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The East India military calendar: containing the services of ..., Volume 1 online

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classes — Mahomedans^ Hindoos, Jews, and some few Christians. Among the Hindoos,
those of the lowest tribes of Mahrattas, and the Purwarrie, Soortee, and Frost sects, are
much more numerous than the Rajpoots and higher casts. Jews have always been favourite
soldiers in this army, and great numbers of them attain the rank of commissioned officers.
It is probably owing to the peculiar composition, and to the local situation of the territories
in which they are employed, that the Sepoys at Bombay have at all periods been found ready
to embark on foreign service. They are, in fact, familiar to the sea, and only a small pro-
portion of them are incommoded in a voyage by those privations to which others are sub-
ject from prejudice of cast. But this is only one of the merits of the Bombay Native sol-
dier; he is patient, faithful, and brave, and attached in a remarkable degree to his Euro-
pean officers. There cannot be a class of men more cheerful under privation and diffi-
culties, and though desertion is very frequent among the recruits of this army, who, from
the local situation of Bombay, can, on the first feeling of disgust at discipline, always in a
few hours escape to the Mahratta territories, where they are safe from pursuit, there are no
men, after they become soldiers, more atteched to their colours.

* Capt. Worsley had repaired to Calcutta for the purpose of returning to Europe on fur-
lough, when an invasion of the frontier provinces was threatened by Zemaun Shah, King of
Cabul, who, having advanced with a large force as fiar as Lahore, the British army was or-
dered to take the field ; and the regiment to which Capt. W. belonged being then on the
frontiers, he travelled post 1000 miles to rejoin it. Zemaun Shah, however, retired, and
Capt. W. returned to Calcutta, and embarked for Europe.

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eiii{^yed on that service till tilie close of .I8QSI1 when he joiqed the
head-<|uarters of the teg. zt Cauqpoor.

Early in 1803 he was ordered in command of a detachment, con-
sisting of the flank companies of the batt., and a squadron of cav., to
escort supphes of stoces, &c. to the atfmy then in |the field, und?r the
Com.-in^Chief in person, to subdue the forts of Sasnee^ Bid^rgur,
&c* situated in the Dooaub, and fornriog part of the cession of terri^
tory by the Newaub Vizier, but thednefs of which resisted the autho-
rity of government. On that occasipii Capt. Worsley was engaged
in the sieges of Bidzergur and Cutchoura; and was afterwards or-
dered by the Com^in Chief to take possession of and to di3n)antle
the outer fort of the refractory chief of Tutte6ah.

In Aug. 1803 a large portion of the army took the. field against the
confederated Mahratta* chieftains, and a formidable French faction,
which, grafted on the.Mahratta power, had established itself in the
centre of tlie Dooaub, and in possession of the capital and the; royai
family of Delhi.

The 15th reg. Was one of the corps that moved out with tte Cora,-
in*Chief in Aug^*, and though^ by an augmentation then ordered,
Capt. Worsley was transferred to the 21st neg., the Com.-in-Chief was
pleased, in consequence of the scarcity of oflSycers with the corps tak-
ing the field, to order him (as well as otlier officers similarly situated)
to continue to serve with his previous corps» the 15ti), during the
arduous campaign^ which witnessed the comnjencement and the close
of the war with Dowlut Rao Scindia, by the end of the year :
Capt. Worsley, accordingly, participated in the brilliant achievements
under the personal command of Gen* Lake-f-, which occurred in the
following order: A^t^^ of the French-Mahratta army near the
city of Coil, 29th Aug. 1803 ;•— assault and capture of Alligorh, 4th
Sept;— battle of Deihi, llth Sept. ;— attack of the enemy's infantry

* When the army was brigaded on that occasion, the Com.-in-Chief offered Capt.
Worsley a brigade-majorshi{p ; but he preferred serving with his corps, in which he was
second in command.

t Afterwards created^ for his services, Lord Lake of Delhi and Laswarree.

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and guns under the walls of Agra, 10th Oct- ;— siege and surrender
of thai fortress on the 18th of the month ;— and, lastly, the battle of

It fell to Capt, Worsley to have the casual command of the bat-
(the 1st of the 15th) in the battle of Delhi, the lieut.-coL having been
vjrith the advanced picquets, as field officer of the day ; as was Ukewise
the case in the action of the 10th Oct. : the corps employed on that
service marched on different points of attack, and the commanding
officers and corps were severally thanked, in general orders, for their
successful exertions on the occasion, by which the enemy's field force
was completely defeated, and the siege of the fortress immediately
commenced. It surrendered on the 18th of Oct., and the 1st of the
15th, which was on duty in the trenches, had the honour, with the
col. of the reg., of planting the British colours on the ramparts of
the " key of Hindostan,'' the important and favourite fortress of the
renowned Akbur.

At the battle of Laswarree, 1st Nov. 1803, Capt. Worsley com-
manded the bat., the col. having been left sick with the battering train
and heavy baggage. The bat. formed part of the right wing on that
hard-fought day ; and after the action, it was ordered to pass the
night on the field of battle, collecting and succouring the wounded,
and securing the captured guns and stores.

In Sept. 1804 this officer yas promoted to the rank of Major. On
the return of the army to cantonments for the rainy season of 1804,
afler watching the motions of Holkar during the hot winds on the
sandy plains of Jushpoor, Maj. Worsley was ordered to join the 21st
reg- N. I. The retreat of the division of the army left in advance
under Col. Monson, did not allow the Com.-in-Chief, or the corps
which had returned to cantonments, much time for repose. All were
again called to the field to oppose the progress of Holkar and his
forces, which, following up the flood-tide of their success against Col.
Monson's detachment, established their head-quarters at Muttra in
Sept., pushing their predatory incursions into the Dooaub, and, by
their cruelty and rapine, spread dreadful consternation far and near.

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On that occasion the Com.^in-Chief, on crossing the Jumna at
Agra, appointed Maj. Worsley to the command of a detachment,
hastily formed of some companies of infantry from the 1 1th and 2Sd
regiments, with four field-pieces, and Skinner's corps of horse, with
orders to drive the enemy out of the Dooaub, wherever they were to
be found. That service having been speedily accomplished, he was
ordered with the detachnient to occupy the city of Muttra (retain-
ing also the command of the contiguous troops, posts, and garrisons
in the Dooaub), for the purpose of concentrating and forwarding
supplies, and keeping open the communication with our own. pro-
vinces and the grand army proceeding in pursuit of Holkar's infantry
and guns, which, on the approach of the army under the Com.-in*
Chief, had pushed off to lay siege to Delhi, whilst Holkar, with an
immense body of horse, hung on the flank and rear of the British
army, endeavouring to harass and impede its progress. In this ar-
duous and laborious situation, surrounded by avowed and secret
enemies, Maj. Worsley was employed during the period of the opera-
tions at Deeg, Burtpore, &c. until June of the following year (1805),
when the army retired into cantonments on the western bank of the
Jumna, and the Com. -in-Chief established his head -quarters at Muttra.
The services which Maj. Worsley rendered in that situation were
duly appreciated, as may be inferred from the Com -in-Chiefs. sense
of them, which was expressed in the following manner : — On meeting
his Excellency on his approach to Muttra, he addressed this officer by
name, observing, " I hope you will not be offended at my having re-
commended you to government, for the appointment of Dep.-Adj-
Gen. to the army; I by no means consider that appointment as ade-
quate to your deserts, nor is it all that I have in view for you. The
Adj.-Gen. is about to depart for Europe, on account of ill health, and
I intend you to be his successor in the office of Adj-Gen. to the army/'
Maj. Worsley accordingly entered on the office of Dep,-Adj.-Gen.
and proceeded with the Com-in-Chief of the army, in pursuit of Hol-
kar's forces, to the banks of the Hyphasis, which terminated the war
by a treaty with that chieftain, near to the spot where Alexander


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erected hb altars, al the close of his march towards India. Early in
1806 this officer was appointed Adj. -Gen. to the army, under the pre-
sidency of Bengal, with the rank of lieut-Col. in virtue of his office ;
and in 1809 he attained that rank on the estabHshment. He con-
tinued to perform the duties of the. laborious office of Adj.-Gen.
(with an interval of severe illness,) until the beginning of 1810, whea
his constitution had become so impaired that he felt it necessary to
tc&der his resignation* of the office; and in 1811 he returned to
Europe on forlough, for the benefit of his health.

Whilst in Europe he was applied to in 1813, by Lord Moira, (now
Marquess of Hastings) to fill the office of principal private secretary to
his lordship, then about to embark as Gov.-Gen. and Com.4n-Chief
of India. Although his health was not restored, he accepted this fialter-
ing mark of distinction, and repaired to India in the course of that
year. But his health was again so completely subdued by the effect
of the tropical climates during the voyage, that lie had no alternative
on reaching Calcutta but to solicit permission to relinquish his ap-
pointment ; and he returned to Europe in 1814.

In 1815, when the Prince Regent extended to the Company's army
a participation in national honours, this officer was nominated one of
the Companions of the Order of the Bath.

After a protracted residence in England, for the recovery of his
health,^ in the spring of 1818, the period had arrived which rendered

* Oti thb oceasioA the JbllowiDg Greneral Orders were issued by the Vice Presideot to
Council ^—

<< Fort Wiaiamy 16 Jan. 1810.

'< Iiieat.-Col. Worskj is permitted^ at his own request, to resign the situation of Adj.-
Ottk from the date of the arrival of his successor at the presidency. On this occasion the
Vice Pimdent in oouocU feels that it would be an act of injustice to that meritorioos officer
to omit the expression of his regret, at the loss which the service will sustain, by his resig-
nation of the high and important situation on the general, staflf of this army, which he has
flHed with such distinguished ability, zeal, and advanuge to the public interests ; and His
Bill, m eoQacil is h^ppy to declare, in this public manner, his entire concurrence in the
sentiments of cordial and unqualified approbation of Lieut.-Col. Worsley's conduct, in the
discharge of the arduous duties of his office, which have been conveyed to government by
the Commander-in-Chief.

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it necessary, agreeably to the regulations of the service, to return to
his duty, or to retire on the full pay of his rank ; and accounts bdng
received of armies from all the Presidencies in India being in the field,
and of the confederacy of the Mahratta powers, with the Pindarry
hordes, in hostility to the Company's government, Lieut.-Col. Wors-
ley, desirous of participating in the honours oi Lord Hastings' aid-
ministration, embarked for India, and reached Calcutta in Sept. 1818,.
Soon afler his arrival tlie Marquess again honoured him with his
gratuitous noticet, and he was nominated to the important office of
secretary to the government in the military department. The samjp
misfortune in pqgard to health again attended him : his conatitutioa
could no longer endure the influence of a tropical climate ; and ;after
three or four months trials feeling himself quite unequal to the jaboii-
ous duties of the office, he voluntarily relinquished it,* and joined the
corps to which he was posted, and did duty with it during the year
1819) in the hope, that with relief from the more arduous duties of
office he might enjoy a better slate of health. But the result proving
otherwise^ it only remained for him to adopt the alternative of embank-
ing for Europe in Dec. 1819.

In Aug. 1819 he was promoted to the rank of Colonel by Bmsv^t :
and in 1822 he obtained the rank of Colonel, and the command of a
regiment on the establishment of Bengal.

* Extract from a Minute^ by the Govemor-General, in the General Department, dated
30 Jan. 1819.

** It b impossible for me to assent to Lieat.-Ck>l. Worslej's wish of being emancipated
from the duties of the Seoretary's department^ without expressing my deep regret at the
caose which compels his retirement. The benefit which the public service had to expect
from the experienced talents vof Lient.-Col. Worstey would have made it a matter of con-
cern that any motive should oblige him to relinquish a station in which his zeal, energy,
aod iniewQ impatfliality, >must have given eatisfactioo to^very one. But o«r sensations on
the subject jniist be painfully increased^ when we learn tbat^vra his short ^ppli#atio(i :to
the duties of bis office, perhaps too intensely exerted, have increased those couyilaints
which be&nre constrained him to seek relief from another climate : while Lieut»-Col. Wors-
ley isaasofod. how muoh this oonsequence of his assiduity is lamemedt be will have to r^
ftect with gratificaUon on the degree in which he possessed the esleem and eonSdrape of

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(Madras Establishment.)

In April 1782 this officer landed at Madras, being one out of seventy
cadets for that season on that establishment : he was promoted to tiie
rank of ensign soon after landing, and in June joined the army in the
field under Lieut-Gen. Sir Eyre Coote. In Dec. of the same year he
was appointed to a Native corps in the Circars; and in Nov. 1788,
upon the raising of two new regiments, to one of which he was ap-
pointedy he obtained the rank of lieut. In 1790 he was nominated to
the brigade staff of the army in the field under Gen. Sir. W. Medows,
and subsequently under Lord Cornwallis ; and from that period until
1802 (with the exception of about six months) he was either era-
ployed on the staff or on detached command. In June 1802 he joined
his corps, the 14th N. I., as seni6r capt. upon the abolition of the
office of quarter-master ; in March 1804 he was promoted to the rank
of major, and in July 1805 to that of lieut.-col. ; and on the 26th Aug.
1807, in consequence of ill health, he was placed on the retired list.

(Madras Establishment.)

In 1782 this officer was appointed a cadet; in 1786 dep.-sec. to
the Military Board; in 1787 sec. to a diplomatic mission under
Sir Barry Close ; in 1788 fort-adj. at Fort St George; in 1789 aid-
de-camp to the gov. ; from 1790 to 1792 brig.-maj. and aid-de-camp
to Gen. James Stuart, and served in the campaigns of that period ;
in 1793 assist, adj.-gen. ; and in 1794 mil-sec. to Gen. James Stuart.

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From 1795 to 1799 ^1113 officer was on furlough from ill health { and
fW)m the latter jear to 1803 he served successively as mil.-sec and
private sac. to the Gov. and Town-Major of Fort St. George; in
1803 as mil.-scc. to the Coto«'^in-Chtef ; major, 21st Sept. 1804 ; from
1803 to 1808 he served as political resident at the court of Mysore ;
the 4th April 1808 he obtained the rank of lieut-col., and was obliged
in this year, from ill health, again to go on furlough ; 20th Nov. 1812
he was appointed gov. of the island of St. Helena; the 4th June
1814, coL by brevet ; and in 1816 he returned from St. Helena to Eng-
land. The 15th Oct. 1818, he was placed on the retired list.


(Bengal Establishment.)

This officer joined the army at Fort William 1st Nov- 1781, as a
cadet of inf ; was promoted to the rank of ensign 23d July 1782 ; to
lieut. 19th Jan. 1785 ; to capt. by brevet, 7th Jan. 1796 ; to a comp.
3d Jan- 1802 ; to maj. by brevet, 25th April 1808, and regimentally,
13th Sept. 1809; to lieut.-col. by brevet, 4th June 1814, and regi-
mentally^ l6th Oct. 1814. After eighteen years' service in the cam-
paigns of the period, in different corps, as change of regulations, &c^
required, he was, when regimental rank took place, adj. of a batt,
of grenadiers on service in Rohilcund, and being posted to the Ist
batt lOlh reg. he joined it as brevet capt. and adj. in June. 1800.
In 1805-6, he held the office of commissary of supplies, &c. and the
pay department, with Gen. Dowdeswell's division of Lord Lake's
army ; in 1807-8, he was Brig.-Maj. to the division of the field army
on the north frontier at Meerat; which situation he resigned in Jan.
1809, to take the command, as Brev.-Maj. 1st batt. 10th reg. then
preparing for service ; but though much in camp and marching on

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the fpotltierB, do atfkkr of great itii{Kntuice oecimed under hm oom-
ffia&d until thfe end of 1816, wiien a subsidiary force vntB iHrderod,
under Col. Adatas, C. B. for Nagpore, and of wliich liiecit^Ckil^
Macmorme's battalion formed apart; and «s the Pkidarries wene tben
plundering the Rajah's country, he was orckred in advance mth Ae
1^ batt. 10th and Isl batt. 23d regts. four ^x-^poumlers, and two
squadrons of the t>th Bengal cavalry ; aud having assembled this foroe
at Lohargong from different posts in Bundlecund, he teftarched on t^
19th Dec. for the Nerbuddah, through a diiffioudt country^ and where
there was no regulmr road, and the British troops had not been be-
fore, but without delay, or meeting any of the enemy, who had passed
far to the southward.

On the 1st Jan. 1817, he established a post of five companies at
Jubblepore, and moved forward and to the south of the Nerbuddah,
to relieve a brigade of Madras troops, under Col. Scott, at Garrer-
wara, who were dispersed at different places for the defence of that
part of the country and line of the river. 'Hie main body of the Ben-
gal force, under Col. Adams, passed Lieut.-Col. Macmorine's position
in Feb., and relieved.the remainder of the Madras army at Husseina-
bad, 110 miles more to the westward, the whole force being disposed
along the line of the river, from east to west, about 200 miles, in small
parties, supported by others in the rear, to gug.rd the country from l!he
Pindarries, and to attack them whenever opportunity offered, and
Whidh proved a fatiguing duty, until the river became impaessable by
the setting-in of the rainy season, When the British obtained som^
rest in temporary cantonments. After the rains the troops of the dif-
ferent presidencies made combined movements against the Pindarries
into Mai wah, and Col. Adams having moved with the head-quaiters
of his division, Lieut.-CoI. Macmorine was left in command with the
l^t brigade of the 5th division of the army of the Deccan, for the de-
fence of the whole line of the river to the northward.

It shortly appeared to Lieut-CoL Macmorine, that instead of serv-
ing as a protecting force to the Rajah's country, it would be necessary
to concentrate his corps to act as circumstances might require, or ac-

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Qording to the oidef^ he might receive. He CQiiseqiiieQtIy nwde afi
due reports of what was gcttog forward^ and formed airangcments for
bringing together small parties at difibrent points^ who ui^t join kim
as soon as required. The plan was not Icmg adrranged till it became
neoefaary to execute it: while in progress, he also received iRteUigence
throu^ his spies (for all other conununication was cut €>ff) that the
Rajah's troops had attacked the British at Nagpore ; and two dajps
after, when he was concentrated, and considering what steps would be
proper, in the absence of any orders, to pursue with respect to the Ra*
jah's troops, who had committed no act of aggression in his quarter, he
received a letter. Via Husseinabad, from tlie restdeat, acquainting him
that the Rajah's troops had been repulsed, and a cessation of hosti-
lities agreed upon ; but that, upon the arrival of reinforcenents^ the
terms of p>eaoe would be settled, or hostilities recommence.

Lieut^Col. Macmorine had but just a^emhled his force in time to
prevent being attacked in detail ; and having a large quantity of raili*
tary stores, cattle, and grain^ passing foe Husseinabad, and no place
of security near, he embraced the interval to move rapidly to that
quarter, and having lodged all with the baggage and sick in the fort
there, where a battalion was stationed, again hastened back to a can*
trical position with his disposable force, 14 companies, 4 guns, and
300 irregular horse, having received orders from the resident to at*
tack any body of troops assembled with hostile intentions.

Lieut^Col. Macmorine continued moving rapidly eastward towards
Serinagur, where a large force was collected; and on arriving at
Garrerwara, he dispatched messengers with a letter to ascertain their
intentions, and inviting to a friendly communication, 3cc., but that
otherwise he should consider them as rebels to the Rajah and enemies
6f the English government ; and having prevk)usly some knowledge
of the place and environs, and adopting measures to obtain more, he
resolved to attack them (if hostile) upon the north side, there being a
deep rugged river on his side (the west,) and the other sides being
more difficult than the north ; he had also called on Goq- Uardyman

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by express to aid him- with a squadron of the 8tii N: C to join about
six miles oorth of the enemy, all being arranged to move to that point
in the mdming, to a<5t as reqaired, on receipt of an answer to bis
letter. In the meantime, howev^, he obtained intelligence of anoth^
body of 5 or 6000 men intending to cross the Nerbuddah, and join
those at Serinagur, which induced him to move off immediately,
and continue his march till midnight, when he arrived at the place
fixed upon for the junction, sending expresses for the squadron to do
the same, and join him, wliich was also executed during the night of
the 3rd Jan* 1818.

On the following day, having obtained a hostile or evasive an-
swer, Lieut-Col. Macmorine resolved to attack tm the 5th : -he td^de
arrangements and moved accordingly. When within about a mile of
the walled town and fort and their position on a height joining to the
N. E., he [daced all articles of baggage in a bend of the hills, formed
in mass of columns, and advanced in that order, in some degree
covered by high fields of grain till within 6 or 600 yards of the «iemy,
who opened a smart fire from his guns, both on the hei^s and in the
town and fort. Lieut^Col. Macmorine then formed line, his guns
opening on the enemy with good efiect, and obsernng their cavalry
indicate a movement as to attack the left flank, he immediately ordered
his cavalry then on his left, die town being on his right, and the
height in his front, to gain their right flank, and immediately char^,
while the infantry charged the hdght and the town. The whole moved
in the most gallant and rapid stile and best order, driving the enemy
from their position and the town with great slaughter, capturing their
guns, military stores, baggage, elephants, camels, &c. and the cavalry
continuing in pursuit till the whole were dispersed and lost in the
thickets and hills, which prevented vast numbers being killed and
taken* The loss of the enemy was not less than 400 men, and their
force was 3 or 4000 infantry, and about the same of cavalry? tvhile in
Lieut-Col. Macmorine's 14 companies of infantry, squad, of cavalry,
and 300 irregular horse, the loss was eight or nine men, and seventeen

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hones, killed, woonded, and missing. This body of ike enemy did
not again re-assemble, but dispersed to their abodes, and the force
nwth of the Narbuddah did not attempt to cross.

Lieut.-CoL Macmorine had receiiFed orders to take civil charge of
the country, south of the river where he commanded, and having settled

Online LibraryJohn PhilippartThe East India military calendar: containing the services of ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 13 of 45)