Ryves, William Theodore (1853 IND - 1914 ENG)

Ryves, William Theodore

Ryves, William Theodore


Father: #William Henry Ryves
Mother: Emma Maxwell

Birth: 1 October 1853, Lahore, India
Birth Source: Family Bible, British India Office Births & Baptisms

Death: 7 January 1914, Westhampnett, Bognor, England
Death Source: Family Bible, England & Wales Deaths 1837-2007

Spouse: Elizabeth Athames Young


Children of William Theodore Ryves & Elizabeth Athames Young:
  1. Violet Gladys Ryves, b. 26 March 1886
  2. Vivian William Ryves, b. 17 November 1887
  3. Cyril Harry Ryves, b. 27 Sep 1889
  4. Mariquita Dorothy Francis Ryves, b. 12 November 1891

William was the son of Brigadier-General William Henry Ryves (1812-1873) and Emma Maxwell (1817-1896), one of the couple’s eleven children. He was educated in England at the Royal Grammar School in Guildford (Allen House) where he and his brother Frederick were keen cricketers. He married Elizabeth Athames Young at Paddington, London on 17th February 1885.

William joined the Indian Civil Service and worked in the Opium Office at Patna (which sold opium into China; a major if somewhat unethical source of revenue for the British Empire). In 1886, as Assistant Sub-Opium Agent, Behar Agency, he was appointed to act as Sub-Deputy Officer of Shahabad. In 1877 he, along with others, was placed at the disposal of the Government of Madras for famine relief duty.

William and his wife are mentioned in Sonepore (Sonepur) Reminiscences (1840 – 1896) by Harry E. Abbott as being visitors to the annual 'European' gathering at Sonepore in 1895, where he played in tennis tournaments and his wife took part in equestrian events (winning a trophy for ‘driving with style). William was a keen and relatively competent tennis player, entering the Wimbledon Men’s Singles Finals in 1886, losing in the first round to Oswald Miln in straight sets (6-3, 6-1, 6-4).

From records held at the Natural History Museum, it would seem that William collected moths - he is listed in the museum’s records of 1893 as being a ‘Lepidoptera Collector’.

William and his family appear to have maintained close familial contact with his elder brother, Hervey Ekins Ryves, as his daughter Violet was a guest at Nettie's (H.E.'s daughter) wedding and his son, Vivian Ryves seems to have had regular contact in correspondence with Benjamin Hervey Ryves (H.E.'s son) through their shared interest in bird-life.

William retired from India in 1904 because of failing health, although he became an active member of the Bognor Tennis and Croquet clubs. He also took a keen interest in politics and was described as being a 'warm supporter' of Lord Edmund Talbot (Edmund Bernard FitzAlan-Howard, 1st Viscount FitzAlan of Derwent) who served under Balfour as First Lord of the Treasury and subsequently served under H. H. Asquith and later David Lloyd George as Parliamentary Secretary. Lord Talbot was to become the last Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (holding this office during its partition) and was the first Roman Catholic to be appointed to the position since 1685 during the reign of James II.

In years leading up to his death William 'had to give up everything' due to ill-health. Mourners at his funeral included his wife, Elizabeth, and all four of his children.

In 1911 William was living at Ranston Lodge, Tennyson Road, Westhampnett, Bognor. His servant/housemaid was Dorothy Drake.

Research notes

Much of the detail above has been derived from personal papers and correspondence in family possession together with notes in the family Bible. William appears to have had an interest in family history as he produced a pedigree which is largely derived from the Ryves family pedigree in Hutchins' History of Dorset. However, it is notable in that it completely excludes Thomas Ryves (1753-1797) from the tree - he obviously wished this Thomas to be expunged from the family history on account of him being considered to be responsible for the loss of Ranston and his generally poor character.


British India Office Births & Baptisms (Parish register transcripts from the Presidency of Bengal)
Sonepore Reminiscences 1840 - 1896, Harry E. Abbott.
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club Player Archives.
England & Wales Deaths 1837-2007 (Westhampnett District)
Bognor Regis Observer – Obituaries, Wednesday 14 January 1914

Contributors to this page: David_Ryves .
Page last modified on Wednesday 03 of January, 2024 08:11:52 CST by David_Ryves.