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Major General Robert Douglas





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Served at Gibraltar 1783; served in West Indies 1793-1798; Major in 56th Foot 10 March 1797; served at Helder 1799; brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 11 May 1802; Major in 18th Foot 27 April 1803; Lieutenant-Colonel in 18th Foot 9 July 1803; Lieutenant-Colonel in 55th Foot 22 September 1804; commanded 55th Foot 1804 to 1815; brevet Colonel 4 June 1811; subsequently Major-General 4 June 1814; died in Essex 1828.




Death: Aug. 20. 1828 At Great Baddow, Essex, Major-General Robert Douglas, of the 55th foot, formerly Adjutant-General in the West Indies.
Major General Robert Douglas
He entered the army as Ensign in the 65lh foot in March 1782, and in October following was employed with a detachment of his corps as marines under Lord Howe, at the siege of Gibraltar. In 1785 Ensign Douglas accompanied his regiment to America ; whence in 1793 it proceeded to Barbadoes to join the expedition under Sir Charles Grey, against the French West India islands, where this officer was personally present, and also in the defence of Guadaloupe, when the enemy relanded. He had been promoted to a Lieutenancy in 1790; and in 1791 appointed Adjutant.

In 1794 he became Captain-Lieutenant in the 56th; and in the autumn of that year he commanded a detachment of his regiment, under Gen. Prescott, in the defence of Fort Matilda, Basseterre, and Guadaloupe. In 1795 he obtained a company in the 30th, and also succeeded to the Paymastersbip of that corps; in 1797 be was appointed Major in the 56th; in 1798 Aid-de-camp to the Earl of Chatham(1); in 1799 he served in Holland as Assistant Adjutant-general; in 1802 he became Lieut.-Colonel by brevet; in 1803 Lieut.-Colonel in the 18th foot; in 1804 in the 54th, which he joined in Jamaica in Nov. 1805; and in 1814 Major-General.

He served for some time in the West Indies as Adjutant-general and was present at the conquest of Guadaloupe in 1815, on which occasion the late Lieut.Gen. Sir James Leith observed in his despatch, " Major-General Douglas, to whose assistance as Adjutant-general I am much indebted, served on this expedition with a brigade, and executed the service on which he was detached in a gallant and soldier-like manner."




Not to be confused with:

General Robert Douglas, Count of Skenninge 1611-1661
Major-General Robert Douglas (of Garlston, NB) Born c1744, died 7th June 1798
Lt General Robert Douglas  abt 1745 - 1827
Major General Robert Douglas 1727-1809
General Robert Douglas, C.B. died at Claygate, Surrey on February 10, 1871
Major General Sir Robert Percy Douglas died on 30 September 1891 aged 87
Major General Robert Wilkins Douglass Jr. born in 1900 in Memphis, Tennessee, USA


Research notes:
Lt Robert Douglas, son of Col Robert Douglas of Strathendry, served in Gibraltar in 1787

•  Mrs. Mary Douglas lived at Baddow Court, in Great Baddow in 1848, and in 1863.  In 1865 she was recorded as being a widow, and the sister of Sophia Boggis. One of the four lights of the The East Window in St Mary’s Church is dedicated to the memory of Sophia. The inscription reads: “In Mem Sophia Boggis born 1779 died 1874”. The third window is in memory of James Boggis, born 1775 died 1862. The Boggis family were a wealthy land-owning family. Could Mary be the daughter-in-law of the General?  The Boggis family had been clothiers in the Colchester area in the eighteenth century. James Boggis lived at Great Baddow, near Chelmsford.



1.  General John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham, KG, PC (9 October 1756 – 24 September 1835) was a British soldier and politician. He spent a lengthy period in the cabinet but is best known for commanding the disastrous Walcheren Campaign of 1809.



Sources for this article include:
•  The Gentleman's Magazine, Volume 144; 1828



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