Sir Thomas Pratt
Pratt as major-general, c. 1864
|Birth name||Thomas Simson Pratt|
Kingdom of Ireland
|Died||2 February 1879 (aged 82) |
Bath, Somerset, England
|Wars|| Napoleonic Wars |
First Anglo-Chinese War
First Taranaki War
Sir Thomas Simson Pratt, KCB (1797 – 2 February 1879) was a British Army general. He served in the First Anglo-Chinese War (1839–1841), in India from 1843 to 1855 where he was deputy adjutant-general at Madras, and was Commander of the British Forces in Australia from 1856 to 1861. He was promoted to Lieutenant-General on 31 May 1865, and to full general eight years later.
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate medieval ceremony for appointing a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as "Knights of the Bath". George I "erected the Knights of the Bath into a regular Military Order". He did not revive the Order of the Bath, since it had never previously existed as an Order, in the sense of a body of knights who were governed by a set of statutes and whose numbers were replenished when vacancies occurred.
The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.
He was Commander of the British Forces in New Zealand from 1860 to 1861, and was on the Executive Council. He commanded during the First Taranaki War, but as he realised the doubtful validity of the Waitara Purchase (the main cause of the war), he disagreed with Governor Gore Browne, and his military action was ridiculed by the local settlers. He was created KCB for his services in New Zealand by the British Government.
The Executive Council of New Zealand is the full group of "responsible advisers" to the Governor-General of New Zealand on state and constitutional affairs. All Government ministers must be appointed as executive councillors before they are appointed as ministers; therefore all Cabinet ministers are also executive councillors. The governor-general signs a warrant of appointment for each member of the Executive Council, and separate warrants for each ministerial portfolio.
The First Taranaki War was an armed conflict over land ownership and sovereignty that took place between Māori and the New Zealand Government in the Taranaki district of New Zealand's North Island from March 1860 to March 1861.
Colonel Sir Thomas Robert Gore Browne, was a British colonial administrator, who was Governor of St Helena, Governor of New Zealand, Governor of Tasmania and Governor of Bermuda.
Pratt, born in 1797, was son of Captain James Pratt, by Anne, daughter of William Simson, and was educated at St. Andrews University. He was gazetted to an ensigncy in the 26th (Cameronian) Regiment of Foot on 2 February 1814, and served in Holland in the same year as a volunteer with the 56th (West Essex) Regiment of Foot.
The 26th (Cameronian) Regiment of Foot was a Scottish infantry regiment of the British Army, active from 1689 to 1881. Although the regiment took the name of its first colonel as The Earl of Angus's Regiment, it became popularly known as The Cameronians until 1751, when it was ranked as the 26th Foot. Under the Childers Reforms it amalgamated with the 90th Regiment of Foot to form the Cameronians in 1881. The Cameronians were themselves disbanded in 1968, meaning that no Army unit today perpetuates the lineage of the 26th Foot.
The 56th Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment in the British Army, active from 1755 to 1881. It was originally raised in Northumbria as the 58th Regiment, and renumbered the 56th the following year when two senior regiments were disbanded. It saw service in Cuba at the capture of Havana in the Seven Years' War, and was later part of the garrison during the Great Siege of Gibraltar in the American Revolutionary War. During the French Revolutionary Wars it fought in the Caribbean and then in Holland. On the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars the 56th raised a second battalion in 1804 as part of the anti-invasion preparations; both saw service in India and in the Indian Ocean, with the first capturing Réunion and Mauritius. A third battalion was formed in the later years of the war, but was disbanded after a brief period of service in the Netherlands.
He was present at the attack on Merxem on 2 February and the subsequent bombardment of Antwerp. He purchased his captaincy on 17 September 1825 and was with the 26th foot in the First Anglo-Chinese War. He commanded the land forces in the Second Battle of Chuenpi on 7 January 1841 and at the Battle of the Bogue on 26 February. In the attacks on Canton from 24 May to 1 June, he was in command of his regiment, and was present also at the demonstration before Nanking, and at the signing of the Treaty of Nanking on board HMS Cornwallis. On 28 August 1841, he was gazetted lieutenant-colonel, and from 5 September 1843 to 23 October 1855 was deputy adjutant-general at Madras. He was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) on 14 October 1841.
The Second Battle of Chuenpi was fought between British and Chinese forces in the Pearl River Delta, Guangdong province, China, on 7 January 1841 during the First Opium War. The British launched an amphibious attack at the Humen strait (Bogue), capturing the forts on the islands of Chuenpi and Taikoktow. Subsequent negotiations between British Plenipotentiary Charles Elliot and Chinese Imperial Commissioner Qishan resulted in the Convention of Chuenpi on 20 January. As one of the terms of the agreement, Elliot announced the cession of Hong Kong Island to the British Empire, after which the British took formal possession of the island on 26 January.
The Battle of the Bogue was fought between British and Chinese forces in the Pearl River Delta, Guangdong province, China, on 23–26 February 1841 during the First Opium War. The British launched an amphibious attack at the Humen strait (Bogue), capturing the forts on the islands of Anunghoy and North Wangtong. This allowed the fleet to proceed further up the Pearl River towards the city of Canton (Guangzhou), which they captured the following month.
Guangzhou, also known as Canton and formerly romanized as Kwangchow or Kwong Chow, is the capital and most populous city of the province of Guangdong in southern China. On the Pearl River about 120 km (75 mi) north-northwest of Hong Kong and 145 km (90 mi) north of Macau, Guangzhou has a history of over 2,200 years and was a major terminus of the maritime Silk Road, and continues to serve as a major port and transportation hub, as well as one of China's three largest cities.
From 1856 to 1861, he was in command of the forces in Australasia, based in Melbourne with the rank of major-general. During 1860–61, he was in New Zealand, conducting the war against the Maoris. On his return to Australia he commanded the forces in Victoria until May 1862, and was then appointed to the colonelcy of the 37th (North Hampshire) Regiment of Foot, which he held until his death. He was promoted to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) on 16 July 1861, being publicly invested with the ribbon and badge by Sir Henry Barkly, governor of Victoria, on 15 April 1862, which was the first ceremony of the kind performed in Australia. He was advanced to the rank of general on 26 May 1873.
The 37th Regiment of Foot was a line infantry regiment of the British Army, raised in Ireland in February 1702. Under the Childers Reforms it amalgamated with the 67th Regiment of Foot to become the Hampshire Regiment in 1881.
Sir Henry Barkly was a British politician, colonial governor and patron of the sciences.
He died in England on 2 February 1879 after suffering a stroke during the birthday party of a fellow Army General, Sam Campbell. He had married Frances Agnes in 1827, second daughter of John S. Cooper. They had seven sons, James Lisson, Thomas Arthur Cooper, Francis Edward, Robert Torrens, Sisson Cooper, Chalmers and William Simson, and a daughter, Anne Maria, who in 1860 married Sir Henry Barkly, then Governor of Victoria, Australia.
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