Robert Gardiner (British Army officer)

General Sir Robert William Gardiner GCB KCH (2 May 1781 – 26 June 1864) was Master Gunner, St James's Park, the most senior Ceremonial Post in the Royal Artillery after the Sovereign.

Sir Robert William Gardiner
Gen. Sir Robert Gardiner
Born2 May 1781
Died26 June 1864 (1864-06-27) (aged 83)
Esher, Surrey
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Battles/warsPeninsular War
Napoleonic Wars
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Royal Guelphic Order

Military career

Educated at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, Gardiner was commissioned into the Royal Artillery on 7 April 1797 and that October was sent to Gibraltar, which was under partial blockade by the French fleet.[1][2]

In November 1798 he was present at the Capture of Minorca under Charles Stuart. The following May he was appointed to the staff of the island's Mosquito Fort, where the French General Duc de Crillon had landed in 1782, and subsequently became aide-de-camp to General Henry Fox.[3]

Following the 1802 Treaty of Amiens he returned to England, was promoted to second-captain in 1804 and the following year commanded 12 guns in an advance corps under Lieutendant-general Don as part of Cathcart and Count Tolstoy's campaign in North Germany. The force advanced as far as Hanover before the Battle of Austerlitz forced their return home.[3]

He joined the Marquis of Wellington's Army in 1812 and commanded a Field Battery at the Battle of Salamanca, the Capture of Madrid and the Siege of Burgos where with several of his men he volunteered for the trenches.[1][2]

In 1813 he took command of E Troop Royal Horse Artillery and fought at the Battle of Vitoria, the Battle of Orthez and the Battle of Toulouse.[1]

During the 1815 Corn Law Riots in London his troop helped to restore order then later that year he went to the Southern Netherlands.[1]

At Quatre Bras "His troop was most severely pressed in covering the left of the army on the retreat" then on the 18th he commanded his troop at the Battle of Waterloo.[2]

He became Principal Equerry to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld in 1816 and remained in that role until 1831.[1] He was also aide-de-camp to the successive monarchs George IV, William IV and Queen Victoria.[2] He held the position of Master Gunner, St James's Park from 1840.[4]

He was appointed Governor of Gibraltar in 1848 and died in Esher, Surrey on 26 June 1864.[1]


He was the youngest son of Captain John Gardiner of the 3rd Buffs and the brother of Lieutenant-General Sir John Gardiner, Colonel-in-Chief of the 61st Foot.[2]

In 1816 Gardiner married Caroline Mary McLeod,[1] eldest daughter of Lieutenant-General John Macleod and they had issue.[2]


  1. Robert Gardiner at Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. Dalton, Charles (1904). The Waterloo roll call. With biographical notes and anecdotes. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode. p. 214.
  3. "Death of Sir Robert Gardiner". London Evening Standard. 29 June 1864. Retrieved 19 December 2015 via British Newspaper Archive.
  4. "Royal Artillery at". Archived from the original on 12 January 2008. Retrieved 31 October 2010.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Robert Wilson
Governor of Gibraltar
Succeeded by
Sir James Fergusson
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Alexander Dickson
Master Gunner, St James's Park
Succeeded by
Sir Hew Dalrymple Ross
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