56th Regiment (1811-1820)

1811

In March, 1811, the party from Goa joined the head-quarters of the first battalion at Bellary; and towards the close of the year, Lieut-Colonel Keating returned with the detachment from the capture of Bourbon and the Mauritius.

On 26 August 1811, Lawrence joined the 56th Regiment of Foot.1 at Bombay, although he appears to have been attached to the 2nd, he appears in muster rolls for both battalions.

DateLocationMuster roll descriptionBattalion
Oct 1811BombayLawrence not joined1st
Nov 1811BombayAbsent without leave1st
Dec 1811BombayAbsent without leave1st

1812

Lawrence was attached to the 2nd Battalion (Bengal Directory 1813).

The First Battalion left Bellary, and in September joined the field-force assembled in the southern Mahratta country, under the command of Colonel Dowse, of the East India Company’s Service, for the purpose of enforcing the payment of the arrears of the customary tribute, withheld by the Ranee of Rairee (Raigarh); and took part in all the operations.

Second Battalion: In May, 1812, Lieut-Colonel Kingscote arrived from England, and took the command of the second battalion; which, in October, marched from the town barracks, Bombay, to the pendals on the island of Colabah (Colaba) . (Pendals are a large tent like structure)

Muster Rolls 1812 2 3

DateLocationMuster roll descriptionBattalion
Jan 1812BombayAbsent without leave1st
Sep 1812BombayPresent1st
Dec 1812Camp at CoodoorinhuttyAttached to 2nd Battalion 2nd


1813

The first battalion formed part of the force assembled at Goute, from whence it proceeded against Canool, were it arrived on the 25th of December, and batteries were erected during the night, but a flag of truce being sent out on the following morning, hostilities ceased. The battalion was also at the reduction of the fort of Rairee (Raigarh), Goosecull; and passed the monsoon in quarters 1814 at Cataubaugy; afterwards returning to Goute, it was relieved in the field by the second battalion of the Royals ; it had lost three hundred and fifty men from disease, and was so reduced, that it was ordered to return to Bellary; it subsequently marched to Fort St. George, Madras.

Muster Rolls 1813 4

DateLocationMuster roll descriptionBattalion
Jan 1813Camp at YercoudySick certificate; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Feb 1813Camp at MaritiallWith Leave Sick certificate; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Mar 1812Camp at MaritiallWith Leave Sick certificate; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Apr 1813Camp at RahnieOn command; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
May 1813Camp at SanteasieOn command; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Jun 1813Camp at CalabaugySick quarters; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Jul 1813Camp at CalabaugyOn duty; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Sept 1813Camp at CalabaugySick Certificate; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Oct 1813Camp at BadciaulSick Certificate; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Nov 1813BellarySick Certificate; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Dec 1813YildoortyOn command at Bellary; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd

Muster Rolls 1814 5 6

DateLocationMuster roll descriptionBattalion
Jan 1814BellaryOn command at Bellary; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Feb 1814BellarySick Certificate; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Mar 1814BellarySick Certificate; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Apr 1814BellarySick Certificate; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
May 1814BellarySick Certificate; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Jun 1814Fort St GeorgePresent; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Jul 1814Fort St GeorgeSick Quarters; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Aug 1814Fort St GeorgeSick Quarters; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Sep 1814Fort St GeorgePresent; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Oct 1814Fort St GeorgeSick Certificate; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Nov 1814Fort St GeorgePresent; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Dec 1814Fort St GeorgeOn duty; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd

1815

The sudden return of Bonaparte to France, was followed by a revolt on the part of the French settlers in Mauritius, and the first battalion which had been joined by three hundred men from the disbanded third battalion, embarked on board the Salsette frigate, and the company’s ship Rose and Streatham, to reinforce the garrison. During the voyage the ships were separated by a violent hurricane, and each supposed the other lost; but they arrived safe at Port Louis, where they were stationed until November, when they marched to Mahebourg. It appears that Lawrence then returned to Madras in charge of invalids.

Muster Rolls 1815 7

DateLocationMuster roll descriptionBattalion
Jan 1815Fort St GeorgeOn duty; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Feb 1815Fort St GeorgeOn duty; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Mar 1815Fort St GeorgePresent; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Apr 1815Fort St GeorgeWith Leave at St Thome, Madras; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
May 1815Fort St GeorgeWith Leave at St Thome, Madras; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Jun 1815Fort St GeorgeWith Leave at St Thome, Madras; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Jul 1815Fort St GeorgeSick-inactive; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Aug 1815Port Louis, MauritiusPresent; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Sep 1815Port Louis, MauritiusOn duty; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Oct 1815Port Louis, MauritiusOn duty; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Nov 1815Port Louis, MauritiusOn duty; attached from 2nd Battalion2nd
Dec 1815MadrasIn charge of invalids; attached from 2nd Battalion

1816

In August the first battalion returned to Port St. Louis; and about a month afterwards the whole town went up in flames; but this calamity was (according to Cannon) “averted by the efforts of the soldiers of the Fifty-Sixth, who prevented “the fire communicating to the government buildings, and thus saved the town”. There is a reference to him from the Muster Rolls of the 2nd Battalion (now in Chatham) that he is on duty with the 1st Battalion.

Muster Rolls 1816 8

DateLocation [ref]Muster roll descriptionBattalion
Apr 1816Port Louis, MauritiusOn duty; with the 1st Battalion1st

1817

Cannon records that the regiment left Port Louis on the 1st of March, for Flacq, and in July to Mahebourg, where it received the colours of the late second battalion. It was employed in patrolling and other duties for the suppression of the slave trade.

Muster Rolls 1817 9

DateLocation [ref]Muster roll descriptionBattalion
Apr 1817Flacq, MauritiusFrom pay list1st
Jul 1817Flacq, MauritiusFrom pay list1st

We know from the pay lists that he was in Flacq in April and July of 1817, as he signed for £280 on account for pay and additional allowances for the non-commissioned officers etc. See

1818

Muster Rolls 1818 10

DateLocationMuster roll descriptionBattalion
1818Flacq, MauritiusNone available1st

1819 – 1821

In July, 1819, the regiment returned to Port Louis. The muster roll shows that from August 1819 he was on leave, described as “General Darling’s leave to 27th May 182111“. and he was promoted to Brevet Major, effective from 12th Aug. 1819.

Muster Rolls 1819 12 13 14

DateLocationMuster roll descriptionBattalion
Aug 1819MadrasMajor General Darling’s leave to 27th May 18211st
Dec 1819MadrasMajor General Darling’s leave to 27th May 18211st

1821-1822

The regiment was stationed successively at Port Louis and Mahebourg until 1826, when, after upwards of twenty years’ service abroad, it embarked at Port Louis for England. Lawrence retired 1822 15.


  1. Commissary General of Musters Office and Successors: General Muster Books and Pay Lists: 56th Foot 2nd Battalion (1811). 1811. The National Archives, Kew, WO 12/6625 ↩︎
  2. Commissary General of Musters Office and Successors: General Muster Books and Pay Lists: 56th Foot 1st Battalion (1812). 1812. The National Archives, Kew, WO 12/6557 ↩︎
  3. Commissary General of Musters Office and Successors: General Muster Books and Pay Lists: 56th Foot 2nd Battalion (1812). 1812. The National Archives, Kew, WO 12/6626 ↩︎
  4. Commissary General of Musters Office and Successors: General Muster Books and Pay Lists: 56th Foot 1st Battalion (1813). 1813. The National Archives, Kew, WO 12/6558 ↩︎
  5. ibid 4 ↩︎
  6. Commissary General of Musters Office and Successors: General Muster Books and Pay Lists: 56th Foot 1st Battalion (1814). 1814. The National Archives, Kew, WO 12/6559 ↩︎
  7. Commissary General of Musters Office and Successors: General Muster Books and Pay Lists: 56th Foot 1st Battalion (1815). 1815. The National Archives, Kew, WO 12/6560 ↩︎
  8. Commissary General of Musters Office and Successors: General Muster Books and Pay Lists: 56th Foot 2nd Battalion (1816). 1816. The National Archives, Kew, WO 12/6630 ↩︎
  9. Commissary General of Musters Office and Successors: General Muster Books and Pay Lists: 56th Foot 1st Battalion (1816-1817). 1817. The National Archives, Kew, WO 12/6561 ↩︎
  10. Commissary General of Musters Office and Successors: General Muster Books and Pay Lists: 56th Foot 1st Battalion (1818-1819). 1819. The National Archives, Kew, WO 12/6562. ↩︎
  11. Philippart, John. The Royal Military Calendar, or Army Service and Commission Book. 3d ed, Printed by A. J. Valpy, [etc.], 1820 ↩︎
  12. ibid 10 ↩︎
  13. Commissary General of Musters Office and Successors: General Muster Books and Pay Lists: 56th Foot 1st Battalion (1819-1820). 1820. The National Archives, Kew, WO 12/6563. ↩︎
  14. ibid 11. In 1819 Major General Darling was appointed to the head of the Staff of the Isle of France and where he continues entirely engaged in suppressing that nefarious traffic in slaves which has been so long notorious in the Mauritius. Major General Darling is a member of the Consolidated Board of General Officers one of the Commissioners of the Royal Military College and of the Royal Military Asylum ↩︎
  15. “56th Regiment: 56th Regiment of Foot, Lieutenant Redmond Brough to Be Captain, by Purchase, Vice O’Hara, Who Retires.” The London Gazette, no. 17783, Jan. 1822, p. 99, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/17783/page/99. ↩︎