GENEOLOGY: Trying to trace members of Spalding’s Royce family

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I’m researching my family history and I’ve found there’s a huge amount in and around the Spalding area.

My distant cousin, William Stapleton Royce, was born in Albert Street, Spalding, in 1858 and his father William Stapleton was a carpenter.

William Jnr went off to London then circa 1876 he had a free passage to the Cape Colonies of South Africa. After a while he formed his own railway and construction business.

He married a missionary’s daughter, Emma Louisa Broedelet and her dad was Otto Christian Broedelet, a Dutch missionary.

WS Royce built railways, banks and was a main contractor in building the government house, etc. W S Royce and his wife had five children in South Africa and five children born in Donington.

After about 30 years in South Africa and making several trips to the UK they bought a house ‘Domani House’ in Malting Lane, Donington, then a larger house in Pinchbeck ‘The Hall’, and extended it in 1909.

W S Royce was a Labour MP for Boston and Holland from 1918 to 1924. In 1924 he was offered the position of Governor of Tasmania. Sadly whilst on a bus to the Commons he had a heart attack and passed away.

I’m looking for articles, pictures and photos etc of all his family and the stories of their pigmy maids and other servants, of Emma’s soup kitchen from their kitchen door at (now) Pinchbeck Hall, of the house, the farms and lands he bought; how much he paid for ‘The Hall’, etc.

Their daughter married Captain Hughes Hogt-Hughes in 1915 – sadly their first child Elizabeth died in her birthday year 1919. Captain Hughes worked in the war office in the First World War. The daughter Olive Holt-Hughes of W S Royce, died in Durban, South Africa in 1964.

Another daughter of W S Royce emigrated to Victoria BC in 1920, she married in that year in Spalding. Her name was Sadie Ellice Johnston (nee Royce), here sister Leslie married in 1929. It would be great to see any wedding photos of them both.

W S Royce owned the Bull Inn, in Pinchbeck. It passed to Emma then she bequeathed it to their son Perris Clevelana Royce. He died in 1949 in Birmingham.

Emma Royce died at ‘The Hall’, Pinchbeck, on May 19, 1934. As a dear distant cousin, I would love to know where she is buried then I could pay my respects to her and indeed any grave of this super family.

Thomas Royce 1813-1878 was a master mariner, owning several sloops, and he owned and ran The Angel Inn, in Double street, Spalding. His son-in-law Captain John Turner was later publican at the Angel Inn and harbour master. John Turner’s mother was Harriet Royce (Turner/Burdett).

I don’t have any photos of Thomas or Harriet Royce or any of their family and would love to have some.

John Royce

145 West Street




07807 404361