Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs

Colonel William Higgins 
9 September 1862

Volume 9, page 155, sitting number 11,619.

[Identified only as ‘Col. Higgins’ in the Silvy daybooks, the ‘Colonel Higgins’ mentioned again and again in newspapers during the early 1860s is William Bartholomew Higgins.]

Born in or about 1799, William Bartholomew Higgins was the son of John Higgins. 

He appears on the 1861 census living at Picts’ Hill House, Turvey, Bedfordshire. He gave his profession as Lieutenant-Colonel, retired, JP and Landed Proprietor. Also present on the night of census were five servants, including a butler and a footman. 

According to the website Turvey History, he ‘did much to support the development of the village. He played a major role in the Bedfordshire Militia and was a driving force in the creation of the Bedford to Northampton Railway Company which he chaired.’ 

Lieutenant-Colonel William Bartholomew Higgins never married. He died on 15 October 1878 at Hunstanton in Norfolk, leaving an estate valued at £50,000. 

‘THE LATE COL. HIGGINS — The death of no county man would cause more mournful regret than that of Col. William Bartholomew Higgins, of Picts’ Hill. His health had been failing for some time, but death overtook him rather suddenly on Tuesday night week while staying at Hunstanton. He was a magistrate for 41 years and was sheriff in 1845, and deputy-lieutenant for the county, and retired lieutenant-colonel of the Beds. Militia. He contested two county elections […] The lamented gentleman was in his 80th year, and was the son of Mr John Higgins, of Turvey House, who married, in 1793, Martha, daughter of Mr Wm. Farrer, of Brafield House. The funeral was at Turvey on Monday at noon. We are glad that the Bedford Town Council, on Thursday, did justice to his memory for the good works of a lifetime, which were devoted to the borough as well as the county. Col. Higgins was one of the original members , and a Vice-President of the County Archaeological Society, and he was the only surviving trustee of the Bedford General Library […] and his name stands conspicuous in the subscription list of almost every religious and benevolent institution in the locality. He was vice-president and most zealous member of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (Hertford Mercury and Reformer, 26 October 1878, reprinting an obituary that had earlier appeared in the Bedfordshire Times.)

He was buried in Turvey Cemetery. 

code: cs1897
William Bartholomew Higgins, William Higgins, Colonel Higgins, Higgins, Camille Silvy, Silvy