Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics

British Cavalry Regiments and the Men Who Led Them 1793-1815: 15th Light Dragoons (Hussars)

By Steve Brown

Secondary Titles:

The King’s; 1807 – Hussars

Regimental History

1759:

Raised near London by Colonel George Augustus Elliott

Colonels

1790:

16 July

Guy, Lord Dorchester, K.B.

1801:

28 March

HRH Ernest Duke of Cumberland, K.G.

Stations and Combats

1793:

High Wycombe, Marlow and Henley on King’s Duty; March – Reading; April – Blackwall; 4 troops to Flanders, 5 troops at Reading; Ostend; Manires; Dunkirk; October – Lannoy; Cateau; Courtrai

1794:

April – Premont; Vaux; VILLERS-EN-CAUCHIES; WILLEMS; Roubaix; Duffel; Boxtel; Nijmegen

1795:

Geldermalsen; Groningen; retreat to Bremen; Westphalia; December – to England; North Shields

1796:

North Shields; travelling south; February – Croydon; April – 8 troops to form 4 squadrons; Reading; July – Weymouth; September – Newbury, Hungerford and Marlborough

1797:

Newbury, Hungerford and Marlborough; July – Weymouth; October – Windsor

1798:

Windsor; Hounslow; July – Ashford; Swinley; September - Newbury, Hungerford and Marlborough

1799:

Newbury, Hungerford and Marlborough; June – Trowbridge, Chippenham, Devizes, Frome, Wells and Gloucester; July – Croydon; augmented to 9 troops; September – Canterbury; 4 troops to Helder; EGMONT-OP-ZEE; October – three more troops at Helder; to England; Canterbury

1800:

Canterbury; augmented to 10 troops; April – received 172 Fencible volunteers; July – Salisbury; October - Dorchester

1801:

Dorchester, Poole, Shaftesbury, Warminster, Trowbridge and Wells; April – Taunton; July – Southampton; August – Hertford; October – Guildford

1802:

Guildford; May – reduced from 10 to 8 troops; August – Worcester

1803:

Worcester; May – Margate and Walmer

1804:

Margate; May – Ramsgate; June – Wimbledon Common; Winchester and Southampton; augmented from 8 to 10 troops; November – escorted captured Spanish treasure from Plymouth to London

1805:

Winchester and Southampton; March – Salisbury; July – Weymouth; Radipole; started conversion to hussars

1806:

Radipole

1807:

Radipole; March – Dorchester; ordered to grow mongol moustaches; June – Richmond; July – Hounslow Heath; Woodbridge; October – Rushmere Heath; Weeley

1808:

Weeley; July – Romford; August – Wanstead Flats; October – 8 troops to Portsmouth, 2 troops at Dorchester; to Spain; Corunna; Astorga; SAHAGUN

1809:

Cacabellos; Corunna; to England; Romford; October – Guildford and Godalming

1810:

Guildford and Godalming; February – Hounslow and Hampton Court; April – Burdett riots; London; Hounslow

1811:

Hounslow; June – Wimbledon Common; June – Romford; December – 8 troops to Nottingham and Mansfield; Luddite riots

1812:

Nottingham and Mansfield; April – Leeds, Wakefield and Sheffield; November – Manchester; December – 4 troops to Brighton and Arundel, 6 troops to Portsmouth

1813:

6 troops at Chichester; Portsmouth; to Portugal; February – Lisbon; Luz; May – Freixados; Almendra; June – Morales; Burgos; Osma; VITTORIA; augmented from 10 to 12 troops; Pyrenees; Cambo

1814:

Cambo; Orthez; Grenade; St Gernier; Tarbes; Toulouse; June – to Boulogne; to England; Dover; Canterbury; Hounslow; reduced from 12 to 8 troops; Liverpool; to Ireland; September – Dublin; Clonmel

1815:

Clonmel; April – augmented from 8 to 10 troops; May – 6 troops to Cork, 4 troops at Fermoy (later Arundel); 4 troops to Belgium; Ostend; WATERLOO; Cambrai; Paris; Army of Occupation

1816:

May – Calais; to England; Canterbury.

Careers of Senior Officers (shown as highest rank attained in regiment in the period)

Lt Col Francis Edward Gwyn

Served in American War of Independence; Major in 16th Light Dragoons to August 1775; Lieutenant-Colonel in 20th Light Dragoons 5 May 1779; to half-pay 1783; Lieutenant-Colonel in 3rd Dragoons 19 March 1787; ADC to King George 1787; Lieutenant-Colonel in 15th Light Dragoons 5 June 1789; commanded 15th Light Dragoons 1789 to 1793; subsequently Major-General 29 December 1793; Colonel of 25th Light Dragoons May 1794; Lieutenant-General 26 June 1799; General 28 August 1808; Colonel of 1st Dragoon Guards February 1820; died Sheerness January 1821.

Lt Col George Churchill

Major in 15th Light Dragoons 30 August 1781; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 18 November 1790; commanded 15th Light Dragoons in Flanders 1793 to 1794; Lieutenant-Colonel 10 March 1794; wounded in Flanders; brevet colonel 21 August 1795; subsequently Major-General 18 June 1796; served in West Indies and commanded on San Domingo in 1797; to Lieutenant-Colonel in 20th Light Dragoons 6 September 1798; served at Helder 1799; Lieutenant-General 30 October 1805; died London August 1808.

Lt Col George Caesar Hopkinson

Major in 15th Light Dragoons 10 March 1794; Lieutenant-Colonel 11 March 1794; retired 14 December 1794.

Lt Col William Erskine, Bt.

Born Fifeshire 1770, son of General William Erskine; Major in 15th Light Dragoons 1 March 1794; Lieutenant-Colonel 14 December 1794; ADC to General Erskine 1793 to 1795; MP 1796 to 1802; to half-pay of 133rd Foot 27 February 1796; Colonel of 14th Garrison Battalion 7 January 1801; to half-pay 1805; Major-General 25 April 1808; served in Peninsula June to September 1809; again in Peninsula October 1810 to February 1811; temporary commander of Light Division March and April 1811; commanded cavalry division in Peninsula April 1812 to January 1813; Lieutenant-General in Spain 14 May 1813; committed suicide at Lisbon 14 May 1813.

Maj William Aylett, Kt.

Served in Flanders 1793 and 1794; commanded 15th Light Dragoons and wounded at Villers-en-Cauchies; Major in 15th Light Dragoons 1 March 1794; received Austrian Order of Maria Theresa 1794; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 1 January 1798: to Major in 19 Foot 9 August 1804; subsequently brevet Colonel 23 April 1808; Major-General 4 June 1811; Lieutenant-General 19 July 1821; died July 1834.

Maj Robert Pocklington, Kt.

Served in Flanders 1793 to 1794; brought regiment out of Villers-en-Cauchies; Major in 15th Light Dragoons 14 December 1794; received Austrian Order of Maria Theresa 1794; retired 29 December 1798.

Lt Col James Erskine, Bt

Born Fifeshire 1772, son of General William Erskine; served in Flanders 1793 to 1794; Lieutenant-Colonel in 133rd Foot 22 August 1794; to half-pay 1795; Lieutenant-Colonel in 15th Light Dragoons 27 February 1796; commanded 15th Light Dragoons at Helder 1799; brevet Colonel 1 January 1800; ADC to King George 6 January 1801; to Lieutenant-Colonel in 2nd Dragoon Guards 10 February 1803; subsequently Major-General 25 April 1808; commanded brigade in 1st Division in Peninsula October 1810 to May 1811; temporary commander of 5th Division in Peninsula February to May 1811; Lieutenant-General 4 June 1813; died in London 3 March 1825.

Lt Col George Anson

Major in 20th Light Dragoons 15 December 1794; Major in 16th Light Dragoons 15 June 1797; Lieutenant-Colonel in 20th Light Dragoons 21 December 1797; Lieutenant-Colonel in 15th Light Dragoons 6 September 1798; served in Flanders 1795; served at Helder 1799; brevet Colonel 1 January 1805; Lieutenant-Colonel of 16th Light Dragoons 12 December 1805; served in Peninsula April 1809 to May 1809; again in Peninsula June 1809 to January 1810; subsequently Major-General 25 July 1810; commanded cavalry brigade in Peninsula May 1811 to July 1813; Colonel of 23rd Light Dragoons 3 August 1814; Lieutenant-General 12 August 1819; General 1 February 1837; Governor of Chelsea Hospital 1846 to 1849; MP 1806 to 1841; died at Chelsea 4 November 1849.

Lt Col Richard Augustus Seymour

Served in Flanders 1793 to 1794; Major in 15th Light Dragoons 29 December 1798; served at Helder 1799; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 25 September 1803; Lieutenant-Colonel 22 August 1805; commanded 15th Light Dragoons 1805 to 1808; to Lieutenant-Colonel in 72nd Foot 25 August 1808; Lieutenant-Colonel in 1st Garrison Battalion 22 June 1809; subsequently Major-General 4 June 1814; died on St Lucia 21 October 1817.

Maj Francis Forrester

Born 1784; Major in 19th Foot 4 August 1799; Major in 15th Light Dragoons 9 August 1804; served in Peninsula November 1808 to January 1809; retired 31 August 1809; MP 1820 to 1826; died London October 1861.

Maj Lynch Cotton

Major in 15th Light Dragoons 26 September 1805; to Major in 17th Light Dragoons 20 February 1805; died at Calcutta 11 May 1809.

Lt Col Robert Ballard Long

Born 1771; Brigade-Major and DAG in Flanders 1793 to 1794; served in Irish Rebellion 1798; Major in York Rangers 26 July 1797; Lieutenant-Colonel of Hompesch Mounted Rifles 7 February 1798; Major in York Hussars 28 June 1800; to half-pay 1802; Lieutenant-Colonel in 2nd Dragoon Guards 3 December 1803; Lieutenant-Colonel in 16th Light Dragoons 7 September 1805; Lieutenant-Colonel in 15th Light Dragoons 12 December 1805; brevet Colonel 25 April 1808; commanded cavalry brigade in Peninsula November 1808 to January 1809; served at Walcheren 1809; commanded cavalry brigade in Peninsula March 1811 to August 1813; subsequently Major-General 4 June 1811; Lieutenant-General 19 July 1821; died London 2 March 1825.

Maj Walter Nathaniel Leitch

Served at Helder 1799; Major in 15th Light Dragoons 20 March 1806; Major in 72nd Foot 20 July 1809; served in Peninsula November 1808 to January 1809; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 4 June 1813; Lieutenant-Colonel in 72nd Foot 29 December 1814; retired 5 November 1818.

Lt Col Colquohoun Grant, K.C.B.

Born in Scotland 1764; served in India 1799; Major in 28 Light Dragoons 21 February 1801; Lieutenant-Colonel in 72nd Foot 1 May 1805; served at Cape of Good Hope 1806; Lieutenant-Colonel in 15th Light Dragoons 25 August 1808; commanded 15th Light Dragoons in Peninsula November 1808 to January 1809, wounded at Sahagun; ADC to Prince Regent February 1811; commanded cavalry brigade in Peninsula April to July 1813, and again September to November 1813; wounded four times; Major-General 4 June 1814; commanded cavalry brigade at Waterloo; Colonel 15th Light Dragoons 22 January 1827; Lieutenant-General 22 July 1830; died Dorset 20 December 1836.

Maj John, Earl Waldegrave

Born 1785; Major in 8th Garrison Battalion 9 June 1808; Major in 72nd Foot 20 March 1808; Major in 15th Light Dragoons 25 July 1809; served in Peninsula July to December 1812; Major in 12 Light Dragoons 13 March 1812; Lieutenant-Colonel in 54th Foot 26 November 1812; commanded 54th Foot in Waterloo campaign; died July 1835.

Maj Alexander Hepburn Belcher

Major in 15th Light Dragoons 2 September 1809 (on transfer from 3rd Dragoon Guards); retired 14 November 1812.

Lt Col Sir Leighton Cathcart Dalrymple, Bt., C.B.

Born Ayrshire 1785, second son of General Sir Hugh Dalrymple; served in Peninsula November 1808 to January 1809; Major in 15th Light Dragoons 14 March 1812; Lieutenant-Colonel 16 December 1813; commanded 15th Light Dragoons 1813 to 1820; again in Peninsula March and April 1814; commanded 15th Light Dragoons at Waterloo, lost left leg; died Hertfordshire 6 June 1820.

Maj Edwin Griffith

Born 1784; served in Peninsula November 1808 to January 1809; Major in 15th Light Dragoons 5 November 1812; again in Peninsula February 1813 to April 1814; commanded 15th Light Dragoons at Vittoria and Orthez; killed in action at Waterloo.

Sources:

War Office. Army Lists 1791 to 1815. London: various years.

Cannon, Richard. Historical Record of the Fifteenth or the King’s Regiment of Hussars. London: John W. Parker, 1841.

Wylly, Harold Carmichael. XVth (The King’s) Hussars, 1759 to 1813. London: Caxton Publishing Company, 1914.

Mollo, John. The Prince’s Dolls; Scandals, Skirmishes and Splendours of the First British Hussars 1793-1815. London: Leo Cooper, 1997.

McKenna, Michael G. The British Army – And Its Regiments and Battalions. West Chester, Ohio: The Nafziger Collection. 2004.

Park, S.J. and Nafziger, G.F. The British Miltary – Its System and Organization 1803-1815. Cambridge, Ontario: Rafm Co. Inc. 1983.

Reid, Stuart. Wellington’s Officers, Volume 1. Leigh-On-Sea: Partizan Press, 2008.

Reid, Stuart. Wellington’s Officers, Volume 2. Leigh-On-Sea: Partizan Press, 2009.

Reid, Stuart. Wellington’s Officers, Volume 3. Leigh-On-Sea: Partizan Press, 2011.

Philippart, John. The Royal Military Calendar, or Army Service and Commission Book. London: A.J. Valpy, 1820.

17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers. April 2013. National Library of Australia.

19th Century British Newspapers Collection. April 2013. National Library of Australia.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: July 2013

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