Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Cannon, Richard

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CANNON, RICHARD (1779–1865), compiler of regimental records, was born in 1779. On 1 Jan. 1802 he was appointed to a clerkship at the Horse Guards, and attained the grade of first-clerk in 1803. About thirty years afterwards, a Horse Guards order, dated 1 Jan. 1836, having signified the royal commands that an historic account of the services of every regiment in the British army should be published under the superintendence of the adjutant-general, the work of compilation was entrusted to Cannon, at that time principal clerk in the adjutant-general's office. During the ensuing seventeen years ‘historical records’ of all then existing regiments of cavalry, and of forty-two regiments of infantry of the line, were thus issued ‘by authority,’ all of which were prepared under Cannon's direction, except the history of the Royal Horse Guards or Oxford Blues (issued as part of the series in 1847), which was written by Captain Edmund Packe, of that regiment. The work of compilation was then discontinued, some regimental histories which had been announced as in preparation at various times having, apparently, not been proceeded with. After a service of nearly fifty-two years Cannon retired in January 1854, on his full salary of 800l. a year. He died in 1865.

[War Office Lists; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Preface to Cannon's Historical Records of the British Army.]

H. M. C.