Hanoverian Regiments

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The Hanoverian Regiments were in India 1782-1792.

Two regiments were raised to serve in India, from the region known as Chur- Hannover or Kurhannover. A map is shown in Kurhannover (German language Wikipedia).

The troops were also known as Electoral troops, or Hanoverian Electoral troops, a reference to George III who was also Elector of Hannover.

Further drafts were subsequently sent to India, 400 men and officers in 1786, and 200 recruits and 12 sergeants in 1787.

In addition to men from Hannover and the surrounding areas, and further away areas in what is now Germany, there were some French, Russian, Polish, Danish, Dutch etc recruits[1]

FIBIS resources

Histories

  • The Royal Military Calendar, Or Army Service and Commission Book: Third Edition Volume 3, page 97 by John Philippart 1820 Google Books contains a short description of the service of the Regiments in India
  • Hannoversche Truppen in Ostindien from Geschichte der churhannoverschen Truppen in Gibraltar: Minorca und Ostindien by Ernst von dem Knesebeck 1845 Google Books (German language)
    • The 15th and 16th Regiments arrived September 1782 and April 1783, page 135
    • The regiments were renumbered in 1785, following a general renumbering of the Hanoverian Infantry, from 15 and 16 to 14 and 15 page 153
    • Departure in 1792 page 167. From about March 1792 “177 soldiers who had signed up for more than a year were transferred to English regiments and various soldiers who had completed their time chose to remain in India and were discharged there”. (“177 Soldaten, welche noch auf mehr als 1 Jahr capitulirt hatten, mußten in den Englischen Regimentern ihre Dienstzeit beendigen, auch hatten verschiedene Ausgediente vorgezogen in Jndien zu bleiben und waren dort entlassen worden.” page 168. (Thanks to J. B.-J. for the translation.)
    • Actions, including Cuddalore, Cannanore and Polygautcherry (Palghatcherri) are summarised page 168 with details for Cuddalore, page 139, Polygautschery, page 149, and Cananore, page 151
    • List of Officers, page 182
  • "Die kurhannoverschen Truppen in Ostindien 1782–92", by Victor Von Diebitsch in Hannoversche Geschichtsblätter, (1898),pages 67–8, 74–5, 82–3, 90–2, 98–9, 106–8, 114–16, 128; (possibly available at the British Library, where the title is in the catalogue, but it is not known if 1898 is held).
The articles are: 1.Einfluß der indischen Episode auf die spätere hannoversche Kriegsgeschichte (p 67-68); 2.Veranlassung der Absendung kurhannoverscher Truppen und diesbezüglicher Vertrag (p 74-75); 3. Von der Formierung der Truppen in Hameln bis zu ihrem Eintreffen in Ostindien (p 82-83, 90-92); 4.Aufenthalt der Truppen bei Madras, Wiedereinschiffung und Vereinigung derselben mit der englischen Armee bei Pondichery; Schlacht bei Cuddalore (p 98-99); 5.Belagerung von Cuddalore, Friede von Versailles, Expedition gegen Tippo Saib (p 106-108); 6.Vorkommnisse während der letzten Jahre in Indien, Rückkehr der Truppen in die Heimath (p 114-116); 7.Berichtigung zu dem Aufsatz "Die Kurhannoverschen Truppen in Ostindien etc." p 128
Extracts , or perhaps the entire pages, are available on the website, Arbeitskreis Hannoversche Militärgeschichte, see below.
  • Article "German Voices from India : Officers of the Hanoverian Regiments in East India Company Service" by Chen Tzoref-Ashkenazi, in South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, Volume 32, Issue 2 August 2009 , pages 189 - 211. Abstract First page of article. Available at the British Library. . An earlier paper by the same author "German Officers in Early Colonial India" was presented at a conference in 2007. The abstract of the paper, (no longer available online) stated “During their service [1782-1792], dozens of letters written by Hanoverian officers were published in German magazines, in which they described the war and their personal experiences and impressions of India, and three of them published books about their time in India. This paper analyses these publications...”
"Hanoverians, Germans, and Europeans: Colonial Identity in Early British India" by Chen Tzoref-Ashkenazi Central European History Vol. 43, No. 2 (June 2010), pp. 221-238 (18 pages). jstor.org. Register and read online for free. (Limits apply).
"German soldiers in eighteenth century India" by Chen Tzoref Ashkenazi 2019. Archival sources. projekt-mida.de
Chen Tzoref-Ashkenazi is the author of the book German Soldiers in Colonial India 2014. Available at the British Library UIN: BLL01016644901 .
  • Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research: Volumes 3-4 1924 page 206 (unclear which volume) . Available at the British Library
Google Books snippet view extract “189. Hanoverian Troops in the East Indies(Madras) 1782-1787. Colonel Sir Lonsdale Hale, speaking at the Royal United Service Institution on 29 October 1913 (Journal of the Royal United Service Institution, Volume 63, page 315) said:-
I find that in 1782, the 15th and 16th Hanoverian Regiments are mentioned (i.e. in Madras Presidency Orders). Then there comes in later a 14th Hanoverian Regiment." He also quoted a Madras order of 17 July, 1787, as follows : — " Col. Wangenheim will receive certain allowances the day after his arrival at Madras, being the day he assumes the command of the Electoral Troops. ...”
  • A possible source of information is the German language Geschichte der könglich-hannoverschen Armee by Louis Heinrich F. von Sichart published 1866-1871, 1898, in five volumes, with Volume 3 in two parts (a total of 6 in all). Volume 5 is by A. and R. von Sichart (sons). Mainly Google Books.Volume 1, 1631-1705; Volume 2 1705- 1756 Archive.org. Volume 3 1756-1789, Vol 3, Part 1, Vol 3, Part 2; Volume 4 1789-1803; Volume 5 1803-1866.

Individuals

  • Lieutenant Colonel Charles Best served in the 14th Hanoverian Regiment, appointed June 1781 The Royal Military Calendar, Or Army Service and Commission Book: Third Edition Volume 4 by John Philippart 1820 Google Books
  • Major Frederick Breymann served in the 14th Hanoverian Regiment in India October 1786- October 1792, the first two years as a soldier and non commissioned officer. The Royal Military Calendar, Or Army Service and Commission Book Third Edition Volume 5 by John Philippart 1820 Google Books
  • Major General Peter Duplat served in the 16th Hanovarian Regiment for its period in India. The Royal Military Calendar, Or Army Service and Commission Book: Third Edition Volume 3 by John Philippart 1820 Google Book
  • Friedrich Ludwig Langstedt (1750–1804). In 1781 he was assigned to the post of chaplain of the 15th regiment of the army of Hanover. He served as chaplain in Madras and Arcot and in 1787 returned to Germany owing to weak health. He is the subject of the article by Chen Tzoref-Ashkenazi "The Experienced Traveller as a Professional Author: Friedrich Ludwig Langstedt, Georg Forster and Colonialism Discourse in Eighteenth-Century Germany", in History: Journal of the Historical Association 16 December 2009 available online, html version (Wiley Online Library).
  • Anthony Pohlmann Wikipedia. He arrived in India as a sergeant in a Hanoverian regiment and subsequently took employment in the army of the Maratha prince, Daulat Scindia. At the Battle of Assaye in 1803, he effectively commanded all the regular battalions in the Maratha army.

Records

In England

The National Archives records WO 12/10812 and WO 12/10813 appear to contain a small number of Muster Rolls additional to the 1789 Rolls on the FIBIS database, refer FIBIS resources above

In Germany

Niedersächsische Landesarchiv ( Lower Saxony State Archives) has an Online-Findbücher (search facility). Searching for 'Ostindien' brings up catalogue references to the “14. Infanterie-Regiment” and “15. Infanterie-Regiment” and "15. (14.) hannoversch. Inf. Regt" and “16. (15.) hannoversch. Inf. Regt” . Also the following catalogue entries

  • Hann. 38 C Nr. 38 Bezahlungsfuß der Engländer für die in Indien dienenden Regimenter, 1781 (mit Druckschrift "Orders and Regulations respekting Payment and Mustering of His Majesty's and the Honorable Company's Forces Serving on the Coast of Coromandel 1788); Nachrichten über die Besitzungen der Ostindischen Kompanie, deren Truppen, Zahlungsfuß, 1781; Offiziersabgangsliste, Extrakt der Rapporte vom 14. und 15. Infanterie-Regiment; Repartition der Offiziere des 15. Regiments, die in England eingeschifft und sukzessive nach Ostindien abgegangen sind, 1783; Listen der 4. Division des 15. Infanterie-Regiments, 1782; Korrespondenz mit Kapitän Pechell, 1781 - 1782; Briefe aus Stade und Ritzebüttel von Oberstleutnant von Wangenheim, Major Kruse, dem Geheimen Kriegsrat von Münchhausen, Hauptmann Horn und Generalmajor Scharnhorst, 1782; Auskünfte über Soldaten, die in den ostindischen Regimentern gedient haben, 1802
  • Hann. 38 C Nr. 55 Musterrollen des 14. und 15. Infanterie-Regiments in Ostindien 1786-1788
  • Hann. 47 II Nr. 133/9 Rapporte des Hauptmanns von Plato vom 15. Regiment (1782); Akten betr. Respondentia Bond (1788-1796); Korrespondenzen, insbesondere der Obersten Reinbold und von Wangenheim (1785-1791); Berichte und Korrespondenzen des Obersten Reinbold (1785-1787), Musterrollen, Ab- und Zugangslisten, Etats, Rechnungs-Sachen der beiden Regimenter

External links

Note: For webpages which are not available in English, you can obtain a computer produced translation of the webpage using Google Translate, or your browser may have an automatic facility.

  • Arbeitskreis Hannoversche Militärgeschichte. A German language website set up by a small group of people, particularly Michael-Andreas Tänzer, whose hobby is Hanoverian military history. Some pages are available in English. Under the heading "Militärgeschichte 1617-1866", select Ostindien for a history of the period in India, transcribed from the articles by Victor von Diebitsch, refer above. (German language), or scroll through from this link In addition there are categories Genealogy, Sources and Links, for which there are pages available written in English. The point is made that all relevant family history records were written by hand. This means that you have to read the common German handwriting which was current in the respective time period which is not easy. A link is provided to the Association of German Speaking Professional Genealogists. (archive.org link)
  • Niedersächsisches Landesarchiv German Language.
Lower Saxony State Archives (Germany) English language. balticconnections.net, now an archived webpage, so some information could be out of date.
  • Rootsweb India List posts about the Hanoverian Regiments going to India in 1781. They departed in the same convoy as the 78th (Seaforth Highland) Regiment of Foot, later renumbered the 72nd Regiment of Foot[2]
  • Hanoverians are mentioned in this link (Archives.org) in 1783.
  • The following reference is quoted in Janssen’s Indisch Repertorium : "Hannoversche Regimenter in fremdem Sold (14. und 15. Churf. Hann. Infanterie Regt.)", door Ernst Ritter, in: Norddeutsche Familienkunde 1 (1952), 53-55; 71-74; 99-101.

References

  1. Arbeitskreis Hannoversche Militärgeschichte website, section “Die Letzten Jahre & Rückkehr in die Heimat", originally from Hannoversche Geschichtsblätter Nr. 15, 1898, Seiten 114 – 116
  2. Bailey, Peter. Dutch - or German? Rootsweb India Mailing List 5 June 2006. Scroll down.
    Upshon. Dutch - or German? Rootsweb India Mailing List 5 June 2006.
    Balmer, Nicholas. German Regiments in India Rootsweb India Mailing List 13 January 2007. All now archived.