Francis Hindes Groome

Francis Hindes Groome (30 August 1851 in Monk Soham, Suffolk – 24 January 1902 in London), son of Robert Hindes Groome, Archdeacon of Suffolk. A writer and foremost commentator of his time on the Romani people, their language, life, history, customs, beliefs, and lore.

Francis Hindes Groome
Francis Hindes Groome c1880.jpg
Born(1851-08-30)30 August 1851
Monk Soham, Suffolk, England
Died24 January 1902(1902-01-24) (aged 50)
London, England
Resting placeMonk Soham, Suffolk
Pen nameThe Tarno Rye
RelativesRobert Hindes Groome (father)


Groome was born at his father's rectory of Monk Soham on 30 August 1851. He was educated at Ipswich School, where his lifelong interest in Romanies was sparked, and continued at Oxford University. He left Oxford without taking a degree, spent some time at Göttingen, and then for 6 years lived with Romani at home and abroad. He married a woman of Romani blood, Esmeralda Locke, in 1876 and settled down to regular literary work in Edinburgh.[1]

Francis Hindes Groome

Groome contributed generously and on a variety of subjects to such publications as the Encyclopædia Britannica, the Dictionary of National Biography, Blackwood's Magazine, the Athenaeum, Johnson's Universal Cyclopedia, The Bookman, Chambers' Biographical Dictionary, the Ordinance Gazetteer of Scotland, and as joint editor, with his father and poet Edward Fitzgerald, of "Suffolk Notes and Queries" for the Ipswich Journal.[2]

His article on 'Gipsies', in the ninth edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, made him known to the world as a "gypsyologist".[1] In 1899 he published his most significant book for folklorists, Gypsy Folk-Tales. These well-annotated collections are a significant addition to the comparative study of the world's folktales. He also co-edited the first three volumes of Gypsy Lore Society's Journal, and wrote nineteen brief articles and collections of folktales for it.[2]

He wrote a number of books including a novel of Romani life, an English-Scottish border history, a sketch of his father and Fitzgerald, and an autobiographical account of his six years with the Romani.

F.H. Groome was a sub-editor of Chambers's Encyclopaedia; joint-editor of the 1897 edition of Chamber's Dictionary of Biography.[3] He is also well remembered for his six volume Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland which appears in full at the Gazetteer of Scotland website.[4] It also appears as part of The Gazetteer for Scotland, produced by the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and is directly searchable within "A Vision of Britain through Time".[5]

A singularly alert, swift, and eager intellect, he was unwearied in research, impatient of anything less than precision, a frank and fearless critic; thoroughly at home in wide fields of historical and philological research, and in some of them a master.[1] He was nicknamed the “Tarno Rye”.[6]

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


In October 1901, Francis Hindes Groome's library of books, letters, and manuscripts bearing upon the study of the Romani was purchased by the Boston Athenæum. The collection comprises over one hundred volumes, some which are rare, and others contain rare tracts and magazine articles. There are also Mr. Groome's own books with his marginal additions, over thirty volumes of manuscript notes, lectures, and his correspondence with M. Paul Bataillard, the eminent French student of the Romani, covering the years 1872-1880.[7][8]


Books and articles written on the Romani People:

Other Non-Fiction:




  1. ^ a b c d Patrick 1912.
  2. ^ a b Jones, Michael Owen (1967). "Francis Hindes Groome: Scholar Gypsy and Gypsy Scholar". The Journal of American Folklore. 80 (315): 71–80. doi:10.2307/538418. JSTOR 538418.
  3. ^ "Authors who contributed articles to Encyclopædia Britannica, 9th and 10th Editions". Encyclopædia Britannica Contributors. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  4. ^ "A Gazetteer of Scotland".
  5. ^ "Vision of Britain - Expert Search". Archived from the original on 3 December 2008.
  6. ^ Watts-Dunton, Theodore (1916). Old Familiar Faces. London, England: The Atheneum Press.
  7. ^ "April 2010, Volume 4, Issue 4". Archived from the original on 17 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Athena Holdings Information".


External linksEdit

  Media related to Francis Hindes Groome at Wikimedia Commons