William Lacy was born in 3 March 1809 in Plumstead, Kent. It is not known where he was raised or educated, but it is likely that he grew up in Southampton, possibly in a house in the Polygon. He spent most of his adult life in the army, serving in India, Gibraltar and the West Indies. In 1845 he was appointed to an army administrative post based in Southampton. He retired in 1878 having achieved the rank of major general. From the 1850s to the early 1880s he was living in the Polygon but by 1887 he had moved to The Lodge in Banister’s Park.

He married Georgiana Henville (nee Elers) on 10 July 1845 in Armagh, Ireland. He had four children, one of whom, Georgiana Sophia Louisa Lacy (1850-1927), married the local shipbuilder Arthur James Day.

He had a keen interest in the visual arts and drew and painted from an early age, his subjects varying according to where his army postings took him. In 1855 he was co-founder of Southampton School of Art and in 1885 he founded the Southampton Amateur Art Society. He died in 1892 and was buried in the Old Cemetery. A portrait in oils of William Lacy (1849) by Frederick Lee Bridell is in the Southampton Museums collection (image 2).

1. Lacy, William

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Photograph of Lacy in military uniform

2. William Lacy

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Portrait by Frederick Lee Bridell, 1849

Further reading:

‘William Lacy: Soldier and Artist (1809-1892)’, by Bernard Lavell, in Fosmag Magazine, No. 58, Spring 2006, p8-9. (HS/lt)


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