Thomas Simson Pratt

Last updated

Sir Thomas Pratt
Thomas Simson Pratt.jpg
Pratt as major-general, c. 1864
Birth nameThomas Simson Pratt
Kingdom of Ireland [1]
Died2 February 1879 (aged 82) [2]
Bath, Somerset, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Rank General
Wars Napoleonic Wars
First Anglo-Chinese War
First Taranaki War
Awards KCB

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.

Order of the Bath series of awards of an order of chivalry of the United Kingdom

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.

British Army land warfare branch of the British Armed Forces of the United Kingdom

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.

Executive Council of New Zealand

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.

Thomas Gore Browne British colonial administrator

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.

26th (Cameronian) 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.

56th (West Essex) Regiment of Foot raised in 1755 as the 58th and renumbered as the 56th in 1756

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.

Second Battle of Chuenpi

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.

Battle of the Bogue

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 Prefecture-level and Sub-provincial city in Guangdong, Peoples Republic of China

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.

Henry Barkly British politician and colonial governor

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.

The Governor of Victoria is the representative in the Australian state of Victoria of its monarch, Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia and is one of the Governors of the Australian states. The governor performs the same constitutional and ceremonial functions at the state level as does the Governor-General of Australia at the federal level. The governor's office and official residence is Government House next to the Royal Botanic Gardens and surrounded by Kings Domain in Melbourne.

Related Research Articles

George Brown (British Army officer) British soldier notable for commands in the Peninsular War and the Crimean War

General Sir George Brown, was a British soldier notable for commands in the Peninsular War and the Crimean War.

Mark Walker (British Army officer) Recipient of the Victoria Cross

General Sir Mark Walker was a British Army officer and an Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Hugh Rose, 1st Baron Strathnairn British field marshal

Field Marshal Hugh Henry Rose, 1st Baron Strathnairn, was a senior British Army officer. He served as a military adviser to the Ottoman Army who were seeking to secure the expulsion of the forces of Mehemet Ali from Syria during the Egyptian–Ottoman War. He then fought with the French Army at the Battle of Alma, the Battle of Inkerman and at the Battle of Mamelon during the Crimean War. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857 Rose was given command of the Central Indian Field Force and defeated the armies at Jhansi in April 1858, at Lahore in May 1858 and at Gwalior in June 1858. He went on to be Commander of the Bombay Army, Commander-in-Chief, India and then Commander-in-Chief, Ireland.

Percy Lake British Army general (1855-1940)

Lieutenant-General Sir Percy Henry Noel Lake was a senior commander of the British Indian Army, serving during World War I, and a Canadian soldier.

Richard Airey, 1st Baron Airey British Army general

General Richard Airey, 1st Baron Airey, known as Sir Richard Airey between 1855 and 1876, was a senior British Army officer of the 19th century.

Robert Wynyard British politician

Robert Henry Wynyard was a New Zealand colonial administrator, serving at various times as Lieutenant Governor of New Ulster Province, Administrator of the Government, and was the first Superintendent of Auckland Province.

The 99th (Lanarkshire) Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, formed in 1824. It amalgamated with the 62nd (Wiltshire) Regiment of Foot to form the Duke of Edinburgh's in 1881.

Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Arbuthnot, KCB was a British Army commander.

Frederick Haines British field marshal

Field Marshal Sir Frederick Paul Haines was a British Army officer. He fought in the First Anglo-Sikh War, in the Second Anglo-Sikh War and then in the Crimean War: during the latter conflict at the Battle of Inkerman, he held an important barrier on the post road guarding the approach to the 2nd Division camp for six hours. He served in India during the Indian Rebellion before becoming Commanding Officer of the 8th Regiment of Foot in the United Kingdom and then Commander of a Brigade in Ireland. He went on to be General Officer Commanding the Mysore Division of the Madras Army and then Quartermaster-General to the Forces in the United Kingdom. He returned to India to become Commander-in-Chief of the Madras Army in May 1871 and then Commander-in-Chief, India in April 1876: he commanded the forces in India during the Second Anglo-Afghan War and successfully argued for a large force being made available before mobilisation occurred, but once the war started the Governor-General of India, Lord Lytton, was inclined to by-pass Haines and deal direct with commanders in the field, causing friction between the two men.

Edward Macarthur British Army general

Lieutenant-General Sir Edward Macarthur was a lieutenant-general in the British Army, Commander-in-chief of British forces in Australia from 1855 and was an administrator in 1856 for 12 months after the death of Governor of Victoria, Sir Charles Hotham.

Thomas Montagu Steele British army officer

General Sir Thomas Montagu Steele was a British army officer.

General Sir Samuel Benjamin Auchmuty was an Anglo-Irish soldier.

Sir Archibald Alison, 2nd Baronet British Army general

General Sir Archibald Alison, 2nd Baronet was a Scottish soldier who achieved high office in the British Army in the 1880s.

Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Durand Baker KCB was a British army officer, and Quartermaster-General to the Forces.

John Wellesley Thomas British Army general

Lieutenant-General Sir John Wellesley Thomas, was a distinguished British military officer who served in Afghanistan, Australia, and China. He was the commander of the British military and police forces that quelled the rebellion at the Eureka Stockade in Ballarat, Victoria, in 1854.

Francis Clery British Army general

Major General Sir Cornelius Francis Clery was a British Army officer who took part in the Anglo-Zulu War and later commanded the 2nd Division during the Second Boer War.

George Buller English general officer of the British Army

General Sir George Buller was an English general officer of the British Army who served in the Rifle Brigade and as a commander of a brigade in the Crimean War.

Edmund Haythorne Haythorne, Sir Edmund (1818–1888), army officer

General Sir Edmund Haythorne was a British Army officer who served as Adjutant-General in India.

General Sir Edmund Finucane Morris, was a senior officer in the British Army.


  1. 1871 England Census
  2. "Funeral of General Sir T. S. Pratt" . Bath Chronicle . 13 February 1879. p. 7. Retrieved 23 May 2019.

Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : "Pratt, Thomas Simson". Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.