Williamson, John Suther (DNB00)

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WILLIAMSON, JOHN SUTHER (1775?–1836), colonel royal artillery, was born about 1775. He entered the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich on 8 Aug. 1791, and received a commission as second lieutenant in the royal artillery on 1 Jan. 1794. The dates of his further commissions were: lieutenant, 11 March 1794; captain-lieutenant, 12 Oct. 1799; captain, 12 Sept. 1803; brevet major, 4 June 1811; brevet lieutenant-colonel, 13 Oct. 1814; regimental major, 20 Dec. 1814; regimental lieutenant-colonel, 24 March 1817; colonel, 29 July 1825.

In June 1795 Williamson served on the coast of France in the expedition to Quiberon Bay, to assist the French royalists. In 1799 he went to the Cape of Good Hope and served in the Hottentot and Kaffir war of that year, thence to Egypt and the Mediterranean, was at the siege of Ischia in June 1809, commanded the artillery at the capture of four of the Ionian islands in October of that year, and at the siege and capture of Santa Maura in April 1810. He subsequently went to Spain and commanded the artillery at the battle of Castalla, under Sir John Murray (1768?–1827) [q. v.], on 12 April 1813; at the siege of Tarragona in June; at the disastrous engagement of Ordal on 12 Sept., and at the combat on the following day at Villa Franca. He was frequently mentioned in despatches.

He returned to England in 1814, and in the following year went to the Netherlands and commanded the artillery of the third division at the battle of Waterloo. He received the Waterloo medal and was made a companion of the order of the Bath, military division, in 1815. He served with the army of occupation in France until his promotion to be regimental lieutenant-colonel, when he returned to England. He was for some time superintendent of the Royal Military Repository at Woolwich, and prepared a new and extensive course of instruction in artillery, which formed the basis of the exercise of heavy ordnance and of all the miscellaneous instructions of the gunner for many years, and will always remain a model for professional works of the kind. Williamson died at Woolwich on 26 April 1836.

[War Office Records; Royal Artillery Records; Despatches; Royal Military Calendar, 1820; Bunbury's Narrative of Military Transactions in the Mediterranean 1805–1810; Napier's History of the Peninsular War; Siborne's History of the Waterloo Campaign; Kane's List of Officers of the Royal Artillery.]

R. H. V.