Bio: Piercy, Henry Mar 20, 1820 - Feb 1, 1888, County Limerick, Ireland
Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives
Limerick Index
Contributed by: Michael Whitehead

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.