T252 – “African” Henry Bird


'African' Henry Bird

‘African’ Henry Bird

“African Henry”

Lieut General Henry Byrde ob. 1892

He was the son of Charles Elias Bird, Capt. 5th Foot, and Charlotte Crook of Kinsale. Married 1816.

Who with his elder brother Henry served all through the Peninsular War and in the Montevideo Buenos Aires expedition. Charles Elias wrote the diary.

These two were strong men of the army. When sent to forage they returned carrying an ox between them.

“African” Henry never married. His last appointment was that of governor of Cape Coast Castle.

ORA Byrde

Gt grandson of Henry Byrde department Comm. general Ceylon

In 1945 Florence Marriott wrote the following to someone:
This is “African Henry” given to me by aunt Louisa because I always admired him as a child although I never knew him.
He was my earliest hero, I love it, though mother said he looked like a “fat butcher.”

Cape Coast Castle.was the administrative centre for the Gold Coast (modern day Ghana), Henry was governor their from April 1858 – 20th April 1860.

T232 – Fragmentary Diary of Charles Elias Bird


Fragmentary Diary of Charles Elias Bird, born 1783 service throughout the Penninsular War mainly in the fighting fifth.

He was at Waterloo and received the medal about 1846.

He and his elder brother Henry were accounted the two strongest men in the army.

Sent out to forage they returned carrying a cow between them.

Henry, the elder was not at Waterloo owing to the long war at Wellington with Lord Hill, most of the senior officers were owed pay after Elba? Leading the Duke to say ‘ I have an infamous army’.

Both Henry and Charles were the sons of Lt. Col. Hy. Bird who fought thro the American War of Independence, rescued Elizabeth Hicks who became his wife from Red Indians, and in 1800 died at sea on Sir R Abercromby expedition to Egypt.

He left 3 sons and 9 daughters

ORA Byrde

4 Cambray Court


Fragmentary Diary of Chas Elias Bird b. About 1784.

(I think at Ty Cooke before the repairs to Goytre House were finished)

T239 – Owen Richard Augustus Byrde


Owen Byrde

Birth cert Rachel Olivia d/o Owen Richard Augustus Byrde and Lesley Weddell of Halifax

Birth cert for Lesley Weddell 3rd November 1881 – 18 Clayton Park Square USD Newcastle – d/o George Weddell and Isabella Jacques

Marriage cert Owen R Augustus Byrde and Lesley Weddell 15th October 1910

29 – School master – father Richard Augustus Byrde clk in holy orders

28 – Spinster – George Weddell – director

Death cert Owen R A Byrde – 6th February 1946 aged 64 years

4 Cambray Court Cheltenham – retired school master

Cirrhoses of the liver
Varicose veins

Informant- son C G Byrde, 28 Thirloe S London SW7

Birth Cert ORAB
20th June 1881 – Islington

20th June 1881
Richard Owen Byrde s/o Richard Augustus Byrde – mother Alice Mary Leyburne Byrde formerly Burne


I devise and bequeath all the residue of my real and personal estate whatsoever and wheresoever to which I shall be entitled at my death unto my Trustees UPON TRUST that my Trustees shall sell, call in and convert into money the same or such part thereof as shall not consist of money with power to postpone such sale calling in and conversion for such period as my Trustees shall judge expedient. (with particular reference to the shares held by me in Cerebos Ltd) and out of the money so produced and out of my ready money shall pay my funeral and testamentary expenses and debts and the legacies, bequests by this my will or any codicil hereto and all invest the residue of the said moneys in any authorised trust, investments with power from time to time to vary such investments for others of a like nature and shall stand possessed of the residue of such moneys and the investments for/the time being representing the same (herein called “my Residuary Fund”) upon the following trusts:


  1. UPON TRUST to pay the income thereof to myself wife during her life.
  2. SUBJECT to the aforesaid life interest of my said wife upon trust to divide the same into five equal parts and to hold the same as to both capital and income thereof:-
  3. AS to two fifths parts thereof UPON TRUST for my said son Richard George de Fer Byrde absolutely PROVIDED that should my said son predecease me without leaving issue him surviving then I DIRECT that his share shall be held by my Trustees upon the trusts hereinafter set out with regard to the remainder of my Residuary Trust Fund.
  4. AS to the remaining three fifth parts thereof UPON TRUST for my three remaining children, namely Pamela Morrison Murray and Rachel Olivia Byrde and Christopher Granville Byrde on his attaining the age of twenty one year’s absolutely in equal shares.
  5. PROVIDED NEVERTHELESS that in case any child of mine has died or shall die in my lifetime leaving issue living at my death who being male attain the age of twenty one years or being female attain that age or previously marry such issue shall stand in the place of such deceased child and take per stirpes and equally between them if more than one the share of my residuary trust fund which such deceased child would have taken if he or she had survived me and had attained a vested interest.
  6. ANY trustee being a solicitor or other person engaged in any profession or business may be so employed or act and shall be entitled to charge and be paid all professional or other charges or any business or act done by him or by his firm in connection with the trusts hereof including acts which a Trustee could have done personally.
  7. I DESIRE that my body shall be cremated and my ashes deposited in the family grave of my father and mother in Goytrey Churchyard.

IN WITNESS whereof I have hereunto set my hand to this my WILL contained in this and the preceding sheet of paper this Twentieth day of November One Thousand Nine Hundred and Thirty Nine.

SIGNED by the said Owen Augustus Richard Byrde the testator as and for his last will in the presence of us both present at the same time who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses.

Owen Richard Augustus Byrde

C Evans                                                          SRC Thomas Patson

The Old Bank House                                      Park Avenue

Abergavenny Mon                                          Abergavenny – Bank Clerk 

– Bank Manager                                    

T176 – Family Letter to Miss H Chalklen 1887


April 26th 1887
Letter to Miss H Chalklen

19 Richmond Crescent Barnsbury

The exact date is more than can be given (tho it might probably be ascertained) when Mary Martha, the pastor FW Durand wife woke in the middle of the night and distinctly saw the curtains of her bed drawn aside by the hand and beheld her beloved son Lieut Henry Durand stand by her and the figure one word he said – “Mother” she was not frightened but pleased to see him although he really was far distant – for he was on his return from the Mediterranean on board HMS Beller john for his Rgt., the 60th rifles had been engaged in some duty at Majorca or one of the adjacent islands.

In the morning Ms Durand began to think she must have had a dream – but sometime after sad news came that their lively young son officer, who have often said “he would like to have a short life and a merry one” was dead – and what estrayed of all was that at the very day and hour his mother had seen him at her bedside he had breathed his last with the word mother on his lips.

Lt. Henry Durand was younger than his sister Hester ja Coba afterwards Mrs de Fer, but probably older than Dr W Durands who died towards the close of the last century.

T172 – Letters Requesting collection of items from Bonhams


Letter 1

From Lawford & Co., Solicitors
Court Gray’s Inn

To Major W Byrde

Red Lion House
Axminster asking him to collect a bust of Sam Byrde in a buff coloured coat with gold buttons signed and dated 1778. Also one half of the armorial porcelain from Bonham’s.

G L Meyrick

Letter 2

To dearest Petronella from daddy asking her to go to Bonham’s and collect the things.

Letter 3

29th September 1980

To Major WB Byrde from G L Meyrick

In which is stated Mr Charles Byrde has no objection to W B Byrde having the deeds etc., but would be interested in any references to the Peninsular war, also there is conveyance and deeds relating to the litigation over property in both Leicester Square and Oxford St. Suggests they meet at the solicitors and view the paper together.