1839: Timeline for the 45th Regiment of Foot


  • Sources are provided within (round brackets).
  • Please refer to Abbreviations for full citations of sources.

1839-01-08: A hoax was played on the Mayor and people of Canterbury, when Thomas Mathers created an alarm that a person, imitating the late John Tom alias Sir William Courtenay, was leading a large, armed body of the labouring population in the vicinity of Boughton. Mathers was imprisoned for three months.
(BNA: Morning Post, 12 Jan. 1839)

1839-03-06: Deserted: James Hall, St. Mary's, Nottingham, cordwainer, aged 18, 5 ft. 6 1/2 in. from 45th Foot, at Canterbury, 6th March. (BNA: Nottingham Review, 22 Mar. 1839.)

1839-03-12: A quarrel ensued a few evenings ago at a public house in Northgate, between a small party of the 11th Horse (Light Dragoons) and the 45th Foot. Subsequently, a rumour was got up, that the 45th was removed from Canterbury in consequence of this quarrel. In fact, the 45th was removed because there was an immediate demand for troops in the manufacturing districts, by which the Rifles were ordered from Windsor, and the 45th being the nearest available regiment were ordered to replace them.
(BNA: Kentish Gazette, 12 Mar. 1839; Leicester Chronicle, 6 April 1839)

1839-03-13: The Earl of Cardigan and the officers of the 11th Light Dragoons gave a parting dinner to the officers of the 45th, who were under orders for Windsor. (BNA: Kentish Gazette, 19 Mar. 1839)

1839-03-15: Arrival of the 45th in London, en route for Windsor. “[T]he regiment took its first voyage by steamer, embarking at Herne Bay for London, en route to Windsor, which was reached by rail from Paddington to Slough, whence the regiment marched to its destination, a detachment having been previously sent to the Royal Palace at Kew.” (BNA: Dublin Monitor, 21 Mar. 1839; History, pg. 144)

1839-03-16: Arrival of first portion of the 45th at Windsor Barracks. (BNA: Windsor and Eton Express, 16 Mar. 1839)

1839-03-18: Launch of the East Indiaman, Owen Glendower, at Blackwall Yard in London. The 2d division of the 45th regiment passed at the moment of the launch in the Red Rover steamer from Herne Bay, and struck up the national air of "Rule Britannia."
(BNA: The Operative, 24 Mar. 1839)

owen glendower 1839

The Blackwall Frigate 'Owen Glendower' at Anchor off a Coastline,
by G. W. Butland; painted 1839; oil on canvas, 76 x 137 cm.; from the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, UK; hosted by the BBC online at “Your Paintings,” www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/ (accessed 2015-07-28).
© National Maritime Museum; supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation.

1839-03-23: The 45th were in quarters at Windsor Barracks. The strength of the regiment was 800-900. By mid June, the strength was about 750, of whom 500 were said to be under the age of 21——accounting, in part, for the alarming extent of desertion.
(BNA: Reading Mercury, 23 Mar. 1839; Saunders's News-Letter, 28 Mar. 1839; Bucks Herald, 22 June 1839)

1839-03-30: A recruiting party, accompanied by the band of the regiment, paraded the town.(BNA: Windsor and Eton Express, 30 March 1839)

1839-04-11: The 45th expected to be presented with a new stand of colours, either by H.M. the Queen or the Duke of Wellington. When, in October 1839, the 45th removed to Winchester, the new stand of colours had yet to be presented to the regiment. This oversight was brought into public view, by an editorial writer of the Times, after the 45th rendered good service in checking the Chartist rebellion at Newport in November. (BNA: Morning Chronicle, 11 April 1839, 7 Sept. 1839; Morning Post, 1839-09-12(2); London Standard, 19 Sept. 1839; Morning Chronicle, 2 Oct. 1839; Coventry Standard, 22 Nov. 1839, citing the Times). See also the entry under date, 1839-10-10.

1839-04-13: The quietude of the town of Windsor was disturbed by the drunken and disorderly conduct of a portion of the 45th. The misconduct was punished. (BNA: Reading Mercury, 20 April 1839)

1839-04-15: Private Michael Quigley was charged with breaking open his master Captain Erskine’s bureau, stealing a £5 note, and absconding. At the Michaelmas sessions in November, Quigley was acquitted. (BNA: Windsor and Eton Express, 20 April, 10 Aug., & 2 Nov. 1839)

1839-04-25: A levée was held at Windsor Castle, at which Capt. Henry Cooper, and Ensigns Crawley and Blenkinsopp were presented to H.M. the Queen. (BNA: Morning Chronicle, 25 April 1839)

1839-04-23: The officers of the 45th gave a grand entertainment to the officers of the Royal Horse Guards (Blue), at the White Hart Inn, Windsor, where the fine bands of these regiments were in attendance. (BNA: Berkshire Chronicle, 27 April 1839)

1839-04-30: George Gibbs, a discharged soldier from the Rifle Brigade (stationed at Windsor prior to the arrival of the 45th) was charged by Windsor Police with unlawfully pawning a pair of boots, which formed a portion of the necessaries supplied to private William Bentley, of the 45th. Convicted, and committed to gaol for six weeks. (BNA: Windsor and Eton Express, 4 May 1839)

1839-04-30: A serious disturbance took place in George-street, Windsor, between parties of the foot and horse soldiers. Privates James Twigg, Henry Mitchell, and John Fish were charged with assaulting Simms, the gaoler. The bill against Fish was ignored. Twigg was sentenced to four months’ and Mitchell to six months’ imprisonment.(BNA: Berkshire Chronicle, 4 May 1839; Bucks Herald, 13 July '39)

1839-05-06: Convicted by a Court Martial of stealing a shirt from one of his comrades, Private Thomas Parker was flogged in the Barrack yard, Windsor. He was sentenced to receive 150 lashes, but on receiving 50, he was released, and the remainder of his punishment remitted. (BNA: Windsor and Eton Express, 11 May 1839)

1839-05-09: Convicted with making away with a portion of his necessaries, another soldier was ordered to receive 200 lashes, which sentence was commuted to 150. After begging hard for mercy, he was liberated after receiving 25 lashes. (BNA: Windsor and Eton Express, 11 May 1839)

1839-05-20: Serjt. Garrard was charged with assaulting Lucy Gammon, we believe, the wife of a private, on the 8th instant. The evidence being of so conflicting a nature, the magistrates dismissed the case. (BNA: Reading Mercury, 25 May 1839)

1839-05-29: Arrival of the Duke of Wellington, General Lord Hill, Lieut. General Sir Charles Dalbiac, and several distinguished foreigners at Windsor Castle. H.M. the Queen hosted dinner in St George’s Hall. Col. Charles A. Vigoureaux and Majors Armstrong and Webb were invited to join the Royal party. (BNA: London Standard, 28 May 1839; Morning Post, 29 May 1839; History, pg. 238)

1839-06-11: Meeting of a tee-totalling society at the Coffee Room in Windsor; meetings were held every fortnight. Major Armstrong offered a prayer. 250 men of the 45th abstained from distilled liquors, and 20 from all intoxicating drink. (BNA: Dublin Weekly Herald, 15 June 1839)

1839-06-27: A levée was held at Windsor Castle, at which Lieut. W.R. Lewis and Ensign J. Butler Fellowes were presented to H.M. the Queen. (BNA: Morning Post, 27 June 1839)

1839-06-29: Private O’Hearne was arrested after loading a gun after the lights had been extinguished in Windsor Barracks.
(BNA: Windsor and Eton Express, 29 June 1839)

1839-06-23: Death of Private James Patrick Nugent, age 25, by drowning. At the inquest, the jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death,” based on their opinion that he had been seized with the cramp. (BNA: Windsor and Eton Express, 29 June 1839)

1839-07-20: Private John Smith was charged with stealing a shawl from Michael Cennare, in George-street, Windsor. During the Michaelmas sessions, held in November, the grand jury ignored the bill. (BNA: Windsor and Eton Express, 20 July 1839, 2 Nov. 1839)

1839-07-31: Private Peter Byrne was charged with stealing a sovereign and a half from John Slaughter. In the Michaelmas sessions held in November, Byrne was acquitted, no person appearing as prosecutor against him.
(BNA: Windsor and Eton Express, 2 Nov. 1839)

1839-08-03: Thomas Coggin, a recruit, was charged by John Brookes, another recruit, with robbing him at Watson's beerhouse, in Broomhall street, Sheffield, where they both were billeted.
(BNA: Sheffield Independent, 3 Aug. 1839)

1839-08-16: The Windsor Revel took place in the Bachelors’ Acre. The festivities included a perambulation through the town, with the band of the 45th, a youth cricket match, old English sports, and fireworks. (BNA: Windsor and Eton Express, 17 Aug. 1839)

1839-08-18: At H.M.’s dinner, the band of the 45th played during the evening. (BNA: Morning Chronicle, 19 Aug. 1839)

1839-09-01: The band of the 45th attended H.M.’s afternoon reception on the grand parterre of Windsor Palace.
(BNA: Morning Post, 3 Sept. 1839)

1839-09-03: The band of the 45th played at the Castle in the evening. (BNA: Freeman’s Journal, 4 Sept. 1839)

1839-09-05: Having been cheated at games at the Egham Races, soldiers of the 45th roughed up the thimble riggers, broke their tables, and put them to flight.(BNA: Dublin Evening Packet, 5 Sept. 1839)

1839-09-06: Under the command of Lieut.-Col. E.F. Boys, the 45th assembled in the Home Park for a Grand Field-Day. In full view of H.M. the Queen and her guests, the troops were put through several evolutions with admirable precision and remarkable effect.
(BNA: Morning Chronicle, 7 Sept. 1839)

1839-09-08: H.M. the Queen promenaded the east terrace of Windsor Castle with her guests, the King and Queen of the Belgians, the Duchess of Kent, &c. The bands of the 2d Life Guards and the 45th regiment played from their station in the garden enclosed within the terrace. (BNA: Morning Chronicle, 9 Sept. 1839)

1839-09-09: Private Andrew M’Kean was convicted of an assault on Mr. W. Finch, of Thomas-street, Windsor, and committed to gaol.
(BNA: Windsor and Eton Express, 14 Sept. 1839)

1839-09-12: The band of the 45th attended during the Royal dinner party at Windsor Castle. (BNA: Morning Post, 12 Sept. 1839)

1839-09-19: Colonel Boys joined the Royal dinner party at Windsor Castle. The band of the 45th entertained at dinner. (BNA: London Standard, 20 Sept. 1839)

1839-10-01: A company of the 45th marched, under Capt. Stack, for Newport, Monmouthshire; a party of about 100, chiefly youths, arrived at Reading en route for Wales. “The detachment sent to Newport was called for in consequence of the disturbed state of the country owing to the Chartist agitation, which, with Birmingham for its headquarters,” had strongly infected the neighbourhood of Newport. Another company of the 45th, under Captain Mello [Mellor?], proceeded to Trowbridge, Wiltshire. Col. Boys would lead the remainder of the 45th to Winchester, where it was intended that the regiment would be head-quartered through the winter. (BNA: Morning Chronicle, 2 Oct. 1839; Oxford Chronicle, 5 Oct. 1839, London Standard, 11 Oct. 1839; History, pg. 144) Note: The Reading Mercury, 5 Oct. 1839, stated that two companies left for Wales on the 30th Sept.

kings house winchester 1818

The King's House (leased as barracks), Winchester,
viewed from the east, 1818.
An Historical Account of Winchester, by Charles Ball
(Winchester: James Robbins, 1818).
Courtesy of The British Library, online at www.flickr.com/britishlibrary/
(accessed 2015-07-29), identifier 182249.

1839-10-05: William Greaves, a recruit with the 45th, was charged having deserted the 20th regiment in May. (BNA: Windsor and Eton Express, 5 Oct. 1839)

1839-10-05: A detachment of the 45th arrived at Devizes, in Wiltshire, and on Monday, proceeded to Trowbridge, in relief of a detachment of the 29th.
(BNA: Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette, 10 Oct. 1839)

1839-10-10: Four companies of the 45th, consisting of 280 men, marched for Winchester, under  Major Montgomery, with plans to stay at Bagshot en route. The division——a large proportion of which appeared to be mere boys——arrived in Reading on the 11th. (BNA: London Standard, 11 Oct. 1839; Reading Mercury, 12 Oct. 1839)

1839-10-10: Windows on the exterior of the Queen’s dressing room and an adjoining room were broken in the very early hours. Privates of the 45th had done guard duty at the Castle during the night. It was suggested that the guard, stationed under H.M.’s window, had fallen asleep. The inquiry terminated without any satisfactory result. (BNA: Morning Chronicle, 14 Oct. 1839)

windsor castle 1828

East Front, Windsor Castle, His Majesty's Apartments.
The Visitor’s Guide to Windsor Castle. 2nd ed. (1828).
Courtesy of The British Library, online at www.flickr.com/britishlibrary/
(accessed 2015-07-28), identifier 3950508.

An officer of the 45th wrote a letter to the Times, contradicting the statement that the sentries of the 45th on duty at the Castle were relieved at once by the Life Guards, intimating a “want of confidence” in the former regiment. To the contrary, the Guards relieved the 45th so that it could proceed to Winchester, in pursuance of orders. (BNA: Windsor and Eton Express, 26 Oct. 1839)

It was suggested, in at least one paper, that one of the sentinels of the 45th perpetrated the deed because her ladyship had declined to present the new colours with which the regiment had been furnished shortly before. As a result, the matter was hushed up, and a madman was arrested in London for the purpose. (BNA: Northern Liberator, 19 Oct. 1839)

1839-10-11: The remainder of the regiment, under Col. Boys, departed Windsor this day. (BNA: London Standard, 11 Oct. 1839)

1839-10-11: Joseph Hacket, alias Simpson, was charged with being a deserter from the 45th. Corporal Carthy testified to seeing Hacket on parade with the 55th foot at Chatham. Hacket was committed to Maidstone gaol, pending an inquiry as to his identity. “The desertions from the 45th, appear to be numerous, as the duty is very severe there, when the sovereign resides in the castle.”
(BNA: West Kent Guardian, 12 Oct. 1839)

1839-10-11 to -13: A very public complaint was made, in the form of a letter to the editor of the Berkshire Chronicle, about the unruly behaviour of the soldiers of the 45th while billeted at Basingstoke, en route for Winchester. The police were called out to quell disturbances at the Michaelmas fair. (BNA: Berkshire Chronicle, 19 Oct. 1839)

1839-10-12: The first division of the 45th arrived at Winchester. The head quarters, under Col. Boys, arrived on the 14th. (BNA: Wiltshire Independent, 17 Oct. 1839; Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 21 Oct. 1839)

kings house winchester 1838

The King's House, Winchester, viewed from the west,
and Winchester Cathedral in the midground, 1838.
Courtesy of The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum.
Online at www.rgjmuseum.co.uk (accessed 2015-07-29).

1839-10-17: Part of the 45th regiment was to march to do garrison duty at Portsmouth.* (BNA: Dorset County Chronicle, 17 Oct. 1839) *Note: In light of subsequent events, this detachment was reassigned to Newport, Monmouthshire.

1839-11-04: A man named John Frost led several thousands of Chartists into Newport, Monmouthshire, where a riot ensued. Under Major Stack, Captain Gray, and Ensign Stack, the eighth company of the 45th——consisting of about thirty men, many of them “mere raw Irish lads, but just recruited”——defended the Westgate Hotel against an attack and dispersed the rioters. “It is utterly impossible to praise too highly the discreet and meritorious conduct of the officers and men of the 45th Regiment, under the command of Major Stack.” Sixteen men were killed; Sergeant Dalyl, a native of Limerick, of the 45th was shot in the head (the slug was later extracted); and, many were wounded in the mêlée. On the 6th November, eight companies of the 45th, totalling 500 men, and two pieces of field artillery were ordered to proceed by forced march to Newport, covering thirteen to fifteen miles a day, and arriving on the 11th. The entire of the 45th regiment was then in the town of Newport. In December, a coroner’s inquest, held on the bodies of the rioters who fell in the attack on the hotel, returned a verdict of “justifiable homicide.” Stated another way, Capt. Frederick Barlow wrote that, on the occasion of the riots, the men of the 45th displayed “steady courage and humanity” in “honorably supporting the integrity of the civil authorities, the laws of the land, and the honour of her Majesty's crown.”
(BNA: Morning Post, 5 Nov. 1839; Morning Chronicle, 7 Nov. 1839; London Standard, 12 Nov. 1839, 13 Nov. 1839, 1840-09-01; Newcastle Journal, 23 Nov. 1839; Freeman’s Journal, 27 Nov. 1839, citing the Observer; Kendal Mercury, 14 Dec. 1839; Hampshire Advertiser, 11 Jan. 1840; Limerick Reporter, 21 Jan. 1840; History, pg. 147)

1839-11-10: “The regiment was broken up into detachments in various parts of Wales——at Brecon, Merthyr, Pontypool, Swansea, Newtown, Llanidloes, and Montgomery, where it remained” until October, 1840. (BNA: History, pp. 147-8)

1839-11-13: Privates Barr, John Clark, and Edward Dalton were charged with desertion. Clark and Dalton were tried at Newport, each testifying that he was induced to desert by the influence of Chartists named William Morgan and Samuel Victory. (BNA: Newcastle Courant, 22 Nov. 1839)

1839-11-14: In court proceedings ensuing from the Newport riots, Private Robert Barr, of Captain Stack’s company in the 45th, testified that Samuel Victory had invited him and private John Clarke for drinks, and related a conversation led by Victory, who sought the soldiers’ opinions about how the soldiers might react to a row involving the Chartists. (BNA: Bristol Mercury, 16 Nov. 1839)

1839-11-23: Privates John Morris and John Machon surrendered as deserters. (BNA: Hereford Journal, 27 Nov. 1839)

1839-11-23: Accounts having been received that the workmen of Merthyr were “rather uneasy,” a detachment of 100 men of the 45th was despatched to Cardiff, and quartered at the Dowlais ironworks. (BNA: London Standard, 26 Nov. 1839, 27 Nov. 1839)

1839-11-23: John Sutton was committed to Derby county gaol for desertion from the 45th. (BNA: Derbyshire Courier, 23 Nov. 1839)

1839-11: H.M. the Queen approved and confirmed the sentence of transportation for seven years, pursuant to a court-martial held on private George James, who had enlisted in the 2d Rifles after deserting the 45th. (BNA: Hull Packet, 29 Nov. 1839)

1839-11-24: Two companies of the 45th Regiment arrived in Brecon, and marched on Monday morning on their route to Newton, to replace the 12th, draughted for the Mauritius. (BNA: Berkshire Chronicle, 30 Nov. 1839)

1839-11-26: A meeting of the town council of Brecon was held, for the purpose of expressing thanks to T. Phillips, Esq., late Mayor of Newport, and to Captain Stack, Lieutenant Gray, Ensign Stack, and the non-commissioned Officers and Privates of Her Majesty's 45th Regiment of Foot, for their gallant co-operation in quelling the late riots in Newport. (BNA: Hereford Times, 7 Dec. 1839)

1839-11-28: A meeting of the inhabitants of Newport was held on Thursday, for the purpose of thanking Captain Stack, Lieutenant Gray, and the officers and soldiers of the 45th regiment, who so bravely defended the town of Newport on the morning of the 4th of November. (BNA: Westmorland Gazette, 30 Nov. 1839)

1839-11-29: For service rendered on the occasion of the Chartist attack on Newport, Lieut. Basil Gray was promoted, without purchase, to a company unattached. (BNA: London Standard, 30 Nov. 1839; Windsor and Eton Express, 30 Nov. 1839; Staffordshire Advertiser, 7 Dec. 1839)

1839-11-30: Two deserters were brought into Exeter.
(BNA: Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 30 Nov. 1839)

1839-12-02: Private William Stone was charged with stealing four purses, the property of Michael Phillips, of Salisbury: sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. Private Henry Hether was charged with stealing a quantity of bacon, the property of John Coster, at Winterslow. A third soldier stole four cotton nightcaps, two pairs of drawers, and other articles, from John Dowling, of the Vine Inn, Stockbridge. (BNA: Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 2 Dec. 1839, 6 Jan. 1840; Windsor and Eton Express, 14 Dec. 1839)

1839-12-02: Private Marsden was tried by court-martial for desertion, and for threatening to strike Corporal John Anderson, and Private John Brough was tried for desertion. (BNA: Windsor and Eton Express, 7 Dec. 1839; Kendal Mercury, 14 Dec. 1839)

1839-12-06: For his valuable services during the Chartist riots at Newport, Captain Stack was promoted to Major. (BNA: Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 9 December 1839; Huntingdon, Bedford & Peterborough Gazette, 14 December 1839)

1839-12-08: The military force in Monmouth consisted of one company of the 45th foot and a troop of the 12th Lancers, all under the command of Major Armstrong. These would be joined on the morrow by two companies of Rifles. The Horse Artillery would be placed between the towns of Monmouth and Newport. (BNA: London Standard, 10 Dec. 1839)

1839-12-09: John Batten was tried for assaulting a soldier on duty at Newport. The magistrates fined him £5, or two months’ imprisonment. (BNA: London Standard, 9 Dec. 1839)

1839-12-21: Field shots rang out in the countryside surrounding the town of Newport, raising the alarm and bringing out the military. While other troops were stationed about the town, the 45th were formed in Bank-square, commanding the approaches through Commercial-street and Stow-hill. After an hour and a half, intelligence was received that, rather than a second chartist incursion, the firing had been the discharge of artillery at Ruperra Park, the seat of Mr. Morgan, Sir Charles Morgan’s eldest son, in celebration of the birthday of his heir. “If this alarm occasioned some uneasiness and terror amongst some portions of the population for the moment, it had at least the good effect of showing in what a state of readiness and efficiency the troops are, and how well prepared to meet any sudden emergency which may call for their services.” (BNA: Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette, 26 Dec. 1839)

Please cite your sources.

News transcripts for the year, 1839

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