Wednesday, December 13, 2006

December 1806

3rd December
Ballinrobe - the two newly-elected members were carried all around the streets on big arm-chairs among the milling and incessantly cheering crowd, into which gold and silver coins were thrown by the successful pair. (7th Line Battalion)
(Hering, Johann Fredrich, Journal, Irish Historical Studies, xxv,no. 99 (may 1987))

November 1806

6th November
Sergeant/Major Heinrich Wilhelm Muller 1st Hunters battalion married Anne Mills in Midleton.
(Roche, Richard, The Irish Sword, Vol X, Winter 1972 Vol 42)

9th November
Ballinrobe -we received in this remote spot the sad tidings of the battle of Jena
(Hering, Johann Fredrich, Journal, Irish Historical Studies, xxv,no. 99 (may 1987))

25th November
Ballinrobe - Lieutenant Charles Krauchenberg, 1st Hussars died by accident or illness.
(Beamish, North Ludlow, History of the King’s German Legion Vol. 2 , Appendix p619, No. 844)

October 1806

Start of October
to be moved 18 Irish miles away to Ballinrobe where the greater part of the regiment was garrisoned. (7th Line Battalion)
(Hering, Johann Fredrich, Journal, Irish Historical Studies, xxv,no. 99 (may 1987))

Officer in Ballinrobe died of dysentery (7th Line Battalion)
(Hering, Johann Fredrich, Journal, Irish Historical Studies, xxv,no. 99 (may 1987))

Thursday, September 21, 2006

September 1806

13th September Bandon, Lieutenant Charles Wiering, 6th Line battalion died of accident or illness. Beamish, North Ludlow, History of the King’s German Legion Vol. 2 , Appendix 1113

End of September Ballinamore the black clouds hanging heavily in the sky emptied themselves daily and made our stay in that place exceedingly boring. (7th Line Batallion) Hering, Johann Fredrich, Journal, Irish Historical Studies, xxv,no. 99 (may 1987)

KGL Songs

One of the songs sung by the KGL while they fought in the Peninsula was "Ein Schifflein sah ich fahren"

In the book Songs and music of the Redcoats, a history of the war music of the British Army 1642-1902 by L. Winstock, 1970. Chapter 34 talks about the song. The Germans believe that the song was composed by German troops en route for the American Colonies during the American War of Independence. The song has remained a favourite with German troops and remains in their song books to this day.

Lyrics and Melody

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Kilcruttan Cemetary Tullamore, Offaly, Ireland

Grave of captain baron Oldershausen

Private Christophe Koch

Inscription "In memorial of Christophe Koch Rifleman in the 5th Company of the 5th Company of the 1st Light Infantry Battalion Kings German Legion. He was born in Goettingen in the Electorate of hanover, Germany and died the 26th July 1806 at Tullamore aged 23 years."

Detail from the gravestone. (from Irish Sword article by N.W. English)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Militia view of July 22nd incident

1793 – 1816

A Social and Military Study

Sir Henry McAnally

Clonmore and Reynolds, Dublin
Eyre and Spottiswoode, London


P201 –202

An affray which happened during the repatriation marches of the light infantry companies caused considerable sensation. It throws light on the clannishness which was at all periods very characteristic of the Irish militia units. In Ireland at that time there was the king’s German legion, about 9,000 strong. Some 900 of these were lying at Tullamore. The light infantry companies of the Londonderry, Monaghan, Sligo and Limerick (county), passing through Tullamore when an incident arose. It possibly originated in a Hanoverian soldier attempting to take by force from a small drummer boy of the Monaghan company a switch ‘ on which the boy seemed to affix much value ‘. The boy apparently complained to a militiaman, using offensive language about the German. Then some more militiamen came and fell violently on the German. With the arrival on the scene of more of the German soldiers there was a general mêlee. But the Germans were more numerous and the militiamen had consequently to fall back, but not before they had attempted to rescue one of their comrades who was being conveyed to the guardhouse. Then more Germans came on the scene. The retreating militiamen began to fire. The whole affair took place after 8 p.m. but the townspeople did not become involved. The march of other light companies through Tullamore was, next morning, stopped. But, before this had been done, the Wexford light company had come in and halted for the night. Still’ nothing unpleasant occurred between the privates and the officers of both corps passed the evening together, those of the Wexford having been invited by the Germans to their mess ‘. In this encounter the militia had nine wounded of whom one died, from a bayonet stab. The German legion had several wounded ; twelve by ball, three by bayonet and seven by cudgel; one of these died. The conduct of the Germans in the town is stated to have been good and no racial antipathy was anticipated from the deplorable affair.
This was more a sudden emotional storm that anything else. The conclusion cannot be drawn from it that the units were lawless..

The test was scanned directly into Word using a C-Pen 600C

Thursday, August 24, 2006

KGL version of the 'battle of Tullamore'

This change brought the third line brigade to Ireland, where it relieved the two light battalions; of these, the first regiment went to Tullamore in the King’s County, the other to Kilbeggan in the neighbouring county of Westmeath.
The greater part of the legion had now been removed to Ireland, and found no reason to be dissatisfied with the change. To both officers and men Ireland presented advantages which the sister island did not afford them. The hospitality of the inhabitants; the cheapness of provisions; the readiness with which a stranger, and particularly a military man, was admitted into the family circles of the gentry - formed an agreeable contrast to the parallel circumstances in England. There, indeed, the country towns were so crowded with troops, that general attention to the military could scarcely be expected from the residents; and he who was not fortunate enough to be provided with letters of introduction, had little chance of being invited to partake of their hospitality. In Ireland, on the other hand, the garrisons were smaller, and the gentry, ever more ready to form acquaintances than the English, make those advances (This quality is well expressed by the German word - zuvorkommend (literally, coming first), for which I know of no synonyme in our language.) which are so agreeable to a stranger, and could not but prove highly gratifying to the officers of a foreign corps.
The Hanoverians became acquainted with Irish hospitality to its fullest extent; the houses of the more wealthy residents were open to them; at the grand entertainment or more humble family party, they were equally welcomed; the ladies taught them English, and the gentlemen bore with their German; festivities denoted their presence, and lamentations their departure.
That this friendly intercourse should have led to more near alliances may well be imagined, and the subsequent change of condition of several officers of the corps proved that the fair daughters of Erin were not insensible to the merits of their foreign guests.
With more complete satisfaction could we dwell upon the sojourn of the German legion in Ireland, did not an unfortunate event, which about this time occurred, mingle some painful recollections with this period of their history.
The light companies of some Irish militia regiments had been formed into a brigade and stationed at the town of Birr in the King’s County. In the month of July this brigade was broken up, and the several companies of which it was composed were ordered to join their respective regiments. Agreeably to this order, four companies, being those of the Derry, Monaghan, Limerick, and Sligo regiments, marched into Tullamore, where, as has been stated, the first light battalion and one squadron of the first dragoons of the legion were quartered. On their entrance into the town, the militia officers were met by a deputation from those of the legion, who, wishing to return a similar civility which had been paid to one of their battalions by the Irish officers at Birr, begged that they might be favoured with their company at dinner. The invitation was declined on the plea of fatigue, and the militia proceeded to take up their quarters in Tullamore for the night.
About seven o’clock in the evening a man belonging to the German light battalion, who was peaceably crossing the bridge that formed one end of the main street of the town, was knocked down by one of the militia, who was immediately joined by several of his comrades. Three other Germans, who were accidentally passing, and came up to see what was going forward, met with a similar fate.
Major-general von Linsingen, who, in the absence of general Dunne, commanded the district, happening to be at the moment about to leave the officers’ dinner-room in the adjoining hotel, was attracted by the noise which this outrage occasioned, and seeing from the inn window that two or three of the German light infantry were surrounded by a crowd of militia soldiers, hurried to the spot, and in the best English he could command, entreated them to desist. For the moment his interference was effective; but two of the Germans had been already wounded with bayonets and stones, and a determination to repeat the assault appeared evident on the part of the militia. The major-general, therefore, sending to the barracks for a patrole, repaired to his quarters, and made the officer commanding the militia acquainted with what had occurred. This officer waited upon general Linsingen, who ordered him forthwith to parade his men for roll-call, and sent similar instructions for the first light battalion of the legion to colonel von Alten.
The patrole from the barracks now came up and seized one of the militia, who appeared to be a ringleader in the business. About twenty of his comrades then collected for the apparent purpose of rescuing him, and were about to charge the Germans with fixed bayonets, when captain von Düring of the first light battalion, who was parading his company in a square of the main street, moved it down upon the charging party, which had been momentarily stopped by the expostulation of brigade major von Kronenfeldt, and caused them to retreat behind the bridge. Here they faced about, and fired upon the Germans, seven of whom were wounded. Upon this, captain Düring pressed forward and drove them across the bridge and into the lanes beyond it; meantime colonel von Alten’s battalion had been formed up in the main street.
The militia had now nearly all retired from this part of the town; but taking shelter in the houses, and at the corners of the streets, they still continued to fire upon the Germans, and lieutenant baron Marschalk was dangerously wounded by a musketball in the chest.
On the militia first beginning to fire, general Linsingen had ordered out a party of the first dragoons, which now arriving, he placed himself at their head, and charged the only body that still held out. This was the party which captain Düring had driven across the bridge, and which still kept a bold front in the lower part of the town. The German dragoons felt naturally irritated at the unprovoked treatment which their comrades had received, and shewed little mercy towards the aggressors. These, however, received them with a heavy fire; but not being able to withstand the violent reprisal of the cavalry, soon after dispersed, and here the affray, which lasted about half an hour, terminated.
Three officers, (lieutenants Peters, Alten, and Marschalk,) twenty-two men, and five horses of the legion were wounded in this unfortunate disturbance; one of the wounded men afterwards died, and baron Marschalk, who had been shot through the lungs, was for a length of time not expected to recover.
Of the militia nine only were wounded, one of whom afterwards died, which smaller number of casualties, in proportion to that of the legion, was to be attributed to the latter being unprovided with ammunition, while the militia were all loaded with ball.
These serious results caused a long and minute investigation into the cause of the affray to be made by the government. A court of inquiry was convened at Tullamore, the report of which not being deemed satisfactory, was followed by a second investigation, under the immediate superintendence of general Floyd, the commander of the forces in Ireland; but both failed in ascertaining the exact cause of the provocation; (Various reasons have been given for the hostile feeling of the militia towards the Germans; revenge for a punishment, which had, a short time before, been inflicted upon one of their body for stealing a pipe from one of the German light infantry; a belief that the arrival of the latter in Ireland was the cause of the militia light brigade having been broken up; the faithlessness of some former "sweethearts" of the Irishmen in Tullamore, on the arrival of the legion in that town, have been severally stated as the cause of aggression, and, taken collectively, will probably account for the affray.) it was, however, fully proved that to the militia alone the fatal consequences which have been recorded were justly attributable.
The court of inquiry pronounced the conduct of two of the Irish officers reprehensible, and the one most censured was brought to a court martial on the principal charge of having been present at, and not using his best exertions to suppress, the disturbance. The charges were, however, not substantiated, and the officer was acquitted; but eight of the men, fifteen of whom were also tried, were sentenced to severe punishment as ringleaders in the affray.
The conduct of the Hanoverians under the peculiarly trying circumstances in which they were placed during the whole of this affair, was a theme of general commendation, and the official reports were in the highest degree favourable to them. General Linsingen, however, felt doubtful as to the impression which might have been made upon the mind of the king respecting the German troops, and addressed a letter to lieutenant-colonel Taylor, his majesty’s private secretary, on the subject. From his reply, which completely relieved the general’s mind, by informing him of the nature of the official reports, we have been permitted to make the following extract: -
"Windsor, August 4th, 1806.
"I had the pleasure of receiving, yesterday, your obliging letter of the 28th of July, and I lose no time in acknowledging it, as I am anxious to release your mind from any uneasiness in regard to the impression which may have been made here by the unfortunate occurrence at Tullamore. The king had received lieutenant-general Floyd’s and the solicitor general’s first report; and their further reports, with the proceedings of the court of inquiry, have been laid before his majesty; and I am happy to assure you that every document speaks in the most favourable terms of the conduct of the Hanoverian officers and men in the business, and throws the whole blame on the militia light companies. The reports endeavour to do justice to your personal exertions, and to the activity and steadiness of the cavalry, and the lord lieutenant corroborates the testimony of general Floyd and the solicitor-general, as to the general excellent conduct of colonel Alten’s battalion, including all the Hanoverians, and as to the popularity which they have so justly acquired among the inhabitants. I sincerely regret that, so early, your residence in Ireland should have been marked by a circumstance so unpleasant to a brave old soldier; but, however distressing, I can assure you that it has proved most honourable to yourself, and all those of the German legion who were concerned in it."
"I communicated to the king the contents of your letter, and received his majesty’s commands to assure you, that all that has come to his knowledge is highly to the credit of yourself and the Hanoverian officers and men, and tends to confirm him in the high opinion which he has ever had of the discipline and good conduct of the corps, which, his majesty is persuaded, will be conspicuous upon every occasion as upon this.
"The two light battalions have probably received their order to prepare for embarkation for Sicily, and I must only observe that this removal was decided upon before any information had been received of the affray at Tullamore. They are going upon what will, I think, prove a very interesting and very active service."
The order for embarkation alluded to by colonel Taylor reached the light brigade in the beginning of August, when the first battalion marched to Middleton, and the second battalion to Mallow; but on arriving at these towns, it was made known to them that their departure from Ireland was, for the present, deferred, and they were soon after removed to their old quarters at Bandon, the third line brigade going to the King’s County. In the following spring, however, these battalions were again in march; for the whole of the infantry, two regiments of cavalry, and four batteries of artillery of the legion, were, in the month of April, ordered to hold themselves in readiness to embark for the continent.
from: History of the King's German Legion, Volume 1, London 1832 - 1837, Pages 82 - 102

August 1806

Notwithstanding the manner in which the outrage between some of the military which lately took place at Tullamore, we are happy in having it in our power to state, that mischief has not exceeded the loss of more than one life on the part of the German legion, and the like on the part of the militia – twenty-one of the German Legion, and eleven of the militia have been wounded, but none of them mortally.
(Freeman’s Journal, August 12th 1806)

End of August Ballinamore the harvest began, but this business too is carried on very wretchedly (7th Line Battalion)
(Hering, Johann Fredrich, Journal, Irish Historical Studies, xxv,no. 99 (may 1987))

Investigation into July 22nd events

There were a number of investigations into the events of the evening of July 22nd 1806. The only official conclusion was that the KGL were the innocent party.

The investigations were inconclusive, while some militia troops were arrested initially and went to trial, the event seemed to fade away.

I hope to add more information about the investigations later.

Monday, July 24, 2006

July 1806


3rd Line Brigade arrives in Ireland
1st Light Regiment went from Bandon to Tullamore
2nd Light Regiment went from Bandon to Kilbeggan
(Beamish, North Ludlow, History of the King's German Legion Vol. 1, p93)

22nd July Battle of Tullamore
(Freeman's Journal July 1806)

26th July Private Christophe Hock Rifleman in the 3rd company of the 1st light infantry battalion died. Died in Tullamore.
(Kilcruttin Cemetary Tullamore, County Offaly Archaeological Survey August 1993)

Short background article

Battle of Tullamore

The 22nd of July 2006 marks the 200th anniversary of an unusual historical event - a battle through the streets of Tullamore between German troops and Irish Militia units.

The German troops were members of the King's German Legion (KGL). The Irish Militia units came from Monaghan, Derry & Limerick. (***CHE CK for other**) The KGL came from Hanover. At this time the King of England (George III) was also the Elector of Hanover.

In 1803 Napoleon invaded Hanover and the Hanoverian army was forced to either disband or flee the country, many of these troops fled to England where they formed the King's German Legion. The people of England, in constant fear of invasion from France, did not like foreign troops on English soil. In April 1806 most of the KGL were sent to Ireland where they would replace English regiments. By early June 1806 there were over 9,000 KGL troops here.

The KGL troops cut a dash on the streets of Irish towns and villages, and were popular with the ladies. This might be a factor in the circumstances that led to the incident in Tullamore.

On the evening of the 22nd of July units of the Londonderry, Monaghan, Sligo and Limerick (county) were staying near Tullamore en route to another posting. A minor squabble between a drummer boy of the Monaghan company and a German soldier. This quickly escalated into a number of skirmishes between Irish militia units and German infantary and cavalry. The battle raged for some time until finally the 1st Dragoons were ordered out of barracks. Ittook some time for order to be restored.

In the end three officers and twenty-two men from the KGL were wounded (one later died from his injuries), compared to nine militia men.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Video Kilcruttan Cemetary 19 July 2006

Video showing the graves of baron von Oldershausen (died 1808) and private Hock who died as a result of injuries sustained in the "Battle of Tullamore" 22nd July 1806.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

200th anniversary of Battle of Tullamore July 22 1806

Anniversary of the ‘ Battle of Tullamore’. This event involving soldiers in the British Army and the King’s German Legion will be recalled at Kilcruttin Cemetery at 7.00pm on Thursday 13 July and will be followed by refreshments in the Heritage Centre, Bury Quay. The event occurred on 22 July 1806 and details will be published in the local press.

from Offaly Historical Society Newsletter July 2006

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

June 1806

Early June
1st Line Brigade leave for Gibraltar.
(Beamish, North Ludlow, History of the King’s German Legion Vol. 1, p93)

2nd June
Yesterday and this morning the 1st Light Battalion of the King’s German Legion arrived in town from Bandon, on their route to Tullamore in the King’s County. The 2nd Light Battalion which marched in here on Wednesday and Thursday, have proceeded for Kilbeggan and Moat, co. Westmeath.
(The Waterford Mirror, June 2nd 1806)

3rd June
Friday and Saturday last, the 1st light battalion of the King’s German Legion, arrived in Cork from Bandon, on their route to Tullamore, in the King’s County: - the 2d light battalion, which marched into Cork on Wednesday and Thursday, have proceeded for Kilbeggan and Moat, in the Co. Meath. (Westmeath)
(The General Advertiser and Limerick Chronicle, 3rd June 1806)

13th June
The Amethyst and Active frigates, with the transports, having the King’s German Legion on board, for Gibraltar, will sail the first fair wind from Cove.
General Advertiser and Limerick Chronicle, 13th June 1806

21st June The transports with the King’s German Legion on board sailed from Cove for Gibraltar on Saturday last, under convoy of the Actiye (??) and Druid frigates, and Racehorse sloop of war. The Amethyst, with convoy, sailed from (for ??) Plymouth; the Ville de Milan, Vice-Admiral Berkeley, for Halifax, and the Childers for Newfoundland.
Sunday six transports, with part of the King’s German Legion on board, arrived in Cork harbour, under convoy of the Savage sloop of war, Captain Coode, from Spithead
(Freeman’s Journal 21st June 1806.)

21st June A detachment of Hanoverians belonging to the King’s German Legion marched into Clougheen, some days since; one of them killed a publican, on whom he was billeted, by stabbing him with a bayonet. A coroner’s inquest was held on the body, --(but not until the party had marched out of town, and, of course, all possibility of identifying the murderer precluded); and a Verdict returned of “willful murder against some persons unknown.”
(Freeman’s Journal 21st June 1806.)

End of June
1st Line Regiment and 2nd Line Regiment –arrive in Gibraltar.
(Beamish, North Ludlow, History of the King’s German Legion Vol. 1, p93)

Monday, May 08, 2006

May 7th - May 31st, 1806

6th May – Ballinamore (7th Line Battalion)
Hering, Johann Fredrich, Journal, Irish Historical Studies, xxv,no. 99 (may 1987)

6th May
Two Light battalions, 1st Line Brigade and the 2nd Line Brigade – sail for Cork
The first division of the King's German Legion marched here from Fermoy on their route to Gort.
Beamish, North Ludlow, History of the King’s German Legion Vol. 1do p92

7th May – Dunamore (7th Line Battalion)
· Whitmonday a big yarn-market was held - requested us to mount guard
· In the month of June there were in fact some fine and warm days and evenings
· Midsummer day’ was celebrated magnificently
Hering, Johann Fredrich, Journal, Irish Historical Studies, xxv,no. 99 (may 1987)

Dublin, May 6
Yesterday , two troops of the 18th Light Dragoons came into town from country quarters, to be stationed in this city. They were relieved in the country by the Hanoverian Cavalry, or what is called the German Legion.
The General Advertiser, or Limerick Gazette May 7th 1806

10th May Two Light battalions, 1st Line Brigade and the 2nd Line Brigade shelter in Bantry Bay
Beamish, North Ludlow, History of the King’s German Legion Vol. 1 p92

13th May Two Light battalions, 1st Line Brigade and the 2nd Line Brigade shelter in Castletownbear Haven
Beamish, North Ludlow, History of the King’s German Legion Vol. 1 p92

15th May Fifteen transports have arrived at Cove, to take on board some of the German Regiments destined for service in the Garrison of Gibraltar, and two battalions at Midleton we understand are to embark immediately.
Freeman’s Journal 15th May 1806

20th May Two Light battalions, 1st Line Brigade and the 2nd Line Brigade sail for Cobh.
Beamish, North Ludlow, History of the King’s German Legion Vol. 1 p92

Cork May 17
[Kilworth Mountains]
...on Thursday last a very amiable foreigner, the Lady of an officer of rank in the Hanoverian Brigade, was attempted to be robbed by a single foot pad, while passing the mountain with her two children, under the protection of an officer of the same corps, who was wounded in her defence; but the fellow thought proper to decamp without effecting his purpose.
The General Advertiser, or Limerick Gazette May 20th 1806

21th May
Two Light battalions, 1st Line Brigade and the 2nd Line Brigade – land at Cork

Two Line battalions – to Bandon
1st Line Brigade – to Kinsale
2nd Line Brigade – to Middleton
Remaining brigade – to Clonooney near Banagher
Beamish, North Ludlow, History of the King’s German Legion Vol. 1, p93

28th May There are 2,000 of the German legion embarking at Cork for Gibralter, to relieve the same number of troops which go from thence to the army in Sicily. Freeman’s Journal 28th May 1806

28th May The whole of the German legion, artillery, dragoons, and infantry, are to be sent immediately from this country (England) to Ireland. This will leave a large part of the army in that country disposable any for expedition of service.
Freeman’s Journal 28th May 1806

29th May

Cork, May 26th.
Yesterday, the signal was made for the Amethyst frigate with Transports, having the King’s German legion on board, to unmoor. In a little time after the signal was repeated for getting under weigh, which was obeyed by several of the Transports. They had not proceeded more than a few yards, when an annulling signal brought them to again, and they resumed their moorings. – they had not sailed when or courier left Cove this morning. The troops are destined for Gibralter; they were joined by four Transports with troops of the King’s German legion, on the 23d instant.
Freeman’s Journal May 29th 1806

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

KGL display in the Phoenix Park 5th May 1806

Cork Mercantile Chronicle Wednesday May 7th 1806


Monday, his Grace the Lord Lieutenant, attended by the Commander of the Forces Gen. Floyd, viewed his Majesty's 1st regiment of German Light Dragoons in the Phoenix Park. His Grace expressed the utmost satisfaction ( ???) admirable appearance and movements of this (???) corps. Major General Baron de Linsingen, Colonel of the regiment, commanded it himself, and did the most ample justice to it. The General, it seems is one is one of the most expert soldiers of the day. - bred up in arms - and dwelling I the outposts of the army. The essential has been his main object, while the ornament was not neglected, but considered as secondary.

Baron de Linsingen is a contemporary of our present worthy and highly respected Commander of the Forces, Gen. Floyd, and served with him at the famous battle of Emsdorf, where Ellis's regiment (now the 15th dragoons) commenced its brilliant career.

After the parade movements were concluded, Gen.Floyd proposed to the Baron to form an advanced guard, considering the Lord Lieutenant's person as the head of the column of the army: on the instant the disposition was made. The Duke proceeded across this beautifully varied park, every byeroad, every hollow way was explored, with a degree of intelligence, as if the features of the ground had been previously examined, although no man of the regiment had been there before. At the extremity of the Park, where the movement intended to end, the regiment assembled in column, all the detachments coming in from every quarter, and in the instant the line was formed in the most picturesque and advantageous situation imaginable. Gen. Linsingen has been well seconded by the abilities of all his Officers.

His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland served with this General, and his regiment in Germany, and was constantly with them on the foreposts, in which his ardour often led him to act the hardy part of a private buffor, and once particularly, he was surrounded by the enemy, and extricated himself unhurt by superior prowess, when every other man and horse was killed or wounded.

The Officers of this Corps were entertained by Gen Floyd, and (???) with a most hearty welcome, a choice dinner and the best wines. The King, Queen and loyal toasts went cordially round : Duke of Cambridge, Chief of the German Legion, and their fellow soldier the Duke of Cumberland, were honourably remembered.

The 1st Heavy regiment of German Cavalry was also viewed by his Grace the Lord Lieutenant on their way to the centre district - a prodigious fine corps and in excellent order. The Officers of this corps were in a like manner entertained by General Floyd, who seems to understand perfectly well the reason for good discipline and conviviality, and that good soldiers are masters in both.

May 1-5, 1806

1st May - depart Dublin (7th Line Battalion) Note 1

2nd May - arrived Kilcock (7th Line Battalion) Note 1

2nd May - Yesterday, two troops of the 18th Dragoons came into town from country quarters to be stationed in the city. They were relieved in the country by the Hanoverian cavalry; or what is called the German Legion.
(Freeman's Journal 2nd May 1806)

3rd May - Kinnegad (7th Line Battalion) Note 1

4th May - Kilbeggan (7th Line Battalion) Note 1

5th May - Athlone (7th Line Battalion) Note 1

Note 1 - (Hering, Johann Fredrich, Journal, Irish Historical Studies, xxv,no. 99 (may 1987))

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

April 1806

Liverpool – Dublin (1st Dragoons & 1st Hussars)
(Beamish, North Ludlow, History of the King’s German Legion Vol. 1 p90)

9th – set sail from Liverpool (7th Line Battalion)
13th – arrived in Dublin (7th Line Battalion)
(Hering, Johann Fredrich, Journal, Irish Historical Studies, xxv,no. 99 (may 1987))

– 1st Heavy Dragoons arrive Tullamore
– 1st Light Dragoons arrive Gort
(Beamish, North Ludlow, History of the King’s German Legion Vol. 1 p90)

18th Dublin 15 & 16 April
The King’s German Legion, which lately arrived here, marched out of town on Saturday last, for country quarters; and yesterday they were followed by a number of carts laden with baggage belonging to the regiment.
(Freeman's Journal 18th April 1806)

26th Wednesday a division of light dragoons belonging to the King's German Legion, arrived in town (Dublin from ) for Liverpool.
(Freeman's Journal 26th April 1806)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Thomas Hardy and the KGL

Thomas Hardy wrote a novel called "The Trumpet Major" about the KGL and a short story from his collection "Wessex Tales" called "The Meloncholy Hussar". Both stories can be downloaded as a text or audio file from The Project Gutenberg web site.


March 21st
Cork March 17th
On Friday last, 37 sail of transports with the Hanoverian troops on board, passed Crookhaven, and it is supposed put into Bantry Bay, until moderate weather shall enable them to make this port.
(General Advertiser and Limerick Chronicle 21st March 1806)

March 21st
His Majesty's ship Astrea, having under convoy about 40 sail of transports, with the King's German Legion on board arrived in Beerhaven harbout on the 14th inst.
(General Advertiser and Limerick Chronicle 21st March 1806)

March 22nd
Last week the 1st regiment of the King's German Haevy Dragoons marched into Reading, on their route to Liverpool, where it is expected they will embark for Ireland.
(The Waterford Mirror, March 22nd 1806)

March 28th
One battalion of the Hanoverian Legion arrived in Cork on Wednesday, from Monkstown, on their route to Fermoy. Two battalions marched out of that city for Bandon.
(General Advertiser and Limerick Chronicle 28th March 1806)

Monday, March 13, 2006

German Troops in British Service 1791-1817

Anglo German Family History Society

Welcome, fellow members of the society. I hope that you will find this blog of interest to you. Over the past three years I have gathered material about the KBL in Ireland from books and newspapers. 1806 was the year that the KGL made the headlines in the Irish Newspapers. The "Battle of Tullamore" put the troops into the limelight. The skirmish between the KGL and some Irish Militia units on the streets of Tullamore is interesting and caught the attention of everyone including the King. The following five years were relatively quiet for the KGL in Ireland.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

KGL soldier dies in Cork 29th March 1806

Captain Charles von Kaufmann, 4th Line Battalion died in Monkstown near Cork.
(Beamish, North Ludlow, History of the King’s German Legion Vol. 2 , Appendix 1090)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Limerick March 4th 1806

The whole of the German Legion - cavalry, infantry, and artillery, lately arrived from the North of Germany, are under orders for Ireland. they are to rendezvous at Portsmouth, where a sufficient number of transports is collecting for their embarkation.

The General Advertiser, (Limerick) March 4th 1806

Sunday, February 26, 2006

February 1806

King's German Legion infantary depart Portsmouth for Ireland.

"Line battalions and two first line brigades depart Portsmouth for Cork"

from Beamish, North Ludlow, History of the King's German Legion Vol. 1, p90

Friday, February 24, 2006


Historical background

The hiring of mercenaries in England is not isolated to this period. England has a long tradition of using German and other nationalities to augment the army as required. This tradition dates back to at least the 16th century; at this time Henry VIII employed German Landesknechts for his campaigns in Scotland and France. This tradition continued up to the 19th century.

The House of Hanover ruled Britain from 1714 to 1901. The two countries were jointly ruled until 1837 when Victoria came to power. By Salic Law the ruler of Hanover could not be a woman so succession to Hanover went to Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland and brother of William VI. The King’s and Queen from the House of Hanover were as follows: George I (1714-1727), George II (1727-1760), George III (1760-1820), George IV (1820-1830), William VI (1830-1837), Victoria (1837-1901)

The daughter of George II from his first marriage was married into the royal house in Hessen-Kasell. George III son the Prince of Wales was married to Caroline of Brunswick.

The over-extended empire meant that England was always in need of troops to keep order. The German states proved to be a steady source of troops throughout the rule of the Hanoverians. The German states provided troops because it was income for the state or because the army was disbanded.

King’s German Legion

Napoleon’s forces invaded Hanover in June 1803. In July a treaty was signed. One of the terms of the treaty was that the Hanoverian army was to be disbanded. The soldiers went to England and formed the King’s German Legion (9,000 men). In February of 1806 the KGL started to arrive in Ireland. The last of the troops left Ireland in October of 1811.