The important Waterloo Medal 1815 awarded to Captain Lord James Hay, 1st Regiment of Foot Guards - the Grenadier Guards, who was the second son of the 7th Marquess of Tweeddale, and who was originally commissioned by purchase as a Lieutenant into the 52nd Oxfordshire Regiment of Foot in 1807. With the 2nd Battalion he then saw service in the Peninsula in action at the Battle of Vimiera in August 1808. He then took part in the retreat from Sahagun in the winter of 1808, and after some rearguard fighting at Vigo was evacuated from there in Januar
The important Waterloo Medal 1815 awarded to Captain Lord James Hay, 1st Regiment of Foot Guards - the Grenadier Guards, who was the second son of the 7th Marquess of Tweeddale, and who was originally commissioned by purchase as a Lieutenant into the 52nd Oxfordshire Regiment of Foot in 1807. With the 2nd Battalion he then saw service in the Peninsula in action at the Battle of Vimiera in August 1808. He then took part in the retreat from Sahagun in the winter of 1808, and after some rearguard fighting at Vigo was evacuated from there in January 1809. Lord Hay then returned to the Peninsular as the Aide de Camp to Major General Sir John Coape Sherbrooke, and served on his staff in Spain from July 1809 to April 1810, being present in action at the Battle of Talavera in July 1809. Promoted by purchase to Captain with the 4th West Indian Regiment in February 1810 he was appointed Aide de Camp to Lieutenant General Stapleton Cotton, the commander of the cavalry, from May 1810 to April 1812 being present at the Battle of Busaco in September 1810 and Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro in May 1811. Hay took up his elder brother’s vacancy in the 1st Foot Guards as a Lieutenant and Captain in June 1811. Present during further operations in the Peninsular War in Spain from November 1812, he fought at the Battle of Vittoria in June 1813, and during the forcing of the Maya pass in the Pyrenees between July and August 1813. After crossing into southern France, he fought at the Battle of Nivelle in November 1813, and the Battle of Nive in December 1813. At Waterloo on 18th June 1815, Hay served as the Aide de Camp to Lieutenant General Sir Charles Colville, the officer commanding the 4th Division, which was held in reserve and performed the important role of covering the road to Brussels. Hay was then present for the storming of the fortress town of Cambrai and formed part of the occupation forces in Paris, where he was responsible for diffusing a tense situation between French Gendarmes and some angry Prussian officers. Lord Hay is mentioned twice in the book “The Reminiscences of Captain Gronow”, one concerning an amusing incident that occurred whilst out foraging in southern France back in early 1814 during operations in the Adour valley.
Waterloo Medal 1815, fitted with original clip and split ring suspension; (CAPTAIN LORD J. HAY OOOOOOOO 1ST FOOT GUARDS.) - please note the inclusion of the impressed spacing ‘O’ between surname and unit, this is correct as issued for Hay’s medal, it is most unusual.
Condition: slight contact wear, Good Very Fine.
Together with the following:
A carte de visit photograph by J. Lamb of Edinburgh, showing Lord James Hay in uniform as wearing his Waterloo Medal.
His elder brother’s original warrant of appointment, reading in print and handwritten ink as follows - print - George the Third by the Grace off God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King Defender of the Faith & c. To our - in handwritten ink - Right Trusty & Entirely Beloved Cousin Marquis of Tweeddale - now printed - Greetings we do by these Presents Constitute and Appoint you to be - handwritten ink - Lieutenant to that Company whereof (ink of the name now faded) Esqr. is Captain in Our Fifty Second (or Oxfordshire) Regiment of Foot Commanded by our trusty and beloved Major General Johnstone. This appoints him, the Marquess of Tweeddale, George Hay, as a Lieutenant in the 52nd Oxfordshire Regiment of Foot, issued at the Court of Saint James’s on 12th October 1804. Signed in ink by King George III.
Lord James Hay, was born on 23rd March 1788, the second son of the George Hay, the 7th Marquess of Tweeddale, a title of the Peerage of Scotland, originally create back in 1694. This title also carried for his father the titles of 8th Earl of Tweeddale, 7th Earl of Gifford, and 7th Viscount Walden. His elder brother, named George after his father, was appointed to a commission by purchase as a Lieutenant into the 52nd Oxfordshire Regiment of Foot on 12th October 1804, but in that year, the father died, and he then relinquished his commission in the 52nd Foot and transferred into the 1st Food Guards - the Grenadier Guards.
As the second son of the 7th Marquess of Tweeddale, James Hay then appears to have followed in his elder brother’s footstep, and was commissioned by purchase as a Lieutenant into the 52nd Oxfordshire Regiment of Foot on 6th August 1807, but was then present on service in the Peninsula in Portugal from 19th August 1808 to January 1809 with the 2nd Battalion, 52nd Foot, and was present in action at the Battle of Vimiera on 21st August 1808. Early on the 21st August the French attacked the British line, which was in position near Vimiera covering the disembarkation, but, largely due to the counter-attacks by the 43rd and 52nd, they were repulsed with considerable loss. A few days later the Convention of Cintra, whereby the French agreed to evacuate Portugal, brought the campaign to an end.
Preparations were now begun for the advance into Spain, and the army, reorganized under Sir John Moore, moved during October and November to concentrate at Salamanca, in order to cut the French line of communication, which was lengthening as Napoleon marched upon Madrid. By this bold stroke of Moore, Sir William Napier wrote:—" The fate of the Peninsula was decided." Had Napoleon not been forced to turn against Moore, Lisbon would have fallen, Portugal could not have been organised for resistance, and the British base could not have been established in Spain.
On 20th December Sir David Baird's reinforcement, including the 1st Battalion 43rd and the 1st Battalion 95th under Brigadier-General Robert Craufurd, having landed at Corunna, joined the Army, now about twenty-five thousand strong, and the whole force advanced. Owing, however, to the unreliability of the Spanish troops who were to co-operate with the British Army, and the reverses they had met with, Sir John Moore found himself in danger of being cut off from his base. He therefore decided to fall back on Corunna, with a view to moving the army southwards by sea, so as to strike at the French in an unexpected direction. The distance from Sahagun, the point at which the retreat began, to Corunna, was in a direct line about one hundred and sixty miles, and the actual length of the march about two hundred and twenty miles. At Astorga, on 30th December 1808, a light brigade under Craufurd, consisting of the 1st Battalion 43rd and the 2nd Battalions of the 52nd and 95th, turning left-handed, took the road via Orense to Vigo, and after some rearguard fighting at Vigo, then embarked there on 13th January 1809, and landed in England on 27th January, after a very stormy voyage. Lord James Hay was present with his battalion when it disembarked.
Lord James Hay then returned to the Peninsular as the Aide de Camp to Major General Sir John Coape Sherbrooke, and served on his staff in Spain from July 1809 to April 1810, being present in action at the Battle of Talavera from 27th to 28th July 1809. Sherbrooke served as a Major General under Wellington but was simultaneously a Lieutenant General of Portuguese forces. Hay was promoted by purchase to Captain with the 4th West Indian Regiment on 8th February 1810. Hay then left Sherbrooke’s staff, and was appointed Aide de Camp to Lieutenant General Stapleton Cotton in May 1810 and held this position till April 1812. Stapleton Cotton was given command of the cavalry in Spain, and as such Hay found himself present at the Battle of Busaco on 27th September 1810, which was fought on the heights of Busaco some 125 miles north-east of Lisbon, with the intention of blocking the French Marshal Massena’s advance into Portugal. Having checked the Branch advance, Wellington then withdrew behind the Torres Vedras, a series of fortified lines on the heights, which he had constructed during 1809 to 1810, to protect the British position at Lisbon.
Under Stapleton-Cotton, Hay would have been present at the Battle of Sabugal on 3rd April 1811, the last of many skirmishes between Masséna's retreating French forces and those of the Anglo-Portuguese under Wellington, who were pursuing him after the failed 1810 French invasion of Portugal. Next present at the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro from 3rd to 5th May 1811, where Stapleton-Cotton commanded John Slade’s and Frederick von Arentschildt's brigades of cavalry.
Hay took up his elder brother’s vacancy in the 1st Foot Guards as a Lieutenant and Captain on 27th June 1811, and he left his position with Stapleton-Cotton in April 1812. Presumably after a period of leave in England, Hay then saw service with the 1st Foot Guards during further operations in the Peninsular War in Spain from November 1812, and fought at the Battle of Vittoria on 21st June 1813, and during the forcing of the Maya pass in the Pyrenees between 25th July and 2nd August 1813. After crossing into southern France, he fought at the Battle of Nivelle on 10th November 1813 and at the Battle of Nive in front of Bayonne from 9th to 13th December 1813.
Having entered into France in 1814, Hay is mentioned in the book “The Reminiscences of Captain Gronow” by Howell Rees Gronow, 1st Foot Guards, when recounting a foraging expedition in the valley of the Adour.
‘Early in the spring of 1814 I was ordered to proceed with Lord James Hay on a foraging expedition in the valley of the Adour. Our party consisted of fifty men, armed with forelocks, and mounted upon mules. It would be impossible to give any adequate idea of our zigzag march and our wanderings in the dark; at last, after proceeding in tolerably good order for about nine hours, we came in sight of a village called Dax, consisting of a few pretty houses, about a mile distant. At break of day, wanting our accustomed breakfast, we determined to seek quarters there, but gave directions to the non-commissioned officers to prevent the slightest disorder of pillage. My batman, who spoke nearly every European language, advanced into the market-place with a saucepan which he had brought with him from camp and began striking it with a stick with all his might. The noise awoke the inhabitants, some of whom approached our party, and after much persuasion one of then was prevailed upon by Lord James to show us the Mayor’s house; ands presently this personage, “dressed in a little brief authority”, made his appearance. We told him that one object or our coming was to procure provisions for ourselves and forage for our horses and mules, but that everything supplied should be paid for. The Mayor regarded us with suspicion, until my batman entered with our teacups and boiling water and asked in good French for some plates for “my lord”. The title of “my lord” electrified the Mayor, and in less than a quarter of an hour the whole of his family appeared and offered us and our men everything that we required.
With a heart full of thankfulness I sat down to an excellent breakfast of cold meat, eggs, coffee and bread and butter; and, to crown all, one of the daughters of the Mayor, an extremely elegant young lady, entered the room with some delicious configures of which she said her mother begged our acceptance. The wife of the Mayor soon after joined us and, to our astonishment and delight, began conversing with us in English. She said that she had been brought up in England and that her mother was English, but had left he native land for France when she was about sixteen. Having refreshed ourselves and seen that the horses and mules had been properly groomed and baited, we gave orders to return and our troops put itself again in motion, the animals being laden with straw, Indian corn and forage of every description, for which was paid the Mayor in Spanish dollars. After we had marched some hours, finding that, hampered as we were, we could not march well in the dark, we determined to halt at the first village we fell in with and continue our march the next morning to Bayonne, whence we were then about eight leagues distant. We soon struck a little bourg about two leagues from Dax, but could see no one stirring in the place: in fact, it seemed deserted. However, my batman, ever alert, heard a dog bark in one of the houses, a sign that the inhabitants were hiding. We knocked first at one house and then at another, until our patience began to be exhausted, when a sleepy looking fellow popped his head out of a window and asked us in an insolent manner what we wanted. While we were parleying with him, one of the sergeants, an active young fellow, scrambled up to the window from whence this Caliban was jeering at us, bolted down the stairs, opened the front door and admitted us into the house. It turned out to be the cabaret of the village and it was the landlord who had just greeted us in this abusive manner. He was evidently an inveterate enemy of the British, for he would neither give us any information as to how our men were to be billeted, nor show us even common civility. However, finding our host so contumacious, we ordered him to be placed in durance vile, determining to carry him off to headquarters. The next morning a council of war was held to devise a plan for transporting our prisoner. My batman suggested placing him upon a mule; but the question was, how to get him mounted on the back of one at so early an hour in the morning without creating a disturbance in the village. Lord Hay, however, had no scruples on the score, and gave instructions to have the prisoner tied upon one of the animals. My batman approached the fellow from behind, threw one of the regimental bags over his head and with the aid of his comrades fastened him securely on the mule. When all was arranged to our satisfaction, the man began to bellow and his neighbour, finding we were in earnest, came out and begged for mercy; but to no purpose, for we were determined to make an example of the disobliging brute, so off we started with our prisoner. We arrived in camp just in time to report the result of our expedition to the commanding officer, who was much amused at our bringing, in addition an ample supply of forage, etc, an impertinent fellow with his head tied up in a bag. The next morning, after a severe lecture, our prisoner received his conge and was desired to return home and tell his friends that we differed entirely from other soldiers who had occupied the country; for we paid ready money for everything we required and expected to be treated with civility by the inhabitants. A few days afterwards, another foraging party was organised and on their arrival in the same village every door was opened and provisions, corn, hay etc., offered abundance, while the greatest civility was paid to our men.’
With the end of the Peninsular War, Hay then returned to England, and was then appointed Aide de Camp to Lieutenant General Sir Charles Colville, the officer commanding the 4th Division. As such Hay then found himself involved in the Waterloo Campaign during 1815 when the 4th Division was held in reserve throughout the Battle of Waterloo on 18th June 1815, performing the important role of covering the road to Brussels. No doubt as an Aide de Camp, Hay would have been getting far closer to the fighting that the majority of the rank and file of the 4th Division, as he would have been employed riding back and forth with orders. The 4th Division was subsequently involved in the storming of the fortress town of Cambrai later than month.
Present with the army in the occupation of Paris in 1815, Hay is again mentioned in the book “The Reminiscences of Captain Gronow” by Howell Rees Gronow, 1st Foot Guards.
‘One afternoon, when upwards of a hundred Prussian officers entered the galleries of the Palais Royal, they visited all the shops in turn, insulting women and striking the men, breaking the windows and turning everything upside down: nothing, indeed, could have been more outrageous then their conduct. The information was brought to Lord James Hay of what was going on, he went out and arrived just as a troop of French Gendarmes were on the point of charging the Prussians then in the garden. He lost no time in calling out his men, and, placing himself between the Gendarmes and the officers, said he should fire upon the first who moved. The Prussians then came to him and said, “We had all vowed to return upon the heads of the French in Paris the insults that they had heaped upon our countrymen in Berlin; we have kept our vow, and we will now retire.” Nothing could equal the bitter hatred which still exists between the French and the Prussians.’
Hay was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 26th March 1818, and having been placed on half-pay on 26th November 1830, was then promoted to Colonel on 10th January 1837 whilst on the Unattached List. Having then assumed the Colonelcy of the 86th Royal County Down Regiment of Foot, he was promoted to Major General on the Retired List on 9th November 1846, and to Lieutenant General on the Retired List on 20th June 1854. Lieutenant General Lord James Hay who married an Elizabeth Forbes back on 18th August 1813, with whom he had three children, though one did just less than a year old in 1819, died on 19th August 1862. He claimed for and is additionally entitled to the Military General Service Medal 1793-1814 with 8 clasps for Vimiera, Talavera, Busaco, Fuentes d’Onor, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle and Nice.