Alexander Dyce

Alexander Dyce and his wife both came from families whose estates in Scotland could no longer support them, and for whom India was a way not to raise themselves in polite society, but avoid sinking right out of it. Thanks to his skill as a military leader Dyce was able to maintain his small estate in Aberdeenshire and a house in Charlotte Square -- and to marry a wife from a completely different part of Scotland.

10 March 1758 - 24 December 1835
Rosebank, Aberdeenshire
Alexander Dyce of Rosebank, d.1773, m.1757
Mary Ochterlony, daughter of David Ochterlony of Tillyfrisky
23 Charlotte Square from 1808-1814
He joined the army as a Cornet in 1776. In 1800 he raised the 92nd Punjabis, a Native Infantry battallion of the British Army. It was known as Dyce ki Paltan (Dyce's Battalion) and composed mostly of Muslims, Tamils and Telugus. In 1801, it took part in suppressing a rebellion of the Poligars (local feudal chieftains) of Madura and Tinnevelly in South India (3).In 1818 he commanded the southern division of the Army in India.
In 1807 he left India with his wife and sons Andrew and Archibald, and came to live in Charlotte Square (4). Around 1811 he gained the rank of Major-General, and by 1815 his family had left Edinburgh again, presumably when he returned to active service (2). In 1836 his sister Miss Mary Dyce died, living at Rosebank leaving about £275, (7) which she left to her nephew, Rev Alexander Dyce (8)
Chapel connection
1810 (baptism)
Married on
Frederica Campbell
Alexander (eldest) (d.1869, Exeter College Oxford, clergyman, distinguished dramatic critic, commentator and editor of Shakespeare). Archibald Brown (1799-1866, Lieutenant-general, commanded the northern division of the army), Andrew (1804-1833, Lieutenant, Madras Presidency), John Neil (Trinity College, Cambridge, 1840 Scottish advocate, sheriff-substitute of Lanarkshire, m. 1842 Elizabeth Hamilton Bowie). (6)


  1. Registers of Charlotte Chapel (NAS CH12/3)
  2. Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1818
  3. The 92nd Punjabis, wikipedia, accessed 10 June 2010
  4. Asiatic Annual Register, vol.9 (Cadell and Davies, London, 1809) p.212.
  5. P.J.Anderson (ed), Record of the celebration of the quatercentenary of the University of Aberdeen, (Aberdeen, Aberdeen University Studies no.29, 1907) p.69
  6. William Temple, The Thanage of Fermartyn including the district commonly called Formartine (Aberdeen, Taylor and Henderson, 1894)
  7. Inventory of Miss Mary Dyce, National Archives of Scotland SC1/36/17/1101
  8. Will of Miss Mary Dyce, National Archives of Scotland SC1/37/17/701

Back to index