Saturday, 25 July 2015


                                                                 THE LAYARD FAMILY TREE
                                         FROM ENGLAND TO CEYLON AND BACK

 Born 18 Oct 1786 St Martins In The Fields, London, England to Reverend Charles Peter Layard and Elizabeth Ward. Married on 09 Dec 1804 Colombo Ceylon to Barbara Bridgetina Mooyaart. Charles was The Judge of the Provincial Court of Galle and Matura.
After his wife died he went to Boulogne, France where he past away and buried 10 May 1852

Charles Edward Layard Baptism Record

                                                    BARBARA BRIDGETINA MOOYAART
               Born 20 Feb 1789 Jaffna, Ceylon to Gualterus Mooyaart and Anthonia Theodora Lebeck, baptised 01 Mar 1789 and died 28 Sep 1845, and Buried in Galle Face burial ground, Colombo, Ceylon. Married on 09 Dec 1804 Colombo Ceylon to Charles Edward Layard.


Sept 28 1845 ... Barbara Bridgetina Layard
Sept 13 1845 ... Francis Georgina Layard
                                                          In memory  of Barbara Bridgetina, wife of Charles Edward Layard Esq., Ceylon Civil Service, died 20th Sept 1845, aged 56 years. And of Frances Georgina, daughter of the above. Died 15th Sept 1845, aged 19 years.

The Sunday Times    Sunday August 28 2011

Bagatelle Road - will it be gone with the wind?

By Dr. A.R.B. Amerasinghe
In this transitory world we wake up every morning wondering what is in store for us. Accept we must with serenity the passing away of friends, for it is, alas, inevitable. And despite sentiment we ought to have the grace to accept with courage the things which for good reasons should be changed.

But an ill-conceived, needless change based on ignorance or made to satisfy some selfish private whim or fancy such as the contemplated alteration of the name “Bagatelle Road" ought to evoke other responses.The Municipal Council has recently given notice to the residents of Bagatelle Road (but in an unjustly discriminatory manner not to the residents of Inner Bagatelle Road, Bagatelle Terrace and Lower Bagatelle Road who, a little reflection will show, must also be eventually affected) that it is proposed to change the name of “Bagathale (sic.) Road” to “Dr. Vijayenanda Dhanayake Mawatha”.

In the Notice issued by the Secretary of the Colombo Municipal Council, it is stated that the proposal to rename the road has been approved by the Special Commissioner of the Colombo Municipal Council” and that “Therefore objections if any from residents of either side of the road or recognized organizations of the area” are requested to be submitted. Should the Commissioner have decided the matter without hearing representations in the first place? What was his decision based on? On an order from someone? Who made the proposal? The public must have answers if the decision was one made in good faith.

The Municipal Council has been guilty of gross, culpable ignorance. Culpable because despite being so informed (e.g. in newspaper articles for instance) it has deliberately or recklessly ignored the fact that it misspells the name of the road. The Notice referred to calls it ''Bagathale'', although a few weeks ago new sign boards were put up with the words ''Bagatalle Road”. Some of the earlier sign boards remaining also refer to “Bagatelle Road'', ''Inner Bagatelle Road’' and “Bagatalle Terrace''. At times it has been incorrectly called “Bagatalla at one end of the road but correctly described as Bagatelle at the other end. If something needs to be done, do rectify the error and install sign boards with the name ''Bagatelle''.

''Bagatelle'' is an English word derived from the early modern French word “Bagatelle” or the Italian word “Bagatelle'' meaning something small and portable like hand-baggage. It may sometimes denote a thing of no value or importance as for instance when reference is made to” a mere ''Bagatelle'' On the other hand a beautiful verse or an exquisite piece of music like Beethoven’s 24 Bagatelles (op.33, op.119 and op. 126) may also be referred to as a bagatelle because it is light in style. ''Bagatelle'' was also the name of a game which was played on a table having a semicircular end at which were nine numbered holes. Balls were struck from the other end with a cue'

Bagatelle Road was the name of a road to a property in Colpetty called Bagatelle. It was in proximity to a popular meeting place in early British times where walkers and riders stopped at the ''Three Mile Stone'' under a spreading Tamarind tree near the present “IC Drug Store” for a drink of toddy freshly drawn from the coconut trees. Perhaps they later adjourned to the Quoit Club close by for a game of Bagatelle?

Bagatelle first attracted public notice when it was advertised in the Ceylon Government Gazette of March 9 1822 in the following words: “A thatched cottage with a tent roof about two miles and a half from the Fort of Colombo to be disposed of by private contract. The Godowns will be completed in the course of ten days; and the cottage being well adapted for an occasional country residence, any Gentleman desirous of obtaining such will be at liberty to inspect the premises after the 20th instant. The grounds including a large kitchen well stocked, and a variety of exotic fruit trees in bearing, enclosures for Guinea grass, coffee, yams, potatoes and pines is in extent about six acres. The owner who has expended a considerable sum on the premises is induced to dispose of the estate in consequence of the change of house of public business depriving him of the power of devoting the best part of the day (the morning) to its improvement.”

There seems to have been no response and so the advertisement was repeated in the Gazette of March 16, 23 and 30 with the following new wording replacing ''The grounds including…” and so on, in the earlier version: “The purchaser may rent the ground on the opposite side of the road in front of the house for a trifling sum monthly and thus have the ground clear of cottages to the sea with the privilege of pulling down the one now standing on the premises”. There were no takers and believing that that was due to the work of Dadee Parsee, the advertisement was repeated in the Gazette of April 6, 1822 with the addition of the following words: “And (for the information of those whom it may concern) without reference to Daddy Parsee or any other person.''

Daddy Parsee was an astute merchant who had an establishment popularly known as “Daddy’s”, at No. 4 King Street Fort. Judging by the advertisement he published from time to time in the Gazette (there was no news paper till the Colombo Journal appeared briefly in 1832 and 1833) he sold, in the words of a popular song, “All kinds of everything” - choice wines (the Four year Old London Particular Madeira was the most sought after at the time), rare guns, fine linen, exquisite furniture and even good horses!
In accordance with the advertised ''privilege”, Charles Edward Layard pulled down the cottage and erected a magnificent mansion which he called ''The Bagatelle''.

Some years ago a neighbour at Bagatelle Road, Mr. Ernie Weerasinghe, purchased a rare sketch of that residence measuring 21cm x 12cm by C. T. Layard. I borrowed it and showed it to Mr. Ismeth Raheem who was not only a leading architect but also an authority on paintings of the British period. He was of the view that the drawing gave a distorted perspective view of the Bungalow. But it clearly shows that the house and garden were designed and laid out in a style which was prevailing in England almost half a century before. C.E. Layard, like several members of his family, took a great interest in horticulture and introduced several plants from Mauritius and Seychelles and grew them in his garden at Bagatelle.”

Charles Edward Layard and his brother, Henry Peter Layard, the Sons of the Dean of Bristol the Rev. Charles Peter Layard, had come out to Ceylon in 1803. They were employed in the civil service. Henry Peter married a Miss. Austen of Galle and their son Sir Henry Austen Layard was a close friend of the Governor, William Gregory. Sir Henry was the great explorer who discovered Nineveh.

Charles Edward Layard served in various capacities, including those of collector and Judge of the Provisional Court of Galle and Matara. On December 9 1804, at the age of twenty he married Barbara Bridgetina Mooyart, aged sixteen, the daughter of Gaulterus Mooyart, Administrator of the Dutch Company and claimed by the family to be the last Dutch Governor of Galle.

They had twenty-six children. Their eldest son was Sir Charles Peter Layard, the famous civil servant who served for fifty years from 1828 in various capacities - Member of the Legislative Council, Member of the Central School Commission, Extra Assistant to the Chief Secretary of Jaffna, Assistant to the Collector of Colombo, Assistant to the Government Agent of Kalutara, Western Province, Acting Government Agent of Colombo, District judge at Mannar, Colombo, Kalutara, Negombo and Trincomalee and Additional District Judge of Galle. He was the first Mayor of Colombo (January 1866 - June 1877). Layard's Broadway/Road” was named after him. A part of the road was renamed Jetawana Road.

C.P. Layard was the father of nine children who were all sent to England for their education. The eldest was Sir Charles Peter Layard Chief justice of Ceylon from 1902 to 1906. Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam (who was one of many distinguished residents of Bagatelle Road - Mr. Dahanayake was not one of them) introduced a Bill in the legislature to introduce a system for the registration of land titles. Governor West Ridgeway at page 110 of his Administrative Report for 1896-1903 commented that Chief Justice Layard “devoted great labour and care to the improvement of the Bill and returned it with a valuable report in which the opinion is expressed that the measure will conduce to the interest of the public and to the suppression of much litigation and crime”.

The last of the Layard was Barbara Jane who was born at the Bagatelle in 1843. She later lived at Grimsthorpe, Nuwara Eliya and was popularly known as Aunt Barbara” from the fact that 225 persons living at the time were quite properly entitled to call her aunt.

The Bagatelle passed into the hands of Charles Henry De Soysa. In 1870 De Soysa entertained Queen Victoria’s son, Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh. Gold plate was used and His Royal Highness was presented a gold plate, goblets and a knife and fork, all set with rubies, emeralds and pearls. There was dancing, a theatre performance and refreshments were served. Although the Prince and his party left at 2 a.m., the entertainment continued for a week. Alfred House and Alfred Model Farm were named after the Prince and to this day several roads in and around Kollupitiya, including Alfred Place which branches off Bagatelle Road, are named after Alfred.Despite all of this, in the event of a change being forced upon the residents of Bagatelle Road, it must be remembered that there will be serious security implication, for one's address is an integral part of identity.

Take a look at a National Identity card or a Driving Licence. Moreover, consider the inconvenience, confusion, financial loss, harm and damage that could be caused, for addresses are recorded in legal documents like Treasury bonds, contracts, title deeds, lease agreements, mortgage bonds last wills and powers of attorney. The present addresses guide one’s friends, relatives and clients to familiar destinations without confusion; they are in telephone, trade, business and professional directories; they are registered with suppliers of utilities, emergency medical care providers, the Central Depositary System dealing with stocks and shares, banks, Inland Revenue and Municipal Assessment authorities, tax and legal consultants. Who will effect the changes?

Who will pay for making the changes? Who will be accountable for consequential losses? These issues may not have caused problems to the authorities concerned in the past because they were endured by a public too afraid to object or for want of means to fight for their rights; but the time has come to stop getting pushed around.

The writer is a former Supreme Court judge

They had the following children

1.  Emily Layard born abt 1804, died  17 Nov 1840

2. Henrietta Charlotte Layard born 28 Sep 1805, died 08 Mar 1833, Point de Galle, Ceylon, buried St.Peter's Church, Fort, Colombo Ceylon. Married Richard Malone Sneyd, 18 Oct 1827, St Paul's  Church, Colombo Ceylon.

March 8 1833 ...  Henrietta Charlotte Sneyd            Sacred to the memory of Henrietta Charlotte, the beloveed wife of Richard Malone Sneyd, Esqr., of the Ceylon Civil Service, and eldest child of Charles Edward Layard, Esqr, of the same service, and Barbara his wife. She died at Point de Galle on March 8th 1833, in her 28th year.
"Blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord" Rev, xiv., 13

She is buried in the Dutch Church, Galle, where there is a tablet. R.M Sneyd was District Judge there at the time of her death. He retired September 6  1837, after 23 years service at Matara, Tangalla, Manner, Chilaw, Batticaloa and Galle. He died at Leamington, October 23, 1861
She was eldest daughter of C.E Layard, C.C.S., and married R.M Sneyd, September 28, 1827, at St. Paul's Colombo

3. Charles Peter Layard born 12 Sep 1806, Colombo Ceylon, died 17 Jul 1893, Chelsea, Middlesex, England. Married Louisa Anne Edwards, 22 Aug 1809, Colombo Ceylon. He was educated at St Johns College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England. He was with the Ceylon Civil Service in 1830. He held the office of Magistrate at Jaffa between 1831 and 1832. He was Assistant to the Collector at Colombo between 1832 and 1839. He was District Judge of Galle between 1839 and 1840. He was District Judge of Trincomalee between 1840 and 1851. He was District Judge of Galle between 1850 and 1851. He was Government Agent for the Western Provinces between 1851 and 1878. He was invested as a Companion, Order of St. Michael and St. George (C.M.G.) in 1875. He was invested as a Knight Commander, Order of St. Michael and St. George (K.C.M.G.) in 1876. He held the office of M.C.I. Ceylon. He lived at 54 Elm Park Park, Chelsea, London, England.

Adm. pens. at ST JOHN'S, June 29, 1829. [S. of Charles Edward (1786-1852), of Ceylon], and Barbara, dau. of Heer Gualterus Mooyart. B. 1806, in Ceylon.] Name off, 1829. In the Ceylon Civil Service; Extra-Assistant in Colonial Secretary's Office, Ceylon, 1830. District Judge of Galle, 1839-40 and 1850-1; of Trincomalee, 1840-50. Government Agent, Western Province, 1851-79. Member of the Legislative Council. Acting Colonial Secretary, 1877. Commissioner for Ceylon at Paris Exhibition, 1878. C.M.G., 1871. K.C.M.G., 1876. Married, May 29, 1834, Louisa Anne, dau. of Lieut.-Col. Clement Edwards. Died July 17, 1893, at 54, Elm Park Road, Chelsea. Buried at Withleigh, near Tiverton, Devon. Bequeathed his collection of mineral fossils and shells to the Imperial Institute. Father of the next. (Boase, VI. 21; Scott, MSS.)


4. Capt Henry Lewis Layard, born 01 Apr 1808, Galle Ceylon, died 24 Feb 1871, Kensington, London, Middlesex, England.  Married 31 Dec 1835, Holy Trinity Church, Chelsea. England to Catherine Thurtle Dent, born 1818, died 03 Apr 1869

5. Caroline Louisa Layard, born 21 Apr 1809, Kalutara Ceylon, died 08 Apr 1897. Married 21 Oct 1828 Colombo Ceylon, John Griffith Frith, born in London, died 10 Nov 1869.

6. Capt Brownlow Edward Layard born 15 Apr 1810 Colombo Ceylon, died 21 Feb 1890, New Windsor, Berkshire, England.     Married

  1.    19 Jun 1839, Colombo Ceylon   Emily Kensington, born 1817, died 17 Nov 1840 Colombo Ceylon

  2.    18 Oct 1842,  Edmonton, Middlesex, England, Caroline Maria Fenton, born 1824, died Jul 1848, Pancras, London England.

  3.   10 Jan 1854, Eton, Buckinghamshire, England, Louise Henrietta Carter, born 1820, Eton, Buckinghamshire, England, died 13 Dec 1898, Torquay, Devon, England

7. Louisa Sophia Layard, born 20 May 1811, died 17 Jan 1870, Hertfordshire, England. Married  15 Feb 1834, St Pauls Church Pettah Colombo Ceylon. William Carmichael Charles Gibson, born 1812, Colombo Ceylon,  died 05 Mar 1892.

Appointed to the Ceylon civil service, sept 1832.  Attached to the colonial secretary’s office, 1833; also in the year assistant collector of customs, Negombo, and assistant gov agent, Colombo; was appointed in 1838 commisioner of loan board, auditor of the supreme court, and chairman of the savings bank; assistant colonial secretary, etc., 1840; acting auditor-general, 1846 and 1849; acting colonial secretary, 1850; auditor-general, 1851; acting colonial secretary, 1855 & 1859, in which office he was confirmed, Aug 1860.  Retired on pension, 1869.

8. Elizabeth Margaret Layard, born 27 Jun 1812 and died 27 Jun 1812, Kalutara Ceylon

9. William Twisleton Layard, born 04 Aug 1813, Kalutara Ceylon, died 18 Jan 1891, Wimbledon, England Wandsworth, London. Married 11 Aug 1834, St Paul's . Church, Ceylon, Catherine Anne Sargent born 1818, Canada, died 18 Jan 1898, Wandworth, London.

10. Miss Layard, born and died 1814 Colombo Ceylon.

11. Marianne Layard born and died 1815, Colombo Ceylon

12. James Anthony Layard,  born 19 Jun 1816, died 28 Jun 1817, Colombo Ceylon.

13. James Gay Layard, born 21 Oct 1817, Colombo Ceylon, died 28 Nov 1894, Hambledon, Hants, England.  J G Layard retired on a civil service Ä100 per year on 28 Feb 1851. He was named after James Gay, C.C.S. 1808 - 1820. Married, 08 Dec 1846, St.Quivox, Ayr, Scotland, Jane Campbell, died 24 May 1862, Colombo Ceylon.

14. Thomas Watson Layard, born 25 Oct 1818, died 18 May 1819, Colombo Ceylon.

15. Eliza Layard, born 02 Jun 1820, died 28 Feb 1884,  married 13 Nov 1839, Stephen Vertue.

16. John Anthony Layard, 17 Jul 1821, Colombo Ceylon, died 08 Sep 1873, Melbourne Australia

17. Miss Layard born and died 1822.

18. Frederick Layard, 25 Sep 1823, Colombo Ceylon, died 27 Apr 1872, Venice, Italy

19. Anna Elizabeth Layard, born 21 Nov 1824, Colombo Ceylon, died 24 Oct 1860, Pembroke, Pembroke., Wales

20. Frances Georgina Layard, born 20 Mar 1826, died 15 Sep 1845.

21. Thomas Layard, born and died 03 Mar 1827

22. Catherine Ellen Layard, born 15 Sep 1828 Colombo Ceylon, died 13 Jun 1879, Reigate, Surrey, England

23. Miss Layardf

24. Miss Layard

25. Mary Sophia Layard, born 30 May 1832, died 04 Jan 1865

26. Barbara Jane Layard, born 30 Jun 1834, died 14 Oct 1914.

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