Laurence Stoddart

Laurence Stoddart appears to have been a 'paralytic Scotsman' who was detained in France in the early 1810s, returning to Edinburgh around 1817 with his young family, and later moving to Cambridge. It would be nice to find out more about this intriguing figure.

- 27 November 1828 (2)
Laurence might have been one of the 'three children at one birth' of William Stoddart of Park Hall, born 27 July 1795 at Dunbarney.
The biographical details are tentatively associated with the 'Laurence Stoddart Esq' in the Charlotte Chapel registers: it is not a unique name, but sufficiently uncommon to make coincidences unlikely. J. Alger lists 'Laurence Stoddart, a paralytic Scotsman' amongst the détenus permitted to visit or reside in Paris between 1806 and 1811' (5). This must have been the same Laurence Stoddart as the father of John Laurence Stoddart who was born in Fontainbleau around 1806: the fact that John went to school in Edinburgh suggests that his father was the same Laurence Stoddart whose daughters were baptised in Edinburgh in 1817, several years after their birth. It is likely that the Elizabeth Stoddart, daughter of 'Laurence Stoddart Esq of Cambridge', who married Rev Robert Buchanan in 1843, was the same Elizabeth baptised in 1817; and this Laurence Stoddart of Cambridge died in Northampton in 1828.
Chapel connection
1817, baptism
Charlotte Stoddart
John Laurence (c.1806, born in Fontainbleau, France, and educated at school in Edinburgh and at Downing College Cambridge (3); in 1841 British Consul in Alexandria (4)), Elizabeth (1814, baptised 1817, married Rev. Robert Buchanan of Glasgow who later featured in Disruption Worthies), Charlotte (1815, baptised 1817, married 1842 Charles Gordon of the Bengal Army, at Harrow-on-the-Hill), Charles James (1819)


  1. Registers of Charlotte Chapel (NAS CH12/3)
  2. Bury and Norwich Post 24 December 1828
  3. J.A.Venn, Alumnai Cantabrigienses, part 2 (1752-1900) vol.6 (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1954) p.48
  4. Morning Chronicle, 21 August 1841
  5. John G. Alger, Napoleon's British Visitors and Captives 1801-1815 (New York, James Pott, 1904) p.235.

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