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From: "McLaughlin, Colman" <>
Subject: [India-L] Seeking information on Robert Gill
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2002 13:59:40 -0000

I'm new to this list and am trying to source information on my great-great
grandfather, Major Robert Gill, if anyone can help
Thank you Colmán McLaughlin

The following biographical details may be of some use:
Robert Gill.
Birth: 26 Sep 1804. [Hackney] London, England.
Marriage: 25 May 1841 at St. Luke's Chelsea, London, Frances Flowerdew
Rickerby England
Death: 10 April 1875 and burial: Bhusaval Cemetery (European Section)

Career: India. Army Officer, artist, photographer, sportsman.

Religion: RC

Military Record: Major in 44th Madras Native Infantry. (Ensign 1825 -).,
44th M.N.I and 2nd Native Bn. Cadet 1824. Ens. 6th May 1825. Gazetted to
44th M.N.I., 23rd June 1825; Lieut. 8th Sept. 1826. Capt. 6th May 1840.
Invalided 1st Oct. 1852 and "employed in taking drawings of the
Architectural and Pictorial remains at Ajanta." Most of his drawings were
lost in the fire at the Great Exhibition 1866.

Major Gill was in the 44th Regiment of the Madras Native Infantry, which
apparently was raised in 1804 and disbanded in 1864. His son William John
was born in Bangalore in 1843.

His wife (Frances Floweredew Rickerby), returned to London in the 1850s,
but her husband remained behind. The paintings referred to above were
exhibited in London in the late 1850' but destroyed in a fire in 1866 (with
the exception of 5 which are in the custody of the Victoria and Albert
Museum). He continued to work at the Ajanta caves until his death in 1875
and is buried in the European cemetery at Bhosoval. He had at least one
child as a result of a relationship with an Indian woman (whose name I don't
know and of whom I cannot find any information other than references that he
had an Indian mistress/partner). [The name of the child is/was Mildred Mary
Gill]. She's my great grandmother.

His son, William John, (my Grand-Uncle, I think) was an explorer of some
note and was the author of GILL W. THE RIVER OF GOLDEN SAND; (being the
Narrative of a Journey through China and Eastern Tibet to Burmah...with an
Introductory Essay by Col Henry Yule. London: John Murray, 1880. [3737]). .
He was killed by Bedouin tribesmen in Egypt, 11 August, 1882.

Robert Gill contributed to the Madras Military Fund and there is some
information on him in The India Office in the following file: Records Entry:
(Source: Peter Hart and Sylvia Murphy. See)

IOR Ref: L/AG/23/10/12: Madras Military Fund - Personal Information on Fund

687 GILL Robert, m 25 May 1841, Middx, RICKERBY Frances F, Captain HEIC.

Amongst other things, there is a copy of his Marriage Certificate. I live in
Dublin and it is a little more difficult to retrieve this information. Could
someone p'copy anything that may be there and post to me. I will pay all
expenses incurred in doing this and more,

Colmán McLaughlin

Tel No. 00353.1.4101092
Fax No. 00353.1.4121092

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