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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Martha Knox, c. 1855

an unknown artist

daguerreotype (case: 14.0 cm x 10.3 cm, image: 10.7 cm x 8.5 cm)

Martha Knox (née Rutledge, d. 1903), was the sister of colonial merchant, landowner and banker William Rutledge. She married Edward Knox (1819–1901) in Sydney in June 1844. The first of their children – a son, George – was born in April of the following year. Between 1845 and 1864, Martha had another eight children, four sons and four daughters, all but one of whom survived infancy. Her second, son Edward William ‘Ned’ Knox (1847–1933) was educated at Sydney Grammar and joined his father’s business – the Colonial Sugar Refining Company (CSR) – in 1864. He became general manager of CSR in 1880, and in 1920 its chairman and managing director. The Knox’s third son, Thomas Forster Knox (1849–1919) followed his father and older brother into business, and became prominent in the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney. Thomas also became a manager of Dalgety & Co, established in 1884 and encompassing interests in wool, stock, land and shipping. Of her other two sons, George (1845–1888) was a lawyer; and Adrian (1863–1932) was Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia from 1919 to 1930. From 1864, Martha and Edward and their family lived at Fiona, a classical revival mansion in present-day Edgecliff designed by JF Hilly. The house remained in the Knox family until 1946 and is now part of Ascham School.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Dr Peter Halliday in memory of Norah Knox 2010

Accession number: 2010.124

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Martha Knox

Subject professions

Migration and colonisation

Donated by

Dr Peter Halliday (3 portraits)

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.