Isaac Coffin

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Sir Isaac Campbell Coffin
Bornbap. 24 August 1801
Died1 October 1872
9 St John's Park South, Blackheath, London
AllegianceUnited Kingdom of
Great Britain and Ireland
Service/branchEast India Company
Years of service1818–1872
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the Star of India
RelationsClifford Coffin V.C. (Son)

Sir Isaac Campbell Coffin KCSI (bap. 24 August 1801 – 1 October 1872) was an officer of the East India Company's military service who served during the company's rule in India, the First Anglo-Burmese War and the Indian Mutiny. He rose to the rank of major-general after a long career in India.

Family and early life[edit]

Coffin was born c. 1801, the son of Admiral Francis Holmes Coffin and baptized on 24 August 1801 at St Mary the Virgin, Dover, Kent.[1][2]

After receiving his education, part of which took place in France, he joined the military arm of the East India Company on 3 June 1818, and sailed to India, arriving on 12 January 1819. In 1821 he was posted as lieutenant to the 21st Madras Pioneers, and from 4 June 1824 he served as adjutant to the 12th Madras Native Infantry. The company took part in the First Anglo-Burmese War, and Coffin was present at the attacks on Rangoon on 9 and 15 December 1824.[3]


A series of posts followed, Coffin was quartermaster, interpreter, and paymaster to the 12th Madras Native Infantry from 27 October 1826, and was advanced to captain on 26 July 1828.[3]

Further posts and promotions saw Coffin appointed paymaster to the Nagpur subsidiary force on 30 June 1829, and paymaster in Mysore on 7 January 1834. Coffin was promoted to major on 24 July 1840, and then to lieutenant-colonel on 15 September 1845, being appointed to the 3rd (Palamcottah) regiment of the Madras native light infantry several weeks later on 7 October 1845.[3]

He was raised to colonel on 20 June 1854, taking command of the Hyderabad subsidiary force from 6 November 1855 and commanding them with the rank of brigadier during the Indian Mutiny.[2] Coffin was promoted to major-general on 29 May 1857, after the mutiny had been put down. He took command of a division of the Madras army from 28 March 1859 to 28 March 1864, and was finally promoted to lieutenant-general on 18 July 1869.[3][2]

Family and later life[edit]

Coffin was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India in 1866.[2] He had married Marianne Harrington on 12 February 1824, and on her death on 13 February 1864 he remarried.[2] His wife this time was Catharine Eliza Shepherd.[2] General Isaac Coffin died suddenly on 1 October 1872, at his home at 9 St John's Park South, Blackheath, London. He was survived by his wife and several children which included Clifford Coffin V.C. [3]


  1. ^ "Coffin, Sir Isaac Campbell (bap. 1801, d. 1872)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/5808. (Subscription required (help)).
  2. ^ a b c d e f Dod. Dod's Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage of Great Britain. p. 195.
  3. ^ a b c d e Chichester 1887.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChichester, Henry Manners (1887). "Coffin, Isaac Campbell" . In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography. 11. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 217–218.