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Thomas Charles Pleydell Galley; 
of Burderop Park in Wiltshire . 















V- 9 





JUST as the battle of Dettingen had been preceded, so 
also it was to be followed, by a period of military 
inaction on the part of the Allies.* After their 
victory over the French in June, 1743, they con- 
tinued their march to their basis of supplies at Hanau, f 
where the desired junction with the Hanoverians and 
Hessians was duly effected and a halt made till August 4th. 
The advance was then resumed and Worms reached. 
Writing from that city on September 5th to the Duke of 
Dorset, Secretary of State, his brother, Lord George 
Sackville, says : 

The Queen of Hungary, in compliment to His Majesty, has given 
precedence to the British troops, in which are included the Hessians 

* Duke of Richmond to Duke of Newcastle: 1743, July 
King's H.Q. at Hanau. " Our inaction must surprise all who are not 
in the Closet." 

t I 743> J u ly I ?th> Hanau. One Lieut.-Colonel 4 Captains 8 
Subalterns and 200 men of the Cavalry from the left wing are to 
march this evening an post themselves between Dettingen and Hale 
to patrol in the wood. The Lieut.-Colonel is to-morrow morning to 
post partys along the main road on the field of battle side the Horse 
and Grenadier Guards to give 30 horse each and march to Hale and 
there wait His Majesty. 

H.C. II. D D 


and Hanoverians as being in our pay. So far, the Dutch can have no 
just cause to complain, but they do not see the reason why they should 
not have the rank of that part of the Hanover troops, which the King 
furnishes as Elector. As this distinction has not been made, His 
Majesty is unwilling to separate his troops, and this I hear is the 
occasion of their not having yet joined us. The Austrian Generals are 
for attacking the French ; the English to a man are against it. For 
supposing the best, that we should force their lines with little loss, the 
only advantage would be that we should be masters of 5 or 6 miles 
more of a country which is so destroyed that it would not produce 
subsistence for more than 100 men, and the French would retire into 
some other strong camp, when you would have the same difficulty to 
get at them. (Hist. MSS., Mrs. Stopford Sackville.) 

From Worms the route taken lay through Speyer, 
where 20,000 Dutch troops were added to the Allied 
forces, thence onward to Queich and Mainz. Shortly 
afterwards the army retired into winter quarters. King 
George returned to England, leaving behind him at 
Brabant the Third and Fourth Troops of the Life Guards, 
the Horse Grenadier Guards, and the Blues. 

The year 1744 ranks with 1742 as a year of dissensions, 
delay, and dawdle. On March 2Oth France formally 
declared war against England at Paris, and on March 3ist 
the English Government declared war against the French, 
their usual part in the ceremony being taken by the two 
Troops of Life Guards in London. 

It would be tedious and irrelevant to dwell here on the 
causes of the military inertia in Flanders destined soon 
to become once more the field of international strife. 
One reason, doubtless, was the known peril of a Jacobite 
invasion. But the "true inwardness" of the situation in 
Flanders at this period is hit off neatly by Sir John Cope 
in a letter to Lord President Forbes under date of October 
1 6th, 1744 : 

The inactivity of the British troops in Flanders is believed to be due 
to the contrivances of the Duke d'Aremberg. A battle proposed, he 
was for a siege; a siege mentioned, he raised difficulties; and, the 
opportunity lost, he was for a battle. 


The shrewd Sir John had taken the Austrian General's 
measure with fair accuracy. What poor Lord Stair had 
had to suffer in '42, it was Wade's turn to undergo in '44. 

The sequel of so much enforced leisure in camp life was 
inevitable. From Berlinghen Lord George Sackville, in 
another letter to his brother, alludes to an outburst of ill 
feeling between the Blues and Ligonier's regiment : 

1744, June lyth. We still remain in this camp, and altho' there is 
another marked out nearer to Oudenarde, we are not likely to make use 
of it, unless the enemy give occasion by any motions that way . . . 
the Blues have shown their desire of fighting this campaign by picking 
a quarrel with Ligoniers regiment. It began with boxing, but ended 
with their drawing their broadswords, and four or five of the Blues are 
so hurt that I am afraid they will be able to give no further marks of 
their courage this year. (Hist. MSS., Mrs. Stopford Sackville.) 

The question of officers' leave presented the usual 
difficulties. In November, 1743, Colonel Russell wrote 
to his wife: 

An order was issued that a return should be made through Lord 
Albemarle [who was commanding all the Household Troops] of all 
officers gone, or desirous upon special business to go, for England ; 
and I was told by a friend that if I did not now put in my claim 
I might be answered hereafter that it was my own fault not to have 
acted sooner." (Hist. MSS., Mrs. Russell- Astley.) 

A little sidelight on a Life Guardsman's financial 
arrangements is thrown by a letter from Alexander 
Rutherford to the Earl of Craufurd: 

" Anostain Camp, September, 1744, Sunday afternoon. Would 
have waited of you but heard you was not to dine at home and am this 
evening for the Pickit." He encloses a letter, evidently from his father, 
beginning, " My dear Sandy " and signed " your affectionate father, 
Rutherford " about a bill to pay ^200 to a Mr. Dormer in England. 
By a clerk's error the bill was dishonoured many apologies, and if 
presented again will be honoured, and all expenses paid. (Archiva 

The following is a copy of the " Weekly Return of the 
Brigade of Life Guards " in camp dated August 3rd, 1744, 
which shows the service strength of the three troops under 

Lord Craufurd's command : 

D D 2 










THIRD TROOP. Absent Officers of the Brigade .'Major Johnson, home in England; L* Lennard, abs* without leave; Chaplain 
Fleet, in England by Gen 1 Honywoods leave. 
FOURTH TROOP. Absent Officers .-Lieut. Taylor, Sick at Ghent; Cornet Bateman, Sick at Bruxelles; Two Trumpeters, Sick 
at Ghent. GRENADIERS. Capt. Randall & Chaplain Vidy, in England Marshalls leave ; Andrews, Surgeon, absent without leave. 






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Extracts from Chamberlayne* s " The Present State of 
Great Britain, 1743 " : 



THE Guards of Horse, which the Spaniards call 
Guardas dea Cavallo ; the French, Gardes du Corp ; the 
Germans, Liebgards and we Life Guard ; that is the 
Guards of the King's Body, consist of 724 Horsemen, 
Officers included, well-armed and equipped: They are 
divided into four Troops. 

To each Troop of Guards there is now added by 
establishment a Troop of Grenadiers, consisting of 44 
men, Officers included. 

Each of these 4 Troops is divided into four squadrons 
or divisions two of which, consisting of 100 gentlemen, 
and commanded by one principal commissioned Officer, 
two brigadiers, and 2 sub-brigadiers, with two trumpets, 
mount the Guard one day in six, and are relieved in 
their turns. Their duty is always, by Parties from the 
Guard, to attend the person of the King wheresoever he 
goes near home, but if out of town, he is attended by 
detachments out of the four Troops. 

Besides this there is a more strict duty and attendance 
weekly on the King's person on foot wheresoever he walks, 
from his rising to his going to bed ; and this is performed 
by one of the four Captains, who always waits imme- 
diately next to the King's own person, before all others, 
.carrying in his hand an ebony Staff or Truncheon, with a 
gold head engraven with H.M. cypher and crown. Near 
him also attends another principal commissioned Officer 


with an Ebony Staff and a Silver head, who is ready to 
relieve the Captain on occasions, and at the same time 
also two Brigadiers, having likewise ebony staves, headed 
with ivory, and engraven as the others. 

One Division of Grenadiers mounts with a Division of 
the Troops to which they belong ; they go out on small 
parties from the guard, perform Centinel duty on Foot, and 
attend the King also on foot, when he walks abroad, and 
always march with great detachments. 

The Pay of the said Guards of Horse is as follows. 

The Captains Pay of the First Troop of Guards is i los. per diem 
The other three Captains, their pay is to each i per diem 
A Lieutenants Pay of the Guards is 155. a day 
A Cornets Pay of the Kings Troop is 145. per diem 
Of each of the other three Troops is 135. per diem 
A Guidons Pay is 12$. a day 
A Quarter Masters Pay is 95. a day 
A Chaplains Pay is 6s. Sd. a day 

A Surgeons Pay is 6s. & his Chest- Horse 2s. in all 8s. a day 
A Brigadiers, or Corporals pay of the King's troop is 75. per diem 
Of each of the other Troops is 6s. per day 
A Trumpeter & Kettle Drummer each 55. per diem 
A Sub-Corporal, or Sub-Brigadiers Pay is but equal to two gentle- 
men of a Troop viz. 45. per day 

The Pay of the Grenadiers of Horse is as followeth : 

A lieutenants pay is 8s. per day 

A Sergeants pay is 45. per day 

A Corporals pay is 3$. per day 

A Hautboys and Drummer's Pay is 2s. 6d. per day 

A Pte Soldiers Pay is as. 6d. per day. 


H.M's First Troop of Horse Guards commanded by 
the Ld Delawar, consisting of 181 gentlemen, Officers 


* d. 
Captain . . . . . . .240* 

In lieu of his servants . . . . . 0160 

* Between this list and the list immediately preceding there are 
several remarkable discrepancies. 


* * 

Two Lieutenants 155. each . . . . i 10 o 

In lieu of their servants 85. each . . . 0160 
Cornet o 14 o 

In lieu of his servts . . . . .080 

Guidon . . . . . . . o 12 o 

In lieu of his servts 080 

Two exempts each 12$. . . . . .140 

In lieu of one servt between them . . .040 
Four Brigadiers los. each . . . . .200 
Four Sub-Brigadiers 55. each . . . .100 

Chaplain 068 

Adjutant 070 

Surgeon 6s. & i Horse to carry his chest 2$. . . 080 

Four Trumpeters i o o 

Kettle Drummer 050 

One Hundred and fifty six ptes at 45. each . .3140 

Total for the First Tp. 45 6 8 

The Second, Third, & Fourth Troops of Guards, 
commanded by the Earl of Albemarle, , and 

the Lord Effingham, consist of the like numbers, and 
amount in all to 543 gentleman, Officers included. 

N.B. The Pay of the Second, Third and Fourth Troops of Horse 
Guards each consisting of the like numbers, & at the same rate as the 
Tps above mention'd amounts to per diem, 136 o o 

Total of the Four Tps 181 6 8 

His Majesty's First Troop of Grenadier Guards com- 
manded by , consisting of 176 men Officers 

Capt & Colonel i o o 

In lieu of servts. o 10 o 

Lieut & Lieut Col o 15 o 

In lieu of his servt . . . . . .076 

Major for himself & horse & in lieu of his servt . i o o 
Two Lieuts & Captains, 125. each . . .140 

In lieu of their servts . . . . .0100 
Guidon & Capt o n o 

In lieu of servt . . . . . .050 

Two Sub- Lieuts 10$. each i o o 

RATES OF PAY IN 1743 409 

5. d. 

Chaplain 068 

Surgeon 65. & 25. for a horse to carry his chest . 080 

Adjutant 070 

Six Sergeants 45 .140 

Six Corporals 35 .0180 

Four Drummers 25. 6d. each . . . y o 10 o 

Four Hautboys o 10 o 

One hundred & 45 pte men at 25. 6d. . . . 18 2 6 

29 8 8 

Second Tp. Ld Crawfurd the same . . . 29 8 8 
4 Tps of H. Gds 181 6 8 

Marshal of Horse & Horse Grenadiers . ^240 1 1 o 


H.M.'s Royal Regt of H. Gds Blue, commanded by 
the E. of Hertford, consisting of 9 Tps of 40 effective pte 
men in each ; in all 427 Men, Officers included. 

Field & Staff Officers. 

Colonel, as such '.'.. o 12 o 

In lieu of servts . . . . . 076 

Lieut Col. as such . . . . ..086 

Major as such . . . .' .056 

Chaplain i ^ 068 

Adjutant . . ... , . .-. o 5 o 

Surgeon & Horse . . . ,. . , V 060 

Kettle Drummer . , . . . . . 030 

^2 13 8 

One Troop. 

Capt IDS. & 2 Horses 2s. each . . . . o 14 o 

In lieu Servts . . . . ... . , 076 

Lieuts 65. & 2 Horses 25. each v . * . o 10 o 

In lieu of Servts 1 o 5 o 

Cornet 55. & 2 Horses 2s. each . . ..090 

In lieu of Servts .050 

Quarter Master 45. & for Horse 25. . , . 060 

In lieu of Servt . . . . . . 026 

Two Corps 35. each . . . . . . 060 

Trumpeter . .028 

Forty men at 25. 6d. each 500 


*. d. 
Allowance to widows ...... 040 

Allowance to Colonel for cloathing lost by deserters 050 
Allowance to Capt for Recruits . . . .040 

Allowance to the agent ..... 020 

16 4 

Pay for 8 more Trps to compleat this Regt, of likei 
Number etc j 73 

Total for Regt. ^84 17 8 


ON March I2th, 1745, the Duke of Cumberland was 
at the age of twenty-five gazetted Captain- 
General of the British army, and in April 
repaired to Flanders to take up his command. 
The Austrians were under Marshal Count Koenigsegg, a 
veteran of seventy-three, and the Dutch contingent was 
commanded by the young Prince of Waldeck. 

The British Household Cavalry on active service under 
Lord Craufurd still consisted of the Third and Fourth 
Troops of the Life Guards, and the Second Troop of 
Horse Grenadier Guards, the brigade being completed by 
the Royal Regiment of Horse " the Blew Guards." 
Together with the rest of the cavalry they were under 
the " Inspection " of Sir James Campbell, as the infantry 
were under that of Sir John Ligonier. 

The tactical ideas of the new Commander-in-Chief were 
simplicity itself to waste no time in manoeuvring of any 
kind, but to seek the enemy and, having found him, to 
make a direct frontal attack on his position, whatever its 

The Allies concentrated at Brussels on May 2nd, and 
began their march southwards on May 3rd. Marshal Saxe 
had in the meanwhile completely invested Tournay on 
April 3Oth, an operation of which Cumberland remained 
for several days quite unaware. The Allies, moving in a 
south-westerly direction, sighted the French on the gth, 
and halted with their headquarters a bare mile and a half 
distant from the enemy. 

The French, with the Scheldt protecting their rear on 
the west, occupied a plateau of which one edge, about a 


mile in length, faced due south, while another, slightly 
longer, fronted the south-east. Their right, at the angle 
formed by the southern front with the river, was guarded 
by the entrenched village and castle of Antoin, and 
was also commanded by some heavy guns planted on 
the further side of the Scheldt. At intervals throughout 
its length were constructed three redoubts. The point of 
junction between the southern and south-eastern fronts 
was marked by the strongly fortified village of Fontenoy, 
the key of the French position. The south-eastern face of 
the plateau was strengthened by a double line of trenches, 
in front of which the ground sloped gently down into the 
plain below, towards Vezon, a mile distant. The left 
extremity of the south-eastern front rested on the forest 
of Barry, at a point guarded by two heavily armed 
redoubts, the foremost of these being the Redoubt d'Eu. 

The total of the Allied forces was over 46,000 men, of 
which 34,000 were infantry and 12,000 cavalry. The 
right wing under Cumberland and Koenigsegg, and the 
left wing under the Prince of Waldeck, were as nearly as 
possible of the same strength, both horse and foot. The 
right wing was made up of 16,000 infantry of whom 
13,000 were British, and 3,000 Hanoverians ; and 7,000 
cavalry of whom 4,000 were British, 1,200 Hanoverian, 
and 1,200 Austrian. The left wing consisted entirely of 
Dutch 17,000 infantry and 6,000 horse. 

The Allies having on May loth driven the French out- 
posts out of Vezon, decided to attack next day. Straight 
in front of them lay the upward slope, with Fontenoy to 
the left and the Redoubt d'Eu to the right standing 
sentinel over it on either side. The direct frontal attack 
on the right was to be made by the British with the 
Hanoverians and Austrians. To the left, the Dutch were 
to aid them by advancing on Fontenoy itself as well as 
against the steep southern edge of the Fontenoy-Antoin 


Saxe, whose army numbered 56,000 to the Allies' 46,000, 
made his arrangements with a view to the dispositions of 
the enemy. The presence of the English red-coats 
opposite his left decided him to mass his best troops at 
that end of his line, at Ramecroix, in a space hidden by 
the projecting forest. The trenches barring the British 
advance were held by twenty battalions of foot, supported 
by a double line of cavalry. The French right front, 
facing south, was strongly held by infantry and cavalry. 

Before sunrise on the morning of May nth the English 
troops at Vezon began the advance. The obvious 
course was to assault and carry the two flank positions, so 
as to facilitate the main attack in front. Brigadier 
Ingoldsby, with three regiments of foot and three cannon, 
was detached with orders to skirt the forest on the right 
and seize the Redoubt d'Eu at the point of the bayonet. 
These orders he affected to misunderstand, and after much 
parleying and hesitation ended by disregarding them 
altogether. That he was at this time under the influence 
of drink appears certain. 

The cavalry were meanwhile awaiting the result of his 
attack on the redoubt. After a long delay, fifteen squadrons 
of horse inclusive of the Life Guards and the Blues 
under General Campbell, were sent forward to act as a 
screen while the infantry were emerging from Vezon and 
forming their line. To this trying ordeal the cavalry sub- 
mitted patiently for an hour under a heavy cannonade both 
from the Redoubt d'Eu and from Fontenoy, until Campbell 
was hit mortally, when they were ordered to retire. 

The infantry, now formed in two lines under command 
of Ligonier, were for two hours the object of the enemy's 
artillery fire. Seven guns of the English artillery were 
brought up on the right, and made good practice against 
some small field-pieces of the enemy, but could not avail to 
silence the cannon, which was already working havoc in 
the ranks of the red-coats. 


Ligonier, with the cavalry division behind his two lines 
of foot who had been on their legs for six hours was 
waiting for Waldeck and the Dutch to act in concert on 
his left against Fontenoy. Waldeck began to advance 
against the Antoin-Fontenoy line. The Dutch were 
terrified by the French fire and retreated, refusing for the 
rest of the day to take any part in the battle, the Dutch 
cavalry aggravating their misconduct by rushing headlong 
onto the English cavalry. Thus at n a.m. both flank 
attacks had failed. 

Leaving his cavalry behind where they remained 
stationary till almost the end of the day Cumberland in 
person led his infantry forward, the post of honour on the 
right of the front line being assigned to a battalion of the 
Grenadier Guards, with a battalion each of the Coldstream 
and of the Scots Guards next in order. The second line 
had the Buffs on its extreme right, and some Hanoverians 
were on the extreme left. Each battalion took with it a 
couple of light field-pieces. 

To the sound of the drum, in unbroken line, with arms 
shouldered and measured step as though on parade 
the English infantry at last began their march up the 
long incline, exposed throughout the whole distance of 
half a mile to the increasingly deadly cannonade of the 
forts, and with the French army awaiting them at the 
summit of the ridge. 

In all military history* it would be difficult to find 
anything quite like this wonderful march, which has been 
described once for all by Mr. Fortescue in a classical 
passage of which it is not too much to say that it worthily 
celebrates one of the finest examples of English heroism 
in language which may well take rank among the finest 

* Count Pajol (Guerves sous Louis XV., iii. 390) observes : 

" What made the contest so deadly was the strife with the British 

column, which is without parallel in the annals of war. The momentum 

of that phalanx was irresistible." 


examples of English prose. This admirable writer 
depicts, in terms which set the reader's blood tingling 
with emotion, how the double red line swept proudly on, 
torn by a murderous cross-fire, yet quietly closing up the 
gaping ranks, " the perfect order never lost, the stately 
step never hurried." He tells how, at last, after reserv- 
ing their fire till within thirty yards of the enemy, they 
levelled their muskets; how "with crash upon crash the 
volleys rang out " in " a ceaseless, rolling, infernal fire " 
two battalions loading while the third fired. The whole 
of the French front rank dropped 19 officers and 600 men. 
Next, two whole regiments were similarly disabled. The 
battalion guns were meanwhile worked with effect. 
Additional troops were brought up by Saxe ; these also 
"went down before the irresistible volleys." So the 
advance went on, until it had been carried three hundred 
yards into the heart of the French camp. 

The French artillery still played with effect on the 
flanks of the British battalions, which were now formed 
in a single prolonged square.* Then the first line of 
the French cavalry tried its hand at charging, but reeled 
back under the same terrible fire. The second line of 
the cavalry fared no better. At last the Maison de 
Roy, fetched from Ramecroix, was launched against the 
scarlet ranks, only to be sent flying back decimated 
and shattered. 

Nevertheless the British, still between undiminished 
cross-fire, fell back as far as the line between Fontenoy 

* Le Roi, pour donner le temps a 1'Infanterie de se reformer, fit 
marcher en avant sa premiere ligne de Cavalerie, qui chargea 1'ennemi 
avec autant de bravoure que de velocite, mais le feu des allies, etait si 
violent qu'elle fut obligee de plier et de se rallier derriere la seconde 
qui la soutenait ; cette derniere fut egalement forcee de ceder a 1'epou- 

vantable feu qu'elle essuya Les allies s' aviserent de former un 

battaillon quarre long, qui reunissait presque toute leur Infanterie. 
(Du Mortous, Histoire des Conquetes de Louis XV. depuis ij^jusques a la 
Paix conclue en 1748.) 


and the Redoubt d'Eu. Then, in hollow square with 
guns in the centre, they advanced again to the attack. 
Cumberland was relying on Waldeck's renewed promise 
of co-operation in the shape of an attack on Fontenoy. 
The Dutch refused to obey their commander, and the 
16,000 British, unsupported against more than thrice their 
number, had to face, not only the artillery brought from 
the French right, but also the now rallied French Guards, 
and last not least the six fresh battalions of the Irish 
Brigade. For a time, even the Irish were beaten back. 
But the desertion of the Dutch at so critical a juncture, 
the new cannonade in front, and the overwhelming 
numbers of the enemy attacking on both flanks at once 
in addition to their own frightful losses made a retreat 
inevitable for these brave men, who for twelve hours had 
been without food or rest. 

For the first time since the battle began Cumberland 
had at this juncture bethought himself of his splendid 
cavalry, and sent Lord Craufurd orders to charge. Several 
regiments sought to come to the rescue of the infantry, 
Craufurd heading his own brigade of Life Guards and 
Horse Grenadier Guards. In his memoirs he says that 
a few squadrons succeeded in getting up the slope, the 
while they braved " the dreadful fire " of the Redoubt 
d'Eu, and that they penetrated far enough " to be service- 
able in covering the retreat of the infantry. Most 
advanced there, were two squadrons of the Blues,* 

* The Blues are the only cavalry regiment mentioned by name in 
the official account : " The behaviour of the Blue Guards is highly to 
be commended. The Lieutenant- Colonel (Beake) was wounded and 
the Major (Jenkinson) distinguished himself particularly on the occasion 
by his conduct and care." (Gent. Mag., 1745.) 

The Hon. P. Yorke writes to H. Walpole : " Of particular corps the 
Highlanders, Guards, and Blues distinguished themselves." (Appendix 
to Lord Stanhope's Hist. Eng.) 

1745, May. Capt. J. Munro to Lord President Forbes. "Your son 
is in good health, and suffered nothing but the loss of his horse, which 
was shot during our retreat. The Blues behaved well, and rubbed oft 


some of the Hanoverians, and some few of the Dutch 
and Austrians." 

At this time, however, a back rush of fugitive Dutch 
dragoons overwhelmed many of the British cavalry, 
inclusive of the Life Guards; Lord Craufurd declaring 
that he and his charger were almost knocked over by 
them, and that had not the animal been of prodigious 
strength, he must have been trampled to death. 

Craufurd had with little delay rallied the brigade of 
Life Guards and was moving forward, when " another body 
of runaways," as he says, " came upon us and broke us 
anew." Well served by his officers, he quickly formed 
line to the front again, and seeing the two squadrons of 
Blues " returning in the best order," begged them to 
align themselves on his brigade. The combined force 
was thus ready to take effective part in the final phase of 
the day's fighting. 

For the retirement had now begun, and throughout 
its whole course was conducted in perfect order. Two 
battalions were sent back to secure the roads to Vezon. 
The Maison de Roy charged furiously on the retreating 
column, but the Foot Guards and Hanoverians repulsed 
them with heavy loss one regiment of the assailants 
being wholly extinguished.* The infantry retired by 
succession of battalions, facing about and firing at every 
hundred yards by word of command as steadily and 
confidently as if on parade. 

Craufurd meanwhile, addressing his men, said, " Gentle- 
men, mind the word of command, and you shall gain 
immortal honour." Then he ordered them to rein back 

the stain of Dettingen " (Culloden Papers). For a thorough discussion 
of the " stain " allegation, vide CHAPTER XL. 

* In the retreat the Earl observed a party of infantry on the right : 
" Gentlemen, if there are any brave volunteers who will face about, 
and give the enemy a fire, I will give them 20 ducats." 

H.C. II. E E 


their horses, " on either flank closing in to form a screen 
for the retiring infantry " ; * so, keeping their ground, 
they held the enemy in check till the last of the retiring 
troops had passed; Lord Craufurd, in another of his 
inspiring little speeches, telling the Life Guards and Blues 
that " they had gained as much honour in covering so 
great a retreat as if they had won the battle." 

The French, bent on pursuit, on perceiving that the 
British cavalry were advancing, had halted 100 yards 
from the battlefield, Marshal Saxe saying that they had 
"had enough of it." At last, without further molestation, 
the whole army reached Aeth, after a weary march of 
thirteen miles. 

" We have not," says the official account, " lost any 
colours, standards, or kettledrums, but have taken one 
standard, and the cannon lost was left behind for want of 
horses, the contractor with the artillery having run off 
with them so easily that they reached Brussels the same 

Of the 15,000 English and Hanoverian infantry engaged 
nearly 6,000 were killed or wounded. The three battalions 
of Guards lost, each of them, about 250 men, and none of 
the survivors were unwounded. The British cavalry lost 
300 men and 600 horses, the Blues and Royal Dragoons 
showing the highest totals of casualties. Of the Blues there 
were killed n men; wounded, Colonel Black, Captain 
Lloyd, Captain-Lieutenant | Miget, Quartermasters 
Hudgson and Butt, and 49 men ; missing, 7 men. 

The Third Troop of the Life Guards had 4 private 
gentlemen and 10 horses killed, and Lieutenant-Colonel 
Lameloniere, 14 private gentlemen, and 14 horses wounded. 

* Skrine, Fontenoy, p. 183. 

f In the Blues, from 1661 to 1799, the Lieutenant commanding 
Lord Oxford's Troop (p. 30), or later the First or King's Troop, held 
the rank of Captain- Lieutenant. 


In the Fourth Troop 2 private gentlemen and 4 horses 
were killed ; and Captain Hilgrove, Cornet Bardel, 12 
private gentlemen, and 3 horses were wounded, and 3 
horses were missing. In the Second Troop of Horse 
Grenadier Guards there were killed 4 men and 3 horses ; 
wounded, Major Brereton, Captains Eliott and Burton, 
Adjutant Thacker, 10 men, and 7 horses ; and missing, 2 

Contemporary accounts estimate the French loss at 
10,000 men, but Voltaire puts it at 7,000 odd. 

There was great disgust in England at the misconduct 
of the Dutch. The left wing had indeed proved to be 
less than a negligible quantity : it not only failed to 
perform, or even to attempt, its share of the task, but the 
Dutch horse, twice seized with panic during the day, 
actively hindered the British cavalry by charging down 
upon them in their flight. A similar incident happened 
two years later at Laffeldt, when the Dutch cavalry, 
flying from the French, rode over five British battalions 
at the crisis of the battle. 

Ligonier wrote to Lord Harrington on June 7th : " The 
Duke's army was but 46 battalions and 79 squadrons, and 
the enemy's more than double that number. And yet, si la 
gauche avail seconde but no more of that ! " Koenigsegg, 
writing to the same official on June 26th, said, " If the 
left wing had but seconded the ardour of the right, we 
should have gained a complete victory over an enemy 
whom we had already driven back in confusion." A 
lesson and a warning irresistibly suggest themselves. 
Fifty years earlier the Dutch troops of William of Orange 
were conspicuous for their pluck and steadiness. Now a 
half-century of decadent democracy had sapped the Dutch 
character, with resulting deterioration of moral, decay of 
patriotism, and national dry-rot. 

E E 2 


A FULL, and perhaps characteristically gloomy, account 
of the battle of Fontenoy, from the pen of Lieutenant 
John Forbes, of the Blues, is to be found in the Culloden 

Captain Hugh Forbes, of the Oxford Blues, writes from 
Edinburgh under date of May i6th, 1745, to his father, 
Duncan Forbes, of Culloden, Lord-President, enclosing a 
letter he had received from his brother John (" Jock ") : 

MY LORD, This morning, I received the enclosed from Jock. I 
read it only to Leven and the two Willies, because of the caution 
adjected to it, and immediately clapt it under this cover for your 
perusal : 

Bruxelles, May i5th, 1745, O.S. 

" Dear Hugh, Don't be surprised I have not wrote to you of late. 
My hurry has been beyond what almost any body could bear, and I 
am now the 8th night without seeing a bed. I suppose you will have 
heard of our endeavour to raise the siege of Tournay, in which we 
failed. I won't ascribe the cause, although I know it, but sure never 
troops behaved with more intrepidity than the English, nor suffered so 

" In short there was but one way of marching into the ground where 
we were to form our line, which was through the village of Vezon. 
The opening would not allow more than 14 or 20 abreast ; and from 
thence to the French batteries a rising ground like a glacis, and they at 
half cannon shot distance. 

" Gen. Campbell, with 12 squadrons, was ordered through the 
Defilee first, as a corps to cover the opening, while the infantry marched 
in, which, as they marched from the right, formed as soon as they went 
in, so one regiment covered another, till they formed all the way to the 
left. You may believe all this took up a good deal of time, in which 
the French batteries played incessantly on the 12 squadrons, and on the 
troops as they formed. We formed with all the regularity in the world, 
and marched up towards the enemy, who were all along upon the height 


with their different batteries, the whole length of which run a hollow 
way, that they had made a very good entrenchment. 

" Off we beat them out of this hollow way and gained the height, 
whence we had the first view of their bodies about 200 paces distance. 
Here we dressed our lines and began to march towards them when, 
pop, they went into another entrenchment, extremely well provided, and 
flanked with batteries of cannon. Nevertheless on we went, drove 
them from that, which was the first small shot we had opportunity to 
make use of from the beginning, which was now near 6 hours. Upon 
the flanks of our Right Wing, there was the village of Ribancroix,* 
and betwixt our right wing and the Dutch, there was the village of 
Fontenoy, which the Dutch engaged to make themselves masters of it 
early in the morning, but not having rightly reconnoitred it, found to 
their surprise a fosse round it, and that the French by cutting the 
roofs of the houses and letting them fall in, had raised so many cannon 
upon the rubbish as to make the place impregnable. 

" This galled our left wing and kept them from advancing, and cut 
off the communication with the right wing ; the left of which, being 
much exposed, was terribly treated with the Cannon, which also raked 
us all along to the right flank. The Highlanders forced into the village 
of Ribancroix* on the right ; but the multiplicity of cannon that played 
on them made them retire. All the lines being now dress'd, although 
from the narrowness of the ground we were in several places four or 
five lines one behind another, the front advanced again towards the 
enemy, had several discharges from all their batteries ; nevertheless 
marched forward and got nigh enough to have a second discharge of 
their small arms, which made the French give way, but broke our lines, 
from the number of men killed, both by musketry and batteries that 
never ceased. 

" Here we endeavoured to rally, but from an order given (by whom 
God knows) the drums began to beat a retreat, upon which the whole 
went right about, and retired with too much precipitation to the village 
of Vezon. The Cavalry did the same, but as they were obliged to pass 
the corner of the wood into wh. Graffins Pandours, with pieces of 
Cannon loaded with grape shot, were thrown, almost every squadron 
had a salvo as they passed. As we retired, the French cannon advanced 
to the height where they were first in the morning, playing upon the 
rear till we all got through the village of Vezon. Here Lord Crawford 
distinguished himself by getting some broken battalions and some 
squadrons to front the enemy, and make the rear guard till they passed 
the whole defilee. 

"The French remained where they were in the morning, and we 
rallied the army at the head of our Camp, struck our tents that night, 
and marched early next morning to Ath. 

* For Ramecroix. 


" Dr Hugh, show this only to particular friends, and give no copy of 
it to any." (Culloden Papers.) 

Voltaire wrote : On n'en a pas moins loue la valeur et 
la conduite de cette nation. Les anglais se rallierent, 
mais ils cederent ; ils quitterent le champ de battaille sans 
tumulte, sans confusion, et furent vaincus avec honneur. 


THAT the popularity which the Duke of Cumberland 
gained at Dettingen waned at any rate in the Army 
after Fontenoy would appear by the following excerpts 
from "A Dialogue between Thomas Jones, a Life-guard- 
man, and John Smith, late a Serjeant in the First 
Regiment of Foot-Guards, just returned from Flanders" 

(London, 1749) : 

Jones. Pray tell me how you came to quit the army. 

Smith. 'Sblood, because no man of honour will stay it now ; I had 
rather black shoes upon the parade than wear a cockade. 

Jones. Why . . . you told me when you and I parted, that you 
would fight blood up to the ears, if the * was but there. 

Smith. So I would then ; for there was not a better man living in 
the world than he was at that time : but now he is a d 1. . . . Ever 
since he has had this high command, he is grown one of the proudest, 
haughtiest, good-for-nothing jackanapes that ever lived, and uses us 
like scoundrels. . . . Don't you remember how we were used after the 

battle of Det n ; how we were starving, while the H ns lived 

in plenty. . . . 

Jones. . . . Would his ambition never condescend to an E sh 

G 1's opinion in a council of war. 

Smith. To an E sh G 1 ; no, no, Tom, nor a H n G 1 

neither ; for he is puffed up with self-conceit, that he thinks no body's 
opinion so good as his own. . . . He'll listen to nobody. . . . 

Jones. But did not he call a council of war before the battle of 

* The Duke. 


Smith. Yes ; but what then, he rejected everything that was 
proposed, if it was contrary to his opinion ; for it was thought by our 

g Is a thing not practicable to attack the Fnnch as they were 

intrenched up to the chin, without sacrificing the whole army. But up 
gets he, and with a roaring voice cries, Sir, I am your commanding 

officer, and I will be obeyed. . . . Poor g 1 * foresaw all this. 

Says he, when he was carried away after his leg was shot off, Gentle- 
men, I have received my death in defence of my country, therefore die satisfied. 

But this day will never bring honour to E d. . . . You are sacrificed to a 

boy's pleasure. 

The Duke is charged with indifference as to the ill 
success of his army, as well as with personal conceit : 

Smith. . . . He took a delight to order us under arms, that he 
might have the honours of C n G 1 f paid him. 

Jones. . . . He takes delight in coming thro' the H e G d, 

that we may be under arms to pay homage. 

The dialogue concludes with an amiable surmise that 
the Duke of Cumberland is prepared, when his father dies 
if not before to " catch at " the Crown itself. 

* General Campbell, 
f Captain- General. 


AFTER a five days' stay at Aeth, the Allies fell 
back on Lessines, and soon afterwards the 
prospect of a Jacobite invasion of England 
caused the return of the British troops home- 
wards. By the end of October they had all left Flanders, 
including Cumberland himself. As Craufurd briefly 
records, " the reduction of Tournay was followed by the 
reduction of Ghent, Bruges, Oudenarde, Dendermonde, 
Ostend, Nieuport, Aeth and Brussels, without any opposi- 
tion from the confederate army." The Jacobite rising of 
'45 and the series of operations ending with Culloden, as 
also the Flanders campaign of 1747, are outside the scope 
of the present work, since neither the Life Guards nor the 
Blues took any immediate part in these events. In April, 
1748, were signed the preliminaries, and in October the 
definite treaty, of Aix-larChapelle. The chief advantage 
derived by this country from the war now closed was 
the military training and experience it afforded to our 

In accordance with a time-honoured precedent, the 
cessation of hostilities was the signal for a wholesale 
disbandment of British regiments, and a large reduction in 
the strength of those that survived. King George, after 
the suppression of the Jacobite rising, was persuaded to 
reduce his Life Guards from four Troops to two : 

1746. December 22nd. (W. O.) 

H.M. having thought fit to order the Third and Fourth Troops of 
Horse Guards to be disbanded on Wednesday next, being the 24th 
inst. and that the First and Second Troops of Horse Guards should be 


compleated with 20 private gentlemen to each from the Gentlemen 
belonging to the Third and Fourth Troops so that the two remaining 
troops consist of 150 effective private Gentlemen in each; and H.M. 
having ordered that such men from the First and Second Troops as 
shall be recommended to Chelsea Hospital be replaced by men out of 
the two Troops to be disbanded, who are to carry their arms with them ; 
I have the honour to ask your Grace to order a proper officer to 
collect the arms of the private Gentlemen belonging to the Third and 
Fourth Troops who shall be disbanded, and of such private Gentlemen 
of the First and Second Troops who shall be discharged and placed 
upon the pension of Chelsea Hospital. 

H. Fox. 

To His Grace the D. of Montagu, 
M. G. of Ordnance. 

(Secretary's Common Letter-Book.) 

A further letter of the same date asks the Duke for the 
Standards, Banners, and Kettle-drums from the Third 
and Fourth Troops, to be received into His Majesty's 

Accordingly the Third and Fourth Troops were dis- 
banded on December 24th, the corps being for the next 
forty-two years composed of two Troops of Life Guards 
and two Troops of Horse Grenadier Guards. It is not 
easy to understand on what principle the term Grenadier 
was retained, for the hand grenade had long since gone 
out of use. The officers of the disbanded Troops received 
half-pay, besides annuities, and became officers en seconde 
to the surviving Troops, into which also many of the 
private gentlemen were admitted. 

Pensions were granted for long service, and the Life- 
guardsmen not yet provided for were given annual allow- 
ances, while a good number received commissions in line 
regiments. The House of Commons presented an address 
of thanks to the King for having in this and other ways 
lessened the expense of the Army, and undertook to 
compensate those whose services were no longer required.* 

* 1746, December 23rd. A letter to Pitt directs that ^"30 shall be 
paid to each disbanded private Gentleman from the Third and Fourth 
Troops, if he so choose, in lieu of all claims or pretensions whatever, 


The King's assent to a reduction of the Army served to 
whet the appetite of the Peace-at-any-price party, who in 
a few years were clamouring for further reductions. In 
the House of Commons on November 27th, 1751, during 
a debate on the Army estimates, Fox proposed that the 
strength of the army should be the same as last year. 

Lord Egmont, opposing this, offered a compromise- 
that Parliament should reduce the cavalry and suppress 
the Staff, which would save 143,000. He urged that the 
King had shown by a former reduction that, though he 
ought not to be without guards, he disliked mere show. 
Lord Egmont was willing that the Grenadiers should still 
be kept up for the security of the King's person, but he 
wished to break the Life Guards and the Blues. 

Pelham replied, in a very dull speech, that the reduc- 
tion proposed was a poor pittance if real economy was 
intended; that indeed, if it were worth while, the Blues 
might be changed ; he had not much objection to it, 
although they had always had the title of Guards ; that 
seventy men are as much as one officer can command ; 
that a further reduction would be dangerous.* 

except their cloaks, clothes, swords and belts. The money computed 
for 50 men out of each troop is to be paid at once to the Agents. 

The men discharged from the First and Second Troops for Chelsea 
had their daily pension made up from yl. to izd. They were allowed 
to take their cloaks, clothes, boots and swords ; their other accoutre- 
ments and horses to be sold by two commissioned officers, and the 
money to remain in the agents' hands to be disposed of as His Majesty 
should direct. 

* A fuller report gives Lord Egmont's speech as follows : "Our 
Sovereign has shown he despises such grandeur as consists in nothing 
but expense, by disbanding two of the Troops of Guards and reducing 
all the regiments of horse but one to dragoons. A much greater 
reduction may be made in our Guards, and the remaining regiment of 
horse may likewise be reduced. By having no staff, which is quite 
useless in time of peace, we may save yearly about ^"140,000." 

Mr. Pelham (continues the same report) said that no great reduction 
was ever made of the regular troops in this island but what occasioned 
an insurrection or a plot towards an insurrection. The foot guards 


A division resulted in Lord Egmont's motion being over- 
thrown by a majority of 140, only Lords Middlesex and 
Martyn, of the late Prince of Wales's faction, voting with 
Lord Egmont and the Speaker. 

On January gth, 1747, a detachment of Life Guards per- 
formed the tragic duty of attending the execution of Lord 
Lovat for high treason on Tower Hill. 

An important epoch in the history of the Household 
Cavalry was marked by the erection of the building known 
as the Horse Guards in Whitehall, of which the first 
stone was laid about 1750, King George the Second 
passing through its archway for the first time in 1751. 

At a time when architecture like most other fine arts 
was at its lowest ebb in the latter half of the igth century, 
it was the fashion to level cheap sneers at the Horse 
Guards : Charles Knight, with ignorant presumption, 
denouncing it as the ugliest building in London. A 
better-instructed taste has seen in the Horse Guards an 
extremely picturesque design, admirably proportioned, and 
infinitely superior in point of refinement to the neighbouring 
erections of a more modern period. 

Its original purpose is stated to have been to constitute 
a barrack for two troops of the Blues on the ground floor 
of either wing. Lord Ligonier, whose commission as 
Commander-in-Chief was dated 1757, did not fix his head- 
quarters at the Horse Guards, but dated all his Orders 
from Knightsbridge. At that time the Horse Guards 
building was partly used as the office of the Secretary- 

The King in 1756 gave his sanction to an important 

cannot be reduced lower than they are at present, and the remaining 
troops of horse guards are not really sufficient for the service of the 
several branches of the Royal Family, for their service is, and must 
often be, supplied by detachments from the Blue regiment of horse, 
which makes it impracticable to reduce that regiment to dragoons, as 
all the rest of the regiments of horse have already been. 


change in the internal constitution of the Troops of the 
Life Guard. Hitherto there had been no non-commission 
or warrant officers in the Life Guards, the duties of such 
grades being entrusted to the "right-hand men." At 
Christmas of this year, however, it was ordered that the 
four senior right-hand men of each troop should be warrant 
officers bearing the title of Quartermasters, and that the 
four junior right-hand men should be N.C.O.'s, styled 
Corporals-of-Horse. The Horse Grenadier Guards,* 
however, had always been regarded as mounted infantry, 
like dragoons, and therefore had sergeants and corporals. 
They invariably formed the advance-guard to all detach- 
ments of the Life Guards. f 

The Blues arrived in the Thames from Flanders in 
February, 1745, and were at once quartered at Aylesbury, 
Wendover, Uxbridge and other places in the neighbour- 
hood. Here they remained during the scare caused by 

* The troopers of the Horse Grenadier Guards were never styled 
" private gentlemen." 

f In 1750, according to the Gentleman' 's Magazine for April 4th, a 
certain Lifeguardsman was seized with the ambition to shine as an 
expert in seismology : 

" An incredible number of people being under strong apprehension 
that London and Westminster would be visited by another and more 
fatal earthquake on this night, according to the predictions of a crazy 
Lifeguardsman, left their houses and walked the streets or lay in boats 
all night. Many people of fashion sat in their coaches till daybreak ; 
others went to a great distance so that the roads were never more 
thronged, and lodgings were hardly to be procured at Windsor." 

The ambition of another Lifeguardsman tended rather in the 
direction of spiritual earthquakes : 

1763, February 26th. "Yesterday, one Bell, a corporal in the 
Life Guards, was taken up for preaching in an unlicensed Meeting 
house and taking upon himself to discover to people the state of their 
consciences, and even foretell the end of the world, to the great terror 
of the weak and illiterate audience." (Annual R(g. t 1763, p. 58.) 


the Jacobite advance southwards. Their headquarters 
were afterwards fixed at Northampton, but a detachment 
was kept at Kingston-on-Thames, to perform supple- 
mentary duties about the Court, especially the escorts 
detailed for the King's journeys to and from the port of 
embarkation on the frequent occasions of his visits to 
Hanover. Their commander, the Duke of Somerset, died 
on February yth, 1750 ; his successor, the second Duke of 
Richmond, appointed on February I3th, died on August 8th 
the same year. 

Probably owing to the King's protracted absence abroad 
two years and a half elapsed before the vacant post was 
filled up by the appointment of that illustrious officer, 
Sir John Ligonier, on January 27th, 1753. On his pro- 
motion, five years later, to the command of the Grenadier 
Guards,* the colonelcy of the Blues was most happily 
bestowed upon John, Marquess of Granby, appointed 
May isth, 1758. 

War was once more declared with France in 1756, and 
the Blues were destined to see some further active service. 

* John Ligonier, b. 1680, served as a volunteer in Marlborough's 
army 1702, bought a company in the loth foot, comm. the 8th horse 
known as Ligonier's (now 7th D.G.'s), brig. -gen. '35, cr. a knight 
banneret on the battlefield at Dettingen by Geo. II. in person '43, 
prom. It. gen. '43, comm. British tps. in the Netherlands '46, It. gen. 
of the ordnance '48, col. of 2nd D.G.'s '50, col. of the Blues '53, field 
marshal c.-in-c. (without the rank of capt. gen. held by Cumberland) & 
col. of ist foot guards '57, master-gen, of ordnance '59 ; cr. visct. 
Ligonier (peerage of Ireland) '57 ; baron Ligonier (peerage of Gt. 
Brit.) '63, earl Ligonier '66, d. '70. 


IN 1756 Frederick of Prussia, being threatened simul- 
taneously by France, Austria, Russia, Saxony, and 

Sweden, boldly invaded Saxony, thus beginning the 

Seven Years' War. 

Hanover was now in danger of a French inroad, and in 
England public opinion was deeply incensed by the loss of 
Minorca, by the French successes in America, and by the 
mismanagement of the British fleet. Newcastle and Fox 
went out of office, and William Pitt came in as Secretary- 
of-State. The military spirit of the people was thoroughly 
aroused, and showed itself in the resolve that henceforth 
English troops, not mercenaries, should fight the country's 
battles, and by the passing of the Militia Bill in June, 
1757. The King, who had an old grudge against Pitt, 
soon found a pretext for dismissing him ; but the step was 
so extremely unpopular, that it was found necessary not 
only to reinstate Pitt, but to concede to him a free hand 
in the prosecution of the war. 

In October, 1757, the Hanoverian army of 30,000 men 
was placed at the disposal of Prussia, Prince Ferdinand of 
Brunswick* being in November appointed to supreme 
command. By the spring of 1758 he had already driven 
the French, first out of Hanover, and then across the 
Rhine. In June he followed them over the Rhine, won 
the battle of Crefeldt, and then retired east of the Rhine 
to await British reinforcements at Lippstadt. 

* Brother of the reigning Duke of Brunswick. Carlyle describes 
him as " a soldier of approved excellence," and commends his noble- 
mindedness and valour. 


Pitt instantly announced the King's intention to send 
over 2,000 British cavalry to join the Prince. In the 
sequel the British troops sent in July and August numbered 
10,000 some say 12,000 horse and foot. The cavalry 
consisted of the Blues*, First and Third Dragoon Guards, 
Scots Greys, Inniskillings, and loth Hussars. 

The Duke of Marlborough was in nominal command, 
but the idea was that he should be " wet-nursed" by 
another soldier, Lieutenant- General Lord George Sack- 
ville, who, as his principal subordinate, had authority 
to organise the operations, while Major-General the 
Marquess of Granby was chosen as commander of the 
cavalry contingent. 

In July, 1758, Granby arrived at Emden from Harwich, 
and carried out his orders to proceed at once with the Blues 
and other cavalry to join Prince Ferdinand. The transports 
had difficulties of navigation at the mouth of the Ems, 
but Granby procured a number of large boats and landed 
his horses without mishap. The Duke and his contingent 
joined Prince Ferdinand at Coesfeld, a little to the west of 
Minister, on August 2ist, 1758. In October, Marlborough 
died of enteric fever; Sackville was his successor, and 
Granby became second in command. In mid-November 
the troops all went into winter quarters till March, 1759. 

* I 75^ J July 5th. The Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, being 
ordered on immediate foreign Service, and it being necessary they 
should be provided with a complete set of cuirasses and scull caps, 
which they have not time to provide in the ordinary way, I desire you 
will acquaint the Board of Ordnance that it will greatly facilitate the 
Service if they will give directions for their being furnished with a 
compleat set of cuirasses and Scull Caps from H.M. Stores, on their 
being replaced by others or paid for by the Royal Regiment of Horse 
Guards, as the Board of Ordnance shall think fit. 


W. Bogdani, Esq. (Secretary's Common Letter-Book.) 

Similar orders were issued to " compleat the other cav y - with swords 


Pitt was determined at all hazards including the danger 
of an invasion of England* to keep as large a French 
army as possible occupied in Germany, as a diversion 
from the numerous other points in Asia and America at 
which England was trying conclusions with France. 

In 1759 Frederick, so far from being able to deal with a 
French advance from the west, found enough to occupy 
him in coping with the Saxons and Austrians to the south 
and the Russians to the east. The Allied army under 
Prince Ferdinand served the purpose of covering Prussia's 
western flank, but its primary object was to defend 
Hanover, Brunswick, and Hesse Cassel. 

The French had two armies the northern army of the 
Rhine, with its headquarters at Wesel on the Lower Rhine, 
from which base it threatened Westphalia, if not Hanover; 
and the southern army, originally of the Upper Rhine, 
now (by the seizure of Frankfurt) the army of the Main, 
which menaced Hesse. 

Roughly speaking, the seat of war lay within a great 
rectangle, of which the Rhine and the Weser were the 
western and eastern sides, the northern being the sea-coast 
and the southern the Main. 

By holding Miinster, Ferdinand could hope to check a 
French advance from Wesel into Westphalia ; and Lipp- 
stadt was for him an important link between Westphalia 
and Hesse, as lying midway between Miinster and Cassel. 
A French advance from the south direct on Cassel was 
hindered by a network of rivers. 

In the spring of 1759 Ferdinand, holding a line from 
Miinster to Lippstadt and Paderborn thus facing nearly 
south sought with 12,000 English, 30,000 Hanoverians, 

* In 1759 the land forces retained for home defence were the two 
Troops of Life Guards the Horse Grenadiers, 7 regiments of dragoons, 
3 regiments of Foot Guards, and 34 regiments of foot. (Annual 


and some other German troops to tackle the French army 
of 80,000 men, of which the main portion, under Marshal 
Contades, was stretched along the Rhine from Wesel 
southward to Coblenz, while the remainder, under Marshal 
De Broglie, was at or near Frankfurt. 

Ferdinand having occasion to move south-east to Fulda 
to drive away an Austrian force, left Sackville and Von 
Sporcke with 25,000 men near Miinster, and then utilised 
the opportunity to go farther and on April I3th to attack 
Broglie at Bergen, north-east of Frankfurt. He had 
24,000 men to Broglie's 30,000, and being repulsed with 
a loss of 2,000 was compelled to retreat in a north-easterly 
direction towards Cassel. Granby's cavalry did good work, 
the Blues having one officer and four troopers wounded.* 
The French had a great superiority in artillery, but their 
casualties were thrice as many as those of the Allies. 

A fortnight later Contades divided his army into four 
corps keeping two at Wesel, and placing one each at 
Diisseldorf and Cologne. Ferdinand, greatly puzzled, 
but believing the French objective to be Miinster, elected 
to join Sporcke, though he left 16,000 men in Hesse. f 
Contades, on the other hand, sending 15,000 men to 
threaten Munster, marched south, joined Broglie, and 
advanced northwards into Hesse. In the manoeuvring that 
followed, Contades, relying on his greatly superior numbers, 

* Granby writes to Newcastle from Alsfeld, April i5th, 1759 : " I 
am sorry this letter is not dated from Frankfort. All the infantry 
engaged behaved with greatest bravery ; but the enemy was so strongly 
posted that Duke Ferdinand, finding it would be impossible to force 
the village without immense loss, determined to withdraw, which he 
did without the least molestation from the French. The British cavalry 
escaped well. The Greys lost i horse ; my Regt. (Blues) had seven 
horses killed by the enemy's cannon, four wounded ; four men wounded, 
one of whom I suppose is dead, being left behind. Two of the others 
have lost their arms ; one officer was wounded by a small shot. I can 
assure Your Grace our three Regts. received the cannonading that came 
to their share with the utmost firmness." (B. Mus. Add. MSS. 32, 890.) 

H.C. II. F F 


went steadily on his way towards an invasion of Hanover 
by way of the Weser, Ferdinand continually falling back 
before him. At last, at the end of June, the French had 
arrived at the Weser, and were threatening both Minden 
and Hameln. Cassel was already lost, and Ferdinand was 
obliged to abandon Munster in order to concentrate on the 
Weser. Suddenly he heard that Minden had been surprised 
on July loth, and that thus the French had forced the door 
into Hanover. Contades had so far succeeded beyond 
expectation. He had invested Munster and Lippstadt, in 
Westphalia ; he had taken Cassel in Hesse ; and now he 
had surrounded Hameln and captured Minden on the 
Weser. It looked as if nothing could avail to hinder the 
French from over-running Hanover. 

Ferdinand's first care was to protect his magazine at 
Nienburg, lower down the Weser, thirty miles north of 
Minden. On July I4th his headquarters were between 
the two, at Stolzenau. 

Past Minden, and for a long distance beyond, the Weser 
runs from south to north, the town being situated on the 
left bank. A little above Minden the river, before turning 
northwards, has been flowing from west to east, in 
continuation of the course of its tributary, the Werre. 

On the left bank of the Werre-Weser stream, and running 
parallel with it from west to east, is a range of wooded 
hills. North of these, and also parallel to them, runs a 
streamlet named the Bastau, joining the Weser at Minden. 
Alongside of the Bastau, at an average width of two 
hundred yards, extends a morass seven or eight miles 
long, its western extremity being at the village of Hille, 
and its eastern at Minden. 

Contades established himself on the Minden side of the 
Weser, sending Broglie with a considerable force across 
the river to encamp on the right bank. 

Ferdinand's army numbered 41,000 men, with 170 guns, 


against the French 51,000, with 162 guns. But Contades 
was in no hurry to fight, and it was necessary, if Hanover 
were to be saved, to force him to accept battle. On 
July 1 6th Ferdinand's headquarters had been advanced 
southwards to Petershagen on the Weser, about six 
miles due north of Minden. Six days later he ostenta- 
tiously pushed forward a division under General Wangen- 
heim to encamp on some high ground, where he was 
entrenched with two batteries only six hundred yards from 
the enemy ; whilst Ferdinand himself, with the main body 
of his army, quietly moved south-west, out of sight of the 
French, till on July 2Qth he was westward of Minden, 
at seven miles' distance, with his right resting on the 
morass, and his headquarters at Hille. Then he advanced 
pickets to occupy a number of villages and hamlets in 
front both of his own and of Wangenheim's camp ; others 
he sent forward along the road skirting the morass, first 
as far as Sud Hammern, then farther on to Hartum, hoping 
eventually to seize Hahlen, which last position was less, 
than three miles from the walls of Minden. 

Nor were these all Ferdinand's preparations. He 
posted a guard near Hille, at the only road crossing the 
morass ; he detached the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick 
with 10,000 men to Gohfeld on the Werre, besides 2,000 
men to Liibbecke, to keep up communications with him. 

Contades had his camp to the south of Minden, with 
his right resting on the town and the Weser, and his left 
on the wooded hills, which also protected his rear. In 
front was the Bastau, with the morass beyond. The 
French marshal, in his impregnable position, was con- 
temptuous of an enemy whose force was extended over so 
long a line ; yet, feeling somewhat uneasy at the presence 
of the Hereditary Prince to his rear, and the consequent 
menace to his communications, he sent the due de Brissac 
to Gohfeld with 8,000 men. 

F F 2 


BEFORE one o'clock in the morning of August ist, 
1759, the French were already astir. Contades had 
summoned Broglie across the river to a position 
on the north of Minden, facing Wangenheim, whom he 
was to attack.* Contades brought his own army across 
the Bastau in eight columns, and took up his position 
under the walls of Minden. The French line curved out- 
wards round the town, Broglie being on the extreme right 
resting on the Weser, his infantry being in front, supported 
by cavalry and with two batteries in advance. On his 
left was Contades's force, arranged in the unusual forma- 
tion of a cavalry centre consisting of 55 squadrons, with 
1 8 more in reserve and infantry wings, one in touch with 
De Broglie, the other resting on the morass to the 
extreme left. 

Ferdinand was the victim of four untoward incidents, 
any one of which might have lost him the day. The first 
was the criminal neglect of the Prince of Anhalt to report 
the movements of the French for two whole hours after 
he was aware of them. The moment he received Anhalt's 
intelligence, at 3 a.m., Ferdinand set his army in motion 
in eight columns the infantry in the centre, with cavalry 
on either flank, the left wing soon getting into touch with 

* De Broglie's attack on Wangenheim's position did not get beyond 
a cannonade. Napoleon in after years attributed the French defeat at 
Minden in great degree to the blundering and irresolution of De 
Broglie, of whom he said : " Ce general fut coupable ; il mal 
dispose et jaloux de son chef." (Precis des Guenes de Frederic.) 

Scale of English Miles. 


* "i 

Stanford* GtoglEstabi 



The second of the incidents already mentioned was the 
unreadiness of Sackville's cavalry to advance with the rest 
of the line, and the total disappearance for a time of the 
commander himself.* This preliminary delay on the 
part of twenty-four squadrons, of which fifteen consisted 
of the Blues, First and Third Dragoon Guards, Scots 
Greys, and Tenth Dragoons, was of evil omen for what 
was to happen later. 

In spite of this serious default, matters began to look 
well on the right, along the edge of the morass, where 
Captain Foy's battery of British artillery rendered good 
service, and was presently reinforced by Macbean's battery 
and by some heavy Hanoverian guns.f 

Meanwhile Ferdinand's third misfortune took shape in 
a misunderstanding of orders by the first line of Sporcke's 
British infantry, which started off before the second line 
was ready, so that the latter were a good deal in rear of 
their comrades in front. 

But now ensued that which, for all time, will be remem- 
bered as one of the greatest marvels recorded in military 
annals. Six British regiments, whose names can never 
be forgotten the I2th (Suffolk Regiment), 37th (ist 
battalion Hampshire Regiment), and 23rd (Royal Welsh 
Fusiliers) in the front rank under Brigadier Waldegrave, 
and the 2Oth (Lancashire Fusiliers), 5ist (ist battalion 
King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry), and 25th (King's 
Own Scottish Borderers), forming the second line under 
Brigadier Kingsley, with three battalions of Hanoverians 
these, incredible as it may seem, attacked and put to 
flight forty battalions and sixty squadrons. 

This is literally what these heroes did. They accom- 
plished the first two hundred yards of their advance under 

* It is only fair to say that the court-martial acquitted Sackville on 
this charge, though Mr. Fortescue seems to regard it as proved. 

f Some British gunners with Wangenheim also made good practice. 


heavy and only too effective artillery fire, which increased 
in severity as they approached nearer and nearer to the 
dense mass of French cavalry. Then eleven squadrons 
of the enemy's horse, charging straight at them, received, 
at a distance of ten yards, one of the murderous volleys 
that had done such grim execution at Fontenoy. 

This over, the six regiments calmly resumed their 
majestic march forward. But now they sorely needed 
support. Not only was there another line of French 
horse ready to renew the attack, but the enemy's infantry 
on the left four brigades of them wheeled round to the 
right, and, aided by thirty-two guns, were about to assail 
the British flank. This surely was the critical moment 
for Sackville with his Blues,* Scots Greys, Dragoon 
Guards, and Dragoons, to support his brave countrymen. 
The Commander-in-Chief sent two aides-de-camp in quick 
succession to the British General to order his immediate 
advance, but the message was totally disregarded. 
Ferdinand's greatest trial was now to be faced. 

Something must be done, and Ferdinand brought up 
Phillips's heavy guns to aid the infantry in their predica- 
ment. For a moment, but only a moment, the ranks of 
the British regiments seemed to yield to the fresh onset 
of the French horse. But they rallied, and having at close 
quarters delivered a volley which rid them of the hostile 
cavalry, turned instantly upon their other assailants of 
the Foot, and drove them also back with heavy loss. 

* 1764, February. Walpole, writing to the Earl of Hertford, makes 
a malicious allusion to Sackville's failure to lead up the Blues : 

" The debate (on American Taxation) hobbled on very slowly, when 
on a sudden your brother (Conway) arose and made such a speech. 
Imagine fire, rapidity, argument, knowledge, wit, ridicule, grace, spirit 
all pouring like a torrent, but without clashing. It was unique. 
Ellis, the forlorn hope, presented himself in the gap, till the Ministers 
could recover themselves, when, on a sudden, Lord G. Sackville led up 
the Blues " i.e., the Tories. 


Once more at this juncture Ferdinand sent an aide-de- 
camp post haste to Sackville, whose men were chafing 
under their enforced inactivity; yet not a squadron stirred, 
It was well that Ferdinand had some other infantry ready 
to aid the harassed battalions ; the third line of French 
horse tried to break through the red ranks, and succeeded 
in penetrating the first to be itself repulsed with terrible 
loss by the second. 

Ferdinand yet once again sent a fourth aide-de-camp at 
headlong speed to order Sackville to complete the rout of 
the enemy. Lord George professed still to misunderstand 
his "meaning," and trotted off in person to the Prince to 
make inquiries. Ferdinand in despair had already sent 
a fifth aide-de-camp, this time direct to Lord Granby, who 
was at the head of the second line of the cavalry, observing 
" I know he, at least, will obey me." To Sackville, as in 
leisurely fashion he rode up and saluted, the Prince coldly 
said, "My Lord, the opportunity has now passed." As 
Sackville was returning, he met Granby advancing with the 
second line and abruptly ordered him to halt* Granby, 
however, on receipt of another order from the Prince, 
persisted in going forward. But it was now all too late. He 
never got near the enemy. The French troops had retired 
under the guns of Minden defeated, indeed, but not 
annihilated, as they might and should have been. The 
honour which ought to have fallen to Sackville's cavalry 
was reaped by the German horse from the left wing, who 
in combination with the Allies' artillery finished what 

* At the court-martial on Sackville Lieutenant John Walsh, Adjutant 
of the Blues Lord Granby's own regiment, which was naturally eager 
to leave the first line and follow him with the second in giving evidence 
of the halting of Granby's division by Sackville, said that Lieutenant- 
Colonel Johnston commanding the Blues sent him to Lord Sackville to 
say "the second Line was advancing and might the Blues follow." 
Lord George said " No," and instantly sent Lieutenant Walsh to halt 
the second line. 


the British infantry had so well begun. Foy and Macbean 
in particular worked wonders during the pursuit, moving 
their guns with great rapidity alongside of the morass and 
creating a panic amongst the flying enemy. 

The Hereditary Prince having rendered a good account 
of Brissac, Contades became demoralised, crossed the 
Weser in the night, and retreated by a devious route to 

On the side of the Allies there were 2,600 casualties, of 
which 1,400 were British 81 officers and 1,311 men. 
The " six Minden regiments " had 30 per cent, killed and 
wounded, the Hanoverians on their left flank losing 
12 per cent. The French publicly admitted a loss of 
7,000 men, but the private letters of their commanders 
make the figure 10,000 or more. It seems certain, at any 
rate, that they had 153 officers killed and 224 wounded. 
They lost nearly all their baggage, 17 standards, and 43 

Next day Prince Ferdinand expressed formally his 
thanks to the army, especially to the English infantry, 
who had sustained the heaviest losses, and to whom the 
chief honours were due, and also to the English artillery. 
He wrote to Macbean a special letter of acknowledg- 
ment. Indeed, the excellent handling of the British 
artillery on this occasion has always won the admiration 
of critics. 

The Prince in his order of the day made a pointed 
allusion to Sackville's misconduct : 

His Serene Highness further orders it to be declared to Lieutenant- 
General the Marquess of Granby that he is persuaded that, if he had 
had the good fortune to have had him at the head of the Cavalry of the 
Right Wing, his presence would have greatly contributed to make 
the decision of the day more complete and more brilliant. 

The compliment to Granby's eagerness to lead implied 
a compliment to the equal eagerness to be led on the 


part of the Blues,* First and Third Dragoon Guards, 
Inniskillings, Scots Greys, and Tenth Dragoons. 

Sackville rightly regarded this praise of Granby as a 
censure upon himself, and, when Ferdinand refused to 
withdraw it, asked to be recalled. The Prince also made 
a request to the same effect, and was much gratified at 
the appointment of Lord Granby f to the command of the 
British troops, Lieutenant-General Mostyn succeeding to 
the post of second in command. 

Lord George Sackville was put under arrest on 
February 2oth, 1760, for disobedience to orders, and was 
tried by a court-martial which sat from March yth 
to April 5th. 

The verdict was : 

That in the opinion of the Court, Lord George Sackville is guilty 
of having disobeyed the orders of Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick . . . 
and that he is hereby adjudged unfit to serve His Majesty in any 
Military capacity whatsoever. 

By the King's special command the following rider 
was added : 

It is His Majesty's pleasure that the above sentence be given out 
in Public Orders, that Officers being convinced that neither high birth 
nor great employments can shelter offences of such a nature, and seeing 
that they are subject to censure much worse than death to a man who 
has any sense of honour, they may avoid the fatal consequences arising 
from disobedience of orders. 

* In a private letter to Newcastle, dated August 2gth, Granby 
writes : " Your Grace will excuse me if I remind your Grace of my 
friend and Lieutenant- Colonel [Lieut.-Col. James Johnston, of the 
Blues] : it was unhappy for him that the Blues had not an opportunity 
of showing the pains he had for so many years been at in disciplining 
them was not thrown away. . . ." 

f Lord Granby magnanimously tried to screen Lord George Sack- 
ville from blame. For this kindness the latter showed small gratitude. 
On Granby's death, ten years later, Sackville now known as Lord 
George Germain wrote to General Irwin : " The death of Lord 
Granby will be of service to the Ministry in point of votes, but of 
greater service to the army. If real business is to be done, what good 
could have happened under such a director ? " (October 23rd, 1770.) 


Evidently the King deemed the case worthy of a 
sentence of death. The sentence was received and read 
at the head of each line of troops in Germany, drawn up 
under arms, with all the Generals present. The Duke of 
Newcastle wrote to Lord Granby :- 

I send your Lordship in confidence, by the King's order, a copy of 
the very extraordinary sentence by the Court Martial ; so short of what 
we had a right to expect, and, I may say, of the merits of the question. 
It is, however, a full condemnation of Lord George's behaviour, and a 
full justification of the King and Prince Ferdinand, and what they 
had done. 


A LETTER from Lord Barrington to Lord Granby has 
reference to the patronage of commissions in the Blues : 


Cavendish Square. 12 Jan. 1760. 


As I find I must not expect to see you so immediately as I hop'd, 
I will no longer delay writing to your Lordship, tho' I must acquaint 
you with a Circumstance which gives me pain. The King told Lord 
Ligonier that he had a Page, to whom He would give the Cornetcy in 
the Blues vacant by Cap tn . Lascelles promotion My Lord reply'd 
(what was very true) that the Page desired an Ensigncy in the Foot 
Guards ; but the King persisted, adding that there was no vacancy in 
the Guards, and that when there were Cornetcys in the Horse, they 
were the proper Provision for his Pages. This the King repeated to 
me the first time I attended him, and I have been oblig'd to obey. 
The Pages name is Bing, and I believe he is Brother to Lord 
Torrington I am very sorry for this, both as the Reg 1 , is under your 
Lordships Command, and as you had destin'd this vacancy for a Person 
whom I could not find among the Cornets of Blands, but whom I have 
since found to be John Dodds Son. I am the more concerned at the 
Disappointment on his Account; tho' our Friend John is at present 
unreasonably out of humor with me. 

I still venture (at Gen 1 . Napiers desire) to keep the Majority in the 
1 2th Regiment open till you come here ; but if you order me it shall be 
fill'd up as you formerly recommended, before your Arrival. I am with 
the warmest Wishes, and most Affectionate Respect 

My dear Lord 

Your Lordships 
Most faithfull 

Most Obed*. Servant 


I will use my utmost endeavour to save that Reg*, from Pages for 
the future. 



PRINCE FERDINAND was very much in King 
George's good graces, and his services at Minden 
received a handsome acknowledgment by the 
bestowal of the Garter and a gift of 20,000. 
The money was generously shared by the Prince with 
the officers and men of his army. The honour of the 
Garter was explained to him by Granby in August, 1759, 
but not conferred on him ceremonially till the following 
November. Lord Granby on November 6th was gazetted 
first, and Garter King of Arms second, plenipotentiary 
to perform the function in the Allies' camp at KrofTdorf, 
where a large and a small tent were set up in full view 
of the enemy's camp. The Prince, escorted by a numerous 
detachment of the Blues, and joined by a procession 
carrying the insignia of the Order, entered the smaller 
tent, where the investiture took place to the accompani- 
ment of instrumental music. Short speeches by the first 
plenipotentiary and the new Knight were followed by the 
rolling of drums and a flourish of trumpets, after which 
Lord Granby entertained the Prince at dinner in the 
larger tent a compliment reciprocated next day. The 
Blues were during the ceremony drawn up on either 
side of the hill before the tent these being mounted, while 
others did duty on foot. 

Prince Ferdinand well deserved the high distinction 
accorded him. The victory of Minden had enabled 
him to recover much lost ground. Minden itself sur- 
rendered ; Contades was forced to evacuate Cassel r 


which fell into Ferdinand's hands next day, August 25th. 
Contades had retreated to Marburg, and his successor 
in the command withdrew to Giessen. Ferdinand there- 
upon besieged and took Marburg, and on September igth 
was at Kroffdorf, close to the French at Giessen. Miinster 
was recaptured after a blockade, and at Fulda the Heredi- 
tary Prince of Brunswick defeated De Broglie, now in 
supreme command of the French. Giessen would probably 
have fallen to Ferdinand, but at this juncture Frederick 
of Prussia, now in dire straits from his defeat by the 
Russians in August, imperatively demanded reinforce- 
ments. When 12,000 men had been sent to Prussia, 
it was useless for Ferdinand to continue the campaign. 
In the January of 1760, when all went into winter 
quarters, each side was occupying almost the exact terri- 
tory after the campaign as it had before it. But the 
prestige of the French had declined, and that of the suc- 
cessful commander-in-chief of the Allies was immensely 

Early in 1760 the British Government sent a reinforce- 
ment of 10,000 men to Germany, inclusive of the 2nd, 6th, 
and 7th Dragoon Guards, four regiments of dragoons, 
and six ultimately eight of foot.* They were shipped 

* 1760, February nth. Drafts of 8 men each for the Blues were 
drawn from three regiments of dragoons Conway's, Cope's, and 
Ancram's and ordered to be reduced before embarkation, to level them 
with the regiments in Germany. These regiments had also to furnish 
drafts for the King's Regiment of Dragoon Guards, the Third Dragoon 
Guards, and the Scots Greys (Royal North British) ; but the prestige 
of the Blues is illustrated by the fact that all sergeants were given the 
option of being drafted into the Blues. (Secretary's Common Letter-Book.) 

1761, March 28th. Recruits and Remounts of Blues ordered to 
embark for Germany. Addressed to " the Officer Commanding the 
Recruits and Remount Horses for the Royal Horse Guards." (Ibid.) 

At the opening of the campaign of 1760 Lord Granby writes home 
(April 25th) begging that two good aged horses upwards of 16 hands 
high should be sent out at once, " as he has scarcely a horse to get 
upon." (Belvoir Castle : Unpublished Papers.) 


to the Weser, and joined Ferdinand in time for his exit 
from winter quarters in May. His army was in two 
divisions that of Westphalia extending from Miinster 
through Paderborn to the Weser; and that of Hesse 
from Marburg eastwards to the Werra. The latter, under 
Sporcke, was to watch the French army of the Lower 
Rhine. With Prince Ferdinand in Hesse was Lord 
Granby, at the head of the British contingent. * 

The immediate seat of the military operations that were 
now imminent may be briefly described. The river Fulda, 
on which stands the town so named, flows due north 
to Cassel a distance of over fifty miles as the crow flies - T 
passing on its way Hersfeld, twenty miles down the stream. 
About eight miles before it reaches Cassel it receives as 
a tributary the Eder, whose general direction is from 
west to east, and on the left bank of which lies Fritzlar r 
distant fifteen miles by road south-west from Cassel. An 
extension of this road, still running to the south-west, leads 
to Kirchhain, thirty miles away. This town is situated 
on the Ohm, within the Rhine watershed, the river having 
here a north-westerly course. Less than ten miles above 
Kirchhain is Homberg, while about the same distance 
below it lies Marburg, between which place and Kirchhain 
the river makes a sharp turn to the south. One more 
river to be noted is the Schwalm, which flows from 
the south into the Eder a few miles before the latter 
joins the Fulda. On the Schwalm is Ziegenhain, twenty 
miles due west of Hersfeld on the Fulda. 

The French armies, as in the previous year, were oa 
the Lower Rhine and the Main respectively, the Comte 
de St. Germain commanding the one, and De Broglie 
the other. St. Germain, towards the end of June, crossed 
the Rhine at Diisseldorf and advanced to join his colleague 

* Lord Granby's Standing Orders for 1760-1 (Brit. Mus. Add. 28,, 
855) are well worth inspection. 


who was to come northward from Giessen in operating 
against the Allies in Hesse. 

At the end of May Ferdinand was at Fritzlar, with 
the Hereditary Prince on his left at Hersfeld, and Imhoff 
at Kirchhain. Fritzlar is the apex of a triangle, whose 
other angular points, Kirchhain and Hersfeld, are severally 
distant from it about twenty-five miles, and from each other 
about thirty-two miles. The approach of the enemy forced 
the Allies to concentrate. It brought Ferdinand down 
thirteen miles due southward to Ziegenhain, in order to join 
Imhoff at Homberg, while the Hereditary Prince was 
withdrawn from Hersfeld westwards. Ferdinand had 
specially selected Homberg as offering favourable ground 
for barring De Broglie's passage of the Ohm. But 
ImhofF, to Ferdinand's disgust, abandoned Homberg and 
fell back on Kirchhain, thus allowing the French to 
advance. This they were not slow to do, passing through 
Homberg and reaching Neustadt midway between 
Kirchhain and Ziegenhain. From June 24th to July 8th 
neither side stirred, though the two were within a short 
distance of each other. At last De Broglie made a move, 
and marched twenty miles north-westward during the 
night to Frankenburg, intending to advance another twenty 
miles farther northward to Corbach, and there effect a 
junction with St. Germain, who was already on his way 
from the west. 

De Broglie had given the Allies the slip, and Ferdinand 
tried in vain to catch him up. The Hereditary Prince 
was despatched in haste northwards to Sachsenhausen^ 
five miles east of Corbach, to intercept De Broglie before 
he could join hands with St. Germain. But the junction 
between them was already effected when, on July loth, 
the Hereditary Prince appeared on the scene. He at once 
attacked, but was repulsed with a loss of 500 men and 
15 guns 7 of them British. The 5th, 24th, soth, and 5ist 


regiments of British infantry, covering the retreat, were 
so nearly overpowered by numbers that only a splendid 
charge of a squadron each of the ist and 3rd Dragoon 
Guards rescued them ; the former going into the fight 
with go men and returning with only 24. The news 
of this reverse decided King George to send out one 
battalion of each regiment of the Foot Guards, which 
sailed at the end of July. 

The French, taking full advantage of the way in which 
their foes exposed themselves to the risk of being beaten 
in detail, had succeeded in hurling the whole force of 
their two armies on a mere fraction of a single corps 
of the Allies. Two days later Von Sporcke arrived with 
the Army of Westphalia, and took up a position ten miles 
north of Sachsenhausen, at Volksmarsen, on a small river 
flowing northwards for more than six miles to Warburg to 
meet the Diemel. 

While Sporcke guarded the Allied right, Ferdinand with 
the main army was at Sachsenhausen. Even now the 
whole Allied force numbered only 66,000, as against the 
French total of 130,000. De Broglie still aimed, as 
hitherto, at getting between Ferdinand and Westphalia ; 
Ferdinand, to take the pressure off his right, determined 
to create a diversion on his left. Both combatants, 
when marching northwards, had left behind them some 
detached troops. A French force, under Glaubitz, who 
had six battalions and a regiment of cavalry, was at 
Marburg, and began to march on Ziegenhain, to threaten 
the Allies' rear. Ferdinand, on the other hand, had still six 
battalions at Fritzlar, and these, with some German horse 
and the Fifteenth Light Dragoons a regiment newly 
raised by Eliott, who had only just brought it into the 
field were sent south, under the Hereditary Prince, to 
check the new move of the French. At Emsdorf, halfway 
between Marburg and Ziegenhain, on July i6th, the Allies 


defeated their enemy, whose left flank was turned by their 
unexpected advance through a forest. In this action the 
new British dragoon regiment, now the Fifteenth Hussars, 
gained unique distinction for itself by pursuing the enemy 
single-handed from point to point for twenty miles, until 
the whole remaining French force, to the number of 2,600, 
was captured. The prisoners taken by the Fifteenth 
numbered more than four times the total of their own 
strength. The Allied loss was 186, of which 125 belonged 
to the Fifteenth. 

H.C. II. G G 


A WEEK later De Broglie began operations on a 
grand scale. On his right he despatched a 
strong column to threaten Cassel. On the left 
St. Germain's successor, De Muy, was ordered 
to force Sporcke back from Volksmarsen. Before De 
Broglie himself Ferdinand was obliged to retire in a north- 
westerly direction from Sachsenhausen to Kalle, halfway 
between Warburg on the Diemel and Cassel on the Fulda. 
Having thus shifted his enemy back, De Broglie suddenly 
threw De Muy's corps of 20,000 men westwards across the 
Diemel, where it occupied a position on high ground to the 
north-west of Warburg. Ferdinand determined to sacri- 
fice Cassel rather than permit himself to be severed from 
Westphalia. Then he decided on the bold stroke of attack- 
ing De Muy before De Broglie could arrive to help him. 

On July 2Qth, 1760, first Sporcke, and then the Here- 
ditary Prince with 14,000 men, crossed the Diemel, six 
miles below Warburg, at Liebenau. Ferdinand himself 
intended to join them next morning by a night march of 
fifteen miles from Kalle to Liebenau, the crossing-place. 

De Muy's line, with the Diemel in its rear, rested on 
Warburg to the right, and on the village of Ochsendorf to 
the left, where also was a tower standing on a steep hilL 
Another village, Poppenheim, was on his left front. 

After their arrival on July 3Oth, Sporcke and the Here- 
ditary Prince occupied a four-mile line from Liebenau and 
the Diemel on the left to Corbeke on the right. Their 
distance from the French camp varied from six to nine 


miles. They decided to advance from their right by the 
nine-mile route against De Muy's left. 

Ferdinand's calculation of his own movements was cut 
too fine. Though the head of his column was well across 
the river by 6 a.m. on July 3ist, this was a later hour than 
had been agreed upon, and his subordinate commanders 
felt obliged to start without him. They advanced in two 
columns the right, or northern, arrived at Ochsendorf on 
its way towards the tower on the hill ; the southern, or 
left, reached Poppenheim. At the head of the former were 
the Royal Dragoons leading the cavalry, while the British 
Grenadiers,* in two battalions, held a similar place of 
honour among the infantry. The left column was led by 
the 7th Dragoons, and included two regiments of High- 

Aided by a thick fog, the advance of the Allies was 
unperceived by De Muy till midday, when the guns of the 
Allies at the two villages opened fire. The Grenadiers 
advancing, the infantry on the French left flank retired. 
But when the Grenadiers proceeded to threaten the hill in 
rear, a French battalion turned back to seize the summit. 
Then ten Grenadiers, under Colonel Beckwith, scaled the 
hill, and were joined by the Hereditary Prince with thirty 
others. The French on reaching the hill-top were met by 
a volley, and halted for a reinforcement. The brief delay 
gave time for a battalion of Grenadiers to arrive, when there 
ensued a skirmish with the French, who were two to one. 
The British were overmatched until the arrival of the 
other Grenadier battalion, which equalised the odds. 

The French, however, began to fetch further reinforce- 
ments, till, after great exertions, a British battery was 

* The grenadier companies of several regiments were formed into 
a battalion under Colonel Maxwell ; a second was similarly formed. 
These "British Grenadiers" are not to be confused with the First 
Foot (Grenadier) Guards. Vide CHAPTER LXVII., p. 617. 

G G 2 


dragged up the hill and did good work, while the High- 
landers of the sister column drove back the French rein- 
forcements. The Royals and the yth Dragoons completed 
the discomfiture of the enemy. 

Just when De Muy, by bringing up an overwhelming 
number of fresh troops against the exhausted battalions of 
the Allies, might have avenged this reverse, his front was 
suddenly threatened by a new and unlooked-for danger. 
The long distance to be traversed, and the marshy nature 
of the ground, had so hindered the efforts of Ferdinand's 
infantry to get up in time that, while still five miles distant 
from Warburg, he detached Granby with orders to push 
ahead with twenty-two squadrons of British cavalry and 
the three brigades of British artillery. Granby, burning 
to wipe out the memory of Minden, trotted forward for two 
hours at a pace at which, it is safe to say, no guns had 
ever before been known to travel. * Arrived in face of the 
enemy's position, Granby paused only to dispose his 
squadrons in two lines. In the first line were two brigades, 
one consisting of the First, Third, and Second Dragoon 
Guards, and another made up of the Blues and the 
Seventh and Sixth Dragoon Guards. In the rear line 
were brigaded the Scots Greys, the Tenth Dragoons (now 
Hussars), the Sixth (Inniskilling) Dragoons, and the 
Eleventh Dragoons (later Hussars). It will be seen that 
in the first line the Blues yielded their post on the right 
of the line to the First Dragoon Guards, an arrangement 
evidently adopted by Lord Granby to enable him, while 
riding at the head of his own regiment, to occupy a central 

* Ferdinand, writing to the King from Warburg on August ist 
says : 

" As the infantry could not march fast enough to charge at the same 
time, I ordered my lord Granby to advance with the cavalry of the 
right. The English artillery got up on a gallop and seconded the 
attack in a surprising manner. 

"All the troops have done well, and particularly the English." 


position in front of the cavalry division which he was 
leading to the attack. 

The British cavalry, which had been approaching the 
French horse grouped on De Muy's right at a sharp 
trot, now received successively the orders to gallop and 
charge. Granby, * at the head of the Blues, himself 
pierced the French lines three times. The enemy's 
cavalry recoiled, went about and fled, excepting three 
staunch squadrons, apparently made of the sternest stuff. 
As the first brigade of the British wheeled to the right to 
charge the flank and rear of the enemy's infantry, these 
three French squadrons which had stood their ground 
attacked the First Dragoon Guards in flank. This fierce 
and sudden onset threw the First into disorder, whereupon 
Granby, leaving the rest of the Blues to continue the pursuit, 
ordered a couple of their squadrons, under Lieutenant- 
Colonel Johnston,t to wheel round to the rescue of their 
comrades in the First Brigade. Johnston dashed down 
with his men, liberated the " K. D. G.'s," and rode through 
and over the three plucky squadrons. 

This was decisive. With both flanks now driven in by 
the enemy's cavalry, the whole French army rushed to the 
river and crossed by the fords. The British artillery, 
coming up in fine style, added to their confusion ; Lord 
Granby, with ten squadrons and twelve British battalions, 
crossed the stream and pursued them ; and what remained 
of De Muy's force never stopped its flight till it reached 

The French loss was variously estimated at between 

* Granby had lost, or purposely discarded, his three-cornered hat, 
and in the bright sunshine his bald head was conspicuous among the 

j- Lieutenant- Colonel James Johnston of the Blues is not to be 
identified with Lieutenant- Colonel James Johnston of the First (Royal) 
Dragoons, whose regiment at this battle took prisoners an entire 
regiment of the enemy. 


6,000 and 8,000 men, and twelve guns. The Allies' total 
was 1,200, the chief part of which was sustained by the 
Grenadiers. The Blues had several casualties : Killed, 
2 N.C.O.'s; wounded, Cornet Cheney and 6 N.C.O.'s ; 
prisoners, 7 troopers; horses lost, 23. 

The result of the battle was important, inasmuch as 
Ferdinand's communications with Westphalia were now 
free, and Hanover was no longer threatened ; yet even 
these advantages were bought dearly at the cost of 
abandoning Cassel and leaving Hesse a prey to the 

Ferdinand wrote to King George : " Mylord Granby a 
infiniment contribue avec la cavallerie anglaise au succes 
de cette action." He also publicly, on August ist, thanked 
Lord Granby, " under whose orders all the British Cavalry 
performed prodigies of valour, which they could not fail of 
doing having his Lordship at their head." Mention is 
made in particular of Colonel Johnston whichever of the 
two may have been intended. De Mauvillon, writing of 
Lord Granby at the head of the Blues, says that he " made 
it very evident that had he, instead of Sackville, led at 
Minden, there had been a different story to tell." And 
Newcastle, writing to Granby, relates that Faucitt had 
assured him that "the Blues behaved remarkably well." 

S'n sf/uo. -narrjfa MS - fittt. 


THE King held a review on October aoth, 1760, 
attended by the Life Guards ; on the 25th he 
died quite suddenly at Kensington. That there 
was a great deal in George the Second's public 
character to command respect and approval is a fact now 
disputed by no impartial student of his history. In 
particular, no soldier, and no one who is concerned for 
the credit of the Army, or who delights in its exploits and 
traditions, will fail to remember for good the plucky Prince, 
whose personal gallantry at Dettingen deeply impressed 
the popular imagination, and who inspired his army with 
loyal and sincere regard. Lord Granby a man whose 
good opinion was worth having declared that " no King 
ever lived more beloved, or died more sincerely regretted." 
The Life Guards and Horse Grenadier Guards went 
into mourning for their deceased Sovereign their scarlet 
coats lapelled, turned up, and trimmed with black, and 
their hats, swords, and sashes decked with black crape.* 
They took their usual part in the proclamation of King 
George the Third's accession on October 26th, when the 
heralds' procession was led by Horse Grenadiers, with 
axes erect, accompanied by the French horns of the 
Troops. An excellent effect was produced in the countiy 
by the new Sovereign's declaration to Parliament that he 
gloried in being a Briton born and bred. 

On the 3 ist was issued a royal regulation as to the 

* Lord Granby ordered similar mourning for the troops under his 
command in Germany. 


escorts which were to attend the royal family. The 
Princess Dowager of Wales was to be attended by the 
same number of guards as had formerly attended her 
husband, and as had also been assigned to the new 
King when heir-apparent namely, one Subaltern, eight 
Life Guards, and two Grenadiers. For the Dukes of York 
and Cumberland, the Princess Augusta, the family of the 
Princess Dowager of Wales, and the Princess Amelia, there 
were to be seven Life Guards and two Grenadier Guards.* 

The late King's obsequies were solemnised on November 
gth and nth. On the former day, as a sequel to the em- 
balming process, the preliminary part of the interment 
took place privately in Henry the Seventh's Chapel. Two 
mourning coaches, preceded and followed by parties of 
Life Guards, contained the Lord Chamberlain and other 
peers. Next followed another mourning coach, drawn by 
six horses, on the front seat of which were two peers, and 
on the back seat a box covered with purple velvet and gold 
nails, to which were fixed four golden handles. The box 
was carried into the chapel by eight Yeomen of the Guard 
through a lane of Foot Guards, and deposited in the royal 
vault, to the sound of the trumpets. 

The funeral proper, which took place two days later, was 
described by Walpole as " a noble sight." The Princes' 
Chamber at St. Stephen's was hung with purple and a 
quantity of silver lamps, the coffin lying under a canopy of 
purple velvet, amid six great chandeliers of silver placed 
on high stands. The procession to the Abbey moved 
through a line of Foot Guards, every seventh man bearing 
a torch ; the Horse Guards lining the outer sides of the 
route ; their officers, with drawn sabres and crape sashes, 
on horseback ; the drums muffled, and bells tolling. 

* In 1810 Queen Charlotte was so much upset by two Life Guards 
falling off, that she ordered the carriage not to be driven so fast in 
future ! 


Meanwhile the campaign of 1760, instead of terminating, 
as had been usual, in the autumn, on the armies' with- 
drawal into winter quarters, was extended well into the 
following year. The autumn and winter season of 1760-1 
was a time of sore trouble for Granby's force in Germany. 
He had appealed, soon after Warburg, for the Guards and 
other reinforcements* to be sent. Ligonier candidly told 
him that the troops at home of course, exclusive of the 
Household Cavalry now consisted of two regiments of 
cavalry, made up of old men unfit for a campaign and boys 
" hardly able to manage their horses " ; and of eight 
regiments of infantry, of which two-thirds were recruits. 
The Guards did at last arrive a battalion from each of 
the three regiments making long forced marches to reach 
Ferdinand's camp. But the loss of Cassel condemned the 
Allies to inaction in Hesse, and, in spite of Ferdinand's 
strong position at Warburg, the French held the greater 
part of Hesse, and were threatening Hanover. In Sep- 
tember Ferdinand decided upon the bold stroke of creat- 
ing a diversion by sending the Hereditary Prince with 
10,000 men to seize Wesel, on the Lower Rhine. Amongst 
the troops despatched later to support the expedition were 
ten British battalions and three British regiments of 
cavalry, amongst whom the Blues were not included. The 
ruse was a failure. In the November and December of 
1760 the opposed armies were still manoeuvring for the 

* This is a specimen of the answers Granby used to receive to his 
applications for reinforcements : 

" 1760, August 2gth. 
" Secretary at War to Lord Granby. 

" I am to acquaint your Lordship that a sufficient number of horses 
would have been sent to replace those lost in the late action, if it was 
not imagined that you still had horses enough for your riders." 
(Secretary's Common Letter-book.} 

At times the Minister grew oracular: 1761, March 25th. "A 
deserter is a very improper person to be made a non -commission 
officer." (Ibid.) 

possession of Hesse, and both French and English were 
heartily sick of the war. 

The Allies moved eastwards to the Weser, and the 
new year found Granby greatly grieving over the havoc 
made by sickness and death among the British troops. 
Their commander left nothing undone to alleviate their 
miseries, and his active sympathy, never wanting to 
each and all of his soldiers, won their keen and undying 

Ferdinand decided to make a supreme effort, in the 
depth of winter, to drive the enemy out of Hesse. Having 
formed a great magazine at Warburg, and received a 
Prussian reinforcement of 6,000 men, he issued his orders 
of battle on February nth, 1761. He himself, command- 
ing the centre of his army, occupied the Cassel district, 
Lord Granby being with him in command of his van- 
guard, the first column. The Hereditary Prince, on the 
right, was near Fritzlar, and Sporcke, in command of the 
left, in the neighbourhood of the Werra. 

Granby's column included three battalions of the 
Foot Guards, one each of British Grenadiers and the 
Fifth Foot, and seven Hanoverian battalions. Of cavalry 
he had three squadrons of Blues, the Fifteenth, and two 
squadrons of Hanoverians ; and the whole of the British 

The net result of the involved and fruitless movements 
of this campaign, which opened with successes for the 
Allies and closed with successes for the French, was that 
the Allied army ended on March 3ist where it began 
at Warburg, with the French in possession of all Hesse. 
When it is borne in mind that the French army always 
outnumbered that of the Allies by two to one until to- 
wards the end of the campaign, when the ratio was four 
to one it was to Ferdinand's credit that he at least 
secured Westphalia. 


The 1761 campaign was resumed, after a two months' 
interval, in May, and lasted till mid-October. There is 
apparently no specific record of the Blues' participation in 
it. The list of regiments serving under Harvey, com- 
manding the cavalry brigade in Granby's corps, does not 
include Granby's own regiment ; nor were they among 
the British cavalry allotted to either Anhalt or Conway. 
The campaign was memorable for the consummate skill 
with which Ferdinand " kept two armies, jointly of double 
his strength, continually in motion for six months, without 
permitting them to reap the slightest advantage from their 
operations." (Fortescue.) 

The Blues went into winter quarters with the rest of 
the army. In the following year they were once more 
to distinguish themselves. 

Meanwhile, at home, King George the Third was, on 
September 8th, 1761, married to Princess Maria Charlotte 
of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had been escorted to London 
from Romford earlier in the day by the Life Guards, one 
hundred of whom, on foot, were on duty within the royal 
palace during the wedding ceremony. At their Majesties' 
Coronation, on the 22nd of the same month, the Life 
Guards discharged their customary ceremonial functions, 
although their particular manner of doing so seems to have 
provoked some resentment on the part of the Man in the 
Street : 

On the outside were stationed, at proper distances, several parties 
of Horse Guards, whose horses somewhat incommoded the people that 
pressed incessantly upon them, though I did not hear of any great 
mischief being done. I must Confess it gave me pain to see the 
soldiers, horse and foot, obliged unmercifully to belabour the head's of 
the mob with their broad swords and muskets ; but it was not unplea- 
sant to observe several tipping the horse soldiers slily from time to 
time (some with half pence, and some with silver, as they could muster 
up the cash) to let them pass between the horses to get near the plat- 
form ; after which these unconscionable gentry drove them back again. 
(Annual Register, 1761, p. 230.) 


The ensuing November was marked by a royal visit to 
the City : 

1761, November gth. The King and Queen viewed the Lord 
Mayor's procession from the house of a well-known Quaker, Mr. 
Barclay, who lived just opposite Bow Church. The escort of Life 
Guards was posted in Bow Church yard, and, on the King's depar- 
ture, a party of them was detached to guard the house and prevent any 
damage being done by the mob to the decorations. 

There were times when the Life Guards were charged 
with escort duties of a more grim kind : 

1757, December 28th. Admiral Byng was tried before a Court 
Martial at Portsmouth, when he was conveyed from Greenwich by a 
party of Horse Guards, and insulted by the populace in every town 
thro' w h he passed. (Smollett, H. ., p. 635.) 

On May 5th, 1760, occurred the execution of Lord 
Ferrers, the last peer of the realm to suffer the supreme 
penalty for felony. He went from the Tower to Tyburn 
in his own landau with six horses, with a mourning coach 
and a hearse following and under a strong escort of Life 
Guards. One of the escort got a bad fall through his 
horse's leg getting entangled in the hind wheel of the 
carnage. Lord Ferrers expressed much concern, and said> 
" I hope there will be no death to-day but mine." 


THE campaign of 1762 began in May. Broglie 
had been superseded by Soubise and Marshal 
d'Estrees, whose army of the Main was 80,000 
strong ; Conde having 30,000 men on the Rhine. 
The strength of the Allies was not so disproportionate as 
in former years, Ferdinand having 95,000 men at his 
disposal. The Hereditary Prince in mid-June was set to 
watch Conde, and Ferdinand advanced south-easterly from 
the neighbourhood of Paderborn to the line of the Diemel, 
with Granby on his extreme right at Warburg. The field 
of action during the next few days was the district north 
of Cassel, and lying between the Diemel on the north-west 
and the Weser on the east. Ferdinand, with his usual 
promptitude, sent a force across the Diemel eastwards to 
seize Zappaburg, which commands several roads to the 
south and south-west. 

On June 22nd the French generals made a twelve miles' 
advance northwards from Cassel to Grobenstein, with 
Wilhelmstahl castle in their rear. To their right was a 
forest, and half-way towards Zappaburg they placed 
Castries at Carlsdorff, about four miles in advance of 
their own right. 

Ferdinand at once took measures which if only his 
plans had "come off" without a hitch might have 
destroyed the whole French army. He arranged that his 
forces, in five different corps, coming from as many different 
directions, should close in on the unsuspecting enemy. 
First Liickner, with horse and foot, was to march down 


vsouth and west from Zappaburg through the forest and 
threaten Castries' rear from the right. Secondly, Sporcke, 
after crossing the Diemel and moving eastwards across 
Castries' front, was to act against his right flank. Thirdly, 
Riedesel, also with Zappaburg as his starting-point, was 
to advance due south through the length of the forest, and 
ultimately face the right flank of the main French army. 
In the fourth place, Ferdinand himself proposed to cross 
the Diemel and march straight southwards to attack the 
main army ; while, lastly, Granby, crossing the river at 
Warburg was to make a detour south and east, so as to 
menace the left flank and rear of the Grobenstein-Wilhelm- 
stahl position. 

On the morning of June 24th Liickner and Riedesel 
duly executed their part of the programme. Sporcke 
unluckily, as he came out of the forest, stumbled on 
Castries, who at once took the alarm and began to 
retreat southwards. Sporcke, following him up, came 
upon Liickner from an unexpected direction, and by mistake 
the former fired on the latter. Castries meanwhile got 
away towards the main French army, though not without 
a blow, in passing, from Riedesel. The larger French force 
now also took alarm and began to withdraw towards 
Cassel. Ferdinand advanced too slowly to take any 
effective part in the battle, and the French would have 
made good their retreat if Granby had not suddenly 
appeared on their left rear. To enable their main body 
to continue falling back without being caught up by 
Ferdinand, it was necessary to throw out a strong force to 
engage Granby. This task was entrusted to Stainville, 
who began the attack on Granby's advanced battalions, 
which, however, soon received the support of the rest of 
his column. Stainville, who had under his orders some 
splendid infantry, occupied a strong position in a wood. 
Granby's force was not of less choice quality including 


as it did the three battalions of Guards, the British 
Grenadiers, and the Fifth (now the Northumberland Fusi- 
liers) and Eighth Foot (now the Liverpool Regiment) ; 
the only British Cavalry present being three squadrons of 
the Fifteenth and two squadrons of the Blues, under 
Colonel Harvey. Granby, after a stubborn struggle, 
seemed to be succeeding, when Ferdinand appeared and 
finished the fight. Of the French, 1,500 were killed or 
wounded, while the Fifth took 3,000 prisoners. Thus, 
notwithstanding the miscarriage of Ferdinand's plans, his 
50,000 men had driven back 70,000. In the recorded 
opinion of Frederick the Great it was Granby's fight which 
decided the day. 

The losses of the Blues at Wilhelmstahl were : 
Killed, one trooper, three horses ; wounded, five troopers, 
two horses. 

Lord Ligonier was delighted with the result of Wilhelm- 
stahl : " Granby," he declared to Newcastle, " did the 
whole business, than whom no man had ever acted with 
more courage, or more like a Commanding Officer, than 
in cutting off De Stainville's Corps from the French 
Army." As to a slight check, which was caused by 
Ligonier's own regiment, the First Foot Guards, he added 
that " Granby soon recovered it, and his Blues did almost 
beyond what was ever done by a Regiment of Cavalry." 

Granby wrote to the Commander-in-Chief in praise of 

his old regiment : 

Camp at Niedenstein, July 6th, 1762. 

I have not until now been able to wish you joy of the very great 
credit your old friends the Blues acquired on the ist of July. 1 
marched on the 3oth [June] at night from Diirrenburg to Fritzlar with 
the Blues, Elliot's, Sprengel's, and Weltheim's. There I found the 
two Battalions of Grenadiers and the two Battalions of Highlanders. 
To dislodge Rochambeau from Homberg Granby was to attack his 
left, and Lord F. Cavendish, with chasseurs and German hussars, on 
his right. The enemy began his retreat. Our Cavalry pressed to 
engage him ; Elliot's led (leaving the village of Kattsdorff on the 


right) through the enclosures and charged most gallantly, but Col. 
Harvey seeing the Enemy prepared for them and that unless the Regi- 
ment was instantly sustained it was undone, followed with rapidity 
through the village with the Blues past a rivulet that, with the narrow- 
ness of the streets and the closeness of the Enemy, impeded their 
forming ; but, as no time was to be lost, charged with them with only 6 or 
8 men in front. * This had the best effect. . . . Thus they continued 
a very long time, charging and manoeuvring with such a continuance 
as did them an honour never to be forgot, and during this time Elliot's 
were extremely useful to the Blues, though their ammunition was 
entirely expended. Our Infantry by this time got forward and, 
sustained by the Cavalry, followed the Enemy at least a league and 
a half. . . . 

I can never sufficiently commend the gallantry and good conduct of 
the Blues and Eliott's, nor enough express the obligations I have to 
Colonel Harvey, Colonel Erskine, Major Forbes, and Major Ainslie 
as well as the rest of the officers. Neither would I be thought to omit 
the Infantry, who showed the same readiness they have ever done. 

(Hist. MSS., Duke of Rutland.} 

The London Gazette says of this engagement : 

The situation of the two regiments [the Blues and Elliot's] was at 
this time very critical ; but the mutual support which they gave each 
other Elliot's Dragoons [the Fifteenth] by their continual skirmishing 
with the enemy ; and the Blues by their manoeuvres in squadrons, and 
by their steady countenance, kept the enemy at bay till the infantry 
could come up. 

By the end of August the French were expelled from 
Hesse. Passing by, as irrelevant to our immediate aim, 
the details of the campaign during the two months and a 
half immediately following the coup at Wilhelmstahl, we 
proceed at once to describe the military situation in mid- 
September, 1762. The French had been marching from 
Giessen, thirty-five miles due north of Frankfurt, arriving 
at the Ohm, where their left rested on Marburg and their 
right opposite Homberg. Ferdinand was encamped on 
the right bank of the Ohm, his left being at Homberg and 
his right on Kirchhain. Both armies had Cassel 
.between thirty and forty miles to the north-east as their 

* /. e. abreast. 


objective, Ferdinand hoping to reduce that city and the 
enemy striving to cut him off from it. Lord Granby, who 
commanded on the Allied left, had under his orders a 
strong division consisting largely of German infantry and 
cavalry. The British part of his force was made up of 
three Battalions of Foot Guards, three of Grenadiers, and 
two of Highlanders, with three squadrons of the First 
Dragoon Guards, and three of the Blues. On September 2ist 
there was a severe fight for the stone mill-bridge of 
Briickemiihle, the French early in the morning opening fire 
on the redoubt constructed by the Allies to defend their 
end of the bridge. Zastrow was in command of the 
Allies at this point, with Wangenheim's corps on his left, 
and Granby's at Kirchhain on his right. The French 
continued to bring up guns for the cannonade of the 
redoubt there were thirty in all and the infantry tried to 
take the bridge. At ten o'clock Granby was ordered up 
to support the centre. The French artillery had sensibly 
the better of the duel. Late in the afternoon Granby's 
British infantry had reinforced Zastrow, the French also 
being strengthened by fresh battalions. The redoubt, 
which held only a few men at a time, was filled in turn 
by relays of Germans and British. At last, in the evening, 
the French made a desperate effort to rush the bridge, 
but were finally repulsed from the redoubt, and thus 
their attempt to cross the Ohm had failed. The Allies 
lost between 700 and 800 men, over a third being 
British. The French loss reached 1,200. In the sequel 
Ferdinand within a few weeks besieged Cassel, and on 
November ist it fell. 

So ended the campaign, and with it the war. 

The paper strength of the Blues at the end of the war 
was 518. They returned to England in the spring of 
*763, but not before the Regiment had been subjected to a 
drastic process of reduction from fifty-two to twenty-nine men 

H.C. ii. H H 


per troop.* The discharged troopers received allowances 
on a scale none too generous. Every man who could 
show a twelvemonth's service was permitted, before his 
embarkation, to sell his horse and take the proceeds, while 
on arrival in England he was allowed nine days' pay. 
Those who had served for a less period received, as their 
sole money allowance, eighteen days' pay. All alike were 
presented with their clothes and cloaks. With rare 
exceptions, it was forty years before the Blues were 
accorded any employment about the Court, the Regiment 
being almost constantly absent from London. 

* The warrant, dated December 24th, 1762, was carried out in 
February, 1763. 


ON Lord Granby's return home in February, 1763, 
he was warmly welcomed by his Sovereign, who 
further favoured the distinguished soldier, at 
the great Hyde Park review held on June 4th, by 
according him the post of honour. On this occasion the 
Fifteenth took the King's duty a compliment well earned 
by their brilliant achievements during the war. 

On the other hand, the Blues were denied any share in 
the public welcome given to their Commander. For five 
tedious years they had been undergoing the hardships of 
a succession of prolonged and arduous campaigns reap- 
ing renown for themselves whenever they were given the 
chance, but doing their duty none the less sturdily and 
honourably on the many occasions when there was little 
or no likelihood of winning applause. We meet with no 
record of the slightest public acknowledgment of their 
services, whose sole reward was that, of the whole number 
of these war-worn veterans, nearly one-half were turned 
adrift with a " gratuity " obtained by the forced sale of a 
used-up war-horse, plus a few days' pay and the gift of 
some old clothes ; while the remainder, on their return 
home, were relegated to the obscurity of the provinces. 

The plea that it was thought only just that a corps 
which had been harassed by years of active service should 
" have time to recruit," lacks even superficial plausibility. 
The true explanation which is also a warning is that 
the England of that day, like the England of periods less 
remote, was cursed with politicians whose regard for the 

H H 2 


national safety visibly embodied in the efficiency of the 
Army and the Navy was infinitely less than their zeal 
to win those smaller ends for which such men live. The 
banishment of the Blues was due, no doubt, either to 
political intrigues or to popular apathy. 

So the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards repaired to 
the Midlands. As has been already stated, during the 
next forty years they were hardly ever called upon to 
discharge the special functions to which they had for 
a century been accustomed. In point of fact, the Blues 
performed the King's duty at a review held on June a6th, 
1765, and were themselves reviewed on various occasions 
at Blackheath ; while during the whole period from 
May 25th, 1788, to June 4th, 1789, in which the Life Guards 
were being re-organised, their duty was taken over by the 
Royal Regiment.* Except, however, for fitful appearances 
in London on special occasions, the Blues remained in 
their quarters at Northampton, Hertford, Stamford, Derby, 
Leicester, Nottingham, and other towns f in that part 
of the country, where their presence was greatly 

The courtesy of the Town Clerk of Nottingham, Samuel 
Johnson, Esq., has rendered accessible for the purposes 
of the present work several interesting excerpts from a 
municipal record entitled " The Nottingham Date-Book,' 1 
which illustrate some prominent incidents in the usually 
uneventful history of the Regiment during the last four 
decades of the eighteenth century ; together with a single 
extract from " The Council Minute-Book " of the Corpora- 
tion of Nottingham. 

* 1776, May 25th. Gen. Conway is asked by the Commr.-in-Chief 
if the Blues would like to take temporary duty at the Whitehall. 
(Commv. -in-Chief 's Letter-Book.) 

f On September i6th, 1788, a troop of the Blues was ordered to 
Ware to protect the excise officers. 


November 4, 1763. The Royal Regiment of Horse Guards (Blue) 
were reviewed in Sneinton Meadow (then uninclosed), by General 
Elliott, the gallant defender of Gibraltar, in the presence of the Duke 
of Rutland, the Marquis of Granby, and a prodigious concourse of 

October 25, 1783. The Royal Regiment of Horse Guards (Blue) 
was reviewed in Sneinton Meadows by the Right Hon. Lord Geo. 
Henry Lennox, brother of the Duke of Richmond. The Duke and 
Duchess of Rutland, the principal nobility and gentry of the 
neighbourhood, and an incredible number of spectators were present. 

October 25, 1790. Two troops of the Royal Regiment of Horse 
Guards (Blue) arrived in Nottingham, having been sent for from 
Peterborough, in anticipation of a framework-knitters' riot, the hosiers 
having reduced their wages. In the evening, many of the workmen 
assembled in the Market-place, and after huzzaing, went in a body to 
several parts of the town, breaking windows, dismantling frames, and 
compelling others to quit their work. The military were called out, 
and patrolled the streets to a late hour. 

The next day (Tuesday) several hundred of the hands from the 
adjacent villages poured into the town to reinforce their brethren in 
tribulation, but found the authorities fully prepared for them. 

The trumpets sounded to arms, and in a few seconds the soldiers 
were drawn up in the Market-place. The Mayor then came up, and 
the military, by word of command, encircled him. His Worship read 
the Riot Act, and coming out of the circle ordered the people to dis- 
perse. They very reluctantly obeyed. Proclamations, signed by the 
Mayor, were then circulated from door to door, in which all house- 
keepers were strictly charged to keep in their servants and apprentices 
after six in the evening, and every precautionary measure adopted. 
The discontented, however, reassembled in great numbers, and pur- 
sued their favourite pastime of breaking windows. In clearing the 
streets of them the military apprehended thirty-seven and lodged them 
in prison. Several more were apprehended on Wednesday, and Captain 
Jefferson received a wound on the back of his head by a glass bottle 
being thrown at him. Beyond this and the breaking of a few windows 
nothing arose to disturbe the public tranquility. 

October, 1801. The Royal Regiment of Horse Guards was 
succeeded at the Barracks by the King's Regiment of Dragoon 

The following is an extract from the Council Minute- 
Book of the Corporation of Nottingham, July 2nd, 1779 : 

ORDERED and Agreed that the Chamberlains pay the sum of 
Twenty Guineas to the Regiment of Blues for their services assisting in 


the Civil Majistrates in keeping the Peace of this Town and Quelling 
the late Riots. 

The stay of the Regiment at Nottingham is memorable 
on another account. To the Blues belongs the credit of 
being the first regiment to recognise the necessity of 
definite instruction in riding. They were the first to 
build themselves a riding-school, which they did at 
Nottingham at a cost of 400. The structure was 
officially reported to be fully sufficient for all necessary 
work, and when inquiry was made (January 26th, 1773) 
by the Commander-in-Chief for information as to the 
expense of building riding-houses, the Nottingham school 
was referred to (February 24th) as a model.* 

The Blues' sojourn at Leicester was on one occasion 
marked by a royal visit. In 1768 the King of Denmark, 
husband of an English Princess, travelling from York to 
London, paid what was intended to be a surprise visit to 
Leicester, where he arrived at the " Cranes ' Inn about 
eight o'clock on a Sunday morning, September 4th. News 
of his arrival had, however, leaked out, and part of the 
Regiment of Blues was drawn up to receive His Majesty, 
who according to the Leicester Journal " got out of his 
carriage, went into one of the parlours, threw up the sash, 
showed himself, and bowed to the people, and behaved 
with great affability and condescension." He also sent 
for the officer in command of the hastily improvised guard 
of honour, and conversed with him for some time, making 
many inquiries about the Regiment. He also told him 
that three days previously, while travelling at high speed 
on a bad road, his carriage had broken down, and he had 
been obliged to climb out through the window. 

There is a record that on July I5th, 1801, when two of 

* CAn-C. Letter-Book for these dates. 


its troops were quartered at Leicester, six officers were 
initiated into the mysteries of Freemasonry at the 
St. John Lodge. Amongst them was Cornet (afterwards 
the "gallant Major") Packe, who fell at Waterloo, and 
whose son, Captain Edmund Packe, was the author of 
the well-known Historical Record of the Royal Horse Guards 
(Blue), published in 1834. 

Amongst long-standing abuses in the Army was the 
system of " False Musters," which continued in full work- 
ing order as late as 1763. In that year the resolution 
was at last taken for its total abolition. A Royal Order 
of December 3oth, 1763, signed, " North, John Turner, 
Tho. Orby Hunter," and addressed to Lord Holland as 
Paymaster-General of the Forces, recites the long- 
established custom of allowing a number of fictitious 
names upon the Muster Rolls of the Life Guards and 
Horse Grenadier Guards, in order to increase the Pay of 
the Officers ; also of allowing one fictitious name per 
Company upon the Muster Rolls of the several Regiments 
for the service of the Agent and Solicitor. It is then 
ordered that the practice of employing fictitious names 
shall be no longer allowed upon the Muster Rolls as 
formerly, but that, instead thereof, in the Debentures to be 
made out for the pay of the troops, the full pay of six 
private gentlemen of each Troop of the Life Guards, and 
of twenty-nine private Men of each Troop of Horse 
Grenadier Guards, and also the full pay of one Man for 
each Company of the several Regiments, over and above 
the usual allowance to the Agent and Solicitor, is to be 
computed and included. 

On February nth, 1767, was issued a warrant for 
regulating the attendance of Officers belonging to the 
several regiments of cavalry, namely, the Blues, Dragoon 
Guards, and Dragoons, by which it is ordered, " For the 
more effectual maintenance of good order and discipline 


in our Royal Regiment of Horse Guards and in our 
Regiments of Dragoon Guards and Dragoons," that one 
Field Officer be always present with the Regiment, one 
Captain with each Squadron, and one Subaltern with 
each Troop, and that a monthly return of their attendance 
be made to the Secretary at War and to the Adjutant- 
General.* Every Officer on appointment is to join his 
Regiment within four months, and every officer who has 
not served in any other Cavalry regiment is to remain in 
Quarters till he shall be perfected in Riding and all 
regimental duty. Moreover, " all officers, while present 
with their Corps, are constantly to wear uniform." 

The laxity of the rule allowing an officer four months in 
which to join his regiment contrasts curiously with the 
strictness of some other regulations. 

An Order dated February 25th, 1784, dealing with 
allowances for postage, stationery, guard-rooms, etc., 
specifically excepts the Regiments of Horse and Foot 
Guards, as does an Order of December 22nd, 1784, 
respecting the discharging of soldiers, and the casting of 
regimental horses. 

" James II. framed some similar regulations in 1686. Vide 
CHAPTER XXII., p. 212 


IT was still as ever no insignificant part of the duties 
assigned to both Life Guards and Blues to aid in the 
preservation of public order. In 1765 the Spital- 
fields weavers * began rioting in London. Walpole 
writes to the Earl of Hertford, May 2Oth, 1765 : 

I mentioned the mob of Weavers. On Friday a well-disciplined 
mob repaired to Westminster, with red and black flags. The same 
evening they assaulted Bedford House, and began to pull down the 
walls, and tried to force their way into the garden. After reading the 
proclamation, the gates of the court were thrown open, and sixty 
soldiers marched out. The mob fled, but were met by some Horse 
Guards and much trampled and cut about, but no lives lost. 

On Sunday I found so large a throng that I could scarcely get 
through, though in my chariot. The glass of Lord Grosvenor's Coach 
was broken, and Lady Cork's chair was demolished. I found Bedford 
House a perfect Garrison, sustaining a siege the court full of Horse 
Guards, Constables, and Gentlemen. The mob grew so riotous that 
both Horse and Foot Guards had to parade the Square before the 
tumult was dispersed. 

In the following letter Lord Barrington, as Secretary 
at War, formally authorises the troops to aid the Civil 

power : 

War Office, 24th September, 1766. 

the present riotous assemblings on account of the high prices of corn 
and provisions in many parts of the kingdom having made it necessary 
for the Magistrates to call in a Military Force to their assistance, and 
there being reason to apprehend that the same disorder may continue 
and spread farther, I think it proper to send you enclosed an order for 
aiding and assisting the Civil Magistrates in the neighbourhood of your 
Quarters, in case they should have occasion, upon any riots or 
disturbances, to apply to you ; and upon receipt of this, you will be 
pleased to wait on the Magistrates of the neighbourhood, and give 
them information of the directions you have received for the more early 
prevention of these disturbances. 

* There had been weavers' riots in 1719 : vide p. 348. 


I am persuaded there is no occasion for me to caution you to take 
great care that the troops under your command do not at all interfere 
in any of these things but at such times as they shall be required by 
the Civil Magistrates, who best will judge when they stand in need of 
Military assistance. 

The above letter was addressed to Lieutenant-Colonel 
Kellet, or the Officer commanding the Royal Regiment of 
Horse Guards at York, and similar letters were sent to 
nineteen other Commanding Officers. 

Accordingly, when the Wilkes riots occurred in London 
during the years 1768 and 1769, the Life Guards were 
" brought out ostentatiously each day till the loth of May, 
when the new Parliament met " * a proceeding which 
effectually overawed the rioters, although it is said to have 
" irritated the populace." For several successive years 
popular disturbances were suppressed by detachments of 
Life Guards. During a particularly disorderly period, in 
1776, Dr. Johnson said, " The character of our own 
Government at present is imbecility. The magistrates 
dare not call the Guards, for fear of being hanged. The 
Guards will not come, for fear of being given up to the 
blind rage of popular juries. "f ^ n I 7^> occurred the 
fanatical riots connected with the name of Lord George 
Gordon, the suppression of which needed the efforts, not 
merely of the Guards, but of twenty other regiments 
besides. The painful task of describing them has been 
effectually performed for all time in the picturesque pages 
of Barnaby Rudge. 

On June 6th, 1780, " Lord Sandwich was the victim 
of a gross outrage, being torn out of his carriage, 
which was broken to pieces. He was badly hurt and 
was rescued with difficulty by the Life Guards. 

Although in 1765 Lord Rockingham's Ministry had 

* Wright, England under the House of Hanover, i. 438. 
f Boswell, ed. Croker, p. 509. 


abolished the dangerous and unconstitutional practice of 
removing military officers on account of their votes in 
Parliament, soldiers who had votes were still expected to 
poll in favour of the Ministerial candidates. The direct 
intervention of the Crown at parliamentary elections, by 
means of political pressure brought to bear on private 
soldiers as voters, is exemplified by a letter written by 
George the Third to Lord North, on October, loth 1774.* 
" I have apprised Lord Delawarrf to have the Horse & 
Grenadier Guards privately spoke to for their votes ; they 
have a large number of votes " ; and two days later His 
Majesty writes, " I can scarce credit the report of Lord 
Harrington J having solicited his Troop in favour of Lord 

A caricature by Gillray, published in 1784, relates to 
the pressure including strong Court influence under 
which soldier-voters were induced to support Admiral 
Hood and Sir Cecil Wray against Fox, as parliamentary 
candidates for Westminster. Fox's placards made a great 
point of Wray's scheme for saving money by the abolition 
of Chelsea Hospital and the taxation of maidservants. 
Gillray's scurrility thus finds vent : 

All Horse Guards, Grenadier Guards, Foot Guards, and Blackguards, 
that have not polled for the destruction of Chelsea Hospital and the tax 
on Maidservants, are desired to meet at the Gutter Hole opposite the 
Horse Guards, where they will have a full bumper of knock-me- 
down and plenty of soapsuds before they go to poll for Sir C. Wray, 
or eat. 

N.B. Those that have no shoes or stockings may come without, 
there being a quantity of wooden shoes provided for them. 

The King worked desperately against Fox, and received 
daily and hourly intelligence of the state of the poll, which 

* Clode. 

| Lord Delawarr commanded the First Troop of Life Guards. 
J Lord Harrington commanded the Second Troop of Horse Grenadier 

Wright, England under the House of Hanover, ii. 106. 


lasted from April ist till May lyth. Two hundred and 
eighty Guards were sent to vote as householders, which 
Walpole said was legal, but was what his father, Sir 
Robert, " would never have dared to do." Fox eventually 
came in by a majority of 236 over his former follower, 
Wray. Lord Hood brought up a lot of sailors (or ruffians 
dressed in sailors' clothes) who prevented Fox's men from 
polling. The sailors had a desperate row with the chair- 
men, which was eventually checked by the Guards. 

Lord Granby was unfortunately drawn into the vortex 
of politics. In the position of Commander-in-Chief, to 
which he succeeded in 1766, he had been assailed by 
" Junius," who said that he had degraded his high office 
to that of " a broker in commissions." The accusation 
was subsequently entirely retracted by the literary assassin, 
who frankly averred that his only wish was to damage the 
Grafton ministry. But Granby like other great soldiers 
before and after him was neither so steady nor so suc- 
cessful in politics as in arms. Early in 1770 he made a 
public recantation of the views he had previously expressed 
at the Middlesex election; and on January I7th, 1770, he 
was received in audience by the King, when, actuated by 
honourable scruples, he resigned into His Majesty's hands 
the offices of Commander-in-Chief and the Mastership of 
the Ordnance, retaining only the colonelcy of the Blues, 
which he did not deem a political post.* The King 
appealed earnestly to Granby's attachment and loyalty, 
and Granby himself was overcome with emotion in relin- 
quishing his great appointments in the Army ; but he felt 
bound in duty to follow Lord Chatham. On October i8th, 
in the same year, Granby, worn out by public disappoint- 
ment and worried by private embarrassments, died with 
almost tragic suddenness at Scarborough at the age of 

* Wellington, half a century later, pertinaciously maintained that 
it was. 


forty-nine.* The King, who had for some time determined 
on his successor in the colonelcy of the Blues, instantly 
wrote to Lord North : 

October 21, 1770. 

As I doubt not you will hear of applications for the Royal 
Regiment of Horse Guards on the death of the Marquis of Granby, I 
think it right to acquaint you that Lieut, -General Conway, whilst 
Secretary of State, and again on resigning that office, had the promise 
that he should succeed to that corps. 

I shall therefore immediately send to Lord Harrington to make out 
the notification. 


His Majesty wrote also to Conway direct : 


I choose to acquaint you that I have directed Lord Harrington 
to notify you as Colonel of the Royal Reg 1 of Horse Guards. I shall 
therefore expect to receive you in that capacity on Wednesday. 


The King's action in the matter very nearly gave rise 
to a grave difficulty, for Henry Fox as responsible minister 
in the House of Commons had officially promised the 
reversion of the Regiment to the Duke of Richmond. The 
King perhaps considered that the promise made to the 
Duke when he was a youthful courtier was cancelled 
now that seven years later he had become an active 
politician on the Opposition side. The Duke, making a 
virtue of necessity, wrote to the King : 

Goodwood, October 2ist, 1770. 

It is with the most profound respect that I beg leave to address 
your Majesty. 

* Granby's great popularity with the Army was the reason why so 
many taverns came to be named " The Marquess of Granby." The 
first sign of the kind appeared over an inn at Hounslow kept by an 
ex-trooper of the Blues. 

J 773> July 1 3th. Gen. Harvey, writing to the officers of the Blues, 
thanks them for sending him a medal in remembrance of the Marquess 
of Granby. He is " happy to find that a corps which will ever do 
honour to the officers it may serve under pays a grateful tribute to a 
character of such worth." 


Lord Holland having informed me in the year 1763 of your 
Majesty's gracious promise, of honouring me with the command of 
the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards Blue, upon the death of Marshal 
Ligonier, when your Majesty intended to give the First Regiment 
of Foot Guards to Lord Granby, I should have thought it my duty to 
have applied to your Majesty on that event, had I not learned at the 
same time of another disposition having taken place, whereby the Blues 
did not then become vacant. 

But as I have heard this morning that Lord Granby is deceased, I 
hope your Majesty will excuse my taking the liberty humbly to renew 
to your Majesty the deep sense I feel of your Majesty's goodness, and 
to express the ambition I shall have upon all occasions of serving your 
Majesty in any capacity I may be thought equal to ; but as many 
circumstances have happened since the time of your Majesty's gracious 
message to me by Lord Holland, and as possibly it might be more con- 
venient for your Majesty's present arrangements, if this engagement did 
not subsist, I most humbly presume to beg of your Majesty, if this 
should be the case, to permit me to relinquish this claim to the Blues, 
which your Majesty has formerly given me with so much goodness, and 
to assure your Majesty that no situation, however desirable, can equal 
the satisfaction I shall have in proving the attachment, respect, and 
duty with which I most humbly entreat your Majesty's permission to 
subscribe myself, 


Your Majesty's most loyal and obedient subject 
and servant, 


To this outwardly deferential but inwardly ironical letter 
no answer was returned. Walpole says that the incident 
caused a great coolness between the disappointed and the 
successful candidates for the colonelcy, and that he himself 
was afterwards the means of reconciling them. The Duke, 
however, in spite of his letter to the King, resented for 
many years what he considered a breach of faith, and 
when paying his duty to the Queen was in the habit of 
withdrawing without approaching His Majesty. 

The new Colonel of the Blues provoked the royal dis- 
favour two years later by his remarks on the Royal 
Marriage Act when in Committee, and the King was 
only pacified by Conway's promise not to pay his respects 
to the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. He again irritated 


his Sovereign in 1776 by voting against the Address on the 
ground that it approved of the American War. In May of 
that year, on the occasion of an inspection of the Blues, 
the King in order to annoy Conway found much fault with 
the officers and said most unjustly, " I wish I could see the 
Blues behave as well as they used to do." * Conway 
simply replied that he regretted His Majesty should lay 
blame on the officers merely to mortify the Colonel. 

The heartburnings which attached to the succession to 
the Colonelcy of the Blues testify perhaps to the accuracy 
of Walpole's remark, that it was "the most agreeable post 
in the Army." t 

* Walpole, Reign of George the Third. 

j- Walpole to Sir Horace Mann, November i2th, 1770. 


IN the last quarter of the eighteenth century it had 
become evident that the Life Guards were in need 
of thorough reorganisation on a fresh basis. The 
corps hadlong ceased to be composed of noblemen and 
gentlemen. High birth had been superseded by hard cash 
as a key for entrance into the Troops of Life Guards. The 
change was not for the better, and it was felt that the time 
had come for doing away with the pretence to enforce a 
principle of selection long obsolete. The Private Gentle- 
men of His Majesty's Life Guards were still, however, to 
be men of unblemished character and belonging to families 
of the highest respectability a regulation in force to this 
day and unique in the Army. The Life Guards were to 
retain their privileges, inclusive of their right of precedence 
over all other troops, but their organisation was to be 
assimilated more nearly to that of the rest of the Army by 
the absorption of the Horse Grenadiers* and the formation 
of the whole corps into two Regiments of Life Guards. 

The Duke of York,f writing from London on July 26th, 
1788, to Earl Cornwallis, says : 

... I have no doubt that Your Lordship will not regret the reduc- 
tion of the four Troops of Horse Guards and Horse Grenadiers as they 
were the most useless & the most unmilitary Troops that ever were seen. 
I confess that I was a little sorry for the Horse Grenadiers because they 
were to a degree Soldiers, but the Horse Guards were nothing but a 
collection of London Tradespeople. 

* It is curious to note an announcement in the Times of April 5th, 
1860: "On March 28th, at Abbotts, near Honiton, aged 84, Sophia, 
relict of the late R. Weeks, Esq., formerly Captain of the Horse 
Grenadier Guards." 

) The Duke had been col. of the 2nd tp. of H. Gren. Gds, 1782-4. 


If the two new Regiments keep exactly to the standard they have 
settled they will be the finest bodies of men that ever were seen, the 
tallest not to exceed six foot one, the shortest five foot eleven. . . 
(Comwallis Papers.) 

The standard physical and moral of the two 
Regiments has more than fulfilled the Duke of York's 

The change was effected by Royal Proclamation : 


WHEREAS we have thought fit to order our First Troop of 
Horse Guards, commanded by our right trusty and entirely beloved 
cousin, Lieut. - General William Marquis of Lothian, and our 
Second Troop of Horse Guards, commanded by our right trusty and 
well-beloved counsellor General Jeffery Lord Amherst, to be com- 
pletely formed into Regiments of Life Guards, and their Establishments 
and Pay as such to commence the 25th June, 1788 ; and whereas it is 
become necessary, by the said Troops being formed into Regiments of 
Life Guards, that their former titles as Troops of Horse Guards should 
be altered and their future rank ascertained, 

OUR ROYAL WILL AND PLEASURE is that our First Troop of 
Horse Guards now under the command of Lieut.-General the Marquis 
of Lothian, shall bear the title of our First Regiment of Life Guards, 
and our Second Troop of Horse Guards now under the command of 
General Lord Amherst, the title of our Second Regiment of Life 
Guards, and shall have the same precedence respectively in our service 
which they now hold as Troops of Horse Guards. Whereof the 
Colonels for the time being of our said Regiments of Life Guards and 
all others whom it may or shall concern to take notice and govern 
themselves accordingly. 

Given at our Court of Saint James's, this 8th day of June, 1788, in 
the twenty- eighth year of our reign. 

By His Majesty's Command, 


Several months before the transformation was effected, 
the Commanding Officers of the two Troops of Lifeguards, 
the Marquess of Lothian and Lord Amherst, were notified 
of the King's intention : 

W. O., 14 March, 1788, 

I have it in Command from the King to acqt Your Lordship, that 
H.M. has been pleased to Order the following Changes to be made in 

H.C. II. I * 


the Establishment of the Horse Guards & Horse Grenadier Guards 
from the 25th day of June next inclusive. 

The Two Troops of Horse Guards are to be formed into two 
Regts. of Life Guards, each consisting of Two Hundred and thirty 
Men, Officers included, the particulars of which Establishment together 
with the pay Annexed to each Rank, and the respective allowances for 
Clothing and other purposes, are specified in the Paper hereunto 
Annexed [Enclosure] ; in explanation of which I have to observe 
that the Pay assigned to the Non-Commis d Officers & Private Men 
includes a consideration for the Mens being at the expence of their 
own lodgings ; And whenever that expence shall be obviated by 
their being lodged at the Public Charge, a suitable deduction in Aid 
of such Charge will be made from the pay of each Man, not exceeding 
fourpence p. Diem. 

The first Regt. of Life Guards is to be under Your Lordships 
command as Colonel, And the Second under the Command of 
Lord Amherst. 

The Officers for the said Regts. are to be appointed in such manner 
as shall be thought fit by H.M., who will signify to Your Lordship, 
and to Lord Amherst His Royal Pleasure thereupon. 

Those Officers who may not be selected for Commissions in the new 
Regts. will be continued on their present Pay (subject however to a 
deduction of 35 per diem each in like manner, and upon the same 
principles, as were observed upon the Reduction of the Third & 
Fourth Troops of Horse Guards in 1746). They are also to retain 
their Rank and claim to future Service, and promotion in the Army ; 
And their pretensions to dispose of such Commissions as they shall 
have purchased. 

The Private Gentlemen now serving in the Horse Guards are to be 
dismissed, receiving at the public Charge a reasonable compensation 
for their admittance Money, according to such proportion, and in such 
manner as shall be previously agreed upon by Your Lordship, & 
Lord Amherst ; the said Compensation not to exceed in any instance 
the Sum originally paid on Admittance. 

As the Troops of Horse Grenadier Guards will be discontinued on 
the Establishment from Midsummer next, the new Regts. of Life 
Guards are to be recruited both in men and Horses by a transfer of 
such of their private Men and Horses as shall be found fit for Service ; 
with the addition of such of the Men of the present Troops of Horse 
Guards as being fitt shall be willing to re-engage under the direction 
and approbation of Your Lordship, and Lord Amherst for your Respec- 
tive Corps. All the Horses of the Grenadier Guards are therefore to 
be transferred for the service of the said new Regts. of Life Guards, 
and such as shall not be fitt or wanted to compleat the same are to be 
sold for the use of the Remount Fund of the said new Regts. & the 
produce accounted for by them accordingly. 

The Clothing and appointments are to be conformable to y e Patterns 


exhibited to the King about Christmas last, & then approved by 
H. Majesty. 

Your Lordship is to have the full management, as at present, of the 
Clothing, Recruiting, Remounting, Training, Disciplining, and Ordering 
of your Regt., excepting that you are not to derive any Profits from 
the Funds borne on the Establishment and appropriated to the pur- 
poses of Clothing, Remounting and Subsisting the same, a separate 
allowance being now to be granted in lieu of all Emoluments whatsoever 
heretofore rec d or claimed by the Colonels of the Horse Guards. 

His M. will of course expect that your Regt be constantly kept 
complete both in men and Horses to the full Establishment thereof ; 
and in the event of any Deficiencies (which can only be accidental and 
temporary, as no fixed Vacancies are to be admitted under the head 
of contingent or Warrant Men, or other Description of Non-effectives) 
the Savings arising therefrom, or from any other causes, in the several 
Funds provided for Clothing, Remounting, & Subsistence of Men & 
Horses are to be deemed Public Money and accounted for as such by 
Your Lordship. And a state of such Savings is regularly to be made 
up, & delivered to H.M. at the end of each Year. 

I am commanded to add that though the alterations above directed 
are not to take place untill Midsummer next, Yet it is H.M. desire that 
every practicable Arrangement may be immediately made for carrying 
the same into execution. 

I have, &c., 

(Signed) GEO. YONGE. 

Lt. Genl. 

the Marquis of Lothian.* 

An identical letter was addressed to General Lord 


* Wm. Jno. Kerr, Id. Newbattle, cornet nth dragoons '54, capt. ?, 
major igth dr. '59, It. col. i2th dr. '60, of 7th dr. guards '66, of Scots 
tp. horse gren. gds '71. Succ. as mqs. of Lothian '75, col. ist tp. Life 
Gds '77, of ist reg' Life Gds '88-9. gen 1 '96, col. n drag. '98, of Scots 
Greys, 1813, d. '15. For the circumstances of his dismissal from the 
colonelcy of the ist L. Gds. see APPENDIX. 

f Sir Jeffrey Amherst, K.B., capt. & It.-col. grenadier guards '45, col. 
1 5th ft. '56, of 6oth '58, governor & c.-in-c. in N. America '58-64: 
achievements, capture of Louisbourg and Fort du Quesne 1758, of 
Niagara, Ticonderoga, Crown Point & Quebec 1759, of Fort Levi & 
Montreal 1760, & of St. Johns N'foundland 1762. Resigned com- 
missns. '68, but soon after col. 3rd foot and again col.-in-chief 6oth 
reg* of foot ; cr. baron Amherst of Holmesdale '76, col. 2nd tp. H. 
Gren. Gds '79. col. 2nd tp. L. Gds '82 & of 2ndregt. L. Gds '88; field 
marshal, & c.-in-c. '88 ; d. '97. 

I I 2 


Enclosed with the foregoing letter are the Particulars of 
the Establishment of the newly-constituted Regiments :- 

Pay per diem. For 365 days, 
i Colonel . . . . . . i 16 o 657 o o 
i L. Colonel i n o 565 15 o 
i Major i 6 o 474 10 o 
4 Captains, each i6s 340 1,168 o o 
4 Lieutenants, each us. . . .240 803 o o 
i Lieut. & Adjt. . . . . . o n o 200 15 o 
4 Cornets, each 8s.* . . . i 12 o 584 o o 
i Surgeon . . . .080 146 o o 
4 Qr. Masrs., each 6s. . . . .140 438 o o 
8 Corporals, each 2s.| . . i 6 o 474 10 o 
Horses, each is. 30. ( 
Clothing, each 6d. . . . .040 73 o o 
4 Trumpeters, each 2s. 6d. . . .0100 182 10 o 
i Kettle Drummer . . . .026 45 126 
196 Privates, each is. 6d.} 
Horses, each i*. 3 d. j ' 9' 8 3 6 '5 
Clothing, each 6d 4 18 o 1,788 10 o 

230 47 15 6 

I7>437 J 7 
. 1,200 o 

. 400 o 
146 o 


Allowance to the Colonel in lieu of) 
Cloth* & all other Emoluments J 
Allowance for Remounting 
Allowance to the Agent 

Total . 
Another Regt. of like Numbers .... 

i Chaplain for both Regts. .... 
Total . 

P9.I83 17 
19,183 17 


38,367 15 

121 13 


38,489 8 


The following relates to the Officers not selected for 
Commissions in the new Regiments : 

Per diem. Per Annum. 
Lieutenant Colonel . . . .140 438 o o 
i Major i i o 383 o o 

Second Troop of the same number of rates 
i Chaplain 068 

821 5 
. 821 5 

121 13 



^764 3 


* Fixed at 8s. 6d. 


Like letter & Establishment of the same date to the Right 
Honble General Lord Amherst. 

To Lord Howard de Walden as Colonel of the First 
Troop of Horse Grenadier Guards, and to the Duke of 
Northumberland as Colonel of the Second Troop, formal 
notice was given of the impending changes : 

W. O., 14 March 1788. 

The King having thought fit to order, that the Two Troops of 
Horse Guards shall be formed into two Regts of Life Guards under the 
Command of their present Colonels; And that the Two Troops of 
Horse Grenadier Guards shall be discont d . on y e Establishmt. ; I 
have the honor to acqt. your Grace therewith, & that the said Changes 
are to take Place from the 25 day of next June inclusive. 

His M. is pleased to permit the Officers of the Grenadier Guards to 
retain their Rank & Claim to future Service & promotion in the Army, 
& their pretensions to sell such of their Commissions as they may 
have purchased. 

I enclose for your Graces inform" a state of the Pay which the 
King has assigned to the several Officers on the reduction of the Troop 
under your Graces Command ; in explanation of which, I have to add, 
that a Sum equal to the Allowances some of them enjoyed under the 
head of Non Effective or Warrant Men is included in the rate of 
their Pay ; and that the Deduction of 35 per Diem from the Pay & 
allowances of the Officers therein specified is made in the same manner 
& upon the same principle as were observed on the Reduction of the 
3 d & 4 Troops of Horse Guards in the Year 1746. 

Such of the private Men of Your Graces Troop as shall be approved 
by the Colonels of the new Regts. of Life Guards are to be transferred 
thereto, & be thereupon entitled to the Pay of One Shilling & Sixpence 
per Diem, including Four Pence a Day Lodging Money. 

All the horses of the Non Comm d Officers & Private Men of the 
Troop are likewise to be transferred to the Life Guards either for 
Service in the same or to be sold by them and the produce to be carried 
to the credit of the Remount Fund of the said Regt. 

I have, &c. 

(Signed) GEO. YONGE. 
His Grace 

The Duke of Northumberland* 

Colonel of the 2 d Troop 

of Horse Grenadier Guards. 

* Hugh, earl Percy, b. 1742, ens. 24th foot '59, capt. 85th foot '59, 
served in the Seven Years' War, capt. & It. col. Gren. Gds '62, col. 5th 


A similar communication was made to Lord Howard 
de Walden.* 

Lord Howard de Walden on his own and the Duke of 
Northumberland's behalf at once took steps to inquire as 
to a just provision being made for the disbanded officers 
of the Horse Grenadier Guards, and received the following 
reply : 

W. O., 2 ^th March, 1788. 

. . . Should any of the said Officers be hereafter promoted without 
purchase, & afterwards be desirous of retiring, he will be entitled to 
sell for so much as he had given for his commissions in the Grenadiers, 
not exceeding the regulated price of the commission to be vacated by 
his retiring ; & in case of purchasing forward, he will be entitled by the 
custom of the army to sell the situation from which he is advanced, 
although he had not purchased it. 

In cases where the Officers of the reduced Troops may happen to 
die, or be promoted in the army without purchase, the pay & rank 
which they now hold by virtue of their appointmts in the Grena" are 
entirely to cease & determine. 

Every Officer who sells, will sell the rank as well as the pay attached 
to his situation. 

It is H.M's. intention to leave it in the option of the Officers to 
accept or decline the military appointments which may hereafter be 
offered to them ; unless they should be called upon to serve in the 
Regts. of Life Guards, when such option may not be left to them. 

The sale of these commissions will be limited to the conferring of 
one step of rank & pay ; that is, the Lt. Col. may not sell to a Captn, 
nor to a brevet Major having pay only of Captn., the Major may sell 
only to a Captain, the Lt. & Captn., only to a Lieut*, not under two 
years standing as Lieut*., the sub- Lieut*., to a Cornet or Ensign. 

The allowance to the riding Master not appearing on the Establish- 
ment cannot with any propriety be continued to him beyond the 24th 
of June ; he must share the same fate as the rest of the non-com d . & 
warrant Officers. 

foot '68, A.D.C. to the King, commanded a brigade in America & dis- 
tinguished himself in the retreat from Concord to Boston & the storming 
of Fort Washington ; promoted general ; col. 2nd tp. H. Gren. Gds 
'84 ; succ. as 2nd duke of Northumberland '86 ; col. of the Blues 
1806-12; d. '17. 

* John Whitwell, assumed (1749) name of Griffin, estab d claim ('84) 
to barony of Howard de Walden, offr. in the 3rd Gds & brig, gen, 
during Seven Years' War, maj. gen. '59, It. gen. '61, K.B. '61, col, ist 
tp. H. Gren. Gds. '66-'88 ; genl. '78, field-marshal '96 ; d. '97. 


agree with your L dp in the propriety of having the proposed 
situation of the Officers perfectly understood ; & and shall be very 
glad to give any further information that the D. of Northumberland or 
your L dp may think necessary for that purpose. 

I have, &c. 

(Signed) GEO. YONGE. 
Rt. Hon. 

Genl. Lord Howard. 

Writing on March I4th, the War Office, true to its 
subsequent reputation for cheese-paring economy, had 
stated that the Pay of those Officers not selected for Com- 
missions in the new Regiments was to be " subject to a 
deduction of 35. per diem each." Remonstrances were 
not in vain : 

W. O., 7th May, 1788. 

I have the honor to acqt. your L dp that H.M. has been graciously 
pleased to remit the Supernumerary Field Officers of the first Troop of 
Horse Guards, the deduction of three shillings a day, which had been 
intended to be made from their pay, by the proposed alteration of 

I have, &c. 

(Signed) Geo. YONGE. 
The Marq s of Lothian, 
&c. &c. &c. 

Further representations from the Commanding Officers 
of the two Troops of Horse Grenadier Guards, relative 
to the Pay and Status of the Officers and men to be 
disbanded, called forth the following reply : 

W. O., itfhMay, 1788. 


In consequence of the request of y r Ldshp. & of the Duke of 
Northumberland as signified to be in y r Lordships Lre of the 5th inst. 
I have now the honor to acqt. you, with H.M. final Pleasure upon 
the several points which have been at different times submitted for 
decision, in regard to the situation of the Commissioned, & Non Comm' 1 
Off 5 of the Horse Grenadier G ds when the Reduction takes place. 

H.M. having been pleased to remit the deduction of 35. a day, 
intended to have been made from the Pay of the Off 8 I enclose a fresh 
state of the said Pay, as it is to commence on the 25th June next, & to 
be issued Monthly with the subsistence of the rest of the Army. 


Mr. Wm. Dods of this Office is the Person appointed to receive 
from the Pay- Office the Pay of the Officers, & to account with them 
for the same. 

The Troops will be cleared up to the period of the Reduction with as 
much dispatch as the nature of the business will admit. 

Should any of the Officers be hereafter promoted, & be afterwards 
desirous of retiring he will be entitled to sell, for as much as the regu- 
lated Price, allowed in the Royal Regt. of Horse Gds. on his retiring ; 
and in case of purchasing forward, he will be entitled by the custom of 
the Army, to sell the situation from which he is advanced, although he 
had not purchased it every Officer who sells, will sell the Rank as 
well as the pay attach'd to his situation. 

. . . 

They will not be called upon to serve in the Life Gds. in an inferior 
Rank to what they now enjoy, but any further stipulation in regard to 
such Service does not meet with H.M. approbation. 

All transactions of the Officers, relative to the sale of their Com- 
missions, are to be submitted to H.M. through the S. at W. . . . 

No Officer will be permitted to sell his Commission for a higher 
price than as before mentioned, which price is to be specified in his 
application for leave to sell, & such application must be unqualified by 
any stipulation regarding his successor. 

The Chaplains & Surgeons are not to be under any other restrictions 
that they have heretofore been ; in regard to the disposal of their 
situations ; proper Testimonials will of course be required of the fitness 
of the Persons who may at any time be proposed for their successors 
by purchase. 

The Reduced Surgeons are not to receive any allowance in addition 
to their Pay. 

H.M. is graciously pleased to consent that the Riding Masters shall 
be paid two Shillings & six pence a day each, & the Serjeants One 
Shilling a day each, during their lives. 

I have, &c. 

(Signed) GEO. YONGE. 

Rt. Honble 

Lord Howard. 


SIR WILLIAM FAWCETT writes to Earl Cornwallis on 
Lord Lothian's being deprived of the Gold Stick : 

London, March jth, 1789. 


Though I make no doubt but that the joyful tidings of our Royal 
Master's most happy and providential recovery from his late illnesss 
will have already been forwarded to your Lordship from official 
authority, yet I cannot let pass this opportunity, without availing 
myself of it to congratulate you on an event so highly important to this 
country, & at the same time so singularly critical as it happened a few 
days only before the Regency Bill has passed both Houses of Parlia- 
ment. I was at Kew yesterday & had the honour of a long conversation 
with His Majesty in the Gardens, when I had the happiness of finding 
His Majesty in as perfect health in every respect as ever I saw him in 
my whole life. Amongst a variety of other public mischiefs which are 
thus, by the intervention of Providence, most happily prevented, that 
of the intended general promotion in the army is one, & that not the 
least, especially as, had it once taken place, it could hardly ever have 
been remedied. . . . 

Lord Lothian, who was particularly active in the late political 
bustle,* will be dispossessed of the Gold Stick, and replaced in the 
command of his regiment of Life Guards by Lord Dover, and the 
Irish Dragoon Guards will be offered in exchange to Lord Lothian. 

Several other changes are talked of, but the particulars of them your 
Lordship will, without doubt, be informed of from better authority than 
I have it in my power to give you. 

I remain, &c. 


(Cornwallis Papers.) 

* He had voted for the Regency Bill an offence which the King 
could not condone. 



HE subjoined letter like the Order given on 
page 482 shows that the Life Guards had, from 
their first institution down to 1788, paid " admit- 
tance money " in order to get into the corps. 

W. O., i&hjune, 1788. 

The enclosed paper * stating the number of men to be discharged 
from the two Troops of H. Gds., who are to receive back their 
admittance money, & the numbers of those who in lieu thereof prefer 
annuities for their lives, together with the amount of such admittance 
money & annuities respectively, having been laid before the King, has 
received His Royal approbation, & that I have directed the Paym r 
Gen 1 ., to issue to the Agent of the ist Troop of H. Gds., the sum of ten 
thousand four hundred & ninety five pounds, eleven shillings, & to the 
Agent of the second Troop, thirteen thousand, three hundred & thirty 
five pounds, twelve shillg 5 ., to enable them to pay to the discharged 
men of the respective Troops the several sums allowed to them in con- 
sideration of what they paid at the time of their admittance into the 
said Troops. 

I have, &c. 

(Signed) GEO. YONGE. 

Gold Stick in Waiting. 

The following relates to the price of Commissions. It 
is also of interest as showing an early stage in the gradual 
approximation between the Life Guards and the Blues 
a process which was developed still further in August, 
1814, when it was ordered that they should be brigaded 
together : 

W. O., $rd July, 1788. 

I am to signify to You the Kings Pleasure that You do summon the 
General Officers commanding the two Regiments of Life Guards and 
the Royal Regt. of Horse Guards ; and lay before them the enclosed 

* The paper mentioned does not appear to be extant. 


Papers [Enclosure /.] stating the Prices of Commissions in the Horse 
Guards, Horse Grenadier Guards, and Horse,* as settled by the latest 
General Regulations and shewing the daily Rates of Pay [Enclosure //.] 
now allowed to the Officers of the Life Guards (including the Super- 
numerary Lieut. Col. and Major) and to the Officers of the Royal 
Regt. of Horse Guards as also to the Officers of the Reduced 
Troops of Horse Gren r Guards who are permitted to dispose of 
their Commissions notwithstanding the Reduction. 

You will acquaint the said General Officers that they are directed by 
the King to take these Papers into their consideration and to state to 
H.M. whether in their Opinion the Prices specified therein or what 
other Sums, should be allowed to be paid for each Commission in their 
respective regiments; as also for the Commissions of the Officers of the 
late Troops of Gren r Guards. 

I am, &c., 

(Signed) GEO. YONGE. 

Sir Charles Gould, 

Judge Advocate General. 


is/ and 2nd Troops of Horse Guards as fixed in 1766. 

Difference in Value 
between the several 

Commissions in 
Prices. Succession. 

First Lieut Colonel f 55OO 4 

Second Lieut Colonel .... 5,100 800 

Cornet and Major . . . . 4,300 200 

Guidon and Major . ... . . . 4,100 1,400 

Exempt and Captain , . . , 2,700 1,200 

Brigadier and Lieut, or Adjt. and Lieut. 1,500 300 

Sub Brigadier and Cornet . . . 1,200 1,200 

ist and 2nd Troops of Horse Gren" Guards as fixed in 1766. 

Prices. Difference &c 

Lieutenant Colonel . . 5,400 1,200 

Major . . . . . '. 4,200 1,100 

* I.e. the Blues, which had formerly been "the First Horse." The 
change which gave the other regiments of Horse the status of dragoons 
left the Blues in a category apart as " the Horse." 


Prices. Difference &c 
Lieutenant and Capt. .... 3,100 100 

Guidon and Capt ...... 3 I ^3 O0 

Sub Lieut ....... 1,70 3 

Adjutant . . . . . . i,4 

Horse* as settled in 1766, except as to the Capt. Lieut which at that time was 

only ^"2,000. 

Prices Difference &c 

Lieut Colonel ..... , . 5,200 950 

Major ... V ... 4,250 1,150 

Captain . . . . . . . 3,100 650 

Captain Lieutenant with Rank of Captf . 2,450 700 

Lieutenant ...... I >75 I 5 

Cornet ....... 1,600 1,600 


RATES OF PAY per Diem of the Officers of the Life Guards, Royal 
Regt. of Horse Guards, and of the Reduced Troops of Horse 

Grenadier Guards. 

Royal Regt. Troops 







Guards Gren r . Guards 

Lieutenant Colonel . 

. i 









Supernumerary Lieut Col. 

. i 



Major .... 

. i 









Supernumerary Major 

. i 


Lt. & Captain . 





Guidon & Captain . 





Captain .... 

. o 






Lieut .... 







Cornet .... 

. o 





Sub Lieutenant 




Chaplain .... 

. o 








Adjutant . 

. o 








Surgeon .... 

. o 








* /. e. Royal Horse Guards (Blue). 

f Settled in 1772. 

$ Originally fixed at 8s. 


The decision recorded below rests on the obvious con- 
sideration that the new arrangements made in connection 
with the reorganisation of the Life Guards could not come 
into force before it took place. Until then the former 
regulations would naturally remain operative. 

W. O., i^th July, 1788. 

I have received the application by you & Mrs Morley, & am sorry 
to acqt you, that I cannot relieve you under the circumstances therein 

His Majesty ordered that the compensation to be made to the 
private Gentlemen of the Horse Guards, in lieu of admission money, 
should be entirely regulated by the direction of the Colonel of those 
Troops ; & as your Husband died before the Reduction took place, it 
rests entirely with the Colonels, & (in their absence) the Commanding 
Officers, to make you such Allow ce , as it had heretofore been usual to 
grant to the representatives of the private Gentlemen who died, while 
the said Troops remained on the Establishment. 

I am, &c. 

(Signed) GEO YONGE. 
Mrs Margaret Simpson. 

Formal notification is here made to the Treasury of the 
pending changes and of the financial arrangements they 
entail : 

W. O., 27*A May, 1788. 

His Majesty having been pleased to direct that the Two Troops of 
Horse Grenadier Guards should be reduced on the 24th June next 
inclusive, and that the Two Troops of Horse Guards should be formed 
into Two Regiments of Life Guards, and that the Pay of the said 
Regiments should take place on the Establishment from the 25th June 
next, I am to acquaint you therewith for the information of the Lord 
Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury. Enclosed I send you a 
Copy [Enclosure La] of the Establishment of the said Regiments with 
a state [Enclosure I.b] of their Subsistence, and also a State [Enclosures 
ILa and Il.b] of the Pay and Subsistence of each of the Super- 
numerary Officers of the Troops of Horse Guards, and Officers 
of the Reduced Troops of Horse Grenadier Guards, [Enclosures III. a 
and Ill.b] from the same time. 

For their Lordship's further information I am to lay before you the 
following particulars relative to this Subject. 


It is proposed that the Pay of the Supernumerary Officers of the 
ist Troop of Horse Guards, and of the Chaplain be issued to the Agent 

the ist Regim 1 - of Life Guards, and the Pay of the Supernumerary 
Officers of the 2d Troop of Horse Guards to the Agent of the 2 d 
Regiment of Life Guards. 

And in regard to the Pay of the Officers of the Reduced Troops of 
Horse Grenadier Guards, it having been thought expedient to appoint 
some person to receive, & distribute the same to the several Officers 
respectively ; Mr. William Dodds of this Office has been appointed for 
this Service. 

The annual Allowance of Eighty Pounds to the Agent above 
mentioned, and of Twenty-five Pounds to the Deputy Provost Marshall, 
is to be issued to the said M r - Dods without deduction by Quarterly 

It is also proposed that the Sums borne on the Establishment of 
the Regts. of Life Guards for the Allowance to the Colonel, & for 
Remounting, as also for the Pay & Clothing of the Corporals & Private 
Men, and for the Charge of their Horses, be issued without deduction, 
& that the remainder of the Pay of the said Regiments, the Pay of the 
Supernumerary Officers of the Horse Guards, and the Officers of the 
Reduced Troops of Horse Grenadier Guards be subject to the customary 
Deductions of Poundage and Hospital. 

I am, &c. 

(Signed) GEO. YONGE. 
George Rose, Esqr. 

LIFE GUARDS. A. Establishment 

ESTABLISHMENT of the ist Regt. of LIFE GUARDS, commanded by the 
Marquis of Lothian from 25th June 1788 

Pay p. Diem 

i Colonel, and in lieu of his Servants . . . i 16 o 

i Lieut. Colonel & in lieu of Do ..... i 1 1 o 

i Major & in lieu of Do. ...... i 6 o 

4 Captains each 165 ....... 340 

4 Lieutenants us. . . . . . . 240 

i Lieutenant and Adjutant . . . . . o n o 

4 Cornets each 8s. 6d. < ..... i 14 o 

i Surgeon ......... 080 

4 Quarter Masters each 6s. ..... 140 

8 Corporals 2s. 

Horses l$. tfj& 

Clothing 6d ...... 040 

4 Trumpeters 2s. 6d ...... o 10 o 

i Kettle Drummer 026 


196 Privates each is. 6d.\ -, 
Horses ' 


Clothing 6d. 

Allowance to the Agent 


Which for 183 Days from 25th June, to 24th Decem- 
ber 1788, amounts to 

Allowance to the Colonel in lieu of Clothing & all 
other emoluments for the same time 

Allowance for Remounting for the same time . 

Like Establishment of the 2d Regt. of Life 
230 Guards, commanded by Lord Amherst for the 

same time 
i Chaplain for both Regts. for the same time . 

461 Total for the Two Regiments . * 

Pay p. Diem 
26 19 o 

4 18 o 



5 6 

6 6 

600 o o 

200 O O 

9,634 6 6 
93 6 4 6 6 
13 o 

B. Subsistence 

State of SUBSISTENCE of the ist Regt. of LIFE GUARDS, commanded 
by the Marquis of Lothian, from 25th June, 1788. 

i Colonel . . . . * * 
i Lieutenant Colonel ;^ , . / 

i Major 

4 Captain each 125. 

4 Lieutenants each 8s. 3^. . 

i Lieutenant & Adjutant 

4 Cornets each 6s. 6d. . . . 

i Surgeon . . . ... 

4 Quarter Masters each 4$. 6d . . . 
8 Corporals 3$. 3^. 

4 Trumpeters 2s. od. . ; -i 

i Kettle Drummer ..... 

196 Private Men each 2s. gd. 



Like State of Subsistence of the 2d Regt. of 
230 Life Guards, commanded by General 

Lord Amherst, from same time 
i Chaplain for both Regiments . 

Total for the two Regiments 

Per Diem 

' * i 7 

i 3 
o 19 

2 8 


I 13 

o 8 
i 6 


o 6 


o 18 

i 6 

o 8 

; 02 


, 26 19 

':,'.. o 6 


39 10 

39 10 

o 5 

79 5 



State of the PAY of the SUPERNUMERARY OFFICERS of the Two Troops 
of HORSE GUARDS, to take place from the 25th June 1788 


Pay per Diem 

Second Lieutenant, & Lieutenant Colonel . . . 170 

Guidon and Major . . 140 

Total for one Troop 211 o 
One Troop more of like Numbers and rates . . 2110 

One Chaplain . . . . . .' ' . 068 

Total ^"588 

Which for 183 days, from 25th June to the 24th \ 
December 1788, both days inclusive j 

B. Subsistence 

Two Troops of HORSE GUARDS to take place from the 25th June 

1788 inclusive. 

Per Diem 

Second Lieutenant, and Lieutenant Colonel . . i o o 

Guidon and Major . 0180 

Total for One Troop i 18 o 
One Troop of like Numbers and Rates . . . i 18 o 

3 16 o 
One Chaplain . 050 

Total ^4 i o 


HORSE GRENADIERS (Reduced Troops). A Pay. State of the 
PAY of the OFFICERS of the Two Reduced Troops of HORSE 
GRENADIER GUARDS, to take place from the 25th June 1788 


Pay per Diem, 

i Lieutenant Colonel . . . . . . i 10 o 

1 Major 150 

2 Lieutenants & Captains each 195. 6d. i 19 o 
i Guidon & Captain o 18 6 

3 Sub Lieutenants each 12$. 6d. i 17 6- 


Pay per Diem 

i Adjutant 096 

i Chaplain ; 068 

i Surgeon . 080 

Riding Master . . . . . ... 026 

Total for One Troop 8 16 8 
Another Troop of like Numbers and Rates . . . 8168 

Total per Diem ^"17 3 4 

Which for 183 days from 25th June to 24th December) 

1788, both days inclusive is J ^ 

Allowance to the Agent for the same time . . . 40 o o 
Do. to the Deputy Provost Marshal for the samej 

12 10 o 

Total ,3,285 10 o 

B. Subsistence 

State of the SUBSISTENCE of the OFFICERS of the Two Reduced Troops 
of HORSE GRENADIER GUARDS, to take place from the 25th June 
1788 inclusive. 

Per Diem 

i Lieutenant Colonel 

. . 


i Major .... 

V * -..v ' 


2 Lieutenants & Captains 

each 155. od. 


i Guidon & Captain . 

9 . 

o 14 o 

3 Sub Lieutenants 

each 95. 6d. 

i 8 6 

i Adjutant 

. . . 


i Chaplain 

. . 


i Surgeon .... 

. f * . 


Riding Master . 

. . ;/* 


Total for the Troop 

6 15 6 

One troop more of like Numbers and Rates 

6 15 6 

Total 15 ii 

H.C. II. K K 


THE following extracts from an Order Book of the 
Second Life Guards are of considerable interest, 
not only in themselves, but also for the side lights 
which they throw on historic events. It will be 
seen that the series extends over a period of nearly half a 
century from 1788 to 1831 ; but by far the greater number 
of the Orders belong to the seven years from 1797 to 1803. 
The present chapter covers the period to the end of 



i. Additional Rank. The King has been pleased to grant additional 
rank to the Officers of the Regiment as follows. 

Lieut-Col. Buckley to be Lieut, and Lieut-Col. 

Major Lemon to be Major and Lieut-Col. 

Cornet H. B. Atherton to be Cornet and Sub-Lieut. 
E. H. Lambert. ,, ,, 

,, G. Calland. ,, ,, 

R. I. Sturke. 

His Majesty having been graciously pleased to comply with the 
request of the Colonels of the Regiments of Life Guards by granting 
the above additional rank to the Officers of those Corps, they have in 
consequence thereof thought it incumbent on them in order to preserve 
the most perfect and strict discipline by the respective Officers, to issue 
the following orders. 

Duties of Lieut-Cols. The Lieutenant Colonels commanding the 
Regiments to take especial care that the whole system of discipline 
and interior economy thereof be duly observed and that the Officers, 
Non-Commissioned Officers, and Soldiers diligently discharge their 
duty agreeably to their respective Commissions and Situations and 
according to the Custom of the Army. 

Of Major and Adjuf. The Major, assisted by the Adjutant, to 
superintend all Exercises, Drills etc. strictly adhering to the Forms 
and Regulations prescribed ; likewise to inspect the distribution of the 
Forage, the Feeding of the Horses, and to be answerable for the 


Regimental Books and Papers, and for all other things appertaining to 
the Duty of that Commission. 

Of Captains. Each Captain to be responsible for the Good Appear- 
ance and Order of his Troop equally with respect to Men, Horse, Arms, 
Clothing, Accoutrements, Necessaries etc. etc. and that the Men are 
regularly subsisted weekly, and fully settled Monthly conformable to 
the Standing Orders. He is also to make a Monthly inspection or 
oftener if necessary of all the foregoing articles, and to make a report 
accordingly to the Commanding Officer. 

Of Subalterns. The Subaltern Officers to attend the Parade of their 
respective Troops, and carefully to inspect the appearance of both the 
men and horses and all the appointments for which they are to be 
answerable at the General Parade. They are also in turn to make a 
weekly inspection of the Troops, including all particulars as before 
specified, and to make a report to their respective Captains, who are to 
sign and to send it to the Commanding Officer, if occasion should require. 

A Subaltern Officer of the Day to attend at the Stables to see that 
all the Standing Orders and Duties of the Regiment are punctually 

(Signed) AMHERST, 

November 20, 1790. Colonel. 


March 4, 1797. 

Arrangements for the Preservation of the Peace. There being some 
reason to apprehend a disturbance of the Public Peace this evening, 
One Hundred men from the Life Guards with Officers in proportion 
are to be ready at their Stables at Six o'clock, P.M. Unless any actual 
disturbance should exist it does not appear necessary that the above 
force should remain under these orders later than eleven o'clock at 


September 25, 1797. 

Relating to Dress and Accoutrements. The Alterations which His 
Majesty has been pleased to make of late in the Dress and appoint- 
ments of his Cavalry make it necessary to give some Regimental 
Orders on the Subject of the Dress and Appearance of Officers when in 
Regimentals to be dressed in every respect according to the order of 
the Regiment. 

Hair. To be queued, the queues of the same length and size as 
ordered for the men ; the Hair Ribbon to be kept as Black as possible, 

* William Schaw Cathcart, succ. as loth baron 1776, Scottish 
representative peer, brig-gen, in the Peninsula '93, col. 2nd L. G. '97, 
ambassador to St. Petersburg 1812, cr. baron Greenock '07, earl of 
Cathcart (U. K.) '14, d. '43. 

K K 2 


and to be tied at the top with a short ribbon instead of a Rosette, the 
loops and ends of the bow knot to be three inches long and always kept 
free from powder, the Tupee to be combed back and dressed as 
Officers please, so that it is dressed : the side locks to be dressed or 
curled so as to cover the ear, but at no time to be lower than the ear. 

Hat. Both Hats to be made according to the pattern deposited at 
the Controller's Office, as approved by His Majesty for the Cavalry. 
The lace of the laced hat to be according to the Regimental pattern ; 
the feather to be the full length of the pattern, and made on whalebone 
of an equal thickness at both ends, to be worn at all times, on or off 
Duty. Officers and Men are to have their hats fastened at Field Days, 
and on service mounted. 

Stocks. Both black and White Stocks to be made according to the 
Regimental Pattern, and to be worn with a buckle behind, the White 
Stocks to be worn on no occasion except in Full Regimentals, with Shoes. 

Coats. According to the exact Regimental pattern ; ten buttons on 
the facings, including one on the Collar, care to be taken that the 
lappels and button holes are of the Regimental Length and Breadth. 
New Coats to be made full over the chest, and to hook easily to the 
lappel when on duty. That Officers may wear Coats more sloped off 
at other times if they prefer it. Regimental Coats of the whole 
Regiment to be always hooked thro' the frill at the top of the lappel, 
even when the Lappel is buttoned across, and at the least three inches 
of the Frill to be seen the skirts of the Coats always to be hooked 

Waistcoats. None to be seen except cloth or Kerseymere. Full 
dress with skirts. Frock round. 

Breeches. None but Kerseymere or white leather. Kerseymere to 
have five buttons and a Buckle at the knee ; Leather Breeches to be 
made as Pantaloons without any buttons at the knee. 

Gloves. To be of sufficient length completely to cover the wrist in 
every position of the hand. 

Epaulets. The Center of them is to be fixed on the point or highest 
part of the shoulder, so as to never hang forward. 

Boots. According to a Regimental pattern to be made by the first 
of November, and none other to be worn after that time on Duty^ 
They are to rise a full inch above the knee, when first drawn on, so as 
not to sink above an inch. These boots must be heel-balled and 
rubbed on a wooden leg, so as to bear the highest polish. 

Spurs. Always to be worn of Steel according to the Regimental 
Pattern ; to rest upon a spur-piece, half an inch above the heel of the 

Belts. According to the Regimental Pattern they are to be had of 
the Accoutrement Maker to the Regiment. The Cross Belt, if ordered, 

to be put on over the sword belt, and to pass under the plate, the 
Cartridge Box and Ring of the Sword belt to be of Equal height, and 
to come just under the Sash. 


Sash. To be of Regimental length and pattern to go three times 
round the waist, the end to hang down the right side, as low as the 
skirt of the coat. 

Swords. Two only are regimental, or ever to be worn with 
Regimentals, the Broad Sword and the Gilt Sword ordered by His 
Majesty for the Cavalry : the Broad Sword to be worn on all duties 
with Arms mounted or dismounted always in the belt and always with 
the leather sling, and Crimson and gold Tossil [sic] : the other Sword 
may be worn at all other times with a frog under the waistcoat to hang 
just low enough to be quite clear of the Bridle Hand when on horse- 
back, this sword is always to have a crimson and gold Sword Knot of 
the pattern approved by His Majesty. The Adjutant will show the 
method of putting on Sashes and Sword Knots. 

Pistols. Regimental ones to be in the Holsters, well flinted on all 
mounted duties whatsoever. 

All duties, when Officers are named in Orders, are to be done in 
Regimentals, but Officers whilst in London may visit their troop 
Stables in Coloured Clothes [i.e. plain clothes] . 

Directions as to the Order on the March : 

September 26, 1797. 

The King's Life Guard will in future be told off in half ranks, and 
by three divisions ; each division will consist of eight files, and be told 
off by double files and ranks of threes, the Officers and one Corporal 
not included in any telling. 

One Corporal to each of the Flank Divisions and a Lance Corporal 
to the Centre Division. 

The Guard will march by double files from the right in the follow- 
ing order, which is not to be varied unless from any extraordinary 

A Corporal and two men from the right as an advance Guard. 

The Trumpeter. 

The Captain. 

The First Division. 

The Second Subaltern. 

The Second Division. 
The Eldest Subaltern. 

The Third Division. 

The Quarter Master. 

[ ? A Corporal and two men, as a rear Guard.] 

Orders as to (i) Chargers ; (2) Sunday Church 

parade : 

October 10, 1797. 

No alteration has been made concerning the Colour or description of 
Officers' chargers in the Regiments of Life Guards, nor has His 
Majesty signified his intention of making a change. 


Officers who have not proper horses must immediately provide them- 
selves to the approbation of the Commanding Officer ; no excuse will be 
admitted for not having a long tail'd Charger in perfect condition and 
fit for duty except accident or such Lameness or Illness as may appear 

Officers for Guard or any Royal Escort must Ride their Chargers, 
and always when in Review Order, or at Field Days, except when 
permission is given to ride other horses on Party or detachment, and 
on Musters and common days of Exercise. Officers may ride any 

gelding greys and cropped horses excepted above fifteen hands 

high, that is of sufficient Figure and Bone, that will be steady in the 
ranks at all paces, and handy to rein back and passage. 

Commanding Officers of Troops may appoint a man of the Troop to 
take care of his own Charger, and one for that of each Officer who 
desires it, together with his Troop Horse, for which he is to be paid 3/- 
per week, and will be excused Guards and Parties, except those his 
Officer mounts or goes upon, in which he is to be always included ; but he 
must attend every parade, and take or send his horses in Watering 
order with the rest. Field Officers may in like manner have the assis- 
tance of one man among them for their Chargers, who will be excused 
duty. But the Strength and Nature of the Regiment will not admit of 
any Men being taken from the ranks as servants. 

Officers' Regimental Horses to be provided with stalls in the Stables 
according to rank in preference to all others, and after Regimental 
Horses, Second Chargers or Saddle Horses ; but no draft Horses or 
Ponies to be taken in except upon sufferance, when there are empty 
Stalls. No strangers' Horses to be taken in at Livery in the Troop 
Stables on any pretence. 

Officers who have their own Stables may receive their allowance for 
their effective horses present with the regiment, not exceeding the regu- 
lated number, two of which must be fit for the ranks. 

No Man whatsoever to be excused appearing on Sunday Morning 
parade, except the sick and such men as have the Commanding Officer's 
Leave for that day. The Condition of Swords will always be examined 
at that time. 

Officers' undress uniform on guard : 

October 12, 1797. 

When His Majesty is out of town, the Officer on the King's Guard 
may mount in Frock Regimentals, with the Plain Hat and Goat Skin 
Furniture ; but whenever His Majesty comes to town, they are to put 
on the full uniform with Laced Hats and red Furniture, and they are 
not to be seen in Frocks on any of those Days. 

Regulations as to stocks, cloaks and straps : 

November i, 1797. 
The turnovers are to be laid aside, the Regiment will be completed 


with Stocks and Stock Buckles, and care to be taken that they are 
properly worn, and that the men appear in them on all occasions. 

The Waistbelt to be worn under the Coat as formerly till further 
orders, but without the Bayonet Carriage. 

On all mounted duties the pistols are to be in the Holsters whether 
for exercise or Service. 

The Cloaks are to be rolled as usual and the white Bradoons and 
Cloak Straps are to be worn on the King's Guard and when in review 
order but on all other occasions the Black Bradoons and the Black 
Cloak Straps are to be used. 

When without baggage the cloaks are to be folded the red side out 
and carried behind according to a pattern shown to the Corporals on 
the 3ist October, and when in marching order, the cloaks are lapped 
long and carried over the holsters. 

The Officers are to have red Cloak-Cases edged with Blue, of the 
same pattern with their Blue ones which are to be worn with white 
straps and white Bradoons on all occasions when the mens cloaks are 
rolled but on other occasions they will continue to wear the blue ones 
with black straps. 

White fronts of Buff to be worn at all times on the Bridles of the 
whole regiment and to be kept constantly clean. 

No Deviation from the Orders already given concerning Dress and 
appearance of Officers and men can be permitted on any account what- 

An Additional loose runner is to be put on the Cruppers to confine 
the end of the Strap and care must be taken to secure the ends of the 
Breast Plate Straps and of all other Straps ; inattention in this Particular 
always gives a slovenly appearance. 

On all duties at least Five Rounds'of Service Cartridges are to be 

The Regiment will parade in Field day order at One P.M. to-morrow 
mounted at the Stables. 

Care of riding boots : 

November n, 1797. 

It is particularly ordered that the men do not wear their boots when 
not on duty or ordered to be in readiness to ride. 

The Boots are to be pulled off the first time the men have an oppor- 
tunity of going to their lodgings after riding. 

The Frocks are not to be worn on the Stable duty, on any pretence 
at any of the Stable Hours. 

The Quarter Master, and in his absence, the Orderly Corporal of 
the Troop, is answerable that no disobedience of this order passes 

The Quarter Master in waiting must always be in the way, but 
especially at three o'clock Stable Time. 

Belts and swords for officers and warrant officers : 

November 30, 1797. 

The Officers of the Regiment will in future wear the Cross Belts on 
all mounted Duties, Riding School excepted. 

The red cloak cases for the Officers must be worn from the next 
Guard after to-morrow. 

The whole Regiment will probably be on Duty in laced Clothing in 
the middle of next month : the Officers must take care to be provided 
accordingly with Regimental Appointments. 

The Warrant Officers must have their Swords and Cross Belts. 
Their Belts to be nearly the breadth of the Private Belts, no Breast 
Plate, the Pouch the same as the Officers with an ornament the same 
as the Privates but Gilt. Quarter Masters may wear Privates swords 
till they have their own. Sword Knots always to be worn. 

The Men must immediately make knee-pads and bring them to the 
Stables, that the Horses heels may be well rubbed, especially at the 
last Stable Time, both by hand and with soft Wisps. 

Some Stable regulations : 

December 5, 1797. 

The Stirrups are to hang down as formerly, in the Stables, and not 
to be crossed over the holsters. 

The Quarter Masters and Corporals are to learn the manner of 
fastening up the horses tails in wet weather, which has been approved 
and will be shown by the Riding Master, after which they will instruct 
the Men of their Troops and they are answerable that their tails are 
never fastened up in any other manner. The Orderly Corporals are to 
form up in front of their respective Troops for all Guards, and Detach- 
ments and to answer for their men and are to wait there until 

Stoppages for the Clerk's salary : 

December 13, 1797. 

One Guinea will be stopped at the agents from each Officer on his 
appointment to the Regiment and half-a- Guinea yearly from every 
Officer for the Clerk of the Regiment. 



HE present chapter relates to the years 1798 


King's Guard order: 

February 5, 1798. 

The Officers will mount the King's Guard with Laced Hats and 
Furniture both in full and Frock Dress until further orders. 

Riding School : 

February 10, 1798. 

The Time for Officers riding for instruction will in future be Nine 
O'clock, by which time Officers who are to ride are to be present and 
ready to mount every riding morning, which will be every day except 
Saturdays and Sundays. 

Officers are to ride in Cocked hats and Black Topp'd Boots. 

The Riding Master is to be obeyed in the School during the Instruc- 
tions and the ceremony of the Hat as practised in all Manages is to be 
regularly observed. 

The following forfeits will be paid to the Expenses of the School : 

I. Half a Guinea for a fall or involuntary separation of the Rider's 

body from the Horse. 

II. A Crown for the dropping a Hat. 

III. Half-a-Crown for Dropping any other appointment. 

IV. Half-a-Crown for omitting the Ceremony of the Hat on coming, 

Going out, Dismounting and after mounting. 

The patriotism of the Second Life Guards is well 
exemplified in the handsome offer which the Corporals 
and Privates made quite spontaneously during the War 

with the French Republic : 

February 15, 1798. 

The Following Letter from the Corporals and Privates of the 
Second Regiment to the Adjutant has been communicated to the 
Commanding Officer : 
" SIR, 

" We, the Corporals and Privates of His Majesty's Second 
Regiment of Life Guards, wishing to express our Zeal on the present 


occasion beg leave to offer a small contribution towards expenses of the 
present just and necessary war, to which each will subscribe according 
to his ability and situation, and will be thankful for you acquainting 
our Commanding Officer with these our Loyal Intentions. 

EDWARD SWALES, Corporal for Capt Colland's Troop 
JAMES RATHBONE, Major Vicar's Troop 

JOHN WALES, Capt Hamilton's Troop 

JOHN SILCOCK, Capt Dottin's Troop 

WM EASTERLY, Capt Beresford's Troop." 

Major- General Lord Cathcart has ordered this letter to be inserted 
in the Orderly Book as being extremely honourable to the Regiment, 
and a pledge of their loyalty and attachment to the person and Govern- 
ment of their King whose Life Guards they are. 

The desire of the whole Regiment to be permitted to make a small 
contribution from their Pay on this account has been laid before the 
King, and His Majesty has been pleased to receive this mark of the 
zeal of the Regiment very graciously, and to allow it to be carried into 

The Sum carried into the Bank on this account stands as follows : 
Commissioned Officers . ^"96 7 o equal to six days' pay 
Quarter Masters . . i 10 o equal to one days' pay 
Trumpeters . . . i 10 o equal to one days' pay 
Rank and File . 26 7 6 equal to one days' pay 

Total . ^"125 14 6 

Several of the Rank and File and some Troops having expressed a 
desire of contributing a greater Sum and as far as several days' pay, 
they are entitled to all the praise and credit which their Spirit and the 
warmth of their Loyalty deserves. But as the Zeal and Attachment 
of the Regiment which appears by their voluntary Offer on this 
occasion is more valuable on its own account than any sum of money 
that could be subscribed, Major- General Lord Cathcart has advised 
the Rank and File to restrain their donations to one day's pay, which 
he considers as an ample Proof of their Good Will. 

" Walking out " order : 

March 18, 1798. 

It is particularly ordered that the Men are not to appear in the Public 
Streets in their Stables dress or otherwise than they would come to the 
Parade. If they go on leave or for any time they should wear the frock 
dress ; if for a short time, or not to appear much in the principal streets 
or Parks, they may wear their Jackets and Caps with very clean 
Stockings and Gaiters, and a switch in their hands and so as to be 
creditable to themselves and the Regiment. But any man seen in the 
dress of the Regiment out of Quarters dirty is to be reported. 



August 15, 1798. 

Sloping Swords will be discontinued on all Regimental Dutys till 
further orders. 

Officers' regimental horses must be long tailed Bays, 
and the Forage regulations must be observed : 


November u, 1798. 

. . . The Accompts of these Regiments being made up upon honour it is 
to be presumed that the Officers' Horses foraged at the Stables are the 
real property of the Officers in whose name they stand. 

His Majesty having given repeated and particular orders that the 
Regimental Horses of the Commissioned Officers of the Second 
Regiment are to continue long tail'd Bays, and His Majesty having 
remarked at the Reviews that Officers were not Regimentally Mounted, 
one horse at least of each Officer must be of this description, and in 
the absence of such Horses, one of the number above specified will be 
disallowed both as to stalls and forage. 

No Commutation of Forage nor perquisite of forage can be allowed 
to Grooms, and any Trooper found to carry the smallest Article of 
forage out of the Yard will be brought to a Court Martial unless by 
the Order of the Commanding Officer. 

When Troopers have the care of Officers' Horses, they must go for 
their forage at the same time with the troops at the first morning 
feeding times, and are not to receive more than one day's ration for 
each Horse at a time. 

When Officers have their own Servants to look after their Horses, 
they may by the Commanding Officer's leave have a longer delivery of 
Forage at one time. 

The Money charged for Officers' Horses must be taken Monthly at 
the Agents and Charged against the Officers' subsistence, as the Forage 
is paid for by Public Money. 

Regulations as to Hair-powder and " Pigtails " : 

December 12, 1798. 

The Regiment will appear powdered every day following that on 
which the King's Guard is relieved except when such day may fall on 
a Monday or Saturday, an Officer per Troop will attend on those days 
and particular attention is to be paid to the Hair on the Parades, as it 
is introduced as a practice to produce the most correct uniformity. 

The leather Queus are to be taken into store except such as may be 
reserved for men who cannot dress their hair with them, the top of the 


queus to be in a line with the top of the Stock Buckle and the rosette 
half an inch lower. The Queus of the whole regiment, Officers and 
Men, must be uniform and at least of the length and thickness of the 
leather ones, one of which will be kept as a pattern. 

Soldiers under arms are not to taste Liquor; and 
officers are responsible for their men's good conduct : 

January 29, 1799. 

The Court of Enquiry of which Colonel Barton was President is 
dissolved and their Report approved of. 

Although there does not appear sufficient grounds for bringing the 
persons complained of to a Court Martial, yet the Colonel of the 
regiment has observed with the deepest concern that the behaviour of 
Part of the Picquet on the evening of the 26th December, 1798, was 
far from being correct or creditable. 

It is most scandalous and indecent for a Soldier while under arms 
to taste Liquor of any Sort. If stolen or taken by force, the punish- 
ment should be death ; if offered, it should be refused with disdain 
unless in any extraordinary case, the Commanding Officer should order 
Refreshment to be distributed in his presence. Men of Irregular and 
undisciplined Corps may be guilty of such Crimes through ignorance, 
but in a regular regiment of Horse or Foot such conduct as drinking 
under arms would be felt as a disgrace to the regiment. Therefore in 
a Regiment of Life Guards, where every man is bound to support the 
character of a Soldier and a Gentleman, such a Crime must be held 
infamous, and punished in the most exemplary manner. 

This extends to all Videttes, Sentrys, Escorts, Patrols, Street or 
Covering parties, or other duties where men are posted. 

Officers of whatever rank who may command detachments, Guards, 
or parties, are to remember that they are responsible for the behaviour 
of every man under their command ; and although Men may be 
punished for misbehaviour, yet if it appears that the Officer has not 
taken the Steps his duty prescribes to prevent irregularity, he must 
expect to be brought to the most strict and serious account for the 

A single man is on few occasions to be detached ; if two are sent, the 
one must answer for the conduct of the other ; if three or more are 
detached, one must be a Corporal or Lance Corporal, and will be 
answerable for the rest. More considerable parties are commanded by 
a Commission or Warrant Officer. Thus, though the Commanding 
Officer of a Guard or Party may be obliged to detach many separate 
parties, yet he remains answerable not only for the propriety of the 
Marching Detachments, but for the behaviour of every man out of his 
sight, unless he has used proper care in putting these detachments 
under the charge of Responsible Persons. 


Two Orders relate to bad horsemanship when on escort 
duty, and to misuse of Trumpeters' horses : 

March 21, 1799. 

. . . and in like manner if any Horse misbehaves, or the rider 
shows bad Horsemanship, near His Majesty's person, or any of the 
Royal Family Carriages, is to be reported in writing to the Commanding 

June 7, 1799. 

The Trumpeters are not to ride their Regimental Horses on the 
Road or for pleasure without leave, still less to lend them. 

The King commends the Regiment's appearance : 

June 20, 1799. 

His Majesty was most Graciously pleased to commend the Appear- 
ance of the Second Regiment of Life Guards at their review this 
morning in the most strongest terms. The Regiment will certainly 
feel themselves rewarded by this applause for the Pains and attention 
which have been bestowed by all ranks since last review, and will 
consider that it is the more necessary to continue the same in order to 
support the reputation they have acquired. 

The Commander-in-Chief 's Inspection : 

August i, 1799. 

His Royal Highness Field Marshal the Duke of York, having been 
most graciously pleased to signify his intention of being present at the 
exercise of the Second Regiment of Life Guards at nine O'clock 
to-morrow Morning in Hyde Park, the Regiment will appear powdered 
and in Full dress, Cloaks rolled, Black Bradoons, and Black Flounces,, 
with the Old Furniture ; Music in State Clothing. 

Horses are to be well treated : 

November 4, 1799. 

... It is most particularly ordered that the utmost gentleness be 
used to all Horses at all Times, and especially to the young Horses. 
Should any man ever be seen guilty of so unhorsemanlike an action 
as to misuse a Horse, or to terrify or disturb the young horses, he must 
instantly be confined to the Stable Guard. 

A Rough Rider will be appointed to each Troop, who will have the 
charge of such part of the School's Furniture as may be appropriated 
to each Troop, and there will be an Orderly Rough Rider of the week 
to relieve on Sunday Morning, who is to have the charge of the Riding 
House, and the Remainder of its utensils. He is always to be in the 
way during the whole day, and to attend the parade of all mounted 
Duties that may occur, day or night. 

Penal confinement is to be strict : 

January 8, 1800. 

In future men confined to the Yard are to be strictly so, and during 
the whole of their confinement are on no pretence whatever to pass the 
gates ; their provision is to be brought to them and their names to be 
wrote up in the Guard Room and Orderly Room. 

Divine Service at Quebec Chapel : 

January n, 1800. 

The whole Regiment will in future till further Orders attend Divine 
worship at Quebec Chapel on Sundays. 

Officers are to inspect the men's quarters thoroughly : 

March 9, 1800. 

The Officers visiting the Quarters are not only to speak to the 
Landlords but are to see the Men's rooms and to take notice whether 
their arms and Appointments are put up and kept in a soldierlike 
manner and handy for turning out at the shortest notice. The Officers 
are answerable that their men are always in readiness and must there- 
fore consider the frequent visiting of their rooms whether in Barracks, 
Billets or Lodgings as an indispensible Duty. 

The Regiment's cantonment is defined : 

April 8, 1800. 

The Cantonment of the Regiment is bounded on the North by the 
New Road, on the West by Edgware Road, and on the South by 
Oxford Street and on the East by High Street, St. Mary-le-bone, and 
St. Mary-le-bone Lane. 

Two Orders relate (i) to Lodging-money and (2) to 
Gambling : 


May 27, 1800. 

His Majesty is most Graciously pleased to order that an allowance 
of Lodging-money, at the rates received from the Officers of the Line, 
shall be granted through the Barrack's Master-General to each Com- 
mission and Warrant Officer of any Regiment or detachment of the 
Life Guards, who, not being billeted, or provided with apartments in 
Barracks, shall by Order of the Colonel or Commanding Officer provide 
himself with lodgings within sound of Trumpet of the Head Quarters 
of the Regiment or Detachment to which he belongs. 

June 15, 1801. 

Corporal Church having been the First Corporal accused of per- 
mitting, or of not having done his utmost to prevent, gambling among 
the men, is pardoned on account of his good character and conduct on 
-other occasions, and is restored to his duty and rank as Corporal. 



NUMBER of miscellaneous orders issued 
during the first twenty years of the igth 
century are next to be given : 

Victualling arrangements are laid down : 


August 24, 1 80 1. 

Attention is called to the fact, that although the pay of a Soldier is 
supposed in addition to other things to cover the cost of such food as 
it is necessary for his health that he should have, yet owing to profuse 
and extravagant expenditure many soldiers are half-starving during 
half the week. 

One shilling a day is in future to be stopped for the mens food, and 
differences are to be paid only on food actually consumed by the men. 
The proper feeding of the men is to be the particular care of Officers 
who will be held responsible for its sufficiency. 

The following table shows how the shilling a day is to be spent : 
Bread, lib per day at i%d. . .00 loj 
Meat, lib @ 6%d. . . . 039^ 

Potatoes, Ib . . . . 3i 

Landlord, for cooking, & c . . o o 

Sundries . . 01 

TOTAL V . 070 

Soldiers' Marriages "with leave" : 

September 23, 1801. 

The Officers commanding Troops are to make a complete enquiry 
into the Morals and way of life of the married men of the Troops in 
their families, which they are to do by the reports of the Corporals of 
their Troops, by visiting their lodgings themselves, and by enquiry in 
the Parish and neighbourhood ; they are to see the Certificates of the 
Marriages and to report next Sunday such Men if any, as either return 
themselves married without being so in reality, or who do not conduct 
their Family in a manner creditable to the regiment. 

The Men will not be absolutely restrained from Marriage if they 


form respectable Connections, but if any man marries without the 
previous knowledge of the commanding Officer, so that enquiry may 
be made into the character of the woman he means to marry, he will 
be considered guilty of Disobedience of Orders, and will be obliged to 
lodge in the Barrack Room and to mess with his Troop. This Order 
will extend to any man who has made an improper marriage last 
month, as notice of it has been given of it in the Field and in orders. 

Regulations as to the proceeds arising from the sale of 

disused clothing, &c. : 

December i, 1802. 

The Men will be settled with on the 24th of this month for the 
amount of the old Hats and Clothing which has been sold, after 
deducting the Expenses attending the Sale. To which will be added 
the Proceeds of the Lace of the Old Furniture sold in like manner. 

All the men who were in the Regiment on the 3ist of March, 1802, 
are to share, including those subsequently discharged. The Farriers 
and extra Music are to share ; but not the Trumpeters, who will have 
the velvet clothing in lieu when it is condemned. 

The men will remember that to prevent the improper intercourse 
with Jews, and the plunder that has been made of Lace at different 
times, whenever it may be given to the men, it will be publicly sold for 
the whole and divided so that every man has an interest in preventing 
or detecting any theft or Embezzlement, should there ever be a man 
in the Regiment capable of the Crime. 

Here follows a warning against consorting with men 
who have been expelled the Regiment, &c. : 

May i, 1803. 

. . . Few Regiments can boast of a more respectable or older Corps 
of non-commissioned Officers than this, and therefore the more 
necessary it is to degrade any Corporal whose Conduct might disgrace 
the rest. It is easy to find a successor. There is a Corps of Lance 
Corporals ; many of whom are very fit for and deserving of promotion. 

Any man who is seen or known to drink with, associate with or even 
speak to any man who may have at any time been turned out of this 
regiment will be considered as guilty of scandalous and disgraceful 
Behaviour and of disobedience of Orders ; such men must at the 
least expect long confinement to the Yard, and to be denied any leave 
of absence or Furlough for Twelve months for every offence. 

Any Corporal either guilty of this offence, or who may see or know 
of it in any man of the Regiment, and does not report it, will be 

It is Criminal to know of a deserter and not apprehend him and 
swear him in, or report him to the Regiment so that he may be 


But the Regiment must feel the scandal that would belong to their 
going about like Bullies to assist Crimps or Substitute Hunters or to 
be concerned in taking up men they cannot swear to. 

An example has been made of a Musician for a most daring outrage 
of this sort, taking his pistols out of his quarters without leave, loading 
it in a House, and threatening unarmed inhabitants more like a Foot 
Pad than a Soldier. 

Such Conduct will always be most severely punished on the person 
of the principal Offender, and in that of those who may see it, and do 
do not endeavour to prevent it. 

" Loose" hair is forbidden: 

June 13, 1803. 

No man to be suffered to appear with his hair loose on his shoulders 
at any time whatsoever. 

June 14, 1803. 

The Men's hair will be put under the Cap at the Morning and 
Evening Stables and at all times when undressed. 

An Acting Field Officer is to be saluted : 

July 8, 1803. 

Brevet-Major Calland, doing duty as a Field Officer in the Regiment, 
is to receive the Compliment due to a Field Officer from all Regimental 
Guards and Sentinels of the Regiment. 

Concerning " coloured clothes " i.e. plain clothes: 

July 9, 1803. 

The Men are never to appear in Coloured Clothes without leave. 
When they wish to wear Coloured Clothes on leave of absence, they 
are to make it part of their request, through the Corporal who applys 
for them. 

Notification is made of General Buckley's assumption 

of the command : 

October 8, 1803. 

Lieut. -General Lord Cathcart having received the King's Order to 
proceed to Ireland to take command of the forces in that Part of H.M.'s 
Dominions, all Regimental reports are to be made to, and all Regi- 
mental Orders are to be received from General Buckley, in such 
manner and through such Officers as he shall be pleased to direct. 

Drinking Lord Cathcart's health : 

September 17, 1807. 

In consequence of the Sensation of the Country, and the Regiment 
in particular, at the success of the British Forces at Copenhagen under 

H.C. II. L L 


Lieut-General Lord Cathcart,* the Commanding Officer has ordered 
Quarter- Master Mortlock to advance 18 guineas in order that the Men, 
in union with the whole country, may drink their Colonel, Lieutenant- 
General the Right Honourable Lord Cathcart's, Health. 

The following War Office notice refers to rewards offered 
for the apprehension of deserters : 

War Office, 
111533. F. July 20, 1819. 

4 Notice. 

Resolution of extraordinary reward for the apprehension of Deserters 
from the land Forces. 

It being deemed expedient to reduce the extraordinary reward for the 
apprehension of Deserters from the land forces, this is to give notice 
that from the 25th Instant inclusive the sum of 205. only instead of 405. 
will be allowed for the apprehension of deserters. The above sum is 
distinct from and in addition to the ordinary reward of 2os. authorised 
by the Mutiny Act. 

Numerous instances having occurred of collusion between supposed 
Deserters, and the persons by whom they are accused of desertion, 
Magistrates are requested not to give an order for the rewards above 
mentioned until apprized by this Office that there is no objection to the 

payment thereof. 


A Corporal Court-martialled : 


January 28, 1820. 

The Court Martial of which Captain Ridout was President is dissolved, 
the proceedings and sentence approved, the prisoner reduced to a Private 
Sentinel but the Corporal punishment omitted in consequence of former 
character. It is to be observed by the Regiment and by the Corporals 
in particular that every part of the transaction which is the subject of 
this Court Martial shews the prisoner to be unfit for a situation so 
very respectable and confidential as that of a Corporal in the King's 
Life Guards. . . . 

Regimental mourning for George III. : 

King Street, February 3, 1820. 

. . . Till further Orders the King's Life Guard will mount in Jack 
Boots and Pantaloons. During the mourning Officers will wear Black 
Morocco Sword Slings of the same pattern with those worn with 
the Broad Sword, the Tassel being only covered over with Crepe. . . 

* He was this year created a Peer of the United Kingdom as Baron 


Concerning Officers' unpunctuality on parade : 

King Street Barracks, March 13, 1820. 

Officers arriving late on parade or improperly dressed are not to take 
their places without first having reported themselves to the Commanding 
Officer, and asked permission to retire in the event of their having 
arrived improperly dressed. If permission to retire is granted, they 
are with all speed to make the necessary alteration and return and 
report themselves as ready for duty. 

Any inconvenience that may have been caused by such absence is 
to be made good at a suitable occasion. 

Arrangements for a route march : 

King Street, July 19, 1820. 

The Regiment will march to-morrow to Richmond, Twickenham, and 
Isleworth, agreeable to route received. The Trumpet to Boot and 
Saddle will sound at Eight O'clock, and to Horse at Half Past. 

The whole to march in Jack Boots, Best Jackets and Helmets ; 
Officers without Furniture. 
The Troop will be stationed as follows : 

Richmond (Head Quarters) Captain Upjohn's Troop 

Lord Barnard's Troop 

Wyndham's Troop 

Jarvis's Troop 

Twickenham, Captain Barton's Troop 
Evelyn's Troop 

Ridout's Troop 

Isleworth, Captain Milligan's Troop 

Lieut.-Col. Dance will be stationed at Isleworth, and Lieut. -Col. Vyse 
at Twickenham. 

The Regiment's high character is to be kept up : 

London, 8th August, 1820. 

... If they persevere in their good conduct in their loyalty to the 
King, whose Life Guards they have the honour to be, their steady 
Valour in action and their discipline in their quarters and Cantonments 
at Home and abroad, they will be second to no regiment in the world 
in general esteem and admiration. 

They have an high character. It must be their Pride and Study to 
maintain it. 

On the Annual Inspection and its lessons : 

King Street, ^th January, 1821. 

Lieut.-Col. Dance has every reason to be satisfied with the 
Appearance of Cleanliness and Regularity throughout the Regiment 

L L 2 


at the Annual Inspection with the exception of the E Troop which was 
perfectly a disgrace to all the rest. He feels less surprised however at 
this difference when he finds that the Quarter Master is so shamefully 
inattentive to His Duty, and ignorant of everything belonging to the 
Troop, by which he not only does injustice to his Captain but 
encourages the negligence of the Corporals and the irregularity of the 
men. Quarter Master Hodgson may rely on it that his conduct will be 
closely observed and reported to the Colonel if not sensibly altered for 
the better. 

Seven years' transportation is the sentence for a 

deserter : 

Hyde Park Barracks, loth May, 1830. 

In compliance with the Brigade order of the nth Ult. Private 
Thomas Musgrave has been delivered over to the Civil Power, and 
placed on board the Justitia Convict Ship in order to his being trans- 
ported for the period of seven years for desertion, agreeably to the 
sentence of the General Court Martial held at Hyde Park Barracks on 
the gth February last. 

The Regiment marches to Brighton : 

Hyde Park Barracks, 2jth July, 1830. 

Agreeable to a route received the Regiment will march to-morrow 
norning at Four o'clock for Brighton, and Chichester Barracks in four 


THE Royal Military Chronicle for 1810 (p. 278), referring 
to the First and Second Life Guards, describes the strength 
of these Corps : 

There are five troops in each Regiment, each troop having one 
Captain, one Lieutenant, one Cornet, one Quarter Master, and three 
companies of Fifty Privates each, inclusive of the Trumpeter. The 
arms are firelocks with bayonets, pistol, and sabre. Their quarters 
provide for one Regiment at Knightsbridge, and there are two stables 
for 300 men in King Street, Portman Square. The picquet guard 
consists of one Subaltern, one Corporal, and 30 privates. 

The frequent changes made in the uniform of the 
Household Cavalry were the subject of some rather 
clumsy and ungrammatical banter : 

(From the Military Register, January 28th, 1818, p. 128.) 


The following jeu d'esprit has appeared in a respectable morning 
paper ; we copy it that we may obtain some explanation : 

" Those Gallant Corps, who, in the acknowledgement of the whole 
Military World, on the plain of Waterloo decided the fate of Europe, 
and of whom the Prince Regent has condescended to appoint himself 
Colonel-in-Chief : These Gallant Corps have had, we understand, had 
one allowance granted them lately, viz. that they are only to change 
their uniform four times a year. 

"This arrangement seems to give universal satisfaction, even to the 
trade itself, as the Royal Tailor has signified that, if more frequent 
changes took place, he should not think himself quite so sure of being 
paid. But the tailor being somewhat insensible to glory, and who likes 
cash better than credit, his opinion has been decisive on the occasion, 
and four times therefore only in the year these gallant Corps are to 
have an entire change which will be notified in Public Orders, that the 
Military World may know to what regiment they belong, lest, having 
seen them three months before in a uniform entirely different, they 
might mistake them for a different part of the army." (British Press.) 


NEITHER the Life Guards nor the Blues were on 
active service for many years preceding 1793, 
when the country entered upon the ten years' 
struggle with revolutionary France which lasted 
till 1803. In April, 1792, the Republican forces like 
those of the Monarchy in former years invaded the 
Austrian Netherlands, now known as Belgium. It was 
always, and is still, a cardinal principle of British policy 
that the Low Countries shall never be permitted to fall 
into the hands of a Power possibly hostile to England. 
Especially intolerable to every British Government would 
be the occupation of Antwerp by any great maritime 
Power. The French Republic, by invading Belgium and 
threatening Holland, threw down a challenge to England 
which was taken up the more readily owing to the outburst 
of British horror and indignation consequent on the murder 
of Louis Seize on January 2ist, 1793 ; and France formally 
declared war against England in the following month. 

It was decided to send the Duke of York over to Holland 
with a few troops. By a great effort on February aoth 
three battalions of the Guards were made up and 
despatched on the 25th. These were followed in March 
by three battalions of the Line, composed, however, of 
raw recruits. Circumstances then suggesting the despatch 
of a larger force to help Austria in invading France, 
some Hanoverians and Hessians were added to these 
troops, and also a division of 2,500 British cavalry,* 

* J 793> November 2ist. A circular was sent to all cavalry 
regiments, except the Blues, that, on account of the difficulty in 

Stanford's ffto^Estab* 




consisting of the Blues* and the First, Second, and Third 
Dragoon Guards, which formed the first brigade ; of a 
second brigade, which reached Ostend on May zgih, and 
included the Royals, the Scots Greys, and the Inniskillings, 
under Mansel ; and of a third brigade, consisting of the 
Seventh, Eleventh, and Fifteenth Dragoons (now Hussars), 
and the Sixteenth Dragoons (now Lancers). 

The campaign of 1793 afforded the British cavalry little 
opportunity of winning distinction. Its time was to come 
in 1794, when it had been reinforced by the Fifth and 
Sixth Dragoon Guards and by the Eighth and Fourteenth 
Dragoons (now Hussars). 

For the 1794 campaign the cavalry brigades were 
rearranged, Harcourt now commanding the First, Fifth, 
and Sixth Dragoon Guards (Carabineers) ; Mansei the 
Blues, Third Dragoon Guards, and Royals ; Laurie the 
Second Dragoon Guards (Bays), Scots Greys, and Innis- 
killings; and Dundas the Seventh, Eleventh and Fifteenth 
Dragoons (now Hussars), and Sixteenth Dragoons (now 
Lancers). Such was the force engaged in the three 
memorable cavalry actions of Villers-en-Cauchies, Bethen- 
court, and Willems, which were preceded and prepared 
for by the great Imperial review held at Cateau on 
April 1 6th. This, though ostensibly a parade, was 
really a muster of the whole of the available troops. 

The first of these brilliant cavalry successes was the 
exploit performed at Villers-en-Cauchies on April 24th, by 
the Fifteenth Light Dragoons and the Austrian Leopold 
Hussars, numbering together only 300 sabres. The 
British attacked in front, the Austrians on the enemy's 
left flank. The Fifteenth were charging the French 

procuring young Gentlemen for Cornetcies, the King was pleased to 
reduce the existing regulation price to 700 Guineas. (Commander- 
in-Chiefs Letter-Book.) 

* For their Adjutant, John Elley, see APPENDIX. 


cavalry when the latter wheeled outwards on either side, 
unmasking a line of French skirmishers and guns. In 
rear of the guns were massed about 3,000 infantry, formed 
in two squares side by side with the guns between them. 
Notwithstanding a tough resistance, the Fifteenth charged 
right through the battery and straight upon the bayonets. 
Their onrush was irresistible, the enemy bolted, and the 
Allied squadrons sabred the fugitives wholesale. This 
slaughter can be excused, if excuse be necessary, in view 
of the desperate odds 300 to 5,000 against which the 
victors were fighting. 

Unfortunately, the gallant Fifteenth were robbed of the 
full fruits of their success by an inexplicable lack of the 
support expected from Mansel and his brigade, which con- 
sisted as has been said of the Royals, the Blues, and 
the Third Dragoon Guards. Having hopelessly clubbed 
his brigade, the commander of the support, by his blunder- 
ing irresolution, brought the Third Dragoon Guards under 
a severe enfilading fire,* and threw the whole of the six 
squadrons into confusion, from which, however, the Royals 
quickly rallied and covered the retirement of the other two 

The Duke of York in his despatch alludes to the 
contretemps as a " mistake," having evidently had no 
opportunity of examining the officer in command : 

Cateau, 25 April, 1794. 

Had they been properly supported, the entire destruction of the 
Enemy must have been the consequence, but by some mistake General 
Hansel's brigade did not arrive in time for that purpose the Enemy 
however were obliged to retreat in great confusion into Cambray, with 
the loss of 1,200 men killed in the field, and 3 pieces of cannon. 

The next evening the Commander-in-Chief was able to 

* This regiment lost killed, 38 men, 46 horses ; wounded or 
missing, 9 men. 


render a story of a complete and unqualified triumph. 
Flushed with the day's success, he wrote : 

Heights above Cateau, April 26, 1794. 

It is from the field of battle that I have the satisfaction to acquaint 
you, for His Majesty's information, with the glorious success which the 
army under my command have had this day. At daybreak this morning, 
the enemy attacked me on all sides. After a short but severe conflict 
we succeeded in repulsing him with considerable slaughter. The 
enemy's General, Chapuy, is taken prisoner, and we are masters of 35 
pieces of the enemy's cannon. The behaviour of the British Cavalry 
has been beyond all praise. 

The vindication of the courage and capacity of Mansel 
and his brigade had been only a matter of forty-eight 
hours the General himself meeting with a soldier's death 
at the victorious cavalry action usually known as Cateau, 
but more appropriately designated as Bethencourt. 

April 26th must always stand as a red-letter day in the 
annals of the British horse. The Duke of York at Cateau 
was being threatened by two French columns from 
Cambrai under Chappuis. The Duke, making a feigned 
frontal attack with artillery, and sending a few light troops 
to engage the French right, secretly despatched all his 
cavalry against their left. The squadrons, led by Otto, 
numbered nineteen, and included six of Austrian Cuiras- 
siers, Mansel's brigade, the First and Fifth Dragoon 
Guards, and the Sixteenth Lancers. They were formed 
unseen in a hollow near Bethencourt, and the advance was 
made with great caution, every fold in the ground being 
utilised for concealment. The last ridge surmounted, Otto 
saw 20,000 French infantry, with their guns, in order of 
battle, formed in two lines, their left resting on Andancourt, 
and their right on a farm called La Coquelet, and most 
important point of all facing eastwards and blissfully un- 
consciousof the imminent danger threatening them from the 
north. The moment had come for a shock action, which, 
for skill and dash, as well as for historic interest, has 


hardly a parallel in our military history. The trumpets 
sounded the charge ; Schwarzenburg set the pace ; the 
British cavalry were not in the temper to conform too 
nicely to regulations ;* and, with the British cheer which 
had so disagreeably impressed the French at Dettingen, 
they swept down on the enemy's left flank totally regard- 
less of the furious fire of grape and musketry which was 
opened upon them. The attack, faultlessly designed, was 
admirably executed. In a few minutes the fate of the 
French was determined. The solid mass of infantry 
resolved itself into a formless mob of fugitives. A few 
of them made a stand at Montigny, where they fell in with 
part of Chappuis' second column coming from Ligny. 
Against this body Otto delivered Hansel's brigade, which 
rode at and through them with deadly effect. 

The brigadier himself, with the unhappy blunder of 
forty-eight hours ago rankling in his mind, vowed he 
would never come back alive, and, dashing on ahead of 
his men, went down at once,t his place being taken by 
Colonel Vyse of the King's Dragoon Guards. Sir H. 
Calvert, A.D.C. to the Duke of York, wrote the same day, 
" The Duke directed a column of heavy cavalry consisting 
of the (Austrian) Zedwitsh Cuirassiers, the Blues, Royals, 
and First, Third, and Fifth Dragoon Guards, to turn the 
enemy, or endeavour to take them in flank, which service 
they performed in a style beyond all praise, charging 
repeatedly through the enemy's column, and taking 26 
pieces of cannon. The [Sixteenth] Light Dragoons and 
Hussars took nine pieces on the left of the Duke's Camp." 
The losses of the Blues were : Killed, Quarter-Master 

* Lord Amherst (1779) had laid down that cavalry should always 
advance to the charge at a trot, and only break -into a gallop when 
within 50 yards of the enemy. 

f The exact circumstances of his death are unknown. Lord 
Combermere stated that he was found by his son, after the battle, 
lying in a ditch, stripped of all clothing, and with the throat cut. 

Stan/brdb GeoglEstab 

WlLLEMS (3). 



Kipling, 15 troopers, 25 horses ; wounded, 4 corporals, 16 
troopers, 17 horses ; missing, 8 horses. 

General Chappuis was taken prisoner, giving up his 
sword to Major Tiddieman, Third Dragoon Guards, and 
in his pocket were found papers exhibiting Pichegru's 
design for investing the whole of Flanders. 

Profiting by the information thus gained, the Duke 
attached the Bays, Greys, and Inniskillings to Laurie's 
brigade to operate towards St. Amand, whither in four 
days 7 time he followed them with his whole force. 
Landrecies surrendered on April 3Oth, and the Duke of 
York was then directed to march on at once to Tournai, 
which he reached on the 3rd. 

On May loth, exactly a fortnight after Bethencourt, was 
enacted the last in the trilogy of cavalry dramas, in which 
the British horse were again to demonstrate the stuff of 
which they were made. The regiments engaged were the 
Blues ; the Second, Third, and Sixth Dragoon Guards ; 
the First, Second, and Sixth Dragoons ; and the Seventh, 
Eleventh, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth Light Dragoons. The 
French army, numbering 30,000, moved out immediately 
after dawn in two columns against the Duke of York's 
entrenched position at Tournai. The smaller body might 
have turned the left of the Duke's position at a village 
called Blandain but for the stout resistance of the Austrian 
regiment of Kaunitz, who had been ordered to occupy the 
wood of Bachy on the road from Orchies. The larger 
body, having carried the two advanced posts of Basieux 
and Camphin, formed on level ground and opened a fierce 

The English commander, quick to observe a gap in the 
enemy's line, ordered sixteen squadrons of British dragoons 
and two of Austrian hussars to advance by some low 
ground on the left of the Allied centre to gain the plain of 
Cysoning, and turn the enemy's right. Their line of 


advance lay across fields of rape sown in ridges with very 
deep furrows between them. No less than nine distinct 
charges were made by the cavalry, the nature and 
rain-sodden condition of the ground being a cruel 
handicap. Many of the horses got tripped up and fell, 
their riders being in some cases killed or made prisoners. 
It was pathetic to observe how some riderless horses 
resumed their places in the ranks, and manoeuvred with 
precision until they were snapped up by men whose horses 
had been shot. The advance, though slow, was steady. 
The cavalry turned Camphin, as ordered, and thus 
exposed their left to the fire of the batteries in front of 
Gruson. And though it was the difficult ground rather 
than the guns that checked the cavalry charges, yet the 
enemy's fire from a windmill on one side, and from a 
temporary battery on the other, did deadly work. 

But the British horse were not to be denied. The French 
infantry column was gradually forced back, retreating from 
Camphin and crossing the high road in front of Basieux 
southwards towards the village of Willems. As they were 
gaining this spot, Dundas's brigade, reinforced by six more 
squadrons, broke in upon them and did great execution ; the 
Carabineers delivering a brilliant charge against their 
French namesakes, who outnumbered them by four to one, 
and against whom they had a long-standing grudge for the 
capture of one of their standards thirty years previously. 

The Blues were ordered to attack a body of French 
infantry passing between two plantations, but their heavy 
horses were so pumped that they could scarcely boil up a 
trot in the deep ground, and the Carabineers on their light 
Irish horses raced past them.* 

* On the other hand, there is a W. O. record : 

" I 79^, July 5th. The Duke of Richmond was ordered to take 
over 60 horses from the Third Dragoon Guards too light-sized for 
heavy dragoons, but perfectly fit for the Blues." 


A final advance was now ordered against the enemy's 
infantry, who had formed themselves in three squares. 
An officer of the Greys, galloping out from his command, 
broke single-handed into the largest square, and made a 
gap for the entry of his men. This was the beginning of 
the end. All three squares were rushed by sheer weight 
and pace, and for the third time within three short weeks 
British sabres, unsupported be it remembered by a 
single battery of horse artillery, accounted gloriously for 
their arm of the Service. The French retreated across the 
Marque, with a loss of over 400 prisoners and 14 guns, 
their casualties amounting to nearly 2,000. 

The losses of the Blues were : Killed, 2 troopers ; 
wounded, Cornet George Smith and 3 troopers ; missing, 
4 troopers. 

No further brilliant cavalry actions distinguished the 
campaign. It were difficult to decide whether the severity 
of the ensuing winter or the mala fides of the Austrians 
contributed the more to the untoward termination of the 
operations in the Netherlands and the disastrous retreat 
of the British through Germany.* In the autumn of 1795 
the army embarked for England, and in November the 
four troops of the Blues which had formed part of it were 
back again in their old quarters at Northampton. 

* Early in 1795 General Conway, commanding the Blues, applied to 
the Adjutant- General, as the officers of the Blues were clamouring to 
be allowed to take a turn of duty in Flanders. The Adjutant -General 
replied that the detail of officers for foreign service must rest with 
General Conway and be entirely within his discretion, due regard 
being paid to seniority; and added that he had not heard of such 
disputes and difficulties in other regiments. (Commander -in-Chief s 


THE officer detailed to act as Adjutant to the 
Detachment of the Blues was Troop Quarter-Master 
John Elley, whose record of service is perhaps unique in 
the annals of the Army. Elley, who was born at Leeds, 
was, according to one statement, articled to a London 
solicitor, but was more probably apprenticed by his father, 
who kept an eating-house in Furnival's Inn, to Mr. Gelden, 
a well known tanner near Leeds. He enlisted when quite 
a youth in the Blues at Leeds on November 5th, 1789. 
He is said to have been for the first few months, like 
other young soldiers, dissatisfied with his profession and 
dissuaded from leaving it only by the earnest persuasions 
of the vicar of Hedley. His father also evidently assisted 
him by helping to buy a troop quartermastership in the 
Regiment the following year, and to purchase further 
each successive regimental step. Elley made his mark in 
Flanders ; he highly distinguished himself both at Willems 
and Bethencourt, and on June 6th he was gazetted to a 
cornetcy. He was promoted lieutenant in 1796; five years 
later he obtained his troop ; in 1804 he became major and 
in 1808 lieutenant-colonel of the Regiment. He was 
employed on special staff work in the south of England 
during the invasion scare at the beginning of the igth 
century, and was Assistant- Adjutant-General of Cavalry in 
Spain in 1808-9, taking part in the fights of Salagan, 
Benevente, &c., and in the famous retreat to, and battle of, 
Corunna. He was employed in the same capacity in the 
Peninsula and south of France 1809-1814; he was 


wounded at Salamanca, where he had two horses shot 
under him, and was specially noted by Wellington both at 
Vittoria and Toulouse. His tireless energy was as 
remarkable as his physical strength, his scientific skill and 
his dauntless bravery. There is an almost pathetic letter 
from him to Lord FitzRoy Somerset dated from Coimbra 
on the 7th February, 1813 : 

... It is the first time in my life that I have been prevented by ill- 
health from obeying an order. I have been forty days suffering from a 
most violent bilious attack. ... I am extremely weak, and quite 
unequal to a ride of more than two leagues a day. I have a hot bath 
every other night, and take calomel daily. 

I have not reported my ill-health to the D.A.G., finding that I could 
carry on the duties of the department so long as Cavalry Headquarters 
remain stationary. 

Enclosed " State of Cavalry serving in Spain and Portugal." (Duke 
of Wellington's Despatches.) 

He was Adjutant-General for Cavalry at Waterloo, and 
is known to have accounted personally for more than one 
French cuirassier. He was made K.C.B., promoted 
Major-General and Lieutenant-General, and finally repre- 
sented Windsor as a staunch Peelite in 1835. His death 
occurred four years later, and he is buried in St. George's 
Chapel. Under his will two sums of money were left to 
buy mess plate for the Blues, and another sum to be 
distributed among decayed householders of Windsor. A 
contemporary sketch of his career alludes to his Regiment 
as " one of the first in Europe " : 

The extraordinary size and comeliness of the men, their discipline as 
soldiers, their orderly conduct in quarters as citizens, constitute them a 
bright pattern for a regular army. The men must produce testimonials 
on joining that prove their previous life to have been unimpeachable, 
and should any trooper so misconduct himself as to incur the disgrace 
of corporal punishment, he is dismissed with ignominy ; what would 
be deemed a venial obliquity in any other corps is regarded in a very 
serious light in the Royal Horse Guards Blue. (Military Panorama, 


LORD DOVER,* who three years earlier had suc- 
ceeded Lord Lothian in the colonelcy of the 
First Life Guards, died in 1792. The King's 
appointment of Lord Harrington j* to the vacant 
command came as an agreeable surprise. 

An adulatory note of the time provides the puff pre- 
liminary : 

As an infantry officer, the Army in general knew his Lordship's 
splendid talents ; but, as he was now called to a new mode of service, 
which he was probably only acquainted with from theory, his intimate 
friends were in some measure apprehensive lest he should not shine as 
he had formerly done. But their fears were groundless. It is evident 
from the improvement made in the appearance of the Life Guards, and 
the high state of discipline introduced by him, that he is capable of 
whatever H.M. may appoint him to, and it is likewise another proof of 
the King's great judgment which induced him to give Lord Harrington 
with only the rank of colonel in the army, and not forty years old 
the first regiment in the service. What a flattering mark of Royal 
attention, and how pleasing to his Lordship, his family and friends ! 

On July gth, 1795, occurred the death of the soldier- 
statesman, Field-Marshal Conway, Colonel of the Blues. 

* The hon. Joseph Yorke, K.B., son of the ist earl of Hardwicke, 
was A.D.C. to the duke of Cumberland at Fontenoy, and later to 
George II. ; col. gth foot 1755, 8th dragoons '58, 5th dragoons '60; 
nth dragoons '87; cr. baron Dover '88; col. ist Life Guards '89; 
d. '92. 

f Chas Stanhope, G.C.H., 3rd earl of Harrington, ensign Cold- 
stream Gds. 1769; served in American war and distinguished himself 
on the plains of Abraham '76, A.D.C. to It.-gen. Burgoyne '77, col. 
85th foot and went to Jamaica '79. Returning to England was 
A.D.C. to Geo. III. '82, col. 65th foot and went to Ireland '83, col. 
29th foot '88, col. ist Life Guards '92 ; c.-in-c. in Ireland 1806 ; bore 
the great standard at cor. Geo. IV. '21 ; d. '29. 


With the unseemly expedition then in vogue, the Duke 
of Richmond only six days later was gazetted to the 
vacant post. 

An order of July igth afforded the men of the Life 
Guards the welcome relief of a discontinuance of the 
objectionable custom of powdering the hair. 

In 1799 the First Life Guards are described as con- 
sisting of very fine men of an average height of about six 
feet : 

No recruits are taken under 5 ft. 10 in. high ; they must be growing 
young men, and their pay being handsome no enlisting money is given. 
The uniform is scarlet faced with Blue, and Gold Lace. The Com- 
manding Officers consist of a Colonel, one Lieut.-Colonel, one Super- 
numerary Lieut.-Colonel, one Major, 5 Captains, 6 Lieutenants, one 
Adjutant and Lieutenant, 5 Cornets and Sub- Lieutenants, and a 
Surgeon and Veterinary Surgeon. (Military Library.) 

According to the same authority : 

In the Second Life Guards the average height is 5 ft. 11} in., and 
the horses stand 15 to 18 hands high, their colour being black and the 
tails long. The full pay of N.C.O.'s and men is: Corporals, 2s. Sd., 
Privates, 2s. id. without deduction. (Military Library, i. 150.) 

Within the space of a few years some minor modifications 
were effected in the two regiments of Life Guards. In 
1797 the pay of the corporals was raised to 2S. 6jd., and 
that of the troopers to is. njd. per day. In September, 
1799, a sixth troop was added to each regiment ; in 
November, 1803, the regimental establishment was 
increased by eight corporals and fifty-four troopers ; and 
in the ensuing June a Regimental Corporal-Major was 
appointed, and an addition made of thirty-seven troop- 
horses. In 1806 there was created a non-saleable adju- 
tancy, the commission of " lieutenant and adjutant " being 

In the autumn of 1795 popular discontent fomented by 
the scarcity arising from the war came to a head. On 
October 27th the King, while on his way to the House of 

H.C. ii. M M 


Lords, was within an ace of being assassinated by some 
miscreant who fired at him in his coach. His Majesty, 
who was happily uninjured, showed no sign of alarm, 
quietly remarking to the Lord Chancellor, " My Lord, I 
have been shot at ! " On the return journey to St. 
James's the crowd pressed so close to the coach, that the 
King motioned to the Life Guards riding on either side ta 
keep the mob off. Later, as His Majesty in a private 
coach was leaving St. James's for Buckingham House,, 
and the Life Guards were no longer in attendance as 
escort, the mob threw stones at the coach, and its royal 
occupant was once more in serious danger. A gentle- 
man of the Navy Office standing by was about to fire his, 
pistol at one of the assailants, when it occurred to him to 
run and fetch the Life Guards, who at once responded 
to the call. A trooper lifted up his sword to cut down 
one of the offenders, when the King interposed. His, 
calmness never forsook him. When a stone struck one 
of the glass windows, he only said, " That is a stone :. 
you see the difference from a bullet ! " 

A part of the crowd cheered His Majesty for his cool- 
ness, while others cried " Bread, bread ! " and " Peace,, 
peace ! 7:> in so pugnacious a manner that the Life Guards, 
had to disperse them.* 

The association of the Blues with the Life Guards is, 
amply illustrated by contemporary accounts of brigade 
field-days, the popularity of which must have sadly 
interfered with their utility : 

On September i6th, 1803, tne King held at Wimbledon a review of 
the two Regiments of Life Guards, and the Oxford Blues, which were 
on the ground before nine o'clock, the Blues coming from Croydon, the 
First Life Guards from Knightsbridge, and the second from Portman 
barracks. Each Regiment, on reaching the common, drew up in close 
column, and dismounted. At ten, the hour appointed for His Majesty's 

* Lord Colchester's Diary, 1. 3 Ann. Reg., 1796, p. 9. 


arrival, the three Regiments formed into one line, the Blues taking 
their place in the middle, the First Regiment of Life Guards on the 
right, and the Second on the left. The line, formed along the south- 
east side of the common, facing the Thames, was nearly a mile in 
length ; the number of men composing it being about 1,500. 

The King having taken his station, the three Regiments passed him 
in squadrons, and afterwards in single file. They then re-formed into 
line, rode up nearly at a gallop to within a few yards of His Majesty, 
and finally wheeled round and dismounted. This movement was 
instantaneous, the men being every one on foot at the same moment. 
Having linked their horses, they advanced in front, forming a long 
line on foot, and marched to within a few yards of His Majesty, whom 
they passed twice on foot first in column, afterwards in squadrons. 
They then returned to their horses, mounted, and continued till half-past 
two to perform a variety of evolutions. 

The most noticeable were a retreat by fohelons,* and a new mode of 
charging, by which one party runs over the enemy from the flank when 
the other has broken them in front. The charge in line had once a 
very formidable effect, though from the vast crowds on the ground, 
and the great extent of the line, it was impossible to observe that nice 
regularity in dressing which at other times is so strictly adhered to. A 
great part of the line was frequently obliged to fall back, and take its 
position in the rear ; for otherwise numbers of the spectators must 
have been trampled to death. 

The fine weather and the grandeur of the sight attracted an immense 
crowd from London and the neighbouring country. The road from 
Hyde Park Corner, as well as that on the Surrey side, was thronged 
with horsemen and carriages. The private carriages were generally 
open and filled with beautiful women, many of whom sat on the 
boxes, the gentlemen driving. The eagerness of curiosity induced 
the spectators who went in carriages to place them as near as they 
could, which, as they were not in general versed in military manoeuvres, 
was a good deal too near. It was a very curious scene, when the 

* Another account is more technical : " The supposed enemy was 
on the side of Richmond Park. The line broke to the front by direct 
echelons of squadrons behind a directing squadron. On the supposed 
appearance of the enemy in the lanes leading by the ravines from the 
' Bald-faced Stag ' and Coombe, the echelons halted and wheeled to the 
left. The Echelons to the left of the squadron of direction advanced and 
formed to their leading echelon, the echelons of the right wing moving up 
and forming on the left of the squadron of direction. The brigade was 
then in two lines, the second out-flanking the first by one squadron. 
The squadrons of the first line were then in their original order, the 
order of the second line being inverted." 

M M 2 


regiments approached at full gallop, to see the coaches, chaises, 
barouches, landaus, landaulettes, and pedestrians galloping before 
them ; and this occurred, not once alone, but as often as a general 
manoeuvre was to be performed. 

The whole assemblage was delighted with the spectacle. His 
Majesty was pleased to express to Lord Harrington, who gave the 
word of command as Colonel of the First Regiment of Life Guards,* 
the fullest satisfaction at the manner in which the three Regiments 
performed their evolutions. 

One of the Life Guards unfortunately had his thigh broken by riding 
against the pole of a carriage, which could not get out of the way in 
time. Another fell with his horse in the charge, but was not hurt. 

Occasions of this kind were numerous. At the many 
reviews held by the King and Prince Regent, the Life 
Guards almost invariably kept the ground, and many 
flattering remarks were passed on the patience and 
courtesy they exercised. In 1809, when Lord Harrington 
was reviewing the Bloomsbury Corps, one of the Life 
Guards* horses bolted through the crowd, upsetting 
everybody, broke an old woman's leg, and ended up in 
the Serpentine, the girths having just broken in time. 

The Blues, who for several recent summers had 
encamped near Windsor, were in October, 1804, stationed 
at Windsor itself, where they were quartered till 1812. 
The King regarded the Regiment with great favour, 
ordered its uniform to be smartened up with gold lace and 
other ornaments, and on St. George's Day, 1805 before 
an installation of Knights of the Garter presented it with 
a pair of silver kettledrums.f Shortly after seven o'clock 
in the morning, the Royal Horse Guards marched from 
their barracks opposite the great entrance to the Castle. 
The King then formally presented the kettledrums to 

* " On this occasion," asserts another authority, " Lieutenant- 
General Cathcart gave the word of command, and was so well pleased 
with the performance of his regiment that he made them a present of 
Twenty guineas." Lieutenant -General Earl Cathcart was colonel of 
the Second Life Guards. 

f Ann. Reg., 1805, p. 380. 


Colonel Dorien, who delivered a written address to thank 
His Majesty ; and the band played " Britons, strike 
home ! " The officers appointed to guard the King's 
person were Majors Elley and Miller, R.H.G. His 
Majesty used frequently to appear in the uniform of the 
Regiment, and to attend the regimental parades. 

The vacancy in the command of the Blues created by the 
Duke of Richmond's death on December 2Qth, 1806, was 
filled the very next day by the bestowal of the colonelcy 
on Hugh, Duke of Northumberland, whose name was 
rendered memorable by his liberality and munificence 
towards the men of his Regiment. 

The Royal Horse Guards (Blue) took a leading part 
in the State ceremonial observed on the occasion of 
the lying-in-state of Nelson* at Greenwich, at which 
the crush was so great that many persons were injured, 
the Blues being sent to help the Volunteers. The 
Regiment took a ceremonial part in the burial of the 
hero at St. Paul's Cathedral. At the funeral, later 
in the year, of Charles James Fox,t the Blues kept the 

In the Court of King's Bench on May 23rd, 1806, before 
Lord Ellenborough and a special jury, Michael Henry 
Lynch, Esq., a cornet in the Second Life Guards, brought 
an action against Alexis Thompson, Esq., and others 
officers in the same Regiment to recover damages for 
their having forced the plaintiff to resign his commission. 
The plaintiff had refused to accept a challenge from 
Captain Macnamara, in consequence of which his brother 
officers " sent him to Coventry," and he was obliged to sell 
his commission. The jury found a verdict for the plaintiff, 
awarding him a thousand pounds damages. 

In the year 1807 it happened that the Colonels of both 

* Ann. Reg., 1806, p. 354. 
f Ibid., p. 552. 


Regiments of Life Guards, being actively employed on 
military duty at a distance from London, were unable to 
discharge the duty of Gold Stick, which was accordingly 
entrusted temporarily to Lieutenant - General Lord 

It was an indication of the tendency to assimilate the 
status of the Royal Horse Guards with that of the Life 
Guards that in 1807 the Blues were instructed to draw 
their standards, as the Life Guards had been accustomed 
to draw theirs, from the department of the Lord 

In 1810 King George the Third completed the fiftieth 
year of his reign, and Bachelors' Sports were held at 
Windsor in honour of the Jubilee and of the Queen's 
birthday. An ox, "the gift of R. 0. Fenwick, Esq., of the 
Blues," was roasted whole. 


THE year 1810 was rendered memorable by graver 
events than those just described. Sir Francis 
Burdett, for the offence of bringing to light and 
warmly denouncing the hideous abuse of flogging 
in the Army, was on April 5th adjudged by the House of 
Commons guilty of a breach of privilege, and the Speaker 
issued his warrant for the offender's arrest. Sir Francis 
having notified his intention to resist the execution of the 
warrant until compelled by force, a large and disorderly 
crowd assembled outside his house in Piccadilly with the 
declared object of preventing his capture. Disregarding 
the representations of Sheriff Matthew Wood, the Govern- 
ment on April yth called out the military to repress 
disorder. From the public prints of the time some note- 
worthy particulars may be gleaned. 

Between twelve and one, a troop of Life Guards arrived and were 
drawn up before the house of Sir Francis, and their horses were made 
to prance about on the foot pavement as well as the street, for the 
purpose of dispersing the people. There was much hissing. In about 
a quarter of an hour Mr. Read, the magistrate, arrived. He mounted 
a dragoon horse, and read the Riot Act, and warned all people 
peaceably to depart. The Guards were then planted across Piccadilly, 
from Dover Street, on the one side, to Bolton Row, on the other, so as 
to block up the thoroughfare. Mr. Jones Burdett was not suffered to 
pass through the line to his dinner, until he procured a constable. 
During all this time Sir Francis was at home with his family.* 

The crowd increasing in number, the situation soon 
became grave enough to justify the elaborate precautions 
taken for the preservation of public order. We read that 
" Orders had been transmitted from the War Office in 

* Ann. Rfg., 1810, p. 349. 


every direction, ordering every regiment within 100 miles 
of London to march to the metropolis forthwith." 

On the gth the Serjeant-at-Arms, with a posse of 
constables, made a forcible entrance to Sir Francis 
Burdett's house and effected his arrest in the drawing- 
room. The mise-en-scene was well managed : Enter the 
dastard minions of the law; their blameless victim is 
discovered in a patriotic attitude, " engaged in hearing 
his son read Magna Charta." Tableau ! The next step 
was his conveyance to the Tower : 

The procession moved from Sir Francis Burdett's house in the 
following order: Two squadrons of the i5th Light Dragoons; then 
two troops of Life Guards, with Mr. Read, the Magistrate, at their 
head ; next, the coach with Sir Francis ; then two more troops of Life 
Guards, a troop of the i5th Light Dragoons, and a party of the i5th 
Light Dragoons forming the rear. 

The Foot Guards broke off at Albemarle Street, pro- 
ceeding thence direct to the Tower. The coach was 
taken by a roundabout route through Oxford Street, Great 
Portland Street, the New Road, and Islington. 

After a stormy progress eastwards through the London 
streets, the cavalcade neared its destination : 

At a quarter past twelve there arrived about Twenty Horse Guards, 
who rode up towards the Tower gates. At the distance of one hundred 
yards came about three hundred of the i5th Light Dragoons, then 
about two hundred of the Horse Guards, having in the middle of them 
the coach containing Sir Francis Burdett. 

Another account adds : 

This state of things remained for full half-an-hour, the carriage 
covered by about two hundred Horse Guards, the line of Foot Guards 
stretching from it up Tower Hill, the i5th Light Dragoons lining the 
sides of Tower Hill to keep off the mob, which began to disperse. 

The prisoner having been safely delivered into the 
custody of the Tower authorities, the military escort had 
to make its return through hostile crowds : 

The populace remained quieter after the Baronet went into the 
Tower, but when the orders were given for the cavalry to return, they 
were again influenced by a most determined spirit of opposition. When 
the body of the cavalry were turned, the populace followed them with 



groans and hisses. Mr. Holdsworth, the City Marshall, appeared and 
requested the officers commanding the troops to conduct them on their 
return along London Bridge, so that the peace of the City might not be 
disturbed. His request was complied with, and Mr. Holdsworth went 
before with the intention of preserving order. 

The Guards then proceeded towards Crutched Friars, amidst the 
loudest uproar. Several boys at the same time pelted them with mud 
and bricks, which induced the rear of the Guards to fire. The alarm 
then became general, and the troops fired incessantly. Two men were 
shot at Coopers Row, on Tower Hill. The passage through Crutched- 
Friars, Fenchurch Street, and Gracechurch Street, was a continued 
scene of confusion and alarm. 

It was inevitable that inoffensive bystanders should 
suffer : 

An old man employed at a building in Tower Street, was shot 
standing by the door of Mr Evans, ironmonger, at the corner of John 
Street. Several other persons, it is said, were shot, and among them a 
woman. One unfortunate man, who had received a ball through the 
throat, endeavoured to get admittance at a spirit-shop, but the door was 
shut against him, which so exasperated the populace, that they forced 
the door open and broke all the windows. 

The cavalry continued to load and fire, and at the corner of Mark 
Lane several persons were wounded with sabres and pistols. One man 
had his ear cut off, another received a ball in his breast, and a third was 
shot through the wrist. The balls passed through the windows of 
several tradesmen in the streets already enumerated. A young man, 
said to be a fellowship porter, being pressed hard by the multitude, 
sought shelter in the shop of Mr Goodeve, boot and shoemaker, the 
corner of Mincing Lane, where he received a shot through the left 
breast, and by falling a severe contusion on the back of his head. He 
was afterwards taken in a chair to St. Thomas's Hospital, and the 
Surgeon told those who had brought him into the ward, that he could 
not live two hours. He died in the course of the day.* Many wounded 
persons were carried in coaches to different hospitals.f 

* A coroner's inquest being held on his body, the jury returned a 
verdict of " wilful murder " against a Lifeguardsman unknown. The 
tomb of the deceased was afterwards inscribed with the following 
epitaph : 

" Sacred to the Memory of Thomas Ebrall, who was Shot by a 
Life Guardsman the gth of April 1810, in the Shop of Mr. Goodeve, 
Fenchurch Street. Thus saith the Lord God, My Right Hand shall 
not spare the Sinners, and My Sword shall not cease over them that 
shed Innocent Blood upon the Earth.' " 

f A Lifeguardsman was shot through the cheek by one of the mob. 
(Ann. Reg., 1810, p. 257.) 


The City did not regard these events with indifference : 

The Lord Mayor held a special Court of Aldermen, to take into 
consideration the transactions, which had taken place in the City. The 
Recorder and several aldermen, who had opened the London Sessions 
at Guildhall, were compelled to adjourn the Court for a short time, in 
order to be present at the discussion. While they were deliberating, 
the City Marshall arrived, followed by the populace, who cheered him 
for preventing the troops from passing through the City. In every 
quarter of the City the inhabitants expressed their surprise that the 
military had been suffered to fire in the City without the permission of 
the Lord Mayor. 

The citizens both of London and of Westminster felt 
themselves aggrieved : 

One of the shots discharged by the Light Horse, broke the window 
of the first floor of a cheesemonger's house, the corner of Rood Lane, 
Fenchurch Street, and lodged in the wainscot. 

Lord Moira left the Tower about half-past three, and was cheered by 
the populace as he returned to the West end of the town. Lady 
Burdett and her son arrived after two o'clock, and were admitted to 
Sir Francis. 

A meeting of the Bailiwick of Westminster took place yesterday at 
the Gloucester Coffee House, in order that the forcible arrest of Sir 
Francis might be taken into account. The Sheriffs were to have 
attended, but were detained by the tragical events which had taken 
place in the city. 

Colonel Wardle, Mr Bosville, and Mr Clifford attended. 

Sir Francis Burdett ultimately sought a legal remedy 
against the House of Commons, in the person of its 
Speaker. The following extract from the judgment given 
by Sir James Mansfield, Chief Justice of the Common 
Pleas, in the case of " Sir F. Burdett versus the Right 
Honourable C. Abbot, Speaker of the House of Commons," 
lays down the legal obligations of the military in the 
suppression of crime : 

Since much has been said about soldiers, I will correct a strangely 
mistaken notion which has got abroad that, because men are soldiers, 
they cease to be citizens. A soldier is just as much bound to prevent 
a breach of the peace, or a felony, as any other citizen. 

In 1780 this mistake prevailed to an alarming extent. Soldiers, with 
arms in their hands, stood by and saw felonies committed ; houses being 


burnt and pulled down before their eyes by persons whom they might 
legally have put to death, if they could not otherwise prevent it 
without interfering ; some because they had no commanding officer to 
give them the command, and some because there was no justice of the 
peace with them. 

It is the more extraordinary, because formerly the posse comitatus, 
which was the strength to prevent felonies, must in a great proportion 
have consisted of military tenants who held their land by military 
tenure. If it is necessary, for the purpose of preventing mischief, or 
for the execution of the laws, it is not only the right of soldiers, but it 
is their duty, to exert themselves in the assisting of a legal process, or 
to prevent any crime or mischief being committed. 

It is therefore highly important that the mistake should be corrected, 
which supposes that an Englishman, by taking upon himself the 
additional character of a soldier, puts off any of the rights and duties 
of an Englishman. (Taunton's Reports, Common Pleas, Vol. IV., 

P- 449-) 

The military, to whom had been assigned the unpleasant 
task of restoring order, had but discharged their duty. 
The Life Guards obtained the express approval of the 
King and the thanks of the authorities for their combined 
promptitude, firmness, and forbearance in handling the 

The growing share assigned to the Blues in the 
discharge of Court duties was illustrated by the arrange- 
ments made at the funeral of the Princess Amelia. The 
hearse and the principal carriage were escorted by the 
Blues, and the procession was also flanked by other 
troopers of the Regiment, every fourth man of whom 
carried a flambeau.* 

The year 1811 witnessed the distressing necessity for 
the appointment of a Regency. The Prince of Wales, 
as Prince Regent, received full regal honours in respect of 
escorts. On the loth and I4th of June he held reviews of 
the Life Guards and other troops at Wimbledon. 

On the igth of the month the Prince gave a grand 
party at Carlton House, at which the Blues, while 

* Ann. Reg. y 1810, p. 258. 


keeping the street, were swept away for several paces 
by the great crowd which had assembled. The disorder 
frightened the horses, and the animals, rearing, unfor- 
tunately trampled on some of the people. Meanwhile the 
First Life Guards furnished the mounted escorts, while 
the Second Life Guards were posted within doors to 
furnish sentries in the banqueting-rooms, as well as in the 

In the first year of the Regency there was accorded to 
Roman Catholic soldiers by formal legislation entire 
freedom of worship, which previously had, under the 
Grenville Ministry, been conceded by circular only. 

On the occasion of the Parliamentary Session of 1812 
being opened by the Prince Regent, the escort was 
supplied by the Royal Horse Guards. For the first time 
the celebrated cream-coloured horses were attached to the 
State coach. The dignity of the ceremonial procession 
was somewhat marred, however, by one of the coach 
wheels becoming detached. 

In the same year there occurred disturbances in the 
manufacturing districts, serious outrages being perpetrated 
for the destruction of machinery by poor workers thrown 
out of occupation through its introduction. The Blues 
were sent to Lancashire in May, and made their head- 
quarters at Warrington till the autumn. 

The need of adequate housing accommodation for the 
Household Cavalry led in 1812 to a proposal to build the 
Regents Park Barracks for the use of the Second Life 
Guards, at a cost of 138,000. The matter had become 
urgent on account of the expiry of the lease of the rented 
barracks in Portman Street. The subject being keenly 
debated in the House of Commons, Mr. Huskisson 
expressed his dissatisfaction with the scheme and his 
apprehension lest it should be the occasion for making 
"some attempt at splendour and awkward magnificence" 


productive of " something between a palace and a stable." 
If such be a correct description of the building, its place 
would appear to be much nearer the " stable " end of the 
scale than the other. It may, indeed, be doubted whether 
the palatial splendours of the Regents Park Barracks 
have ever received their due meed of recognition. The 
general verdict during these hundred years has perversely 
been to the effect that among all the mean, dismal, poky, 
dreary, forsaken places of residence assigned to soldiers 
anywhere, the Regents Park Barracks, in respect of each 
of these qualities, must be awarded an easy and undisputed 

However good Mr. Huskisson notwithstanding the 
Select Committee appointed to examine the scheme 
reported favourably on it on April I4th. On May ist the 
subject was once more debated on high constitutional 
grounds, Sir Francis Burdett improving the occasion by 
denouncing what he termed " the military murders " of the 
year 1810 ; while Mr. Fremantle waxed eloquent on the 
theme of the people's feelings being " grated " by the 
establishment of " a Praetorian camp in London " ! 
Parliament, unmoved by these grim and grisly forecasts, 
approved the proposal on June I7th, at the instance of the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer. 

The Pilot, in May, 1812, thus commented on the pro- 
posal to build the Regents Park Barracks : 

We have frequently of late had occasion to express our sentiments 
on the subject of Barracks, and in a constitutional point of view we 
cannot cease to regard them otherwise than with an eye of jealousy, 
considering them capable of being, if not altogether likely to be, con- 
verted into so many fortresses of the Crown, formidable to the freedom 
of the people. 

The new Barracks for the Life Guards in Mary-le-Bone have been 
particularly objected to, on the grounds of the expence with which the 
Buildings will be attended. It is certainly essential to the peace of 
this great capital, liable at all times to dangerous eruptions of tumult 
{although the instances of such excesses are rare), to have some corps 


of this description stationed in the principal districts ; and it might have 
been better if the lease of the old Barracks in Portman Street had been 
extended, instead of creating a necessity for a new Barrack. . . . 

All these considerations, however, are apart from the details of the 
plan of the proposed Barracks in the New Park, but were we suppose 
considered when the vote for the erection was carried in the House 
of Commons by a small majority, created largely by the outrageous 
doctrines of Sir F. Burdett on the other side. . . . 

We have nothing further to add except to notice the malignity with 
which a paper rendered irreconcilably hostile to the Duke of York 
by a series of gross injuries on its part, and magnanimity on his 
strives to fasten on him the unpopularity attached to the erection of 
these expensive Barracks, as if he, the Commander-in-Chief, had 
forced the Minister into this measure ! Now it so happens, the 
Commander-in-Chief has very little to do with the building of Barracks 
merely to give the formal sanction of his name in certain stages ; and 
even this is not done in the case of the Life Guards, who are regarded 
as Household Troops of the Crown, and left out of the general 
arrangement and control of the Army. 

Whatever view may nowadays be justifiably held on the 
subject of prize-fighting, public opinion a century ago was 
decidedly favourable to an institution which the men of 
that time recognised as a manly and noble sport. Among 
the most noted of British pugilists was a Life Guardsman 
named Thomas Shaw. One of the earliest notices of him 
occurs in The Military Magazine (Vol. II., p. 426), under 
the date of November, 1811 : 

There are several pugilistic matches on the tapis, and the one that 
excites greater interest than any other is that between the scientific 
Belcher and Powers, which will be made for 400 guineas. 

It having been reported that a Life Guard Man of equal strength is 
in training for him the following is Molineaux's challenge to him : 


As my late unsuccessful combat has set the knowing ones, 
afloat to find another big man to mill me, and having just got flash 
enough to know some of the phrases, by which I understand that you 
are the man I am next to contend with, I hereby challenge to fight you 
for 300 guineas and as much as your friends think proper, any time 
betwixt this and Christmas, 100 guineas deposit, after which I hope to 
be otherwise engaged. I send this challenge to you ; but I will fight 
any other man in the world, barring Cribb, on the same terms within, 
the stated time. 

The fearless THOS. MOLINEAUX. 


The Commanding Officer of the Regiment has refused, we understand, 
to allow the Life Guardsman to enter the Arena. 

The Commanding Officer, being human, did not perma- 
nently oppose Shaw's desire to bring honour to himself 
and his Regiment by his prowess in the Ring, as a record 
of the following year will show : 

1812. A desperate battle was fought on the eighteenth between Shaw 
the Life Guardsman and Burrow, at Coombe Wood thirteen rounds 
in seventeen minutes. The Guardsman by " Fives' Court " Sparring 
has become quite a scientific man : he fights with great temperance, 
not to say jollity, and from height, weight, and strength will be very 
formidable. He beat his fourteen stone man in seventeen minutes, till 
he could not see his way out of the ring. 

Another writer observes : 

Shaw was very scientific and adopted the course of retreating and 
hitting, so successfully practised by Cribb. He may be a bad 
in-fighter, but he is a long left-handed hitter. He fights with great 
good temper. (Mil. Mag., iii. 39.) 

It is pleasant to note that "the Milling Lifeguardsman" 
was a genuine patriot : 

Shaw was a native of Westmoreland. From his infancy he had 
a great pleasure in fighting, and few were his equals. After his arrival 
in the Metropolis, he was initiated in the duties of a Life Guardsman, 
and several Officers remarked how quickly he arrived at perfection, 
His figure was remarkably grand, his eye penetrating, his countenance 
majestic ; and, possessing every requisite of a good soldier, in short he 
would not have been unworthy of the attention of the great King of 
Prussia's father, being upwards of six feet three in height. 

A short period after his arrival in London, he was introduced to 
Cribb, Belcher, Cropley, etc., and under the last professional here 
named he learnt the noble science of British Pugilism, in which he 
acquired great renown, having fought six prize-fights and lost but one. 
Captain Barclay was pleased to observe that " he was the best game 
and bottom man he knew," and as to his science and courage, they were 
as good as Cribb's and Belcher's. 

He fought a battle about seven or eight weeks ago for fifty guineas 
with Painter, and completely beat him out. A friend went up to him 
after the contest and said " Shaw, I was much gratified with your 

set-to : I will match you against for one hundred guineas," who 

instantly replied, " I should have been proud to have entered the lists 
against him, but I find I am to be called upon shortly by my King and 


Country. I hope, Sir, you will hear that I fought nobly, and, if I die, 
I consider it an honour to fall in their cause. However, if I am well, 
I will mill him on my return." 

These noble sentiments, so worthy of a Westmoreland hero, produced 
a responsive vibration in the mind of my worthy friend, who instantly 
presented him with Ten Pounds. But, alas, poor fellow, he fell in 
a splendid battle, though not before he had confirmed his remark ; as 
it is stated in all the papers " He killed the French by wholesale," and 
terminated his glorious career, like the intrepid Carthaginian, without 
a groan. 


BOTH the Life Guards and the Blues were now about 
to see foreign service under the greatest of all 
British military commanders. Cavalry reinforce- 
ments being required for Wellington's army in 
the Peninsula, it was decided to send out two squadrons 
each of the three Regiments. On Monday, September yth, 
1812, the Earl of Harrington in Hyde Park Barracks 
inspected the detachment of the First Life Guards ordered 
for foreign service. His address, received with the utmost 
enthusiasm the men throwing up their hats and cheering 
was couched in very stirring terms : 


I heard with the most heartfelt satisfaction the manner in 
which the Regiment received their orders for foreign service, though 
it was no more indeed than I had reason to look for from men whose 
character the experience of twenty years during which period I 
have had the honour to command you had taught me to value and 

Wherever you go my best wishes attend you. The task you have 
to perform is not a mean one. The expectations of your Country are 
very high ; but your conduct, I am well assured, will amply keep pace 
with them, the fame you are about to acquire, and the additional 
splendour you are about to confer on the glorious achievements of the 
British Army on the Continent, I anticipate with Exultation. (The 
Military Magazine, iv. 201.) 

In view of their coming despatch upon active service, 
it was ordered that each of the Regiments of Life Guards 
should be augmented from eight troops to ten and the 
Regiment of Horse Guards from six troops to eight. As 
regards the Blues, their Colonel, the Duke of Northumber- 
land, made a twofold demand claiming (i), on his own 

H.C. n. N N 


behalf, the right to appoint the officers of the two new 
Troops; and (2), on behalf of his Regiment, the right 
of its officers to be promoted within the Regiment, 
without the introduction into it of officers from other 
corps to rank for seniority over them. The controversy 
between the Colonel of the Blues and the Commander- 
in-Chief who denied the alleged right in each case 
began in the autumn of 1812, and was terminated only 
by the Duke of Northumberland's resignation of his, 
colonelcy of the Blues, in which post he was succeeded 
on January ist, 1813, by the Marquess of Wellington, 
who had already been for some years in supreme command 
of the Army in the field. 

The weighty letter here subjoined, which the Com- 
mander-in-Chief addressed to the Duke of Northumber- 
land, was written with the object of justifying the decision 
of the authorities on the question of the privileges claimed 
for the Blues. Incidentally, however, it has another and 
perhaps greater importance, in so far as it compares, 
the procedure followed in the Blues with respect to com- 
missions with that customary in the Life Guards, and 
clearly indicates the limitations of the Blues' privileges in 
this respect : 


Oatlands, 25 Oct. 1812. 

The Prince Regent having communicated to me a letter, which 
Colonel McMahon has received from your Grace, on the subject of the 
promotions which have taken place in the Royal Regiment of Horse 
Guards in consequence of the augmentation, it is with extreme concern, 
as well as surprize, that I learn the light in which your Grace has 
viewed them. I can assure your Grace that nothing can be further 
from my disposition or intention than to adopt any measure which 
could bear a construction inconsistent with that respect and personal 
regard which I have ever entertained towards your Grace, both in 
your military and private capacity, or which could be construed into 
any slur or injustice to the distinguished and respectable Corps of 
which you are Colonel. 


Having the honour myself to command a Regiment of Guards, 
I am fully sensible of the anxiety which your Grace must feel for the 
preservation of their just Privileges, and I can safely say that I am 
the last person who would attempt to deprive any Corps of them. 
But, during the many years that I have been in His Majesty's service, 
and in the course of the whole time that I have been in the Chief 
Command of the Army, I never heard of any such privilege claimed 
by any British Corps until Sir Robert Hill * mentioned the subject to 
Colonel Torrens.f 

Upon the claim being intimated to me, I desired Colonel Torrens 
to acquaint Sir Robert Hill that I had never conceived the Corps 
to possess such a privilege, and that, unless documents in support 
of its existence were adduced, I could not depart, in favour of the 
Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, from the common rules of the 
service. I mention this in order to convince your Grace that, when 
Captain Murray and Mr. Magennis were recommended for their 
respective commissions, no idea was entertained that any unusual 
procedure was adopted, and I hope that your Grace will be assured 
that, in contending against any assumed privilege on the part of your 
Regiment, I am alone acting in support of what I consider due to the 
situation I fill, and that I can never be actuated by any other feeling 
than that of personal regard towards your Grace. 

In looking back to the History of the Royal Regiment of Horse 
Guards since its original formation, I confidently believe that no 
grounds will be found upon which that Corps can assert privileges 
unknown to any other of His Majesty's regiments of Guards, and your 
Grace must be aware that even the Life Guards, who are possessed of 
the highest and most peculiar privileges, have ever been accustomed 
to have Officers brought or promoted from other regiments into them 
according to the discretion of the Sovereign. 

The Life Guards possess the right at all times of laying all succes- 
sions before the King through their own Colonels a privilege which 
equally belongs to the Foot Guards, whenever there is no Commander- 
in-Chief bearing His Majesty's commission as such ; when there is, the 
Foot Guards fall under the same rules as the rest of the army. But at 
no time did the Blues possess this right, and, when there is no Com- 
mander-in- Chief, the successions to the commissions in the Royal 
Regiment of Horse Guards are always submitted to His Majesty 
through the Secretary at War. This striking difference shows at 
once the impossibility of any such privilege as is now claimed ever 
having existed. 

The superior pay of the Blues holds out an inducement to those who 
enter into that Regiment to remain in it without looking forwards to 

* Lieutenant Colonel in command of the Blues, 
f Military Secretary to the C.-in-C. 

N N 2 


Exchanges or promotions into other Regiments, which would more 
readily follow an equality of pay, and which of course occasions a slow- 
ness in the promotions of its officers which, in general, places them at the 
head of their respective ranks, and therefore renders less common the 
introduction of Officers from other Corps ; and hence may have origi- 
nated the error that an exclusive right of succession appertained to the 
officers of the Blues. 

But there are precedents to prove the fact, as I have stated it to your 
Grace. Among the rest, the late General Johnston,* who, having been 
reduced as Major in the Life Guards in 1748, was brought into the 
Royal Regiment of Horse Guards as Major in the year 1750. And in 
regard to the recommendations of Commissions having been ever 
considered as existing in the Colonel, I myself when commanding in 
Flanders in 1 793 and '94 and not then in command of the whole army, 
and having only a part of the Blues under my command recommended 
the present Lieutenant Colonel Elley on account of his distinguished 
conduct in the field, to his Cornetcy ; as also Mr. Cumberland, upon 
another Vacancy, at the private and particular recommendation of the 
late Duke of Portland. 

When such appointments took place I never heard of any privilege 
having been brought forward against them, or any objection made to 
them ; and, whatever memorial may have been given in upon the 
exchange of Captain Harcourt, I am well assured that Major-Generai 
Dorien has been mistaken in the information he appears to have 
communicated to your Grace that a pledge was given against the 
occurrence of a similar measure, as it would have militated against the 
very appointments I had made. 

From the foregoing statement I trust your Grace will see that both 
Promotions and Appointments have taken place at former periods, and 
that therefore no disrespect could have been intended to you in the 
adoption of what was looked upon as a matter of course. 

I have further to assure your Grace that in arranging the augmenta- 
tion and subsequent promotion, no hurry was observed or intended. 
The augmentation was submitted to the Prince at the latter end of 
August, soon after the measure of sending the Brigade of Life and 
Horse Guards upon Service was determined upon. By some mistake 
or accident it was not immediately notified to the different Regiments 
by the War Office. But it was so perfectly well known to the respec- 
tive Corps, that they each took immediate measures to secure their 
augmentation of horses. 

As the official notification was thus delayed until nearly the departure 
of the Corps, it became necessary to Gazette the promotions imme- 
diately, in order that the arrangements might be complete previous to 
the embarkation ; though on similar cases of augmentation it has never 
been usual to await the form of recommendation from a Colonel when 

* See CHAPTERS XLVIL, p. 453, and LXL, pp. 551-3. 


it is known that the Officer next in succession is deserving. Lieutenant 
and Adjutant Taylor's promotion, therefore, took place as a matter of 
course ; and as Lieutenant Jebb, who is next to him in the Regiment, 
is a Lieutenant only of 1809, he appeared not to possess any claim in 
point of standing in the army ; and therefore it was thought a fair 
opportunity to relieve the Public of a Half- Pay by the appointment of 
Captain Murray to the second Troop. 

Having thus entered fully into the subject, I have to hope that the 
explanation will appear satisfactory to your Grace, and that you will 
be assured that no disrespect could possibly be intended to you, and 
that I shall ever derive pleasure in conforming to your wishes, as far 
as the Duty I owe to His Majesty's service. 

Believe me, Ever 

My Dear Lord Duke, 

Yours most sincerely, 
(Apsley House Papers.) FREDERICK. 

The historic facts are clearly on the side of the 
Commander-in-Chief, who writes with equal ability and 
temper. But the controversy did not end here, as it very 
well might have done. A fight to the finish between 
these two highly placed personages was to ensue, the 
result of which could scarcely have been for a moment 
in doubt. 


THE Duke of York's exposition of his views did not 
convince his Grace of Northumberland, and the 
subject was thoroughly threshed out. 

The ensuing " Statement" and the " Observa- 
tions " made upon it were drawn up in support of the 
Duke of Northumberland's contention. 

The accompanying comments enclosed in square 
brackets deal with each point in succession, and consti- 
tute the rejoinder of the Duke of York. 


Relative to the different appointments which can in any way be 
supposed to have been the appointments of officers from other 
Regiments into the Blues, from the earliest periods to which any 
official documents reach. 

1708, June i. Captain George Walker, to be Captain to bear 
date 1705-6. 

1711, March 22. Andrew Percival, Esq., to be Captain of the 
troop whereof Captain Bray now made Lieutenant Colonel to the 
Marquis of Hardewicke's Regiment was Captain. 

1712, January 31. Greenhill Woodyer, Esquire, to be Captain in 
the room of Lieutenant Colonel John Rouchat. 

1712, March 3. Captain Rupert Brown to be Captain of the Troop 
whereof M. S. Wroth was late Captain. 

1712, November 19. Mr. James Hawkins to be Captain vice 
Blackwell resigned. 

1717, May 14. Cornet Carey to be Captain vice Hawkins. 

1717, July 3. Colonel George Fielding to be Captain vice Marsham 

1722, September 5. The Earl of March to be Captain vice Carey 

1728, March n. Lord George Beauclerk to be Captain vice Lord 
William Beauclerk. 

[The instances here brought forward 
show that four Officers bearing the rank of 


Captain and five Gentlemen from Civil 
Life, were at various periods appointed to 
Troops in the Royal Horse Guards. 
Although it is not stated from what Corps 
the former were removed, yet it may be 
presumed from the rank they held that they 
were transferred from Troops or Com- 
panies in other Regiments, and therefore 
such precedents shew of themselves that no 
right of Regimental Succession was acknow- 
ledged to exist in the Regiment ; and the 
introduction of gentlemen from Civil Life 
shews that no consideration whatever was 
given to the Military claims of the Officers 
of the Blues.] 

1728, December 12. Lieutenant John Lloyd, from Sabine's Regi- 
ment vice Caldwell put upon half-pay. 

[This is a direct precedent in support of 
the late promotion given out of the Regi- 

1734, April 30. Captain James Madden vice Lord Nassau Pawlett. 

[It may be presumed that this is also the 
removal of a Captain from another Corps.] 

1734, May 7. Ensign Theodore Hoste, from the Third Foot 
Guards to be Lieutenant vice R. Cooke. 

[Another direct precedent against the 
present pretensions of the Royal Regiment 
of Horse Guards.] 

1750, November 21. Major James Johnston, from half-pay of the 
late Fourth Troop of Horse Guards to be Major in the room of Major 
Sir James Chamberlain preferred. 

[Ditto, already mentioned by the Duke of 
York to the Duke of Northumberland.] 

1755, April 24. D'Arcy Hepden or Hebden, from half -pay of the 
Fourth Troop of Horse Guards to be Captain vice Miget deceased. 
N.B. This last is only from an old Army List of 1755. 

[Another precedent against the pretensions 
of the Blues.] 

1812, October 6. The Hon. Charles Murray, from the half-pay of 
the 28th Light Dragoons, to be Captain. 


1812, October. Henry Arthur Maginnis, Gentleman, to be Cornet. 

[Appointed through the Commander-in- 
Chief f s recommendation, in the same manner 
as Cornets Elley and Cumberland in 1793-4, 
and Cornet Parker had been in 1805.] 


The ducal Colonel of the Blues, having marshalled his 
facts, proceeds to draw his inferences, in the shape of the 
following " Observations " ; the royal Commander-in-Chief 
continuing to append running comments, as before : 


The entries in the War Office Books previous to the end of 1728 
appear to be so irregularly stated as not to make it possible to dis- 
tinguish the officers who were promoted in the Regiment from those 
who might be appointed from other corps. 

It would, however, appear that all the Officers mentioned previous to 
1717 were not appointed from other regiments, but had the commission 
of Captain at once without having held any previous commission. 

[It would appear from this that the 
Corps never could have enjoyed any such 
privilege; otherwise so little consideration 
could not have been given to the pretensions 
of the Officers as to supersede them at once 
by Individuals from Civil Life, which must 
certainly be considered more grating to the 
feelings than to be superseded by Military 

This would appear also the case with the Earl of March, father of 
the late Duke of Richmond. 

It appears the Colonel Fielding appointed Captain July 2, 1717 
was a Cornet in the Regiment in the year 1703, and therefore probably 
got his Troop by promotion in the Regiment. 

[If Colonel Fielding got his Troop in 
regular succession, it shews that a discretion 
was exercised by the Sovereign at that 
period, as well as the present, according to 
the pretensions of the Individual.] 

And it would appear as if Captain Madden was appointed from the 
Regiment on April 2, 1724, to the 4th Regiment of Horse, and brought 
back again in 1734 to the Regiment. 

[This case would of itself put the Blues 
upon a footing with the line in regard to 
promotion, by showing that officers were 
promoted from and to that corps according 
to discretion.] 

It is to be observed that, at the time the late General Johnston (then 
Major) was appointed to the Regiment from the half-pay of the Fourth 
Troop of reduced Horse Guards, November 29, 1750, there was neither 
any Colonel nor Lieutenant Colonel to the Regiment the Regiment 
having remained vacant from the death of the Duke of Richmond in 


August 1750 ; and it was in consequence of the death of the late 
Lieutenant Colonel Jenkinson that Major Johnston was appointed to 
the Majority vice Sir James Chamberlaine appointed Lieutenant 

[If the Royal Horse Guards ever enjoyed 
the privileges which are claimed, they could 
not have been deprived of them because no 
Colonel was upon the strength of the Regi- 
ment. Had such been the case, it would 
shew that the advantages of a corps must 
depend upon the personal consideration due 
to a Colonel, which is a principle it would 
be difficult to justify !] 

It has been said that the appointment of Captain Murray from half- 
pay to the Regiment and of Mr. Magennis, was occasioned by it being 
an augmentation of officers, and therefore that the officers of the corps 
had no reason to expect the indulgence of a general promotion through 
the Regiment to two Troops. 

[In this respect the pretensions of the 
Royal Horse Guards were considered upon 
the same principle as would have been 
applied to any other Regiment under similar 
circumstances, and if the standing of officers 
in succession gave them a claim to the 
whole of the augmentation with reference to 
the general pretensions of the service they 
would have obtained it in the Blues or any 
other corps in the service.] 

There have however been two augmentations of Officers during the 
time His Grace the late Duke of Richmond was Colonel of the 
Regiment and His Royal Highness the Duke of York, Commander-in- 
Chief: the first in 1799, when all the promotions went in the 
Regiment, and the Duke of Richmond was permitted to recommend all 
the new Cornets upon that occasion; the second in 1803, when the 
Troops were taken from the Field Officers. In this instance the three 
eldest Subalterns were appointed to all the three troops and the Duke 
of Richmond was again indulged with the recommendations of all the 
Cornets appointed upon this occasion, viz. : Messrs. Terry, Farrier,* 
and Napier. Besides his late Grace was always indulged f with the 

* [This was not so : Messrs. Terry and Farrier were appointed by 

f [The Duke of Richmond was not so indulged from July 1795 to 
December 1806 a period of nearly twelve years. There appear to have 
been only six cornetcies given in the Blues without purchase. Five 
were at the recommendation of His Grace, but Mr Parker was 


appointment to all the Cornetcies vacant, without purchase, during the 
whole time he was Colonel, and upon his recommendation the following 
Cornets were all appointed without any interference whatever, viz. : 
Messrs. Forster, Berkely, Lamb, Parker, and Hill. 

[At the instance of augmentation here 
alluded to it will appear that the officers of 
the Blues were upon an equality of service 
with the Subalterns throughout the whole 
Cavalry Regiments of the Army, and there- 
fore no occasion offered for bringing an 
Officer into the Blues, as all other Regiments 
equally afforded opportunities for promotion 
and removals of officers from half-pay. At 
present the case is quite different. The 
augmentation granted to the Blues was not 
general throughout the service, and the 
claims of Lieutenant Jebb (though he may 
be senior to an officer who formerly suc- 
ceeded upon an augmentation) bear no 
comparison with those of other subalterns 
of cavalry ; and the opportunity therefore 
offered a fair occasion for bringing an 
officer from half-pay, which was done also 
in the case of each Regiment of the Life 
Guards by the Prince Regent himself, 
without the recommendation of the Colonel. 
The Duke of Richmond therefore had no 
indulgence that was not given to other 
colonels and corps upon that occasion, as 
the particular case suggested.] 

It has been said that one cause of the appointment of Captain Murray 
from the half-pay was owing to Lieutenant Jebb, the eldest Lieutenant 
of the Regiment, being too young an officer to be promoted to the 
command of a Troop. To this objection there are two very forcible 
answers : 

Imprimis : By the Standing Orders of the Army, issued by H.R.H. 

appointed by the C.-in-C.'s sole recommendation to the King, according 
to the request of Lord Wilton, as stated in the accompanying copy of 
a letter from His Lordship to the Duke of York. If any such privilege 
as is now assumed then existed it would have been violated in this 
instance, at least ; and no person would have been more tenacious of 
such violation than the Duke of Richmond. Yet His Grace offered no 
objection or observation on the subject, nor did Marshal Con way, the 
Duke's immediate predecessor, offer any remonstrance against the 
appointment of Captain Harcourt and Cornets Elley and Cumberland.] 


the present C.-in-C., every officer may be appointed a Captain who has 
served for three years ; and, 

Secondly: Upon the very last augmentation, in 1803, Lieutenant 
Horsley, who was appointed to one of the Troops, had been less time in 
the Army than Lieutenant Jebb ; as was also the case in the instance 
of the late Captain Fen wick, who has just quitted the Regiment ; the 
dates of their several commission being as follows, viz. : 

Cornet Lieutenant Captain 

James Horsley . 24 May 1799 2 May 1800 25 June 1803 
S. A. Fen wick . 2 July 1803 9 J une ^04 12 June 1806 

John Jebb . . 10 March 1808 n May 1809 Captain Murray 

app d 6 October 1812 

From this it appears that Lieutenant Jebb is an older officer and 
Lieutenant than either Horsley or Fenwick were, when they were 
promoted to Troops, in addition to the Standing Order of the Army 
being in favour of Lieutenant Jebb. 

[Although an officer is eligible to promo- 
tion when he shall have served three years 
as a subaltern, yet it by no means follows 
that he should have a claim, upon such 
grounds, to succession without purchase, 
because he had been accidentally brought 
to the head of his rank in his own Regi- 
ment. Such eligibility goes little further 
than to facilitate a young officer's promotion 
by purchase. But, when the vacancy is 
without purchase, it becomes a matter of 
discretion whether or not according to the 
circumstances of the case the promotion 
shall be given to an officer in succession, or 
to another candidate ; and as Lieutenant 
Jebb is but a Lieutenant of 1809, and as he 
appeared to have obtained four steps in the 
Regiment since December 1811, it was 
conceived that he could not suffer any 
grievance, upon the score of his military 
pretensions, by having an officer brought in 
from half-pay for the vacant troop, and in 
awaiting another vacancy.] 

A fact has likewise been stated positively to me, which appears very 
strong in favour of the Blues being appointed to vacant commissions, 
without any officer being brought in from another regiment, for I have 
been assured that, upon its being intended, not long ago, to appoint 
Captain Davies, late of the Life Guards, to a Troop in the Blues, 
His present Majesty was graciously pleased to put a stop to such 


appointment, and declared that no officer from another regiment should 
be appointed to the Blues. Captain Davies can best state whether 
this fact is true or not. 

[This circumstance was never mentioned, 
directly or indirectly, to the C.-in-C., and it 
is not denied that it has been an invariable 
rule for the officer holding that commission 
always to submit promotions and appoint- 
ments to the Blues to the King. It is to be 
presumed that, had the appointment been 
really in agitation, he would have been 
apprized of it.] 

It is to be hoped that the conduct of the present officers belonging to 
the Regiment has not been such as to merit the present great deviation 
from the indulgence, which, by the above account, it appears they have 
certainly enjoyed, with hardly any exception, for upwards of 80 years, 
and from the year 1755 without a single instance to the contrary, till on 

the present occasion. 

[It has never been intended to cast any 
imputation upon the conduct of the Officers 
of the Blues. On the contrary, every con- 
sideration consistent with the usage of the 
service has been afforded them, to which 
they are so justly entitled. 

But it is expressly denied that this State- 
ment has proved that they have enjoyed an 
undeviating right of succession, or that the 
Colonels have enjoyed the extensive recom- 
mendations to original commissions. It 
would have been fair, in this Statement, to 
have acknowledged those instances wherein 
the practice had been at variance with the 
principle now, for the first time, assumed. 
Instead of " no single instance to the con- 
trary having occurred, since the year 1755, 
till on the present occasion," it will appear, 
as formerly observed, that Captain Har- 
court, in the year 1794, was removed to the 
Blues, and that Cornets Elley and Cumber- 
land were appointed by the King to their 
original commissions, at the recommenda- 
tion of the C.-in-C., without any interfer- 
ence whatever on the part of the Colonel. 
And so few instances of such having 
been the case is a sufficient proof of the 
indulgence which has ever been extended 
to so distinguished a corps. It was never 


contemplated that a course of such indul- 
gence could have been construed into a 
matter of right, without any one document 
to show that a privilege of such a nature 
was ever conferred upon the Royal Horse 

Horse Guards, 

loth December, 1812.] 

As already stated, this battle royal ended in the acquisi- 
tion bythe Marquess of Wellington of the much-coveted post 
of Colonel of the Royal Horse Guards (Blue). It is said 
that, in the Peninsula, on the first occasion of his passing 
the Foot Guards after his appointment, Lord Wellington 
made the exclamation, " Thank G , I have got a 'present' 
out of the Guards at last ! " 


REVIEWING the dispute as to the right of nominating to 
commissions in the Blues, the following article appeared 
in The Pilot, in January, 1813 : 

The Duke of Wellington becomes Colonel of the Royal Horse 
Guards. When the detachments from the three regiments of cavalry 
of the King's Household, commonly known by the denomination of the 
Life Guards and the Blues,* were ordered for service in the Peninsula, 
it was thought proper in order to keep up a certain amount of these 
troops for the several species of home duty, for which experience had 
proved them to be well fitted, and also for the preservation of a dep6t 
for recruiting the casualties of those on service to make an augmenta- 
tion of one squadron, or two troops, in each regiment respectively, and 
to dispose of the rest on general principles of promotion in the Army, as 
may be thought most suitable to the good of the service. 

In the two Regiments of Life Guards this arrangement was submitted 
to without any exception either on the part of the Colonels the Earl 
of Harrington (ist Reg') and Viscount Cathcart (2nd Reg 1 ) or of 
the Officers particularly affected, who were the second senior Lieu- 
tenants ; assurances having been given, we believe, to those gentlemen 
or at least to some of them having well-founded pretensions 
that their claims should be favourably considered, according as the 
opportunities for promotion and the good of the service would admit. 

But in the application of the same arrangement to the Blues, in 
which it was proposed to give one of the new augmentation-troops to 
Captain the Hon. C. Murray, from the half-pay by whose appoint- 
ment to it an object of considerable importance to the general interests 
of the army would have been obtained, an objection was made by his 
Grace the Duke of Northumberland, Colonel of that Regiment. His 
Grace contended that all promotions in that Regiment were, by 
established custom, disposed of, and by right of that custom, to be 
still disposed of, in regular regimental succession. His Grace at the 
same time laid claim to the disposal of all the Cornetcies, and in effect 

* The Blues were not included in the Household Cavalry till 1820 ; 
but that they should be so regarded in 1813 was a foreshadowing of the 
change that was to come. 


to the entire patronage of the Regiment, without any interference 

This claim was felt to be nothing short of the demand of the grant 
and establishment of a distinct Royalty, which could not be admitted, 
without a compromise and surrender of the Prerogative of the Crown. 
The Duke of Northumberland was, however, treated with all the 
respect due to his exalted rank and character, and to his weight and 
influence in the country. It was shown that the established and 
invariable custom, which he had pleaded in sanction of his claim, did 
not exist, and it was represented that, if it had existed, it would be 
very improper to continue it or to allow any corps to be regarded, or 
to regard itself, as a privileged body, with the promotion of which the 
General controuling the superintendance of the army, or even the 
supreme authority of the State, should not in any instance interfere. 

A long discussion arose from the difference of claims and sentiments 
on both sides, in which we have reason to believe the good offices 
of H.R.H. the Prince Regent were graciously interposed, and the 
most zealous efforts of the Ministers were exerted, to reconcile the 
difference ; but the Duke of Northumberland was inflexible, and it was 
ultimately found indispensable, for the maintenance of the due authority 
of the Crown with respect to the army, to make his Grace give way to 
the Commander-in- Chief and the Prince Regent, rather than to make 
them give way to his Grace. 

The consequence was that his Grace sent in his resignation, as we 
are told, direct to the Prince Regent ; that his Royal Highness was to 
accept it, and did accept it ; and that the Regiment has been given to> 
the Marquess of Wellington, as we announced in The Pilot of Tuesday, 
and repeated yesterday. 

It has been very improperly and untruly alleged that the person 
introduced into the Blues, Captain Murray, was a lieutenant of junior 
standing to the one in the Blues over whom he was placed. But the 
fact is that, instead of being a lieutenant of junior standing, he was 
already a Captain, and had been so for several years, having been 
promoted to that rank on the 2oth of May, 1802, as a reference to the 
army-list will show ; whereas his competitor, Lieutenant Jebb, appears 
from the same authority to be a lieutenant only since the nth of May, 

It will be remembered that a similar exception was made not long 
since to the promotion of Lieut. Sumner in the yth or Royal Fusiliers, 
on account of his distinguished proficiency at the Royal Military 
Academy, and that a similar plea of custom in favour of exclusively 
regimental promotion and of exemption from army promotion, was in 
that instance urged in behalf of that distinguished regiment also. 

But it is obvious that, however particular regiments may, for good 
reasons and deservedly, be favoured with a greater share of regi- 
mental promotion, and a less frequent interposition of army promotion 
as the Blues and Fusiliers certainly have been this favour is not to- 


be allowed to constitute itself a privilege, with which the Prerogative 
must not in any instance interfere. If this were permitted in any one 
instance, there is no reason why it may not be arrogated in others, and 
the whole army might grow into independence of the Crown. 

The length of time that has elapsed since the augmentation of the 
Household Cavalry will shew the length of the discussions which have 
terminated in the resignation of the Duke of Northumberland, to which 
great importance is attached, not only on account of his Grace's high 
rank, character, and influence in the country, but also from an idea 
pretty prevalent in the country, that he may transfer his military 
resentment to his political conduct and withdraw his support from the 
present Ministers, which would be a material drawback from their 
strength in the approaching formidable Parliamentary struggle. 

The following excerpt from another public print illus- 
trates the marked distinction which had hitherto been 
drawn between the privileges of the Life Guards and 
those of the Royal Horse Guards : 

While we regret that the Duke of Northumberland should have 
entertained the erroneous idea that the Blues were to be exempt from 
the jurisdiction of the Commander-in-Chief, which has ever been 
willingly submitted to by the Household Troops (who report direct to 
the Sovereign, whereas the Blues can only approach the ear of His 
Majesty through the Commander-in-Chief), we take the opportunity 
of congratulating the Army on the firmness shown by His Royal 
Highness and the Executive Government in the proceedings. (Military 
Panorama, 1813.) 


THE new Colonel of the Blues, on learning his 
appointment, at once wrote to the Commander- 

Freneda, 315* January, 1813. 


I have the honour of receiving your Royal Highness' letter of 

the 1 3th January, in which your Royal Highness has informed me that 
the Prince Regent has been graciously pleased to appoint me as Colonel 
of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards. 

Colonel Torrens, military secretary to the Commander- 
in-Chief, wrote : 

... I congratulate you sincerely upon your appointment to the 
Blues, and though I know that you will give up the 33rd with 
regret, yet there cannot be any doubt upon a point where so old 
and distinguished a Regiment of Guards is in question. If you were 
one of those who thought of emoluments on such occasions, I would 
add that the Blues will give you an income of about 3,000 a year. 

Nothing can be more silly and ridiculous than the conduct of the 
Duke of Northumberland, who has taken offence because the late 
augmentation of troops was not given entirely in Regimental succession. 
His Grace wished to have bullied the Regent, the Government, and the 
Commons in brief. 

If you have any curiosity in the matter, I will send you the 
correspondence. . . . 

The question of the army agent's position had recently 
been brought into prominence. In the House of Commons 
on July 2yth, 1812, a member had moved for the production 
of accounts " to explain the situation in which the public 
were placed by the employment of army agents." He stated 
that very large sums were advanced by Government to army 
agents without security. He said that Mr. Greenwood, in 
particular, was agent for more than two-thirds of the whole 

H.C. II. O O 


Army, and he maintained that no private individual should 
have charge of such an accumulation of public money. 

Lord Wellington, whose letter to Messrs. Greenwood, 
Cox, and Co.of January 31 st, 1813, crossed Mr. Greenwood's 
two letters of the i6th and 26th, takes the businesslike 
precaution of requiring security from the agents : 


Freneda, $ist January, 1813. 


. . . You will have heard that His Royal Highness has appointed 
me to be Colonel of the Blues, an honor as unexpected by me, as it is 
gracious on the part of His Royal Highness. I do not know whether 
the power of attorney which you already have from me will enable you 
to take charge of the agency of the Blues ; but if it should not, as I wish 
to appoint your house to be the agent of the Blues, I beg that you will 
send me the regular power of attorney. 

... I believe it is usual for the Colonel of a regiment, to require 
security from the agent of his regiment for the due performance of his 
duty towards the public, and to indemnify the Colonel from loss in 
transactions in which he cannot be a gainer. 

As long as my late regiment, the 33rd, were in India, the transactions 
between the agents and the public were confined nearly to my own 
concerns, as a contractor for clothing ; and as Colonel of the regiment, I 
could not ask security for the performance of these transactions ; but if 
the favor of the Prince Regent had not removed me from the 33rd, I 
should certainly have required that your house should secure me and 
my family from loss in the transactions of that regiment with the 
public, after their extension by the arrival of the regiment from India. 
It is much more necessary in the case of the Blues. 

... I have known many instances of the most prosperous houses 
failing, and I know enough of the nature of the business between the 
War Office and houses of agency, to be astonished that more do not 
fail. I have children, and I am determined not to involve myself or 
them in the intricacies of public accounts if I can avoid it. 

Under these circumstances, I request you to state whether it is usual 
for the agent of a regiment to give security to the Colonel to indemnify 
him from all loss ; and if it is, I request you to name the securities for 
your house as agents for the Blues. 

... I beg that you will employ for the Blues the same persons who 
were employed by the Duke of Northumberland, and let every thing go 
on as it has been hitherto. 

Believe me, &c. 


Messrs. Greenwood, Cox, and Co. 

4Mtd,ty0insd^ jam* /yM/l su ^ln^^,^U^^e>^a^/taaf^j^ sxim/iaijmstt "f)<fy*t 
^em M^/wn^fy&&'$etfi^&^ ItnXtd ^fttw ' 


Messrs. Greenwood, it may be added, fully recognised 
the reasonableness of Lord Wellington's request, and duly 
furnished ample security. 


Craigs Court, i6thjanttary, 1813. 

Permit me to have the honour of congratulating your Lordship 
upon your appointment to the command of the Royal Horse Guards 
Blue, and at the same time to acquaint you that the power of attorney 
which we hold as agents to your Lordship, for the 33rd Regiment of 
foot, will enable us to act equally for the Blues, and there will be no 
occasion to trouble your Lordship for any other instrument. 

The assignments for the Blues in favour of your Lordship will 
commence upon the 25th of December of the present year, and that for 
the 33rd wil Iterminate. 

By the next mail I shall have the honour to transmit to your Lordship 
a list of the tradesmen employed by the late Colonel, when it may be 
advisable for your Lordship to fix on those who are to be employed in 
future, or I fear you will be very much teazed with applications, and 
particularly from those who provide horse-appointments. 
I have the honour to be, with much truth and respect, 

My dear Lord, 
Your Lordship's very faithful, and obedient servant, 

General The Marquis Wellington, G.C.B., 
etc. etc. etc. 

The important subject of the maintenance of the Blues' 
Band hitherto a burden on the Colonel of the Regiment 
is now first broached in a letter from 


Craig's Court, 26th January, 1813. 

I have now the honour to enclose to your Lordship such States 
as I think may answer the enquiries you may wish to make about the 
Royal Horse Guards. 

The Subsistence and Arrears together you will find make the Pay 
nearly to that of the Colonel of any other Regiment of Cavalry. There 
is a trifling difference that arises from there being no allowance for 
Hautbois as in other regiments, viz. the pay of one man per troop, 
but on the other hand the pay of the Warrant men is better in 
the Blues than in any other regiment by 10^. per day per man. 

The emoluments from the Offreckonings ought to be as good as in 

O O 2 


other regiments of cavalry ; if they are not, it must be from a want of 
management. The Band at present is extremely expensive. Your 
Lordship will be so good, after you have considered the enclosed State, 
as to let me know your pleasure upon it ; whether it should be con- 
tinued as it is, or on a reduced scale, or done away altogether, as there 
was no Band previous to the appointment of the late Colonel ; the 
latter, I fear, however the Regiment would be adverse to, as I find they 
are all partial to it. The expense to the Colonel upon the present plan 
is upwards of 500 a year. . . . 

Lord Wellington writes in reply to Mr. Charles 
Greenwood : 

... I have received your letter of the 26th January, and I have 
already communicated to you my intention to employ the same 
tradesmen for the Blues as the Duke of Northumberland. 

Let the expense of the Band be paid as it has been hitherto by the 
Duke ; but I will speak to Elley and Hill upon the subject, as it would 
be absurd in me to incur permanently such an expense, because the 
Duke of Northumberland did. . . .* 

The usual crop of applications from people with axes 
to grind arrives at quick maturity. A new colonel was 
specially regarded as fair game by clothing contractors. 
The scramble begins forthwith ; Messrs Bruce and Brown 
are first in the field : 


47, Parliament Street, iSth January, 1813. 

Having recently sold my Majority in thegoth Regiment, and joined 
a very old and particular friend of mine, Mr. Bruce, in the Army Agency 
and Clothing Line, I beg to solicit your Lordship's patronage in my 
new undertaking, and in consequence of your appointment to the Blues, 
I hope I shall not be considered as presuming too much in asking to 
be favoured with your agency of Clothing. . . . 

* In August, 1814, is recorded the sequel: 

The fine band of the Horse Guards Blue, which has so long been one 
of the distinctions of that ancient regiment, is about to be reduced. 

The expence of it appears to have exceeded ^"900 a year, which was 
chiefly paid by the Colonel, and the Duke of Wellington does not feel 
the necessity of burdening his fortune with an expenditure which adds 
nothing to the strength of the Corps. 


Estimate of Messrs. Bruce and Brown's Prices for Clothing the Royal 

Horse Guards Blues : 

Corporal Majors . Coat & Waistcoat . "4 10 6 
Corporals . . $ 4 6 

Depute ... .346 

Trumpeters and Music . 3 15 9 

Farriers ... '.^346 

Privates . . .346 

Comparative statement of the difference between the prices charged 
the Duke of Northumberland, for last years Clothing Account, 
1812-13, and those of Messrs. Bruce and Brown's : 

Prices charged the Duke of Northumberland for last year's Clothing 
1812-13 : 


53 Corporals j . . 4 9 6 237 3 6 

700 Privates . $ 9 3 2 4 2 3 I 5 o 

10 Trumpeters . . 3 18 7 39 5 10 

Total. 2700 4 4 

Messrs. Bruce and Brown's Prices for the same numbers : 
53 Corporals . . 3 4 6 170 18 6 

700 Privates . . $ 4 6 ; 22 57 10 o 

10 Trumpeters . . -$ 15 9 37 17 6 

Total. 2 466 6 o 

Saving to the Colonel : 

150 66 5 o 

049 "166 5 o 

o 2 10 184 

Total. "233 1 8 4 

General Harris and his son-in-law are also very 
pressing : 


Belmont, Feversham, 2^th January, 1813. 

With sincere congratulations on your appointment to the Blues* 
permit me to ask, if you are so situated that you can oblige me by 
giving the Clothing of it to my son-in-law, who is in partnership with 
an old established House, now Duberly and Hodgson. 

Thus introduced, the son-in-law sends the painstaking 
composition reproduced below. It will be conceded that 

the Ne plus ultra of the commission system is reached in 
the truly remarkable proposal that a real and a nominal 
agent should share the profits of the clothing agency of 
the Blues, and that Lord Wellington should pay them 
both ! Yet such is the actual effect of the letter here 
subjoined : 


The enclosed letter of introduction from my Father in Law, 
General Harris, will, I trust, secure pardon from your Lordship for my 
presumption in thus addressing you. 

The General has most kindly adverted to those qualifications which 
can alone sanction the Request he has made in my behalf. Should 
circumstances allow your Lordship to honour me with your Patronage 
the most lively gratitude would incite me most strenuously to support 
your Lordships Interests & to merit your Lordships Favor. 

The lucrative patronage of the Blues induces me to think that your 
Lordship will be desirous of conferring the situation of Agent & 
Clothier upon an immediate friend. Should such be your Lordship's 
intention, & should that person, either from his habits of life, or from 
a want of knowledge of Business, feel incompetent to fulfill the duties 
required, I should feel most happy to transact the business required, & 
to yield to him one-half of the profits derived from the Agency & 
Clothing, or a certain & fixed Annuity of ^500 per annum. 

I have the honour to be, 
My Lord, with greatest respect, 

Your Lordship's most devoted & faithful Serv 1 

35 Soho Sq. 
2$thjan. 1813. 

The following, though undated, must have been written 
early in 1813 : 


Your Lordship having on a former occasion desired that I 
should mention what might at any time be an advantage to your corps, 
I take the liberty of informing you that the Regiment is in want of 
Cornets, and that there is one in your presentation, not having been 
filled up since the augmentation. When the Duke of Northumberland 
retired from the Service, he informed me that he should leave this 
commission for his Excellency the Marquis of Wellington, Colonel of 
the Royal Horse Guards, etc. etc. etc., his successor, to recommend to ; 
and, as your Excellency must doubtless have many applications, I have 


taken the liberty of pointing out where you can pay one of them a 

I have the honour to be, 
Your Lordship's 

Very obedient servant, 

Commanding Royal Horse Guards. 

To the vacant cornetcy in the Blues, referred to above, 
the Duke appointed Lord William Lennox, who was 
ordered to proceed at once to join his regiment in 


THE circumstances of, and the sequel to, the 
famous retreat of Sir John Moore on Corunna 
in January, 1809, were profoundly disquieting to 
British patriotism. All that was evident at the 
moment to an uninformed public was the fact that a sadly 
diminished force of worn, ragged and disappointed soldiers 
had been hunted to the Spanish coast and compelled to 
embark for England. Much time must elapse before the 
realisation of Sir John Moore's dying hope that his 
country would one day do him justice. Indeed, it is only 
in quite recent times that his superb strategy has been 
fully vindicated, and it has remained for the most scientific 
military writers of the twentieth century to exhibit the 
heroic retreat on Corunna as the crown of a great military 
plan, but for which Waterloo itself might never have been 
fought. Sir Arthur Wellesley, whose previous experience 
in the Peninsula invested his representations with the 
greater weight, urged the sending of another expedition to 
co-operate with the national forces of Portugal and Spain 
for the expulsion of the foreign intruder. Wellesley's 
advice was followed, and he himself on April 2nd, 1809, 
was placed in command of an expeditionary force of 
25,000 men with the defence of Portugal as its main 

The European situation was critical. Her defeat at 
Wagram had reduced Austria, as Jena had reduced 
Prussia, to a state of submission to Napoleon's will. The 
rest of Germany was prostrate before him. The Tsar 


was his ally ; members of his own family had usurped the 
thrones of Holland, Naples, and Spain. 

Thus England was in 1809 the only Power that still 
defied the conqueror, though it can hardly be said that 
her defiance was adequately backed by the small army 
with which Wellesley landed in Spain. He indeed 
began operations with a brilliant feat of arms his 
crossing of the Douro * in the presence of Soult's army 
and subsequent victory at Talavera ; but the weakness of 
his army in point of numbers forced a strategic retreat 
into Portugal and the memorable preparation of the lines 
of Torres Vedras, on which he was able to retire after 
gaining an advantage over Massena at Busaco in October, 
1810. During the two following years Lord Wellington 
had need of all the patience he could muster, but it was 
amply rewarded at Fuentes d'Onoro in May, 1811, at 
Ciudad Rodrigo in January, 1812, at Badajos in the 
following April, and at Salamanca in July.f An advance 
to Burgos was followed by a withdrawal to Ciudad Rodrigo 
till the spring of the next year. 

The Brigade of Life Guards and Blues under the 
command of General RebowJ of the 2nd Life Guards 
had already embarked at Portsmouth early in November, 
1812, and after a very rough passage landed at Lisbon on 
the 23rd. They remained in quarters for about a couple 
of months, the Blues proceeding up-country to Thomar 
in the middle of January, 1813, and the Life Guards, after 

Wellesley was cr. Baron Douro and Visct. Wellington, September 
4th, 1809. 

| The Earldom of Wellington was conferred February 28th, and the 
Marquisate, October 3rd, 1812. 

J Two months later, Rebow returned to England on leave, when Sir 
R. C. Hill of the Blues, as next senior officer, took over the Brigade, 
leaving his regiment to Captain Packe. The following September 
Colonel O'Loghlin, of the First Life Guards, arrived from England to 
command the Brigade, which was thus led in turn by a representative 
of each regiment. 


an inspection by the Commander-in-Chief on January i8th, 
following early in February.* 

On the igth March Wellington wrote to Sir Robert 
Hill : 

I shall be much obliged if you will let me know whether it would 
now be inconvenient to the Household Brigade of Cavalry to move 
from their present cantonments to make room for the Hussars. I have 
not written to you since I had the honour of being appointed Colonel 
of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards Blue. I hope that you and 
the officers of the regiment will believe that I am very sensible of the 
honour which has been conferred on me, and I shall be most happy to 
take an early opportunity of forming an acquaintance with the Regiment. 
I hope in the meantime you will let me know if I can do anything which 
can be of use to the regiment, or to any individual belonging to it. 

It was not until the 23rd May that the Brigade, having 
a few days previously been again inspected by Wellington, 
joined the camp of the Allies near San Manoz. The 
general, and what proved to be the final, advance had 
already begun. On the i8th, Sir Thomas Graham had 
been ordered to cross the Douro with the left wing of the 
army, consisting of five infantry divisions, two Portuguese 
brigades, and some cavalry, and to proceed through Tras 
os Montes to Zamora. On the 22nd Wellington himself, 
with a force to which the Household Cavalry were 
attached, marched on the direct road to Salamanca, and 
on the same day Sir Rowland Hill started from Bejar under 
orders to join up with Wellington at Alba de Tormes. 
On May 25th Wellington wrote to Graham from Matilla 
that the Light Division and the Household Cavalry were 

* Maj.-Gen. W. Rebow writes to Lord Wellington : " Lisbon, 
17/7? January, 1813. I have the honour to address your Lordship 
respecting the allowance for contingencies, granted to all Captains of 
Cavalry excepting those of His Majesty's Life Guards. As the 
Regiments of Life Guards are now employed on the same service 
with the rest of the Cavalry in this country, and are liable to the same 
contingencies, the Captains of them have made an application to me 
through their commanding officers, in order that they may receive the 
same allowances, which application I take the liberty to lay before your 
Lordship for your consideration." . 


on the stream called Valmusa, and that Victor Alten's 
brigade was thrown further forward towards Salamanca. 
The following morning he announced his arrival at 
Salamanca, with the further intelligence that General 
Villatte, having over-stayed himself there, had been 
roughly handled by Alten's and Fane's brigades. 

Two days later the Commander-in-Chief, having 
satisfied himself as to the disposition of his right and 
centre, placed Sir Rowland Hill in charge of the whole 
force on the south bank. He then caused himself to be 
slung across the Douro in a basket suspended from the 
cliffs of Miranda and went off to confer with Graham, 
whom he picked up at Carvajales on the 3Oth. 

With his extraordinary capacity for detail, Lord Wel- 
lington wrote, just as he was starting, to Sir Robert Hill,* 
then in command of the Household Cavalry Brigade, 
enclosing a formal complaint as to his men having cut 
and destroyed some green forage in the neighbourhood, 
and urging that if green forage were necessary for the 
horses, a mode of obtaining it which should not injure the 
owners must be strictly enforced. 

On June 2nd the Household Cavalry, who for six days 
had been quartered at Salamanca in monasteries which 
the French had turned into barracks, joined Sir Rowland 
Hill'sf camp, and early on the morning of the 4th forded 
the river Douro just below Toro. 

The next day the Household Brigade was ordered to 
stand fast at Valeria, whence it moved at 5 a.m. on the 
6th, escorting the reserve artillery. On the 7th the 
Carrion, at Palencia, was negotiated, the French having 
decided the previous day not to dispute its passage, and 
on the 8th the Allied army occupied the two banks of the 

* Sir Robert Chambre Hill, C.B., 1778-1860. 

f Sir Rowland Hill, G.C.B., elder brother to sir Robert Hill; 
cr. baron Hill 1814., vise 1 . Hill '42, c.-in-c. '28-42. 


Pisuerga, the enemy, both of whose flanks had been com- 
pletely turned, hurriedly retreating to their point of 
concentration, Burgos. On June loth the Brigade was at 
Melgar de Fernamental, and on the I2th, having detailed 
a letter party to Villa Sandino, was with the pontoon-train 
at Villa Mayor. On the night of the I2th the British 
army bivouacked within sight of Burgos, and very early in 
the morning of the I3th was awakened by a tremendous 
explosion, which was heard fifty miles off. Being com- 
pelled to a further retreat towards the Ebro, the French 
decided to blow up the castle, for which purpose they had 
placed above 1,000 shells in the mine. The explosion, 
however, was premature, and nearly 300 men working in it 
were killed by the shower of iron and timber. Gates, guns, 
carriages and arms lay in a confused mass of ruins, and the 
castle was badly damaged, although Wellington reported 
next day it would be easy to restore it to a state of defence, 
Wellington, sticking to his plan of moving by his left to 
threaten the French right flank, now made a great flank 
march, and on the I5th crossed the Ebro by the Puente 
de Arenas, and, steering his force through the rugged 
defiles and narrow passes of the mountainous country 
between Santander and Guipuzcoa, bore down upon 
Vittoria. Nothing could exceed the beauty of the scenery, 
the difficulty of the obstacles, or the importance of the 
results attending this famous six days' march, which 
immediately caused the enemy's communications from the 
coast-line to be cut off, and which afforded the English 
Commander - in - Chief a new base. The Spaniards 
solemnly warned Wellington of the impossibility of 
moving cavalry and artillery through such a wilderness. 
To all their representations he turned a polite but deaf 
ear, and, although three times molested by the enemy, he 
emerged on June igth at Subijana on the Bayas actively 
threatening the French right and rear. The orders 


issued to the Household Cavalry that day were to move 
by Osma to Carcarno with the reserve artillery. 

On the 2Oth Wellington exhaustively examined the 
enemy's position, and made arrangements for the 
morrow's operations. The French lines, conforming to 
the course of the Zadora, exhibited two fronts. On the 
right, facing north, was the French " Army of Portugal," 
whose commander, General Reille, had been enjoined to 
defend the bridges of Gamara Mayor and Ariago, where 
the Bilbao and Durango roads cross the river. Joseph's 
centre, facing west and covering the main road to Vittoria, 
was about seven miles off, and nearly at right angles to 
Reille, while the left of the line was on the mountain 
slopes facing the defiles of La Puebla. 

Wellington's attack was designed to assume the 
character of three distinct battles. Graham was instructed 
with the 20,000 men under his immediate command to 
push his way by the Bilbao road. To Hill, with his 
mixed force of British, Spaniards and Portuguese, was 
assigned the task of carrying the bridges and defile of La 
Puebla ; while Wellington decided to direct the centre in 
person, taking with him 30,000 troops, including all the 
cavalry except two brigades sent to stiffen Graham. Hill 
set off at 10 a.m., crossed the Zadora, drove his opponents 
from the heights of La Puebla, and pounced on the village of 
Subijana de Alava, rolling back the enemy's left on Vittoria. 

Some delay occurred in the centre attack, the 3rd and 
yth Divisions under Sir Thomas Picton and Lord Dal- 
housie being hindered by the roughness of the road. A 
Spanish peasant, who paid for his loyalty with his life, 
pointed out the unguarded bridge of Tres Puentes ; and 
Kempt's riflemen were hurried forward to seize it, which 
they did with little difficulty, one of the few casualties 
being the death of the peasant, who was picked off by a 
round shot. The firing, however, gave the signal to 


Graham, who had agreed to postpone his advance against 
Reille till he should hear his Chief at work. His job 
proved a very arduous one : Reille, though eventually 
outmatched, exhibiting himself as a most skilful com- 
mander and disputing every inch of ground. Having 
expelled the French advanced guard under General 
Sarrut out of Aranjuez and off the heights on the right 
bank covering the bridges, Graham made good, after a 
severe rebuff, the village of Gamara Mayor. 

Wellington in the centre was at one moment beginning 
to fret at his inability to develop his own attack owing to 
the non-arrival of the two divisions, when, in the nick of 
time, he espied Picton, who, dressed in a blue coat and a 
round hat, was urging his men with many strange oaths 
to put their best foot foremost. Dalhousie arriving almost 
at the same time, the divisions deployed quickly into their 
places in the line of battle. Picton crossed the bridge of 
Mendoza with little trouble, thanks to the activity of 
Kempt's riflemen, whose first reward was to be plied with 
round shot by British gunners, not unreasonably deceived 
by the dark uniform of their comrades. The yth Division 
forded the river, and the whole French centre fell back to 
the village of Arinez, to which they clung desperately, and 
for which a see-saw fight took place, marked by conspicuous 
courage on both sides. But the combination of Picton and 
Dalhousie, with Kempt's rifle brigade showing the way, 
proved too strong, and the enemy, still keeping good order, 
was swept along the highway to Vittoria. 

The successful pressure on the French centre and left 
had their effect on Reille, who realised that, owing to the 
disposition of his column, his left flank and rear would 
soon be entirely exposed. Having formed a reserve of 
infantry at Betono, to the east of Vittoria, Reille eventually 
withdrew his fighting-line upon them, leaving his gallant 
subordinate, Sarrut, dead at Ariaga bridge. Discipline 


and good order were maintained in Reille's retirement until 
his men became involved in the panic which had over- 
taken their comrades of the centre and left. Then, hope- 
lessly demoralised, the entire French army at last retreated 
helter-skelter. King Joseph, hearing that Graham was 
astride of the Bayonne road, hurried off by the route 
leading by Salvatierra to Pampeluna. Five minutes- 
after his carriage left the town, Captain Wyndham and a 
squadron of the Tenth Hussars dashed through the streets 
in hot pursuit, and Joseph only effected his escape by 
jumping out of his carriage on to the back of a horse and 
galloping off at top speed with a small escort of dragoons. 
A dense pall of dust and smoke hung over and obscured 
the whole of the deep basin in which Vittoria stood. 
The French artillerymen unlimbered the guns and rode 
away on the gun horses. They abandoned 151 pieces of 
cannon, with 415 caissons of ammunition, while upwards 
of 14,000 rounds of gun, and two millions of musket, 
cartridges were also left behind. Yet the munitions of 
war scarcely formed the principal spoil. The King's 
carriage stuffed with private papers, the military chest,. 
Marshal Jourdain's bdton* imperial eagles, stores, equi- 
pages, immense piles of plate, priceless pictures plundered 
from Spanish churches, and jewels in profusion, formed a 
rich jumble of immense value and infinite variety. The 
situation was aggravated by the presence in the garrison 
of an enormous number of women, some of whom had not 
been included in the sauve qui peut. Wives and mistresses 
of officers, actresses and nuns, were huddled together in 
hideous and helpless confusion, f 

* Wellington sent the Idton to England as a gift to the Prince Regent, 
who in return presented the General with the bdton of a British Field 

f A French prisoner said to Wellington " Le fait est, Monseigneur, 
que vous avez une armee, nous sommes un bordel ambulant." (Notes 
on Conversations with the Duke of Wellington, East Stanhope.) 


The advance of the Household Cavalry had been by the 
Bilbao road, through the valley in the centre of 
the position, over ground so broken and rugged that they 
could do little more than support the infantry advance. 
When an entry had been made into Vittoria, a party of the 
First Life Guards was told off to guard a portion of 
the town. The rest of the brigade was despatched to 
drive off a corps of the enemy's infantry which was posted 
with its right resting on the Pampeluna road so as to 
cover the retreat of the French left flank. 

A deep ravine which lay in their way proved a nasty 
trap ; the Life Guards, attempting to " fly " it, left several 
men and horses in its bottom, who were, however, 
subsequently extricated without loss of life. The Blues, 
profiting by their comrades' discomfiture, took ground to 
the right, and crossed the cutting at a less formidable 
place without casualty. The Brigade was, however, dis- 
appointed of a collision, as the French infantry, harassed 
by some horse artillery covering the cavalry advance from 
an eminence, abandoned their post. The general pursuit 
was continued till nightfall, but was not very effectual, the 
infantry being utterly worn out and the cavalry being 
incessantly impeded by the ditches with which the country 
was intersected. 

The Allied losses on June 21 st, which fell chiefly on the 
British regiments, comprised 33 officers killed and 230 
wounded, with 707 soldiers killed and 4,210 wounded 
and missing. For this great victory Wellington was 
promoted Field Marshal, and created Duque de 
Vittoria in Spain ; he also received the thanks of 
both Houses of Parliament and a tentative invitation 
from Russia and Germany to assume the post and 
functions of Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces 
in Central Europe. 

On the night of the battle the Life Guards bivouacked 


in a plantation on the Pampeluna road, and the following 
day pushed on to Salvatierra, where a gun was captured 
from the fugitives. They remained for forty-eight hours 
in drenching rain and without rations. 

King Joseph arrived at Bayonne in a condition bordering 
on despair. Nor were his spirits improved by a letter which 
Napoleon addressed to him from Dresden three weeks later 
stating that he was to be superseded on the Spanish frontier 
by Marshal Soult, and adding with fraternal frankness "J'ai 
longtemps compromis mes affaires pour des imbeciles." 

Meanwhile General Clausel, with 14,000 men, had been 
hastening to Vittoria in blissful ignorance of the events of 
June 21 st. He arrived within striking-distance of the 
town, on the 22nd, to find it occupied by the British, and, 
hastily going about, retired to Logrono. A strong force 
including the Household Cavalry was sent in pursuit of 
him. Clausel arrived at Tudela on the 27th, intending to 
strike the frontier by way of Olite and Tafalla. He 
received, however, intelligence that Lord Wellington who 
had left Hill to invest Pampeluna was marching down 
the valley of the Zidara to cut him off. Doubling back, 
therefore, the French columns made for Zaragoza, and 
Clausel, believing that the whole Allied army was at his 
heels, abandoned his baggage, spiked some of his guns, 
and escaped into France by the pass of Jaca. The 
Household Cavalry were stationed for three weeks in 
the Convent of San Francisco at Logrono. 

Marshal Soult arrived in the Pyrenees on July I3th, 
and with an army increased by reinforcements to 77,500 
men advanced on the 24th to the relief of San Sebastian 
and Pampeluna.* The 25th was an unlucky day for the 

* It had been intended to besiege Pampeluna, but the reconnaissance 
which Wellington made on the 6th July with the great engineer officer, 
Sir Richard Fletcher, convinced him of its impregnable strength, and a 
blockade by the 6th and yth Divisions was decided on. 

H.C. II. P P 


British arms, due in some degree, as the great British 
Commander himself admitted, to simultaneous operations 
having been undertaken against two places widely 
separated by very difficult country. The assault on 
San Sebastian failed, and the Allies were forced back from 
their position in the pass of Araza. Wellington himself, 
hurrying the next morning from San Sebastian to join 
Picton at Huarte, and having at one moment despatched 
all his staff on various messages, narrowly escaped being 
taken prisoner by a small body of French cavalry. 

On July 27th a further retreat was necessary to a posi- 
tion in front of the villages Huarte and Villalba which 
covered the blockade of Pampeluna. Ordered at noon on 
the 27th to hurry to their point of concentration, the 
Household Cavalry arrived there the next afternoon to 
find that the French had advanced in force from Sorauren 
to deliver a blow against the Allied left, and that a fierce, 
though indecisive, battle was raging, as to which Wellington 
subsequently wrote to Lord Liverpool : " I never saw such 
fighting as on the 27th and 28th July, the anniversary of 
Talavera, nor such determination as our troops showed." 

On the 2Qth not a shot was fired, though the situation 
of the Allies was improved by the arrival of Dalhousie's 
division. At dawn on the 3oth, Soult, realising that his 
further advance was barred, moved off by his right, leaving 
Reille in position to mask the main retrograde movement. 
Wellington was not to be deceived ; despatching Picton 
and Dalhousie against the French flanks, he ordered the 
6th Division to seize the village of Sorauren, while 
General Cole with his division flung himself against the 
enemy's centre. 

The French position was completely carried, with terrible 
loss of life, and a retreat northwards through the difficult 
pass of Dona Maria took place. The fighting was almost 
entirely monopolised by the infantry, the ground being 


absolutely impracticable for the cavalry, who were held 
in reserve. 

The Household Cavalry were quartered for some days 
in villages around Pampeluna, but, forage failing, they 
were ordered back to Logroiio, which they reached on 
August I2th, and where they remained without taking 
further part in the successful autumn and winter 

A disagreeable incident occurred early in September, 
when an officer of the Life Guards placed a subaltern 
acting adjutant under arrest for alleged misconduct 
and disobedience on parade. The court-martial convened 
completely exonerated the prisoner, and stated that the 
conduct of his accuser, on the other hand, was highly 
unmilitary and reprehensible, and that the charge brought 
was vexatious and frivolous. The Commander-in-Chief, 
in confirming the finding, included in his censure the senior 
officer present on the occasion for not interfering to protect 
the young subaltern, and added that it must be understood 
in the Life Guards, and in the Army in general, that the 
possession of rank in the service is attended by the neces- 
sity for the performance of duty, and that it is not in the 
power of an officer to lay aside or assume his rank at his 
pleasure, but most particularly not when he is on parade 
for the performance of duty. 

At the end of October the Household Brigade was 
inspected by Sir Stapleton Cotton,* who drew a com- 
parison between the Life Guards and the Blues to the 
advantage of the latter, of whom he reported " Nothing 
can be better in every respect." The General suggested 
that, as there were evidently many men in the Life Guards 
who were really too old for active service in so arduous a 
campaign, they should be sent back to England and their 

Created Viscount Combermere, and appointed in 1829 to the 
command of the First Life Guards. 

P P 2 


recently arrived remounts given to the Light Dragoons, 
He told General O'Loghlin, who had assumed command 
of the Brigade, to have route-marches instead of field-days, 
and as he considered the Brigade too heavy to skirmish, 
he ordered all the carbines except six per troop to be 
returned into store. 

It would seem that this off-hand report left an unfavour- 
able impression on Wellington's mind as to the Life Guards, 
which was not wholly removed until the experience of 
Waterloo proved to him their merit and mettle.* He wrote 
to Admiral Pellew that he had only advised that officer's 
nephew to take a commission in the Life Guards because 
he was not sure of a vacancy occurring elsewhere, and 
that he would endeavour to effect an exchange for the 
young man into the I4th Dragoons. There occur in his 
private and official correspondence further indications of 
the opinion he held for the next eighteen months as to 
the serviceableness of the Household Cavalry. 

The Brigade remained at Logrono till March, 1814, 
when, under orders to join the army in France, they pro- 
ceeded along the pass in the Pyrenees by Tolosa to 
St. Jean de Luz, where they were strengthened by three 
squadrons from England. f Crossing the pontoon bridge 
at Bayonne, they were quartered for a week at Pau, and 
on April loth were present in reserve at the final struggle 
before Toulouse, when Soult was driven from the whole line 
of his entrenchments, although the Duke of Wellington J 
afterwards told Lord de Ros that in the whole of his 

* Wellington's mature judgment is recorded in CHAPTER LXVII., 
p. 619. Compare Lord Wolseley on the Household Cavalry, 
CHAPTER LXXIV., p. 680. 

f King Street, nth January, 1814. In consequence of Two troops 
being ordered for Foreign Service, the following Officers will hold 
themselves in readiness to proceed immediately for embarkation, viz. 
Captains Irby and Kenyon, Major Fitzgerald, Lieut. James, Sub-Lieuts. 
Kenyon and Moreton. 

J Created Duke, May 3rd, 1814. 


experience he had never seen an enemy so strongly posted 
as the French were at the battle of Toulouse. 

The sacrifice of life on this occasion was the more to be 
regretted as it was wholly unnecessary ; for only two days 
later arrived a French and an English officer from Paris to 
say that Napoleon had abdicated, that Paris had capitu- 
lated, and that a state of war between the two countries no 
longer existed. 

On May 3ist the Household Cavalry started on their 
march to Court, and passing through Limoges, Orleans, 
fitampes, Mantes, and Abbeville, reached Boulogne on 
July 2 ist, whence they embarked the next day for 

During the interval between the Peninsula War and 
the Waterloo campaign the following order was issued 
referring to the brigading of the Blues with the Household 
Cavalry : 

" Horse Guards, 

" August 24, 1814. 

" H.R.H. the Prince Regent in the name and on behalf 
of His Majesty is pleased to command in future, where the 
two regiments of Life Guards, and the Royal Regiment of 
Horse Guards, or any two of these Regiments, or detach- 
ments from any of the three Regiments above named, or 
any two of them, shall be together on the same duty, they 
shall be considered as one Corps or Brigade. 

" These Regiments, or any of them, on the King's duty 
in London, or where the Court is held, will receive the 
orders of and report to the Sovereign, through the Gold- 
Stick-in-Waiting, or in such manner as His Majesty may 
be pleased to appoint. When it may be judged expedient 


to dispense with the presence of the whole Brigade, it is 
the intention of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, 
that one Regiment in rotation shall be stationed in 

" The Regiment so detached from the Brigade, will 
follow the orders of the Commander-in-Chief, or such 
General or other Officer as may command upon the 
station, or in the quarter or camp, and may be brigaded 
with His Majesty's other regiments of cavalry, and take 
their share in any duty in the same manner as has been 
the case of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, when 
not on the King's duty in the metropolis. 

" The detached Regiment will be liable to be reviewed 
and inspected by General Officers appointed for that 
purpose, in like manner with His Majesty's other 

" Nothing in this order is to affect any existing privilege 
or regulation which has been given or made to or for any 
of these Regiments, in regard to their Colonel's receiving 
the orders of the Sovereign, touching the succession and 
promotion of officers, finance, clothing and equipment, 
recruiting, and remount, discharging men, and casting 
horses, or otherwise. 

" By command of H.R.H. the Commander-in-Chief, 

Adj. Gen."* 

* Military Extracts, ii. 



ON receipt of the news that Napoleon had arrived 
from Elba on French soil on March ist, 1815, 
the Powers of Europe were scared out of their 
wrangling at Vienna, and allied themselves 
together against the common foe. England, Prussia, 
Austria, and Russia agreed to provide 150,000 men each 
for the armies which were to invade France England 
having to perform her part of the bargain partly in treasure 
instead of in troops, owing to the haste with which, as 
usual, the British Government had disbanded its soldiers on 
the recent declaration of peace. Against these allied forces 
Napoleon made arrangements by which, in July, he should 
have 800,000 men under arms. He was already able, early 
in June, to dispose of more than half a million of soldiers, 
of whom 300,000 were for the greater part seasoned troops, 
many of them old campaigners, and well officered. The 
Emperor had lost some of his marshals, and Grouchy's 
efficiency has been questioned, but he possessed Soult as 
his chief lieutenant, Ney as an able commander, and a 
number of experienced leaders such as Reille, d'Erlon, 
and Vandamme, who had distinguished themselves in war. 
After detaching sufficient troops for the Army of the Rhine, 
and for the forces set to guard the Jura, the Alps, the Var, 
and the Pyrenees, as well as to overawe the Royalists of 
La Vendee and the west, the Emperor had still left for 
service in the Army of the North, 101,000 infantry, 23,000 
cavalry, and 370 guns the whole constituted into five 
army corps and including the Imperial Guard. 


In one respect the Allies were fortunate. No question 
could arise as to the choice of a supreme commander. 
All eyes were instantly turned to the hero of the Peninsula 
the consummate general who had never been tactically 
defeated and had never lost a gun, the leader of whom 
Napoleon said, " The Duke of Wellington is fully equal to 
myself in the management of an army, with the advantage 
of possessing more prudence. " 

Yet Wellington was heavily handicapped. In contrast 
with the compact army opposed to him, consisting of veteran 
troops and inspired by ardent devotion to its leader, the 
generalissimo of the Allies had to make shift with a force 
made up not only of Englishmen and Hanoverians 
and other Germans, but also of the utterly untrust- 
worthy material furnished by the Belgians and Dutch. 
Writing home officially, a week after Waterloo, he said, 
" I really believe that, with the exception of my old 
Spanish infantry, I have got not only the worst troops, 
but the worst-equipped army, with the worst staff that was 
ever brought together. 71 

His meaning must not be understood as involving the 
slightest disparagement of the personal qualities of his 
British and German troops. What was in his mind can 
be gathered without possibility of doubt. A fortnight 
before Waterloo he estimated his total strength as some- 
thing over 70,000. But he afterwards declared that, of 
the infantry, there were only 35,000 on whom he could rely. 
This can only mean that the Belgians and Dutch were 
to be accounted as non-effective for his purpose. Many 
of the former had fought in Napoleon's armies, and the 
people of Belgium in general were wholly indifferent, when 
not actively hostile, to the attempt of the European Powers 
to crush the French Emperor ; while much the same may 
be said of the Dutch. As it was with the people, so it was 
with the soldiers, whose presence as their heavy tale of 


desertion testifies was a source not merely of weakness, 
but even of positive danger. 

Of the bravery of the British and German troops there 
was never any question. Wellington, on the morrow of 
Waterloo, repeatedly expressed his astonishment at the 
courage of his men, whose sole shortcoming was their 
inexperience. Only 6,000 or 7,000 of them had ever before 
smelt powder the German troops being chiefly raw levies, 
and the English infantry being composed largely of 
youngsters, whose splendid courage and dogged tenacity 
was equalled only by their previous unfamiliarity with 
active service. 

These considerations are of obvious historic importance. 
The Iron Duke himself said that he would have assumed 
the offensive in the great fight if only he had had his 
Peninsula veterans with him. In the circumstances he, 
perforce, adopted defensive tactics. On the other hand, 
Wellington's army was strong in leaders. He was, indeed, 
denied the aid of the one lieutenant he would have 
preferred, perhaps, to all others Lord Combermere. But 
he was fortunate in such subordinates as Lord Hill, Sir 
Thomas Picton, Sir C. Grant, Sir H. Vivian, Sir 0. 
Vandeleur, Sir Dennis Pack, and their German colleagues. 
For the rest, it was to his own consummate ability in 
the handling of his troops in the field, coupled with the 
absolute confidence with which he inspired all the loyal 
portion of his army, that Wellington owed his success at 
Quatre Bras and his victory at Waterloo. 

The army under the Duke's command at the opening 
of the campaign had a nominal strength of 92,000 infantry 
(inclusive of 10,000 artillery and engineers), and 14,000 
cavalry forming a separate unit under Lord Uxbridge. 
Of the former 12,000 were kept in garrison. The 70,000 
fighting infantry were divided into three army corps the 
first consisting of 25,000 men, under the young Prince 


of Orange ; the second, numbering 24,000, entrusted 
to Lord Hill. Each of these included two British and 
two Belgian divisions. The third or reserve corps, 21,000 
strong, was retained by Wellington himself. The total 
number of guns was 204. 

The scene of the fighting was to be once again the old 
" cockpit of Europe." Many of the salient features of 
former campaigns reappear the place-names are as 
familiar as the essential strategic problems. Just as 
formerly, an invading French host, taking the offensive, 
crosses the frontier to overrun the country, while a mixed 
force, weakened by internal dissensions, is set to oppose it. 
As in the days of William of Orange, the military tactics of 
the Allies are hampered by the political necessity of safe- 
guarding Brussels. Even in the details history repeats 
itself, and Napoleon's Imperial Guard enjoys the same 
kind of prestige as its predecessor, the Maison de Roy. 
On the other side, the Flanders campaign of 1815 was to 
deck with fresh laurels the Life Guards, who had earned 
so great distinction at Steenkirk and Landen, and the 
Blues, who had gained equal renown at Fontenoy and 

The field of the operations of June I5th-i8th is con- 
tained within an oblong, in which Brussels and Philippeville 
mark the centres respectively of its longer northern and 
southern sides, while Tournay on the west and Liege on 
the east occupy similar positions on either of the two 
shorter sides of the rectangle. From Brussels, as from 
a centre, there radiate five main roads : (i) Due west, 
through Ninove on the Dender, to Oudenarde on the 
Scheldt; (2) south-west to Hal, branching (a) westwards to 
Enghien, Ath on the Dender, and Tournay ; (b) south-west 
to Brain-le-Comte, Soignies, and Mons on the Haine,, 
whence a route lies due south to Maubeuge on the Sambre ; 
(c) and south to Nivelles, where an easterly road leads to> 


Quatre Bras ; (3) due south to Waterloo, Genappe, Quatre 
Bras with a south-easterly branch to Ligny and 
Charleroi on the Sambre ; (4) south-east to Wavre, Gem- 
bloux, and Namur at the junction of the Sambre and Meuse* 
whence a road runs eastwards to Huy and Liege ; and (5) 
due east to Louvain, with a southern branch to Namur, 
and a south-eastern to Tirlemont, Hannut, and Huy. 

Wellington, with his headquarters at Brussels, had the 
task of guarding the country west of the Brussels-Charleroi 
line. Lord Hill's headquarters were on the advanced right 
at Ath, thirty miles W.S.W. of Brussels, while those of 
the Prince of Orange were at Braine-le-Comte, rather less 
than twenty miles S.W. of Brussels. In advance of these 
positions, the frontier along the Haine eastwards as far 
as and beyond Mons was guarded by the Hanoverian and 
Dutch-Belgian cavalry. 

The British and most of the Hanoverian cavalry were 
stationed along ,the Dender, from Ninove * fifteen miles 
west of Brussels to Grammont ; thus commanding the 
roads north-west to Oudenarde, south-west to Ath, and 
south-east to Enghien. 

Wellington's right was watched with extreme vigilance, 
his line of communications extending to the sea, where 

* On the declaration of war the strength of each of the Life Guards 
regiments was brought up to 589 men. Two squadrons of the First 
Regiment, commanded by Lt.-Col. Ferrier, two squadrons of the Second 
under the command of Lt.-Col. the Hon. E. P. Lygon, and two 
squadrons of the Blues consisting of 22 officers, 19 corporals, 4 
trumpeters, and 232 troopers under Lt.-Col. Sir Robert Hill, were 
brigaded with four squadrons " K.D.G.'s " (vide CHAPTER LXVI., 
p. 601) under Major-General Lord E. Somerset. The Life Guards, 
disembarking at Ostend on May 3rd, marched by way of Brussels to 
their quarters at Meerbeck and Ninove, which they reached on the 
loth. Meanwhile the Blues, landing a day later, advanced by the 
Bruges route to Leiderkirk and other villages near Ninove, where they 
too arrived on the loth. On May 2gth the whole of the British Cavalry 
and horse artillery constituting Lord Uxbridge's division were 
reviewed on the plain of Grammont by Wellington and Bliicher. 


Ostend was his primary, and Antwerp a secondary, source 
of supply from England. Hence the precautions which, 
up to the very last, and even at Waterloo itself, he 
continued to take against any surprise from that side. 

On his left the Duke touched the Prussians, to whose 
care was assigned the whole of Flanders lying to the east 
of the line already named. By means of the army corps 
kept with him at headquarters, Wellington was in a 
position to reinforce either of his other two corps within 
twenty-four hours. 

In the Prussian army under Blucher, which numbered 
about 112,000 infantry and 12,000 cavalry, with 204 guns, 
only about half the infantry were seasoned troops ; of the 
other half more than a third were raw levies, and of these 
again a considerable proportion had been newly drawn 
from countries recently under the French dominion, and 
some of them had actually fought in Napoleon's armies. 
The condition of the Prussian cavalry was even worse, 
and that of the artillery was hardly better. The whole 
was divided into four army corps, numbering approxi- 
mately 30,000 men each. Blucher had his headquarters 
at Namur, at the junction of the Sambre and the Meuse, 
twenty miles east of Charleroi, and thirty west of Liege. 
Zieten's corps was at Charleroi, Thielmann's in an 
advanced position across the Meuse towards the frontier 
at Ciney, and Billow's at Liege. 

The whole line from Tournay eastwards to Liege, 
occupied jointly by British and Prussians, was 100 miles 
in length. 

Blucher, at the age of 71, contrasted in this respect with 
Wellington, who was only 47, but his vigour was unabated. 
They were absolutely loyal to each other, and they met on 
several occasions to arrange for all possible eventualities. 

If Napoleon could have waited till July, his troops 
would have been augmented in number by another quarter 


of a million of men. On the other hand, he knew that by 
the beginning of July the Allies would be strengthened by 
the arrival of the Russians and Austrians. The Emperor, 
who dreaded an invasion of French soil, decided to take 
the offensive at once, and to begin hostilities in Flanders. 

An attack on the Prussian communications beyond 
Liege was open to various objections. To menace those 
of the British on their right was more feasible, and this 
was the course Wellington considered probable. In point 
of fact, Napoleon chose to advance by the Charleroi road 
straight on Brussels. But, even when Wellington knew 
that the French were advancing direct on Brussels from 
the south, he was still on his guard lest the real attack 
should, after all, be either by the Tournai-Brussels road a 
contingency provided for by placing Lord Hill at Ath ; or 
by way of Mons and Braine-le-Comte, at which latter 
point he had stationed the Prince of Orange. 

Napoleon saw that the Charleroi-Brussels route was not 
only the shortest, but that it struck the point of junction 
between the two Allied armies. 

Moreover, as the Prussians were somewhat in advance 
of the British, he hoped to attack and defeat them first, 
and afterwards to turn his attention to the latter. His 
concentration on the frontier, between Philippeville and 
Maubeuge about twenty-five miles eastwards on the 
Sambre was effected with extraordinary secrecy. While 
the armies opposed to him were spread out over an immense 
area, he had quietly brought together 124,000 men, and 
arrived from Paris at the front on the night of June I4th. 
At Beaumont, the centre of his position, was the Imperial 
Guard, with the Third and Sixth Army Corps in front of 
them; the First and Second being to the left on the 
Sambre ; the Fourth on the right at Philippeville. 

Wellington, who was dependent on Bliicher's officers 
for intelligence from the front concerning the enemy's. 


movements, was admirably served in this respect up to 
June I4th. Unhappily throughout nearly the whole of 
the next day the Prussians failed to send the British 
commander word either of the enemy's proceedings or 
of their own. Wellington, having heard nothing except 
that the French meant to attack, maintained his existing 

The Emperor made admirable arrangements for the 
orderly advance of his army on the I5th, in order that the 
different corps might arrive together at Charleroi the same 
day. The movement began at 3 a.m., the weak Prussian 
force alone available for resistance was easily driven back, 
and Charleroi was occupied by noon. Napoleon lost 
no time in pushing on towards Brussels. Gosselies, about 
five miles to the north, was at once attacked, the Prussians 
slowly retiring eastwards, and by 6 p.m. they had been 
driven back with loss on Fleurus, five miles distant. 

In these operations the French force engaged was the 
right, commanded by Grouchy. 

The left, entrusted to Ney, was ordered by the Emperor 
to continue the advance on the capital. A cavalry 
reconnaissance was made as far as Quatre Bras eleven 
miles north of Charleroi, and only twenty from Brussels. 
At nightfall on the I5th, the Brussels road was already 
strongly held by the French left as far as Frasnes about 
two and a half miles short of Quatre Bras ; while the 
French right, facing eastwards, was opposed to the 
Prussians at Fleurus. Napoleon was intending to carry 
out on the morrow his twofold plan of " fending off " the 
British to the north at Quatre Bras, while he dealt the 
Prussians a crushing blow to the east. The strength 
of the latter, however, he seriously under-estimated, 
calculating that they had immediately in front of him only 
40,000 men ; and he also thought that Wellington would 
be unable to concentrate in time to offer effective resistance 


to the French advance. The event in both cases showed 
him to be mistaken. Bliicher had on the I5th amassed 
a large army three out of his four corps at Sombreffe, 
a position which he had specially chosen as the place 
where he would give battle to the enemy. 

Meanwhile from three o'clock in the afternoon of the 
1 5th Wellington was receiving at intervals a series of 
despatches announcing the French advance, but up to 
6 p.m. he knew no more than that the movement was by 
Charleroi. He had heard nothing of the result of the 
fighting. He had still to guard against a possible approach 
by Mons. In issuing his first orders on June I5th the 
Duke had therefore to confine himself to enjoining all 
his troops to be ready to march. Next, as soon as he 
was sure that the enemy's movement upon Charleroi was 
the real attack, he ordered them to march to their left. 
Lastly, on the receipt of further news, he " directed the 
whole army to march on Les Quatre Bras. " * 

In accordance with these several orders, Lord Uxbridge 
first collected the cavalry at Ninove. At 10 p.m., when 
the concentration at Quatre Bras was decided on, the 
cavalry was ordered to proceed south to Enghien. Having 
issued his night orders, the Duke attended the memorable 
ball given at Brussels by the Duchess of Richmond. This 
he did deliberately and out of policy, to show a bold front 
to his opponents as well as to encourage his friends. The 
arrival during supper, at 10.30 p.m., of the news that the 
enemy was close to Quatre Bras made no practical differ- 
ence, for Wellington had met the emergency by anticipa- 
tion, and his troops were already marching with Quatre 
Bras as their objective. He knew that by the morning 
his whole right would have been drawn in, and would be 

* So the Waterloo despatch. The " whole army " does not include 
the Hal and Tubize detachments. The meaning is that the whole 
movement was one of concentration on Quartre Bras. 


holding in force Enghien, Braine-le-Comte, Nivelles, and 
Quatre Bras, so that he could resist an attack either on 
his left, at the latter place, or if need be on his centre. 
At the same time the force at Quatre Bras could easily be 
strengthened from Nivelles, and the reserve army corps at 
Brussels already marching south to Waterloo could be 
directed on the same point. 

The Duke, who had gone to bed soon after 2 a.m. on 
June 1 6th, was roused at 4.30 to receive news which 
finally assured him that the Mons road was safe, and that 
he must concentrate at Quatre Bras. Fresh orders were 
issued, including one which directed the cavalry to continue 
their move to Braine-le-Comte. About 6 o'clock they 
started. During the whole morning they were marching 
eastwards, and passed through Nivelles at noon on their 
way to Quatre Bras, where, by quickening their pace 
when firing became audible, they arrived the same 
evening, though only after the fighting was over. Here 
they bivouacked for the night in some cornfields to the 
north of the farm. 

To return to the situation at this point on the 
evening of the I5th. When the French made the recon- 
naissance already described, a Netherlands brigade under 
Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar, which had been posted 
at Frasnes, was forced back to Quatre Bras a farmhouse 
close to the point where the Brussels-Charleroi road joins 
that running from Nivelles to Namur. At 9 p.m. the 
enemy, unable to effect anything more, retired to Frasnes. 
Prince Bernhard was reinforced at 3 a.m. next day, the 
1 6th, by Perponcher's brigade from Nivelles ; at 6 the 
Prince of Orange arrived, and succeeded during the morn- 
ing in obtaining command of the cross roads. The 
position was held by this force of 6,800 men, with sixteen 
guns, until Wellington's reinforcements should arrive. 


JUNE 1 6th lives in military annals as the date of 
the twin battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras, 
the two localities so named being only six miles 
apart. Marshal Prince Blucher had chosen Som- 
breffe for his main position, in front of which he held 
the villages of Ligny and St. Amand. The Prussian 
army, which consisted, as has been said, of only three out 
of its four corps the Fourth, under Billow, being still on 
its way from Li&ge was 83,000 strong. The Emperor, 
who had at his disposal only 65,000 men, was wholly 
deceived as to his enemy's numbers, and confidently 
counted on driving Blucher back towards Namur. 

Grouchy, who commanded the French right, with 
50,000 men comprising the Third and Fourth corps, was 
ordered to move against SombrefTe. On the left Ney, who 
was instructed to operate at Quatre Bras with a view to 
an immediate march on Paris, had also nearly 50,000 men 
under his orders. The Emperor himself was to remain at 
Fleurus with the Imperial Guard in reserve, so as to be 
able to aid either wing. 

Wellington, leaving Brussels at 7.30 a.m., reached 
Quatre Bras at 10 o'clock, and found the Prince of 
Orange's troops in advanced positions, awaiting Ney's 
attack. The British reserve was at this time on its way 
from Waterloo, and was due at Genappe at noon at 
which hour, as already stated, the British cavalry passed 
through Nivelles. 

The Duke at i o'clock rode over to Ligny to consult 
H.C. n. Q Q 


Bliicher, and was back at Quatre Bras at 2.30, having 
promised Bliicher to come to his aid, provided he were 
not himself attacked. As it was, he effectually aided 
Bliicher by holding Ney's large force. 

The French attack on the Prussians began at 3 p.m. 
The Emperor's plan was to engage the Prussian left 
while surrounding and isolating their right. He soon 
discovered that it was the Prussian army, not merely a 
single corps, that he had to fight. At this he professed 
his delight, declaring that the issue of the war might now 
be decided in a few hours. Almost directly afterwards 
Ney sent to tell him that at Quatre Bras he was 
opposed by 20,000 men.* The battle presently raged 
around Ligny and the advanced villages of St. Amand 
and St. Amand-le-Haye. 

On their right the Prussians, at first driven back, were 
rallied by Bliicher and repulsed the enemy. The counter- 
assault being followed by another French onslaught,, 
Bliicher replied with another successful attack. 

In the centre, the French, repelled at first, gained a 
footing after a second attack; but, meeting with some 
fresh Prussian troops, could make no further progress. 
On the Prussian left, the French cavalry effected no 
permanent result. 

At 5 o'clock Napoleon determined to break through 
Bliicher's centre, to overwhelm his right, and to drive his 
left towards Namur. For this task he summoned the 
Guard, stationed in the rear at Fleurus. At first the 
Prussians made a successful counter-movement against 
the enemy's left, and Bliicher, summoning every available 
reserve, hoped to deliver, on this side, a decisive counter- 

* This discovery restrained Ney from carrying out the Emperor's 
wish that the first Corps (d'Erlon's) should be sent to his support at 
Ligny. D'Erlon, distracted by conflicting orders, spent the whole day 
in wandering to and fro between the two battlefields. 


stroke. Unfortunately, his centre, at Ligny, was thus 
deprived of the reserves it sorely needed. A supreme 
effort of the French against Ligny proved irresistible. At 
half-past seven they broke through the Prussian defence, 
which they overwhelmed at this point with superior 
numbers and with veteran troops. Bliicher, heading a 
charge of cavalry, had his horse shot under him, and 
by nightfall the French had forced the Prussians to 
evacuate all their advanced positions, and to fall back on 

That, however, was the full extent of the Emperor's 
success. On the other hand, his losses were 8,500 as 
against the Prussian 6,000. The Prussian retreat was 
well covered, though effected in some disorder. During 
the night one corps, after having bivouacked at Sombreffe, 
moved eastward to Gembloux, where it joined other 
troops, and in the morning found itself within a couple of 
miles of the missing Fourth corps, just arrived from Liege. 
The other two Prussian corps had during the night 
marched three miles to the north-west as far as Tilly. 

Whilst this action was being decided at Ligny, that at 
Quatre Bras was also in progress. The Prince of Orange, 
holding the cross roads, made the farm-building his base. 
Eastwards was the Namur road the line of communi- 
cation with the Prussians; westwards ran the road to 
Nivelles ; to the rear stretched the road from Genappe and 
Waterloo, along which reinforcements from the reserve 
corps were on their way ; in front lay that from Charleroi, 
along which Ney was momentarily expected to advance 
to the attack. 

To the right of this road Perponcher's Dutch troops 
held the Bossu wood, which stretched southwards for a 

Q Q 2 


mile, leaving a narrow strip of open land between itself 
and the road. About a mile down the road, and on its 
left, stood the farm of Gemioncourt the centre of the 
Allied position ; while to the east of it, and slightly in 
advance, was the farm of Piraumont. Both were occupied 
by Netherlands troops, whose number was raised by the 
arrival of a reinforcement from Nivelles to a total of 7,200 
infantry with 16 guns. 

Napoleon's optimism, which induced him to underrate 
the strength of the Allies, coupled with a perplexing con- 
flict of orders, condemned Ney to inaction till 2 p.m., when 
Bachelu's and Foy's divisions of Reille's corps arrived, and 
at once commenced the attack. Both Piramont and 
Gemioncourt were soon captured, and as the beaten 
defenders crossed the road towards the wood, Pire's 
lancers charged them with disastrous effect. So far 
the Allied right and centre were both defeated. 

Happily, at this juncture the Allies received reinforce- 
ments some Netherlands cavalry from Nivelles and, 
which was infinitely more important, Picton's division 
from Waterloo the latter made up of three brigades, of 
which Kempt's and Pack's were British, and Best's 
Hanoverian. The British were at once aligned along 
the Namur chaussee, Pack's right resting on Quatre 
Bras. His brigade included the first battalion of the 
42nd Regiment, the second of the 44th, and the first of the 
92nd. Kempt's, drawn up to the left of Pack's, was com- 
posed of the first battalions of the 28th, the 7Qth, and the 
95th Regiments the last-named being on the extreme 
left. The Hanoverians were posted in the rear, and a 
battery was assigned to either flank. The Netherlands 
cavalry, being sent forward to support its retreating 
infantry, was quickly routed by Pire's lancers, who at 
once turned to crush a Dutch battalion and also captured 
eight guns. 


Ney was now reinforced by Prince Jerome Bonaparte's 
division, which, deploying on the left, promptly took some 
buildings in front of the Bossu wood, and then proceeded 
slowly to clear the wood itself; while Wellington was joined 
by the Brunswickers, so that he now had 19,000 infantry, 
2,000 cavalry, and 30 guns, to Ney's 16,000 infantry, 1,700 
cavalry, and 38 guns. 

When Ney renewed the attack, the Netherlands troops 
yielded on the right, while on the left the British main- 
tained their ground. Some Brunswick foot and horse 
were then sent along the strip of open ground next the 
Charleroi road, on the west, but were driven back and 
their Duke killed. The whole French line then advanced 
on Quatre Bras. When, however, Bachelu, on the right, 
reached the British line, the old and well-tried expedient 
of the British infantry was once more employed with 
excellent result. Picton's men waited quietly till the 
enemy had approached quite close, and then poured in a 
volley with deadly effect. The French wavered, when the 
British, at the call of Picton, charged with the bayonet, and 
drove the enemy back beyond Gemioncourt. Here, how- 
ever, a heavy artillery and infantry fire forced the pursuers 
first to halt and then to retire. The French cavalry 
instantly seized the opportunity to charge, Pire's chasseurs 
dashing furiously against two of Kempt's regiments, the 
28th and 79th, who beat off the attack in a way which 
elicited Wellington's special praise. The remaining 
regiment of the brigade, the 95th, also rendered a good 
account of some of Pire's lancers. The main body of the 
French lancers hurled against Pack, before either the 
42nd or 44th were able to form square met with no 
better success. They were driven off, and Wellington 
was quick to congratulate the 42nd and 95th on a fine bit 
of work. 

By five o'clock Kellermann's brigade of cuirassiers had 


joined Ney. The Marshal, perplexed and worried by 
Napoleon's repeated demands that he should quickly 
dispose of the enemy in front of him, and then come 
to aid the Emperor at Ligny, ordered Kellermann to 
charge Wellington's positions. But the Duke had just 
been further reinforced by Halkett's brigade belonging 
to Alten's division in the Prince of Orange's corps, and 
composed of the 33rd Regiment and the second battalions 
of the 3Oth, 6gth, and 73rd and also by Kielmansegge's 
Hanoverian brigade in the same division. Wellington had 
now 24,000 infantry and 42 guns. The Hanoverians took 
up position in support of the 95th on the extreme left ; 
Halkett was posted in the strip of land from which 
the Dutch and the Brunswickers had successively been 

Once more Bachelu and Foy advanced against Pack, in 
whose brigade the 42nd and 44th had now been combined 
into one battalion, so that the brunt of the attack was 
borne by the 92nd, which flung back the enemy with a 
brilliant bayonet charge. 

The Ggth was sent from Halkett to Pack's assistance, 
while the 33rd and 3oth advanced along the strip of land 
in the centre. Pack, seeing that a cavalry charge was 
threatened by Kellermann and Pire, formed his own 
battalions in square, and gave the same order to the 6gth, 
who were attached to his brigade. The Prince of Orange, 
to whose army corps the 6gth belonged, took upon himself 
to countermand the order, with the result that, the charge 
of the French cuirassiers finding them in line, the unfortu- 
nate Ggth were overpowered and suffered a loss of 150 
men. It is difficult not to think that, in subsequently 
including the Prince of Orange amongst those who " highly 
distinguished themselves, 1 ' the British commander may 
have been referring to the sort of " distinction " which 
belongs to pre-eminent ineptitude and presumption. 


Fortunately the officers in command of the 3Oth and 
73rd ignored their youthful superior's order to remain 
in line. They formed square, and inflicted a galling fire 
on Kellermann's cavalry. Meanwhile the 33rd, which 
had been pushed forward to the front along the strip of 
land, had to seek cover in the Bossu wood from the 
enemy's guns. 

The French cuirassiers had succeeded in reaching the 
Quatre Bras cross-roads ; but here they were suddenly 
checked, not only by the heavy flank fire of the British 
infantry, but by a German battery in front, which had just 
arrived on the field. The enemy's horse were repulsed in 
confusion, as also were about one-half of their foot ; the 
advance of the other half being at the same time arrested. 

The moment for Wellington to assume the offensive 
had come at last. It was now seven o'clock, and at this 
critical juncture there had opportunely arrived the Guards' 
division under Cook, who had with him Maitland's brigade 
composed of the second and third battalions of the 
Grenadier Guards, and Byng's brigade made up of the 
second battalions of the Coldstream and Scots Guards, 
with several batteries of Adye's artillery. 

Supported by the Guards in the Bossu wood, as well as 
beyond it on the extreme right, the Brunswickers and 
Halkett's brigade proved too strong for Fire's cavalry; 
the whole of the enemy's line was forced back, and 
Wellington's army stood masters of the position. 

Wellington's victory was won, not indeed against 
numerical odds, but under the great disadvantage that a 
large proportion of his force the Dutch- Belgians were 
utterly untrustworthy, so that to rely on them was to lean 
on a broken reed. His losses and Ney's were about the 
same 4,500 men. 

The British commander, notwithstanding the success 
he had thus gained over the French left, was unable to 


follow it up. The French right, on its side, made no 
effort to pursue Bliicher. Napoleon, having lost touch 
with the Prussians who, without his being aware of it, 
had made a rapid concentration upon Wavre, fifteen miles 
south-east of Brussels and ten miles east of Waterloo 
sent Grouchy to deal with Bliicher, and decided to turn 
the major part of his forces against the great general 
who had so often defeated his marshals, and whom all 
Europe had chosen as the one leader fit to cope with the 
Emperor himself. 

On his side Wellington saw that Blucher's withdrawal 
northwards of which he did not hear till 7.30 next 
morning rendered necessary a corresponding movement 
on his part. To have stayed at Quatre Bras would have 
meant another attack by Ney in front, in combination with 
an advance by the Emperor along the Namur chaussde. 

At an early hour on the iyth the Duke rode out from 
Genappe, where he had slept, to Quatre Bras. There he 
found that, since yesterday's battle, other troops had 
arrived, including the English cavalry, making a total of 
45,000 men. Wellington at once sent a message to 
Bliicher to the effect that he was about to withdraw north- 
wards ; that, without Prussian support, he must fall back 
on Brussels ; * but that, if assured of the support of even 
one Prussian corps, he would give battle at Mont St. Jean. 
Bliicher replied with a promise of two corps. Accordingly 
at ten o'clock on the morning of June iyth the Allied 
army commenced its retreat from Quatre Bras. 

* As will be seen later on, there is evidence to show that, in the 
event of his being worsted at Waterloo, Wellington intended to retire, 
ot upon Brussels, but towards the sea-coast. 


THE Allied troops present at Quatre Bras on the 
morning of June I7th numbered, as has been 
noted, 45,000 men. Of this total a large propor- 
tion was, to say the least, ineffective. The 
British included Cook's Division of the Guards, Alten's 
and Picton's Divisions of British infantry, and the whole 
of Uxbridge's cavalry except Arentsschildt's brigade. The 
first cavalry brigade,* commanded by Lord Edward 
Somerset, consisted of the First and Second Life Guards, 
the Royal Horse Guards (Blue), and the First Dragoon 
Guards the latter regiment being included on account of 
the numerical insufficiency of the Life Guards. f The 
second cavalry brigade, Ponsonby's, was called the 
" Union ' brigade, because made up of the English 
" Royals/' the Scots Greys, and the Irish Inniskillings. 

:< On May igth Wellington wrote to Lord Uxbridge that he under- 
stood the Household Brigade had on one occasion claimed to have 
their brigade major selected from among themselves ; that he had 
resisted this then as they had no one fit for the duty, but that if there 
was any eligible officer he should be chosen, and that anyhow Lord 
Edward Somerset should be consulted. 

f Colonel Sir H. Torrens, military secretary to the Duke of York, 
wrote to Wellington on April 2ist, 1815 : " In reference to what I 
said to you respecting the inefficiency in numbers of the Household 
Brigade, the four squadrons of the First Dragoon Guards have been 
ordered to be attached to it." The numerical weakness of the House- 
hold Brigade is evident from two earlier letters. On April i4th 
Torrens wrote, " You shall have three squadrons of the Blues (say 360) 
in about ten days." But on April i6th he says, " Two squadrons from 
the Blues, and two from each of the regiments of the Life Guards, are 
to form a brigade for your army. . . . The brigade will be a very small 
one in the first instance." 


Dornberg's (the third) included the 23rd Dragoons and 
two German regiments ; Vandeleur, commanding the 
fourth, had under him the nth Hussars, and the I2th and 
1 6th Lancers ; Grant, in the fifth brigade, led the yth and 
1 5th Hussars ; and the sixth brigade, under Vivian, was 
composed of the loth and i8th Hussars, and a German 

Lord HilPs corps, five miles off at Nivelles, started for 
Waterloo at ten o'clock. It included Adam's brigade 
(i/52nd, i/7ist, 2/Q5th, and 3/Q5th) with their German 
and Hanoverian comrades, and Mitchell's brigade (3/i4th, 
i /23rd, and 5ist). 

The force at Quatre Bras was to reach Waterloo by 
way of the defile of Genappe, the rear-guard being 
furnished by Alten's division, composed of Halkett's, 
Ompteda's, and Kielmansegge's brigades, with some 
other infantry. To the cavalry was entrusted the task of 
covering the retreat of the rear-guard. The cavalry 
division was formed at one o'clock in three lines in rear of 
Quatre Bras, and retired in three columns by by-roads 
through Baisy and Thy to Genappe. 

At 1.30 p.m. the Emperor in person, moving up the 
Namur chaussfe with the Guards and Lobau's division 
which had not been engaged at Ligny and with a large 
force of cavalry, was already within two miles of Quatre 
Bras. Drawing nearer, he was confronted by the British 
cavalry with several guns. Wellington's infantry was by 
this time well on its way north, the cavalry being now 
ordered to follow. The movement was well arranged and 
well carried out, and as the Allied army gained Genappe 
the cavalry effectually kept the enemy in check. 

Having crossed the river by the bridge, the Household 
Cavalry Brigade and Artillery halted on the chaussee about 
700 yards beyond the gates of Genappe. The 7th Hussars, 
with the 23rd Light Dragoons in support, were halted 


only 250 yards from the town. Presently the French 
Lancers appeared out of the town, and the yth were 
ordered to charge them, which they did " most gallantly/ 1 
as Lord Uxbridge testified. The French lancers, 
however, drove the British hussars back, and the yth, 
though twice rallied, each time found the enemy, who 
was now reinforced, too strong for them. Uxbridge 
thereupon withdrew the yth, which had lost heavily, and 
ordered the 23rd to take up the task. As the latter, 
however, showed some disinclination for the job, they 
were ordered to leave the road clear, Uxbridge exclaiming, 
" The Life Guards shall have this honour." Two 
squadrons of the First Regiment were at once summoned, 
and Lord Uxbridge has recorded that, " gallantly led by 
Major Kelly, they came on with right good will." As 
they thundered down the hill, the Life Guards bore all 
before them, riding over and scattering the French 
lancers, and never reining in their big horses till they 
had cleared the enemy's cavalry right out of Genappe.* 
That was the end of all attempts to hinder the British 
army from reaching the battlefield which its leader, many 
months before, had fixed upon. 

Meanwhile Wellington still kept an eye on Hal, eight 
miles west of Waterloo. Besides a number of the Nether- 
lands troops, he ordered that part of Colville's division 
which had been stationed at Braine-le-Comte consisting 
of Johnstone's brigade (2/35th, i/54th, 2/5gth, and i/9ist) 
and Lyon's Hanoverians to move up the Mons-Brussels 
road to Hal. This vigilant care for his right had, as has 
been pointed out, been dictated originally by the possibility 

The Duke, who had just sat down to dinner when an urgent 
message came that his presence was required, now in high good 
humour carried off Lord Uxbridge to share his meal. Nevertheless, 
he told somebody afterwards that the cavalry would have had no more 
trouble during the march than the infantry had previously, if 
Lord Uxbridge had not unnecessarily attacked the enemy's lancers. 


of an attack on that flank, and to the last this force of 
18,000 men was kept at Hal and Tubize with a view to 
that contingency. From Waterloo at 3 a.m. on the i8th 
Wellington wrote to the Due de Berry at Ghent:* 
" It is possible that the enemy may turn us at Hal, 
although I have Prince Frederick's corps in position 
between Hal and Enghien." He begged the Due de 
Berry, in that event, to march on Antwerp. To Lady 
Frances Webster in Brusselst he offered this advise : 
" The course of the operations may oblige me to uncover 
Bruxelles for a moment, and may expose that town to 
the enemy ; for which reason I recommend that you 
and your family should be prepared to move on Antwerp 
at a moment's notice." 

If anything should go wrong at Waterloo, Wellington 
had determined to retreat, not on Brussels, but towards 
Ostend and the sea. In after years he expressly denied 
that his base of operations was Brussels. On December 
8th, 1825, while dining with Mr. Littleton at Teddesley, 
he said, " I never contemplated a retreat on Brussels. 
Had I been forced from my position, I should have 
retreated to my right, towards the coast, the shipping, 
and my resources. . . . Could Napoleon have ventured to 
follow me ? The Prussians, already on his flank, would 
have been on his rear."J 

On June lyth the weather held up during the British 
march of eight miles to Waterloo, while when the French 
followed, a heavy storm made marching difficult. During 
the night of June I7th-i8th it still rained in torrents. 
The rain, which ceased after sunrise, rendered the ground 
so sodden that Napoleon's operations were delayed for 
four hours by the non-arrival of a part of his army. 

* Despatches, xii. 477. 

f Suppl. Despatches, x. 501. 

% Apsley House MSS., Lord Hatherton (formerly Mr. Littleton). 


The morning of June i8th found neither of the great rival 
commanders in the best of tempers. Napoleon, who was 
out and about at an early hour, was heard to mutter, " At 
last I am going to measure myself against this Wellington ! " 
While breakfasting, he snapped Ney's head off for hazard- 
ing an opinion that the English showed apparent signs of 
retreating, and that the attack ought to be hastened. The 
unfortunate Soult was crushed with the sneer, "You think 
this Wellington a great general because he beat you I " 
Wellington on his side showed irritation when Uxbridge 
whom perhaps he somewhat disfavoured for filling the 
place he had desired for Combermere* as next senior 
officer asked him what his plans were, in case anything 
should happen to the Duke. " Plans, " exclaimed Welling- 
ton, " I have no plans, except to give that fellow a d d 

good licking ! " 

The field of battle may be described roughly as a fairly 
level valley sloping gently upwards to a northern and a 
southern ridge. Down the centre of it ran the Brussels- 
Charleroi chaussee, intersecting the northern ridge at Mont 
St. Jean, which was Wellington's centre, and the southern 
ridge at Rossomme, where were Napoleon's headquarters. 
The line of French infantry was distributed on either side 

* 1815, April i6th. Sir H. Torrens wrote to the Duke: "I have 
given Lord Combermere a full explanation of the circumstances 
attending the appointment of Lord Uxbridge, who is in great delight 
at the prospect of serving under you." Wellington, on May 5th, wrote 
to Lord Bathurst from Brussels that he took exception to the way in 
which he had been treated by the Horse Guards with reference to Staff 
appointments. He thought the Generals and Staff who had served 
him well in the Peninsula should have been allowed to attend him 
again; instead of which, he found himself " overloaded " with people 
he had never seen before, while the officers he wished for were kept 
out of the way. He fully recognised the right of the Duke of York as 
Commander- in- Chief to appoint to the Staff whom he pleased, but 
confessed himself unable to be satisfied with these appointments until 
he had tested the individuals. (Suppl. Despatches). Both Lord 
Combermere and Lord Anglesey were afterwards Gold Sticks. 


of the Charleroi road. To the right was D'Erlon's corps, 
composed of four infantry divisions, behind whom were 
Milhaud's cuirassiers, and in rear of these the light cavalry 
of the Guard. At the extreme right was Jacquinot's 
cavalry. On the left side of the road was Reille's corps, 
made up of three infantry divisions. In its rear were 
Kellermann's cavalry, behind whom were Guyot's ; the 
extreme left being guarded by Fire's cavalry. 

The point of junction between the two corps was at the 
tavern of La Belle Alliance, less than a mile in front of 
Rossomme. A strong reserve was drawn up in rear of 
the French centre, consisting of the whole of Lobau's 
corps, and Demon's and Subervie's cavalry ; while behind 
all was stationed the Imperial Guard. On the right of 
Rossomme was the village of Planchenoit. 

Wellington's disposition of his troops followed for three 
miles the ridge of Mont St. Jean, along which ran the road 
leading to Wavre on the east, and the village of Braine 
PAlleud on the west. His extreme left was guarded by 
two cavalry brigades Vivian's, in which were the loth 
and 1 3th Hussars and a German regiment ; and Van- 
deleur's, which was composed of the nth Hussars and 
the 1 2th and i6th Lancers ; then came the infantry in 
the following order Prince Bernhard of Saxe- Weimar 
with his Nassauers, Vincke's Hanoverians, Best's Hano- 
verians, Pack's brigade, Kempt's brigade (with Bijlandt's 
Dutch-Belgians in front, across the road). Lambert's 
brigade (i/4th, i/27th, i/4Oth, and 2/8ist) was held in 
reserve in the rear until called upon later to take its place 
in the line on the hasty retreat of the Dutch-Belgians. 
All these were to the east of the Charleroi chaussJe. 

To the west were Ompteda's men of the German legion, 
then Kielmansegge's Hanoverians, and next Halkett's 
brigade. To the right of these again was Cook's division, 
composed of Maitland's and Byng's brigades of Guards.. 


In reserve at this point were Mitchell's and Adam's 
brigades. Supporting the Guards were Grant's and 
Dornberg's cavalry. In rear of the centre were placed, 
on either side of the chaussJe, the Household Brigade of 
Cavalry on the right, and the " Union " cavalry brigade 
on the left. 

In the valley in front of the British right was the chateau 
of Hougomont, held by Byng's Guards.* Immediately in- 
front of the British centre, at a distance of 300 yards, was 
the farm of La Haye Sainte, garrisoned by German 
troops. On the left front lay a group of farms and 
buildings Papelotte, La Haye, and Frischermont. 

The total number of Wellington's troops has been 
estimated at 49,700 infantry, 12,400 cavalry, and 156 
guns ; but his effective strength, owing to the thorough 
disloyalty of the Dutch-Belgians, was really no more than 
36,300 infantry, 9,200 cavalry, and 124 guns, as against 
Napoleon's force of 52,600 infantry, 14,900 cavalry, and 
266 guns.f 

* Byng's brigade consisted of the 2nd battalion Coldstream and 
2nd battalion Scots and the two light companies of Maitland's brigade 
i.e. of the 2nd and $rd battalions Grenadiers. A regiment of 
Nassauers and two companies of Hanoverians brought the numbers 
of the Hougomont garrison to 1,500 men. 

f The large force which Napoleon had detached under Grouchy's 
command could not under any circumstances have reached Waterloo 
before 7 p.m. As matters stood, Grouchy, to whom the firing at 
Waterloo was audible, deemed it his duty to continue his march to. 


THE Emperor's fixed determination was to break 
through his adversary's centre, so as to cut off 
the greater part of Wellington's force from a 
junction with Bliicher. This involved a frontal 
attack on the British position. The whole of the action on 
the western side of the field was dominated from beginning 
to end by the development of the situation at Hougomont. 
The Emperor's first order was for a general attack to be 
delivered at i p.m. by the infantry. D'Erlon, on the 
right, moved forward, with results to be detailed presently. 
Reille, on the left, was at once confronted by the Hougo- 
mont obstacle. Jerome's brigade operated on the west of 
the chdteau, and Foy's on the south. The guns of Pirn's 
cavalry division took part in the attack, as did some of the 
artillery of the Guard. The fighting here went on all day, 
with the net result that, though the French succeeded in 
forcing back the Hanoverian and Nassau skirmishers from 
the outlying wood, they never captured the buildings, nor 
drove the Guards from the north wall, which commanded 
the nearer grounds. Meanwhile, Reille's pre-occupation 
with the attack on Hougomont effectually prevented his 
advance against the right of the British line. Thus a 
comparatively small number of British kept well occupied 
and inflicted severe losses on a large part of the 
enemy's force.* 

* The Story of Hougomont justly described as " a battle within a 
battle" has been vividly and veraciously narrated in the Household 
Brigade Magazine for October, 1907, by Lt.-Col. E. Macartney- Filgate. 
No better account of this glorious episode has perhaps been penned. 


On the right, D'Erlon's corps, under Ney's eye, seemed 
for a time to have better fortune. After a tremendous 
cannonade from the eighty guns posted on a low eminence 
facing the British left, D'Erlon's four divisions advanced 
in echelon against Wellington's left centre. During their 
advance they suffered a good deal from the British 
artillery fire. The grounds of La Haye Sainte were 
captured by Allix's division of the French infantry, in 
whose support a portion of Milhaud's cuirassiers had been 
pushed forward, diverging slightly to the left. Elated with 
their success in putting to flight some young Hanoverian 
troops sent by Wellington to reinforce the garrison of 
La Haye Sainte, the French cavalry turned their attention 
to the part of the British infantry line posted on the ridge 
above. Lord Uxbridge, who was in command of the 
whole of the cavalry, and to whom Wellington had 
given carte blanche, was instantly on the alert, and 
prepared both his heavy cavalry brigades to charge 

The Household Brigade, under Lord Edward Somerset, 
on the right of the high road, was formed up in line, the 
First Dragoon Guards the strongest in point of numbers 
-in the centre, with the First Life Guards on their right, 
and the Second Life Guards on their left (next the high 
road), and the Blues in support. Lord Uxbridge committed 
the error of leading the charge of one brigade, thereby 
losing the supreme control of the division. The ground 
was much broken, and the going difficult. The infantry 
line having made room for them to pass, they reached 
the Wavre road, where, again forming, the whole brigade 
instantly charged down the slope upon Milhaud's cuiras- 
siers and some of Allix's infantry. Of these latter, whose 
overthrow was completed by the charge of the " Union " 
brigade, 2,000 some accounts say 3,000 prisoners, with 
two eagles, were captured. 

H.C. ii. R R 


The cuirassiers had come up towards the crest of the 
British position on the west side of La Haye Sainte. The 
First Life Guards, with a part of the King's, drove them 
back past the farm. Major Kelly,* of the First Life Guards, 
told a friend that the Brigade and the cuirassiers "came 
to the shock like two walls, in the most perfect lines he 
ever saw." The English swords were under the disadvan- 
tage of being six inches shorter than the French. On the 
other hand, the armour worn by the French proved no 
real defence against their assailants, who, if occasionally 
finding their swords rendered ineffective by the breast- 
plates of the cuirassiers, took to cutting at the exposed 
parts of their persons. The vigorous blows of the Life 
Guards not seldom pierced their adversaries 7 armour, and 
in some instances clove their helmets right through. The 
First Life Guards, testifies the same authority, "made great 
slaughter amongst the flying cuirassiers who had choked 
the hollow way " (beyond La Haye Sainte). " Its banks/' 
he continues, "were then crowned by chasseurs, who 
fired down upon the Life Guards in return, killing great 
numbers of them," so that the road was " quite blocked up 
by dead." Colonel Ferrier, in command of the Regiment, 
was killed after he had led his men to the charge no less 
than eleven times most of the charges being made after 
his head had been severely wounded by a sabre cut and 
his body pierced with a lance. The famous Corporal 
Shaw met his death by a gunshot, after being " very con- 
spicuous, dealing deadly blows all round him." One 

* Kelly himself performed prodigies of strength and valour. He 
engaged in a single combat with an officer of cuirassiers, whom, after a 
desperate struggle, he despatched by running his sabre through his 
neck. Kelly's own life was saved by the power and hardiness of his 
charger. Two years previously the Duke of Wellington had specially 
arranged that Captain Kelly, then at the Military College, should be 
employed on the staff of the Q.M.G. in the Peninsula. See the 

From an Old Print. 


account states that he slew or disabled ten of the enemy 
before he was killed. 

The main body of the First Dragoon Guards, who formed 
the centre of the brigade line, on approaching La Haye 
Sainte charged the cuirassiers in front of them. This 
section of the enemy, unable to retreat the way it had 
come, owing to the congestion at this point, skirted the 
north side of the farm in order to escape down the high 
road. This, however, they found blocked by an abatis-, 
they therefore crossed the chausste and sought to retreat 
by their right, being further incommoded by a gravel-pit 
which left but little room for them to pass. They were 
closely pursued by the " K.D.G.'s," who crossed the high 
road after them. 

On the left of the British charging line the Second Life 
Guards, who did not get into action so soon as the 
" K.D.G.'s," swerved to their left, crossed the chaussee, 
and so passed to the left of La Haye Sainte. These two 
regiments, driving the cuirassiers before them, unfortunately 
advanced too far ahead, and failed to obey the order to 
retire, though given by both voice and trumpet. By this 
time they had got mixed up with Ponsonby's brigade ; they 
were already scattered and exhausted when called upon to 
defend themselves against some fresh French cavalry. So 
far, indeed, had they penetrated that they had reached 
the slight eminence in front of the British left whence the 
tremendous cannonade, mentioned above, had just pro- 
ceeded. Here they not only came upon a masked battery 
of twenty guns, but encountered a heavy fire from some 
French infantry occupying the position. They suffered 
very heavily in the retreat, Colonel Fuller, commanding 
the " K.D.G.'s," being amongst those who fell. 

There is good authority for the statement that the 
Blues, at the commencement of the charge, were in the 
second line, although their commander, Sir Robert Hill, 

R R 2 


always denied that such was the case. At any rate, they 
were in the front line as the action developed. Like the 
First Life Guards, they operated to the right of La Haye 
Sainte, where they lost Major Packe, who, while leading 
on a squadron, was run through the body by the French 
officer commanding the opposing squadron. Fortunately 
for their comrades, the Blues were kept well in hand, and, 
being in comparatively good order, were able effectively 
to aid the withdrawal of the rest of the Brigade.* 

Lord Edward Somerset, the Brigadier, had a narrow 
escape. His horse was killed, and he had only just time 
to creep through a hedge and clamber on to another horse 
before the enemy were upon him.t 

General Shaw-Kennedy says of this charge that it was 
" the only fairly tested fight of cavalry against cavalry 
during the day. It was a fair meeting of two bodies of 
heavy cavalry, each in perfect order. " Gronow declared 
that it was " the severest hand-to-hand cavalry fight in 
the memory of man." Lord Anglesey formerly Lord 
Uxbridge said that " the impetuosity and weight of the 
Life Guards carried all before them." In the opinion of 
many observers, the battle was more than once restored 
by the timely operations of the cavalry ; and, had not the 
heavy part of it been employed, no successful resistance 
could have been made against the enormous masses of the 
enemy's cavalry, which doubled the British in numbers. 

* Lieutenant Tathwell, of the Blues, was taken prisoner and sub- 
jected to gross indignity. A wounded French officer had him brought 
up alongside of him and kicked him several times. The French 
soldiers forming the escort expressed their indignation at their brutal 
officer's conduct. (Gronow's Recollections.) 

f " * Where is your brigade ? * said Sir Hussey Vivian to Lord 
Edward Somerset. ' Here,' replied Somerset, as, pointing to a band of 
horsemen, and then to the ground covered with dead and dying, clad 
in red, and with mutilated horses wandering or turning in circles, he 
displayed to him the wreck of what had been the Household and 
Union Brigades." (Life of Lord Vivian.) 


When the charge was over Lord Uxbridge who candidly 
confessed that he ought not to have led it in person was 
returning to his former position. " I met," he writes, 
" the Duke of Wellington, surrounded by all the corps 
diplomatique militaire, who, from the high ground, had 
witnessed the whole affair. The plain appeared to be 
swept clean, and I never saw so joyous a group as 
this troupe doree. They thought the battle was over."* 
When the Life Guards returned from the charge, the 
Commander-in-Chief saluted them, saying, " Thank you, 
Life Guards ! " 

Lord Uxbridge claimed for the charge that during the 
rest of the day, " although the cuirassiers attempted again 
to break into our lines, they always did it mollement, and 
as if they expected something behind the curtain. " 

Meanwhile, as already stated, the other body of heavy 
cavalry the Union Brigade, under the command of 
Ponsonby was also ordered to charge the enemy to the 
east of the high road. In front of them the infantry line 
was occupied by Picton's division, of which the two 
British brigades were Kempt's on the right, and Pack's 
next to it. 

Against Picton was advancing Donzelot's infantry 
division, the second echelon of d'Erlon's corps. Picton had 
recourse to his old tactics. He brought Kempt's men to 
the crest, gave the infantry a single deadly volley, and 
then ordered a charge with the bayonet, at the same 
moment meeting his own death. Thus Donzelot's attack 
was repelled by the British infantry. 

Meanwhile the third echelon, Marcognet's division, now 
advancing to the crest, confronted Pack's Highland brigade. 
The French were received with a terrific fire, which 
checked their advance. It was at this juncture that the 
Union Brigade, charging down the slope, routed Donzelot's 

* Siborne, Waterloo Letters, p. 9. 


and Marcognet's infantry and repelled a mass of French 
cavalry. Unfortunately they also, like their comrades of 
the Household Cavalry, got out of hand, penetrated too 
far, and were obliged to retire with the loss of their leader, 
Ponsonby. They had done splendid work against the 
French gunners, but suffered much from the enemy's 
lancers and cuirassiers, and would have suffered more but 
for the timely intervention of the I2th and i6th Lancers 
from Vandeleur's brigade. 

The fourth and last of d'Erlon's Echelons, Durutte's 
division, threatened Best's and Vincke's Hanoverians on 
the Allied left, but were driven off by a charge of 
Vandeleur's light brigade. Thus d'Erlon's great infantry 
attack on the right had proved a failure, while Reille's on 
the left had developed into the sanguinary but still unsuc- 
cessful siege of Hougomont. 

The next phase of the battle was the great attack of 
the French cavalry upon the right centre of the British 
infantry line. It was brought about under remarkable 
circumstances. Napoleon knew that the Prussians were 
now only a few miles distant. The British must be over- 
whelmed at once. To effect this, it was essential to 
capture La Haye Sainte. There was a renewal of the 
great cannonade chiefly against the British right. Again 
d'Erlon's infantry with Ney at their head pressed for- 
ward. The farm still held out, but the French infantry 
gained the ridge. Wellington's troops had been ordered 
to lie down on the slope beyond to avoid the heavy fire. 
Ney, seeing them disappear, mistakenly thought they were 
retreating, and sent for a single brigade of cavalry. 
Milhaud promptly came with two whole divisions; but 
instead of the expected task of cutting up a broken and 
retreating infantry, the French cavalry found themselves 
confronted by British squares bristling with steel and 
pouring forth deadly volleys. Napoleon, from a distance, 


perceived the mistake, but determined to despatch 
Kellermann's cavalry to support Milhaud, who already 
had with him besides the light cavalry of the Guard. 

It was now about 4 p.m., and the British line was 
called upon to sustain an onset which every moment 
seemed to threaten overwhelming disaster. Wellington, 
anxious for the safety of his centre, sent to Uxbridge for 
cavalry to be posted there. Asked continually for instruc- 
tions, he declared that he had none to give, save that 
everybody was to hold firm. The British squares were in 
two lines, placed chequer-fashion an arrangement which 
broke the regular formation of the charging enemy. The 
French cavalry came on line after line, like a succession 
of waves, yet not a single square was broken. At last, 
after many attempts, and harassed by the British guns 
of which sixty-two had just been brought up from the left 
to the right and by the fire from the squares, the enemy 
were driven down the slope, being further discomfited by 
the continual charges of the yth and I5th Hussars and 
some German horse of Grant's brigade. 

As an offset to this repulse, the French had captured 
La Haye Sainte, whence the reduced garrison, having no 
more ammunition, retired the farm now becoming a fresh 
point from which the British line could be attacked. At 
the British right centre Kielmansegge's and Ompteda's 
brave Hanoverians were much weakened in numbers. 
Behind them, spread out so as to make its now scanty line 
bulk as largely as possible, was ranged Uxbridge's heavy 
cavalry the remains of the sadly diminished Household 
and Union Brigades combined in one. To their right, 
and in rear of Halkett's British brigade and Maitland's 
brigade of Guards, was massed Vivian's light cavalry. 
Still farther to the right, in the rear, was Vandeleur. 
Dornberg's cavalry (the 23rd Dragoons and two German 
regiments), with Grant's in front of it, was on the slope 


behind Hougomont, in support of Byng's brigade of 
Guards, who had so gallantly held that position all day. 

By this time the Prussians were close at hand. Napoleon 
still held a whole army corps in reserve Lobau's, which, 
with the eight battalions of the Young Guard and two of 
the Old, Durutte's infantry division, and the cavalry of 
Domon and Subervie, was ordered to resist the Prussian 
advance on the French right. 

About 4.30 p.m. Billow's, Pirch's, and Zieten's corps 
began to attack the French in flank, Thielmann's having 
been left at Wavre to face Grouchy. 

The Emperor believed that he had still a chance of 
victory, and determined on a supreme effort to crush 
Wellington and his weakened army. Not only was the 
British left still faced by d'Erlon's corps with Milhaud's 
cavalry in support ; not only, on Reille's side, could 
Bachelu co-operate with Jerome and Foy in a renewed 
assault on Hougomont, with Kellermann's cavalry available 
for emergencies ; but there were still fourteen battalions 
of the Old Guard at the Emperor's disposal. A strong 
force drawn from these, to the number of 4,500 men all 
veterans, he determined to launch against the British right. 
Of the fourteen battalions three were kept in the rear as 
the Emperor's bodyguard; two, composed of the Grenadiers 
of the Guard, remained astride of the high road at La 
Belle Alliance ; while two more were stationed close to 
the projecting eastward corner of Hougomont. In the 
middle of one of these latter was the Emperor himself, 
watching the result of his final coup. 

Seven battalions of the Guard delivered the attack, 
moving forward in Echelon from the right, with guns 
between them, on the west side of the central chaussee. 
The leading battalion that nearest the road was led by 
Ney against Halkett's brigade (3Oth and 73rd) ; the next 
four battalions were pitted against Maitland's brigade 


the 2nd and 3rd battalions Grenadier Guards.* These 
five battalions, after suffering considerably from the British 
artillery, found the infantry formed in line four deep, and 
were received, first, with a disastrous volley, then with a 
running fire,f and lastly with a bayonet charge driven 
home. This was decisive : the Imperial Guard had failed. 

The two supporting battalions now essayed to come to 
the rescue. Their fate was to fall into a veritable death- 
trap ; for Maitland's brigade was wheeled forward on the 
left so as to face the enemy due south ; while the 52nd 
a battalion 1,000 strong wheeled forward on its right 
to face eastwards : the two were at right angles, and the 
hapless enemy were situated in the field of their cross-fire. 
The result was irremediable disaster ; the Imperial Guard 
was beaten and in retreat. The Emperor, whom somebody 
had informed that the ridge had been carried, peered 
through his field-glass. " Mais ils sont meles ! " he 
exclaimed. The dire news that the Guard was retiring 
flashed round the French divisions. The end had come ! 

The triumphant 52nd and the rest of Adams's brigade 
marched right across the battlefield to attack the only two 
remaining battalions of the Imperial Guard at La Belle 

The sun was setting as Wellington advanced to the 
ridge where his men had fought all day, and, holding his 
field-marshal's hat aloft as the signal, ordered a forward 
movement of the whole line of infantry, supported by the 
cavalry and artillery. Vivian and Vandeleur's light 
cavalry, which had been moved from the left to the 
right rear, charged after the retreating French. Soon 

* Till Waterloo they were called the First British Guards. They 
were re-named Grenadier Guards in honour of the victory they won 
over Napoleon's Grenadiers of the Guard. 

f The Guards departed from their old Fontenoy expedient of platoon- 
firing by battalions : the rear ranks on this occasion loading for their 
comrades in front. 


afterwards the Prussians, hitherto unsuccessful, forced 
back the French right. Wellington had counted on the 
Prussians coming to his aid earlier in the day. After a 
hard march over difficult country, their leading troops 
only reached the left of the British line at 7 o'clock. 

Wellington wrote that, after a momentary halt to clear 
away some of the enemy, his whole line moved forward 
again on to the French position, which was at once 
abandoned, 150 cannon, with their ammunition, being left 
behind. The cavalry was ordered to charge and move 
round the flanks of the infantry, which was pursuing the 
enemy in columns. After dark the pursuit was carried 
on by the Prussians beyond Quatre Bras to Frasnes. 
Napoleon had invaded Flanders with 125,000 men ; only 
50,000 could be got together for the retreat on Paris. 

The French casualties have been estimated at anything 
between 18,000 and 30,000, with 227 cannon captured. 
The total loss of the Allies inclusive of the Prussians 
was 23,185 officers and men, of which 11,678 belonged to 
the British and Hanoverians. The Scots Greys, out of 
24 officers, had 7 killed and 9 wounded. 

The casualties of the First Life Guards were : Killed, 
Lieutenant -Colonel Ferrier, Captain Lind, Quarter- 
masters Towers and Slingsby, and 28 troopers, with 
64 horses ; wounded, Captain Whale, Lieutenant 
Richardson, Sub-Lieutenant Cox, Quartermaster Dobson, 
and 41 troopers. 

The losses of the Second Life Guards were : Killed, 
Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Fitzgerald, Quartermasters 
Bradley and Beamond, and 85 men, with 153 horses; 
wounded, 68 men. 

The Royal Horse Guards suffered the following losses: 
Killed, Major Packe, 36 N.C.O.'s and men, with 71 horses; 
wounded, Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Robert Hill, Lieutenant- 
Colonel and Captain Clement Hill, Lieutenants Shawe 


and Bouverie, Quartermasters Thomas Varley and Jonas 
Varley, and 56 N.C.O.'s and men, with 13 horses. 

In this most momentous and most memorable of all 
battles the Household Cavalry Brigade, who made in all 
four charges two against cavalry, and two against the 
Imperial Guard played a part of which they had every 
reason to be proud. In the official despatch descriptive of 
the battle, the Duke of Wellington who was never prodigal 
in praise of his cavalry made special mention of them in 
these terms : " Lord Edward Somerset's Brigade, con- 
sisting of the Life Guards, Royal Horse Guards, and First 
Dragoon Guards, highly distinguished themselves." On 
the battlefield itself, however, the great soldier's laudation 
of his cavalry was more unstinted and more explicit. He 
was heard, says a trustworthy witness, to observe towards 
the evening that it was the hardest battle he had ever 
fought, and that he had seen many charges, but never any 
equal to the charges of the heavy brigades, particularly 
the Household.* 

* See APPENDIX. After the return of the army to England, the 
Duke visited the Second Life Guards' Barracks in King Street, Port- 
man Square, and addressing the regiment on parade expressed in the 
strongest terms his admiration both of its work in general, while under 
his command, and of its achievements at Waterloo in particular. 


A GRAPHIC narrative of Quatre Bras and Waterloo was 
written by a Trooper of the Second Life Guards : 

" On the morning of the 1 6th, about two o'clock, the route 
came, and we the Second Life Guards marched from 
Murbecke at seven ; and after a very long day's march we 
passed through Braine-le-Comte and Nivelles, at which 
last place we heard a cannonade. As our army was then 
engaged with the French, we proceeded at a brisk trot for 
several miles on the road from Nivelles, and halted for 
the night in a wheat-field. 

" Next morning, our men were drawn up in a line of 
battle fronting the wood* where the French had retired ; 
but they would not venture to attack us. Lord Wellington, 
by a ruse-de-guerre, however, drew them from the wood by 
a rapid retreat, for a few miles towards Brussels ; which 
brought the French on to the exact spot where he wished 
to attack them and where he might bring his cavalry into 
play. While retreating we were overtaken by a most 
violent thunderstorm and a heavy rain, which rendered us 
very uncomfortable. During the whole march no man 
was lost, but the Blues lost three or four. The First Life 
Guards charged some of the French lancers, and almost 
cut them to pieces. We were drawn up to give them a 
second charge, but they would not stand it.f 

" This evening we bivouacked in a piece of boggy ground, 
where we were mid-leg up in mud and water. About 

* No doubt the Bossu Wood at Quatre Bras, on the British right. 

f " No second effort was necessary, for though we were to have given 
them another chance," wrote an officer of the Life Guards, "they 
thought it prudent not to expose themselves to our weight a second 
time." (Waterloo : a Narrative. By Horsburgh.) 


ii o'clock the great action commenced. We were very 
soon called into action, and charged the French Cuirassiers 
of the Imperial Guard, whom we almost cut to pieces. A 
second charge of the same kind left but few of them, but 
we suffered much ; we have with the regiment at present 
about forty men. We know of forty-nine wounded, so 
that the rest must be either killed or prisoners. Lieut.- 
Colonel Fitzgerald was killed soon after the first charge. 
Captain Irby was taken prisoner, as his horse fell with 
him in returning from the charge : he has since made his 
escape and joined us, but they have stripped him of his 
sword, watch, and money, and had nearly taken his life. 
The heaviest fire was directed against the Horse Brigade 
the whole of the day, and it is astonishing how any of us 

11 At the conclusion of the battle, we were left masters of 
the field, and only one Officer of the Second Life Guards 
with two Corporals, and forty Privates remained. There 
was no Officer of the First Regiment, all or most of them 
having been dismounted. Colonel Lygon had one horse 
shot under him towards the conclusion of the battle, and 
the horses of several of our Officers were wounded. 

" Lord Wellington was with the Brigade the greater part 
of the day, during which time I saw him repeatedly. He 
seemed much pleased, and was heard to observe towards 
the evening that it was the hardest battle he had ever 
fought, and that he had seen many charges, but never any 
equal to the charges of the heavy Brigades, particularly 
the Household. We made in all four charges viz., two 
against cavalry and two against the Imperial Guard. 

" Captain Kelly of the Life Guards encountered and 
killed the Colonel of the first regiment of the French 
Cuirassiers in the battle of the i8th, after which he 
stripped the vanquished of his epaulettes, and carried 
them off as a trophy." (Siborne, Waterloo Letters.) 


THE Duke of Wellington did not accord his vic- 
torious but weary troops a rest, even for a day, 
after the great battle was won. On the morrow, 
June igth, they began their march upon Paris, 
the enemy offering no very serious opposition. Several 
fortified towns fell into the hands of the Allies, who on the 
last day of the month arrived before the capital. The 
Life Guards bivouacked at Chennevieres, moving thence, 
on July 2nd, to Roisey. Paris surrendered next day. On 
July 7th the Life Guards and Blues marched through 
the city and afterwards seven miles to Nanterre, where 
they were quartered. The i8th found the Blues at 
Louveciennes, where on the two following days they were 
reinforced by a remnant from England, made up of 10 
officers, 135 rank and file, and 129 horses. 

July 24th was marked by a grand review of the whole of 
the Allied armies by the Duke of Wellington, in the 
presence of the King of France, the Emperors of Austria 
and Russia, and the King of Prussia. On this occasion 
was published an order to the following effect : 

War Office, 24th July, 1815. The Prince Regent, as a mark of his 
high appreciation of the distinguished bravery and good conduct of his 
First and Second Life Guards at the battle of Waterloo on the i8th 
ultimo, is pleased to declare himself Colonel-in-Chief of both Regiments 
of Life Guards.* 

* There is a story that, when the Duke heard the Prince Regent had 
constituted himself Colonel-in-Chief of the Life Guards in honour of 
their brilliant conduct at Waterloo, he observed, " His Royal Highness 
can do what he pleases, but this I will say that the cavalry of other 


The word " Waterloo " was by order henceforth borne 
upon the standards of all three regiments. On 
August 21 st the Blues were at Colombes. The whole 
Brigade, with the Eighth cavalry brigade and a troop of 
horse artillery, took part in a review held by the Tsar, as 
well as in a review of the whole of the Allied forces on 
September 22nd, and in another of 60,000 British and 
Hanoverian troops which took place on October nth. 

By way of contrast with these glories may be related a 
domestic incident of a less pleasant character. A repre- 
sentation having been made that some horses had been 
stolen out of the Life Guard stables, the Duke caustically 
ordered the Adjutant-General to say that it would be 
casting " a reflection on the Regiment to make a claim 
on the French Government for a loss which could not 
have been sustained had the precautions established by 
the Service been attended to." It was added that the 
" proper proportion of orderlies " had evidently not been 
ordered to sleep in the regimental stables. 

With the opening of a new year had arrived the time 
for the return homewards of the Household Brigade. On 
January i6th, 1816, they were inspected by Lord Comber- 
mere near Paris, and left their quarters the following 
day, the Life Guards embarking at Boulogne early in 
February, and reaching London on the 8th, and the Blues 
crossing from Calais to Dover and Ramsgate about the 
same time, and proceeding to their old quarters at 
Windsor.* On Lady Day all three regiments received 

European armies have won victories for their generals ; mine have 
always got me into scrapes. It is true, though, that they have always 
fought gallantly, and have generally got themselves out of difficulties 
by sheer pluck." (Gronow's Recollections.) 

c 1816, February yth. From the Military Register : 
" ist Life Guards to the Barracks in Hide Park, and which marched 
into the metropolis on Monday in excellent order, the baggage, etc.,, 
having arrived on Sunday. 


their silver Waterloo medals, suspended by a crimson and 
blue ribbon. 

The first anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo was 
jointly commemorated in 1816 at Windsor by the Royal 
Horse Guards (Blue) and the Grenadier Guards. The 
Duke of York, as Commander-in-Chief and Colonel of the 
Grenadiers, attended this celebration, which lasted for 
three successive days. The following is a contemporary 
account of the festivities, the first of which was a 
dinner given by the officers of the Blues to those of the 
Grenadiers : 

The greater part of the Officers of the Grenadier Guards, and a 
select party of distinguished persons, amongst whom were the Duke of 
Montrose, Lord Percy, and General Taylor, dined on Monday with 
Sir Robert Hill, and the Officers of the Royal Horse Guards, at the 
Cavalry Barracks. 

On the following day the compliment was returned : 

On Tuesday the Officers of the Royal Horse Guards and several 
persons of distinction dined with the Duke of York and the Officers of 
the Grenadier Guards. The arrangements at the Infantry Barracks 
were not, from want of room, upon the same extensive scale as those 
.at the Riding House ; but elegance and taste predominated in the 
decorations. The room fitted up for the occasion was a large one, 
usually occupied by Sergeants. 

The third event was on a larger scale. The tables were 
laid in the Long Walk of Windsor Park, and the principal 
constituent of the dinner was roast beef: 

About half-past one, the Two Regiments, in their full dress, headed 
by their respective Colonels, marched into the Long Walk. After 
.some little time the troops took their places on each side of the table 
the Royal Horse Guards on the right, the Grenadier Guards on the 
left ; by this arrangement the two regiments were united, and yet 
preserved their own order of march. Before the troops were arranged 
the Duke of York and Princess Mary arrived on the ground, and 

" 2nd Life Guards to the Barracks in King Street, where they will 
arrive to-morrow. 

" The Royal Horse Guards Blue to their former quarters at Windsor, 
.and where they will join their depot troops." 

From an Old Print. 


walked up to the centre of the table : the men being seated, the 
trumpet sounded, and all stood up, while the Rev. Mr. Roper, Chaplain 
to the Forces at Windsor, pronounced in a most impressive manner the 
following address : 

" Soldiers, you are now about to partake of a repast provided for you 
by the generous solicitude of the inhabitants of this town, in com- 
memoration of the battle of Waterloo, where the most glorious victory 
was achieved by your valour; and by your exertions on that memorable 
day the Nations of Europe were delivered from tyranny and oppression, 
and the blessings of Peace restored to your native country. 

" But, while elevated by the recollection of the heroic deeds you then 
performed, remember that it is the Great God of Heaven that giveth 
all victory, that it is the God of battles that nerves the Soldier's arm ; 
to God therefore give the honour due unto His Name, and attentively 
join in the following." Grace was then said. 

We must not forget to add that Sir Robert Hill and the Officers 
of the Royal Horse Guards entertained the women of the Regiment 
with tea and other refreshments in the Riding House on Tuesday. 

The conclusion of peace had been followed by a period 
of seething popular discontent, which showed itself in 
frequent riots. Both the Life Guards and the Blues were 
in requisition to quell these disturbances.* 

In the early spring of 1817 there was considerable 
rioting in London, and, although bloodshed was avoided, 
a strong military demonstration was considered necessary. 
The Life Guards were ordered to patrol with their pistols 
loaded and to carry plenty of spare ammunition. The 
Second Life Guards were on one occasion provided by the 
Lord Mayor with quarters at the " Leaping Bar," the 
" Horse and Groom," and the " Running Horse " livery 
stables in Blackfriars Road. Another time they were 
lodged at the stables of the City Light Horse in Gray's 
Inn. They received due credit for their self-restraint : 

The Life Guards, though annoyed, conducted themselves with great 
propriety, striking, with the flat of their swords only, right and left, 
upon which the arms were thrown away, and taken up by the Troops. 

1 1816, June 25th. " R.H.G.B. have of late been much in motion, 
owing, it is said, to a disposition to riot being evinced in some parts of 
the Counties of Berks. Four Troops are at Windsor, Two at Reading, 
and One at Henley." 

H.C. II. S S 


The Military Register for December nth, 1816, had 
paid them this tribute : 

We are happy to hear from all quarters of the city good accounts of 
the excellent conduct of this Corps in the least satisfactory of all duties. 
Their timely and not premature aid, prompt and decisive, yet patient 
and lenient conduct under great aggravation, and in a very agitated state 
of the people, merit the highest praise. 

The Prince Regent, in his new capacity as Colonel-in- 
Chief of the Life Guards, on July 28th, 1817, inspected 
the Life Guards and Blues on Hounslow Heath. The 
Life Guards had also been inspected in the spring by 
the Grand Duke Nicholas afterwards Emperor of Russia 
who was enthusiastic in his admiration of their turn-out 
and of their riding. 

On the second anniversary of Waterloo the Second Life 
Guards formed the guard of honour on the occasion 
of the opening of the new Waterloo Bridge, and by special 
order the men detailed for the duty were restricted to 
those who had taken part in the battle. 

In November the sad task fell to the Blues of escorting 
the body of the youthful Princess Charlotte, heiress to 
the Throne, from Egham to Windsor, and of attending 
her funeral. 

In 1818 it was decided, in accordance with precedent, 
to effect drastic reductions in the British Army, which 
diminished its effective strength by no less than 31,402 
men. In each Regiment of the Life Guards there was 
a reduction of 112 men, and in the Blues of 104 men, 
or 328 in all. It was further ordered that the super- 
numerary Lieutenant-Colonels of the two Regiments 
of the Life Guards should be discontinued on the strength 
of these corps, their pay to be classed under the head of 
41 allowances." 

The establishment of each regiment of Life Guards 
was now 32 officers, 8 quarter-masters, 397 men, and 274 


A special course of instruction in riding was started 
at this period by Colonel Peters at the Queen's Riding 
House in Pimlico, of which the Life Guards appear 
to have availed themselves 2 officers and 24 N.C.O.'s 
and men forming one of the first classes held and further 
to have requisitioned from the Ordnance a movable 
leaping-bar and a set of posts for use in barracks. 

Notwithstanding Colonel Peters's highly eulogistic 
reports of the riding of the Household Cavalry, some 
friction appears to have occurred later between him and 
the regimental riding-masters. The Duke of Wellington 
wrote to Sir Robert Hill, then in command of the Blues, 
a very characteristic note to the effect that Peters seemed 
to regard such matters as the position of the saddle 
on the horse's back merely from the point of view of 
parade and appearance ; whereas the comfort and service- 
ableness of the animal ought to be the first consideration. 
He added, " Get from Colonel Peters the information 
which can be useful to you, and decide the rest for 

On the night of December 3Oth, 1818, Queen Charlotte, 
who had died a fortnight previously at Kew, was buried 
at Windsor. A hundred men from each regiment of Life 
Guards marched from London and joined with the Blues 
and Lancers in attendance at the ceremony. Some 
disorder appears to have arisen on the occasion, and the 
Cavalry are reported to have " behaved with the greatest 
propriety and courtesy, the Foot Guards being less 
conciliating and gentle." (Newspaper.) 

The death of King George III. occurred on January 2Qth, 
1820, and at the State funeral on February i6th the Grand 
Staircase in Windsor Castle and the centre of St. George's 
Chapel were lined by 260 Life Guards, the whole Regiment 
of the Blues being also on duty. 

S S 2 


MONO the MSS. at Apsley House is a letter, 
written by command of King George the Fourth, 

I which finally secured to the Blues the position 
and full privileges of Household Cavalry: 



Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards (Blue). 

Horse Guards, 

i March, 1820. 

I have received the King's Commission to acquaint your Grace 
that, taking into his consideration the distinguished conduct of the 
Royal Regiment of Horse Guards Blue, and being fully aware of the 
partiality which his late Majesty ever entertained for that Corps, His 
Majesty conceives that he is only fulfilling the intention of his late 
Majesty in granting to that Regiment the same Honours and Privileges 
in every respect as are possessed by the two Regiments of Life Guards, 
and in consequence of which it is His Majesty's gracious intention that 
your Grace should roll with, and take your share of your duty as Gold 
Stick with, the Colonels of those two Regiments ; and also that the 
Field Officers of the Horse Guards should take their share of the duty 
of Silver Stick. 

I am, 

My dear Lord, 

FREDERICK, Commander-in-Chief. 

The Duke of Wellington, in acknowledging the honour 
done to his Regiment, ventured warmly to deprecate one 
part of the arrangement, and he himself never acted upon 



I have had the honour of receiving your Royal Highness's letter of 
the ist instant, in which your Royal Highness informs me that his Majesty 


has been pleased to grant to the Royal Horse Guards, Blue, the same 
honours and privileges in every respect as are possessed by the two 
Regiments of Life Guards ; and that it his Majesty's intention that I 
should roll with, and take my share of the duty as Gold Stick with, the 
Colonels of those two regiments, and that the field officers of the Horse 
Guards (Blue) should take their share of the duty of the Silver Stick ; 
and I request your Royal Highness will make my most grateful 
acknowledgments to his Majesty on my own part, as well on that of 
the Regiment, for this most gracious mark of his Majesty's favour. 

There is, however, one part of the arrangement, the effect of which 
I should wish to have considered before it is finally carried into 
execution. The officers of the Horse Guards have hitherto been 
recommended to his Majesty's notice, as well for their promotion as 
for their original commissions in the service, by the Commander-in- 
Chief of the Forces ; and it is not unfair to attribute a part of the 
reputation which that Regiment has acquired, and which has now 
obtained this distinguished mark of his Majesty's approbation, to the 
selection of officers made for it by the Commander-in-Chief. With 
every inclination to perform this duty to the best of my judgment, I 
doubt my having the means to perform it which the Commander-in- 
Chief has. At all events it will be admitted that I must feel a strong 
conviction of the benefit which has resulted from the selection of the 
officers of the Royal Horse Guards by the Commander-in-Chief, when 
I express a wish that that system should be continued, rather than that 
the privilege of recommending the officers to his Majesty by the 
Gold Stick should be extended to that regiment. 

I have not yet made any communication to the Regiment on the 
subject of your Royal Highness's letter ; but I understand that this 
arrangement having been in contemplation upon a former occasion, 
the officers of the Regiment were anxious that their merits and 
services, and their claims to promotion, should still be under the 
cognizance of, and should be recommended by, the Commander-in- 
Chief to his Majesty, which is an additional motive with me for recom- 
mending that the privilege of the two regiments of Life Guards, regard- 
ing the promotions and appointments of officers, may not be extended 
to the Royal Horse Guards, Blue. 

I have, &c., 


The famous Cato Street conspiracy, discovered in 
March, 1820, which was aimed at the lives of the Ministry, 
was one of the last occasions on which the Life Guards 
were called upon to escort malefactors. Thistlewood and 
seven of his confederates, having been examined by the 
Privy Council at the Home Office, were committed to the 


Tower on the charge of high treason.* They were hand- 
cuffed in pairs, and placed in hackney coaches. The 
escort, which had been hurriedly summoned, surrounded 
the conveyances, and escorted them by the south side of 
the river, over London Bridge and through Fenchurch 
Street to the Tower. Six other conspirators arraigned on 
various counts were taken by another party of Life Guards 
to the House of Detention. 

In June the unhappy and ill-advised Queen Caroline, 
having determined to assert her rights as the King's 
Consort, returned to London. She resided at the house 
of Alderman Wood in South Audley Street, and on the 
night of her arrival a huge mob assembled in the vicinity 

* The Gold Stick was notified : 

Little Camden House, Kensington, 

June, 1820. 


I have received the Commander-in-Chief's Com- 

mands to request that your Lordship will be pleased to 

direct a Troop of Life Guards to be at the Tower at 

half- past seven o'clock to-morrow morning, and the Officer 

in command of this Troop to report to Major Elvington, 

Thistlewood commanding the Tower, that the Troop has been ordered 

Watson to attend for the purpose of assisting to escort the four 

Preston prisoners mentioned in the Margin, who are to be con- 

Hooper veyed to Westminster Hall to take their Trials on Charge 

of High Treason. 

The Commander-in- Chief further requests that your 
Lordship will direct that a Troop of the Life Guards 
shall be stationed at the Stable in Blackman Street, in 
order to support the Civil Power in case of need, and 
that the usual Guard of the Horse Guards shall be 
doubled during the whole of to-morrow. 

In order to prevent the possibility of any mistake in 
regard to these arrangements, I have to request that your 
Lordship will be good enough to acknowledge this letter, 
by a line addressed to me at " Little Camden House, 

I have the honour to be, etc., 



of the house and testified their sympathy for the illustrious 
lady by an indiscriminate breakage of heads and windows. 
A strong body of Life Guards was ordered to patrol the 
streets, and eventually succeeded in restoring order. 

The situation was complicated by manifestations of a 
spirit of disaffection which existed at the moment in one of 
the battalions of Foot Guards, on account of the uncom- 
fortably crowded state of their barracks, and the consequent 
order for their march to Portsmouth. 

Two nights later another mob gathered in Charing 
Cross and round the barracks at the Mews, and tried to 
incite the soldiers to mutiny. The Prime Minister, Lord 
Sidmouth, was hastily summoned from dinner, and viewed 
the situation so gravely on account of the proximity of 
the royal palace and the Government offices that he 
hurried to the Horse Guards and himself gave orders to 
Captain Ridout, of the Second Life Guards, who was in 
command of the Guard, to turn out and disperse the crowd. 

On the gth the Duke of Wellington ordered mounted 
patrols to be sent out : 


From King-street Barracks, a patrol of six men to set out at half- 
past nine, and to proceed by Gloucester-place, Portman-square, 
Manchester-square, Cavendish-square, Portland-place, Weymouth- 
street, Manchester- square, Portman-square, and King-street Barracks. 

A patrol of six men to set out at half-past nine, and proceed by 
Weymouth-street, Cavendish-square, Holies-street, Oxford-street, 
Cumberland-street, Portman-square, and King-street Barracks. 

Twelve men to proceed from King-street Barracks, at half-past nine, 
along Wigmore-street to Cavendish-square, to wait there till relieved, 
and the last relief to return with the last patrols to King-street 

Similar patrols to be sent out from King-street Barracks as soon as 
those above-mentioned will have returned, and the same to be repeated 
till half-past one in the morning. 

A patrol of six men to be sent, at half-past nine o'clock, from the 
barracks at Knightsbridge, along Piccadilly, Park-lane, Upper 
Grosvenor-street, Grosvenor-square, Hanover-square, George-street, 


Conduit-street, Berkeley-square, Charles-street, Curzon-street, South 
Audley-street, Stanhope-street, Piccadilly, and the barracks. 

A patrol of six men to be sent from the barracks at Knightsbridge, 
by Piccadilly, Bond-street, Clifford-street, Saville-street, New 
Burlington-street, Swallow- street, Princes-street, Hanover-square, 
Lower Brook-street, Grosvenor-square, Upper Brook-street, Park- 
lane, barracks at Knightsbridge. 

A party of twelve men will proceed from Knightsbridge Barrack 
at the same hour with the patrols above mentioned, and will proceed 
by Piccadilly, Dover-street, Hertford-street, Curzon-street, Charles- 
street, Berkeley-square, and there remain till relieved. The last relief 
to return with the last patrols (and will keep a vedette in Brook- street 
to communicate with that patrol) by the same route to Knightsbridge 
Barracks. The said patrols to be repeated from Knightsbridge 
Barracks when the above mentioned will return, and to be repeated 
again till half-past one in the morning, or even later if there should be 
any riot or disturbance. 

A patrol of six men to be sent from the Horse Guards at half-past 
nine, and proceed along Pall Mall, St. James's-street, Piccadilly, 
Haymarket, Horse Guards. 

A similar patrol, at the same time and from the same place, and 
proceed by St. Alban's-street, Charles-street, St. James's-square, 
York-street, Jermyn- street, Duke-street, St. James's-square, George- 
street, Pall Mall, Horse Guards. 

Similar patrols to be sent out when these will return, and they are 
to be repeated till half-past one in the morning, or later if necessary. 

In case any disturbance or breaking of windows should be heard of 
in any streets in the neighbourhood of the lines of these patrols, the 
patrols are to be taken to those streets, and communication to be 
made to the support stationed in Berkeley-square and Cavendish-square 

A patrol from the Horse Guards is likewise to be sent up the Strand 
at the same hour and in the same manner. 


The Duke also drew up a memorandum to the Earl of 
Liverpool respecting the state of the Guards, in which he 
urged the necessity of a properly trained police force to 
assist the military, and in the event of mutiny to perform 
their functions : 

Then there are other measures of a military nature which I think 
might be adopted with advantage, and would at least prevent our being 
surprised by a mutiny. I put out of the question all the causes or 
pretences stated for mutiny, as I know well that if the temper for mutiny 
does not already exist none of these causes ever excite it. The men 


may grumble at the frequency and unpleasant nature of their duty 
but they never mutiny on this account, although such grievances 
sound well in their mouths, or those of their abettors, when mutiny has 
occurred. I would, however, recommend some new arrangement for 
the duties ; particularly if we are to pass many more such months as 
this last, during which I have had a knowledge of them. Besides the 
King, who sends his own commands through Bloomfield, there are the 
following officers who send orders to these unfortunate troops : The 
Secretary of State; Commander-in-Chief ; Field-Officer-in- Waiting ; 
Gold Stick, Silver Stick, to the two regiments of Horse Guards only. The 
consequence is that, when there is a disturbance in the town which 
lasts for a week or ten days, nobody knows who is on or who off duty, 
all the troops are harassed, and the duty is ill done after all. 

Only last night, after I had received Lord Sidmouth's directions for 
the duties of the night, at eight o'clock in the night I found that some- 
body had altered what was ordered, and that the guard at the Horse 
Guards was doubled, whether for any or what necessity I cannot judge. 

King George the Fourth having decided that, at his 
'Coronation, the Household Cavalry should appear in 
cuirasses,* the Duke of Wellington wrote two letters on 
the subject: 


London, z&th March, 1821. 

In consequence of the commands of his Majesty, communicated 
to me by the Earl Cathcart, I have had certain cuirasses prepared, 
some bright iron with brass nails, for the Life Guards, and others 
brazed for the Blues. The latter, though much more expensive and 
considerably heavier than the former, are not likely to be so durable, 
as, in fact, the brazing is liable to come off. Under these circumstances, 
and having shown the pattern to the Earl Cathcart, I beg leave humbly 
to recommend to his Majesty that the cuirasses for the three regiments 
may be bright iron with brass nails and ornaments ; those for the Life 
Guards having blue binding, those for the Blues, red. 

I beg to have his Majesty's decision upon this subject as soon as 
may be convenient, as there is but little time to complete the cuirasses 
before the coronation. 

Believe me, &c., 


* Col. Clifford Walton derives cuirass from Span, coraza, " so called 
from its being a defence for the breast or heart (Span, corazon, heart)." 
Skeat derives from Ital. corazza, Low Lat. coratia, from coracius, " put 



London, $oth March, 1821. 

The King has determined that the Life Guards and Blues shall 
wear cuirasses; and this department is now employed in preparing 
the cuirasses now in the Tower for those regiments. 

Lord Cathcart has informed me that there are in the stores of the 
First Life Guards certain cuirasses formerly used by that Regiment ; 
and as these may be better than some in the Ordnance stores, and, at 
all events, those may be deficient in number, I request your Lordship 
to be so kind as to let me have those which may be in the stores of 
the First Life Guards. If they should be better than those in the 
Ordnance, they shall be re-issued to that regiment when fitted up. 

Believe me, &c., 


The Coronation was solemnised on July igth. At the 
Levee held at Carlton House on the 25th the Life Guards 
were on duty " dressed in armour after the style of 
cuirassiers" Two of the corps were stationed in the 
grand hall. The following day the King held his first 
Drawing-room at Buckingham House, where he arrived 
at noon " escorted by a party of the Oxford Blues 
en cuirassier from his Palace in Pall Mall." * 

Needless to say, the cuirasses have never been tested on 
the field of battle, the working uniform of the Life Guards 
tending ever to assimilate itself more closely to the ideal 
of the Lifeguardsman who, after performing prodigies of 
valour at Waterloo, and being asked what dress he would 
prefer if he were ever again called upon to fight, replied 
that he should like to take off his coat and turn his 
shirt-sleeves up above the elbows ! 

The uniform of the Life Guards had been subjected 
to many variations. In 1812 the cocked hat and feathers 
which was itself a development of the original round 

for " Lat. coriaceus, leathern (corium, leather). So also Donald, editor 
of Chambers's Etym. Diet. 
* Ann. Reg. 1821, p. 113. 


cap with a large brim turned up in front and behind 
was discarded, and brass helmets with black horsehair 
crests were adopted.* Two years later these horsehair 
crests gave place to blue and red woollen crests, with a red 
and white plume on the left side of the helmet. In 1817 
the heavy brass helmets were replaced by polished steel 
helmets with brass ornaments and bearskin crests without 
a plume. At the coronation of George IV. in 1821 the 
Life Guards appeared in bearskin Grenadier caps orna- 
mented with the Royal arms and other devices and having 
a white plume of feathers on the left side drawn across 
the crown of the cap. To harmonise with this head- 
gear, grenade ornaments were ordered to be worn on the 
pouches and horse furniture as well as on the skirts of 
the coat. In 1833 William IV. introduced a new Grenadier 
cap, lighter and less ornamented than its predecessor. 

In 1812 the long coats, profusely trimmed with gold 
lace across the front, skirts and cuffs, were set aside for 

* This change was one of the achievements of the Board of General 
Officers, at whom, in consequence, were aimed many shafts of sarcasm 
and ridicule. " Who," asked one critic, " were the persons who 
devoted their time and talents to the mode of sticking ostrich feathers 
in generals' hats and arranging other articles of dress ? He should 
rejoice in an acquaintance with the military milliners who had tried to 
transform the Life Guards. The unfortunate Blues were ordered to 
be sent abroad ; did any gentleman see them before they went ? 
Nothing could be more absurd than these military changes, worthy of 
Grimaldi [a clown] and D'Egville [a stage dancer.]" Mr. Whitbread, 
one of the Opposition in Parliament, spoke pathetically of the poor 
Blues, who were sent off with little cocked hats which could easily be 
knocked off, while the Life Guards were furnished with brass helmets 
of such weight that they caused an infinitely greater evil than the one 
they were intended to remedy ; for, in addition to the weight, they were 
furnished with a rivet and a screw to fasten an ornament, which were 
so placed on the inside that if a heavy sabre blow fell on the helmet, it 
must fracture the skull of the wearer. He also animadverted against 
the Blues' saddles, which he said consisted of nothing but two sticks 
and a bit of leather. (Stocqueler, Personal History of the Horse 


short coatees more sparingly ornamented with gold lace. 

The officers were ordered to wear scarlet and gold lace 

sashes, while the men were provided with worsted sashes 

of blue and yellow. The men's sashes were altered two 

years later to red and yellow, and were discontinued 

altogether in 1829. Jack-boots and leather breeches 

were continued for the King's Guard order and for 

State occasions, but blue-grey pantaloons, with a 

scarlet seam down the outside of the leg, and short 

boots were prescribed for regimental duty. The blue-grey 

pantaloons were in 1817 superseded by claret-coloured 

trousers with a broad red stripe. Short leather gloves 

were used for ordinary duties, while the stiff leather 

gauntlets were continued on the same occasions as the 

jack-boots. In the same year the double-breasted coatees 

were converted into single-breasted coats with scarlet 

epaulettes, which were more convenient for displaying the 

newly acquired Waterloo medals. The claret-coloured 

trousers were altered by William IV. into dark blue 

trousers with a seam and double stripe of scarlet. 

In 1814 the time-honoured scarlet horse furniture, 
housings and holster caps were replaced by sheepskin 
shabraques black for the officers and white for the men 
and blue horse-furniture trimmed with gold lace. In 
1812 there occurred an important change of weapons, 
the long carbines, or musquettes with bayonets, which had 
been issued in the reign of George II., and the large 
horse-pistols, were deposited in the Tower, and in their 
place short carbines with pistols of less calibre were 
brought into use. 

Queen Caroline, after her vain attempt to assert herself 
at the Coronation in July, 1821, died on the 7th of the 
following month. She had left directions that within three 
days of her decease her body was to be removed from 
Brandenburg House for burial at Brunswick. Her 


executors, on various pretexts, sought to create a delay 
which, intentionally or not, would have kept alive a 
dangerous agitation. The King, at whose expense the 
obsequies were to be performed, and in the exercise of his 
undoubted right, ordered that the funeral should take 
place within seven days a sufficient concession to the 
executors and their friends. The late Queen's allies, 
using the occasion for political purposes, were determined 
to create trouble, the disorder which marked the progress 
of the funeral procession exhibiting the clearest signs of 
having been carefully organised beforehand. 

At six o'clock in the morning of August I4th a squadron 
of the Royal Horse Guards, under the command of 
Captain Bouverie, arrived from the Regents Park barracks 
and formed into line in front of Brandenburg House for 
the purpose of escorting the cortege as far as Romford, 
where the Blues were to be relieved by some dragoons. 

The route decided upon by the Government lay through 
the Kensington Gate and Hyde Park to Tyburn Gate ; 
thence along Edgware Road, the New Road and City Road 
to Islington, and thence by Essex Road to its destination. 
The mob, or rather the wirepullers who controlled it, were 
bent on forcing the procession to pass through the heart 
of the City, where the civic authorities were prepared to 
receive it with honour. 

The first trouble occurred at Kensington Gate, the mob 
shutting the iron gates against the procession. At that 
instant the Life Guards, coming through the Park, 
arrived upon the scene at the other side of the gates, and 
were assailed by the mob with stones and brickbats, to 
prevent the soldiers from forcing a passage. The Life 
Guards, however, opened the gates, when Sir Robert 
Baker, the magistrate in charge of the procession, decided 
to abandon the prescribed route, and to go by Knights- 
bridge. Arrived at Hyde Park Corner, and finding the 


road into the Park barricaded with waggons full of bricks, 
the magistrate once more ignored his orders and tried to 
lead the procession along Piccadilly. The Life Guards, 
however, dismounting from their horses, promptly 
removed all the obstructions and conducted the cortege 
into the Park. At Cumberland Gate the procession 
sought to debouch into Park Lane. Here the next serious 
conflict occurred, the soldiers being pelted with stones 
and mud, and several of them severely injured. The 
procession continued its progress up Park Lane, when it 
was found that Tyburn Gate, at the foot of Edgware Road, 
was barricaded. Here another and more tragic conflict 
occurred, the soldiers being at last compelled to fire on the 
mob, of whom two named Honey and Francis were so 
badly wounded that they afterwards died. 

The procession, kept long waiting for the magistrate to 
rejoin it, made its way along Oxford Street as far as 
Tottenham Court Road. Here Sir Robert Baker, instead 
of ordering the removal of the barricade which blocked his 
progress northwards, submitted to the mob's dictation, 
and led the procession to the Strand. At Temple Bar it 
was joined by the civic officials, and having made its 
progress through the City, reached its destination without 
further incident. 

On September I2th an ignorant coroner's jury returned 
a verdict of " Manslaughter against the Officers and 
Soldiers of the First Regiment of Life Guards who were 
on Duty between Tyburn Turnpike and Park Lane on the 
day when Robert Honey was shot I4th August, 1821 " ; 
but no further steps were taken in the matter.* 

* The Military Register discussed the conduct of the Life Guards on 
this occasion in the following terms : 

" When the extent of our present metropolis is considered and its 
vast population, say a million, and the many thousands which, accord- 
ing to the calculations of the late Mr. Colquhoun, are daily ripe for any 
mischief particularly under the colour of political agitation and when 

4 I 

5 *: 


Public appreciation of the admirable conduct of the 
First Life Guards and disgust with the verdict of the jury 
took the form of a proposal to present the men of the 
Regiment with a sum of money. The gift was courteously 
declined : 

Hyde Park Barracks, 

Sept. 17 th t 1821. 


Commanding ist Life Guards, etc. 

The Committee of the Regimental Fund assembled this day, 
respecting the appropriation of the sums subscribed for the Life 
Guards, when the following resolutions were unanimously agreed to : 

Resolved : 

That we feel the highest sense of the testimony of public approbation, 
contained in the resolution of the Committee, and that we beg to return 
our thanks to the gentlemen with whom the measure originated. 

That we have seen with pride and gratification, the names of persons 
of highest rank and of the greatest respectability in the list of 
subscribers, and that we duly appreciate the unequivocable marks 
of approbation bestowed on our conduct generally on duty. 

That with gratification in our hearts we accept the tribute of praise 
so kindly given, but since, by this day's advertisement, it appears to be 
intended that the measure should bear the character of a reward to the 
military generally, for the bare performance of their duty, we beg leave 
to respectfully decline any participation in the subscription, as we 
conceive that, as soldiers, we are pledged to the zealous and correct 
discharge of our duty under any circumstances, without looking to any 
other reward than the provision that His Majesty has been graciously 
pleased to make for us, and the approbation of our King and Country. 

it is recollected that Infantry can only act in Position, let anyone 
divide say 800 men and horses to move however rapidly through the 
different purlieus where they would be obviously required on occasion 
of any mischievous assemblage, and he will see what a mere nucleus 
they must form. 

" To the organised mob at Hyde Park Corner the Life Guards evinced 
the most exemplary forbearance we have the authority of one of the 
most distinguished of what are called Radicals, present in the proces- 
sion, for saying it long after not only themselves were imminently 
endangered, but even the persons in the Coaches, which formed that 
procession, considered their lives unsafe from the Missiles which passed 
through the windows." (Mil. Reg., 1821-2, p. 212.) 

The Committee have required me to submit the foregoing resolutions 
for your approval, which should they receive, they have further to 
request that you will be pleased to forward them to the Secretary of 
the Subscription. 

On behalf of the Committee, 

Your most obedient Servant, 

Treasurer to Regimental Fund. 

For more than twenty years, out of deference to the 
evident partiality of George III. for that regiment,* the 
Blues had been quartered at Windsor, and had come to be 
regarded as permanent residents, many of them indeed 
having acquired small plots of property. King George IV.,. 
however, very rightly decided that it was more consonant 
with their dignity that they should share the London duties 
in rotation with the other two Regiments of Household 
Cavalry, and on June I4th, 1821, they removed first to 
cantonments near London, and then to Regent's Park 

* In 1821 King George IV. gave Colonel Sir Robert Hill a suit of 
the Blues' uniform worn by George III., from which was modelled the 
dress for the equestrian statue of that monarch now in Pall Mall East., 
The uniform is preserved at Hawkstone. 


ON the death of the Duke of York at the beginning 
of 1827, the Duke of Wellington was appointed 
Commander-in-Chief of the army and Colonel of 
the Grenadier Guards, his acceptance of the 
latter post involving the resignation of the command of 
the Blues. His successor in this office was Ernest 
Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, third son of George III., 
and subsequently King of Hanover. 

Although the Duke of Wellington had since 1820 
exercised the functions of Gold Stick, he had purposely 
abstained from claiming the privilege * enjoyed by the 
Colonels of the Life Guards of taking the King's pleasure 
as regards promotion, leaves of absence, &c. The Duke 
of Cumberland, however, sought and secured his right to 
rank in this respect on a par with his colleagues. 

In 1829 occurred the death of the Earl of Harrington, 
who for thirty-seven years had been Colonel of the First 
Life Guards. The selection of Viscount Combermere to fill 
the vacant office of course met with the hearty approval 
of his old Chief, who, however, called in question the 
King's method of bestowing what Wellington still con- 
sidered a political appointment otherwise than on the 
constitutional responsibility of a Minister of the Crown. 
The Duke, who, on forming a Government in 1828, had 

The Duke see his letter to the Commander-in- Chief of March f 
1820 had urgently deprecated the extension of this questionable 
" privilege" to the Regiment of Blues. It was ultimately withdrawn 
from the Life Guards also. 

H.C. II. T T 


somewhat reluctantly resigned the Commander-in-Chief- 
ship to Lord Hill, wrote to Sir Robert Peel : 

The King has written to the Secretary-at-War to desire him to 
send His Majesty a commission appointing Lord Combermere Colonel 
of the ist Life Guards. He had before desired Lord Hill to make 
the appointment and has not even informed his minister of the 
arrangement. I will not have a quarrel with the King about such 
a trifle. I intended to have suggested Lord Combermere to him 
if he had spoken to me about the Life Guards. But I think I ought 
to remind His Majesty that the mode adopted of making this 
arrangement is not the mode in which business of this description 
is done. 

In the following reign Sir Henry Taylour wrote by the 
King's command to Earl Grey that the late Duke of York 
would never have disposed of a regiment of Life Guards 
without previous communication with the Prime Minister. 
(Correspondence of Earl Grey and William IV.) 

The death of George IV. took place on June 26th, 1830. 
The Household Cavalry* bore their part on the occasion of 
the royal funeral on July i6th, and on the 26th they were 
inspected by the King of Wiirtemberg in Hyde Park. A 
week later King William IV., who had immediately on 
his accession constituted himself Colonel-in-Chief of the 
Household Cavalry, visited Regent's Park Barracks, where 
the Blues were quartered. He at the same time inspected 
the First Life Guards, who came over from Hyde Park 
Barracks for that purpose. 

The arrangements in connection with the late King's 
funeral gave great umbrage to the Duke of Cumberland, 
whc to state it mildly was of a peculiarly unhappy dis- 
position. The King ordered that on this occasion, and 
henceforward, the Household Cavalry should report, and 

* 1830. July 1 4th. The escort for the King from Frogmore to 
Windsor Castle, under the command of a captain in the Blues, to be 
furnished in equal proportions from the three Regiments. (C.-in-C.'s 


in all military matters be subject, to the Commander- in- 
Chief.* The Duke of Cumberland angrily protested that, 
so far as he was personally concerned, the Gold Stick, 
being divested of its high military functions, would lapse 
into a Court appointment, which he, as a Prince of the 
Blood, could not hold, and that as a Senior British Field- 
Marshal it was impossible for him to take orders from 
a junior in the Service. He therefore tendered his resigna- 
tion of the colonelcy of the Blues, which the King promptly 
and equably accepted, suggesting at once Lord Howdenf 
to succeed him. 

The Duke of Wellington tried to smooth matters over. 
He wrote to Sir H. Taylour on July I4th : 


I have received your letter, and I confess that it gives me the 
greatest concern to learn that there has been anything of the nature 
of an unpleasant discussion between the King and his brother, the 
Duke of Cumberland. 

All establishments of Guards have been founded on the principle 
of being commanded by the Sovereign himself in person. The colonels 
of the Foot Guards in England, as well as the colonels of the Horse, 
had the privilege of taking the King's pleasure direct upon the pro- 
motions in their several regiments, excepting, indeed, the Royal Horse 
Guards (Blue), which last regiment, till the Duke of Cumberland was 
appointed the colonel, always had had their promotion through the 

The regiments of infantry of the Guards had likewise, till a late 
period, done their duty under their senior colonel, or the Colonel of the 
First Regiment of Guards ; as the Horse Guards had done theirs under 
an officer of their own, called the Gold Stick ; and it is curious J 
enough that till I returned to England from the Continent in the year 

This arrangement realised the views propounded by Wellington 
ten years previously. 

f 2nd Baron Howden, who had served in the Peninsula as A.D.C. 
to the Duke and had been wounded in 1827 at the battle of Navarino, 
when acting as military commissioner. 

% The arrangement could hardly have appeared " curious " to anyone 
acquainted with the origin and history of the Life Guards and the 
Royal Horse Guards respectively. 

T T 2 


1819, the colonel of the Blues did not do the duty of Gold Stick ; and 
that although I did the duty of Gold Stick, and that the Blues, when in 
London, were under the general command of the Gold-Stick-in- 
Waiting, the colonel of the Blues did not take the King's pleasure 
regarding promotions, leaves of absence, &c., till after I quitted the 

There is no doubt that, considering the nature and size of our 
military establishments, the public have derived great convenience from 
the Foot Guards being under the orders of the General Commanding 
the Army, and his Majesty receiving all reports through that officer. 
The question is whether the regiments of Horse Guards ought to be 
placed under the same rule. 

As long as the Gold Stick was relieved monthly, and that he commanded 
exclusively the cavalry of the Guard placed in London, and that the 
regiment not in London (although the promotions and leaves of absence 
continued to go directly to the King from the colonel of that regiment, 
as well as the others which were in London) was under the General 
Commanding the Army, I am not aware that any public inconvenience 
was felt from that system. It certainly increased the dignity and 
splendour of the monarch and his Court without increase of expense or 
any other inconvenience. 

I confess, therefore, that I should have doubted of any alteration, 
excepting that of bringing the institution back to where it was 

If, however, the King thinks proper to make the alteration, I can 
make no objection. The duty of the Gold Stick about the King's 
person would still continue under the orders of the Commander- 
in- Chief ; and the Colonels of the regiments would perform their 
business of promotion, leaves of absence, &c., with the Commander- 
in- Chief. 

I think that if His Majesty makes the limited alteration which I have 
suggested, the Duke of Cumberland will be satisfied, and will remain. 
This is certainly desirable for the peace, honour, and dignity of the 
Royal family. 

If the Duke of Cumberland should quit, whether on account of the 
extended or of the limited alteration, I would recommend to the King 
to appoint Lord Rosslyn to be Colonel of the Blues. He is an old 
officer, and in the cavalry, and a man highly esteemed. 

Believe me, &c., 


P.S. There is one point to which I have not adverted in this letter, 
and that is the notion of his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, 
that, as Gold Stick, he could not without disgrace and dishonour 
receive the orders of a junior officer as General Commanding- the- Army - 
in- Chief. 

In this opinion his Royal Highness is entirely mistaken. The 


practice of the service is entirely different. The Gold Stick has been 
frequently put under the Commander-in-Chief. 

But the reasoning upon the case will show that his Royal Highness 
is mistaken. The Gold Stick performs a limited and restricted duty. 
His command is limited to a certain body of troops, as is that of a 
colonel of a regiment, or other body of troops. There is nothing so 
common in that and other services in which General officers are 
colonels of regiments, than for seniors to appear under the command 
and to obey the orders of juniors appointed to command by the 
Sovereign upon any service or any occasion. 

If the Gold Stick, therefore, can be put under the command of the 
Commander-in-Chief, of which there is no doubt, the relative army 
rank does not signify. 

Taylour replied that the King would speak to his brother 
before finally accepting his resignation and that His 
Majesty approved the suggested nomination of Lord 

On July 1 8th, the Duke of Wellington wrote to 
Lord Hill, as the senior of the three Gold Sticks, that 
the King was anxious to have their concerted opinion 
as to the relations that should exist between the Gold 
Stick and the Commander-in-Chief. He pointed out 
the inconvenience arising from the paramount authority 
in the Brigade which the Duke of Cumberland had 
arrogated to himself, and he submitted three alternative 
Orders for the King's pleasure, of which the following 
was the one selected : 

The King being anxious that his Guards should enjoy all the advan- 
tages which can be derived from the command and care of the General 
Officer Commanding-the-Army-in-Chief, and that they should be 
amalgamated as much as possible with the troops of the Line, and 
that their duties upon his Majesty's person should be conducted upon 
the same principles as those of the troops of the Line, has been 
pleased to order that the Colonels of the two regiments of Life Guards 
and the Colonel of the Horse Guards shall hereafter respectively make 
all their applications respecting promotions, exchanges, leaves of 
absence, &c., to the General Commanding-the-Army-in-Chief, in the 
same manner as the Colonels of the three regiments of Foot Guards ; 
and the General Commanding-the-Army-in-Chief will give such orders 

For some reason Lord Rosslyn did not receive the appointment. 


as he may think necessary for the performance of the duties of honour 
over his Majesty's person, as well as of other duties within the metro- 
polis and elsewhere, not excepting the Horse and Foot Guards, or 
any other troops.* 

The Gold Stick will continue to perform the duty of that office, and 
will receive from his Majesty in person the parole and countersign ; and 
will report to his Majesty in person as usual, as well as to the General 
Officer Commanding-the-Army-in-Chief. He will specially report the 
receipt of any order from the General Commanding-the-Army-in-Chief. 

Lord Hill, in notifying the King's approval of the Order, 
emphasised in a memorandum that, while His Majesty 
had nominated himself Colonel-in-Chief of the three 
regiments, " to show his regard and esteem for these 
distinguished Corps," he wished it to be clearly under- 
stood that their discipline and exercise in the field were 
entirely under the control of the Commander-in-Chief, 
and that the Gold-Stick-in- Waiting must regard himself 
as an officer attending on the Sovereign and commanding 
the Escort and Guard. 

The King's decision as to the Order provoked the Duke 
of Cumberland to fury, and on July 3Oth he wrote an angry 
and verbose letter, his subscription of himself as " most 
affectionate brother " being at variance both with the text 
of the missive and the existing relations between himself 
and the Sovereign : 


By the Order intended to be issued to the Household Brigade, 
a copy of which has been transmitted to me, it appears to be your 
Majesty's intention that the three regiments, viz. the two regiments of 
Life Guards and the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, are to lose 
those privileges formerly enjoyed by them of being considered a corps of 
itself, under the immediate command of the Sovereign ; and all promotions, 

* The spirit of this Order dictated some further regulations at a 
later date : " 1831, February. All transfers and discharges of men 
and casting of horses to have the authority of the Commander-in- 
Chief." " 1831, August 1 8th. The Inspector-General of Cavalry is 
to inspect the Household Cavalry." (C.-in-C. Letter-Book.) 


exchanges, leaves of absence, and orders are laid before the Sovereign by the 
Gold Stick for his immediate approbation, and then by the Gold Stick 
made known to the corps. 

When his late Majesty, of blessed memory, did me the honour to 
appoint me Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, totally 
unsolicited by me ; and when he delivered to me himself the Gold Stick, 
he said, " I have had a new one made for you on purpose, and hope 
you will wear it, and do the duties of Gold Stick to-morrow, on my 
birthday (the 23rd of April, 1828) ; and as Frederick (the late Duke of 
York) refused the troop of Horse Guards, which afterwards the late 
Lord Amherst received, on account of his objecting to do the Gold Stick 
duty, / have determined to give it to you in a way that I trust you can have 
no scruple in taking it, namely, in giving it over to you. You are to 
consider yourself as commanding la Maison du Roi, and you will take the 
command ; and all commissions, exchanges, leaves of absence, &c., will 
be sent to you, and you will lay them before me for my approval, and 
you will issue all orders in my name." This was done in a manner that 
it was impossible for me to refuse ; and I did most willingly accept the 
situation, and did the duties of it, as I trust, with credit to myself and 
with some advantage to the corps, as I had got the whole system into 
some order and regularity, and there never has been any drawback in 
getting all the commissions and the necessary regulations sanctioned 
and approved by his late Majesty. 

It appears now that your Majesty means to place the Gold Stick 
merely on the footing of a Court office, which certainly changes the 
whole character of the situation, as it ceases to be a pure military one. 

Your Majesty has a complete right to do this, and I mean in no way 
to offer any remarks on your will and pleasure ; but I trust I may be 
permitted, in all due humility, to represent to your Majesty the utter 
impossibility I feel myself placed in of retaining a situation which by 
this change can only be considered as a Court situation, and which, as 
such, being a Prince of the Blood Royal, I cannot hold. 

I must likewise beg to call your Majesty's attention to another point ; 
that having till now received all orders from the Sovereign himself, and 
having made all reports to the Sovereign himself, I cannot, as eldest 
Field-Marshal in the British army, next to his Grace the Duke of 
Wellington, receive orders from a General Officer junior to myself. I 
therefore beg most humbly to resign into your Majesty's hands the Gold 
Stick, and consequently the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, whose 
Colonel has the privilege of being a Gold Stick. 

I trust that your Majesty will not misconceive my motives, but do 
me the justice to believe that in doing this I am actuated by no other 
feelings than to advance your wishes and orders. I can assure your 
Majesty that I should have felt proud to have acted in the same situa- 
tion, and have done the same duties which I have till now done about 
his late Majesty's person equally zealously about yours, had it been 
your Majesty's will to have had the duties thus performed. I feel sure 


that when your Majesty comes to consider over all I have taken the 
liberty here to submit to you, that you will be assured that however 
much I must regret, and whatever pain I must feel in being under the 
necessity of laying the Gold Stick and the Regiment at your feet, that I do 
it with those feelings of respect, love, and attachment that I shall always 
entertain for you. 

Immediately on receipt of this letter the King curtly and 
conclusively replied : 


I have this instant received yours of this day, and have only to 
regret that you consider it necessary to resign the command of the 
Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, in consequence of the order which 
has been communicated to you for the future regulation of the 
Household Brigade. 

Ever, believe me, dearest Ernest, 

Your most affectionate brother, 


Although the duties and position of the Gold Stick were 
thus determined, the appointment to the Colonelcy of the 
Blues proved a thorny question. The Marquess of Lon- 
donderry, who previous to his diplomatic career had highly 
distinguished himself as a cavalry officer, ardently coveted 
the post, and not unreasonably considered that his claims 
were justified by his past service and not merely depen- 
dent on his close friendship with the Duke of Wellington, 
to whom he was evidently reluctant to make a personal 
appeal. He apparently deputed Lord Castlereagh to 
approach the Duke, and that the interview was not wholly 
satisfactory may be inferred from his letter to the Duke of 
Buckingham (Memoirs of Court and Cabinet] : 

I did not keep my son ignorant of my position, &c. I thought he 
might possibly discover the Duke's intentions. I send you his letter of 
this morning, which pray return. I fear his view has been better than 
mine on this question ; and it of course adds to my annoyance and 
mortification. But as you kindly undertook the communication, I do 
not like to keep you in ignorance of how it bears upon my nearest con- 
nexion. I think the Duke, even if Murray is to succeed Hill, would 


hardly give the latter a cavalry regiment ; he having so recently received 
from the Crown the best military government going Plymouth. 
What is then to be done with the Blues ? 

Ever yours most sincerely and gratefully, 


Nor were the Duke of Buckingham's own efforts more 
successful. The Duke of Wellington, though anxious to 
please an old friend, considered that to accord this favour 
would be to place a weapon in the hands of his political 
opponents, and he stated somewhat brusquely his deter- 
mination not to use his office as a means of obliging 
his personal acquaintance. 

Lord Londonderry seems to have considered that this 
decision of the Duke of Wellington might at any rate have 
been notified to him sooner, for he wrote bitterly to the 
Duke of Buckingham : " It would have been more noble 
and less diplomatic towards you in the first instance if the 
D. of W. had manly avowed * If the Blues are Lord L.'s 
object, he cannot have them ' ; as to have left the principal 
and his friend entirely in the dark." 

In November, 1830, just before the Duke of Wellington 
resigned office, the Colonelcy was bestowed on Lord Hill, 
and Lord Londonderry with even more than his usual 
shrewdness and even less than his usual command of 
grammar remarked, " Lord Hill having the Blues and 
remaining looks strongly as if the Duke was still to pull 
the strings of the Army." It is pleasant to record that, 
thirteen years later, Lord Londonderry was very happily 
appointed to the command of the Second Life Guards.* 

* A letter from Lord Londonderry to Lord Combermere, written 
while they were respectively colonels of the First and Second Life 
Guards, and when Lord Anglesey was colonel of the Blues, exhibits his 
views as to smoking : 

DEAR COTTON, What think you of our Chiefs order as to cigars and 
cheroots ? Will his moral and military influence persuade when 
parents' advice is thrown by the board ? What are the gold sticks 


to do with that sink of smoking, the Horse Guards' guard- and mess- 
rooms ? Whenever I have visited it, I have found it worse than any 
pot-house, and this opposite an Adjutant-General, and under His 
Grace's nose. You are gold-stick-in-waiting, &c., so commence your 
discipline ; you are senior, and should set Anglesey and me an example. 
You may be sure at least / will follow. 

Another bad habit our chaps have of not dining with the officers of 
the guard at St. James's. This they do only to indulge more in 
cheroots, &c., early and late. Surely this ought to be stopped, or, 
likely enough, the Duke will order the dinner for the guard to be 


APPENDED are two Orders of August, 1832, both relating 
to the ceremony of the I3th of that month, on the occasion 
of the King's presentation of a Royal Standard to the 
Royal Regiment of Horse Guards (Blue), which took 
place on Queen Adelaide's birthday. 


August 6th , 1832. 

The Kettle- Drums* and Standards of the Household Brigade are to 
be arranged in St. George's Hall, on the I3th instant, according to the 
Orders received by Sir J. Wyatville from His Majesty for that purpose. 

Each Regiment will furnish Sentries for its Kettle- Drums and 

The Blues will furnish Four Sentries and the Life Guards Two 
each, for this purpose, Armed with Swords. 

These Sentries will take the Stations that shall be allotted to them 
in St. George's Hall, and will be relieved by their respective Regiments 
every Hour during the Banquet. 

The Colours of the 2nd Battn. of the Scotch Fusilier Guards will be 
placed in St. George's Hall fronting the Kettle-Drums and Standards, 
and the Serjeant Major and Six Colour Serjeants of that Battalion will 
stand before the Colours, armed with Fusils. 

The Two Regiments of Life Guards will likewise furnish Two 
Sentries each for the Doors at each end of the Hall, and relieve them 
in like manner. 

The Senior Corporal Major of the Household Brigade, and One 
Corporal per Regiment, and One Private per Troop from each Regiment 
of the Brigade, to proceed to the Castle with the Kettle-Drums and 

: The silver kettle-drums given to the Royal Horse Guards (Blue) 
by King George the Third were meant in the words of the inscrip- 
tion as " a testimonial of its honourable and military conduct on all 
occasions." Vide CHAPTER LVIII., p. 532. 


Standards, the moment the Field Ceremony is over, and remain till the 
Kettle-Drums and Standards leave the Castle. 

By command of The Rt. Honorable 

The General Commanding in Chief, 



August i2th, 1832. 

The following Corps will assemble to-morrow at eleven o'clock in 
Close Columns in the little Park in rear of an Alignment which will be 
pointed out on their Arrival the right resting on the Castle and the left 
on the extremity of the Plantation of Adelaide Cottage. 

The Columns will place themselves in the following order from the 
Right :- 

Royal Horse Artillery, 3 guns ; 

ist Life Guards; 

Royal Horse Guards, 2 Squadrons ; 

Detachment Battalion of Guards ; 

2nd Batt. Scots Fusilier Guards ; 

Royal Horse Guards, 2 Squadrons ; 

2nd Life Guards ; 

Royal Horse Artillery, 3 guns. 

By order, 

WHITE Ross, M.B. 

The last time King William the Fourth's Standard was 
carried on duty in the Regiment was on the occasion of 
Queen Victoria's return to Windsor from London during 
the celebration of her Golden Jubilee. Her Majesty was 
escorted from Slough Station to Windsor Castle by a 
Captain's escort with this Standard on June 22nd, 1887. 
It was carried by Corporal-Major Instructor of Fencing 
G. McLaren.* On the same occasion the statue erected to 
Queen Victoria opposite the White Hart Hotel was 
unveiled by the Queen herself. 

* It having been reported that the Standard's peculiar make and 
enormous weight precluded its flying, there was a suggestion in favour 
of a duplicate banner for actual use, the original being carefully kept as 
a relic. The Commander-in- Chief, however, decided that the Standard^ 
as a personal gift, could neither be maintained nor replaced at the 
public expense. 

Front a illustration in " Standards and Colours of the British Army" by S. M. Milne. 


ALTHOUGH during the reign of Queen Victoria 
scarcely a year passed without some operations 
of war, the Household Cavalry except as repre- 
sented by officers selected for Special Service 
did not for forty-five years take the field. Some account of 
the three campaigns in Africa in which they were engaged 
will be attempted in succeeding chapters. 

Outside the discharge of routine duties, the history of 
the Life Guards and Blues until 1882 is chiefly identified 
with a long line of ceremonial occasions, whether incidental 
to the domestic circumstances of a Court, or arising from 
the visits paid to this country by foreign potentates. If 
State pageants have a practical value in the economy of 
government a point about which in these days there can 
be little difference of opinion it may safely be said that 
the impressive part played in them by the Queen's body- 
guard availed in a conspicuous degree to lend dignity and 
distinction to the functions of State festival or funereal 
in which they were engaged. 

It would be tedious to enumerate even the chief of the 
frequently recurring historic occasions on which the House- 
hold Cavalry supplied the appropriate setting to picturesque 
scenes enacted by illustrious personages. Of these some 
of the more salient were the Coronation and the marriage 
of the young Queen ; * the solemn act of thanksgiving at 

* The Annual Register (1840, p. 6) records that the procession was 
closed, not, as was stated, by six Yeomen of the Guard, but by two 
officers in polished cuirasses and dirty boots who commanded the 
squadron of Life Guards on duty at the Palace. 


St. Paul's Cathedral for the recovery of the Heir Apparent 
in 1872 ; and the Jubilees of 1887 and 1897, on tne latter 
of which occasions mounted troops from the Sovereign's 
dominions across the seas were associated with the 
Household Cavalry in the escort. 

There were also the melancholy functions connected 
with the obsequies of such illustrious personages as Queen 
Adelaide in 1849 and the Prince Consort in 1861, or of 
great soldiers who had been intimately associated with the 
Household Cavalry. Of these the ceremony of supreme 
national importance was the public funeral of the Duke of 
Wellington in 1852, when the Second Life Guards supplied 
an escort under the command of an officer who subse- 
quently became a Roman Cardinal. The funerals of two 
Colonels of the Royal Horse Guards the Marquess of 
Anglesey and Lord Raglan occurred in 1854 and 1855, 
when escorts were furnished by their old Regiment. 

The grand military reviews held during this reign, in 
almost all of which the Household Cavalry bore some part, 
occurred too frequently for any attempt even to record 
them. The first of any importance took place in connection 
with the Queen's Coronation in 1838, and was of course 
attended by the representatives of foreign Powers. At 
this review Marshal Soult, who was using Napoleon's 
stirrups, was very nearly unhorsed by the sudden snapping 
of the stirrup leathers ! An event of peculiar interest to 
the Household Cavalry was the review held by Queen 
Victoria in Windsor Park on July I4th, 1880, when the 
Prince of Wales, who had just been gazetted their Colonel- 
in-Chief, led the brigade past the saluting point. 

A memorable beginning of the now familiar system of 
military manoeuvres was made in 1853 by the establish- 
ment of the camp at Chobham, where the little army, 
numbering between 8,000 and 10,000 men, under the 
command of Lord Seaton, and including with other 


regiments the brigade of Guards, the First Life Guards, 
and the Blues, was in June reviewed by the Queen. 

Seldom was the presence of the Household Cavalry 
more appropriate than at the removal in 1846 of the 
gigantic equestrian statue now at Aldershot of the 
Duke of Wellington from the sculptor's studio to its 
position at Hyde Park Corner, the statue being escorted 
on either side by twenty Life Guardsmen, another detach- 
ment of whom closed the procession. 

A subject of less agreeable reminiscences is the assist- 
ance rendered by the Household Cavalry in the mainten- 
ance or the restoration of public order at times of popular 
excitement. During the Chartist agitation in 1848 a 
detachment of Horse Guards with Marines was one day 
stationed at Waterloo Bridge ; three squadrons of the 
same regiment being on a subsequent occasion moved 
through the City and posted in Finsbury and Clerkenwell ; 
while another detachment of the Blues was sent to occupy 
a farm on the outskirts of Bishop Bonner's Fields.* An 
even graver crisis occurred in 1866, when the mob assem- 
bled at the time of the " Reform ' movement had 
forcibly broken into Hyde Park and were charged repeat- 
edly by the Life Guards. A somewhat pale replica of 
these scenes occurred in connection with the troubles in 
Trafalgar Square twenty years later. 

Queen Victoria, in the year 1845, settled the long 
vexed question of the uniform of the Household Cavalry 
on the lines on which it has since been retained without 
material alteration. 

Important regulations had been laid down in 1830 on 
the subject of what were long known as " mustachios." 
This appendage was in that year forbidden to all cavalry 
except the Life Guards, the Royal Horse Guards, and 
several regiments of the Hussars ; while the hair of all 

* Afterwards enclosed to form Victoria Park. 


N.C.O.'s and soldiers was ordered "to be cut close, instead 
of being worn in the bushy and unbecoming manner adopted 
by some regiments." In 1854 a greater latitude in respect 
of the moustache was at last conceded to the Army. 

Agreeably with the Sovereign's wishes the appointments 
to the colonelcies of the Household Cavalry lost all trace of 
political complexion, the Gold Sticks being offered only to 
veterans who had distinguished themselves on the battle- 
field. Thus in the First Life Guards Viscount Combermere 
was succeeded by the Earl of Lucan who commanded the 
Cavalry, and by Prince Edward of Saxe- Weimar who 
commanded a brigade, in the Crimea. In the Second 
Life Guards the Marquess of Tweeddale who had served 
with great distinction in the Peninsula, where he was 
severely wounded Lord Templetown and Earl Howe were 
worthy and most appropriate successors to Earl Cathcart. 

After the lamented death of Lord Raglan at the head of 
the British forces in the Crimea, the colonelcy of the Blues 
was vested successively in Viscount Gough and Lord 
Strathnairn, whose services in India had raised them to 
the highest military eminence, and in Viscount Wolseley, 
whose name must always occupy a foremost place in the 
annals of war. 

A protracted discussion took place in 1860 over proposed 
economies affecting the Life Guards. Mr. Sidney Herbert, 
at that time Secretary of State for War, was persuaded by 
the Premier, Mr. Gladstone, to suggest that the establish- 
ment of eight troops should be reduced to six. The officers 
and non-commissioned officers of the suppressed troops 
would thus be disposed of and their pay saved, while the 
men would be distributed among the remaining troops. 

Needless to say, the suggestion encountered the 
strongest opposition. Lord Combermere, the senior 
Gold Stick, drafted a very strong letter,* in which he 
* Regimental Papers, 1st Life Guards. 


pointed out to the War Minister that the duties of the 
officers were already as heavy as could possibly be borne, 
that the guards were so frequent as to impose most irk- 
some confinement on subalterns, and that it would be 
impossible for the service of the Sovereign to be adequately 
discharged if the complement of officers were reduced. 
He further represented that such reduction would inevit- 
ably be followed by a great difficulty in obtaining candi- 
dates for commissions in the Household Cavalry. 

A further question arose regarding the entire equalisa- 
tion of pay in the Brigade, the privates of the Life Guards 
being in receipt of 3^. a day more than the Blues. As 
their status was by that time absolutely equal and their 
duties identical, the difference of remuneration was wholly 
unreasonable. It furthermore gave rise to unpleasant 
remarks and cheap jokes, which on one occasion took the 
form of a cartoon representing the Life Guards paying for 
the Blues* boots. 

Thirty years previously the officers of the Blues had 
petitioned successfully that they might rank for pay with 
their colleagues in the Life Guards. In answer to a letter 
from the King asking whether any decision had been 
arrived at with regard to the pay of the officers in the Blues, 
Earl Grey wrote, on October 27th, 1831, that "it might be 
expedient " to grant the petition, " though no strict claim 
of right could be urged in favour of it," adding that " while 
there existed a case even of doubtful complaint, it was 
better that the Government should take upon itself the 
burthen, especially when, as in this case, it was so incon- 
siderable, rather than incur a suspicion of dealing hardly 
or unjustly." (Correspondence of Earl Grey and Wm. IV.) 

It was high time that the same justice should now be 
done in the case of the lower ranks. The reduction of the 
number of troops was negatived, but the matter of the pay 
simmered for some time. The grievance was finally 

H.C. n. u u 


determined in 1867. A Royal Warrant issued that year 
to increase the rate of pay throughout the army announced 
that, in view of the exceptional rates of pay granted to the 
Household Cavalry, it was not proposed to extend the 
additional grant to all ranks of the three Regiments, but 
that the opportunity would be taken to assimilate the rates 
of pay in the Life Guards and Royal Horse Guards. The 
principal net result as regards the private soldiers was 
that in the Life Guards the trooper's daily pay was increased 
from 15. n^d. to 25. o^d., while his colleague in the Blues 
leapt to the latter rate from his former remuneration 
of 15. fyd. 

The subjoined table exhibits the changes made in the 
rates of pay : 


Before 1867. 


Life Guards. 

Royal Horse 
Guards Blue. 

Life Guards and 
Royal Horse 
Guards Blue. 



s. d. 

S. d. 

Corporal-Major, regimental 



4 2 

4 4 




3 8 

3 10 

Farrier-Major . 



3 9 

4 i 




2 II 

3 3 

Corporal . 

^- 2 


O n el 
If) 4 Jf 

2 9i 

Shoeing-smith . 



V 2 4 

2 8 

Trumpeter appointed before 

} tf * 


2 7 


' 2 


j I IO 

2 2 

Private .... 

<o . 

a i 

I]c i 

>> i 8J 

2 oi 



[Corporal- Instruct or of Musketry 

"* 3 


3 ^ 

allowed in regiments using breech- 

loading carbines.] 

In the course of a debate in the House of Commons on 
March 24th, 1871, some remarks were made of a character 
highly depreciatory of the Household Cavalry. Their 
utility was called in question on the ground (i) that the 


day for heavy cavalry was now over ; that (2) during the late 
war between France and Germany the most useful horse 
regiments were " light cavalry such as the Uhlans " ; and 
that (3) the Household Cavalry were merely ornamental 
and never went upon escort except upon State occasions. 
It was further urged that (4) the expenditure on their 
upkeep was extravagant, a considerable portion of it being 
due to the needless splendour of their uniforms ; and that 
(5) the nocturnal " revels of Knightsbridge " indicated 
considerable laxity of moral discipline. 

The occasion elicited an admirable speech from Captain 
the Hon. R. Talbot, First Life Guards known later as 
Lieut.- General the Hon. Sir Reginald Talbot, K.C.B.* 
at that time M.P. for Stafford, whose defence of the 
Household Cavalry was as spirited as it was convincing : 

CAPTAIN TALBOT, deprecating any comparison between a troop- 
horse and a hunter, observed that the former is not required to go at 
great speed for many miles, jumping fences. He has to carry a great 
weight, often for many hours, but the speed is seldom beyond a good 
trot, except on occasion and for a comparatively short distance. 

Proceeding to contrast the British cavalry with the Prussian, Captain 
Talbot showed that the Prussian cavalry was essentially heavy that 
it included no really light cavalry. He combated the notion that the 
Uhlan was a light cavalryman a small active man on a small wiry 
horse, whose mobility was due to his lightness. In point of fact, the 
Uhlans were heavy cavalry, coming indeed next in weight to the 
Cuirassiers. The Uhlan was a large man, armed with a heavy lance, 
sword, and side arm larger upon the average than, for instance, the 
men of our gth Lancers. 

Roughly estimated, the Prussian Cuirassiers were, in Captain 
Talbot's opinion, about equal to our Household Cavalry ; the Uhlans 
to our heavy cavalry the ist and 2nd Dragoons and the 4th and 5th 
Dragoon Guards ; the Prussian Dragoons to our intermediate cavalry 

Hon. Reginald Arthur James Talbot, joined ist Life Guards, 
Zulu war 1879, Egyptian campaign, medal with clasp and 4th cl. 
Osmanieh '82, Nile exped. '84-5, C.B. '85, It. col. com. ist Life 
Guards '86-8, mil. attach^ Paris '8g-'95, maj. gen. com. cav. brig. 
Aldershot '96-9, It. gen. com. army of occup. Egypt '99-1903, 
K.C.B. '02, governor of Victoria (Austr.) '04. 

U U 2 


the ist, 2nd, $rd, 6th and yth Dragoon Guards and the Inniskillings. 
The Prussian Army included no cavalry so light as our Hussars and 

The comparative weights of the Prussian and the English cavalry 
the former being given on the authority of Count Lehndorff, Master of 
the Horse to the German Emperor, and the latter taken from an official 
book at the War Office, compiled by Captain Hozier were as follows : 

Prussian Cuirassier 22 stone 9 Ib. 

British Household Cavalryman 21 stone 13 Ib. 

Prussian Uhlan 20 stone 8 Ib. 
British Dragoon 19 stone 61b. 

Prussian Hussar 19 stone 7 Ib. 
British Hussar 19 stone or less. 

In the judgment of the best Prussian officers the services of the 
heavy horse during the War had been invaluable. 

Referring to other erroneous statements made about the Household 
Cavalry, Captain Talbot observed that they constantly went upon escort 
the Second Life Guards having, as it happened, formed a travelling escort 
no longer ago than the previous day. If the Queen had been escorted 
in London by light cavalry, it was not because the Household Cavalry 
were unfitted for the duty, but because their ordinary work was already 
very severe. No troops except, perhaps, the Royal Horse Artillery 
had anything like the work of the Household Cavalry troopers. In 
London, one night in four, they were on night duty ; each man had 
one horse to clean daily, and every fourth day two horses. Their 
accoutrements required much extra labour. The distance they had to 
go to drill was exceptionally great, the horses having to traverse ten or 
twelve miles of road. Fatigue duties were heavier in proportion, 
owing to the smallness of the regiments ; and there were, besides, all 
the duties, escorts, etc., entailed upon them as the Royal Body-guard. 

On the score of expense, the speaker showed from the Army estimates 
that the cost of the dress was 8 155. per annum, out of which sum 
had to be found saddlery, accoutrements, and repairs of every kind. 
In the line cavalry the yearly expense per man for clothing and 
appointments might be set down at ^"5 2s. 6d., but to this must be 
added the cost of clothing establishments, share of non-commissioned 
officers' clothing, saddlery, etc., repairs and recruiting expenses an 
addition which would bring the total to a figure not far short of that 
quoted for the Household Cavalry. 

There was admittedly a great difference between the Household and 
the other cavalry in respect of their cost to the country. But this was 
due chiefly to the difference in the respective scales of pay. 


A trooper in the Household Cavalry cost the nation IOQ per 

annum : 

Clothing, purchase of horses, forage, etc., fuel and light . 35 

Pay, per man per diem, at 2$. o\d ...... 35 

Extra pay, good conduct pay, N.C.O.'s, officers and hon. 

colonel, divided by the number of troopers . . . 30 

A private in the Dragoons, on the other hand, represents an annual 

cost of So : 

Clothing, purchase of horses, forage, etc., fuel and light . 34 

Pay, per man per diem, at is. 5^., nearly . . .26 

Extra pay, etc., as above . . . . ... 20 

In connection with the difference of pay it should be stated that 
a trooper in the Household Cavalry had to find his kit, amounting to 
some ^"5, on joining, and that living was more expensive in London 
than in other quarters. 

In return for, and as the result of, this extra pay there was the good 
behaviour of the troops. Good pay procured good men, while hard 
work and strict discipline kept them out of mischief. 

He repudiated, not only on the authority of other eye-witnesses, but on 
the strength of his constant personal observation, the wild and baseless 
allegations as to " Knightsbridge revels." It was a matter susceptible 
of documentary proof that in the Household Cavalry crime whether 
in the military or in the civil sense was very rare ; drunkenness being 
quite exceptional. The figures for the three Regiments did not differ 
much. In his own Regiment, the First Life Guards, the average for 
courts- martial during ten years was i per 1,000 per annum, cases of 
drunkenness being 2 per cent, per annum ; while of men suffering from 
contagious diseases the average in hospital was never above i per 
cent. The consequence was a larger proportion of men available for 
duty. To have acquired a body of men so highly disciplined and so 
well conducted as the direct result of granting 'ood pay was an argu- 
ment rather for extending it to other regiments .nan for destroying the 
regiments upon which the effect had been so excellent. It was certain 
that, without fair play, the best men would not be obtained. 

As to the efficiency of the Household Cavalry, the reports of the 
inspecting officers selected from the line cavalry had year after year 
been couched in terms highly complimentary to their discipline and 
efficiency. H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge, the Commander-in-Chief, 


addressing two of the Regiments in August, 1870, had testified to their 
excellent condition and drill, and had concluded his address in the 
following terms : 

"In my opinion you are fit to go anywhere to do any duty you may 
be called upon to perform. Continue, as for many years past, your 
course of good military conduct, and you will be, as you have always 
been, the pride of the Service." 

Captain Talbot's speech was very well received by the 
House of Commons. The time was to come some years 
later, as will be recorded in subsequent chapters, when 
the Commander-in-Chief's good opinion of the fitness of 
the Household Cavalry to fulfil any duty laid upon them 
would be amply and strikingly justified. 

In the last year of her reign, Queen Victoria whose 
wishes on the subject had for years been subordinated to 
the advice tendered by the responsible Ministers of the 
Crown paid a long-deferred and eagerly anticipated visit 
to Ireland. A Field Officer's escort, composed in equal 
proportions of the First and Second Life Guards, was 
detailed r and found its most onerous duty in restraining 
the enthusiasm of the vast crowds whose exuberant 
welcomes bade fair to overwhelm their august visitor. 

No other Sovereign was ever a kinder or more steadfast 
friend to the Household Cavalry than Queen Victoria. 
Their prestige and their privileges were dear to her, and 
she was a vigilant guardian and staunch upholder of both. 
In her eyes no detail of their equipment was too insigni- 
ficant for her critical notice, while in graver matters 
such as those affecting the continuity of their status or 
the maintenance of their welfare they could be sure ot 
her warm sympathy and wise support. 





SOON after his appointment to the Colonelcy-in-Chief 
of the Household Cavalry, representations were 
made to the Heir-Apparent as to the advisability 
of settling a question which had arisen as to the 
relative precedence of the Silver Stick and the Field- 
Officer-in-Brigade-Waiting. By the Prince of Wales's 
advice the Queen commanded Lord Esher, Master of the 
Rolls, to examine the point historically, and to report to 
her thereon. Lord Esher's opinion which was given in 
favour of the Silver Stick and the Sovereign's orders in 
accordance therewith, are here reproduced in full : 



lyth August, 1889. 

Lord Esher has sent his award in the case of the precedence 
between Silver Stick and Field Officer. 

He has gone very carefully into the whole question, and founds his 
decision on the duties of the two Officers. He finds that Silver Stick, 
from the time of Henry VIII. ,* was placed with Gold Stick, close to the 
Sovereign's person to protect him from danger, and thus his Office 
is one of personal service to the Monarch, whereas the Field Officer in 
Brigade Waiting is only at Court for the purpose of taking the King's 
commands for his Guards. 

Lord Esher therefore advises the Queen to give precedence claimed 
to Silver Stick, and to direct that he shall ride or walk, in all 
processions, on the right, and that the Field Officer shall ride or walk 
on the left. 

* This is an entire mistake. See the conclusion of this CHAPTER. 


Her Majesty will issue orders in accordance with Lord Esher's 
advice, which the Queen entirely adopts. 
I have the honour to be, 

Your Royal Highness's 
Most obedient, humble Servant, 


(Enclosure.) Royal Courts of Justice, 

gth August, 1889. 

Lord Esher, Master of the Rolls, humbly submits his duty to Her 
Majesty the Queen, and begs to lay before Her Majesty that he has 
carefully inquired into and considered the matter referred to him by 
Her Majesty's gracious command, contained in a letter from Sir 
Henry Ponsonby, dated the fifth of May, 1889. 

Lord Esher has been assisted by statements of facts and by 
arguments laid before him by General Keith Fraser in favour of the 
view that precedence should be given to Silver Stick, and by General 
Percy Feilding in favour of the view that precedence should be with 
the Field Officer in Brigade Waiting. 

Lord Esher has seen the facts collected by Garter King of Arms, 
and Lord Esher has caused search to be made at the British Museum 
and in the Record Office for statements and pictures of old historical 
ceremonies. Several were found, but unfortunately nothing in them 
or in any facts laid before Lord Esher to enable him to report to Her 
Majesty that there has been any uniform practice on State occasions, 
or indeed, to state what was the actual state of things on more than 
one or two such occasions. Lord Esher submits to Her Majesty that 
it is in his opinion impossible to solve the question by any reliable 
evidence of ancient practice. There is not sufficient evidence of 
practice to be a safe guide. Lord Esher submits to Her Majesty that 
the safer and truer course in order to determine the relative position of 
two Officers with regard to Her Majesty is to consider what inferences 
arise from the duties assigned to the Officers at the first institution of the 
Offices which they hold. It is the duties which were entrusted to them 
at the first institution of their offices which should govern their 
precedence, because there has been no change ordained in either 
their duties or rank, so that their rank remains the same, although 
their duties have not been called into action. The institution of the 
offices of the Gold and Silver Sticks is to be found in the Standing 
Orders of the Second Life Guards. Lord Esher has not been able to 
find the original in the Record Office. 

It is in these words : '* In consequence of a conspiracy existing in 
1528 (which is in the Reign of the King Henry VIII.),* the King's 

* The words enclosed within brackets are not in the Standing Orders. 
They are Lord Esher's own, and evidently meant as an explanation 


Person was supposed to be in danger, it was therefore ordered that one 
of the Captains commanding the Life Guards should wait next to His 
Majesty's person before all others, carrying in his hand an Ebony staff 
with a Gold Head, engraved with His Majesty's Cypher and Crown. 
Another principal Officer was ordered to be near the Captain to relieve 
him occasionally. They were to be in attendance on the King's 
person wherever he walked, from his rising to his going to bed, except 
in the Royal Bed Chamber." 

The duties imposed upon these Officers was one of the very highest 
trust. The cause recited shows that they were to guard the very 
person of the King from actual bodily injury, against a personal 
attack, and that they were to do so with their own hands and body. 
Their duty did not depend upon the presence of troops. Their 
duty was to be fulfilled by themselves personally. The first was to be 
near His Majesty's Person before all others. The second was to be 
near the first. He was to relieve him occasionally. That is to say, he 
was to be so near the first as to be able to step at once into his place, 
next to His Majesty's person, before all others. It is obvious that he 
would have not only to relieve the first by replacing him in his absence, 
but by assisting him when present. It is impossible to suppose that 
Officers having such high trust so constantly close to the King's person, 
would not have a high Court rank and precedence. And these were 
given them by the ordinary Court token of the highest Court rank, 
namely, that they each carried a Staff. This Staff was not a weapon ; 
it was therefore obviously a token of rank, of high rank. 

The first evidence of the institution of the duties of the Field Officer 
in Brigade Waiting is to be found in two letters written by command 
of Her Majesty Queen Anne, in the year 1711. 

The first is dated "Whitehall, gth August, 1711. 


" Her Majesty having thought fit that a Field Officer of the Foot 
Guards be always in waiting upon Her Royal person in like manner as 
she is attended by an Officer of the Horse Guards, I am commanded 
to acquaint you with Her Majesty's pleasure herein, and that she 
expects a compliance therewith as soon as may be. 

Addressed to the Officer in Chief 
with the 2nd Regiment of Guards. 

The second letter is dated " Windsor, August I5th, 1711. 


" Her Majesty has commanded me to signify to you that it is Her 
Majesty's pleasure a Field Officer belonging to one of Her Regiments 

of the date which he supposed to be the true one. See the conclusion 
of this CHAPTER. 


of Foot Guards do duty at Her Palace as was formerly practised in 
the Reign of King Charles the Second, for the better preservation of 
good order and discipline near the Royal Person. 

Addressed to Major-General Homes. 

The inference to be drawn from this last letter seems to be that there 
had arisen a practice in the reign of King Charles the Second of the 
attendance of a Field Officer of the Foot Guards, but that the practice 
had been intermittent or had fallen into disuse, and was by Queen Anne 
ordained in form and for continuance. 

The chief point, however, is to consider in this case also the nature 
and extent of the duty assigned to this Officer. 

He is to preserve order and discipline. He cannot preserve order 
by himself. He is to preserve discipline. The inference seems to be 
that he is to preserve order by means of troops, which troops are to be 
kept in discipline. He is to preserve order " near the Royal Person," 
but he is not to be next to the Sovereign's Person before all others. 
His duty seems to be a military more than a Court duty. It is difficult 
to conclude that this Military Officer was to take precedence of the two 
great Court Officers. And even if this Officer is properly to be con- 
sidered a Court Officer of the same kind as the others and his duty to 
be similar to theirs, it seems difficult to infer that, without any words 
to intimate such a purpose, he was intended to take precedence of 
either of the more anciently appointed Officers. The precedence sug- 
gested is not a precedence over the Gold Stick. It is not disputed 
that Silver Stick must take the place and precedence of Gold Stick 
when that Officer is absent. If, then, Silver Stick is to be in prece- 
dence below the Field Officer in Brigade Waiting when all three 
Officers are present, then, if at any moment Gold Stick retires, Silver 
Stick is then to pass above the Field Officer and take precedence of 

Such results seem to present an anomaly. 

These considerations have led Lord Esher to the conclusion, in the 
absence of any really reliable evidence of continuous practice, that it is his 
duty humbly to advise Her Majesty that it was in the beginning intended 
that both Gold and Silver Sticks should have high precedence ; and 
that it was not intended, when the Office of the Field Officer in Brigade 
Waiting was formally instituted, by the command of Her Majesty 
Queen Anne, that an office should be created of higher dignity than 
either the one or the other. 

Lord Esher humbly submits to Her Majesty, that Silver Stick be 
declared by Her Majesty to have precedence over the Field Officer in 
Brigade Waiting in all State ceremonies and on all occasions at 

Lord Esher ventures to advise that in Carriage processions when 
Gold Stick is on horseback, his place should be declared by Her 


Majesty to be next to the right wheel of Her carriage, and the place 
of the Silver Stick close behind Gold Stick, on therefore the right side 
of Her Majesty's carriage; whilst the place of the Field Officer in 
Brigade Waiting should be next to the left wheel of Her Majesty's 
carriage ; and when Gold Stick is not mounted that the place of Silver 
Stick should be next to the right wheel of Her Majesty's carriage, 
whilst the place of the Field Officer in Brigade Waiting should at the 
same time be next to the left wheel of Her Majesty's carriage. 

Lord Esher ventures to advise further, that Her Majesty should 
declare that under all circumstances at Court the Silver Stick is to 
have precedence of the Field Officer in Brigade Waiting. 

Lord Esher submits these views to Her Majesty in obedience to Her 
Majesty's gracious command. 

Lord Esher does so after having considered the matter with the 
greatest care, but leaves the decision where it ought to be and must be 
absolutely to Her Majesty's better judgment, to Her Majesty as the 
sole and undoubted Arbiter between the conflicting views of the 

Lord Esher finally subscribes himself as 
Her Most Gracious Majesty's 

Humble and obedient Servant. 


Master of the Rolls. 


$oth August, 1889. 

You will remember that after the Jubilee, the Prince of Wales, 
as Colonel in Chief of the Household Cavalry, appealed to the Queen 
against the precedence given to the Field Officer in Brigade Waiting 
over Silver Stick in the procession of the 2ist of June. 

Her Majesty referred the question to Garter, and as nothing was 
done at the beginning of this year the Prince of Wales again appealed, 
and Her Majesty decided to ask the opinion of others on the point 

The Household Cavalry chose Major-General Keith Fraser to 
represent their views of the case, and the Brigade of Guards named 
Lieutenant-General the Hon. Percy Feilding as their advocate. 

The Queen suggested Lord Esher to listen to their arguments and 
to advise her on the subject, which he has done. 

The Queen now commands me to let you know that Her Majesty 
declares Silver Stick to have precedence over Field Officer in Brigade 

That in carriage processions when these Officers ride, Silver Stick 
should ride near the right hand wheel of the Queen's carriage, and Field 
Officer in Brigade Waiting near the left hand wheel of the Queen's 


But that neither of the Officers shall interfere in any way with the 
position of the Officers of the Escort. 

That in walking processions the Silver Stick shall walk on the right 
and the Field Officer in Brigade Waiting on the left, and in short, that 
in all State and Court ceremonials the position of Silver Stick shall 
rank before that of the Field Officer in Brigade Waiting. 

Yours very truly, HY. PONSONBY. 

As a matter of fact, the date given in the Standing 
Orders of the Second Life Guards is not " 1528," but 
" 1578 " an obvious clerical error for 1678 (see CHAPTER 
XII.). This misled Lord Esher, who, knowing that 1578 
fell in Queen Elizabeth's reign, antedated the institution 
of the Gold and the Silver Sticks by 50 years more. The 
mistake does not affect the gist of the argument employed 
by the Master of the Rolls, as the post of Field Officer in 
Brigade Waiting was instituted by Queen Anne. But it 
has a distinct bearing on several of the learned judge's 
obiter dicta, and fully accounts for the failure "to find the 
original in the Record Office " amongst the papers of 
Henry the Eighth. What is more important the sug- 
gestion that King Henry was attended by a Gold Stick 
is not sustained.* 



IN the year 1882 the unrest which had long prevailed 
in Egypt reached a climax in the rebellion of Arabi 
Pasha against the authority of the Khedive, Tewfik, 
who three years before had replaced his father, 
Ismail, on the deposition of the latter. Arabi claimed to 
represent a Nationalist movement whose policy was 
summed up in the phrase " Egypt for the Egyptians." 
The outbreak of the rebellion acted as a solvent of the 
Dual Control which England and France had some years 
before jointly established. Ever since the days of 
Napoleon France had cherished a sentimental longing to 
be supreme in Egypt. To England a political pre- 
dominance in Egypt, lying on her high road to India, was 
absolutely vital. France played a bold card by the con- 
struction of the Suez Canal ; England trumped it by the 
purchase of a predominant number of shares in the owner- 
ship of the new waterway. Neither Government was 
disposed to yield to the other, yet neither wanted war. In 
Ismail's time a hollow compromise was effected by 
the establishment of the joint control known as the 
" Condominium." Such a bizarre connection was 
obviously destined to break under the first serious strain, 
and Arabi's action snapped it. France hesitated to inter- 
vene effectively, and in the event refrained from active 
interference ; England, also after some hesitation, decided 
to suppress the revolt by armed force. From that day 
forward a supremacy wholly British became inevitable, 


and its formal acknowledgment by the rest of Europe 
France included was merely a question of time. 

Within a month of the mutiny and massacre at Alexan- 
dria and the establishment of Arabics dictatorship the 
British Fleet on July nth bombarded the rebels' earth- 
works at Alexandria a force of blue-jackets and marines 
being afterwards landed to restore order. Three days 
later Sir Archibald Alison arrived in Cyprus to take com- 
mand of a contingent drawn from Malta and Gibraltar, 
which on July iyth landed in Egypt. Taking up a position 
which enabled him to cover a concentration of troops at 
Alexandria, Alison awaited the arrival of the expedition 
decided upon by the British Government. 

Sir Garnet Wolseley had on July 3rd been appointed to 
take the supreme command, and at once began to organise 
his field army : one of the earliest appointments being that 
of H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught to the command of the 
Brigade of Guards. 

The cavalry, which eventually came under the general 
command of Sir Drury Lowe, consisted of the Household 
Cavalry, the 4th and the yth Dragoon Guards, with Sir 
Baker Russell as Brigadier ;* the igth Hussars, which 
was employed independently, and three regiments of 
Indian Cavalry led by Brigadier-General Wilkinson. 

The Household Cavalry was determined on this occasion 
not to be " out of it," and the senior commanding officer, 
Colonel Keith Fraser, had made urgent and repeated 
representations to the War Office, both as to their keen 
desire to be included in the expedition, and their undoubted 
fitness for active service. It was finally settled to send out 
a composite regiment, consisting of a full service squadron 
comprising one major, one captain, four subalterns, and 

* Colonel Ewart was actually senior to Sir Baker, but he waived 
his claim to the Brigade so as to retain the immediate command of the 
Household Cavalry Regiment. 


153 N.C.O.'s and men from each of the three regiments. 
Colonel Keith Fraser, whose command expired that month, 
realised, to his bitter disappointment, that his regimental 
service could not be prolonged. The command of the 
Household Cavalry Regiment therefore devolved upon 
Colonel H. Ewart,* Second Life Guards. 

The officers selected, almost exclusively by seniority,, 
were : 

FIRST LIFE GUARDS : Major the Hon. R. Talbot 

Major Needham 
Captain Sir S. Lockhart 
Lieutenant Miles 
Lieutenant Lord Rodney 
Lieutenant Calley 
Lieutenant Leigh 
Lieutenant Hamilton, Surgeon 

SECOND LIFE GUARDS: Major Townshend 

Captain Tennant 
Lieutenant Smith Cuninghame 
Lieutenant Abdy 
Lieutenant the Hon. W. Hanbury 
Lieutenant French 
Surgeon- Major Hume Spry 
Lieut. Rostron, Vet. Surgeon 

ROYAL HORSE GUARDS : Col. Milne Hume (Second in 

Major the Hon. O. Montagu 


Captain Brocklehurst 
Captain Wickham (Adjutant) 

* Henry Peter Ewart, b. 1838, 2nd Life Guards '58, com. the regt. '78,. 
com. the Household Cavalry in Egypt '82 (mentioned in despatches, 
cr. C.B.), com. Cavalry Brigade in Sudan '85 (cr. K.C.B.), maj.-gen.,. 
col. yth D.G.'s 1900, cr. G.C.V.O. '02. 


ROYAL HORSE GUARDS : Lieutenant Lord E. Somerset 

Lieutenant Brocklehurst 
Lieutenant Childe Pemberton 
Lieutenant Selwyn 
Lieutenant Lord Binning (Signal- 
ling Officer) 

Lieutenant Sir J. Willoughby 
(extra) * 

The illustrious Colonel-in-Chief earnestly requested that 
his services might be employed, and his request was duly 
forwarded by the Commander-in-Chief to the Secretary of 
State, who replied : 

" It is highly creditable to the pluck and spirit of the Prince to wish 
to run the risks both to health and life which the campaign offers, but 
it is clearly undesirable that H.R.H. should go. This is one of the 
penalties which attach to his high position, "f 

The Prince of Wales interested himself keenly in every 
detail connected with the well-being of the contingents 
which he inspected at Hyde Park Barracks the First Life 
Guards and the Blues on July 3ist, and the Second Life 
Guards on their arrival from Windsor the following day. 

* The Earl of Caledon and Lord Castletown, formerly officers of the 
First Life Guards, were attached to their old Regiment for duty in 
Egypt. Lieut. Sir George Arthur, Second Life Guards, was attached 
to the i gth Hussars, and served as orderly officer to General 
Wilkinson. A detachment consisting of i officer, i corporal -major 
i corporal-of-horse, i corporal, and 22 troopers, from each of the three 
Regiments proceeded for duty at the remount depot, Cyprus. A 
draft which sailed for Egypt on September i3th the day of Tel-el- 
Kebir was, on reaching Malta, re-shipped to England, the war being 

f This was not the only occasion on which the Prince of Wales 
volunteered for active service. Two years later, on the occasion of the 
Gordon relief expedition, he urgently renewed his suit to be employed, 
and had the further advance against the Mahdi after the fall of Khar- 
tum not been abandoned by the Government, it is understood that 
definite arrangements had been made for the Prince to accompany this 


He also entertained all the officers at dinner at the Marl- 
borough Club on the eve of their departure. The kit 
decided on for the last occasion on which the Household 
Cavalry should fight in colour consisted of red and blue 
serge jackets, pants and Hessian boots, and pith helmet 
with puggaree, while goggles, knives, water-bottles, and 
lanyards were served out. 

The First Life Guards' squadron and a portion of the 
Blues,* leaving barracks at 4 a.m., marched through 
London and embarked on August ist at Albert Docks, on 
board the Holland. The Queen specially requested that 
the vessel might pass through Cowes Roads at 10 a.m. 
the following morning, so that Her Majesty might have 
an opportunity of communicating a farewell. The Duke 
of Cambridge and the Secretary and Under-Secretary of 
State for War were present at the embarkation, and scenes 
of great enthusiasm occurred, which were repeated the 
following day, when the Second Life Guards' squadron, 
with the remainder of the Blues, embarked on board the 
Calabria. This contingent was favoured by the presence 
on the outward journey of their Commander-in-Chief in 
the field. Sir Garnet Wolseley, who had been extremely 
unwell, was ordered to go by long sea-route, and came 
quite unobserved on board the Calabria half an hour before 
she sailed, placing himself under the medical care of 
Surgeon- Major Hume Spry. On August I4th the Holland 
reached Alexandria, then understood to be the base of 
operations, and the men and horses were consequently 
landed. Two days later Wolseley arrived on the Calabria, 
when, after an interview with the British Admiral, he at 
once put into execution his prearranged secret plan to 

The Household Cavalry, always popular in London, were just now 
the subject of much poetical effusion. One local young lady was inspired 
to address an ode to the Royal Horse Guards which commenced with 
the stirring, if somewhat unrhythmical, line : " Rise up, Albany Street.'* 

H.C. II. X X 


transfer his base to Ismailia, and thence to make his 
advance on Cairo without attempting to reduce the forts 
at Aboukir. 

In forwarding on the following day a draft scheme to 
the Duke of Cambridge Wolseley wrote : 

I have just heard the enemy has broken up his camp at Nifisheh 
near Ismailia. This may prevent me from having a skirmish with 
Arabi's people on Monday ; it is very provoking, because I had hoped 
with the Household Cavalry to have been able to cut him off from his 
great position near Tel-el- Kebir. 

Ismailia was occupied on Sunday, August 2oth, and the 
Household Cavalry, with two guns of the Royal Horse 
Artillery, some Mounted Infantry, and about 1,000 
infantry, was on the 24th pushed forward to Nefisheh, 
and thence to El Magfar on the Freshwater Canal. * 
Some sharp skirmishing took place, the enemy throughout 
the day being largely reinforced from the rear. Wolseley 
in his despatch wrote : 

I did not think it in consonance with the traditions of the Queen's 
Army that we should retire before any number of Egyptian troops, so 
I decided upon holding my ground until the evening, when I knew 
that reinforcements I had sent for would reach me. I took possession 
of the dam the enemy had constructed between the villages of Magfar 
and Mahuta. 

During the operation two squadrons of the Household 
Cavalry charged the enemy's broken infantry very effectively. 
Sir Garnet Wolseley, in a letter to the Duke of Cambridge 
from Ismailia, said : 

... In going round the wounded the other day, I asked a Life 
Guardsman, who had a nasty sabre-cut over his right arm, how he 
came by it. He said in their first charge on the 24th instant he found 
himself in broken ground separated from his troop, when a man on 

* The Times correspondent, describing the scene at Ismailia, said 
the Household Cavalry presented a strange appearance grimed and 
semi-bearded. Men and horses absolutely dwarfed other bipeds and 
quadrupeds into insignificance. 


foot shot his horse, and then came up at him with a sword, with which, 
as he was getting up, the Egyptian cut him over his guard across the 
arm, " Well," I said, "and what became of your friend ? " He replied* 
without moving a muscle, " I cut him in two, sir." In several instances 
these great giants with their heavy swords cut men from the head to 
the waist-belt. . . . 

On the 25th the enemy's camp at Mahsamah Railway 
Station was taken by Drury Lowe with the cavalry and 
artillery five Krupp guns, with a large quantity of 
ammunition and rifles falling into his hands. Wolseley 
was so much encouraged by the excellent work of the 
cavalry, notwithstanding some lack of condition on the 
part of their horses, that he determined to seize at once 
Kassassin Lock, on the Freshwater Canal, so as to secure 
a safe passage across the desert between Ismailia and the 
cultivated land of the Delta. 

The casualties in the Household Cavalry on these two 
days were somewhat heavy, including as they did one 
trooper (ist Life Guards) killed, three troopers severely 
wounded, and eight N.C. O.'s and troopers slightly 

Kassassin was duly occupied and placed in charge of 
General Graham, who had with him the 4th Dragoon 
Guards, and the York and Lancashire and the Duke of 
Cornwall's regiments, with some guns ; the rest of the 
cavalry being posted about four miles off at Mahsamah, 
while, further back, at Tel-el-Mahuta, was the balance of 
the First Division, including the Brigade of Guards. 

x x 2 


ON the morning of August 28th there was a hostile 
demonstration towards Kassassin, and in the 
evening Arabi apparently nerved himself to try 
conclusions with Graham. Animated by the 
presence of their chief whom they with equal fatuity 
believed to be endued both with physical courage and 
with supernatural gifts the Egyptians made a bold 
advance. Graham stood at first on the defensive, sending 
back word as to the situation to Mahsamah and Tel- 
el-Mahuta. He opened fire with his guns, but Arabi 
came on until his men were within range of the British 
rifles, which checked them very appreciably. 

Meanwhile General Drury Lowe, at Mahsamah, who 
had received a first alarm at dawn, hearing about noon of 
the enemy's advance on Kassassin, turned out with the 
Household Cavalry, the yth Dragoon Guards, and four guns 
of the Royal Horse Artillery, and advanced towards the 
enemy's left. On finding that the attack was only a 
distant artillery fire, he returned to camp at 4.30 p.m. 
An hour later, however, a heliograph message came from 
Graham to the effect that the enemy was now advancing 
in force. Lieutenant Pirie, of the 4th Dragoon Guards, 
(subsequently transferred to the First Life Guards) was 
also despatched to confirm the message. He unfortunately 
conveyed to General Drury Lowe the erroneous and 
alarmist impression that General Graham was hard 
pressed, and only just able to hold his own ! As a matter 
of fact, the young galloper found Drury Lowe already 


acting upon Graham's very explicit request to take the 
cavalry round by the right, under cover of the hill, and 
attack the left flank of the enemy. The Brigade made a 
wide circuit, the guns a little late in starting in rear, 
and on nearing the enemy were thrown from squadron 
column into line, and in this formation covered the brow 
of a rising slope, when they found themselves under fire 
of artillery and rifles. The order was given to unmask 
the guns, which was executed by a retirement of troops 
from both flanks, and a re-formation in two columns on 
the right of the guns. The gallop was now sounded, 
and the brilliant attack known in verse and story as the 
Moonlight Charge was launched. Sir Baker Russell 
was on the right with the 7th Dragoon Guards ; his horse 
was shot under him, and when he managed to secure 
another he found himself among the Household Cavalry, 
whose charge admirably led by Ewart was driven home 
in dead earnest. The Egyptian rifle fire quickly emptied 
a few saddles but had not the slightest effect on the 
forward rush, and Arabi's men were hurled back by the 
shock of the heavy horses, and cut down by dint of the 
heavy blades. Many of the Egyptian foot-men fell on 
their faces to avoid the slashing of the swords. Some of 
these got up and fired after the troopers, who thereupon 
turned about and despatched them. Eleven of the enemy's 
guns were accounted for, but these unfortunately were 
neither spiked nor carried away, and were re-taken in the 
darkness of the night. Drury Lowe in his despatch alluded 
to Ewart's brilliant leading, and said that the greatest 
praise was due to all ranks of the Household Cavalry, 
Wolseley adding on his own account, "their excellent 
behaviour at all times is on a par with their gallantry in 

The Household Cavalry had to pay another heavy toll 
in casualties : Killed, two troopers ist Life Guards, 


one trooper Royal Horse Guards ;* wounded, three 
troopers severely and two slightly, ist Life Guards ; Major 
Townshend and one trooper, 2nd Life Guards ; and one 
trooper Royal Horse Guards. Colonel Milne Hume, 
having lost his bearings, was missing for some time, but 
eventually found his way back to camp. 

On September ist Lord Wolseley wrote to the Duke of 
Cambridge that these indecisive yet costly actions were 
very undesirable, and that he hoped his next move would 
be a final one. In the course of his letter he made a bold 
suggestion : 

Believe me, Sir, the more I see of war, the more convinced I am 
there is nothing like volunteers. These men of the Household Cavalry 
are teaching me a lesson, and that is that it would pay us well as a 
nation to obtain men of a better stamp for our Army than those we now 
enlist, by offering double the pay we now give. This system of paying 
the soldiers badly gives us the lowest stamp of man for our ordinary 
Regiments, whilst the Household Cavalry have such good men that 
crime is unknown amongst them.f 

A short respite now ensued, the Household Cavalry 
sharing in the daily reconnaissance work. 

On September 7th, at 3 a.m., Colonel Buller (afterwards 
General Sir Redvers Buller) rode out with General 
Wilkinson, two subalterns,J and a small escort of Indian 
cavalry, and arrived within a mile of the enemy's works. 
Of these he was able to make a hurried sketch, which 
proved of the utmost value in the scheme for the final 

On September gth Arabi made what he knew must be 
his last attempt to "rush" Kassassin before the whole 

Trooper Bennet was found lying with his hands and feet partly 
crossed, as if asleep. 

f With this may be compared the speech delivered in the House 
of Commons in 1871, by Captain the Hon. R. Talbot. See CHAPTER 

Lieut. Carnac, Bengal Cavalry, and Lieut. Sir G. Arthur, Second 
Life Guards. 


British force should arrive. The attack, faulty in design, 
was carried forward with more determination than usual, 
the Commander-in-Chief in his despatch, describing it 
as a "reconnaissance in force. " An artillery duel on 
the railway line, and some shells plumped into the British 
camp, were among the items of the morning's programme, 
which began at 7 a.m. General Willis, in command 
of the British troops, sallied out, and had no great 
difficulty in driving back the enemy, who with some 
considerable loss including two guns retired within 
their intrenchments about noon, just as Sir Garnet arrived 
on the scene and decided not to push the English advance 
any further. The Household Cavalry, operating on the 
right of the line, did excellent service in guarding the 
line from a flank attack threatened from Salahieh. 

At dawn on the I2th Lord Wolseley rode out with the 
generals, and explained to them his matured scheme. 
Everything was now ready for the advance on Tel-el-Kebir. 
That night the total British force at Kassassin was com- 
posed of 634 officers, and 16,767 non-commissioned officers 
and men, with sixty-one guns and six machine guns. 
Arabi was holding what Wolseley himself described as " a 
very extensive and very strongly fortified position," with 
at least 20,000 more probably 30,000 well-armed regular 
troops, of which the best were the Sudanese, and seventy 
guns. In order to save loss of men, Wolseley determined 
to march the eight miles that lay between him and Tel-el- 
Kebir by night, and to attack the enemy before daybreak. 
Accordingly, as soon as it was dark, the troops struck 
camp, the various units, which numbered 11,000 bayonets 
and 2,000 sabres, taking up the positions which they were 
to occupy during the march. The Second (Hamley's) 
Division, on the left, was made up of the Highland 
Brigade in front, with a composite infantry brigade in rear. 
To the right, at an interval of 1,200 yards, was the First 


Division, Graham's Brigade leading, supported at a 
distance of 1,000 yards by the Guards under the Duke of 
Connaught. On the extreme right were the two cavalry 
brigades and two batteries of horse artillery. At the other 
end of the line was the Naval Brigade, supported by the 
igth Hussars. By n o'clock all was ready, and the 
troops lay down, just as they were, until 1.30 a.m. on 
September I3th. Then they arose and in absolute 
silence began the advance. The operation was by no 
means easy, and its success testifies to the intelligence, 
alertness, and discipline of the men. The march was 
guided by observations of the stars taken by a naval 
officer. When the attack was delivered at 5 o'clock, the 
enemy was taken completely by surprise. While the 
infantry went straight for the entrenchments in front, 
the cavalry swept round the enemy's line, completely 
turning his left flank. After half an hour's severe fighting 
both the fortified position and the camp of the enemy were 
in the hands of the British, together with forty guns, the 
fugitives throwing away their arms as the Indian cavalry 
pursued them towards Zagazig for three hours. The 
Household Cavalry, without stopping, made a forced 
march to the lock at Belbeis, which was reached the same 
evening. Next day, September I4th, Cairo was occupied, 
and Arabi captured. The brilliant little campaign was over. 
By special order of the Duke of Cambridge the House- 
hold Cavalry were among the first to be brought home. 
The Duke wrote : 

Their reception will, I think, be very enthusiastic and cordial from 
all classes. I quite agree with you as to your views regarding these 
splendid fellows. I wish we had more of them. (Verner's Lift of the 
Duke of Cambridge, ii. 252.) 

The Commander-in-Chief s anticipation was fully justi- 
fied. The Second Life Guards and Royal Horse Guards 
arrived at Southampton on the Lydian Monarch in the 


early morning of October 2Oth, the former entraining for 
Windsor, where they were enthusiastically welcomed by 
the municipal authorities and the townspeople, and most 
graciously congratulated by their Royal Highnesses the 
Prince and Princess of Wales, who travelled to Windsor 
for the purpose of visiting the Regiment in barracks. Next 
morning, being Sunday, a solemn thanksgiving service for 
the safe return of the Second Life Guards was held at the 
Church of the Holy Trinity. The Blues had a tremendous 
reception in London, where they arrived shortly after noon, 
and marched through cheering multitudes to the Regents 
Park Barracks. Here they were received on their arrival 
by the Prince and Princess of Wales, by Colonel Burnaby, 
in command of the Regiment, and a host of friends. Their 
neighbours of Albany Street entertained them at a banquet 
at Holborn Town Hall on October 25th. The First Life 
Guards, who came home in the Assyrian Monarch, and 
landed a few hours after their comrades of the other House- 
hold Regiments, postponed their entry into London till 
Sunday, October 2ist, when they marched to Knightsbridge 
Barracks early in the afternoon, and were received every- 
where on the route with striking and stirring demonstrations 
of welcome. Again the Prince and Princess of Wales 
were among the first to offer a cordial greeting to the 
Queen's soldiers returned from the war, visiting the 
Knightsbridge Barracks immediately after the arrival of 
the service squadron. 

Colonel Ewart, Second Life Guards, was summoned to 
Balmoral, where he was received by the Queen on 
October 27th. Her Majesty at dinner the same evening 
proposed his health and that of the gallant Household 
Regiment which he had commanded. In the following 
month the Queen came to London, and on November i8th 
held a review in St. James's Park of all the troops which 
had returned from Egypt. 


AT a period even earlier than that of the Egyptian 
Expedition of 1882 trouble was brewing in the 
Sudan, largely owing to the machinations of 
Mahomet Ahmed, who declared himself to be, 
and was widely accepted as, the expected Mahdi of 
Moslem belief. He quickly attached to himself ever- 
increasing numbers of fanatical followers, and, after a 
series of petty successes, defeated and annihilated in 
October, 1883, an Egyptian army under Hicks Pasha. 

As the Khedive was quite unable to master the revolted 
Sudanese province unaided, and as the British Govern- 
ment jibbed at the offer of any active assistance in this 
direction, it was decided to withdraw the Egyptian 
garrisons and to abandon the country to the Sudanese. 

General Gordon was sent to Khartum early in 1884 to 
plan and to carry out the arrangements necessary to give 
effect to this decision. Meanwhile the trouble increased, 
the seaport of Suakim was threatened, and that brilliant 
cavalry officer, Valentine Baker Pasha, who had taken 
service with the Khedive, was the protagonist of another 
tragedy ; for, while proceeding from the coast to Trinkitat 
with 4,000 men, to attempt the relief of Tokar, he was 
surrounded by Mahdists and his force cut to ribbons. 

The Government at home was spurred by an aroused 
public opinion into sending a British expedition, under 
General Graham, to protect Suakim and relieve Tokar. 
Two successful though bloody actions were fought at 
El Teb and Tamai, and the redoubtable Osman Digna 


having been dealt a heavy blow, the expedition was 

Gordon's position at Khartum was now one of the 
utmost danger; every day rendered his isolation more 
complete, and increased the difficulty of effecting his 

It was finally decided to send an expedition for the 
relief of General Gordon and to entrust the command 
to Lord Wolseley, whose views as to the feasibility of 
the advance by the Nile had prevailed over General 
Stephenson's* opinion in favour of the Suakim-Berber 
route. On his way out to Egypt he wrote to ask that 
two officers and forty picked N.C.O.'s and men from 
every cavalry regiment should be combined to form a 
Heavy and a Light Camel Corps, and that a Guards' 
Camel Corps should be formed on the same principle 
from the Brigade of Foot Guards. A fourth Camel 
Corps was formed in Egypt from the Mounted Infantry, 
consisting of the Sussex and part of the Essex Regi- 
ments. These four Corps were afterwards called Camel 
Regiments. Lord Wolseley also asked for a consider- 
able number of selected officers to be employed on Special 
Service. The request was couched in such urgent terms 
that it was impossible to refuse it, although the authorities 
stated that it took their breath away ! The Commander- 
in-Chief suggested as an alternative the conversion of a 
battalion of Rifles and a regiment of Hussars into Camel 
Corps, but this proposal was found unsuitable if quality 
as well as quantity were to be considered. The more 
the question was studied the more clearly it was realised 
that Wolseley's demand for picked men was the only 
practicable suggestion under the special conditions which 
this extraordinary expedition involved. 

' General Stephenson was in command of the troops in Egypt. 


Lord Wolseley further asked permission to name many 
of the regimental as well as staff officers whom he wished 
to be employed a point which was yielded, though 
the innovation was warmly deprecated by eminent mili- 
tary personages. Colonel the Hon. R. Talbot, First 
Life Guards, was appointed to command the Heavy Camel 
Regiment, and the officers accompanying the Household 
Cavalry contingent were Major the Hon. C. Byng and 
Lieutenant Lord Rodney, First Life Guards; Major Lord 
Cochrane and Lieutenant Beech, Second Life Guards; 
and Major Lord A. Somerset and Lieutenant Lord 
Binning, Royal Horse Guards. Each detachment con- 
sisted of i corporal-major, 2 corporals of horse, 2 cor- 
porals, i trumpeter, and 38 troopers. As many as 8 
officers of the Household Cavalry were employed on 
Special Service including Colonel Burnaby, Captain 
Brocklehurst, Lieutenants Peel, Pirie, Sir John Wil- 
loughby, Sir George Arthur and Leigh, and Surgeon- 
Major Melladew. The Heavy Camel Regiment assembled 
at Aldershot and was there inspected by the Duke of 
Cambridge on September 24th, embarking two days later 
on board the Deccan. 

On arrival at Cairo it encamped at the Pyramids, and 
proceeded by train to Assiut, and by barge and steamer 
to Assuan, where the camels were taken over and the 
Heavy Camel Regiment became a reality. The march 
to Wady Haifa and Dongola was begun on November 
6th, and Korti, the advanced post on the Nile, was 
reached on December 23rd, the Guards Camel Regiment 
Corps having arrived there a week earlier.* 

Lord Wolseley's firm belief in the practicability of 
navigating the Nile in whaler boats had been entirely 
justified, but, in spite of almost superhuman efforts, the 

* During this march Trooper Clements, R.H.G., was accidentally 
drowned at Sohag. 


progress of the flotillas laden with infantry and stores was 
necessarily slow, and it had become evident that, if 
Gordon were to be relieved, a dash by the mounted 
troops across the desert from Korti to Shendy must be 

To Sir Herbert Stewart, in whose skill and daring Lord 
Wolseley had unbounded confidence, the leadership of this 
flying column was entrusted. He started on December 3Oth, 
1884 the day before Gordon's last message " All right ! " 
came into camp. His force, which included some of the 
" Heavies " and " Lights " acting as transport, and the 
Guards, reached Jakdul Wells on January 2nd, 1885. 
Leaving Jakdul the same day in charge of the Guards, 
he returned to Korti, having marched 200 miles in six 
days. Here he put himself at the head of his main 
force, which included the Heavy Camel Regiment, half 
a battery of the Royal Horse Artillery, two squadrons 
of the igth Hussars, the Mounted Infantry, the Sussex 
Regiment and part of the Essex, and the Naval Brigade. 
With these he finally left Korti on the 8th. The column 
marched in light order ; no tents or baggage were taken, 
and water was carried on the camels with an allowance 
of three pints per man per diem. 

Stewart was back again at Jakdul on the I2th, where 
he picked up the Guards, and leaving part of the Sussex 
to garrison the Wells, he advanced on Metemmeh on 
the I4th. Early on the morning of the i6th a party of 
the igth Hussars, under the present General Sir John 
French, on whom all the scouting duties devolved, got 
into touch with the enemy, and at noon Stewart was 
informed that the Arabs were located in force between 
his column and the wells of Abu Klea. The march, 
however, was continued into the narrow valley leading 
to the Wells, a halt being called in the late afternoon, 
when a zariba was constructed for the bivouac. The 


enemy was on the move all night, beating tom-toms 
and keeping up a fairly brisk but comparatively harm- 
less fire. At dawn on the iyth the British force stood 
to arms. All camels, except those carrying ammunition, 
were left behind in the zariba ; the troops proceeding on 
foot, and the Naval Brigade dragging their brace of 

The zariba being left, a square was formed of which 
the accompanying plate gives a diagram.* 

As the men rose from the slight hollow in which they 
had bivouacked, a heavy fire was opened on them, directed 
chiefly on the right flank, where several casualties occurred. 
After moving a short distance the guns were dismounted 
from the camels and played against groups of Arabs on 
the high ground to the right and right rear. It was at 
this early period that Lord St. Vincent, the adjutant to 
the Heavy Camel Regiment, received his fatal wound, 
and Lieutenant Beechf was also hit. Skirmishers were 
sent out from the Heavy Camel Regiment, and suc- 
ceeded in silencing the fire directed on the rear flank. 

After a very slow progress of about two miles the 
enemy's flags, which had for some time been in sight, 
suddenly became animated. A large body of Arabs 
sprang up about 700 yards off, and advanced as if to 
attack the left leading corner of the square. The square 
was moved on to a slight knoll, a movement which caused 
the exclusion of many of the camels. The Gardner 
machine-gun, from which wonders were expected, was 
brought through a gap on the left face, but after firing 
a few rounds it got jammed and became useless. 

From the wady on the left a dense mass of Arabs, 

* For the diagram I am indebted to an article contributed to 
the Nineteenth Century of January, 1886, by Colonel the Hon. Reginald 
Talbot, C.B. 

t In the spring Lieutenant Longfield came out to replace him. 


hitherto concealed by the scrub, were now seen advancing 
upon the left face of the square. The Heavy Camel 
Regiment's skirmishers, who were still out, exchanged 
shots with the enemy's sharpshooters ; they did not per- 
ceive the impending attack on the square, and had to 
make a desperate rush to get back into it. The last 
but one to get inside was Major Byng; the last man 
was overtaken and speared. 

On the heels of our skirmishers came a large body of 
fiercely fanatical dervishes, for the most part armed with 
spears, though a portion of them carried Remington 
rifles. They were led by their chiefs on horseback. 
Undeterred by the firing, they hurled themselves at a 
momentarily vulnerable point of the square. The men 
of the Fourth and Fifth Dragoon Guards had a few 
moments before been wheeled outwards by Colonel 
Burnaby, probably in order to render their firing more 
effective. The instant he saw the assault on the rear 
of the square, Burnaby dashed out in front of them, 
ordering them to wheel back. Before they could do 
this, some of the leading Arabs rushed in through the 
gap made at the left rear corner. In the desperate hand- 
to-hand fight which now followed Burnaby was the 
first to fall, receiving as he lay on the ground a mortal 
wound in the neck. Corporal Mackintosh, of the Blues, 
rushed out of the square to try to save his command- 
ing officer, and paid for his gallantry with his life an 
act for which, had he lived, the V.C. would surely have 
been his reward. 

At this moment a squadron of Baggara tribesmen 
mounted on black horses charged the right rear angle of 
the square, where the Household Cavalry were posted. 
They were met with deadly volleys from the Life Guards, 
Blues, and Bays, and apparently not one escaped. 

It was remarked afterwards that not a single Arab 

penetrated the ranks of the Guards, Mounted Infantry, 
or Household Cavalry, or those of the Bays, who were 
their immediate neighbours. It is of course true that 
their portion of the square did not sustain the full fury 
of the main attack, but an authoritative tribute has been 
paid to their steadiness and to the deadly accuracy of 
their fire. 

For five minutes the fight raged at fever heat ; the 
din of battle inside the square was such that no word of 
command could be heard, and every man had to act 
on his own impulse. As soon as the inside of the square 
had been cleared, and the last Arab who penetrated the 
formation had been despatched, the outside assailants, 
who had been heavily punished by gun and rifle fire, 
slowly drew off, with abortive demonstrations of a desire 
to renew the fight. When the column reached the Abu 
Klea wells, it was to find that they yielded only a limited 
supply of very turgid water. 

Stewart's force described afterwards by Moltke as " a 
band, not of soldiers, but of heroes " had by sheer pluck 
and muscle beaten off a fanatical attack against over- 
whelming numerical odds ; but in a few short minutes the 
tale of casualties mounted to 74 killed of whom 9 were 
officers and 94 wounded. Of the enemy, whose strength 
is estimated on the best authority at not less than 16,000 
men, 1,100 dead were counted close to the square.* 

* Slatin Pasha informed Colonel Talbot that, while a prisoner at 
Khartum, he had ascertained from the dervish leaders and from returns 
showing the tribes and the numbers engaged at Abu Klea, that they 
consisted of the best fighting men the Mahdi had; that they were 
despatched direct from Khartum when he heard of the march of the 
British force across the Bayuda desert; and that not less than 16,000 
men took part in the fight. 



I. As ffte/ Saajarvlefb the'. 



J3 Heavy Camel | 

I . I. 


/ //// 

7 /// 





re, Quuyc,*na defo/ered 

XotnUJIiifarUy "" Ouardi 



. / / 


ILL/ i / '/ 

i ' / / ' / 

(By kind permission of the " Nineteenth Century Review. 1 ') 


THE early part of the next day, January i8th, 
1885, was spent in building a small fort for the 
wounded, who were to be left in care of the 
Sussex Regiment. Stewart the same after- 
noon determined to push on to the Nile. A little after 
4 p.m. the column set off to strike the river three or 
four miles above Metemmeh. Every imaginable difficulty 
attended the night march. The camels were exhausted, 
as well as ravenous with hunger, the drivers fell asleep 
and lost control over them, the soldiers most of whom 
had had no sleep for two nights were dead beat, and 
in the darkness the greatest confusion often prevailed. 

Eighteen miles had been traversed when, very early in 
the morning of the igth, the line of the Nile was sighted 
about six miles distant, but its welcome appearance was 
discounted by observing that the enemy had posted them- 
selves in the interval.* Stewart quickly recognised that it 
would be impossible to reach the river without another 
fight. The camels were collected together and a zariba of 
brushwood, saddles, and boxes formed, whilst the men in- 
dulged in a short rest and a scanty breakfast. The enemy 
kept creeping closer and closer, and maintained a hot fire 
from the long grass in which the) 7 crouched, and which 
diminished the effect of the return fire. One of the first 
to be struck was the gallant Stewart himself. His wound, 
which unhappily proved mortal, necessitated the command 

This force consisted of dervishes who came from Metemmeh and 
Shendy, and who were not of the same tribes as those who had fought 
two days before at Abu Klea. 

H.C. II. Y Y 


being vested in Sir Charles Wilson, who decided, after 
consultation with Stewart, to put the zariba in a condition 
to resist any sudden rush, to leave his baggage within it, 
and to form a square and fight his way down to the river. 
These preparations took some time, and many casualties 
occurred before the square marched off at three o'clock. 
The start was a signal for increased activity on the part 
of the enemy, and officers and men dropped quickly ; but 
to the general satisfaction it was soon perceived that 
another Arab charge was about to be launched. With a 
downhill course in their favour, the Arabs charged with 
even greater impetus than two days before, but on this 
occasion they had not the luck to find the square masked 
by skirmishers, and the steady fire which was poured into 
them mowed down their front ranks to a man. Only one 
Arab got within 100 yards of the square, and although 
the horsemen followed the onslaught of the spearmen, 
they too kept at a respectful distance, and in less than 
five minutes from the inception of the charge a ringing 
British cheer marked the flight of the enemy at top speed 
and in all directions. The way to the Nile was now 
opened, and half an hour after dark a bivouac on its bank 
was established, Sir Charles Wilson having gone on ahead 
to select a suitable spot close to the village of Abu Kru. 
The casualties in the British force on this day amounted 
to i officer and 22 N.C.O.'s and men killed, with 8 officers 
and go N.C.O.'s and men wounded. 

The following morning a portion of the force moved 
back to the zariba, making a detour towards Metemmeh 
and occupying the village of Gubat, where the wounded 
were left with a guard of the Heavies and the Sussex 
Regiment, in command of Lord Arthur Somerset. The 
march to the zariba and back to the river the same after- 
noon was but slightly interfered with by roving sharp- 
shooters, who inflicted no injury. 


On the 2 ist a demonstration was made against 
Metemmeh. While the attack was proceeding, four 
steamers sent by Gordon from Metemmeh on December 
I4th landed some native troops, who brought news of Arab 
reinforcements being on them arch from Khartum. Strict 
economy in ammunition being considered necessary, the 
attack was suspended, and after destroying three villages 
Wilson retired to his position at Gubat. 

Colonel Wilson started by river on January 24th for 
Khartum with 200 soldiers, Gordon having insisted that 
the sight of British red coats would have a great moral 
effect.* When on the 28th he arrived outside Khartum, it 
was to receive the tragic intelligence that the place had been 
captured by the Mahdi two days before, and that Gordon 
himself had been killed. There was nothing to be done 
but to put about and return down stream. Wilson's 
passage to Gubat was hotly opposed ; he himself was 
wrecked, and the whole party was rescued with great 
difficulty by a little expedition from Gubat hurriedly 
organised and ably commanded by Lord Charles Beres- 
ford. On the morning of February 4th Wilson rejoined 
the camp at Gubat, and two days later left for Korti with 
a small escort. 

Meanwhile early on January 23rd a convoy of 1,000 
baggage camels escorted by 300 men left Gubat for Gakdul 

: " Twenty men of the Royal Sussex Regiment came up to Khartum 
with us on the two steamers. Their red tunics had been sent up 
specially for them to wear on arrival at Khartum, in order that the 
Khalifa's men should realise that British troops had arrived. They did 
not wear their red tunics on the way up the river from Metemmeh, and 
as far as I recollect the tunics went to the bottom of the Nile when 
the steamers were wrecked coming down from Khartum. In one of 
Gordon's last letters or telegrams, before he was completely cut off, he 
used the words, ' a handful of British troops dressed in red coats are all 
that are necessary.' But that was many months before we arrived." 
(Letter from Brig. -Gen. the Hon. E. Stuart Wortley, January 

Y Y 2 

under command of Colonel Talbot, with Lord Cochrane 
acting as guide. Marching as much as possible at night, 
to avoid any attention on the part of the enemy, the convoy 
reached Gakdul on the 26th loaded up with stores and 
ammunition, and arrived again at Gubat on the 3ist after 
a slight brush with the enemy. 

At 3 a.m. the next morning Lieutenant Stuart Wortley 
arrived in a rowing-boat from the wreck of Sir Charles 
Wilson's steamer, with the terrible news of Gordon's 
death. That evening at nine o'clock a convoy composed 
as before and with all available camels again left for 
Jakdul, under instructions to pick up at Abu Klea as many 
of the sick and wounded in all 189 men as were fit to 
travel. Lord Cochrane once more acted as guide, and 
himself pushed on to Korti with a despatch carrying the 
news of the fall of Khartum and the death of its hero. 

On February 8th the return convoy left Jakdul for the 
river, and with it marched on foot the i8th Royal Irish. 
Also accompanying it were Sir Redvers Duller and Major 
Kitchener, the former of whom had been ordered by 
Lord Wolseley to assume command of the force at Gubat, 
his duties as Chief-of-the-StafT being temporarily taken 
over by Sir Evelyn Wood. On his arrival at the front on 
the nth Duller carefully reviewed the situation, and came 
to the conclusion that the immediate evacuation of Gubat, 
and the retreat of the force which was entirely "in the 
air " was imperatively necessary in view of the advance 
of a very large body of the Mahdi's men, now available 
through the fall of Khartum. 

On the night of February i3th all stores which could 
not be carried away, a large quantity of camels' saddles* 


and other equipment, were thrown into the river. With 
the first streak of dawn on the I4th the force, 1,700 strong, 
marched out of Gubat. All officers and men, with the 
exception of the igth Hussars, were on foot. One 
emaciated camel was allotted to every four men to carry 
saddle-bags and blankets. The force was followed by a 
small body of Arab cavalry, who did not attempt any 
offensive movement much to the chagrin of the troops, 
as a final set-to was eagerly hoped for. 

Buller, on the morning of the I3th, had sent off all the 
sick and wounded, inclusive of Sir Herbert Stewart, again 
in charge of Talbot. Those who were able to limp 
were on foot, those totally unable to walk were carried 
on stretchers by Egyptian soldiers. The convoy was 
attacked about eight miles from the river by a force which 
extended itself round three sides, and kept up a fairly 
well-directed fire for about an hour and a half. A party 
advancing on the convoy's left flank was mistaken for the 
enemy, and received with a vigorous volley fortunately 
not a well-directed one, as the body turned out to be the 
Light Camel regiment coming up from Jakdul. This 
reinforcement decided the enemy to retire after firing a 
final round, the convoy having sustained casualties of two 
killed and six wounded. 

The convoy reached Abu Klea early the following 
morning, February I4th, without further interference.* 
The column arrived there on the i6th. Buller had 
intended to make a general halt at Abu Klea, but the 
water-supply proved to be quite insufficient for so large a 
force, camel forage was entirely lacking, and the transport 
was near vanishing-point. He therefore decided to send 
forward the rest of the Heavies, with the Guards and igth 
Hussars and the mob of Sudanese fugitives, who were 

' Sir Herbert Stewart died in the desert on February i6th, and was 
carried into Jakdul and buried in a ravine on the 


the difficult charge of Major Gascoigne, late Royal Horse 
Guards. Buller, with the remainder of his force, stood fast 
at Abu Klea, harassed daily by the enemy, till the 23rd, 
when he received instructions to return to Korti. It had 
been decided to recall the river column which under great 
difficulties and amid considerable opposition was labo- 
riously making for Merawi and to abandon any further 
forward movements until the autumn. 

Buller's quiet evacuation of his fortified camp, embar- 
rassed as his men were by the attentions of daily increas- 
ing hordes of the enemy, was on a par with every 
other detail of his masterly retreat across the Bayuda 

Talbot with his convoy left Jakdul on the 23rd* and 
halted for some days at Megaga Wells, where he was 
joined by the rest of his corps, who busied themselves 
with such comparatively light work as building " pepper- 
box " forts and improving access to the wells. 

On March jth the Heavy Camel Regiment, very fit but 
rather footsore, was back at Korti. Its strength on 
leaving Korti on January yth had been 411 of all ranks. 
Now, two months later, the total was 296 a shrinkage of 
115. An inscription on the walls of the Temple of Philae, 
since submerged, records the losses of the Heavy Camel 
Regiment during the operations of 1884-5^ On March 
loth the Regiment began to float down-stream to Hafir, 
where it was ordered to encamp until the autumn weather 
should be propitious for Lord Wolseley to set his troops in 
motion again to recapture Khartum, " smash the Mahdi," 
and avenge Gordon. But soldiers propose and politicians 
dispose, and thirteen long years were to elapse before the 

* A sad accident occurred just before the force quitted Jakdul. 
Trooper Grant of the Blues fell into the upper well and was drowned. 

f For a transcript of this record, which was inscribed by direction of 
General Talbot, the Colonel commanding the Regiment, see APPENDIX. 


capture, the " smashing/' and the vengeance were effected 
by the grim perseverance and brilliant coups de main of Lord 
Kitchener.* Early in May the evacuation of the Soudan 
by British troops was decided on, and on June 2nd the 
Heavy Camel Regiment, whose monotonous life at Hafir 
was rudely interrupted by a destructive camp fire, began 
its homeward movement. The Heavy and Guards' Camel 
Regiments embarked at Alexandria on July 3rd, and on 
arrival in Cowes Roads on the I4th received the notification 
that the Queen herself would inspect them that morning 
in the grounds of Osborne House. At noon, accordingly, 
the two Corps were drawn up on the lawn, the Queen 
alighted from her carriage, and paid her rather ragged 
soldiers the signal honour of walking down their lines, sub- 
sequently addressing them in terms of gracious welcome 
and gratitude, and causing all the officers to be presented 
to her. 

A scene of enthusiasm was further in store for the 
Heavies and the Guards on the following day, when 
they marched from Waterloo Station to Wellington 
Barracks, where, amidst a concourse of kindly friends, 
the Duke of Cambridge spoke a few soldierly words of 
congratulation on their work, and of deep regret that 
their losses which included the sad death of a trooper in 
the ist Life Guards on board the transport that very 
morning had been so serious. 

On Saturday, the 2Oth, the Household Cavalry con- 
tingent of the Heavy Camel Regiment was welcomed 
and inspected by the Prince of Wales at Regent's Park 
Barracks. Officers and men were subsequently enter- 
tained to luncheon and regaled with an exhibition of 

* At the fall of Khartum in September, 1898, several Household 
Cavalry officers were present, attached to the Egyptian army or to 
the 2ist Lancers. Major Brinton, Second Life Guards, was severely 


haute dcole riding by the octogenarian, Mr. Mackenzie 
Grieves, formerly an officer of the Royal Horse Guards. 
A few months later the detachment of the Second Life 
Guards, being stationed at Windsor, enjoyed the supreme 
distinction of having their medals affixed to their breasts 
by the hands of their beloved Sovereign herself. 


THE Philae inscription is here reproduced 






SOUDAN 1884-5 











N.C.O. & MEN 




N.C.O. & MEN 






N.C.O. & MEN 





N.C.O. & MEN 






N.C.O. & MEN 





N.C.O. & MEN 






N.C.O. & MEN 







N.C.O. & MEN 





THE long-smouldering hostility of the two Boer 
Republics in South Africa towards the Suzerain 
Power burst out into a flame in the autumn 
of 1899, President Kriiger on October nth 
declaring war against the British Empire. Troops were 
at once sent to South Africa, not only from England, 
but also from India : Canada, Australia, and the Colonies, 
moreover, taking part in the defence of the Empire. It 
was decided that recent precedents should be followed 
as to the inclusion of the Life Guards and Royal Horse 
Guards among the troops to be sent to the front. On 
October 2Qth orders were received that a full squadron 
should be furnished from each regiment of the Household 
Cavalry, to form part of a composite Household Cavalry 
Regiment for service in South Africa. The strength 
of each squadron, besides officers, consisted of 2 corporal- 
majors, 10 corporals of horse, i farrier, 8 corporals^ 
3 corporal shoeing-smiths, 158 troopers, and 2 trumpeters. 
The officers appointed to the Regiment were : * 

Colonel Audley Neeld, Second Life Guards (in Com- 

Colonel Galley, First Life Guards (Second in Com- 

* Drafts afterwards came out with Lt. Colonel Miles, Captains Lord 
Sudley, FitzGerald and Mann-Thomson, and Lieutenants Sir George 
Prescott, Sir John Campbell, Rose, Brassey and Adrian Rose. 



Major Carter 

Captain Milner 

Prince Adolphus of Teck (in charge of Transport) 

Captain Clowes 

Lieutenant Lloyd Phillips 

Lieutenant Henderson 

Lieutenant Waring 

Lieutenant the Honourable G. Ward 

Major Anstruther Thomson 

Captain Peel * 

Captain Ferguson 

Captain Ellison (Adjutant) 

Lieutenant de Crespigny 

Lieutenant Surtees 

Lieutenant Spender Clay 

Lieutenant the Honourable A. O'Neill 

Lieutenant the Earl of Wicklow 

Captain Fawsett, R.A.M.C. (Medical Officer) 

Major Fen wick 

Captain Vaughan-Lee 

Captain Ricardo 

Lieutenant the Honourable R. Ward 

Lieutenant the Honourable A. Meade 

Lieutenant the Honourable D. Marjoribanks 

Lieutenant the Duke of Roxburghe 

Captain Drage (Veterinary) 

Lieutenant and Quartermaster Stubbs. 
A number of other Household Cavalry officers were em- 
ployed. Lieutenants Garden, Lord Kensington, and the 
Honourable M. Bowes-Lyon were attached to the I2th 

f Captain Peel, one of the most popular officers in the Household 
Cavalry, died of enteric fever at Bloemfontein on April i6th, 1900. 


Lancers and loth Hussars. On the Staff and on Special 
Service were Colonel Brocklehurst; Majors the Honourable 
C. Bingham and W. Anstruther-Thomson ; Captains the 
Honourable A. Stanley, H. C. Eraser, Walker, H. Grenfell,* 
Hamilton Stubber, the Earl of Longford, Brinton, Wilson 
and Villiers; Lieutenants Cookson, Gordon, Cavendish, 
the Honourable F. Guest, Trotter, the Marquess of 
Tullibardine,t the Honourable R. Molyneux and Viscount 
Crichton ; and Captain Hall (Riding Master).J 

The Regiment was inspected at Regent's Park Barracks 
by the Prince of Wales on November loth, and on the follow- 
ing day Queen Victoria, who had travelled overnight from 
the Highlands, drove to the Cavalry Barracks at Windsor 
to bid good-bye to the Household Cavalry Regiment. 
The Queen having inspected the line, mass was formed, 
and Her Majesty said to the soldiers of her bodyguard : 

I have asked you, who have always served near me, to come here, 
that I may take leave of you before you start on your long voyage to a 
distant part of my Empire, in whose defence your comrades are now so 
nobly fighting. I know that you will always do your duty to your 
Sovereign and Country wherever duty may lead you, and I pray God 
to protect you and bring you safely home. 

On November 2gth the Regiment proceeded by special 
train to Southampton, part of it embarking on board the 
Maplemore, with Lieutenant-Colonel Neeld, Second Life 
Guards, in command. The ship sailed at 4 p.m. the same 
day. It was December 5th before the remainder of the 
Regiment sailed on board the Pinemore, under command 
of Lieutenant-Colonel T. C. P. Calley, First Life Guards. 

The transports arrived at Table Bay on Christmas Eve 
and December agth respectively. At Christmas the 

* Commanding Brabant's Horse. 

f Commanding ist and 2nd Scottish Horse. 

| The Government accepted the services of a very large number 
of ex-Household Cavalry officers, inclusive of the Earl of Dundonald, 
of Ladysmith fame ; Lord Lovat, who raised and commanded Lovat's 
Scouts ; and the Earl of Erroll, who commanded a brigade. 


Queen telegraphed : " I wish you all, my brave soldiers, 
a happy Christmas." 

The Household Cavalry Regiment on landing proceeded 
to Maitland Camp. The Queen, on New Year's Day, 
telegraphed again : " I wish you all a happy New Year. 
God protect you ! " 

On January 3rd,* being ordered to join General French 
at Rensburg in the central field of operations near 
Colesberg, where French had been operating since 
November the Regiment left the same evening in four 
trains, detraining at Arundel on the 6th, and marching 
thence eight miles to Rensburg. During the rest of the 
month the Household Cavalry Regiment had a full share 
of the fighting, as will be seen from the following diary 
kept by an officer of the First Life Guards : 

January 7th. In a reconnaissance made by the Royal Horse Guards 
squadron an officer and four men were taken prisoners. 

9th. The ist and 2nd Life Guards' squadrons, with the Carabineers, 
New Zealand Mounted Rifles, and New South Wales Lancers, marched 
to Slingersfontein, about twelve miles, and took up a position on the 
Boers' left flank. 

loth. A reconnaissance made by the ist Life Guards' squadron and 
a squadron of Carabineers, with two guns, under Lieutenant-Colonel 
Galley, found the Boers in a strong position covering the east of 

nth. In a reconnaissance in force made under Colonel Porter, the 
Carabineers' and ist Life Guards' squadrons occupied a kopje, and 
were nearly surrounded before receiving orders to retire. Major Carter, 
however, made good his retreat without loss. A heavy swarm of 
locusts, coming up at a critical moment straight in the Boers' faces,, 
undoubtedly prevented many casualties, the fire being very heavy. 
Lieutenants the Honourable G. Ward and Lloyd Phillips rode back 
with great gallantry to bring out men who were unhorsed. 

1 3th. The Boers shelled the camp about 1.30 p.m., the whole force 
immediately turning out and driving off the enemy without any loss. 

1 8th. The Household Cavalry Regiment moved east to Potfontein 
about 7 miles. 

1 9th. On a reconnaissance being made towards Achterstang station, 



the Boers were found in great force. The ist Life Guards' squadron 
returned to Slingersfontein, that of the 2nd Life Guards being detached 
under Colonel Remington at Kleinfontein. 

25th. Another reconnaissance in force ; the Boers being found in 
great strength with a long-range gun. 

February ist. The Household Cavalry Regiment re-assembled at 

The long ten weeks' drama enacted round Colesberg, 
though lacking the sensational results beloved of " the 
gallery," was based on a very definite plot. General 
French by his masterly tactics had kept a large Boer 
force at bay, had held them back from a raid southwards, 
and had from his central position done much even to 
decide the whole future of the war. 

In his despatch of February 2nd, referring to the events 
of the previous month, the General made special mention 
of Major Carter, First Life Guards, for " skill and resolu- 
tion in leading," and of Lieutenant C. C. De Crespigny, 
Second Life Guards, for "great gallantry in bringing 
wounded men out of action." 

On January 2Qth General French had been summoned 
by Lord Roberts to Capetown, and was by him entrusted 
with the responsible task of the relief of Kimberley. The 
Regiment, still included in French's command, formed 
part of the cavalry force ordered to Modder River, at 
which village Lord Methuen, ever since December nth 
the grim and gloomy day of Magersfontein had, except 
for two successful raids, remained quiescent in camp. 
This pause lasted for three months, pending first the 
arrival of Lord Roberts, and next the collection at Modder 
River camp of the large force with which he intended to 
advance on Bloemfontein. 

Though Bloemfontein was his principal objective, Lord 
Roberts was bent on the immediate relief of Kimberley by 
a rapid cavalry movement. As a result of this step his 



own left flank would be protected on the march to Bloem- 
fontein, and his line of communication from menace by 
Cronje ; while the Boers' line of retreat from Magers- 
fontein would be cut. It was essential that the 
concentration of French's force should be concealed 
from the enemy. The Boers were to be deceived by the 
despatch of an expedition under Macdonald, who, with 
the Highland Brigade, some of the gth Lancers, and a 
field battery, was sent a considerable distance west of the 
camp on February 3rd to seize Koedoesberg Drift. 
There was some sharp fighting, and three days later it was 
decided to support Macdonald with cavalry, consisting of 
the Household Cavalry Regiment, the 2nd Dragoons, a 
portion of the 6th Dragoons, and the loth Hussars the 
whole forming a brigade under Babington. The enemy 
having been driven off, Macdonald's entire force rejoined 
Methuen at Modder River camp on February 8th. The 
diary says : 

February 2nd. Entrained for Modder River. 

3rd. Arrived at Modder River. 

7th. The Household Cavalry Regiment, with all available cavalry 
marched at n a.m. about 10 miles west to Koedoesberg, where the 
Highland Brigade and gth Lancers were engaged. A sharp engage- 
ment, during which the Household Cavalry were ordered to charge, 
but were stopped by a wire fence.* They then retired under cover 
of darkness to Koedoesberg Drift and bivouacked. 

8th. Marched out at 4.30 a.m., and were engaged all day. Marched 
back after sunset to Modder River by the south side of the river, over 
some 17 miles of rough ground, arriving at midnight. 

Lord Roberts, being now ready to commence the 
advance on Bloemfontein, ordered French to start on 
his movement for the relief of Kimberley, a town of 
40,000 inhabitants, which stood a siege from its invest- 
ment on October I2th, 1899, till its relief on February 
1 5th, 1900 being held during this time by an efficient 

Two Troopers R.H.G. were wounded at this spot. 


volunteer force, stiffened by four battalions of the North 
Lancashire Regiment. 

French's cavalry the largest mounted British cavalry 
division that had ever worked together was distributed 
as follows : The ist Brigade, under Porter, consisted of 
the Carabineers, the Scots Greys, and part of the Innis- 
killings ; the 2nd Brigade, under Broadwood, included 
the Household Cavalry Regiment, the loth Hussars, 
and the I2th Lancers; and the 3rd Brigade, under 
Gordon, was made up of the gth and i6th Lancers, with 
seven batteries R.H.A., two brigades of mounted infantry, 
some Royal Engineers, Australians and Rimington's 
Guides. In this division the cavalry numbered 2,754 of 
all ranks; the Royal Horse Artillery, 1,321. 

The concentration of this force was contrived with 
great secrecy, a small body, left to face the enemy at 
Colesberg, being judiciously spread out to look as large 
as possible. 

On the evening of February gth Lord Roberts, 
addressing the officers and men, told them that he 
entrusted to them the relief of Kimberley, adding that he 
knew they would rejoice at an opportunity of maintaining 
the British Cavalry's splendid traditions, and that they 
would use the utmost haste and energy to relieve a town 
whose situation had become desperate the besieging 
Boers, now in possession of another gun, being engaged 
(so he was informed) in shelling not merely the men of 
the garrison, but the women and children : " You must 
relieve Kimberley, if it cost you half your forces." * 

* Lieutenant the Hon. A. M cade's account of the events between 
February ist and gth is included in the APPENDIX to CHAPTER. 


BY the kindness of the Earl of Clanwilliam * is here 
given the first of several extracts from his MS. journal 
of the War. The opening paragraphs narrate the House- 
hold Cavalry Regiment's earliest experiences of actual 
campaigning in South Africa. By the writer's permission 
the original narrative has been slightly compressed. 

January 3rd, 1900. Capetown. The Regiment had a field-day. 
Whilst out we received orders to entrain in two hours' time. Orders 
reached us at n a.m. ist and 2nd squadrons entrained first, the Blues 
last. The horses and baggage filled five trains. 

6th. Arrived at Arundel, where we detrained. We marched to 
Rensburg camp, about 12 miles, reaching it at 6 p.m. 

yth. The Blues squadron was detailed as escort for General French, 
to go as light as possible, with only 45 rounds of ammunition. We 
paraded at 8 a.m., moving off in an easterly direction, parallel to the 
Boers' position, for about three hours, the horses being very tired after 
their long railway journey. I was sent off with a troop to inspect 
ground for a new camp. At a distance of two miles I found the 
squadron holding two kopjes, about 150 feet high, with the enemy to 
their front and north. General French, finding these unoccupied by 
the Boers, had told Fen wick to " hold them till seriously attacked, 1 * 
and that the camp was to be transferred to that spot. The General 
and his staff had then returned to Rensburg, 7 miles off. The 
squadron had now been 3 hours under fire, having started out with 
only 45 rounds per man. Shortly afterwards the enemy opened on us 
with the guns. Fenwick then ordered a retirement, the Boers galloping 
down on our eastern flank. The enemy were firing at us from our 

Lieutenant the Hon. Arthur Meade, R.H.G., promoted Captain 
February, 1900; served in South African War with the Household 
Cavalry Regiment and on the Staff ; also in the latter stages of the 
war with the Imperial Yeomanry. 

H.C. II. Z Z 


right as well as from behind. I found the remainder of the squadron 
making a stand by a wire fence, and eventually they stopped the enemy. 
We returned to camp at 5 p.m., having lost 4 men and 6 horses two 
of the latter from exhaustion. It was very lucky that any of us got 
away at all. 


ON the morning of February nth, at 3 a.m., a 
start was made with the great " Cavalry Rush 
for Kimberley." The course lay through 
Ramdan across the Riet River at De Kiel and 
Waterval Drifts and at Klip Drift, Cronje's force being 
passed on the right. French's celerity of movement took 
the Boers unawares, and he seized the Drifts without 
many casualties. On February I5th he found the enemy 
posted in two strong positions in front, separated from 
each other by a defile. French instantly decided on one 
of the boldest cavalry moves on record. 

Taking with him the 2nd and 3rd Brigades, and 
forming them in extended order, he galloped at best speed 
through the defile to some low hills beyond the gth, 
i6th, and lyth Lancers heading the charge and from 
there was able to cover the advance of the rest of the troops. 
The Boers offered some opposition, which was overcome 
without serious fighting, and on the same evening 
Kimberley was reached and its garrison relieved. The 
diary has the following record : 

February nth. The Household Cavalry Regiment, brigaded with 
the loth Hussars and I2th Lancers under Brigadier- General Broad- 
wood, marched with the Cavalry division under General French to 

1 2th. Marched at 2 a.m. over bad ground in pitch darkness. We 
eventually had to halt till daybreak, then moved on towards De Kiel's 
Drift, coming into touch with the enemy about 7 a.m., and turning 
their left flank, while the Mounted Infantry secured the Drift. The 
Regiment bivouacked on the north bank of the River Riet. 

Z Z 2 


1 3th. A long, hot, waterless march of about 20 miles to Klip Drift 
on the Modder River, no opposition being offered beyond a few 
" snipers." The Drift and the kopjes beyond, including a Boer camp, 
were occupied at dusk. 

1 4th. The ist Life Guards' squadron occupied a kopje covering 
the Drift, and were engaged at long range.* 

1 5th. At 9 a.m. the Naval guns and Infantry came up and took 
over the position. The Cavalry and Horse Artillery moved out and 
immediately came under a heavy fire from the Boer guns. General 
French immediately gave the order to advance. The Division then 
advanced at a gallop in three lines, the gth, i6th and lythf Lancers in 
the First Line ; the Household Cavalry Regiment, loth Hussars and 
1 2th Lancers in the Second Line the Household Cavalry on the 
right ; and the Carabineers, Greys and yth Dragoon Guards in the 
Third Line. The whole Division galloped about three miles, cutting 
the enemy's position in two, and forcing them to retire hurriedly. After 
a short halt, the Division marched on to Alexandersfontein, where a 
deputation from Kimberley met General French and reported that the 
siege was raised. The last gun was fired on Kimberley about 2 p.m. 
in view of the Troops. 

No water all day ; twenty horses died of exhaustion in the Household 
Cavalry alone.J 

The General and his Staff, riding ahead of the column, 
entered the town amid loud and continuous cheering. He 
had carried out to the letter his promise to Lord 
Kitchener " I promise faithfully to relieve Kimberley 
at 6 on the evening of the I5th, if I am alive." 

Next morning, the i6th, at 3.30 a.m., French advanced 
to the northern outskirts of Kimberley, where the enemy 
held several positions, and where the ist Cavalry Brigade 
(Porter's) had heavy fighting. There was still to be 
little rest, however, for French's cavalry division. Lord 
Roberts's first great move against Cronje, the Boer 
General who had been opposed to Methuen, required the 
co-operation of French's cavalry. Just after midnight 

* The entire Household Cavalry Regiment was thus employed 
throughout the i/j-th. 

f The inclusion of the i7th Lancers is not mentioned by other 

J A description of these events furnished by Lieut, the Hon. A- 
Meade, R.H.G., is given in the APPENDIX. 


Lord Kitchener sent to say that Cronje, who had on this 
day been sighted by Kelly- Kenny, attacked, and harassed, 
had abandoned his position, and to ask French to cut off 
the Boer General's line of retreat. At 3.30 a.m. on the 
1 7th Broadwood's brigade and the Carabineers, who were 
comparatively fresh, accompanied by G and P Batteries 
R.H.A., started from their camp at Alexandersfontein 
7 miles distant from Kimberley to perform this important 
task. Cronje was aware of the relief of Kimberley on the 
1 5th, and of the operations to the north of the town 
the next day. He believed that French's cavalry were 
still waiting to intercept him in that direction. Acting 
on this idea, he would not proceed westwards and 
northwards, but determined to strike eastwards for 
Bloemfontein, running the gauntlet of French's force 
to the north, and of Kelly-Kenny's to the south. But, 
just when Cronje supposed French was acting to the north 
of Kimberley, the British cavalry division reduced by 
judicious pruning of ineffective horses to a total strength 
of 1,200 was advancing diagonally south-eastwards for 
Koedoesrand Drift, the point at which French calculated 
that Cronje was sure to have fixed upon at which to cross 
the Modder. 

French's supposition proved to be correct, and his 
calculations were exact. He headed off Cronje at this 
very point, and this successful coup was one of the most 
brilliant and striking pieces of work carried out during 
the campaign. 

Soon after 10 o'clock on the morning of the I7th the 
British force, after a 35 miles' march, reached the high 
block of rough country named the Koedoesrand. It was 
ascertained that Cronje and all his army believed to 
number 6,000 men with several guns with a waggon 
train three miles long, was slowly moving eastwards along 
the north bank of the Modder in blissful unconsciousness 


of French's near approach. The sudden appearance of 
the British was a bolt from the blue. 

Precisely at 12.45 P- m - tne S rst shell & rQ d ^7 P Battery 
and falling close to Cronje's leading waggon, as it stood 
with its drivers just ready to descend into the Drift 
spread consternation through the Boer commandos. 


THE most conspicuous cavalry exploit of the War was 
the bold and successful dash made by Sir John French with 
the Cavalry Division for the relief of Kimberley, followed by 
the prompt heading-off of Cronje at Paardeberg. On this 
memorable movement Lieutenant Meade's Journal sheds 
fresh light. The Cavalry Division was formed at the 
Modder River camp and placed under General French's 
command on February loth. But the story of the 
Household Cavalry Regiment's part in these stirring 
events begins a little earlier with the reunion of its 
component squadrons at Rensburg on February ist. 

Rensburg t February ist, 1900. The First Life Guards rejoined us 
here at 7.30 a.m. from Slingersfontein. The Second Life Guards came 
in about 1 1 o'clock ; so we are all together again. 

2nd. The First Life Guards entrained and left Rensburg by 1 1 a.m. 
The Blues squadron got away by 2 p.m. 

3rd. Arrived at Orange River station to discover that we were 
ordered off to Modder River. They have been simply pouring in 
troops there, and all the Cavalry is assembling at that point. We 
arrived at 4.45 at Modder River, a huge camp. The country here, 
after Rensburg, looks perfect for cavalry, and just beyond the hills 
they say it is flatter still. 

4th. The 2nd Life Guards arrived during the night and detrained 
at daylight. People can't make out what we are by our badges, and 
I was asked by two separate people, first, if I belonged to the Naval 
Brigade, and secondly, if to the i6th Lancers ! 

8th. At 10 a.m. orders came to turn out immediately. We were 
all out by 10.15 i.e., the Household Cavalry Regiment, the i6th 
Lancers, one squadron of loth Hussars, one squadron of i2th Lancers, 
and two batteries of R.H.A. and then proceeded to relieve Macdonald's 
brigade of Highlanders and gth Lancers at Koedoesberg, 20 miles 
away. Macdonald was in a tight place. We got on to the enemy's 


right flank the Blues in advance. We bolted the enemy from their 
position, dismounted and fired at from 1,000 to 2,000 yards, bowling 
over a few. We remounted and advanced, and a hot fire was poured 
in on our left flank we losing 3 men out of my troop, 2 slightly 
and i dangerously wounded. The latter, riding next to me, was 
shot through the arm and chest, the bullet just missing the heart- 
We retired at dusk across the Modder River and bivouacked at 1 1 p.m. 
The Regiment lost 9 men wounded and 1 1 horses killed. 

gth. Leaving camp at 4.30 a.m. we advanced and found yesterday's 
position unoccupied ; so we had done some good yesterday driving the 
enemy back. Retiring, we reached camp at Modder River by mid- 
night. A very tiring march and we were all dead beat, having had 
nothing to eat or drink since 4.30 a.m. 

loth. We have had orders to start at 3 a.m. to-morrow the whole 
cavalry division, nine regiments of cavalry. General Lord Roberts 
came round the lines at 5 p.m. He told the Colonel we were going 
on a job we should remember to the end of our lives, adding that a 
message had been received from Kimberley to the effect that the 
Boers had brought up a 29-pounder gun and killed several of the civil 
population ; that the latter had had enough of the fighting ; and that 
Kimberley would not be able to hold out longer than four days. 

nth. We started at 3 a.m., arriving at Ramdan at n a.m. a 
distance of 24 miles. There was here collected a splendid mobile 
force of 4,000 cavalry, 4,000 mounted infantry and 72 guns (7 horse 
batteries and 5 field batteries) ; besides one division of infantry. We 
are making a dash for the relief of Kimberley, and we shall have to go 
jolly fast to reach it in time. Orders arrived at 8 p.m. to parade 
to-morrow at 1.40 a.m. 

Koffyfontein, Rift River, i2th. Arrived here to-day at 2 p.m. Leaving 
camp at 1.50 a.m. we marched for about 4 miles in pitch darkness and 
over ground full of stones and holes. A halt having been called for 
daylight the advance was resumed. My troop was again sent out in 
advance. We saw only a few of the enemy and drove them back. 
The first shot was fired by the Boers at 5.57 a.m. Our guns came into 
action at 6.15. The enemy were then driven across the river. The 
Household Cavalry dismounted and lined some kopjes about 3 miles 
from the river. The enemy, outflanked, retreated in full flight. We 
crossed and watered our horses in the Riet at this point 30 yards 
wide and quite fordable. The Boer losses were 64 and two prisoners ; 
also a German officer. Having waited here till 5 p.m. we received 
orders to bivouac. 

Klip Drift, Modder River, i3th. The cavalry, mounted infantry and 
guns began at 9 a.m. to advance straight upon this place. The 
enemy's scouts fired the first shot at 1 1 .50. Our guns opened on the 
Boers at 12.15. We arrived at the Modder River at 4.12. The 


enemy were completely surprised : two commandos fled, leaving their 
camp and everything standing. We captured their convoy and looted 
it, and it was found to contain food, clothes, rifles, ammunition, gold 
and silver watches, etc. This was a splendid performance, the surprise 
and rout of the enemy being absolute and complete. We had one 
officer wounded. We came a terrific pace and our horses were done 
up, many being lost probably about 30. 

i4th. Remained here all day. About 30 horses died of exhaustion 
in camp, the Household Cavalry, however, losing none. We saddled 
up at 3 a.m. At n the Blues went to line some kopjes outside the 
camp. We were continually sniped at till relieved at 3 p.m. The 
Boers nearly got Lord Airlie and Colonel Fenwick,* who rode up 
behind me, but I managed to stop the enemy's fire by firing volleys. 

1 5th. We left camp at 4 a.m. to relieve the Tenth Hussars on a 
kopje. We occupied the farm at which we had been firing yesterday, 
and returned to camp at 7 a.m. At 8 o'clock the naval i2-pounder 
guns, 14,000 infantry, and some mounted infantry came into camp. 
We saddled up at 8.30, and left camp at 9. Directly we started the 
guns got into action, the fire being returned pretty sharply by the 
enemy, who had our range and burst the shells very accurately. Two 
officers and twelve men of the gunners were wounded, besides six 
horses killed and thirteen wounded. General French, without waiting 
for the enemy's guns to be silenced, advanced with the whole 3,000 of 
his cavalry division at full gallop through a valley which was so narrow 
that the regiments were forced to gallop " in mass " the closest 
cavalry formation for a distance of three miles. Away we went in 
the first line ; the Household Cavalry Regiment was on the right, the 
Tenth Hussars on its left, and the Twelfth Lancers again to the left of 
them. General Broadwood, in command of our Brigade, galloped 
throughout ahead of it. We left the astounded Boers firing away at 
us. They were in occupation of the kopjes on our right about 700 or 
800 yards away. Though they fired at and shelled us pretty hard, we 
had very few casualties; only horses were wounded. One man in 
my troop was hurt by a ricochet I think from a shell. So fine a 
performance was worthy of the best cavalry generalship. Not a 
moment was wasted ; the General saw his chance and instantly seized 
it. He has proved himself, to my mind, a true cavalry soldier, full of 
dash and, above all, full of pluck. Moreover, it was an enormous 
success, for it effected the relief of Kimberley. The Division halted at 
a well twelve miles from where we started. When the march was 

Henry Thomas Fenwick, b. 1863, R.H.G. '85, 2nd in com. R.H.G. 
1 99, So. African war '99-1900 (despatches), D.S.O. 'oo, M.V.O. '01, 
It.-col. com. R.H.G. 


resumed the Household Cavalry Regiment was in advance. The 
enemy all cleared out from before Kimberley, and General French 
dined in the town with Cecil Rhodes. The Division must have lost 
quite 100 horses from exhaustion. We encamped about seven miles 
from Kimberley. 

De Beers Farm, i6th. The Kimberley horses are all done up. 
There is no news of our led horses. We have nothing to eat and are 
very hungry indeed. The Blues squadron left camp at 1.30 p.m. to 
hold a farm about one mile away. We found a bag of flour, which we 
mixed with water and ate, to fill up the chinks ! 

iyth. " Fighting " orders came to turn out at 3.20 a.m., nobody 
knowing what for. My troop had dwindled down to twelve. At 9 a.m. 
we stopped at a farm and watered the horses and got some vegetables. 
Proceeding in an easterly direction by a forced march of twenty-five 
miles, we found the enemy on the Modder River at 12.45 P- m ' The 
guns came into action, as did we behind the guns. The enemy used 
ring shell which, though bursting all round us, did no harm. They 
withdrew their guns from our fire, and then we advanced. It turned 
out that Broadwood's Cavalry Brigade, viz., the Household Cavalry 
Regiment, the Tenth Hussars, the Twelfth Lancers, and two batteries 
R.H.A., had come out to head off Cronje's force on its way from 
Magersfontein, and to hold it till the infantry should come to our 
support. The latter, under General Kelly-Kenny, did not arrive till 
4 p.m., and all we could do was just to hold the enemy. Cronje's 
convoy was very large about 100 waggons. We went out to hold 
some kopjes, and only lost two horses shot. At 6 p.m. one squadron of 
the Tenth about seventy strong went out to reconnoitre. A terrible 
fire was opened on them, and in a few minutes they lost two men 
killed and three wounded. Our horses had nothing to eat, and were 
not watered till midnight, five miles off, and we got back at 1.45 a.m. 

In Action at Modder River (Paardeberg), i8th. Our guns kept the 
Boers awake last night and shelled the drift, thus preventing their 
taking the convoy away. The infantry, under General Kelly-Kenny, 
advanced on the enemy's left flank, and we brought together a con- 
verging fire on them from the front and from two flanks. We knew 
we had got them in a hole. At 7 a.m. the Blues squadron was sent 
out to our right flank. At 10.30 there was a tremendous fusillade. We 
went forward to hold a kopje in front, but had to withdraw. We went 
back to a farm, encamped there and watered, and thank goodness ! 
got something to eat. 


FRENCH had headed off Cronje : so far it was well. 
But could he contain the enemy till the arrival of 
reinforcements ? French had still to prevent his 
enemy from pushing past him, even with the loss 
of his waggons and field-guns. He decided to attack at 
once. Cronje tried artillery fire, but it was harmless and 
presently ceased. Then the Boers tried to seize some 
high ground in a commanding situation, but a squadron 
of the loth Hussars raced them for it, and with success. 
A squadron of the Household Cavalry Regiment was 
brought up to occupy this advanced post, and continued to 
do so till next day. It was found that Cronje was holding 
the river-bank. Another Boer force, which arrived during 
the day, was held well in check by the lath Lancers. The 
British squadrons bivouacked in their positions. French 
was greatly relieved in mind next morning on finding that 
Cronje had not given him the slip during the night. He 
signalled by heliograph to Lord Kitchener that he had 
headed off the enemy, shelled him for 20 hours, prevented 
him from moving, and held another Boer force in check. 
Throughout the I7th the situation remained nearly 
unchanged, while French awaited the coming of the 

Kelly-Kenny's division did not get into touch with 
Cronje much before 7 a.m. on the morning of the i8th. 
Cronje was laagered in the hollow of the Modder. The 
1 8th brigade (Stephenson's) was located to the south-east 
of his position, and the I3th brigade to the south ; while 


the Highland brigade and part of Colvile's division 
attacked the enemy from the south-west and west. On 
the other side of the river the igth brigade (Smith- 
Dorrien's) operated, and French's cavalry kept the enemy 
hemmed in on the north and north-east. 

The battle of Paardeberg, fought on the i8th, continued 
the whole day, the troops pressing the attack on both 
flanks, but meeting with very stubborn opposition. The 
Boers were in and about the river bed, their main laager 
being on the north bank. The fight, which was mainly an 
infantry action, was long and bloody, and among the 
wounded were Generals Knox and Macdonald. At nightfall 
the enemy still held on to his entrenchments, though his 
laager, waggons and ammunition were destroyed. 

From the igth to the 27th the British daily worked 
nearer and nearer to the Boer lines. On the latter date 
the Canadians, under a heavy fire, succeeded during the 
night in completing a new trench close to and enfilading 
some of the enemy's lines. Cronje saw that the game 
was up, and at dawn he surrendered. 

The events of these stirring days, so far as they affect 
the Household Cavalry Regiment, are thus recorded in 
the diary : 

February lyth. Turned out at 2.30 a.m. and marched east. The 
2nd Brigade and two batteries R.H.A. arrived at Kamilfontein at 
11.15 a.m., when a large force, with a long train of waggons, was 
reported to the south-east. General French ordered the brigade 
forward at once, and it occupied ground overlooking the Modder River, 
where the Boers were seen crossing the Drift. An artillery duel 
commenced, and the ist Life Guards' squadron occupied a kopje on 
the Boers' left rear, where they remained all night, having to send their 
horses four miles to water at Kamilfontein. 

1 8th. The infantry arrived from the West and more Artillery. 
The Boers were heavily shelled and a convoy set on fire. The 
Squadron returned to Kamilfontein on relief. No food for men 
or horses. 

igth. The Regiment was employed in investing the Boer 


2oth. Advanced to Koedoesrand Drift to hold the east end of the 
Boer position. 

2 1 st. The ist and the 2nd Life Guards' squadrons, the gth 
Lancers, and two Batteries, turned out at 4.30 a.m., crossed the 
Koedoesrand Drift, and advanced into a plain, surrounded by kopjes, 
where a heavy fire was opened; then retired and turned the south kopje 
and moved on towards Kitchener's Hill. The Boers, about 800 strong, 
made a sudden attack on the column when entangled in wire fences. 
The Household Cavalry Regiment formed up and returned the fire, 
while the Artillery disengaged themselves from the wire fence, and 
opened with shrapnel, when the Boers hurriedly retired and evacuated 
Kitchener's Hill. Lieutenant-Colonel Galley's horse was shot, and he 
himself was injured by the fall.* 

23rd. The Household Cavalry Regiment marched to the South of 
the Modder River and joined the remainder of the 2nd Brigade. 

25th. The ist Life Guards' squadron moved to Banksdrift. 

26th. Returned to our former bivouac on relief. 

27th. The ist Life Guards were out on flying column. Cronje 

On March 7th was fought the battle of Osfontein, of 
which Lord Roberts made the following report home : 

We have had a very successful day, and completely routed the enemy, 
who are in full retreat. The position they occupied was extremely 
strong, and cunningly arranged with a second line of intrenchments, 
which would have caused us heavy loss had a direct attack been made. 
The turning movement was necessarily wide, owing to the nature of 
the ground, and the cavalry and horse-artillery horses are much done 
up. The fighting was practically confined to the Cavalry division, 
which, as usual, did exceedingly well. 

The I2th Lancers lost one officer and one private killed; 
a trooper of the 2nd Life Guards was killed, and several 
officers and men in these regiments and in the gth Lancers 
and loth Hussars were wounded Captain De Crespigny, 
Second Life Guards, dangerously. The diary says : 

March 6th. The force advanced to Osfontein. 

7th. The Household Cavalry Regiment moved out with the 2nd 
Brigade to outflank the Boer position. Engaged at 6.30 a.m. The 

* Thomas Charles Pleydell Calley, ist Life Guards 1876, Egypt '82, 
(medal with clasp, Khedive's star), capt. '86, maj. '94, It.-col. '98, brev. 
col. 2nd-in-com. Household Cavalry Regiment in South Africa '99-1900 
(medal with five clasps, despatches), M.V.O., col. com. ist L. G. 


ist Life Guards' squadron was told off to escort the G Battery R.H.A. 
Reached Poplar Grove at 5 p.m. and bivouacked.* 

The march being resumed, the battle of Driefontein was 
fought on March loth. In the advance on Driefontein the 
2nd Cavalry Brigade endeavoured, in conjunction with the 
ist, to turn the rear of the Boers by operating in the plain 
behind the ridge which they were holding. Lord Roberts 
in his despatch says : 

The enemy's guns, however, had a longer range than our field-guns, 
which were the only ones immediately available, and some time 
elapsed before the former could be silenced. 

The Boers were not cleared out of the kopjes until the 
infantry assault was made. 

On March I2th the ist and and Cavalry brigades 
occupied positions to the south and south-west of Bloem- 
fontein commanding the city, and on the I3th Lord 
Roberts made his entry into the capital of the Orange 
State, having with him a total force of 34,000 men. The 
diary account is as follows : 

March loth. Marched at 6 a.m. to Driefontein. Advanced some 
three miles in the dark after the action and bivouacked. 

nth. The ist Life Guards' squadron rejoined the Brigade and 
marched on Asvogel Kop, reaching Blaawboschpan at 2 p.m. 

1 2th. Marched at 5 a.m. to Venters Vlei, then east till dark in all 
about 40 miles. 

1 3th. Marched at 5.30 a.m. and occupied a position on the hills 
near Bloemfontein, when the Boers retired ; marched on six miles to 
Springfield, f 

For the operations up to this date three officers and 
three non-commissioned officers of the Household Cavalry 
Regiment were mentioned in Lord Roberts's despatch. 

* The rest of the Regiment did not go into camp at Poplar Grove 
till 9.30 p.m. (Meade.) 

f Strength of the Household Cavalry Regiment after arrival at 
Bloemfontein, March i8th, 1900. Parade state, Springfield: Officers, 
18; N.C.O.'s and Men, 203; Chargers, 43; Public horses, 175. 
(The Hon. A. Meade's Journal.) 


THE entry of Lord Roberts into Bloemfontein on 
March I3th, igoo, seemed like the beginning of 
the end. It is true that many difficult questions 
as to supplies, hospital stores, reinforcements, 
remounts* and guns had to be faced. On the other hand, 
there appeared to be a growing disposition, at least among 
many of the Boers, to accept the situation cheerfully 
and even to welcome the establishment of the British 

For the purpose of distributing proclamations and to 
complete the pacification of the Orange Free State a 
number of small columns or detachments were despatched 
to various points, many of them isolated from the main 
army. Amongst these was a force of 300 mounted infantry 
sent to secure the waterworks at Sannah's Post on the 
Modder River, twenty-one miles due east of Bloemfontein, 
which derived its sole supply of pure water from this 

Twenty-one miles farther east is Thaba 'Nchu, whither 
was despatched, under French's command, a larger column, 

French's cavalry horses, on arrival at Paardeberg, were reduced 
in number by more than 30 per cent. When Bloemfontein was reached 
the wastage was 60 per cent. Koedoesrand Drift, February 25th. 
Lt.-Col. AudleyNeeld, ist Life Guards, Commanding H.C.R., returns 
the number of horses of the Regiment fit to march with the Cavalry 
Division as follows : Chargers, 59 ; Squadron-horses, 308 ; Total, 367. 
The merits of the Household Cavalry as horsemasters would receive 
ample testimony at the hands of the officer who was responsible for the 
Remounts during the campaign, Colonel Birkbeck. 


composed of 1,500 * mounted troops none too strong a 
force to cope with Olivier's important commando, which,. 
" trekking " north from Cape Colony, was in the Lady- 
brand district, close to the Basuto border. French's 
column included (i) the Second Cavalry brigade under 
Broadwood, made up of 170 sabres loth Hussars and 
130 sabres Household Cavalry ; (2) Alderson's Mounted 
Infantry brigade, in which were combined the 3rd 
battalion Mounted Infantry, Rimington's Guides, one 
squadron of New Zealanders, the Burma Mounted 
Infantry, and Roberts's Horse ; and (3) the Q and U 
Batteries R.H.A. 

French, who reached Thaba 'Nchu on March 2Oth, was 
called away on other duty on the 26th, leaving Broadwood 
in command. In the long line from Bloemfontein to 
Thaba 'Nchu there were only two intermediate links the 
one already named, at Sannah's Post, and another at 
Springfield, eight miles from Bloemfontein. 

Twenty-five miles away to the east of Thaba 'Nchu 
Colonel Pilcher was sent to occupy the Leeuw River 
flour-mills. From thence he went out eighteen miles 
farther east to reconnoitre Ladybrand, but was compelled 
on the approach of Olivier's commando to retire at full 
speed to join Broadwood at Thaba 'Nchu.t 

Meanwhile the Boer leaders, gathered during March at 
Kroonstad, so far from being disheartened, were planning 
an entire reorganisation of their efforts. Younger men 
began to come to the front, and among these Christian 
De Wet was not the least able. With a column of 1,600 
men reduced to a much stricter discipline than any Boer 
commando had ever known before and seven guns, he 
came south from Brandfort on a line roughly parallel with 

* This is the accepted figure. Meade's Journal, quoted in the 
APPENDIX, makes it 800. 


the railway. Learning Olivier's intention to attack 
Broadwood at Thaba 'Nchu, De Wet decided to capture 
the Bloemfontein waterworks at Sannah's Post before the 
little garrison could be reinforced either from Thaba 'Nchu 
or from Bloemfontein. He saw also that he would be 
at the same time cutting across Broadwood's line of 
retreat. On hearing, further, that Broadwood had already 
despatched a convoy destined for Bloemfontein, De Wet 
calculated on being able to capture this also. 

The waterworks were on the west or left bank of the 
Modder River, which here flows due north. Parallel to it, 
at a distance of two and a quarter miles to the west, runs 
the Koornspruit. The Thaba 'Nchu-Bloemfontein road 
passes from the waterworks drift at the Modder to the 
drift on the spruit, the bed of the latter being fifteen feet 
below the level of the plain. On a slight eminence just 
beyond this latter drift lay Pretorius's farm. 

De Wet divided his force into two, sending his brother 
Piet with 1,200 men and the guns to the east side of the 
Modder, while he himself with 400 men went to the west 
of the Koornspruit, lining the bank of the spruit with 
riflemen and occupying the farm buildings. The trap was 
laid; by 4 a.m. on March 3ist the Boers were hidden in 

Thus far De Wet had hoped to capture the garrison of 
the waterworks and the approaching convoy. While it 
was still dark, however, he learnt that Broadwood had 
followed the convoy with his whole force, was already 
across the Modder, and was bivouacking near the water- 
works. Broadwood's abandonment of Thaba 'Nchu was 
obviously the right course ; his original business there was 
not to fight, but to distribute proclamations. It was a 
difficult place to hold, and his small mounted force, entirely 
;< in the air," forty miles away from any support, was over- 
matched by Olivier's commando of 5,000 men. The 

H.C. ii. 3 A 


approach of the latter from Ladybrand decided Broadwood 
to retire by the Bloemfontein road, and he notified Lord 
Roberts to that effect. 

De Wet, undismayed by the advance of the British, 
extended his hopes, and now calculated on ambushing the 
whole of Broadwood's force. 

The unsuspecting British, who had quitted Thaba 
'Nchu at 9 p.m. the day before, did not reach Sannah's 
Post till 4.30 a.m. on the 3ist, when the tired soldiers at 
once bivouacked. With the little garrison they numbered 
i, 800 men all told. Beyond the posting of a few sentries 
a couple of hundred yards off, no outposts were sent out 
in a district so near the capital, and assumed to be clear 
of the enemy, although it is said that Broadwood had 
specially ordered that patrols should reconnoitre the 
country east, south and north not west ! 

At sunrise at 6 a.m. shots were heard from the east, 
from the other side of the Modder. At 6.20 Piet De 
Wet was shelling Broadwood's bivouac. Broadwood 
naturally supposed that Olivier had come up in pursuit. 
The convoy, with its scared Kaffir drivers, dashed off in 
some disorder towards the Koornspruit. The troops soon 
saddled up and began to resume their march westwards. 
The U and Q Batteries, without replying to the Boer gun- 
fire, with Roberts's Horse as escort, followed the convoy. 

Broadwood, as yet suspecting nothing of the ambush 
in front of him, was told of 300 Boers seen galloping 
on the north towards Boesman's Kop, a hill two and 
a half miles to the west of Pretorius's farm. To guard 
against the enemy's seizure of the Kop, he ordered 
U Battery forward to the farm, from which point it 
was to cover the march of the whole force. It was 
presently seen that the waggons of the convoy were 
blocked in the drift, though nothing was known of 
the real cause of this that they were held up by the 


Boers ! No shots being fired, the U Battery continued to 
advance towards the drift, and went right down into the 
spruit to fall instantly into the hands of De Wet.* 
Fortunately, Major Taylor, in command of the U Battery, 
was able to run back and warn Major Phipps Hornby and 
the Q Battery. The latter at once wheeled about, and 
with Roberts's Horse, galloped back for goo yards. Then 
for the first time the Boers concealed in the spruit opened 
fire. Five of the guns of Q Battery were saved, one being 
overturned and abandoned ; and one of the U Battery's 
guns was rescued six in all. Hornby lost no time, and 
he and his men by 8 a.m. had begun firing on De Wet, 
and continued to work the guns so long as there was a 
man left to do it. 

Broadwood, hoping still to retrieve the day, coolly 
planned a counter-surprise for the enemy, to be carried 
out by his cavalry. Three miles higher up the spruit 
there was another drift. The Household Cavalry, under 
the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Fenwick of the 
Blues,t had taken ground eastwards in perfect order, 
and now, promptly performing their allotted part, dashed 
southwards and seized the drift, which they held to the 
end for the other troops to pass over. They worked 
steadily down the spruit under Boer fire, J in order to 
check any attempt of the enemy to extend his line 

Colonel Fisher with the loth Hussars had been sent 

: Meade (Journal) explains that ahead of the column was a nullah, 
which the guns got across. Just ahead again was another nullah, 
shaped in a curve, in which were about 600 Boers. 

f Lt.-Col. Neeld, 2nd Life Guards, its commanding officer, was in 
hospital, while the second in command, Lt.-Col. Galley, ist Life Guards, 
who had had his ribs broken at Paardeberg, was unable to get back to 
take over the command till April 4th, when he joined the Regiment at 

J At this time several casualties occurred, Lieut, the Hon. A. Meade, 
R.H.G., being amongst the wounded. 

3 A 2 


across the spruit under orders to make a detour with 
the object of ascertaining whether Boesman's Kop was 
still occupied by a British force, and then to demonstrate 
against De Wet's rear. 

Meanwhile Alderson and the several bodies of mounted 
infantry were keeping Piet De Wet well at bay ; so that, 
if only the turning movement could have been carried out 
in time, all might still have been well. 

The position was critical, celerity being essential to 
success. Broadwood was unaware that, by Lord Roberts's 
order, Colonel Martyr with 600 men was already on the 
way from Springfield, and that General Colvile with his 
whole division was also advancing from Bloemfontein. 
Broadwood, keenly anxious for his well-planned cavalry 
diversion to " come off," found the Household Cavalry 
Regiment where he had ordered it well holding De 
Wet's right flank. He observed that Fisher, on the other 
hand, across the spruit with the loth Hussars, had made 
very little progress. Replacing the Household Cavalry 
Regiment with the Burma Mounted Infantry, he sent 
the former on to stiffen Fisher, with renewed orders to 
carry out the manoeuvre already described.* 

After waiting till ten o'clock for signs of the cavalry 
attack on De Wet's rear, Broadwood judged that a 
general retreat could no longer be delayed, and this was 
carried out in excellent order, thanks chiefly to Alderson's 
coolness and skill and to Hornby's calm courage in 
working his guns despite all difficulties. The mishap had 

* An officer of the 2nd Life Guards, writes (December i2th, 1908) 
in answer to inquiries : " (i) To the best of my recollection the 
Spruit was dry. (2) The Household Cavalry Regiment seized the 
Southern Drift unopposed, or rather held a part of the Spruit near by 
while the others crossed. (3) I do not remember who took the place 
of the Household Cavalry Regiment at the Spruit, when we were sent 
on to join Fisher and the Tenth at Boesman's Kop, but it must have 
been some M.I." 


indeed been serious, but Lord Roberts entirely exonerated 
General Broadwood from blame. Out of a total of 1,800 
men, nearly 600 were lost the killed and wounded 
numbering 159 ; the prisoners, 421. Of the 12 guns 7 
were captured ; and of the 92 waggons loaded with stores 
only 9 remained, the Household Cavalry losing its kit. 

Such is the tangled story of Sannah's Post. The 
accounts of the cavalry movements are conflicting. It 
has been stated that the loth Hussars were ordered to 
seize and hold the southern drift, and that by some mis- 
understanding they simply crossed the spruit and went 
on, so that the Household Cavalry Regiment had to be 
sent instead. In point of fact the Household Cavalry 
Regiment seized the drift, and covered the crossing of 
the loth Hussars. It is also the fact that the Household 
Cavalry Regiment was sent first into the Koornspruit to 
hold De Wet's right flank, and was afterwards despatched 
across it to join Fisher. Another version, however, ignores 
this latter statement, and represents them as continuing 
to hold their own in the spruit until the general retire- 
ment. The extract from the diary quoted below neither 
confirms this account, nor does it make mention of the 
Household Cavalry Regiment having been sent on to 
co-operate with the other cavalry: 

March lyth. General French inspected the Regiment. 

1 8th. Marched at 3 p.m. in heavy rain to Boesman's Kop, 6 miles 
east, with the loth Hussars and two Batteries. 

i gth. Marched 22 miles to Cameron's Farm. 

2oth. Marched to Thaba 'Nchu, A Half-Squadron occupied a kopje 
to the north of the Town. A Half-Squadron left to hold the town 
under Major Carter. 

29th. Lieut-Colonel Neeld,* Commanding the Household Cavalry 
Regiment, went into hospital with enteric fever. 

' Sir Audley Dallas Neeld, b. 1849, 2nd Life Guards 1871, capt. '81, 
maj. '89, It.-col. '99, com. Household Cavalry Regiment South Africa 
'99-1900 (despatches), com. 2nd Life Guards. 


3oth. The enemy threatened an attack ; we turned out at 1 1 a.m. ; 
held a kopje all day ; retired after dark, and started on the march to 

3 1 st. Were fired on by artillery before turning out ; many shells fell 
among the troops, but there were no casualties. Marched, with the 
waggons in front, towards Boesman's Kop under a continued fire at long 
range. The ist Life Guards' Squadron acted as flank guard on the left 
flank of the column. On Koorn Spruit, at Sannah's Post, being reached, 
it was found to be held by 400 Boers in ambush, who at once captured 
the waggons and 7 guns out of the twelve in the " Q " and " U " Batteries 
R.H.A. The Household Cavalry were ordered to dash to the south 
and capture a drift. The loth Hussars then crossed under cover of 
the Household Cavalry, followed by the remainder of the "Q" Battery 
and the Mounted Infantry ; and the whole force retired to Springfield. 
The First Life Guards had 13 casualties. 

April i st. The Household Cavalry (except the 2nd Life Guards) and 
the remainder of the force, reinforced by the Greys and the Carabineers, 
marched to Water val Drift, to threaten the Boers' flank, while the 
Infantry attacked the Waterworks. The attack was counter-ordered, 
and the Cavalry bivouacked on the Modder. 

2nd. Marched back to Springfield. 

4th. Marched to Bloemspruit. Lieut. -Colonel Calley, ist Life 
Guards, arrived and took over command of the Household Cavalry 

5th. The Household Cavalry were flooded out of their camp by a 
heavy rain, and had to move to higher ground. 


FROM Lieutenant Meade's Journal : 

Bloemfontein, March lyth. General French came to-day and told us 
that Lord Roberts wanted our Brigade to go out to Thaba 'Nchu, to 
remain there a day and then come back. It was a great disappoint- 
ment, as we had been hoping to give our horses a rest and get them fit. 
The idea was that we were to go due east and proclaim peace to the 
Orange Free State people, and get them to lay down their arms. We 
were therefore to be only a weak force. 

1 8th. We paraded in front of our camp at 3 p.m., and the remainder 
of the force joined us. It consisted of the Household Cavalry Regiment, 
the Tenth Hussars, the Q and U Batteries R.H.A., and some mounted 
infantry, viz., Roberts's Horse, the Queensland M.I., and the Burma 
M.I., besides Rimington's Scouts about 800 strong. It was really a 
great feather in the cap of the Household Cavalry their being able to 
undertake the job and compete with light cavalry. We had done all 
the hard work, and now we were turning out in greater strength than 
the others, with our horses looking better. Nobody will ever be able 
in future to say that "the Household Cavalry are useless," or that 
" their men are too big and their horses no good." After a five miles 
march we reached Boesman's Kop, on the summit of which is a 
reservoir which provides Bloemfontein with water. There we spent 
the night. 

1 gth. We went about fourteen miles, passing the Bloemfontein 
waterworks at Sannah's Post, eight miles due east of Boesman's Kop, 
and crossing the same old Modder River for the sixth time. We camped 
at Cameron's Farm. 

2oth. At 4 p.m. we reached our destination, Thaba 'Nchu, a small 
township of fifty houses, built of corrugated iron and stone, and situated 
at the western entrance of a defile. The latter stretches eastwards for 
eight miles, and is enclosed by very high hills. At the western entrance 
is a higher hill, Thaba 'Nchu, 2,700 feet high. 

2 1 st. Colonel Pilcher, with 200 men, a squadron of the Tenth 
(30 strong), and a machine-gun, was sent on to occupy the Leeuw 
River flour mills, twenty-five miles further to the east. The rest of the 


force was distributed about the hills, and only the regimental staff left 
in camp. 

22nd. At 4 a.m. a message came from Pilcher to the effect that he 
was in danger of being cut off, and asking for assistance. The Blues 
squadron was accordingly sent out with a battery, but returned soon 
after noon, on Pilcher being reported all right. It appeared that the 
whole of Groebler's army had come up from the south and approached 
Pilcher, encamping to his left rear, and threatening his line of retreat. 
They abstained, however, from attacking him, being themselves much 
demoralised, and also believing that Pilcher had 18 guns and 3,000 
infantry. Jolly lucky for Pilcher ! 

26th. General French inspected us in the morning, and in the 
afternoon left for Bloemfontein. There was a race meeting for Kaffirs. 
News arrived of the death from exhaustion, at Kimberley, of Corporal- 
Major Blair. There was no better man in the Blues squadron. 

27th. Started with General Broadwood at 5 a.m. to visit Pilcher, 
riding the twenty-five miles in four hours, and reaching the Leeuw 
River flour mills by 9 a.m. Pilcher's position was a very strong one, 
or might have been with more infantry and some guns. He had had a 
very narrow squeak. Having gone out the day before with his force to 
reconnoitre Ladybrand, eighteen miles to the east, he found the town 
covered with white flags. Entering the place, he took the precaution 
of leaving some of the Tenth Hussars outside, with a Maxim to cover 
his retreat should it be necessary. He got the keys of the town at the 
post office, and began destroying ammunition and stores. Suddenly a 
sergeant of the Tenth brought news of the advance of a commando 
from the far side of the town. Pilcher (with the mayor in a cart) and 
his force immediately retired. As the little column cleared out of the 
town, fire was opened on them from some of the houses that had 
previously been flying the white flag. The Maxim opened on the 
commando, checking its advance sufficiently to cover Pilcher's retire- 
ment. He lost five men prisoners and two wounded, but got away 
safely. The enemy having by this time learnt Pilcher's real strength 
began to advance, and on the day we were there (27th) was gradually 
converging on his force from both flanks. A Basuto came in and 
reported the enemy's intention to attack next morning. We left at 
12.30 p.m. for Thaba 'Nchu, on the way meeting a messenger from 
Lord Roberts with a letter ordering Pilcher to come in. We got into 
camp at 6 p.m. 

28th. Pilcher retired from his position yesterday, and arrived this 
morning at Thaba 'Nchu. 


THE affair at Sannah's Post was followed by various 
exhibitions of the Boers' activity in the eastern 
districts of the Orange State. Though they 
scored by the capture of a British detachment 
near Reddersburg on April 4th, they came off only second- 
best at the siege of Wepener from April gth to the 25th. 
Ian Hamilton, moreover, recaptured the Waterworks on 
April 23rd, and this was followed by his immediate advance 
to and occupation of Thaba 'Nchu on the 25th, where 
De Wet and other Boer leaders had brought together 4,000 
men. Two days later French's cavalry arrived, and on 
the 28th his attempt to surround the Boer laager failed of 

Lord Roberts was now ready to begin his memorable 
advance to Pretoria, of which it has been well said that 
apart from its motives and its results, and regarded 
simply as a military achievement it " takes its place 
among the memorable marches in military history." 
On April 2Oth, during its stay at Bloemfontein, the 
Household Cavalry Regiment was reinforced from Eng- 
land by two officers and twenty men drawn from each 
of the three Regiments of Household Cavalry. Lord 
Roberts left Bloemfontein on May 3rd and entered 
Pretoria on June 5th a distance of 300 miles being 
covered in thirty-four days. But for sixteen days of the 
thirty-four the army was halting, so that the average 
distance marched daily was sixteen and a half miles. 


This march was not an isolated movement, but part of 
a convergent advance of several columns along a front of 
600 miles Hunter starting from Kimberley on the left 
flank, Methuen advancing from Modder River camp, and 
Buller operating on the extreme right flank in Natal. 
There being, however, a dangerous gap between Lord 
Roberts's central column and Buller this right flank 
being, as the events of April had shown, specially exposed 
to attack the Commander-in-Chief decided to protect it 
by detaching a strong column to move in a line parallel 
with that of the main army, at a distance eastwards of 
between twenty and forty miles. The command of this 
right wing or Winburg column was entrusted to Major- 
General Ian Hamilton, at this moment in command of the 
mounted infantry division at Thaba 'Nchu, 

At the beginning of May the main or central column, 
together with the Winburg contingent, numbered 38,000 
men ; the other forces brought the total to something over 
100,000. The Boers actually in the field amounted to 
30,000 with, however, a large reserve to draw upon, 
and with the whole country as their base of supply. 

On April 25th Lord Roberts inspected Broadwood's 
Cavalry brigade, still consisting of the Household Cavalry 
Regiment, the loth Hussars and the lath Lancers, which, 
on the 2Qth, in conjunction with Bruce Hamilton's Infantry 
brigade, marched to Krantz Kraal, ten miles north of 
Springfield and fifteen miles E.N.E. of Bloemfontein, 
both brigades being incorporated with Ian Hamilton's 
command. Ian Hamilton himself, being still at Thaba 
'Nchu, was ordered to move ten miles northwards to 
Hout Nek, and thence four miles west to Jacobsrust, 
where he was to be joined by Broadwood and Bruce 
Hamilton, and then to proceed fifty miles N.N.E. to 
Winburg. Leaving French behind at Thaba 'Nchu, Ian 
Hamilton started early on April 3Oth with a brigade of 


mounted infantry, Smith-Dorrien's Infantry brigade, and 
two batteries. The road to Hout Nek is flanked on the 
right throughout its whole length of ten miles by a line 
of hills. These, turning sharply to the west, join the 
Toba mountain. At the point of junction the Jacobsrust- 
Winburg road passes over the hills, which are also crossed 
by another road further east at Hout Nek. 

By nine o'clock the British force, with a long line of 
transport, had its advance guard of mounted infantry across 
the Korama Spruit, seven miles from the start, when it 
was held up by heavy rifle-fire. The enemy was found 
to be occupying the whole line of hills and also the 
mountain, but his principal strength was at the Hout 
Nek pass. 

Ian Hamilton, while holding the enemy on the hills in 
check with mounted infantry, decided to launch an infantry 
attack on Toba mountain, which commanded the road. 
The attack failed, as also, however, did a counter-attack 
by the enemy. At nightfall no progress had been made, 
and the troops bivouacked as they were. 

French, having been asked for reinforcements, sent the 
4th (Dickson's) Cavalry brigade and one battery during 
the night ; a battalion of infantry and a field battery were 
ordered to proceed early next morning, May ist ; and two 
squadrons with two guns were ordered up from Israel's 
Poort to threaten the Toba position on the south-west. 

All the reinforcements having duly arrived by g a.m., 
a force of cavalry was sent on a turning movement round 
Toba, and then an advance of the infantry cleared the 
mountain by i p.m. The British infantry and mounted 
infantry had meanwhile been also attacking the Boer left. 
After a tough resistance, the enemy made good his retreat, 
being suddenly moved thereto by the appearance on 
his right flank of Bruce Hamilton's and Broadwood's 


These two brigades had on the previous day been 
engaged in some vague fighting near Krantz Kraal, in 
which the various commanders were left to their own 
devices. Of several objects in view, one was to help 
Broadwood and Bruce Hamilton to effect their junction 
with Ian Hamilton. There were a good many casualties, 
Broadwood on the right flank not receiving the infantry 
co-operation he needed, losing some men and finding 
himself isolated at nightfall. Next day, May ist, the two 
brigades, with two field batteries and two 5-inch guns, 
reached Jacobsrust, where by the same evening the whole 
Winburg column had concentrated. On May and the 
column halted, being joined by Colvile, who had orders to 
march at some miles' distance to the rear of the column, 
and to assist as need might arise. The diary thus 
proceeds : 

April 25th. Lord Roberts inspected the 2nd Brigade (Broadwood's) 
consisting of the Household Cavalry Regiment, the loth Hussars, and 
the 1 2th Lancers. 

29th. The Brigade marched to Kranz Kraal and joined Major- 
General Bruce Hamilton's Infantry Brigade, the whole force being 
under the command of Major-General Ian Hamilton. 

3oth. Marched at daybreak towards Kaalfontein ; the Cavalry 
turned some kopjes occupied by the enemy, who retired as soon as the 
position was turned, till, arriving at the furthest of the group of kopjes, 
they made a stand, and held the Cavalry off with a heavy fire till 
night. The Cavalry bivouacked as they were and the enemy retired 
during the night. 

May i st. Marched back to Kaalfontein after daybreak, and thence 
towards Thaba 'Nchu. We turned the flank of the Boers' position at 
Hout Nek, which they evacuated ; but they were too strong to allow us 
to attack with any prospect of success. 

2nd. Remained on the ground. 

Ian Hamilton's column had even harder work on the 
march to Pretoria than fell to the lot of the main body. 
Whereas the latter traversed a distance of 300 miles, the 
Winburg force marched 384 miles, and had only eight 



days' halt out of thirty-seven. Their marches were as 
follows : 

April 29th. 

May ist and. 

7th 8th. 






1 7th. 
1 8th. 







Thaba 'Nchu . . . 

Toba . . . . 

Jacobsrust . . . 
Welkom .... 
Winburg .... 
Dankbaarfontein . 

[Halt]. . . . . 

Bloemplatz . . . , ; 
4 m. S.W. of Ventersburg . 
Twistniet . 

Kroonstad . . . 

[Halt] . . > >,' 

Tweepunt >'" . . . 

Elandspruit. . , , 

Lindley . . . v. 

Karroospruit . . , 

Witpoort . . . . 

Heilbron . . t .. 
Spitz Kop . 

Elysium, N. of Vredefort Road 

Wolvehoek . . ^ 

Boschbank . , . - , 

Wildebeestfontein . , 

Cyferfontein , . . 

Doornkop . . f 

Florida \ , '.. , , 

[Halt] . . . . 

Braamfontein * ^, * 

[Halt] . . . . 

Diepsloot . . *.' 

Six Mile Spruit . . 



















For the purpose of comparison there is appended to 
this chapter the complete itinerary of the 2nd Cavalry 
Brigade taken from the Journal of Capt. the Hon. A. Meade, 
R.H.G., and covering, not only the Bloemfontein-Pretoria 
march, but the whole route followed by the Brigade from 

its formation.* 



On May 3rd began the general advance of the British 
army upon the Transvaal capital. Ian Hamilton's action 
had relieved much of the pressure on Lord Roberts's right 
flank. The Winburg force was sent forward to secure 
the drifts south of Winburg. Next day Hamilton found 
himself once more opposed by Philip Botha near Welkom 
Farm. Broadwood, riding at the head of his brigade, 
quickly realised the situation. To his immediate front 
was a force of nearly 4,000 men, and from the direction 
of Brandfort nearly 1,000 men were hurrying along to 
reinforce them. 

It was imperatively necessary to drive in a wedge 
between the converging commandos, and the Blues 
squadron under Captain Lord Sudley* was ordered to 
seize the central knolls of the intervening ridge. 

A desperate race ensued, the Blues gaining the ridge 
as the Brandfort Boers got up to it from the other side. 
The latter, perceiving themselves foiled, swerved to the 
south and joined their comrades on the lowest point of the 
ridge, with the result that the Blues found themselves 
under a galling fire from right and left. Lord Airlie with 
two squadrons of the I2th Lancers, and Colonel Leggef 
with Kitchener's Horse and some M.I., came to their 
support, in their turn just anticipating a band of Boers 
who were mounting the slope from the west. The enemy, 
thus sundered, lost heart, and, without waiting for 
Hamilton's infantry attack to develop, made off at top 
speed, pursued by the shells of the two 5-inch guns ; while 
Broadwood with his cavalry and some M.I. rode on and 
seized the drift over the Vet River at Welkom Farm. 

* Viscount Sudley, b. 1868, succ. as 6th earl of Arran 1901, capt. 
com. R.H.G. squadron of the Household Cavalry Regiment in South 
African war 1900 (brevet major, med. with 4 clasps). 

f Lord Airlie was slightly wounded on this occasion, and both these 
officers were subsequently killed in action. 


The Blues* brilliant bit of cavalry work was not effected 
without paying a heavy price. Lieutenant Rose, dashing 
forward to see what lay beyond the further crest of the 
hill, became the prey of a score of lurking riflemen. He 
fell pierced by a dozen bullets, and half-an-hour later 
entered into his rest. A braver or better young soldier 
never breathed, and the pathos of his death was enhanced 
by the fact that an equally gifted and zealous brother, who 
had done splendid service under Buller, had died a month 
earlier of enteric fever.* 

The diary makes this record : 

May 3rd. Marched to Verheede Vley, 15 miles north. 

4th. Continued the march north at daybreak for about 5 miles. 
Two guns on a kopje about 2,000 yards on our right opened on the 
advanced guard. The Blues Squadron was ordered to occupy a kopje 
to our front, and galloping to it they occupied one end as the Boers 
occupied the other. A sharp skirmish took place, in which the Blues 
had several casualties. Lieutenant the Hon. C. Wyndham, late ist 
Life Guards, attached to the Blues, was wounded in the head. The 
1 2th Lancers' Maxim gun came up on the right of the Blues, and the 
M.I. turned the enemy's flank, who then retired. The infantry now 
came up in support, and the whole force advanced, in spite of a heavy 
fire, to the Drift over the Vet River at Welkom Farm, which was 
seized by the cavalry, under cover of the five guns, without further 

5th. Occupied Winburg without opposition, after a turning 
movement to the west. 

6th. An Officer's patrol of the ist Life Guards under Captain Milner 
was nearly cut off, one man being taken prisoner. 

The difficulty of obtaining supplies for the Winburg 
column, which was sometimes as much as sixty miles from 
the railway, and required daily some fifty waggon-loads of 
food and forage, involved the employment of no fewer 
than 500 waggons drawn by 5,000 mules. 

* Another brother, Lieutenant Adrian Rose, was then on his way 
out with a draft of the Blues. His brilliant career was also cut short 
eight years later by malignant fever. 


AUGUST 28TH, 1900. 

(From the Journal of Capt. the Hon. A. Meade, R.H.G.) 

February nth Ramdan 

1 2th Dekiel . 

1 3th Klip Drift 

1 4th Rest day . 

1 5th Kimberley 

1 6th Rest day . 

1 7th Paardeberg 

1 8th Fighting . 

1 9th Paardeberg Camp 

2oth Rest day . 

2ist Paardeberg Camp 




5 thJ 

6th Osfontein 

7th Poplar Grove . 

g * h j Rest days (2) . 

loth Driefontein 

nth Blaawboschpan 
1 2th 


1 3th Bloemfontein to Springfield 

1 4th Springfield 

15th 1 

1 6th Rest days (3) . * 

1 7th, 

1 8th Boesman's Kop 







Koedoesrand Drift (10 days) . 







288 in 30 







igth Cameron's Farm 
20th Thaba 'Nchu 
2ist \ 


Rest days (9) 


3oth Sannah's Post and 

3 ist Springfield 

ist Waterval Drift 

2nd Springfield 

3rd Bloemspruit . 

29th Krantz Kraal 

3Oth Aanstad . 

ist Fairfield. 

2nd Rest day . 

3rd Verheede Vley 

4th Welkom 

5th Winburg 

6th Grootdam 

^\ Rest days (2) , . . 

9th Bloemplatz 

loth Wildebeestfontein . 

nth ? . . . 

1 2th Kroonspruit . 

Rest days (2) . 

. . . 
Van Dyks Kraal . 
Lindley . 

Rest days (2) . 

De Rust 



Kleinreitspan . 

Arcadia . . 


Wildebeestfontein . 


Doornkop . 

Florida . . . 
3oth Rest day . , ^ 
3 ist Braamfontein . 

I 4 thj 

I 5 th 


1 7th 


i 9 thj 





, 22 














. 16 

. 16 

. 20 

. 10 


. 20 

. 16 

. 12 

. 16 


100 in 17 

H.C. II. 





2nd} Rest days ( 2 ) ' 
3rd Diepsloot 
4th Six Mile Spruit 

Pretoria . 

6th Irene 
7th Rest day . 
8th Zwanelpoort . 

loth/ Rest days W ' 

nth Tweedragt 

1 2th Rest day . 

1 3th Elands River Station 

I4th Rest day . 

i5th Christiana Hall 

1 6th Pretoria . 

I 7 th\ 
2 ist 
24th 1 
26th J 



Rest days (2) . 

Springs . 

Rest days (3) . 

Malan's Kraal 
Villiersdorp (O. R. 

Rest days (2) . 

Aasvogel Krantz 
Paardebock . 

Viljoens Hoek 

C.) . 












461 in 49 














203 in 20 

Rest days (6) 





i 5 th 

Grootelagte . 


1 6th 

Witklip . 


1 7th 

Frieselfontein . 

. 16 



. 14 



. 28 



. 8 


Vaal Kranz . 


. 12 



. 22 




' Stinkhoutboomfontein 


encamped at 


. 18 


K Rest days (2) . 

. . 




. . 

. II 


Wilgebosch Drift . 



3 ist 

August ist, 


Rest days (4) . . , 

Shepstone and back to Wilge- 
bosch Drift . . .26 

Rest days (2) . . . ' . 

Riebokfontein and back . .10 

Rest day . . . . ! 

Bloemfontein . , . 12 

Parys . . V . . 20 

Lindeque Drift , . . 17 

Wetterenden (Transvaal) . 20 

Welverdiend . . .20 

Schoolplatz . , . . 20 

Gwenfontein . . . .29 

Elandsfontein . . . . 8 

Tweefontein . '. . .21 

Brakfontein . , . .10 

Rest day . . . . . 

Klein fontein . . . .21 

Zandfontein . . . .20 

Kaal fontein . . . .18 

Kriigersdorp . . . .22 

2 3 rd/ Rest da y* ( 2 > 

24th Banks Station. . . .24 

25th Kriigersdorp . . . .24 


3 B 2 



August 26th Rest day 

27th Diepsloot . . . ' 15 

28th Pretoria 19 MILES. DAYS. 

540 in 45 

1,592 in 161 


AS the British army rapidly approached Kroonstad, 
their seat of government, the Boer leaders deter- 
mined to make a serious stand forty miles south 
at the Zand River. Louis Botha brought 3,000 
Transvaalers, and De Wet 5,000 Free Staters. The action, 
which was fought on May loth, was the most important 
during the advance on Pretoria, though the results achieved 
seemed disproportionate to the preparations made. 

The Boer right was under Botha's command, the left 
flank, twenty miles away, being held by De Wet. Roberts 
adopted a turning movement by cavalry, French, with the 
ist and 4th brigades and some mounted infantry 4,000 
men in all being sent to the west of the railway to sweep 
round on to Botha's rear ; while Broadwood was to make 
a similar movement on the east. A simultaneous attack 
was to be made on the Boer centre, and Tucker was 
ordered to draw nearer to Hamilton the two acting 
together to force the Junction and Koolspruit Drifts over 
the Zand River. 

On May gth Tucker arrived within three miles of his drift, 
and Ian Hamilton at his. Hamilton, having ascertained 
that De Wet was trying to work round his flank, was 
ordered to come closer to Tucker and to cross with him at 
Junction Drift. 

The double turning-movement was to take place next 
day. French surprised Botha, who was obliged to weaken 
his centre to strengthen his right, with the result that 
French met with considerable opposition, though the 
advance of the centre column was thereby rendered easier. 


Tucker and Hamilton on the right had the chief 
fighting. The infantry occupied the drift on the night 
of May gth. At 5.30 a.m. the two 5-inch guns began a 
big artillery duel, which ended in favour of the British. 
On the left, the centre, and the right the infantry were 
successful. At n a.m. Broadwood, with his cavalry 
brigade, some mounted infantry and one battery, started 
off on his turning movement. By a mistake the battery 
was recalled, and Broadwood could not fulfil his mission 
without it. He, in his turn, fancied that the recall of the 
artillery signified a critical situation on the right flank, and 
proceeded thither to give assistance. Sending a detach- 
ment under Colonel Fenwick of the Blues to occupy 
Ventersburg, he himself chased a Boer convoy, capturing 
some waggons and prisoners. 

The day ended with a general retreat of the enemy, and 
the Winburg column bivouacked three miles south of 
Ventersburg. Next day a turning-movement by French 
on the left settled the fate of Kroonstad, which was forth- 
with hurriedly evacuated by the Boers and on the I2th 
occupied by the British. 

To quote the diarist once more : 

May gth. Marched 10 miles to the Zand River and halted in sight 
of the river. The M.I. on our right were slightly engaged. The hills 
on the further side of the river appeared to be strongly held. 

loth. The action opened with a heavy Artillery duel. The Infantry 
then advanced, and occupied the drift and hills beyond, driving the 
enemy towards the north-east. The Cavalry occupied Ventersburg, 
bivouacking to the east of the town. 

nth. Marched to Blue Gum Spruit, and were joined by the Infantry 
after dark. 

1 2th. Marched to Kroonspruit, 4 miles south of Kroonstad, General 
French with the ist and 4th Cavalry brigades having occupied 

i4th. Lord Roberts inspected the Brigade. 

Kroonstad being abandoned, Heilbron became the 
seat of the Boer Government. During Roberts's stay at 


Kroonstad from May I2th to the 22nd he despatched Ian 
Hamilton on an expedition to Lindley and Heilbron, 
partly in the hope of capturing President Steyn and the 
other members of his Government. The column had 
much trouble about supplies. On May iyth Broadwood 
captured Lindley, which was occupied by an infantry 
brigade next day. Lindley was evacuated on the 2Oth, 
the column reaching Heilbron on the 22nd, and being 
harassed throughout the march. De Wet's convoy of 200 
waggons was, while retreating, pursued by Broadwood, 
who captured 15 waggons and 17 prisoners. The sole 
good result of this expedition was Botha's abandonment 
of his position on the.Rhenoster River. 

Hamilton, after leaving Heilbron, was ordered back to 
the railway, and was presently transferred from the right 
flank to the left, crossing in front of the central column, in 
order to support French. It was an awkward operation, 
but so well timed and well carried out that no confusion 
occurred. Hamilton on the 25th, the day he crossed the 
railway, sent his cavalry under Broadwood to occupy 
Boschbank Drift on the Vaal. On the morrow Broad- 
wood helped French to drive away the enemy from some 
hills east of the Reit Spruit. By that evening the whole 
of Hamilton's column was across the Vaal. The diary 
thus sums up these operations : 

May 1 5th. Marched east to Mereba, 6 miles. 

i6th. Marched to Van Dyks Kraal, 20 miles. 

1 7th. Marched to Lindley, which the Cavalry occupied after some 
sharp fighting. 

2oth. Marched north, skirmishing all day. 

22nd. Captured 14 wagons and some prisoners. Arrived about i 
mile south of Heilbron and bivouacked. 

23rd. Marched 12 miles to Kleinreitspan. 

24th. Marched via Vredefort Road Station to Arcadia and bivouacked. 
This being Her Majesty's Birthday, the whole force sang the National 
Anthem in bivouac. 

25th. Marched to the Vaal and occupied the Drift at Bosch Bank. 

26th. Crossed the river and bivouacked on the north bank. 


. Marched 15 miles to Quaggafontein. 

2 8th. Marched north to Brankorstfontein, where the Brigade halted 
in front of the Boer position. Lieut. -General French, with the ist and 
4th Cavalry Brigades, turned their right flank. 

Although the northward march to Pretoria was never 
stayed, there was occasional opposition on the flanks. 
Soon after the Transvaal had been entered and Johannes- 
burg was being threatened, French found himself in 
difficulties in an attempt on May 28th to occupy 
Rietfontein, 15 miles west of Johannesburg. He made 
a frontal attack Hamilton securing his right flank but 
with little success, and he withdrew by night south of the 
Klip River, intending next day to turn the Boer right. On 
May 2gth he was joined by Ian Hamilton, who decided to 
make an infantry attack in front, while French should 
tackle Doornkop in flank with a cavalry operation to the 
left, Broadwood's brigade being lent him by Hamilton 
for this purpose. The main battle chiefly an infantry 
action, for the artillery took but little part in it is memor- 
able for the charge of the Gordons. Meanwhile the cavalry 
to the west drew away many Boers from Hamilton's front. 
As the infantry gained the ridge facing them, the cavalry 
cleared the Boers from the hills west of the Klip 

On the 3Oth Johannesburg was surrounded, and next 
day surrendered, Ian Hamilton's column going to its 
western suburb, Braamfontein. Mr. Kriiger had left 
Pretoria, and the advance on that city was at once 
resumed. French, as before, was supported by Hamilton, 
and met with some opposition on June 3rd, when the 
Boers were discovered in ambush in a defile. All the 
mounted troops had to dismount and seek cover, the 
enemy being then driven out by artillery. The next day, 
Hamilton, who had marched from Diepsloot, across a 
spruit, was opposed by De la Rey on a ridge west of 


Quagga Poort. A frontal attack seemed too difficult ; 
but to the west, where the hills sloped down into the 
plain, Broadwood's cavalry and some mounted infantry 
were sent to turn the position. This movement, combined 
with a front attack by the infantry, caused the enemy to 
retreat hastily to Pretoria. Next day, June 5th, Lord 
Roberts entered the city. 

Our diarist gives some interesting details : 

May 2gth. Marched north-west and followed General French's 
Division, while the M.I. were holding the enemy. Smith-Dorrien's 
Brigade meanwhile attacked the front of the enemy's position and 
carried it with great gallantry. The Cavalry bivouacked at 
Doornkop, after a short engagement with the enemy, who retired on 

30th. Marched to Florida and bivouacked. 

3ist. Lord Roberts occupied Johannesburg. 

June 3rd. Marched to Diepsloot on the Crocodile River. 

4th. Marched west on a turning-movement, but were ordered back 
to inarch straight on Pretoria. The Brigade was ordered round west 
of Pretoria, but was unable to pass a narrow gorge in the hills south of 
Pretoria, which was not occupied till dark. 

5th. Marched at daybreak straight on Pretoria, which had sur- 
rendered. After a short halt, the 2nd Cavalry Brigade was ordered to 
take up the outposts at Diedepoort, to the north-east of Pretoria. Arrived 
after dark, and the Household Cavalry Regiment occupied the Poort, 
with the remainder of the Brigade 3 miles in the rear. 

It will be evident, even from so slender and defective an 
account of the great march, that the Household Cavalry's 
share in this arduous series of operations constitutes a 
notable addition to its long roll of distinguished achieve- 
ments in the field. The severity of the strain on the 
troops is indicated by the fact that Lord Roberts's central 
column, with the addition of Ian Hamilton's of which 
the Household Cavalry Regiment formed part was 
reduced on the march from 38,000 men to 29,000, a 
diminution of nearly one-quarter of its strength. The 
cavalry suffered most, for, while the infantry loss was 
under 4 per cent, of its total, that of the cavalry 

between Kroonstad and Pretoria alone exceeded 30 per 
cent. The 2nd Cavalry brigade lost 330 men out of 
1,000 between May igth when they left Kroonstad 
and June gth, when the march ended. In default of 
the figures for the whole march these are sufficiently 


UNDOUBTEDLY the capture of Pretoria had 
discouraged the Boers. Their bravery was 
proved and their skill of fight undoubted. But 
the man of war needs more than this for his 
effectiveness. He must have a cause to fight for, and 
something tangible to represent that cause outwardly and 
visibly. The Boers would have been more than human if 
they had not felt disheartened as they realised that their 
seat of government was a railway-carriage. 

Lord Roberts seized the moment to negotiate for peace ; 
but, just when the prospect of ceasing hostilities seemed 
fairest, De Wet's extraordinary successes in the Orange 
River Colony put new heart into and stiffened the necks 
of his gallant countrymen. So it came about that General 
Botha, gathering together 7,000 men with twenty guns, 
took up a strong position on the line of heights fifteen 
miles east of Pretoria. 

Lord Roberts was under no illusions as to the general 
situation. He knew that the cutting of his communications 
by De Wet was a danger to be guarded against ; he knew 
that Botha's tenure of his present position constituted a 
serious menace to Pretoria. For the protection of the 
railway line south he despatched Kitchener with a suffi- 
cient force. For the pushing back of Botha he himself 
now took the necessary measures. 

On June yth Lord Roberts moved out of Pretoria with 
a force variously estimated at 14,000 and 16,000, with six 
heavy guns, sixty-four field pieces and some pom-poms, to 


find Botha occupying a position of great natural strength. 
The Boer General, determined not to be the victim of any 
turning movement, extended his wings till his front along 
a range of steep hills was twenty-five miles long. The 
line faced due west, its centre being the Pienaar's Poort 
station of the Delagoa Bay railway, situated in a ravine. 
To the north ran a broken range of heights. To the 
south extended Donkerhoek and Diamond Hill then a 
gap then, with a slightly eastward trend, Mors Kop. In 
front of Diamond Hill a spur called Kleinfontein ran out 
into the valley through which flowed Pienaar's River. The 
valley, seven miles wide, had for its opposite boundary 
the Tigerpoort range of hills, which with one exception 
were held by the British. The southernmost point of the 
range was occupied by a German corps of the Boer army; 
and some lower plateaux extending across the south end 
of the valley to Mors Kop were held by the Heidelberg 

Lord Roberts never intended to fight a decisive pitched 
battle. His aim was to shift Botha from a dangerous 
propinquity to Pretoria. For this reason he held his 
centre back from any advance on the enemy's centre. 
Here Pole-Carew, with the Guards' brigade, some heavy 
artillery, and some mounted infantry, was stationed with 
orders to demonstrate with his guns. French, with the 
ist and 4th cavalry brigade, was in command of the left 
wing, and was sent to attack the northern extremity of 
Botha's position. On the right, Hamilton was to assault 
Diamond Hill with his 2,200 infantry and 2,300 mounted 
infantry ; while his cavalry was to turn Botha's left flank. 
Ian Hamilton selected Broadwood's brigade, numbering 
700, inclusive of the Household Cavalry Regiment, to 
make a dash through the gap of which mention has been 
made, in order to reach Elands River station on the 
railway in Botha's rear. For the execution of this 


movement Broadwood was to be supported on his right by 
Gordon's 3rd cavalry brigade and on his left by Ridley's 
mounted infantry. 

The design, however, was frustrated. Gordon found 
the German corps on his flank and the Heidelbergers in 
his front too strong to be disposed of until the Derbyshire 
Regiment with two guns and some M.I. could lend him a 

Gordon then followed up Broadwood in the latter's 
easterly advance, and, though the Boers on the right flank 
fired on him at close range, he successfully held a low 
ridge on Tweedragt and thus covered Broadwood's right, 
whose left was well looked after by Ridley's M.I. 

As the three mounted brigades crossed Pienaar's River, 
they were heavily shelled from Kleinfontein, besides being 
under the Heidelbergers' fire from their right rear on the 
south. Broadwood detached the loth Hussars to the 
right to hold the enemy in check on that side. Just then 
some Boers from Diamond Hill had come down to dispute 
his passage. A section of Q Battery R.H.A. was ordered 
to sweep the way, but with its slender escort it came 
under the enemy's heavy fire at close range. Broadwood 
instantly sent the I2th Lancers to clear the front. At the 
head of sixty men Lord Airlie dashed off on his errand, and 
succeeded in driving away the Boers from the guns. At 
that moment, however, a strong party of Germans were 
sent down from Diamond Hill and under shelter of some 
rocks opened fire at point-blank range. Lord Airlie, 
having accomplished his special task, had barely given 
the word, " Files about," when he was mortally struck by 
a bullet, and before his party could get back two more 
officers and several men were hit. 

Meanwhile the Boers on the right had crept up in 
front till they were within 200 or 300 yards, when they 
attempted to rush the guns on foot. Against them were 


hurled two squadrons of the Household Cavalry Regi- 
ment under Colonel Calley.* The Life Guards and Blues, 
shouting with delight at the prospect of really getting in 
a blow, pounded over some mealie-fields in which lay 
hid a number of Boers, who fired at the cavalry from 
their places of concealment. The First Life Guards 
charged on the left of the line, the Royal Horse Guards 
on the right. The gallop had lasted for nearly a mile 
when Colonel Calley led the First Life Guards to the left 
and occupied some kraals. Captain Lord Sudley with the 
Blues went to the right, where they took up a position 
on a low ledge of rocks barely affording cover. Later on 
the Blues were reinforced by the Second Life Guards 
under Major Anstruther-Thomson.t The Boers, however, 
declined the invitation, and dispersed in all directions 
rather than gratify the troopers' evident desire to come 
to close quarters ; and the further pursuit had to be 
abandoned owing to the horses' exhaustion. But the 
charge had saved the guns. The Regiment suffered the 
loss of one man killed and twenty-one horses hit. 

Broadwood was now able to keep a ring for the opera- 
tions of the infantry, whose bold advance up Diamond 
Hill was more successful than French's attempt to turn 
the Boer right. At nightfall on June nth both flank 
attacks had failed, and both wings of Lord Roberts's 
army were left in awkward positions. But Ian Hamilton 
had good prospects of piercing the Boer line at Diamond 
Hill, and an attack was therefore ordered for next day. 
On the 1 2th, Ian Hamilton having received support from 
Pole-Carew, the attack on Diamond Hill began shortly 

A v V \ 
The Fifteenth also charged in pursuit of the enemy. (Meade's 


f Charles Frederick St. Clair Anstruther-Thomson, b. 1855, joined 
2nd Life Guards '74, major '95, South Africa '99-1900, D.S.O. 'oo, 
it.-col. com. and Life Guards. 


after noon. The crest of the hill was ultimately rushed 
and was soon cleared of the enemy, who, however, retired 
to a strong position further east. 

Ian Hamilton now held the whole of the Diamond Hill 
plateau, the key of the Boer position, and during the 
ensuing night Botha evacuated the whole of his line. Ian 
Hamilton at once gave chase. The mounted infantry 
caught the Boer rearguard, driving them away in confu- 
sion. On the right Broadwood's cavalry pursued the 
fugitives to the railway below Witfontein, and were then 
recalled to bivouac at Elands River. Lord Roberts had 
carried out his special purpose, and his troops were brought 
back to Pretoria to rest and refit. 


THE Household Cavalry Regiment, after three 
days' rest in their bivouac outside Pretoria, 
marched on June lyth to Olifantsfontein, the 
initial stage in a "trek" which, if marked with 
comparatively little fighting, was to test their powers of 
endurance to the uttermost. The great De Wet hunt 
was about to begin, and the and Cavalry Brigade was 
placed under Sir Archibald Hunter, General Ian Hamilton 
being temporarily incapacitated by a serious accident. 
On June igth Captain the Hon. A. Meade, R.H.G.^ 
was appointed Provost Marshal to Broadwood. A 
few days later Lieut, the Earl of Wicklow, Second Life 
Guards, was appointed Signalling Officer to the same 
General ; and on July 3rd Captain Lord Sudley, R.H.G., 
was appointed his Acting D.A.A.G. The itinerary is thus 
recorded : 

June igth. Marched to Olifantsfontein. 

2oth. Marched to Kleinfontein. 

2 1 st. Marched to Springs. 

22nd. Marched to the Nigel Mine, north of Heidelberg. 

23rd. A deep fog in the morning; moved off as soon as the fog 
lifted ; cleared the kopjes to the east, and occupied Heidelberg. 

2yth. Marched to Malan's Kraal under the command of General 
Hunter, General Hamilton having been injured by a fall. 

28th. Marched to Kaalspruit. 

2gth. Marched to Villiersdorp on the Vaal River. 

3Oth. Marched to Potsdam. 

July ist. Occupied Frankfort, and released 13 prisoners of the 
Derby Regiment. 

3rd. General Macdonald joined the force with a convoy. Lieut. - 
Colonel Miles arrived and took over the command of the Household 


Cavalry/ 11 Lieutenant the Hon. G. Ward brought up 51 men and 
56 horses. 

4th. Marched to Aasvogel Krantz ; a hard frost. 

5th. Marched to Vlakfontein, on the road to Reitz. 

6th. Occupied Reitz. 

From Reitz Hunter sent the 2nd Brigade to Vil- 
joens Hoek, twenty miles south, where Broadwood 
received a heliograph message from General Clements 
that he and General Paget had occupied Bethlehem. 
Here two days later Hunter assumed command of the 
Eighth Division, consisting of the I2th Brigade, the 
2nd Cavalry Brigade, the 2nd M.I. Brigade, the Highland 
Brigade, and two batteries R.F.A., besides Paget's and 
Clements* Brigades. It was hoped with some confidence 
to corner the enemy, who, about 7,000 strong, had retired 
southwards and taken up naturally strong positions in 
the recesses of the Brandwater Basin. 

De Wet was fully alive to the danger of his situation, 
and made immediate preparations to quit. He succeeded 
in making good his own escape northwards on the night 
of July I5th with 2,600 men, 4 guns and 460 waggons, 
over Slobbert's Nek. The great Boer leader left strict 
injunctions that the rest of his men were to follow in his 
wake twelve hours later, but, with the exception of one 
small band of Free Staters, he was destined to see no 
more of his following under arms the surrender ot 
Prinzloo to General Hunter occurring a fortnight later. 

De Wet's escape was quickly discovered by Broadwood, 
who on the I5th had been despatched along the Senekal 
road, and who now with his own brigade, strengthened by 
700 M.I. under General Ridley and two days later by the 

* Charles Napier Miles, ist Life Guards ; b. 1854, lieut. '75, capt. 
'82, Egypt, camp. '82 (medal and clasp, Khedive's bronze star), major 
'95, It.-col. ist L.G. '95-1902, com. Household Cavalry Regt. in 
S. African war from July 'oo (despatches), C.B. 'oo, M.V.O. 'or. 

H.C. II. 3 C 


ist Derbyshire Regiment and two guns R.F.A. with some 
other details, hurried off in pursuit. Broadwood had 
been advised from headquarters that De Wet's objective 
was Heidelberg, and he was recommended to take that 
direction himself. Relying, however, on his own more 
" up-to-date " information, he assumed the responsibility 
of launching his force en fair and striking out for the 
railway. Had he shirked this bold resolution, De Wet 
would most certainly have captured a convoy of first-rate 
importance in the neighbourhood of Lindley, and have 
further destroyed the railway-line at Rhenoster. Even 
as it was, he managed to blow up the line in two 
places on two consecutive occasions. 

A slight skirmish occurred on the i6th, but it was not 
until three days later that Broadwood fairly trod on his 
enemy's tail at Palmeitfontein, where, in a sharp action 
with Theron which lasted until dark, he did some serious 
damage, with a loss to himself of twenty-one officers and 

That same morning De Wet himself had knocked up 
against Colonel Little and his Brigade, seven miles from 
Lindley which, by the way, had just been evacuated for 
about the fifth time. Although in superior force, De Wet 
contented himself with preventing Little from joining 
Broadwood, and then hurried on to the railway line, which 
he reached on July 2ist. He crossed it himself at Serfon- 
tein, and, being occupied with his convoy, abstained 
from molesting a passing train. Theron, however, who 
traversed the line a few miles off at Honingspruit, being 
unencumbered by baggage, held up another train, helped 
himself to everything he wanted, and cheerfully rejoined 
his leader. 

Broadwood reached the railway at Roodeval late on 
July 22nd, but, hampered by bad drifts and handicapped 
by lack of supplies, was unable to get in a blow at his 


enemy, who, lobbing steadily along, had arrived at 
Mahernspruit. The following day, however, having 
filled up his waggons, Broadwood pushed on to Shep- 
stone's Drift on the Vredefort road, where he joined 
hands with the 3rd Cavalry Brigade, the commander 
of which came under his orders. 

On July 24th a brisk encounter occurred between 
pursuer and pursued. Broadwood had pushed forward 
Ridley's M.I. to pounce on some Boer waggons at a place 
between Vredefort and Reitzburg bearing the euphonious 
name of Stinkhoutboomfontein. The waggons were 
annexed, but De Wet, hearing the firing, came up with 
all available men and two guns, and the M.I. were 
obliged to fall back. The 2nd Cavalry Brigade hurried 
forward to cover their retirement, which was not effected 
without thirty-nine casualties. 

De Wet now went into laager at Rhenosterpoort with a 
position so well chosen that Broadwood with his mounted 
troops could not hope to make any impression on a quarry 
standing at bay. It behoved him therefore to watch his 
enemy's line from Wilgebosch Drift through Wonder- 
heuvel and Leeuw Spruit to Vredefort, while the situation 
was being reviewed at headquarters. 

The diary says : 

July yth. Marched to Viljoens Hoek. 

8th. Marched to Bethlehem, which had been occupied by General 
Paget's force on July 7th. 

loth. Lieut.-Colonel Galley left with the 3rd Cavalry Brigade on 
march to Heilbron,to proceed to Bloemfontein to get clothing for the men. 

1 5th. Marched with great haste towards Senekal. 

1 6th. Engaged the enemy, who retired ; 3,000 of the enemy, under 
De Wet and Steyn, escaped from Golden Valley, where they were 
hemmed in. Bivouacked at Duikfontein. 

1 7th. Pursued the enemy in the direction of Lindley, bivouacking 
at Vischfontein. 

1 8th. Marched to Rietpoort. 

i gth. Came up with the enemy's rearguard at 3.30 p.m. and were 
engaged till dark. Bivouacked at Palmietfontein. 

3 c 2 


July 2Oth. Marched across the Rhenoster River. 

2 1 st. Marched to Vaal Kranz. 

22nd. Marched to the railway at Roodeval. 

23rd. Marched to Shepstone on the Vredepoort road, 17 N.C.O.'s 
and men sent into hospital. 

24th. Were engaged near Vredefort. The ist Life Guards' 
Squadron were the advanced guard ; they fired all their ammunition 
and were relieved by a squadron of the loth Hussars. The Brigade 
retired and joined the $rd Cavalry Brigade at Vredefort. 

2yth. Marched to Wonderheuvel under Artillery fire all the afternoon. 

28th. Marched to Wilgebosch Drift. 

Lord Roberts determined that no stone should be left 
unturned to effect De Wet's capture, which would in all 
probability end the war, and despatched Lord Kitchener 
to take charge of the next movement, knowing that 
if anything could circumvent the subtle plans of his 
redoubtable opponent, the masterly generalship and un- 
rivalled driving power of his famous lieutenant could 
be relied upon for success. Lord Kitchener reached 
Wonderheuvel on August 5th, and found the cordon 
tightly drawn on the south bank of the Vaal ; so that 
with Lord Methuen and General Smith-Dorrien closing 
in from the south and east on the north bank, De 
Wet's escape seemed almost a physical impossibility. 

The Boer General crossed the river early on the 6th at 
Schoeman's Drift, and on the following day Methuen's 
guns were heard by Kitchener, who ordered Broadwood 
to push on to a drift four miles west of De Wet's passage 
of the previous day. Meanwhile, the 3rd Cavalry Brigade 
was to move north-west to the river, and Ridley was 
to throw a patrol across it at Parys. On August gth 
Kitchener, bent on blocking Lindeque, so that De Wet 
should not double back over the river, arrived at that 
drift with the two cavalry brigades and Ridley's M.I., 
and crossing the river early on the loth directed the 
march nearly due north well to the enemy's right. 

Now began a delirious pursuit; at one moment the 


British column were so hot on the scent that their hopes 
rose to fever heat only to be dashed down again by a 
growing consciousness that they had to reckon with an 
enemy of almost uncanny skill and mobility. For five 
days and nights the chase was sustained with little regard 
for repose or food, and at such high pressure as fairly to 
" stretch " the Boer General. 

Nor was Methuen a whit less energetic. Early on 
August loth, having begged Broadwood to bear well to 
his right, he struck westwards himself, so as to " sand- 
wich " the enemy effectively. Unluckily a message to 
Smith-Dorrien at Bank Station to throw himself across 
De Wet's path never reached its destination, and that 
General was unable to prevent the Boers crossing the 
railway line on the loth. De Wet had still the Magalies- 
berg range to negotiate ; the only three passes were 
Magato Pass, Olifants Nek and Commando Nek ; at 
the latter was Baden-Powell, and it was understood that 
Ian Hamilton was sitting tight at Olifants Nek. Methuen 
was convinced that if he could block the Magato Pass 
the game would be ours, and turned off from the direct 
track for that purpose. Kitchener with the cavalry and 
M.I. arrived, after a specially toilsome march, late on 
August nth at Welverdiend, where he was joined by 
Smith-Dorrien. Still keeping to his right, Kitchener 
pressed on throughout the I2th, hampered by a bad 
drift but not halting till long after dark, and starting 
again at 3 a.m. on the I3th, when Broadwood was 
instructed to press his horses to the utmost, and to have 
no thought of his baggage. 

All were animated with eager expectancy at the pro- 
spect of running the enemy to earth, while with every 
mile his fate seemed sealed more surely, his abandoned 
horses and oxen, which strewed the path, testifying to his 
failing powers. 


On August I4th Broadwood started at 2 a.m., while the 
M.I., who had bivouacked a few miles further back, moved 
even earlier. Methuen, to keep the fugitives away from 
the west, sent off his mounted columns with half a day's 
rations at i a.m. and successfully drove them eastwards 
At 5 a.m. Broadwood got in touch with the Boer rear- 
guard. The hour had surely come ; messages were sent 
back to Lord Kitchener, who was bringing up the infantry 
at almost incredible speed. The all-absorbing thought in 
Kitchener's mind was " Olifants Nek" surely it must be 
all right. But De Wet knew better. Ian Hamilton, 
misled by a concatenation of unfortunate mischances, 
instead of holding the Nek, thought he would effectively 
block it by continuing his westward march ; and De Wet, 
swinging sharply southwards under the mountain, slipped 
like an eel through the undefended pass ! * 

The diary thus traces the De Wet hunt : 

July 2gth to August yth. Patrolling the country in the neighbour- 
hood of Rhenoster Kop. 

7th. Marched to Bloemfontein near Roodeval. 

8th. Marched through Vredefort to Grooteland near Parys on the 

gth. Marched to Lindeque Drift. 

loth. Crossed the Vaal. 

nth. Marched to Welverdiend Station. 

1 2th. Marched to Witkyk. 

1 3th. Marched to Gwenfontein, and got into touch with Lord 
Methuen's column. 

i4th. Marched at 2 a.m., skirmishing with the enemy at 4.45 a.m. 
and halted at Spitzkop. 

* " I am sure it was not Broadwood's fault that De Wet was not 
captured. On the other hand, it certainly was due to General Broad- 
wood's unceasing energy that De Wet was unable to ' stick up * any 
weak garrison, or to do any harm worth speaking of. De Wet really 
did nothing and was chased up to Vredefort, where he remained in the 
mountains for a week or two. Then he bolted across the Vaal up north 
to Olifants Nek, shelled from beginning to end, given no rest, and 
never permitted to do anything but retire ; after which he broke up his 
force and went down south again." (Capt. Meade's Journal.) 


THE state of mind induced by the South African experi- 
ences of the Household Cavalry Regiment found humorous 
expression in the subjoined verses : 




I DREAMT that while I struggled with 

Some liver mixed with sand 
There came a laggard orderly 

With a paper in his hand, 
On which was writ in characters 

No mortal man could read, 
" The force will be in readiness 

To march at frightful speed 
Towards a spot unknown to us 

Which may be best described 
As either in our front or rear 

Or p'r'aps on either side. 
And as the tracks are difficult 

And rather hard to find, 
We think it best that those in front 

Should follow those behind. 
The hour of march is 2 p.m., 

Or four, or half- past seven, 
Provided that no orders come 

At nine or at eleven. 
The baggage will be left behind, 

Or else will lead the advance ; 
We think that luxuries like food 

Are better left to chance. 
We are informed the enemy 

Are somewhere here or there, 
But if this should not be the case 

They're probably elsewhere. 


We have good reason to believe 

Their force is large or small, 
And furnished with some 50 guns 

Or else no guns at all ; 
Commanded by one C. De Wet, 

Which seems a little queer, 
As someone else reported him 

Five hundred miles from here. 
It gives me pleasure to report 

That Kriiger and that Steyn 
Are in nine different places 

All ending in -fontein ; 
That Botha has surrendered and 

Is fighting to the death, 
And De la Rey is either well 

Or dead from want of breath. 
A British general has destroyed 

A non-existent force, 
And storm'd a place that wasn't held 

With most terrific loss. 
Advanced guards will be furnish'd by 

The Tenth Hussars, of course. 
P.S. You'll also furnish two 

Flank guards, and picquets three. 
The rest I'll tell you later on. 

Yours truly, (signed) T. B." 


THE disappointment of the British was intense. 
To have "trekked" and trudged almost inces- 
santly for so many days, and to be baulked of the 
prey just when the outstretched hand was appa- 
rently grasping it, was cruelly discouraging. 

Happily a bit of good news was to hand. The De Wet 
pursuit must, it was true, be switched off ; but Kitchener 
had another task of imperative importance to perform. 
Intelligence came in that Colonel Hore, who, with his 
force of 500 Australians, was besieged by De la Rey at 
Brakfontein on the Elands River, had not, as false rumour 
had affirmed, succumbed. His garrison had been escort- 
ing a convoy, and had been happily able to take up a good 
position before being surrounded. A curiously abortive 
attempt at relief on the part of Sir F. Carrington had 
only served to redouble the attention of the besiegers, 
and in the course of the heavy bombardment, which was 
continued incessantly for ten days, it was calculated that 
i, 800 shells penetrated the lines ; while night attacks 
were carried out to prevent the besieged from procuring 
water. Here's dauntless energy and the dogged courage 
of his colonial troops forbade any surrender, and Kitchener, 
nerving his sorely-tried cavalry for a last sprint, started 
at dawn on August I5th with the Household Cavalry 
Regiment in advance. Traversing the thirty-five miles 
at best speed, he rode into the Elands River Camp on 
the following morning, contemptuously brushing aside 
the slight resistance offered chiefly in sniping form 


by a few lingering besiegers, the bulk of whom had 
made off the previous evening. Hore had to report 75 
casualties, besides the loss of nearly all his animals, and 
the skilful excavations made for shelter alone saved his 
force from annihilation. 

Two days later the Household Cavalry Regiment 
started for Pretoria via Krugersdorp, with a diversion 
to Banks Station on the 24th to lend a hand to the 
C.I.V.'s under the Earl of Albemarle, who, on receiving De 
la Rey's invitation to surrender, had returned the laconic 
reply : " Let 'em all come." The march to Krugersdorp 
was in the first two stages marked by a few com- 
paratively harmless backhanders from De Wet, who, 
having given up his proposed raid on Pretoria, and 
having merely evoked from Baden Powell a sarcastic 
rejoinder to his demand for the surrender of Commando 
Nek, was now making his way back with his attenuated 
force to the Orange River Colony. 

The diary describes the itinerary : 

August 1 5th. Marched west to relieve Colonel Hore at Elands 
River, and bivouacked at Twiefontein. 

1 6th. Marched to Elands River, and relieved Colonel Here's force 
after a slight skirmish. 

1 8th. Marched to Kleinfontein ; a slight skirmish. 

igth. Marched to Zandfontein on the Johannesburg road. 

2oth. Marched to Kaalfontein. 

2 1 st. Marched to Krugersdorp. 

24th. Marched to Banks Station to relieve the C.I.V., who had been 
attacked by De la Rey. 

25th. Returned to Krugersdorp. 

27th. Left Krugersdorp; were attacked soon after marching; the 
Boers retired about mid-day ; we halted at Diepsloot. 

28th. Marched to Pretoria and bivouacked on the west side of the 

29th. Got clothing for the men for the first time since our leaving 

3oth. A draft of 20 men joined from home. 

The Household Cavalry Regiment reached Pretoria 
on August 3Oth, having marched some 1,200 miles in 


the preceding four months, and remained in camp at 
Bezuidenhoot for three weeks. On September 23rd the 
2nd Brigade was ordered to the Rustenburg district, to 
take part in some operations with Clements. Colonel 
Fenwick of the Royal Horse Guards was appointed pro 
tern, commandant of Rustenburg, and his regime there, 
even during the short term allotted to him, was productive 
of some excellent results. 

On the 26th Broadwood put in some good work, driving 
northwards Steenkamp's commando of 500 burghers, who 
had been told off by De la Rey to obstruct him. The 
next week was occupied in patrolling duties, when a good 
many prisoners and waggons were captured, and on 
October 3rd the Brigade came into Rustenburg with a 
convoy for Methuen. On the 7th Broadwood went on a 
wide sweeping expedition into the Rushveldt, north of 
Rustenburg, meeting Clements at Commando Nek on 
the nth. 

This proved to be the last offensive movement of the 
Household Cavalry Regiment, for on the I2th Broadwood 
received orders to forward them to Pretoria with a view 
to their embarkation for home. 

The diary concludes with an account of the operations 
round Rustenburg : 

September 23rd. Marched to Bloemfontein en voute for Rustenburg. 

24th. Marched through Commando Nek to Wolhunter's Kop. 

25th. Marched to Bronkspruit. 

26th. Marched; the ist Life Guards' Squadron being left to cover 
a convoy through the Nek near Rustenburg, repulsed the enemy, who 
attacked the convoy. Bivouacked near Rustenburg. 

2yth. Moved nearer to Rustenburg. 

28th. Marched to Magato's Nek, and halted on the further side. 

October ist. Marched out with the I2th Lancers and M.I., and 
bivouacked without food or water. 

2nd. Were engaged about daybreak ; drove back the enemy on 
Kaffir Kraal, capturing 12 waggons and 10,000 rounds of ammunition. 

3rd. Returned to Rustenburg. 

gth. Marched to Kaffir Kraal. 


October loth. Marched to Zand Drift on the Crocodile River. 

nth. Marched to Zoutspandrift and thence to Wolhunter's Kop. 
The Regiment were ordered to hand over 242 horses to the loth 
Hussars and I2th Lancers. 

1 2th. Took over the sick horses of the loth and i2th and marched 
as the advanced guard of the convoy to Bloemfontein. General Broad- 
wood said farewell to the Household Cavalry Regiment. 

i3th. Marched to Pretoria Daspoort Nek. 

igth. Paraded in the Market Square, the ist Life Guards' Squadron 
being 100 strong. 

2oth. The Regiment marched west at 5.30 p.m., in the direction of 

General Broadwood wrote a farewell letter to the 
Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry Regiment, 
couched in approving terms : 

October igth, 1900. 

On getting back to the wire after beating the Magaliesberg, I was 
sorry to hear you had not yet got off home. 

If the authorities did not mean sending you straight off, they might 
as well have left you with us till they were ready for you. 

I miss you all greatly, and can never wish to see a better regiment 
under my command. 

I remember apologising to Neeld soon after I got the command of 
the Brigade for giving the Household Cavalry rather more than their 
fair share of work; but, as I explained then, they always did well 
anything I asked them to do, and never raised any difficulties. 

I should be very much obliged if you would let the officers and men 
know how greatly I appreciated the keenness and dash which they 
always showed. 

Yours sincerely, 


The Regiment reached Pretoria on October 24th, and 
on the following day paraded with other troops in the 
market square, when the annexation of the Transvaal was 
proclaimed. Lord Roberts subsequently addressed the 
Household Cavalry, thanking them for their splendid 
services. He said that, although when next he should see 
them they would be clad in more gorgeous uniform, they 


could never don any which should surpass the khaki in its 
honourable associations. 

On October 3Oth the Regiment entrained for Capetown, 
Lord Kitchener being present at the station at Pretoria to 
bid them good luck. The embarkation on the Hawarden 
Castle took place on November yth, and the ship had just 
sailed when there arrived the ill news of the surrender of 
Dewetsdorp. It was understood that, had it been possible 
to stop the outgoing vessel, the Household Cavalry Regi- 
ment would have been recalled for further work.* 

The Hawarden Castle, with the Household Cavalry 
Regiment and the Canadians on board, on the morning 
of November 2Qth reached Southampton, where a hearty 
greeting was given to the troops. The voyage had been 
propitious, marred only by the sad death at sea of a 
trooper of the First Life Guards, whose wife all un- 
conscious of her widowhood had come to meet him. 

The Second Life Guards and the Blues proceeded 
to London, Paddington Station being profusely decorated 
in their honour, and marched respectively to Hyde Park 
and Regent's Park Barracks. The First Life Guards' 
Squadron, under Colonel Miles, journeyed to Windsor, 
where, on their way to the Cavalry Barracks, a supreme 
honour awaited them. 

The Queen, who a year before had gone to bid her 
soldiers farewell, now wished on their return to greet 
them in her own home. The reception was entirely 
private, only some members of the Royal Family and 
Her Majesty's immediate attendants being present. 

The weather remembered its traditions, for, although 
it was raining sharply when the detachment left the 
station, the downpour ceased altogether as the Castle 

* Several officers and non-commissioned officers of the Household 
Cavalry subsequently returned to South Africa and took part in the 
latter stages of the War, either on Special Service or with the I. Y. 


gates were reached, and a pale ray of afternoon sun 
stole out. Her Majesty drove on to the lawn in front 
of the Victoria Tower, and commanded that the Squadron 
should march past her in fours, and then be drawn up 
in line beside her carriage. Bending forward so that 
all should hear her words, the Queen said, " It is with 
feelings of great pleasure and deep thankfulness that 
I welcome you home after your gallant and arduous 
services in the war in South Africa, just a year after 
I bade you farewell. The hopes I then expressed have 
been amply fulfilled. Alas! the joy of your safe return 
is clouded over by the memory of sad losses of many 
a valuable life, which I in common with you all have 
to deplore." 

So, in the failing November light, under the shadow 
of her mighty Castle, the Queen looked for the last time 
on her bodyguard, whose service of loyal love had always 
been to her a peculiar source of pride. It was well that 
the men who stood first on the roll of her defenders should 
be the last to salute her august presence the last to hear 
her gentle words. They would see her face no more : 
one final duty was in store for them, when, but two short 
months later, they guarded her progress to the quiet rest- 
ing-place where the great Sovereign sleeps who, proud 
to call herself a soldier's daughter, proved herself through 
life the Soldiers' Friend. 




ABU KLEA, 685 

Accoutrements, 37, 39, 159, 160, 162, 

168, 297, 517, 633636 
Adderley, 15, 162, 192, 217 
Adjutant, 33 ; of the Blues, 29, 67 
Admittance money, 490 
Albemarle, Christopher, 2nd d. of, 89, 

141, 154, 158, 167, 177, 198 
Albemarle, George Monk, ist d. of, 

4, 6 ; his tp. of L.G., 6, 8, 14, 16, 17, 

23, 57 ; vigilance, 70 ; naval victory, 

73 ; death, 84 

Albemarle, ist e. of. See KEPPEL 
Albemarle, 2nd e. of, 381 
Ambassadors, scuffle between, 60 
Amherst, 483, 499 
Anne, q., 224, 309 etc. 
Anstruther-Thomson, 750 
Argyll, 354 etc. 
Arms, 37, 38, 117, 517, 636; superiority 

of, 273 

Armstrong, T., 30, 52, 67, 147, 156 
Arran, A. Gore e. of, 734. See 


Arran, C. Butler e. of, 351 
Arran, J. Hamilton e. of, 223 
Arrest of soldiers for debt, 103 
Ashburnham, 349 
Athlone, 249 
Aughrim, 251 

BARRACKS, 101, 102, 135, 540, 619, 


Basing. See BOLTON 
Bath, 181 

Bays. See 2ND D.G.'s 
Beake, 395, 396 
Beaufort, 206 
Bedlow, 23, 49 
Bentinck, 281, 295, 298 
Berkeley, Charles e. of Falmouth, 23, 

47, 57. 61, 72, 156, 158 
H.C. II. 

Bertie, 27, 30, 52 

Berwick, James d. of, 214, 216, 217, 
223, 245, 255, 272, 278 

Bethencourt, 521 

Blackstone, 31,55 

Blakiston, 53, 55 

Blanquefort. See FEVERSHAM 

Blount, 203 


Blue Foot Gds. (Dutch), 230, 284 

Blue Horse Gds. (Dutch), 240 

BLUES, The (Lord Oxford's Royal 
Regiment of Horse : the Royal 
Horse Guards, Blue), 18; origin, 
27 ; comp. w. Gendarmerie de France, 
27,376; precursors, 27; first muster, 
13, 28 ; various titles, 28 ; estab- 
lishment and pay, 29, 162, 173, 174, 
293, 409, 657,658 ; adjutancy, 29, 67; 
precedence, 37 ; duties, 58 ; sup- 
press disorder, 60, 66, 625, 655 ; 
loyalty impugned, 65 ; distribution 
of tps., 67; at York, 69; suppress 
conventicles, 69 ; guarding E. coast, 
73 ; reviewed, 81 ; g. duke of 
Tuscany on, 82 ; mobility, 125, 
209 212 ; usual quarters, 124 ; 
King's Own tp., 127; Winde's tp. 
to Jersey, 132 etc. ; at Somerset ho., 
102, 135; sent against Monmouth, 
177; officers' uniform, 209; loyal 
to James II., 219, 301 ; in Flanders, 
235 ; at Walcourt, 237 ; in Ireland, 
240 etc. ; at Aughrim, 251 etc. ; 
furnish recruits to L. Gds., 269, 
282 ; reduced, 294 ; colonels, 353 
etc., 649, 654 ; in Flanders, 360 
etc. ; at Dettingen, 375400 ; at 
Fontenoy, 416 etc. ; in Germany, 
431 etc. ; at Minden, 434 etc. ; 
patronage of commissions, 443, 545 
etc. ; at Warburg, 452 etc. ; at 




Wilhelmstahl, 462; reduction of 
strength, 465 ; in Midlands, 468 ; 
at Villers-en-Cauchies, 519 ; at 
Bethencourt, 521 ; at Willems, 523 ; 
relations with Geo. III., 532, 640, 
651 ; at funeral of pss. Amelia, 
539; in attendance on p. regent, 
539 ; augmented for foreign service, 
545 ; controversy betw. dukes of 
York and Northumberland on pro- 
motions, 545 etc. ; d. of Wellington 
colonel, 557, 562 etc. ; in the Penin- 
sula, 569 etc. ; brigaded with the 
L. Gds., 581 ; in the Waterloo 
campaign, 583 621; reduction, 
626 ; at funerals of q. Charlotte and 
Geo. III., 627; col. of the Blues 
invested with Gold Stick, 629; at 
funeral of q. Caroline, 637 ; quar- 
tered in London barracks, 640; 
royal standard given by Wm. IV., 
651 ; in Egypt, 671 etc. ; at Tel-el - 
Kebir, 679 ; in the Sudan, 682 etc. ; 
at Abu Klea, 685; in So. Africa, 
699 etc. ; at Welkom Farm, 734 ; at 
Diamond Hill, 747. See HOUSEHOLD 

Bolton, 354 

Bothwell-bridge, 26, 139 

Bouverie, 618 

Boyne, 240 etc. 

Brett, E., 31, 67, 113, 114 

Brigade, Household Cavalry. See 

Brigadiers, 34 

British Army the best paid, etc., 204 

Broadwood, 720 etc. ; farewell letter 
to H. C. Regiment, 764 

Buffs, 271, 414 

Burdett, 535 etc. 

Burnaby, 687 

Byng's brigade, 599 etc. 


Calley, 671, 698 etc., 717, 723, 750 
Cambridge, Geo. d. of, 66 1, 680 
Campbell, 410 413 
Captain, 32 

Captain- Lieutenant in the Blues, 33, 

Carabineers. See 6xn D.G.'s 

Carbines. See ARMS 

Careers of first officers, 44 55 

Carnaby, 31, 54, 72 

Caroline, q., 630, 636 

Carr, 78 


Cathcart, 499 etc., 656 

Cato-street, 629 

Cave, 203 

Chamberlain, 391, 396, 553 

Chaplain, 35 

Charles I., 2, 10 

Charles II., institutes a body-guard, 
3, 4; his restoration, 4, 5; enters 
London, 5 ; desires a standing 
army, 7 ; coronation, 56 ; marriage, 
61 ; to Portsmouth, 62 ; to Bath, 
63 ; to Hampton-court, Salisbury, 
and Oxford, 70; not Monmouth's 
father, 77 ; his affection for him, 86 ; 
establishes a standing army, 121 ; 
illness, 140 ; death, 153 

Chesterfield, 62 

Cholmondeley, 242, 290 

Churchill. See MARLBOROUGH 

City, rights of the, 97 

Clanwilliam. See MEADE 

Clarendon, 7, 16 

Colchester, Id., 203, 218, 259,263, 279, 


Coldstream Guards, 8, 16. 37, 129, 
145, 230, 271, 286, 352, 353, 364, 
414, 599, 607. See FOOT GUARDS 

Colledge, 66 

Collingwood, 49 

Colonel, 32 

Combermere, 579, 585, 641 

Commissions, 153, 321, 337, 443, 491 

Compton, C., 31, 53 

Compton, F., 31, 54, 67, 94, 150, 152, 
162, 190, 196, 216, 253 

Compton, Hatton, 217, 276 

Compton, Henry, 31, 54, 205, 224 

Conspiracies. See REPUBLICAN, 

Conway, 478, 528 

Cook's division, 599 etc. 

Cork, 248 



Cornet, 33 

Corporal, 34, 428 ; C.-of-Horse, 34, 43, 

428; C.-Major, 35; Regimental 

C.- Major, 32, 35, 529 
Courts martial, 25 
Covenanters, 26, 119, 139 
Coventry, J., 88 
Cox, 618 

Craufurd, 375, 380, 416 
Craven, 129, 143, 230 
Cromwell, 2, 107 
Crook, Unton, 27 
Cuirasses, 297, 431, 633, 634 
Cumberland, Wm. Aug., d. of, 411 


Cumberland, Ern. Aug., d. of, 641 

DEBT, arrest of soldiers for, 103 

Delawarr, 351 

Dettingen, 372400 

Disbandment, 6, 8 

Discipline, 97 etc., 339, 341 etc. 

Divine service, 35 

Doleman, 63 

Dougan, 48 

Dover, Id., H. Jermyn, 116, 202, 224 

Dover, Id., J. Yorke, 528 

Dragoons, Royals, 177, 180, 418, 451, 

452, 453 5i9, 601, 697 
Scots Greys, 379, 437, 441, 

445, 452, 5i9 601, 697, 
Inniskillings, 353, 379, 441, 

519, 601 
Dragoon Guards, First, 275, 367, 368, 

377 43i 437 44* 445, 
448, 452, 453, 465, 519, 
601, 609 etc., 619 

T/wtf, 275, 43 1, 437, 441, 445, 

448, 452, 519 
Fourth, 275, 276, 670, 676, 

687, 697 

Fifth, 242, 519, 687, 697 
Sixth, 275, 276, 452, 519, 708 
Seventh, 242, 366, 368, 377, 

452, 670, 676, 677, 708 
Drogheda, 243 
Duels, 97 etc., 342 etc, 

Dundonald, 333 


Dutch tp. L.G., 287, 293 ; their debts, 
244; Blue Foot Gds., 230, 284; 
Blue Horse Gds., 240 ; Dutch 
soldiery leave England, 295 

EDWARD VII., 663 etc., 672, 767 
Egerton, 6, 23, 45, 156 
Eliott, 382, 448 
Elizabeth, q., i 
Elley, 526, 548 
Esher, 116, 663 
Essex, Id., 148 
Ewart, 671 etc., 681 

FALSE musters, 471 

Fane, 335, 350 

Fenwick, H., 713 etc. 

Fenwick, J., 156, 159, 226, 304 etc. 

Fenwick, S., 555 

Ferdinand, 430 etc. 

Ferrier, 610, 618 

Feversham, 154, 157, 161, 180, 196, 
199, 226, 233 

Field - Officer - in - Brigade - Waiting, 

Fish, 49 

Fitzgerald, 618 

Fontenoy, 412 etc. 

Foot Guards, 8, 37, 91, 145, 193. 27 1 * 
286, 352, 368, 414, 418, 448, 457, 463, 
465. 5i8, 536, 557 599, &>i, 606, 
607, 608, 644, 680, 684, 685, 688, 695 

Forbes, 356, 357, 390, 420 

Forrester, 333 

Freschville) fi 

c- * u MI 1 3 X 54> 7 7*> IZ 4 
Fretchville ; 

GARDINER, 35, 156, 158 
Gendarmerie de France, 27, 376 
Gentlemen Pensioners (Gentlemen- 

at -Arms), i 

" Gentlemen, Private," 24, 428 
George I., 334 etc. 
George II., 358 etc. ; 374 etc. ; 455 
George III., 459, 530, 532, 627 
Gerard, Id., 3, 4, 6, 23 ; biogr., 44, 57; 

accusations agst., 77 ; retires, 81 ; 

e. of Macclesfield, 81 



Gerard, G., 6, 13, 23, 46 

Ghent, 362 etc. 

Godolphin, 23, 48, 157 

Gold - Stick - in - Waiting, 1 16, 220, 
406, 629, 643 648, 663 668 

Granadeers. See GRENADIERS 

Granby, 429, 433, 446, 452, 463, 467, 

Grenades, 123 

Grenadier Guards, 16, 37, 185, 271, 
284, 414, 599, 607, 617 

Grenadiers (British), 451, 463, 465 

Grenadiers, Horse, 40 ; at the Mews, 
102 ; establishment, tactics, and 
pay, 117, 118, 159, 407 etc.; in the 
field, 117 ; disbanded and restored j 
118 ; at Newmarket, 138; sent agst. 
Monmouth, 180 etc. ; at Landen, 
271 ; colonels of, 353 ; accounted 
mounted infantry, 428 ; disbanded, 
480, 485497 

Grey, 139, 148, 189, 196, 197 

Griffin, E., 156, 158, 215 

Griffin, J., 203, 232 

Guidon, 33 

Gumball (Gumble), 24, 49 

HAMILTON, C., e. of Selkirk, 203 

Hamilton, G., 92 

Hamilton, J., e. of Arran, d. of 

Hamilton, 223 

Hampshire Regiment (ist btn.), 437 
Harrington, 528 etc., 641 
Hautboys, 40 
Hawley, 30, 53, 67, 69, 71, 74, 91, 

113, 114, 125 etc. 
Henry VII., i 
Henry VIII., i, 663, 668 
Hertford, e. of, 351, 397 
Hewitt, 156, 159, 220 
Highways patrolled, 150 etc. 
Hill, C., 618 

Hill, Robert, 547, 566, 569, 611 
Hill, Rowland, Id., 571, 585, 587, 642, 

645, 646, 649 
Hombre, 28 
Horse, The, 28, 491; also the First 

Horse, 28. See BLUES 
Horse Grenadiers. See GRENADIERS 
Horse Guards. See LIFE GUARDS 

Horse Guards, Royal Regiment of. 

Horse Guards, The (Whitehall), 427 

Horsemastership, 719 

Horses, 41, 509, 719 

Hounslow, 20 1, 204 

HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY, origin, i ; in- 
stitution, 22 ; strength, 36, 404 ; 
accoutrements, 37; uniform, 38, 

158, 160, 167, 655; employment at 
palace, 63 ; reviewed, 81 ; grand 
duke of Tuscany on, 82 ; Blues 
brigaded with, 581 ; Blues included 
in, 629 ; cuirasses for, 297, 431, 633; 
at funeral of Geo. IV., 642 ; pay, 
405410, 657 ; in Egypt, 671 etc. ; 
"moonlight charge," 677; at Tel- 
el-Kebir, 679 ; lord Wolseley on, 
678; duke of Cambridge on, 680; 
in Sudan, 682 etc. ; at Abu Klea, 
685 ; Philse inscription to, 697 ; in 
So. Africa, 698 etc. ; at Kimberley, 
707 ; at Paardeberg, 709 ; strength 
at Bloemfontein, 718; march to 
Pretoria, 745 etc.; Diamond Hill, 
747 ; Broadwood on, 764 ; q. 
Victoria, 662, 765, 766. See LIFE 

Household Troops, 36 

Howard de Walden, 486 

Howard, Philip, 23, 49, 57 6 4> I 5 6 > 

159, 166, 221 
Howden, 643 

Hussars, Third, 353, 376, 386, 400 
Fourth, 263, 271, 367, 379 
Seventh, 367, 445, 448, 451, 

452, 519, 602, 615 
Eighth, 519 
Tenth, 437, 441, 602, 606, 

707, 708, 711, 715, 717, 

720, 723, 727, 728 
Eleventh, 519, 602, 606 
Thirteenth, 606 
Fourteenth, 353, 519 
Fifteenth, 382, 448, 449, 463, 

519, 602, 615, 750 
Eighteenth, 602 
Nineteenth, 670, 685, 693 




Ireland, civil war, 239 etc. 

Ireton, 280 

Irish Life Guards, 245, 255 

JACOBITE activity, 303, 313, 329 

James II. (d. of York, 5, 6, 8, 15, 16, 
23, 48, 72, 73, 77, 85, 86, 93, 108, 
139, 141 ; " popish recusant," 142 ; 
at Holyrood, 142; visits Chas. II. 
and ret. to Eng., 145) ; accession, 
164 ; coronation, 167 ; policy, 200 
etc. ; at Hounslow, 204 ; relations 
with the church, 205; faces Wm. 
of Orange, 215; abdicates, 227; 
attempts to recover the crown, 
235 etc. 

James Edward, p. of Wales, 215, 
225 etc. 

Jenkinson, 360, 396, 553 

Jersey, 132 

Johnston, Jas., 453, 548, 551553 

Johnston, John, 382, 384 

Jones, H., 30, 53, 67, 92 


Kelly, 621 

Keppel, 294 296, 298 

Kettledrums, 40, 533, 651 

Kilmallock, 256 

K.D.G.'s. See. IST D.G.'s 

King's Regiment of Horse : R.H.G. so 

styled, 28. See BLUES 

K.D.G.'s also so styled, 367, 368. 

See IST D.G.'s 
Kirke, P., 183, 219, 247 

Lance Corporal, 35 
Lancers, Fifth, 697 

Ninth, 707, 708, 711, 717 

Twelfth, 602, 606, 707, 708, 
711, 715, 717, 734, 749 

Sixteenth, 519, 602, 606, 697, 
707,708, 711 

,, Seventeenth, 707, 708 
Landen, 270 etc. 
Lanier, 226 

Legge, 129 etc., 136, 151, 162 
Leuse, 258, 265 
Lieutenant, 33 

Lieutenant-Colonel, 32 

LIFE GUARDS : Charles I.'s, 10 ; 
of the " Rump," 10 ; Charles I I.'s, 
origin, 2; increase, 4; in London, 
5; disbanded, 6, 8; re-enlisted, 17; 
petitions, n; instituted, 22; estab- 
lishment and pay, 22, 26, 158, 159, 

171, 293. 404409 4 8 4 494. 495. 
517, 529, 626 ; officers, 22, 157 ; 
privileges and precedence, 24, 37, 
319 ; Scots, see SCOTS tp. ; at 
coronations of Charles II., 57, 58 ; 
James II., 166 ; Wm. III. and 
Mary II., 234; Anne, 309; Geo. I., 
328; Geo. III., 459; Victoria, 
654; Edward VII., 767; uniform, 
see UNIFORM ; strength (1663), 36, 

37; ('67), 37; ('74). "2; ('85), 174; 

('86), 204; ('98), 293; (1818), 626; 
duties, 58, 115; suppress sedition 
or disorder, 64, 74, 473, 535, 625, 
6 3 I > 655 ; as naval volunteers, 70, 
72; at the gt. fire, 73; defrauded 
of pay, 78 ; reviewed, 81 ; g. duke 
of Tuscany on, 82 ; at Albemarle's 
funeral, 84 ; second and third tps. 
exchange precedence, 85 ; escort at 
opening of Parliament, 88 ; cleared 
of papists, 89; London quarters, 
94 ; indiscipline, affrays, and duels* 
95 etc., 341 etc. ; attacked in par- 
liament, 121, 659; relieving guard, 
154; sent agst. Monmouth, 180 
etc. ; " a good school," 200 ; a 
fourth tp., 202 ; this tp. disbanded, 
231 ; on tour with Jas. II., 206 ; 
loyalty of rank and file to Jas. II., 
219; sent away from London by 
Wm. III., 232; in Ireland, 239 
etc. ; a fourth (Dutch) tp., 232, 
240; this tp. returned to Holland, 
295 ; L.G.'s in Flanders. 257 etc. ; 
at Leuse, 259, 266 ; recruited from 
the Blues, 269, 282; at Landen 
(Neerwinden), 271 etc. ; charge at, 
275 ; regtl. agent's dishonesty, 279 ; 
before Namur, 283 ; influence of 
the first Seven Years' War on, 290 ; 
reduced, 294 ; " finest body of 
horse," 297; a fourth (Scots) tp., 



331 ; colonels of, 349 353> 641, 656; 
at Dettingen, 375 382 ; at Fonte- 
noy, 416 etc. ; third and fourth tps. 
disbanded, 424 etc. ; at Geo. II.'s 
funeral, 455 ; electioneering, 475 ; 
re-organisation in two regiments, 
480 488 ; " admittance - money," 
490 ; commissions (prices), 337, 
491 ; 2nd L.G.'s standing orders, 
etc., 498 516; their patriotic offer, 
505 ; guarding the life of Geo. III., 
530; Burdett, 535; prince regent, 
540 ; augmented for foreign service, 
545 ; in the Peninsula, 569 etc. ; 
Household Cavalry Brigade, 581 ; 
in the Waterloo campaign, 583 
621 ; reduction, 626; at the funerals 
of q. Charlotte and Geo. III., 
627 ; Cato-st. conspiracy, 631 ; q. 
Caroline's funeral, 637 640; in 
Egypt, 671 etc. ; at Tel-el- Kebir, 
679; in the Sudan, 682; at Abu 
Klea, 685; in So. Africa, 699 etc.; 
at Diamond Hill, 747 ; greeting by 
q. Victoria, 765 ; escort her re- 
mains, 766; attend Edward VII.'s 
coronation, 767 


Ligonier, 429, 463 

Lincoln's Inn, 123 

Lind, 618 

Littleton, F., 31, 34, 150 

Littleton, W., 41, 162, 192, 209, 216 

Liverpool Regiment, 463 

Lockhart, 125, 126 

Lord General. See. ALBEMARLE, IST 
D. OF 

Lords Lieutenant, military obedience 
to, 34* 69 

Lothian, 483 etc., 489 

Lovelace, 23, 47 


Lumley, 233 

MAASTRICHT, no etc. 

Macclesfield. See GERARD 

Maison de Roy (du Roi), 2, 275, 376 etc., 

415, 4i7 

Maitland's brigade, 599 etc. 
Major, 32 

Mandeville, 27, 28 

Marching, order of, 43, 501 

Marischal, 314 

Marlborough, ist d. of, 180, 193 195, 
198, 217, 219, 220, 221, 235, 334, 335 

Marlborough, 2nd d. of, 352 

Marshal, 24 

Marton, 244 

Mary I., q., i 

Mary II., q., 267 

Meade, 705 etc. 

Medicaments, 29 

Meeting-houses, 68 

Middleton, 188 

Miles, 753 

Millenarians, 13 

Minden, 434 etc. 


Monk, H., 49 

Monmouth, 45 ; mother, 76, 175 ; father, 
77, 175 ; ennobled, 77 ; commn. ist 
tp. L.G.,8i; efficiency, 83 ; intrigues, 
86; command of L.G. and the 
army, 86; authority curtailed, 87; 
murder by, 89 ; on army council, 
108 ; in Flanders, 109 etc. ; exploit 
at Maastricht, in, 112 ; suppresses 
Covenanters, 119, 120, 139; influ- 
ence over Chas. II., 139 ; deprived 
of command, 140, and of all offices, 
141 ; heads deputation of peers, 
143 ; Rye-house plot, 147 ; flight 
and return, 149, 156 ; rebellion, 
175 197 ; correspondence with 
Albemarle, 177 ; proclamations, 
177 ; defeat, capture, and execution 

Montague, 349 

Montrose, 26 

Morgan, 203 

Music, 40 

Mutiny, 127 

NAMUR, 283 etc. 
Naval operations, 72 
Neeld, 698 etc., 723, 725 
Neerwinden. See LANDEN 
Newburgh, ist e. of, 26 
Newburgh, and e. of, 182, 335 
Newmarket, 114, 138, 145, 146 



N.C.O.'s appointed, 428 
Northampton, e. of, 53 
Northumberland, d. of., s. of Chas. II., 

166, 227, 233 

Northumberland, 2nd duke of, 485 
Northumberland, 3rd duke of, on 

Blues' promotion, 546 etc. 
Northumberland, e. of, 62 
Northumberland Fusiliers, 463 

GATES, 137 

O'Brien, 88 

Officers' leaves, 212, 471, 472 

Oglethorpe, T., 149, 157, 161, 180, 189, 

192 194, 226 
Oglethorpe, W., 204 
" Oliverian,'' 98 
O'Neale, 27, 30, 67, 69 
Orby (Orpe), 97, 156159, 192 
Ormond, 234, 235, 245, 257, 275, 277, 

278, 282, 288, 295 etc., 298, 299, 307, 

3io, 330 

Overkirk, 244, 293 
Oxford, Aubrey de Vere, e. of, 15, 27, 

30, 50, 67, 73, 74, 113, 114, 162,167, 

177, 207, 209, 231 
Oxford, R. Harley, e. of, 355 
Oxford, parliament at, 135, 143 
Oxford regiment. Sec BLUES 

PACK, 585 etc. 

Packe, 569, 612, 618 

Panton, 23, 46 

Parker, 118, 158, 180, 192 

Parsimony, 107 

Parsons, 192, 201 

Pay, 22, 26, 29 ; irregularities, 104, 
105 ; during absence, 106 ; rate of, 
159163, 171174, 405410, 484 
487, 492497, 529, 657, 658, 661 

Peculation, 78, 107 

Pembroke, e. of, 350 

Peninsula campaign, 568 etc. 

Peterborough, e. of, 353 

Petersham, Id., 353 

Petitions, n, 41, 104, 105 

Philips Norton, 183 

Picton's division, 596 etc. 

Plague, 70 

Pocket-book revelations, 220 

" Popery," 89, 137 etc. 

Portland, ist d. of, 349 

Portland, e. of. Sec BENTINCK 

Portsmouth, 131 

Portugal, help for, 61 ; officers from, 


" Private Gentlemen," 24, 428 
Protestant officers to be provided 

for, 90 

Purchase, 337 
Putney-heath, 152, 157 


Quartermaster, 33, 43, 428 

Quatre Bras. Se& WATERLOO 

Queen's Regiment, 177, 183, 193, 271 

Regent's-park barracks, 540 
Regimental Corporal- Major, 31, 33, 


Relieving guard, 154 
Republican plots, 13, 64, 70, 74 
Richardson, 618 

Richmond, 2nd d. of, 394 etc., 401 
Richmond, 3rd d. of, 477, 478, 529, 

552, 553 554 
Riding Schools, 470, 627 
Rivers, e. See COLCHESTER 
Roman Catholic officers, 91, 201 
Roscarrick, 23, 47 
Royal domains inviolable, 97 
Royal Fusiliers, 271, 284 
Royal Horse Artillery, 452, 587, 602, 

676, 685, 708, 711, 714, 716, 720, 

722725, 727, 749 
Royal Horse Guards (Blue). Sec 


Royal Regiment of Horse. See BLUES 
Royals. See DRAGOONS 
Royal Scots, 271, 284 
Russell, Id., 148 
Russell, It.-col., 364, 388 etc. 
Rye-house plot, 146 149 

Sackville, 353, 402, 438 etc. 
Sandys, E., 162 



Sandys, T., 6, 14, 20, 23, 45, 88, 150, 

Sannah's Post, 719, 720, 721 727, 


Sarsfield, 203, 218, 219, 245, 255 272 
Savoy, 1 02 

Scarbrough, 233, 294, 298 
Scots brigade at Landen, 271 ; in So. 

Africa, 711 

Scots Covenanters, 119, 139 
Scots Greys. See, DRAGOONS 
Scots Guards, 271, 414, 599, 607. See 

Scots tp. of Life Guards, 25, 26 ; pay, 

26 ; Covenanters, 120 ; in Eng- 

land, 215, 232, 259, 267, 313, 317, 

Scottish Borderers (K. O.), 437 

Scrimshaw, 47 

Sedgemoor, 189 194 

Sedition, Puritan, 13, 60, 64, 66, 68, 


Selby, 162, 192 
Selkirk. See HAMILTON, C. 
Serjeant, 34, 428 
Serjeant- Major, 33 
Seymour, 63 
Shaftesbury, 139, 144 
Shaw, 542, 610 
Shawe, 618 
Sidney, 77, 175 

Silver Stick, 116, 407, 629, 663 etc. 
Slingsby, H., 31, 54 
Slingsby, T., 162 
Solmes, 230, 259, 262, 276 
Somerset, 587 etc. 
Somerset-house, 102, 135 
South African campaign, 698 etc. 
Specie conveyed, 59 
Stair, 361 400 
Standards, 33, 159, 162, 163, 168 

170, 651 
Standing Army, 6, 7, 89, 94, 120, 293, 


Stanley, 46 
Steele, 279 
Steenkirk, 260 etc, 
Sub-brigadier, 35 
Sudley, 734, 750 
Suffolk Regiment, 437 

Surgeon, 32 
Sutherland, 255 

TABLE expenses, 119 

Talbot, 659, 684686 

Tangier, 62 

" Tawny more," 62 

Thynne, 63 

Tobacco, illicit, 58 ; objection to, 102, 

649, 650 

Trade and soldiers, 333 
Troughtback, 49 
Trumpeters, 40, 155 
Tuscany, 81, 82 
Tyrawley, 353 

UNIFORM, 2, 38, 41, 42, 158, 160, 167, 

209, 297, 517. 634636, 655, 657 
Upcott, 24, 156, 159, 187, 192 
Uxbridge, 587 etc. 

VANDELEUR, 585 etc. 

Venner, 13, 19 

Victoria, q., 653 etc., 662, 765, 766 

Villers-en-Cauchies, 519 

Villiers, 180 


Vivian, 585 etc. 


Walter, 76, 175 

Warburg, 45 1 

Ward, T., 206 

Waterloo, Wm. III. at, 285 ; cam- 
paign of 1815, 583621 

Watson, 49 

Wellesley. See WELLINGTON 

Wellington, col. of Blues, 557, 562 
etc.; Peninsula campaign, 568 
581 ; Waterloo campaign, 583 
621 ; also 622, 630, 641 

Wells, 185 

Welsh Fusiliers, Royal, 437 

Whale, 618 

Wilhelmstahl, 462 

Willems, 523 

William III., 112, 176, 205, 215, 218, 
231 etc. ; heading charges, 272275 


William IV.'s standard given to the 

R. H. G., 170 

Winchester, mqs. of. See BOLTON 
Wi(y)nd(e), 3, 42, 126, 131, 132 etc., 

136, 151, 162, 192 
Wolseley, 42, 671 etc., 678 
Worcester, mqs. of, 63 
Wrestling match, 145 
Wroth, 31, 54, 66 


Wyndham, C., 30, 52, 130, 162, 192 
Wyndham, R, 30, 39, 52, 67, 150 

YEOMEN of the Guard, i 
York, a republican centre, 68 
York, Frederick d. of, 518 etc. 
York, James d. of. See JAMES II. 
Yorkshire Light Infantry (ist btn.), 

H.C. II. 3 E 



UA iirthur, (Sir) George Con 

656 Archibald, bart 
H9A78 The story of the Hous 

v.2 Cavalry