Frederick John Knight-Adkin

(2 Jun 1883 - 19 Feb 1964)

Wedding Party

Wedding Party
Jessie Nellie Scott Livingston = Frederick John Knight Adkin
14th February 1912

This photograph is actually a fake, after the ceremony at the Pro-Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Buenos Aires, the bride and groom had to leave immediately to catch the boat for their honeymoon in Pocitos, Montevideo, Uruguay. The group was duly lined up and photographed without them. When the happy couple returned, they redonned their wedding finery and were photographed. The photographer then combined the two pictures to produce the final composite image.

Those in the picture include the Bride's parents, William Lord Livingston and Jessie Scott (Robson) Livingston, and the best man, G Thomas. The bridesmaid on the left is Margaret Ileene Campbell, a cousin of the bride. The other two bridesmaids are Virginia Pasman, another cousin, and Nancy Jefferies. The page is Walter Balcombe Strachur Campbell and the flowergirl is Margaret Janet Sanderson, nephew and niece respectively of Ileene.

The ceremony was performed by Bishop Every, with Rev Joseph T Stevenson, headmaster of St George's College, Quilmes, and Rev Charles Pepys, Anglican chaplain of Cordoba, officiating. The organist was Mr. Cowlishaw and the church was decorated by Mr. Reed, florist of Quilmes. The reception was held at the Plaza Hotel.

From: River Plate Personalities 1939

Frederick John Knight-Adkin, "estanciero," son of Canon H. Kenrick Knight-Adkin and Georgina Elizabeth Knight-Adkin, was born at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, on June 2, 1883. He is a brother of the Dean of Gibralter, late Chaplain of the Fleet - W.K. Knight-Adkin, C.B., O.B.E., R.N., N.A. - and he can claim cousinship with the current Prime-Minister, Mr Nevill Chamberlain, through the latter's mother, Florence Kenrick.

After being educated at Cheltenham College and Oxford University, Mr. Knight-Adkin travelled extensively in North and South America, doing some mild exploring and some big-game shooting in the Southern Andes and the Paraguayan Chaco. He played forward in the first British v. Argentine Rugby Football Match in 1906. In February 1912, he married Jessie Nellie Scott Livingston, and they have four daughters. He managed quebracho forests and factories in the Province of Santa Fe and the Paraguayan Chaco until 1920 when he turned "estanciaro" and has been breeding Shorthorn cattle ever since. He is Vice-President of the "Rio Quinto" Rural Society. Clubs: English and Strangers', Buenos Aires, also F.R.G.S., F.R.E.S.
Address: "La Noelsida" Paunero, F.C.P.


By Nöel Georgina Knight-Adkin

Frederick John Knight-Adkin

Born in Cheltenham, at 22 Lansdowne Terrace, on Jun 2nd 1883.

Youngest son of the Rev. Canon Harry Kenrick Knight-Adkin and Georgina Elizabeth Knight, who spent their last years in Bristol.

After a number of years in Cheltenham, they moved to Crudwell in Wiltshire, an extensive country parish. He often accompanied his father on rounds of visits in a pony cart, and loved the Cotswolds. The parish also included Hankerton.

Educated at Cheltenham College and New College, Oxford. Went down after his second year and did not stay for a degree.

On leaving Oxford he went to the States for a year, earning a bare living writing short stories for the Windsor Magazine, etc. Mr Phil Potter introduced him to New York Society and he made friends who were later very helpful in appointing him to the forestry business.

He came to Argentina in 1906 as games master to St George`s College and is mentioned in the "History of St. George`s College, 1898-1935" (p71). On the Q.T., he taught the boys to play Rugby on Sundays; games on the Sabbath were forbidden by the Canon, with the exception of rowing on the Tigre, known as "the blessing of the waters". He also played in international matches and was a member of the Veteran Rugbiers de la Argentina group. Out of school, he took an active interest in the Quilmes Dramatic Society.

In company with three other young masters he went on an expedition to the Southern Andes, and wrote for the Royal Geographic Society. He was an FRGS and very fond of natural history.

It is as an estanciero that he would best like to be remembered, but during his first years in Argentina he had a variety of jobs, including insurance work for the late Mr Edye for a short while.

In about 1909 he became a junior manager for the Santa Fé Land Company where he met his future brothers-in-law, Warwick Butt¹ and George Gittins. In February 1912 he married Jessie Nellie Scott Livingston, daughter of William Lord Livingston of Espin, Santa Fé. They had six children: Nöel Georgina, Walter Kenrick, Elsa Elizabeth, Nélida, Peter Patrick, and Ida Livingston; their two sons died in infancy, and four daughters survive him, two of whom are married: Nelida to W.J. Coysh and Ida to C.A. Lafin; the latter have three little girls very dear to "Grampito".

He had two brothers, Capt. J.H. Knight-Adkin and the V. Rev. W.K. Knight-Adkin, CBE., and two sisters, Georgina Nöel and Doris who predeceased him, in England.

Between 1911-1916 he was appointed General Manager of the Santa Fé Land Company, La Forestal, and a Paraguayan Railways Company, and was in the quebracho business throughout the First World War. In a key position, he was denied enlistment despite four attempts to volunteer his service; these companies, although registered in London, were directed from New York and locally managed by Germans, with Paraguayan and Argentine labour; the British Government stepped in to stop all exports to Germany. In 1916 the Board sent him to Punto Pinasco in Paraguay, in charge of that factory for about eighteen months.

In 1919-20 he returned to England on holiday with his family.

Returning to Argentina, he bought an estancia in the province of San Luis (1921-1925) where he made enduring friendships and, despite a series of lean years for camp people, he found his true vocation - that of a practical camp man as well as a great reader and student of nature.

"La Noelsida² Gymkhana" was an annual event in the district.

In 1925 he returned to Espin to settle the affairs of his father-in-law who had fallen ill and was taken by the family to a holiday house at La Cumbre, "Lambaré", which the three brothers-in-law had acquired jointly, to escape the hot summers in Santa Fé, had been sold in 1920



In 1926 he revisited England with his family, to see his parents.

In 1927 he settled in another estancia in Paunero in southern Cordoba, where he lived until his retirement to Hurlingham in 1950, returning every summer for a couple of months holiday in the camp then in charge of a Capataz who, with his family, had been in the camp for 20 years. Feeling that he could not control its management at such a distance and having no sons to carry on, he decided to sell out in 1959.

My mother and father made a very enjoyable trip to England in 1962, to revisit his own beloved West Country and many friends in London, and both were enchanted with the shows and sights of modern Britain. His parents, brothers and sisters having died previously, only old friends remained to be visited besides two very dear sisters-in-law in Bristol. They celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary in February of that year and on June 2nd 1963 my father had his 80th birthday party. My mother`s illness at this time was a great blow to him, borne by them both with their usual courage in surmounting difficulties and keeping the bright side in view.

Up till the day before the cerebral thrombosis soon leading to his death on February 19th 1964, my Father was in excellent health for his age, riding a bicycle to market every morning, taking a dip in the neighbour`s swimming pool and entertaining us all with his amusing talk and good sense. His interests were legion but one may say his main hobbies were: inventions, writing, reading, painting and natural history (especially birds - he watched them for hours, and was an addict of Hudson). He was an all round sportsman, played a fair game of tennis and golf (a founding member of the La Cumbre Golf Course), swimming champion at Cheltenham College, a good shot, and Rugby. He was fond of horses and rode a lot in his youth but later preferred geting about in a car. His Buick was one of the first to drive around the Cordoba hills, and his T-model in San Luis was followed by a succession of more up to date Fords. He was a good amateur mechanic and spent happy hours inventing household gadgets and farm implements: a wire strainer for fencing, wire shears for heavy work, a lightweight camp gate; a weighing machine, etc. Although none were commercialised in a big way, they were copied and used by our peons and the neighbours regularly.


¹ Brother of Dame Clara Butt, Editor.
² La Noelsida, the name of the estancia, was compiled from the names of FJKA's daughters, Noel, Elsa, Nelida and Ida, Editor

March 10 1964

Obituary Frederick John Knight-Adkin

It is with something more than the usual sense of irreparable loss and private sorrow that we record in these pages the death of one who so often brightened and enlivened them with his own pen. He had an enviable skill in the use of the English language and it always seemed strange to us at THE REVIEW that he wrote only intermittently. He was a genial perfectionist and as he so often remarked, he loathed putting pen to paper unless he felt he had something to say and was sure that it would flow easily and naturally from what was certainly a "teeming brain".

He was nearly 82 when he died in Buenos Aires on February 19th. Born in Cheltenham on June 2nd 1883, youngest son of the Rev. Canon Harry Kenrick Knight-Adkin and Georgina Elizabeth Knight, he was educated at Cheltenham College and New College, Oxford.

He first came to Argentina in 1906 as Games Master to St. George's College, having previously lived for a year in the United States where he earned a precarious living with his pen, mainly as a freelance journalist and short story writer. It was during his stay at St. George's that he surreptitiously introduced rugby practice on Sundays, games on the Sabbath being then forbidden by the Canon (He wrote an amusing account of how these rugby practice games were secretly contrived in an article published in THE REVIEW of May 31 1962)

His intense keenness seemed to range free and wide over the whole field of human knowledge and endeavour, and he could speak from experience on a vast and varied range of unusual topics: for example, the lore and legends of the Paraguayan indian, a country he had lived in for a number of years before returning to Argentina to take up farming. His other interests were natural history and literature. But he was no bookworm, he was an inveterate enthusiast for the outdoor life and at one time or another had played most games.

Between 1921 and 1923 he farmed a property he had bought in the province of San Luis, and later (1927) settled on another estancia at Paunero in southern Cordoba where he remained until 1950, when he retired from the active running of his property to live in Hurlingham. In 1959, feeling that he could not adequately control its management at such a distance, and having no sons to carry on, he decided to sell out.

As his conversation and his occasional writings revealed his heart was in farming. He loved the soil and even more perhaps the tillers of the soil, and throughout San Luis and southern Cordoba he had a host of friends, people of every rank and station who were attracted to him not only by their bond of common interest but also, and principally by his natural charm, his sincerity and integrity and his unfailing friendliness and good company.

His interest in the curiously chequered history of this journal, his practical suggestions for the solution of its recurring problems and the generous support of his brilliant pen, extended back to its earlier decades and yet was maintained at full strength and freshness until a few days before his death.

We will miss his genial counsel and good sense. He was one of those rare people who one felt the better for having known. To his widow and family his sudden passing marks a grievous loss to which one can only hope that they will feel sustained and comforted by the warm sympathy of the many people who knew and loved him.

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