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Major-General Henry Despard: letter book

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 279

Scope and Contents

Bound volume titled on spine, 'Commanding Officer's Letter Book | Private'. Contains summaries or full transcripts of over 300 letters, both private and official, relating to the period when Henry Despard was commanding the 99th Regiment in Sydney (1846-8) and Hobart Town (1848-54) and in undertaking special duties in the Victorian goldfields (1853). The correspondence largely relates to regimental organisation, discipline and welfare. 128pp., with index to letters at rear of volume.


  • Creation: Mar. 1846-Aug. 1854


Biographical / Historical

Henry Despard was born in October 1783 at Laurel Hill, Mountrath, Queen's County, Ireland, the son of Phillip Despard, a captain in the 7th Regiment of Foot, and Letitia Croasdaile. Following family tradition, he served in the British military as an officer of the 17th Regiment of Foot (1799–1838), Staff of Ireland (1838–1842) and 99th Regiment of Foot (1842–1854), seeing action in India, New Zealand and Australia before retiring in 1854. Despard is remembered for unsuccessfully commanding British troops in an assault against the Maori pa in the Battle of Ōhaeawai in 1845 during the Flagstaff War, a rebellion against the British colonial settlement of New Zealand.


1 volume(s)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

Donald H. Simpson, 'The Manuscript Catalogue of the Library of the Royal Commonwealth Society' (1975), p. 158.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom