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David Douglas Wemyss





GeneraL David Douglas WemyssDavid Douglas WemysDavid Douglas Wemyss (1760–1839), army officer, went by the name of Douglas until about 1790, when he took the additional name of Wemyss, to the noble family of which name he belonged. He was commissioned ensign in the 49th foot on 27 April 1777, and joined them that year in North America, where he served first under General Howe, and then under Sir Henry Clinton, in the operations of the American war. In November 1778 he sailed with the 49th from New York in the expedition under Admiral Hotham and Major-General Grant to the West Indies. He took part in the capture of St Lucia on 13 December, and in the defence of the Vigie against the French under D'Estaing on the 18th. He was also in the naval engagement off the island of Grenada on 6 July 1779, and was promoted lieutenant on 15 August 1779. He returned to England in 1781.

Wemyss was promoted captain on 31 May 1783, and shortly after, on reduction of his regiment, was placed on half pay. He was brought into the 3rd foot (the Buffs) on 9 June 1786, joining the headquarters at Jamaica. He was required by ill health to return home in 1789. On 16 March 1791 he was promoted major in the 37th foot. In 1793 he served with them under the duke of York in Flanders, where he took part in the affair of Saultain, the battle of Famars (22 May), and the siege of Valenciennes, which capitulated on 28 July. For his services he was promoted lieutenant-colonel in the 18th foot (Royal Irish) from 12 April 1793. He was aged thirty-three. He had purchased every step in rank from ensign to colonel.

Wemyss commanded his new regiment in 1794, with the force under Sir Charles Stuart at the capture of Corsica, taking part in the sieges of Fiorenza in February, of Bastia in April, and of Calvi, where he was wounded, in August. He was mentioned in dispatches, and in 1795 was appointed governor of Calvi and its dependencies. He was promoted brevet colonel on 3 May 1796. On the evacuation of Corsica in October he accompanied the troops to Porto Ferrajo in Elba, whence he commanded a force (including the 18th) which landed on the Italian coast on 7 November, and succeeded in driving the French from Piombino, Campiglia, and Castiglione, but, the enemy receiving considerable reinforcements, the British troops were withdrawn from Italy and returned to Elba. On the evacuation of the Mediterranean in 1797 Wemyss took his regiment to Gibraltar at a time of the mutiny against the Duke of Kent, where he was employed as a brigadier-general on the staff until promoted major-general on 29 April 1802, when he returned to England.

In April 1803 Wemyss was appointed to the command of the forces in Ceylon. He returned home in 1806, was promoted lieutenant-general on 25 April 1808, and on 27 May 1809 was appointed (the last?) governor of Tynemouth Castle and Cliffe Fort (And Colonel of the 93rd?). He was promoted general on 12 August 1819. He died on 5 September 1839 at his residence, Upper Gore House, Kensington, and was buried at Kensal Green cemetery.



His son served on the Revenge - Source: 'Lady Blessington at Naples By Edith Clay (1979)  See below'


Elias Tuckett married Sarah Merchant, of Bath, about 1750, and had one daughter, Elizabeth Tuckett, who married Lieutenant-General Douglas Wemyss, and died s. p. They married in Tottenham in 1810.(So, presumably a second wife) Elizabeth may have been 'The Tottenham heiress'.


David Douglas Wemyss - summary

 Born Scotland 1760;Born Scotland 1760; served in West Indies 1778 to 1782; also 1786 to 1789; Major in 3rd Foot march 1791; Lieutenant-Colonel in 18th Foot 12 April 1793 (on transfer from 37th Foot); served in Flanders 1793; Governor of Calvi 1795; brevet Colonel 3 May 1796; on staff in Gibraltar 1797 to 1799; Brigadier-General in Mediterranean 1798; Major-General 29 April 1802; commander of forces in Ceylon 1803 to 1806; Lieutenant-General 25 April 1808; General 12 August 1819; died 1839.



GENERAL Douglas WEMYSS. Sept. 5. At Upper Gore house, Kensington, General David Douglas Wemyss, Governor of Tynemouth and Cliffe Fort.

This officer obtained an Ensigncy in the 49th foot in 1776, and the following year sailed for America, and in 1778 for the West Indies. He was present at the taking of St. Lucie, and in two naval engagements. In 1780 he was promoted to a Lieutenancy; in 1781 the 49th was, on account of its reduced state, drafted, and he came home; in 1782 he was promoted to a company, and in 1783 placed on half-pay. The following year he paid the difference between full and half pay, and received a company in the 3d foot, which corps he joined at Kingston in Jamaica in 1786, and remained on that service till 1789, when, from ill health, he was permitted to return home. In 1790 he was promoted to a Majority in the 37th, and served with it 1793 in Flanders; he was present at the affair of Saltaine and Famars, and the siege of Valenciennes, and in the same year, 1793, he received the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the 18th or Royal Irish; he was at the taking of Corsica, the sieges of Fiorenza, Bastia, and Calvi. In 1795 he was appointed Governor of Calvi and its dependencies, in the siege of which he had been wounded; the 3rd of May 1796 he had the brevet of Colonel. On the evacuation of Corsica, Colonel Wemyss went with the troops to Portoferrajo, and was appointed to the command of an expedition to open a communication with the coast of Italy, and to oblige the French to fall back upon Leghorn. The enemy were driven from Piombino, Campelia, Castiglione, and Grossetta. On the evacuation of the Mediterranean, in 1797, he sailed for Gibraltar, and remained there on the staff till 1799. In 1798 he was appointed Brigadier-General. On his return to England he was placed on the Staff of the expedition under Sir Charles Stuart, destined for the West Indies, 1800, and in April sailed with the 1st division, but was shortly after ordered to Gibraltar, where he remained till 1802. The 29th April, 1802, he was appointed Major-General; and in April, 1803, Commander of the Forces in Ceylon, from whence he returned in 1806. He received the rank of Lieutenant-General the 25th of April, 1808, and subsequently the appointment of Governor of Tynemouth Castle and its dependencies. The 12th of August, 1819, he obtained the brevet of General. Twenty-four years of General Wemyss's service were passed abroad : he purchased every commission : served four years during the American war : twice in the West Indies, and in the East: thrice on the Continent of Europe: was present at nine sieges, several general actions, and in innumerable minor affairs. It is believed the Governorship of Tynemouth will not again be filled up.

The Gentleman's Magazine - 1839


Yesterday, we went on board the Revenge, commanded by Ad– miral Sir Harry Neale. It is a magnificent ship; and the admiral is the very beau idéal of a British flag-officer. Handsome, dignified and amiable, no wonder that he is so beloved by his crew, and so respected and esteemed by all who know him.
Among the officers of the Revenge, Lord B. has recognised the son of an old friend, General Wemyss. He has come to stay a few days with us, and is so amiable and well-informed, that he is a great acquisition to our circle. He is daily expecting his promotion of master and commander, and will he greatly regretted when he leaves the Revenge. I know not why it is, that people imagine that naval officers are in general rough in their manner, and more jovial than well-bred. No opinion can be more erroneous; for, out of an extensive acquaintance, I never met a naval officer that was not well-bred and agreeable. Mr. Wemyss, who has been at sea since he was ten years old, possesses all the high breeding and gentleness, that people think appertain peculiarly to those accustomed to pass the greater portion of their time in the most refined female society. He draws remarkably well, is fond of music, and has an extensive knowledge of literature; and is nevertheless, I am told, considered one of the best officers in the service; a proof that nautical skill is not incompatible with accomplishments and refinement.

The Idler in Italy by the Countess of Blessington
By Marguerite Blessington (Gardiner, countess of)

Probably August 1822



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