The noble art of being a Military Scoundrel

Bit of a strange one here, Alexander Chisholm, murderer, and later executed but different details about how he was dispatched are given, some sources claiming he was hanged, others shot at dawn:



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Edit: Sentenced to hanging but this clan page claims he was shot, page 18:

 
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Ceser Romero

Old-Salt
You again P-A, your attention to detail is incredible along with your encyclopaedic recollection of the Army plot since Julius Caesar set foot in Kent.
Delighted to see someone else caught out for a change!
Google, Edge and Wikipedia are readily available for all to use…
 
You again P-A, your attention to detail is incredible along with your encyclopaedic recollection of the Army plot since Julius Caesar set foot in Kent.
Delighted to see someone else caught out for a change!
I remember it because in the last episode of the 1983 BBC documentary The Paras Spider Craddock, Gobby Taffy, big Phil Tattam and the rest of the boys of 480 platoon ended up doing a month with 1 Para in Fermangh instead of going to the FI as BCR as they hoped.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
In modern parlance, this was an off-the-books, black op, the British invasion of the Philippines.

The official history of this event (as alluded to by Wikipedia) is disputed due to the lack of written evidence that the British Government had any idea what was going on, much less supporting and financing it, as described in Shirley Fish's 'When Britain Ruled the Philippines 1762-1764'.
Fish holds that the finance was actually provided by private business interests, and through the back door by the East India Company who expected to be repaid in silver, the only currency that China would accept for trade, and that would come, or so they believed, from vast silver mines the Spanish owned in the Philippines.

Lieutenant General Sir William Draper 1721 – 8 January 1787, late of the First Foot Guards (Grenadiers Guards) though currently with 79th Regiment of Foot of the Indian Army, along with Vice Admiral Sir Samuel Cornish, 1st Baronet, were convinced that the Spanish Galleons, going to, and coming out of Pacific SE Asia, rather than crossing the South Atlantic, were loaded with silver from a source other than Spain's 'Mountain of Silver', Cerro Rico, in Bolivia. They concluded that The Philippines was that source.

They brought aboard Sepoys and marines onto eight ships of the line, including HMS America, commanded by Drapers nephew, and some stores ships. It was an optimistic force, considering no reconnaissance had been carried out. It rocked up in Manila Bay to confront Spanish and local forces, fortunately in no great numbers, initially, due to the demands of the war with the English, and commanded by a priest, not a soldier, the Archbishop of Manila, Manuel Rojo del Rio y Vieyra, who apparently received military advice via prayer.

The fortress of Manila was significant, one which had improved on that built originally by locals to defend against a centuries older enemy than Spain, originally the North African Moors and their slave ships, and then 'The Moros', the Moors descendents in Mindanao, an advanced slave raiding base established by the Moors. The defenders were therefore alert for raids, which had increased with the syphoning off of the garrison to fight the English elsewhere.
Draper and Cornish's problems began when, once landed, the Sepoy troops almost immediately deserted (Their descendents live in northern Luzon), and then the reinforcement of the garrison by locals who reportedly ate the livers of their enemies, they certainly did kill and eat a British officer and the son of a Spanish nobleman who had been captured, and was being parlayed under a flag of truce, when both were hacked to death.

The British suffered from lack of fresh water and fierce attacks by the locals on watering parties, despite company strong escorts of marines protecting them, but Manila fell after twelve days, and a shameful pillage by drunken sailors and marines, one that lasted 40 hours, took place.

Having expended 20k cannonballs, and 500 explosive mortar bombs, not to mention men, there was no silver, no mines, nothing of immediate value. The galleons using the Pacific were avoiding British privateers in the South Atlantic and Caribbean, receiving cargoes of silver from Bolivia in Pacific ports and returning via Manila, where they stopped only to revictual or ride out the frequent typhoons. In order to recoup their losses, and make some loot, a message was sent to Spain that they would 'sell back' Manila for $4 Million dollars. Meanwhile, a member of the East India Company was installed as Governor, who had expected riches, so had wealthy members of Spanish families arrested, confined, and tried on “Charges known only to himself,” (ransom).
Some loot was gained with the seizing of two Spanish galleons who were unaware of the invasion, the Trinidad, actually carrying Chinese porcelain, not silver, and was therefore twice the value of silver, $3M, and a silver galleon with a cargo worth $1.5M. The prize value of the ships garnered a further $3M.

By the time Draper and Cornish's demand reached Spain, the war was already over, and the British were required to leave Manila.

Drapers lasting claim to fame was the 'Leg before wicket' rule in cricket.
Blimey. I thought I was pretty good on military history, but this is something I've never even heard of. Thanks very much for posting it, I foresee some Amazon purchases in my near future....
 
Seven pages in and I´m amazed this cad hasn´t featured yet. Surely he´s the very definition of a military scoundrel. Although no military genius by any stretch of the imagination, he was very well liked by his men, particularly in his Granby squadron. The phrase "that Major Hewitt, he´s a bit of a lad eh?" springs to mind. Also holder of the BBC.

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Seven pages in and I´m amazed this cad hasn´t featured yet. Surely he´s the very definition of a military scoundrel. Although no military genius by any stretch of the imagination, he was very well liked by his men, particularly in his Granby squadron. The phrase "that Major Hewitt, he´s a bit of a lad eh?" springs to mind. Also holder of the BBC.

View attachment 653000
His Wiki entry says it all, like many of that vintage dubious A level passes if any, the SRC to Reg C and then the crash and burn at Captain to Major exams. So not really a Major at all!

After graduating from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Hewitt was commissioned into the Life Guards, British Army, on 8 April 1978 as a second lieutenant. He was promoted to lieutenant on 8 April 1980. He transferred from a short service commission to a special regular commission on 1 October 1981. He was promoted to acting captain on 8 October 1984. On 21 October 1985, he transferred from a special regular commission to a regular commission. In 1991, he served as a Challenger tank squadron commander in the Gulf War. He was mentioned in despatches "in recognition of service during the operation in the Gulf" in June 1991. He failed the exam for promotion to major three times.
On 1 March 1994, he was retired from the British Army after 17 years' military service. The BBC reported in 2003 that in retirement, Hewitt was granted the rank of major which was "in line with common army practice".
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Seven pages in and I´m amazed this cad hasn´t featured yet. Surely he´s the very definition of a military scoundrel. Although no military genius by any stretch of the imagination, he was very well liked by his men, particularly in his Granby squadron. The phrase "that Major Hewitt, he´s a bit of a lad eh?" springs to mind. Also holder of the BBC.

View attachment 653000

He lived in a "mess annex" in Sennelager opposite my quarter. Basically a flat in a block of MQs.

Allegedly on BATUS, not so popular with his men or his CO, when his navigation was performed in true officer style. It was never clear but apparently something about being in a live impact area.
 

Smeggers

ADC
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Colonel Thomas Blood (1618 – 24 August 1680) was an Anglo-Irish officer and self-styled colonel best known for his attempt to steal the Crown Jewels of England from the Tower of London in 1671.Described in an American source as a "noted bravo and desperado," he was known for his attempt to kidnap and, later, to kill, his enemy, James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormond.


Thomas Blood

At the outbreak of the First English Civil War in 1642, Blood returned to England and initially took up arms with the Royalist forces loyal to Charles I. As the conflict progressed he switched sides and became a lieutenant in Oliver Cromwell's Roundheads. In 1653 at the cessation of hostilities Cromwell awarded Blood land grants as payment for his service and appointed him a justice of the peace. Following the Restoration of King Charles II to the Crowns of the Three Kingdoms in 1660, Blood fled with his family to Ireland. The confiscations and restitutions under the Act of Settlement 1662 (which sought to cancel and annul some of the grants of land and real properties allocated as reward to new holders being Cromwellians under the Act of Settlement 1652) brought Blood to financial ruin, and in return Blood sought to unite his fellow Cromwellians in Ireland to cause insurrection.

Theft of the Crown Jewels​

Blood did not lie low for long, and within six months he made his notorious attempt to steal the Crown Jewels. In April or May 1671 he visited the Tower of London dressed as a parson and accompanied by a female companion pretending to be his wife. The Crown Jewels could be viewed by the payment of a fee to the custodian. While viewing the Crown Jewels, Blood's "wife" feigned a stomach complaint and begged the newly appointed Master of the Jewel House, 77-year-old Talbot Edwards, to fetch her some spirits.] Given the proximity of the jewel keeper's domestic quarters to the site of the commotion, Edwards' wife invited them upstairs to their apartment to recover, after which Blood and his wife thanked the Edwardses and left.

Over the following days Blood returned to the Tower to visit the Edwardses and presented Mrs Edwards with four pairs of white gloves as a gesture of thanks. As Blood became ingratiated with the family, an offer was made for a fictitious nephew of Blood's to marry the Edwardses' daughter, who, Blood alleged, would be eligible, by virtue of the marriage, to an income of several hundred pounds.

On 9 May 1671, in furtherance of the deception, Blood convinced Edwards to show the jewels to him, his supposed nephew, and two of his friends while they waited for a dinner that Mrs Edwards was to put on for Blood and his companions. The jewel keeper's apartment was in Martin Tower above a basement where the jewels were kept behind a metal grille. Reports suggest that Blood's accomplices carried canes that concealed rapier blades, daggers, and pocket pistols. In entering the Jewel House, one of the men made a pretence of standing watch outside while the others joined Edwards and Blood. The door was closed and a cloak thrown over Edwards, who was struck with a mallet, knocked to the floor, bound, gagged and stabbed to subdue him.

After removing the grille, Blood used the mallet to flatten St. Edward's Crown so that he could hide it beneath his clerical coat. Another conspirator, Blood's brother-in-law Hunt, filed the Sceptre with the Cross in two (as it did not fit in their bag), while the third man, Perrot, stuffed the Sovereign's Orb down his trousers. Meanwhile Edwards refused to stay subdued and fought against his bindings. Accounts vary as to whether Edwards' struggle caused sufficient disturbance to raise the alarm or whether the attempt was foiled in more fortuitous circumstances.

Popular reports describe Edwards' son, Wythe, returning from military service in Flanders, happening upon the attempted theft. At the door of the Jewel House, Wythe was met by the impromptu guard, who challenged him, before the young Edwards entered and went upstairs. The "guard" then alerted his fellow gang members. At around the same time, the elder Edwards managed to free his gag, and raised the alarm shouting, "Treason! Murder! The crown is stolen!"

As Blood and his gang fled to their horses waiting at St Catherine's Gate, they dropped the sceptre and fired on the warders who attempted to stop them, wounding one. One drawbridge guard was struck with fear and failed to discharge his musket. As they ran along the Tower wharf it is said they joined the calls for alarm to confuse the guards until they were chased down by Captain Beckman, brother-in-law of the younger Edwards. Although Blood shot at him, he missed and was captured before reaching the Iron Gate. Having fallen from his cloak, the crown was found while Blood refused to give up, struggling with his captors and declaring, "It was a gallant attempt, however unsuccessful! It was for a crown!" The globe and orb were recovered although several stones were missing and others were loose. Hunt and Perrot were also taken, but not punished.

Aftermath​

Following his capture, Blood refused to answer to anyone but the King and was consequently taken to the palace in chains, where he was questioned by King Charles, Prince Rupert, and others. King Charles asked Blood, "What if I should give you your life?", and Blood replied, "I would endeavour to deserve it, Sire!" To the disgust of Ormonde, Blood was not only pardoned but also given land in Ireland worth £500 a year. In contrast, Edwards' family was awarded less than £300 by the King, a sum which was never paid in full, and he returned to his duties at the Tower regaling visitors with his tales of the attempted theft. He died in 1674 and his tomb rests in the chapel of St Peter's Ad Vincula, at the Tower of London.

The reasons for the King's pardon are unknown. Some historians have speculated that the King may have feared an uprising in revenge by followers of Blood, who were thought to have taken an oath to their leader. Others speculate that the King had a fondness for audacious scoundrels such as Blood, and that he was amused by the Irishman's claim that the jewels were worth only £6,000 as opposed to the £100,000 at which the Crown had valued them.There is also a suggestion that the King was flattered and amused by Blood's revelation that he had previously intended to kill him while he was bathing in the Thames but had been swayed otherwise, having found himself in "awe of majesty." It has also been suggested that his actions may have had the connivance of the King, because the King was very short of money at the time.
 
Allegedly on BATUS, not so popular with his men or his CO, when his navigation was performed in true officer style. It was never clear but apparently something about being in a live impact area.
He was only trying to inject some realism to the training. Hats off for thinking outside the box.
 
He was only trying to inject some realism to the training. Hats off for thinking outside the box.
Thats the worry - operating outside the box!
I guarantee he was one of us classic dyslexics of the period with a splash of dyscalculia which was a bugger when map reading under pressure. It's amazing the difference when you take your 6 figure GR down in orders as 256325 and it should be 265325 - I trashed a couple of kms of road surface and felled timber for that exact reason.
 

Chef

LE
Colonel Thomas Blood (1618 – 24 August 1680) was an Anglo-Irish officer and self-styled colonel best known for his attempt to steal the Crown Jewels of England from the Tower of London in 1671.Described in an American source as a "noted bravo and desperado," he was known for his attempt to kidnap and, later, to kill, his enemy, James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormond.


Thomas Blood

At the outbreak of the First English Civil War in 1642, Blood returned to England and initially took up arms with the Royalist forces loyal to Charles I. As the conflict progressed he switched sides and became a lieutenant in Oliver Cromwell's Roundheads. In 1653 at the cessation of hostilities Cromwell awarded Blood land grants as payment for his service and appointed him a justice of the peace. Following the Restoration of King Charles II to the Crowns of the Three Kingdoms in 1660, Blood fled with his family to Ireland. The confiscations and restitutions under the Act of Settlement 1662 (which sought to cancel and annul some of the grants of land and real properties allocated as reward to new holders being Cromwellians under the Act of Settlement 1652) brought Blood to financial ruin, and in return Blood sought to unite his fellow Cromwellians in Ireland to cause insurrection.

Theft of the Crown Jewels​

Blood did not lie low for long, and within six months he made his notorious attempt to steal the Crown Jewels. In April or May 1671 he visited the Tower of London dressed as a parson and accompanied by a female companion pretending to be his wife. The Crown Jewels could be viewed by the payment of a fee to the custodian. While viewing the Crown Jewels, Blood's "wife" feigned a stomach complaint and begged the newly appointed Master of the Jewel House, 77-year-old Talbot Edwards, to fetch her some spirits.] Given the proximity of the jewel keeper's domestic quarters to the site of the commotion, Edwards' wife invited them upstairs to their apartment to recover, after which Blood and his wife thanked the Edwardses and left.

Over the following days Blood returned to the Tower to visit the Edwardses and presented Mrs Edwards with four pairs of white gloves as a gesture of thanks. As Blood became ingratiated with the family, an offer was made for a fictitious nephew of Blood's to marry the Edwardses' daughter, who, Blood alleged, would be eligible, by virtue of the marriage, to an income of several hundred pounds.

On 9 May 1671, in furtherance of the deception, Blood convinced Edwards to show the jewels to him, his supposed nephew, and two of his friends while they waited for a dinner that Mrs Edwards was to put on for Blood and his companions. The jewel keeper's apartment was in Martin Tower above a basement where the jewels were kept behind a metal grille. Reports suggest that Blood's accomplices carried canes that concealed rapier blades, daggers, and pocket pistols. In entering the Jewel House, one of the men made a pretence of standing watch outside while the others joined Edwards and Blood. The door was closed and a cloak thrown over Edwards, who was struck with a mallet, knocked to the floor, bound, gagged and stabbed to subdue him.

After removing the grille, Blood used the mallet to flatten St. Edward's Crown so that he could hide it beneath his clerical coat. Another conspirator, Blood's brother-in-law Hunt, filed the Sceptre with the Cross in two (as it did not fit in their bag), while the third man, Perrot, stuffed the Sovereign's Orb down his trousers. Meanwhile Edwards refused to stay subdued and fought against his bindings. Accounts vary as to whether Edwards' struggle caused sufficient disturbance to raise the alarm or whether the attempt was foiled in more fortuitous circumstances.

Popular reports describe Edwards' son, Wythe, returning from military service in Flanders, happening upon the attempted theft. At the door of the Jewel House, Wythe was met by the impromptu guard, who challenged him, before the young Edwards entered and went upstairs. The "guard" then alerted his fellow gang members. At around the same time, the elder Edwards managed to free his gag, and raised the alarm shouting, "Treason! Murder! The crown is stolen!"

As Blood and his gang fled to their horses waiting at St Catherine's Gate, they dropped the sceptre and fired on the warders who attempted to stop them, wounding one. One drawbridge guard was struck with fear and failed to discharge his musket. As they ran along the Tower wharf it is said they joined the calls for alarm to confuse the guards until they were chased down by Captain Beckman, brother-in-law of the younger Edwards. Although Blood shot at him, he missed and was captured before reaching the Iron Gate. Having fallen from his cloak, the crown was found while Blood refused to give up, struggling with his captors and declaring, "It was a gallant attempt, however unsuccessful! It was for a crown!" The globe and orb were recovered although several stones were missing and others were loose. Hunt and Perrot were also taken, but not punished.

Aftermath​

Following his capture, Blood refused to answer to anyone but the King and was consequently taken to the palace in chains, where he was questioned by King Charles, Prince Rupert, and others. King Charles asked Blood, "What if I should give you your life?", and Blood replied, "I would endeavour to deserve it, Sire!" To the disgust of Ormonde, Blood was not only pardoned but also given land in Ireland worth £500 a year. In contrast, Edwards' family was awarded less than £300 by the King, a sum which was never paid in full, and he returned to his duties at the Tower regaling visitors with his tales of the attempted theft. He died in 1674 and his tomb rests in the chapel of St Peter's Ad Vincula, at the Tower of London.

The reasons for the King's pardon are unknown. Some historians have speculated that the King may have feared an uprising in revenge by followers of Blood, who were thought to have taken an oath to their leader. Others speculate that the King had a fondness for audacious scoundrels such as Blood, and that he was amused by the Irishman's claim that the jewels were worth only £6,000 as opposed to the £100,000 at which the Crown had valued them.There is also a suggestion that the King was flattered and amused by Blood's revelation that he had previously intended to kill him while he was bathing in the Thames but had been swayed otherwise, having found himself in "awe of majesty." It has also been suggested that his actions may have had the connivance of the King, because the King was very short of money at the time.
Also the scoundrel in The Pyrates' George MacDonald Fraser, an excellent novel.
 

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