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Tuesday 10: To Knight or not to Knight


What makes Dame Judie Dench or Sir Paul McCarthy worthy of being knighted and er…damed? I have no idea. Sure, I like some of her movies and some of his songs, but knighted?

But here are 10 people knighted (ok, MEN considering the time) for various contributions to the crown. You be the judge.

  1. Rowland Hill, a schoolmaster, invented the adhesive postage stamp in 1837
  2. George Williams, President of the Young Men’s Christian Association in 1894
  3. Isaac Pitman, inventor of the Pitman Phonetic System of Shorthand in 1894
  4. Joseph Hickson, manager of the Grand Trunk Railroad 1890
  5. Dr. J.E. Bourinot, clerk of the Dominion House of Commons
  6. Pryce Pryce Jones, owner of the first mail-order business (he supplied Queen Victorian with her unmentionables), 1887
  7. John A. Macdonald, first Prime Minister of Canada, 1867 (on July 1, Canada Day!)
  8. James Simpson, a member of her Majesty’s Physicians [no date given]
  9. William Venner, introduced matches to Canada, c. 1870 [based on circumstantial evidence]
  10. Mayor of Wrexham (you find his name, I swear they struck it from the records!) for…drum roll please…pomp & circumstance in honor of a visit from Queen Victoria, 1889.




  1. Nicole McCaffrey says:

    Wow, what an interesting bunch! I mean, knighted for inventing a self adhesive postage stamp??? LOL. I thought you had to do something far more noble to get knighted *G*.

    Ah well, I guess I’ll never be Dame Nic!

    Great list, Christine, thanks for posting it!

  2. Christine Koehler says:

    Oh I know! Or #10, because of all the pomp and circumstace made at her visit. Imagine.

  3. Kristin-Marie says:

    Very interesting! Not all knighthoods were created equal. But the Victorians loved their trappings and titles in many of their social scenes.

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