James Frederick Lyon

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Sir James Frederick Lyon
Born 1775
Died 16 October 1842
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank Lieutenant General
Battles/wars French Revolutionary Wars
Napoleonic Wars

Lieutenant General Sir James Frederick Lyon, KCB GCH (1775–1842) was an officer of the British Army and Governor of Barbados.


Lyon, a descendant of the Lyons, lords Glammis, was son of Captain James Lyon, 35th Foot, and his wife, the daughter of James Hamilton. He was born in 1775, on board a transport homeward bound from America after the battle of Bunker's Hill, where his father was killed.[1]

On 4 August 1791 he was appointed ensign 25th Foot. He became lieutenant 26 April 1793, captain 5 April 1795, major 21 Feb. 1799, lieutenant-colonel 13 May 1862, brevet-colonel 1811, major-general 1814, lieutenant-general 1830.[1]

Lyon served with detachments of his regiment, which embarked as marines on board HMS Gibraltar, 80 guns, Captain Mackenzie, and HMS Marlborough, 74 guns, Captain Hon. George Berkeley, in the Channel fleet under Lord Howe. He was thus present in the actions of 27 and 29 May, and the victory on the Glorious First of June 1794[2] Lyon next served with his regiment in the island of Grenada during the reign of terror there, when Governor Home and all the principal white inhabitants were massacred by the Negroes.[3]

Lyon was on Lord George Lennox's staff at Plymouth in 1797–1798, and subsequently aide-de-camp to the Hon. Sir Charles Stuart at Minorca. In 1799 he was appointed to a foreign corps, originally known as "Stuart's", or the Minorca Regiment, raised in that island by Sir John Stuart afterwards Count of Maida, with Lyon and Nicholas Trant as majors. The corps was successively known as the queen's German regiment and the 97th (queen's), and was disbanded as the 96th (queen's) in 1818. Lyon was with it in 1801 in Egypt, where it was engaged with Bonaparte's "invincibles" at the Battle of Alexandria on 21 March 1801, and was highly distinguished.[1]

Lyon subsequently commanded the regiment in the Peninsula from 1808 to 1811 at the battles of Vimeiro, Talavera, Busaco, and the first siege of Badajoz. In June 1813 he was sent to Germany to assist in organising the new Hanoverian levies (distinct from the King's German Legion), and was present at the operations in the north of Germany in 1813–14, under the prince royal of Sweden. He commanded a division of Hanoverians at the battle of Göhrde in Hanover, 13 September 1813, and afterwards commanded a mixed force of Russians, Hanoverians, and Hanseatics, under Count von Benningsen, which blockaded Hamburg. Lyon commanded the 6th Hanoverian brigade during the Waterloo Campaign and the advance to Paris. The brigade was with the reserve near Hal on 18 June, and did not engage in the battle.[1]

Lyon commanded the inland district in 1817, became Lieutenant-Governor of Portsmouth and General Officer Commanding South-West District in 1821[4] and was given command of the troops in the Windward and Leeward islands, with headquarters at Barbadoes, in 1828. He was promised the government of Gibraltar, but was disappointed. Lyon was a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (20 January 1815), a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order, and had the decorations of the Order of the Sword in Sweden and the Order of Max Joseph of Bavaria, with gold medals for Egypt, Vimeiro and Talavera, and the Hanoverian and Waterloo medals. In 1829 he was made colonel of the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot and equerry to Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge. [1]

He died at Brighton on 16 October 1842.


Lyon married a daughter of Edward Coxe, brother of Archdeacon William Coxe the historian.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Chichester 1893, p. 347.
  2. ^ Chichester 1893, p. 347 cites R. Mil. Cal. 1820, vol. iii.
  3. ^ Chichester 1893, p. 347 cites Higgins, Hist. King's Own Borderers.
  4. ^ "No. 17733". The London Gazette. 4 August 1821. p. 1617. 


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChichester, Henry Manners (1893). "Lyon, James Frederick". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 34. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 347.  Endnotes
    • Dod's Knightage, 1842;
    • Army Lists;
    • Philippart's Roy. Mil. Cal. 1820, vol. iii.;
    • Wilson's Narrative of the Campaign in Egypt, London, 1802;
    • Gurwood's Well. Desp. iii. 92;
    • Marquis of Londonderry's Narrative of War in Germany in 1813–14;
    • Beamish's Hist. King's German Legion, London, 1836, vol. ii.;
    • Nav. and Mil. Gazette, 22 Oct. 1842.

Further reading[edit]

  • Hart, H. G. 1841. The New Army List. London.
  • Paton, G. 1892. Historical Records of the 24th Regiment. London.
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir George Cooke
GOC South-West District
Succeeded by
Sir Colin Campbell
Preceded by
Sir David Baird
Colonel of the 24th (The 2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Robert Ellice
Preceded by
New regiment
Colonel of the 97th (The Earl of Ulster's) Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Sir Robert William O'Callaghan
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Henry Warde, 1821-29
Governor of Barbados
Succeeded by
Sir Lionel Smith (& Windward Isles)