86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot

The 86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, raised in 1793. Under the Childers Reforms it amalgamated with the 83rd (County of Dublin) Regiment of Foot to form the Royal Irish Rifles in 1881.

86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot
86th Foot colours
Regimental colours
Country Kingdom of Great Britain (1793–1800)
 United Kingdom (1801–1881)
Branch British Army
SizeOne battalion (two battalions 1813–1814)
Garrison/HQVictoria Barracks, Belfast
EngagementsFrench Revolutionary Wars
Second Anglo-Maratha War
Napoleonic Wars
Indian Rebellion



General Sir Cornelius Cuyler
General Sir Cornelius Cuyler, founder of the regiment
Flickr - HuTect ShOts - Citadel of Salah El.Din and Masjid Muhammad Ali قلعة صلاح الدين الأيوبي ومسجد محمد علي - Cairo - Egypt - 17 04 2010 (4)
The Cairo Citadel which the regiment occupied in June 1801
The Siege of Bharatpur in January 1805

The regiment was raised in Shropshire by Major-General Sir Cornelius Cuyler as Sir Cornelius Cuyler's Shropshire Volunteers, in response to the threat posed by the French Revolution, on 30 October 1793.[1] It was absorbed into the British Army the following year as the 86th (Shropshire Volunteers).[1] Serving as marines, the regiment embarked on ships in January 1795.[2] The men took part in the Battle of Hyères Islands in July 1795.[3] It absorbed the remnants of the disbanded 118th Regiment of Foot (Fingall's Regiment), which had been raised the previous year for service as marines, in October 1795.[1]

The regiment embarked for the Cape of Good Hope arriving there in September 1796 with orders to consolidate the position in the colony following the surrender of Dutch Forces earlier that month.[4] The regiment was dispatched to Maddras in India in February 1799 arriving there in May 1799.[4] It then transferred to Bombay in July 1799.[4] From there three companies were deployed to Ceylon in late 1800.[4]

The regiment embarked for Egypt in April 1801 for service in the Egyptian Campaign.[3] The regiment landed at Suez and following a long march across northern Egypt[5] and the surrender of Cairo by the French Army in June 1801, the regiment occupied the citadel at Cairo.[6] The regiment returned to Bombay in spring 1802[7] and then provided storming parties for two unsuccessful assaults at the Siege of Bharatpur in January 1805 during the Second Anglo-Maratha War.[8] Twenty-five soldiers from the regiment were killed in the disastrous operation.[9] The regiment returned to Bombay in March 1806 and immediately embarked for Goa.[10] The regiment became the 86th (Leinster) Regiment of Foot in October 1809.[11]

Napoleonic Wars

The regiment took part in the Invasion of Île Bonaparte in July 1810[12] and, following the Invasion of Isle de France, occupied the island in March 1811[13] before returning to Madras in February 1812.[13] Having become the 86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot in May 1812,[14] the regiment moved to Hyderabad in January 1816[15] from where it was involved in operations to suppress the Pindaris.[16] It sailed for Trincomalee in Ceylon in September 1818 where it took part in operations to suppress the Kanyians[17] and only embarked for home in April 1819.[18]

The Victorian era

86th Foot uniform
Regimental uniform, 1840s
Jhansi fort2
Jhansi Fort which the regiment besieged in April 1858

The regiment embarked for the West Indies in October 1826.[19] It was initially based in Trinidad[19] but moved to Barbados in January 1828,[19] Antigua in January 1830[19] and Demerara and Berbice in February 1833.[20] It embarked for home in March 1837.[21] It returned to India in 1842 and saw action in Central India during the Indian Rebellion.[3] It formed part of the force led by Major-General Sir Hugh Rose which besieged and captured Jhansi Fort in April 1858: four Victoria Crosses were awarded to members of the regiment for this operation.[22][23][24] It returned home in August 1859 and was deployed to Gibraltar in 1864 and then went on to Mauritius in 1867 before returning to the Cape of Good Hope in 1870.[3] It returned home in 1875 and then embarked for Bermuda in 1880.[3]

As part of the Cardwell Reforms of the 1870s, where single-battalion regiments were linked together to share a single depot and recruiting district in the United Kingdom, the 86th was linked with the 83rd (County of Dublin) Regiment of Foot and assigned to district no. 63 at Victoria Barracks, Belfast.[25] On 1 July 1881 the Childers Reforms came into effect and the regiment amalgamated with the 83rd (County of Dublin) Regiment of Foot to form the Royal Irish Rifles.[1]

Battle honours

Battle honours won by the regiment were:[1]

  • Egypt (sphinx superscribed "Egypt")
  • India, Bourbon, Central India

Victoria Cross recipients

Colonels of the Regiment

Colonels of the Regiment were:[1]

Sir Cornelius Cuyler's Shropshire Volunteers

86th (the Shropshire Volunteers) - (1794)

  • 1794–1795: Gen. Russell Manners
  • 1795–1804: Gen. William Grinfield
  • 1804-1806: Gen. Sir James Henry Craig, KB

86th (The Leinster) Regiment of Foot - (1806)

86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot - (1812)


  1. ^ a b c d e f "86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot". regiments.org. Archived from the original on 10 March 2006. Retrieved 7 August 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ Cannon, p. 12
  3. ^ a b c d e "86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot: Locations". Regiments.org. Archived from the original on 12 February 2006. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d Cannon, p. 13
  5. ^ Cannon, p. 15
  6. ^ Cannon, p. 18
  7. ^ Cannon, p. 19
  8. ^ Cannon, p. 32
  9. ^ Cannon, p. 34
  10. ^ Cannon, p. 36
  11. ^ "No. 16309". The London Gazette. 24 October 1809. p. 1690.
  12. ^ Cannon, p. 38
  13. ^ a b Cannon, p. 45
  14. ^ "No. 16604". The London Gazette. 26 May 1812. p. 929.
  15. ^ Cannon, p. 47
  16. ^ Cannon, p. 48
  17. ^ Cannon, p. 49
  18. ^ Cannon, p. 57
  19. ^ a b c d Cannon, p. 59
  20. ^ Cannon, p. 60
  21. ^ Cannon, p. 61
  22. ^ "No. 22212". The London Gazette. 24 December 1858. p. 5518.
  23. ^ "No. 22324". The London Gazette. 19 June 1860. p. 4034.
  24. ^ "No. 22381". The London Gazette. 1 May 1860. p. 1642.
  25. ^ "Training Depots". Regiments.org. Archived from the original on 10 February 2006. Retrieved 16 October 2016.


83rd (County of Dublin) Regiment of Foot

The 83rd (County of Dublin) Regiment of Foot was a British Army line infantry regiment, which was formed in Ireland in 1793 for service in the French Revolutionary Wars. The regiment served in the West Indies, South Africa and the Peninsular War, and after the end of the wars with France spent much of the nineteenth century in colonial garrisons. Among other service, the 83rd fought in the Ceylon Great Rebellion of 1817–18, the Canadian Rebellions of 1837, and the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Under the Childers Reforms, the regiment amalgamated with the 86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot to form the Royal Irish Rifles in 1881.

86th Regiment

86th Regiment may refer to:

86th Regiment of Foot (Rutland Regiment), a unit of the British Army

86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot, a unit of the British Army

86th (Cornwall) Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery, air defence unit of the British Territorial Army

86th (East Anglian) (Hertfordshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, British Yeomanry unit

86th (Honourable Artillery Company) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery, a unit of the British Territorial Army

86th Field Artillery Regiment, a unit of the United States Army

86th Infantry Regiment, a unit of the United States Army

86th Armoured Regiment (India), an armoured unit of the Indian Army

86th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment, aviation regiment of the Soviet Air ForcesAmerican Civil War86th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment, a unit of the Union (Northern) Army

86th Indiana Infantry Regiment, a unit of the Union (Northern) Army

86th New York Volunteer Infantry, a unit of the Union (Northern) Army

86th Ohio Infantry, a unit of the Union (Northern) Army

Anthony St Leger (British Army officer)

Major-General Anthony St Leger (1731/32 – 19 April 1786) was a successful soldier, a Member of Parliament for Grimsby, and the founder of the St. Leger Stakes horse race.

Born in February 1731 at Grangemellon, County Kildare, Ireland, he was the fourth son of Sir John St Leger (1674-1743), who was a judge of the Court of Exchequer (Ireland), and his second wife Lavinia, daughter of Kingsmill Pennefather of Cashel, County Tipperary. He was educated at Eton College. He attended Peterhouse, Cambridge before embarking on a career in the army. His brother Barry St. Leger was also a distinguished army officer. They belonged to the junior branch of a long established landowning family from County Cork: the head of the senior branch was Viscount Doneraile.In 1761, St Leger married a Yorkshire woman, Margaret Wombwell. That same year he was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the 124th Regiment of Foot, but a year later the regiment disbanded, and St Leger took on the Park Hill estate in Firbeck, where he later bred and raced horses.

From 1768 to 1774, St Leger sat as MP for Grimsby. Two years after leaving the Commons, and with the assistance of Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, he established a two-mile race for 3-year-old horses, on the Cantley Common in Doncaster. This was to become the St. Leger Stakes.

In 1779, St Leger re-entered the army as colonel of the 86th Regiment of Foot. He subsequently achieved the rank of brigadier general, before serving a period as the Governor of Saint Lucia. His last posting was in Ireland, by which time he was a major general.

St Leger died on 19 April 1786. He was buried in Saint Anne's Church, Dublin.

In addition to giving his name to the St Leger Stakes, the St Leger Arms public house in Laughton en le Morthen (two miles up the road from the Park Hill estate) is also named after Anthony St Leger.

Edward Dyne Fenton

Edward Dyne Fenton (12 December 1827 – 29 July 1880) was a British author and amateur photographer.

Edward James Lawder

General Edward James Lawder (1821 - 2 March 1900) was a British Army officer in British India.

Frederick Cavendish Ponsonby

Major General Sir Frederick Cavendish Ponsonby (6 July 1783 – 11 January 1837), styled The Honourable Frederick Cavendish Ponsonby from 1806 to 1828, and The Honourable Sir Frederick Cavendish Ponsonby from 1828, was an Anglo-Irish military officer, the second son of The 3rd Earl of Bessborough and Henrietta Ponsonby, Countess of Bessborough.

George Charles D'Aguilar

Major-General Sir George Charles d'Aguilar, (Chinese: 德忌笠; Sidney Lau: Dak1 Gei6 Lap1 or Chinese: 己立; Sidney Lau: Gei2 Laap6); January 1784 – 21 May 1855), was a British Army officer who served as Lieutenant Governor of Hong Kong (1843–1848).

George Middlemore

General George Middlemore (died 18 November 1850, Tunbridge Wells) was a British Army officer and the first Governor of Saint Helena.

Originally commissioned in the 86th Regiment of Foot, he rose to command the 48th Regiment of Foot during the Peninsular War. He was the lieutenant-governor of Grenada from 1833 to 1835.

Middlemore was the first governor of Saint Helena from 1836 to 1842 after its handover from the British East India Company to the Crown. He oversaw the repatriation of Napoleon's remains from there in 1840.

Henry Edward Jerome

Major General Henry Edward Jerome (28 February 1830 – 25 February 1901) was a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Hugh Cochrane

Colonel Hugh Stewart Cochrane VC (4 August 1829 – 23 April 1884) was a recipient of the Victoria Cross for his actions, as a 28-year-old lieutenant, during the Indian Mutiny. He later achieved the rank of Colonel and commanded the 43rd Foot and (briefly) its successor, the 1st Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Cochrane was born in Fort William, Scotland and died in Southsea in England.

Cochrane was a lieutenant in the 86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot (later The Royal Irish Rifles), British Army stationed in India during the Indian Mutiny. For the following deed on 1 April 1858 near Jhansi, India he was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces:

For conspicuous gallantry near Jhansi, on the 1st of April, 1858, when No. 1 Company of the Regiment was ordered to take a gun, in dashing forward at a gallop, under a heavy musketry and artillery fire, driving the enemy from the gun, and keeping possession of it till the Company came up. Also for conspicuous gallantry in attacking the rear-guard of the enemy, when he had three horses shot under him in succession. Despatch from Major-General Sir Hugh Henry Rose, G.C.B., dated 23rd April, 1858.

Hugh Duncan Baillie

Hugh Duncan Baillie (31 May 1777 – 21 June 1866) was a British army officer, MP and Lord Lieutenant of Ross-shire.

He was the second son of Evan Baillie of Dochfour, a prosperous Bristol merchant, and the brother of Peter Baillie and James Evan Baillie. He succeeded his father in 1835.

He joined the Army as an ensign in the 37th Foot in 1793. He was promoted to lieutenant in the 93rd Foot the same year, to captain in the 97th Foot and then major in the 86th Foot in 1794 and to lieutenant-colonel in 1800. He took part in the occupation of the Cape of Good Hope between 1796 and 1803 during the Napoleonic Wars. He went on to half pay with the Surrey Rangers from 1802 to 1825 and was finally made a colonel of the army in 1810. He retired from the army in 1825.

In 1812 he and his brother James became partners in the Bristol Old Bank. Hugh had become senior partner by his death.

He entered Parliament as the MP for Rye in 1830 and was then returned for Honiton in 1835, sitting until 1847. He served as Lord lieutenant of Ross-shire from 1843 until his death. During the Parliament of 1835 he received a share of a compensation award totalling over £60,000 for the freed slaves on some 17 estates in British Guiana, Grenada, St Kitts, St Vincent and Trinidad which he either owned or in which he had an interest (see the database "Legacies of British Slave-ownership" run by University College London). He bought the Ross-shire estate of Redcastle from the Trustees of Sir William Fettes after the latter's death in 1836.

He died in 1866. He had married twice:firstly, at the Cape of Good Hope, Elizabeth, the daughter of Rev. Henry Reynett of Goodmans Fields, London, with whom he had a son and 3 daughters and secondly Mary, the daughter of Thomas Smith of Castleton Hall, Lancashire, with whom he had 3 sons and a daughter. His personal estate after his death was valued at under £50,000.

India (battle honour)

India was a battle honour awarded to the following regiments of the British Army for their service during the conquest of British India between 1787 and 1826:

12th (East Suffolk) Regiment of Foot, later the Suffolk Regiment

14th (Buckinghamshire) Regiment of Foot, later the West Yorkshire Regiment

65th (2nd Yorkshire, North Riding) Regiment of Foot, later 1st Battalion, the York and Lancaster Regiment

67th (South Hampshire) Regiment of Foot, later 2nd Battalion, the Hampshire Regiment

69th (South Lincolnshire) Regiment of Foot, later 2nd Battalion, the Welch Regiment

75th (Stirlingshire) Regiment of Foot, later 1st Battalion, the Gordon Highlanders

84th (York and Lancaster) Regiment of Foot, later 2nd Battalion, the York and Lancaster Regiment

86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot, later 2nd Battalion, the Royal Ulster Rifles

James Watson (British Army officer)

Lieutenant General Sir James Watson KCB (1772 – 14 August 1862) was a British Army officer and Commander-in-Chief, India.

Royal Ulster Rifles

The Royal Irish Rifles (became the Royal Ulster Rifles from 1 January 1921) was an infantry rifle regiment of the British Army, first created in 1881 by the amalgamation of the 83rd (County of Dublin) Regiment of Foot and the 86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot. The regiment saw service in the Second Boer War, the First World War, the Second World War, and the Korean War.

In 1968 the Royal Ulster Rifles was amalgamated with the other regiments of the North Irish Brigade, the Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria's), and the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers to create the Royal Irish Rangers.

Russell Manners (British Army officer)

Russell Manners (1736 – 11 September 1800) was a British Army officer.

St George Barracks, Gosport

St George Barracks (not St George's Barracks) was a military installation at Gosport, Hampshire. In addition to the guard house, barrack blocks, the sergeant's mess and the gymnasium all survive and are Grade II listed buildings.

Victoria Barracks, Belfast

Victoria Barracks was a military installation in New Lodge, Belfast in Northern Ireland.

William Harris, 2nd Baron Harris

Lieutenant General William George Harris, 2nd Baron Harris KCH (19 January 1782 – 30 May 1845) was a British soldier and peer.

William Ormsby-Gore (1779–1860)

For his great-great grandson, see William Ormsby-Gore, 4th Baron Harlech.

William Ormsby-Gore (14 March 1779 – 4 May 1860), known as William Gore until 1815, was a British Member of Parliament.

Born into an Anglo-Irish family as William Gore, the eldest son of William Gore, M.P., of Woodford, County Leitrim, he was the great-great-grandson of William Gore, third and youngest son of Sir Arthur Gore, 1st Baronet, of Newtown, second son of Sir Paul Gore, 1st Baronet, of Magharabag, whose eldest son Paul was the grandfather of Arthur Gore, 1st Earl of Arran. He was educated at Eton College (1796), the Middle Temple (1796) and Merton College, Oxford (1797). In 1815 he married Mary Jane Ormsby, daughter and heiress of Owen Ormsby, and assumed by Royal licence the additional surname of Ormsby the same year.

He joined the British Army and served as a lieutenant in the 1st Dragoon Guards in 1800, was promoted to captain in 1802, to major in 1802 and to brevet major in 1813. He went onto half-pay with the 86th Foot in 1815 and as a captain in the 88th Foot. He left the Army in 1829. He was appointed High Sheriff of Shropshire for 1817–18 and High Sheriff of Caernarvonshire for 1820–21.

Ormsby-Gore was elected to the House of Commons for County Leitrim in 1806, a seat he held until 1807, and then represented Caernarvon from 1830 to 1831 and North Shropshire from 1835 to 1857.

He died at Porkington and was buried at Selattyn. He had 3 sons (one of whom predeceased him) and 2 daughters. His eldest son John Ormsby Gore was M.P. for Caernarvonshire and created Baron Harlech in 1876. His second son William became 2nd Baron Harlech after the death of his brother.

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