Samuel Drewry Ann Alder Nathaniel Robert Drewry Samuel Drewry Maria Ann Drewry Henry Runciman Drewry Louisa Ann Manley Drewry Thomas Allen Drewry Charles Stewart Mini tree diagram

William Tillotson Drewry

19th Jul 1797 - 5th Mar 1835

WTD's signature

Life History

19th Jul 1797

Born in St Giles Camberwell.

18th Oct 1797

Christened in St Giles Camberwell.

5th Mar 1835

Died on board the 'Elphinstone'.



William is the son of Samuel and Ann Drewry. It is probable that William's middle name is derived from Tillotson Laycock, Samuel's stepfather from the age of twelve.

EastIndiaMan.jpg Obituary William was a Captain of the Madras Engineers in the East Indies.
On March 5th, 1835, he died on board ship, having been sent "to sea" for his health.
See information about the corps.

In the India Office records, the resumé provides biographical data, confirming his mother's name as Ann and that his father is Samuel Drewry, Superintendent in the Paymaster's Office, RA.

William's initial schooling was at Tooting, and is described as 'Classical and Mathematical'.
William's application to join the East India Company gives his address as 'Holsdon Green, Wilsden'.

East India Company Army Service

Addiscombe House In 1811 (aged 14) he applied to attend the Honourable East India Company's Artillery and Engineer Seminary at Addiscombe. Wikipedia tells us that: "In 1809 Emelius Ratcliffe sold Addiscombe Place to the British East India Company, whereupon it became a Military Seminary - the Addiscombe Military Academy. The company dealt in the importation of tea, coffee, silk, cotton and spices, and maintained its own private army. The officers of this army were trained at Addiscombe before setting off for India."

William was at Addiscombe from 1811 to 1814. There is a reference to him in a book "Addiscombe, Its Heroes and Men of Note" confirming these dates.

William was nominated for Addiscombe by Jacob Bosanquet (c.1753-1828, Chairman of the East India Company) at the recommendation of Col. W. Mudge. (Colonel Mudge is a noted map-maker. The 'Mudge Map' of Kent, published in 1801, was the very first Ordnance Survey map.)

Madras1807.jpg A letter dated 19/8/1811 from Jas. Andrew at Addiscombe House states that WTD has passed a "good introductory examination" and is likely to finish his military education at Addiscombe House within 2 years.

The Madras Almanac for 1815 has William travelling out to India on the 'Lowther Castle'. (In the 'Arrival and Departure Notices of the Madras Almanac' See also 'The Lowther Castle - Stewart Connection' below.)

William was based at Fort St George, the "first British fortress in India, founded in 1639, at the coastal city of Madras (modern city of Chennai.)" (Picture borrowed from Wikipedia)

From not very legible HEIC record:

WTD1815LC.jpg Went to Addiscombe 22nd August 1811.
Passed the Seminary (?) 2nd November 1813.
Ensign: 10th July, 1814
Admitted on Establishment. Arrived 20th July (G.O 28th July 1815)
Court remark that he has completed his studies in a manner highly meritorious and creditable. (Military letter to Madras 15th March 1816, Paras 11 & 24)
Favourable report on his proficiency in Hindustanee (G.O. 29 June 1816)
Temporary Adjutant to Engineers (G.O 15th July 1816).
Memorial from him soliciting Court's consideration of the grounds upon which he had been led to expect to rank above Mr Oliphant. (Military letter from Madras 27th January 1817, Para 7)
To act as Supervising Engineer Travancore ( G.O 31 st March 1818).
Application to rank above Mr Oliphant inadmissible (Madras Military Dispatch 8th April 1819.)

William - 1821 Appointed to Field Force in Dooab under Col Pritzler C.B. (G.O 15th September, 1820)
Lieutenant: 9th May, 1821
Superintending Engineer Light Field Division Hyderabad Subsidiary Force at Jaulnah (G.O 18th May 1824)

Jaulnah is about 700 miles north-north-west of Madras (Chennai), about 100 miles north of Hyderabad. (From contemporary texts - cannot find Jaulnah in Google Maps.)

William - July 1824 Captain: 14th April, 1825
To officiate as Superintending Engineer with Nagpore Subsidiary Force (G.O 23rd November, 1825)
To be Superintending Engineer with general superindence over Public Buildings at Jaulnah (G.O. 22nd November, 1825)
Relieved from Superintendance of Acting Superintending Engineer Jaulnah (G.O 14th July 1826)

William - April 1825 William - 1826

William - April 1826

Civil Engineer in N. D. but to continue to be Superintending Engineer with Nagpore Subsidiary Force until further orders (G.O. 27th March, 1827)

William - 1829 Furlough on P.A (G.O. 22nd November 1829)
Sailed 21st January, 1830 (Army List)


In February, 1832, William attended the King's Levee.

A 'levee' is a rising - we could see it as a grandiose, ceremonial, breakfast with the king; for William it would be a presentation at court, in the morning.

WTD1832Arrival.jpg Permitted to return. (Minute of Court, 9th May 1832)
Returned to his duty - arrived 24th Inst. (G.O. 28th September, 1832)
To be Civil Engineer in the Ceded Districts. (G.O. 28th March 1833)
Left the Presidency for the Ceded Districts ... 10th April 1833.
With the view of more nearly equalizing the duties of the Civil Engineer, the Governor in Council has resolved that the second division comprize the district of North Arcot, Salem and Chingleput and be placed under the charge of Captain D. (Rev. Cons 7th February, 1834)
He embarked on the Ship "Elphinstone" 29th (.?.) for sea on S.C. (Gazette February 1835)
Binny & Co. authorized to draw pay & allowances including Civil Salary to which Captain D. may be entitle to during his absence. (... 16th January, 1835 No. 105)
Died on board ship 5th March, 1835.

multimedia/WTDInstEng1831.jpgIn England - 1831-1832

In 1831 William became a member of the Institute of Engineering.
He was in London on leave, living at 21, Prince's Street Hanover Square.

In 1832 William sat for a portrait while he was in England. (See 'Francois Theodore Rochard' below.)

William's Will [link]

"I William Tillotson Drewry of the Madras Engineers do in this my last Will and Testament appoint my beloved brothers Henry Runciman Drewry of the War Office and Charles Stewart Drewry of London together with my friend Richard Hardinge Stewart of the War Office to be executors to my estate."
(See 'The Lowther Castle - Stewart Connection' below.)

William appears to leave a large portion of his money and possessions to his "beloved brother" Charles, with significant bequests to his brother Henry and his sister Maria.

William leaves a large sum of money to his friend Reverend G. Cubitt with instructions to give it away as charity.
Another bequest: as

"My share of Sir G Noel's bond to be divided after my mother's death between my surviving brothers and sisters but interest of it during Mrs Drewry's lifetime to be at her disposal one half of it for her own use the other half to be given away in Charity. I leave you no more mother but Charles will take care of you."

The Sir G Noel mentioned in the will is also mentioned in the Will of William's father, Samuel who had a £4,000 Annuity Bond with Sir Gerard G Noel. William inherited part of it.

William's child WTD1835_Departure.jpg

Certain other sums that may be recovered from various investments are to be invested in Government bonds and placed at the disposal of Reverend Cubitt as

" .. Guardian of my Child and if the mother is willing to give up the Child the interest of it and part of the principal if necessary may be disposed of in the Child's education with a small support for the mother and the (?sum of money) to be given to W when Cubitt thinks fit if she will not give up the Child the money to be kept in depost for some time perhaps until her death when I suppose we might take the child."

It would appear that William had a child with an local/native woman and he seems to say that if there is no chance of bringing the Child to Christianity, Cubitt can send the money back home for distribution amongst his (William's) family.

Reverend G.J. and Mrs Cubitt left Madras in 1839.

Personal items bequeathed in the Will:

Large watch with chains & two large Seals - to Henry
Drop watch – Charles
Sword and new pistols – Charles
Proportional compasses – Charles
Portrait of Mrs Drewry – Charles
Manifold copy bookcase – Charles
Dressing case – Henry
Portrait of father – Henry
Ditto of self – Henry
Miniature of father – Charles
Writing case – Charles
Chelsea pensioners – Henry
Waverly novels – Charles
French books – Maria
Diamond ring – Dick Stewart (Richard Harding Stewart)
Studs – Painter
Pocket pistols – Henry
Portrait of Mrs Stewart – Dick Stewart. (Why did he have a portrait of Mrs Stewart - could be Richard's wife or mother? - or William's step-mother's mother?)
Minature of Maria – Henry
Minature of self when a child – Mrs Drewry
Silver tea pot – Henry
Gold pencil case with D on top – Charles
Two guns – Charles
Two bibles and prayer book with a moderate supply of others to be kept for my child
My professional works to go to my brother Charles and the others to be divided between my sister and Henry
Musical boxes to go to Maria
Pocket case of Just ... (Justifyable?) compasses – Edward Lucida (?)
Azimuth compass – Charles
Copy of Scott's bible – Wm Garrard (see below)
My W D Seal to little William
My silver snuff box – George Cubitt
My religious books – sister Maria
Sketch book – Charles
Large scrap book – Henry
Second ditto – Charles
Small ditto with other prints – Maria

From Ancestors of Elizabeth Garrard

William Garrard, born September 24, 1810; died October 2, 1836
Occupation: Lt. Madras Engineers
Emily Garrard, born November 29, 1811; died June 13, 1861; Of 25 Priory Street, Cheltenham.
married Reverend George James Cubitt, BA, MA, September 17, 1834 in Madras
George James Cubitt, born abt. 1803 in South Repps, Norfolk; died August 20, 1855 in Winchester, Hants.
Education: 1823, Caius College, Cambridge
Occupation 1: Chaplain E.I.C.S. Madras
Occupation 2: Bet. 1844 - 1855, Rector, St.Thomas & St. Clement, Winchester

A Paper

The Institution of Civil Engineers has on file:
Author: Drewry, W. "Method of forming and sinking wells to secure the foundations of heavy buildings when the soil is bad such as are in use in Madras" - ref. O.C/94 - date: 1832'

The Lowther Castle - Stewart Connection

Cosmas - Death The Madras Almanac shows that William travelled on the Lowther Castle in 1815, presumably travelling out to India on his first posting.

Cosmas Henry Stewart, the Purser of the Lowther Castle, dies on board the ship at Madras that year.
Cosmas is the father of the Richard Hardinge Stewart mentioned as a good friend in William's will.
Cosmas is also either the brother of Mary Ann Stewart who married Samuel, WTD's father, in 1804, or a very close relation.

Five years later, Richard Hardynge Stewart of the War Office 'proves' Samuel's will in 1820.

A Possible Swayne Connection?
A Lt Col H Swayne served in Madras at the same time as WTD. He is mentioned on the same page as William in The Asiatic journal and monthly register for British India and its dependencies.
Henry Stewart Drewry, the son of WTD's brother Henry R. married Catherine Swayne Cooper.

Madras Service Army Lists (the dates are strange?)
date: 1850 - item: Drewry, William Tillotson Eng - ref. IOR/L/MIL/11/54/66 [n.d.]
date: 1851 - item: Drewry, William Tillotson Eng - ref. IOR/L/MIL/11/55/66 [n.d.]

In the Index to H I E C Army Cadet Papers, held at the O.I.O.C London.
Drewry William Tillotson IOR/L/MIL/9/124/207-12 1951713

Francois Théodore Rochard (1798-1858)

Francois Théodore Rochard was a painter. A number of his paintings are of army officers.

In July 1997, Christies auctioned two miniatures in a single lot.
The miniatures appear to be almost the same size and probably faced each other as a pair.

Lot Description
Francois Théodore Rochard
William Drewry, facing left in black coat, yellow waistcoat and black tied cravat, his arms crossed signed and dated on reverse 'Painted by F. Rochard Feb.y 1832 19 Howland St', in gilt composition frame rectangular, 3 5/16 x 2 5/8in. (84 x 67mm.);
and Samuel Drewry, facing right in blue coat with gilt button and white cravat (English School, circa 1820) gilt composition frame rectangular, 3 5/8 x 2 7/8in. (92 x 73mm.)

The above is particularly intriguing because of the reference to Howland St.
In the Marriage Settlement of Sense Drewry, 19th February, 1824, there is reference to:
1. James Painter of Howland Street, Fitzroy Square, surgeon; - who, two days later becomes husband of
2. Louisa Ann Manley Drewry of Howland Street, spinster; and
3. Samuel Drewry, Lieutenant on board HMS Ramillies, and Henry Runciman Drewry of Howland Street, esq.

Before her death in 1833, Catherine (wife of Cosmas Stewart and mother of Richard Hardinge Stewart - mentioned in WTD's will) lived in Howland St, Fitzroy Square.

In 1835, WTD's brotherCharles Stewart Drewry of Howland Street married Laurentia Buschman.

The painting of Samuel may have been separated from that of William. See the picture in Samuel's page.