Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lyon, James Frederick

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

LYON, Sir JAMES FREDERICK (1775–1842), lieutenant-general, a descendant of the Lyons, lords Glammis, was son of Captain James Lyon, 35th foot, and his wife, the daughter of James Hamilton. He was born in 1775, on board a transport homeward bound from America after the battle of Bunker's Hill, where his father was killed. On 4 Aug. 1791 he was appointed ensign 25th foot (now king's own Scottish borderers). He became lieutenant 26 April 1793, captain 5 April 1795, major 21 Feb. 1799, lieutenant-colonel 13 May 1862, brevet-colonel 1811, major-general 1814, lieutenant-general 1830. He served with detachments of his regiment, which embarked as marines on board the Gibraltar, 80 guns, Captain Mackenzie, and the Marlborough, 74 guns, Captain Hon. George Berkeley, in the Channel fleet under Earl Howe [q. v.] He was thus present in the actions of 27 and 29 May, and the great victory of 1 June 1794 (cf. R. Mil. Cal. 1820, vol. iii.). Lyon afterwards served with his regiment in the island of Grenada during the reign of terror there, when Governor Home and all the principal white inhabitants were massacred by the negroes (see Higgins, Hist. King's Own Borderers). He was on Lord George Lennox's staff at Plymouth in 1797–8, and subsequently aide-de-camp to the Hon. Sir Charles Steuart at Minorca. In 1799 he was appointed to a foreign corps, originally known as ‘Stuart's,’ or the Minorca regiment, raised in that island by Sir John Stuart, afterwards Count of Maida, with Lyon and Nicholas Trant as majors. The corps was successively known as the queen's German regiment and the 97th (queen's), and was disbanded as the 96th (queen's) in 1818. Lyon was with it in 1801 in Egypt, where it was engaged with Bonaparte's ‘invincibles’ at the battle of 21 March 1801, and was highly distinguished. Lyon subsequently commanded the regiment in the Peninsula from 1808 to 1811 at Vimeiro, Talavera, Busaco, and the first siege of Badajoz. In June 1813 he was sent to Germany to assist in organising the new Hanoverian levies (distinct from the king's German legion), and was present at the operations in the north of Germany in 1813–14, under the prince royal of Sweden. He commanded a division of Hanoverians at the battle of Göhrde in Hanover, 13 Sept. 1813, and afterwards commanded a mixed force of Russians, Hanoverians, and Hanseatics, under Count von Benningsen, which blockaded Hamburg. He commanded the 6th Hanoverian brigade during the Waterloo campaign and the advance to Paris. The brigade was with the reserve near Hal on 18 June, and did not engage. Lyon commanded the inland district in 1817, and commanded the troops in the Windward and Leeward islands, with headquarters at Barbadoes, in 1828–33. He was promised the government of Gibraltar, but was disappointed. Lyon was a K.C.B. (20 Jan. 1815), G.C.H., and had the decorations of the Sword in Sweden and Maximilian Joseph of Bavaria, with gold medals for Egypt, Vimeiro and Talavera, and the Hanoverian and Waterloo medals. He was colonel of the 24th foot, and equerry to the Duke of Cambridge. He died at Brighton on 16 Oct. 1842.

Lyon married a daughter of Edward Coxe, brother of Archdeacon William Coxe [q. v.] the historian.

[Dod's Knightage, 1842; Army Lists; Philippart's Roy. Mil. Cal. 1820, vol. iii.; Wilson's Narrative of the Campaign in Egypt, London, 1802; Gurwood's Well. Desp. iii. 92; Marquis of Londonderry's Narrative of War in Germany in 1813–14; Beamish's Hist. King's German Legion, London, 1836, vol. ii.; Nav. and Mil. Gazette, 22 Oct. 1842.]

H. M. C.