History of the 46th Regiment
1813 - 1832

On the 18th of March, 1812, the 46th Regiment embarked on board the "Nautilus" transport at Plymouth for Jersey, and arrived at St. Aubin's Bay on the 11th of April, when it marched to Grouville, in the eastern division of the island, the head-quarters being stationed at Mont Orgueil Castle.

In June, 1812, four companies which had been left in the West Indies, arrived at Portsmouth in the "Shipley" transport, and proceeded, without landing, to Jersey. A few officers and men, who came home from the West Indies in the "John Tobin" merchantman, arrived in the same month at Liverpool, and proceeded to the regiment at Jersey.

On the 11th of June, 1813, the regiment embarked on board the "Preston" transport for Portsmouth, and after its arrival at Spithead, received orders to proceed to Cowes, in the Isle of Wight. It disembarked at that place on the 16th of the same month, and proceeded to Sandown barracks, where the regiment remained until August following, when it received orders to proceed to New South Wales.

The regiment embarked on the 23rd of August, 1813, on board the "Wyndham," "Three Bees," and "General Hewitt" transports, and arrived at New South Wales in February, 1814.

For details of the activities of the regiment's Freemasons (the Masonic Lodge of Social and Military Virtues, No. 227 IC) during the time the regiment was stationed in New South Wales, folow this link.

On the 31st of May, 1814, the regiment was inspected by Major-General Lachlan Macquarie, who expressed his satisfaction at its appearance in General Orders dated-

"Head-Quarters, Sydney,
31st of May, 1814

"The Commander of the Forces having inspected His Majesty's Forty-Sixth Regiment, commanded by Colonel Molle, this forenoon, is happy to express publicly his approbation of the clean and soldier-like appearance of that corps under arms, as well as the uniformity of dress, both of officers and men.

"The advance of the corps in line was excellent, and the distances in formation were well preserved, and had the weather permitted of movements, the Major General doubts not that they would have been equally well performed.

"L. Macquarie,

The regiment was again inspected by Major-General Macquarie on the 21st of November following, when its appearance and movements elicited the Major-General's commendation.

In May 1815, Serjeant Robert Broadfoot and six privates were sent from the detachment of the regiment stationed at Hobart Town, Van Diemen's Land, into the interior of the colony, in order to suppress a gang of bushrangers, which infested that settlement, and had by their atrocious deeds become the terror of the inhabitants. The party succeeded in taking two of the principals, named Maguire and Burne, who were tried and executed. The serjeant and his party received the sum of one hundred pounds sterling (the equivalent of five and a half years pay for a private soldier, or around fifty thousand pounds at today's rates of pay...), and the thanks of Lieutenant-Governor Davy for their conduct on the occasion.

In May and October, 1815, the regiment was inspected by Major-General Macquarie, who again expressed his entire approval of its appearance and movements.

While the regiment was stationed in New South Wales, the war, in which the European powers had been engaged, was ended by the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte on the plains of Waterloo, and a lengthened period of peace was the result of that victory.

Early in February, 1816, Corporal Justin McCarthy and seven privates were sent in pursuit of bushrangers, and on the 5th of April following, they succeeded in taking two of them, both of whom were executed.

Lieutenant-General Henry Wynyard was appointed Colonel of the 46th Regiment on the 1st of April, 1816, in succession to General John Whyte, deceased.

In the early part of 1816, the flank companies of the regiment were detached into the interior of New South Wales, and received in General Orders the thanks of Major-General Macquarie, Commanding the Forces, for their arduous services in pursuing into the interior, and reducing the aborigines to a state of obedience. Captain Schaw commanded the light company, and Captain Wallis the grenadiers.

"Head Quarters, Sydney,
Tuesday, 7th May, 1816.


"Captains Schaw and Wallis having returned to head-quarters, with the detachments of the 46th regiment under their respective commands, recently employed against the hostile black natives, and having executed the service they were thus employed on to the entire approbation of His Excellency the Governor and Commander of the Forces, he requests Captains Schaw and Wallis will accept his best thanks for their zealous exertions, and strict attention to the fulfilling of the instructions on this delicate but very important service.

"The Commander of the Forces also requests that Captains Schaw and Wallis will convey to the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates of their respective detachments, his best thanks for their zeal and activity, and for the patience with which they endured a great deal of marching and fatigue, through a very rough and intricate country during the said service.

"(Signed) L. Macquarie,

In July, 1816, Serjeant Broadfoot, and sixteen rank and file were detached from the head-quarters of the corps at Sydney into the interior of the country, to protect the inhabitants from the natives, and were employed on this service until December of the same year, during which period their conduct was such as to call forth the thanks of Major-General Macquarie, from whom Serjeant Broadfoot received a certificate approving of his "zeal and activity during his services against the natives."

After chasing the bushrangers for six months, Corporal McCarthy and his party, in July, came up with the main body, consisting of eleven desperate characters, and headed by a deserter from the 73rd Regiment, named Geary. They were all armed, each with a musket and a brace of pistols, and well supplied with ammunition. The corporal and his men, now reduced to five, engaged them for an hour and a half, when the leader of the bushrangers being mortally wounded, his followers endeavoured to escape; two however, were taken, tried and executed. The corporal and his men received one hundred pounds for Geary, and twenty-five pounds for each of the other two (over eight years' pay for a private soldier, or around seventy-five thousand pounds in today's money), and were highly recommended by Lieutenant-Governor Sorrell for their zeal, courage, and perseverance.

On the 10th of August following, this small party again came up with the remainder of the banditti. Their leader was shot during the action, and another of his followers wounded, and made prisoner.

On the 8th of September, 1817, the regiment embarked in three divisions at Sydney Cove on board the "Matilda," "Lloyd," and "Dick" transports, and arrived at Madras on the 16th of December following. On the 29th of that month the regiment marched for Vellore.

The regiment arrived at Vellore on the 8th of January, 1818, and on the 26th of September following proceeded from thence en route to the Presidency of Madras, and arrived at Fort Saint George on the 12th of October.

Previously to the 46th quitting Vellore an Order was issued by Colonel Hall, commanding the troops at that garrison, in which he stated, "that during the period the regiment had been in the garrison, he had not had occasion to confine or pass a censure on any rank," and then added, "that a stronger proof cannot be offered of the excellent interior arrangement and discipline of the corps."

On the 1st of July, 1820, the regiment commenced its march from Fort Saint George for Bellary, in the Ceded Districts, and arrived at that station on the 10th of August following.

A detachment of the regiment, consisting of two captains, five lieutenants, two ensigns, one assistant surgeon, twenty serjeants, four drummers, and four hundred rank and file, marched from Bellary, for Belgaum, on field service in the Doab, on the 1st of October, 1820, and arrived at its destination on the 23rd of that month.

During the years 1821, 1822, and 1823, the head-quarters of the regiment continued to be stationed at Bellary.

By General Order of the 10th of March, 1824, a new system of Drill, according to improvements introduced by Major-General Sir Henry Torrens, KCB, Adjutant-General of the Forces was prescribed, and henceforth adopted by the 46th, as by all other of His Majesty's regiments. The 46th were later to be complimented on the "perfection... of the regiment in the revised system of discipline."

On the 31st of October, 1824, a detachment of the regiment, consisting of one captain, four lieutenants, eight serjeants, nine corporals, two drummers, and a hundred and forty-four privates, under the command of Captain Charles Dawe, proceeded from Bellary towards the southern Mahratta country, and was joined on the 10th of November by a second detachment of the 46th from Belgaum, under the command of Captain William Nairn, consisting of one captain, one lieutenant, one ensign, five serjeants and one hundred rank and file.

The remainder of the detachment from Belgaum, under the command of Major (Brevet-Lieutenant-Colonel) Thomas Willshire, joined the above, on the 2nd of December, before the Fort of Kittoor, which place was in a state of insurrection. The fort being reduced, the detachment from Belgaum returned to that station on the 15th of December, leaving the detachment under Captain Dawe before Kittoor.

On the 16th of December, 1824, the following Division Order was issued by Major-General Hall, commanding the ceded districts, on his inspecting the regiment:-

"Head Quarters, Ceded Districts,
Bellary, 16th December, 1824.

"The recent review and inspection of His Majesty's 46th Regiment has afforded Major-General Hall an opportunity of witnessing the very efficient state of that corps, and of expressing his unqualified satisfaction with the result of his enquiries, the whole of which tend greatly to the credit of the commanding officer, Major Wallis.

"The Major-General will have a pleasing part of his duty to perform in reporting the present state of His Majesty's 46th regiment.

"By order of Major-General Hall,
"(Signed) B. McMaster,
"Acting Brigade Major, Ceded Districts."

On the 7th of February 1825, the grenadier company, and head-quarters of the regiment, marched from Bellary for Cannanore, under the command of Major James Wallis, leaving two companies at Bellary. The detachment under Captain Dawe marched on the same day from Kittoor to Belgaum, where it was joined by two other companies, and proceeded from Belgaum to Vengoolah on the 16th of February, the whole under the command of Captain Alexander Campbell, and embarked at that port for Cannanore, where they arrived on the 28th of that month. The head-quarters of the regiment arrived at Cannanore on the 17th of March, under the command of Major Wallis, Lieutenant-Colonel Archibald Campbell (the senior Lieutenant-Colonel), having been appointed to the command of the provinces of Malabar and Canara.

The remainder of the regiment marched from Belgaum under the command of Major (Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel) Willshire, for Bellary, and arrived at that station on the 18th of March, 1825.

The following Provincial Order was issued by Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, commanding the provinces of Malabar and Canara, on the inspection and review of the regiment at Cannanore on the 31st of May, 1826:-

"Head Quarters, Malabar and Canara,
Cannanore, 31st May, 1826.

"Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell cannot permit the present half-yearly inspection and review of His Majesty's 46th regiment to pass over without expressing to Major Wallis, and the officers and men under his command, the high sense he entertains of the improved state of discipline and order of the regiment, in every respect, of which he will not fail to make the most favourable report.

"It is with heartfelt regret the Lieutenant-Colonel has learnt, that the 46th regiment is likely soon to lose the valuable services of Major Wallis, who has ever been enthusiastic in doing all which could contribute to the advantage and credit of the corps, and whose ability, zeal, and talents in command of it, are evinced by the perfection to which he has brought the regiment in the revised system of discipline, and the excellent state of its interior economy.

"After an intimate friendship of twenty-three years, as a brother officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell trusts he may be permitted thus publicly to express his sentiments of Major Wallis's merits and worth, and to lament the loss which he, individually, must sustain, when deprived of the cordial, zealous, and able support that has invariably been afforded to him by this meritorious officer.

"When Major Wallis withdraws from the active duties of his profession, he will be accompanied in his retirement by the most fervent wishes of Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell for his future welfare, happiness and prosperity.

"By order,
"(Signed), A. H. Colberg, Captain,
"Major of Brigade."

The detached wing of the regiment, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Willshire, marched from Bellary on the 22nd of July, 1826, and arrived at Secunderabad on the 21st of August following.

The head-quarters, under the command of Captain William Mallet, marched from Cannanore on the 2nd of November, 1826, and arrived at Secunderabad on the 12th of January, 1827.

The regiment remained at Secunderabad during 1827, and the five following years.

On the 24th of June, 1829, instructions were received for reducing the establishment of the regiment, from the 25th of the previous December, to the following numbers; namely, forty-five serjeants, fourteen drummers, and seven hundred and forty rank and file.

Arrangements having been made for the relief of the 46th regiment, a General Order was issued permitting the soldiers to volunteer to other corps serving in India. The volunteering was opened at Secunderabad on the 9th of November, and was finally closed on the 17th of December, 1832, when two hundred and thirty-seven men had volunteered their services to other regiments of His Majesty's service stationed in the Madras Presidency.

Other Sources of Information

Timeline covering the 32nd and 46th Regiments and the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, 1702-1997.

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