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The Napoleon Series > Military Information > Organization, Strategy & Tactics

History and Organisation of the Dutch 8th Militia Battalion: Major General Willem Frederik van Bijlandt (1771 - 1855)

By Marco Bijl

Editor's Note: This article is first appeared on the Dutch 8th Militia website and is used with the author's permission.

Van Bijlandt from a painting on a small medallion. Courtesy of the “Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie (RKD)” in the Hague.

Willem Fredrik van Bijlandt was born on 5 June 1771, in Den Hague. He was the son of Admiral Alexander van Bijlandt and Anna van der Duyn. At the age of 43 he took command of the 8th Militia (1814) and soon afterwards (1815) of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division.

In Dutch Service:


9 December 1783: Cadet with the Dragonders
24 June 1786: Wachtmeester with the Gardes te Paard
11 August 1787: Vaandrig in the Regiment Oranje-Gelderland
17 October 1786: Vaandrig with the Regiment Hollandse Gardes te Voet with the rank of Lieutenant
20 July 1790: Lieutenant with the rank of Captain
12 September 1794: Captain in the Battalion of Colonel Schwartz
10 April 1795 - Leaves service after the French takeover
5 August 1795 - Present with the Prince of Orange's assembling of troops in Osnabrück

In British service:


12 November 1795: Captain commanding a squadron of the British Hompesh Cavalry Regiment in the Dutch West Indies
17 August 1796: Major commanding the Jagers te Voet in the Dutch West Indies
25 July 1797: Lieutenant-colonel in the same unit
10 August 1797: Major with the rank of lieutenant-colonel in a cavalry regiment in Ireland
28 June 1800: Lieutenant-colonel
15 June 1802: Leaves service after the Peace of Amiens

In Netherlands Service:


1814: Lieutenant-Colonel in the Battaillon Landmilitie No. 12 (later 8)
15 June 1814: Colonel with the 12 (later 8) militie
28 August 1814: Aawarded the Knighthood of “Brabant’
21 April 181: Major Generaal, commander of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division



1793 and 1794: in Brabant and Holland (Werwick, Meenen, Fleurus)
1795 to 1797: in the Dutch West Indies (Trinidad)
1797 to 1802: in Ireland (Balten-Mock)
1815: in the Netherlands and France (Quatre Bras, Waterloo)

After Waterloo Campaign:

 He became “Count”  on 9 October 1815 and Lieutenant G eneral of cavalry soon afterwards.

For his services during the Waterloo Campaign he was awarded the 3th Class Knight MWO medal. He died, age 84, at Breda on 25 October 1855.


F. de Bas: Prins Frederik der Nederlanden en zijn tijd, Vol. IV; Schiedam 1904

F. de Bas and J. de T'Serclaes de Wommersom: La Campagne de 1815 aux Pays-Bas, d'après les rapports officiels Néerlandais; Bruxelles 1908

P.C. Molhuysen, P.J. Blok, L. Knappert: Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek, Vol. V; Leiden 1921




Placed on the Napoleon Series: June 2008

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