Peter Irving Channing Knowles II, Captain USAR (Ret.) a twelfth generation Virginian, was raised in Richmond. He and his wife Brantley Carter Bolling Knowles have been married for over 50 years. They maintain residences in both Richmond and Palm Beach, Florida, where they are active in both communities. The Knowles have two sons, one grandson, and three granddaughters. His wife was President General, 2018-2021, of The Society, The Colonial Dames of America, founded in 1890. 

Mr. Knowles is a graduate of St. Christopher’s School (Richmond), was graduated from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in 1970, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, and was a Distinguished Military Graduate. Mr. Knowles is a retired Captain in the United States Army Reserves. 

Mr. Knowles is a retired general contractor specializing in historic preservation. His early career began at Taylor & Parrish, INC (Richmond) which he later purchased, retiring in 2002 after selling the business. He has worked on or been a consultant to numerous iconic properties and historic churches throughout Virginia and the eastern seaboard from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. In addition, he has built numerous churches, hospital additions, and buildings for schools, universities, and clubs. 


  • Hereditary Order of Descendants of Colonial Governors (Governor General) 
  • Society of the Cincinnati in State of Connecticut 
  • General Society of Colonial Wars (Registrar General; member of the VA, DC, NY, FL Societies; former Governor of the Florida Society; Council Member of the New York Society) 
  • National Gavel Society 
  • Order of the Indian Wars of the United States (Former Commander) 
  • Order of the First Families of Virginia 1607-1624/25 
  • Jamestowne Society 
  • Sons of the Revolution (Virginia Society) 
  • Order of Descendants Colonial Cavaliers 
  • National Order of the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe 
  • Ancient Heraldic and Chivalric Order of Albion 
  • One Hundred Living Descendants of Blood Royal 
  • Descendants of the Knights of the Garter 
  • Preservation VA, Former State President 

Chivalric Orders 

The Most Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem (Bestowed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, II), Commander - North America Priory 

Other Notes 

Mr. Knowles is former board president of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA)/Preservation Virginia, the nation’s oldest statewide preservation group. He is also a former Trustee of the Historic Richmond Foundation, as well as a former Trustee of Saint Catherine's School (Episcopal), Richmond, Virginia. 

In Palm Beach, Mr. Knowles is a former board member of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, and a retired Commissioner in the Town of Palm Beach serving on the Architectural Review Commission. He has served on the Building and Grounds Committees of both Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church (Richmond), as well as The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, Palm Beach. Mr. Knowles is also a former vestryman of Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church (Richmond). 

Mr. Knowles has been a keen student of military history since his VMI years. He is particularly interested in the War of Independence and the period of Colonial Wars.