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Irish Regiment of Dragoon Guards, by Richard Cannon

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Title: Historical Record of the Fourth, or Royal Irish Regiment of Dragoon Guards

Author: Richard Cannon

Release Date: March 6, 2016 [EBook #51376]

Language: English

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original cover

and under the Patronage of
Her Majesty the Queen

British Army
Comprising the
History of every Regiment

By Richard Cannon Esqre.
Adjutant Generals Office, Horse Guards.
Printed by Authority:
Silvester & Co. 27 Strand.








Printed by William Clowes and Sons,
14, Charing Cross.



1st January, 1836.

His Majesty has been pleased to command, that, with a view of doing the fullest justice to Regiments, as well as to Individuals who have distinguished themselves by their Bravery in Action with the Enemy, an Account of the Services of every Regiment in the British Army shall be published under the superintendence and direction of the Adjutant-General; and that this Account shall contain the following particulars: viz.,

—— The Period and Circumstances of the Original Formation of the Regiment; The Stations at which it has been from time to time employed; The Battles, Sieges, and other Military Operations, in which it has been engaged, particularly specifying any Achievement it may have performed, and the Colours, Trophies, &c., it may have captured from the Enemy.

—— The Names of the Officers and the number of Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates, Killed or Wounded by the Enemy, specifying the Place and Date of the Action.

—— The Names of those Officers, who, in consideration of their Gallant Services and Meritorious Conduct in Engagements with the Enemy, have been distinguished with Titles, Medals, or other Marks of His Majesty's gracious favour.

—— The Names of all such Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates as may have specially signalized themselves in Action.


—— The Badges and Devices which the Regiment may have been permitted to bear, and the Causes on account of which such Badges or Devices, or any other Marks of Distinction, have been granted.

By Command of the Right Honourable



John Macdonald,



The character and credit of the British Army must chiefly depend upon the zeal and ardour, by which all who enter into its service are animated, and consequently it is of the highest importance that any measure calculated to excite the spirit of emulation, by which alone great and gallant actions are achieved, should be adopted.

Nothing can more fully tend to the accomplishment of this desirable object, than a full display of the noble deeds with which the Military History of our country abounds. To hold forth these bright examples to the imitation of the youthful soldier, and thus to incite him to emulate the meritorious conduct of those who have preceded him in their honourable career, are among the motives that have given rise to the present publication.

The operations of the British Troops are, indeed, announced in the 'London Gazette,' from whence they are transferred into the public prints: the achievements of our armies are thus made known at the time of their occurrence, and receive the tribute of praise and admiration to which they are entitled. On extraordinary occasions, the Houses of Parliament have been in the habit of conferring on the Commanders, and the Officers and Troops acting under their orders, expressions of approbation and of thanks for their skill and bravery, and these testimonials, confirmed by the high honour of their Sovereign's Approbation, constitute the reward which the soldier most highly prizes.

It has not, however, until late years, been the practice (which appears to have long prevailed in some of the Continental armies) for British Regiments to keep regular records of their services and achievements. Hence some difficulty has been experienced in obtaining, particularly from the old Regiments, an authentic account of their origin and subsequent services.

This defect will now be remedied, in consequence of His Majesty having been pleased to command, that every Regiment shall in future keep a full and ample record of its services at home and abroad.

From the materials thus collected, the country will henceforth derive information as to the difficulties and privations which chequer the career of those who embrace the military profession. In Great Britain, where so large a number of persons are devoted to the active concerns of agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, and where these pursuits have, for so long a period, been undisturbed by the presence of war, which few other countries have escaped, comparatively little is known of the vicissitudes of active service, and of the casualties of climate, to which, even during peace, the British Troops are exposed in every part of the globe, with little or no interval of repose.

In their tranquil enjoyment of the blessings which the country derives from the industry and the enterprise of the agriculturist and the trader, its happy inhabitants may be supposed not often to reflect on the perilous duties of the soldier and the sailor,—on their sufferings,—and on the sacrifice of valuable life, by which so many national benefits are obtained and preserved.

The conduct of the British Troops, their valour, and endurance, have shone conspicuously under great and trying difficulties; and their character has been established in Continental warfare by the irresistible spirit with which they have effected debarkations in spite of the most formidable opposition, and by the gallantry and steadiness with which they have maintained their advantages against superior numbers.

In the official Reports made by the respective Commanders, ample justice has generally been done to the gallant exertions of the Corps employed; but the details of their services, and of acts of individual bravery, can only be fully given in the Annals of the various Regiments.

These Records are now preparing for publication, under His Majesty's special authority, by Mr. Richard Cannon, Principal Clerk of the Adjutant-General's Office; and while the perusal of them cannot fail to be useful and interesting to military men of every rank, it is considered that they will also afford entertainment and information to the general reader, particularly to those who may have served in the Army, or who have relatives in the Service.

There exists in the breasts of most of those who have served, or are serving, in the Army, an Esprit de Corps—an attachment to every thing belonging to their Regiment; to such persons a narrative of the services of their own Corps cannot fail to prove interesting. Authentic accounts of the actions of the great,—the valiant,—the loyal, have always been of paramount interest with a brave and civilised people. Great Britain has produced a race of heroes who, in moments of danger and terror, have stood, "firm as the rocks of their native shore;" and when half the World has been arrayed against them, they have fought the battles of their Country with unshaken fortitude. It is presumed that a record of achievements in war,—victories so complete and surprising, gained by our countrymen,—our brothers—our fellow-citizens in arms,—a record which revives the memory of the brave, and brings their gallant deeds before us, will certainly prove acceptable to the public.

Biographical memoirs of the Colonels and other distinguished Officers, will be introduced in the Records of their respective Regiments, and the Honorary Distinctions which have, from time to time, been conferred upon each Regiment, as testifying the value and importance of its services, will be faithfully set forth.

As a convenient mode of Publication, the Record of each Regiment will be printed in a distinct number, so that when the whole shall be completed, the Parts may be bound up in numerical succession.

[Pg i]


The ancient Armies of England were composed of Horse and Foot; but the feudal troops established by William the Conqueror in 1086, consisted almost entirely of Horse. Under the feudal system, every holder of land amounting to what was termed a "knight's fee," was required to provide a charger, a coat of mail, a helmet, a shield, and a lance, and to serve the Crown a period of forty days in each year at his own expense; and the great landholders had to provide armed men in proportion to the extent of their estates; consequently the ranks of the feudal Cavalry were completed with men of property, and the vassals and tenants of the great barons, who led their dependents to the field in person.

In the succeeding reigns the Cavalry of the Army was composed of Knights (or men at arms) and Hobiliers (or horsemen of inferior degree); and the Infantry of spear and battle-axe men, cross-bowmen, and archers. The Knights wore armour on every part of the body, and their weapons were a lance, a sword, and a small dagger. The Hobiliers were accoutred and armed[ii] for the light and less important services of war, and were not considered qualified for a charge in line. Mounted Archers[1] were also introduced, and the English nation eventually became pre-eminent in the use of the bow.

About the time of Queen Mary the appellation of "Men at Arms" was changed to that of "Spears and Launces." The introduction of fire-arms ultimately occasioned the lance to fall into disuse, and the title of the Horsemen of the first degree was changed to "Cuirassiers." The Cuirassiers were armed cap-à-pié, and their weapons were a sword with a straight narrow blade and sharp point, and a pair of large pistols, called petrenels; and the Hobiliers carried carbines. The Infantry carried pikes, matchlocks, and swords. The introduction of fire-arms occasioned the formation of regiments armed and equipped as infantry, but mounted on small horses for the sake of expedition of movement, and these were styled "Dragoons;" a small portion of the military force of the kingdom, however, consisted of this description of troops.

The formation of the present Army commenced [iii]after the Restoration in 1660, with the establishment of regular corps of Horse and Foot; the Horsemen were cuirassiers, but only wore armour on the head and body; and the Foot were pikemen and musketeers. The arms which each description of force carried, are described in the following extract from the "Regulations of King Charles II.," dated 5th May, 1663:—

"Each Horseman to have for his defensive armes, back, breast, and pot; and for his offensive armes, a sword, and a case of pistolls, the barrels whereof are not to be undr. foorteen inches in length; and each Trooper of Our Guards to have a carbine, besides the aforesaid armes. And the Foote to have each souldier a sword, and each pikeman a pike of 16 foote long and not undr.; and each musqueteer a musquet, with a collar of bandaliers, the barrels of which musquet to be about foor foote long, and to conteine a bullet, foorteen of which shall weigh a pound weight[2]."

The ranks of the Troops of Horse were at this period composed of men of some property—generally the sons of substantial yeomen: the young men received as recruits provided their own horses, [iv]and they were placed on a rate of pay sufficient to give them a respectable station in society.

On the breaking out of the war with Holland, in the spring of 1672, a Regiment of Dragoons was raised[3]; the Dragoons were placed on a lower rate of pay than the Horse; and the Regiment was armed similar to the Infantry, excepting that a limited number of the men carried halberds instead of pikes, and the others muskets and bayonets; and a few men in each Troop had pistols; as appears by a warrant dated the 2nd of April, 1672, of which the following is an extract:—

"Charles R.

"Our will and pleasure is, that a Regiment of Dragoones which we have established and ordered to be raised, in twelve Troopes of fourscore in each beside officers, who are to be under the command of Our most deare and most intirely beloved Cousin Prince Rupert, shall be armed out of Our stoares remaining within Our office of the Ordinance, as followeth; that is to say, three corporalls, two serjeants, the gentlemen at armes, and twelve souldiers of each of the said twelve Troopes, are to have and carry each of them one halbard, and one case [v]of pistolls with holsters; and the rest of the souldiers of the several Troopes aforesaid, are to have and to carry each of them one matchlocke musquet, with a collar of bandaliers, and also to have and to carry one bayonet[4], or great knife. That each lieutenant have and carry one partizan; and that two drums be delivered out for each Troope of the said Regiment[5]."

Several regiments of Horse and Dragoons were raised in the first year of the reign of King James II.; and the horsemen carried a short carbine[6] in addition to the sword and pair of pistols: and in a Regulation dated the 21st of February, 1687, the arms of the Dragoons at that period are commanded to be as follow:—

"The Dragoons to have snaphanse musquets, strapt, with bright barrels of three foote eight inches long, cartouch-boxes, bayonetts, granado pouches, bucketts, and hammer-hatchetts."

After several years' experience, little advantage was found to accrue from having Cavalry Regiments formed almost exclusively for engaging the [vi]enemy on foot; and, the Horse having laid aside their armour, the arms and equipment of Horse and Dragoons were so nearly assimilated, that there remained little distinction besides the name and rate of pay. The introduction of improvements into the mounting, arming, and equipment of Dragoons rendered them competent to the performance of every description of service required of Cavalry; and, while the long musket and bayonet were retained, to enable them to act as Infantry, if necessary, they were found to be equally efficient, and of equal value to the nation, as Cavalry, with the Regiments of Horse.

In the several augmentations made to the regular Army after the early part of the reign of Queen Anne, no new Regiments of Horse were raised for permanent service; and in 1746 King George II. reduced three of the old Regiments of Horse to the quality and pay of Dragoons; at the same time, His Majesty gave them the title of First, Second, and Third Regiments of Dragoon Guards: and in 1788 the same alteration was made in the remaining four Regiments of Horse, which then became the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Regiments of Dragoon Guards.

At present there are only three Regiments which are styled Horse in the British Army,[vii] namely, the two Regiments of Life Guards, and the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, to whom cuirasses have recently been restored. The other Cavalry Regiments consist of Dragoon Guards, Heavy and Light Dragoons, Hussars, and Lancers; and although the long musket and bayonet have been laid aside by the whole of the Cavalry, and the Regiments are armed and equipped on the principle of the old Horse (excepting the cuirass), they continue to be styled Dragoons.

The old Regiments of Horse formed a highly respectable and efficient portion of the Army, and it is found, on perusing the histories of the various campaigns in which they have been engaged, that they have, on all occasions, maintained a high character for steadiness and discipline, as well as for bravery in action. They were formerly mounted on horses of superior weight and physical power, and few troops could withstand a well-directed charge of the celebrated British Horse. The records of these corps embrace a period of 150 years—a period eventful in history, and abounding in instances of heroism displayed by the British troops when danger has threatened the nation,—a period in which these Regiments have numbered in their ranks men of loyalty, valour, and good conduct, worthy of imitation.


Since the Regiments of Horse were formed into Dragoon Guards, additional improvements have been introduced into the constitution of the several corps; and the superior description of horses now bred in the United Kingdom enables the commanding officers to remount their regiments with such excellent horses, that, whilst sufficient weight has been retained for a powerful charge in line, a lightness has been acquired which renders them available for every description of service incident to modern warfare.

The orderly conduct of these Regiments in quarters has gained the confidence and esteem of the respectable inhabitants of the various parts of the United Kingdom in which they have been stationed; their promptitude and alacrity in attending to the requisitions of the magistrates in periods of excitement, and the temper, patience, and forbearance which they have evinced when subjected to great provocation, insult, and violence from the misguided populace, prove the value of these troops to the Crown, and to the Government of the country, and justify the reliance which is reposed on them.


[1] In the 14th year of the reign of Edward IV. a small force was established in Ireland by Parliament, consisting of 120 Archers on horseback, 40 Horsemen, and 40 Pages.

[2] Military Papers, State Paper Office.

[3] This Regiment was disbanded after the Peace in 1674.

[4] This appears to be the first introduction of bayonets into the English Army.

[5] State Paper Office.

[6] The first issue of carbines to the regular Horse appears to have taken place in 1678; the Life Guards, however, carried carbines from their formation in 1660.—Vide the 'Historical Record of the Life Guards.'









IN 1685;


TO 1838.







Printed by William Clowes and Sons,
Stamford Street.

Regimental Standard

Madeley, lith. 3, Wellington St. Strand.

[Pg iii]


1685The Duke of Monmouth's rebellion1
——Six independent troops of horse raised3
——Constituted a regiment of Cuirassiers
——Obtains rank as Sixth Regiment of Horse4
——Arms and equipment
——Reviewed by King James II.5
1686Establishment, and names of officers6
——Reviewed by King James II.7
1687————, and employed on the King's duty
1688The Revolution8
1689Accession of William III.9
——Employed on the King's duty10
1690Obtains rank as Fifth Regiment of Horse11
1691Proceeds on foreign service12
1692Battle of Steenkirk
1693——— Landen13
1695Covering the siege of Namur15
1696Attack on a French outpost16
1697Peace of Ryswick
——Returns to England17
1698Proceeds to Ireland
1746Styled First Irish Horse22
1751Uniform, standards, &c.23
1788Reduced to the quality of Dragoons, and styled Fourth Dragoon Guards31
——Styled the Fourth, or Royal Irish Dragoon Guards33
1793Proceeds to England34
1795Returns to Ireland
[iv] 1796Disturbed state of Ireland35
——A French force arrives at Bantry Bay
1797Alterations in the equipment, &c.36
1798Rebellion in Ireland37
——Action at Naas
—————— Prosperous and Carlow38
—————— near Gorey39
—————— at Ovidstown, Goff's Bridge, and Arklow40
—————— Vinegar Hill41
—————— Gore's Bridge and Kildare43
1799Proceeds to England44
——Horses' tails docked
1800Marches to Scotland
1802Returns to Ireland—Alteration in the clothing45
1803Bonaparte's threat of invading England
——Field officers released from the charge of troops46
1804Embarks for England
1805St. Patrick's fund established in the regiment47
1806Proceeds to Scotland—Returns to England
1808Riots at Manchester, &c.48
——Men's hair cut short, and powder discontinued49
1809Troop Quartermasters replaced by Troop Serjeant-Majors
1810Riots in the Coal districts
1811Six troops proceed to Portugal50
1812Covering the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo51
—————————— Badajoz
——Skirmish at Llerena52
——Advances to Madrid
——Retreats to Portugal
1813Returns to England54
——Regimental school established
1814Peace concluded—The establishment reduced55
1814Proceeds to Ireland
[v] 1814Alteration in the uniform56
1815War proclaimed—The establishment augmented
——Peace restored—The establishment reduced57
1818Embarks for England
1819Alteration in the uniform58
1820Riots at Wakefield and Sheffield59
1821Marches to Scotland
1822Embarks for Ireland60
1826————— England61
——Riots at Dudley, Wolverhampton, and Lichfield
1827Alterations in the uniform62
1830Marches to Scotland64
——Lace changed from silver to gold
1831Riots at elections in Scotland
1832Embarks for Ireland66
——Riots in Ireland
1835Embarks for England, and stationed at Brighton74
1837Riots at elections in England77
1838Attends the coronation of Queen Victoria78
——Her Majesty approves of the regiment bearing the Harp and Crown, in addition to the Star of the Order of St. Patrick79
——The conclusion



1685James Earl of Arran, K.T.81
1688Charles Earl of Selkirk83
——Charles Godfrey
1693Francis Langston84
1713George Jocelyn85
1715Sherrington Davenport86
1719Owen Wynne
1732Thomas Pearce87
1739James Lord Tyrawley88
1743John Brown89
1762James Johnston90
1775James Johnston
1778George Warde92
1803Miles Staveley
1814Sir Henry Fane, G.C.B.93
1827Sir George Anson, G.C.B.94


The Standard of the Regiment to follow the regimentalTitle-page.
Colonel Francis Langston at the battle of Landen to facePage 14.
The Uniform in 1838 to face  "   80.

[Pg 1]







The Regiment, which forms the subject of the following memoir, is one of the seventeen corps, now in the British army, which derive their origin from the commotions in England during the first year of the reign of King James II.

The origin of these commotions may be traced to the pernicious councils adopted by King Charles I., which were followed by a flame of puritanical zeal and of democratical fury and outrage in the country, which deprived the monarch of life, and forced the royal family to reside for several years in exile on the continent, where King Charles II. and his brother, James Duke of York, imbibed the doctrines of the Church of Rome. After the Restoration, in 1660, the King concealed his religion from his Protestant subjects; but the Duke of York openly avowed the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church, which rendered him exceedingly unpopular. King Charles II. having no legitimate issue, his eldest illegitimate son, James Duke of[2] Monmouth, an officer of some merit, who had espoused the Protestant cause with great warmth, and had become very popular, aspired to the throne. In a few months after the accession of James II., this nobleman arrived from Holland (11th June, 1685) with a band of armed followers, and erecting his standard in the west of England, called upon the people to aid him in gaining the sovereign power.

Although a deep feeling of anxiety was general in the kingdom at this period, yet the King had declared his determination to support the Protestant religion, as by law established, and his designs against the constitution had not been manifested; hence loyalty to the sovereign, a principle so genial to the innate feelings of the British people, prevailed over every other consideration. A number of Mendip miners and other disaffected persons joined the Duke of Monmouth; but men of all ranks arrayed themselves under the banners of royalty.

To officers and soldiers imbued with a laudable esprit de corps, the particulars relating to the origin and services of their regiment are of intense interest, and the circumstances which gave rise to the formation of their corps are of themselves an era. To encourage such feelings is one of the objects of the present undertaking, and, although the general reader may think the narrative tedious, the officers and men of the Royal Irish Dragoon Guards will feel gratified at learning by whom, and where, each troop, of which their regiment was originally composed, was raised. This information has been procured from public documents, in which it is recorded that, in the midst of the[3] hostile preparations which the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion occasioned in every part of the kingdom, a troop of horse was raised by James Earl of Arran, eldest son of William Duke of Hamilton, a nobleman distinguished alike for loyalty and attachment to the Protestant religion; a second troop was raised, in the vicinity of London, by Captain John Parker, Lieutenant of the Horse Grenadier Guards attached to the King's Own troop of Life Guards (now First Regiment of Life Guards); a third at Lichfield, by William Baggott, Esq.; a fourth at Grantham, by Thomas Harrington, Esq.; a fifth at Durham, by John Fetherstonhalgh, Esq.; and the sixth at Morpeth, by William Ogle, Esq.; and that, after the decisive battle of Sedgemoor had destroyed the hopes of the invader, these six troops were ordered to march to the south of England, and were incorporated into a regiment of Cuirassiers, which is now the Fourth or Royal Irish Regiment of Dragoon Guards. The Colonelcy was conferred on the Earl of Arran, by commission, dated the 28th of July, 1685; the Lieutenant-Colonelcy on Captain Charles Nedby,[7] from the [4]Queen's regiment of horse; and the commission of Major on Captain John Parker.

At the formation of this regiment it ranked as Sixth Horse, but was distinguished by the name of its Colonel, the practice of using numerical titles not having been introduced into the British army until the reign of King George II. This corps being composed of the sons of substantial yeomen and tradesmen, who provided their own horses, it was held in high estimation in the country, and the men were placed on a rate of pay (2s. 6d. per day) which gave them a respectable station in society. Few nations in Europe possessed a body of troops which could vie with the English horse in all the qualities of good soldiers, and, in the reigns of King William III. and Queen Anne, this arme acquired a celebrity for gallantry and good conduct; and these qualities, whether evinced by bravery in the field, or by steadiness and temperate behaviour when their services have been required on home duties, have proved their usefulness, and have rendered them valuable corps during succeeding reigns.

The Earl of Arran's Regiment was armed and equipped, in common with the other regiments of Cuirassiers, with long swords, a pair of long pistols, and short carbines; the men wore hats, with broad brims bound with narrow lace, turned up on one side, and ornamented with ribands; large boots; and gauntlet gloves; their defensive armour was steel cuirasses, and head-pieces. This regiment was distinguished by white ribands, white linings to the coat, white waistcoats and breeches, white horse-furniture, the[5] carbine belts covered with white cloth, and ornamented with lace, and the officers wore white silk sashes;—each regiment had a distinguishing colour, which was then called its livery, and which is now called facing, and the distinguishing colour of the Earl of Arran's Regiment was WHITE.[8]

On their arrival in the south of England, Arran's Cuirassiers proceeded to the vicinity of Hounslow, and on the 20th of August passed in review before King James II. and his court on the heath. In order to make a display of his power and to overawe the disaffected in the kingdom, His Majesty ordered an army of eight thousand men to encamp on Hounslow Heath, of which this regiment formed a part; and on the 22nd of August the King reviewed twenty squadrons of horse, one of horse-grenadier guards, one of dragoons, and ten battalions of foot on the heath. After the review Arran's Cuirassiers marched [6]into quarters at Winchester and Andover, where they arrived on the 5th of September.


In these quarters the regiment passed the succeeding winter; and on the 1st of January, 1686, its establishment was fixed by a warrant under the sign manual, from which the following is an extract:—

Field and Staff-Officers.Per Diem.
The Colonel, as Colonel0120
Lieutenant-Colonel, as Lieut.-Colonel080
The Major (who has no troop), for himself, horses, and servants100
Chirurgeon ivs per day, and j horse to carry his chest, ijs per day060
A Kettle-Drummer to the Colonel's troop030
The Colonel's Troop.
The Colonel, as Captaine, xs per day, and ij horses, each at ijs per day0140
Lieutenant vis, and ij horses, each at ijs0100
Cornett vs, and ij horses, each at ijs090
Quarter-Master ivs, and i horse, at ijs060
Three Corporals, each at iijs per day090
Two Trumpeters, each at ijs viiid054
Forty Private Soldiers, each at ijs vid per day500
Five Troops more, of the same numbers, and at the same rates of pay as the Colonel's troop3868
Total for this Regiment per Diem4908
Per Annum£17,89734


At this period the following officers were holding commissions in the regiment:—

1stEarl of Arran (Col.)Thos. DaliellCh. Carterret
2ndCh. Nedby (Lt.-Col.)Thos. BagshawThos. Webster
3rdWm. BaggottRd. FetherstonhalghMark Strother
4thJno. FetherstonhalghThos. BrackstonPhilip Lawson
5thThos. HarringtonWm. HallJos. Ascough
6thWm. OgleAr. HepburnSurtes Swinburn
John ParkerMajor.
John SharrallChaplain.
Stephen AstonAdjutant.
Anthony RouseChirurgeon.

Arran's Cuirassiers were called from their cantonments in Hampshire in June, and again pitched their tents on Hounslow Heath, where they were reviewed several times by the King; and afterwards marched into quarters at Leicester, Ashby de la Zouch, Loughborough, and Melton Mowbray; and while in these quarters their Lieutenant-Colonel retired, and was succeeded by Major John Parker.


In the following summer they were withdrawn from Leicestershire, and proceeding to the metropolis, occupied quarters for a short time at Chelsea and Knightsbridge, from whence they proceeded to Hounslow, and again pitched their tents on the heath. After having been reviewed by the King, they marched (9th August) to Windsor and adjacent villages, and furnished a guard for the royal family at Windsor Castle; also a guard for the Princess Anne (afterwards Queen Anne) at Hampton Court Palace, and one troop was stationed at London to assist the Life Guards in their attendance on the Court.

On the 31st of August the regiment marched to London, and was quartered in Holborn, Gray's Inn Lane, and the vicinity of Smithfield, in order to take part in the duties of the court and metropolis;[8] and in September it furnished a detachment to protect a large sum of money from London to Portsmouth.


Having been relieved from the King's duty, Arran's Cuirassiers marched to Richmond and adjacent villages in May, 1688; and in July they once more encamped on Hounslow Heath. After taking part in several reviews, mock-battles, and splendid military spectacles, which were exhibited on the Heath by a numerous army, they proceeded to Cambridge, Peterborough, and St. Ives, and afterwards to Ipswich, where they were stationed a short time under Major-General Sir John Lanier, but were suddenly ordered to march to London in the beginning of November.

The circumstances in which the loyal officers and soldiers of the King's army were placed were of a most painful character. The King had been making rapid advances towards the subversion of the established religion and laws of the kingdom; and loyalty to the sovereign,—a distinguished feature in the character of the British soldier, and the love of the best interests of their native country,—which is inherent in men, were become so opposed to each other, that it appeared necessary for one to be sacrificed. Arran's Cuirassiers were, however, spared this painful ordeal by the circumstances which occurred. The King had resolved to remodel his army in England by the dismissal of Protestants and the introduction of Papists, as he had already done in Ireland; but the arrival of the Prince of Orange, with a Dutch army to aid the English nobility in opposing the proceedings of the Court, overturned the King's measures. The loyalty and attachment to the King evinced by the Earl of Arran occasioned him to be[9] promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General, and his regiment was considered one of the corps on which dependence could be placed. It had completed an augmentation of ten men per troop ordered in September, and was selected to remain as a guard near the Queen and the infant Prince of Wales, who was afterwards known as the Pretender: but a defection appearing in the army, the infant Prince was sent to Portsmouth; and the regiment, having been released from its duty of attendance on the Queen, was ordered to march to Salisbury.

Many officers and soldiers joined the Prince of Orange, and amongst others, Lord Churchill, Colonel of the third troop of Life Guards; the King gave the Duke of Berwick the command of the third troop of Life Guards; removed the Earl of Arran to the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards; and conferred the Colonelcy of the Sixth Horse on the Earl's brother, Charles Earl of Selkirk, from Guidon and Major in the fourth troop of Life Guards, his commission bearing date the 20th of November, 1688.

The desertions which took place alarmed the King and Queen; Her Majesty fled with the infant Prince to France, and was followed by the King. The Prince of Orange assumed the reins of government, and the Earl of Selkirk's regiment was ordered to march to Stamford in Lincolnshire.

On the 31st of December, 1688, the Prince of Orange conferred the Colonelcy of the regiment on Colonel Charles Godfrey, who had previously held a commission in the Duke of Monmouth's regiment of horse.



The Prince and Princess of Orange having ascended the throne while the regiment was quartered in Lincolnshire, it took part in the solemnity of the proclamation of their Majesty's accession at Stamford, on the 16th of February, 1689, on which occasion three troops, with the trumpets and kettle drums, paraded the town, and, 'after firing several volleys, partook of a substantial repast, with abundance of wine, and drank their Majesties' health amidst reiterated acclamations.'

In the middle of March three troops proceeded to the Isle of Wight, where 1500 Irish Roman Catholics were detained in the custody of a military force. These men had entered the service of King James in Ireland, and had been ordered to England to support the arbitrary proceedings of the Court; at the Revolution they were deprived of their arms and sent prisoners to the Isle of Wight, from whence they were eventually transported to Hamburgh, to be disposed of in the service of the Emperor of Germany.

Thirty men and horses of the regiment were transferred, in April, to the Blues, to complete the establishment of that corps previous to its embarkation for Holland.

During the summer three troops of the Sixth Horse were encamped on Hounslow Heath. King William had reasons to suspect that several old corps were not well affected towards his interests; but His Majesty appears to have placed entire confidence in the attachment of the officers and men of this regiment to his person and government; and in August a strong detachment left the camp at Hounslow, to take part in the duties of the Court and metropolis. The remainder of the three troops of the Sixth Horse, encamped on the heath, proceeded into quarters at Croydon and[11] Mitcham; and in December, the three troops in the Isle of Wight were removed to Salisbury.


The detachment having been relieved from the King's duty in London, the regiment was removed in February, 1690, into quarters at Oxford and Abingdon. In the following month it received orders to embark for Ireland, to serve under King William, against the French and the Irish Roman Catholics under King James. This order was, however, countermanded, and when the King proceeded with three troops of Life Guards to Ireland, this regiment marched into quarters in the villages near London, in order to take part in the duties of the Court. Having been relieved from this duty by the Fourth Horse (now 3rd Dragoon Guards), the regiment marched into quarters at Portsmouth and Isle of Wight, and subsequently to Salisbury and Winchester.

During the winter, the Fifth Regiment of Horse[9] was disbanded in Ireland; and the Sixth Horse obtained rank as Fifth Horse from this period.


From Salisbury and Winchester the regiment, now taking rank as Fifth Horse, was withdrawn in May, 1691, and proceeded to Hertford, Dartford, and Romford, and one troop furnished the guard at Windsor for the Queen Dowager, Catherine, consort of the late King Charles II. In June one troop was in attendance on the Princess Anne at Tunbridge; and in the autumn the regiment furnished a relay of escorts to attend the King [12]from Harwich to London, when His Majesty returned from the Netherlands.

The conquest of Ireland having been achieved, the King was enabled to augment his army in the Low Countries; and, soon after His Majesty's arrival in England, Godfrey's Horse were selected to proceed on foreign service. The regiment was, accordingly, embarked in transports on the river Thames on the 27th of November, and sailed on the following day. After its arrival in Flanders it went into quarters at Ghent.


In the spring of the following year, the Fifth Regiment of Horse took the field to serve its first campaign with the army under King William III. in person, who was fighting for the preservation of the Protestant religion and the balance of power in Europe, against the forces of Louis XIV. of France. After several movements, King William attacked the French army, commanded by Marshal Luxembourg, at its position near Steenkirk, on the 24th of July, 1692. The Fifth Horse supported the attacking column, and when the infantry deployed, it drew up on the right skirts of a wood, through which the main body of the army had to pass. The leading corps behaved with signal gallantry, but were repulsed, and the main body of the army was too far in the rear to give the required support. An immense body of French cavalry menacing the British infantry, the Fifth Horse were ordered to advance, and they succeeded in checking the enemy's squadrons. Lord Mountjoy[10], a young nobleman of great promise, [13]who was serving as a volunteer, was killed by a cannon ball at the head of the regiment. It soon afterwards received orders to retire, and this movement was covered by a squadron of Horse Grenadier Guards. The regiment was subsequently engaged in several movements, and in the autumn it proceeded into winter-quarters.


Shortly after the battle of Steenkirk, the Princess Anne of Denmark's regiment of horse,[11] which had lost many men and horses in the action, was disbanded; and on the 7th of March, 1693, its Colonel, Francis Langston, was appointed to the command of the Fifth Horse, vice Colonel Charles Godfrey, who retired.

In the ensuing campaign the regiment was again engaged for several weeks in marches, manœuvring, and occupying positions on the rich plains of the Netherlands, to defeat the designs of the enemy; and on the 19th of July it was engaged in the hard-contested [14]battle of Landen, where it had an opportunity of distinguishing itself. It was formed, during the early part of the action, near the village of Neer-Landen, to support the infantry on the left, and sustained some loss from a heavy cannonade to which it was exposed. At length Marshal Luxembourg, by means of an immense superiority of numbers, carried the village of Neer-Winden, forced the position occupied by his opponents, and his numerous cavalry overpowered the squadrons in the right wing of the confederate army. King William instantly ordered the English horse on the left to oppose the victorious career of the enemy; and Langston's Regiment, galloping to the scene of conflict, charged the French horsemen with signal gallantry. The right squadron of this regiment, led by its Colonel, Francis Langston, broke the French squadron to which it was opposed, and made great slaughter; and the heroic Langston, an officer remarkable for prowess and valour, who had served against the Moors in Africa, and at the battles of the Boyne, Aghrim, and Steenkirk, was seen using his broadsword with terrible execution, but he was eventually surrounded, severely wounded, and taken prisoner. Fresh squadrons of French cavalry, flushed with the prospect of victory, renewed the fight, and, notwithstanding the bravery evinced by the English horse, superiority of numbers prevailed. King William ordered a retreat, which, having to be made across bridges and by narrow defiles, was not executed without much confusion and loss. His Majesty remained on the ground until nearly surrounded by the enemy; but he was rescued by a party of his Life Guards and a troop of Horse.

At the Battle of Landen 19th July, 1693


After retiring from the field, the regiment proceeded to Tirlemont; it was subsequently engaged in several movements, and on the 5th of August it was reviewed by King William, with the remainder of the cavalry, near Wemmel. In November it marched into quarters at Ghent.


Having been joined by a body of recruits and remount horses from England, to replace the losses of the preceding campaign, the regiment marched out of Ghent in May, 1694, to cantonments in the villages between Brussels and Dendermond. The campaign of this year was remarkable for the long and fatiguing marches performed by the troops; but no general engagement occurred. After traversing Flanders and Brabant in various directions, and experiencing much privation from the country having so long been the seat of war, the regiment returned to its former quarters.


The services of the regiment during the campaign of 1695 were limited to covering the siege of Namur, one of the strongest fortresses in Europe, and garrisoned by 15,000 men, commanded by a Marshal of France (Boufflers). When the siege was formed, the regiment was detached to graze the horses between Charleroi and Mons; it was subsequently engaged in manœuvring to protect the besieging forces from the attacks of the French army. In the beginning of August the regiment was encamped at Waterloo, and subsequently in the immediate vicinity of Namur. This fortress was eventually captured, and this event was considered the brightest feature in King William's military history, and one upon which he was often heard to declare his satisfaction.


After passing the winter in Ghent, the regiment[16] was brigaded with the regiments of Lumley and Schomberg (now 1st and 7th Dragoon Guards), and was reviewed by the King on the 30th of May, 1696, "and made a very noble appearance." It served the campaign of this year under the Prince of Vaudemont in Flanders; and was encamped—first at Marykirk, and subsequently along the canal between Ghent and Bruges, to protect these places, with Nieuport, and the other maritime towns of Flanders, from the attacks of the enemy. A French army was encamped on the opposite side of the canal, and several skirmishes occurred, but no general engagement took place.

On the night of the 20th of September, Colonel Langston crossed the canal with a squadron of this regiment and a party of dragoons, and attacking one of the French outposts, defeated the guard and took thirty prisoners. The Prince of Vaudemont reviewed the regiment a few days after this event, and on the 5th of October it left the camp for winter-quarters in Ghent.


The regiment having been selected to form part of the army of Brabant during the campaign of 1697, it marched out of its winter-quarters in the early part of May, and pitched its tents at St. Quintin Linneck on the 16th of that month, and was formed in brigade with Leveson's, Windham's, and Galway's regiments (2nd and 6th Dragoon Guards, and a regiment of French Protestants.) It took part in several manœuvres, and during the night of the 12th of June it retired with the army through the forest of Soigne, and took post before Brussels, to protect that city from a siege. The regiment was subsequently encamped near Wavre, where it remained until peace was restored by the[17] Treaty of Ryswick[12], which was signed in September. It afterwards marched to Ghent, and during the winter embarked for England.


After its return from foreign service the regiment was quartered at Northampton, Banbury, and Wellingborough; and, the House of Commons having voted that only 10,000 regular troops should be kept in pay in England, it was ordered, in February, 1698, to march to Highlake, in Cheshire, and to embark for Ireland.

Having landed at Dublin on the 31st of March, the regiment was placed on the Irish establishment, and the rates of pay of the non-commissioned officers and soldiers were reduced; the troops in Ireland being on a lower rate of pay than those in England.


The establishment of the regiment was fixed by a warrant under the sign-manual, bearing date the 1st of May, 1699, at the following numbers:—

Colonel, as Colonel, 12s.; in lieu of servants, 3s.£0150
Lieut.-Colonel, as Lieut.-Colonel080
Major, as Major056
First Troop.
Captain, 10s.; 2 horses, each 2s.; in lieu of servants, 3s.0170
Lieutenants, 5s.;do.     2s.;do.     1s. 6d.0106
Cornet, 3s.;do.     2s.;do.     1s. 6d.086
Quartermaster, for himself and horse050
2 Corporals, each 2s. 6d.050
1 Trumpeter, 2s. 6d.026
36 Private Troopers, each 1s. 6d.2140
5 Troops more of the same numbers25126
Total per day32168
Per year£11,98434


In the same year His Majesty issued an order—'That whatever regiment, troop, or company shall be on duty in Dublin, there is to be allowed unto each private horseman 3d. per diem, and to each private foot soldier 1d. per diem, over and above what is otherwise established[13].' The troopers of this regiment were the first to derive the advantages given by this order, as they were on Dublin duty at the time it was issued.


The decease of King James having taken place at St. Germains, in September, 1701, the King of France (Louis XIV.) proclaimed the pretended Prince of Wales King of Great Britain by the style and title of James III.: this event, with the elevation of the Duke of Anjou to the throne of Spain in violation of the most solemn engagements, was followed by a sanguinary war with France and Spain, and a British force proceeded to the Netherlands. This regiment was not, however, employed on foreign service during the war; the proclamation of the Pretender, with the death of King William III., which occurred in March, 1702, had revived the hopes of the Papists; and the partisans of the Stuart dynasty were conspiring to effect the elevation of the Pretender to the throne of these kingdoms. Queen Anne, therefore, deemed it expedient to detain in Ireland a few trusty corps of approved devotion to the Protestant interest, and Brigadier-General Langston's Regiment of [19]Horse was selected to remain in that kingdom. This honourable distinction necessarily prevented the regiment sharing in the many glorious victories gained by the forces under the great Duke of Marlborough, where five regiments of British horse (now the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th Dragoon Guards) acquired never-fading laurels.


In 1703 the regiment was again employed on Dublin duty, and on the 24th of July it was reviewed near that city by his grace the Duke of Ormond, the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, who expressed his admiration of its appearance and discipline.


For many years subsequent to this period there was little diversity in the services of the regiment: it was usually stationed at or near Dublin, occasionally occupying dispersed cantonments in more remote parts of the kingdom.


During the summer of 1706 the regiment was encamped on the Curragh of Kildare. On the 21st of April, 1709, two troops attended the Earl of Wharton, the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, at his public entry into Dublin; and on the 7th of May, 1710, two troops escorted his lordship into Dublin, on his return from England.


Lieutenant-General Francis Langston having retired from the service, the Colonelcy of the regiment was conferred, through the interest of James Duke of Ormond, on Brigadier-General George Jocelyn, from the Second Troop (now Second Regiment) of Life Guards, by commission dated the 20th of October, 1713.


After the accession of King George I. in 1714, the Duke of Ormond being removed from the[20] command of the army, Brigadier-General Jocelyn sold his commission and quitted the service; and was succeeded in the Colonelcy of the Fifth Horse by Major-General Sherrington Davenport, from the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the First Troop (now First Regiment) of Life Guards, his commission bearing date the 9th of February, 1715.

About this period the distinguishing colour, or facing, of the regiment was changed from white to light blue.


When the rebellion of the Earl of Mar, in favour of the Pretender, broke out in Scotland, the Fifth Horse were directed to hold themselves in readiness to proceed to England on the shortest notice; but the rebellion was suppressed by the forces under the Duke of Argyle, without the aid of this corps being required.


Tranquillity having been restored, the establishment of the regiment was reduced to 24 private men per troop.


The decease of Major-General Davenport occurred on the 2nd of July, 1719; and on the 6th of that month King George I. conferred the Colonelcy of the Fifth Horse on Major-General Owen Wynne, from a Regiment of Dragoons, now 9th Lancers: this officer commanded the regiment upwards of thirteen years, and was removed, in August, 1732, to the Royal Irish (late Fifth) Regiment of Dragoons.

In September, 1732, King George II. appointed Lieutenant-General Thomas Pearce to the Colonelcy of the Fifth Horse, from the 5th Regiment of Foot.



Lieutenant-General Pearce commanded the regiment seven years, and, dying in the summer of 1739, was succeeded in the Colonelcy by Major-General James Lord Tyrawley, from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, his commission bearing date the 26th of August, 1739.

On the 27th of the following month the regiment formed part of a splendid cavalcade which attended his grace the Duke of Devonshire on his arrival at Dublin as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, from the water-side to the castle.


The decease of Charles VI., Emperor of Germany, having been followed by a contest between his daughter, the Archduchess Maria-Theresa and the Elector of Bavaria, respecting the sovereignty of Bohemia and Hungaria, King George II. resolved to support the house of Austria;—the strength of the army was augmented, and 10 men and horses were added in 1740 to each troop of the Fifth Regiment of Horse.

During the summer of this year (1740) the populace of Dublin broke out into open riot, committing many acts of violence and outrage, in consequence of a scarcity of corn, and Tyrawley's Horse were ordered out and directed to patrole the streets night and day.


In April of the following year a further augmentation of nine men per troop was made to the establishment; and in 1742 a British army was sent to Flanders to support the pretensions of the Archduchess Maria-Theresa, as Queen of Hungaria, against the power of France and the Elector of Bavaria; but this regiment was detained in Ireland. In the beginning of 1743 the regiment[22] furnished a draft of ten men and horses per troop to join the regiments of horse on foreign service.

Lieutenant-General Lord Tyrawley, after commanding the regiment nearly four years, was removed to the Colonelcy of the Second Troop of Horse Grenadier Guards, and the command of the Fifth Horse was conferred on Colonel John Brown from the Ninth Dragoons, his commission bearing date the 1st of April, 1743.


In the beginning of the following year another draft of men and horses was sent on foreign service.


In April, 1745, the regiment was reviewed at Maryborough by Major-General de Grangues; and after the rebellion headed by Charles Edward, eldest son of the Pretender, broke out in Scotland, this regiment was ordered to Dublin, and the army in Ireland was placed in dispersed cantonments near the coast to resist any descent which might be attempted upon the island.


After the suppression of the rebellion in Scotland, three of the four regiments of Horse in England were reduced to the quality of Dragoons (25th December, 1746), and styled Dragoon Guards, and this regiment obtained the designation of the First Irish Horse. The regiments of horse on the Irish establishment (now the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Dragoon Guards) were frequently designated by the colour of their facings; the First being frequently called the Blue Horse; the Second the Green Horse; the Third, the Carabiniers; and the Fourth the Black Horse.


A treaty of peace was concluded with France and Bavaria at Aix-la-Chapelle in the winter of 1748-9; and, while the negociations were in[23] progress, the establishment of the First Irish Horse (with that of all other regiments of horse and dragoons in Ireland) was reduced to twenty-one private men per troop.


On the 1st of July, 1751, a warrant was issued under the sign-manual, regulating the uniform, colours, and standards of the regiments of the line, from which the following particulars are extracted respecting the First Irish Horse.

Hats—Ornamented with silver lace, and a black cockade.

Coats—Scarlet, faced and lappelled with pale blue, button-holes worked with white, white metal buttons set on two and two, and a long slash pocket in each skirt.

Waistcoats and Breeches—Pale blue.

Cloaks—Red, lined with pale blue, and the buttons set on two and two, on white frogs, or loops.

Horse Furniture—Pale blue, with a border of broad white mohair lace, having a scarlet stripe down the centre, and   H embroidered on a red ground, within a wreath of roses and thistles, on each holster-cap and on each corner of the housing.

Standards—The King's, or First Standard, to be of crimson damask, embroidered and fringed with gold and silver; in the centre the rose and thistle conjoined and crown over them, and the motto Dieu et mon Droit underneath; the white horse in a compartment in the first and[24] fourth corners, and   H in silver character on a pale blue ground in a compartment in the second and third corners. The second and third Standard to be of pale blue damask; in the centre the rank of the regiment in silver Roman characters, on a crimson ground, within a wreath of roses and thistles; the white horse on a red ground in the first and fourth compartments, and the rose and thistle conjoined upon a red ground in the second and third compartments.

Officers—Distinguished by silver lace, coats bound with silver embroidery, the button-holes worked with silver, and a crimson silk sash worn over the left shoulder.

Quartermasters—To wear a crimson sash round the waist.

Corporals—To have narrow silver lace on the lappels, cuffs, pockets, and shoulder-strops.

Kettle-Drummers and Trumpeters—Clothed in pale blue, faced and turned up with red, with long hanging sleeves fastened at the waist; red waistcoats and breeches; and the lace to be white with a red stripe.


In May, 1753, the regiment was reviewed by Major-General Blyth at Carlow, and immediately afterwards marched to Dublin; in 1754 it was reviewed by the Earl of Rothes at Philipstown.


During the summer of 1756 detachments from the regiments of horse and dragoons in Ireland,[25] with the whole of the Second and Third Regiments of Horse, were encamped at Kilkenny, with the view of establishing a uniform system of drill and manœuvre in the cavalry.


Another war having commenced with France, some preparations were made in 1759 to resist a menaced descent in Ireland by 28,000 French under the Duke of Aguillion, and the First Irish Horse were directed to hold themselves in readiness to march on the shortest notice.

In the early part of December of this year the regiment was employed in suppressing riots in Dublin, occasioned by a supposition that an union with England was in contemplation. The rioters broke into the House of Lords, and committed other outrages, but were eventually suppressed.


The regiment furnished a draft of twelve men and horses, in February, 1760, to complete the Third and Fourth Horse to forty-nine men per troop, previous to their embarkation for Germany; and another draft of twenty-two men was ordered in the spring of 1762. During the latter year the regiment was directed to recruit in Ireland, the cavalry corps having, previously to this period, usually procured recruits from England. In a few years afterwards the ranks of the First Irish Horse were composed almost exclusively of Irishmen.

Lieut.-General Brown died in the summer of this year, and was succeeded in the Colonelcy of the regiment by Colonel James Johnston, from the Lieut-Colonelcy of the Royal Horse Guards, by commission dated the 3rd of August, 1762.


At this period commotions and tumults prevailed[26] in various parts of Ireland to a most alarming extent; and in the beginning of 1763 the troops were employed in assisting the high sheriffs and magistrates in dispersing and securing bands of rioters known by the name of levellers. The head-quarters of the First Horse were at Carlow, and detachments were furnished to assist the civil power. In May, 1763, the regiment proceded to Dublin; in July it was ordered to march to the county of Monaghan to form escorts for the judges in their circuits; and subsequently Lieutenant-Colonel Roberts (commanding the regiment at Monaghan) was directed to furnish such detachments as Charles Coote, Esq., justice of the peace, should require to suppress riots, the county of Cavan being in a very disturbed state.

A treaty of peace having been concluded with France, the two regiments of horse returned from Germany, and the establishment of this regiment was reduced to twenty private men per troop.


The regiment was again employed on Dublin duty in 1764,[14] and while there, orders were received for all the regiments of horse and dragoons, excepting the light dragoons, to be mounted on long-tailed horses; all the English horse and dragoons were originally mounted on long-tailed horses, but the fashion of the short dock was introduced [27]about the close of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth centuries.[15] The regiment was also directed to discontinue the white lace on the button-holes of the waistcoat.


The regiment having been relieved from Dublin duty, its head-quarters were established in January, 1765, at Tullamore, from whence it marched in July to Birr, Maryborough, and Mount Mellick. In December of this year a ration of forage was fixed at 28 lbs. of hay, 7 lbs. of oats, and 6 lbs. of straw. During the following year the establishment of the regiment was reduced to 19 private men per troop.


In January 1767 the First Horse were again stationed at Dublin; and were reviewed in the fifteen-acres in Phœnix Park on the 22nd of that month, by the Earl of Granard, who was pleased to express his approbation of their appearance and discipline. They were withdrawn from Dublin in May, and proceeded to Carlow, but returned in the following month; and in December marched to Philipstown. Sword-belts suspended across the right shoulder, which had been used by the horse more than half a century, were this year adopted by the dragoons.


From Philipstown the regiment removed to Tullamore, where its head-quarters were established in the beginning of 1768. In a return of the distinctions of the regiment in Ireland, dated in February of this year, the First Horse are stated [28]to have deep blue facings, buff waistcoats and breeches, white lace, and white metal buttons.[16]

On the 24th of May the regiment was reviewed by Major-General Lambert; and in June the head-quarters were removed from Tullamore to Maryborough, where the regiment was reviewed on the 9th of June, 1769, by the Earl of Drogheda.


Some alterations were this year (1769) made in the uniform of the regiment;—the coats were made with half-lappels, a red stripe was introduced into the lace, and the colour of the horse-furniture was changed from light to dark blue. The cavalry officers were directed to wear their sashes with the fringe upon the right side, and the infantry officers upon the left, and the officers of the regiments of horse were directed to wear their sword-belts across the right shoulder, over the waistcoat and under the coat.


A change of cantonments, took place during the winter, and in January, 1770, the head-quarters of the regiment were at Kilkenny; but they were again established at Maryborough in July.


In the summer of 1771 the regiment marched to Dublin, and was reviewed by the Lord-Lieutenant in July, in the Phœnix Park.[17] After performing duty at the capital until December, it [29]marched into country quarters, and occupied for short periods Tullamore, Philipstown, Carlow, and Maryborough, during the three succeeding years; and in the summer of 1775 was again stationed at Dublin.

Major-General Johnston having been removed to the 11th Dragoons, His Majesty conferred the Colonelcy of the First Horse on Major-General James Johnston (cousin of the former colonel of the same name), from the Ninth Dragoons, by commission dated the 27th of April, 1775.


The British colonies in North America having rebelled against the mother-country, the regiment furnished in February, 1776, a draft of sixteen troop-horses to be sent to North America and employed in that country as the service required; 180 horses were sent from the cavalry corps in Ireland, and 16 guineas were allowed to the regiment for each horse. In July an augmentation of one corporal and 10 private men per troop was made to the establishment; parties of mounted men were sent out to enlist recruits, and directions were given that none but Protestants be engaged.


In the beginning of 1777 the regiment was[30] again in cantonments in the country, the head-quarters being at Castlebar, from whence they were removed in June to Roscommon, &c., but returned to Castlebar in the winter, and in May, 1778, proceeded to Birr, where the regiment was reviewed, on the 24th of that month, by Major-General De Burgh. While at this station the officers were ordered to provide themselves with tents, and to be in constant readiness to take the field. In June the head-quarters were removed to Belfast, in July to Armagh, and in September returned to Belfast.

In April, 1778, Lieutenant-General James Johnston was removed to the Enniskillen Dragoons, and was succeeded in the command of the First Horse by Major-General George Warde, from the 14th Dragoons.


On the 1st of June, 1779, the regiment marched to Lisburn, and in July the head-quarters were established at Belturbet. At this station they appear to have remained until July, 1781, when they were removed to Athlone, where the regiment was reviewed by Major-General Massey on the 2nd of August, and soon afterwards proceeded to Dublin, but in November returned to Athlone.


The regiment was again reviewed by Major-General Massey, on the 21st of June, 1782, at Athlone, from whence it marched, in a few days afterwards, to Mount Mellick, and, in January of the following year, to Dublin.


From Dublin the regiment proceeded, in July, 1784, to Tullamore. Its establishment, at this period, was 21 officers, 174 non-commissioned officers and private soldiers, and 133 troop-horses; but the American war having been terminated by acknowledging the independence of the United[31] States, the numbers of the regiment were reduced 10 men per troop.


Major-General Sir Henry Calder reviewed the regiment at Tullamore on the 4th of June, 1785, and on the 9th it marched to Nenagh, from whence a detachment of one corporal and six private men was sent to Dublin, where parties from every cavalry regiment in Ireland were assembled to establish an uniform system of horsemanship.


After remaining upwards of a year at Nenagh, the regiment marched, in July, 1786, to Carlow, where it passed the succeeding twelve months, and in July, 1787, proceeded to Longford.


While at this station, His Majesty's commands were conveyed to the regiment for converting it from a corps of Horse into a corps of Dragoons, with the title of Dragoon Guards. The following is a copy of the order for this change:—


'Adjutant-General's Office, Dublin,

'14th Feb., 1788.

First Horse
Fourth Dragoon Guards,
Second Horse
Fifth Dragoon Guards,
Third Horse
Sixth Dragoon Guards,
Fourth Horse
Seventh Dragoon Guards.

'It is His Majesty's pleasure that the four regiments of Horse on this establishment be converted to Dragoon Guards, according to the number specified in the margin: this regulation to take effect from the 1st of April next inclusive; and, in consequence of the alteration of the establishment of the regiments of horse, His Majesty has been pleased to direct that[32] compensation shall be made to every officer of the four regiments of horse, for the reduced pay of each, of which a proper scheme shall be made known as soon as the same can be digested. His Majesty has also been pleased to signify, that, in the change now proposed, it is not intended that any injury shall be sustained by the Colonels of the regiments, and that a compensation will be made to them for any reduction of pay or emolument they may suffer by the change; and also, that they will be reimbursed such reasonable extra expense as will be necessary for altering their present accoutrements, as likewise for the clothes, accoutrements, &c., of the augmented numbers, proper estimates of which will be immediately delivered to the Commander-in-Chief, to be laid before his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant.

'Such men of the regiments of horse as choose to re-enlist will receive a bounty of two guineas, excepting such corporals as shall be made serjeants, and, in consequence, have their pay advanced. I am to inform you that in all other respects the regiments of Dragoon Guards are to conform to all His Majesty's regulations relative to the regiments of Dragoons.

'William Fawcett,


The compensation granted to the Colonel of the Fourth Dragoon Guards was 150l. per annum for life, with 180l. 10s. for the alterations in the equipment; the Lieut.-Colonel received 575l.; Major, 525l.; Captains, each 475l.; Captain-Lieutenant and Lieutenants, 350l.; and the Cornets each 250l.


The establishment of the regiment was fixed at 1 colonel and captain, 1 lieutenant-colonel and captain, 1 major and captain, 3 captains, 6 lieutenants, 6 cornets, 1 chaplain, 1 adjutant, 1 surgeon, 6 quarter-masters, 6 serjeants, 12 corporals, 6 trumpeters, 114 private men, and 6 dismounted men. The carbines were cut shorter; the width of the belts was reduced from 4½ to 3 inches; and the officers were directed to wear their sword-belts over their coats when on duty, and when off duty over their waistcoats. The standard for recruits was fixed at from 5 feet 8½ inches, to 5 feet 11 inches.

The necessary alterations having been completed, and the regiment constituted the Fourth Dragoon Guards, its head-quarters were established at Belturbet; and on the 18th of April His Majesty was graciously pleased to approve of its bearing the title of the Royal Irish Regiment of Dragoon Guards, in consideration of its long and faithful services in Ireland[18].


From Belturbet the regiment marched on the 1st of May, 1790, for Dublin, where it was reviewed on the 20th of August by Major-General [34]Lyon, and in August, 1791, by Major-General White, and again by the same officer in May, 1792. In July of the latter year it marched from Dublin to Carlow.


During the period the regiment lay at Carlow, the violent republicans of France, who had previously overturned the ancient form of government in that country, were guilty of the atrocious conduct of beheading their King and Queen, and of involving the kingdom in scenes of outrage, massacre, and devastation. These proceedings were followed by a war between Great Britain and the regicide Government of France; and the establishment of the Royal Irish Dragoon Guards was augmented in August, 1793, to 334 non-commissioned officers and privates, and 276 troop horses.

In the meantime, a British army, commanded by His Royal Highness the Duke of York, had proceeded to the Netherlands, and the Royal Irish Dragoon Guards marched on the 10th of August, 1793, for Dublin, where they embarked in October for England, in the expectation of proceeding to join the Duke of York's army in Flanders.


After its arrival in England, the regiment was stationed at Nottingham, and its establishment was further augmented to nine troops of 56 men per troop. The order for its proceeding on foreign service was, however, rescinded, and it was directed to return to Ireland. It accordingly marched from Nottingham to Liverpool, where it embarked in the winter of 1795, and after landing at Dublin, halted a short time in that city, and[35] afterwards proceeded into cantonments in the country, the head-quarters being established at Belturbet. While stationed at this place, the establishment was augmented (1st April, 1796) to 65 rank and file per troop, making a total of 612 officers and soldiers.

The Roman Catholics of Ireland had, for some years past, been combining against the British government, forming secret associations, and committing numerous acts of outrage and murder upon the Protestants, and at this period they were preparing for open resistance; a military organization was secretly taking place in several counties,—fire-arms were procured, and pikes manufactured. Several Irishmen of property, who had been implicated in treasonable practices, had fled to France, through whose agency application was made, by the disaffected in Ireland, to the French Government, for a force to assist them in breaking their connection with England, and in establishing their independence as a republic. The French Directory cherished a decided antipathy to the British, as a people from whose firm determination, constancy of purpose, and immense resources the towering expectations of their republic were likely to be brought down. The proposal from Ireland was consequently acceded to, and an armament was prepared at Brest, with transport for 25,000 men, to be commanded by General Hoche. The assemblage of shipping and troops at Brest, with the agitated state of Ireland, occasioned the army in that kingdom to be augmented; and the country to be divided into five military districts. On the 24th of December the French fleet appeared[36] in Bantry Bay. The Royal Irish Dragoon Guards were immediately despatched to oppose the enemy, and had a most harassing march from Belturbet to Bantry in severe and inclement weather.

Some misunderstanding appears to have occurred between the French Directory and Irish malcontents, respecting the period when the troops were to arrive; the Irish were not prepared to rise at this time, and they were overawed by the number of the King's troops near the coast. The French fleet was partly dispersed by a storm, and the remainder of the force, alarmed at the preparations made to oppose their landing, returned to France. After the departure of the hostile fleet the Fourth Dragoon Guards marched back to their former quarters, and occupied Belturbet and the adjacent towns.


In the spring of 1797 the establishment was augmented to 703 officers and men, at the same time a second Lieut.-Colonel and a second Major were added to the regiment. In August of this year the Fourth Dragoon Guards encamped on the Curragh of Kildare, together with the 5th, 6th, and 7th Dragoon Guards, and 5th and 9th Dragoons; and these corps were reviewed in September by Lieut.-General Sir David Dundas, who issued very complimentary orders on the occasion. The camp broke up in October, when the regiment marched to Maryborough, with detachments at Mount Mellick and Ballinakill.

During this year some alterations were made in the equipment of the regiment: the large carbines were exchanged for others of a smaller size; and[37] the pair of large pistols for a single pistol; and the saddles were also considerably reduced in size. Lappels to the coats and silver lace on the men's hats were discontinued; and the colour of the waistcoats was changed from buff to white.


In the succeeding year the disaffected in Ireland broke out into open rebellion. Their leaders, having received fresh promises of aid from France, became confident of having their hopes and wishes accomplished, and the 22nd of May, 1798, was appointed for a general rising. The government had taken measures to meet the coming danger; a numerous yeomanry force was embodied; the regular troops were kept in constant readiness for active service; and, information of the designs of the insurgents having been procured, the leaders were seized and imprisoned, and the plan of the rebellion was disorganized. The passions of the misguided peasantry had, however, been wrought into fury and madness by all the motives which bigotry, hope of personal advantage, and thirst for vengeance could inspire, and the rebellion, so long suppressed, broke out with accumulated horrors. During the whole of its continuance the Royal Irish Dragoon Guards were constantly employed in this painful and unnatural warfare.

The regiment, having marched from Maryborough, was detached to the different towns near Dublin, where the rebels were in force. Captain William Smith's troop was stationed at Naas, with a party of fencible cavalry and another of Armagh militia. This town was attacked on the 24th of May by two thousand rebels: their first attempt was upon the county jail, where they were[38] repulsed with great loss; and they then possessed themselves of all the principal avenues to the town, and made a simultaneous attack on the posts occupied by the troops. The wild and disorderly rush of the undisciplined multitude was opposed by the troops with firmness, and after a contest of an hour's duration, the rebels were repulsed with the loss of one-hundred and forty men left dead in the streets. The Fourth Dragoon Guards and fencibles charged several times and slaughtered many of the rebels in the pursuit. The regiment had Quarter Master Rowayne and private Hughes, with eleven horses killed; and ten men and a number of horses wounded. This loss was occasioned by the rebel pikemen.

During the night a party of rebels set fire to the barracks at Prosperous, where one officer and twenty-eight men of the militia perished: a party of the Fourth Dragoon Guards was also surprised in quarters and nearly every man put to death: a few men were taken prisoners and afterwards butchered by the insurgents with the most inhuman cruelty. A party of fencibles was also surprised and murdered at Dunboyne; and the same misfortune befel a party of the Suffolk militia escorting baggage to Kildare. A number of other towns were attacked: in some instances the rebels were successful, in others they were defeated; and on the 25th, 26th, and 27th of May numerous skirmishes occurred, and civil war with all its horrors raged in the heart of Ireland.

A body of rebels attempted to surprise Carlow, which was garrisoned by detachments of the Fourth Dragoon Guards and Ninth Dra[39]goons, with some Yeomanry, Militia, and Volunteers, amounting to about 450 men. The rebels assembled nearly 3000 strong on the estate of Sir William Crosbie, Bart., who led them to the attack; and after a sharp conflict they were defeated, with the loss of 500 men killed, and many prisoners, including their leader, who was immediately tried by martial law and hanged.

Numerous encounters occurred in other parts of the country; and on the 30th of May a detachment of the Fourth Dragoon Guards, with a party of fencibles and Antrim militia, proceeding under the command of Colonel Walpole to join Major-General Loftus at Gorey, arrived at a place where the road was low and narrow, with high clay banks on each side crowded with bushes, and beyond them deep trenches, where they were attacked by an ambush of rebels of overwhelming numbers. The cavalry, by repeated charges to the front and right, endeavoured to extricate themselves, but their utmost efforts could not avail against the immense numbers by which they were opposed; and after an unequal fight of an hour's duration, in which their commanding officer, Colonel Walpole, and many men and horses were killed, they were forced to retire, covered by the militia, and had the mortification of losing three guns. About the same date 15,000 rebels took Wexford, and in the beginning of June made an attack upon New Ross, but were repulsed.[19] Enraged at this failure, they murdered, at the instigation [40]of their priests, 241 Protestant prisoners in cold blood, and evinced, in this act, a ferocious cruelty not exceeded by the savage barbarians of the most uncultivated part of the world.

On the 4th of June Captain Sir Richard Steel engaged, with his troop of the Fourth Dragoon Guards, a body of rebels posted at Ovidstown, and the insurgents fought for some time with bravery, but were eventually dispersed with great slaughter. The troop had one serjeant, two rank and file, and three horses killed; with nine men and a number of horses wounded. Captain Sir Richard Steel had his horse killed under him, and was himself severely wounded.

About the same period a body of rebels attacked the first, or Colonel's, troop of this regiment, at Goff's Bridge, when the Dragoon Guards repulsed the furious onsets of their reckless opponents with signal gallantry, and drove back the insurgents with loss.

Part of the regiment afterwards proceeded to Arklow, in the neighbourhood of which place the rebels were in great force. On the morning of the 9th of June, 30,000 insurgents advanced to attack the town with three guns and such a multitude of pikemen, that they appeared like a moving forest. Thrice they attacked the town, headed by their priests in clerical vestments, and evinced astonishing intrepidity; but were unable to make any impression on the steady valour of the King's troops, though they had an advantage in numbers of twenty to one. The celebrated Father Murphy was cut in two by a cannon-ball while in the act of heading one of the attacks, waving a green flag, and shouting "Liberty or death." The contest was con[41]tinued until evening; and the Fourth Dragoon Guards and Fifth Dragoons repeatedly charged, and in every instance routed the rebels with immense loss. The Fencible regiment of Ancient Britons also distinguished itself, and its Colonel, Sir W. Williams Wynne, was overpowered, and a rebel was in the act of piking him, when Corporal James M'Connel, of the Fourth Dragoon Guards, rushed forward to his aid, and slew the rebel. Captain William Smith also distinguished himself at the head of his troop of the Fourth Dragoon Guards in a particular manner. About eight o'clock in the evening the rebels retreated, leaving the ground literally covered with slain, their loss being estimated at between 6000 and 7000 men.

After repulsing the enemy at Arklow, dispositions were made for a combined attack of the King's forces on the rebels' stronghold at Vinegar Hill,[20] in the neighbourhood of Enniscorthy; and the Royal Irish Dragoon Guards marched to the scene of conflict under the orders of Major-General Wilford. The design of the Commander-in-Chief was to surround the post; and with this view 15,000 men, with artillery in proportion, advanced by four different routes. The first division commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir David [42]Dundas; the second under Major-Generals Sir James Duff and Loftus; the third under Major-General Needham; and the fourth under Major-Generals Johnson and Ross: the last was to attack the town of Enniscorthy, situate at the base of the hill, and to drive the rebels from thence. The troops having arrived at their stations (excepting Major-General Needham's division), the attack commenced about seven o'clock on the morning of the 21st of June, with a sharp cannonade. The rebels sustained the fire of the artillery and troops for nearly two hours, when they gave way and fled through the space which should have been occupied by the third division (hence called Needham's gap) in the greatest confusion towards Wexford; the cavalry galloped forward in pursuit, and made a dreadful slaughter among the fugitives. In their haste to escape from the sabres and bayonets of the King's troops, the rebels left behind them their cannon (fourteen pieces), with an immense quantity of plunder collected from the neighbouring towns and gentlemen's houses; also a number of muskets, pistols, and swords, and a great quantity of pikes, scythes, and other implements of destruction. The loss of the Fourth Dragoon Guards was, four men killed, and ten wounded; besides a number of horses killed and wounded. After the action the regiment proceeded to its former quarters at Maryborough and Mount Mellick, where it was kept in constant readiness for further operations; and detachments were employed on various services.

The remains of the rebel army continued to make an unavailing resistance, and endeavoured[43] to force the passes which separate the counties of Wexford and Carlow. On one occasion, a party of the Fourth Dragoon Guards and a small body of the Wexford militia disputed the passage of the river Barrow at Gore's Bridge, against an overwhelming force of rebels; after displaying much intrepidity and heroism, and losing many men in killed and wounded, the soldiers were overpowered, and 27 taken prisoners: 7 of the captives were supposed to be Orangemen, and were instantly shot, and their fellow-soldiers were forced to be their executioners.

In July, the Fourth Dragoon Guards marched, under the command of Colonel Thewles (accompanied by Major-General Sir James Duff), to attack, in conjunction with other troops, a considerable body of rebels who had taken post at Kildare. On the advance of the King's forces, the insurgents, after a short resistance, set the town on fire and retired to a position on the curragh of Kildare. Here they were attacked, overpowered, and routed by the cavalry, with a loss of 250 killed and many wounded. Previous to the termination of this sanguinary affair, Lieutenant-General Sir David Dundas arrived with a body of troops, to whom the surviving rebels surrendered,—the General having authority to give protection to such of the insurgents as should lay down their arms and return to their allegiance.

From this period the rebellion may be considered suppressed; some of the most obstinate of the rebels, however, continued in a body and committed many enormities; and the French endeavoured to revive the conflict by sending General[44] Humbert, with upwards of 1000 men, all desperate characters, who landed at Killala on the 22nd of August. The Fourth Dragoon Guards were immediately ordered to march for Connaught, but the French having been made prisoners, the order was countermanded, and the regiment returned to its quarters at Maryborough. Thus was this unnatural contest terminated; but the repeated atrocities of the Catholics led to equally frightful retaliations, and the sanguinary hatred engendered by religious antipathy and a thirst for revenge produced a fearful catalogue of crime after the rebels were subdued. The loss of the insurgents during this rebellion has been estimated at 50,000 men, and that of the royalists at 19,000 men.


Scarcely were the troubles in Ireland terminated and the country restored to tranquillity, when the regiment received orders to hold itself in readiness for foreign service, and, having marched to Dublin, it there received a draught of men and horses from the 6th Dragoon Guards.

Embarking from Dublin in August, 1799, it landed at Liverpool, from whence it proceeded by forced marches to Northampton, expecting to form part of the Anglo-Russian army, destined to attempt to rescue Holland from the power of France; but the Dutch not seconding the efforts made for their deliverance, the troops were withdrawn, and the Fourth Dragoon Guards continued at Northampton during the remainder of that year.

During the summer the regiment received orders to cut the horses' tails, which had been worn of the natural length since 1764, and the operation occa[45]sioned the loss of several valuable horses, which died of locked-jaw.


In the beginning of the following year the establishment was augmented to ten troops, and the total numbers to 850 officers and men. In February the regiment marched from Northampton for Scotland, and on its arrival occupied Hamilton barracks; in the autumn it proceeded to Edinburgh, where it remained nearly two years.


After the conclusion of the peace of Amiens with the French government, the establishment of the Fourth Dragoon Guards was reduced to eight troops, and the total numbers to 550 officers and soldiers and 500 troop horses. In August, 1802, the regiment proceeded to Ireland, and, having landed at Donaghadee, it occupied Belturbet, Longford, and Enniskillen. This year the length of the skirts of the men's coats was reduced, and the blue half-lappels discontinued.


The peace, ratified in 1802, did not long 'diffuse its blessings o'er the land.' The First Consul of France, Napoleon Bonaparte, soon found opportunities to violate the conditions of a treaty which he never intended should be permanent,—merely wishing to have the army of Great Britain disbanded or reduced to a peace establishment, to further his hostile views against the country; and he ventured to make preparations to invade England. Happily his designs were frustrated; the spirit and energy of the British people were soon roused; an extraordinary feeling of patriotism pervaded the whole country,—the regular army was augmented,—the militia called out,—the yeomanry and volunteers enrolled,—and in a few months[46] a force of 500,000 men was prepared for any emergency. Bonaparte's threat of invasion soon evaporated, his proud spirit quailed before such a mighty preparation, and he feared to attempt the shores of Britain with his legions. The establishment of the Fourth Dragoon Guards was augmented on this occasion to 670 officers and soldiers.

After a service of sixty years the veteran General, George Warde, died (11th March, 1803) in the 78th year of his age, and was succeeded in the Colonelcy of the Royal Irish Dragoon Guards by Major-General Miles Staveley, whose regiment, the 28th, or Duke of York's own Light Dragoons, had been disbanded a few months previously to this period.

In April of this year (1803) the regiment marched to Longford and adjacent towns; and the efficiency of the corps was increased by the addition of three Captains to the establishment, which released the Field Officers from the charge of troops.

On the 16th December Captain Charles Dodgson, who commanded the troop at Philipstown, went in search of an outlaw, for whose apprehension the government had offered a large reward: arriving at the ruins of an old castle, where the rebel had established himself, the captain summoned him to surrender: he refused, and instantly fired at the captain, and so severely wounded him as to occasion his death in a few moments. This murder caused a great feeling of regret in the regiment, by which Captain Dodgson was much beloved.


In the spring of the following year it marched[47] to Dublin, and embarked for England; and, after landing at Liverpool, marched to Exeter, Truro, Totness, and Honiton; and in December, 44 men and 80 horses were added to the establishment.


The regiment quitted Devonshire and Cornwall in the spring of 1805, for Kent, and was assembled at Canterbury in May. On the 23rd of August it was inspected by His Royal Highness the Duke of York, and was honoured with his royal approbation of the appearance and discipline of the regiment. It was also inspected, on the 4th of October, by its Colonel, Major-General Staveley, who expressed great satisfaction at its condition. During its stay at Canterbury its establishment was augmented to 769 men and 769 troop horses.

In September of this year a regulation was established in the regiment, for each man to pay 1s. per month, and the sums thus produced to be invested in the public funds, and to be designated St. Patrick's Fund. From this fund every soldier, after a continued contribution for twelve years or upwards, was to receive, on his discharge, either the whole amount of his subscription, or a yearly pension, according to a fixed scale. Great advantages have accrued to the men of the regiment from this excellent institution. There are now (1838) 36 pensioners upon the fund, and the highest upon the list receives 6l. 1s. 6d. annually, after twenty-seven years' contribution. The stock amounts to 3350l. reduced 3 per cent. annuities.


The regiment quitted Canterbury in December, on route for Scotland; and in February, 1806, was established in quarters at Piershill barracks, Edinburgh, with Hamilton and Glasgow; but it was[48] recalled to England in a few weeks afterwards, and occupied Manchester, Liverpool, and Chester.

On the 8th of August two troops were inspected at Liverpool by His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester, accompanied by the Duke of Clarence (afterwards King William IV.); their Royal Highnesses also saw the whole regiment at Manchester on the 25th of September, and expressed their approbation of its appearance and discipline in the most flattering terms.[21]

While the regiment was stationed in Lancashire its establishment was augmented to ten troops; and the total numbers to 904 officers and soldiers, and 854 troop horses.


The regiment was reviewed on the 9th of June, 1807, at Manchester, by Major-General Fisher; and in the following month two troops marched to Nottingham: in the autumn the regiment occupied quarters at Birmingham (head-quarters), Nottingham, Coventry, Manchester, Liverpool, Chester, and Warrington.


In the summer of the following year great excitement prevailed in the manufacturing towns in Lancashire and the adjoining counties; and in May a serious riot took place at Manchester, in consequence of a bill, fixing the minimum of wages, [49]having been rejected by parliament: so great was the violence of the rioters, that the Fourth Dragoon Guards and militia were obliged to use violent means, and unfortunately eight men were killed and several wounded. This severity did not, however, prevent another body of weavers assembling on the 1st of June, and committing many acts of violence and outrage; and the cavalry was again obliged to act. The weavers of other towns were equally outrageous; and at Rochdale they attacked and burnt the prison, and were only prevented committing further mischief by the arrival of a troop of the Royal Irish Dragoon Guards from Manchester.

The disturbed state of the manufacturing towns, and the numerous calls of the civil authorities for the aid of a military force, occasioned much harassing duty to the regiment throughout the summer, and these services were rendered particularly painful to the troops, from the necessity of frequently using coercive measures to restrain the lawless violence of the people.

In November Major-General Pigott inspected the regiment at Birmingham, and expressed himself gratified at finding it so effective after the severe duties on which it had been employed.


During this year the men's hair, which had been worn long and tied behind with a queue, was ordered to be cut short; and in 1809 the use of powder to the hair was abolished. An order was also received for the appointment of troop serjeant-majors in the place of troop quartermasters, when vacancies occurred. A reduction of one hundred[50] horses was also made to the establishment in 1808, and again in 1809.


Numerous changes of quarters took place during the year 1809, and the spring of 1810, and in the summer of the latter year the regiment occupied York, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle, Beverley, &c. &c. During the autumn and early part of the winter of this year (1810) four troops (A. B. C. and D.) were employed under Major Ross in suppressing the riotous conduct of the workmen in the coal-districts in the counties of Northumberland and Durham, which, after much difficulty and painful service, was happily effected to the satisfaction of the coal-owners, who presented the regiment with a handsome Silver Vase, with the following inscription:—

'Presented to the Mess of the Fourth Royal Irish Dragoon Guards, by the Coal-Owners on the rivers Tyne and Wear, as a mark of grateful respect for services performed by a part of that corps, called out in aid of the civil power, in suppressing a riotous combination of their workmen in the year 1810.'


In November, 1810, and again in May, 1811, the regiment was inspected by Major-General Vyse, who passed very high encomiums on its appearance and discipline. In June following it marched to Radipole barracks, where it received orders, on the 5th of July, for six troops to be held in readiness to proceed on foreign service, to join the army commanded by General the Earl of Wellington, which was fighting against the legions of Bonaparte in Portugal and Spain;[51] and the establishment was augmented to 800 troop horses. The six troops, amounting to 550 men, and 534 horses, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Sherlock, embarked at Plymouth on the 24th of July, and, having a quick voyage, landed at Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, on the 4th of August.

The allied army under the command of Lord Wellington was, at this period, on the frontiers of Spain, and the Fourth Dragoon Guards, after halting three weeks at the royal barracks at Belem to refresh the horses, received orders to march up the country and join Major-General Le Merchant's brigade of heavy cavalry. Leaving Belem on the 1st of September, the regiment proceeded by Villa Franca and Santarem, to Abrantes—a romantic-looking town situate on the summit of a lofty precipice on the right bank of the Tagus.

After occupying Abrantes and the adjacent villages a few days, the regiment resumed its march, and proceeded by Niza, and Villa Velha, to Castello Branco, where it was reviewed by Lord Wellington, who expressed his entire approbation of the appearance and discipline of the corps, and of the excellent quality and condition of the horses, and ordered twenty of the lightest to be transferred to the regiments of light dragoons. In October the regiment marched to Bismula, subsequently to Fundão, and from thence to Santa Combadão, and after the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo was raised, it proceeded into quarters for the winter at Fundão.


When the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo was resumed, the regiment moved forward and formed[52] part of the force employed in covering the operation; and whilst engaged in this service a scarcity of forage was so severely experienced, that the condition of the horses was much deteriorated. After the capture of this fortress by storm on the 19th of January, 1812, some changes took place in the cavalry brigades, and this regiment was removed to Major-General Slade's brigade, which consisted of the Third and Fourth Dragoon Guards and First Royal Dragoons. This brigade marched to Santa Combadão and adjacent villages; and subsequently proceeded to the Alentego to join the southern army, and cover the siege of the important fortress of Badajoz. Marshal Soult advanced with a strong French corps to relieve the town; but it was taken by storm (6th April) before his arrival. He then retired, leaving a strong rear-guard at Llerena, towards which place the Fourth Dragoon Guards, and other cavalry corps, advanced; and the French troops at this place were attacked and defeated on the 11th of April, by the British cavalry.

The brigade, of which the Fourth Dragoon Guards formed part, was afterwards attached to the army of the south under the command of Lieut.-General Sir Rowland Hill, and was employed in all the operations and movements performed by that body of troops.

After the important victory gained by the main army under Lord Wellington, on the 22nd of July, at Salamanca, the army of the south advanced upon Madrid, in which city the Fourth Dragoon Guards were stationed for several days; at the same time Lord Wellington was engaged in the[53] siege of Burgos. A powerful French army under General Clausel having advanced to raise the siege, while another army under Marshal Soult, and a third under Joseph Bonaparte (who had been elevated by his brother to the throne of Spain), were advancing upon Madrid, Lord Wellington found himself unable to cope with the combined forces thus assembled to attack him, and he commenced retreating upon Salamanca. At the same time Sir Rowland Hill's corps withdrew from its forward position, and after a long and toilsome retreat the whole army was concentrated near Salamanca. The French afterwards crossed the Tormes at Alba de Tormes, and Lord Wellington retreated across the Agueda and entered Portugal. During this movement the troops suffered severely from the inclemency of the weather and the want of provision: the rain fell in torrents almost the whole of the time; and the bad condition of the roads, added to the scanty supply of forage, was particularly injurious to the cavalry, and occasioned the death of many horses of the Fourth Dragoon Guards, and other corps. The regiment was ordered into quarters at Zarga Maior; from whence it marched, towards the end of December, into cantonments at Brozas.

Several alterations were this year made in the clothing and appointments of the regiment: the men's coats were altered to short coatees, with blue collar and cuffs, and white bar lace with a blue cord across the breast; the cocked hat and white feather were discontinued, and a brass helmet, having the crest surmounted with long black horse-hair, was adopted. The horse appointments[54] were changed from black to brown leather; the leather saddle-bags to a cloth valise; and sabretaches were introduced.


Strenuous exertions were made during the winter to render the regiment particularly efficient for the ensuing campaign: men, horses, clothing, and appointments, arrived from England, and the corps was brought into the most perfect condition for the field; when an order was given for four regiments of cavalry to transfer their horses to the other corps and proceed to England; and to the extreme regret of the officers and men, who panted for an opportunity to distinguish themselves in action with the enemy, the Fourth Dragoon Guards was one of the regiments ordered to return home,—the other three were the 9th, 11th, and 13th Light Dragoons. The commanding-officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Sherlock, used his utmost endeavours to have the order rescinded, and to obtain permission for the regiment to remain on foreign service, but without avail; and the only St. Patrick's Day the Royal Irish Dragoon Guards ever hailed with sorrowful feelings was the one which brought the order for the surrender of their horses to other corps, and for their ceasing to form part of the army under Lord Wellington's command.

Having transferred 220 horses to the First Royal Dragoons, and 110 to the Third Dragoon Guards, the dismounted men proceeded to Lisbon, where they embarked for Portsmouth, and after their arrival marched to Hilsea barracks. On the 3rd of June they re-embarked at Portsmouth, and proceeded by sea to Hull, and from thence to York, where the four depôt troops and heavy bag[55]gage joined under the command of Major Ogilvie, from Canterbury.

During the period the regiment was serving in Portugal and Spain, it sustained, from change of climate, sickness, fatigue, privation, and other causes arising out of the arduous duties in which it had been employed, a loss of 239 men, and 445 horses.

While on foreign service a schoolmaster-serjeant was added to the corps, and that excellent institution, the regimental school, was established under the auspices of His Royal Highness the Duke of York, whose kind care and attention to the interests and welfare of the soldiers on numerous occasions renders the memory of His Royal Highness dear to every individual of the British army.


In October of this year (1813) the regiment was inspected at York by Major-General Cheney, who expressed great satisfaction at its appearance. In the following spring it occupied quarters at York, Sheffield, Newcastle, and Durham; from whence it marched, in May, in divisions for Edinburgh, and was there inspected by Major-General Sir Granby Calcraft on the 29th and 30th of that month: one squadron was afterwards stationed at Haddington.

In the meantime the legions of Bonaparte had not only been driven out of Spain, but he had also lost that immense accession of territory which had been acquired by the armies of France since the revolution; and even the capital of their country had fallen into the hands of the allied powers, who had removed the tyrant of Europe, the perfidious Emperor Napoleon, from his throne, and sent him[56] into exile, and had restored the Bourbon dynasty. Thus tranquillity was restored in Christendom under circumstances which warranted the anticipation of a long period of peace and prosperity to the nations of Europe. The strength of the British army was consequently diminished, and the establishment of the Fourth Dragoon Guards was reduced to eight troops, and the total to 545 men and 453 horses.

Soon after this reduction had been made in its numbers, the regiment was ordered to proceed to Ireland; it embarked at Port Patrick in the middle of August, and after landing at Donaghadee, it occupied Belturbet, Longford, Enniskillen, Sligo and Mullingar.

Lieut.-General Miles Staveley, who had held the Colonelcy of the regiment upwards of eleven years, died in September, 1814; and was succeeded by Lieut.-General Sir Henry Fane, G.C.B., by commission dated the 3rd of the following month.

A slight alteration was this year made in the uniform: the bars of white lace across the breast were discontinued, and two broad stripes of white lace with a blue worm were placed down the front of the coat and upon the cuffs; the jacked-leather boots were also replaced by others of a lighter description called Hessian boots;—the white plush breeches, by white web pantaloons; and a blue and white girdle (or sash) was adopted for the men.


The anticipations of a lengthened peace vanished in the spring of 1815, and the long-wished for repose of Europe was disturbed by Bonaparte, who violated the conditions of his treaties and[57] engagements, quitted the island of Elba, and once more trod the soil of France. His former associates in war flocked to his banner; his advance was rapid and decisive; Louis XVIII. was forced to vacate his newly-acquired throne and fly to the Netherlands; and the edicts of Napoleon were again issued from the Tuilleries. He was now singly opposed to nearly the whole of Europe; and, with the hardihood of desperation, he braved the resentment of the united powers. The Royal Irish Dragoon Guards were not fortunate enough to be again called on foreign service: but, every power in Christendom increasing the strength of its armies, the establishment of this regiment was augmented ten men per troop, and subsequently a further addition of 48 men and 128 horses was made to its numbers.

The battle of Waterloo disposed of Bonaparte and his legions, and a few days of contest sufficed to re-establish the tranquillity of Europe. The peace then restored has continued, with the exception of commotions in particular kingdoms, to shed its benign influence over Christendom for a longer period than on any former occasion during the two preceding centuries; and knowledge, refinement, arts, and manufactures have advanced to a state beyond that to which they ever previously attained.

The head-quarters of the regiment were removed from Belturbet to Tullamore in April, 1815; and various changes took place in the stations of the detached troops[22].



The peace of Europe having been re-established, the strength of the regular army was reduced, and in August, 1816, the numbers of the Fourth Dragoon Guards were decreased to 493 men and 333 horses.


In February, 1817, the head-quarters of the regiment were removed to Dublin, and detachments were stationed at Tullamore, Longford, Kavan, Philipstown, and five other places.


The regiment assembled at Dublin in June, 1818, and having embarked for England, landed at Bristol in the early part of July, and occupied Radipole barracks, with two troops at Bristol, and one at Taunton; and furnished a strong detachment on revenue duty on the coast. In the autumn the head-quarters were removed to Nottingham, and the detached troops occupied Northampton and Leicester. The regiment was inspected at this station by Major-General Bolton, in October; and again in May of the following year. In December, 1818, the establishment was reduced to 405 men and 273 horses.


A change of quarters took place in June and July, 1819, and the regiment was stationed at York, Sheffield, Leeds, and Huddersfield. In the middle of August five troops were employed in suppressing riots at Leeds; and in September one troop proceeded to Durham, in consequence of some commotions among the people of that city.

A further alteration was made in the uniform this year: the coats were made with long skirts, with four bars of white lace with a blue worm upon the sleeves, two bars on each side of the collar; and four bars, two rows in each bar, across the breast. The colour of the cloth overalls was[59] changed to blue-grey, with a blue stripe down the outside of the leg. The officers wore aiguillettes on the right shoulder, and a stripe of silver lace on their overalls.


The decease of His Majesty King George III. having taken place on the 29th of January, 1820, on the 31st of that month the troops of the Fourth Dragoon Guards at head-quarters attended the Lord Mayor, corporation, and societies of the city of York in solemn procession, while making proclamation of the accession of King George IV.; and on the 8th of February, 1820, they marched in procession at 8 o'clock, P.M., in funeral order to York minster, where a solemn dirge and funeral service was performed on the death of King George III.

On the 11th of April three troops marched from York to assist the civil power in suppressing some serious disturbances which had occurred in the neighbourhood of Wakefield. A collision afterwards took place with the rioters near Sheffield, when one sergeant, one private, and two horses were wounded with pikes, many of which were found in possession of the people.


Another change of quarters took place in August of this year, and the regiment was stationed at Newcastle upon Tyne, Carlisle, Penrith, and Whitehaven; and in October it was inspected by Major-General Sir Andrew Barnard, at Newcastle. In March, 1821, it marched to Scotland, and was stationed at Piershill barracks, Edinburgh, Greenock, Irvine, and Ayr. On the 6th of June it was inspected by Major-General Sir Thomas Bradford; and, in August, the esta[60]blishment was reduced to six troops. Previous to this date the troops were classed according to the colour of the horses, and the regiment consisted of two black troops, two brown, two bay, one bright bay, and one chestnut; when this reduction was ordered, the horses of one of the black troops, and of the chestnut troop, were transferred to the others; the horses thus became mixed, and they have since been trooped without reference to colour. The reduced establishment was 27 officers, 24 serjeants, 18 corporals, 6 trumpeters, 6 farriers, 281 privates and 253 troop horses. In September the regiment was again inspected by Major-General Sir Thomas Bradford; and in a few days afterwards the head-quarters were removed to Glasgow, where five troops were stationed, and one troop was quartered at Hamilton.


On the 10th of June, 1822, Major-General Sir Thomas Bradford again inspected the regiment, and expressed in strong terms his approbation of its appearance and discipline on this and the former occasion when he had seen the corps.

In July the regiment marched to Port Patrick, where it embarked for Ireland; and after landing at Donaghadee, the head-quarters were established at Dundalk, and detachments were stationed at Belturbet, Monaghan, Enniskillen, &c.: on the 23rd of October it was inspected by Major-General Egerton. An alteration was this year made in the shape of the helmet; and a large bear-skin crest was adopted.


The regiment marched from the northern district in June, 1823, for Dublin, where it was reviewed on the 12th of that month by Major-General[61] Sir Colquhoun Grant, by whom its appearance and discipline were commended. In a few days after this review it was removed to Newbridge, and was again inspected by the same officer in November following.


In June, 1824, the regiment marched to the royal barracks at Dublin, where it was inspected by Major-General Sir Colquhoun Grant on the 12th of July; and again on the 14th of May, 1825. In June it marched to Cahir, Limerick, Clogheen, and New Ross; and on the 20th of October it was inspected by Major-General Sir Charles Doyle.


From these quarters the regiment was withdrawn in March, 1826, and proceeding to Dublin, was there once more inspected by Sir Colquhoun Grant, and afterwards embarked for Liverpool, where it landed on the 29th of March. On the 31st it marched for Coventry, Birmingham, and Abergavenny; and in July was inspected by Major-General Sir Hussey Vivian.

In consequence of serious riots having taken place at Dudley and Wolverhampton, two troops marched to these places in the beginning of August. Serious disturbances also occurred at Lichfield during the election in the early part of September, and much mischief would have been done, but was prevented by the timely arrival of a troop of the Fourth Dragoon Guards from Birmingham. The troops were obliged to act against the people on several occasions, and a few persons were wounded.


On the 8th of January, 1827, this regiment, in common with the other corps of the army, testified,[62] by articles of mourning, the general grief on account of the death of His Royal Highness the Duke of York, the Commander-in-Chief of the army. The decease of His Royal Highness occurred on the 7th of January, and the whole army had to deplore the loss of a Prince who had justly obtained the appellation of "The Soldiers' friend." He was succeeded in the command of the army by the Duke of Wellington.

After the decease of Lieutenant-General Cartwright, Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Fane, G.C.B., was removed to the First Dragoon Guards, and was succeeded in the Colonelcy of the Fourth Royal Irish Dragoon Guards by Lieutenant-General Sir George Anson, G.C.B., by commission dated the 27th of February, 1827.

In April of this year the regiment marched to Dorchester, and occupied also Christchurch, Trowbridge, and Dursley; and was inspected on the 29th of April by Major-General Sir Hussey Vivian.

In consequence of the Dorchester barracks requiring repairs, two troops and the head-quarters marched to Weymouth on the 1st of June. On the 12th of July, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Clarence (afterwards Queen Adelaide) arrived at Weymouth, and the Fourth Dragoon Guards had the honour of escorting Her Royal Highness into the town, and of mounting a guard of honour where she alighted. Her Royal Highness left Weymouth on the following day with a similar escort. The regiment had also the honour of furnishing an escort for, and of receiving, the Duke of Clarence (afterwards King William IV.)[63] when His Royal Highness passed through Dorchester.

On the 20th of August the regiment was again inspected by Major-General Sir Hussey Vivian; and in October the head-quarters returned to Dorchester. In December, it furnished an escort and a guard of honour for His Royal Highness Don Miguel of Portugal on his visiting Dorchester.


The lace across the breast of the coats was this year discontinued, the coats were made to button in front without lace, and the skirts lengthened: four bars of lace were worn on the sleeve, and the facing was directed to be a blue velvet. The officers were ordered to wear two silver epaulettes and an aiguillette; and the men brass scales on the shoulders. At the same time the men's girdles were discontinued, but the officers continued to wear a crimson and gold sash with long pendent tassels. In the following spring the colour of the overalls was changed to dark blue, with a broad stripe of silver lace for the officers, and of white lace for the men. A blue great coat was also introduced for the officers; and horse furniture[23] of dark blue cloth with a double row of broad silver lace, with the King's cypher, crown, and the star of St. Patrick on each corner: and a black bearskin flounce.

Sir Hussey Vivian inspected the regiment on the 13th of April, and repeated the expressions of approbation he had invariably used on former occasions, of its appearance and discipline. In May [64]its quarters were changed to Exeter and Topsham barracks, with one troop at Dursley, and Sir Hussey Vivian made the autumnal half-yearly inspection on the 25th of August. During the summer the regiment had again the honour of furnishing travelling escorts for the Duchess of Clarence; and in September for Her Majesty the Queen of Portugal.

Gauntlet gloves were originally part of the equipment of every cavalry soldier; but were replaced by short gloves in the early part of the reign of George III.; and in December of this year the short leather gloves were laid aside and gauntlets again adopted.


The regiment marched from its quarters in Devonshire and Gloucestershire in April, 1829, for the north of England, and occupied York, with detached troops at Beverley and Newcastle upon Tyne. In September, Sir Hussey Vivian again inspected the regiment; and in April, 1830, it marched for Scotland, and occupied quarters at Piershill barracks, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Perth. It was inspected on the 31st of May by Major-General Sir Robert O'Callaghan, K.C.B.; and on the 26th of June it was formed, with the remainder of the garrison, at the mound of Edinburgh Castle and fired a feu-de-joie, in consequence of the accession of His Majesty King William IV. to the throne.

Soon after His Majesty's accession orders were given for all the army, excepting the Royal Horse Guards, to wear scarlet; also for all the regular forces to wear gold lace and embroidery, and the militia silver. The lace and embroidery of the Fourth Dragoon Guards, which had been[65] silver from the period of its formation, were at this period changed to Gold.

On the 27th of October the regiment was inspected by Major-General the Honourable Patrick Stewart, who expressed himself in terms of approbation of its appearance and discipline.


In April and May of the following year the troops performed several marches and much extra duty in consequence of the riotous conduct of the people at the elections. Escorts were required for the voters, and so violent were the rioters, that one man was killed by a brick while proceeding to vote in charge of a party of the military. Many of the soldiers were knocked off their horses with stones, and others had their helmets broken; yet such was the exemplary patience and forbearance of the soldiers of the Fourth Dragoon Guards, under these painful and trying circumstances, that not a single civilian was hurt by them during the whole period. During the riots at Ayr the prisoners in the gaol rose against the turnkeys, whom they overpowered; but a few men of the Fourth Dragoon Guards arriving, they dismounted, entered the gaol with loaded carbines, secured the prisoners before they could effect their escape, and restored order.

The usual half-yearly inspection was made by Major-General Hon. Patrick Stuart on the 16th of June; and on the 8th of September the regiment, with the garrison at Edinburgh, assembled and fired a feu-de-joie, on the occasion of the coronation of King William IV. and Queen Adelaide.

A change of quarters took place towards the end of September, and the regiment was stationed[66] at Glasgow, Hamilton, and Haddington. It was inspected by Major-General Sir Charles Dalbiac, K.C.H., on the 29th of September; and its present commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel James Charles Chatterton was appointed to the regiment on the 9th of December, in succession to Lieut.-Colonel Ross, who exchanged to the half-pay.


In March, 1832, one troop of the regiment marched to Paisley to aid the civil power in suppressing the riots which had occurred in that town. On the 4th of April, the half-yearly inspection was made by Major-General the Honourable Patrick Stewart, and the regiment being on the eve of its departure for Ireland, the Major-General issued the following order.

'Glasgow, April, 1832.

'General Order.

'On the departure of the Fourth Dragoon Guards for Ireland, Major-General Stewart takes the opportunity of expressing to the regiment the great satisfaction its conduct has given him during the period of upwards of a year and a half that it has been under his command, and during that time frequently under very trying circumstances, when upon all occasions it has evinced that steadiness, temper, and coolness, the certain results of the high state of discipline which the regiment has so eminently maintained.

'The Major-General requests that Lieutenant-Colonel Chatterton, the officers and men of the Fourth Dragoon Guards, will accept his best wishes for their future prosperity and welfare.

'By Order of the Major-General,

'P. Edwards, Major and A.D.C.'


The regiment embarked at Glasgow in steam-vessels for Belfast, and, after landing, occupied quarters at Dundalk, Belturbet, Ballyshannon, and Monaghan. On the 11th of May Major-General Macdonell made the usual half-yearly inspection.

During the summer and autumn of this year, the election riots, and other disturbances which occurred in Ireland, occasioned the regiment much harassing duty, detachments being almost constantly on the march to aid the civil power.

On the 20th of September Lieut.-General Sir Hussey Vivian inspected the regiment, and complimented the officers and men very highly on their appearance after the harassing duties they had lately performed. On the 7th of October the regiment was again inspected by Major-General Macdonell.

Ireland continued in a disturbed state, and during the autumn and winter the regiment was employed in most fatiguing and painful services. In one month the regiment furnished fifty-one parties to assist the civil power in making tithe-collections, quelling riots at fairs, dispersing illegal meetings, or suppressing election riots; and each of these parties was under the command of one or more officers.


In the spring of 1833 the head-quarters were removed to Cahir, and the regiment occupied also Limerick, Clonmell, and Carrick-on-Suir; and on the 16th of April Lieut.-Colonel Chatterton had the satisfaction to receive a letter from Major-General Macdonell, expressing 'his perfect approbation of the exemplary and excellent conduct of[68] the regiment during its service in the northern district.'

The half-yearly inspection was made by Major-General Sir James Douglas in the beginning of June. In September a squadron was employed in suppressing the riots at Cahir races, where two violent parties attacked each other, and the Dragoon Guards separated the combatants; but unfortunately several lives had been lost, and many of the peasantry dangerously wounded.

On the departure of the Marquis of Anglesey from Ireland the following order was issued.

'Adjutant-General's Office,

'26th September, 1833.

'General Order.

'Lieut.-General Sir Hussey Vivian has the greatest satisfaction in publishing to the troops in Ireland the accompanying expression of the Lord Lieutenant's approbation of their conduct and services, on the occasion of his Excellency's departure from this country.

'The Lord Lieutenant cannot quit these shores without reiterating to the army of Ireland the high sense he entertains of its admirable and truly soldier-like conduct.

'To the Lieut.-General commanding the forces he need hardly express his approbation and esteem, a feeling won for him by forty years' knowledge of his excellent qualities as a soldier and a man.

'Of the zeal, intelligence, and assiduity of the general officers and staff of the army he cannot[69] speak in terms of too high praise. He desires that the officers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers, as well of the army now present, as of those corps which have served here during the government of the Lord Lieutenant, will be assured he feels he cannot too highly appreciate and applaud their excellent conduct.

'Their patience, firmness, and forbearance (under circumstances that it may reasonably be hoped will never occur again), while they have salutarily supported the administration of the laws, have, with their mild demeanour, won the approbation and applause of all parties.

(Signed)  'Anglesey.

'Phœnix Park, 25th September, 1833.

'By command of the Lieut.-General Commanding,

'George D'Aguilar, D.A.G.'

Major-General Sir James Douglas inspected the regiment on the 11th of October.


On the 27th of April, 1834, the following gratifying address was presented to Lieut.-Colonel Chatterton, K.H., and the assembled Officers of the regiment, by James Archer Butler, Esq., attended by a large deputation of the gentlemen of the town and neighbourhood of Cahir.

'At a meeting of the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood of Cahir, held at Cahir Castle Hotel on the 27th of April, 1834; James Archer Butler, Esq., in the Chair, the following address to Lieut.-Colonel Chatterton, K.H., the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates of the Fourth Royal Irish Dragoon Guards, was unanimously agreed to.


'Whilst we consider your departure from Cahir barracks with unfeigned regret, permit us to express our high admiration of the gentlemanly and soldier-like conduct of every officer in your gallant corps. Of the non-commissioned officers and privates we feel the utmost pleasure in bearing testimony to their orderly conduct, evidently the result of inclination as well as of the high state of discipline, and the good feeling which so happily subsisted between them and the inhabitants of every class during their stay in these quarters.

'When we recollect the unexampled exertion of yourself and the officers to promote the amusement and good fellowship of this neighbourhood (which it fell to the lot of most of us to enjoy), it is but natural that your removal should cause pain and sorrow; but we have the consoling hope that events may occur to cause your speedy return to these barracks.

'In taking leave of you, Lieut.-Colonel Chatterton, the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men of the truly distinguished Fourth Royal Irish Dragoon Guards, we wish you, in the sincerity of our hearts, every happiness and prosperity.


'James Archer Butler, Chairman.

'To Lieut.-Colonel Chatterton, K.H.,
 &c. &c. &c.

The regiment marched from Cahir and the out-stations on the 28th and 29th of April, and proceeded to Cork, where the head-quarters were established with detached parties at Ballincorrig[71] and Buttevant; and on the 4th of May a communication was received from Major-General Sir James Douglas, K.C.B., expressing his 'perfect satisfaction at the conduct and high state of discipline of the regiment whilst under his orders in the South-western district.'

On the 23rd and 24th of May, the regiment was inspected by Major-General Sir Thomas Arbuthnot, K.C.B., and again, by the same officer, on the 22nd of October; also by Lieut.-General Sir Hussey Vivian, K.C.B., on the 3rd of the latter month.

The lawless resistance of the peasantry to the collection of tithes gave rise to additional duty during the autumn and winter of this year; and their violent conduct brought on collisions, which had the painful result of producing loss of life. Several persons were wounded at Ballincorrig on the 18th of December. On the 20th a large and tumultuous assembly of the peasantry at Gortroe, near Rathcormac, showed much obstinacy and lawless violence, attacking the military with sticks and stones, and were fired upon, when ten were killed and several wounded. The greatest excitement prevailed, and the military were obliged to assemble again on the 21st of December, and for several days afterwards.

This year a new-pattern brass helmet with bear skin crest was adopted, and the trumpeters' clothing was directed to be Scarlet, distinguished by lace.


The elections which took place in January, 1835, occasioned the regiment much extra duty and many harassing marches; and its conduct, with[72] that of the other regiments in Ireland, elicited the following communications.


'Adjutant-General's Office,

'Cork, 30th January, 1835.

'The Major-General is most happy to notify to the commandants of corps, that it appears from communications which he has received from the magistrates of this district, that the conduct of the detachments called out in aid of the civil power during the late elections, was, without exception, remarkably good. That the troops, to their praise be it said, never entered into party spirit on one side or the other, and that they never were employed except to protect the voters, and acting under the magistrates for the preservation of the peace.

(Signed)   'Charles Turner,

'Asst. Adjutant General.'

'Adjutant-General's Office,

'Dublin, 30th January, 1835.

'General Order.

'Lieut.-General Sir Hussey Vivian experiences the greatest gratification in communicating to the troops serving in Ireland the subjoined letter, received from His Excellency the Lord-Lieutenant, expressive of His Excellency's approbation of their conduct during the late elections.

'To a testimony so valuable, and emanating from so high a quarter, the Lieut.-General feels that any addition on his part must be quite unnecessary; but he cannot refuse himself the satisfaction of uniting with it his own individual[73] acknowledgments to the general officers and men serving under his orders, and of congratulating them on the possession of a tribute so honourable to themselves, and so calculated to confirm their zeal in the service of their King and Country.'

'By command of the Lieut.-General commanding,

(Signed)   'G. D'Aguilar, D.A.G.'

'Dublin, 30th January, 1835.

'Sir,—The elections being now over, and the service on which so many of the troops under your command have been for some weeks past engaged being now nearly at an end, I feel myself called upon to express to you the high sense I entertain of the admirable conduct of both officers and men, while employed in the performance of a duty in its very nature harassing and unpleasant.

'According to all the reports which have been under my cognizance, nothing could have exceeded their coolness, patience, and forbearance.

'Their presence in aid of the police and civil power (whose conduct is also above all praise) generally insured the peace, where, but for their the few occasions on which they were called upon to act, they did so, strictly, in self-defence, and not till they had been themselves assailed, and in many instances severely injured.

'I have to beg you will convey to them my best acknowledgments, and the assurance that I will, without loss of time, lay before His Majesty their claims to His Royal approbation.

'I cannot conclude this letter without offering[74] you my best thanks for the readiness with which you have attended to every call made upon you, for your judicious arrangements of the force under your command, and for the zeal, promptitude, and ability by which your conduct has been distinguished.

'The same thanks are due to the general commanding the garrison of Dublin, and to the general and superior officers in the different military divisions, for the able manner in which their duty was performed, whether in giving orders upon the spot when called upon by the civil power for protection, or in obeying the orders they received from head-quarters.

'I am, &c.,

(Signed)   'Haddington.

'To Lieut.-General the Right Honourable

'Sir Hussey Vivian, &c. &c. &c.'

The regiment having completed three years' service in Ireland, embarked at Cork on board of steam-vessels in May, 1835, for Bristol, from whence it marched to Brighton, with detached troops at Canterbury, Chichester, and Horsham; and relieved the Grenadier Guards in the duty at the Royal Pavilion.

In July the regiment was inspected by Major-General Sir Charles Dalbiac, who expressed himself much pleased with its steadiness and discipline; and on the 10th of August it was inspected by Lieut.-General Lord Hill, the General Commanding-in-Chief, who was pleased to direct Lieut.-Colonel Chatterton to issue an order, stating that 'the appearance of the men and horses, and the[75] discipline and interior economy of the regiment were such as to merit his fullest approbation; and that the squadron he had lately inspected at Canterbury was also in the most perfect order.'

A riotous assemblage of people having taken place at Steyning in opposition to the poor-laws, one troop marched thither on the 11th of September, and its timely arrival rescued the magistrates and relieving officer from a situation of very great danger. A troop also marched to Horsham for a similar purpose on the 15th of September; and another troop from Canterbury to Bath on the 20th of October.

The Colonel of the Fourth Dragoon Guards Lieut.-General Sir George Anson, G.C.B., inspected the regiment on the 26th of October, and directed the following paragraph to be inserted in the orderly books.

'Lieut.-General Sir George Anson has the greatest satisfaction in expressing his entire approbation of the general appearance of his regiment, and of the zeal and attention manifested by all ranks to good order and discipline.'

Their Majesties King William IV. and Queen Adelaide having arrived at the Royal Pavilion, the Fourth Dragoon Guards had the honour of being on the King's duty for the first time since the reign of William III. His Majesty heard the records of the regiment read in the early part of November, and expressed great interest and gratification at hearing their contents.

In December a detachment of the regiment was employed in aiding the civil power at Horsham; and a letter of thanks was received from the Duke[76] of Richmond and magistrates assembled at that town, 'for the conduct of the detachment of the regiment there when called upon to assist the civil power, as well as for their excellent behaviour since quartered in that town.'


On the 17th of December Colonel Lord Frederic Fitz-Clarence, with a number of noblemen and general officers from the Pavilion, saw the regiment; and on the 27th of January, 1836, it was inspected by His Serene Highness Prince Ernest of Hesse Phillipstal, who was pleased to say to Lieutenant-Colonel Chatterton—'I have heard from every quarter the greatest praise of your regiment, but what I have seen has surpassed my utmost expectation, and I shall not fail to mention to His Majesty the pleasure I have experienced in seeing so fine a corps.' His Majesty was afterwards pleased to express his royal satisfaction at what Prince Ernest had reported; and also his approbation, and that of the Queen, at the excellent performance of the band at all times when playing at the Pavilion; and at the good conduct of the regiment during their Majesties' sojourn at Brighton.

A change of quarters took place in May, and the regiment was stationed at Dorchester, Trowbridge, and Weymouth, and was inspected on the 11th and 12th of July by Major-General Sir Charles Dalbiac.


During the following summer the regiment marched for Manchester, and was stationed at Hulme barracks; and on the 29th of May took part in a grand procession and spectacle at Manchester in honour of His Majesty's birth-day.


The decease of King William IV. having taken place on the 20th of June, the Fourth Dragoon Guards, 48th regiment, and artillery, took part in a grand procession on the 23rd of that month, at Manchester, on the occasion of the proclamation of the accession of Her Majesty Queen Victoria to the throne. On the following day the regiment assumed the usual mourning for His late Majesty.

In July the regiment marched out of Manchester, during the election, and on two or three occasions the troops were called upon to assist the civil power at Salford, and also at Prescot; and on the 26th of July a subaltern and 20 men marched to Bury on a similar duty. On the 9th of August the regiment returned to Hulme barracks, and on the 10th and 11th was inspected by Major-General Sir Charles Dalbiac.

After the termination of the elections the following communication from Lord John Russell to the general commanding-in-chief was communicated to the regiment by Major-General Sir Richard Jackson.

'My Lord,

'I have received the Queen's commands to signify to your Lordship Her Majesty's entire approval of the conduct of the military employed during the elections in England and Wales, where their assistance has been called for by the magistrates for the preservation of the public peace; and to desire your Lordship will communicate to the military, whose services have been so required, Her Majesty's gracious approval of their conduct.'


On the 4th of October Major-General Sir Richard Jackson, K.C.B., inspected the regiment. In December detachments were employed in supporting the civil power at Halifax and Bradford against persons resisting the poor-laws.


The regiment took part, with the royal artillery, 98th foot, and magistrates, clergy, &c., in a solemn procession in honour of Her Majesty's birth-day at Manchester on the 17th of May. During the following month it marched to the vicinity of London, and was quartered at Islington and Clerkenwell; and on the 28th of June two squadrons occupied stations near Westminster Abbey during the ceremonial of Her Majesty's coronation.

On the 8th of July the regiment took the Queen's Guard at the Horse Guards; and on the following day furnished two squadrons to keep the ground in Hyde Park during the time the Household Cavalry Brigade, Tenth Royal Hussars, Twelfth Royal Lancers, three troops of Royal Horse Artillery, three batteries of Field Artillery, four battalions of Foot Guards, and two battalions of the Rifle Brigade, commanded by General the Marquis of Anglesea, K.G. and G.C.B., were reviewed by Her Majesty. A letter was afterwards received from Lieutenant-General Sir Willoughby Gordon, G.C.B., Quartermaster-General, expressive of his 'perfect satisfaction at the very attentive and soldierlike conduct of, and the great assistance afforded by, the detachment of the regiment, whilst keeping the ground in Hyde Park.'

After the review, the regiment marched to Ipswich and Norwich, where it was inspected by[79] Major-General Sir Charles Dalbiac, K.C.H., on the 23rd of July: the regiment had not been stationed in the county of Suffolk since the year 1688.

Her Majesty Queen Victoria was graciously pleased to approve of this regiment bearing on its standards and appointments the Harp and Crown, in addition to the Star of the most illustrious Order of St. Patrick, with the motto Quis separabit? as a national badge connected with its title of "Royal Irish Dragoon Guards."

On the 24th September a detachment of the regiment marched from Norwich to Stanfield Hall, where its presence was required to assist the civil power in securing some persons who were illegally assembled, and who bade defiance to the magistrates. After some resistance the rioters were secured, and eighty-four of them lodged in Norwich Jail. The Magistrates transmitted to the General Commanding in Chief a letter, explanatory of the circumstances which had occasioned them to call for the aid of the troops, and expressive of their thanks for the promptitude with which assistance was granted, as well as for the steadiness and good conduct of the detachment, and for the valuable aid afforded by the officers and soldiers.

The Fourth Dragoon Guards, under a well-regulated system of discipline and the direction of intelligent officers, in whom the men have confidence, have evinced their usefulness to the country by their firm and temperate conduct on home duty, as well as by their bravery in the field when called upon to combat a foreign enemy. Instances frequently occur, in which the magistrates call for[80] the aid of the military, without whose co-operation the civil police would sometimes be unequal to repress and control the violence of a lawless mob. On these occasions, the conduct of the troops has been such as to draw forth the commendations and thanks of the civil authorities, which have been communicated to the General Commanding in Chief, and by his authority signified in orders to the troops who have been so employed, and whose conduct has merited such commendations.


[7] Captain Charles Nedby commanded a troop in the Duke of Monmouth's regiment of horse, which was raised in 1678, in the expectation of a war with France, and was disbanded in the following year. In 1680 he raised an independent troop of horse for service at Tangier in Africa, and proceeding thither immediately, distinguished himself in an action with the Moors, on 27th of September, 1680. In 1683 the four troops of Tangier horse were constituted, together with two troops raised in England, the Royal Regiment of Dragoons. Captain Nedby continued in the Royal Dragoons until June, 1685, when he raised a troop of horse for the Queen's Regiment, now 1st Dragoon Guards; and in July of the same year he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the Earl of Arran's Regiment.

[8] According to the estimates of this period, the following sums were usually paid for the clothing of the horse:—

Scarlet coats3100
Corporal's ditto4100
Red cloaks, lined250
Hats edged with lace0150
Sword and belts100
Carbine belts070
Cloth waistcoats015
Buff gloves076
Horse furniture,—viz.: housing and holster-caps, embroidered150
Jacked boots160
Cartouch boxes026

Each Captain clothed his own trumpeter, and the Colonel the kettle-drummer.

[9] The Fifth Horse were embodied in July, 1685, under the command of the Earl of Thanet, who was succeeded, on the 24th of October of the same year, by Major-General Werden. This officer commanded the regiment until December, 1688, when Lord Deloraine was appointed to the command; his Lordship was succeeded in the following year by Colonel Francis Russell, who commanded it until it was disbanded.

[10] Lord Mountjoy was a warm-hearted Irish nobleman, devoted to the Protestant interest. At the Revolution he was desirous of having Ireland delivered into the hands of King William; the Lord-Lieutenant, Earl Tyrconnel, appeared to acquiesce, and sent Lord Mountjoy to France to obtain the sanction of King James, who confined him in the Bastile, where he remained until 1692, when he was exchanged for General Richard Hamilton. He arrived from France a few days before the battle of Steenkirk, and though holding no military rank, he served with this regiment as a volunteer, and was killed as above stated.

[11] The Princess Anne's regiment was formed of independent troops of horse raised in June, 1685, and the Colonelcy conferred on the Earl of Scarsdale, who was succeeded, on the 1st of December, 1687, by Charles, Duke of St. Alban's. This regiment was remarkable for being one of the first corps which joined the Prince of Orange in November, 1688; having been conducted to His Highness's quarters by the Lieutenant-Colonel, Thomas Langston, who was immediately promoted to the Colonelcy of the regiment, and his brother, Captain Francis Langston, of the Royal Dragoons, was promoted to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy. Colonel Thomas Langston died of a fever at Lisburn, in Ireland, in December, 1689, and the Colonelcy of the regiment was conferred on his brother Francis. This regiment served at the battles of the Boyne and Aghrim in Ireland, and at Steenkirk in the Netherlands; but having lost many men and horses, the remainder were transferred to other corps, and the regiment was taken off the establishment of the army in the autumn of 1692. The officers served en seconde until vacancies occurred in other regiments.

[12] When the regimental record was read to King William IV. in November, 1835, at the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, His Majesty observed—'I was often at the house where the peace of Ryswick was signed. It was then the property of the Earl of Athlone, but now belongs to the Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen, sister to her Majesty the Queen.'

[13] Official Records in Ireland.

[14] While the regiment was on Dublin duty the following curious order was received.

'Dublin, 31st January, 1764.

'Lieutenant-General Fowkes recommends to the officers of the garrison that they would not play at the castle whilst on duty; and that the officers of the Horse Guards will avoid mixing with the ladies in the drawing-room, on account of the inconveniency of spurs to the ladies' hoop petticoats.

(Signed)   'D. Grant, Captain 52nd Reg.,
for the Major of Brigade.'

[15] It has been stated that the troop-horses' tails were first docked in 1698; but the practice did not become general until ten years afterwards.

[16] See the Royal Warrant of the 19th December, 1768.

[17] Previous to reviews at this period a set of movements were fixed on by the Lord-Lieutenant, and ordered to be performed in his presence; the movements of the First Horse on this occasion were:—Salute—march past by squadrons—ditto by fours—dismount—manual exercise—march past by divisions—ditto by files—mount—cavalry evolutions—form line to the right twice—wheel to the right about—form line to the left twice—wheel to the left about—form two columns by quarter ranks from the centre of each squadron—double up to half-ranks—form squadrons—file from the right of fours—form squadrons—file from the left of fours—form squadrons—by fours to the right about—file from the right of fours—form to the rear—by fours to the right about—form four squadrons—wheel the line—charge—retreat by files from the right—form to the front—form two lines opposite, by squadrons wheeling outwards—charge through the intervals—form two columns to the rear by each line wheeling by squadrons inwards—squadrons wheel to the front—form two squadrons—advance—form six squadrons—form two columns on the centre squadrons—form line—charge—retreat by three squadrons, the three others supporting—move to the right to gain a flank—form and charge—form two squadrons—centre troops advance and pursue—retire and form in the rear of their own squadrons—charge—take ground to both flanks and rear by fours—charge—retreat by fours—form line—advance—halt—general salute.


'Adjutant-General's Office, 19th April, 1788.

'Dear Sir,

 'Having had the honour of laying yesterday before His Majesty your request that the Fourth Regiment of Dragoon Guards, late the First Regiment of Horse, under your command, might bear the title of Royal Irish Regiment of Dragoon Guards, I have the pleasure to acquaint you that His Majesty has been graciously pleased to grant his royal permission for the same.

'I am, &c.

'William Fawcett, Adjutant-General.

'Lieut.-General George Warde,
Colonel of the Fourth Regt.
of Dragoon Guards.'

[19] In this attack Lord Mountjoy was killed. He was the second nobleman of that name who fell while serving with this Regiment. See the account of the battle of Steenkirk, in 1692, page 12.

[20] This eminence had been the scene of the most infamous and inhuman proceedings. Here the hapless Protestants seized by the rebels were taken and maliciously butchered, after a mock trial, and often no trial at all: some were shot, others transfixed with pikes, and many were barbarously tortured before their final execution. It appears, from unquestionable authority, that upwards of 500 Protestants were murdered on this fatal hill; and the priests were the instigators of these horrid religious massacres.

[21] When this part of the record was read to King William IV. at the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, on the 9th day of November, 1835, His Majesty observed:—'I recollect perfectly well inspecting the squadron at Liverpool with the Duke of Gloucester, and I think they were the finest men and horses I ever saw. In a short time afterwards we went to see the regiment at Manchester, and were equally pleased with the whole. It is a long time ago now, but the circumstance is fresh in my memory.' His Majesty directed Colonel Chatterton to make a note of this in the record.

[22] During this year, 1815, the white web pantaloons and Hessian boots, were replaced by dark-coloured cloth overalls and short boots.

[23] Horse furniture was originally used by both officers and men of the regiment, but it was discontinued in the early part of the reign of George III.

Madeley, lith. 3, Wellington St. Strand.

J. Spence det.






James Earl of Arran.

Appointed 28th of July, 1685.

The Earl of Arran was the eldest son of Lord William Douglas, a faithful supporter of the royal cause during the rebellion, who was created Earl of Selkirk by King Charles I. in 1646, and having married Anne Duchess of Hamilton, only surviving daughter of James first Duke of Hamilton, was, in consequence of a petition from the Duchess, created Duke of Hamilton for life by King Charles II.

Shortly after the restoration the Earl of Arran obtained an appointment in the household of King Charles II.,[24] and after remaining some time at court, he was sent with a congratulatory communication to the French Monarch, and served two campaigns with the French army in the capacity of aide-de-camp to Louis XIV. In 1685, when the Earl of Argyle raised the standard of rebellion in Scotland, the Earl of Arran took an active part against the insurgents: he also raised a troop of horse [82]for the service of King James II., who appointed him Colonel of the Sixth Regiment of Horse, now Fourth, or Royal Irish Dragoon Guards. He was nominated a Knight Companion of the Thistle, on the revival of that Order in 1687, and in the following year he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General, and appointed Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards. At the Revolution his conduct was remarkable for the unshaken fidelity which he evinced to his sovereign under all circumstances. When he could no longer serve the King in a military capacity, he performed his duty as gentleman of the bed-chamber, and attended His Majesty from the time of his departure from London to the moment of his embarkation at Rochester; and at the meeting of the Scottish nobility and gentry in London, in January, 1689, at which the duke, his father, presided, he expressed himself in reply to the request of the Prince of Orange for advice:—'The surest way to heal the breach is to address His Majesty to return from France, and call a free parliament. I can distinguish between his popery and his person: I dislike the one; but I have sworn, and do owe, allegiance to the other.' He had previously been removed from his regiment by the Prince of Orange.

During the hostilities which followed the accession of William and Mary, the Earl of Arran did not appear in arms in favour of King James; but he was suspected of corresponding with the court of France, and was twice committed a prisoner to the Tower of London: he was, however, discharged without being brought to trial. After the decease of his father the dukedom of Hamilton reverted to his mother, in whom it was hereditary; but she resigned that honour in favour of his lordship, who was created Duke of Hamilton, by patent, dated the 10th of August, 1698. His grace adhered, privately, to the interest of King James and the Pretender, until his decease, which was tragical, being killed in a duel with Lord Mohun, who was also slain at the same time in Hyde Park, on the 15th of November, 1712.


Charles Earl of Selkirk.

Appointed 20th November, 1688.

Lord Charles Hamilton, third son of William Duke of Hamilton, entered the Life Guards in the year 1686, and obtained the appointment of Guidon and Major in the fourth troop. He was advanced to the peerage by the title of Earl of Selkirk, on his father's resignation of that honour, in October, 1688; and adhering to King James II. at the Revolution, was promoted to the Colonelcy of the Sixth Horse, in succession to his brother the Earl of Arran; but was removed from his regiment by the Prince of Orange, in December of the same year. The Earl of Selkirk subsequently entered warmly into the protestant interest, and held civil appointments under the crown in the reigns of William III., George I., and George II.; and died on the 13th of March, 1739.

Charles Godfrey.

Appointed 31st December, 1688.

When the army was augmented in 1678, in the expectation of a war with France, Charles Godfrey, Esq., obtained a commission in the Duke of Monmouth's Regiment of Horse, which was disbanded in the following year. He appears not to have held any military appointment from that period until the revolution in 1688, when, being a strenuous advocate of the protestant cause, he obtained, through the interest of John Lord Churchill, the Colonelcy of the Sixth Horse.[25] After the Earl of Marlborough had been sent prisoner to the Tower of London, on a charge of treason, Colonel Godfrey was removed from his command; and he did not afterwards [84]serve in a military capacity. He was many years Master of the Jewel House, and a Member of Parliament in the reign of Queen Anne; and died in 1715.

Francis Langston.

Appointed 7th March, 1693.

This officer served under his brother, Captain Thomas Langston, who commanded a troop of horse at Tangier in Africa, and signalized himself against the Moors. When the troops of Tangier Horse were constituted Royal Dragoons, in 1683, Francis Langston obtained a commission in that corps, and he served in the Royal Regiment of Dragoons until December, 1688, when the Prince of Orange promoted him to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the Eighth, or Princess Anne's Regiment of Horse, of which his brother was appointed Colonel. He proceeded with his regiment to Ireland in the same year; and his brother Thomas dying in that country, he was appointed to succeed him in the Colonelcy of the Eighth Horse. He served at the head of his regiment at the battles of the Boyne and Aghrim, and in numerous skirmishes, until the final reduction of Ireland under the dominion of William III. His services were immediately afterwards transferred to the Netherlands; and his regiment having suffered severely, from having been long exposed to a furious cannonade at the battle of Steenkirk, it was disbanded, and Colonel Langston was appointed to the command of the Fifth Horse, now Fourth Dragoon Guards. At the battle of Landen this officer highly distinguished himself at the head of the right squadron of his regiment, and was wounded and taken prisoner. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General on the 1st of June, 1697; and proceeding, after the peace of Ryswick, with his regiment to Ireland, he was placed on the staff of the army in that country.

During the wars in the reign of Queen Anne this officer was not employed on foreign service, but was continued on the staff of Ireland. He was promoted to the rank of[85] Major-General on the 1st of June, 1703, and to that of Lieutenant-General on the 1st of June, 1704.

When the great Duke of Marlborough was removed from his military commands, Lieutenant-General Langston appears to have been considered too firmly devoted to the protestant cause, and to the succession of the House of Hanover, for the new ministry to confide in him, and he retired from the army. This veteran died on the 6th of April, 1723.

George Jocelyn.

Appointed 20th October, 1713.

This officer obtained the commission of Cornet in the Queen Dowager's Regiment of Horse, commanded by George Viscount Hewyt (now Sixth Dragoon Guards) in 1689, and served at the battle of the Boyne under King William III. On the 5th of May, 1690, he was engaged in a gallant affair with the enemy near Castle Cuff, and was wounded.[26] He also served at the battle of Aghrim, and siege of Limerick; and in 1693 at the hard-contested battle of Landen. After the peace of Ryswick he entered the corps of Life Guards, and rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel of the Second Troop (now Second Regiment), commanded by the Duke of Ormond. On the 29th of May, 1706, he obtained the rank of Colonel in the army, and on the 12th of February, 1711, that of Brigadier-General. After the Duke of Ormond was promoted to the elevated station of Captain-General of the Forces, Brigadier-General Jocelyn obtained the Colonelcy of the Fifth Horse; and when his Grace was removed from the command of the army by King George I., this officer obtained permission to dispose of his appointment: he died on the 9th of November, 1727.


Sherrington Davenport.

Appointed 9th February, 1715.

Sherrington Davenport was appointed Adjutant of the Queen Dowager's Regiment of Horse in 1687; and after serving at the battles of the Boyne and Aghrim, and at both sieges of Limerick, in Ireland; and at the battle of Landen, and covering the siege of Namur in the Netherlands, he was promoted to the Majority of the regiment on the 13th of August, 1696. He subsequently obtained a commission in the First Troop (now First Regiment) of Life Guards, in which corps he obtained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He was appointed Brigadier-General in 1707, and Major-General in 1710; and being firmly devoted to the protestant interest, he was permitted, soon after the arrival of King George I. from Hanover, to purchase the Colonelcy of the Fifth Horse, which he retained until his decease on the 2nd of July, 1719.

Owen Wynne.

Appointed 6th July, 1719.

Owen Wynne entered the army on the 8th of March, 1688. After the Revolution he proceeded to Ireland, of which country he was a native, and he was engaged with the Enniskillen men in their determined resistance to the power of King James II. When the Enniskillen bands were incorporated into regiments, he obtained a commission in Wynne's (afterwards Fifth or Royal Irish) Dragoons. With this corps he served in numerous skirmishes and engagements until after the reduction of the whole of Ireland under the power of King William III. He also served under the King in Flanders, and was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment on the 20th of July, 1695. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel in 1703, and was commissioned, in 1705, to raise and discipline a regiment of foot, of which he was appointed Colonel. In[87] 1706 he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General, and on the 1st of January, 1709, to that of Major-General. His regiment of foot served the campaigns of 1710 and 1711 under the great Duke of Marlborough, and that of 1712 under the Duke of Ormond, and was disbanded after the conclusion of the peace of Utrecht; but in 1715, when Jacobite principles had become so prevalent in the nation that an insurrection was expected, a regiment of dragoons (now the Ninth Lancers) was raised, of which Major-General Owen Wynne was appointed Colonel; and he was instrumental in suppressing the rebellion which broke out in the autumn of that year in favour of the Pretender. In 1719 he was removed to the Colonelcy of the Fifth Horse; and on the 10th of March, 1726, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General. He was removed to the Colonelcy of the Royal Irish Dragoons, in which corps he had performed his early services, in August, 1732; and he held the command of that regiment until his decease on the 28th of February, 1737.

Thomas Pearce.

Appointed 27th September, 1732.

Thomas Pearce, choosing the profession of arms, obtained the commission of Ensign on the 28th of February, 1689, and after serving three campaigns in the Netherlands, he was appointed Captain of the Grenadier company in the Second Foot Guards in October, 1694. In the following summer he served at the siege of Namur, and was engaged on the night of the 8th of July in storming the covered way, when, led by his innate ardour, he advanced too far in front of his men, and was wounded and taken prisoner. He served in the expedition to Cadiz in 1702, and commanded the first division of Grenadiers, which effected a landing between Rota and Fort St. Catherine. Himself and eight men only had landed, when they were charged by a troop of Spanish horse. The[88] grenadiers fought manfully, slew the Spanish commanding officer and five men, took two officers prisoners, and forced the remainder to retreat: he afterwards summoned the Fort of St. Catherine, which surrendered: he also commanded a party of grenadiers at the storming of the Forts of Vigo, and was wounded. His gallantry was rewarded, in April of the following year, with the Colonelcy of a newly-raised regiment of foot, from which he was removed in February, 1704, to an older corps—now the Fifth or Northumberland Fusiliers. In 1707, he proceeded with his regiment to Portugal; and in 1709 highly distinguished himself at the head of a brigade of infantry at the battle of the Caya, where he was taken prisoner. After being exchanged he was promoted to the rank of Major-General, and returning to Portugal, commanded a brigade in that country until the peace of Utrecht. On the 5th of March, 1727, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General, and in 1732 he was removed to the Fifth Horse. He was a member of Parliament for Melcombe Regis, and died in 1739.

James Lord Tyrawley.

Appointed 26th August, 1739.

The Hon. James O'Hara was appointed Lieutenant in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, commanded by his father, on the 15th of March, 1703; and in 1706 he proceeded with his regiment to the relief of Barcelona. In the following year he served on the staff of the army in Spain, and was wounded at the battle of Almanza, where, it is said, he was instrumental in saving the Earl of Galway's life. He served several years at Minorca; and in 1713 obtained the Colonelcy of the Royal Fusiliers, in succession to his father, at whose decease, in 1733, he succeeded to the dignity of Baron Tyrawley. The rank of Brigadier-General was conferred on his lordship on the 23rd of November, 1735; that of Major-General on the 2nd of July, 1739; and in August of the latter[89] year, he was removed from the Royal Fusiliers to the Fifth Horse. In March, 1743, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General; and in the following month obtained the Colonelcy of the Second Troop of Horse Grenadier Guards, from which he was removed, in 1745, to the Third Troop of Life Guards, which gave him the privilege of taking the court duty of gold stick. In 1746, when King George II. had resolved to disband the Third and Fourth Troops of Life Guards, his lordship was removed to the Tenth Foot; he was again removed, in 1749, to the Fourteenth Dragoons; in 1752, to the Third Dragoons; and in 1755, to the Second, or Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards. He was appointed Governor of Portsmouth on the 1st of May, 1759, and was promoted to the rank of General on the 7th of March, 1761. He held the appointment of Governor of Minorca for several years; was employed as Envoy and Ambassador to the courts of Portugal and Russia; and died at Twickenham on the 13th of July, 1773.

John Brown.

Appointed 1st April, 1743.

This officer entered the army as Cornet of horse on the 5th of August, 1704, and served several campaigns on the continent in the army commanded by John Duke of Marlborough. In 1735 he was Lieutenant-Colonel of the Fourth Dragoons, from whence he was removed to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the King's Horse (now First Dragoon Guards); and on the 10th of May, 1742, he was appointed Colonel of the Ninth Dragoons. On the appointment of Lieutenant-General Lord Tyrawley to the Horse Grenadier Guards, the Colonelcy of the Fifth Horse was conferred on Colonel Brown, who was promoted to the rank of Major-General on the 26th of March, 1754, and to that of Lieutenant-General on the 15th of January, 1758: he died in 1762.


James Johnston.

Appointed 3rd August, 1762.

James Johnston obtained a commission in the Royal Horse Guards, was at the battles of Dettingen and Fontenoy, and was appointed Major of the regiment on the 29th of November, 1750. On the 17th of December, 1754, he was promoted to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy; and he commanded the regiment at several engagements in Germany during the Seven-years' war. In 1762 he obtained the Colonelcy of the First Irish Horse, now Fourth Dragoon Guards; was appointed Major-General on the 30th of April, 1770; and on the 27th of April, 1775, was removed to the Colonelcy of the 11th Dragoons. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General on the 29th of August, 1777; and was removed to the Scots Greys on the 4th of February, 1785, the Colonelcy of which regiment he retained until his decease on the 24th of December, 1795.

James Johnston.

Appointed 27th April, 1775.

This officer was cousin to the previous Colonel of the same name. He obtained the commission of Cornet in the Thirteenth Dragoons on the 5th of October, 1736, and was removed to the Royal Dragoons in 1739, in which corps he rose to the rank of Major, and was promoted to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the Thirteenth Dragoons on the 2nd of December, 1754. In April, 1759, he was reappointed to the First Royal Dragoons, and proceeding in command of the regiment to Germany, served in the battles and skirmishes of that and the two succeeding campaigns under Ferdinand Duke of Brunswick. He particularly distinguished himself at the battle of Warbourg, and was wounded at the battle of Campen. In 1762 he was promoted to the local rank of Major-General in Germany; and he commanded a brigade of cavalry during the cam[91]paign of that year. He was distinguished alike for the sterner military virtues,—for a gentlemanly deportment,—and an amiable disposition, which procured him the esteem of all ranks; and on the breaking up of the army on the continent he received a flattering mark of the approbation of the hereditary Prince of Brunswick,[27]—namely, a valuable gold snuff-box, embellished with highly-chased military trophies, accompanied by an autograph letter, of which the following is a copy:—

"Munden, ce 17 de Nov. 1762.


"Vous m'obligerez sensiblement, en acceptant la babiole que je joins ici comme une marque de l'estime, et de la consideration parfaite que je vous porte, et comme un souvenir d'un ami qui jamais ne finèra d'etre.


"Votre très humble et très devoué serviteur,

"Charles, Pr. Her. de B."

"A Monsieur
"Le Col. Johnston."

He was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the island of Minorca in 1763, and was promoted to the rank of Major-General in 1770. In the following year this meritorious officer was rewarded with the Colonelcy of the Ninth Dragoons; in 1774 he was constituted Governor of Quebec; and in 1775 he obtained the Colonelcy of the First Irish Horse (now Fourth Dragoon Guards). Two years afterwards he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General; in 1778 he was removed from the First Irish Horse to the Sixth Enniskillen Dragoons; and was further promoted to the rank of General in 1793: he is stated to have been one of the most celebrated swordsmen of his time. The decease of this distinguished veteran occurred on the 13th of December, 1797, at Hampton, from whence he was removed with great state for interment in Westminster Abbey on the 21st of that month.


George Warde.

Appointed 1st April, 1778.

George Warde entered the army in the reign of George II.; was appointed Captain in the Eleventh Dragoons in 1748, and Major of the same corps in June, 1756. In 1758 he obtained the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the Fourth Dragoons, at the head of which corps he served many years, and brought it into so high a state of discipline, that, whenever King George III. reviewed the corps, he expressed his approbation of its excellent condition in the strongest terms. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel in the army in 1772, and in the succeeding year he obtained the Colonelcy of the Fourteenth Dragoons. The rank of Major-General was conferred on this officer in 1777; he was promoted to the Colonelcy of the First Irish Horse (now Fourth Dragoon Guards) in the following year; and was advanced to the rank of Lieutenant-General in 1782. In 1792 he was appointed Commander-in-Chief in Ireland, and while in that country he devoted much of his time to the bringing of his regiment,—the Fourth Royal Irish Dragoon Guards,—into a most perfect condition for active service. He possessed the soundest ideas of what cavalry ought to be; he had an aversion to slow movements, and although nearly seventy years of age, he exercised his regiment five times a week,—often leading it across the country over hedge and ditch, to the astonishment of every one. He was promoted to the rank of General in 1796, and died on the 11th of March, 1803. He was celebrated for philanthropy, and was represented by historians as a man 'of inviolable, disinterested integrity, public and private; and the bestower of benefactions scarcely less secret than extensive.'


Miles Staveley.

Appointed 12th March, 1803.

Miles Staveley obtained a Cornetcy in the Royal Horse Guards in January, 1759, and served with that regiment a period of forty years. His first essay in arms was during the Seven-years' war in Germany, where he served under Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick. He also served in Flanders under his Royal Highness the Duke of York; and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Horse Guards on the 31st of December, 1794. During the following year he was promoted to the rank of Colonel in the army, and in 1798 to that of Major-General. In 1799 he obtained the Colonelcy of the Twenty-eighth, or Duke of York's own Regiment of Light Dragoons, which was disbanded at the peace of Amiens in 1802. In the following year he obtained the command of the Royal Irish Dragoon Guards; was subsequently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General; and died in September, 1814.

Sir Henry Fane, G.C.B.

Appointed 3rd October, 1814.

General Sir Henry Fane commenced his military career as Cornet in the Sixth Dragoon Guards in 1792; in 1794 he was appointed Captain-Lieutenant in the Royal Irish Dragoon Guards, with which corps he served ten years, and took an active part in Ireland during the rebellion in 1798. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the regiment in 1797, and was removed to the First Dragoon Guards in 1804. In 1808 he proceeded with the army to Portugal, commanded a brigade at the battle of Roleia on the 17th of August, and at Vimiera on the 21st of that month. He also commanded a brigade under Sir John Moore in Spain, and was engaged at the battle of Corunna. Re[94]turning to Portugal, he commanded a brigade at the battle of Talavera on the 27th and 28th of July, 1809; was promoted to the rank of Major-General on the 25th of July, 1810; commanded a brigade at the battle of Vittoria on the 21st of June, 1813, and at the battle of Orthes on the 27th of February, 1814; and these distinguished services have been rewarded with the Grand Cross of the Military Order of the Bath, and an honorary Cross with one clasp. He obtained the Colonelcy of the Royal Irish Dragoon Guards in October, 1814; was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General on the 12th of August, 1819; and was removed to the King's Dragoon Guards in 1827. On the 30th of January, 1835, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief in the East Indies, with the local rank of General; in which rank he was included in the brevet promotion on the 10th of January, 1837.

Sir George Anson, G.C.B.

Appointed 24th February, 1827.


[24] The Earl of Arran had not been long at court before an affair of gallantry involved him in a quarrel with Lord Mordaunt (afterwards the celebrated Earl of Peterborough), which produced a meeting in Greenwich Park, when, after firing their pistols without effect, they engaged with swords; Lord Mordaunt was wounded in the groin, and the Earl of Arran in the thigh, when the former accidentally broke his sword, which terminated the contest.

[25] Charles Godfrey, Esq., was brother-in-law to John Lord Churchill (afterwards Duke of Marlborough), having married Miss Arabella Churchill, mistress of King James II., and mother of James Duke of Berwick, one of the most successful and distinguished generals of his age, who rose to the rank of Marshal of France, and obtained a dukedom in Spain, and another in France.

[26] A detailed account of this action is given in the Record of the 6th Dragoon Guards; and also in the Record of the Fifth Foot.

[27] His Highness was afterwards reigning Duke of Brunswick. He married the Princess Augusta, sister to King George III.; and died of wounds received at the battle of Jena in 1808.


Printed by William Clowes and Sons,

Stamford Street.


Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within the text and consultation of external sources.

The page numbering of the original text has been retained. The early pages have numbering i-viii then iii-vi.

Except for those changes noted below, all misspellings in the text, and inconsistent or archaic usage, have been retained. For example, bearskin, bear skin, bear-skin; cannon-ball, cannon ball; tragical.

Pg 6, 'Lievtenant vis  ' replaced by 'Lieutenant vis  '.
Pg 11, 'SIXTH Horse obtained' replaced by 'SIXTH HORSE obtained'.
Pg 27, 'Phoenix Park on the 22nd' replaced by 'Phœnix Park on the 22nd'.
Pg 54, 'valice' replaced by 'valise'.
Pg 55, 'mean time the legions' replaced by 'meantime the legions'.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Historical Record of the Fourth, or
Royal Irish Regiment of Dragoon Gua, by Richard Cannon


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