The Final Will of Colonel Goldie

Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William in Bengal Ecelesiastical Side
In the Goods of Andrew Goldie deceased
Affidavit Filed and Probate granted to
the Reverend Thomas Wood the
Executor according to the tenor of
The Codicil to the Will of the
deceased this 22nd day of March
R. Belchambers

Deputy Regr

In the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William in Bengal Ecelesiastical Side

In the Goods of Andrew Goldie

We the Reverend Thomas Wood Garrison Chaplain of Fort William in Bengal Clerk and Thomas Edward Bristow Judge of Calcutta Solicitor severally make Oath and Say:

First.– The said Thomas Wood for myself say that Andrew Goldie the abovementioned deceased who was in his life time a British subject of Her Majesty and Colonel in the Bengal Army and Military Auditor General of the said Bengal Army departed this life as I am informed and believe on or about the fifteenth day of July last past at Cawnpore in the North West Provinces of British India leaving property and effects wthing the Jurisdiction of this Honorable Court to be administered unto and haveing first made and executed his last Will and Testament in writing which is here unto annexted with the letter A whereby he appointed his wife Mary Goldie and his daughter Mary Goldie to be Executrises thereof –

Second That the said Mary Goldie and Mary Goldie the younger are both dead having as I am informed and believe died or otherwise perished at Cawnpore in the said month of July.

Third That in the month of May last past the said Andrew Goldie being then at Futtyghur a Military Station of the East India Company and on leave of absence under Medical Certificate on the twentythird day of the said Month of May wrote the letter hereunto annexed and Marked with the letter B, addressed to me and enclosing the paper writing also hereunto annexed and marked with the letter C which said paper & writing marked C was enclosed and fastened up with the paper unto annexed marked D which said paper writings were received by me in due Course of past – as by reference & thereunto will appear –

Fourth That I am well aquainted with the handwriting of the said Andrew Goldie and the said Exhibits marked respectively B and C and the signature “A. Goldie” subscribes to such of them and the said paper marked D are respectively in the handwriting of the said Andrew Goldie.

Fifth – That to the best of my knowledge and belief the said Andrew Goldie died without having revoked or altered his Will and Codicil except as to his said Will and so for as the same is or maybe revoked or altered by the said Codicil.

Sixth – And I the said Thomas Edward Bristow Judge say that the name or signature “A Goldie” appearing at the foot of the said WIll is of the proper hand writing of the Testator and that the names or Signatures Tho E.B. Judge and ” M. S. Thorose” also appearing at the foot of the Will are of my handwriting and of the handwriting of M…Stephen Thorose the witnesses to the Execution of the said Will.
The above named Thomas Wood and
Thomas Edward Bristow Judge were
severally sworn this 14th day of Tho Wood
March 1858 Before me Garrison Chaplain
R. Belchambers Tho E. B. Judge

Exhibit A referred to in the annexed Affidavit of Thomas Wood and Thomas Edward Bristow Judge Sworn this 4th day of March 1858 before me

This is the last Will and Testament of me Andrew Goldie of Calcutta a Colonel in the Bengal Army and Military Auditor General. I give and bequeath all the real and personal property to which I shall be entitled at the time of my decease unto my beloved wife Mary Goldie absolutely. Should my said wife die before me I give an bequeath my said estate to my unmarried daughters Mary Goldie, Ellen Goldie and Emily Goldie or to such one or more of them as she be then unmarried and spinsters absolutely and if more than one in equal shares as tenants in Common and if only one the whole to such only unmarried daughter absolutely. And I appoint my said wife Mary Goldie and my said daughter Mary Goldie as Executrises of this my Will hereby revoking all other testementary writings. In witness whereof I have hereunder set my hand this eighth day of February in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fiftysix.
Signed by the said Testator as this last
Will and Testament in the presence of

us present at the same time who at his
request in his presence and in the presence A. Goldie Coll
of each other have subscribed our names
as Witnesses
Thos E. B. Judge
Solr Calcutta
Mr. S. Thorose
his Clerk

Exhibit B Referred to in the annexed Affidavit of Thomas Wood an Thomas Edward Bristow Judge sworn this 4th day of March 1858 before me

Futthigurh 23rd May 1857

My dear Wood
If the 10th Regt Continues Loyal I don’t think we are in danger here should They however mutiny, we shall certainly be in considerable peril, in case of the worst I enclose a memo: which I beg you to open and act as may be necessary: this letter and the memo will be be sufficient authority even a ….. WIll under the circumstances would be quite legal: this all precautionary and written in haste to save the Dawk ever Sincerely fr

A. Goldie

Exhibit C referred to in the annexed Affidavit of Thomas Wood and Thomas Edward Bristow Judge sworn this 4th day of March 1858 before me

My Will Insurance Policy for 30000 Rs and other important papers are in the iron chest left with the Revd. T. Wood Fort William: Should we be murdered here I repeat the purport of my Will in fact. This Paper will I conclude – Should my original Will not be forthcoming be received as a legal disposition of my Property the whole of which I bequeath in equal shares to my children, Mrs Wood, Mrs Urquahart, James Lt. 9th Lancers & Aleck at Dr. Greig’s School at Walthamstow the above goes on the suppostion that Mary, Ellen and Emily will lose their lives with their mother and myself should any escape by the helping of God then they share in my Property with the rest of my children who Survive me.

23 May 1857

A.Goldie Col
Military Auditor General

On the other side I annese a list of my Companys Paper now with me in my writing desk and which will be destroyed by the insurgents.

4 Per Cent Loans

No. 8784 of 7914 Co.Rs 10,000 31st March 1858
” 2975 of 10900- ” 1000 Do
” 6900 _______ ” 1000 Do

” 9097 of 16862 ” 500 Do
” 4696 ________ ” 500 Do
” 5380 of 17363 ” 500 Do
” 11506 ________ ” 500 1st Feby 1843
” 54513 of 18225 ” 500 ” ”
” 19272 ________ ” 500 30th June 1854

5 Per Cent P.W. Loan

No. 6991__________Co.Rs 500
” 6999__________ ” 500
” 7000__________ ” 500

4 Per Cent Loan 1st Feby 1843

No. 14332________________Co Rs 9700
” 15871________________Co.Rs 1300

Exhibit D of referred to in the annexed Affidavit of Thomas Wood and Thomas Edward Bristow Judge sworn this 4th day of March 1858 before R.B.Comr.

23rd May 1857
Memo: to be opened in case of my death.
A. Goldie

This will was kindly shared by and sent to me by a descendent of Reverend Thomas Wood, Lesley Wood. Any errors in transcription are mine.

It is easy to forget that the moments captured in these writings are facts of history. The people portrayed here were real – they were flesh and blood and had their lives to live. In many cases, these lives were cut brutally short.
For Colonel Goldie, his wife and three daughters there was no escape. He was shot in Cawnpore within sight of his wife Mary and daughters Mary and Emily who were incarcerated in the Bibighar. Ellen had been killed in the boats. What had started for Colonel Goldie in 1808 at the age of 14 was a life time in India, serving through the Maharatta Wars, marrying an Indian woman would end in in Cawnpore, as a 63 year old man, executed and left unburied in the sun. In life he had been known as a fair man who had treated his men well. He was loyal to and loved his Indian wife Meerium Khanum dearly, (who took the name Mary Graham) casting aside the prejudices of a changing and less tolerant society than the one he had entered in 1808. He had looked to the best interests of his children, ensuring they all received an English education – securing them thus what ever advantage he could provide.
He left behind 2 married daughters, Sophia Wood married in 1849 to Reverend Thomas Wood and Charlotte Urquahart married to Captain Frederick Day Urquahart who had served under the Colonel as Assistant Military Auditor-General.

His son James had joined the 9th Lancers at the age of 17 in 1854. It was through the Colonel’s impassioned letter to Viscount Hardinge, Commander-in-Chief of the British Armythat had led to his son’s commission:

My Lord, my only two sons are bent on following their father’s profession, and I have educated them accordingly; the late General Caulfield, an East India Director, gave me hopes of appointing them Cadets, but since his death, my applications to other Directors have not been successful; in any strait I write to Your Lordship to whom I already owe so much, with an earnest request that they be allowed to purchase a Commission in His Majesty’s service – either Cavalry, or Infantry – for my eldest son James Goldie who is now seventeen years of age, and is supported by Dr. Grieg of Walthamstow by whom he is being educated, to be fully prepared to pass the Engineer’s examination at Addiscombe: Your Lordship knows well the difficulty we often experience in providing for our sons in the Company’s service.’

In 1854 the Colonel paid £840 (£94000 today) for Cornetcy in the 9th Lancers, through the patronage of Viscount Hardinge. Colonel Goldie wrote to the Viscount again:

I request you will do me the favour to confess to the Right Honourable the Commander in Chief my most respectful and sincere thanks for His Lordship’s sanction to the purchase of a Cornetcy for my eldest son; the purchase money is lodged with Messrs. Coutts & Co., Bankers of the Strand.’

In 1855, James joined his regiment at Amballa and arrived in India accompanied by his father,mother and sisters. His career with the Lancers would prove to be a brilliant one, and he served with distinction through the Mutiny, though his accolades must have been bittersweet.
James was present with the Regiment on the 8th of June at the Battle of Badli ki Serai, he would then volunteer to serve the advanced batteries, under heavy fire for several days at the siege of Delhi. Following the fall of Delhi, James would continue to fight – at Bolundshahr in September, Aligarh and Kanauj in October. He would also take part in the 2nd Relief of Lucknow under Lord Clyde, fight his way through the third Battle of Cawnpore in December including Serai Ghat on the 9th. At the age of 21, James would command a squadron at Sumshadabad in January 1858 which would lead him for a recommendation for the Victoria Cross.

‘On the 27th (January 1828) two squadrons of the regiment were engaged at the action of Shumshabad, and with Hodson’s Cavalry pursued the enemy eight or nine miles capturing four guns, Goldie’s squadron charged into 1500 of the enemy and killed 300. Lieutenant Goldie (whose father and two sisters were murdered at Furtigarh when the Mutiny broke out) was recommended for the V.C.’(F.H. Reynard)

Lord Clyde himself would write to the Horse Guards in June 1859, distinguishing James Goldie for the VC. However the Secretary of the State for War refused him the accolade, stating,

It does not appear that Lieut. Goldie did more than gallantly lead the squadron of his Regt. to which he was attached… might it not be proper before the Distinction is awarded, that some more particular information respecting the service should be obtained?’

Even his mention in dispatches by the Right Honorable Adrian Hope was not enough to secure James the VC. but it was nevertheless attached to his service record.

Mutiny Medal of James Goldie, a rare honor of 3 clasps.

James would continue to rise in the army, purchasing his captaincy in 1860 and in the same year transferring first to the 17th Lancers and then to the 16th Lancers in 1865. The same year, he married Magdalene Agnes Goldie while on furlough (before anyone raises their eyebrows, it was not uncommon to marry relations). Following his return to India, he would hold several Staff appointments and would end his career in 1885 as the Colonel of the 6th Dragoon Guards.

Alexander “Aleck” Goldie did not join the army. He became a doctor instead, but died young at the age of 28.

A Brief History of Sophia Wood née Goldie

Left with three young children after the death of his first wife, the Rev. Thomas Wood married again in April 1849. His second wife was Sophia Goldie (b 1823), the daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel and military auditor-general Andrew Goldie of the East India Company and his wife, Meerium.  All were schooled in England, with Sophia attending the same school as several of her cousins, including Isabelle Goldie Murray, who became Thomas’s third wife.
Sophia and Thomas added three children to the family: Andrew Goldie (b 1850); Edith Ramsay (born in 1854) and Reginald (born in 1857). Another daughter, Ellen Urquhart, was born in 1855 but died in 1857 of dysentery.
Tragedies mounted for the family in 1857. An article published after Thomas’s death mentions that the family, stationed in Fort William (in Calcutta) during the Sepoy Revolt (1857-1859), housed a number of refugees. It doesn’t mention the huge price the Revolt exacted on Sophia. One can only imagine the mix of emotions Thomas and Sophia would have felt in leaving India and bringing their family back to England around 1860. They settled in the Wood family home in Sandwich, Kent.
However, the stress was too much for Sophia. She died of tuberculosis and “exhaustion” on April 12, 1862, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, with Thomas by her side. Her sister Charlotte and husband Frederic Urquhart were living in Cheltenham at the time. Sophia is buried there.” – (with kind permisson of Lesley Wood).

Grave of Sophia Wood at Cheltenham with a distressing epitaph
“God be merciful to me a sinner”
Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace. Amen.

Correspondence with Lesley Wood
Picture of Sophia Wood's grave marker, thanks to Lesley Wood
Family material from: (The Goldie Family page)