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ing engineer to the works carrying on to a great extent About this
period the Bombay army, under Gen. James Stuart, assembled at
Cananore, to proceed a third time up the Ghauts, to co-operate
against Tippoo's capital. On the army quitting Cananore, Capt. B.
was appointed to the command of the garrison. The duties of it be-
came important to exercise, as the place formed a centrical dep6t for
forwarding and receiving supplies for the armies besieging Seringa-
patam. He held the command of Cananore imtil the conclusion of
that campaign, and then returned to Bombay.


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He was promoted to 1^ rank of maj. lltb.Dec. 1801, and re*
sumed the duties of sapmntendiog engineer at the presidency, which
he continued to discharge until Sept* 1803 ; when finding the state of
his health on the decline, he yieided to the necessity of proceeding to
Europe on fiirlou^. He quitted India 14th Sept 1803, and arrived
in England 3nd Feb. 1804. He succeeded to the rank of lient-col.
1st May 1804 ; and on the 6th March 1805 he obtained, by succession,
the rank of full col. of engineers.

Previous to M.-Gen. Blachford's leaving Bombay he had passed more
than twenty-^two years in actual service in India, independent of his
furlou^. He addressed the court of directors, representing the im-
paired state of his health, arising from a bad wound, and various try*-
ing duties he had undergone in India, requesting their permission to
remain in England as a full colonel, with the advantage of sharing
in the ofireckoning fund as chief engineer of Bombay ; which request
diey were pleased to accede to.

(Bengal Establishment.)

This officer was appoined lieut. fire-worker in the artillery, Bengal
establishment, SepU 10, 1778; iieut. Feb- 16, 1784; capt Aug. 20,
1794; maj. July 26, 1804; col. Sept. 25, following; col., by brevet,
June 4, 1813 ; coL in the rog. April 21, 1817 ; and maj.-gen. Aug.
12, 1819.

In Sept 1781 he marched with the detachment from Bengal, under
the command of CoL Pearse, to join the army at Madras, command^
by Sir Eyre Coote ; he was present, in Aug. 1781, at the siege and
capture of Tripasore; and in the battle of Perambancum, against the
army of Hyder Ally ; in Sept he was in the action with the same

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army on the plains of Sholinghur ; in Nov* at the capture of Chitore
in the Pollams ; in the cannonade, Jan. 10, 1782, of the swamps, on
the march to relieve Vel6re ; ihd in the cannonade at crossing the
same swamp, when returning towardst Madras; in June 1783 he was
at the assault on the French lines at Cudalore, and engaged in the
trenches when attacked, on the 25th of that month, by the garrison
of Cudalore. In 1790 he proceeded with a detachment of Bengal
artillery to join the army at Madras, under Sir W. Medows ; was
preseait at the capture of the sev^al forts of Caroor, Deraponim,
Arivacoocfay, Erouad, CoimbetooF, and . Settimungalum. He was
wifliCol. Floyd's detachmenrt in die cannonade of the ISth Sept.
against the army of Tippoo Sukaun ; and al tl^ action of the follow -
ing day, near Shaocn-, on the march to form a r^uQction with
Gen. Medows. He was in the attack of the 15di May 1791 oil
Tippoo's lines before Seringapatam ; and at the taking of Oulra-
droog on the 18th June.

In Dec 1795 he was at the investiture of Savandroog ; and in the
same month appointed commissary of ordnance by Lord Comwallis,
and put in charge of the magazines of Bangalore ; in 1793 he re-
turned to Bengal, and was, by Lord Cornwallis, appointed adjutant
and quarter-master of artillery. He was present, Oct. 26, 1794,
in the Rohilla battles in Rohilcund, near Bettoriah, then holding the
rank of capt. The 15th Sept. 1797 he was appointed commissary
of ordnance, in which situation he continued till declining health
obliged him, in IQOSj to proceed on furlough to Eurc^e. In 1806
he returned to Bengal: on the 5Hh July 1816 he was appointed
acting commandant of the regiment of Bengal artillery, and he has
continued to serve in India till the present* tame.

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(Bengal EstaUishment.)

This officer was appointed a cadet on the Bengal establishment in
1776; ensign, Dec. 25, 1777; Ueut Sept 5, 1778; capt. July 11,
1795; niaj. July 31, 1799; lieut - coL Dec. 26, 1802; col. June 4,
1811 ; coK 4th N. L Nov- 5, 1812 ; and maj^-gen. June 4, 1814.

He served in the Srd N. I. until promoted to a company, and
fourteen years as adjut. He commanded the 2d batt. 7th N. I. for
several years ; and from 1812 commanded the 18lh reg. and station
of Barrackpoor, which he left in Dec. 1814, on his return to Great-
Britain. Few corps in the Ben^l army were more employed on
field service, on frontiw duty, and in command of different posts,
than the above, during the periods of this; officer's command.


(Bengal EstaWihtnent.J

This officer was appointed a cadet on the Bengal establishment in
March 1781 : he arrived in Calcutta in April 1782, and was pro-
moted to iwsign ; and to lieut. on the 1st Aug* following, having pre-
viously joined the 3d European reg., then in quarters at Burhampoor.
In Nov. of the same year, he was removed to the 1st batt. 22d reg.
N. I. at the frontier station of Futtehgurh, in the dominions of the
Newaub of Oude ; and in March 1783, proceeded with the batt. on
the collections in the Furruckabad district, in the course of which the
mud-fort of Kersanns^ was reduced by force, after four or five days
open trenches.

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In this reg., which, in 1785, was incorporated into one batt., and
denominated the 28th, Lieut. W. continued to serve for thirteen yedrs,
when it was drafted, in 1796, into the 2d reg. N. I., on the new orga-
nization of the army ; on which occasion he was promoted to capt., by
brevet, and attached to the 1st batt* In Dec- 1797 he was removed
to the 1st batt. 13th reg. N. I., then forming at Chunargur ; and again
to the 1st European reg., to which he became permanently posted,
on the introduction (in 1799) of regimental rank into the Company's

Capt. W. partook of the various services on which the several corps,
to which he was successively attached, were employed ; in the course
of which he proceeded, on the breaking-out of the war with Tippoo
Sultaun in 1790, with the 28th batt., which formed part of Lieut.-^
Col. Cockereirs detachment, and which served with the British armies
in Mysore, during the campaigns of 1790, 91, and 92. He was pre-
sent in the battle of Seringapatam, May 15, 1791; in the assault of
the enemy's entrenched camp and Unes before that capital, on the
night of the 6th Feb. 1792 ; and at the siege of the city which fol-
lowed : also at the reduction of several forts in Mysore, which had
previously fallen in the course of the war. On the night of the 6th
Feb. the 28th Bengal batt- formed part of the centre column, under
the personal command of Lord Cornwallis ; and on penetrating the
enemy's lines, Lieut. W. was placed with his company in one of the
captured redoubts (the Sultaun's,) which was afterwards known by the
name of Sibbald, in compliment to the gallant Capt. Sibbald, of H. M.
74th foot, who, with a company from that reg., commanded in the
redoubt, and was killed in one of the repeated attacks which it sus-
tained and repulsed during the remainder of that night and the follow-
ing day. The defence of this redoubt, against which the enemy
brought up in succession his best troops, headed by Lally's reg. of
Europeans, became an object of interest and solicitude to the whole
army ; it was left to its own means, and could not have held out but
for the fortuitous circumstance of the ammunition of the 28th batt.
wliich had fallen in the rear, having been brought for security under

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the protection of the redoubt : as it was, the casualties both in killed
and wounded were numerous, and bor6 a large proportion to the de-

Capt W. returned with the detachment, on the termination of the
war, to Bengal . la the affair with the Newaub Vizier Ally at Benares,
in 1799, he commanded the Ut batl. 13th N. I., and shortly after joined
the Ist European reg. at Caunpoor, and moved with it to Dinapore at
the close of that year. In Sept. 1803, having then attained the rank of
capt. regimentally, he proceeded, in command of the flank companies
of his reg-, to join the army under Lord Lake, then conducting Ae
war in the north-west provinces against the Mahratta states ; and in
progress commanded a considerable detachment from Caunpoor with
stores and suppUes. On joining the army, the flank companies of
H. M/s 22d fool, and those of the Company's European reg. were
formed into a flank batt., under the command of a field officer ; but
shortly after Capt. W., with the latter companies, joined a detachment
proceeding fw the siege of the strong hill fort of Gualior, conducted
under the command of Col. (the late. Maj.-Gen. Sir H.) White, and
which terminated in the surrender of that celebrated fortress, after a
practicable breach had been effected, and preparations made for
carrying it by assault.

In Sept. 1804 Capt. W. was nominated to the situation of dep.
judge-adv.-gen. in the field or provinces northward and westward. ctf
Allahabad, and in that capacity accompanied the army under the
Cbm.-in-Chief, and was present at the siege of Burtpore : he con-
tinued to hold that appointment until March 1808, when he became
ineligible on his promotion to a majority ; and in June of the same
year he was selected by Lord Minto, then Gov.-Gen. of India, td com«
mand an expedition preparing for the defence of the Portuguese
settlement of Macao, against any premeditated attack from th^
Erench. On this occasion the local rank of coL was conferred on
Maj. W. to ensure him the command of the combined troops, in case
any officer of the Portuguese service at Macao should have been of
senior rank to his r^^imental commission^

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The expedition* sailed from Bengal in Aug., and anchoring in
Macao Roads on the 20di Oct following, landed without delay,
and occupied, with the division from Fort St. George, which had pre-
viously arrived, the defences of the settlement, with the exception of
the fort called the Monte, and two batteries, whidi it was deemed ex-
pedient should remain in charge of the Portuguese troops.

The alarm and jealousy of the Chinese government (which could
not be made to comprehend, or ht least to admit, the necessity of such
precautionary measure) at the proximity of a British force in pos-
session of Macao, were soon found to be insurmountable; the troops
had landed without the consent of the local authorities, while a gene-
ral feeling of enmity on die part of the Chinese inhabitants was mani-
fested in repeated affrays and assaults, particularly on the Sepoys,
whenever opportunity presented ; and it became necessary, to pre-
vent further acts of aggression, as well as those of retaliation, to re-
strict the troops to their respective quarters as much as possible. In
this state afiairs remained for some time, pending, it was understood,
a reference to the Emperor ; in the mean while the trade was stopped,
and every endeavour at negociation, or even at explanation, equally
rejected, though personally attempted by Admiral Drury and the
president of the select committee of Supercargoes : the reply invaria-
bly was-^" Put your troops on board, and then we will hear you."'
Under these untoward circumstances, the British property at Canton
was claimed, and the Company's servants withdrew from the factory ;
while the Chinese, on their part, placed a line of armed junks across
the river, to intercept the communication, leaving space for only one
boat to pass. The time at length arriving in which a reply might be
expected from Pekin, a rumour prevailed, and was corroborated in a
letter from the president, that a numerous armed force had moved
from Canton to expel the British troops ; and shortly after two small

* The troops forming the expedition consisted of 200 rank and file of the Company's
European reg. and a volunteer batt. of 650 firelocks from Bengal, 100 Europ. art. (with a
train of S eighteen and 4 twelve-pounders, 2 eight inch mortars) and 2 field pieces, and 2
oompames of His Majesty's 30th foot 6om Madras.

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encampmeots were observed on the maui iskml (^posite to Macao,
from which a party crossed ovef^ and took possession of the jos-house
at the Portuguese extremity of the isthmus. All supplies to the troops
were at the same time prohibited on pain of death ; the Chinese in-
habitants ordered to remove from the city, and the Portuguese to keep
within their houses, preparatory to the actual commencement of hos-
tilities* These strong indications on the part of the Chinese preclud-
ing further prospect of reconciling them to the continuance of the
troops at Macao, as was also declared in several despatches received
fnnn the viceroy at Canton, it became necessary to determine on ^
line of conduct expedient to be adopted under these unexpected pro-
ceedings. The question was accordingly taken into consideration,
and in the th^i state of affairs, and declared opposition of the Chinese
government, it was finally judged most advisable to abandon the in-^
tention of occupying Macao, and, in order to the re-establishment of
our commercial relations with that nation, to re-embark the troops.
That measure was accordingly adopted, and the expedition retarned
to India ; the division from Bengal arriving at that presidency about
the middle of Feb. 1809.

While these measures were in progress, the city of Macao being
open and exposed on all sides, and filled, it might be presumed, with
internal enemies, every requisite precaution was taken to guard against
surpcize or insurrecdon, as well as to repel attack ; at the same time
cautiously avmding the appearance of alarm- With this view, the
troops being unequal to the general protection of the whole city, the
line of defence was confined priucipaUy to the Monte, and i^per
parts of the town, in its vicinity, and the guns, camp equipage,
and stores, removed to within the proposed limits- Signals, also, were
concerted for assembling the troops at the several posts appointed for
them, in the event of any sudden movement being necessary ; while
every attention was directed to the preservation of order and tran-
quillity in the town, which, from the irritated state ctf feeling of all par-
ties, required constant care and vigilance to effect. The sense enter-
tained by the Supreme government of the conduct of Maj. W., under

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such unusual drcomstances, as well as in the general command of the
expedition, will be seen from the following extracts of letters^ and ge-
neral^rders issued upon the return of the detachment to Bengal : —

« CouncU-Chamber, Feb. 27, 1809.
^^ Your despatches, of the dates mentioned in the margin*, containing
a detailed report.of jour proceedings in China, and of transactions in
that quarter, having been submitted to the consideration of the Rt'Hon.
the Gov.-pGen. in council, I am directed to communicate to you the sen-
timeats of goverament on the t^ior of your conduct, in the execution
of the arduous and important service on which you have been em-
ployed. His Lordship in council discharges a satisfactory obliga-
tion of his public duty, in recording the high sense which he enter-
tains of the great prudence, discretion, vigilance, and activity mani-
fested by you throughout the whole course of your proceedings, in a
situation of perhaps unprecedented delicacy and embarrassment, in
which the most important interests of the Hon. Company and the
British station in China materially depended upon the exercise of
those qualities. The Gov.-Gen. in council considers you entitled to
the expression of his distinguished approbation for your uniform and
successful attention to the maintenance of discipline and subordina*..
tion among the troops, at a time when their patience and forbearance
were put to the severest trials, by repeated insults and provocations on
the part of the Chinese inhabitants of Macao- All the measures and
arrangements you adopted for the accommodation and relief of the
troAps, and for the regulation of the staff, «re entirely approved ; as
also the able narrative of political transactions contained in your
despatches of the 5lh and 21st Dec. The Gov.-Gen. in council
also highly approves the professional judgment displayed by you in
the defensive arrangements which you adopted to provide against the
contingency of an attack on the part of the Chinese. The whole
tenor of your proceedings, indeed, fully justifies the high opinion of

^ 15th and 24th Nov.^ 5th, 121st, and 22d Dec. ]808; and Uthand 16tb Fsb. 1809^


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186 THE EAST I^piA

your judgment, temper, and ability, which induced Jbis Lcurdflkip in
counc^ tQ is^ect you for the cosra^smd of the troops in a siluatiion,(tf
such peculiar delicacy and importance; and his Lordship ia cooneii
will have great pleasure in conveying to the notice of the Hon. the
CouH; of Dirk^ors the distinguished merit of your conduct and ser-
vices on the occasion.

» (Signed) " N. B. Edmonsto^e, Chief-Sec.

"^ Major WegueUn:'

•* Head-Quarters at Kurmul, March 7, 1809.
" I am directed by the Com.-in-Chief to acknowledge the receipt
of your letter of the 21st Dec. 1808, from Macao Roads, with the en-
closures referred to ; and that of the 18lh ult., reporting the return to
Bengal of the detachment under your dommand. His Exc. directs
rti6'to cdiiVey toyou the expressiori 'of his best thartks for the judg-
ment, prudence, and discretion with which you have exercised and
fulfilled the duties of the command for which you were selected. To
the zeal and attention manifested by you in the arduous and trying
situation in which you were placed, his Exc. primarily ascribes the
praiseworthy conduct, by which the whole of the officers and
troops have been distinguished during the expedition.

(Signed) " H, Worsley, Adj.-Gen.

** Major Weguelin.**

Extract of General Orders, Fort WilUam, Bengal, 27 Feb^ 1809.
" The detachment of the Hon. Company's European reg., and the
corps of Native volunteers, which proceeded to Macao, under the
command of Maj. WegueHn, having returned to the presidency, the
Right Hon. the Gov.-Gen., in council, deems it proper to direct a
pubHc communication of his sentiments, regarding the meritorious
conduct of Maj. WegueHn, and of the officers and men under his
command, during the period of their employment in China. The
highest applause is due to Maj. WegueHn, for the judgment and

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ali^iltSr'ltoaiiifAMed" by liftm, itt the precaBtio»ary measures ^ich^ ht
ftdo|)«6ti, to prevent the eril conseqiidnce& of irritation so- jurtly ex^
cited amongst the European and Native troops undei^' his command,
by the unfriendly and often injurious conduct of the natire inha-
bitants ; for his uniform vigilance, attention, and exertion, to which
is materially to be ascribed the preservation of tranquiUity at Mftcao;
for his indefatigable endeavours to promote tiae comfort, andrdieire
the wants, of the troops, in a situation in which they were elpoMd
to all thiB inconveniences of restraint and pHvation ; and for the* pito*-
fessional ski4} which he displayed in the d^ensive arrangements which
it was judged necessary to adopt.

(Signed) " N. B. Edmoitstoni;, Chief Sec."

The detachinent being broken up on its retdrn to Baikal, Maj« W.
.shortly, lafler joined the European reg.,. to which hi6 was attach«U ^
Dinapore, and.remainisd at that station in the command of the corps,
until Dec. of that year (1809), when he returned to the preaideDoy,
on leave. On the establishment of the commissariat, (1st Feb. 1810,)
in Bengal, Maj. W. was appointed dep- commisslary' genv at that pre-
sidency ; and in that capacity proceeded in Sept. following, in charge
of the department, with the expedition against the Isle of France and
dependencies. On the landing of the troops he was placed by his
Exc. the Hon. Gen. Abercromby, Com.-in-Chief of the expedition,
at the head of the commissariat, for the supply of the forces from the
three presidencies of India, and from the Cape of Good Hope;
and on the surrender of the island, was finally appointed by his Exc.
Gov. Farquhar, Commissary Gen. of the Isles of France, (Mauritius),
Bourbon and dependencies. He continued to hold that situation
for twelve months, when the Isle of Mauritius and dependencies
being annexed to his Majesty's government, from the 1st Dec- 1811,
the Company's troops and public authorities returned to their re-
spective presidencies in India, wheite Mny W. arrived (in Bengal)
the latter end of March 1812; and hadtl^e honour to present to the

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Oov.-Geii. a letter iroiii Gov. Farquhar, addressed to his LordsUp
in council, exfM'e^ve of bis £xc/s approbation of his conduct, at
the head of the commissariat in those islands, as will be seen by
the following extract : —

" I avail myself of the departure of Maj. Wegudin for Calcutta,
to return your Lordship the best thanks of this government, for hav-
ing allowed us to benefit so long from the services of that valuable
officer. The indefatigable zeal, regularity, prudence, ability, and
vigilance, of the Dep. Commissary Gen., have aflbrded essential
aid, in the management of public affairs in a newly conquered
colony, when the objects and duties of that department have been
of primary importance, and could have been effectually accomplished
by such peculiar qualifications only as Maj* Weguehn possesses ; and
which has so fully realized the highly distinguished recommendation^
with which his appointment, by your Lordship, to these islands, was

(Signed) " R. T. Farquhar,

'* Part LatdSy 20 Jan. 1812/'

The commissariat accounts of the expedition were brought up,
and completed by Maj. W., and submitted to audit, in the course
of six months after his return to Bengal; on which occasion the
approbation of the Gov .-Gen. in council, and also of the Court of
Directors, was conveyed to him.

On the Ist July, 1812, Maj. Weguelin was appointed commissary
gen. of Bengal, with the official rank of lieut.-col. ; which rank he
also attained regimentally, on the l6th March, 1814. However im-
portant the dutiies* of commissary-gen. may be, they afford little

* These daties embraced many branches of military supply, in addition to the victual-
ling of the troops, to which, hi ]&irope^ the commissariat is generally confined, viz^ — ^the
supply of and feeding elephants, camels, and bullocks | also of horsey, for the cavalry
and horse artilleiy. The supply of military stores, and timber for the arsenal and maga-

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uiatler of a nature to be recorded in a military memoir; suffice

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lertgtii arrived, inifhich the poWeb of the cotnmi^ariat havelwen
put to the steverest trials ; Ae pesuk has exceeded the most sangtiifie
eixpectalion of his Bxc- theCom.-in-Chief, and of the Goreraoient;
and his Lordship it> council has now no hesitation in pronouncing
the'tMnrtissdfriat d^artment to be equally efficient in all its branches
ill tinie ttf war, as it has proved itself to be in time of peace. Hie
result of the exertions of the commissariat during the last campaign,
has left to his Exc. the Right Hon. the Gov,-Gen. in council,
nothing to be expected, or even to be desired, which could add to
the efficiency or reputation of the department; while the unpre-
cedented oeconomy with which supplies of every description were
procured and transported, notwithstanding the difficultieis opposed
to their transit, reflects unbounded credit on the officers of the de-
partment. To Lieut.-Col. Weguelin, commissary-gen*, and to Maj.
Lumsdaine, dep.-com.-gen., the warmest aoknowledgments of the
government are eminently due, for the wisdom, zeal, and un-
remitting attention, with which they have so successfully discharged
the duties of their high and important situations, under circum-
stances peculiarly trying.''

Lieut.-Col. W. being obliged, by private afi^irs; to r^urn to

Online LibraryJohn PhilippartThe East India military calendar: containing the services of ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 17 of 45)