General Hon. William Gordon

William Gordon of Fyvie caused a permanent breach in his family when he applied for the Colonelcy of a new regiment raised by Alexander 4th Duke of Gordon, William's nephew. William assured Lord Germain that his application for the post had the blessing of the Duke of Gordon but in fact he was going behind his back. This regiment was the 81st Aberdeen Highland Regiment and lasted from 1777 to 1783 when it was disbanded. He was, however, appointed Colonel of 4 other regiments. He lived at Winkfield in Berkshire where he married his housekeeper Isobel Black after fathering a son by her. The picture of him in Scottish military dress is a famous painting by the renowned Italian portraitist Pompeo Batoni, who was commissioned to paint many Englishmen during their Grand European Tours.

1736 Born in Fyvie, Scotland
1756 Commissioned into 11th Dragoons
1759 Captain in 16th Light Dragoons, 11th Aug.
1762 Lieut-Col 105th Foot, 11th Oct 1763 On Half Pay when 105th was disbanded.
1765 Painted by Pompeo Batoni in Rome
1767 MP for Woodstock (until 1774)
1774 MP for Heytesbury (until 1780)
1777 Colonel of 81st Aberdeen Highland Regiment. Family quarrel
1780 Gordon Riots provoked by his nephew, Lord George Gordon
1781 Major-General
1787 Colonel of 4th Btn. 60th Rifles (until 1788)
1788 Colonel of 7th Royal Fusiliers (until 1789)
1789 Colonel of 71st Highland Light Infantry (until 1803)
1793 Lieutenant-General
1798 General
1803 Colonel of 21st Royal Scots Fusiliers (until 1816)
1816 Died on 25th May.

Regimental Details | Colonels


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by Stephen Luscombe