William Spring (British Army officer)

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William Spring
Born 1769
Died c.1839
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1789-1819
Rank Lieutenant-Colonel
Commands held 1st Battalion, 57th (West Middlesex) Regiment of Foot
2nd Battalion, 57th (West Middlesex) Regiment of Foot
Battles/wars French Revolutionary Wars
Napoleonic Wars
Awards Army Gold Medal

Lieutenant-Colonel William Collis Spring (1769 – c.1839) was an Anglo-Irish British Army officer of the Napoleonic Wars.

Early life[edit]

Spring was born into the Spring family in County Kerry, Ireland in 1769. He was the son of Captain John Spring and Mary Blennerhassett Collis, and the great-grandson of Robert Blennerhassett MP.[1][2] His uncle was the politician, Lord Askeaton.[3] He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin.

Military career[edit]

He purchased an ensigncy in the 48th (Northamptonshire) Regiment of Foot in 1789, subsequently purchasing a lieutenancy in same regiment in 1793. He first saw service in the Caribbean against the French during the French Revolutionary Wars, and was part of the force under Charles Grey, 1st Earl Grey which captured several French island colonies. Between 6 May and 4 September 1795, he commanded a company in the 69th (South Lincolnshire) Regiment of Foot. He was then transferred to the 57th (West Middlesex) Regiment of Foot; the regiment with which he would remain for the rest of his career.[4]

Spring saw further service in the West Indies with the 57th Foot, and was present at the Battle of Morne Fortune on 24 May 1796. After a period of inactive service in Trinidad he returned to England in 1803. In 1811, he joined the 1st Battalion of the regiment in the Peninsula Campaign. He fought with distinction and was injured at the Battle of Albuera on 16 May 1811, alongside his commanding officer, William Inglis. Following the engagement, in which the 57th suffered high casualties, Spring was awarded the Army Gold Medal. He commanded the 2nd battalion from 1811 to 1814. Spring was promoted to lieutenant-colonel on 4 June 1813, and took command of the 57th Foot's 1st Battalion in 1815. Following the victory of the Allied armies at the Battle of Waterloo, Spring's battalion was part of the 16th British Brigade of Wellington's army of occupation in France.[5] Spring retired from the army in 1819 and was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Kerry.

Marriage and issue[edit]

He married firstly Anne, the only daughter of Lt. John Chilton Lambton Carter. Spring's eldest son, Captain Francis Spring, was killed at Jhelum during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 whilst serving with the 24th Regiment of Foot.[6] One of his descendants, Frederick Spring, became a brigadier-general. Following his first wife's death, William Spring married secondly Hon. Catherine Cavendish, a daughter of Richard Cavendish, 2nd Baron Waterpark. Their son was the army officer, Sir Thomas Spring.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Michael C. O'Laughlin, Families of Co. Kerry, Ireland (Irish Roots Cafe, 1994), 30.
  2. ^ "Blennerhassett family tree and information" (PDF). Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Lt.-Col. William Collis Spring". The Peerage.com. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  4. ^ "No. 16492". The London Gazette. 1 June 1811. p. 1029. 
  5. ^ "The Royal Military Chronicle or British Officers Monthly Register and Mentor". Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  6. ^ "No. 22141". The London Gazette. 19 May 1858. p. 2492.