Lieutenant-General Dyce is first recorded in Southampton in 1856 as lessee of Westwood, in Highfield. Within two years he is owner of the 9-bedroomed Grosvenor House in Grosvenor Square. He lived here until his death on 9 March 1866, aged 65, following his twin passions of breeding caged birds - he was a regular exhibitor and prizewinner at the Hampshire Ornithological Association exhibitions - and gardening.
The Grosvenor House gardens, tendered by his gardeners Edwin Johnson and ThomasYoung, occupied over an acre, with flowers and produce grown there exhibited at shows of the Hampshire Horticultural Society in Winchester and the Southampton Horticultural Society. General Dyce lived in style, with a butler, page and coachman.
As part of the social establishment of the town, he was on the ball committee of the Royal Southern Yacht Club, a patron of the Theatre Royal in French Street and a regular attender at the Southampton County Balls held in the Royal Victoria Rooms. He was on the committee of the Southampton Volunteer Rifle Corps, established in 1859, and in 1862 seconded the resolution to the Tory Alderman William Rose, Lord Mayor of London, to stand as parliamentary representative for Southampton.
Archibald Dyce was a younger son of Lieutenant-General Alexander Dyce (1758-1835) of the East India Company's army and his wife Frederica Campbell (1778-1859). She was daughter of Captain Neil Campbell of Duntroon Castle, Argyllshire and sister of both General Sir Neil Campbell and General Patrick Campbell. His parents left for India in 1799. Archibald was born in Trichinopoly on 1 October 1800. He enrolled as an ensign in the 4th Madras Native Infantry in June 1817, progressing to the rank of major-general in June 1854 and lieutenant-general in June 1860. He served in the First Burma War and the First China War of 1840-2. At his death he was Colonel of the 105th (Madras Light Infantry) Regiment, to which honour he had been appointed in September 1862. His elder brother, the Reverend Alexander Dyce (1798-1869) was a literary scholar, editor and book collector. A week's visit to his brother in Southampton, armed with "seven shirts and a Sophocles", is recorded. He has an entry in the Oxford dictionary of national biography.
Archibald Dyce married Jane Maclaclan - daughter of Archibald Maclachlan - by whom he had two daughters: Jane and Elizabeth. Their mother died in India in 1838. In the 1841 census, the girls, aged 5 and 3 years respectively, are living with their grandparents at 8 Rockstone Place, together with Colonel Patrick Campbell and his sister Elizabeth. In 1851 they are still with Archibald and Jane Maclachlan and Elizabeth Campbell in temporary accommodation in Albion Street, Paddington. They are reunited with their father by the time of the 1861 census.The younger sister Elizabeth continued to live in Southampton until her death, aged 78, on 29 November 1915. She died at 'Duntroon' in The Avenue, her residence since the early 1880s. Her elder sister Jane died in Scotland c.1899.
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