Bio: Piercy, Henry March 20, 1820 - February 1, 1888

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives
Limerick Index


File contributed by: Michael Whitehead 
September 1, 2009, 9:37 am

Source: Family history research
Author: Michael P Whitehead

Henry Piercy was born 20 March, 1820, in Kilrush, County 
Clare, according to his Army papers. However, 'The Limerick 
Chronicle' carried an announcement dated 24/3/1819 stating 
that a son had been born to John Piercy in Leadmore, 
Kilrush, that might also be relevent. Nothing is known of 
his childhood. Henry'e elder brother Godfrey, born 1816 in 
Kinsale, also served in the 2nd Queens Royals and died in 
Dublin 14/2/1853.

On 9/3/1838 Henry joined the 2nd Regiment of Foot as an 
Ensign by purchase, vice Rennick who retires. On 7/8/1846 
Henry, now Lieutenant, joins the 75th Regiment of Foot, 
having exchanged with Stoddart. Having become Paymaster to 
the 75th, Henry joins the 37th Rgiment of Foot 28/9/1847 
also as Paymaster, having exchanged with Clibborn. Henry 
then moves via the 18th Regiment of Foot to the 6th on 
7/7/1854 where he is Captain without purchase. He finally 
retires by sale of his commission 8/12/1854. Henry served 
both in India and Ceylon. His Army papers tell us that he 
was in the Southern Concan and Lawanat Waree country in the 
west of India in 1844/45 and was present at the investment 
and capture of the strong hill fort of Monahur and taking 
various strong stockades and in skirmishing with the enemy 
throughout this campaign. There is no reference to where he 
was in Ceylon.

Henry's soldiering days were not over as is shown by the 
death certificate of his wife Matilda dated 28/4/1905. In it 
she is described as the widow of Henry Piercy, Major, 
Turkish Contingent. On 27/7/1855, in the "Times" the 
following announcement was made: The undermentioned officers 
having been selected for service in the Turkish Contingent, 
to have the local rank of Major while so employed, Captain 
Henry Piercy, late 6th Foot. Finally, we read in the 'Times' 
dated 31/1/1885, 'a change has taken place in the West Essex 
Corps of Militia. Captain Pearson, who had been the Adjutant 
since the formation of the Regiment has resigned and is 
succeeded by Captain H Piercy, late of the 6th Regiment, a 
gentleman who has seen 16 years active service and who was 
in the principal battles during the Indian campaign.'

On 19/10/1847,at St Georges, Hanover Square, Henry married 
Matilda Anne Temple Bellew, daughter of Captain Francis 
Bellew, author of 'Memoirs of a Griffin'. Matilda was a 
spinster living at home in Iver, Bucks. whilst Henry, a 
Paymaster in the 75th Regiment was living in Maddox Street. 
The marriage was witnessed by the bride's father and a Miss 
Sophie Jane Logan.

Henry and Matilda were blessed with at least four children 
that we know of:

William Temple Piercy born 1851 in Colombo, Ceylon, 
according to an announcement in the 'Nation' newspaper dated 
8/2/1851. William went to work in the Indian Civil Service 
and although we do not know the date of his death, we have 
on the record of his daughter's wedding in 1908, that he was 
deceased. In 1875 he married Christianna Julia Pettigrew 
born in London in1846 to William Pettigrew, a surgeon and 
graduate of the Medical University of Glasgow, and his wife 
Frances, possible maiden name Sykes. William and Christianna 
had; Mabel Frances Matilda born 10/3/1876 in Calcutta. 
Rosalie Louisa baptised19/5/1878 in Bengal. Lillian Clare 
Temple born 1880 and baptised 28/2/1880 in Allahabad.

Francis Matilda Stuart born 7/1/1855 at 10 Manchester 
Street, Marylebone, died 11/1/1931. Married Robert William 

Rosalie Ellen Emily Mary born 1860 in New York, died 1912. 
Married Villiers Grantham.

Mabel Frances Matilda born 10/3/1876 in Calcutta.

In 1861 Henry and family had returned to England, and the 
census tells us that they were living at 10, Chorlton Grove, 
Stretford, Manchester with one servant. Ten years later they 
had moved south to 3, Brookfield, West Tarring in Sussex 
living as a complete family. Also in residence at the time 
of the census were two visitors,a Charles Crutchley and his 
brother Edgar aged nine and eight respectively. These were 
Matilda's nephews by her sister Emily.

In 1881, Henry is recorded as being a visitor to Miss Isabel 
Jane Adams living at Croyde in South Devon. Isabel was an 
annuitant, born in India and a sister of Major General 
Robert Bellew Adams VC. She was Henry's sister-in-law. This 
is the only documented evidence of contact between the 
Piercy and Adams families that I have seen. During this year 
the Piercys had moved to Keyzor Villas, Twickenham, 
Middlesex, together with Evelyn Cox their two year old grand 

Henry died 12/2/1888 in Tatsfield, Surrey from bronchitis at 
the age of 67 and Frances Cox was there at his end.

Additional Comments: Apart from attempting to put together 
the story of Henry and his line I have also tried to link 
the Piercy lineage in Limerick. I am confident that Piersse 
Piersy, the Mayor in 1696 and 1710 was a distant ancestor of 
Henry Piercy but there are significant gaps in the tree. It 
is clear that the Piercys are closely linked to a Taverner 
family and that, way back, they may have been Quakers. Other 
families that appear in the Piercy tree are ; Westropp, End, 
Maunsell, and possibly Waller.