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Title: Historical Record of the Seventeenth, or the Leicestershire Regiment of Foot

Author: Richard Cannon

Release date: August 13, 2016 [eBook #52793]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Brian Coe, John Campbell and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
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Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within the text and consultation of external sources.

More detail can be found at the end of the book.

original cover
and under the Patronage of
Her Majesty the Queen.

British Army
Comprising the
History of every Regiment

By Richard Cannon Esqre.
Adjutant Generals Office, Horse Guards.
Printed by Authority:







IN 1688,
TO 1848.
















1804 TO 1823;









1688Formation of the Regiment in the vicinity of London1
——Solomon Richards appointed to be Colonel2
——Reported fit for duty, and marched to Windsor, Slough, Datchet, Staines, and Egham
——Furnished a Guard at Windsor Castle, to His Majesty King James II.
——Revolution took place in Great Britain
——King James II. proceeded to France
1689King William III. and Queen Mary elevated to the Throne
——Regiment adhered to the Protestant interest
——Embarked for Ireland with Ninth Foot to aid in the defence of Londonderry3
——Returned to England, having failed to land at Londonderry
——Colonel Richards deprived of his commission by King William III.
——Sir George St. George appointed Colonel
1693Embarked for Flanders4
1694[xxvi] Quartered for the winter at Ostend4
1695Marched to Dixmude
——Colonel Courthorpe exchanged with Colonel Sir George St. George
——Engaged at the Fortress of Kenoque
——Joined in the Siege of Namur5
——Engaged at the storming of St. Denis
——Colonel Courthorpe killed6
——Lieut.-Colonel Sir Matthew Bridges promoted to the Colonelcy
——Surrender of the Castle of Namur
——Quartered for the winter in Bruges
1696Encamped near Ghent
——Served the Campaign under the Prince of Vaudemont7
1697Engaged in operations in Brabant
——Termination of Hostilities by the Treaty of Ryswick
——Returned to England
——Embarked for Ireland
1701Preparations for War recommenced
——Re-embarked from Cork for Holland
——Reviewed by King William III. on Breda-heath
1702Proceeded to Rosendael
——Encamped at Cranenburg
——Siege and Capture of Kayserswerth8
—————————— of Venloo
—————————— of Ruremonde
—————————— of Liege
1703———————— of Huy9
—————————— of Limburg
——Lieut.-Colonel Blood promoted to the Colonelcy, vice Sir M. Bridges
——Embarked from Holland10
1704[xxvii] Proceeded to Portugal10
1705Siege and Capture of Valencia de Alcantara11
—————————— of Albuquerque
——Siege of Badajoz
1706Siege and Capture of Alcantara
——Advanced to Placencia
——Siege and Capture of Ciudad Rodrigo12
——Marched to Madrid
——Retreated to Valencia
1707Battle of Almanza
——Lieut.-Colonel Wightman promoted to the Colonelcy, in succession to General Blood, deceased14
1708Engaged in operations in Catalonia15
1709Returned to England
1710Stationed in Scotland
1714Proceeded to Ireland
1715Removed to Scotland
——Engaged at Sheriff-Muir
1722Promotion of Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Ferrers to the Colonelcy, in succession to General Wightman, deceased16
——Appointment of Colonel James Tyrell, vice Colonel Ferrers, deceased
1726Embarked for Minorca
1742Colonel John Wynyard from the Marines (4th Regiment) appointed Colonel, in succession to General Tyrell, deceased
1748Peace concluded at Aix la Chapelle17
——Embarked for Ireland
1751Royal Warrant issued on 1st July for regulating clothing, colours, &c.
1752Colonel Edward Richbell appointed to the Colonelcy, in succession to General Wynyard, deceased
1757[xxviii] Colonel John Forbes appointed Colonel, in succession to General Richbell, deceased17
——Embarked for Nova Scotia
1758Proceeded on an expedition against Cape Breton
——Siege of Louisburg, and capture of the island of Cape Breton18
——Joined the troops at Lake George
1759Siege of Ticonderago19
——Proceeded to Crown Point
——Hon. Robert Monckton appointed Colonel, vice Forbes, deceased
1760Embarked from Crown Point, and formed part of the army which advanced to Montreal, and effected the conquest of the whole of Canada
1761Proceeded to New York20
——Encamped at Staten Island
1762Embarked for the West Indies
——Capture of Martinique
————— of Grenada21
————— of St. Lucia
————— of St. Vincent
——Formed part of the expedition against the Havannah
——Siege and Capture of Moro Fort, with nine ships of war, &c.
1763Treaty of Peace concluded22
——Havannah restored to Spain in exchange for Florida
——Re-embarked for North America
1767Returned to England
1771Embarked for Ireland
1775Embarked for North America
1776Arrived at Boston, and proceeded to Nova Scotia23
——Embarked for New York, and landed at Staten Island
1776[xxix] Proceeded to Long Island23
——Engaged with the American army at Brooklyn24
——Capture of New York
——Engaged at White Plains
——Reduction of Fort Washington
1777Engagement with the American army at Trenton25
——Proceeded on an Expedition to Pennsylvania26
——Attacked the American position at Brandywine
——Advanced, and took possession of Philadelphia
——Took a position at Germantown
1778Marched with the army from Philadelphia through the Jerseys, on its return to New York27
1779Placed in garrison at Stoney Point
——Attacked and made prisoners of war
——Exchanged and united with detachments of Provincial troops and employed on various services in Virginia28
1781Attacked the Americans at Guildford Court House
——Defended York Town, where they became prisoners of war
1782Major-General George Morrison appointed Colonel, vice Monckton, deceased
——Authorized to assume the County Title of Leicestershire Regiment
1783Removed from New York to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland28
1786Embarked for England
1792Major-General George Garth appointed Colonel, vice Morrison, removed to the Fourth Foot
1793Embarked for Ireland
1796Embarked for St. Domingo
1798Re-embarked for England30
1799A Second Battalion added to the Establishment of the Regiment by volunteers from the Militia
1799[xxx] The two Battalions embarked for Holland under Lieut.-General Sir Ralph Abercromby30
——Engaged in action with the Enemy on 19th September
——Again engaged at Bergen on 2nd October31
——Returned to England
1800Embarked for Minorca
1802Embarked for Ireland
——Second Battalion reduced
1803Hostilities with France resumed
——Ordered suddenly from Limerick to Dublin, on account of serious riots
1804Embarked from Ireland for the Isle of Wight
——Proceeded to the East Indies
1806Proceeded to Bundelkund32
1807Captured the Fort of Chumar by storm
——Attack on the Fort of Comona33
——Employed in pursuit of the hostile tribes
1808Joined the force under Major-General St. Leger
——Proceeded to the Sutlej
1814War with Nepaul34
——Attack on Jutgurgh
1816Flank Companies joined a flank Battalion forming at Allahabad35
1817Battalion Companies ordered to Nagpore
——Action at Jubblepore36
1819Lieut.-General Sir Josiah Champagné, G.C.H., appointed Colonel, vice Garth, deceased
1823Embarked for England37
——Landed at Gravesend and marched to Chatham
——Reviewed at Southsea Common by H. R. H. the Duke of Clarence38
1825Permitted to bear the figure of the Royal Tiger, with the word Hindoostan superscribed
——Proceeded to Scotland
1826[xxxi] Returned to England39
——Embarked for Ireland
1829Returned to England
1830Embarked by detachments for New South Wales
1836Proceeded to Bombay
1837Encamped at Poona
1838War with Affghanistan
——Proceeded to Tatta in Lower Scinde
1839Marched into Scinde40
——Captured Hyderabad
——Marched into Affghanistan
——Fortress of Ghuznee captured by storm41
——Expedition against the Khan of Khelat
——Khelat captured
——Medal presented for storming Ghuznee42
——Permitted to bear on its colours and appointments the words "Affghanistan," "Ghuznee," and "Khelat"
1840Returned to British India43
——General Sir F. A. Wetherall, G.C.H., appointed Colonel, vice Champagné, deceased
1841Proceeded to Aden, in Arabia Felix
1843Lieut.-General Sir Peregrine Maitland, K.C.B., appointed Colonel, vice Wetherall, deceased44
1845Returned to Bombay45
1847Embarked for England
——Arrived at Gravesend and marched to Canterbury
1848Proceeded to London in consequence of Chartist riots46
——The Conclusion


Costume of the Regimentto face1
Colours of the Regiment"      46





1688Solomon Richards47
1689Sir George St. George
1695James Courthorpe48
——Sir Matthew Bridges
1703Holcroft Blood
1707James Wightman49
1722Thomas Ferrers50
1722James Tyrrell
1742John Wynyard51
1752Edward Richbell
1757John Forbes
1759The Honourable Robert Monckton52
1782George Morrison
1792George Garth53
1819Sir Josiah Champagné, G.C.H.
1840Sir Frederick Augustus Wetherall, G.C.H.55
1843Sir Peregrine Maitland, K.C.B.56




1st January, 1836.

His Majesty has been pleased to command that, with the view of doing the fullest justice to Regiments, as well as to Individuals who have distinguished themselves by their Bravery in Action with the Enemy, an Account of the Services of every Regiment in the British Army shall be published under the superintendence and direction of the Adjutant-General; and that this Account shall contain the following particulars, viz.:—

—— The Period and Circumstances of the Original Formation of the Regiment; The Stations at which it has been from time to time employed; The Battles, Sieges, and other Military Operations in which it has been engaged, particularly specifying any Achievement it may have performed, and the Colours, Trophies, &c., it may have captured from the Enemy.

—— The Names of the Officers, and the number of Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates Killed or Wounded by the Enemy, specifying the place and Date of the Action.


—— The Names of those Officers who, in consideration of their Gallant Services and Meritorious Conduct in Engagements with the Enemy, have been distinguished with Titles, Medals, or other Marks of His Majesty's gracious favour.

—— The Names of all such Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and Privates, as may have specially signalized themselves in Action.


—— The Badges and Devices which the Regiment may have been permitted to bear, and the Causes on account of which such Badges or Devices, or any other Marks of Distinction, have been granted.

By Command of the Right Honorable



John Macdonald,




The character and credit of the British Army must chiefly depend upon the zeal and ardour by which all who enter into its service are animated, and consequently it is of the highest importance that any measure calculated to excite the spirit of emulation, by which alone great and gallant actions are achieved, should be adopted.

Nothing can more fully tend to the accomplishment of this desirable object than a full display of the noble deeds with which the Military History of our country abounds. To hold forth these bright examples to the imitation of the youthful soldier, and thus to incite him to emulate the meritorious conduct of those who have preceded him in their honorable career, are among the motives that have given rise to the present publication.

The operations of the British Troops are, indeed, announced in the "London Gazette," from whence they are transferred into the public prints: the achievements of our armies are thus made known at the time of their occurrence, and receive the tribute[iv] of praise and admiration to which they are entitled. On extraordinary occasions, the Houses of Parliament have been in the habit of conferring on the Commanders, and the Officers and Troops acting under their orders, expressions of approbation and of thanks for their skill and bravery; and these testimonials, confirmed by the high honour of their Sovereign's approbation, constitute the reward which the soldier most highly prizes.

It has not, however, until late years, been the practice (which appears to have long prevailed in some of the Continental armies) for British Regiments to keep regular records of their services and achievements. Hence some difficulty has been experienced in obtaining, particularly from the old Regiments, an authentic account of their origin and subsequent services.

This defect will now be remedied, in consequence of His Majesty having been pleased to command that every Regiment shall, in future, keep a full and ample record of its services at home and abroad.

From the materials thus collected, the country will henceforth derive information as to the difficulties and privations which chequer the career of those who embrace the military profession. In Great Britain, where so large a number of persons are devoted to the active concerns of agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, and where these pursuits have, for so[v] long a period, being undisturbed by the presence of war, which few other countries have escaped, comparatively little is known of the vicissitudes of active service and of the casualties of climate, to which, even during peace, the British Troops are exposed in every part of the globe, with little or no interval of repose.

In their tranquil enjoyment of the blessings which the country derives from the industry and the enterprise of the agriculturist and the trader, its happy inhabitants may be supposed not often to reflect on the perilous duties of the soldier and the sailor,—on their sufferings,—and on the sacrifice of valuable life, by which so many national benefits are obtained and preserved.

The conduct of the British Troops, their valour, and endurance, have shone conspicuously under great and trying difficulties; and their character has been established in Continental warfare by the irresistible spirit with which they have effected debarkations in spite of the most formidable opposition, and by the gallantry and steadiness with which they have maintained their advantages against superior numbers.

In the official Reports made by the respective Commanders, ample justice has generally been done to the gallant exertions of the Corps employed; but the details of their services and of acts of individual[vi] bravery can only be fully given in the Annals of the various Regiments.

These Records are now preparing for publication, under his Majesty's special authority, by Mr. Richard Cannon, Principal Clerk of the Adjutant General's Office; and while the perusal of them cannot fail to be useful and interesting to military men of every rank, it is considered that they will also afford entertainment and information to the general reader, particularly to those who may have served in the Army, or who have relatives in the Service.

There exists in the breasts of most of those who have served, or are serving, in the Army, an Esprit de Corps—an attachment to everything belonging to their Regiment; to such persons a narrative of the services of their own Corps cannot fail to prove interesting. Authentic accounts of the actions of the great, the valiant, the loyal, have always been of paramount interest with a brave and civilized people. Great Britain has produced a race of heroes who, in moments of danger and terror, have stood "firm as the rocks of their native shore:" and when half the world has been arrayed against them, they have fought the battles of their Country with unshaken fortitude. It is presumed that a record of achievements in war,—victories so complete and surprising, gained by our countrymen, our brothers,[vii] our fellow citizens in arms,—a record which revives the memory of the brave, and brings their gallant deeds before us,—will certainly prove acceptable to the public.

Biographical Memoirs of the Colonels and other distinguished Officers will be introduced in the Records of their respective Regiments, and the Honorary Distinctions which have, from time to time, been conferred upon each Regiment, as testifying the value and importance of its services, will be faithfully set forth.

As a convenient mode of Publication, the Record of each Regiment will be printed in a distinct number, so that when the whole shall be completed, the Parts may be bound up in numerical succession.




The natives of Britain have, at all periods, been celebrated for innate courage and unshaken firmness, and the national superiority of the British troops over those of other countries has been evinced in the midst of the most imminent perils. History contains so many proofs of extraordinary acts of bravery, that no doubts can be raised upon the facts which are recorded. It must therefore be admitted, that the distinguishing feature of the British soldier is Intrepidity. This quality was evinced by the inhabitants of England when their country was invaded by Julius Cæsar with a Roman army, on which occasion the undaunted Britons rushed into the sea to attack the Roman soldiers as they descended from their ships; and, although their discipline and arms were inferior to those of their adversaries, yet their fierce and dauntless bearing intimidated the flower of the Roman troops, including Cæsar's favourite tenth legion. Their arms consisted of spears, short swords, and other weapons of rude construction. They had chariots, to the[x] axles of which were fastened sharp pieces of iron resembling scythe-blades, and infantry in long chariots resembling waggons, who alighted and fought on foot, and for change of ground, pursuit or retreat, sprang into the chariot and drove off with the speed of cavalry. These inventions were, however, unavailing against Cæsar's legions: in the course of time a military system, with discipline and subordination, was introduced, and British courage, being thus regulated, was exerted to the greatest advantage; a full development of the national character followed, and it shone forth in all its native brilliancy.

The military force of the Anglo-Saxons consisted principally of infantry: Thanes, and other men of property, however, fought on horseback. The infantry were of two classes, heavy and light. The former carried large shields armed with spikes, long broad swords and spears; and the latter were armed with swords or spears only. They had also men armed with clubs, others with battle-axes and javelins.

The feudal troops established by William the Conqueror consisted (as already stated in the Introduction to the Cavalry) almost entirely of horse; but when the warlike barons and knights, with their trains of tenants and vassals, took the field, a proportion of men appeared on foot, and, although these were of inferior degree, they proved stout-hearted Britons of stanch fidelity. When stipendiary troops were employed, infantry always constituted a considerable portion of the military force;[xi] and this arme has since acquired, in every quarter of the globe, a celebrity never exceeded by the armies of any nation at any period.

The weapons carried by the infantry, during the several reigns succeeding the Conquest, were bows and arrows, half-pikes, lances, halberds, various kinds of battle-axes, swords, and daggers. Armour was worn on the head and body, and in course of time the practice became general for military men to be so completely cased in steel, that it was almost impossible to slay them.

The introduction of the use of gunpowder in the destructive purposes of war, in the early part of the fourteenth century, produced a change in the arms and equipment of the infantry-soldier. Bows and arrows gave place to various kinds of fire-arms, but British archers continued formidable adversaries; and, owing to the inconvenient construction and imperfect bore of the fire-arms when first introduced, a body of men, well trained in the use of the bow from their youth, was considered a valuable acquisition to every army, even as late as the sixteenth century.

During a great part of the reign of Queen Elizabeth each company of infantry usually consisted of men armed five different ways; in every hundred men forty were "men-at-arms," and sixty "shot;" the "men-at-arms" were ten halberdiers, or battle-axe men, and thirty pikemen; and the "shot" were twenty archers, twenty musketeers, and twenty harquebusiers, and each man carried, besides his principal weapon, a sword and dagger.


Companies of infantry varied at this period in numbers from 150 to 300 men; each company had a colour or ensign, and the mode of formation recommended by an English military writer (Sir John Smithe) in 1590 was:—the colour in the centre of the company guarded by the halberdiers; the pikemen in equal proportions, on each flank of the halberdiers: half the musketeers on each flank of the pikes; half the archers on each flank of the musketeers, and the harquebusiers (whose arms were much lighter than the muskets then in use) in equal proportions on each flank of the company for skirmishing.[1] It was customary to unite a number of companies into one body, called a Regiment, which frequently amounted to three thousand men: but each company continued to carry a colour. Numerous improvements were eventually introduced in the construction of fire-arms, and, it having been found impossible to make armour proof against the muskets then in use (which carried a very heavy ball) without its being too weighty for the soldier, armour was gradually laid aside by the infantry in the seventeenth century: bows and arrows also fell into disuse, and the infantry were reduced to two classes, viz.: musketeers, armed with matchlock muskets,[xiii] swords, and daggers; and pikemen, armed with pikes from fourteen to eighteen feet long, and swords.

In the early part of the seventeenth century Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, reduced the strength of regiments to 1000 men. He caused the gunpowder, which had heretofore been carried in flasks, or in small wooden bandoliers, each containing a charge, to be made up into cartridges, and carried in pouches; and he formed each regiment into two wings of musketeers, and a centre division of pikemen. He also adopted the practice of forming four regiments into a brigade; and the number of colours was afterwards reduced to three in each regiment. He formed his columns so compactly that his infantry could resist the charge of the celebrated Polish horsemen and Austrian cuirassiers; and his armies became the admiration of other nations. His mode of formation was copied by the English, French, and other European states; but so great was the prejudice in favour of ancient customs, that all his improvements were not adopted until near a century afterwards.

In 1664 King Charles II. raised a corps for sea-service, styled the Admiral's regiment. In 1678 each company of 100 men usually consisted of 30 pikemen, 60 musketeers, and 10 men armed with light firelocks. In this year the King added a company of men armed with hand-grenades to each of the old British regiments, which was designated the "grenadier company." Daggers were so contrived as to fit in the muzzles of the muskets, and bayonets[xiv] similar to those at present in use were adopted about twenty years afterwards.

An Ordnance regiment was raised in 1685, by order of King James II., to guard the artillery, and was designated the Royal Fusiliers (now 7th Foot). This corps, and the companies of grenadiers, did not carry pikes.

King William III. incorporated the Admiral's regiment in the second Foot Guards, and raised two Marine regiments for sea-service. During the war in this reign, each company of infantry (excepting the fusiliers and grenadiers) consisted of 14 pikemen and 46 musketeers; the captains carried pikes; lieutenants, partisans; ensigns, half-pikes; and serjeants, halberds. After the peace in 1697 the Marine regiments were disbanded, but were again formed on the breaking out of the war in 1702.[2]

During the reign of Queen Anne the pikes were laid aside, and every infantry soldier was armed with a musket, bayonet, and sword; the grenadiers ceased, about the same period, to carry hand grenades; and the regiments were directed to lay aside their third colour: the corps of Royal Artillery was first added to the Army in this reign.

About the year 1745, the men of the battalion companies of infantry ceased to carry swords; during[xv] the reign of George II. light companies were added to infantry regiments; and in 1764 a Board of General Officers recommended that the grenadiers should lay aside their swords, as that weapon had never been used during the Seven Years' War. Since that period the arms of the infantry soldier have been limited to the musket and bayonet.

The arms and equipment of the British Troops have seldom differed materially, since the Conquest, from those of other European states; and in some respects the arming has, at certain periods, been allowed to be inferior to that of the nations with whom they have had to contend; yet, under this disadvantage, the bravery and superiority of the British infantry have been evinced on very many and most trying occasions, and splendid victories have been gained over very superior numbers.

Great Britain has produced a race of lion-like champions who have dared to confront a host of foes, and have proved themselves valiant with any arms. At Crecy King Edward III., at the head of about 30,000 men, defeated, on the 26th of August, 1346, Philip King of France, whose army is said to have amounted to 100,000 men; here British valour encountered veterans of renown:—the King of Bohemia, the King of Majorca, and many princes and nobles were slain, and the French army was routed and cut to pieces. Ten years afterwards, Edward Prince of Wales, who was designated the Black Prince, defeated, at Poictiers, with 14,000 men, a French army of 60,000 horse, besides infantry, and took John I., King of France, and his son[xvi] Philip, prisoners. On the 25th of October, 1415, King Henry V., with an army of about 13,000 men, although greatly exhausted by marches, privations, and sickness, defeated, at Agincourt, the Constable of France, at the head of the flower of the French nobility and an army said to amount to 60,000 men, and gained a complete victory.

During the seventy years' war between the United Provinces of the Netherlands and the Spanish monarchy, which commenced in 1578 and terminated in 1648, the British infantry in the service of the States-General were celebrated for their unconquerable spirit and firmness;[3] and in the thirty years' war between the Protestant Princes and the Emperor of Germany, the British Troops in the service of Sweden and other states were celebrated for deeds of heroism.[4] In the wars of Queen Anne, the fame of the British army under the great Marlborough was spread throughout the world; and if we glance at the achievements performed within the memory of persons now living, there is abundant proof that the Britons of the present age are not inferior to their ancestors in the qualities [xvii] which constitute good soldiers. Witness the deeds of the brave men, of whom there are many now surviving, who fought in Egypt in 1801, under the brave Abercromby, and compelled the French army, which had been vainly styled Invincible, to evacuate that country; also the services of the gallant Troops during the arduous campaigns in the Peninsula, under the immortal Wellington; and the determined stand made by the British Army at Waterloo, where Napoleon Bonaparte, who had long been the inveterate enemy of Great Britain, and had sought and planned her destruction by every means he could devise, was compelled to leave his vanquished legions to their fate, and to place himself at the disposal of the British Government. These achievements, with others of recent dates in the distant climes of India, prove that the same valour and constancy which glowed in the breasts of the heroes of Crecy, Poictiers, Agincourt, Blenheim, and Ramilies, continue to animate the Britons of the nineteenth century.

The British Soldier is distinguished for a robust and muscular frame,—intrepidity which no danger can appal,—unconquerable spirit and resolution,—patience in fatigue and privation, and cheerful obedience to his superiors. These qualities,—united with an excellent system of order and discipline to regulate and give a skilful direction to the energies and adventurous spirit of the hero, and a wise selection of officers of superior talent to command, whose presence inspires confidence,—have been the leading causes of the splendid victories gained by the British[xviii] arms.[5] The fame of the deeds of the past and present generations in the various battle-fields where the robust sons of Albion have fought and conquered, surrounds the British arms with a halo of glory; these achievements will live in the page of history to the end of time.

The records of the several regiments will be found to contain a detail of facts of an interesting character, connected with the hardships, sufferings, and gallant exploits of British soldiers in the various parts of the world, where the calls of their Country and the commands of their Sovereign have required them to proceed in the execution of their duty, whether in[xix] active continental operations, or in maintaining colonial territories in distant and unfavourable climes.

The superiority of the British infantry has been pre-eminently set forth in the wars of six centuries, and admitted by the greatest commanders which Europe has produced. The formations and movements of this arme, as at present practised, while they are adapted to every species of warfare, and to all probable situations and circumstances of service, are well suited to show forth the brilliancy of military tactics calculated upon mathematical and scientific principles. Although the movements and evolutions have been copied from the continental armies, yet various improvements have from time to time been introduced, to ensure that simplicity and celerity by which the superiority of the national military character is maintained. The rank and influence which Great Britain has attained among the nations of the world have in a great measure been purchased by the valour of the Army, and to persons who have the welfare of their country at heart the records of the several regiments cannot fail to prove interesting.


[1] A company of 200 men would appear thus:—

2020203020 30202020
Harquebuses.Muskets.Halberds. Muskets.Harquebuses.
Archers.Pikes. Pikes.Archers.
The musket carried a ball which weighed 1/10th of a pound; and the harquebus a ball which weighed 1/25th of a pound.

[2] The 30th, 31st, and 32nd Regiments were formed as Marine corps in 1702, and were employed as such during the wars in the reign of Queen Anne. The Marine corps were embarked in the Fleet under Admiral Sir George Rooke, and were at the taking of Gibraltar, and in its subsequent defence in 1704; they were afterwards employed at the siege of Barcelona in 1705.

[3] The brave Sir Roger Williams, in his Discourse on War, printed in 1590, observes:—"I persuade myself ten thousand of our nation would beat thirty thousand of theirs (the Spaniards) out of the field, let them be chosen where they list." Yet at this time the Spanish infantry was allowed to be the best disciplined in Europe. For instances of valour displayed by the British Infantry during the Seventy Years' War, see the Historical Record of the Third Foot, or Buffs.

[4] Vide the Historical Record of the First, or Royal Regiment of Foot.

[5] "Under the blessing of Divine Providence, His Majesty ascribes the successes which have attended the exertions of his troops in Egypt to that determined bravery which is inherent in Britons; but His Majesty desires it may be most solemnly and forcibly impressed on the consideration of every part of the army, that it has been a strict observance of order, discipline, and military system, which has given the full energy to the native valour of the troops, and has enabled them proudly to assert the superiority of the national military character, in situations uncommonly arduous, and under circumstances of peculiar difficulty."—General Orders in 1801.

In the General Orders issued by Lieut.-General Sir John Hope (afterwards Lord Hopetoun), congratulating the army upon the successful result of the Battle of Corunna, on the 16th of January, 1809, it is stated:—"On no occasion has the undaunted valour of British troops ever been more manifest. At the termination of a severe and harassing march, rendered necessary by the superiority which the enemy had acquired, and which had materially impaired the efficiency of the troops, many disadvantages were to be encountered. These have all been surmounted by the conduct of the troops themselves; and the enemy has been taught, that, whatever advantages of position or of numbers he may possess, there is inherent in the British officers and soldiers a bravery that knows not how to yield,—that no circumstances can appal,—and that will ensure victory, when it is to be obtained by the exertion of any human means."









In the autumn of 1688, when the adoption of pernicious counsels by the Court had given rise to the preparation of an armament in Holland to support the British people in the preservation of their religion and laws, and King James II. began to entertain apprehension for the permanence of his government, His Majesty issued commissions for adding to his regular army five regiments of cavalry and seven of infantry, including two corps formed of men who had quitted the Dutch service; and of these twelve regiments, the sixteenth and SEVENTEENTH regiments of foot in the British line are the only remaining corps.[6]

The SEVENTEENTH regiment was raised in London and its immediate vicinity, and the colonelcy was conferred[2] on Solomon Richards, by commission dated the 27th of September, 1688.

Great success attended the efforts made to procure men for completing the ranks of the regiment, and in three weeks after the letter of service for its formation was issued, it was embodied, armed, and clothed. It was composed to a great extent of men who had entered the army at the augmentation in 1685, and had been discharged after the suppression of the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion. The regiment was speedily reported fit for duty, and on the 23rd of October orders were received for four companies to march to Colnbrook and Longford, four to Staines and Egham, and five to Windsor, Datchet, and Slough; at the same time two companies were directed to mount guard at the Castle at Windsor: thus were the first duties of the regiment those of a guard to the Royal person.

On the 29th of October the quarters were changed to Maidenhead, Datchet, and Windsor; and on the 6th of November, when the Prince of Orange had landed in Devonshire, the regiment received orders to march to Greenwich and Deptford, to be in readiness to protect the establishments in the vicinity of those places, and to aid, if required, in the preservation of the peace of the Metropolis.


The events which followed in rapid succession occasioned the flight of King James to France, and the services of the regiment were transferred to the Prince and Princess of Orange, who were elevated to the throne by the title of King William and Queen Mary, in February, 1689.

In Ireland, the army adhered to the interest of King James; but the Protestants of Inniskilling and Londonderry embraced the principles of the Revolu[3]tion, and wrote to King William for assistance to enable them to preserve those places in his interest. The ninth and SEVENTEENTH regiments were directed to proceed to Ireland, to support the people of Londonderry; and the two corps sailed from Liverpool on the 3rd of April. Contrary winds forced the transports to anchor at Highlake; but they again put to sea on the 10th of that month, and on the 15th arrived in the vicinity of Londonderry. The governor, Colonel Lundy, had resolved to surrender the place to King James, who had arrived in Ireland with a body of troops from France, and this officer called a council of war, to which he stated, that there was not provision in the town for the garrison for more than ten days, and that it would be impossible to resist the army which was advancing against it, and a resolution was passed against the two regiments landing. The two colonels had received orders to obey the governor, and they accordingly returned with their regiments to England. It afterwards appeared that the governor's statements were not true; the town was defended, and King William, considering that the two colonels (Cunningham and Richards) had not sufficiently investigated the state of the fortress, and of its stores, deprived them of their commissions.

The colonelcy of the SEVENTEENTH regiment was conferred on Sir George St. George, by commission dated the 1st of May, 1689.


The regiment was employed on home service during the years 1690, 1691, and 1692. In 1693, the confederate army in the Netherlands, commanded by King William III., sustained severe loss at the battle of Landen, on the 29th of July; and after His Majesty's return to England, at the end of the campaign,[4] the SEVENTEENTH regiment received orders to hold itself in readiness for foreign service. It embarked for Flanders, and was stationed in garrison at Ostend until the spring of 1694.


During the campaign of this year, the regiment served in the brigade commanded by Brigadier-General Stewart; and it took part in the operations of the army commanded by the British monarch,—performing many long and toilsome marches in Flanders and Brabant; but it had no opportunity of distinguishing itself in action, and in the autumn it returned to the port of Ostend, where it passed the winter.


In May, 1695, the regiment marched to Dixmude, where a body of troops was assembled under the Duke of Wirtemberg for the purpose of making a diversion in favour of the main army.

At this period Colonel Sir George St. George obtained His Majesty's permission to exchange with Colonel James Courthorpe, to a newly-raised regiment, which was afterwards disbanded.

The troops under the Duke of Wirtemberg encamped before the Kenoque, a fortress at the junction of the Loo and Dixmude canals, where the French had a garrison. The SEVENTEENTH regiment, commanded by Colonel Courthorpe, took part in the capture of several outposts belonging to the fort, and its grenadier company was engaged on the 9th of June in driving the French from the entrenchments and houses near the Loo Canal, and had several men killed and wounded.

While the regiment was before the Kenoque, King William invested the strong fortress of Namur, and the SEVENTEENTH and several other corps marched to join the covering army, under Charles Henry of[5] Lorraine, Prince of Vaudemont. Against this army Marshal Villeroy advanced with a French force of about seventy thousand men; and the Prince, not having above thirty-six thousand men under his orders, withdrew to the vicinity of Ghent.

The regiment was subsequently employed in operations to protect the maritime and other towns of Flanders, and to cover the troops carrying on the siege of Namur; and after the surrender of the town it was selected to relieve one of the corps which had suffered severely in the siege, and to take part in the operations against the castle. The regiment arrived at Namur on the 11th of August, and took its turn of duty in the trenches, and in all services connected with this great undertaking; it had several men killed and wounded, and on the 16th of August Captain Hart was killed in the trenches.

When Marshal Villeroy approached at the head of a numerous army to raise the siege, the SEVENTEENTH regiment was in position at the post of St. Denis, where it was expected that the most vigorous exertions of the enemy would be made. The French not hazarding an engagement, the regiment was selected to take part in storming the outworks of the castle on the 30th of August. About midday the signal for the assault was given, when the grenadiers rushed forward, under a heavy fire from the castle, to storm the breach of the Terra Nova, and were followed by the SEVENTEENTH regiment with drums beating and colours flying,[7] and a gallant effort was made; but the three regiments ordered to support the assault did not move[6] forward in time, and the assailants were overpowered by superior numbers. The SEVENTEENTH advanced in gallant style; but they were assailed by a storm of bullets which nearly annihilated the regiment; Colonel Courthorpe was killed, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Matthew Bridges was severely wounded; and two hundred and fifty officers and soldiers were put hors de combat in a few minutes, when the survivors received orders to withdraw from the unequal contest. Some partial advantages were gained, but the loss was very severe.

The SEVENTEENTH had Colonel Courthorpe, Captain Coote, Lieutenant Evans, and one hundred and one serjeants and rank and file killed; Lieut.-Colonel Sir Matthew Bridges, Captains Wolfe and Du Bourgnay, Lieutenants Disbordes and Ashe, Ensigns Foncebrand, Eyres, and Dennis, and one hundred and forty-nine soldiers wounded.

King William was pleased to confer the colonelcy of the regiment on the Lieut.-Colonel, Sir Matthew Bridges, who had evinced great gallantry on this occasion.

Preparations were made for a second assault of the works, which was prevented by the surrender of the garrison. The SEVENTEENTH remained a short time near the captured fortress, and afterwards marched to the opulent city of Bruges, where they passed the winter.


Early in the spring of 1696, the regiment was joined by a numerous body of recruits from England, and on the 12th of May it marched from Bruges to Marykirk, and it was afterwards encamped along the canal towards Ghent. It was formed in brigade with the third, fifth, and eighteenth regiments, under Brigadier-General Selwyn, and served the campaign with the[7] army of Flanders under the Prince of Vaudemont; but no general engagement occurred, and in the autumn the regiment marched into quarters at Bruges.


On the 13th of March, 1697, the regiment quitted its quarters at Bruges, and was afterwards stationed a few weeks in villages between Brussels, Vilvorde, and Malines; it was subsequently formed in brigade with a battalion of the royals, the fifth, and two regiments in the Dutch service, under Brigadier-General the Earl of Orkney, and it took part in the operations of the army of Brabant, under King William, until hostilities were terminated by the treaty of Ryswick, and the British monarch saw his efforts to preserve the liberties and balance of power in Europe attended with complete success.


During the winter the regiment returned to England, and it was shortly afterwards removed to Ireland, where it was stationed during the years 1699 and 1700.


The decease of Charles II., King of Spain, on the 1st of November, 1700, was followed by the elevation of the Duke of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV., to the throne of that kingdom, in violation of existing treaties; and war being resolved upon, the SEVENTEENTH regiment embarked from Cork on the 15th of June, 1701, and sailed for Holland, where it was placed in garrison at Gorcum. In September it was reviewed by King William III. on Breda-heath.


On the 10th of March, 1702, the regiment quitted its quarters, and proceeded to Rosendael, where the officers and soldiers received information of the death of King William III., and of the accession of Queen Anne. They afterwards marched across the country to the Duchy of Cleves, and encamped with the army, under the Earl of Athlone, at Cranenburg, during the[8] siege of Kayserswerth by the Germans. During the night of the 10th of June the army quitted Cranenburg, to preserve its communication with Nimeguen, in front of which fortress the regiment skirmished with the French on the following morning.

The Earl of Marlborough assembled the army, composed of the troops of several nations, and advanced against the French, who withdrew to avoid a general engagement; and the regiment was afterwards selected to take part in the siege of Venloo, a town in the province of Limburg, on the east side of the river Maese, with a detached fortress beyond the river, against which the British troops carried on their attacks. The SEVENTEENTH took their turn of duty in the trenches, and their grenadier company was engaged in storming the counter-scarp of Fort St. Michael on the 18th of September, when the soldiers followed up their first advantage with astonishing intrepidity, and captured the fort.

On this occasion, Lieut.-Colonel Holcroft Blood of the regiment, who was performing the duty of principal engineer, highly distinguished himself.

In a few days after the capture of Fort St. Michael, the besieging army formed to fire a feu-de-joie for the taking of Landau by the Germans, when the people and garrison of Venloo, supposing a general attack was about to be made on the town, induced the governor to surrender.

The SEVENTEENTH were afterwards employed in the siege of Ruremonde, which fortress was invested towards the end of September, and was forced to surrender before the middle of October.

Rejoining the main army after the surrender of Ruremonde, the regiment advanced to the city of Liege, and its grenadier company was engaged in the siege of[9] the citadel, which was captured by storm on the 23rd of October. After these conquests the regiment marched back to Holland.


Towards the end of April, 1703, the regiment marched in the direction of Maestricht, and it was in position near that city when the French army under Marshal Villeroy and Marshal Boufflers approached, and some cannonading occurred, but the enemy did not hazard a general engagement.

The Duke of Marlborough assembled the army, and the SEVENTEENTH took part in the movements which occasioned the French commanders to make a sudden retreat from their position at Tongres, and to take post behind their fortified lines; where the English general was desirous of attacking them, but he was prevented by the Dutch generals and field-deputies. The services of the SEVENTEENTH regiment were afterwards connected with the siege of Huy, a strong fortress on the river Maese, above the city of Liege, which was captured in ten days. Another proposal to attack the French lines having been objected to by the Dutch, the regiment was employed in covering the siege of Limburg, a city of the Spanish Netherlands situate on a pleasant eminence among the woods near the banks of the river Weze. The siege of this place commenced on the 10th of September, and on the 28th the garrison surrendered.

On the 26th of August Lieut.-Colonel Blood was promoted to the colonelcy of the regiment, in succession to Colonel Sir Matthew Bridges.

During the summer of this year, Archduke Charles of Austria was acknowledged as King of Spain, by England, Holland, and several other states of Europe; and the SEVENTEENTH regiment was one of the[10] corps selected to proceed with him to Portugal, to endeavour to place him on the throne of Spain by force of arms.


The regiment embarked from Holland in October, and sailed to Portsmouth, where it was detained by contrary winds; it put to sea in January, 1704, but, encountering a severe storm, was driven back to port, and several ships of the fleet were much damaged. The voyage was afterwards resumed, the regiment arrived at Lisbon in the early part of March, and landed on the 15th of that month. The King of Portugal being afraid to intrust the protection of his frontier towns to his own troops, the British regiments were placed in garrison.

Tardiness in the preparations for opening the campaign was manifested by the Portuguese authorities, and the Duke of Berwick attacked the frontiers of Portugal with the combined French and Spanish armies before the allies were prepared to take the field. The SEVENTEENTH were called from garrison to take part in attempting to arrest the progress of the enemy; they were employed in the Alemtejo, and in July they were encamped near Estremos,—a town situate in an agreeable tract on the Tarra; towards the end of July, they marched into cantonments in the town.

In the autumn the allied army was enabled to act on the offensive, and the SEVENTEENTH was one of the regiments which penetrated Spain, to the vicinity of Ciudad Rodrigo; but the enemy was found so advantageously posted, beyond the Agueda, that the Portuguese generals objected to attempt the passage of the river, and the army returned to Portugal, where the regiment passed the winter.


The regiment again proceeded to Estremos, in the[11] Alemtejo, in April, 1705, and it was afterwards engaged in the siege of Valencia de Alcantara, which place was captured by storm on the 8th of May. The SEVENTEENTH was also employed at the siege and capture of Albuquerque; and when the summer heats became too great for the troops to remain in the field, the regiment went into quarters at the ancient town of Moura, near the banks of the Guadiana river.

In the autumn the army crossed the Guadiana, and the SEVENTEENTH regiment was engaged in the siege of Badajoz, the capital of Spanish Estremadura; but the army not being sufficiently numerous to invest the place, the garrison was relieved on the 14th of October, and the siege was afterwards raised. At this siege the British general, the Earl of Galway, lost his hand by a cannon-ball.


After passing the winter in cantonments on the confines of Portugal, the regiment again took the field in March, 1706, and in April it was employed in the siege of Alcantara, a fortified town situate on a rock near the river Tagus, in Spanish Estremadura. On the 10th of April the SEVENTEENTH and thirty-third regiments attacked the convent of St. Francis, situate near the town, and captured this post with great gallantry: the two regiments had fifty officers and men killed and wounded, Colonel Wade (afterwards Field-marshal) and Lieut.-Colonel de Harcourt being among the wounded. The garrison surrendered on the 14th of April.

From Alcantara the army advanced to the vicinity of Placencia, and afterwards drove the enemy from his position on the banks of the Tietar,—sending forward a detachment to destroy the bridge of Almaraz; but, subsequently changing its route, proceeded to the pro[12]vince of Leon, and the SEVENTEENTH regiment was employed in the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, which fortress surrendered on the 26th of May.

On the 3rd of June the army commenced its march from Ciudad Rodrigo for the capital of Spain, proceeding by Salamanca, through the Guadarrama Mountains; and, arriving at Madrid on the 24th and 27th of June, encamped in the vicinity of that city, where Archduke Charles of Austria was proclaimed King of Spain with the usual solemnities. This tide of success was changed by the delay of King Charles to come to Madrid from Barcelona, which fortress had been captured by the Earl of Peterborough in the preceding year. This delay occasioned his friends to be discouraged; the partisans of King Philip took up arms; and, numerous bodies of French and Spanish troops joining the army under the Duke of Berwick, the allied army retreated from Madrid to the province of Valencia, where the SEVENTEENTH regiment was stationed during the winter.


Early in April, 1707, the regiment joined the allied army under the Marquis das Minas and the Earl of Galway, and, after taking part in several operations, advanced, on the 25th of April, to attack the French and Spanish troops under the Duke of Berwick at Almanza. Fatigued by a long and difficult march, and exposed to a burning sun, the soldiers arrived in presence of their opponents, and prepared for battle. The sixth, SEVENTEENTH, thirty-third, and Lord Montjoy's regiments, were formed in brigade under Major-General Wade, and were posted on the flanks of a brigade of cavalry in the front line of the left wing. The battle was commenced by the British dragoons, who evinced great bravery, but many squadrons of[13] Portuguese cavalry quitted the field in a panic. Major-General Wade's brigade was engaged with nine battalions of French and Spanish infantry, when it was joined by the ninth foot; the five British regiments disputed the ground with sanguinary obstinacy; but while the contest was raging, a body of fresh French and Spanish cavalry drove back the allied squadrons on the left. The sixth, ninth, SEVENTEENTH, thirty-third, and Lord Montjoy's regiments, were bravely contending with seven French and Spanish corps in their front, when they were attacked on the flank by two other of the enemy's battalions, broken, and driven from the field with great loss. The two battalions which attacked them in flank were cut to pieces by Harvey's horse, now second dragoon guards, who were in turn overpowered by the superior numbers of the enemy. The fight still raged in the centre; but the flanks being defeated, the enemy surrounded the centre and made great slaughter. The remains of the English regiments were collected into a body, and were united to some Dutch and Portuguese troops; the whole retreating to the woody hills of Caudete. The men were so exhausted with fatigue that they were unable to proceed, and they passed the night in the wood without food. On the following morning they were surrounded by the enemy; and being without ammunition, ignorant of the country, and destitute of provisions, they surrendered prisoners of war. Such were the results of a battle in which wearied and faint soldiers were hurried forward to fight superior numbers of fresh troops, commanded by a skilful general!

The SEVENTEENTH Regiment had Lieut.-Colonel Woollett, Lieut.-Colonel Withers, and Major Leech, killed; Captains Fitzgerald and Foncebrand, Lieu[14]tenants Rivesson, Ingram, and Blood, Ensigns Deaven, Callon, and Bruce, wounded and taken prisoners; Captains Dudley Cosby and Loftus Cosby, Lieutenants Martin, Brown, Brooks, and Tyrell, and Ensign Bland, prisoners.

The officers and soldiers of the regiment, who escaped from the field, joined the cavalry under the Earl of Galway, at Alcira, on the river Xucar; and the approach to the town being by almost inaccessible mountains, his lordship halted there a few days to reorganize the army. The SEVENTEENTH regiment, commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Wightman, was encamped some time on the banks of the Ebro above Tortosa, and was afterwards employed in operations for the protection of the province of Catalonia: it was joined by men from command and sick absent, also by several who escaped from prisoners of war, and it mustered two hundred and sixty-six officers and soldiers.

Major-General Blood died on the 19th of August, 1707, and Queen Anne conferred the colonelcy of the regiment on the Lieut.-Colonel, James Wightman, who had been promoted to the rank of brigadier-general a short time previously.


During the period the regiment was in winter-quarters, it received drafts from several corps which were ordered to return to England to recruit: and in the spring of 1708, when it took the field, its appearance was admired. In a letter from the army, published at the time, it was stated: "We cannot yet give any certain account of the number of our forces, but those we have are the finest in the world: such are the regiments of Southwell (sixth), commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Hunt; that of Blood (SEVENTEENTH), commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Bourguet; and that of[15] Mordaunt (twenty-eighth), commanded by Colonel Dalziel."[8]

The regiment was encamped some time on the river Francoli, between Monblanco and Tarragona, and afterwards at Constantino; and it took part in the operations of the army commanded by Marshal Count Guido de Staremberg, for the defence of Catalonia.


After serving the campaign in Catalonia, the regiment received orders to transfer its men fit for duty to other corps, and return to England, where it arrived in 1709, and commenced recruiting its numbers.


In 1710 the regiment was stationed in Scotland; the head-quarters were at Leith, and four companies were detached to Musselburgh.


The regiment remained in Great Britain until the Treaty of Utrecht was signed, when it was placed on the peace establishment and sent to Ireland, where it was stationed in 1714.


On the breaking out of the rebellion of the Earl of Mar, in favour of the Pretender, in the autumn of 1715, the regiment was withdrawn from Ireland, and it joined the troops encamped at Stirling under the Duke of Argyle, and the colonel of the SEVENTEENTH regiment, Major-General Wightman.

When the rebel army advanced with the view of penetrating southwards, the King's troops quitted the camp at Stirling and proceeded to the vicinity of Dumblain, and on the 13th of November an engagement took place on Sheriff Muir, when both armies had one wing victorious and one wing defeated, and both commanders claimed the victory; but the rebels were prevented marching southwards, and they did not[16] hazard another engagement, which proved the advantage gained over them. The SEVENTEENTH regiment had seven men killed and five wounded on this occasion.


Additional forces having joined the Royal army, the Duke of Argyle advanced, in January, 1716, over ice and through snow, towards Perth, when the Pretender retreated, and soon afterwards fled, with the leaders of the rebellion, to France. The SEVENTEENTH regiment pursued the insurgents some distance, and was afterwards stationed at Perth.

From this date the regiment was stationed in Great Britain during a period of ten years.


On the 28th of September, 1722, Major-General Wightman died, and King George II. conferred the colonelcy of the regiment on Brigadier-General Thomas Ferrers, from the thirty-ninth regiment; and this officer dying three weeks afterwards, he was succeeded by Colonel James Tyrell, who had commanded one of the regiments of dragoons disbanded in 1718.


In 1726 the regiment proceeded to Minorca, the second of the Balearic Islands, situate in the Mediterranean, near the coast of Spain: this island was captured by the British in 1708, and was ceded to Great Britain at the peace in 1713.


In this island, which is diversified with hill and valley, and in some parts rich in vegetation and abounding with the necessaries and many of the luxuries of life, the regiment was stationed twenty-five years. In 1727 it sent a detachment to Gibraltar, to assist in the defence of that fortress against the Spaniards. When the siege was raised, the detachment returned to Minorca.


On the 1st of August, 1742, Lieut.-General Tyrell died; the colonelcy remained vacant three weeks, and was then conferred on Colonel John Wynyard, from the fourth marines, who had previously held the com[17]mission of lieut.-colonel in the SEVENTEENTH regiment upwards of twenty years, and performed the duties of commanding officer with good reputation.


At the termination of the war of the Austrian succession in 1748, the regiment was relieved from duty at the island of Minorca, and proceeded to Ireland, where it was stationed during the following six years.


On the 1st of July, 1751, a Royal Warrant was issued, regulating the clothing, standards, and colours of the several regiments of the British army; in which the uniform of the SEVENTEENTH regiment was directed to be scarlet, faced and lined with greyish white. The first, or king's colour, to be the great union; the second, or regimental colour, to be the red cross of St. George in a white field, with the union in the upper canton; in the centre of each colour the number of the rank of the regiment, in gold Roman characters, within a wreath of roses and thistles on the same stalk.


Lieut.-General Wynyard died in 1752, and King George II. nominated Brigadier-General Edward Richbell to the colonelcy of the regiment. This officer died on the 24th of February, 1757, and was succeeded by Colonel John Forbes, from the lieut.-colonelcy of the Scots Greys.

In the mean time another war had commenced with France, and in May of this year the regiment embarked from Cork, and sailed to Halifax, in Nova Scotia, where it arrived in the early part of July, in order to take part in an attack on the French possessions in Canada: but the expedition was deferred until the following year, and the regiment remained in Nova Scotia during the winter.


The regiment sailed from Halifax in May, 1758, with the expedition against Cape Breton, in the Gulf of St.[18] Lawrence, under Lieut.-General (afterwards Lord) Amherst. The regiment mustered thirty-one officers, and nine hundred and sixty-seven non-commissioned officers and soldiers, commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Arthur Morris; and on the 8th of June it was in boats, with the division under Brigadier-General Wightman, proceeding towards White Point, to alarm the French at that quarter, while the troops under Brigadier-General James Wolfe effected a landing, which was accomplished in gallant style. The SEVENTEENTH were afterwards engaged in the siege of Louisburg, the capital of the island, which was captured on the 26th of July; and with the capital the whole island was also surrendered. On this occasion the regiment had Captain William Earl of Dundonald killed; Captain Paul Rycant and Lieutenant Francis Tew wounded; also several men killed and wounded.

During the period the regiment was at Cape Breton, a body of troops under Major-General Abercromby was repulsed at Fort Ticonderago, on the west shore of Lake Champlain; and on the 30th of August the SEVENTEENTH and several other corps embarked from Louisburg, and, sailing to Boston, marched through the woods to Lake George, where they joined the troops under Major-General Abercromby.


In the beginning of June, 1759, the regiment joined the troops assembling on the east bank of Hudson's River, about fifty miles from Albany, and afterwards marched to Lake George, where a fort was erected, and boats were procured to convey the troops along the lake, which occupied a month. On the 21st of July the regiments embarked in boats, and, using blankets for sails, arrived at the Second Narrows on the following morning. Advancing towards Ticonderago,[19] they drove a body of French regulars and native Indians from a strong post two miles from the fort, and evinced such steady resolution, that the French commander quitted his fortified lines and embarked for Crown Point, leaving a garrison at Ticonderago. The siege of this place was commenced; and on the 25th of July the garrison blew up the fort and sailed to Crown Point, which place the French commander also abandoned, and retired down the lake to Isle aux Noix. The SEVENTEENTH proceeded to Crown Point, where a new fort was erected, and a small naval force prepared for navigating the lake. In October the troops embarked, and sailed down the lake in four divisions; but encountering high northerly winds, and a frost having set in, they returned, and went into winter-quarters.

Brigadier-General Forbes died in the spring of this year, and the colonelcy of the regiment was conferred on Brigadier-General the Honorable Robert Monckton, from colonel-commandant of the second battalion of the sixtieth regiment.


The French possessions in Canada were invaded by the British troops in 1760, at three different points; the whole advancing upon Montreal: the first division from Lake Ontario, the second from Lake Champlain, and the third from Quebec (which was captured in 1759) up the River St. Lawrence. The SEVENTEENTH regiment formed part of the second division, under Colonel Haviland, which embarked from Crown Point on the 11th of August, and, sailing towards Isle aux Noix, landed on the left bank of the river Richelieu, and captured a fort near the river: two other forts were abandoned by the enemy, and the British took possession of Isle aux Noix. The regiment afterwards[20] advanced upon Montreal; and the French governor, being unable to withstand the forces opposed to him, surrendered: thus was the conquest of Canada accomplished with little loss.


From Montreal the regiment traversed the country to New York, during the summer of 1761, and in August encamped on Staten Island. Towards the end of October it embarked for the West Indies, and arrived at Carlisle Bay, Barbadoes, on the 24th of December.


An armament was assembled at Barbadoes, for the attack of the French West India Islands, and the land forces were placed under the orders of Major-General the Honorable Robert Monckton, colonel of the SEVENTEENTH; this regiment being one of the corps selected to take part in the enterprise. The armament sailed from Carlisle Bay, on the 5th of January, 1762, and proceeded against the island of Martinique, which was colonised by the French about the year 1635. After menacing the coast at several points, a landing was effected in the middle of January, in Cas des Navières Bay, and the SEVENTEENTH were actively engaged in the operations for the reduction of the island. Many difficulties were encountered, from the rugged surface of the country, and from the formidable heights occupied by the enemy; but these were overcome by British skill, discipline, and valour; the heights of Morné Tortenson were carried on the 24th of January, and of Morné Garnier on the 27th; Fort Royal surrendered early in February, and these successes were followed by the submission of the island to the British Crown. Major-General the Honorable Robert Monckton commended the conduct of the troops in his despatch, and added,—"The difficulties they had to encounter[21] in the attack of an enemy possessed of every advantage of art and nature were great; and their perseverance in surmounting these obstacles furnishes a noble example of British spirit."

The capture of Martinique was followed by the submission of Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent.

The loss of the SEVENTEENTH at Martinique was limited to a few private soldiers killed and wounded.

War had, in the mean time, been declared against Spain, and the SEVENTEENTH, commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Campbell, and mustering five hundred and thirty-five rank and file, joined the armament under General the Earl of Albemarle, for the purpose of proceeding against the wealthy Spanish settlement of the Havannah, in the island of Cuba. The regiment formed part of the brigade commanded by Brigadier-General Grant; and, accompanying the expedition through the Straits of Bahama, arrived within six leagues of Havannah on the 6th of June: a landing was effected on the following day, and on the 9th the troops took up a position between Coximar and the Moro fort. The regiment took part in the services connected with the siege and capture of Moro fort, which was the key position of the extensive works which covered the town. The difficulties encountered in carrying on operations were particularly great, and the artillery had to be dragged several miles over a rocky country, and under a burning sun; but every obstacle was overcome by the unanimity which existed between the land and sea forces. The Moro fort was captured by storm on the 30th of July; and on the 11th of August, a series of batteries opened so well-directed a fire on the defences of the town, that the guns of the garrison were soon silenced, and flags of truce were[22] hung out. The capitulation was signed two days afterwards, and the British troops took possession of this valuable settlement, with nine ships of war in the harbour, and two upon the stocks; three ships of war were also found sunk at the entrance of the harbour.


A treaty of peace was soon afterwards concluded, when the Havannah was restored to Spain in exchange for Florida. The SEVENTEENTH regiment returned to North America, where it was stationed during the years 1763, 1764, 1765, and 1766.


In the summer of 1767 the regiment was relieved from duty in America, and returned to England, where it arrived in September.


The regiment remained in England during the years 1768, 1769, and 1770.


Embarking from Liverpool in the spring of 1771, the regiment proceeded to Ireland, where it was stationed during the three following years.


Serious disputes had, in the mean time, arisen between the British colonists in North America and the government, and the colonists evinced a daring spirit of resistance, in their opposition to the measures for raising a revenue in their country, which, in April 1775, was followed by open hostility, some provincial militia firing on a detachment of the king's troops, on its march from Boston to Concord, to take possession of a quantity of military stores at the latter place. This was followed by the assembling of multitudes of armed men near Boston; and when the news of these occurrences arrived in England, several regiments were ordered to embark for America. The SEVENTEENTH regiment was afterwards directed to hold itself in readiness for service abroad, and on the 23rd of September it embarked from Ireland for North America.



The regiment was detained some time by contrary winds; but it landed at Boston on the 1st of January, 1776. At this period the British troops at Boston were blocked up on the land side by a numerous army of provincials; much inconvenience was experienced in procuring provisions; and as this town did not appear to be a place calculated to become the base of extensive military operations for the reduction of the revolted provinces, Lieut.-General Sir William Howe resolved to vacate Boston, and proceed with the army to Nova Scotia; this resolution was carried into effect in the middle of March, when the SEVENTEENTH sailed with the army to Halifax.

Reinforcements being expected from England, the army sailed from Halifax in June, and, proceeding to the vicinity of New York, landed, on the 3rd of July, on Staten Island, where the SEVENTEENTH, commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Mawhood, were formed in brigade with the fortieth, forty-sixth, and fifty-fifth regiments under Major-General James Grant.

On the 22nd of August a landing was effected on Long Island, and on the evening of the 26th the army was put in motion to pass a range of woody heights which intersect the island, and attack the American army in position beyond the hills. The SEVENTEENTH regiment formed part of the column under Major-General Grant, which was directed to advance along the coast, with ten pieces of cannon, to draw the enemy's attention to that quarter. Moving forward at the appointed hour, this column fell in with the advanced parties of the Americans about midnight, and, at daybreak on the following morning, encountered a large force, formed in an advantageous position defended by artillery. Skirmishing and cannonading[24] ensued, and was continued, until the Americans discovered, by the firing at Brooklyn, that the left of their army had been turned and forced, when they retreated in great confusion through a morass. They were met and attacked by the second battalion of grenadiers, which was soon reinforced by the seventy-first regiment (Highlanders); and were also assailed on the left by Major-General Grant's corps, and sustained severe loss; many of the Americans being killed, and others drowned or suffocated in the morass. The American army was driven from its positions with severe loss, and made a precipitate retreat to the fortified lines at Brooklyn.

The regiment had Captain Sir Alexander Murray and two rank and file killed; Lieutenant Marcus A. Morgan, one serjeant, and nineteen rank and file wounded.

The Americans having quitted their fortified lines at Brooklyn and passed the river to New York, the conquest of Long Island by the British troops was completed; and the SEVENTEENTH regiment shared in the operations by which the capture of New York was accomplished; also in the movements by which the Americans were driven from White Plains; and in the reduction of Fort Washington. Afterwards proceeding to the Jerseys, the regiment was stationed at Brunswick, and subsequently at Princetown.

During the winter, General Washington suddenly passed the Delaware river, and surprised and made prisoners a corps of Hessians at Trenton, and afterwards made a precipitate retreat. Being reinforced, he again passed the river, and took up a position at Trenton. Major-General the Earl Cornwallis advanced with a division of British troops, and, after[25] reconnoitring the American position, sent orders for the SEVENTEENTH, fortieth, and fifty-fifth regiments to join him from Princetown.


Early on the morning of the 4th of January, 1777, the three regiments commenced their march. The SEVENTEENTH regiment, commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Charles Mawhood, being in advance, encountered the van of the American army, General Washington having suddenly quitted Trenton with his whole force to surprise the three regiments. The morning being foggy, Lieut.-Colonel Mawhood could not discern the numbers of the force he had met; but supposing it to be only a detachment, he instantly attacked his opponents, and the SEVENTEENTH speedily drove back a force of very superior numbers with great gallantry. The regiment was soon environed in front and on both flanks by a numerous force; and Lieut.-Colonel Mawhood, discovering that he was engaged with the American army, resolved to make a desperate effort to extricate himself: having confidence in the valour and resolution of the regiment, he directed a charge with bayonets to the front, to break through the American army. Undismayed by the multitudes of opponents which environed them, the SEVENTEENTH rushed upon the ranks of the enemy, broke through all opposition, and continued their march to Maidenhead. Their conduct excited great admiration; and the Americans acknowledged the superior gallantry of the regiment. A serious loss was, however, sustained; thirteen officers and soldiers being killed, fifty-three wounded, and thirty-five missing: among the former was Captain the Honorable William Lesley, son of the Earl of Leven, an officer of great promise, whose death was much regretted.


"The bravery and abilities of Colonel Mawhood, on this occasion, deservedly gained him the highest applause;"[9] and the resolute attack of the SEVENTEENTH so occupied the American army, that the fortieth and fifty-fifth regiments effected their retreat with much less loss than could have been expected. The American army had many men killed and wounded on this occasion; among the killed was an officer of reputation, Brigadier-General Mercer, from Virginia.

When the army took the field, the regiment was employed in operations in the Jerseys to bring the American army to a general engagement; but General Washington kept close in his strong position in the mountains; and the British undertook an expedition to Pennsylvania: the SEVENTEENTH were employed in this enterprise, and were formed in brigade with the fifteenth, forty-second, and forty-fourth regiments, under Major-General (afterwards Earl) Grey.

A landing was effected on the northern shore of Elk River on the 25th of August; and the army of the revolted provinces took up a position at Brandywine to oppose the advance; an attack was made on the position on the 11th of September, when the Americans were driven from their ground with loss. On this occasion the SEVENTEENTH formed part of the column under Major-General Earl Cornwallis.

Advancing upon Philadelphia, the British troops took possession of that city, and the army took up a position at Germantown. The Americans attempted to surprise the British troops early on the morning of the 4th of October, and they gained some advantage at the first, but were speedily repulsed with severe[27] loss. On this occasion several companies of the fortieth regiment, commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Musgrave, threw themselves into a building, where they were attacked by an American brigade; when Major-General Grey brought forward the SEVENTEENTH and another British regiment, and drove back the enemy with great gallantry.

Ensign Nathaniel Philips and four rank and file of the regiment were killed on this occasion; and three serjeants and twenty-one rank and file were wounded.


The regiment passed the winter in quarters in Philadelphia, and in the spring of 1778 it furnished several detachments, which ranged the country in various directions to open communications for obtaining provisions. The regiment also took part in the fatigues and difficulties of the march of the army from Philadelphia, through the Jerseys, in order to its return to New York; and its flank companies were engaged in repulsing the attack of the enemy on the rear of the column, at Freehold, in New Jersey, on the 28th of June, on which occasion Captain William Brereton, commanding the grenadier company, was wounded.


The regiment was stationed at New York, and other posts in the vicinity of that city; and when Stoney Point, a fortified post on the river Hudson, had been captured by the British troops, the SEVENTEENTH, commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Henry Johnson, were placed in garrison at that fort. On the night of the 15th of July, 1779, this post was suddenly beset by nearly four thousand Americans under General Wayne, who assaulted the works. The SEVENTEENTH made a gallant resistance, but were overpowered by superior numbers: Captain Tew, an officer of distinguished gallantry, and a number of soldiers were killed, and the survivors were made prisoners of war.



The regiment remained some time in custody, and, being afterwards exchanged, the men fit for duty were formed into a small battalion, and, being united with a number of detachments of provincial troops, they were placed under the orders of Colonel Watson, of the foot-guards. They sailed from New York in October, 1780, with a detachment under Major-General the Honorable Alexander Leslie, and landed in Virginia. They were employed in various services there, and early in 1781 they were directed to join the army under Earl Cornwallis. This army attacked the Americans at Guildford Court House on the 15th of March, and gained a victory. After performing much harassing service the troops under Earl Cornwallis took possession of York Town and Gloucester, where they were invested by the combined French and American forces in September. They defended York Town until the works were destroyed by the enemy's batteries, and, when no possibility remained of being able to resist successfully, they surrendered, and the SEVENTEENTH again became prisoners of war, but did not remain long in custody before they were exchanged.


In 1782 the regiment was stationed in Virginia.

On the death of Lieut.-General the Honorable Robert Monckton, King George III. conferred the colonelcy of the regiment on Major-General George Morrison, from the seventy-fifth regiment (afterwards disbanded), by commission dated the 29th of May, 1782.

In August of this year orders were issued for the regiment to assume the title of the Seventeenth, or the Leicestershire Regiment, and to cultivate a connection with that county, which might, at all times, be useful towards recruiting.



In the early part of 1783 the regiment was stationed at New York. Peace having been concluded with the Americans, the regiment was removed to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, where it was stationed during the years 1784 and 1785.


Having been relieved from duty in North America, the regiment embarked for England, where it arrived in August, 1786.


In the year in which the regiment returned to England, a company of merchants, residing in the East Indies, formed a settlement at Nootka Sound,—a bay of the North Pacific Ocean, on the west coast of North America,—with the view of obtaining furs. This settlement was seized by the Spaniards in 1789, and two ships were detained. To chastise this violation of British enterprise and liberty, a fleet was fitted out, and the SEVENTEENTH were embarked to serve as marines, but the subject was settled without hostilities taking place.


Lieut.-General Morrison was removed to the fourth foot in 1792, and was succeeded in the colonelcy of the SEVENTEENTH regiment by Major-General George Garth, from lieut.-colonel in the first foot-guards.


The regiment was employed on home service during the early part of the war of the French Revolution, and was stationed in Ireland, from whence it embarked on the 25th of February, 1796, for the island of St. Domingo, where a contest was being carried on between the British troops and the republican forces on that island. The climate of St. Domingo proved particularly injurious to the health of the British troops, and the SEVENTEENTH regiment lost Lieut.-Colonel Hooke, and several other officers and a number of men, by disease; also a few men in skirmishes with the repub[30]lican troops. The island was eventually evacuated, and the surviving officers and men embarked for England in 1798, and landed at Deptford in January, 1799.


In this year the soldiers of the militia corps were permitted to volunteer their services into regiments of the regular army, when fifteen hundred men volunteered to the SEVENTEENTH regiment, which was augmented to two battalions, the second battalion being placed on the establishment of the army in the beginning of August, under the orders of colonel-commandant Major-General Eyre Coote; four lieut.-colonels and four majors being placed on the establishment.

A favourable opportunity appearing to present itself for rescuing Holland from the power of France, Great Britain and Russia sent a body of troops to that country, under the command of his Royal Highness the Duke of York; and the two battalions of the SEVENTEENTH formed part of the leading division of the British force under Lieut.-General Sir Ralph Abercromby, which effected a landing on the Dutch coast, near the Helder, on the 27th of August, and defeated a body of French and Dutch troops.

The SEVENTEENTH were engaged in repulsing an attack of the enemy on the 10th of September, when the first battalion had two rank and file killed, and the second two killed and eighteen wounded.

At the attack of the enemy's positions on the 19th of September, the regiment distinguished itself; but the inconsiderate valour of the Russians occasioned a failure. The first battalion had six rank and file killed; Major William Grey, Major Peter Cockbourne, Captains M. J. Grace and William Knight, Lieutenant Charles Wilson, Ensign J. Thompson, two serjeants,[31] and thirty-four rank and file wounded; Lieutenant Wickham and three rank and file missing: the second battalion had two men killed; Major Robert Wood, Lieutenant William Saunders, and nineteen rank and file wounded.

In the action at Bergen on the 2nd of October, the regiment was again engaged, and had two rank and file killed; Lieutenants William Wynne and Joshua Morrison, and five men wounded. The Dutch people not seconding these gallant efforts for their deliverance, the army returned to England.


The regiment embarked from England in May, 1800, and proceeded to Minorca to join the armament assembled to co-operate with the Austrians in Italy; and when this enterprise was abandoned, the regiment remained at Minorca, where it was stationed until the peace of Amiens in 1802, when it embarked for Ireland, and, landing at Cork in August, was reduced to one battalion.


Hostilities were resumed in 1803; in July of that year the regiment was suddenly ordered from Limerick to Dublin, where a serious riot had taken place on the 23rd of July, when Lord Chief Justice Kilwarden, and his nephew the Rev. Richard Wolfe, were attacked in his carriage and murdered by the rioters.


Embarking from Ireland in April, 1804, the regiment proceeded to the Isle of Wight; in July it sailed for the East Indies, and arrived at Fort William in December; having lost Ensign Strickland by disease on the voyage.


In June and July, 1805, the health of the officers and soldiers suffered severely from the effects of the climate. The casualties were replaced by a strong detachment[32] from England, and the effective strength was augmented to twelve hundred and sixty officers and soldiers. In September the whole embarked in boats for the upper provinces; the head-quarters and three companies landed and encamped a short period at Allahabad; the other companies proceeded to Cawnpore, where they were joined by the head-quarters.


Two companies were detached, in October, 1806, with some artillery, under Captain Nicoll, to reduce a fort on the right bank of the Jumna; but it was evacuated by the insurgents on the approach of the detachment, and the two companies returned to their cantonments.


On the 20th of December two companies of the regiment marched under Captain Hawkins for the purpose of reducing several forts in the mountainous district of Bundelkund, which was resigned to the British by the Mahrattas in 1804; but several chiefs proved refractory. Little resistance was made excepting at Chumar, which place was captured by storm in January, 1807, on which occasion Lieutenant Peter McGregor was killed gallantly fighting in the breach. Lieutenant Despard also distinguished himself; he received a contusion in ascending the breach.

In an official communication on this subject, it was stated: "In justice to the merits of two companies of His Majesty's SEVENTEENTH regiment, forming part of the army immediately employed in Coonch, Major-General Dowdesdell, divesting his mind of every ground or intention of partiality, cannot forego the expression of the sincere pleasure he has received from numerous concurrent testimonies of their excellent behaviour, which is generally allowed to have been conspicuous in the affair at Chumar, and uniformly to redound to the credit and highly ap[33]preciated character of His Majesty's SEVENTEENTH regiment."

The two companies returned to Cawnpore, where the regiment remained until September, when it commenced its march for Muttra.

In October five companies took the field under Lieut.-Colonel Hardyman, for the purpose of attacking the fort of Comona, and on the 19th of November the breach was stormed with great gallantry; but it was found impracticable, and the troops were forced to retire. The enemy was, however, so fully impressed with a sense of British valour and perseverance, that he fled from the fort during the night. Captains Radcliff and Kirk, Lieutenants Harvey and Harrison, three serjeants, and forty-four rank and file of the SEVENTEENTH were killed in the act of making a gallant effort to ascend the breach; at the same time Lieutenants Wilson, Campbell, and Dadingstone, two serjeants, ninety-three rank and file were wounded. Pay-serjeant Suttle distinguished himself, and was killed at the top of the breach. The conduct of the troops on this occasion was highly commended in General Orders by the Governor-General in Council: Lieut.-Colonel Hardyman of the regiment was particularly noticed.

The other companies of the SEVENTEENTH were afterwards withdrawn from Muttra, and the regiment was employed some time in pursuit of the hostile tribes, which made a short resistance at the fort of Gonoivie, and afterwards fled. The regiment then returned to Muttra.


In November, 1808, the regiment joined the force under Major-General St. Leger advancing against the Sikhs, and proceeded as far as the river Sutlej[34] without meeting with serious opposition. The dispute being settled by negotiation, no action of importance took place, and in the beginning of May, 1809, the regiment returned to Muttra, where its efficiency was increased by a large detachment from England. In November the regiment marched for Meerut, Muttra being discontinued as a station for European troops.


The regiment remained at Meerut during the years 1810 and 1811. On the 4th of June of this year Colonel R. Stovin was promoted to the rank of major-general, and was succeeded in the command by Colonel Frederick Hardyman, the second lieut.-colonel.


From Meerut the regiment marched in November, 1812, for Ghazeepore, where nine companies arrived in January, 1813. Two companies were stationed at Chumar fourteen months, and afterwards joined the regiment. In April, 1813, four companies marched under Captain Despard, to Secrole and Mirzapore, for the purpose of watching and intercepting the bands of marauders called Pindarees, who infested the British territory: these companies rejoined the regiment in June.


The depredations of the Nepaulese having brought on a war with that kingdom, the regiment was called from its quarters at Ghazeepore, to join the army invading that mountainous country. It commenced its march on the 31st of October, and, joining the division under Major-General John Sulivan Wood, was engaged in the unsuccessful attack on Jutgurgh. The Major-General stated in his despatch—"His Majesty's SEVENTEENTH regiment of foot led the column, headed by its gallant commander, Colonel Hardyman, and supported by the grenadiers of the second battalion of the seventeenth and fourteenth regiments of[35] Native infantry, and advanced upon the works; while the grenadiers and one battalion company of His Majesty's SEVENTEENTH succeeded in gaining the hill on the right of the redoubt. This party was led by a brave and cool officer, Captain William Croker, who drove the enemy up the hill, killing a chief, Sooraj Tappah: still the fire from the enemy, concealed by the trees, was kept up with great obstinacy, and the hill which rose immediately behind the works was filled with troops, rendering the post, if it had been carried, wholly untenable. I therefore determined to stop the fruitless waste of lives, by sounding the retreat." The regiment lost several men on this occasion, and had Lieutenants Matthew Pickering and Arthur Poyntz wounded.

Afterwards joining the army under Major-General George Wood, the regiment took part in several operations, and subsequently returned to its cantonments. The rulers of Nepaul were brought to submission.


The regiment was stationed at Ghazeepore during the year 1815.


In 1816 a combination of Native princes against the British authority called part of the regiment into the field; in July of that year the flank companies under Captain Croker proceeded to join a flank battalion forming at Allahabad, to unite with the army proceeding against Scindia, under the Marquis of Hastings.


The battalion companies of the regiment, under Lieut.-Colonel Nicoll, formed, in October, 1817, part of the brigade under Brigadier-General Hardyman, which was ordered to proceed by forced marches towards Nagpore, where a body of British troops was surrounded. On the march a considerable portion of the[36] enemy's troops were discovered in order of battle in front of Jubblepore, with their right to the hills. The enemy's guns were captured by a charge of the eighth Native cavalry, and the Arab infantry were attacked, overpowered, and driven from their ground with severe loss, by the SEVENTEENTH regiment. The two corps were thanked in General Orders for their distinguished conduct on this occasion. The SEVENTEENTH lost a few men, and had Lieutenants Maw and Nicholson wounded.

The enemy evacuated the fortified town of Jubblepore, leaving a quantity of stores; and the regiment continued its march towards Nagpore. Being obliged to halt two or three days at Lucknadoon, for the elephants to come up with provision, information was received of the overthrow of the Nagpore Rajah's forces, and of the termination of his resistance: the regiment then returned to its cantonments at Ghazeepore: it received prize-money for the capture of Nagpore.


The regiment remained at Ghazeepore until December, 1818, when it proceeded by water to Fort William, where it arrived on the 24th of January following.


General Garth died, after commanding the regiment twenty-six years, and was succeeded by Lieut.-General Sir Josiah Champagné, G.C.H., from the forty-first regiment.

In August, Colonel Hardyman was promoted to the rank of Major-General; he was universally esteemed as an officer and a gentleman, and the officers of the regiment resolved to present him with a sword, value one hundred pounds, as a token of their respect; but proceeding to Meerut, to assume the command, he died suddenly of one of the diseases prevalent in that climate, before he received the sword. He was succeeded by[37] Lieut.-Colonel Wilbraham Tollemache Edwards, who, on arriving, assumed the command; Colonel Sir Thomas McMahon, the senior lieut.-colonel, being adjutant-general of His Majesty's forces in India.


On the 21st of December, 1820, the regiment marched for Burhampore; having lost, during the two years it was at Calcutta, eight officers and one hundred and thirty-one soldiers, the cholera being prevalent during that period.


Arriving at Burhampore on the 8th of January, 1821, the regiment remained at that station until August, 1822, when it proceeded by water to Calcutta, in order to its embarkation for Europe. In November, Colonel Edwards exchanged with Lieut.-Colonel Archibald Maclean of the fourteenth foot.


Four hundred and twelve men volunteered to remain in India: and on the 20th of January, 1823, the regiment embarked at Fort William: on which occasion General Sir E. Paget, Commander-in-Chief in India, issued a General Order, in which he stated,—"The Commander-in-Chief feels it to be a just tribute to this old and distinguished corps to express the high character it has always preserved in Europe, and which his Excellency is happy to find has been maintained during a long service of eighteen years in India.

"A copy of this Order will be submitted to the gracious notice of his Royal Highness the Duke of York, and the Commander-in-Chief takes this opportunity of wishing the regiment a prosperous voyage, and that it may long enjoy its justly-earned reputation."

The regiment landed at Gravesend on the 27th of May, after an absence of nineteen years from Europe,[38] and bringing back four officers and sixty-six non-commissioned officers and soldiers of those who embarked with it in 1804: it lost in India one thousand and twenty-one men by disease and killed in action; and four hundred and twelve were invalided.

The regiment marched to Chatham, and subsequently to Gosport, where it was joined by the depôt. On the 24th of October it was reviewed on Southsea Common with the other troops at Portsmouth, Gosport, &c., by his Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence, afterwards King William IV.; and in November marched to Hull, detaching one company to Carlisle and one to Tynemouth.


In 1824 the regiment commenced practising the new system of drill and field movements, as established in the army at this period, agreeably to the improvements introduced by Major-General Sir Henry Torrens, K.C.B., Adjutant-General of the Forces.


On the 25th of June, 1825, His Majesty King George IV. was graciously pleased to approve of the regiment "bearing on its colours and appointments the figure of the 'Royal Tiger,' with the word 'Hindoostan' superscribed, as a lasting testimony of the exemplary conduct of the corps during the period of its service in India, from 1804 to 1823."

From Hull the head-quarters were removed to Scotland in the summer of this year, and the regiment was stationed at Edinburgh during the winter, with detachments at out-stations. In the beginning of the following year it unanimously subscribed one day's pay of all ranks towards the relief of the distressed operatives of Paisley, where six companies were stationed a short time.


In the summer of 1826 the regiment marched to[39] Greenock, where it embarked for Liverpool; it was stationed three months in Lancashire, the head-quarters being at Bolton, and in October embarked at Liverpool for Ireland; it landed at Dublin, from whence it marched to Mullingar; where the head-quarters were stationed until April, 1827, when they were removed to Galway.


The regiment remained in Ireland until May, 1829, when it embarked at Dublin for Liverpool, and was quartered in South Britain twelve months.


In 1830 the regiment commenced embarking by detachments for New South Wales.


After occupying various stations in New South Wales several years, the regiment received orders to transfer its services to India; and it embarked for Bombay in March, 1836; after landing it proceeded to Poona; near which place it was encamped during the year 1837.


The regiment remained at the camp near Poona until November, 1838; during which period events had transpired on the frontiers of Affghanistan, which, connected with the political measures of the chiefs who had assumed the dominion of that country, induced the British government to undertake the restoration of the former sovereign, Shah Shooja-ool-Moolk, to the throne of that kingdom, as a precautionary measure to protect the frontiers of the British dominions in the East against aggression. To take part in this enterprise, the regiment quitted the camp near Poona, and embarked for the mouth of the Indus: it landed in December and proceeded to the ancient town of Tatta, situate in Lower Scinde, upon a rising ground four miles west of the river.


To ensure the course of the Indus, the Bombay[40] division of the army assembling for the invasion of Affghanistan commenced its march from the mouth of that river, through the country occupied by the confederation of the Ameers of Scinde, who refused permission for the British troops to pass in peace through their territory, and a passage had to be effected by forcible means. Hyderabad, the capital, was captured; Kurrachee, the richest city of Scinde, was taken possession of; and the Ameers were brought to submission in the early part of February, 1839. The army then continued its march; passed the great river Indus on a bridge of boats near the fortress of Bukkur; traversed an arid country to Usted, and afterwards marched through the desert plains of Beloochistan to Dadur, occasionally suffering inconvenience from the want of water, and sustaining loss from the hordes of predatory natives.

From Dadur the troops marched through the Bolan Pass, with gloomy crags rising perpendicularly in awful grandeur on each side, to Dusht-i-be-doulut, or the Unhappy Desert, having some camp-followers murdered and baggage plundered, in these wild regions, by the Beloochees. Afterwards continuing the march over difficult mountains and sterile plains, suffering from a deficiency of forage and provision, the army entered Affghanistan, when the Barukzye chiefs fled, and the British troops took possession of Candahar, the capital of Western Affghanistan.

The SEVENTEENTH regiment encamped in the grassy meadows of Candahar nearly two months, and afterwards marched along a valley of dismal sterility to the Turnuck River; then, advancing up the right bank, entered the country of the Ghilzees, and arrived[41] before Ghuznee, a fortress of great strength, garrisoned by three thousand Affghans under Prince Mahomed Hyder Khan, well provided with stores, and every gate, excepting one, blocked up with masonry.

Before daylight on the morning of the 23rd of July, one of the principal gates was destroyed by an explosion of gunpowder; and the British troops rushed in at the opening and captured the strong fortress of Ghuznee by storm. The SEVENTEENTH regiment, commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Croker, had the honour to take a conspicuous share in the capture of this fortress: it led the assault of the citadel, which was captured with little loss, and at five o'clock in the morning its colours were waving triumphantly on the fortress. The loss of the regiment was limited to one private killed and six men wounded. A standard was captured by the SEVENTEENTH, but was afterwards lost by the wreck of a transport in which a part of the regiment was embarked.

From Ghuznee the British army advanced upon Cabool, the capital of Eastern Affghanistan; the army of Dost Mahomed Khan refused to fight in his cause, and the British, proceeding by triumphant marches to the capital, restored Shah Shooja-ool-Moolk to the capital of his dominions in the early part of August.

On the 18th of September the Bombay portion of the "Army of the Indus" left Cabool en route for India. The column reached Ghuznee by the same road it had advanced, and from thence proceeded to Quetta, where it arrived on the 31st of October.

The SEVENTEENTH regiment was afterwards detached, under Major-General Sir Thomas Willshire, against the Khan of Khelat, to reduce this treacherous chief to submission. On the morning of the 13th of November, after a previous march, some fighting, and[42] the assault of the heights commanding the approach to Khelat, on which the enemy had six guns in position, the gate of this strong fortress was blown open, and the second and SEVENTEENTH British and thirty-first Bengal regiments charged into the town in the face of two thousand Beloochees, the élite of the nation, who disputed every foot of ground to the walls of the inner citadel. British valour was, however, triumphant, and the capture of the last stronghold of Beloochistan was accomplished. In this desperate defence the Khan and many of his chiefs were slain. Here also, as at Ghuznee, a standard was taken by the regiment.

The regiment had six rank and file killed; Captain L. C. Bourchier, three serjeants, and twenty-nine rank and file wounded.

Lieut.-Colonel Croker caused the names of Colour-Serjeants J. Dunn and Mills to be entered in the records of the regiment, on account of their bravery at Khelat.

The Chiefs, who had joined in hostile designs against the British interest, having been removed, and a friendly monarch placed on the throne of Affghanistan, a medal was given by the Government of India to the officers and soldiers present at the storming of Ghuznee, which the Queen authorized them to accept and wear.

Her Majesty Queen Victoria was graciously pleased to approve of the regiment bearing on its colours the words "Affghanistan," "Ghuznee," and "Khelat," to commemorate its distinguished conduct in enduring the toils and privations of the campaign in Affghanistan with patient fortitude; its gallantry at the storming of Ghuznee on the 23rd of July; and its heroic conduct at the taking of Khelat on the 13th of November, 1839. Lieut.-Colonel Croker and Major Pennycuick[43] were nominated Companions of the Order of the Bath; and the latter obtained the brevet rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

Lieut.-Colonel Croker, Brevet Lieut.-Colonel Pennycuick, and Major Deshon were nominated members of the order of the "Dooranée Empire," newly instituted by Shah Shooja, on being restored to the throne of Affghanistan. Major Deshon received the brevet rank of Lieut.-Colonel, and Captain Darley that of Major.

Soon after the capture of Khelat, the regiment continued its journey back to the British territory in India, and arrived in Scinde in December.


On the 6th of February, 1840, the regiment embarked in boats on the great river Indus, and sailed to Tatta, where it arrived on the 13th; eight days afterwards it marched for Kurrachee; and on the 16th of March four companies, and the head-quarters, embarked on board the Hannah transport, and were wrecked on a sand-bank off the mouth of the Indus on the following day. They re-embarked on board the Bernice steamer on the 26th of March, and arrived at Bombay on the 29th of that month.

General Sir Josiah Champagné, G.C.H., died in the beginning of this year; and was succeeded in the colonelcy of the regiment by General Sir Frederick Augustus Wetherall, G.C.H., from the sixty-second regiment.

The regiment embarked from Bombay in April, for Panwell, from whence it proceeded to Poona, leaving a detail on duty at Bombay.


On the 2nd of June, 1841, the regiment left Poona, and arrived at Bombay in ten days. On the 22nd of September the head-quarters and four companies embarked from Bombay for Arabia Felix, and on the[44] 2nd of October arrived at Aden, the capital of a pleasant and fertile district near the mouth of the Red Sea, where a detachment of the regiment arrived from Bombay in October, and another in November.

On the evening of the 5th of October, 1841, a detachment, amounting to about six hundred men, selected from the troops at Aden, proceeded, under the command of Lieut.-Colonel Pennycuick, to attack an Arab force, which had caused much inconvenience by preventing supplies being received from the country. After a severe skirmish of two hours' duration, in the hottest part of the following day, the troops destroyed the Arab post of Sheik Othman, and returned to Aden on the evening of the 6th, having traversed upwards of forty miles of ground in about twenty-two hours.


The head-quarters of the regiment remained at Aden, in Arabia Felix, during the year 1842. In February a detachment proceeded from Bombay to Poona, and in November a detachment marched from Poona to Ahmednuggur: in December four officers and thirty-four rank and file arrived at Aden from Poona.


On the 18th of December, 1842, the venerable General Sir Frederick Augustus Wetherall, G.C.H., after a service of sixty-seven years, and attaining the age of eighty-eight years, died, and Her Majesty Queen Victoria was pleased to confer the colonelcy of the regiment on Lieut.-General Sir Peregrine Maitland, K.C.B., from the seventy-sixth regiment, on the 2nd of January, 1843.


During the years 1843 and 1844 the regiment remained at Aden. In July and August, 1844, the detached wing at Ahmednuggur was affected with cholera. In the course of fifteen days one hundred and eight cases occurred; the deaths during the period amounted[45] to thirty-two. Amongst them was Brevet Lieut.-Colonel Deshon, an officer of the highest talents and character.

During the latter part of the year 1844, and beginning of 1845, a company of the regiment was employed on field service in the southern Mahratta country, where, at the assault of the fort of Munscentosh, four privates were killed; Lieutenant Gardiner, who commanded the company, and one serjeant and five rank and file, were wounded.


The head-quarters of the regiment embarked at Aden on the 13th of March, 1845, and arrived at Bombay on the 7th of April. The left wing marched from Ahmednuggur on the 11th of December, and joined the head-quarters at Bombay on the 26th of the same month.


In the beginning of January, 1846, the regiment, having been selected for field service, embarked at Bombay for Scinde, and on the 11th of January marched from Kurrachee, en route to Bhawulpore; it arrived at Sukkur on the 3rd of February, and on the 16th of that month proceeded on its march towards the Punjaub; but accounts being received of the termination of the war in that country, the troops advanced no further than Bhawulpore, on the Sutlej, where the regiment remained until the 12th of March, when it returned to Sukkur, from whence it embarked for Kurrachee on the 9th of August, 1846.


The regiment embarked at Bombay on the 13th of March, 1847, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Pennycuick, K.H., in the freight-ships Ann and John Brewer, and arrived at Gravesend on the 6th of August, from whence it marched to Canterbury. In November the regiment was removed to Dover.



Apprehensions were entertained that the public peace would be disturbed by the several meetings of Chartists in the vicinity of the Metropolis on Monday, the 10th of April, 1848; and as they appeared determined to unite on Kennington Common, in order to proceed from thence in procession to the House of Commons with their petition, the Government took the usual precautionary measures to prevent tumultuous assemblages of the people. Accordingly the regiment was ordered to proceed from Dover to London on the 8th of April, but happily the meetings dispersed more quietly than was anticipated, and the regiment marched to Portsmouth on the 13th of that month, in which garrison it remained until the 26th of July, when it proceeded to Chatham, where the regiment is doing duty at the period of the termination of this record, on the 1st of November, 1848.



Madeley lith. 3 Wellington St. Strand







Solomon Richards.

Appointed 27th September, 1688.

Solomon Richards served on the Continent in the reign of King Charles II., and in the autumn of 1688 he was nominated by King James II. to raise a corps of pikemen and musketeers, now the SEVENTEENTH regiment of foot, of which he was appointed Colonel on the 27th of September, 1688. At the Revolution he transferred his services to the Prince of Orange, afterwards King William III., who sent him, with his regiment, to the relief of Londonderry. He returned to England, at the suggestion of the governor of Londonderry, who stated the place could not be defended against the army advancing to attack it, and King William, disapproving of his conduct, deprived him of his commission. He was not afterwards employed in the army.

Sir George St. George.

Appointed 1st May, 1689.

No record of the services of this officer, previous to his appointment to the colonelcy of the SEVENTEENTH regiment on the 1st of May, 1689, has been met with. He served the campaign of 1694 in Flanders; and in 1695 he exchanged to a newly-raised regiment, which was disbanded in 1798.


James Courthorpe.

Appointed 1st May, 1695.

James Courthorpe entered the army in the time of King Charles II., and afterwards commanded a company of foot. He was appointed Colonel of one of the regiments raised for the reduction of Ireland in 1689; and in 1695 he exchanged to the SEVENTEENTH foot. He served in the Netherlands under King William III., and was killed at the head of his regiment when storming the breach of Terra Nova at the Castle of Namur, on the 30th of August, 1695.

Sir Matthew Bridges.

Appointed 1st September, 1695.

After a progressive service in the subordinate commissions, this officer was appointed Lieut.-Colonel in the SEVENTEENTH regiment; he distinguished himself at the storming of the breach of Terra Nova at the Castle of Namur, on the 30th of August, 1695, when he was wounded. King William III. conferred the colonelcy of the regiment upon him, and he served under His Majesty until the treaty of Ryswick in 1697; and subsequently commanded his regiment in Ireland. The date of his decease has not been ascertained.

Holcroft Blood.

Appointed 26th August, 1703.

This officer was the son of the celebrated Colonel Thomas Blood, who made a desperate effort to carry off the crown from the Tower of London in the reign of King Charles II., for which the Colonel was afterwards pardoned, in consequence of his previous services in the Royal cause. Holcroft Blood served on board the fleet, in the war with Holland, in 1672 and 1673; and he subsequently entered the French army as cadet in the guards of Louis XIV., where he made great proficiency in the study of fortifications. At the Revolution in 1688 he returned to England, and was appointed to a commission in Colonel Seymour's regiment, in which corps he rose to the rank of major. He served in Ireland, where he was employed as an engineer, and evinced ability at the sieges[49] of Athlone and Limerick: he also distinguished himself at the siege of Namur in the Netherlands, in 1695; and was promoted to the lieut.-colonelcy of the SEVENTEENTH regiment. He accompanied the SEVENTEENTH to Holland in 1701, and in 1702 he served as a principal engineer at the sieges of Venloo and Ruremonde, where he displayed great ability. He particularly distinguished himself at the storming of Fort St. Michael, at Venloo, where "he showed the part of a brave officer, charging with the men sword in hand, and killing an officer of the enemy's grenadiers, who made a vigorous opposition with his party."[10] The talents and bravery of Colonel Blood procured him the favour of the great Duke of Marlborough, who obtained for him the colonelcy of the SEVENTEENTH regiment and the command of the British artillery on foreign service on the Continent, with the rank of brigadier-general. At the memorable battle of Blenheim in 1704, Brigadier-General Blood highly distinguished himself; and, by bringing nine field-pieces into action at a critical moment, greatly contributed to the gaining of that splendid victory: by a General Order issued in the evening of that day, all the trophies captured were placed under his care. Towards the close of the campaign he accompanied the Duke of Marlborough to the Moselle, and was engaged in the capture of several places in that quarter. He continued in the command of the British artillery on the Continent, and his services were associated with the forcing of the French lines at Helixem and Neer Hespen in 1705, and the splendid victory at Ramilies in 1706. On the 1st of January, 1707, he was promoted to the rank of Major-general. He died at Brussels on the 20th of August, 1707.

James Wightman.

Appointed 20th August, 1707.

James Wightman was many years an officer in the SEVENTEENTH regiment, with which corps he served in the Netherlands under King William III. He accompanied the regiment to Holland in 1701, and served the campaigns of 1702 and 1703 under John Duke of Marlborough. He was promoted to the lieut.-colonelcy of the regiment in 1702,[50] and to the rank of colonel in the army in August 1703. He served in Portugal and Spain under the Earl of Galway; was nominated Brigadier-general on the 1st of January 1707, and to the colonelcy of the SEVENTEENTH regiment in August following: in 1710 he was promoted to the rank of Major-general. He served in Scotland under the Duke of Argyle during the rebellion of the Earl of Mar, and commanded a division of infantry at the battle of Dumblain: he wrote an account of the battle, which was published at the time. In 1719 he commanded the King's troops at the battle of Glenshill, when he forced the Highlanders to disperse, and the Spanish troops to surrender prisoners of war. His services were rewarded with the government of Kinsale. He died suddenly at Bath, of a fit of apoplexy, in September, 1722.

Thomas Ferrers.

Appointed 28th September, 1722.

This officer served under the celebrated John Duke of Marlborough, and was promoted to Captain and Lieut.-colonel in the foot-guards; in May, 1705, he was advanced to the rank of Colonel, and in 1710 to that of Brigadier-general. Being conspicuous for loyalty at a period when Jacobin principles were prevalent in the kingdom, he was commissioned to raise a regiment of dragoons, which was disbanded in 1718; and in the following year he was appointed Colonel of the thirty-ninth foot, from which he was removed, in September, 1722, to the SEVENTEENTH regiment. He died about three weeks afterwards.

James Tyrrell.

Appointed 7th November, 1722.

James Tyrrell was appointed Ensign in a regiment of foot on the 6th of February, 1694, and he served under King William III. in the Netherlands. He distinguished himself in the wars of Queen Anne; and was promoted to the colonelcy of a newly-raised regiment of foot in April, 1709. At the peace of Utrecht his regiment was disbanded; and in 1715 he raised a regiment of dragoons for the service of King George I., which was disbanded in November, 1718: in 1722 His Majesty gave him the colonelcy of the SEVENTEENTH[51] regiment. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-general in 1727; to that of Major-general in 1735; and Lieut.-general in 1739. He died in August, 1742.

John Wynyard.

Appointed 31st August, 1742.

John Wynyard was many years an officer of the SEVENTEENTH regiment of foot, with which corps he served in the Peninsula in the war of the Spanish succession, and in Scotland during the Earl of Mar's rebellion. On the 10th of July, 1718, he was promoted to the lieut.-colonelcy of the regiment; and his zealous attention to all the duties of his situation was rewarded, in November, 1739, with the colonelcy of the fourth regiment of marines, which was then newly raised, from which he was removed, in 1742, to the SEVENTEENTH regiment, which corps he had commanded many years with reputation. He died in 1752.

Edward Richbell.

Appointed 14th March, 1752.

This officer entered the army in the reign of Queen Anne, and served with reputation under the celebrated John Duke of Marlborough. He evinced a constant attention to the duties of his profession, and was promoted, on the 18th of May 1722, to the lieut.-colonelcy of the thirty-seventh regiment. He distinguished himself in the war of the Austrian succession, and was promoted to the colonelcy of the thirty-ninth regiment on the 14th of June, 1743. In 1746 he commanded a brigade under Lieut.-general St. Clair, in the expedition against Port L'Orient; and in 1752 he was removed to the SEVENTEENTH regiment. He died in 1757.

John Forbes.

Appointed 25th February, 1757.

John Forbes obtained a commission in the army on the 10th of April, 1710; after a progressive service in the subordinate commissions, and distinguishing himself in the war of the[52] Austrian succession, he was promoted to the lieut.-colonelcy of the Scots Greys on the 29th of November, 1750: in 1757 he was advanced to the colonelcy of the SEVENTEENTH regiment. He was nominated Adjutant-general to the expedition against Louisburg in 1757; and afterwards appointed Commander-in-chief of the troops in the southern provinces of North America, with the rank of Brigadier-general. He died on the 11th of April, 1759.

The Honorable Robert Monckton.

Appointed 24th October, 1759.

The Honorable Robert Monckton, son of John, first Viscount Galway, served in the army in the war of the Austrian succession; and in February, 1751, he was promoted to the lieut.-colonelcy of the forty-seventh regiment: in 1757 he was nominated Colonel-commandant of the second battalion of the sixtieth regiment. He commanded a brigade, under Major-general James Wolfe, in the expedition against Quebec, and evinced great gallantry and ability on several occasions; he was shot through the lungs at the battle on the heights of Abraham, on the 13th of September; but recovered of his wound, and was nominated Lieut.-governor of Annapolis Royal, and Colonel of the SEVENTEENTH regiment. In 1761 he was appointed Governor and Commander-in-chief of the province of New York; and promoted to the rank of Major-general. Soon afterwards he was selected to command the land-forces of an expedition against the French island of Martinique, which he captured, after overcoming numerous difficulties, early in 1762. He was nominated Governor of Berwick and Holy Island, and afterwards of Portsmouth, which place he represented in Parliament several years. He was promoted to the rank of Lieut.-general in 1770. His decease occurred on the 21st of May, 1782.

George Morrison.

Appointed 29th May, 1782.

This officer served many years on the staff of the army; he was advanced to the rank of Lieut.-colonel in 1761, at which[53] period he held the appointment of Deputy-quartermaster-general; and in 1763 he was placed at the head of that department. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel in 1772, and to that of Major-general in 1777; in 1779 he was appointed Colonel of the seventy-fifth regiment (afterwards disbanded), from which he was removed, in 1782, to the SEVENTEENTH, and also promoted to the rank of Lieut.-general. He was appointed to the fourth regiment of foot in 1792; and promoted to the rank of General in 1796. He died in 1799.

George Garth.

Appointed 8th August, 1792.

This officer served thirty-seven years in the first regiment of foot-guards, in which corps he was appointed Ensign and Lieutenant at the commencement of hostilities with France in 1755. In 1758 he obtained the rank of Lieutenant and Captain, and he afterwards served in Germany under Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick: on the 6th of February, 1772, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and Lieut.-colonel. When the American war commenced, his services were extended to that country, where the foot-guards had opportunities of distinguishing themselves. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel in 1779; was nominated Major in his regiment in March, 1782, and advanced to the rank of Major-general in November following: in 1789 he was appointed Lieut.-colonel in his regiment. King George III. was pleased to confer on Major-general Garth the colonelcy of the SEVENTEENTH regiment in 1792; also to promote him to the rank of Lieut.-general in 1796, and to that of General in 1801. General Garth was subsequently appointed Lieut.-governor of Placentia. He died in 1819.

Josiah Champagné, G.C.H.

Appointed 14th June, 1819.

On the 28th of January, 1775, Josiah Champagné was appointed Ensign in the thirty-first foot, and embarking with his regiment, in March, 1776, for the relief of Quebec, then besieged by the Americans, he arrived in Canada in May, and[54] took part in the operations by which the troops of the United States were forced to quit the British provinces. He remained on active service in Canada during the remainder of the American war, was promoted to a lieutenancy in his regiment in July, 1777, and, returning to England at the peace in 1782, was nominated captain in the ninety-ninth foot (afterwards disbanded) in 1783, and removed to the third foot in March, 1784. He joined the Buffs at Jamaica in May of the same year; and in 1789, when the Nootka Sound question threatened to involve Great Britain and Spain in war, he embarked with a detachment of his regiment on board the fleet: he returned to England soon afterwards. He again embarked for the West Indies, with his regiment, in 1793—the Buffs forming part of the expedition under Lieut.-general Sir Charles Grey; but their destination was afterwards changed to Ostend; and they subsequently joined the armament under Major-general the Earl of Moira, prepared to aid the French loyalists. In the same year Captain Champagné was promoted to the majority of the eightieth foot, and afterwards to a lieut.-colonelcy in the same corps. In 1794 he again proceeded to the Continent, and, after serving in the retreat through Holland, returned to England. He embarked for the coast of France in 1795, and served with the expedition under Major-general Doyle which took possession of Isle de Dieu. In 1796 he proceeded with his regiment to the Cape of Good Hope, and towards the close of the same year sailed to the East Indies. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel in 1797; and in 1800 he was nominated to command an expedition against Batavia, with the rank of Brigadier-general, but this enterprise was countermanded; and he was afterwards named second in command of the army which proceeded from India to Egypt in 1801. He returned to England in 1803; and in September of that year he was promoted to the rank of Major-general. On the 22nd of February, 1810, he was rewarded with the colonelcy of the forty-first foot; and in July following promoted to the rank of Lieut.-general. In 1819 he was removed to the SEVENTEENTH regiment. He was honored with the dignity of Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order; and was advanced to the rank of General in 1821. He died on the 31st of January, 1840.


Sir Frederick Augustus Wetherall, G.C.H.

Appointed 17th February, 1840.

This officer entered the service in August, 1775, as Ensign in the SEVENTEENTH foot. He embarked at Cork with the regiment in September following for Boston, North America, where he remained during the siege, and accompanied his corps at the evacuation to Halifax in March, 1776. In June following he proceeded with the army under the command of Sir William Howe to Staten Island, preparatory to the attack of New York. In August, 1776, he received a lieutenancy; in which rank he served five years, and was constantly employed in North America and Europe. He was present at the battles of Brooklyn, Whiteplains, Fort Washington, Princetown, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth, exclusive of several affairs of posts, in North America. He was embarked and did duty as a Captain of marines on board His Majesty's ship Alfred, and was in the battles of Cape Finisterre and St. Vincent, under Sir George Rodney, previous to the relief of Gibraltar. On 17th May, 1781, he raised an independent company, which was embodied in the hundred and fourth regiment, and was employed on the island of Guernsey. On 16th April, 1783, he exchanged into the eleventh regiment, and proceeded to Gibraltar, where he did duty six years. In 1790 he attended the Duke of Kent to Quebec, and accompanied his Royal Highness as aide-de-camp to the West Indies in 1794; he was at the taking of Martinique, where he received two wounds. On 1st March, 1794, he was appointed Major in the eleventh foot, and employed as Deputy-adjutant-general to the forces in Nova Scotia, under the command of the Duke of Kent, to which situation he was appointed on 23rd August, 1794. On 20th May, 1795 he was appointed Lieut.-colonel in Keppel's regiment, and employed at St. Domingo under the command of Lieut.-general Sir Adam Williamson and Major-general Forbes; he was intrusted by the latter officer with despatches for Sir Ralph Abercromby at Barbadoes, and on the passage was taken by a French frigate, and wounded in action; he remained at Guadaloupe a prisoner of war upwards of nine months, and when exchanged was appointed Adjutant-general[56] to the forces under the command of the Duke of Kent in North America. On 3rd August, 1796, he was removed to the lieut.-colonelcy of the eighty-second regiment, and on 29th April, 1802, received the brevet of Colonel. He afterwards raised the Nova Scotia fencible regiment in North America, of which he was appointed colonel on 9th July, 1803, and Adjutant-general and Brigadier to the forces on the Caribbee Island station in May, 1806. On the 25th of October following he was removed to the Cape of Good Hope, when he served as Brigadier to the forces in that colony until 1809; he obtained the rank of Major-general on 25th October of that year, and was appointed to the Staff in India. On his passage from the Cape to India he was again taken prisoner in the Company's ship Wyndham, after a severe action, by a French squadron, in the Mozambique Channel, and carried to the Isle of France, when, after being confined two months, he was exchanged, and sailed for Calcutta. He served there as second in command, under Sir Samuel Auchmuty, on the expedition against Java, which terminated in its conquest. For his services on that occasion he had the honour to receive a medal, and the thanks of both Houses of Parliament. His next appointment was to the command in Mysore and its dependencies, which he held until June, 1815, when he returned to England. He received the rank of Lieut.-general on 4th June, 1814. On 10th January, 1837, he was advanced to the rank of General, and His Majesty King William IV. conferred upon him the colonelcy of the sixty-second regiment. On 17th February, 1840, the Queen bestowed upon him the colonelcy of the SEVENTEENTH regiment, in which he commenced his military career. He died at Ealing, in Middlesex, on the 18th of December, 1842, having attained the advanced age of eighty-eight years.

General Sir Peregrine Maitland, K.C.B.

Appointed from the seventy-sixth regiment,
on 2nd January, 1843.

London: Printed by William Clowes and Sons, Stamford Street,
For Her Majesty's Stationery Office.


[6] The regiments raised in 1688, by King James II., were commanded by the following officers:—Horse.—The Earl of Salisbury, Marquis de Miremont, Viscount Brandon, Henry Slingsby, and George Holman. Foot.—John Hales, Roger McEligot, Archibald Douglas, Solomon Richards, the Duke of Newcastle, Colonel Gage, and Colonel Skelton.

[7] D'Auvergne's History.

[8] This letter was published in the State of Europe for June 1708; the writer was not aware of Brigadier-General Wightman's appointment to the SEVENTEENTH regiment.

[9] Beatson's Naval and Military Memoirs.

[10] Boyer's Annals of Queen Anne.


Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within the text and consultation of external sources.

The page numbering of the original text has been retained. The early pages have numbering xxv-xxxii then i-xix.

Except for those changes noted below, all misspellings in the text, and inconsistent or archaic usage, have been retained.

Pg xxxi, in the list of 'PLATES' the order of the plates has been reversed, so that 'Costume of the Regiment' comes first.

Pg xvii, 'Witenss the deeds' replaced by 'Witness the deeds'.

Five occurrences of 'Lieut-Colonel' have been replaced for consistency by 'Lieut.-Colonel' (missing period inserted).