The Royal Irish Regiment

General Matthew Whitworth-Aylmer, 5th Lord Aylmer KCB

Matthew Aylmer was born in 1775 the eldest of 5 children of Henry Aylmer, 4th Lord Aylmer, and Catherine Whitworth. The Irish title was created in 1718, Baron of Balrath, County Meath. Aylmer never held an English title. He was a competent soldier, being praised for his conduct at Egmont-op-Zee by the CO of the 49th Foot, Isaac Brock, and receiving the Army Gold Cross after attending most of the battles in the Peninsular War. His time as Lieutenant Governor of Lower Canada was a bitter disappointment to him. He started with little experience of the job but great enthusiasm. He was determined to avoid the accusation of showing favoritism to the English and made an effort to treat French and English with equal fairness, but he was distrusted by the French, and the Legislature made life difficult for him. The Assembly passed 92 resolutions of grievance and demanded that the British government re-call him. He was ordered back to England the following year and two years later rebellion broke out. Whilst in office he supported his wife, Louisa, in her work during the Cholera epidemic of 1831-2, helping the sick and their dependants. She also took a great interest in education, visiting schools and bestowing prizes on the children.

1775 Born on 24th May
1787 Inherited title of 5th Baron Aylmer
1787 Ensign 49th Foot at the age of 12
1791 Lieutenant
1798 Taken prisoner for 6 months after abortive raid on Ostend
1799 Distinguished himself at Egmont-op-Zee
1800 Major 85th Foot
1801 Married Louisa Anne Call, 4th Aug. No children.
1802 Lieutenant-Colonel on half-pay
1803 Transferred to Coldstream Guards
1810 Colonel. ADC to the King up to 1812
1813 Major General. Brigade commander, present at most battles of the Peninsular War
1814 Adjutant General in Ireland up to 1823
1815 KCB 2nd Jan, Knighted 6th June
1823 Travelled in Switzerland and Italy for 7 years
1825 Lieutenant General
1825 Changed name to Whitworth-Aylmer on death of uncle, The Earl of Whitworth
1827 Appointed Colonel of 56th Foot, 29th Oct.
1830 Commander of British Forces in North America and Governor General
1831 Lieutenant Governor of Lower Canada
1832 Appointed Colonel of 18th Royal Irish Regiment, 23rd July.
1834 Assembly of Lower Canada demand his re-call
1835 Re-called to England
1845 Promoted to General
1850 Died in Eaton Square, Belgravia on 23rd Feb

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by Stephen Luscombe