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8. Harriett Harvey

It is not yet known when or where James met or married his wife Harriet.  She was 14 years younger than him (born 1812) and was originally from Kinver in Staffordshire.  This is only a few miles from the Knight family home at Wolverley and this is where Harriet was employed as a housekeeper.  She may have travelled down to Exmoor when John Knight and his family moved into James Boevey’s old house in Simonsbath in 1830.  (Before that John Knight and his family stayed at Lynton in what was to become the Castle Hotel when they were in the area).  At this time work was progressing on the great mansion and it is possible that James met Harriet when he came to area from Clovelly to work on this  and other projects – but this is pure speculation.

We do know that James and Harriet had a son, John, while they were living in Simonsbath and his baptism was held in 19 December 1834 in Exford.  Harriet would have been about 22 years old at this time so she probably married James early in 1834 or in the few years before that.

The Harvey family were not in Simonsbath at the time of the 1841 Census.  This survey was undertaken in the same year that John Knight decided to give up the management of the Exmoor estate. The previous year he had learnt that the courts had ruled that a huge inheritance he had been expecting would instead go to a different branch of his family.  John Knight handed sole control of his Exmoor estate  to his eldest son Frederic, then 26 years old, and retired to Rome where he died in 1850.