Individual Notes

Note for:   Henry Robert Addison,   29 AUG 1804 - 24 JUN 1876         Index

Occupation:   Soldier, Writer

Retirement:   
     Date:   1833
     Note:   Retired from military service with rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Event:   
     Type:   Military Service
     Date:   1825
     Note:   Joined 2nd Dragoon Guards (The Queens Bays)
Death Note:    The Era - Country Edition, Sunday July 2, 1876

Death of Colonel Addison

Another link between the present and the past has been snapped by the death of Colonel Henry Robert Addison, who expired at his residence, Albion Street, Hyde park, on Saturday the 24th of June, at the age of seventy one. At an early period of his life he entered the 2d Dragoon Guards, and, though he was never called upon to encounter a foe - indeed, the genial old Colonel never found an enemy in his life - he served with his troop for a considerable period in India. His military experiences, however, enabled him to pass through a great deal of adventure in the eastern hemisphere, and of his Indian career he published some interesting reminiscences. In 1830 Colonel Addison began writing for the stage, when he supplied Mrs Waylett with a number of burlettas that attained considerable popularity at the time. Soon after he became for a brief period Lessee of the Queen's (now the prince of Wales's) Theatre. In 1834 he wrote Tom O'Shanter and The King's Seal, produced with marked success at Drury lane, and the drama of Lo Zingaro, brought out at the Adelphi. Among the sixty other pieces he contributed to the London stage, most of them apropos farces illustrating the passing topic of the time, may be mentioned The Butterfly's Ball, produced at the Lyceum, a three-act drama called A Father's Love, Jessie of Dumblane, Locked in with a Lady, Maid of Castile, New Actress, Sophia's Supper, Wandering Jew(a farce), and What, no Cab, a farcical sketch suggested by the first cab strike, and brought out at the Adelphi. Of late years Colonel Addison had devoted himself more assiduously to other forms of literature, and during the time of the French Exhibition of 1867 he was retained as the special correspondent of one of the most influential London papers, a post for which he was particularly qualified by his fluency of style, general acquaintance with a variety of subjects, and his intimate knowledge of Parisian life. This last qualification was afterwards demonstated in a lively and useful little book called "Social Paris". At the time of his death he filled the position of Deputy Chairman of the London Steamboat Company, now numbering ninety-six vessels, plying on the river between Richmond and Harwich. There have been few clubs in existence in the last half century that had not the name of Colonel Addison prominently on the list of members, and only last year he was vigorously exerting himself to revive the club called "The Rationals", which had a high reputation forty years ago, and to which the most eminent actors of the time belonged. As a write of magazine articles Colonel Addison was highly esteemed by the old readers of Bentley, Tait, Fraser, and the New Monthly. Fond of society, and possessed of an abundant store of animal spirits, this genial gentleman, whose absence will now be mournfully missed at many a social gathering, maintained to the last his reputation as a blythe companion and a good natured humorist of the old school. With him has passed away nearly the last survivor of a band of choice spirits, whose like the world will never see again.

Individual Note:
     Henry was born in Calcutta, India. At the age of sixteen (in 1820) he traveled with his mother to Rome where he had an audience with the Pope. He received from him the Order of Knight of the Golden Spur. (It is unclear what Henry did to deserve this). He wrote an account of Rome and his audience with the Pope in the Welcome Guest 1862.

The Order is seen on the brest of an oil painting of H.R.A which was painted when he was on the staff in London, but it is not known what became of the Order.

He was appointed first to the Innskilling (6th) Dragoons. He was afterwards on the staff in England and later appointed to the 2nd Dragoon Guards of which he became Adjutant.

Lt. Colonel Addison also received from the King of Portugal the Order of Christ of Portugal. A Cross (enamel) to hang around the neck and a star set with brilliants to wear on the brest.

Henry Robert Addison married first Mary, eldest daughter of Thomas Phillips Vokes Esq. Chief Magistrate of Police, Limerick, Ireland on December 10th 1828. The marriage was celebrated at Limerick.

Mary Addison died 11 days after giving birth to their third child on 16th September 1832.
H.R. Addison having gone on half pay married secondly on 7th June 1834, Grace, fourth child of Major General Barton, later (Lieut General Sir Robert Barton K.C.H.) The marriage was celebrated at St. Mary's Church, Bryanstone Square by Rev. G. Burnaby.

Lived in Bruges, Belgium for several years. Several children (with Grace Barton) born in Bruges.

Henry Addison was the author of many books. He died at his residence in Albion Street, Hyde Park, London aged 71.

Listing of writings by H.R.A. (Title & year published as held by British Library)
This is by no means an exhaustive listing.

  1. Lo Zingaro, a petite opera, in two acts. 1833
  2. Jessie, the Flower of Dumblaine ... A petite opera in one act, etc. 1833
  3. The butterfly’s ball; or, The loves of the plants. An operatic extravaganza ... First performed at the Adelphi Theatre, November 18th, 1833 1834
  4. Tam O’ Shanter. A musical farce in two acts, etc. [In verse.] 1834.
  5. The King’s Word: from the French. [A play in one act.] 1835
  6. Marie, a tale of the Pont Neuf. An original comedietta, in one act, etc. 1836
  7. Handbook for Residents and Tourists in Belgium. 1838
  8. The Rhine, it’s banks and environs, etc. 1839
  9. Belgium as she is. 1843
  10. Sophia’s Supper. A farce, in one act. 1854
  11. Traits and Stories of Anglo-Indian Life ... With eight illustrations. 1858.
  12. 117, Arundel Street, Strand. A farce, in one act. 1860
  13. Diary of a Judge; being trials of life compiled from the note-book of a recently deceased Judge, 1860.
  14. Recollections of an Irish Police Magistrate, and other reminiscences of the South of Ireland. 1862.
  15. "All at Sea"; or, Recollections of a half-pay officer. 1864.
  16. Behind the Curtain. A novel. 1865.
  17. Paris Social. A sketch of every-day life in the French metropolis. [With illustrations.] 1866
  18. Locked in with a Lady. A sketch from life, in one act. 1870
  19. Forty-eight Hours in Paris, amidst the ruins. 1871
  20. The Blue-faced Baboon, and The Ourang Outang and his Double. Written respectively by H. R. Addison and G.Herbert Rodwell [1884.] (posthumous)
  21. Tam O’Shanter, etc. [1884.] (posthumous)
  22. Marie, etc. 1888 (posthumous)