts of ‘Caius Gracchus,’ ‘The Hunchback,’ and ‘The Beggar's Daughter.’
II. Miscellaneous poetical works and adaptations: ‘The Welch Harper,’ a ballad, 1796; ‘Fugitive Pieces,’ 1810; ‘Leo, or the Gipsy,’ 1810 (a fragment preserved in Proctor's ‘Life of Edmund Kean’); ‘Brian Boroihme, or the Maid of Erin’ (adapted from D. O'Meara), 1811; ‘A Masque on the Death of Sir Walter Scott,’ 1832; ‘The Bridal,’ 1837 (adapted from Beaumont and Fletcher's ‘Maid's Tragedy’); ‘Alexina,’ a drama in two acts, published posthumously as ‘True unto Death,’ 1863; various political poems and songs set to music.
III. Miscellaneous prose writings: Tales and novelettes printed in various forms between 1832 and 1843; lectures on dramatic literature, 1820–50; ‘Lectures on Oratory, Gesture, and Poetry, to which is added a Correspondence with four Clergymen in defence of the Stage’ (these tales and lectures, together with various dramatic works coming under class II, were revised, edited, and privately issued in five volumes by Francis Hervey in 1873–4; only twenty-five copies of each volume were printed. A complete set is in the British Museum); ‘The Elocutionist,’ a collection of pieces in prose and verse, peculiarly adapted to display the art of reading, 3rd edit. Belfast, 1823, 28th edit. London, 1883; various articles in the ‘Free Press’ of Glasgow, 1823–4; ‘George Lovell,’ a novel, 1846; ‘Fortescue,’ a novel, 1847; ‘The Rock of Rome, or the Arch Heresy,’ 1849; ‘The Idol Demolished by its own Priest,’ an answer to lectures on transubstantiation delivered by Cardinal Wiseman, 1851; ‘The Gospel attributed to Matthew is the Record of the whole original Apostlehood,’ 1855.
[Life of J. S. Knowles by his son, Richard Brinsley Knowles, revised and edited by Francis Hervey, London, 1872; only twenty-five copies printed, one in British Museum. This gives full information, and refers to contemporary authorities. For special criticisms see Hazlitt's Spirit of the Age, London, 1825; Edinburgh Review, October 1833; Horne's New Spirit of the Age, London, 1845; Dublin University Magazine, October 1852; Athenæum, February 1847; Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, October 1863; see also Macready's Reminiscences; Doran's Their Majesties' Servants, ii. 556–7; Maclise's Portrait Gallery.]
KNOWLES, JOHN (fl. 1646–1668), antitrinitarian, probably a native of Gloucester, first appears as a lay preacher among the independents there. In 1648 he described himself as ‘a preacher of the gospel, formerly in and neer Glocester.’ He was well acquainted with the Greek text of the New Testament and with Latin commentators, and his antitrinitarian sentiments were the result of his own scriptural studies. He admits having ‘had upon occasion some communion’ with ‘one who appeared infected therein:’ a clear reference to John Biddle [q. v.], who left Gloucester in 1646. But he did not adopt Biddle's specific opinions, his doctrine being of the Arian, not the Socinian type. He expressly states in 1668 that he had not read any of the writings of F. P. Socinus. By the parliamentary committee at Gloucester he was examined (1646?) on suspicion of unsoundness in the article of the Trinity, and gave in a written statement in which he owns to having ‘had some questionings,’ but gives his reasons for being now satisfied of ‘the Godhead of the Holy Ghost.’ He seems to have left Gloucester for London, where he lodged with Edward Atkinson, an antitrinitarian, in Aldersgate Street. Joining the parliamentary army, he belonged in 1648, according to his own account, ‘to the lifeguard of his excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax.’ He still continued to preach, publishing a defence of ‘a private man's preaching.’ Early in 1650 he became ‘public preacher to the garrison’ at Chester, in succession to Samuel Eaton [q. v.] The biographer of John Murcot [q. v.], writing in 1657, speaks of Knowles as having been ‘a formidable and blazing comet at Chester,’ where ‘in public sermons, private conferences, and by a manuscript’ he ‘denied Jesus Christ to be the Most High God.’ A short paper of arguments for the deity of Christ, sent by Eaton to Chester from Dukinfield, was published by Knowles in 1650, with his own reply. The pamphlet purports to have been ‘printed by T. N. for Gyles Calvert,’ the well-known publisher of