Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics

British Regiments and the Men Who Led Them 1793-1815: 20th Regiment of Foot

By Steve Brown

Secondary Titles:

East Devonshire

Regimental History

1688:

11 November – raised at Exeter by Sir Robert Peyton

1799:

4 August – 2nd Battalion formed from militia volunteers at Barham Downs

1802:

September – 2nd Battalion disbanded at Malta.

Colonels

1789:

12 March

West Hyde

1797:

2 March

Charles Leigh

1809:

29 December

Sir John Stuart, K.B. &c., Count of Maida

1815:

5 April

Sir William Houstoun, K.C.B.

Colonel-Commandant

1799:

4 August

Charles, Lord Fitzroy (until 1802)

Stations and Combats – 1st Battalion

1793:

Jamaica; October – San Domingo

1794:

San Domingo; February – Tiburon; L’Acul; Bompard; Jamaica

1795:

Jamaica – Maroon Rebellion

1796:

San Domingo; March – survivors (6 officers and 70 other ranks) to England; Plymouth; Exeter; November – Lichfield

1797:

Lichfield; March – Liverpool

1798:

Liverpool; June – Manchester; August – Preston; received 300 recruits from Lancashire militia

1799:

Preston; July – Canterbury; received 1800 militia recruits; Barham Downs; Deal; to Helder – Krabbendaam; Zuyper-Sluis; Bergen; Egmont-Op-Zee; Castricium; Alkmaar; October – England; Ashford

1800:

Ashford; February – to Ireland; Cork - recruited from Irish militia; June – Belle Isle; Quiberon; to Minorca; Georgetown

1801:

Minorca; June - to EGYPT; Alexandria; Aboukir Bay; September – to Malta; 2 companies nearly lost due to leaking transport, all hands pumping en route; October – Malta; 80 men with ophthalmia to England

1802:

Malta; September – received fit men from 2nd Battalion

1803:

Malta; detachment at Gozo; undertook light infantry training; May – received new colours

1804:

Malta

1805:

Malta; October – flank companies detached to converged battalion; November – to Sicily; Nocora; Carano

1806:

Sicily; added ‘Sicilian company’; June – Calabria; July – MAIDA; August – Sicily; reunited with flank companies

1807:

Sicily; Messina; October – to England; December – Gibraltar; Spithead

1808:

Brabourne Lees; Colchester; Ipswich; July - Harwich; August – Tagus; Rolica; VIMIERO; retreat to Corunna

1809:

Calcabellos; CORUNNA; February – England; April – received 524 recruits; July - Colchester; Dover; Deal; to Walcheren; Flushing; to Harwich; Colchester

1810:

Colchester; July – Harwich; to Ireland; Cork; Kinsale; Mallow

1811:

Ireland – Mallow

1812:

Mallow; May – Fermoy; October – Cork; to Peninsula; November – Lisbon

1813:

January – joined Peninsula Army; VITTORIA; PYRENEES; Roncesvalles; Sorauren; Echelar; 2nd siege of San Sebastian; Nivelle

1814:

ORTHEZ; TOULOUSE; May – Bordeaux; June – to Ireland; July – Cork; Mallow; Waterford

1815:

Waterford; May - Templemore

1819:

Arrived St Helena; guarded Napoleon

1821:

St Helena; Napoleon’s funeral – coffin borne by 12 grenadiers from 20th Foot.

Stations and Combats – 2nd Battalion

1799:

Formed at Barham Downs from militia recruits; to Helder – Krabbendaam; Zuyper-Sluis; Bergen; Egmont-Op-Zee; Castricium; Alkmaar; October – England; Ashford

1800:

Ashford; Deal; to Ireland; Quiberon Expedition – Belle Isle; Isle of Houat; June – to Minorca; Fort George

1801:

Minorca; June - to Egypt; Alexandria; Aboukir Bay; September – to Malta

1802:

September – disbanded at Malta; fit men into 1st Battalion.

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

Lt. Col. John Lind

Lieutenant-Colonel in 20th Foot 6 January 1776; brevet Colonel 20 November 1782; retired March 1794.

Major James Rollinson

Brevet Major 7 June 1782; Major in 20th Foot 12 December 1792; retired February 1793.

Lt. Col. David Markham

Major in 20th Foot 26 February 1794 (on transfer from 76th Foot); Lieutenant-Colonel 29 March 1794; killed in action at Fort Bizotton 26 March 1795.

Major Charles Boyd

Major in 20th Foot 12 December 1789 (on transfer from half-pay of 76th Foot); died of fever in San Domingo late 1792.

Lt. Col. Forbes Champagné

Born 1764; served in North America 1774 to 1781; Major in 80th Foot 12 September 1793; Lieutenant-Colonel in 80th Foot 18 December 1793; served in Holland 1793 to 1794; brevet Colonel 26 January 1797; Brigadier-General in Ireland 1798; Major-General 25 September 1803; served on staff in India 1804; Colonel of 8th Garrison Battalion 25 November 1806; Colonel-Commandant of 95th Rifles 31 August 1809; Lieutenant-General 25 July 1810; died Surrey 1816.

Major Philip Bainbrigge

Born Derbyshire 1756; brevet Major 1 March 1794; Major in Liverpool Regiment 21 February 1795; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 9 January 1798; Major in 20th Foot 1799; commanded 1/20th Foot in Helder after Smyth wounded; killed in action at Egmont-Op-Zee 6 October 1799.

Lt. Col. David Clephane

Brevet Major 1 March 1794; Major in 20th Foot 26 March 1794; Lieutenant-Colonel 1 September 1795; brevet Colonel 25 September 1803; MP for Kinross 1807; retired 25 March 1808.

Lt. Col. Joseph Brooke

Major in 20th Foot 1 September 1795; Lieutenant-Colonel 6 August 1799; retired September 1801.

Major George Burgess Morden

Major in 20th Foot 1 September 1795; exchanged to 87th Foot 3 August 1796.

Major John Wood

Brevet Major 1 March 1794; Major in 20th Foot 3 August 1796 (on exchange from 87th Foot); gone by 1800.

Lt. Col. George Smyth

Lieutenant-Colonel in 20th Foot 5 August 1799 (on transfer from 79th Foot); commanded 1/20th Foot in Helder 1799; wounded at Krabbendam; died 1808.

Major Thomas Robinson Grey

Born Durham 1767; brevet Major 1 September 1794; Major in 91st Foot 1 September 1794; Major in 20th Foot 5 August 1799; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 1 January 1800; retired February 1800; Captain in militia 1803.

Lt. Col. Robert Ross

Major in 20th Foot 6 August 1799 (on transfer from half-pay of 90th Foot); served at Helder, wounded at Krabbendam; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 1 January 1801; served in Egypt; commanded 20th Foot at Maida 1806; ADC to King 1806; Lieutenant-Colonel 21 January 1808; commanded 20th Foot in Peninsula August 1808 to January 1809; served in Walcheren 1809; brevet Colonel 25 July 1810; commanded 20th Foot in Peninsula November 1812 to June 1813; Major-General 4 June 1813; commanded brigade in 4th Division July 1813 to April 1814; killed in action in front of Baltimore 12 September 1814.

Major George Williams

Major in 20th Foot 7 August 1799; retired March 1801.

Lt. Col. Manley Power

Born Devon 1772; Major in 20th Foot 7 October 1799; commanded 1/20th Foot in Helder after Bainbrigge’s death; Lieutenant-Colonel 20 June 1801; on half-pay 1803 after disbandment 2nd Battalion; Inspecting Field Officer off Militia October 1803; exchanged to 32nd Foot 8 June 1805.

Lt. Col. John Alexander Stuart

Lieutenant-Colonel in 32nd Foot 13 November 1800; exchanged to 20th Foot 8 June 1805; on half-pay 1810; brevet Colonel 25 July 1810; nothing further known.

Major David Walker

Major in 20th Foot 7 February 1800; Lieutenant-Colonel in Royal Corsican Rangers April 1807.

Major Henry Powlett

Served in Helder, wounded at Krabbendam 1799; Major in 20th Foot 27 March 1801; Half-pay 1802; Major in 44th Foot July 1803.

Major Alexander Jekyll Chambers

Major in 20th Foot 20 June 1801; commission rescinded May 1802; Major in 55th Foot June 1802.

Major John Maister

Major in 20th Foot 29 May 1802; on half-pay following disbandment 2nd Battalion; Major in 39th Foot July 1803.

Major William Wallace

Served in Helder, wounded at Egmont-Op-Zee 1799; Major in 20th Foot 7 May 1807; served in Peninsula August 1808 to January 1809; served in Walcheren 1809; again in Peninsula November 1812 to July 1813; wounded at Roncesvalles 25 July 1813; died of wounds 15 August 1813.

Major John Colborne

Born Hampshire 1778; served in Helder 1799, wounded at Krabbendam; served in Egypt 1801; served in Sicily and at Maida 1806; Major in 20th Foot 21 January 1808; served in Peninsula as military secretary to Sir John Moore September 1808 to January 1809; Lieutenant-Colonel in 5th Garrison Battalion 2 February 1809; subsequently to 66th Foot and 52nd Foot; Lord Seaton and Field Marshal 1860; died 1863.

Lt. Col. Alexander Campbell

Major in York Fencibles 20 July 1800; Major in 41st Foot 3 December 1802; Lieutenant-Colonel in 20th Foot 25 March 1808 (on transfer from 41st Foot); retired June 1809.

Lt. Col. Andrew Wauchope

Major in 1st Foot 3 August 1804; Lieutenant-Colonel in 20th Foot 8 June 1809 (on transfer from 1st Foot); served in Peninsula November 1812 to September 1813; commanded 20th Foot in Peninsula from June 1813 to September 1813; wounded at Echelar 2 August 1813; died of wounds at Passages 15 September 1813.

Lt. Col. Charles Steevens

Served in Helder 1799; served in Egypt 1801; served at Maida 1806; served in Peninsula August 1808 to January 1809; Major in 20th Foot 9 February 1809; served in Walcheren 1809; again in Peninsula November 1812 to February 1814; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 26 August 1813; Lieutenant-Colonel 21 October 1813; commanded 20th Foot in Peninsula August 1813 to January 1814; also in Ireland 1814; retired December 1818; died Cheltenham 1861.

Major Samuel South

Another budding Sharpe. Private in 20th Foot C.1780s; Sergeant-Major then Quartermaster March 1794; Ensign 19 March 1799; served at Helder, wounded at Zuyper-Sluis 1799; served at Maida 1806; served in Peninsula as Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General August 1808 to January 1809; served at Walcheren 1809; Major 21 October 1813; subsequently Lieutenant-Colonel 17 December 1818.

Major Alexander Rose

Served in Helder 1799; served in Egypt 1801; served at Maida 1806; served in Peninsula August 1808 to January 1809; served at Walcheren 1809; again in Peninsula November 1812 to February 1814; brevet Major 1 January 1812; Major in 20th Foot 26 August 1813; commanded breaching party and killed in action at San Sebastian 31 August 1813.

Major James Bent

Served in Helder 1799; served in Egypt 1801; served at Maida 1806; served in Peninsula August 1808 to January 1809; served at Walcheren 1809; again in Peninsula November 1812 to February 1814; brevet Major 4 June 1813; Major in 20th Foot 23 September 1813; commanded 20th Foot January and February 1814; killed in action at Orthez 27 February 1814.

Major John Murray

Served in Helder 1799; served in Egypt 1801; served in Peninsula August 1808 to January 1809; served at Walcheren 1809; again in Peninsula November 1812 to April 1814; brevet Major 21 September 1813; wounded at San Sebastian, Pyrenees and Orthez; Major in 20th Foot 30 March 1814.

Captain William Russell

Served in Egypt 1801; served at Maida 1806; served in Peninsula August 1808 to January 1809; served at Walcheren 1809; again in Peninsula November 1812 to April 1814; brevet Major 3 March 1814; commanded 20th Foot February to April 1814; on half-pay of 31st Foot in 1820.

Sources:

War Office. Army Lists 1796 to 1815. London: various years.

Smith, Major B, M.V.O. A History of the Lancashire Fusiliers, Volume 1. Dublin: The Sackville Press, 1903.

Chichester, Henry Manners, and Burges-Short, Henry. The Records and Badges of Every Regiment and Corps in the British Army. London: William Clowes & Sons, 1895.

Westlake, Ray. English & Welsh Infantry Regiments - An Illustrated Record of Service 1662-1994. Staplehurst: Spellmount, 2002.

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

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

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

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

London Gazette Website. August 2009.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: September 2009

 

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