Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Kincaid, John

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KINCAID, Sir JOHN (1787–1862), of the rifle brigade, second son of John Kincaid of Dalheath, near Falkirk, and his wife, the daughter of John Gaff, was born at Dalheath in January 1787. He was educated at Polmont school, and served for a time as lieutenant in the North York militia. On the formation of the old 3rd battalion (afterwards disbanded) of the 95th rifles, now the rifle brigade, at Hythe, Kent, in 1809, Kincaid joined with a draft of militia volunteers from the North York, and received a second lieutenancy in the 95th, with which corps he served through the Peninsular campaigns of 1811–14 and at Waterloo (medal). He led the forlorn hope at one of the assaults of Ciudad Rodrigo; was severely wounded, and had a horse shot under him as acting adjutant at Waterloo. He attained the rank of captain in the rifle brigade in 1826, and retired by sale of his commissions 21 June 1831. For his Peninsular services he afterwards received the medal with clasps for Fuentes d'Onor, Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, and Toulouse. Kincaid was appointed exon of the royal bodyguard of yeomen of the guard on 25 Oct. 1844, and, on becoming senior exon in 1852, was knighted according to custom. In 1847 he was appointed government inspector of prisons for Scotland, and in 1850 Sir George Grey [q. v.] conferred on him the appointment of inspector of factories and prisons for Scotland, which he resigned through ill-health shortly before his death. He died at Hastings, unmarried, on 22 April 1862, aged 75.

Kincaid was author of ‘Adventures in the Rifle Brigade’ (London, 1830; 2nd edition, London, 1838) and ‘Random Shots of a Rifleman’ (London, 1835). Cope, the historian of the rifle brigade, says that, although written with too much levity, they contain many facts of interest, and the dates and statements are confirmed by more formal authorities.

[Dod's Knightage, 1862; Militia and Army Lists, under dates; Cope's Hist. of the Rifle Brigade (London, 1880); Preston's Hist. of the Royal Body Guard (London, 1887); Gent. Mag. 3rd ser. xii. 658.]

H. M. C.