Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics

British Regiments and the Men Who Led Them 1793-1815: 31st Regiment of Foot

By Steve Brown

Secondary Titles:

Huntingdonshire

Regimental History

1702:

14 March – raised for service as marines

1804:

1 August - 2nd Battalion formed at Chester

1814:

24 October - 2nd Battalion disbanded at Portsmouth

Colonels

1792:

8 January

James Stuart

1793:

8 February

Henry, Earl of Mulgrave

1831:

18 April

Sir Henry Warde

Stations and Combats – 1st Battalion

1793:

Ireland - Waterford; September - flank companies to Barbados

1794:

Flank companies on Martinique; St Lucia, Guadeloupe; Point-a-Pitre; Fort Fleur d’Epee; Berville; July – battalion companies at Wexford; to England – Bristol; augmented to 12 companies; August – to Middelburg and Flushing

1795:

Walcheren; February – to England; Plymouth; August – Nursling; received drafts from 43/88/92/94 Foot; October – to West Indies; storms in channel

1796:

February – Gosport; Poole; March – Southampton; to West Indies; May - St Lucia; Morne Fortunee; Morne Chabot; Vigie; Vieux Forts; December – to Barbados; 887 men lost in one year

1797:

May - to England; July – Gravesend (85 men left); Doncaster; Hull; York

1798:

Doncaster, Hull and York; received 853 militia volunteers

1799:

Doncaster, Hull and York; September – Deal; to Helder; Alkmaar; Egmont-Op-Zee; Bergen; November – Deal; Canterbury

1800:

Canterbury; May – Dover; to Ireland; June – Cork; July – Quiberon; Isle du Houat; Ferrol; Cadiz

1801:

February – Minorca; not sent to Egypt due to large number of short-term militia men in battalion

1802:

Minorca; May - to England; Portsmouth; June – battalion reduced

1803:

Portsmouth; Jersey

1804:

Jersey; November – Portsmouth; Winchester; received militia volunteers

1805:

Winchester

1806:

January – Nelson’s Funeral; Winchester; April – Tilbury Forts; to Sicily; July - Messina

1807:

Messina; February – Melazzo; to Egypt; March – Aboukir; Rosetta; Alexandria; September – to Sicily

1808:

Sicily; September – to Malta

1809:

Malta

1810:

Malta; August – to Sicily; Messina

1811:

Messina; April - Malta; August - Sicily

1812:

Sicily; November – grenadier company to east coast of Spain; Alicante

1813:

East coast of Spain; April – to Sicily; Messina; Palermo; Castro Giovanni

1814:

Messina; March – Melazzo; to Italy; Leghorn; Sestri; La Stala; Heights of Albaro; Genoa; April - Corsica; Ajaccio; Bastia; June – Sicily; July – Messina

1815:

Messina; May – Melazzo; Naples; July – Genoa

1816:

Malta (until 1818).

Stations and Combats – 2nd Battalion

1804:

1 August - formed at Chester

1805:

Chester; October – Winchester

1806:

Winchester; June – Gosport

1807:

Gosport; June – Guernsey; May – to Ireland; Limerick

1808:

Limerick; March – Dublin; August – Fermoy; September – Monkstown; Falmouth; to Portugal; November – Lisbon; December – Castello Branco

1809:

Santarem; May – joined army at Thomar; TALAVERA; Abrantes

1810:

Abrantes; Campo Mayor; Busaco; Abrantes

1811:

Abrantes; Thomar; ALBUERA; June - into 2nd Provisional Battalion with 2/66th; Arroyo de Molinos; Portalegre

1812:

Estremadura; Alamarez; Aranjuez; Retreat to Burgos; Placentia

1813:

VITTORIA; Roncesvalles; Pampeluna; Maya; NIVELLE; St Pierre; NIVE

1814:

St Pierre; Garris; ORTHEZ; Aire sur l’Adour; Toulouse; Bourdeaux; July – to Ireland; Cork; Middleton; September – to Portsmouth; 24 October - disbanded at Portsmouth; fit men into 1/31st at Messina.

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

Lt Col William Cotton

Lieutenant-Colonel in 31st Foot 25 February 1788; commanded 31st Foot 1788 to 1793; retired September 1793.

Maj Charles Green

Born Gibraltar 1749; Major in the 31st Foot 25 February 1788; to Lieutenant-Colonel in Edmeston's Regiment October 1793; died Cheltenham 1831.

Lt Col Adam Hay

Major in 31st Foot 31 October 1793; Lieutenant-Colonel 29 September 1794; commanded 31st Foot 1794 to 1796; wounded at Vigie May 1796; died in West Indies December 1796.

Lt Col Hon. William Stewart

Born Dublin 1778, son of the 1st Marquess of Londonderry; served in Flanders 1793 to 1795; Major in 106th Foot 31 July 1795; Lieutenant-Colonel in 31st Foot 9 January 1795; to Lieutenant-Colonel in 5th Dragoons 1 January 1797; subsequently brevet Colonel 25 September 1803; Major-General 25 July 1810; Lieutenant-General 4 June 1814; General 10 January 1837; 3rd Marquess of Londonderry in 1822; died London 1854.

Lt Col Robert Arbuthnot

Lieutenant-Colonel in 31st Foot 1 September 1795; wounded at Vigie May 1796; died in West Indies July 1796.

Lt Col Charles McMurdo

Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 31 March 1795; Lieutenant-Colonel in 70th Foot 10 August 1796 (on transfer from 25th Foot); commanded 31st Foot 1797 to 1803; brevet Colonel 29 April 1802; retired March 1803.

Lt Col William Hepburne

Major in 31st Foot 1 September 1795; Lieutenant-Colonel 16 December 1796; to Captain & Lieutenant-Colonel in Coldstream Guards 17 October 1799.

Maj George Fearon

Major in 31st Foot 2 September 1795; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 22 September 1796; DQMG in Leeward Islands September 1796; died in West Indies October 1796.

Lt Col Randolph Marriot

Born Yorkshire 1770; served in the West Indies 1796 to 1797; Major in 31st Foot 17 January 1797; served at Helder 1799; exchanged to 9th Foot 23 December 1800; subsequently brevet Colonel 25 July 1810; Major-General 4 June 1813; died March 1821.

Maj John Smith

Major in 31st Foot 31 October 1796 (on transfer from 57th Foot); brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 29 April 1802; to Lieutenant-Colonel in 6th Garrison Battalion 9 July 1803.

Lt Col John-Leveson Gower

Born 1774, son of Admiral John-Leveson Gower; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 2 July 1794; to half-pay of 111th Foot; Lieutenant-Colonel in 31st Foot 17 October 1799; Major-General 30 October 1805; Lieutenant-General 1 January 1812; died September 1816.

Lt Col Ronald Craufurd Ferguson

Born Edinburgh 1773; served in Flanders 1793; Major in 84th Foot 31 May 1794; Lieutenant-Colonel in 84th Foot 18 September 1794; Lieutenant-Colonel 31st Foot 19 December 1799 (from half pay Minorca Regiment); subsequently brevet Colonel 1 January 1800; to Colonel of a Fencible Regiment 10 April 1801; Major-General 25 April 1808; Lieutenant-General 4 June 1813; General 22 July 1830; died April 1841.

Lt Col Henry Bruce

Served in the West Indies; served in Portugal 1797; Major in 9th Foot 12 June 1800; Major in 31st Foot 23 December 1800; served in Egypt 1801; Lieutenant-Colonel 24 March 1803; commanded 2/31st Foot on raising 1804; commanded 1/31st Foot 1808 to 1814; subsequently brevet Colonel 1 January 1812; Major-General 4 June 1814; Lieutenant-General 22 July 1830; died October 1837.

Lt Col Lyde Browne

Born London 1759; brevet Major 9 September 1794; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 9 January 1798; Lieutenant-Colonel in 31st Foot 10 April 1801 (on transfer from 35th Foot); to Lieutenant-Colonel in 21st Foot 25 June 1802; murdered in Dublin riots 23 July 1803.

Lt Col Hon. Robert Meade

Born 1772; Major in 1st Foot 30 October 1794; Lieutenant-Colonel in Macdonald's Regiment 10 March 1795; on half-pay 1 March 1798; Lieutenant-Colonel in 31st Foot 10 April 1801 (from half-pay of Broderick's Regiment); commanded 31st Foot 1803 to 1808; subsequently brevet Colonel 29 April 1802; local Major-General at Madeira 21 July 1808; Major-General 25 October 1809; Lieutenant-General 4 June 1814; General 10 January 1837; died 1852.

Maj Meyrick Shaw

Major in 31st Foot 24 March 1803; to Lieutenant-Colonel in 3rd Foot 29 December 1804; retired May 1810; assistant secretary to the Duke of York in 1815.

Lt Col William Howe Campbell

Major in 35th Foot 11 December 1800; Lieutenant-Colonel in 35th Foot 10 August 1801; on half-pay 25 October 1802; Lieutenant-Colonel in 31st Foot 28 August 1804; commanded 2/31st Foot in Peninsular November 1808 to March 1809; Lieutenant-Colonel in 15th Portuguese Line 17 April 1809; Brigadier-General in Portuguese Army 1 May 1809; served in Peninsula with Portuguese army April 1809 to January 1811; died of fever in Portugal 2 January 1811.

Lt Col Sir Alexander Leith KCB

Born Scotland 1774; served in Flanders in 1793; served in West Indies 1796; served in Helder 1799; Major in 31st Foot 1 August 1804; served in Egypt 1807; Lieutenant-Colonel 7 February 1811; commanded 2/31st Foot in Peninsula April 1812 to April 1814, wounded at Nive; to half pay of 48 Foot 25 May 1815; subsequently brevet Colonel 12 August 1819; Major-General 22 July 1830; Lieutenant-General 23 November 1841; General 20 June 1854; died Aberdeen 1859.

Maj George Augustus Tonyn

Major in 31st Foot 2 August 1804 (on transfer from 48 Foot); brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 4 June 1811; to half-pay of 95th Foot 26 August 1819.

Maj James Kyrlie Money

Born Stockton 1775; Major in Armstrong's Recruiting Corps 28 September 1804; Major in 31st Foot same day; Major in 14th Garrison Battalion 4 April 1805; Major in 21st Foot 22 August 1805; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 4 June 1811; subsequently brevet Colonel 27 May 1825; Major-General 10 January 1837; died Hereford 1843.

Maj John Stafford

Major in 31st Foot 29 December 1804; Major in 98th Foot 21 April 1808; subsequently brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 4 June 1811; Major on half-pay Bourbon Regiment 13 April 1815.

Major Hon. Hugh Arbuthnot

Born 1780; served at Copenhagen 1801; Major in 14th Garrison Battalion 23 November 1804; on half-pay February 1805; Major in 31st Foot for April 1805; exchanged to 52nd Foot 25 April 1805.

Maj Sir William Bagnall Burdett, Bt.

Major in 31st Foot 25 April 1805; to 8th Garrison Battalion 15 January 1806.

Maj John Williams Watson

Major in 31st Foot 15 January 1806; served in Peninsula November 1808 June 1810; to Lieutenant-Colonel in Dillons Regiment 6 December 1810.

Lieutenant-Colonel George Guy Carleton l’Estrange

Major in 31st Foot 21 April 1808 (on transfer from 98th Foot); served in Peninsula with Spanish army November 1808 to June 1809; prisoner of war June 1809 to April 1810; commanded 2/31st Foot in Peninsula May 1810 to April 1812; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 30 May 1811; to Lieutenant-Colonel in 26th Foot 10 December 1812; to Lieutenant-Colonel in 31st Foot 8 June 1815; commanded troops at Peterloo Massacre 1819; subsequently Major-General 22 July 1830; Lieutenant-General 23 November 1841; died Yorkshire 1848.

Maj John Stewart Hawkshaw

Major in 31st Foot 7 February 1811; served in Peninsula June 1811 to November 1813; again in Peninsula April 1814; to half-pay in 1814.

Maj Robert Brice Fearon

Major in 31st Foot 20 December 1810; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 12 August 1819.

Maj Michael Coast

Major in 31st Foot 31 December 1812; to half-pay in 1815.

Lt Col William Wauchope

Lieutenant-Colonel in 2/48th Foot 8 December 1814; to half-pay on reduction; Lieutenant-Colonel in 31st Foot 25 May 1815; exchanged to Lieutenant-Colonel in 26th Foot 8 June 1815; on half-pay of Watteville’s Regiment 23 October 1817.

Sources:

War Office. Army Lists 1793 to 1815. London: various years.

Cannon, Richard. Historical Record of the 31st, or the Huntingdonshire Regiment of Foot; Containing an Account of the Formation of the Regiment in 1702, and of its Subsequent Services to 1850. London: Parker Furnivall and Parker, 1850.

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.

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

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

Park, S.J. and Nafziger, G.F. The British Military – 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. December 2011.

17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers. December 2011. National Library of Australia.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: January 2012

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