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Thread: 73rd Regiment of Foot

  1. #1
    Moderator Al_Saunders's Avatar
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    Jul 2004
    Bundanoon, NSW, Australia.

    73rd Regiment of Foot

    As many of you will be aware that it is the 200th Anniversary of the 73rd Regiment arriving in Sydney. In 1809, the 73rd was ordered to accompany its Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Lachlan Macquarie to the colony of New South Wales, to relieve the NSW Corps.
    This extract was published in the Garrison Gazette of the 73rd Regiment for Summer 2009-2010.
    I thought perhaps that some of you historians may well be interested in the extracts of this diary below

    Extracts from the Journal of Ensign
    Alexander Huey on the Voyage of the
    73rd Regiment of Foot to Sydney in 1809
    (National Library Npf 910.4 HUE)
    On the 5th May 1809, the 73rd
    Regiment of Foot received orders to march
    from Collwell Barracks, Isle of Wight, to
    Yarmouth, there to embark on His Majesty’s
    Ships the Hindostan of 50 guns and the
    Dromedary of 38 guns.
    The 7th being the day fixed for the
    embarkation, the Regiment marched from Collwell
    Barracks at 5 in the morning and arrived at
    Yarmouth at 7, where they found the boats waiting
    for them.
    The Grenadier Company with the band and
    the Colours went in the first boat. When the boat
    began to move from the shore the men of the
    Regiment gave three cheers, the band struck up
    “God save the King”.
    The morning was fine so that the whole
    Regiment was embarked in less than an hour. The
    numbers embarked on the Dromedary were soldiers
    368, women 54, children 41, officers 10. The sailors
    and ships officers numbered 102.
    On the Hindostan 602 soldiers embarked.
    These two ships were to be the home of the
    73rd until 1st January 1810 when the Regiment
    landed at Government Wharf, Sydney – a journey of
    8 months.
    Ships Standing Orders
    At 8 o’clock pipe to breakfast, at 12 o’clock
    to dinner, the grog always to be served at 1 o’clock
    and at half past 4 in the evenings; hal(f) an hour to
    breakfast and a full hour to dinner, the people never
    to be disturbed at these meals if possible.
    No clothes to be hung up to dry in the
    rigging, but ropes to be kept for that purpose fore
    and aft between the fore and main masts.
    No naked light under any circumstances to
    be taken into a store room.
    The Warrant Officers are never to convert
    or expend any stores, not even a nail, without first
    obtaining consent of the duty Officer.
    The ship’s company and soldiers are to be
    mustered at Quarters every evening at sunset and
    everything ready for action to prevent being
    surprised in the night.
    The watches at sea to be mustered - sailors
    by the officers and soldiers by the sergeants. The
    sergeant to report to the officer of the watch any
    The Voyage
    After lying two days at anchor at Yarmouth
    we sailed to Spithead where we lay waiting for
    Governor Macquarie for near a fortnight. On the
    21st morning we weighed anchor and sailed through
    the harbour expecting the Governor at any
    moment. He at length came at 4 in the afternoon,
    attended by Colonel O’Connell and Captain Pasco
    and Mr Bent the Judge Advocate General.
    We received him in all the state
    circumstances would allow – the guard consisting of
    40 men was drawn up on the Quarter deck and the
    Band was stationed on the Poop. The moment the
    Governor came on the Quarter deck, the band
    struck up and the guard presented arms with the
    officers taking off their hats.
    On the 27th it began to blow fresh about 9
    o’clock in the morning and continued increasing till
    night; so much that we could only carry close reefed
    sails. The Gun Room where we slept, was ankle
    deep in water which rushed in through the rudder
    case every minute. In this pickle we slept or rather
    continued awake all night.
    On the 29th about 1 o’clock a strange sail
    appeared standing N.W. The Commodore having
    made signal for us to give chase, we made all sail
    after her and came up with her about 6 in the
    evening. She was a Swedish vessel and had been 5
    days in the possession of the French and was
    therefore a lawful prize. She carried about 400 tons
    and was laden with rice and cotton. We computed
    her cargo to be worth about 45000 pounds. Captain
    Pasco put a lieutenant with a party of sailors on
    board of the prize and sent her to England the next
    4th June – The Magician made signal for the
    Hindostan to send a boat on board and Captain
    Pasco accordingly lowered the jolly boat with nine
    men, but a thick squall coming on, she was
    swamped in an instant. Three of the men were
    drowned. One of the poor fellows who had just
    been saved, seeing two of his comrades drowning
    exclaimed “damn my eyes! they shall drink grog
    with me in Plymouth yet” and immediately jumped
    into the sea again and rescued them both at the risk
    of his own life. A subscription was immediately set
    on foot on board the Hindostan to reward the poor
    fellow for his courage, which amounted to 30
    On 10th, the Quarter Master brought
    something stowed up in a hammock and laid it
    down on the gangway. I immediately recollected it
    was the body of the ship’s Tailor who had died the
    day before. Captain Pritchard having advanced with
    a bible in his hands, read a verse or two and the
    Quarter Master launched the body over board. Such
    is the burial of a sailor.
    On 11th June we came to anchor in Funchal
    Roads and saluted the Portugese with 15 guns
    which they returned. While we lay at Funchal it was
    very hot, the thermometer standing commonly at 75
    and rising to 86 where exposed to the sun.
    The band performed on the Quarter Deck
    every evening at 6 o’clock. At 8 the drums and fifes
    began to play and the soldiers and sailors danced till
    Two days after we left St Iago a large ship
    appeared on our starboard quarter bearing down
    upon us with studding sails set. The Commodore
    held on his course and made signal for the
    Dromedary to lay to for her and see what she was. At
    dusk of the evening she got up with us and hoisted
    Americal colours. It was well for her she did so, for
    we were just going to pour a broadside into her. She
    was a vessel of about 700 tons.
    On 25th the Commodore made signal to
    send Dr. Carter on board. He went and found the
    Hindostan’s sick list increased to 59 soldiers, 20
    sailors, 5 women and 2 children. The same day he
    cut off the leg of a boy below the knee.
    On 29th the Commodore made signal that
    the boy whose leg had been cut off, had died of a
    At 8 o’clock next morning a strange sail
    hove in sight right ahead, standing on the same
    course as ourselves. The Commodore made signal
    for the Dromedary to give chase. We could plainly
    perceive her to be a brig. At 2 o’clock we came
    within gun shot of her and fired three shots at her
    which brought her to. Sent Mr. Cleveland on board
    her in the jolly boat. She proved to be a Portugese
    slave ship with 540 female slaves on board from
    Benguela in Africa bound for Rio Janeiro. 50 of the
    slaves had died since they left the coast of Africa.
    The Portugese Captain told Mr. Cleveland that
    when a slave took ill he had him thrown overboard
    immediately lest the disorder should spread.
    August 6th arrived in Rio Janeiro.
    August 15th. Lieutenant Crane and Ensign
    McLain went ashore in their kilts, to the great
    wonder and admiration of the Portugese, who
    flocked from all quarters to see them.
    While we lay at Rio Janeiro two soldiers who
    were prisoners on the poop made their escape
    during the night in the jolly boat which was then
    lying astern. They got ashore at the west end of the
    harbour and made into the interior of the country.
    One day as Lieutenant Shotton and I were
    walking behind the palace one of the princesses
    came out on the balcony. We looked up and saw her
    legs as far up as the thigh, she had no stockings on.
    The day before we sailed we took on board
    15 live oxen for the use of the ship’s company and
    On 30th we exercised the men at the Great
    Guns and dried a quantity of cartridge paper in the
    sun. The Governor issued an order that the men
    should be exercised every day at the Great Guns in
    future as it was very probable that we should fall in
    with the Cannonin French frigate before we reached
    the Cape.
    On 1st September at 3 o’clock our Carpenter
    Mate fell overboard and was drowned. Both ships
    lowered their boats to save him but all to no
    On 3rd September Mr. Sullivan our Signal
    Master fell overboard at the poop while two large
    sharks were swimming round the ship. He saved
    himself by swimming to the gangway.
    On September 14th after parade a general
    search was made through the soldiers and sailors
    chests. Three soldiers were confined. Next day at 11
    o’clock two of the prisoners were flogged.
    September 23rd anchored at Cape Town.
    While we lay at the Cape fresh bread and
    mutton was served out to the men every day.
    On October 24th fresh provisions were
    served out to the men for the last time, our 120
    sheep being consumed since we left Cape Town. 2
    men, 1 woman and 3 children had died since we left
    At 6 in the evening punished two soldiers
    for fighting with a dozen lashes each.
    On 2nd November we had only 150 tons of
    water remaining. We expended 2 tons a day.
    Allowance of fresh water was one quart a day for
    each man.
    At this stage we had 51 children on board
    having started with 41.
    8th November we were put on short
    allowance of fresh water, only one pint a day to
    each man having only 50 days water on board and
    being 4000 miles from our destination.
    On 24th the soldiers paraded in their new
    clothing and were inspected by the Governor.
    White trousers were served out to the soldiers. Lime
    juice was served out to the soldiers.
    On December 3rd we were 1300 miles from
    Sydney Cove. This day we began to live on salt
    provisions, our stock of sheep and pigs being all
    December 21st, soldiers were busily
    employed cleaning their arms and accoutrements.
    This day we got the Colours of the Regiment out
    and aired them in the sun.
    On 27th we saw the South Head of Port
    Jackson on Flagstaff Point 8 or 9 miles distant. The
    Commodore fired a gun and hoisted the Red
    Ensign. Saw two guns fired at the Signal Post and
    two flags flying.
    At 9 o’clock a boat came to each ship with
    two pilots. At half past nine we were obliged to
    drop anchor at the entrance of Port Jackson, the
    wind being against us. After lying two or three days
    at anchor at the entrance, the wind came fair. We
    weighed anchor on Sunday and sailed up the
    harbour. Arrived in Sydney Cove at 3 o’clock.
    Arrival in Sydney
    Sunday 31st December the Governor landed.
    The 73rd Regiment was drawn up in
    marching order on board the ships. The yards were
    manned. Captain Pasco and Colonel O’Connell
    came on board the Dromedary to accompany His
    Excellency on shore. When his Excellency came out
    of his cabin to get into the boat, the Regiment
    presented arms, the Colours dropped and the jolly
    tars gave three cheers. When the boats shoved off,
    the ships fired a salute of 15 guns each. The 102nd
    Regiment formed a street to receive His Excellency
    when he went ashore.
    On Monday, 1st January 1810, the 73rd
    Regiment landed at the Government Wharf, Sydney
    at 10 in the morning and marched up to the
    Barracks where the 102nd was drawn up. They
    saluted us as we marched past them. Both
    Regiments formed a hollow square. After standing
    at attention for near half an hour the Governor and
    his lady came into the square attended by Colonel
    Patterson, Colonel Foveaux, Captain Pasco of His
    Majesty’s Ship Hindostan, Captain Pritchard of His
    Majesty’s Ship Dromedary, Ellis Bent, Esq., Judge
    Advocate and his lady, John Thomas Campbell,
    Esq., Secretary to His Excellency, Captain
    Cleveland, Major of Brigade, Captain Antill, aid de
    Camp and the Principal Gentleman of the Colony.
    The Regiments gave a general salute, which
    was repeated after the Commission was read. The
    Governor addressed the troops and the inhabitants
    in a short and able speech. The 73rd wheeled into
    line and marched off to Grose Farm Camp about
    three miles from Sydney.
    When they arrived at 2 o’clock, they found
    all the tents ready pitched. Nothing to eat this day
    but potatoes. Our breakfast in general consisted of
    potatoes and water. However, in the course of a
    week we could procure bread and coffee or tea.
    Two large snakes were killed in the camp.
    The whole Regiment was busily employed
    burning the stumps of trees which prevented the
    regiment drilling.
    On 6th January, Lieutenant Gunning,
    Captain Murray and Ensign Campbell went with a
    detachment to Parramatta.
    On the evening of Saturday 13th the
    Governor came to see our encampment.
    On Sunday 14th the Regiment paraded and
    we had Divine Service performed by the Chaplain
    of the Colony.
    On 17th Commodore Bligh arrived in His
    Majesty’s Ship Porpoise. The 102nd was drawn up on
    the wharf to receive him, but he refused to come on
    shore and said he would not be received by those
    who had so lately threatened to cut his throat.
    The following day at 11 in the morning,
    Commodore Bligh came on shore and was received
    by our flank companies., who had marched into
    Sydney for that purpose. The ships fired a salute of
    15 guns each which was answered by the batteries
    on shore. At 12 noon His Excellency Governor
    MacQuarrie and his lady with Commodore Bligh,
    Captain Pasco of His Majesty’s Ship Hindostan and
    Captain Porteus of His Majesty’s Ship Porpoise came
    out to our camp. The 73rd saluted and fired three
    On 27th Major Gordon, Captain Renny and
    Lieutenant Rose embarked with a detachment of 60
    men for Port Dalrymple in Van Deiman’s Land.
    Lieutenant Crane with a detachment of 28 men
    embarked for Norfolk Island to act as Commandant
    until further orders.
    On the night of the 12th it rained incessantly.
    The water came through our tents in torrents. Not a
    man of the Regiment but was all wet. Those who
    had not trenches dug round their tents were
    completely overflowed.
    On 28th the Ann came in from England with
    Captain McLaine’s detachment of 50 men belonging
    to the 73rd. She had 200 convicts on board.
    Lieutenant Purcell had been under arrest since their
    departure from Rio Janeiro in consequence of some
    misunderstanding between him and Captain
    On March 8th at 4 o’clock a fire was
    discovered on board the Dromedary. It broke out in
    the breadroom and burned until 10 at night.
    On 10th April the New South Wales Corps
    embarked on board His Majesty’s Ships Hindostan
    and Dromedary. Two or three days later the 73rd
    broke up the camp at Grose Farm and marched to
    Brickfields where the left wing encamped and the
    right wing marched into the barracks at Sydney. A
    few days later the Hindostan and Dromedary and
    Porpoise sailed for England.
    A few days later the left wing of the 73rd
    marched into the Barracks at Sydney, their tents
    being all rotten with the incessant rain which had
    fallen at Grose Farm Camp.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2004

    Re: 73rd Regiment of Foot

    Al, should there be a Postage stamp issue in New South Wales for this famous event in the history ?

    Dont know who you would contact in New South Wales but you may know of some head office of your postal services to apply for a set for this year of 2010 ............

  3. #3
    Moderator Al_Saunders's Avatar
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    Jul 2004
    Bundanoon, NSW, Australia.

    Re: 73rd Regiment of Foot

    Originally Posted By: patrick andersonAl, should there be a Postage stamp issue in New South Wales for this famous event in the history ?

    Dont know who you would contact in New South Wales but you may know of some head office of your postal services to apply for a set for this year of 2010 ............

    Good point Pat I'll look into it tomorrow

  4. #4
    Moderator Al_Saunders's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Bundanoon, NSW, Australia.

    Re: 73rd Regiment of Foot

    Pat this is the official site for the celebrations:

    I am trying to get "Brigadoon" to become endorsed as an event to celebrate the bi-centenary of Macquarie & the 73rd arriving in Sydney.


  5. #5
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    Dec 2004
    Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

    Re: 73rd Regiment of Foot

    Very interesting read, I'll save it to read again. Many thanks for posting it.
    God Bless "The Watch" Now And Forever

  6. #6
    Moderator Al_Saunders's Avatar
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    Jul 2004
    Bundanoon, NSW, Australia.

    Re: 73rd Regiment of Foot

    73rd Regiment of Foot

    Check out this website for further details and information of the 73rd

    It really is a very good site for information and they got their info from the very best authors


  7. #7
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    Dec 2006

    Re: 73rd Regiment of Foot

    Hello Al
    Very interesting read and site.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2008

    Re: 73rd Regiment of Foot

    Great reading Al,makes our trips on the Empire Fowey,Dillwara and Devonshire seem like luxury cruises.I was also surprised to see a Lt Gunning mentioned on the 6th Jan during the report,perhaps Pat could find out anything about him as that is right up his street.!!!Bill Gunning...

  9. #9
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    Nov 2004

    Re: 73rd Regiment of Foot

    Al as everyone says an interesting topic for us to be reminded of in Scotland of a Great Scot who was born on a wee island off Mull ( Ulva ) and his mother was a daughter of the Clan Chief MacLaine . He went to school in Edinburgh at the Royal High and then joined 84 Regiment of Foot 1776 , transferred to the 71 Highland Regiment of Foot , back to Scotland on half pay Lieutenant, Captain 1789, Major 1801 , Lt Colonel - Commanding Officer of 73rd Regiment of Foot 1805 ( the same year as Nelson's victory at Trafalgar of course) , 1809 Governor of NSW, Colonel 1810 , Brigadier General 1811 , Major General 1813 while being Governor .

    I would expect that Major General Lachlan MacQuarie would be a gaelic speaker having been brought up on Ulva a small island off Mull but his upbringing being a grandson of a Clan Chief would have been different to the crofting /gaelic speaking of Major General Sir Hector Archibald MacDonald of the Gordon Highlanders

    Major General Lachlan MacQuarie was buried on the Isle of Mull along with his wife and son in a private Mausoleum . ( When my wife and I were on the Island a few years ago it was not open that day )

    I don't have any Army Lists going back to that time but some large library will have them to view as far back to find these details of Lt Gunning. I have looked in the book by the late JLR Samson called "Officers of the Black Watch 1725 -1986 and there is no mention in its many pages on a Lt Gunning or even Lt Col Lachlan MacQuarie of the 73rd Regiment of Foot .

    strangely enough there is a :

    MACQUARIE , GEORGE WILLIAM , ensign 25. sept. 1835, Lt 31 may 1839, Capt 25. Oct 1844, to 63rd on 21 Jan 1853 , and ........

    died at SALEM ISLE OF MULL July 1894 ( this is where the Major General Lachlan MacQuarie Mausoleum is on the Island .

    The next entry could be a relate too :

    MACQUARIE , LACHLAN , Ensign 18 Jan 1831 and left Regiment same year ..

    Al, what about an article in the Red Hackle Magazine on this historical event and someone may get you a photograph of the MacQuarie Mausoleum on Mull. See what the Regimental Secretary at Balhousie says re a short article ........


  10. #10
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    Aug 2004

    Re: 73rd Regiment of Foot

    thanks Pat.

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