P hilemon Galindo, actor, fencing master, linguist, a useful draughtsman and philanderer, was born in 1770 in Islington, the first son of James and Mary (Boyle ), moving to Bristol with his parents in 1789.
Nothing is known about his early life in London, the first references to him appear in 1789 when he married Frances DeLaRoche in Bristol. Living in St Michael's Hill at the time he stayed in Bristol St Michaels Hill
St Michael's Hill. Bristol
for the next ten years moving to Dublin in 1799 where he married(?) Catherine Gough an Irish actress. Travelling from Dublin to London, as Catherine's theatre performances dictated, he joined the London militia in 1804. Appointed Captain he happily kept the title for the rest of his life. During this period he develops an unfortunate passion for Sarah Siddons, a famous actress of the period.
By 1813 he is in Holybourne in Hampshire where he seems, as usual, to have led an unproductive life, no real records exist of his time there. It was here that he met his third and last 'wife' Ann Jeacocke who was to remain with him to the end. Returning to London in 1824 he lived off borrowed money and Anne who had some income of her own. In 1835 Philemon, by now 65, was persuaded by his son John (Juan) to take up an appointment as governor of Boca Toro in Central America. This was a dismal failure. Returning in 1837 he tried to take up his acting career again but died in 1840, age 70, of 'Senile Decay'.

The French Revolution starting in 1789, profoundly affected the English Establishment and resulted in The French Revolutionary wars in which France had conspicuous success in Europe. France was officially at war with Great Britain continuously from 1793 to 1802 when a peace treaty was signed. The Napoleonic wars followed from 1803 to 1814.
To counter the perceived threat of invasion an army of loyal volunteers was established. Volunteers were not expected to fight abroad, this being a useful means of avoiding conscription. Philemon, now 28 and accomplished in swordsmanship, appears in a booklet listing the members of the 10th Company, Bristol Volunteers, in 1798. He is described as a comedian living in St Michael's Hill Bristol not far from his family in Pipe Lane.
Competent in French and Spanish, an excellent draughtsman, actor and swordsman he must have seemed an ideal suitor for Frances DeLaRoche whom he married in St Augustine's Church, Bristol on 13th November 1789, they were both just 19.
Frances, born in Kingston Jamaica on August 15th 1770, was the daughter of William and Frances DeLaRoche wealthy landowners in Jamaica. She had two brothers, John (1768-1823) and William (1771-1800), all three married in England.
John married Martha Shipland in Marshfield, Gloucestershire his six children were born in either Jamaica or Thornbury, Gloucestershire, showing he travelled regularly between Jamaica and England. William married Elizabeth Gillam, died in 1800 and is buried in Almondsbury, Gloucestershire. More on the DeLaRoches.

In his will of 1779 Frances' uncle, John, leaves ... £2000 each (£161,000, today's money) to my dearly beloved nephews John Delaroche and William Delaroche the sons of my late brother William Delaroche .......£1400 (£112,000) to my dearly beloved niece Frances Delaroche the daughter of my deceased brother William Delaroche...'

In his will dated 3rd May 1800 William leaves '... my sister Frances Galindo wife of Philemon Galindo late of the City of Bristol Gentleman one annuity or yearly sum of fifty pounds of lawful British money clear of all taxes...' and '...one annuity or yearly sum of fifty pounds of lawful money clear of all taxes & deductions unto and my two nieces Charlotte & Portia Galindo during their respective lives...'. From this it must be assumed that Frances was alive in May 1800.
At this time a wife's money became her husband's on marriage, Philemon was well set up with the money Frances had inherited from her uncle.

A first son, Philemon, was born in Bristol in August 1790 with a second son, George, born in Surrey in 1791, neither survived. The next child, a daughter Charlotte Delia, was born in Bristol in January 1793. Another son, Bothea, born in Bristol in 1794 did not survive, Portia born in 1798, the last child by Frances, did.
Bath advert
From the Bath Chronicle
23 Nov 1797
By now Philemon, 23, was a permanent member of the Company owning Bristol and Bath Royal Theatres. Permanent members of the Company were on a salary plus the ability to hold benefit nights if they felt popular and secure enough to take them.
As well as acting he offered classes in swordsmanship at his academies in Bristol and Bath where he sometimes offered an evening's entertainment. A one guinea subscription entitled the holder and two friends to six months entertainment.

Appearing regularly in both theatres from 1793 to 1799 he was able to hold a benefit night demonstrating his acting and swordsmanship skills under the patronage of the Bristol Military Association in July 1799. Click
here to see the playbill .
It was almost his last appearance in Bristol and Bath.

In 1798 Catherine (Kitty) Gough, from the Theatre Royal Dublin, was offered a season of engagements with the Bristol and Bath Theatres. On December 3rd she appeared on stage with Philemon and shortly after she finished her association with Bristol and Bath and returned to Dublin, but not as it turned out her association with Philemon.
1799 notice

A notice in Felix Farley's Journal of Oct 5th 1799 announces his departure.

Philemon seems to abandon his Bristol family when he left for Dublin. No clue can be found about the fate of his wife, Frances, it has been shown she was alive in May 1800. Philemon's mother, Mary, is still living in Bristol, presumably she and Frances cared for and brought up the two daughters using Frances' money. They were certainly well educated.

It was Catherine Gough, (1765-1829) of course that drew Philemon to Dublin. A first son John, was born in Dublin in 1802
Catherine Gough
Image courtesy of the
National Library of Ireland
What the engagement was in Dublin is anyone's guess as no playbills have been found showing Philemon acting anywhere after he left Bristol. The couple moved regularly between Dublin and London where a daughter, Sarah Mary, was born in 1803 and another son, Philemon Alfred, in 1805.

Catherine was a successful actress commanding good money from her appearances in various theatres throughout England and Ireland, she was also receiving money from family annuities. Philemon, again seems to have chosen his partner wisely.
Whether they ever married is questionable. No marriage has ever been found within the tight time frame of May 1800, when Frances was alive, and 1802 when John was born. The fact that she called herself Mrs Galindo does not prove a marriage and in her booklet (see below) she states 'A strong and perhaps fatal attachment united us; on my part I do not scruple to acknowledge I sacrificed more than prudence can excuse' which does not acknowledge a marriage.
Philemon had obtained a ' Military Appointment' in London by 1804, in a record of that year he is described as ' Adjutant in the Loyal London Volunteers 5th Regiment', this, of course, is not the regular Army. By 1810 he has the rank of Captain, a title he proudly used for the rest of his life.

1810 letter

A few letters survive from this time. One of the most interesting, refers to his artist's ability.
1804 Ramsden letter

Ramsden was a surgeon and fellow officer of 5th Regiment, Loyal London Volunteers.

Philemon joined
William Macready. in theatre management, and together they took over their first theatre, Chester, in February 1807.Philemon Macready partnership Macready, having paid over the odds for the lease of the recently built New Theatre Royal in Manchester, persuaded Philemon to invest £3,500 to complete the decorations. Philemon raised this using his wife's money supplemented by a £1000 loan from Sarah Siddons.
The theatre opened on June 29th 1807 but was a disaster and the Galindo household was left in difficult financial circumstances and having to sell up (see advert here). The partnership between Philemon and Macready was formally dissolved in 1808.

Whilst in Dublin Philemon and Catherine were introduced to Sarah Siddons, a famous actress of the period by Martha (known as Patty) Wilkinson ( -1847) the daughter of Tate Wilkinson, Sarah's manager. She had become Sarah Siddons constant companion, dresser and minder. Seemingly responsible for Sarah's social diary she perhaps, as it turned out, made an error of judgement in introducing Philemon, (or was she prompted to by Sarah?). Sarah became Catherine's firm friend and, before it all went wrong, became godmother to Sarah Mary, Philemon and Catherine's daughter. Patty would remain at Sarah's side until the latter's death, she is buried beside her.

Following the failure of the theatre management business, Catherine accused Philemon, perhaps with some justification, of having had an affair with Sarah Siddons and blaming her for the collapse of her domestic harmony, publishing a book 'Letter to Mrs Siddons' in 1809. Click here for a full transcript of the book which tells it's own story. Whether or not there was a covert relationship between Siddons and Galindo, she was made godmother to the Galindos' daughter in July 1803. In this book, and elsewhere, it was suggested that Sarah Siddons took on the lead role in Hamlet as a pretext to be taught fencing by Philemon.


This scenario was taken up by 'The Dublin Satirist' of January 1810 in a lampoon titled 'Philemon Galindo and Mrs Siddons'. In this he is described as a pantomime buffoon.

A further example of Philemon's artistic skills can be seen in the picture of Sarah Siddon's house, Westbourne Farm. Paddington, which Philemon must have visited.

Sarah Siddons would have had great influence in the theatre world and after the booklet was published in 1809 Catherine would have been unable to get work. London would have become uncomfortable for them.

Holybourne Lodge
Holybourne Lodge as it is today
Philemon and Catherine moved out of London and Land Tax records for Hampshire show that they occupied a house in Holybourne, Alton, from 1813 to 1823. Tax on the same house was paid by Mrs Galindo in 1824.
Now known as Holybourne Lodge the house was extended after Philemon left but even in his day it must have been a desirable property. The Galindos still had some money.
Moving house in those days was a difficult and expensive business. Generally people did not take their furniture with them but fitted themselves out again, keeping up with the latest fashions. Philemon was no exception.
In 1813 a Mr James Jeacocke took out an Insurance Policy ' on his Fure. in a house B'k and Tiled site at Holybourne near Alton af'd in the occup'n of Philip (sic) Galindo Esqre.' Holybourne is some 12 miles from Alresford, one of the many centres where French Prisoners of war were housed. It is tempting to think that Philemon, fluent in French and Spanish was sent there in some military capacity but the timing does not support this. Prisoners of War had been at Alresford from at least 1793 without the authorities needing new staffing. Napoleon abdicated in April 1814 (although he escaped from Elba in 1815 to continue until the Battle of Waterloo later in that year) after which the prisoners were repatriated. Also they were not supposed to travel further than one mile from their base. Nevertheless there are two letters, dated 1814, from French prisoners about to be released which shows that they had met Philemon's family. The friendliness shown suggests they had enjoyed each others company for some time. The original letters, and best transcription of the old French, can be seen here
When the family moved to Holybourne Philemon was 43, Catherine 47, John 11, Sarah 10 and Philemon Alfred 8. An expensive time and yet Philemon seems to have no productive employment, (actually the same could be said of his time since he left Bristol) Catherine presumably was the main provider. No letters exist or newspaper reports found covering the period 1813 to 1824.

But he was not totally idle!

James Jeacocke was Philemon's landlord in Holybourne, letting the house furnished and insuring the whole. Born in 1789 and a prosperous member of the Alton business community he married Ann Hale (b 1782) in 1803, the Hales being another prosperous Alton family. James, died in April 1820, given later events some might say conveniently! leaving his wife, Ann, 38, with 5 children, James, Susan Anne, William Hale, Frances and Alfred, the last, born in 1819 shortly before James died. Ann (Jeacocke), is presumably now the landlord and wasted little time before consorting with Philemon.
That Philip Augustin was born to Ann in 1822 is obvious from later records. This Philip (see Philip Galindo's Diary accompanied Philemon on his Caribbean trip and in one of his letter's home says 'tell Alfred I have a real bow and poisoned arrows for him, give my love also to Frances & Susan'. Clearly they are one big family. Philip Augustin was born whilst they lived in Holybourne and before Philemon had abandoned Catherine. This could have disastrous if Philemon was relying on Catherines' money.
On Apr 28th 1822 an Augustus Galindo was christened at St Thomas Portsmouth son of Augustus and Jane, Portsmouth was just a short coach journey from Holybourne, the father's occupation given as Mariner. Is the entry genuinely that of a passing Mariner or a cover up? We shall never know.
NB Augustin is a Spanish version of the male name Augustine which is in turn a variation of Augustus.

The Times Report 1827
From The Times Oct 13th 1827:

As can be seen in this report Philemon and Ann could be economical with the truth. This newspaper report in which Philemon, whilst admitting a debt of £11, (£800 today) refused to repay it accusing the lender of usury. To support this he called ' Mrs. Jager', this is Mrs. Jeacocke. She admits living with the defendant for the last six years and having children by him. (He lost the case, having the same status as a wife, her evidence was not allowed.)
So Philemon was leading a double life with a wife and a mistress from 1821, shortly after James Jeacock's timely death. Catherine probably lost patience with him as in 1823, and again in 1824, Philemon is in and out of Marshalsea debtor's prison but somebody paid his debts. Marshalsea prison Report

Philemon and Anne's children were Philip Augustin b 1820 and Jane Amelia b 1826. They do not appear in any birth or christening records, the dates being calculated from census and death records. Note that Philip's birth year is the same as the death of James Jeacocke!
By 1825 all Catherine's money seems to have gone and she is reduced to writing a begging letter to Sir Robert Peel in 1825 from an address in Islington. She writes '.....Within the last three years Mr Galindo has withdrawn himself from me and his family, and I have had to struggle with innumerable difficulties to support myself and my two children on my small income.....' (John has left for adventure in South America). A transcript of the can be seen here
The Land Tax entries for Holybourne from 1813 to 1824 show a change in the arrangements in 1822, Captain Galindo before that date and Philemon Galindo after. Mrs Galindo is listed as resident in 1824 (never before). This suggests that Ann Jeacock moved there in 1822, paid the tax in Philemon's name in 1822 and 1823 and in her own name in 1824. No entries after 1824, they moved to London.
Finding London uncomfortable Catherine and her two faithful children, Sarah and Philemon Alfred, moved to No 30 Kildare Street Dublin where she died in January 1829. 30 Kildare Street
30 Kildare Street Dublin
Later the home of Bram Stoker

In the same year Philemon is found in 12 Wilmington Square, Spafields, London. Wilmington Square was one of London's first post-Waterloo developments, the south terrace (nos. 1-12) being the earliest and grandest

Wilmington Square
Nos 1-12 Wilmington Square:

With Catherine dead, Philemon and Ann were now free to marry but they never did. In his will of 1820 James Jeacocke leaves money to support ' my said wife whilst my widow ' a good reason to remain his widow!

Now 60, Philemon should be looking at a comfortable retirement but with a household of seven, including his own children by Ann, Philip, 10 and Jane Amelia, 4 to support he must have had some problems. There are no records or letters available for the next five years.

In 1835 John (Juan) returns home fresh from (single handedly, if he is to be believed) his success in throwing the Spanish out of South America, with a dream of setting up an English colony in Bocatoro.

The opportunity to become the governor of Bocatoro must have seemed a dream come true to Philemon. With prestige, wealth, power and a relief from domesticity on offer he wasted no time in accepting the post. Details of all this are comprehensively covered in Philip's Diary pages, there is no need to repeat it here.
Returning from this trip in late 1837, by now 67, Philemon still needed money and in December of that year appears back on the stage at Exeter.
He also found it necessary to write a begging letter to his son.

Letter, presumably a draft, dated 31 March 1838 but with 19 April crossed out. Other crossings out as original.

My dear John

To tell you the variety of miserable scenes I have encountered once we parted at Salt Creek would only distress me, think it would you.
I am now of course returned to London much worse in every particular than I was before I left.
I saw your letter to Mr Lumley dated 1 Sept 1837 you say Mr Louis Jervis has £50 for me, could you make it payable to me here? it would be a godsend as I am without clothes & every thing etc.
You once wrote me in Jamaica the willingness of your government to compensate me for my trouble & expences to Bocatoro, do you think if they are in the same mind should be still willing to do so.
I would will cheerfully cross the Atlantic again but should prefer certainly of course a sum sent to me here. Were I to write volumes I can could say no more than what you can must know or imagine.

I am ever

Your affectionate father

Ann Jeacocke
Ann Jeacocke (Galindo)
at 78.
Whiskin Street
Whiskin Street Clerkenwell

Philemon died, of 'decay of nature' on 10th February 1840 in Whiskin Street, London.

Death Certificate below.
Philemons Death Certificate

Some of Philemon's Descendants
Showing how the family papers were handed down

Born to Frances DeLaRoche:
Charlotte Delia (1793-1875), married John Kingwell Bragge.
Portia (1798-1850), never married and became a principal of an academy in Sloane Street London.

Born to Catherine Gough:
John (Juan) Galindo (1802-1840). See his page
Sarah Mary (1803-1875), never married and was housekeeper to:
Philemon Alfred (1805-1880). Awarded a BA from Trinity College Dublin he was ordained priest in 1840 and became vicar of St Maxentius Church Bradshaw, Bolton. He never married.

Born to Ann Jeacocke (1782-1868) who kept Philemon's papers and Philip's Diary.
Philip Augustin (1822-1842). Accompanied Philemon on his Carribean adventure and author of the Diary.
Jane Amelia (1826-1884) married Richard Charlton Harding. Inherited the papers from her mother.
Jane Amelia Galindo and Richard Charlton Harding had seven children.
Jane Amelia (1853-1895) married Arthur George Cross.
Richard Charlton (1855-1873)
Mary Louisa (1857-1922 married Charles H Aldred.
Annie (1859-1860)
Alice Annie (1861-) married Thomas Whiting Wilson.
Hermione (1864-1943)
Philip Galindo (1869-1954) married Fanny Chappell, inherited the family papers from his mother.

Philip Galindo Harding and Fanny Chappell had five children.
Reginald (1891-1918)
Arthur Galindo(1892-)
Philip Charlton (1894-)
Frank Stanley (1896-)
Frances Joyce (1908-1980) inherited the family papers and married Thomas Mervyn Cantle Chappell.
Frances Joyce Harding and Mervyn Chappell had three children including the author of this site.