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William E. Baillie
Jul 30, '21

William E. Baillie (engraver)

William Baillie (1723–1810) often known as "Captain William Baillie" was an Irish printmaker, known especially for works in the style of, or directly copied from, the etchings of Rembrandt. Usually described as an amateur artist, he was an officer in the British Army until 1761, and later held the post of Commissioner of Stamps. He also acted as an agent for art collectors, most notably Lord Bute.


Baillie was born at Kilbride, County Carlow, on 5 June 1723.

He was educated at Dr. Sheridan's school in Dublin, and at about the age of eighteen his father sent him to London to study law. However he decided to follow the example of a younger brother and join the army. After some opposition from his father, he was allowed to accept of a commission offered to him by Lord Archibald Hamilton, in the 13th Regiment of Foot. He joined the regiment as the senior ensign before the Battle of Lafeldt, where he carried the colours. He served with this regiment for many years, and was at the Battle of Culloden, and at several engagements in Germany. He then became an officer in the 51st Regiment and was with them as captain of the grenadiers and paymaster at the Battle of Minden. He then spent some time in the 17th Light Dragoons before selling his commission.

He made his first etchings while still in the army. The earliest dated ones, from 1753, depict soldiers, one a named member of his regiment. He was largely self-taught as an artist, though he had some lessons from his fellow Irishman, Nathaniel Hone.

After leaving the army in 1761, Baillie devoted his life to the arts, although from 1773–95 he also held the post of Commissioner of Stamps. He made prints in various styles, first exhibiting his work with the Society of Artists in 1762, but his most notable productions were those in the style of, or directly copied from, the etchings of Rembrandt. To imitate Rembrandt's effects of chiaoscuro, he used mezzotint, a technique not employed by the Dutch artist. He also obtained the badly worn original plate of Rembrandt's "Hundred Guilder Print" and reworked it. When a limited number of impressions had been made, the plate was cut into four pieces, and impressions taken from the individual sections. His main business however was as a picture dealer, acting as agent for the Earl of Bute and Lord Liverpool among others. He was highly regarded as a conoisseur in his lifetime although the admiration was not universal: John Thomas Smith said that Baillie "could not draw, nor had he an eye for effect", singling out for particular criticism his copy of Rembrandt's Three Trees, into which he introduced flashes of lightning.

His works were published in two folio volumes by John Boydell, in 1792,under the title of A Series of 225 Prints and Etchings after Rembrandt, Teniers, G. Dou, Poussin, and others. He died at Paddington, London, on 22 December 1810.

One of his brothers was Thomas Baillie, Lieutenant-Governor of Greenwich Hospital; another, Robert, was the archdeacon of Cashel.

13th Regiment of Foot.

The Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert's) was a light infantry regiment of the British Army, which served under various titles from 1685 to 1959. In 1959, the regiment was amalgamated with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry to form the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry which was again amalgamated, in 1968, with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, the King's Shropshire Light Infantry and the Durham Light Infantry to form The Light Infantry. In 2007, however, The Light Infantry was amalgamated further with the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment and the Royal Green Jackets to form The Rifles.

Battle of Culloden,

The Battle of Culloden (/kəˈlɒdən/; Scottish Gaelic: Blàr Chùil Lodair) was the final confrontation of the Jacobite rising of 1745. On 16 April 1746, the Jacobite army of Charles Edward Stuart was decisively defeated by a British government force under Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, on Drummossie Moor near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. It was the last pitched battle fought on British soil.

Battle of Lafeldt,

The Battle of Lauffeld, variously known as Lafelt, Laffeld, Lawfeld, Lawfeldt, Maastricht, or Val, took place on 2 July 1747, between Tongeren in modern Belgium, and the Dutch city of Maastricht. Part of War of the Austrian Succession, a French army force of 80,000 under Marshal Saxe faced a Pragmatic army of 60,000, led by the Duke of Cumberland.

Battle of Minden.

The Battle of Minden was a major engagement during the Seven Years' War, fought on 1 August 1759. An Anglo-German army under the overall command of Prussian Field Marshal Ferdinand of Brunswick defeated a French army commanded by Marshal of France, Marquis de Contades. Two years previously, the French had launched a successful invasion of Hanover and attempted to impose an unpopular treaty of peace upon the allied nations of Britain, Hanover and Prussia. After a Prussian victory at Rossbach, and under pressure from Frederick the Great and William Pitt, King George II disavowed the treaty. In 1758, the allies launched a counter-offensive against the French and Saxon forces and drove them back across the Rhine.

51st Regiment

The 51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding) Regiment of Foot was a British Army line infantry regiment, raised in 1755. Under the Childers Reforms it amalgamated with the 105th Regiment of Foot (Madras Light Infantry) to form the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in 1881.

17th Light Dragoons

Two cavalry regiments of the British Army have been numbered the 17th Regiment of Light Dragoons:

The 17th Regiment of Light Dragoons was a cavalry regiment of the British Army raised in 1759 and disbanded in 1763.

It was raised in Scotland by Captain Lord Aberdour in 1759, for service in the Seven Years' War, and disbanded following the Treaty of Paris in 1763.

17th Regiment of Light Dragoons (1759), (1759-1763)

At the Battle of Minden

17th Regiment of Light Dragoons (17th Lancers), raised as 18th Dragoons in 1759 and redesignated as a lancer regiment in 1861.


The 17th Light Dragoons can trace their formation back to General Wolfe's victory at Quebec in 1759.

One of Wolfe's ablest commanders and close personal friend was Colonel John Hale of the 47th Regiment of Foot. It fell to John Hale to bring back to the KIng the mixed news of victory over the French paid for in part with the death of Wolfe. In thanks to the role of Hale, the King granted him a gratuity of five hundred pounds, ten thousand acres in Canada and a commission to raise one of the five new regiments of Light Dragoons that were being planned as part of preparations for the Seven Years War. It was being noted throughout Europe that existing regiments of Dragoons were expensive to raise and maintain and inflexible on the battlefield. Light regiments were being raised to counter these problems of price and maneuverability. It was the Duke of Kingston who had brought the idea back to Britain with a unit being used on campaign against the Jacobites in Scotland in 1745. The unit was disbanded, but the idea of a light cavalry unit had taken hold within the establishment and five new such regiments were duly raised. In fact, originally John Hale's regiment was allotted the 18th designation. However, the Scottish regiment which carried the 17th title was quickly disbanded after proving unsatisfactory in their abilities and appearances. In 1763, Hales regiment was redesignated as the 17th for good.

The Light Dragoons main distinction from their heavier cousins was in the type of horse employed. Rather than use the big and burly heavy cart cobs the Light Dragoons preferred the use of smaller, leaner hunter horses (under 15.1 hands). Originally, the Light Dragoons were not equipped with swords of any sort rather their main armament was a carbine that could have a bayonet fitted, pistols and an axe. They were trained to be able to fire from the saddle. Speed and agility (of rider and horse) were prized over strength and sturdiness. These attributes would prove to be valuable ones in the small scale actions common to colonial campaigns for a long time to come.

John Hale set about raising the troop in his home county of Hertfordshire. Recruits were enticed with a bounty of three guineas for service to the King. Recruiting was brisk as Hale marched his new regiment through to Stratford and up to Coventry. The unit never did get to fight in the Seven Years War as was initially intended, it would have to wait sixteen years before it was first sent into action.

This is an illustration painted for J.W. Fortesque's 'History of the 17th Lancers' by J.P. Beadle providing us with a view of all ranks of the period when the 17th were just starting. This was one of the new Light Dragoon regiments to be created as such instead of the previous efforts where certain troops were selected from Dragoon regiments and converted to light dragoons.

The mounted officer in the forground is talking to the farrier who is dressed completely differently to the rest of the men. He wears black clothes with white cuffs and trim. At his left side hangs an axe and rolled up apron. The axe is to kill lame horses. Farriers can be seen in the present day Household Cavalry in dark blue coats carrying axes. But a farrier's main function was to shoe horses. He also wears a fur cap with a horse-shoe badge in front, the traditional sign of a farrier.

Behind the officer is the trumpeter dressed differently again, this time in reversed colours ie. white coat,red facings instead of red coat, white facings. His hat could be mistaken for a pirate captain's hat, a bicorn with skull and crossbones badge (or motto) on it. This badge has been worn from the beginning up to the present day. It is not without precedent as it was used by German hussars at about this time (the 5th or Totenkopf Hussars). The regiment was raised by Colonel John Hale who served with Wolfe in Quebec. He was greatly affected by the death of Wolfe and decided to use the deaths head as the badge of his new regiment in memory of him. The official birth date of the regiment is 7th November 1759 when Col. Hale received his commission to raise the regiment.

Commissioner of Stamps. (1773-95)

The Stamp Act of 1765 (short title: Duties in American Colonies Act 1765; 5 George III, c. 12) was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which imposed a direct tax on the British colonies in America and required that many printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper produced in London, carrying an embossed revenue stamp. Printed materials included legal documents, magazines, playing cards, newspapers, and many other types of paper used throughout the colonies, and it had to be paid in British currency, not in colonial paper money.

Stamp from the Stamp Act of 1765

Boston Tea Party 1773

The Boston Tea Party was an American political and mercantile protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 16, 1773. The target was the Tea Act of May 10, 1773, which allowed the British East India Company to sell tea from China in American colonies without paying taxes apart from those imposed by the Townshend Acts. The Sons of Liberty strongly opposed the taxes in the Townshend Act as a violation of their rights. Protesters, some disguised as American Indians, destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company.

Loyal American Regiment

The Loyal American Regiment was a British Provincial regiment raised in 1777 for Loyalist service during the American Revolutionary War. The regiment fought in many engagements throughout the war and the men were among the thousands of loyalists who settled in Nova Scotia, after the regiment disbanded in 1783.

Loyal American Regiment

Commissioned Officers

(from a 1782 list)

Col. Beverley Robinson Capt/Lt. Duncan Fletcher En. John Cunningham

Lt. Col. Bev. Robinson Jr. Lt. Anthony Allaire En. Gilbert Fowler

Maj, Thomas Barclay Lt. John Ward En. Archibald Morrison

Capt. Christopher Hatch Lt. Thomas Henderson En. Caleb Fowler Jr.

Capt. Lemuel Wilmot Lt. Oliver Barbarie En. Thomas Martin

Capt. Morris Robinson Lt. Charles Colbourn En. Thomas Robinson

Capt. William Fowler Lt. William L. Huggeford En. [Aug.] De Diemar

Capt. Simon Kollock Lt. Benjamin Ward En. Jacob Cortlandt

Capt. Caleb Fowler Lt. John Robinson En. [Lauchlin] McDonald

Capt. William Baillie Lt. Robert Robinson Chap. John Beardsley

Lord Archibald Hamilton of Riccarton and Pardovan (1673 – 5 April 1754) was a Scottish officer of the Royal Navy, and Whig politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1708 and 1747. In the 1690s, he was active in the English Channel pursuing French privateers, including Tyger out of St Malo. He commanded the third-rate HMS Boyne at the Battle of Vigo Bay in October 1702 and then commanded the third-rate HMS Eagle at the Battle of Málaga in August 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. He was a controversial Governor of Jamaica. He then joined the Board of Admiralty, ultimately serving as Senior Naval Lord.

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Jul 30, '21
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