Solly-Flood Family Notes
By Bob Solly
This article was originally published in the November 1999 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society.
HUSBAND NOTES: Sir Frederick Solly-Flood
Death: Buried in Gibraltar Cemetery, located at the North Front at the foot of the north face of the Rock.
General: Frederick inherited Ballinaslaney House and Slaney Lodge from his grandfather and on 4th May 1818 and assumed the name Flood by Letters Patent. He was at Harrow in 1818 - 1819, Cambridge B.A. 1925, M.A. 1928. Called to Bar 1828, King's Council.
He became J.P. M.A. and Barrister in Law. Also Attorney General of Gibraltar in 1872. He first went to Gibraltar in 1865.
Solly-Flood Arms: Quarterly 1st and 4th Vertical, a chevron between 3 wolf heads erased arg for Flood. 2nd and 3rd Ard, a chevron qu between 3 sole fishes haurcent ppr a border engroiled sa for Solly.
Crest: A Wolf's head erased arg.
Motto: Vis unita fertior.
The three sole fishes were from his father, who was a fishmonger.
Apparently Frederick Solly-Flood was a vivid sort of person who did not take his fences well and he got a good ducking at the water jump. A gambler and villain of some order. He deceived his son Edward Thomas into signing over his vast inheritance from his maternal grandfather Frederick Flood’s estate, within hours of reaching his 21st birthday.
Within a few weeks the whole inheritance was lost on "The Colonel" in the 1848 Derby.
The 1848 Derby had 15 Runners. The favourite was a horse called "The Colonel" ridden by Scot, owned by the Honourable Edward Petre, at 6 to 5 on. "The Colonel" dead heated with "Cadland" ridden by Robinson owned by the Duke of Rutland. The two horses ran off the same afternoon when "Cadland" beat "The Colonel" by a neck. He financially never recovered and had to sell his successful Legal Practice in London and Dublin and take the job of Attorney General at Gibraltar.
In a letter written 5th September 1969, by his great grandson, Richard Vandeleur Beatty, to his sister Violet Vandeleur Beatty, the following reflections were made about Frederick Solly-Flood.
The tale of Slaney Lodge is a long horrid one and the red hot villain of the piece is Frederick Solly-Flood. He was born with many golden spoons and squandered the lot. Its mother's will covered over 60 pages, largely written by Frederick His second son General Frederick Richard was the favourite and usurped Edward Thomas from beginning to end. On the death of Edward Frederick gave his niece Florence 10 days notice to quit Slaney Lodge because she intended to many a villager, however 2 of his sisters, (Mary Fredericka Brewster and Frances Henries Curtis), refused to obey his instructions and Florence lived there until her death.
Another episode recorded in the Chronicle of the County of Wexford, 1877:
Jan 15th 1877 Frederick Solly-Flood Q. C. obtained a writ of Habeas corpus in the court of Queens Bench division, London to bring over to England one John Anderson, a slave, who had escaped from the USA to Canada in 1861. The USA were making great efforts to obtain repossession once landed in England he could not be claimed under any pretence whatsoever.
WIFE NOTES: Mary Williamson
CHILD NOTES: Edward Thomas Solly-Flood
General: Lived firstly at Kyle Cottage and later at Slaney Lodge, County Wexford, Ireland.
Edward's situation after being deceived of his substantial inheritance from his mother's family is summed up by his grandson Richard William Vandeleur Beatty in letters written in 1968 to various relatives, after he had been reviewing a number of his families letters from the period. The following is extracted from these letters:
Edward got himself into quite a hopeless position when he fell in with his father's plans to get around his mother's will which passed on her substantial wealth to Edward. So within 48 hours of his 21st birthday he was tied financially to his father who was an inveterate gambler and spendthrift. His letters sent to his father are most dutiful, well expressed, and beautifully written.
This is the scene in February 1866. His father was so financially down that at the age of 64 he had to abandon his intention to take up residence in the nearly completed Slaney Lodge and take the position of Governor of Gibraltar, where he stayed until his death. In his absence he appointed a steward to manage the small Slaney farm. The expenses ate up most of the income.
Meanwhile his father disowned him leaving Edward, his wife and 5 young daughters living in the small Kyle cottage with its leaky roof and defective windows. Edward was responsible for the financial side of the business in which he had a mortgage. The new Lodge on completion was to be kept empty for his father's return. Edward's appeal to allow his family to take up residence were unsuccessful until at last, Edward said he would have to leave and go abroad to educate his girls cheaply on the continent. Permission was granted to take up residence for the annual payment of 430 pounds to his father, (supplementing his well paid appointment). The land was too small to carry the burden, leading to an insoluble situation of debts, and why he did not throw himself down the nearby St David's Well I do not know. He must have been a gallant gentleman.
It is terribly interesting to reflect that if only Richard Solly had not gone and broken his neck out hunting, the family story might have reached a higher plane. Poor Frances suddenly widowed with her baby son and extensive estates to protect must have been at her wits end. And the poor Frederick if his papa had only been spared to lick his son into shape we might have a Lord Chief Justice of all Ireland instead of a thriftless old exile.
CHILD NOTES: General Sir Frederick Richard Solly-Flood K.C.B.
General: In 1873 Frederick was living at Kyle, County Wexford, Ireland. This house was rented from William Harvey, who may have been the grandfather of Marieanne Harvey, (wife of Frederick’s elder brother Edward) or another relative of the Harvey family.
On the death of Edward, Slaney Lodge passed to Frederick.
CHILD NOTES: Lieutenant Ferdinand Henry Solly-Flood
Death: Buried on 23/2/1862 in Gibraltar Cemetery, located at the North Front at the foot of the north face of the Rock.
General: Was a Lieutenant in Royal Navy on H.M.S. Amphion. Known as Henry.
CHILD NOTES: James Douglas Solly-Flood
General: Believed never married
CHILD NOTES: Frances Henrietta Solly-Flood
CHILD NOTES: Julia Ann Adelaide Solly-Flood
General: Known as Teta, and believed unmarried.
Return to The Sole Society Home Page