Why should I have chosen to feature them in my 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge ? Basically because they both have a really good story to tell and led to many generations of Ross being associated with Hastings in Sussex. See W29, W34, W26 and W27.
It seems "the bones of his ancestors for many generations" lay back in Focharbers near Elgin in the far north of Scotland and, on a visit with his son, they "were greeted with fraternal warmth by their clan".
During their time in Gibraltar there was deadly fever raging among the inhabitants. The wives of soldiers were forbidden to go anywhere near the areas where this plague was in case they brought it back and it spread to the Garrison. It seems Patience disobeyed this order and, disguising herself as a Portuguese Lady, "went forth, in defiance of the authorities and at the risk of her own life, that she might minister to the sick and the dying". Whether this was terribly sensible is debatable but it did show her strength of character and humaneness.
The plague in Gibraltar reached a peak in 1805 with "the great yellow fever epidemic" when over a third of the civilian population died, including many from the garrison. Sounds like the Ross family escaped in the nick of time.
"Shortly after coming to Hastings, she cured a cowardly neighbour of a weakness for wife-beating." The local newspaper sadly doesn't go into any further details as to how this cure was administered but I guess she told the wife beater exactly what she thought of him and what she would do if he continued beating his wife.
The article says that many years later Patience discovered that the lease of Government House was about to be transferred to a Lady Claremont, who was one of the leading fashionable dames of her day. Lady Claremont had taken a liking to the premises during a visit. Not wanting to leave their home she "unaccompanied, betook herself to London, and actually interviewed the members of the Ordnance Board at a private dinner, and with such success that, although she was too late to obtain the boon she prayed for, she was at least eloquent enough to secure the promise of a lease for ninety-nine years of the site, on which her husband subsequently built the house now known as Pelham Cottage".
One interesting post script is that in 1840, Prince (later becoming Emperor) Napoleon the Third, occupied "The Cottage" for a couple of weeks before he attempted to return to France to carry out a coup. In the summer of 1840 he bought weapons and uniforms and had proclamations printed. He gathered a contingent of about sixty armed men, hired a ship called the Edinburgh-Castle, and on August 6, 1840, sailed across the Channel from Hastings to Boulogne ..... only for them all to be arrested on the beach as they arrived. His Empress occupied some apartments at the nearby Marine Hotel when she was exiled in 1870.
It seems the house previously called Pelham Cottage was subsequently renamed Ross's Cottage and was practically rebuilt when the Hippodrome was erected.
He appears on the 1871 UK census. Napoleon III, nephew of the original Napoleon (who was long since dead by then), was the final ruler of the House of Bonaparte. He was captured after defeat in the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 and, after being held in Germany for a while, he was exiled to England in March 1871 - shortly before the census. It is slightly amusing and sad in equal measure to see him on the census as "Emperor of the French". Presumably the enumerator asked his occupation and that was the reply. In reality the empire was finished. France was a republic again after his capitulation and fall in 1870.
Empress Eugenie is also on the census. She actually arrived in England before her husband, as she wasn't captured. But it's amazing she chose to live with him again because, when she heard news of the defeat and capitulation to the Prussians, she is said to have exclaimed "No ! An Emperor does not capitulate ! He is dead ! ..... They are trying to hide it from me. Why didn't he kill himself ! Doesn't he know he has dishonored himself ? !"
They lived at Camden Place in Chislehurst. He died in 1873. Buried at St Michaels Abbey, Farnborough.
(Source Marcus Richardson in Family History & Photography facebook group)