Skip to main content

Edward William Knox Jnr

1847 – 1933

Edward William Knox (1847-1933), industrialist, was the second of four surviving sons of Sir Edward Knox, founder of the Colonial Sugar Refining Co, and his wife Martha Rutledge (sister of merchant, banker and settler William Rutlege). Edward William joined CSR in 1864 as a junior clerk, and six years later he took charge of the company's crushing mills on the Clarence River. He travelled widely to investigate sugar industry methods and recruited chemists from overseas before becoming general manager of CSR in 1880. A staunch free trader, he steered the company through the Royal Commission on the sugar industry in 1911-12, becoming its chairman and managing director in 1920, when he again refused to give evidence before a Royal Commission. He resigned as managing director at the end of 1932. Amongst his other corporate involvements, he was an alderman on Woollahra Municipal Council from 1887 to 1902, a member of the board of Health from 1888 to 1902, and a trustee of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales from 1907. His house, 'Rona', in Bellevue Hill was completed in 1883. That year he became Commodore of the Sydney Yacht Squadron, from which he sailed his ten-ton cutter Sirocco, a familiar sight on Sydney Harbour for some forty years. He is buried at All Saints Anglican Church Woollahra, at which he had been a lifelong worshipper. A portrait of Knox by John Longstaff is in the Union Club, on the committee of which Knox served for forty years, and of which he was President from 1908 to 1921.

Updated 2018