Born 21st September 1800 - Died 6th June 1854


A son of John Jacob of Guernsey, he was born on Sunday 21st September 1800, baptized on 21st October 1800 and died on 6th June 1854. He married Jane, the only daughter of Richard Swinton. She was baptized on 16th December 1818 and died on 14th March 1853. They had children:

1 Lieutenant-Colonel John, born 12th June. baptized 23rd October 1836, died in 1905.
2 Major-General William, born 14th December 1837, baptized 14th January 1838 at Bycollay, India, died 9th March 1917.
3 Samuel Swinton, born 9th September 1839 at Bombay, died 24th February 1840 at Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.
4 Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Samuel Swinton KCIE, CVO, born 14th January, baptized 19th February 1841.
5 Amelia Jane, born 23rd July, baptized 22nd November 1842 at Bombay, died 24th January 1843.
6 Edward George, born 8th, baptized 9th February 1844, on which day he died.
7 Edwin Legrand, born 14th March 1853. He married Jessie, daughter of Dr Lipscombe.

As far as I can tell, William Jacob was the first of the family to serve in the Indian Army. He had served with Colonel Prother's Field Force during the war with the Pethwa in 1817-1818. He was severely wounded at the taking of Mocca in 1820. He received a reward of 3000 Rupees from the Government for constructing a telegraphic dictionary, whereby Colonel Paisley's invention was successfully worked. After retiring from service, he accepted a professorship at his old college at Adiscombe. He wrote a book 'Practical Hints on the Proof of Gunpowder', which was published in Bombay in 1846.

His will is dated 18th October 1853, and proved 30th June 1854. In it he lists his porperty and its value, amounting to a total of £5162. This was made up largely of stock in the Oriental and Peninsular Steam Navigation Compnany and West and East India Dock stock. The value of his personal goods, ie plate, books and furniture was about £800.

He asks for his personal effects to be sold, with a number of exceptions, the proceeds to be invested in shares and stock, to be equally shared amongst his children, and yet £225 to be paid to each out of capital to keep them in life.

Various specific book requests made, and there is mention of a family bible. The family portraits were to go to his eldest son.and to remain in England. A codicil states that his son Swinton is likely to go for a cadetship, whereas he had thought he would enter the ministry. Accordingly he wishes his books to be sold, but some retained at discretion of his executors; he had bequeathed his religious books before. Edward and Philip, his brothers, were appointed executors of his will. He desired to be buried by a priest who was not high church.

Presumably the family portraits were destroyed when his great grandson Sir Claud Jacob's house was destroyed in the Blitz during WWII.

I have a number of press-cuttings relating to him, one of which I copy below:

The following well-merited compliment has been paid to Major Jacob, by the Commandant of Artillery, on the occasion of his departure for Europe:

Artillery Head Quarters, Bombay, 30th December 1844
Regimental Orders by Lieut-Col J G Griffith

The approaching departure of Major William Jacob to Europe, on the furlough granted to him by G G O No 702, dated the 11th instant, affords the Commandant of Artillery a suitable opportunity to record the estimation in which he holds the public services of that officer.
Major Jacob's talets and zeal have been conspicuous throughout a long and honourable course of service, and while they have obtained for him a variety of employments, such as seldom has been assigned to any one officer, he has in every instance acquitted imself with credit, and has repeatedly elicited the high commendation of Government.
Amongst the numerous examples which offer themselves, the capture of Mocha, in the Red Sea, in 1820, Major Jacob (then a Lieutenant) place him at once in the character of a scientific officer, and a gallant soldier. On that occasion, when it was found impracticable to breach the earthern defences in the ordinary way, Lieutenant Jacob conceived the idea of effecting the object by means of loaded shells; the breach was made by this expedient (then a novel one, though since recognized and practised by the first artillerists) and Lieutenant Jacob led the storming party to the attack of the place. More recently Major Jacob's arduous scientific labours in the important duty entrusted to him as a member of a special commitee on the Aden Fortifications, have ontained for him the thanks of the Court of Directors. Many other instances equally creditable to Major Jacob's professional character might be adduced; but the Commandant considers it most appropriate in an Artillery Order, to notice Major Jacob's valuable services as superintendent of the powder works; the steady progressive improvement in the quality of Bombay Powder, under Major Jacob's superintendence, is known to every officer of experience in the Corps, its reduced cost and improved system of manufacture are known to the Commandant and the Department immediately concerned: the merit of these reforms may most justly be ascribed to that intelligence and determination which has ever characterised Major Jacob's conduct, alike in public and private affairs.
That the immediate effect of Major Jacob's journey to Europe may be completely realized, and that his zeal and ability may soon be again available to his regiment and to the Government, is the heartfelt wish of the Commandant and of the corps at large.

W M Coghlan, Capt. Bt-Maj, Brigade Major Artillery.


Sir Bernard Burke, Ulster King of Arms, 'A Selection of Arms Authorised by the Laws of Heraldry', London 1860.
Pedigree of Jacob Family registered at the College of Arms.
Pedigree of Jacob Family pulished anon in ca 1840.
Jacob and Glascott, History of Families of Jacob, Dublin, 1875.


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