Historical Record of the Fifty-Sixth, or the West Essex Regiment of Foot/Succession of Colonels
SUCCESSION OF COLONELS
THE FIFTY-SIXTH REGIMENT
Lord Charles Manners.
Appointed 26th December, 1755.
Lord Charles Manners, ninth son of John, second Duke of Rutland, was many years an officer in the Third Regiment of Foot Guards, in which corps he was promoted to the rank of captain and lieutenant-colonel, on the 27th of May, 1745. On the breaking out of the seven years’ war, he was commissioned to raise, form, and discipline a regiment of foot, now the Fifty-sixth, of which he was appointed colonel in December, 1755. In 1759 he was promoted to the rank of major-general. He died on the 5th of December, 1761.
The Honorable William Keppel.
Appointed 17th December, 1761.
The Honorable William Keppel, fourth son of William-Anne, second Earl of Albemarle, was gentleman of the horse to His Majesty King George II.; and was nominated captain and lieutenant-colonel in the First Regiment of Foot Guards, on the 28th of April, 1751 ; in July, 1760, he was promoted to second major, with the rank of colonel. On the 17th of December, 1761, His Majesty appointed him to the colonelcy of the Fifty-sixth Regiment, with which corps he embarked with the expedition against the Havannah, in the island of Cuba, with the local rank of major-general. He commanded the troops which besieged the fort of Moro, which was captured by storm on the 30th of July, 1762; and his own regiment having evinced signal gallantry on this service, he afterwards obtained the King’s permission for it to bear the word “Moro” on its colours. On the day after the capitulation of the Havannah, he took possession of the fort La Punta; and he was subsequently left in command of the garrison of that city, which he restored to the Spaniards in July, 1763, according to the articles of peace concluded a few months before. In 1765 he was removed to the Fourteenth Foot; in 1772 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general; and in December, 1773, he was nominated commander-in-chief in Ireland; in October, 1775, he was appointed colonel of the Twelfth Dragoons. He was representative in parliament for the borough of Windsor. His decease occurred in March, 1782.
Appointed 13th June, 1765.
This officer served many years in the First Regiment of Foot Guards, in which corps he was appointed captain and lieutenant-colonel, in 1748, and was advanced to the majority, with the rank of colonel, in 1753. He obtained the rank of major-general, in 1759, and the lieutenant-colonelcy of the First Foot Guards in 1760. In the following year he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general; and, in 1765, King George III. conferred on him the colonelcy of the Fifty-sixth Regiment. He died in 1766.
Appointed 22nd May, 1766.
After a progressive service in the subordinate commissions, this officer was appointed major in the Twenty-eighth Foot, in August, 1753, and promoted to the lieutenant-colonelcy of the regiment on the 2nd of February, 1757. He commanded the 28th in America during the Seven years’ war, when that corps had the honor to serve at the capture of Louisburg, in 1758; at the reduction of Quebec, in 1759, under Major-General Wolfe; and at the conquest of Canada, in 1760. He was promoted to the rank of colonel in 1762, and in 1766 his services were rewarded with, the colonelcy of the Fifty-sixth Regiment. He attained the rank of major-general in 1772; that of lieutenant-general in 1777; and of general in 1793. He died in 1795.
Appointed 7th March, 1795.
This officer was appointed ensign in the First Foot Guards in 1761, and rose to the commission of captain and lieutenant-colonel in 1776. In 1780 he was promoted to the lieutenant-colonelcy of his regiment, and was employed in suppressing the riots in London in that year. At the commencement of the French revolutionary war he was called into active service, and commanded the first battalion of his regiment in Flanders, in 1793. He served at the siege of Valenciennes; and distinguished himself on the 18th of August, in the action at Lincelles, for which he was thanked in orders by the Duke of York. He shared in the operations before Dunkirk, and in the subsequent movements until October, when he was promoted to the rank of major-general, and returned to England. In May of the following year he again proceeded to Flanders, and commanded a brigade in several partial actions near Tournay, and in the retreat to Holland. Returning to England early in 1795, he was appointed colonel of the Fifty-sixth Regiment, and placed on the home staff, where he continued three years; in 1797 he was removed to the Nineteenth Foot. On the 1st of January, 1798, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general; and during the troubles in Ireland, in the summer of that year, his services were extended to that part of the kingdom; but he returned to England in November, and resumed his command on the staff. He served in Holland under His Royal Highness the Duke of York, in 1799, and was at the several engagements from the 19th of September to the 6th of October. On returning to England he was appointed to the command of the southern district, in which he continued until the peace in 1802. He was advanced to the rank of general in 1803; appointed lieutenant-governor of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, in 1806, and removed to the Sixty-second Foot in 1810.
He was one of the earliest servants placed by King George III. on the establishment of the Prince of Wales; was many years His Royal Highness’s treasurer and receiver-general; and on the accession of the Prince to the throne, General Hulse was nominated treasurer of the household, and governor of Chelsea Hospital. In 1821 he was knighted. He was also appointed ranger of Windsor Home Park; a privy councillor; and knight grand cross of the royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order. On the accession of King William IV., General Hulse was promoted to the rank of field-marshal by commission, dated the 22nd of July, 1830. He died at his apartments in Chelsea Hospital, in 1837, at the advanced age of ninety years.
The Honorable Chapple Norton.
Appointed 24th January, 1797.
Chapple Norton, third son of Sir Fletcher Norton, who was many years Speaker of the House of Commons, and afterwards created Lord Grantley, entered the army in the reign of King George II., and was appointed captain in the Nineteenth Foot in June, 1763. He served with his regiment at Gibraltar; and, in 1769, purchased a majority in the First, the Royal Regiment of Foot, from which he was promoted to captain and lieutenant-colonel in the Second Foot Guards in 1774. He served with the brigade of Foot Guards in North America, and took part in most of the principal occurrences. He particularly distinguished himself in February, 1780, and was thanked in orders in the following terms:—“His Excellency Lieutenant-General Knyphausen desires his thanks may be given in public orders to Lieutenant-Colonel Norton of the Guards, for his good conduct and gallant behaviour in attacking and forcing a considerable body of rebels, advantageously posted at Young’s house, in the neighbourhood of White Plains.” In November following he was promoted to the rank of colonel; and, in 1786, he obtained a majority in his regiment; in 1787 he was advanced to the rank of major-general; in 1797 to that of lieutenant-general, and at the same time he received the colonelcy of the Fifty-sixth Regiment; in 1802 he was promoted to the rank of general, and he was afterwards appointed governor of Charlemont. He took great interest in everything connected with his regiment: having considerable influence in the county of Surrey, where the estates of his family were situated, his corps received many recruits from that part of the country; he represented Guildford in Parliament many years. He was a generous and good man, and was honored with the favor of the Duke of York. He died on the 19th of March, 1818, at Wonersh in Surrey, the seat of Lord Grantley.
Sir John Murray, Baronet.
Appointed 31st March, 1818.
Sir John Murray, a baronet of Nova Scotia, entered the army as ensign in the Third Foot Guards in 1788, and rose to the rank of lieutenant and captain in 1793. He served in Flanders as aide-de-camp to Field-Marshal Freytag, and afterwards to His Royal Highness the Duke of York; and was at the actions of St. Amand and Famars, and the siege of Valenciennes; also at the siege of Dunkirk, and the engagements at Maubege and near Cambresis. In the spring of 1794 he was promoted to the rank of major, and a few weeks afterwards to the lieutenant-colonelcy of the Eighty-fourth Regiment. He was present at the various actions near Tournay, in the same year, and in the retreat to Holland. He afterwards served under General Sir Alured Clarke, and was at the capture of the Cape of Good Hope in September, 1795. In 1799 he commanded a body of troops on the Red Sea; and, in 1800, he was promoted to the rank of colonel. He performed the duties of quarter-master-general to the troops which proceeded from India to Egypt under Major-General Sir David Baird; and afterwards, returning to India, commanded the Bombay division of the army which joined Major-General the Honorable Arthur Wellesley, at Poonah, during the Mahratta war, in 1803. He also commanded a body of troops during the subsequent hostilities with Scindeah and Holkar. Having been promoted to the rank of major-general in 1805, and returned to Europe, he served on the staff of the eastern district, from December of that year to April, 1808; and he subsequently commanded the King’s German Legion in the expedition to the Baltic, &c., under Sir John Moore, whom he accompanied to Portugal. Remaining in that country, he served under Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Wellesley, in the operations against the French under Marshal Soult, and took a conspicuous part in the expulsion of the French from Oporto. On the 27th of May, 1809, he was appointed colonel of the Third West India Regiment; and on the 1st of January, 1812, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general. Early in 1813 he took the command of the Anglo-Sicilian army in the south of Spain, and was engaged in operations to create a diversion in favour of the grand allied army under Lord Wellington, and to prevent Marshal Suchet detaching troops to Castille. His proceedings on this occasion did not realize the expectations which had been entertained, and a general court-martial, assembled after his return to England, found him guilty of error of judgment. In 1818 he was appointed colonel of the Fifty-sixth Regiment; and, in 1825, promoted to the rank of general. His honorary distinctions were those of knight grand cross of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic order, and the first class of the order of St. Januarius of Naples. He died in 1827.
Matthew, Lord Aylmer, K.C.B.
Appointed 29th October, 1827.
Removed to the Eighteenth or the Royal Irish Regiment, in 1832.
Sir Hudson Lowe, K.C.B.
Appointed 23rd July, 1832.
Removed to the Fiftieth Regiment in 1842.
The Earl of Westmorland, K.C.B. & G.C.H
Appointed 17th November, 1842