Robert Knox Memorial (Lagundeniya)

Memorial of Robert Knox (Sinhala: ලැගුම්දෙණිය රොබට් නොක්ස් ස්මාරකය) is a monument in Lagundeniya village in Kandy District, Sri Lanka, erected for the remembrance of Robert Knox (1641-1720 A.D.), an English sea captain who lived in Sri Lanka for 19 years as a captive of King Rajasinghe II (1635-1687 A.D.) of Kandy (Abeyawardana, 2004).

Knox is said to have lived in Lagundeniya for a long period and had associated with the family of Kallora Mudiyanse (Abeyawardana, 2004). In a letter addressed to the English authorities at Madras by the Dutch Governor, Rijckloff van Goens (1665-1675), dated Colombo 22 October 1669, it is stated that Robert Knox and three men were in a village beyond Kandy named Legondeny (Lewis, 1913). Knox is said to have lived there as a bachelor in the company of three men before he moved to Eladetta (see: Eladetta Knox Memorial) where he constructed a house (Abeyawardana, 2004; Lewis, 1913). Later, he managed to escape from captivity by secretly going to Anuradhapura and then to Arippu Fort at Mannar along the Malwatu Oya where he finally received the help of the Dutch (Abeyawardana, 2004).

The monument commemorating Robert Knox on the summit of the Lagundeniya mountain was erected in 1908 (Abeyawardana, 2004). It measures 1.23 m in height and the inscription on it can be read as follows;
Here lived AD 1667-1670 Robert Knox John Lovel and John Berry Willium Day Erected 1908. J.P.L.
See also

1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.64.
2) Lewis, J. P., 1913. List of inscriptions on tombstones and monuments in Ceylon, of historical or local interest with an obituary of persons uncommemorated: Colombo. p.341.

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This page was last updated on 21 May 2023
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