Moses Corbet

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Moses Corbet
Major Moses Corbet
Born 1728
Died 1814 (aged 85–86)
Allegiance  Kingdom of Great Britain
Service/branch  British Army
Rank Major
Commands held Garrison of Jersey
Battles/wars American Revolutionary War
Battle of Jersey

Major Moses Corbet (1728–1814) was a British Army officer who served as Lieutenant Governor of Jersey from 4 April 1771 to 6 January 1781.

Early career[edit]

Corbet joined the British Army c.1745 and on 14 December 1761 was promoted to the rank of Major in the 9th Regiment of Foot.[1] He was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Jersey on 4 April 1771.[2]

Battle of Jersey[edit]

Further information: Battle of Jersey
Plaque on site of former Government House where Moses Corbet was captured by French invading forces on 6 January 1781

On 6 January 1781 a French invading force led by Philippe de Rullecourt secured the town of Saint Helier and surprised Corbet in bed in Government House (then situated at Le Manoir de La Motte).[3] De Rullecourt convinced Corbet that thousands of French troops had already overwhelmed Jersey. He threatened to burn the town and slaughter the inhabitants if the garrison did not capitulate and Corbet, unable to ascertain the true situation, surrendered.[4] Major Francis Peirson, suspecting that De Rullecourt only had a small force, took command of the British troops in Corbet's absence and counter-attacked leading to a decisive engagement in which the British forces were victorious.[3][5][6]

Corbet was subsequently tried by Court-martial at Horseguards.[7]


A formal full length portrait of Major Moses Corbet's portrait was created by noted artist Philippe Jean (1755–1802).[8] Philippe Jean was made famous for his miniature portrait of Guernsey born Sir Isaac Brock as well as his commissioned portrait of King George III.


Moses Corbet is an ancestor to Guernsey poet and painter Denys Corbet and British Canadian artist Christian Cardell Corbet.


Government offices
Preceded by
Rudolph Bentinck
Lieutenant Governor of Jersey
Succeeded by
Francis Peirson