Arthur Payton Roydhouse

Arthur was born on the 7th April, 1886 in Wellington, youngest son of William and Annie nee Maxton.

His middle name was bestowed on him due to his father William’s association with fellow newspaperman, Joseph Payton.

He was 7 when the family moved back to the Wairarapa, and began school at Greytown North School in 1893, also attending Kahautura and Gladstone Schools.

He was present at the river in 1897 when his cousin, Gertrude Coulson drowned.

In the 1906 electoral rolls A.P Roydhouse was a pupil teacher at Waingawa in the Wellington district.


(Papers Past)

Arthur loved all outdoor sports and recreation, including mountaineering. In 1907 the local newspaper reported an excursion undertaken by Arthur, sister (Annie)Grace and a couple of her friends, including his future wife, Dorothy Booth.

(Papers Past wairarapara daily times vol LV1, issue 8720, 2 april 1907)

In February1908 he is listed in The New Zealand Gazette as sitting his Teacher Examinations at Masterton, although he does not seem to have sought work as a teacher until 1914.

In 1909 and 1910 Arthur worked two voyages as a printer and general servant on the IONIC as she steamed between Liverpool and Wellington. Operated by White Star Line , she was built in 1902 and carried almost 700 passengers.

(Wikipedia)( S.S.ICONIC)

In 1911 his occupation was listed as “farmer” at Te Wharau, it is likely he bought a small selection here with the experience perhaps of his father’s venture with a farm at Waiwirwiri some years before. The electoral roll states farmer, not farm labourer, and a search of that years roll in the district does not reveal any other farmers at “Burnside”, Te Wharau.

In 1914 he was 28 years  of age, a Physical Instructor and residing with his parents in Rhodes Street, Carterton,

In 1915 the Hawkes Bay Education report stated:

( terminology used in the report may not be acceptable today)

He married Dorothy Aroha Booth in Greytown on the 23rd January 1916.

(Marjorie Booth, Arthur, Dorothy,Howard Jackson)

(Archives Masterton)

Arthur travelled throughout both Islands extensively over his career, predominately in the Dunedin area but also spending some years in Wellington, and Levin, North Island while his 6 sons and 1 daughter were school-aged.

1.Jeffrey Arthur January 1917-1987, married Fiona McIntyre;  4 sons

2.Tom Ronald December 1918-2003, married Winnifred Pennington; 1 son, 2 daughters

3.David Albert June 1920-1992, married Myrtle Gardes /Beryl ; 2 sons, 1 daughter

4.Joan Dorothy March 1922-2005, married John Anderson; 2 sons, 5 daughters

5.Peter Booth February 1924-2002,married Peggy Hammond; 1 son, 1 daughter

6.Noel December 1926-1999 married Naomi Smith;3 sons, 1 daughter

7.Richard Helm June 1929-2003 married Lois Pope ;1 son, 1 daughter

In the JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION NEW ZEALAND Vol. 32.1, 1999, Bob Stothart submitted an article entitled “The Great Arthur P Roydhouse: Physical Education Pioneer “.

“Arthur was a Physical Education specialist,, including during his Army service. One member of the 1st Battalion, Otago Regiment in April 1940 at Training College in Dunedin related that C Company Captain Roydhouse was his  PE Instructor at College. We went in for 3 months training in Oct 1940 to Burnham where we were put through the hoops-long route marches around the district and Roydy was a tyrant on these as he had to beat the other Otago Companies at all costs.

One of the most influential and admired pioneer figures in New Zealand physical education is Arthur Payton Roydhouse, usually referred to affectionately as ‘Roydy”. He became the senior physical education person in Otago and Southland from his appointment in 1915 until his retirement in 1952. The army claimed his attention during both world wars and he spent four years, (1932-36) at the Boys’ Training Farm, Weraroa, Levin. He was a man of firm opinions, quick-witted humour and endless energy and enthusiasm. He travelled the roads of Otago and Southland with missionary zeal to bring the latest ideas, games, exercises and teaching methods to schools and children, no matter how far they were.”

After retiring in 1954, Arthur and Dorothy relocated to Auckland, just a street block away from Takapuna Beach.


( street view, Google maps)

They had 13 grandsons, and 12 grand-daughters

After a long retirement Arthur died on the 5th December 1974, Dorothy in August of 1975.

Arthur Roydhouse was my great- uncle.

Benjamin Johns Jordan-Independence Day

Benjamin Johns Jordan , the son of Hugh and Ann nee Trezise, was recorded as being just 3 weeks old in the census of 1841, the youngest at the time  of 5 sons  and 3 daughters.( Another sister, Susan Ann was born in 1846)

By 1851, his mother is listed as an engineers widow. Hayle, like many other Cornish localities, had many ties with both tin and copper mining.

At age 20, in 1861, Benjamin was living with his brother Thomas, who was married to Ann Bree Ivey and had 6 children. Little sister Susan was also there.

According to United States census, Benjamin migrated to Illinois about 1867, and married Sarah J Mizelle of Kentucky.

Benjamin worked in the Dyers Hill Mine near Rosiclare , Illinois , which produced fluorspar,  responsible for products such as Teflon non-stick and common in jewellery.

(fluorspar core sample)

His family consisted of:

Isaac Hugh-1879-1957

Mary Catherine 1881-1962

An unknown child born and died as recorded in the census of 1900 in the question “How many children were born to this marriage” and “How many living”

In 1911 both children were married, Isaac with a son Herl, and Mary with 3 sons Byron, Clyde and Harley, and 2 daughters Mildred and Ursula.

Benjamin’s sister Mary Johns Jordan married William John Roydhouse and they migrated to New Zealand.

There must have been some contact with the two as a photo of Benjamin was found with a collection of Roydhouse/ Maxton photos that I bought from a lady who rescued them off Trade Me.

(Benjamin Jordan c 1885)

Benjamin died in Rosiclare on the 30th April, 1916 aged 67, and Sarah on April 7th 1930.

He was my third great grand uncle, and one of two Roydhouse folk to migrate to America and celebrate Independence Day.



Muriel Roydhouse

Muriel was born on the 12th of July, 1882 in Carterton, New Zealand to William and Annie Roydhouse.

She was 15 when her cousin Gertrude drowned at a family picnic.

On the 7th of May, 1903, Muriel married Alexander Cooper of Gladstone.

Muriel Cooper had two sons, Francis Alexander in 1904 and Douglas John in 1906. This family grew up in Masterton.

While bringing up two young sons, Muriel continued with her musical talent on the piano and in 1909 she won a Silver Medal in the Royal Music Boards examination of the Advanced   Grade. The next year she achieved her Diploma for the Associated Board of the Royal College of Music. It was mentioned that she had achieved this without a mentor or tutor.

(Muriel is looking out the window on the viewers left. The boy is her son  Douglas, photo therefore 1914-16)

The electoral rolls of 1948 show Alex and Muriel at 22 Victoria Street, in Masterton. Their son Francis had died in 1942, Douglas and his first wife Jean were farming 4 kms out of town in Fernridge.

Muriel was widowed in 1958, and died on May 30th,1962 , almost reaching her 80th birthday.

She is buried in the Archer Street Cemetery with her son, husband and sister Ethel.

Muriel was my great, grand Aunt.

( Muriel’s name is very hard to read, the lettering has all gone but the indentations for her name can still be made out)


Muriel Crawley Longevity

( Muriel nee Crawley appears in the January 14th post)

On the 10th of May, 1905, Muriel Cooper nee Roydhouse witnessed her brother Francis marrying Muriel Crawley.

Muriel Roydhouse had 8 children between 1905 and 1916, including 3 sets of twin boys, my grandad William and one daughter, also named Muriel, born 1910. This family grew up in Carterton and Wanganui.

Going to the Chapel- St Luke’s church in Greytown

The first St Luke’s Church was built in Greytown in 1869 of heart totara, and had a bell tower, carved rafters, and stained glass windows.
Reportedly a beautiful building, it stood until January 1968 when it was burned to the ground by an arsonist.
(The wooden St Luke’s church)


(the new church 2005)
Prior to the building of the first church, a eucalyptus tree was planted that is still growing today.
According to local history, the seedling was pinched off a wheelbarrow being pushed by an early settler, and planted out some three years later in 1860.
It started smouldering at the time of the church fire, but survived , at the last measurements in 2010 it had a girth of nearly 10 metres. It is now 160 years old.

Known marriages in St Luke’s 1869-1926

Samuel William Maxton married Sarah Broadhurst in 1869
Annie Maxton married William Francis Roydhouse in 1876
Jessie Maxton married Joseph Michael O’Connor in 1877
Mary Anne Jane Roydhouse married Edward A. Campbell in 1878
Mary Maxton married William McKenzie in 1878
Flora Maxton married Alfred Bish in 1882
Mark Maxton married Elizabeth Tinney in 1882
Mildred Maxton married Warner Arthur Varnham in 1884
Matilda Jane Roydhouse married Alexander Hugh F. Urquhart in 1885
Elizabeth Maxton married James Edwardsin 1895
Clara Henrietta Maxton married William Alfred Hopkins in 1895
Mary Matilda Maxton married William Alexander McKay in 1897
Samuel Arthur Maxton married Annie Grant in 1899
Minnie Maxton married Frank Judd in 1905
Edith May Maxton married John William Newton in 1921
Inez Kleve Maxton married George Oswald Richards in 1922
Charles Walter Maxton married Constance E.  Humphries in 1926

Samuel William Maxton and Sarah Broadhurst were the first of the Roydhouse or Maxton marriages performed at St Luke’s church in 1869 in Greytown. They had 1 son and 4 daughters.

Samuel was a son of Samuel Maxton’s first marriage to Henrietta Burrows, and Annie ( my great, great grandmother) was his half sister.

Mothers Day



Barely three months after Mum’s death, and just after  Mother’s Day, I went to Government House to accept the posthumous “Banksia Award” on behalf of the family.
Mum had been nominated for this award prior to February 20th 1983 and had been preparing to travel down to Perth to receive it.
• Recipients of this Award provide service to their Guiding community through consistently achieving the outcomes of their primary role as well as providing support to other volunteers and the broader Guiding community at the local or state or national level. They take on extra duties and roles in support of the organisation.
• Recipients support the policies and procedures of Girl Guides Australia and develop Guiding by encouraging, supporting and contributing to information sharing and skills of the Adult Members.
• Those recognised with the Banksia Award are a role model to Guides, Volunteers and the local community, consistently living the Promise and Law and abiding by the Code of Conduct.
The Geraldton Guardian ran the story below on May 12th, 1983.

Close Up, My Mum’s story

It was a Sunday morning in Perth on February 20th, 1983, and my first husband and I had been out late the night before celebrating our first wedding anniversary.

You do not expect shocking news to be delivered over an early morning phone call, but it does happen.

My Mum, Jill, had been involved in a car accident and had passed away. A sister was injured, my father was not able to be contacted and we lived in Perth, five hours away from the family home.

Mum was born in Auckland on the 27th March, 1935, youngest of three children to John and Mildred Roydhouse.

(Birth notice: Papers Past, under Creative Commons licence,AUCKLAND STAR, VOL. LVXI, ISSUE 74, 28 MARCH 1935)

Her father was a Customs/ Factory Inspector, and moved the family from Wellington, with baby Peter, to Auckland, where Colleen and Jill were born.

                                                 (3 Roydhouse kids, 1935)

By 1938, the family was living in Napier, on the east coast of the North Island. As a young woman, I spent 6 months living in the same town and do not remember knowing of that connection.

In 1940 the electoral rolls show the family back in Auckland, living in a boarding house due to the severe shortage of homes available in New Zealand at the time. A book that belonged to Mum as a young child has the address, Hotel Stonehurst.(  no connection to a pub)

                                       (Hotel Stonehurst, Auckland, 1940’s)

When Mum was eleven, the family had settled in Wanganui, and my grandparents stayed there for the rest of their lives.

Mum was involved in a car accident at about age 16, which left her in plaster from chest to mid thigh, and it was during this time she discovered the joy of a long knitting needle to scratch under the plaster.

                                                         (Wanganui, c 1951)

As a young woman, it appears Mum worked in a typing pool in Wellington, but because she was under 21 during her NZ years she does not appear on any electoral rolls.

On Christmas Eve, 1953, she was meant to be travelling home to Wanganui on the 3pm Wellington –Auckland train, but she had been offered a lift with others in a car. That train passed through her nearest –to-Wanganui stop, at Bulls, and headed towards Tangiwai on time at 10:20pm. Just minutes before 2 million cubic metres of water rushed  from the crater lake of nearby Mt Ruapehu. A 6-metre-high lahar containing water, ice, mud and rocks surged, tsunami-like, down the Whangaehu River.  The force washed away the bridge supports and in the darkness passenger cars were thrown into the river. 151 people died.

                                                       ( Wellington, 1953)

At age 20, her ambition was to learn to fly, and she started taking lessons at the Wanganui Aero Club.

William Myers was there, training to fly crop-dusters, and the story goes that Mum nearly sat on his beer.

                                                          ( Wanganui, 1955)

Mum was living in Masterton where Dad was flying but decided to go home, taking all her things with her on a small plane owned by the trainer of crop-duster pilots. He recalls that he had to weigh everything carefully and calculate the fuel, this was his first time carrying a passenger.

However it was soon obvious to Mum that her life was about to change with a baby on the way( me), and in the mid –fifties in New Zealand that was a most shocking thought as an unmarried woman. A marriage could not happen however, as Dad was waiting for a divorce which took 7 years at this time.

                                                      ( Masterton, July 1956)

Her parents were told they HAD been married quietly, however the wedding day was not to actually occur until just prior to the birth of their 5th child in 1964.

Exactly 11 months after I was born, the family expanded to include another daughter.

At this stage Dad wandered off to Australia, and found work around Tamworth and Armidale in NSW. Leaving her family behind, Mum travelled with two small children to join him.

                                                   (Tamworth, early 1958)

Three more children , two sons and a daughter were born in NSW. A family holiday to Coffs Harbour saw Mum and Dad marry in 1964, and Mum made her first trip back to New Zealand to farewell her father in 1966.

                                          (mass christening 1964 Armidale)

The family relocated to Esperance in 1967, and Mum involved herself in Brownie Guides, supporting the family on her own by cleaning at a bank and a take-away shop for 12 months. We walked everywhere from our State House duplex, including on a day that was blustery rain and windy to get to the beach for fish and chips.

                               ( Esperance Brownie Pack fun 1973)

In 1973, the packing boxes were filled again with a fresh start for Mum and Dad , arriving in Geraldton where he flew to the Abrolhos Islands in sea-planes and helicopters for the crayfishing industry.

Mum continued with a Brownie Pack, and worked as a cross walk attendant near our house.

The “kids” started growing up and leaving home, and by February 20th, 1983 there were only two at home part-time.

(Geraldton Guardian newspaper cutting, 1983) (Mum enrolling a Brownie Guide c 1979)

Mum met two of her five grandchildren, and now has 3 great grandchildren, with a 4th due mid year.

                                      (Utakarra Cemetery, Geraldton)


(3 great grandchildren 2018.)









Footnote: Thanks to my sister Shell for her photos and memories on this one. xx

Hope I did Mum proud.

Henry [Harry] Roydhouse

Henry Roydhouse was born on the 3rd November, 1841 to Thomas

Henry and Sarah [nee Anstiss], of 11 Sidney Grove, Islington.

At age three, his brother Joseph arrived, his older sister Elizabeth died when he was four and the baby Thomas was born when he turned six.

He was eight years old when his father died.

In the only English census he appeared in, Henry was ten years old in

1851 and a scholar.

Census documents in New Jersey record Henry declaring arrival to

New Jersey in 1858, at age 16. It is possible he left the poverty of

Islington behind with the promise of work on the railways, but

nothing has been found for this period of his life until 1861.

Henry enlisted into Battery B, New Jersey Light Artillery as a

cannoneer on the 9th March 1861.

One of the main methods of travel was by water, and it is recorded

that in March 1861:


[Harry is shown here  in Union uniform c 1862. reference 1]


The Battle of Cold Harbor was fought from May 31 to June 12, 1864,

with the most significant fighting occurring on June 3. It was one of

the final battles of Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Overland

Campaign during the American Civil War, and is remembered as one

of American history’s bloodiest, most lopsided battles. Thousands of

Union soldiers were killed or wounded in a hopeless frontal assault

against the fortified positions of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s


Henry was wounded on the 3rd of June, 1864, and mustered out in

September the same year. It appears he went back to the New Jersey

area, a marriage to Miss Mary Elizabeth Bush is recorded on the 16th

September, 1867.


Nine children were born to Mary and Henry ( Harry):

1868 Clara A [married Alex Gore, 3 sons & 3 daughters]

1870 Myra Elizabeth [married Norman McNaul, 1 son,&6 daughters]

In the 1870 census, aged 28, Henry is listed as a shoemaker.

1874 Burton Parker [married Louisa B Price, 2 sons & 2 daughters]

His mother, Sarah, died in 1874, in Islington, London.

1877-1926 Sarah Estelle [married Louis Baldwin,2 sons & 4 daughters]

1878 -1880 Agnes May

The 1880 census reveals the loss of Agnes, Henry is still a shoemaker

and the growing family is living in the same house as 1870

1881-1967 Ethel Oresta [married Clayton Brewer, 4 sons, 3


1885-1946 Harry Elston [married Hazel Duryea,2 sons &  4


1886-1976 Weldon Earle [bachelor]

1889-1958 Blanche Virtue[ married William Defoe, 1 son & 5 daughters]

In 1900, Henry is listed as a cigar box maker.

On August 21st, 1910, Henry [Harry] Roydhouse died aged 69.

He is buried with his wife Mary and daughter Agnes in Prospect Hill

Cemetery, Caldwell.

His headstone includes a date of birth, which corresponds

exactly and uniquely with Henry Roydhouse, son of Thomas Henry

and Sarah nee Anstiss.

He is my 1st cousin four times removed, being the nephew of my great, great grandfather William.

If not for his detailed cemetery record, I would not have been able to

connect him with 100% proof to my London Roydhouse family.


further reading &references:

  1.  link to full diary report of Battery B;view=1up;seq=9

 An exact list of campaigns can be found at

Joshua Roydhouse, merchant seaman, privateer and RN Captain

Joshua Roydhouse was most likely born in Wragby, Yorkshire, brother to John Roydhouse, wine merchant of London. There are two baptisms recorded in the timeframe possible for Joshua. Firstly, a John and wife unknown baptised a Joshua on the 25th April 1659 however a William and Rosamund Roydhouse baptised a son Joshua in 1651.

His Naval records show that from 1679 to 1691 he was a merchant seaman, and it is very possible that he brought wines to London from Spain, Italy, and Portugal for John’s wine business. He may have been a business partner in the owning of the vessel, receiving fines for failing to declare all goods on board his ship more than once.

He joined the Royal Navy in January 1691 as a Masters Mate to Commander John Clements on the Duchess.

A Masters Mate is defined as an officer under the direction of the master, by whose choice he is generally appointed, to assist him in the several branches ‘of his duty. Accordingly he is to be particularly attentive to the navigation in his watch, &c. to keep the log regularly, and examine the line and glasses by which the ship’s course is measured, and to adjust the sails to the wind in the fore-part of the ship. He is also to have a diligent attention to the cables, seeing that they are well coiled and kept clean when laid in the tier, and sufficiently served when employed to ride the ship. Finally, he is to superintend and assist at the stowage of the hold, taking especial care that all the ballast and provisions are properly stowed therein.

Between 1688 and 1697, the War of the Grand Alliance saw 27 separate sea battles between France and her allies and Spain with Holland, Scotland, England and Sweden.

In May, 1692, Duchess was engaged at the Battle of Barfleur, 115 allied ships with over 6,400 guns with the French ships numbering 49.

Joshua had married Elizabeth Hodges just 3 months prior to this on the 9th February, 1692 at St James, London.

Elizabeth nee Hodges was mentioned in her brother-in-laws will regarding her potential to “meddle with the education of his niece Elizabeth” and was not left any amount in the will for mourning clothes as other extended family were.


In 1693 he passed his First Lieutenants exam and was appointed to Severn in that capacity in 1695.

His daughter Elizabeth, who seems to be the only child of his marriage, was born sometime after 1698 and before 1719. She is mentioned in her Uncle John’s will of 1719 as being under the age of 21.

Joshua served on several ships including Montagu, Eagle, Hampshire and Association before being awarded the Scarborough as a prize of war and becoming an owner/privateer until the Battle of Vigo where she joined 26 other allied ships against 15 French vessels.

The Battle of Vigo

He then served as First Lieutenant on Dunkirk for 12 months before being given command on the 23rd of November 1705 of the Fly, which was a brigantine with 6 guns and 35 crew. He is recorded as being in command until the 30th June 1708.

His next and final command was on Elephant, a captured French store-ship ( L’Elephant) with twelve guns, an appointment he took on the first of July 1708.

L ‘ Elephant would have looked similar to this 5th rate ship.

This vessel was originally bought as a prize of war by  Captain R Coleman for over 800 pounds,; next being sold to Captain J Roberts before Joshua acquired it. Elephant is recorded as being hulked at Port Mahon, on the island of Menorca, about 200 kms from Barcelona.

At this point no further records have been found regarding Joshua.

A will proved in 1750 for a Mrs Elizabeth Roydhouse(widow of Westminster) could be that of Joshuas’ widow.All her money, goods and chattels were left to her landlord, a situation which could mean there had been a break in the family ties over the daughter Elizabeths substantial inheritance, or that her daughter pre-deceased her before this time.

However, research indicates that the younger Elizabeth may have married either Robert Addinall of St Martins in the  Fields or Stephen Summer of Kippax in 1728.


Matilda Roydhouse

Matilda was born in Essex in 1865, daughter of William and Mary [nee Jordan].

She was 3 years old when the family migrated to New Zealand on the “Asterope”. Her early years were spent in Wellington, where she was photographed by William Clarke at his Lambton Quay premises.

On the 18th November, 1885 she married Alexander Urquhart, in Greytown.
The couple had 4 sons in New Zealand:

William Roydhouse Urquhart 1886- 1960 [married Lilian Davidson; 1 known daughter]
Hugh Frazer Urquhart 1888-1960 [married Martha Seaby; 1 son, 3 daughters]
Alexander Urquhart 1889-1944[married Ivy Trensen; 1 son, 1 daughter]
Roland Roydhouse Urquhart 1891-1963[ married Myrtle Seaby, 1 son, 1 daughter]

In 1892 the family migrated to Rockhampton, Queensland, where Alex was a buyer and wool-classer.
Matilda experienced several full cyclones during her years in Rockhampton, as well as regular summer storms throughout each summer.
In February 1893 a severe, unnamed tropical cyclone crossed the coast near Yeppoon, smashing buildings and uprooting trees. The tropical cyclone moved south to the Sunshine Coast with 907 mm of rain in 24 hours being recorded. A 15.2 m high wall of water was observed roaring down a Stanley River gorge. There were at least 12 deaths due to flooding with numerous houses and bridges being washed away from Yeppoon to south of Brisbane.

1 February 1893 TC hit Yeppoon.

17 February, 1893 Cyclone hits Bundaberg. Floods from Rockhampton to Grafton, NSW

19 February, 1894 Tropical cyclone crosses east of Brisbane.

26 January 1896 TC Sigma northeast of Townsville.18 drowned.
4 February 1898 TC Eline passed near Mackay, caused huge damage
4 March 1899 Australia’s deadliest event occurred when Tropical Cyclone Mahina hit a pearling fleet in Bathurst Bay (north of Cooktown) and caused a massive storm surge which reached over 5 kilometres inland and accounted for 307 known fatalities. Over 100 Aborigines were swept out to sea. Over 150 ships were sunk. Storm surge at Barrow Point was 14.6 metres. On Flinders Island, porpoises were found 15.2 metres up on the cliffs.
9 March 1903 TC Leonta crossed at  Townsville, caused 14 deaths.
27 January 1906 TC crossed  at Cairns, widespread damage
16 March 1911 TC crossed coast near Port Douglas.-2nd in five weeks to hit area.
Port Douglas left with only 7 out of 57 houses standing.
23 Mar 1911 TC sank ” Yongala”  near Townsville, 120 lives lost.
31 Jan 1913 TC crossed  near Cairns, flooding, 4 lives lost
11 February 1915 TC over Fraser Island
27 December, 1916. Whitsunday Island damaged.Flooding at Clermont causes loss of 62 lives.

Matilda died aged 52 on the 11th January, 1917, at Rockhampton Hospital, Queensland.

Alex married Eva Uneitta Deising in 1921.

They had one son, James Anderson Urquhart in June 1923, before Alex died in September 1924. Eva never remarried, living until 1969.

Taxes and John Roydhouse

John Roydhouse was born about 1653.

A search for London births in this timeframe reveals a Theobald/Tybolis/Theoball and Elizabeth Rodas/Rodis/Rodus baptising at least two children, however this connection is tenous at best.

I believe he was born in Foulby, Yorkshire, son of John, primarily because this family also baptised a Joshua , who is mentioned in John’s will of 1719.

Wherever he was born, John was a successful and wealthy wine merchant of St Martins in-the-fields, with many properties. His main residence appears to have been in Suffolk Street.

Strype, an English historian tells us in 1720 that Suffolk Street “is a very good Street, with handsome Houses and well inhabited ” The Earl of Suffolk is rated there in 1666–82, and the Earls of Thanet and Carlisle were there in the 1680s. Most of the earlier residents could be classed among the lesser gentry, ambassadors, doctors and the like.

The map shows in bold the location of 7 of the properties John paid tax on in 1713.

On the 4 April 1678 at St. Botolph without Bishopsgate, in London John Roydhouse of   St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, Middlesex, England married Jone/Jane/Anne, daughter of William Barnes.

(St Martins in the Fields sketch from 1710)

They appear to have had three children:

  1. John Roydhouse baptised  9 Feb 1679 : St Martin Fields, England
  2. Ann Roydhouse baptized 17-12-1680 St Martin Fields, England
  3. Mary Roydhouse baptised  2 Apr 1682 St Martin Fields,England

The daughter, Anne, appears to be the sole surviving child. His wife died sometime between 1682 and 1719.

Anne married Sir Thomas Morgan, Bart. of Kinnersley Castle in Herefordshire on the 6 August 1709  at St. Martin in the Fields. Sir Thomas Morgan, who represented the county of Hereford in 1710 died December 14, 1715. The only issue of this marriage was Sir John Morgan, Bart. member of parliament for the city of Hereford in 1734.He married a Miss Jacobsen, but their marriage was childless.

(Kinnersley castle, Herefordshire)

Anne was painted by Sir John Baptist Medina, whose clientele generally consisted of Princes, Princesses, Earls, Dukes and Dutchesses. The portrait hung in the National Portrait Gallery for many years. Postcards were available for this (and many other paintings), until it was sold to a private buyer in c 1986. Sold again in 2000 through Christies, this painting realised $14,500. It was listed as a ¾ length portrait (50 x 40 inch) with the sitter in a red dress and green wrap.

A mezzotint engraving was made of the painting by John Smith, and Anne, the mother of Anne, was misnamed as the sitter.

In the reign of William III, between 1689-1702, John subscribed to an Act “for granting to His Majesty an Aid of Four Shillings in the Pound for carrying on the War against France For the City of Westminster and the Liberties thereof.”

John Roydhouse was a Justice of the Peace and the Treasurer for the Court of Governors who were responsible for the administration of Bedlam, Bridewell House of Correction and “Hospital” ( workhouse –like institution for paupers)

John had a Coat of arms granted to him in February, 1714.

CAUTE JED IMPAVIDE  {Cautiously but without fear}

Azure on a Bende engrailed Argent, between two Talbots Pass ent Cr.

Three Bunches of Grapes Proper,

and for the Crest, on a wreath of the Colours,

a Demi Archer Proper, habited vert.

holding in the Dexter Hand  a Silver Arrow the head downwards

and in the Sinister a Long Bow Or”


John’s signature on a legal document as Justice of the Peace


His will was written in 1719, and probated in 1737.

Three other main family ties were mentioned in the document.

  • Catherine Pulford, listed as a niece, married Joseph Shilleto in St Martins in 1707. They had five known children by 1719: John, Alice, Grace, Hezekiah and  ???
  • William Barnes married Magdalen McKeay in 1691 and had died by 1719, with at least two sons William and Thomas


  • Joshua Roydhouse, brother . He married Elizabeth Hodges in 1701 , captain of a captured French storeship “Elephant” in 1705, and had died by 1719.He had a daughter Elizabeth.

The will was worded carefully to ensure Elizabeth was in no danger of losing her inheritance.

the sum of four hundred pounds upon Trust to pay the Interest thereof to my daughter the Lady Morgan for the maintenance and education of my niece Elizabeth Roydhouse daughter of my late brother Captain Joshua Roydhouse deceased until she shall attain her age of Twenty one years or marriage with the consent of my said daughter testify in writing under her hand if she shall be then living and in case of the oath of my said Daughter thereupon Trust that the said Messrs Baron Price Doctor Gale, John Martyn and Thomas Barnes or the survivors or survivor of them shall apply the Interest of the said four hundred pounds to and for the maintenance and education of my said Niece Elizabeth Roydhouse until she shall attain her said age of Twenty one years or Marries with the consent of the said Messrs Baron Price, Doctor Gale, John Martyn and Thomas Barnes or the survivors or survivor of them testified in writing under his or their hands and upon further trust to pay the said sum of four hundred pounds to my said Niece Elizabeth Roydhouse when she shall attain the said age of Twenty one or upon the day she shall be married with such consent as aforesaid first happening and not otherwise provided always that if the Mother of my said Niece Elizabeth Roydhouse shall any way into meddle in the Education of my said Niece or shall not permit and suffer my said Niece is to be infinitely under the tuition government and Education of my said daughter Morgan or of the said Messrs Baron Price, Doctor Gale, John Martyn and Thomas Barnes or the survivors or survivor of them until my said Niece shall attain the age of Twenty one years or marries with such consent as aforesaid or if my said Niece shall marry without such consent or shall happen to die before she shall attain her said age or be married Then and in any of the said Cases the said sum of Four hundred pounds and the interest thereof or so much thereof as shall not have been applied towards the maintenance and education of my said Niece shall go and be applied to such uses and purposes as the residium of my Estate is herein after given and bequeathed from.

All Roydhouse families researched to date come from Yorkshire, including the three seemingly different branches of London families and three original branches in the United States.  However, their relationships have not been established, as even in the census documents of 1851 there were Roydhouse families in at least two of the Ridings of Yorkshire.

John (1654-1737) is an interesting “one name study” and seemingly not closely related to the direct line of the main research London Roydhouse families, Thomas and Elizabeth, who were the parents of Henry.