Thomas William Brotherton

Last updated

Sir Thomas Brotherton
Born10 December 1782 [1]
London, England
Died20 January 1868(1868-01-20) (aged 85)
Esher, Surrey
AllegianceUnion flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg  Great Britain
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg  British Army
Battles/wars Peninsular War
French Revolutionary Wars
Awards GCB

General Sir Thomas William Browne Brotherton GCB (10 December 1782 – 20 January 1868) was a British Army officer.

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.


Early life

Thomas was the son of William Browne Brotherton and his wife, Mary. [2] [1]

Military career

Brotherton entered the 2nd or Coldstream Guards as an ensign in 1800, was promoted to lieutenant and to captain in 1801, and transferred to the 3rd or Scots Fusilier Guards in 1803. [2] With the guards he served under Ralph Abercromby in Egypt in 1801, and under Lord Cathcart in Hanover in 1805. [2] On 4 June 1807 he exchanged into the 14th Light Dragoons. With it he served almost continuously in the Peninsula from 1808 to 1814. [2] He was in Sir John Moore's retreat to Corunna; he was present at Talavera, at the actions on the Côa, at Bussaco, Fuentes de Oñoro, Battle of Salamanca, where he was wounded, Vitoria, the Pyrenees, the Nivelle, and the Nive, where he was severely wounded and taken prisoner. [2]

Coldstream Guards part of the Guards Division, Foot Guards regiments of the British Army

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Captain (Capt) is a junior officer rank of the British Army and Royal Marines and in both services it ranks above lieutenant and below major with a NATO ranking code of OF-2. The rank is equivalent to a lieutenant in the Royal Navy and to a flight lieutenant in the Royal Air Force. The rank of captain in the Royal Navy is considerably more senior and the two ranks should not be confused.

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Sir Ralph Abercromby was a Scottish soldier and politician. He twice served as MP for Clackmannanshire, rose to the rank of lieutenant-general in the British Army, was appointed Governor of Trinidad, served as Commander-in-Chief, Ireland, and was noted for his services during the Napoleonic Wars.

Gravestone of General Sir Thomas Brotherton Brotherton.jpg
Gravestone of General Sir Thomas Brotherton

Wellington speaks of Brotherton's employment in the Estrella, [3] of his valuable reports, [4] of his conduct at the Côa, [5] and how he was exchanged after the battle of the Nive. [6] He was made major by brevet on Wellington's special recommendation on 28 Nov 1811, promoted major in his regiment on 26 May 1812, promoted to brevet lieutenant-colonel and appointed CB in 1817. [2]

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The Battles of the Nive were fought towards the end of the Peninsular War. Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington's Anglo-Portuguese and Spanish army defeated Marshal Nicolas Soult's French army in a series of battles near the city of Bayonne.

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In 1830 he was appointed aide-de-camp to the king and promoted to colonel, in 1841 he was promoted to major-general and in 1844 he became inspector-general of cavalry. In 1849 he was made colonel of the 15th hussars, in 1850 he was promoted to lieutenant-general and in 1855 he was advanced to KCB. In 1859 he became colonel of the 1st dragoon guards, in 1860 he was promoted to full general and in 1861 he was advanced to GCB. [2]

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Brotherton was married firstly in 1819 to Louisa Anne Straton (1802–1847), the daughter of General John Warde Straton. [7] By this marriage he had issue an only son, John William Brotherton, who died on 1 September 1878. [8]

In 1865, at the age of eighty, he was married to his second wife, Thomasina Hare, the daughter of the Rev. Walter Hare. Lady Brotherton died, aged 68 years, on 31 May 1895. [9]


Brotherton died in January 1868, aged 85, at his son's house near Esher, now known as Upper Court. He is buried in the churchyard of St. Andrew's Church, Cobham. [10] [2]

He left effects of more than £29,000 (equivalent to £2,563,000in 2018). [11]

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  1. 1 2 London, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538–1812
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Brotherton, Sir Thomas William (1785–1868), army officer". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-3576 . Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  3. Wellington, Despatches, iv. p. 614
  4. Wellington, Despatches, v p. 79
  5. Wellington, Despatches, v. p. 293
  6. Wellington, Despatches, vii p. 237
  7. Death registered in Kensington registration district in the second quarter of 1847.
  8. The Times (Saturday, 7 September 1878), p. 1.
  9. Principal Probate Registry, Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England (1895), p. 295. Death registered in Fulham registration district in the second quarter of 1895 (age given as 84 years).
  10. "Thomas William Brotherton". Esher District Local History Society. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  11. Principal Probate Registry, Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England (1868), pp. 138–139.

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

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Robert Thomas Wilson
Colonel of the 15th (The King's) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars)
Succeeded by
Everard William Bouverie
Preceded by
The Earl Cathcart
Colonel of the 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards
Succeeded by
Sir James Jackson