William Tillotson Drewry
19th Jul 1797 - 5th Mar 1835
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.
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
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 te 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.)
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.)
From not very legible army records:
Admitted on establishment ? Arrived 28th July ( F.O 28th July 1815)
-- remarks that he has completed his studies in a manner highly meritorious and creditable (Military letter to Madras 15th March 1816)
--Favourable report on his proficiency in Hindustanee (29 June 1816)
- Temporary Adjutant to Engineers (F.O 15th July 1816).
- Memorial from him soliciting Courts consideration of the grounds upon which he had been lead to expect to rank above Mr Oliphants (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.
- (D) appointed Field Force in Dooab under Col Pritzer C.B (F.O 15th September 1820)
- Superintending Engineer Light Field Division Hyderabad Subsiduary Force at Jaubna (G.O 18th May 1824)
- To officiate as Superintending Engineer with Nagpore Subsiduary Force (G.O 23rd November 1825)
- Relieved from Superintendance of Acting Superintending Engineer Jaubnah (G.O 14th July 1826)
In 1832, William returned to England and 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.
The Madras Almanac has william travelling on the 'Madras' in 1832. He is probably returning to India after his period of home leave.
The fact that William is in England in 1832 suggests that there may be a painting of him. (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 O Tool's (?bond?) to be divided after my mother's death between my surviving brothers and sisters but (??) 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 O Tool mentioned in the will is almost certainly Captain William Henry O'Toole of the 46th Foot (The South Devonshire) who died at Alma, in the Crimea, 21 September 1854 (source). The 46th Foot were based at Fort St George from 1817 to 1832.
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 (..?) of it and part of the (?.. ?) 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."
He also bequeaths
"my W T Seal to little William."
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.
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
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
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 Theodore Rochard was a painter. A number of his paintings are of army officers.
In July 1997, Christies auctioned a painting (two paintings?) as follows:
Francois Thédore 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, in 1824, there is reference to: 1. James Painter (husband of Maria Drewry) of Howland Street, Fitzroy Square, surgeon; 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.
An 'Appendix' showing office bearers, members, etc., found on the Web, dated 1836, lists amongst the Associates: Charles Drewry of Howland St, Fitzroy Square.