Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics

British Regiments and the Men Who Led Them 1793-1815: 55th Regiment of Foot

By Steve Brown

55th Regiment of Foot

Secondary Titles:

Westmoreland

Regimental History

1755:

25 December – raised in Scotland by George Perry as 57th Foot

1757:

Re-named 55th Foot

 
Colonels

1791:

9 November

Loftus Anthony Tottenham

1811:

20 March

Donald Macdonald

1812:

10 October

Colin Campbell

1814:

25 April

William Henry Clinton

Stations and Combats

1793:

Ireland – Londonderry; Coleraine; November – flank companies to Ostend, then to West Indies

1794:

March – flank companies arrive on Martinique; St Lucia; Guadeloupe; taken POW at Berville; May – battalion companies to Flanders; Lincelles; October – Nijmegen

1795:

Waal; retreat to Bremen; April – to England; May – Harwich; Newcastle; Durham; Cowpen; October – to Downs, bound for West Indies; caught in storms

1796:

February – to West Indies; April – St Lucia; Morne Fortunée

1797:

St Lucia; received drafts from 44th and 48th Foot; home to England; December – Chatham

1798:

Chatham; February – received men from Kent Militia; Petersfield; Horsham; June – Winchester

1799:

Canterbury; received volunteers from Cheshire, Northants, East Yorks, East Essex and Herefordshire Militia; August – Barham Downs; to Helder; Groet-Keeten; Zuyper-Sluis; Bergen; Egmont-op-Zoom; Castricum; Alkmaar; to England; Canterbury

1800:

Canterbury; April – Battle; Portsmouth; June – Guernsey

1801:

Guernsey; August – Brighton; presented new colours

1802:

Hilsea; Portsmouth; March – aboard ship; June – to West Indies; July – Jamaica; Maroon Town

1803:

Jamaica; Trelawney

1804:

Jamaica

1805:

Jamaica

1806:

Jamaica

1807:

Jamaica

1808:

Jamaica; May – 3 companies put down mutiny of 2nd West India Regiment

1809:

Jamaica; June – flank companies in expedition to San Domingo

1810:

Jamaica; 4 companies sent home to Carlisle

1811:

Jamaica; 2 companies sent home to Carlisle; August – quelled Maroon riots

1812:

4 companies on Jamaica; 6 companies at Carlisle; October – to Newcastle-upon-Tyne; North Shields; on transports to Kent

1813:

Remaining men on Jamaica formed into one company; June – remaining 30 men ordered home; other 6 companies at Colchester; August – Windsor; November – to Flanders

1814:

Flanders; March – Bergen-op-Zoom; battalion captured but colours saved; June – to England; Yarmouth

1815:

Yarmouth; April – Tower of London; October – Lewes.

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

Lt Col Cornelius Cuyler

Born Albany, New York 1740; Major in 55th Foot 15 January 1776 (on transfer from 46th Foot); Lieutenant-Colonel 16 November 1777; brevet Colonel 20 November 1782; commanded 55th Foot 1782 to 1793; to Lieutenant-Colonel of a new corps 6 December 1793; subsequently Major-General 12 October 1793; Lieutenant-General in West Indies 15 June 1796; commander-in-chief in West Indies 5 May 1797; Lieutenant-General 1 January 1798; General 25 September 1803; died Hertfordshire 8 March 1818.

Major William Fitch

Major in 55th Foot 25 April 1792; to Lieutenant-Colonel-Commandant of 83rd Foot 28 September 1793.

Lt Col Donald Macdonald

 Major in 55th Foot 26 October 1793; Lieutenant-Colonel 6 December 1793; commanded 55th Foot 1793 to 1803; Colonel in West Indies 20 October 1796; brevet Colonel 26 January 1797; Brigadier-General in Guernsey 21 February 1799; commanded brigade at Helder; subsequently Major-General 25 September 1803; Colonel of Cape Regiment 9 August 1804.

Major William Gomm

Major in 55th Foot 6 December 1793; killed in action at Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe July 1794.

Major James Wiseman

Major in 55th Foot 15 July 1794 (on transfer from 53rd Foot); brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 1 March 1794; to Lieutenant-Colonel in 91st Foot 6 June 1795; retired 1796; died Banff 1800.

Lt Col James Lumsden

Major in 55th Foot 6 June 1795; Lieutenant-Colonel 1 September 1795; retired April 1802.

Major Hon. John Lindsay

Born Scotland 1762; Major in 55th Foot 1 September 1795; Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 6 August 1799; to Lieutenant-Colonel in 5th Foot May 1800; brevet Colonel 25 October 1809; subsequently Major-General 1 January 1812; died Brighton 1820.

Major George Cleghorn

Major in 55th Foot 2 September 1795 (on transfer from 135th Foot); retired 21 February 1798.

Major James Eyre Caulfield

Major in 55th Foot 21 February 1798; retired 16 July 1800.

Major William Lumsden

Major in 55th Foot 9 August 1799; killed in action at Egmont-aan-Zee 2 October 1799.

Lt Col John Cornelius Halkett

Major in 55th Foot 3 October 1799 (on transfer from 76th Foot); ADC and wounded at Helder; Lieutenant-Colonel 19 April 1802; to half-pay 25 May 1803.

Major Henry Green Barry

Born Cork 1770; served in Ireland 1798; Major in 55th Foot 6 July 1800 (on transfer from 25th Foot); exchanged to Major in 15th Foot 2 October 1800; brevet Colonel 25 July 1810; subsequently Major-General 4 June 1813; retired 1824; died 1838.

Major John Carruthers

Major in 15th Foot 28 November 1799; exchanged to Major in 55th Foot 2 October 1800; retired 13 November 1801.

Major Hon. Godfrey Macdonald

Major in 55th Foot 21 November 1801 (on transfer from 23rd Foot); to Lieutenant-Colonel in 24th Foot 28 April 1802; to Captain & Lieutenant-Colonel 1st Foot Guards 11 February 1808.

Major Charles Morgan

Major in 55th Foot 20 April 1801; exchanged to half-pay of 9th Foot 25 November 1802.

Lt Col John Nugent Smyth

Served in West Indies 1796 (taken POW on Guadeloupe); Major in 9th Foot 5 September 1799; served at Helder; to half-pay 9th Foot 25 November 1802; exchanged to Major in 55th Foot same day; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 1 January 1805; Lieutenant-Colonel 14 October 1813; brevet Colonel 4 June 1813; to Lieutenant-Colonel in 8th West India Regiment 19 October 1815; on half-pay 1816; subsequently Major-General 12 August 1819; Lieutenant-Governor of Scilly Isles 1819.

Major Alexander Jekyll Chambers

Major in 20th Foot 20 June 1801; commission rescinded May 1802; to Major in 55th Foot 17 June 1802; died of fever on Madeira 2 April 1807.

Lt Col Robert Douglas

Served at Gibraltar 1783; served in West Indies 1793-1798; Major in 56th Foot 10 March 1797; served at Helder 1799; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 11 May 1802; Major in 18th Foot 27 April 1803; Lieutenant-Colonel in 18th Foot 9 July 1803; Lieutenant-Colonel in 55th Foot 22 September 1804; commanded 55th Foot 1804 to 1815; brevet Colonel 4 June 1811; subsequently Major-General 4 June 1814; died in Essex 1828.

Major John Heyliger

Born St Croix (West Indies) 1782; Major in 55th Foot 2 April 1807; died of fever on Jamaica 8 October 1808.

Major Robert Frederick

Major in 55th Foot 15 December 1808 (on transfer from 54th Foot); brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 4 June 1814.

Major Alexander Hog

Major in 55th Foot 14 October 1813; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 17 March 1814.

Lt Col Luke Allen

Born County Kildare; Major in 3rd West Indian Regiment 16 May 1805; Major in 8th West Indian Regiment 11 July 1811; exchanged to Lieutenant-Colonel in 55th Foot 19 October 1815; retired 1817.

Sources:

War Office. Army Lists 1788 to 1816. London: various years.

Sutherland, Douglas. Tried and Valiant: The Story of the Border Regiment 1702-1959. London: Leo Cooper Ltd. 1972.

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.

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: 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.

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.

17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers. December 2012. National Library of Australia.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: January 2013

 

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