Colin Halkett

General Sir Colin Halkett GCB GCH (1774–1856) was a British Army officer who became Lieutenant Governor of Jersey.

Sir Colin Halkett
Sir Colin Halkett
Died1856 (aged 81-82)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Commands heldBombay Army
Battles/warsPeninsular War
Hundred Days
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order


Halkett came from a military family. His father was Major General Frederick Godar Halkett[1] and his younger brother was General Hugh Halkett.[1]

Military career

Halkett began his military career in the Dutch Guards and served in various companies for three years, leaving as a captain in 1795.[1]

From 1800 to 1801 he commanded Dutch troops on the Island of Guernsey.[1] On 28 July 1803, a letter of service was issued to Major Halkett (and to Lieutenant Colonel von der Decken) empowering him "to raise a battalion of infantry with an establishment of four hundred and fifty-nine men" and offering him the rank of lieutenant colonel should he increase the number to eight hundred men.[2] These men formed the nucleus of what was to become the King's German Legion in December 1803. On 17 November 1803, Halkett was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and given command of the 2nd Light Infantry Battalion.[1] This Battalion was involved in Cathcart's expeditions to Hanover, Rügen and Copenhagen.[1]

Peninsular War

In 1811 he was given command of the Light Brigade of the King's German Legion.[1] He held this command throughout the Peninsular War from Albuera to Toulouse.[1] On 1 January 1812 he was promoted to Colonel.[1] At the Battle of Salamanca (22 July 1812), he commanded 1st Brigade of the 7th Division under Major General Hope.

Halkett was promoted to Major General on 4 June 1814.[1]

On 18 June 1815, at the Battle of Waterloo he commanded the 5th Brigade in the 3rd Division, under the command of Major General Carl von Alten. He was wounded four times during the course of the battle.[1]


Halkett became Lieutenant Governor of Jersey in 1821 and was the first Lieutenant Governor to reside in the St Saviour Government House, still in use today. During this time he married Letitia Cricket,[1] widow of Captain Tyle of the Royal Artillery. He had a son, Frederick (John) Colin Halkett, on 10 June 1826. He was promoted to Lieutenant General on 22 July 1830 and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Bombay Army in January 1832.[1] He was Governor of the Royal Hospital Chelsea from 1849 until his death in 1856.[3]

He was appointed colonel of the 71st Regiment of Foot on 21 September 1829. On 28 March 1838 he was removed to the 31st Regiment of Foot, and to the 45th Regiment of Foot on 12 July 1847.[4]

Two streets in Saint Helier are named after him.


Battle Order of the 1st Brigade at The Battle of Salamanca
Unit Commander Number of Men
1st Brigade Colonel Sir Colin Halkett unknown
1st Light Battalions King’s German Legion unknown unknown
2nd Light Battalions King’s German Legion unknown unknown
7 Cos Brunswick Oels unknown unknown

Battle Order of the 5th Brigade at The Battle of Waterloo
Unit Commander Number of Men
5th Brigade Major General Sir Colin Halkett 2,274
2nd/30th Foot Regiment Lieutenant Colonel Bailey 635
33rd Foot Regiment Lieutenant Colonel Elphinstone 576
2nd/69th Foot Regiment Major Muttlebury 565
2nd/73rd Foot Regiment Lieutenant Colonel Harris 498


  1. Chichester, H. M.; Gates, David (reviewer) (2004). "Colin Halkett". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/11935.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.) The first edition of this text is available at Wikisource: "Halkett, Colin" . Dictionary of National Biography. 24. 1890. pp. 49–51.
  2. Beamish, History of the King's German Legion Vol 1 p.75f
  3. Survey of London, volume 11, edited by Walter H. Godfrey (editor), Published 1927
  4. Richard Cannon, Historical Record of the Seventy-First Regiment, Highland Light Infantry (London, 1852) p. 131.
  5. Beamish, History of the King's German Legion Vol 2, p.524ff


  • N. Ludlow Beamish; History of the King's German Legion Vol 1. 1832-37 (new edition: Naval and Military Press 1997 ISBN 0-9522011-0-0)
  • N. Ludlow Beamish; History of the King's German Legion Vol 2. 1832-37 (new edition: Naval and Military Press 1997 ISBN 0-9522011-0-0)
  • Mike Chappell; The King's German Legion (2) 1812-1816. Osprey 2000 ISBN 1-85532-997-2
Government offices
Preceded by
Hugh Gordon
Lieutenant Governor of Jersey
Succeeded by
Sir William Thornton
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Beckwith
C-in-C, Bombay Army
Succeeded by
Sir John Keane
Preceded by
Sir Gordon Drummond
Colonel of the 71st (Highland) Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Sir Samuel Ford Whittingham
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir George Anson
Governor, Royal Hospital Chelsea
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Blakeney
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