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Historical record of the Eighty-sixth, or the Royal County Down Regiment of Foot: containing an account of the formation of the regiment in 1793, and of its subsequent services to 1842 online

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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY-

OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES

GIFT OF
COMMODORE BYRON MCCANDLESS



HISTORICAL RECORDS



THE BRITISH ARMY,



GENERAL ORDERS.



HORSE-GUARDS,

1st January, 1830.

His MAJESTY has been pleased to command,
that, with a view of doing the fullest justice to Regi-
ments, as well as to Individuals who have distin-
guished 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 con-
tain the following particulars, viz.,

- The Period and Circumstances of the Ori-
ginal 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.



iv GENERAL ORDERS.

The Names of those Officers, who, in con-
sideration 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-Com-

missioned Officers and Privates as may have specially
signalized themselves in Action.

And,

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 Honourable

GENERAL LORD HILL,

Commanding-in-Chief.



JOHN MACDONALD,
A djutant- General.



PREFACE.



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
honourable career, are among the motives that have given
rise to the present publication.

The operations of the British Troops are, indeed, an-
nounced 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 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



VI PREFACE.

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 Con-
tinental 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 Regi-
ment 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 long a period, been undisturbed by the
presence of ivar, which few other countries have escaped,
comparatively little is knpwn 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



PREFACE. Yll

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 Con-
tinental 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 Com-
manders, 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 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



Vlll PREFACE.

served, or are serving, in the Army, an Esprit de Corps
an attachment to every thing 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 mo-
ments 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, 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 distin-
guished 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 Regi-
ment, 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.




EIGHTY SIXTH (THE ROYAL COUNTY DOWN) REGIMENT OF FOOT.



HISTORICAL RECORD

OF THE

EIGHTY-SIXTH,

OR

THE ROYAL COUNTY DOWN REGIMENT OF

FOOT:

CONTAINING AN ACCOUNT OF

THE FORMATION OF THE REGIMENT
IN 1793,



ITS SUBSEQUENT SERVICES

TO

1842.



LONDON:
JOHN W. PARKER, WEST STRAND.



LONDON:

HARRISON AND Co., PAINTERS,
ST. MARTIN'S LANE.




THE EIGHTY-SIXTH,

OR

THE ROYAL COUNTY DOWN REGIMENT OF
FOOT,

BEARS ON ITS COLOURS AND APPOINTMENTS THE

"HARP AND CROWN"

WITH THE MOTTO

"QUIS SEPARABIT?"

AJ.SO THE
" SPHINX," WITH .THE WORDS " EGYPT,"

" INDIA," " BOURBON;"

AND ON THE BUTTONS THE

"IRISH HARP AND CROWN/'



CONTENTS.



Year Page

1793 The Regiment raised, and styled Cuylers

Shropshire Volunteers .... 9

1 794 Names of the Officers .... 10

Embarks for Ireland . . . . . 11

Styled the Eighty -Sixth Regiment., or the

Shropshire Volunteers ....

Returns to England .....

1795 Serves on board the fleet as Marines . . 12

1796 Embarks for the Cape of Good Hope . . 13
1799 Proceeds to India

1801 Six Companies proceed to Egypt . . . 14

Passage of the Desert

Capture of Cairo and Alexandria . . . 18

1802 Four Companies in India, Capture of Kareah

and Tarrapore ..... 20

Six Companies return from Egypt to India . 21

Capture of Barodara 22

1803 Kirrella, skirmish near Copperbund 23

Keira 24

Baroach ..... 25

Powanghur . . . . 28

Skirmish near Lunawarrah ... 29

Capture of Dhowd 30

1804 Advances to Indore 31

Disastrous Retreat to Ongein ....

Capture of Inglehur ..... 32



VI CONTENTS.

Year Page

1805 Proceeds to Bhurtpore 32

Storms one of the out-works ... 33

Attacks a large bastion ..... 34

Siege raised, proceeds to Muttra ... 35

Pursues the forces of Holkar ....

1806 Returns to Bombay 36

Stationed at Goa ......

Obtains the title of the Eighty-Sixth, or Leinster

Regiment of Foot 37

1 809 Declaration of the Portuguese Viceroy, at Goa .

1810 Expedition against the Island of Bourbon . 38

Services of a detachment on board the Africaine

frigate ....... 44

1811 Removed to the Isle of France ... 45

1812 Returns to India . >. , . . .

Styled the Eighty -Sixth, or the Royal County

Down Regiment ..... 46

1814 A second battalion added to the regiment . 47

Ditto disbanded .

1816)

j /Serves against the Pindarees .... 48

1817 Insurrection at Hyderabad . - '. r

1818 Serves against the Pindarees .... 49

Marches for Madras, in order to embark for

England ......

Flank Companies proceed to the Island of

Ceylon 50

Services against the Kandians ...

1819 Returns to Madras 55

General Orders on leaving India . . 56

Arrives in England 57

1821 Embarks for Ireland . . -; ; ' i' .

1827 Service Companies embark for the West Indies . 59

1837 return to England . ; 62

1842 The Conclusion . . . ... 63



CONTENTS.



SUCCESSION OF COLONELS.

Year Page

1793 Cornelius Cuyler 64

1 794 Russell Manners 66

1795 William Grinfield 67

1804 Sir James Henry Craig, K.B. ... 68

1 806 Sir Charles Ross, Baronet ....

1810 The Honorable Francis Needham . . 69

1832 William George Lord Harris . . . . 71

1835 The Honorable Sir Frederick Cavendish

Ponsonby, K.C.B., G.C.M.G., K.C.H. .

1836 James Watson 72

1837 Sir Arthur Brooke, K.C.B




EIGHTY-SIXTH (THE ROYAL COUNTY DOWN) REGIMENT OF FOOT.



HISTORICAL RECORD



EIGHTY-SIXTH,



THE ROYAL COUNTY DOWN REGIMENT



F T.



THE last twelve years of the eighteenth century 1793
form a period, remarkable in the annals of Europe,
for the efforts made to overthrow the governments of
Christendom, and to establish the destructive domi-
nation of atheism and democracy, upon the ruins of
institutions which had elevated the inhabitants of this
quarter of the globe to an height of knowledge,
refinement, wealth, and power, unknown in other
parts of the earth. France was the great theatre
of commotion : there the war of hostile principles
produced the most sanguinary results; the cry of
"equality" was raised, the blood of princes, nobles,
and citizens was shed, and democracy appeared to
triumph over the rights of society. In other countries,
republican principles were spreading to an alarming
extent ; the sovereigns of Europe were forced to engage
in war to oppose the progress of destruction, and to
Great Britain pertains the honour of having persevered
in this contest, for twenty years, when the overthrow of
86. B



10 HISTORICAL RECORD OF

1 793 that tyrannical power which sprung out of the French
revolution, was accomplished.

On the commencement of hostilities in 1793, the
British army was augmented: upwards of fifty regi-
ments of foot were raised, and one of the first corps
embodied, on this occasion, was the regiment which
now bears the title of the EIGHTY-SIXTH, ou THE
ROYAL COUNTY DOWN REGIMENT.

This corps was raised by Major-General Cornelius
Cuyler, who had served with reputation in North
America, and also in the West Indies, where he
had performed the duties of commander-in-chief ; its
general rendezvous was at Shrewsbury, and its designa-
tion was "GENERAL CUYLER'S SHROPSHIRE VOLUN-
TEERS ;" but its ranks were completed with men, prin-
cipally from Yorkshire, Lancashire, and Cheshire,
counties which have furnished many excellent soldiers.
Major-General Cuyler^s appointment was dated the
30th of October, 1793, and the royal warrants for
raising recruits were issued on the following day*.
1794 In February, 1794, the following officers were hold-
ing commissions in the regiment:

Colonel, MAJOR-GENERAL C. CUTLER.
Lieut.- Colonel, GEORGE SLADDEN.

Major, R. M. DICKENS.

Captains. Lieutenants. Ensigns.

T. C. Hardy Thomas Neilson Willm. Murray

W. H. Digby Hugh Houstown Thos. Thovnhill

Charles Byne W. S. Curry Thomas Symes

Edward Robinson Edward Barnes W. C. Williams

"GEORGE R.,

" WHEREAS we have thought fit to order a regiment of
" foot to be forthwith raised, under your command, which is to
" consist of ten companies, with three Serjeants, three corporals,
" two drummers, and fifty-seven private men in each company,
" with two fifers to the grenadier company, besides a serjeant-
" major and quarter-master-serjeant, together with the usual



THE EIGHTY-SIXTH FOOT. 11

Captains. Lieutenants. Ensigns. 1794

Alexander Campbell Thos. Pickering James Burke

Rowland Hill* Charles Dod Danl. McNeilt

Robert Bell. Geo. Middlemore Edward Fox

Chas. E. Jolley Wm. St. Clair.

Captain-Lieutenant. Daniel Gavey
George Cuyler. Wm. Semple

J. C. Tuffnell.

Chaplain, Chas. Austen ; Adjutant, Daniel Coleman ;
Quarter-Master, Richard Jackson; Surgeon, Hugh Dean.

From Shrewsbury, the regiment proceeded to Park-
gate, where it embarked, in April, for Ireland, and after
landing at Cork, marched to Kilkenny.

At this period the newly-raised corps were num-
bered, and this regiment received the designation of the
EIGHTY-SIXTH, or SHROPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS.

On the 20th of June, 1794, Major-General Cuyler
was appointed to the Sixty-ninth Regiment, and was
succeeded in the colonelcy of the EIGHTY-SIXTH, by
Lieutenant- General Russell Manners.

After remaining in Ireland ten weeks, the regiment
embarked at Cork, and was held in readiness for active



" number of commissioned officers ; these are to authorise you, by
" beat of drum, or otherwise, to raise so many men in any county
" or part of our kingdom of Great Britain, as shall be wanted to
" complete the said regiment to the above-mentioned numbers.

"And all magistrates, justices of the peace, constables, and
" other our civil officers, whom it may concern, are hereby re-
" quired to be assisting unto you, in providing quarters, impressing
" carriages, and otherwise, as there shall be occasion.

" GIVEN at Our Court, at St. James's, this 1st day of Novem-
" ber, 1793, in the thirty-fourth year of Our reign.

" By His Majesty's command,
" (Signed) GEORGE YONGE."

" To Our trusty and well-beloved C. Cuyler, Esq.,
" Major-General in our Army, and Colonel
" of a Regiment of Foot to be forthwith
" raised, &;c., $c., <SfC."

* Now General Commanding-in-Chief.
B 2



12 HISTORICAL RECORD OF

1 794 service ; buS it landed at Frome, in Somersetshire, in
September, \nd proceeded from thence to the Isle of
Wight.

1795 The regiment having been brought into a state of
discipline and efficiency, was selected to serve on board
the fleet as marines ; eight officers, and four hundred
and fourteen non-commissioned officers and soldiers,
embarked in January, 1795, on board the " Prince of
Wales," " Triumph/' Brunswick," and Hector,"
line-of-battle ships, and in February, seven officers, and
two hundred and seventy-six non-commissioned officers
and soldiers, embarked on board the "Prince," "Saturn,"
and " Boyne." The " Boyne" caught fire at Spithead,
and was destroyed, when the grenadier company of the
regiment lost its arms, accoutrements, and baggage.

Lieut.-General Russell Manners was removed to the
Twenty-sixth Light Dragoons, in March, 1795, and was
succeeded by Major-General William Grinfield, from
Lieut.- Colonel in the Third Foot Guards.

The head-quarters of the regiment were at Newport^
in the Isle of Wight, where they were inspected by His
Royal Highness the Duke of York, who expressed his
approbation of their appearance; and in October the
establishment was augmented to one hundred rank and
file per company, its numbers being completed by
drafts from the 118th and 121st Regiments; the men
of the last-mentioned corps were then recently liberated
from French prison. In December, the regiment was
stationed at Portsmouth and Hilsea.

1796 In the beginning of 1796, the establishment was
augmented to twelve companies, the eleventh and
twelfth being recruiting companies; and as the ships of
war came into port, the officers and soldiers of the
EIGHTY-SIXTH landed and joined the regiment ; they
had served in several engagements in which the ships
they were embarked in had taken part, during that



THE EIGHTY-SIXTH FOOT. 13

eventful period. In April, the regiment proceeded to 1796
Guildford, and in June it returned to the Isle of Wight.

Meanwhile, Flanders and Holland had embraced
the republican principles of France, and the British
government resolved to deprive the Dutch of the
settlement of the Cape of Good Hope; the EIGHTY-
SIXTH embarked for the Cape, where they landed on the
22nd of September, six days after the Dutch governor
had surrendered the colony to the forces under General
Sir Alured Clarke.

The regiment was stationed at the Cape of Good 1797
Hope during the years 1797 and 1798, and received 1798
drafts from the 95th, and other corps. In February,
1799, it embarked for the East Indies, and landed, on 1799
the 10th of May, at Madras, upwards of thirteen hundred
strong, a splendid body of men, whose appearance
excited much admiration.

The capture of Seringapatam had rendered the ser-
vices of the regiment at this station unnecessary, and
after a month's repose at Madras, it embarked for
Bombay, where it arrived on the 22nd of July, and sent
detachments by sea, under Major Bell, and Captain
James Richardson, to Tannah and Surat : these detach-
ments returned to Bombay, in December following.

From Bombay, three companies sailed, towards the 1800
end of 1800, for Ceylon, in the expectation of taking
part in the reduction of the Isle of France*; but orders
had, in the meantime, arrived for an army from India,
to co-operate with a body of troops from Europe, in
the expulsion of the French "ARMY OF THE EAST"
from Egypt, and the detachment returned, in January,

The troops designed for this service consisted of the tenth,
eightieth, and eighty-eighth regiments, seven companies of the
nineteenth, three of eighty-sixth, a battalion of native infantry,
and a proportion of artillery, under Colonel the Honourable
Arthur Wellesley.



14 HISTORICAL RECORD OF

1801 1801, to Bombay, where Major-General Baird assumed
the command, and the expedition sailed for the Red
Sea.

It was originally designed, that the army from India
should land at Suez, a city of Egypt, situate at the head
of the Red Sea, on the borders of Arabia; and a small
squadron under Admiral Blanquett, having on board
three companies of the EIGHTY-SIXTH (the grenadier,
light, and colonel's companies) under Lieut.-Colonel
Lloyd, a detachment of Bombay artillery, a battalion of
sepoys, with other detachments, sailed some time
before the main body of the expedition, to attack Suez,
and interrupt the formation of any establishment there
by the French. This small force left Bombay in
December 1800, arrived at Mocha in the middle of
January 1801, where the fleet remained two days to
procure provisions, when it sailed for Jedda, where one
of the ships was lost on a bank. The navigation of the
Red Sea, from Jedda to Suez, proved particularly diffi-
cult and tedious, on account of the want of a sufficient
depth of water, the fleet having to anchor daily, and
take advantage of the tides. On reaching Suez, the
French had evacuated the place in consequence of the
arrival of the army from Europe, under General Sir
Ralph Abercromby, on the Mediterranean shores of
Egypt, and the success of the British arms near Alex-
andria, where Sir Ralph Abercromby was killed.

The troops landed at Suez, and Lieut.-Colonel Lloyd,
in reporting his arrival, solicited permission to cross the
Desert and share in the dangers and honours of the
army, which was advancing up the Nile, and approach-
ing Cairo, the modern capital of Egypt, which it was
expected the French would defend. Lieut.-General
Hutchinson acquiesced in Lieut.-Colonel Lloyd's wishes,
and preparations were accordingly made to pass the
Desert.



THE EIGHTY-SIXTH FOOT. 15

At six o'clock, on the evening of the 6th of June, 1801
the three companies of the EIGHTY-SIXTH commenced
their march, with only three pints of water per man ;
the distance in a straight line, was only fifty-eight
miles; but the Arab Sheiks, furnished for guides by
the Vizier, and made responsible for the safe passage of
the detachment, represented that a detour of ten or
twelve miles would be necessary to prevent the French
intercepting the detachment.

After marching two hours over a hard sandy country,
Captain Cuyler, Lieutenant Morse, and Lieutenant
Goodfellow, were taken so ill as to be unable to pro-
ceed. At eleven the troops halted for two hours, then
resumed the march until seven in the morning, when
they again halted, having performed twenty-six miles
of the journey. The day became so intolerably hot,
that Lieut.-Colonel Lloyd ordered the tents to be
pitched to shelter the men from the sun; but at ten
o'clock the guides stated it was necessary to march, as
the camels would be so debilitated by the heat, if they
rested on the sand, as to require water before they
could move again; but if kept in motion they would not
be affected in so fatal a degree; adding, if the soldiers
slept, tne camel drivers might steal the water, which
they feared would be found scarcely sufficient. The
guides being responsible for the safety of the detach-
ment, Lieut.-Colonel Lloyd acceded to their wishes;
the tents were struck at eleven, and the march resumed;
the thermometer being at 109. Captain Cuyler soon
fainted again, and fell from his horse, and a camel and
two men were left to attend him and bring him for-
ward. The men beginning to drop fast in the rear,
Lieut.-Colonel Lloyd halted about one o'clock, cut his
own baggage from the camels, which example was
followed by all the officers, as many men as could be
carried were then mounted on the camels, and the



16 HISTORICAL RECORD OF

1801 whole proceeded. At two o'clock a camseen, or south
wind, began to blow, the thermometer rose to 116,
and afterwards much higher; the officers and soldiers
were seized with dreadful sensations: some were
affected with giddiness and loss of sight, and others
fell down gasping for breath, and calling for drink. At
four o'clock, Lieut.-Colonel Lloyd was forced to halt.
The skins had been cracked by the sun, and the water
had become of a thick consistence; the men who
drank it were seized with vomiting and violent pains.
The officers had brought with them some Madeira
wine, which they divided among the soldiers; a pro-
portion of spirits were mixed with the remaining water,
which was issued to the men, accompanied with
the warning, that every drop was in their own posses-
sion, half the journey had not been performed, and on
their own prudence, in reserving a portion in their
canteens, must depend whether or not they should be
enabled to accomplish the remainder of the distance.

Between six and seven o'clock the wind ceased; as
the sun declined, the air became more temperate, and
the detachment being a little refreshed, though still a
langour pervaded the whole, the order for marching
was given at seven o'clock. Seventeen men," unable


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Online LibraryRichard CannonHistorical record of the Eighty-sixth, or the Royal County Down Regiment of Foot: containing an account of the formation of the regiment in 1793, and of its subsequent services to 1842 → online text (page 1 of 6)