Thomas Holroyd

Thomas Holroyd

b: 23 MAR 1799
d: 27 NOV 1893
From 'A Branch of the Holroyd Family' by Thomas Holroyd, 1879:

Thomas Holroyd was educated at Harrow, which, however, he left early to go into the office of a Solicitor, and became afterwards a pupil of the celebrated Conveyancer, Mr Brodie. Mr Holroyd was in the Light-Horse Volunteers, and did duty at the Coronation of George the Fourth in 1821, when disturbances were apprehended in consequence of Queen Caroline's claiming the right to enter Westminster Hall, which was refused her. The Light-Horse Volunteers (composed entirely of Gentleman, and admitted by ballot) were originally established in 1779, and did duty in the riots of 1780, for which they received the thanks of His Majesty George the Third, of the Lord Mayor and Magistrates of the City of London, and of their fellow Citizens, and were presented by His Majesty with the Standard of Light Dragoons and by the City with two other Standards. At the peace in 1783, the Officers resigned their Commissions, but in May, 1794, again offered their services to the Government, which were accepted.

During the War this Corps had some 1000 members, all splendidly mounted, and in those riotous days, particularly during the Spa Fields, Bread Riots, etc., when there was no Government Police, their services were most valuable. They had a large Barracks, Stabling, and two large riding Schools in Grays-Inn Lane, and from the top of the Arch entering their Barracks, (now the premises of Cubitts, the Builders, where the L.V. "Lion Rampant," may still be seen,) [annotated in the margin here - "Now the Royal Free Hospital"] they commanded a View of the "Spa Fields," where the riotous meetings of the day were held, and from these Barracks they kept the Government, at the Horse Guards, constantly informed of all that was going on.

Mr Holroyd abandoned the Law in 1827, and spent some time on the Continent, when he had the good fortune to give important aid in saving the town of Spa from destruction by fire, as shown in the following correspondence:

[Here followed a letter in French from the Bourgmestre of Spa, Monsieur T.F. Hayemal, praising and thanking him and enclosing an extract of a meeting of the Council of the Société d'assurance mutuelle contre l'Incendie, session of 21 November 1831 which starts:]

"M. Le Directeur expose qu'à l'occasion de l'incendie de Spa un gentilhomme anglais, Mr Thomas Holroyd, s'est particulièrement distingué par son intrépidité, son courage et son sang-froid; que c'est en mème temps à la bonne direction de ses dispositions que la société doit en grand partie de n'avoir pas de plus fortes pertes à déplorer dans cette circonstance; enfin que lors du grand incendie de Spa, le 6 Octobre, ce gentilhomme s'est comporté d'une maniére également remarquable et dévouée."

They awarded him a silver medal which he may have collected in November, for his letter of thanks, in French, is addressed from Spa:

"Spa, le 28 Novembre, 1831

Monsieur Le Bourmestre

En vous priant d'agréer mes Remerciments pour le rapport que vous avez fait de ma conduite dans les derniers Incendies je vous supplie en même temps de rendre grâce de ma part a Monsieur le Prèsident et aux Members du Conseil de la Compagnie des assurances, pour la Medaille et la lettre trop favorable qui l'accompagnait. Bien que j'accepte avec beaucoup de plaisir ces objets de la bienvaillance de la compagnie, cependant je me serais trouvé assez récompensé, si Monsieur le Bougmestre, vous même aviez cru, que mes petits efforts ont été de quelque utilité, car, dans une clamité si terrible, nos efforts ne naissent que d'un sentiment très ordinaire, c'est à dire, le devoir sacré de secourir les malheureux.
J'espére, qu'en commun avec une foule de vos concitoyens, je n'ai pas negligé cette impusion, et voila tout ce que j'ai fait, et tout le mèrite que j'en réclame.

J'ai l'honneur d'etre,
Monsieur Le Bourmeistre,
Votre très obligé et très obèisant serviteur,
Thomas Holroyd."

Mr Holroyd was also present during the disturbances in Belgium previously to its separation from Holland in 1830 -- 31.

On the death of this Father in 1832, Mr Thomas Holroyd preceded to Calcutta, where he was employed in winding up several of the large Agency Houses which had failed about that time; and after joining the Mercantile House the became High Sheriff of Calcutta in 1837, when her Majesty Queen Victoria came to the Throne, and had the satisfaction of presiding at the Sheriff's Meeting and assigning the Addressed to Her Majesty from the Inhabitants of Ben Gaulle, and event thus reported in the Calcutta Papers of the day --

Report of the proceedings of a GENERAL MEETING of Inhabitants of Calcutta, held at the Town Hall, on the 29th September 1837, for the purpose of voting an ADDRESS to the QUEEN.

[From the Calcutta Courier.]

The Meeting at the Town Hall today was very numerously attended, but the proportion of natives was small in consequence of the holiday. We annex a copy of the Resolutions and Address.

A little after 10, the Sheriff (Mr Holroyd) appeared in the chair, and, having first allowed the half hour to elapse, he rose and addressed the Meeting to the following effect:


This is the first time that I have been called upon to preside, officially as Sheriff, at a Public Meeting of my fellow citizens, and were I not supported by a consideration of the object for which it has been convened, as well as by the conviction that your proceedings this day will be characterised by the most cordial unanimity, I should feel too much embarrassment and discomposure to venture upon addressing you. In fact upon any ordinary occasion my inclinations would carry me no further than to read the Requisition; but, on an occasion of unexampled interest like the present, when we are assembled for the purpose of congratulating a youthful Queen on her accession to the throne of her ancestors, and manifesting our loyalty and attachment, I am impelled by a mingled feeling of pardonable pride and exultation to indulge the privilege, which will be conceded to all of you, of avowing my individual devotion to her royal person.

A beautiful and accomplished woman, thrown suddenly into circumstances of trial and difficulty, before maturity of years has given confidence to her judgement, is at all times an object of interest, but how intense becomes that interest, when to her other claims upon our sympathy, can be asserted the right of a Queen to our fidelity and best affections.

Here, Gentleman, we have a Sovereign, in whom youth, beauty, intelligence and moral excellence mingled their attractions, passing, at the earliest moment that the laws of her country permit her to assume the diadem, from the comparative seclusion, to which maternal solicitude and her own passion for improvement has restricted her, to the Council Chamber of mighty empire, where, though surrounded by men of the highest civil and military attendants, she has already exhibited a degree of good sense and self-possession far beyond her years.

There is an old maxim, Gentleman, which is no doubt familiar to most of you, that "where men reign, women govern," and that "where women reign, men govern." Whether the truth of this aphorism is equal to its antiquity, it is hardly worthwhile to enquire, since to all rules there is an exception, and I shall be much mistaken, Gentleman, if our most gracious Sovereign do not, ere many years elapse, furnish that exception in her own person, by becoming, no matter who her Ministers may be, the real director of their most momentous deliberations.

Educated as she has been in the expectation of filling the exalted station to which time has called her, it cannot be doubted that she will sustain the weight of empire with dignity and glory; and that under her fostering rule measures will be multiplied for diffusion of knowledge, religious and moral, and for the spread and consolidation of social and political liberty and happiness.

In the career of improvement, India too, under her auspices will, I hope, move on pari passu with the mother country, and among other means devised for ameliorating the conditions of our native fellow subjects, we may live to see the day when our sovereign's influence may be exerted in such a way as to to lead to a more extended scheme of female education when the philanthropist may enjoy the luxury of liberating the female mind from its living tomb, and elevating it by cultivation to something like the level of the western world. But I will not longer occupy your time, Gentleman, by dwelling on anticipations of this nature, pleasing though they be. We are assembled here to offer homage to a Sovereign, who is at this time an object of intense interest to the whole civilised world, and right cordially and enthusiastically will it, I am sure be rendered.

Before I conclude, allow me to call upon the good sense of this Meeting to refrain from all political allusions of a character to disturb the harmony of the meeting. We ought all to be, and I dare say we all are, animated by one common impulse, to proffer fealty to a Queen who, whether Her Ministers be Whig or Tory, will, I am satisfied, govern both wisely and constitutionally --

"With a firm and skilful hand
May she uphold the laws, and keep them ever
Above the proud man's violence and within
The poor man's reach."

I will now, Gentleman, for form's sake, read the Requisition, after which I shall be happy to bespeak attention for any Gentleman, who may desire to address the Meeting……………..

[This is followed by three resolutions, two of which were seconded by people with Indian names, offering congratulations to the Queen, and an Address:]


Most Gracious Sovereign,

We, your Majesty's subjects, of all classes, residents of the Capital of British India, beg leave to tender to your Majesty our heartfelt congratulations on the occasion of your accession to the throne of your illustrious ancestors.

In the records of their private worth and public bearing, in times of warfare and in times of peace; and in the living example of the parent, who has been mercifully spared to guide your footsteps with safety and honour to the exalted station which you occupy and adorn; we discern our guarantee that what we hail, with all our best affections awakened, will prove to us, to our children, and to our country, a blessing and a pride.

Distant as we are from the object of our homage, that homage will necessarily follow, at a long interval, the welcomes of our more fortunate fellow-subjects, assembled round you; but we doubt not your Majesty will graciously accept our tribute in the spirit in which it is proffered; and, at the moment of such gracious acceptance, we would humbly invite a benignant sympathy towards the land whence we address you.

The vast extent of its varied population (comprehending eighty millions of your subjects, and forty millions of your allies and tributaries,) with the many and magnificent plans and projects, in operation, or in prospect towards their improvement; its indigenous treasures, and its commercial wealth; it's infinite capabilities, and the increasing frequency of their beneficial development; and finally, its intrinsic value, and acknowledged important to the British Ground; are no unworthy subjects of your regard. It is the land, which has enriched, by turns, the most civilised nations of the earth, and though not cherished hitherto with the warm sympathy which it merits, has maintained its vigour and resources, and shines, as it has long shone, the brightest jewel of your diadem.

The dominion, established in British India by the arms and wisdom of your ancestors, although it may not claim to be the most perfect of human institutions, has nevertheless brought prosperity and security, where anarchy and violence had rained without control; and, when we turn from the history of the past to look upon the present, we cannot but be deeply impressed with a grateful consciousness of the vast benefits which have accrued from the Union, through which we enjoy the blessings we acknowledge.

No season can be more appropriate to the expression of such sentiments, and the assertion of our attachment to the Crown and Constitution, than that of the accession of your Majesty to the seat of empire; and we nothing doubt -- Heaven seconding our prayers -- that the name of VICTORIA shall become associated in our hearts and in our annals, with all that is noble, great and dignified.

May the Almighty Disposer of all events grant that your Majesty may long remain the chosen instrument of maintaining the honour and interest of the great Empire, which it has pleased Him to commit to your sovereignty; and of preserving to the nations, which He has entrusted to your rule, their safety, their freedom, their civil rights, and their religious liberties."

When in Calcutta Mr Holroyd was invited to accompany Sir H. Fane the then Commander-in-Chief in India to the Court and Camp of Runjeet Singh, where he was present at all the Reviews given by Runjeet Singh of his grand Army, under the Command of General Ventura, exhibiting on one occasion 100,000 Infantry, 100 Guns, and 35,000 Cavalry, (the latter under the Command of General Allard, a French Officer). After the death of Runjeet, the Seikh Army (as is well-known) crossed the Sutlege in December 1845, in great force, which resulted in the hard fought battles of Moodkee, Ferozeshuhur, and Sobraon.

Extracts from The Bengal Sporting Magazine of December, 1838.

"It was reserved for a Gentleman of Calcutta to turn out a regular drag, and astonish the Natives with noble Coachmanship. Of this Vehicle we have given a sketch which represents the Owner springing his Team up the rise leading to Kidderpore Bridge. The Vehicle represented was a regular Brighton Coach, brought out for the Owner, Thomas Holroyd Esq., by Captain Owen of the Zenobia. As soon as it was hoisted out of the Ship, and the Wheels put on, a party was made, and the Coach started with the licensed number of twelve outside passengers, five of them ladies.

The astonishment of the Baboos was prodigious; they could not comprehend the use of the two large boots, but were quite satisfied on being informed that these were the "Babakannahs," where the English Ladies put their Children when they travel! "Wah, Inshallah," wonderful were the exclamations."

In January 1839, Mr Holroyd left Calcutta to settle in Gloucestershire, where he held a Captain's Commission in the Yeomanry of the late Duke of Beaufort, and was a Member of his Grace's Hunt. Unfortunately for him he became a sleeping Partner in a large Ship Building Firm at Bristol, which failing he was obliged to revisit India; the creditors sympathising with Mr Holroyd's position unanimously restored to him much valuable property, comprising Diamonds, Pictures, and Books. Mr Holroyd returned from India for the second time in 1847, and afterwards at the solicitation of an eminent Mercantile Firm proceeded to the Indian Archipelago, and travelled as far as was then permitted over the Islands of Java, Balli, Lombock, Sumbawa, Timor, Borneo, and the Celebes, cruising among those Islands for some eighteen months in 1847 -- 48, and gaining very valuable information as to their capabilities.
  • 23 MAR 1799 - Birth -
  • 27 NOV 1893 - Death - ; Hampton Court
George Holroyd
9 JAN 1719 -
George Sowley Holroyd , Kt.
31 OCT 1758 - 21 NOV 1831
Eleanor Sowley
ABT 1723 -
Thomas Holroyd
23 MAR 1799 - 27 NOV 1893
Amos Chaplin
ABT 1742 - 1792
Sarah Chaplin
18 JUN 1768 - 11 NOV 1848
Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) George Sowley Holroyd , Kt.
Birth31 OCT 1758
Death21 NOV 1831
Marriage10 SEP 1787to Sarah Chaplin
Marriageto ?
FatherGeorge Holroyd
MotherEleanor Sowley
PARENT (F) Sarah Chaplin
Birth18 JUN 1768
Death11 NOV 1848 Exmouth,Devon.
Marriage10 SEP 1787to George Sowley Holroyd , Kt.
FatherAmos Chaplin
MotherMaria.A. von Stocken
FMary Anne Holroyd
Birth31 DEC 1788
Death14 MAY 1813
Marriage4 DEC 1810to Charles Court
MGeorge Chaplin Holroyd
Birth9 SEP 1790
Death24 NOV 1871
Marriage2 APR 1818to Virginie de la Fontaine at Hyderabad, Deccan, India
Marriageto Fanny Harrington
MCharles Holroyd
Birth31 JAN 1792
Death13 SEP 1830Mominabad, East Indies, without issue
MHenry Amos Holroyd
Birth24 MAY 1793
Death23 FEB 1794Hampstead
MEdward Holroyd
Birth24 JUL 1794
Death29 JAN 1881
Marriage28 DEC 1820to Caroline Pugsley
FSarah Louisa Holroyd
Birth4 JUL 1796
Death11 JAN 1876
MFrederick Court Holroyd
Birth28 NOV 1797
DeathHampstead, an infant. Buried there.
MThomas Holroyd
Birth23 MAR 1799
Death27 NOV 1893Hampton Court
Marriage5 JUL 1823to Sarah Morgan
MJames John Holroyd , Rev
Birth28 SEP 1800
Death3 FEB 1876
Marriage12 SEP 1833to Sophia Tyssen
MWilliam James Holroyd
Birth20 AUG 1802
Death6 MAR 1803Buried in Hampstead
MHenry Holroyd
Birth5 APR 1804
Death29 SEP 1859Calcutta, India
Marriage8 DEC 1831to Lucy Franks
FSarah Maria Holroyd
Birth26 MAY 1805
Death3 AUG 1815Brighton
FCharlotte Holroyd
Birth8 SEP 1806
Death30 JUN 1811Hampstead, London
MFrederick Holroyd
Birth14 MAR 1810
Death29 JUN 1811Hampstead, London
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) Thomas Holroyd
Birth23 MAR 1799
Death27 NOV 1893 Hampton Court
Marriage5 JUL 1823to Sarah Morgan
FatherGeorge Sowley Holroyd , Kt.
MotherSarah Chaplin
PARENT (F) Sarah Morgan
Death29 JUN 1853
Marriage5 JUL 1823to Thomas Holroyd
FatherWilliam Morgan
FSarah Morgan Holroyd
BirthABT 1824
Marriage29 OCT 1872to William Charles Chamberlain , RN
[S1464] Thomas Holroyd "A Branch of The Holroyd Family" - a copy which includes some handwritten annotations.
Descendancy Chart
Thomas Holroyd b: 23 MAR 1799 d: 27 NOV 1893
Sarah Morgan b: 1803 d: 29 JUN 1853
Sarah Morgan Holroyd b: ABT 1824
William Charles Chamberlain , RN b: 21 APR 1818 d: 27 FEB 1878