Sir William Tyrone Power, KCB, traveled extensively throughout Asia during the 19th Century while serving in the British Army.
As my one ancestor (he is my great-great-grandfather) with China links, I will write about him from time to time and post documents of interest from the family archive and other sources.
Some of this will be debunking and supporting family legends. One such family legend is that he participated in the sacking of the Summer Palace. I don’t actually think that is true.
- Some letters I uploaded to Flickr
- Downloadable PDF of his 1853 book Recollections of A Three Years’ Residence in China including peregrinations in Spain, Morocco, Egypt, India and Australia.
- British and American Steam Navigation Company, a pre-Cunard steamship line whose second vessel, the President, sank in 1841 with William Power’s father on board. Family legend is that he had the title deeds in his possession for the land on which Madison Square Gardens now sits.
If you have further information, thoughts or interest in this project looking at life in Asia during the 19th Century, please join the fun!
Chronology from a family letter
Born June 8, 1819
1841 SS President sinks; Lord Melbourne obtains Army commission
“Our Grandfather was drowned coming from America when the “President” was lost in March 1841, on hearing which, Lord Melbourne, who was then premier, and a great friend and admirer of Tyrone Power’s went to see our Grandmother to discuss our Father’s future and offered her a commission for him in “The Commissariat” (now called the Army Service Corps) which she was in no position to refuse as she was left with a large family and small means, though father would have preferred to go to the bar.”
1843-1846 1st China War
“Makes the acquaintance of Gordon of China (Later Gordon of Khartoum)”
1846-1848 New Zealand for the Maori War
“He greatly admired not only the beautiful country, but the Maori themselves.”
1849 Ireland – Famine relief work and first time he visited our family home, Annaghmakerrig
1850-1853 Kaffir War
1857 2nd China War
1862-1863 “Trent Affair” during which he went to Canada in case Britain declared war on the northern States in the Civil War
1863-1871 War Office
1876 Acting Agent General for New Zealand
Source: Letter written from The Crossways, Tunbridge Wells in July 1941 by Susan Gilbert Power (my grandmother’s aunt)