For the descendents of Richard Dearie and his son John Russell

From the book "The Life of J.S. Knowles" by his son Richard Brinsley Knowles, London 1872

Sheridan Knowles ran a school in Dublin before he started the one in Glasgow.

Sir Joseph Napier in 1852 described the curriculum:

"He introduced early the exercise of written composition or recitations and the greatest pains were taken with action and gesture, articulation and pronunciation… training the young in an accurate knowledge of English.. the seeds of literary taste, the appetite for good enlightened education.”

On page 63 the author says: " He no sooner opened his classes in Glasgow than they began to prosper. From morning till night he was teaching... for upwards of 12 years during which period I believe the majority of the young men of promise in Glasgow passed through his classes."

Here is a quote from an anonymous writer to a Glasgow paper on Knowles' death:

"James Sheridan Knowles! How my heart warms at the name of that single minded and enthusiastic son of genius! For more than two years I was a member of his elocution class in Glasgow, and I look backward to the days which I spent under his tuition as amongst the brightest and most genial of my life. To become a pupil of Knowles was to become in great measure his adopted child. He loved his 'boys' with an affection greatly analogous to that of a father, nor was his kindness ever thrown away. We never looked upon him in the light of a task exacting pedagogue. There was not one of us who would have gone through fire and water for" Old Knowles" or "Paddy Knowles" as in loving familiarity we called him, almost to his face"

This writer continues to say that Knowles would always lend people money and ended up in poverty himself.

(He left Glasgow in 1830. He went to America in 1834 sailing from Liverpool for New York on board "Columbus" )


Ms Elaine MacGillivray of the The Mitchell Library in Glasgow has searched the archive index (card and computer) and the Post Office Directories for Glasgow c1815-1835.

They do not hold any records relating to Sheridan Knowles other than a letter from JS Knowles to Mr Robert Elliston, n.d. (ref: TD573/8) and that his work is referred to in the letters of the Norton family which forms part of the Stirling of Keir collection (ref: T-SK29/99/176-180).

He was found in the Post Office Directories dating 1819-1829, listed as JS Knowles, lecturer in elocution, Reid's Court, 169 Trongate, latterly at 69 Glassford St. In 1829 the directory entry reads that all letters should be left at Richard Griffin & Co (booksellers, and publishers, public library and newsroom at 64 Hutcheson St). There is no mention of the school as such, but she suspects that the school is the same as referred to above, and she assumes it was fee paying.

Unfortunately, there are no street indexes or valuation rolls which exist for that time which might have allowed her to check on 169 Trongate to establish what was there at that time.

James Sheridan Knowles in 1833. He ran his school in Glasgow from 1813 to 1825