Thomas Collyns SIMON (c.1811–1883)
St Giles section, Row 4, Grave B39

Thomas Simon



God is Love


SEPTEMBER 24, 1883







Thomas Collyns Simon was born at Cork in Ireland in c.1811, the eldest son of Peter Simon.

On 28 March 1829 at the age of 19, Thomas was matriculated at the University of Oxford from Magdalen Hall, but he did not finish his degree. His younger brother William Frederick Simon followed him up to Magdalen Hall four years later.

In 1844 at Hastings, Sussex, Thomas Collyns Simon married Maria Jones Agnew, who was born in Ireland in c.1826, the daughter of Edward Jones Agnew of Kilwaughter Castle, Antrim. They had one child:

  • Mary Maria Augusta Simon (born in Ireland on 1 January 1847).

Thomas and Maria Simon came to London soon after baby Mary's birth. At the time of the 1851 census Thomas (40), described as an author in scientific literature, was living in part of 64 Cambridge Terrace, Paddington with his wife Maria (24), who was described as an annuitant, and their three-year-old daughter Mary (3). They had one servant.

Thomas Collyns Simon's books include the following:

  • The mission and martyrdom of St Peter (London, 1852; second edition with corrections and additions, 1862)
  • Scientific certainties of planetary life: or Neptune's light as great as ours (London, 1855) View online
  • An answer to the Essays and reviews (London, 1861)
  • On the nature and elements of the external world: or Universal immaterialism fully explained (London, 1862) View online
  • The philosophical answer to the essays and reviews (London, 1862)
  • Hamilton versus Mill, a thorough discussion of each chapter in Mr John S. Mill's Examination of Hamilton's logic and philosophy (Edinburgh, 1866) View online
  • A treatise, in popular language, on the solar illumination of the solar system, or, The law and theory of the inverse squares (London, 1879) View online
  • On the equal distribution of light throughout the solar system, by Physicus (London, 1881)

His wife Maria died in Ireland of scarlet fever at the age of 30 on 8 May 1857, and the following death notice was published in the Belfast Newsletter on 19 May:

May 8, of scarlatina, at the Rectory, Ballysax, Curragh Camp, Maria, wife of Thomas C. Simon, Esq., and only daughter of the late Edward Jones Agnew, Esq., of Kilwaughter Castle, County Antrim.

Her husband and daughter returned to England, and at the time of the 1861 census Thomas (44) and Mary (13) were living with their lady's maid at Combe Villa, Monkton Combe, Somerset in part of the home of the retired builder John Spence and his family.

Thomas Collyns Simon is hard to find in the 1871 and 1881 censuses, and may have been in Ireland, or possibly in Scotland, as he had connections there: he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Edinburgh University, and his book Hamilton versus Mill was published in Edinburgh in 1866.

In 1878 in the Kensington district his daughter Mary Maria Augusta Simon married Count Ugo Balzani, and they had two daughters:

  • Guendalina Balzani
  • Nora Lucia Malvina Beatrice Balzani (born at 10 Norham Gardens, Oxford on 21 September 1883, with the notice of her birth published in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 29 September. She was privately baptised by St Giles's Church on 6 December).

Thomas Collyns Simon died in Oxford in 1883, just three days after his granddaughter Nora was born in his house::

† Thomas Collyns Simon died at 10 Norham Gardens at the age of 72 on 24 September 1883 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 26 September (burial recorded in the parish register of St Giles's Church).

His death notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal read: “Sept. 24, at 10, Norham-gardens, Oxford, Thomas Collyns Simon, Hon. LL.D. Edin.

All the furniture at 10 Norham Gardens was auctioned on the premises on 4 February 1884.

His only child Mary Maria Augusta Simon, Countess Balzani (1847–1895)

Count Ugo Balzani was awarded an honorary doctorate at Encaenia in Oxford in June 1888, and he and the Countess attended a luncheon at All Souls College afterwards.

William Agnew, the brother of Simon's wife Maria, had inherited Kilwaughter Castle and its estate, and after purchasing additional land it became one of the largest landholdings in Ireland (c.10,000 acres). He had no children, and when he died in 1891 bequeathed everything to his niece, the Countess Balzani . She died just four years after her uncle on 3 July 1895 at the age of 48, and was buried in the Campo Cestio Cemetery in Lasio, Italy (Plot 576).

Her unmarried daughter Nora (born 1883) died in Italy on 17 November 1975 and was buried with her mother.



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