James Hay (British Army officer)

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Lieutenant-general James Hay CB (?-25 February 1854) was a British Army officer who saw service during the Peninsular War and the Waterloo Campaign.


He was born in Braco, Scotland the son of John Hay[1] and joined the 16th Light Dragoons as a cornet on 10 June 1795. He was subsequently promoted to Lieutenant on 4 March 1795; to Captain on 28 February 1799; to Major on 2 January 1812 and to Lieutenant-colonel on 18 February 1813.[2]

During the Peninsular War, Hay was present at the battles of Vittoria and the Nive for which he received the Army Gold Medal with one clasp.[2] He had his arm broken at the Battle of Salamanca.[3] In one engagement he led his regiment against the Lancers de Berg during which 70 enemy men and a squadron chief were captured.[1]

On 22  June 1815, on the recommendation of Wellington, he was appointed a Companion of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath (CB) for his services at Quatre Bras and Waterloo.[4] He was so seriously injured at Waterloo that he could not be moved from the field for eight days.[3]

Hay was given the colonelcy of the 79th Regiment of Foot (Cameron Highlanders) from 1849 to his death.[5] He died at his seat near Kilburn, County Longford on 25 February 1854.[3]


He married Mary Elizabeth Guthrie (1789-1850), daughter of Dr Matthew Guthrie.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Death of Lieutenant-General James Hay C.B". Elgin Courant, and Morayshire Advertiser. 10 March 1854. Retrieved 7 May 2016 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).
  2. ^ a b Philippart 1820, p. 441.
  3. ^ a b c Dalton 1904, p. 87.
  4. ^ The Battle of Waterloo, Also of Ligny and Quatre-Bras, Described by the Series of Accounts Published by Authority, with Circumstantial Details: By a Near Observer. Also Important Particulars, Communicated by Staff, and Regimental Officers, Serving in Different Parts of the Field, with Every Connected Official Document; Forming an Historical Record of the Campaign in the Netherlands, 1815. To which is Added a Register of the Names of the Officers. J. Booth. 1817. p. 280.
  5. ^ "The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders". regiments.org. Archived from the original on 2 January 2007. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Matthew Guthrie (1743–1807): An eighteenth-century gemmologist". Annals of Science. 20: 245–302. doi:10.1080/00033796400203104.
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir James Macdonnell
Colonel of the 79th Regiment of Foot (Cameron Highlanders)
Succeeded by
Sir William Henry Sewell