William Reid (British Army officer)

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Sir William Reid

Kinglassie, Fife, Scotland
Died31 October 1858(1858-10-31) (aged 66–67)
London, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
RankMajor General
Battles/warsNapoleonic Wars
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath

Major General Sir William Reid GCMG KCB FRS (1791 – 31 October 1858) was a British soldier, administrator and meteorologist. He was founder of Bermuda National Library.[1]

Military career[edit]

Born at Kinglassie, Fife and educated at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, Reid was commissioned lieutenant of engineers in 1809, and in 1810 joined Wellington's army at Lisbon. In 1815 he participated in Sir Edward Pakenham's unsuccessful attack on New Orleans and in 1835 commanded a brigade in the British Legion raised by the Queen Regent of Spain. Subsequently Reid served as Governor of the Bermudas (1839–1846), of the British Windward Islands (1846–1848), and of Malta (1851–1858). He was knighted in 1851 and promoted to major general five years later.[2]

Reid was sent to the Leeward Islands in 1831 to direct the task of reconstruction after the Great Barbados hurricane. During his two-and-a-half-year stay he became absorbed in trying to understand the nature of North Atlantic hurricanes, which led to a lifelong study of tropical storms. He published An Attempt to Develop the Law of Storms by Means of Facts (1838; third edition, 1850) and The Progress of the Development of the Law of Storms and of the Variable Winds (1849).[2]

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in February 1839.[3]

Reid died aged 67 at his home in Hyde Park, London on 31 October 1858.[4]


His daughter, Grace Reid, married Basil Simouth de Ros Hall, son of Basil Hall.

His daughter Charlotte Cuyler Reid married General Sir Neville Chamberlain.

His daughter Sophia Reid married Lieutenant-Colonel Edmund Hallewell, the son of Edmund Gilling Hallewell MP.[5]


  1. ^ A Brief History, Bermuda National Library
  2. ^ a b Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  3. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue". The Royal Society. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  4. ^ "Deaths." Times [London, England] 2 Nov. 1858: 1. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 23 June 2013.
  5. ^ Walford, Edward. The county families of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 19 May 2015.


Government offices
Preceded by
Sir R. S. Chapman
Governor of Bermuda
Succeeded by
W. N. Hutchinson
Preceded by
Sir Charles Edward Grey
Governor of Barbados and the Windward Islands
Succeeded by
William MacBean George Colebrooke
Preceded by
Richard More O'Ferrall
Governor of Malta
Succeeded by
Sir John Le Marchant