Lewis Swarbrick (1798 - 1872)

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The Ancestor of my Swasbrook line is Lewis SWARBRICK who was christened on 16th December 1798 in Manchester Cathedral. According to the entry Lewis was the son of Samuel SWARBROOK, a Pinmaker and Margaret RITCHEY.They had married in the Cathedral on the 8th of April 1798. The christening entry for Lewis however gives his fathers surname as Swarbrick. No other children or further mention of this couple have so far been discovered.

Lewis joined the Army, signing up for "unlimited service" in the 1st Foot on 6th April 1815 where his name is initially recorded in the Muster Rolls as Swarbrook (but in later documentation it has changed to SWASBROOKE). He is recorded as having been a labourer aged 15, born in Manchester and is described in the following way: HEIGHT: 5'7" HAIR: Fair EYES: Blue COMPLEXION: Fair.
It is also noted that he has no distinguishing features, such as scares etc. The sum of 2-15/- was paid to him on enlistment. The papers say he joined up in Newcastle but from records of the War Office in a letter dated 1945 Liverpool is given as the place.
On the 20th of April along with four other soldiers Lewis marched from Leeds to The Depot of the 1st Foot* in Berwick, on the England - Scotland border. The march took 12 days and he arrived there on May 1st 1815. He joined the 9th lot of the First Battalion on transfer from Berwick where he was paid 1-11/- per month. Records to October 1815 state he was paid a total of 4-11/- including 91 days "in lieu of Beer". His Army career then proceeded as outlined below:



6.10.1817  Joined 2nd Bat. of the 1st Foot and joined service companies at Secunderabad Aug 1818. 
Lewis served in the 8th Company under Captain William Hume. The August muster for 1818 first mentions him along with a Drummer and 14 other Privates as "joining from Europe" on 22nd August. He is also found in the Muster for the 2nd Bn 1st Foot, "Detachment at Chatham 26 Dec 1817 - 24 January 1818". This gives no details other than that Lewis was there at Chatham during this period. It was the military base for the Royal Engineers and also the holding base for soldiers going to India prior to the completion of the HEIC barracks at Warley, also in Essex. When men were recruited to go to India or when regiments were posted to India, they went to Chatham or Warley prior to embarkation.
1.10.1830  Joined 48th Foot 
23.7.1834  Volunteered for 55th Reg. Joined 55th Foot ** on 1.8.1834. Still in India. Allotted Regimental No. 796 
1842-44  Served with detachment in Hong Kong under Lt. Gen.Sir H Gough GCB until the conclusion of peace at Nankin. During this time he caught bronchitis but when he was invalided out of the Army in March of 1844 medical records state that he was "Worn out from age and long service in tropical climates"
31.3.1844  Invalided from army in Madras 
23.7.1844  Admitted to pension of 1/9d per day .In total Lewis Swasbrook served in the Army for 29 years 4 months.
1867  Living in Bangalore 
9.4.1872  Died in Madras (of cancer) 

* The Royal Scots / The Royal Regiment
** This became the 2nd Battalion of the Border Regiment in 1882. In 1959, the regiment was joined with the King's Own Royal regiment (Lancaster) to become the King's Own Royal Border Regiment.

The Descendants of Lewis Swasbrook

During his life Lewis married several times. Firstly to  a woman called Alambra BAND ( a record for the birth of their daughter on FamilySearch list her name as "Allambad") before 1828. A child Margaret SWASBROOK was born to the couple on the 8th of May 1828 and baptised in St Marks Church Bangalore. Lewis is listed as a Private in the Royal Regiment.  Nothing further to date has been learned of Margaret or her mother.  He then seems to have married "Ann" sometime around or before 1847. No record of a marriage certificate has been found and her name has only been discovered as a result of finding it listed on the baptism entries of their children born in Bangalore.
The youngest child so far discovered was James. He was  christened in St Marks Church, Bangalore on July 6th 1847. It has been learned that he was a coffee planter and that he had also worked on the Mysore Railway. James did not marry and died in Bangalore in 1918 of Epilepsy.
Edward, the second child only lived a week before dying on September 13th 1848.
No data on the burial of "Ann" has been found but on June 24th 1851 in Madras Lewis married again to  Ann ROBINSON. This couple produced 6 children, half of whom only lived for periods ranging from 10 days up to 5 years. The remaining children however are responsible for the continuation of my line of Swasbrook's in the world today.

1) Samuel Lewis


Born in Bangalore in 1855 (my Great Grandfather). He married Amy Caroline ROSE. She was the daughter of John ROSE who was variously a Store Sergeant on the Unattached List in Madras or a sub-conductor and then full conductor with the Ordnance Dept in Cannanore & Secunderabad. Samuel was a mechanical engineer and is thought to have owned a factory making safes,carriages and building equipment!.
2) George Born in Bangalore in 1858 and christened in St. Marks Church. He was a Miller and married Eva FORGARD having 7 children.
He remained in India, dying there in 1948 and if you were to walk along Brigade Rd, one of the main shopping areas in Bangalore in the1920's you would find G. Swasbrook at No.12. making custom carriages,specially designed wrought iron gates or garden benches!
3) Charles Born 1863 in Bangalore he was an an Engineer in the Water Supply section of the military. It is said that along with his brothers he owned a manganese mine in Bangalore. Charles was married to Alice ROSE, the sister of his brother Samuel's wife.

From the early 1800's until Independence in the 1940's his Lewis Swasbrook and descendants remained in India. Some still live there while others were repatriated to England or moved to Australia, New Zealand and the USA. So far I have been unable to connect my line to the Swasbrook's existing in Birmingham today.

Page last updated: 22 December 2013 / Return to the top of the page