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received a high command at the time that the General dispensed with the services of his English officers.
one of the Agra garrison when the latter capitulated to Lake. Subsequently to this he seems to have gone on to Aligarh or Coel as the place used
be called At this station his second daughter, Madeline, was married in the spring of 1836 to Mr. R. R. Sturt of the Bengal Civil Service.* She became a widow, dying at Agra in 1859, aged fifty-seven. Her sister Rosaline, the last surviving child of Major Derridon, married Mr. J. Smith of Agra and died at Meerut in 1889 at the age of eighty A recent search among the Wills and connected papers preserved in the Calcutta High Court has elicited, with respect to the Derridon and Hessing families, some personal details which have not before been published. By his wife Ellen, presumably a Hindustani Christian lady (judging from the circumstance that she affixes to documents "her mark" instead of her signature) Major Louis Derridon had several sons, One of them, George Sutherland Derridon, died in 1845, and three years later letters of administration
estate were granted to J. G. Waller, a Calcutta solicitor, acting on behalf of his mother, the aforesaid Mrs. Ellen Derridon. There were at least four other sons :Francis, Alexander, James and William ; of these Alexander, together with his wife and two or three children, was killed at Agra by the Mutineers on the 6th July 1857. One of the most handsome and charming books ever published about India is Mrs. Fanny Parkes's Wanderings of a Pilgrim in Search of the Picturesque
* His brother. Lieutenant T. L. D. Sturt of the Bengal Engineers, married a daughter of Sir Robert Sale and fell with the rest of the army in the Khyber in 1842. Sturt is the surname of Lord Alington's family into which two Indian Viceroys, the late Lord Northbrook and Lord Hardinge of Penshurst, married.
The authoress incidentally mentions that in a house at Coel, formerly the property of General Perron, Derridon was staying in 1838. His grandsons (adds Compton) were owners of the same property as late as 1871. Louis Derridon (to quote Mr. Keene) founded a family of farmers whose present representatives have preserved few signs of their European origin. Mr. Keene recalls that when he was District Judge of Agra in the 'seventies of the last century, members of this family came to his Court as litigants; they dressed like Europeans but spoke Hindustani. There are said to be persons of the name still living at Aligarh. It appears from a passing reference in Higginbotham's Men whom India has known that the family once used to reside at Pondicherry.
The Major Derridon, of whom we have written above, is described by Compton as a “half-bred French
He had two sisters, one of whom, Madeleine by name, married the celebrated General Perron. The following sentence regarding Perron's last days in India occurs in Larousse : Grand Dictionnaire universel du xir* siècle : "
Se retira à Lucknow avec sa famille et ses richesses, dout les Anglais lui entèverent une partie.” When her husband returned to France, about 1806, Madame Perron accompanied him and became the ancestress of several families of distinction. Both Perron's sons died without issue, but the eldest daughter became the Comtesse de Montesquiou Fizensac, whose grandson is the present Marquis de Brantes ;
* The following is taken from the Aligarh District Guzetleer :- Close by [to the M. A. 0. College) towards the Fort, is the ruined house called the Saheb Bagh, standing within a walled garden with a large gateway and guard house on the roadside and bastions at each corner. This was the residence of de Boigne and Perron, and at one time it must have been a very handsome building. It was occupied for some years by the Derridon family and was last used by Mr. Smith as a Settlement Office."
while a younger daughter was the Comtesse de Rochefoucauld and died so recently as 1892.
The second Mademoiselle Derridon, Anne by name, was the wife of John Hessing who is mentioned below. On becoming a widow she came down with one or two of her younger children to Deegah, Dinapore, where she passed away on the 21st October 1820.
THE ELDER HESSING. John William Hessing is described by Major L. F Smith in his Sketch of the Irregular Corps commanded by Europeans in the service of Native Princes, as a good benevolent man and a brave soldier. A Dutchman born at Utrecht on the 5th November 1739, he came out to India at twenty-four years of age and entered from time
to time the service of several Indian chiefs. It would be no easy matter to recount his various adventures before he obtained from de Boigne the command of the first two battalions the latter had raised for Sindhia, whose army had lately been organised. Hessing took part in several engagements in more than one of which he was wounded. On account of an unfortunate disagreement with de Boigne he had to leave. But not long after he was commissioned by Madhoji Sindhia, who was still favourably inclined towards him, to raise a khás resala or bodyguard for that Chief, and accompanied him to Poona, He had increased the number of his battalions to four when ill-health obliged him to resign in favour of his son George. This was, according to Keene, about 1794, but considering that at that time George Hessing was only twelve years of age, the later date, 1800, given by Compton, is more likely to be correct. Destined to see no more active service, John Hessing then assumed command of the Agra Fort. Here he appears to have gained the esteem of everybody with
whom he came in contact, owing to his high character and generous disposition. He was also famed for his hospitality which was extended to British visitors to Agra. The following interesting glimpse of him is given by Lord Metcalfe, then (March, 1801) a young Civilian and Assistant Resident at the camp of Daulat Rao Sindhia : “I breakfasted by invitation with the Dutch Commandant, Colonel J. Hessing. I found him with his son, who commanded in the engagement at Oojein, where his battalions were defeated ; a M Marshall, an Englishman, and two others, whose names I have not learnt. The breakfast consisted of kedgerce (rice and eggs), fish, game, fowls, curry and rice, stews, oranges, pears, pomegranates, eggs, bread-and-butter, cakes of all kinds, pancakes, and a number of other dishes which have escaped my recollection-amongst others I have forgotten to enumerate cheese. The Dutchman was as polite as a Dutchman could be, and very well-meaning, I am certain. On the following day I breakfasted and dined with him again.” Hessing died in 1803 at Agra and is buried in the old Roman Catholic cemetery adjoining the Civil Courts. His monument, the most prominent one there, is said to have cost a lakh of rupees.* It is a red sandstone model of the Taj—to which building Victor Jacquemont, the French traveller, even preferred it! (Growse : Mathura : a District Memoir). The long epitaph inscribed on his mausoleum runs as follows :
"John William Hessing, late a Colonel in the
service of Maharaja Daulat Rao Sindhia, who, after sustaining a lingering and very painful illness for many years with a tone of
An illustration, in which Ilessing's monument is clearly shown, appears with an article on "The Rank and File who have given us India"'in the Graphic of so recent a date as December 16th, 1911.
Christian fortitude and resignation, departed this life, 21st July, 1803, aged 63 years, 1 months, and 5 days. As tribute of their affection and regard, this monument is erected to his beloved
beloved memory by his disconsolate widow, Anne Hessing, and afflicted sons and daughters, George William Hessing, Thomas William Hessing and Magdalene Sutherland. He was a native of Utrecht in Holland and came out Ceylon in the Military service of the Dutch East India Company in the year 1757, and and was present at the taking of Candia by their troops.
years afterwards he returned to Holland and came out again to India in the year 1763, and served under the Nizam of the Deccan. In the year 1784, he entered into the service of Madho Rao Sindhia and was engaged in the several battles that led to the aggrandizement of that Chief, and wherein he signalized himself so by his bravery as to gain the esteem and approbation of his employer, more particularly at the battle of Bhondagaon near Agra in the year 1787, which took place between this Chief and Nawab Ismael Beg. when he then became a Captain, and was severely wounded On the death of Madho Rao Sindhia in 1793, he continued under his successor, ,
, Daulat Rao Sindhia, and in 1798, he attained to the rank of Colonel and immediately after
the command of the Fort and City of Agra, which he held to his death."