Francis Hindes Groome

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Francis Hindes Groome
Francis Hindes Groome c1880.jpg
Born (1851-08-30)August 30, 1851
Monk Soham, Suffolk
Died January 24, 1902(1902-01-24) (aged 50)
Resting place Monk Soham, Suffolk
Pen name The Tarno Rye
Nationality British
Relatives Robert Hindes Groome (father)

Francis Hindes Groome (30 August 1851 in Monk Soham, Suffolk - 24 January 1902 in London), miscellaneous writer, son of Robert Hindes Groome Archdeacon of Suffolk, wrote for various encyclopaedias, etc. He was a student of the Romani people and their language, and published In Gypsy Tents (1880), Gypsy Folk Tales (1899), and an editor of Borrow's Lavengro (1900). Other works were A Short Border History (1887), Kriegspiel (1896), a novel, and Two Suffolk Friends (his father and Edward Fitzgerald).


Groome was born at his father's rectory of Monk Soham on 30 August 1851.[1] He was educated at Ipswich School, where his lifelong interest in Romanies was sparked, then at Oxford University after which he went to Göttingen. After leaving Göttingen he lived and travelled with Romanies until arriving in Edinburgh in 1876.[2] He married a woman of Romani blood and settled in Edinburgh in 1876.[3]

His first work there [in Edinburgh] was on the ‘Globe Encyclopædia,’ edited by Dr. John Ross. Even at that time he was very delicate and subject to long wearisome periods of illness. During his work on the ‘Globe’ he fell seriously ill in the middle of the letter S. Things were going very badly with him; but they would have gone much worse had it not been for the affection and generosity of his friend and colleague Prof. H. A. Webster, who, in order to get the work out in time, sat up night after night in Groome’s room, writing articles on Sterne, Voltaire, and other subjects.

Webster’s kindness, and afterwards the kindness of Dr. Patrick, endeared Edinburgh and Scotland to the “Tarno Rye.” As Webster was at that time on the staff of ‘The Encyclopædia Britannica,’ I think, but I do not know, that it was through him that Groome got the commission to write his article ‘Gypsies’ in that stupendous work.

This was followed by his being engaged by Messrs. Jack to edit the ‘Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland’.
—Theodore Watts-Dunton, Old Familiar Faces ch8 [2]
Francis Hindes Groome

F.H. Groome later became sub-editor of Chambers's Encyclopaedia; joint-editor of the 1897 edition of Chamber's Dictionary of Biography[4] and is perhaps best remembered for his six volume Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland which appears in full at the Gazetteer of Scotland Web Site. It also appears as part of the The Gazetteer for Scotland, produced by the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and is directly searchable within A Vision of Britain through Time.

He worked with David MacRitchie, as editor of the quarterly journal of the Gypsy Lore Society until its dormancy in 1892.

Groome died on 24 January 1902, and was buried at Monk Soham, Suffolk.[1] [5]


  1. ^ a b Patrick 1912.
  2. ^ a b Watts-Dunton, Theodore (1916). "8". Old Familiar Faces. London, England: The Atheneum Press. 
  3. ^ "Biographical note on Francis Hindes Groome". Gazeteer for Scotland. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "Authors who contributed articles to Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th and 10th Editions". Encyclopaedia Britannica Contributors. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  5. ^ Edward FitzGerald: an aftermath (1902), p.3


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