Regimental History - 19th Century
Court Martial Records from the 1840s
Document KOLIB0224 is a typescript entitled "History of Military Law
– General Courts Martial" which covers a number of General Court Martial
when the King's Own was based in India in the 1840s.
Private William Morris
G.O. Headquarters: Fort St. George, 3rd March 1840. General Court
Martial held at Fort St. George on Thursday 27th February, 1840, on 191
Private William Morris in Number Six, or Captain Thomas Gibson’s
First Charge: At Poonamalle absented himself from Depot of his Regiment
Second Charge: Disgraceful conduct. A Madras stolen from shop of Ven
kaka Cheullum Chitty, Clothes Merchant, three silk handkerchiefs value
seven Company’s Rupees.
Third Charge: Being found deficient of following articles of his
regimental clothing and necessaries, 1 regimental coatee, 3 white
jackets, 2 pairs white cloth trousers, and his bedding.
Sentence: 6 months imprisonment, 3 of which in solitary confinement; and
put under stoppages not exceeding two thirds of his daily pay. 2nd, 4th
and 6th months to be solitary imprisonment.
Private Patrick Katen
G.O. Headquarters: Fort St. George, 21st April 1840. General Court
Martial on 785 Private Patrick Katen in the Light Infantry or Captain
Richard Chetwode’s Company.
Charge: Having at Bellary, on 14th March 1840, when a patient in the
General Hospital, struck with his clenched fist, Sergeant John Sexty.
“Signed William Sadlier, Major Commanding, HM 4th (The King’s Own)
Sentence: Transport beyond the Seas as a felon for the term of 7 years.
Private Thomas Welsh
G.O. Headquarters: Fort St. George, 24th October 1840. General Court
Marital held at Bellary on Friday, 2nd October 1840 on 1169 Thomas Welsh
in the D or Captain Thomas Faunce’s Company.
First Charge: Highly unsoldierlike and insubordinate conduct, attempting
to convey spirituous liquor in the Barracks of his Regiment. Making us
of highly threatening language to Colour Sergeant John Deritt.
Second Charge: When a prisoner in the Guard Room, wilfully destroying
his third jacket.
Sentence: 6 months imprisonment, 2nd, 4th and 6th of which solitary
confinement. Stoppages not exceeding two thirds of his pay till articles
Private Thomas Dignum
G.O. Headquarters: Fort St. George, 5th May 1843. General Court Martial
held at Secunderabad on Saturday 22nd April 1843, on 1204 Private Thomas
Dignum in C or Captain Thomas Gibson’s Company.
First Charge: Disobeying lawful command of Sergeant James Coshlam,
refusing to enter the Roman Catholic Chapel to attend divine service.
Second Charge: When a prisoner in the Guard Room disobeying lawful
command of Sergeant John Naylor, by refusing to dress himself of purpose
of attending divine service.
“Signed H W Briton, First Colonel Commanding Her Majesty’s 4th (of
King’s Own) Regiment.”
Sentence: Imprisonment for 3 months, 3rd month in Solitary Confinement.
Private Richard Hawkesley
G.O. Headquarters: Fort St. George, 24th July 1843. General Court
Martial held at Secunderabad on Tuesday 11th July, 1843, on 721 Private
Richard Hawkesley, in the C or Vacant Company.
First Charge: Refusing to attend the Drill awarded him by Brevet Major
Second Charge: Using insubordinate language in Orderly Room when ordered
an additional punishment of 48 hours cells and 28 days Confined to
Barracks, by Brevet Major Chetwoode, in saying – “I will never do the
seven days drill”.
Sentence: 6 months imprisonment, 2nd, 4th and 6th of which in solitary
Lieutenant John Hales Glazebrook
G.O. Headquarters: Fort St. George 13th March 1845. General Court
Martial held at Secunderabad on Saturday 22nd February 1845, on
Lieutenant John Hales Glazebrook.
Charge: Absenting himself without leave from 30th November 1844 to 13th
Sentence: Severely reprimanded.
Confirming officer states: Lieutenant Glazebrook applied for extension
of leave only 2 days previous to expiration of that originally granted
him, giving no reason for extension solicited; and further took no means
to obtain letters sent him by order of Commanding Officer from his
Agents, to whom they were addressed at his desires.
These circumstances show Lieutenant Glazbrook’s conduct in very
unfavourable light, and deserving of a heavier punishment than has been
awarded him. It is expected he will show himself worthy of leniency
which has been exhibited towards him, and study by his future conduct to
obtain the approbation of his Commanding Officer.
(Signed) Twisddale, Lieutenant General.
Private James Wilson
G.O. Headquarters: Fort St. George, 28th November 1845. General Court
Martial held at Secunderabad on Tuesday 7th October 1845, on 1340
Private James Wilson in the H or Captain George Kennedy’s Company,
attached to the C or Captain James Symington Shortt’s Company.
First Charge: Drunk in Barracks, being the 4th time within 12 months.
Second Charge: Conduct to the prejudice – when a prisoner wilfully
damaged the Privy seat of the cell in which he was confined.
Third Charge: Disobeyed lawful command of Corporal Cornelius Sweeny, by
refusing to come out of a Regimental Cell when ordered.
Fourth Charge: Disobeyed lawful command of Sergeant Benjamin Waters, by
refusing to come out of a Regimental Cell when ordered.
Fifth Charge: Conduct to the prejudice – “In having at the same place,
on the following morning, when ordered by his Commanding Officer, Major
William Sadlier, as a punishment, for the offences above set fourth, to
suffer confinement of seven days to be deprived of his pay for the days
of such imprisonment, and to make good the damage done by him in the
Cell, he, Private James Wilson, being at the same time informed, that he
had the option of being tried for his offences by a Court Martial
instead of submitting to such forfeiture, made use of the following
highly disrespectful and insubordinate language to the said Major
Sadlier – namely – “I will have a Court Martial, shoot me, I don’t care
what you do with me, you can try me by what Court Martial you like, I
will never do any good, I would as soon be as dead as alive, send me out
of the service and you have an opportunity now, I will have satisfaction
of some of those fellows, that Adjutant” – (meaning Lieutenant and
Adjutant George Latham Tomson of the same Regiment) “kept me out with my
knapsack on, me running about the other morning for two hours” or words
to that effect.
“In having at the same time and place, on rejoining the Prisoners in the
Orderly Room Verandah, made us of the following highly insubordinate and
threatening language in allusion to his Superior Officer, Lance Corporal
George Osborn of the same Regiment – namely – “When I get out of this I
will have a day’s fowling and that bloody Corporal Osborn I will have it
in for him the first – for he sleeps all day and watches me all night”
or words to that effect”.
Sentence: Transported beyond Seas as a felon for 7 years.
Prisoner ordered to be released and return to his duty.
Private Charles Cave
G.O. Headquarters: Octamund, 27th June 1846. General Court Martial held
at Kamptee on Friday, 22nd May 1846, on 744 Private Charles Cave in the
F or Captain William Charles Sheppard’s Company.
First Charge: Appearing at Regimental Defaulters Drill dressed in a
disorderly when soldierlike manner.
Second Charge: When brought before Captain W C Sheppard for
investigation of offence set forth in first charge, offered outrageous
violence against Corporal and Lance Sergeant George Townsend by striking
him a violent blow on the forehead with the butt of his musket.
Third Charge: Found deficient of following articles of regimental
necessaries, 1 flannel waistcoat, 1 flannel band.
Fourth Charge: Wilfully spoilt his cloth coatee by tearing it to pieces.
Sentence: 200 lashes; put under stoppages.
Captain James Symington Shortt
G.O. Headquarters: Fort St. George, 19th February 1847. General Court
Martial held at Kamptee on Thursday 21st January 1847, on Captain James
Charge: Conduct highly unbecoming the character of an Officer and a
Gentelman, in having at Viampter, on 7th October, 1846, attended the
funeral of the late Cusyn William Thorpe of the Fourth (or the King’s
Own) Regiment, in a state of intoxication.
Sentence: To be severely and publicly reprimanded; lose three steps of
his regimental rank, by being placed next below Captain William Charles
Remarks of Confirming Officer: The Commander in Chief regrets, that at a
time when every exertion is made, and happily with some success to
suppress the offence of drunkenness among the soldiers of the Army, an
Officer should be found so forgetful of his duty, and regardless of that
which is due to his own character, as to set so promiscuous an example
of intemperance to those who ought to look up to him with sentiments of
At all times this debasing vice is most humiliating, but more especially
on an occasion such as that referred to in the Charge, when the Officers
of the Station were assembled to pay the last tribute of respect to a
deceased brother officer by following his remains to the grave.
His Excellency cautions Captain Shortt seriously to reflect on the
reproach he has brought upon himself by this public exposure, and hopes
that he will in future, see the necessity of a great propriety of
These remarks will be read to Captain Shortt by his Commanding Officer
before the official of the Regiment, when he will be released from
arrest, and will return to his duty.
(Signed) Tweedale, Lieutenant General.
© Images are copyright, Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum.
You must seek permission prior to
publication of any of our images.
Only a proportion of our collections
are on display at anyone time. Certain items are on loan for display
in other institutions. An appointment is required to consult any of
our collections which are held in store.