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Richard Thornton (1833-1876) previously known as Richard Lee, was an illegitimate son whose change of surname was a condition of his inheritance. A keen and accomplished cricketer, he lived at Knowle from 1867 until his death, and extended the house, tropical plant house, vineries and pineries, grottos, more tree planting. Stone walls replaced the crumbling hedges on the road side, and two lodge houses built.