Thursday, December 20, 2012

John Hayden Crozier: Music Master of the 85th Regiment

Erected by
Mary to the memory of her beloved
Husband John Hayden Crozier late
Music Master to the 85th Reg. King's
light infantry who departed this life 27th
March 1848 aged 30 years.
This stone, erected to the memory of John Hayden Crozier, stands in St. Michan's Churchyard, Dublin. Not much history is available about this music master of the 85th Regiment of the King's Light Infantry; however, it is known that John and his wife Mary lived on Blackhall Street, a short distance away from where his regiment was quartered in the Royal Barracks (now Collins Barracks), and he died intestate.

The history of John Hayden Crozier's regiment during its time in Ireland is an interesting one. The infantry served in Ireland from 1846 until around 1851, during the time of An Gorta Mór, the Great Famine.

In the Spring of 1846, six divisions of the 85th Regiment arrived in Ireland, having been called from the West Indies and Barbados. Between March and May they landed at the Cove of Cork (once Queenstown, now Cobh).  From Cove they were marched to Buttevant, County Cork, where they were joined by depot companies under the command of Major French.  From there all divisions marched to Limerick and beyond, with attachments settling in such places as Birr, Loughrea, Banagher, Shannon Harbour, Portumna and Ballinasloe.

In September of 1847, the headquarters and detachments were moved from Buttevant to Dublin, where they occupied the Royal Barracks. The regiment remained in Ireland until April of 1851, at which point it departed to Preston Barracks, Lancashire, England. The history of the regiment makes no mention of the fact that they were assigned to the country of Ireland to ensure there was no civil unrest during An Gorta Mór, the Great Famine, although it is noted that they were called to Thurles, County Tipperary, in July of 1848 “to quell a rebellion expected to break out”.

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References

Crowley, John, William J. Smyth & Michael Murphy, editors. Atlas of the Great Irish Famine, New York University Press, 2012.

Smith, Henry Stooks. An alphabetical list of the officers of the Eighty-fifth, the King's light infantry regiment, from 1800 to 1850, Simpkin Marshall, England, 1851.
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