Halkett Family History & Genealogy

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  • James 6.7%
  • William 5.9%
  • Charles 5.0%
  • John 5.0%
  • Elizabeth 3.4%
  • Frederick 3.4%
  • Mary 2.5%
  • Russell 2.5%
  • Jean 1.7%
  • Hilda 1.7%
  • David 1.7%
  • Stuart 1.7%
  • Ellen 1.7%
  • Margaret 1.7%
  • A 1.7%
  • Roland 1.7%
  • George 1.7%
  • Christina 1.7%
  • Peter 1.7%
  • Walter 0.8%

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This is about the War Journal of Halkett Louis (Anatole Louis Joseph) living in Lille (Saint Sauveur) France. The Journal covers a time period between the 9th of October 1914 to the 9th of September 1918, during World War I.

A copy was made in January and February 1983 by Mr. Maurice Pollet in Lille, France with the authorization of Madam Arthur Delarue, born Jeanne Halkett, and was given to the Archives Department of Nord in Lille.

Anatole Louis Halkett appears to be one of those unfortunate Frenchmen born between 1870 and 1914 conscripted by the military for training as a reservist which, at the time, was a compulsory 3 year term. He is a refugee in the territorials which is an army corps for old people - over 35

He was probably called to the colors in early 1914 as his journal would seem to indicate and posted somewhere in France before the war began in August 4th, 1914. Lille, the city in which he and his family lived, was over-run by the German forces in the summer of 1914 and occupied the city until September or thereabouts 1918 while he was away hence, his preoccupation with and concern for his family's welfare under the occupation.

The early pages of his diary seem to indicate he was living an itinerant, hand to mouth kind of life but it later became hazily clear that he was a reservist of the older kind, not too fit but fit enough to be used slave labor as the French did with their troops normally, moving from place to place as he was ordered, and not too healthy either.

Anatole's main interest is to keep contact with his family in Lille. He has a wife and daughter. He has also other members of his family around France. He wrote a lot of letters. Anatole is 44 years old at the beginning of 1915 - born the 12th of March 1871.

His French is terrible and his grammar and spelling are very poor. I need to read it out loud to understand. I reckon he is from a modest family and his main language in the Ch'ti. It is a picard patois. It is close to French and is also the name of the people of North of France.

The Journal

Pages 1 and 2

My memories of the war of 1914-1915 by Louis Halkett evacuated from the north on October 9, 1914 into convalescense to the 8th Regiment Casernee to Rueil, Seine.

Left Lille October 8, 1914 after an order given by the police station. I headed toward Bethune—a distance of 60 kilometers from Lille. I had as companions on the road little Louis, the market merchant and his son, big Phillippe, Eugene of Sr Sanveur, Marceau Vaneycke of Sr Sanveur, arriving 2 to 8 km from Bethune I was tired. It was 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning and I went to sleep in a stack of wheat where there already were 200 persons. Toward 5 o/clock rain fell. Artillery burst out near us and I decided to leave, but was not able to go farther. I abandoned the Vaneycke lad, Louis the merchant of the market place. Big Philippe stayed with me. We slept again in another stack of wheat we arrived do at Bethune the next day in the morning. We were at least 5 to 600 (persons) from Lille. The authorities told us that we were not predicted and therefore there was nothing for us. We were advised to set out for Sr Pol about 50 km from there. Without giving us a piece of bread nor a drink of water. I purchased a candle in order to wax my feet. I was made to pay 3 sous (cents) for a glass of water at Bethune. That was their souvenir. For me I asked in the same town for a female inhabitant who had placed in her window some pieces of bread. A small piece for 5 sous: the cost of a roll in Lille.

Page 3

I arrived at Sr Pol where on had us sleep in an old nunnery - - the small square windowpanes broken, no straw, nothing to eat. The next day the police called the convalescent I left the big Eugene. One directed me toward Boulogue S.M. I arrived. The commander of the location did not know what to do with us. I asked him to direct us toward Paris. He obliged. It took me 2 days to arrive. I headed for the house of a male friend (who had left at the same time I left Rueil for convalescence.) He rented me a bedroom. I washed up. I went to see my protector – Watheau Avenue a French house where I am beginning the next morning. I had to buy some linen, some ankle-boots finally lots of expenses but after 3 weeks when I left. I had given before leaving for the regiment (Georges Geutot) a bill of 5 francs to Lucien Delaire Charles Guerries, the two brothers - - the younger the couple in Lille who I did not know and Amand Merlin and I forgot Victor the apartment manager and assistant (Victor and Merlin having surprised me left to rejoin their regiment 8 days before me.) Once I found myself with Merlin, Charles Guerries etc. and I met the brother Ochin with his wife, we had dinner at 3. Because I had left friends I slept at their home> Every Sunday after we ate together. I will soon be convalescent free and go back to Rueil. The most intelligent are obliged to return to sleep in Paris. The next day we took the train to the station of Aurteraus (Orlean) at 9 o’clock in the morning. We arrived at Augouleme

Page 5

The next day a 2:30 which was about 15 hours to travel 450 km. My friend from Paris and I arrived and stayed at the train station until 8 PM so that the officers of intelligence might be open when we arrived and lodge us in the cobbler’s shop. As soon as night arrived we went to bed. There is what we found: old straw with about 4 months of water in it and of food one made us work from 7AM to 9PM for one sous (1 cent) and at noon made us dig potatoes. I learned the address of my brother Gustave. He is in Limoges 1 section COA Haute Vienne. I saw lots of lilacs, the brother Becke, his son, the bistros on the Molinel Street of Lille, the equipment of Elie and the jugglers I do not yet forget.

Page 6

I have taken in Christmas and New Years for 2 days. There is the orange, the cigar, coffee and jam, but I have poorly begun the new year because for 3 days a person named Des Fossez is staying here having ignored the advice of snatching a song making gadget, but put his finger in his eye which is now full of blood. I spent the visit. The doctor gave me 4 days of sick leave from service. I get bored being alone in this quarter not being able to leave. It is humid and cold. There have been 6 weeks of rain and as the streets of Argouleme are not paved conditions make for unbelievable mud and filthiness. I received a letter from Joseph Wastrom

Page 7

The officer in charge at Lille at whose wedding I was is the brother-in-law of Georges Thumesuil. He is in Limoges in the 43rd Regiment of the Infantry. I am happy that my 4 days might be finished and that I will begin again to work. Even though my eye might yet be full of blood. Several days of hemorrhaging has re-begun a little. I am taking precautions from the noise that we are going to re find in Paris. I would like to be near you while looking at your picture I wish you happy New Year and that we will have more luck I hope for this year.

Page 8

Gustave wrote me that he is still at a C.C.A section in Limoges. He is
fine. I am waiting for news from Régnier and Ochin. I wrote to them.
6th of January 1915 I just received a letter from Ochin's daughter wishing me a happy New Year.

I moved in a new barrack. I had to carry myself my bed 20 minutes away from my old place. Every day after work, we go to pick up potatoes. It takes
1/2 hour and it often rains. We eat like crazy people, and they forced us
to have stupid walk in the mud. There are a lot of inspection. Our chiefs
ask us what we want to

Page 9

Today, I am writing to you on my bed. We will have a blanket inspection.
We are sleeping in a very wet hangar. The ceiling is a ruin, something for
the blankets. I have asked to my boss a job for a refugee f
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply

In the French-Indian War my Halkett Scottish ancestors helped defeat the French. This was a terrible global conflict of the 1750s. It helped determine not only the fate of empires but also why Americans are speaking English today instead of French.

Then 1996 some new events occurred that tie the sacrifices of the Halketts of the 1750s into today's times. They are coincidences that I would like to share with you. Illustrative of how small the world can be at times.

The story begins with British Major General Edward Braddock's tragic defeat, known in history as "Braddock's Defeat." At the time of his forces defeat it produced a major setback to British imperial power in the American colonies. Fortunately this was later reversed.

First, a short bio of Sir Peter.

Part 1 - Sir Peter Halkett - 2nd Baronet of Pitfirrane (1703-1755)

Sir Peter was a man of great honor and merit. He was Member of Parliament for the burgh of Dunfermline, Scotland in 1714. Sir Peter was Provost of the city of Dunfermline between 1752 and 1755. He was also a distinguished military officer and was married to Lady Amelia Arms Stewart. They had three sons.

Sir Peter served as a Lieutenant-Colonel of Lee's Regiment at the Battle of Gladsmuir, where Sir John Cope was defeated, in 1745. He was taken prisoner by the Chevalier's forces, and dismissed on his parole. Was one of five officers who refused, in February 1746, to rejoin their regiments, on the Duke of Cumberland's command, with the threat of forfeiting their commissions. Their reply, "That his Royal Highness was master of their commissions, but not of their honor," was approved by Government.

Part 2 - Braddock's Defeat

Colonel Sir Peter, in 1754, embarked for America, with an expedition comprised of the British 44th and 48th Regiments under the command of Major General Edward Braddock. Sir Peter had command of the British 44th Foot Regiment and was second in command to Braddock.

In late spring of 1755 Braddock received orders to march from Fort Cumberland in Maryland and capture the French Fort Duquesne. This fort was located in Western Pennsylvania where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers joined to form the Ohio River. It is now the city of Pittsburgh. There were over 1,400 officers and men in Braddock's forces. In the 44th and 48th Regiments were slightly more than 1,000 British regulars. Added to this were about 400 American Colonials. It was a long and arduous march cutting a path through the rugged forest and terrain of Pennsylvania's Allegheny Mountains. It is now a major state highway and called "Braddock's Road."

Throughout the march Sir Peter acquitted himself with bravery and good conduct. Accompanying him, and a part of his Forty-Fourth Foot Regiment were his two sons:

. Captain Francis Halkett who was also General Braddock's Brigade Major, and

. Lieutenant James Halkett, youngest son of Sir Peter.

The mission failed. Nearing Fort Duquesne, Braddock's forces were ambushed by a French and Indian attack along the Monongahela River. The enemy force was small - 200 French soldiers and 600 Indians. The enemy's muskets fired from the protection of the surrounding woodland while Braddock's forces fought from an open field in typical regimental formation. It was a massacre. Braddock's casualties were 456 killed and 520 wounded. The enemy lost only 20 killed. Later, the battle field became known as "Braddock's Field."

Sir Peter was killed, along with his youngest son, Lieutenant James a youth of noble spirit. Braddock was also mortally wounded.

Present was George Washington. He and Captain Francis Halkett were among the survivors. They later became correspondents.

Part 3 - How Sir Peter and his son were killed on Wednesday, 9 July 1775

From within the woods an Indian's rifle bullet struck Major Sir Peter Halkett in the breast and ripped through his heart and he tumbled from his horse.

"Father!" the anguished cry came from his son, Lieutenant James Halkett, who was nearby. He rushed to the older man and lifted his head into his lap, murmuring "Father" again, and then slumped over dead himself as a ball from another Indian rifleman tore off the back of his skull.

Also killed by enemy musket fire was Sir Peter's servant while looking to see if his master's wound was mortal.

Part 3 - Some 3 years later Major Francis returns to the battlefield and locates the remains of his father and brother.

In late November 1758, after finally capturing Fort Duquesne, General Forbes ordered a detachment of the Pennsylvania Regiment to Braddock's Field and bury the bodies of the soldiers slain on that fateful day in July 1755. Accompanying the expedition were some officers of the 77th Highlander Regiment, local Indians, and Forbes Aide de Camp, Major Francis Halkett. Francis hoped to find the remains of his father, Sir Peter Halkett, and his brother, James.

Questioning the Indians Halkett found one Indian guide who had recollected during the combat to have seen an officer fall beneath such a remarkable tree that he should have no difficulty in recognizing it. Also, that, at the same moment, another officer rushed to his fallen comrade's side and was instantly shot down and fell across his comrade's body ......... Suddenly and with a shrill cry, the Indian sprang to the well-remembered tree......In a moment, after brushing away three year’s of fallen leaves, two gaunt skeletons were exposed lying together - one above the other as they had died. The hand that tore away their scalps had not disturbed their position; but no sign remained to distinguish the relics from the hundreds of others that strewed the ground elsewhere......At that moment Major Francis Halkett remembered the peculiarity of his father's teeth, and recognized the skeleton as the last remains of Sir Peter Halkett. The other skeleton had to be that of Major Francis' younger brother, Lieutenant James Halkett. Francis moaned and covered his eyes and then fainted. When he was revived, a hole was dug and the bones of his father and brother gently laid in it. Thus they were buried together, with the grave then covered over with a Highland plaid. A squad of Pennsylvanians fired a final salute over it.

Other bones of the defeated comrades were placed in a communal grave and given an appropriate military funeral.

Part 4 - 1996. Now comes the painter, Robert Griffing

Realist oil painter of the 18th century Woodland Indians, Robert Griffing was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania in 1940, and now lives in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. Growing up on the shores of Pymatuning Lake in Linesville, Pennsylvania stirred Griff's initial interest in Native Americans. However, it wasn't until after graduation from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and 20 years of an advertising career that he returned to his early fascination with the Woodland Indian.

Griff's paintings focus on a time that marked the beginning of years of chaos and uncertainty for their Woodland tribes as they struggled to survive the encroachment of the Europeans. Griff hopes that his paintings will help shed some light on this proud culture whose history has been neglected through society's romance with the American West.

His works have received wide acclaim. US Art named him as one of the top 10 artists to watch in 1994. Since then his reputation has grown to national/international proportions of wide acclaim.

Fascinated with the role the Indians played in the French-Indian War, Griff decided to recreate the roll of the Indian the tragic march and defeat of General Edward Braddock's British forces to capture Fort Duquesne during the French-Indian War in 1755. This became a four painting series known as "The Braddock Series."

Part 5 - Fourth and fina
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply

Royal Hannover General of the Infantry
According to his written papers and other sources

By E.von dem KNESEBECK Royal Hannover Major General of Hannover

Printed and published by Eduard HALLBERGER, Stuggart, 1865


On the 26 of July of the past year there echoed news of sadness which brought pain to the hearts of many people. General Halkett is no longer with us. His death brought an end to his suffering endured over a long period of time and which took up all of his powers. The old hero died just as he had lived, fearless in the face of death. Looking it in the face he put his house in order and he thought of the love of his friends and then in spirit he was once again on the battlefield, which had been the area of his honor and life. Again he cried out, "By God I will not retreat any further." And then he breathed his last. To be sure he never liked yielding or retreat, but he was the marshall of advancement of the Hannoverian Army, whose complete trust and devotion he had. May his spirit always dwell among us and may the memory and the remembrance of him and of his courage and his kind, noble personality never fade.

Since my earliest youth, because of a deep tie of love and honor for the departed fatherly friend, and also because I stand near his family in a similar way, I have had a lively wish that as long as these colors were fresh in the memories of his contemporaries that a life story of the general and thus a remembrance should be written down for later generations. A warmly felt obituary appeared immediately after his death in the New Hannoverian Newspaper and course it could not be entirely complete. The children he left behind agreed with my wish for the publication of a more extensive story of the life of their father, who would be memorialized and remembered for a long time. And they gave me the task of looking through what they possessed of family papers. I found among these papers from two different periods of time things dictated to two of his sons, later corrected by him. This is his life story in which he tells about all the events of his life and puts them into a more or less bright light. In very modest language, which one was used to when one conversed with him, he told about his experiences from his tenth year, when he had already become an officer, on to his exit from his activities in the Hannoverian service several years before his death.


Besides these very valuable family papers the following representation of his life is based on documents of the General Adjutant, which, by the grace of his Majesty the King, were provided to me so I could work on this. It is also based on the well known history of the Royal German Legion, on Siborne's History of the Campaign of 1815, and on Sichart's Diary of the 10th German Allied Army Corps under General Halkett in the year 1848, and, the remembrances of German officers like Colonel Dehnel from whom I got several episodes from the military life of General Halkett similar to the ones as I have told.

The work could only be completed, however, with the help of my own remembrances, although, unfortunately, I only served under him during peace time and never in a serious conflict. Nevertheless, I will try to give as complete a picture as possible of his life and, even if it only a weak expression of what I would really like to present, I hope that it will be accepted in a friendly manner by the numerous people who wish to honor him.

This is written in Munich in December 1864.

E. von dem Knesebeck
Major General of Hannover


The Halkett family, in older times also de Halket or Halkett of Pitfirrane, belongs to the old nobility of Scotland and is mentioned in other documents of the years 1393 and 1399. The family history goes back to David de Halkett, who lived at the time of King David the Bruce, therefore about the year 1350, and whose great-grandson was also called David and first took the family name of Pitfirrane after he came into possession of the lands of Pitfirrane which (in 1865) is still in the possession of a branch of the family. Towards the end of the sixteenth century George Halkett of Pitfirrane left two sons of which the older, Sir Robert Halkett of Pitfirrane became the "founding father" of the baronets Sir Peter Arthur Halkett of Pitfirrane, while the younger son Sir John Halkett stems from a line of generals and other high officers who mostly were among Scottish troops serving as mercenaries in the Republic of the United Netherlands. Sir John himself remained a Dutch general and he was killed at the siege of Hertogenbosch (Bois-le-duc) in 1629. His son Maurice was killed at the siege of Mastricht in 1675 and his grandson Edward fell in the battle of Ramilles in 1706. The last son, Charles Halkett, was Lieutenant General in the service of the Dutch and died in 1758. He was the grandfather of our general from his second marriage with a French woman Anne le Faucheur. Their son was Frederick Godard Halkett, who advanced in the service of the Dutch to the rank of colonel, but, in 1782, when the Scottish Brigade was dissolved in the Netherlands he took leave and his faithful services received honorable mention as did his ancestors' faithful services to the Republic of the Netherlands. He returned to English service, in which he advanced to Major General, and he died August 8, 1803 - 75 years old. In 1771 he had married Georgina Robina Seton, the only daughter and heir of George Robert Seton and his wife, who had been born an Abercrombie. Together they had seven children, of which five survived the parents - two sons and three daughters. Hugh, the second son, was born in the village of Musselburgh near Edinburgh on 30 August 1783. His father had shortly before returned from Holland and lived in Edinburgh except for an additional stay in Holland in the years 1792 and 1793, where he had gone at the request of a General Statthalter who was his friend. At the end of 1793 he returned to Scotland to remain there in order to reinstate the Scottish Brigade, this time in the service of the English. He was active in that and left behind there only his oldest son Colin, born 1774, as an officer in the Dutch Guard. His younger son Hugh was commissioned an ensign (a cadet/officer candidate) on 18 April 1784 and on 5 July 1795 Lieutenant in the Scottish brigade. Such nomination to officer's posts was not unusual in many armies and especially in the English army. It did not cause any hinderance that he remained in the States school until he was in a position to such that he could give practical service

Naturally who were so favored by such circumstances had a great advantage for their promotion over others who entered into service at a more mature age. England was at that time engaged in a serious war but the needs for officers was great and one did not take into serious consideration the birth date of a candidate.

After having gone to various schools in Scotland Hugh Halkett enters into active service in November 1798 at the depot of the 93rd Regiment, a part of the Scottish Brigade in Chatham. From there he was sent to East India in December on board the ship TAUTON CASTLE with 5 officers and 240 men from various regiments whose command he took over. On the same ship were a part of the 88th Regiment under the orders of lieutenant Beresford who became afterwards Lord Beresford and Marshall of the Portuguese army

Comradely association and activities undertaken with the kind and educated officers of the 88th Regiment made this journey very pleasant for young Halkett. It shortened the boring trip in a time when you couldn't even think of steamships or the route by way of Egypt and the Suez Canal. On the Cape o
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] Major Douglas Halket and the Charge of the Light Brigade.
"CAMP BEFORE SEBASTOPOL, Dec. 25.--Thank you, dearest friend, for your affecting letter from Mr. Halkett's house. I grieve much to say, that there is no hope left now that dear Halkett * might be a prisoner in Sebastopol, but I believe he is in the presence of his God, clothed in the spotless robe of his Redeemer's righteousness. The man who so loved the 14th chapter of St. John, has found it all true for him. I shall make the motto he chose for my own, and, if I am to fall too, I hope I may die with it on my lips: 'In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength and my refuge is in God.' Give my love to his dear young wife, and tell her I pray God to comfort her. Her message went to my heart. I know not that I could have 'saved him,' but I would have carried him to the rear or died in the attempt. I have prayed that Jesus himself would comfort her. I know He will. Bless you, my own mother, sister, friend and counsellor. Give my warmest love to all around you, especially your honored father. God bless him, and God bless also the father of her I love best on earth. "Christmas day, 1854. I am for out-lying picquet in ten minutes, and have but time to wish you a happy Christmas. It is so bitterly cold. I can scarcely hold my pen. I have enjoyed the day as much as could be expected, and partook of the sacrament with (thank God) thirty others. May our Father, 'the Father of all mercies, keep us ever 'looking unto Jesus'our Saviour."

* Major Douglas Halkett, who fell in the flower of his age in the charge at Balaklava. His thoughtful and benevolent character had won him the name of "Father of his Regiment !" Brave as he was gentle, his gallant bearing was noticed even amidst the fury of that death-charge. The last time he was seen was in the field fearfully wounded, holding out some bank notes to his men, with the characteristic words "Take them for the wives and widows at home!"
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] History of Inflatable Boats and the HALKETT BOAT

According to the Guinness Book of Motorboating, the history of the inflatable goes back as far as 880 BC, when the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II ordered troops to cross a river using greased animal skins, which they inflated continuously to keep the vessels afloat. In ancient China, during the Sung and Ming dynasties, inflated, airtight skins were used for crossing rivers.

It was 1839, however, that the Duke of Wellington tested the first inflatable pontoons. In 1840, the Englishman Thomas Hancock designed inflatable craft and described this work in "The Origin and Progress of India Rubber Manufacture in England" published a few years later. In 1844, a Lieutenant HALKETT designed a round-shaped inflatable boat, which was used in several Arctic expeditions. The Frenchman Clement Ader devised a floating vessel too. Indeed, many other pioneers invented craft that foreshadowed "inflatables". In 1913, the German Albert Meyer came up with a fairly novel design. By 1920, his company, A. Meyer Bau Pneum. Boote, was marketing his "pneumatic" boats, of which nine were already in use by the German Army.

In France and Great Britain, Zodiac and RFD claim paternity of the first modern inflatable boat. In 1919, RFD's founder Reginald Foster Dagnall tested an inflatable on Lake Wisely in England, and went on to improve its design in the 1930s. This boat was the ancestor of the one-person inflatable liferaft. In France, Pierre Debroutelle came up with a prototype for an inflatable boat in 1934.

The first boat of its kind to be certified by the French Navy, Zodiac's model probably sparked the development of the civil and military inflatable boat industry. Unlike its counterparts, the boat improved by Pierre Debroutelle in 1937 was actually designed in a U-shape, with the two lateral buoyancy chambers connected by a wooden transom patented on August 10, 1943. This version was the direct predecessor of today's inflatable sports and pleasure boats. Since then many new manufacturers, new models and new designs have hit the market. Inflatable boat are no longer a little dinghy on the back of a large pleasure yacht, but can range up to 45 ft in length and longer. "Rigid" hulls of fiberglass or aluminum have evolved from the original fabric floors, luxury components and even cabins now grace the decks of many inflatable boats. Contrary to the name, inflatable boat, on some inflatable boats of today the only thing inflatable is the collar around the perimeter gunwales of the deck however; the inflatable boat lives on and becomes more popular year after year.

(Information courtesy of "A Century of Air and Water" 1896-1996, a publication printed by Zodiac International on their 100th anniversary)

The HALKETT Boat – Invented by Peter HALKETT, son of John Wedderburn Halkett

From: No Ordinary Journey, John Rae: Arctic Explorer (1813-1893)
By Ian Bunyan, Jenni Caldor, Dale Ichens, Bryce Wilson 1993

Rae’s resentment at the failure of the British Government and Admiralty to take advice regarding the adoption of native techniques on official Arctic expeditions, especially snowshoes, sledges and snow houses, continued all his life. He described the Nares expedition of 1875 as an ‘extravagantly equipped expedition that showed ludicrous stupidity and ignorance’, and never failed to castigate the Establishment on this score, writing letters to the press and publishing articles.

However, mid-nineteenth-century Britain did produce one item of technology that Rae endorsed wholeheartedly, and next to his gun, octant, chronometer and watch was one of the few items of western equipment he was to insist upon for his expeditions. This was the HALKETT India rubber cloth boat.

The cloth boat, also sometimes called an air boat, invented in 1844 by Lieutenant Peter HALKETT RN, was one of the earliest successful inflatable craft. The inventor’s father, John (Wedderburn) HALKETT, was a Director of the Hudson’s Bay Company, so perhaps it was no accident that this light, portable boat was used so often by Rae and other explorers in the Arctic. It was made of layers of cotton fabric covered with rubber, and provided with brass nozzles for inflation and padded canvas fenders filled with cork. Once inflated, the cloth boat measur6ed approximately 9 x 4 feet and could carry two men or a substantial load. Deflated, it folded up into a backpack and was easily carried.

Rae used a HALKETT cloth boat provided by Sir George Simpson on his first expedition in 1846-7. ‘We had one of HALKETT’s airboats, large enough to carry three persons. This last useful and light little vessel ought to form part of the equipment of every expedition.’ This expedition also had two wooden boats measuring twenty-two feet and seven feet six inches long respectively. From childhood, Rae had a great fondness for boats and used them on all his expeditions, sometimes designing and helping to build them himself. However, the larger wooden ones were difficult to portage between waterways, hence his enthusiasm for the HALKETT inflatable. On the 1846 expedition it was used largely for setting and examining fishing nets.

The cloth boat was also suitable for transporting the expedition and its equipment across waterways. In September 1848, when accompanying Sir John Richardson, Rae describes the crossing of Richardson River under somewhat unusual circumstances.

A fire was lit so as to soften it [the HALKETT boat] for the purpose of getting it more perfectly distended with air and I crossed over alone using two tin plates as paddles…the line that had been brought over was found to be too short for its purpose of hauling the boat backwards and forwards across the stream, but at the suggestion of Sir John, the portage or carrying straps were added. Albert, who came across next, was barely able to reach the shore, his hands having become quite powerless with cold when using the plate paddles. The real paddles had been left behind by the man of whose load they formed a part, the total weight not being more than 2 or 3 pounds! …The narrowest bits of the stream measures was about 110 yards, and the line being long enough for the purpose, the party was soon ferried over at 14 trips.

This exercise took four hours. Because of the onset of winter the waterways began to freeze over, so the HALKETT boat could no longer be used, and was left secured on a hilltop with a marker. The following July Rae was fortunate enough to find the Halkett where it had been left, and it was used again.

A beautiful HALKETT boat was most generously presented to the expedition by the special friend of all Arctic explorers, John Barrow, Esq. But unfortunately it got astray somewhere en route to Liverpool or America and I never saw it until many years afterwards, when it had become deteriorated by damp.

This HALKETT boat is probably the one which has survived intact on Orkney, the only example of this rare early inflatable known to exist. Painted on the bow are the words ‘Dr. Rae, Hudson Bay’, and on the stem ’James Fitzjames’ (Fitzjames was commander of HMS Erebus on the lost Franklin expedition). Rae gave the boat to a friend in Orkney, and it is now in the care of the Stomness Natural History Museum Trust, Stromness.

NOTE: Go to Photo section to view pictures of the Halkett Boat.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply

(From ANNEX IV - N 269: II, 102)

(Translated by my neighbor Sarah Campbell)

The Halketts, which we meet in the 18th and 19th centuries from Malines e Termonde, are connected with (the) Halketts of Ecosse.

Two descendants actually lived, one at Eppeghem and the other at Courtrai. They descend from the two brothers Halkett, Colin and Hugh, who took part in 1815 in the Battle of Waterloo, under the command of the Duke of Wellington. Of the two brothers Hugh was Colonel of a British regiment and Colin was property (landed) Colonel of a Scottish regiment carrying his name. This last had been taken prisoner at Cambronne at Waterloo and in 1865, on the anniversary of this event, was ??? and received the title of Baron. He established himself in Belgium where he enjoyed a life annuity: his life history has been published in Stuttgard.

269 Halkett

Philippe-Francois-Joseph de Massiet, Squire, Lord of Bievre (actually Bievene), married at Enghiem the 9th of November 1723 Eve Henriette Halkett. In their marriage contract, the intended wife is said (to be) "Noblewoman Eve-Henriette Halkett, attended by Marie-Suzanne Coerdouanier, her good friend." One asks the names of her parents and grandparents and if she belongs to the family Halkett from Scotland, of which one younger branch settled in Holland at the end of the 16th century. Officers from father to son in the Scottish Brigade in the Service of the Provinces-Unis (the United Provinces), these Halketts came often to fight in our provinces in the 17th century and to be stationed in the towns of the Barriere in the 16th century. One or another was able strongly to found a family in Belgium.

It is fitting to remark that Alph. O'Kelly, in his Dictionary of Arms and Devices...from Belgium, p. 86 makes the Halketts from Scotland and from Belgium one family.


One asks subsequently if the Halketts, which one meets in the 18th and 19th centuries at Malines, at Termonde, at Hamme and in diverse surrounding localities and later at Brussels, are connected with the Halketts from Scotland.

Halkett (N 269:II,102,171,210)

Some new documents in my possession permit me to respond partially to the question posed. The claim of Halketts from Belgium belong to the ancient Protestant house Halkett, which the genealogist O'Kelly stated without furnishing proof is a reasonable conclusion - it has foundation.

Jean Edward Halkett, son of Charles and of Jeanne-Margaret Corbett, the same of whom I spoke who was able strictly to be the other of the Halketts of Belgium, was born at Tournai February 12, 1719. He made a career like his father in the Scottish Brigade in the pay of the United Provinces and served in the capacity of Lieutenant, then Captain (1747) of the 2nd regiment. He was buried at Termonde March 12, 1766. Being stationed in this place la Barrriere, he had relations with a young catholic woman of the town: Therese-Claire Raeyman. These relations having continued the young woman withdrew to Malines. Here she had a son, Charles Louis who was baptized at Notre Dame on 4 July 1743. This infant was legitimized in the subsequent marriage at Termonde on 14 October 1743. Witnesses were Ph. P. Raeyman and Isabella de L'Argilli. (Register of military marriages at Termonde).

Charles Louis Halkett, the first to abandon the military career and whose occupation I do not know, married at Termonde (Notre Dame) on 2 December 1763 Marie-Claire Lambert, born in the same town on 26 May 1742. Witnesses were Guillaume Gillis and Marie-Jeanne Neerinx. He died at Termonde 25 April 1812, she on 14 September 1798 having had 12 children, of which 8 were sons. It is from these last ones those who descended if not all, then at least for the most part, from the Halketts whom we find at the end of the 18th and 19th centuries at Termonde, at Hamme, at Malines, at Brussels and other places.

Francois-Edouard Halkett married, at Termonde (Notre-Dame) on March 3, 1778 Isabelle-Marie Patronize van den Brocck. The witnesses were: Joseph-Henri Joostens and Claire van Renterghem.

NOTE: Last sentence & last paragraph needs translation.

Halkett (N 269: II, tables: III, 136)

The first de Massiet who had possessed the lordship of Bierre is Philippe de Massiet, Knight, grand bailli de Chimai. Dead at Anvers in 1636, son of Gilbert, Lord of Grutersalle, Provost of Beaumont bailli de Chimai et de Mathilde de la Marche.

Philippe-Francois-Joseph de Massiet, son of Jean-Francois and Marie-Therese Le Boeuf of Watervliet, was the great grandson.

Madame Halkett, born Corbet, lost in shipwreck on the shores from an autumn storm on 21 September 1720. On a commemorative tablet in the church at Zandvoort, Bains, one read:

"Here lies the grave of Johanna-Margaretha Corbet,
daughter of Colonel Walter Corbet and Martia-Magdalena
Halkett and wife of her Captain Charles Halkett.......
..........22 September 1720.



Extracts from The Intermediary January 1961 p 50-51-52


Remarks and comments with regard to recent study - under the title: "De schotse officierenfamile Halkett. Een bijdrage tot de kennis van de plaats van de officieren in het maatschappelijk bestel der Republic." M.W.F. LEEMANS just published a fine study where it reveals a particular experience called to witness by profitable discoveries and judicious observations .

The Halketts, object of this long awaited study belong to a very old family of considerable importance. Probably enriched by the mining of coal, they emerged in the 14th century under the reign of David Bruce. In the 16th century, they are split into three branches of which the first, the second, serve from father to son in a Scottish brigade to the gain of the United Provinces for close to two hundred years, while the eldest stays in Scotland and will see himself honored by the title of Baronet, and the younger settle in England.

We already passably wrote on those in Great Britain and the curve of their fate is known.

It appeared to a Dutch researcher, working on the premise in a position to make use of the public and private archives of his country, to track down as far into subdivisions, his twigs and his small branches, the part of the branch established in the Netherlands.

Mr. Leemans decidedly employed himself there although, the Halketts having lived in numerous garrison towns, it was difficult to follow them and to locate them.

As in the main point nothing resembles a genealogy any more than another does, we will not resume his work. So those interested in the matter no matter what title read it in full including his long appendages consecrated to family relations: van Loon, (van) Souburdh, van der Vorst, van Lawick, van Ylem et (de) Pagniet.

What we want and that what we want above all in this short article, is to present an observation of general order, an observation that burns our lips for so long and which addresses most genealogists.

Why here and now? Because the chance seems to us particularly favorable for three reasons. The first considers the fact, and this fact has its importance, that the work of Mr. Leemans is serious, documented and brought to completeness, the second considers the fact that the subject was also obsessed by us for ages, and finally the third considers the fact that a typical example, maybe two, of nature to support our way of seeing, finds there within the range of control.

Well therefore, not being a genealogist to properly speak, but frequently investigating the genealogy, we established many a time that the followers of this discipline, started headlong in some tedious and uninteresting archive explorations, completely omitted the historical relations and the memorie
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] JOHN WEDDERBURN HALKETT (1768-1852)

Born on 27 February 1768 in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland. John died in London England on 12 November 1852 at age 84. He was an advocate.

First married Ann TODD in 1794. Ann’s younger sister married John’s elder brother Sir Peter. Ann died in 1805.

Then on 6 July 1815 John remarried. His bride was Lady Katherine DOUGLAS, sister of Thomas DOUGLAS the Earl of SELKIRK.

John Wedderburn Halkett was an advocate, having matriculated to the university of St. Andrews, Scotland in 1786, and was admitted to the Scottish bar in Edinburgh in August 1789. During the years 1797-1801 he was secretary of presentations to his cousin Alexander Wedderburn, 1st Baron Loughborough, who was the Lord Chancellor of England. In 1801 he was appointed Governor-in-Chief of the Bahamas and in 1803 Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of Tobago between 1804 and 1807. On his return to London he was appointed first Chief Commissioner of West Indian Accounts.

John was an active Director of the Hudson's Bay Company representing the Earl of Selkirk's interests in this Canadian company. Took an active role there in attempting to resolve controversies surrounding the Red River Settlement of Kildonan, upon the Red River in North America

Quite a famous man - many places in Canada, and Alaska named for him. Also, a Canadian Liberty ship, "Fort Halkett", that was sunk by German sub U185 in the South Atlantic during WW2. He was also a watercolorist - several of his paintings were donated to the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature, Manitoba, Canada. They can be viewed on the Internet at: [external link]

With two other cousins, Andrew Wedderburn, who in 1814 changed his name to COVILE, and Lord SELKIRK, Halkett became interested in the Hudson's Bay Company. Selkirk began buying shares in the company in 1808, as did Halkett and Wedderburn the next year. Halkett was appointed a member of The HBC's London committee in November 1811, a few months after the company had grated a large tract around the Red River to Selkirk for the establishment of a colony. By training and temperament Halkett was eminently suited to become the main British defender of Selkirk's efforts in North America, an he spent most of the years 1815 to 1820 trying to counteract what he considered misleading and false statements circulated by the North West Company (NWC) about Selkirk's character and his work. Given the indifference of the colonial secretary, Lord Bathurst, and the arrogance of the influential under-secretary, Henry Goulburn, it was a disheartening period. Bathurst regarded the violent acts of 1815-16 at Red River, which culminated in the ruin of the colony as simply quarrels between the two rival fur-trading companies, while Halkett sought unsuccessfully to impress upon him that justice was being denied the British settlers. He wrote a number of pamphlets and long explanatory letters to Bathurst, base on judicious arguments and accompanied by affidavits and depositions, in efforts to prove that, despite their self-righteous attacks on Selkirk, the Nor’westers had been the instigators in these events. His letters were dispassionate in tone, outlining point by point the inconsistencies in the various statements made by the NWC. He frequently had reasons to be provoked by the curt replies he received from the under-secretary, but his calm judgment always prevailed.

In 1817 Halkett published, for private circulation, the unsigned Statement respecting the Earl of Selkirk's settlement, in which he blamed the destruction of the colony on the NWC and its agents. The NWC reply was not long in coming: later the same year a rebuttal entitled A narrative of occurrences in the Indian countries of North America was released. The book was unsigned but had been attributed to NWC employee Samuel Hull Wilcocke. In 1818 Halkett reprinted his pamphlet and included a reply to the NWC publication. In the end, however, the Nor’westers outmaneuvered Halkett and Selkirk’s few other supporters. The NWC's Montreal agents Simon and William McGillivray cultivated leading judicial and political leaders in England and the Canada’s, and they succeeded in bringing these officials more or less to their point of view. This favorable disposition, joined with legal technicalities and delays in the Canadian courts, enabled the WNC men to escape punishment for their violent acts. Halkett's statement to Bathurst in 1819, that Selkirk has been "treated with marked and signal injustice," appears in retrospect to be justified.

Selkirk died in 1820 and in the fall of 1821 Halkett traveled to Montreal as an executor of the estate. Two former NWC men, disgruntled by Halkett's treatment of them in print, enlivened his visit. On 18 October Alexander Greenfield Macdonnel met him outside his hotel and threatened him with a horsewhip. Halkett had him arrested and as a precaution armed himself with a pair of pistols. That evening Jasper Vandersluys attacked him and struck him twice with a whip before Halkett fired, wounding his assailant. Vandersluys charged him with "Assault with the intent to kill" but the charge was later withdrawn.

After a visit to Washington in connection with that part of Selkirk's grant in American territory, Halkett returned to Montreal in May 1822. He was determined to visit the Red River settlement and give it a fair trial. He set off by canoe, with John MCLOUGHLIN and the new governor of the colony Andrew H. BULGER, on 15 May, arriving in the settlement in late June. He found the settlers demoralized and some of them mutinous. Grasshoppers had destroyed the previous year's crops, bison were scarce, and the Sioux had murdered a number of people in the vicinity of Pembina (N. Dak.) to the south. Halkett assured the settlers that the promises made by Lord Selkirk would be upheld. These included a supply of farm animals and fixed prices for goods and grain. He also arranged for a reduction in interest payments and for concessions in rent. To promote the prosperity of the Red River settlement, he closed the administrative buildings and the HBC post at Pembina, and asked Bishop Joseph-Norbert PROVENCHER to close the Roman Catholic mission there. Provencher described Halkett as haughty in his dealings with the Catholic missionaries and stated that his mission had done more harm than good. This criticism was unfair. The proposal to abandon the settlement at Pembina was responsible, since its inhabitants were outside the jurisdiction of British law and the Sioux had already killed ten people in the area. Father Severe DUMOULIN was recalled from Pembina, and the mission closed, in 1823.

Halkett made a short tour of the country to the west of the settlement and ten embarked by canoe for York Factory (Man.) where he presided over a meeting of the HBC Northern Department council, on 20 August 1822. Resolutions were passed regarding education and the granting of land to mixed-blood fur-trade families at the Red River settlement. Halkett's liberal views and ardent support of the colony did much to ease the frustrations of the settlers and, indeed, without his interest and his influence within the HBC the colony would probably have lost most of its settlers to the Canada’s and the United States, thus rendering Selkirk's project a failure.

As a director of the HBC Halkett retained his interest in British North America after his return to England in 1822. He had been favorably impressed by the kindness extended towards the colonials by the Saulteaux chief Peguis and his band. He had a high regard for the Indian people, but with the events of 1615-16 in mind, he held the Metis in contempt, referring to them as "Banditti." He was critical of the HBC for its trade in spirits with the native people and recommended prohibition. These views were given a
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] HALKETT, George Roland

Artist, cartoonist, and writer of art

Born - Edinburgh 11 March 1855

Married - 1891 Lucy Marion, daughter of Joseph Lees JP of Minnickfold, Holmwood; two daughters

Died - 4 December 1918

Education - Private

Residence - 6 Aubrey Road, London
Campden Hill W. Club
Garrick, London.

Studied art in Paris. Became a regular contributor to journalism and the art magazines. Art critic of the Edinburgh Evening News (1876). Joint-compiler
and artist of the New Gleanings from Gladstone and Gladstone Almanac. Author and artist of the Irish Green Book (1887) which had an enormous circulation during the first Home Rule controversy. Joined the Pall Mall Gazette 1892 as political cartoonist and writer on art. Contributed many drawings and caricatures to Punch; became art editor of the Pall Mall magazine 1897, editor of the Pall Mall Magazine 1900-05.

He was also connected with the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts and listed as an art critic and caricaturist/sketch artist

Was a friend of writer William Sharp and traveled extensively in the Colonies and in the East.

Chief recreation: politics and motoring.


(1) From Linda Stopforth

Who Was Who. Volume II. A companion to Who's Who containing the biographies of those who died during the period 1916-1928. London: Adam & Charles Black, 1967.

Walters, Grant M. Dictionary of British Artists Working 1900-1950 Eastbourne, UK; Eastbourne Fine Art, 1975

(2) From Kirsten Bishop

8 of his chromoliths in GRIMM, Bros. Rumpelstiltskin with numerous illustrations. Which is for sale at ://[external link]~abbeybook/bkcat005.htm.

{DeLaRue 1882} 8 chromoliths by George R Halkett + text illus. 230x200mm pictorial chromolith card covers (tips rubbed/rear cov.repaired) 25pgs+pic adverts. *Similar to Caldecott toy books. £8.50+pp for 300grms [J12571]

Published Halkett letters to the Editor of The NEW AGE a weekly review of politics, literature, and art that sold for sixpence in 1914.

September 3, 1914

Sir, - If your correspondent “S. Verdad” had any personal knowledge of modern German ambitions he could not have repeated the ludicrous statement, which, it seems, he also made three years ago, that “Germany wanted Belgium and Holland, the Balkans and Turkey, so that Germany would prevail from the English Channel to Asia Minor.”

It is conceivable, of course, that as there are foolish people of England to believe this mad idea of impossible conquest, so there may be foolish people in Germany to conceive it. But the aim and intention of official Germany is much more practical, and more certainly attainable. Germany wants Morocco and Algiers, and, possibly Corsica. She would thus quickly become an Atlantic and Mediterranean maritime Power, who could measure herself against England whilst crippling France. Our friends in Italy may find, when too late, that their neutrality has welcomed a dangerous neighbor to their doorstep.

Geo. R. Halkett”
October 22, 1914

SIR, - It cannot be too widely known that Mr. Marmaduke Pickthall is not the only Englishman who has been in Turkey. Strange to say, others have been there, before and after him. Some of th9ose have grave reason to question his naïve views of International politics as they touch Turkey.

It is quite true that England within recent years, and after a certain event, was invited to take a preponderating interest in Turkey. But at what cost? She would have alienated both Greece and Italy and made certain a war with Germany in which she would have stood alone. Nay, more, she would have found France opposed to her, for at that moment the representatives of England and France at Constantinople had points of acute difference, not vital to the essential friendship of the two countries, but sufficient to make the active interference of England extremely injudicious.

If he wants to do a good turn to his friends he should convince them of the folly of pursuing a policy which will transform Turkey in Europe into a dependence of Germany and Austria without any compensating advantage to the Turks.

I agree with Mr. Pickthall that England is the only European State vitally interested in the preservation of Turkey. Russia at Constantinople would be no more welcome to France and England than Germany at Constantinople. If the Allies are victorious in the war the Turks in Europe will be safe, and none can forecast their future history. If the Allies were beaten – which seems unlikely – Turkeys fate in Europe would be sealed.

George R. Halkett”

See: [external link]

"Selected Writings of William Sharp – Literary Geography and Travel-Sketches."

In Volume IV of uniform edition, selected and arranged by Mrs. William Sharp,. Sharp had dedicated this literature to his friend George R. Halkett as follows:


More years ago than either of us cares to recall, we were both, in the same dismal autumn for us, sent wandering from our native land in Scotland to the ends of the earth. I remember that each commiserated the other because of
that doctor's doom in which we both, being young and foolish, believed. Since then we have sailed many seas and traversed many lands, and I, at least, have the wayfaring fever too strong upon me ever to be cured now. At times, however, one not only returns to one's own country, but to the familiar lands of Literary Geography, where, since we were boys, we have so often fared with never-failing gladness and content. Some of these
wayfarings, set in the steadfastness of print, are now chronicled in this book; and to whom better could I dedicate it than to you, who are at once editorially its godfather and the old-time and valued friend of THE AUTHOR

NOTE: There will be some pictures posted of George's Rumpelstiltskin illustrations sometime in December 2001.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply

1728 - 1803

Information from Dictionary of National Biography - London

FREDERICK GODAR HALKETT, Major-General, was the son of Lieutenant-General Charles Halkett, of the Dutch Army, Colonel of a regiment of the Scots brigade in the pay of Holland, by his second wife, Anne le Foucher, a French lady. He was the younger half-brother of Colonel Charles Halkett of the Dutch service, governor of Namur, who married the heiress of Craigie of Dumbarnie, and died in 1812, and grandson of Major Edward Halkett, who served in the Scots brigade in the pay of Holland in Marlborough's campaigns, and died from wounds received in the battle of Ramillies. Edward Halkett's grandfather, John Halkett, of a Scottish family of very ancient decent, received the honour of knighthood from James VI of Scotland, was afterwards a General in the Dutch service, having command of a Scots regiment, and president of the grand court marishall in Holland. He was killed at the siege of Bois-la-Duc in 1629. He married Mary (Maria) Van Loon, of a distinguished Amsterdam family.

Frederick Godar Halkett was born sometime in 1728. The regiments of the Scots brigade, having their own chaplains, kept separate registers, now among the archives at Rotterdam. The State Archives at the Hague show that Halkett became Ensign in the regiment of Gordon on 13 June 17843, and rose through each grade to be Lieutenant-Colonel of the 2nd battalion of the regiment of Dundas on 5 November 1777. Soon after the outbreak of the American war, a message was sent by George II to the States-General of Holland, desiring the return of the Scots or Scotch brigade. This was not complied with. When an open rupture between Great Britain and Holland occurred in 1782, an edict was issued in Holland requiring the officers of the brigade to declare that they recognized no power other than the States-General as their sovereign. The use of the British uniform and colours was to be discontinued, the words of command were to be in Dutch instead of English, and the old Scots' march was to beat no, more. Considering that the change would involve a surrender of their rights as British subjects and soldiers, Halkett, with many other officers of the brigade, left Holland and returned home, without at first receiving equivalent half-pay rank in the British army as they expected. Halkett settled in Edinburgh. On 21 October 1771 he married Georgina Robins, daughter and heiress of George Robert Seton and his wife Margaret Abercrombie, by whom he had several children, including Colin [q.v.] and Hugh [q.v.].

After the breaking out of the French revolutionary war Halkett was summoned to the Hague to advise on the military position, but refuse to take any command, although he accepted a commission in the Dutch guards for his son Colin. On his return home Halkett raised one of the battalions of the so called Scotch brigade, a corps which, after distinguished service in India and the Peninsula, was disbanded, as the 94th foot, in 1818. Halkett, whose commission as Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant was dated 14 April 1794, became a Brevet-Colonel in 1795, and retired from active service on account of age soon afterwards. He became a Major-General in 1802, and died at Edinburgh 8 August 1803, at the age of seventy-five.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] SIR PETER HALKETT - 2nd Baronet of Pitfirrane

1703 - 1755

Sir Peter was a man of great honor and merit. He was Member of Parliament for the burgh of Dunfermline, Scotland, etc., in 1714 and he was also a distinguished military officer. Sir Peter was Provost of the city of Dunfermline - 1752-1755 - one of twelve Halketts of Pitfirrane to serve as a Provost of this Scottish city.

He served as a Lieutenant-Colonel of Lee's Regiment at the Battle of Gladsmuir, where Sir John Cope was defeated, in 1745. He was taken prisoner by the Chevalier's forces, and dismissed on his parole. Was one of five officers who refused, in February 1746, to rejoin their regiments, on the Duke of Cumberland's command, with the threat of forfeiting their ommissions. Their reply, "That his Royal Highness was master of their commissions, but not of their honor," was approved by Government.

Colonel Sir Peter, in 1754, embarked for America, in command of the British 44th - Foot Regiment under the command of Major General Edward Braddock. Sir Peter acquitted himself there with bravery and good conduct. He was second-in-command, along with George Washington, in a picked column of General Braddock's forces fighting the French and the Indians in North America. During the ill-fated expedition Sir Peter was killed on July 9, 1755, along with his youngest son James, a lieutenant in the same regiment and a youth of noble spirit, in a French-Indian attack on the Monongahela River near Fort Duquesne. Braddock was also mortally wounded but George Washington survived the ambush and later became the first president of the United States. Three years later when Fort Duquesne was taken by the British it was renamed Fort Pitt after the then British Prime Minister, William Pitt. The fort gave the name to the town which sprang up around it - Pittsburgh.

He was married to Lady Amelia Arms Stewart. They had three sons:

1. Peter and the 3rd Baronet of Pitfirrane. He did not marry and both of his younger brothers had predeceased him when he died in 1779.

His death in 1779 caused the baronetcy to descend to a surviving brother of his father - Sir Peter. But there were none - all six had predeceased Peter's 1779 death.

Furthermore, only Sir Peter's younger brother, Charles Wedderburn Halkett, who had married Mary Wardlaw of Pitreavie and was killed in the Black Hole of Calcutta in 1757, had a surviving son entitled to become the 4th Baronet. He was John Wedderburn Halkett.

2. Francis, Captain who was with his father's British 44th Foot Regiment during Braddock's disastrous march toward Fort Duquesne where his father and brother were killed in 1755. In November 1758, then a Major and Aide de Camp to General Forbes expedition that captured Fort Duquesne, he located the skeletons of his father and brother, on the battlefield of the 1755 massacre, and participated in their burial with an appropriate military funeral.

He was also a friend and correspondent of George Washington.

Francis died in Naples, Italy in November of 1760.

3. James, a Lieutenant in his father's British 44th – Foot Regiment, was killed beside his father in an ambush.


Some aside information about the ambush/attack:

Robert Stobo, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1965, p. 146 author Robert C. Alberts states:

"The two forces came together in what in military terms is called a meeting engagement. Braddock's forces were not ambushed. In any given year, there will be twenty printed historical references to the Battle of the Monongahela. Nineteen of these will say that Braddock's forces were ambushed."

Also, in The American Indian Wars, authors Keith Jennison and John Tebbel, p.68-69, state:

"Braddock was not ambushed. When his army reached the ford over the Monongahela, eight miles from Fort Duquesne, the decision to cross, which was later criticized, was in fact taken to avoid a more direct but more perilous route. Having crossed, and recrossed further up, he did everything a prudent commander could do to protect his advance, and made rather elaborate dispositions so that he would not be surprised." on the Monongahela River near Fort Duquesne on 9 July 1755.

NOTE: Go to Photo section to view 2 portraits of Sir Peter.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] Rene Halkett (1900 - 1980)

RENE HALKETT was born on the 5th of February 1900 in Weimar, Germany. His real name was ALBRECHT GEORG(E) FRIEDRICH FRIEHERR von FRISCH and was an ancestor of General Sir Hugh Halkett.

He came to England in 1936 and became a British subject in 1946. It is believed that it was at that time when he changed his name to Halkett

Rene was widely known as a painter, writer, lecturer and BBC broadcaster. He lived and worked in several countries. Early in 1923 Halkett joined the Stagecroft Workshop of the original "Staatlichas Bauhaus Weimar" where he also came under the influence of Klee, Felniger, Kandinsky and Moholy-Nagy.

Rene was a prolific artist. Four (4) of his paintings can bee seen on Baecker Art Gallery's Web site - Contemporary European Paintings - Galerie Inge Baecker - [external link] Just click on Rene Halkett and you can view:

- Frau in rotem Garten
- Frauenkopf an eisernem Haken
- Gandhi-Buste
- Hand mit Frau, Farbhandtucher

Click on the image for an enlargement.

Forty (40) of Rene’s drawings are portrayed his book “Rene Halkett Drawings.” The book was printed by Ben Maile Art Pint Products and published by Peter Edwards for the North Cornwall Museum and Gallery in 1981. It can be purchased from [external link].

Go to Photo section for some samples of Rene's paintings and drawings.

He was also a noted poet. The words of Rene Halkett's haunting poem “Nothing”, spoken in his own voice with David Jay's accompaniment, was recorded on a portable cassette recorder in the backroom of Rene's cottage on the 28th of July 1980. He died the next day. It, along with another poem titled "Amour", was released in 1981

Both poems are provided below.


I know
As if I could not remember it I know -
Nothing is left
Nothing exists
Not even past to be remembered.
If no one can remember no one can tell
If no one
Can remember -
No one
Can tell.
As if I could remember it
I'd tell -
There was that light.
That blinding light which turned all matter
to unseen light
Not darkness.
Darkness cannot exist where light can not
be known.
Nothing is left
No matter
And no more light
And no more dark
And nothing.
As if I could remember it I know
I have
A hand
Unseen in my weightless hand restlessly lies
on nothing
For it needs to write.
To write what matters when no matter
is left to write upon.
My hand now writes on nothing
It writes.
Know then that nothing lasts forever
And nothing will remain when I
have written.
These words on nothing will remain
For nothing lasts for ever.
It will remain
Waiting for new creation.


I am distressed
How. Did the burning wood disintegrate?
at last?
I am undressed
Between the iron and my naked skin
Nothing is left
No more protection against my armour
I dare not move
Cold iron cuts
My naked flesh
Cold pain. Sharp pain
Disarming pain
Armour protects
But now my arm
Can not wiled arms
Frozen, in pain.
Slowly, in hope or fear, my arm
Spreads out the gaudy surcoat -
challenge or disguise
The tatters fly away
My armour is undressed
Steal, beg or borrow other guise, and play!
Play the fool, the hero.
Play the lover, the monk, the peasant.
Play one an all!
Play them
And let them play
Let Hero play the Fool
And Fool the Hero
Let Peasant play the Monk
And Monk the Peasant
All play the Lover
Lover play them all.
Play, guiser, endless permutations
of disguise
Armour protects you still
And while play in pain
Protecting iron
Will scrape away your skin,
Your naked flesh
And in the end
will leave your bones undressed
Your secret core disclosed
And rest you truly, gentlemen.

Go to Photo section for some samples of Rene's paintings and drawings.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] Dunfermline Golf Club 1887-1987

by Douglas M. Ferguson

Chapter 4
Pitfirrane - a History

“………Pitfirrane has a fascinating history, going back some six hundred years.

The Halkett family has very ancient origins. The exact period of the family’s settlement in Fife is difficult to ascertain. The first of the family to the mentioned I historical records was David de Halkett, who was the proprietor of lands of Lumphennans and Ballingall, and who lived in the times of King David Bruce.

Philip Halkett, the son of David, acquired Pitfirrane from his cousin, William de Scott Balwearie, in 1399. In turn, his son, David, was the first to be titled ‘of Pitfirrane’.

The lands of Pitfirrane were granted by the charter of the Abbot and Convent of Dunfermline to David Halkett in 1437. This charter is the first in the Register of Dunfermline in the Scottish language, and is a remarkable early specimen.

At that time, there was a house on the site later occupied by the present house, and George Halkett, who succeeded to the estate on 1573, altered and extended it substantially. A panel in the old spiral staircase is dated 1583 and this has been taken as the date of the alterations. George Halkett seems to have has quite a chequered career.

He became Provost of Dunfermline in 1585. The town, being ‘free of the pest’ was chosen as a meeting place of the General Assembly before Parliament. This decision, however, was evidently countermanded by the King, and Provost George Halkett, allegedly on orders from the monarch, caused the town’s ports or gates to be closed. The Assembly therefore had to meet in the fields outside the town. And resolved to meet later at Linlithgow.

This incident is much more colourfully recounted in The Annuals of Dunfermline by Ebenezer Henderson (1879). The story goes as follows:

About the end of November 1585, warning was made, according to the Order of Kirk, be the last Moderator athort the country, to the brethren to convene in General Assembly, conform to the custom before of Parliament at Dunfermline, na vther meit town being free of pests. The brethren frequentlie furth all parts resorting thither, the ports of the town were closit vopn them be the Provost for the time, the Laid of Pitfirren, alleging he had the Kings command to do; therefore the brethren, commending that wrang to God, the righteous Judge, convenit sa mony as might in the fields, and comforting themselves mutually in God, appointed to meet in Linlithgow certain days before Parliament. But God within a few years peyit that laird and provost his hire for that piece of service, when, for the halding out of His servants from keeping His Assemble in that town, He made his awin house to spew him out: for on a day, in the morning, he was fallen out of a window of his awin house of Pitfirren, three or four house height: whether by a melancholy act of despair, casting himself, or by violence of unkind guests lodged within, God knaws: for being taken up, his speech was not as sensible as to declare it, but within a few hours deit.

Perhaps this was a classic case of did he fall or was he pushed? It may have been Divine Retribution, after all

The alterations to the house which the unfortunate George carried out involved the removal of the old battlements and parapet, and the addition of a staircase tower, typical of the `16th century architecture. Thus, although the extensive alterations of George Halkett are late sixteenth century, the precise age of the house is something of a mystery. Some archeologists have dated it fourteenth century, others consider that there are signs to suggest it was originally built in the tenth century.

The first members of the family to receive Knighthood were Robert and John Halkett, two brothers, who lived in the reigns of Mary Queen of Scots and the James VI. Both in fact were knighted by James VI, in between some golf games in Dunfermline. John Halkett went on to enter military service in Holland. Sir Robert was in attendance when the National Covenant was signed in Dunfermline in 1638.

During the reign of King Charles I, the baronetcy passed to Sir James Halkett, who was much involved with the Covenanters. A military man, he married Anne, lady of great natural gifts, who was governess to the children of the King. She is regarded as a pioneer of women surgeons. King Charles II once told her that he would do anything for her. She had been a keen Royalist, and in the time of the Civil War she risked her life in helping the Duke of York (later James II) to escape to Holland.

Sir James’s son succeeded to the title in 1670, and he was the first baronet of the family, Sir Charles Halkett of Pitfirrane. He received a baronetship of Nova Scotia from King Charles II. He was one of the commissioners appointed in regard to the proposed Treaty of Union, with England. One of his daughters, Elizabeth wrote a famous poem Hardiknute or Hardicanute - more of this later.

Provost Sir James Halkett died in a fall from his horse in 1705. The baronetcy became extinct, but the late Sir James’s sister, Janet succeeded to the estate. She married Sir Peter Wedderburn of Gosford, who took the title of Halkett of Pitfirrane. He was a controversial man. As member of Parliament, he was charged by the magistrates and the town council to vote against the Union of the Parliaments, Sir Peter gave assurance that he would do so, but in fact his vote was to give the other way. Oddly, although obviously criticized for this action, he went on the become Provost of the town for the next twenty-seven years.

His son, also Sir Peter Halkett, was a man of great honour and merit. He fought in the battle of Prestonpans against the Jacobites, and was taken prisoner. He was allowed parole, but refuse to a chance of escaping, because he had given his word. This did not please the Duke of Cumberland, who took away his commission. Sir Peter is said to have replied: ‘You Highness may deprive me of my commission, but not of my honour’. However, on appeal to parliament, the commission was restored.

Sir Peter then went on to America, in charge of the 44th Regiment. He was killed, with his son James, in an action with the French and Indians at Fort du Quesne in 1775.

Another member of the family, Douglas, took part in the notorious charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War. He did not live to tell the tale.

Several other prominent persons inherited the baronetcy, but the line eventually died out when Miss Madeline Halkett, the last survivor, died in 1951. The late Miss Halkett entertained Queen Mary, consort of King George V, and the Queen planted a tress in the grounds of the estate.

Pitfirrane House did have the honour of being the oldest inhabited house in Fife. It still has many features of interest. The stone spiral stairway dates from the sixteenth century. It is flanked on either side by some wonderful old oak paneling, the carving of which is very elaborate and particularly interesting. In one panel could be found the Halkett arms, in another the Halkett arms linked with those of Hepburn, to commemorate a marriage between the two families in 1576. The wall of the entrance hall were at one time hung with rich tapestries, the work of the ladies of the family.

Kept on a glass case near the door was a treasured memento – a stirrup cup used by King James in 1603, just before he set off from the Royal Palace at Dunfermline on his journey to London for his coronation. The vase and handles are of crystal, and the bowl is a deep rich purple. It is very ornate. Miss Madeline Halkett, the last of the family, bequeathed it to the National Museum of antiquities in Edinburgh, where it remains.

The Halkett family possessed a number of art treasurers, and works by Van Dyke, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and several other prominent
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] Sir JOHN HALKETT (1580 - 1629) Father of the Halkett European Branch

Born in Dunfermline, Scotland in 1580 and baptized there on 13 Nov 1580.

The first to cross the continent and made his career from the grade of ensign to colonel in one of the regiments of the Scottish Brigade.

Knighted, as was his brother Robert, by King JAMES VI. Probably on 19 February 1595.

Assigned as a Captain in the service of the "States" in the company of the late Captain John MURRAY, regiment BUCCLEUGH (Scottish) on 24 November 1604. He then became a Sergeant Major in the same regiment under Colonel Sir Robert HENDERSON on 19 March 1618. Colonel Francis HENDERSON assumed command of the regiment while John was a Sergeant Major and later promoted him to the rank of Lt. Colonel on 5 September 1622. He was relieved by Sir David BALFOUR and made Colonel of Mat regiment 22 December 1628 (commission 27/28 December 1628). John became Knight Commander of Ravensstein from 1625-1629 - at the then salary of 300 guilders per month.

During his military career John had command of a Scots Regiment. He was a General in the Dutch service and President of the Grand Marishal (Marshall) in the Netherlands. He fell at the head of his regiment during the siege of Bois-le-Duc (‘s Hertogenbosch) on 3 August 1629 and was buried at Huesden, both located in the Netherlands.

On Aug 1692 John married Maria van LOON (betrothal 30 November in the Grote Kerk [Great Church]) in Den Haag, Zuid-Hollad, Netherlands on 19 December 1608 . They created a new page in the big HALKETT family book by being the progenitors of the European Branch of the HALKETT family. Their descendants in the Netherlands had a distinguished military service there and in Germany, as well as in the British Army in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Maria van LOON was the daughter of Ghijsbert van LOON, lawyer to Council of Netherlands and counselor of Prince Maurice de NASSAU, and of Gertrude STORM van WENA. Ghijsbert was born about 1560 in Utrecht, Netherlands. Gertrude was born about 1561 in the Netherlands, The couple married about 1582.

Ghijsbert’s parents were Antoine van LOON, and Hildegondis PIJLL. Antoine was counselor of the court of Utrecht. He was born in Utrecht, Netherlands in 1532 died there in May 1606 at the age of 74. Hildegonde was born about 1538. The couple married about 1559 in the Netherlands. Antoine parents were Ghijsbert van LOON who was born about 1505 in Culemborg, Gelderland, Netherlands and Christine van HOEY who was born about 1509 in the Netherlands. The couple married about 1530.

On the other side, Maria was the granddaughter of Simon STORM van WENA, and of Catherine, legitimized daughter of Albert of EGMOND. Simon was the deputy-mayor of Delft, Netherlands.

Maria van LOON, survived her husband by 50 years and died in Bois-le-Duc (‘s Hertogenbosch), Netherlands on 27 October 1679.

NOTE: See Photo section for a portrait of Sir John.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] HARDYKNUTE

Lady Elizabeth Halkett, daughter of Sir Charles and Jane (Murray) Halkett, married Sir Henry Wardlaw of Pitreavie, baronet, in 1696. Lady Elizabeth, a person of great accomplishments, acquired celebrity, as being the authoress of the Scottish ballad "Hardyknute."

But there is some dispute about whether "H" flowed from her pen. Some ascribe it to her brother-in-law, Sir John Hope Bruce of Kinross. Others think the origin to be far more ancient than either of them.

In literature about this Sir Walter Scott stated that: "Hardyknute was the first poem that I ever learnt - the last that I shall forget. And, without giving a positive opinion as to the authorship of the poem, although seemingly favorable to the claims of the Lady Elizabeth, Scott pronounced decidedly against "Hardyknute" being ancient origin.

The purpose, here, is not to rekindle a controversy as to authorship for it is not likely now to be satisfactorily settled From whomever's pen "Hardyknute" has enriched its readers. Quite naturally this Halkett will credit to his ancestor Lady Elizabeth.

I would however like to learn about Hardyknute the person - believe it is a Norwegian name. Would like to know more about why it became imbedded in the nostalgia of Scottish history.

Portion of the Poem Hardyknute

“And stately stept he east the wa,
And stately stept he west;
Full senety zeirs he now had sene,
With skerss sevin zeirs of rest.
He livit quhen Briton's breach of faith
Wroucht Scotland meikle wae;
And ay his sword tauid to tyheir cost,
He was their deidly fae.

Hie on a hill his casatle stude,
With hall & touris a hicht,
And guidly chambers fair to se,
Quhair he loigit mony a kincht.
His dame sae peirless ane & faire,
For chast & bewtie deint,
Nae marrow * had in all the land,
Saif Eleanor the quene.

* Morrow, usually mate, here equal

In bluidy ficht with sword in hand
Nyne lost their lives bot * doubt;
Four zit remain, lang may they live
To stand by liege & land;
Hie was their fame, he was their micht,
And he was their command.

* Bot, without

The king of Norse in summer style,
Puft up with powir & micht,
Landed in fair Scotland the yle!
With money a hardy knicht.
The tydings to our gude Scots king
Came, as he sat at dyne,
With noble chiefs in braif array,
Drinking the blude-reid wine.

"To horse, to horse, my ryal liege,
Zour facs stand on the strand,
Full twenty thousand glittering spears
The king of Norse commands."
Bring me my steed, Mage dapple gray,
Our gude king raise & cried,
A trustier beast in all the land
A Scots king nevir tried.

Go, little page, tell Hardyknute,
That lives on the hill so hie,
To draw his swoard, this dreid of faes,
And haste and follow me,
The little page flew swift and dart
Flung by his master's arm,
"Cum down, cum down, Lord Hardyknute,
And rid zour king frae harm.

Then reid grew his dark-brown cheiks,
Sae did his dark-brown brow;
His luiks grew kene, as they were wont
In danger great to do;
He has tane a horn as green as grass,
And gien five sounds and shrill,
That treis in grene wood schuke thereat,
Sae loud rang ilka hill.

His sons in manly sport and glie,
Had past that summer's morn,
Quhen low down in a grassy dale,
They heard their fatheris horn.
That horn, quod they, neir sounds in peace,
We haif other sport to byde.
And soon they hayd them up yhe hill,
And sune were at his syde.

Now with his serfs & stalwart train,
He reicht a rysing heicht,
Quhair hard encampit on the dale,
Norss menzie* lay in sicht.
"Yonder my valiant sons and serfs,
Our raging revers** wait,
On the unconquerit Scottish awaird
To try with their fate.

* Menzie, retinue
** Revers, robbers or pirates

Make orisions to him that saift
Our souls upon the rude;*
Syne braifly schaw zour veins are fill'd
With Caledonian blude."
Then forth he drew his trusty glaive,
Quhyle thousands around
Drawb frae their sheaths glanst in the sun,
And loud the bougills sound.

* Rude, cross

To join his king adoun the hill,
In hast his march he made,
Qulye, playand pibrochs, menstralls meit
Afore him statly strade.
"Thryse welcum valyiant stroup of weir,
Thy nation's schield and pryde,
Thy king nae reason has to feir
Quhen thou art ne his side."

Then bows were bent, & darts were thrawn;
For Thrang scarce could they file;
The darts clove arrows as they met,
The arrows dart the trie.
Lang did they rage & fight full ferss,
With little skaith to man,
But bludy bludy was the field,
Or that lang day was done.

The King of Scots, that sindle bruik'd *
The war that luikt lyke play,
Drew his braid sword, and brake the bow,
Sen bows seimt but delay,
Quoth noble Rothsay, "Myne i'll keip,
I wate ** its bleid a skore.
"Hast up my merry men, cryd the king,
As he rude on before.

* Bruik'd, seldom endured
** Wate, know

The king of Norse he socht to find,
With him to mense the faucht, *
But on his forehend there did licht
A sharp unsonsie shaft;
As his hand put up to find
Tye wound, an arrow kene,
O waefou chance ** tyhere pinnd his hand
In midst betweene his ene.

* Faucht, measure the battle
** Chance, though

"Revenge, revenge, cryd Rothsay's heir,
Your mail coat sull nocht byde
The strength & sharpness of my dart;"
Then sent it thruch his syde.
Another arrow well he markd,
It persit his neck in twn,
His hands then quat the silver reins,
He law as eard * did fu.

* Eard, low as earth

"Sair bleids by liege, sair, sair he bleids!"
Again with micht he drew,
And gesture dreid his sturdy bow,
Fast the braid arrow flew;
Was to the knicht he ettled at;
Lament now quene Elgreid;
His dames to wail zour darlings fall,
His zouth & comely meld.

Take aff, take aff his costly jupe *
(Of gold weil was it twynd,
Knit lyke the fowlers net, through quhilk
His steilly harness shynd)
Take, Norse, that gift frae me, and bid
Him venge the blude it heirs;
Say, if he face my bended bow,
He sure na weapon feirs."

* Jupe, upper garment

Proud Norse with giant body tall,
Braid shoulder and arms strong,
Cry'd "Quhair is Hardyknute sae famd,
And feird at Britains's throne;
Thah * Britons tremble at his name,
I sune sall make him wail,
That eir my sword was made sae sharp,
Sae saft his coat of mail."

* Thah, through

That brag his stout heart could na byde,
It lent him zouthfou micht;
"I'm Hardyknute; this day, he cry'd,
To Scotland's king I hecht. *
To lay thee law, as horses hufe;
My word I mean to keip."
Syne with the first strak eeir he strake,
He darrd his body bleid.

* Hecht, engaged

Norse ene lyke gray gosehawke staird wyld,
He sicht with shame and spyte;
"Disgrace'd is now my far-fam'd arm
That left thee power to stryke;"
Then gaif his head a blaw see fell,
It made him doun to stoup,
As law as he to ladies usit
In courtly gyse to lout.

Full sune he rais/d his bent body,
His bow he marvell'd sair,
Sen blows till the on him but darrd
As touch of Fairly fair;
Norse ferliet * too as sair as he
To se his stately luke;
Sae sune us eir he strake a fae,
Sae sane his lyfe he tuke.

* Ferliet, wondered

Quhair lyke a frye to hether set,
Rauld Thomas dis advance,
A sturdy fae with luke enrag'd
Up towards him did prance;
He spurd his steid throw thiuckest ranks
The hardy zouth to quell,
Quha stude unmuft at his approach
His furie to repell.

"That schort brown shaft sae meanly trim'd.
Lukis lyke poor Scotland's geir,
But dreidfull seems the rusty point!"
And loud he leuch in jeir.
"Aft Britons blude has dimd its shyne;
This point cut short their vaunt;"
Syne pierc'd the boisteris bairded cheik;
Nae tyne he tuke to taunt.

Schort quhyle he in his sandill swang,
His stirrip was nae stay,
Sae feible hang his unbent knee
Sure taken he was fey; *
Swith ** on hardened
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] General Sir Colin Halkett (1774-1856)

He was born on 9 September 1774 in Venlo (Pas-Bas), Belgium and died at Chelsea Hospital, London, England on 24 September 1856 at age 82.

Sir Colin began his military career serving as a cadet under his father, Frederick Godard Halkett, who at the time was a Major in the Regiment of Gordon in the Scottish Brigade. His father rose to the rank of Major General.

In England, with the Scottish Brigade, Sir Colin formed a battalion of light infantry of German soldiers. This ultimately resulted in the formation of the 1st and 2nd Light Battalions of the King’s German Legion (KGL). Sir Colin was given command of the 2nd Light Battalion of the KGL.

He served in Northern Germany in 1803-1806, where his brother Hugh a Senior Captain and later Major served under him, and then in Ireland in 1806. He was shipwrecked with part of his battalion on the Rundle Stone off Land’s End in May 1807. Later that year he served in the Isle of Rugen and in the Copenhagen Expedition. In 1808 he went to Sweden.

After Sweden Sir Colin went to Portugal and Spain where he served with distinction under Wellington in the Peninsular Campaign. There he participated in Sir John Moore’s retreat through Spain when the KGL Light Battalions were among the troops retired to Virgo. These battalions repeatedly distinguished themselves in the Walcheren Expedition. Sir Colin commanded the brigade at the Battle of Albuera. Later, after taking command of the Light Brigade and with the 7th Division, he took active part in the operations against Burgos and in the Burgos retreat, where he won the special approbation of Lord Wellington. This command continued at Venta de l’Ozo, where the 2nd Brigade was commanded by his brother Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Halkett, and at the bridge of Samancus. Sir Colin commanded the German Light Brigade during the succeeding campaign, including the Battle at Vitoria, the occupation of Tolosa, the passage of the Bidassoa, and the battle on the Nive and at Toulose.

He became a Major General on 4 June 1814, just before Waterloo.

In the Waterloo campaign he commanded the 5th Infantry Brigade that was composed of the 2nd Battalions of the 30th, 33rd, 69th, and 73rd Regiments, of the 3rd Division. The troops under his command were very hotly engaged at Quatre Bras and then at Waterloo. There were many casualties. Sir Colin received four severe wounds at Waterloo. The Duke of Wellington referred to him in a dispatch as “a very gallant and deserving officer”.

After Waterloo, Sir Colin remained in the British Service. He was for some years (1821-1830) substantive Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Jersey and had a street named after him
there. From July 1831 to 1832 he was Commander-in-Chief at Bombay, India. Then, he was appointed Colonel-in-Succession of the 71st Highland Light Infantry and the 31st and 45th Regiments.

He was made substantive Lieutenant General in 1830 and General in 1841. Sir Colin received many honors. While in the British service he was knighted - the English Order of Bath. Among his other honors were the GCB and GCH, a knight of numerous other orders, and Honorary General in the Hanoverian Service.

Sir Colin’s last assignment was in 1843 as Lieutenant Governor of Chelsea Hospital in London, England and upon the death of Sir George Anson, he became its Governor.

Sir Colin died on 25 September 1856 and is buried in an impressive grave located in the center of Chelsea Hospital’s graveyard.

Sir Colin was married to Letitia CRICKET. She was the widow of Captain Tyler, Royal Artillery. Letitia died on 12 February 1862 in London, England.

There were 4 children - 3 daughters and 1 son.

NOTE: See Photo section for pictures of this great man.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply

1814 - 1871

Information from Dictionary of National Biography - London

HALKETT, SAMUEL, librarian, was born in 1814 in the North Back of the Canongate, Edinburgh, where his father carried on a business as a brewer. he was educated at two private schools, and was apprenticed at the age of fourteen.

For five years he was employed by Messrs. Marshall & Aitken, and afterwards by Messrs. Abernathy & Stewart, with whom he remained until he entered the business for himself.

His spare time was devoted to study, and his 'philological genius' and 'extraordinary attainments' were spoken by of Sir William Hamilton and others in supporting his candidature for the keepership of the library of the faculty of Advocates, Edinburgh, in 1818. On being appointed to that office he found the library without an alphabetical catalogue, and at once commenced a catalogue, which formed the basis of valuable 'Catalogue of the Printed Books in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates, Edinburgh, 1863-70, 7 vols. 4to. The printing was begun in 1860, but the labour was so great that at Halkett's death he had not proceeded further than the word 'Catalogue.' The work was completed on a scale somewhat less extensive than at first planned.

A report by Halkett on the state of the Library in 1868 is appended to a memorandum signed by J. Hill Burton on a proposed enlargement of the scope of the Library (Edinburgh, 1868, 8vol.).

In 1856 Halkett wrote to 'Notes and Queries' (2nd ser. i. 120) that he had been collecting materials for a dictionary of anonymous English works; on his death his materials were handed over to the Rev. John Laing, librarian of the New College, Edinburgh, who continued the works until his death in 1860. The book finally appeared, with many additions, edited by Miss Catherine Laing, as 'Dictionary of the Anonymous and Pseudonymous Literature of Great Britain' (Edinburgh, 1882-8, 4 vols. 8vo).

Halkett contributed some articles to Chamber's 'Cyclopedia.'

His knowledge of books and literature was very great, but he was chiefly distinguished for his remarkable linguistic acquirements.

He died in April 1871, aged 67, and left a widow and four children.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] George Halkett’s
O Logie O Buchan, O Logie the Laird

George Halkett was a schoolmaster at Rathen, in Aberdeenshire, and wrote the song over the winter of 1736. This is also mentioned in the "Gems of Scottish Song".

He also composed the well-known Jacobite song: "Whirry higs awa, man'".

Thanks to Richard W Kopp the text of this ballad has found. Check out Knopp's web site for more info.

[external link]~robokopp/scottish.html

Here is the text that Robert just found and posted to his Scottish Web site - Scottish Folksongs

George Halkett, 1736

"O Logie O Buchan, O Logie the laird
They have taken away Jemy the delight of the yard
He played on his pipe and his vilot so small
They have taken away Jemy the flower of them all.


She's a-thinking long lassie though I gang awa'
The summer is coming cold winter is awa'
I'll come back and see you in spite of them all.

2. Oh Sandy has houses and gear and has kye
A house and lands and silver for by
I would sooner take my ain lad with a staff in his hand
Than him with all his houses and land.


She's a-thinking long lassie though I gang awa'
The summer is coming cold winter is awa'
I'll come back and see you in spite of them all.

3. My daddy looks sulky my mamy 'looks sour
They frown upon Jemy because he is poor
I loved them as well as a daughter should do
But not half so well, my Jemy, as you.


She's a-thinking long lassie though I gang awa'
The summer is coming cold winter is awa'
I'll come back and see you in spite of them all.

4. I'll sit on my crippy and spin at my wheel
And think on the laddie that I love so weel
We had but one sixpence he broke it in twa
And he gave me one half before he went awa'.


She's a-thinking long lassie though I gang awa'
The summer is coming cold winter is awa'
I'll come back and see you in spite of them all.”
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] GENERAL SIR HUGH HALKETT (1783-1863) Short Biography

He was born on 30 August 1783 in Musselburgh, Midlothian, Scotland and named after his cousin Hugh, Lord Marchmont. As a boy he was noted for his love of horses.

Hugh’s long and illustrious military career began on 14 April 1794 when he joined his father’s battalion of the Scots Brigade as an Ensign. He became a Lieutenant in 1795 and went to India in 1798, where he served until 1801. In 1803 he was nominated senior Captain of the Light Brigade under his brother, Colin Halkett. It became the 2nd Light Battalion of the King’s German Legion (KGL). In 1805 Sir Hugh became a Major in the battalion before he was 22.

He served with the battalion on the Isle of Rugen at the sieges of Stralsund and Copenhagen in Denmark in 1807. His prompt action on outpost duty in seizing a Danish redoubt without waiting for orders won the approval of Sir David Baird. Modest when speaking of his own deeds, he often referred to the incident ion later years as “the best thing I ever did”. In 1808 he went with the battalion to Sweden and then to Portugal where he took part in the Corunna retreat and in the siege of Flushing.

Hugh married Emily Charlotte Bland BURGES, daughter of Sir James Bland Burges, Bart of Beauport and Anna de MONTOLIEU, at the Hollington Church in Sussex, England on 25 May 1810. Emily was born on 12 April 1789 in Nantcribba, Montgomeryshire, Wales and she died on 19 December 1831 in the castle at Celle, Hannover, Germany - age 42. Emily is buried in the Neustadt Cemetery in Celle.

In the winter of 1811-1812 Sir Hugh returned to England for health reasons - his liver disease was acting up again as it had 10 years earlier in India.

Sir Hugh became Brevet Colonel on 1 January 1812.

He returned to the Peninsula in July 1812 and commanded his battalion at the battle of Albuera. There he found an excellent opportunity to show his bravery and knowledge. Two horses he was riding were wounded right from under him. After the battle when he was taking his coat and jacket off, five bullets fell out. But only one of them caused any contusion. Luck, which always accompanied him, remained true to him in this event. He was always unprotective of his own person and had wonderful courage and went where the danger was the greatest. He was never seriously wounded except later, at Waterloo, where a grenade splintered and hit him in the forehead, putting out one of his eyes. This was a battle accident that he never spoke of. It was only learned about by others later in Sir Hugh’s life. In September 1812 was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. He commanded his battalion again the following year at the siege of Fort Salamanca, at the battle of Salamanca, and in the Burgos retreat where the Light Brigade, composed of the 1st and 2nd Light Battalions of the German Legion, formed the rear guard of the Army. On 10 December 1812 these battalions distinguished themselves by their gallant repulse of the French Cavalry at Venta de l’Ozo.

On 22 September 1813 Sir Hugh was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the 7th Line Battalion of the Legion (KLG), then garrisoned in Sicily. Before the command could be assumed he was sent to northern Germany to help organize the new Hanoverian Army that was to later serve with distinction in the battle of Waterloo.

In command of a brigade of these troops in Count Wallmoden’s Army Hugh distinguished himself in the battle of Godrde, Germany in September 1813, and in the unsuccessful fight with the Danes at Schestedt, Germany in the following December. On this latter occasion, when a Danish Cavalry regiment was attacking, Sir Hugh, on horseback, dashed up upon the standard bearer, seized the standard and escaped by clearing a quickset hedge with a double ditch, over which many of his pursuers could not follow his remarkable display of horsemanship. He held command at the sieges of Gluckstadt and Harburg in Germany in 1814.

Sir Hugh was promoted to Colonel on 17 March 1814.

At the time of the battle of Waterloo Sir Hugh commanded the 3rd Hanoverian Brigade in the 2nd British Division. In this battle he distinguished himself by taking prisoner the French General Cambronne, Commander of the 2nd Chasseurs of the French Imperial Guard. This occurred in the Hougoumont area of Belgium after an unsuccessful advance brought the French Guard close to Sir Hugh’s advanced British skirmishers. Observing a French General rallying his men, and wishing to fire encouragement to his own young soldiers, he put his spurs to the powerful English hunter he rode. The French evidently thought that his horse had bolted. Coming close to Cambronne, Sir Hugh presented a pistol and called on him to surrender, which he did. At that moment Sir Hugh’s horse was shot from under him, and he saw Cambronne making off towards his men. Getting his horse upon its legs again and with a desperate effort, he pursued the General, grasped him by his epaulets, swung him around and cantered off with him to the British line as a prisoner.

In 1815, when a Lieutenant Colonel in the British service, he received Knighthood - English Order of the Bath and received many other honors from the British and German governments which are listed below.

- Knight, Swedish Order of the Sword
- King’s Demkumeze for 1812-14, Spanish Gold Cross for Albuera
- Waterloo Medal and Ernst - August – Cross
- Companion of Bath, 19 September 1815
- English Gold Peninsular Medal and Clasp for Albuera and Salamanca, 21 September 1815
- Grand Cross, Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order, 10 December 1815
- Grand Cross Russes, St. Anne (first class in diamonds), 30 April 1841
- Prussian Black Eagle (first class in diamonds)
- Grand Cross, Prussian Red Eagle (in brilliants), 18 February 1843
- Grand Cross, Oldensberg, Hans and Verdienst Order, 8 October 1843
- Grand Cross, Henry the Lion of Brunswick, 8 October 1843
- Grand Cross, Leopold of Austria, 9 November 1843
- Mecklenburg, Militair Verdienst, Koenig, 11 September 1848
- Prussian Order of Military Merit, Verdiernst Order, 19 September 1848 (for Schleswig)
- Grand Cross, Danish Dannebrog. 8 November 1848

If not included in the above then also:

- Peninsular War Medal
- Hanoverian War Medal

After the Congress of Vienna he went into the Service of the State of Hannover. In 1818, at the age of 35, he was promoted to Major General and was subsequently given command of the Regiment of Celle. In 1834 he rose to the rank of Lieutenant General and was given command of the 2nd Infantry Division of the Hanoverian Army. In 1843 he was named Corps Commander. In 1846 he became Inspector General and in 1848 he was promoted to General of the Army and also functioned as the Commandant of the Army Corps in the war against Denmark that same year.

On the anniversary of Waterloo in 1858 the Hanoverian Chambers voted General Hugh Halkett a life pension and on 15 June 1862 he became Baron von Halkett when he received from King George V a perpetual baronship to the Kingdom of Hanover. The title also applied to his wife as well as his legitimate offspring, both male and female.

The following is an extract from the Hanover Official Gazette, dated 18 June 1862:

His Majesty the King has been graciously please to raise his Excellency to General of the infantry, Hugh Halkett and his legitimate offspring to the Baronial Estate.

We, George the Fifth, by the Grace of God of Hanover, Prince of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Cumberland. Duke of Brunswick and Luneberg, etc., etc. after having served us, our Royal House, and our Kingdom, your now second Fatherland, faithfully, energetically, successfully for a long succession of years, having at all times brilliantly distinguished yourself by talent, bravery, and devotion in the different campaigns and battles in which you took part with
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] EVERARD (EDOUARD) HALKETT (1650 - 1706) age 56

Born in about 1650 in Hulst, Zeeland, Netherlands.

Succeeded his father, Maurits Halkett, as captain of a Scottish company, the regiment of Colonel Henry GRAHAM on 2 October 1676. Later on he was a captain in the regiment of Colonel Walker Philip COLYEAR. Appointed a major in the regiment on 26 October 1703. His service was with a Scots brigade in the pay of Holland in MARLBOROUGH'S campaigns. Promoted to Lt. Colonel on 10 April 1705. Gravely wounded at the Battle of Ramillies (Belgium) in 1706 he died at Liege, Belgium a few days later on 23 May 1706. Charles, eldest son of Everard, was also wounded at Ramillies, Belgium but he survived and was able to perpetuate the lineage.

There were two marriages:

1st: betrothal, s' Hertogenbosch , Netherlands on 27 May 1679.was to Maria Dividua De VRIES., widow of Lt. Colonel Maximiliaan de la RIVIERE, living at the Papenhulst in 's Hertogenbosch. Maria was born in Breda, Netherlands. The dates of her birth and death are unknown except that she died before 1682.

2nd: Widowed in his first marriage Edward remarried in Neerbosch, Gelderland, Netherlands on 22 September 1682 to Judith de PAGNIET. After Edward’s death Judith remarried on 3 September 1682 in Nijmegen, Netherlands (name unknown).

Edward’s 2nd marriage with Judith produced eight children:

NOTE: See Photo section for a portrait of Everard.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] Captain Henry Halkett and the Cirencester

From 1806 - 1811, Capt. Henry HALKETT had command of the East India Company's sailing vessel Cirencester. The Cirencester was built in 1794, probably in the wake of the East India Company's resolution that year that ships of 1,400 tons were the most suitable for the China trade. Sir Robert Robert Preston was her Managing Owner. The Cirencester was one of the largest vessels in their employ when she entered service in 1795, just in time to sail with the new season's convoy. An impressive ship, she measured at 1,504 tons - 1,439 tons burthen and 1,200 tons 'chartered.' She was 144 feet long with a 43 foot beam.

Bound for China, she cleared Portsmouth under the command of Captain Martin Lindsay on 9 July 1995, in the company of 6 other East India Company (EIC) ships, these mostly destined for Indian ports. After a speedy return passage, she was back at her moorings in home waters on 16 December 1796. Thereafter she settled into regular sailings for the rest of her career.

For her second passage out she sailed under Captain Thomas Robertson and he retained command of her for the next 4 trips until Captain Henry HALKETT replaced him in 1806. By the time of the Cirencester's last voyage under EIC colours, Francis Martin had superceeded Sir Robert Preston as Her Managing Owner although Captain HALKETT was still in command.

Leaving Portsmouth on 13 April 1810, she was back home in September 1811, after which she disappears from record, presumably sold and renamed by her hew owners.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply


Information about Lady Anne Murray Halkett the extraordinary Jacobite adventuress herbalist - surgeon midwife and writer on religious subjects


. Information from Dictionary of National biography

. A Brief 'BIO' from Historical and Statistical Account of Dunfermline by Dr. Chalmers

. Data about published biographies
. Extracts from The Memoirs of Anne, Lady Halkett and Ann, Lady Fanshawe

. Extracts from English Literature of the Late Seventeenth Century by James Sutherland

. Extracts from The Early Stuarts (1603-1660) by Godfrey Davis

. Extracts from British Autobiography in the Seventeenth Century by Paul Delany

Info about Lady Anne Halket from Guil Halket
. Bibliography

Introduction to The Autobiography of Anne Lady Halkett

Jim Cross Essay 2 – Women of the Renaissance: LADY ANNE MURRAY HALKETT 1622-1699

Information from Dictionary of National Biography

HALKETT, Anne or Anna, Lady (1622-1699), royalist and writer or religious subjects born in London 4 January 1622, was the youngest daughter of Thomas Murray, a cadet of the Tullibardine family, who had been appointed by James I tutor to his son Charles, and subsequently was provost of Eton College. Her mother was Jane Drummond, related to the noble family of Perth, who, after acting as sub-governess to the Duke of Gloucester and Princess Elizabeth during the absence of Countess of Roxburgh, succeeded on the death of the Countess to her office. Anne lost her father when she was only three years old, and was carefully educated by her mother. She and her sister Jane were sent to masters to be instructed in French, dancing, and playing on the lute and virginals, and a gentlewoman was kept for instructing them in needlework. Special attention was also attached to her religious instruction, and in her early years she was seldom or never absent 'from divine service at five o'clock in the winter' (Autobiography, p.3). In order to help the poor she studied physic and surgery with such success that patients sought her from all parts of England and Scotland as well as from the continent.

In 1644 her affections became engaged to Thomas Howard, eldest son of Edward, lori Howard. Her mother forbade the match on account of the small fortune of the lover. She would not marry in defiance her mother but promised to marry no one else. She asked her relative, Sir Patrick Drummond, to procure her admission to a protestant nunnery in Holland, but he succeeded in reconciling her to her mother. In July 1646 Howard married Lady Elizabeth Mordant.

Anne's mother died on 28 August of the following year, and shortly afterwards, through her brother Will, she made the acquaintance of Joseph Bampfield [q.v.]. He pleased her by serious discourse, and she helped him in contriving the escape of the Duke of York by procuring from her tailor a female disguise for the duke. She herself dressed the duke in the disguise at the waterside - and provided him also with a Woodstreet cake - before he entered the barge that conveyed him to the ship at Greenwich. After the escape of the duke she had frequent interviews with Bampfield, who made use of her in the conveyance of letters between him and the king. He persuaded her that his wife was dead, and offered her his hand. In the autumn of 1649 she was on a visit to Anne, wife of Sir Charles Howard of Naworth Castle, when she heard of Bampfield's arrest, and was informed that his wife was alive. This caused a serious illness, in which her life was despaired of. Her recovery was assisted by the happy news that - as she supposed in answer to her prayers - Bampfield had escaped from the Gatehouse. At the insistance of Bampfield, in whose good faith she had still implicit trust, the Earl of Derwentwater promised that if she came to Scotland he would assist her in the recovery of part of her inheritance. Bampfield was himself then in Scotland. She reached Edinburgh on 6 June 1650, and was introduced to Charles II at Dunfermline. After the battle of Dunbar she left on 2 September for the north, but was delayed two days at Kinross, attending the soldiers wounded in the battle. On reaching Perth she received the special thanks of the king for the exercise of her shill, and he sent her from Aberdeen a reward of fifty pieces. Bampfield still protested his innocence, and she consented to an interview. She remained for about two years with the Countess of Dunfermline at Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, where she was visited by a large number of sick and wounded persons. In June 1652 she returned to Edinburgh, where she began a law-suit for the recovery of the portion left her by her mother. She stayed there to assist Bampfield in royalist plots. In February 1652-3 he left to promote a rising in the north, when she was disquieted by the prediction of Jane Hambleton, supposed to be gifted with the second sight, that Bampfield should never be her husband, and shortly afterwards news reached her that Bampfield's wife was undoubtedly living in London (ib. p. 83).

Sir James Halkett, who had already paid her his address, now induced her to undertake the charge of his two daughters, and to give him also a conditional promise of marriage. In 1654 she paid a visit to London, when Bampfield obtained an interview by surprise, and asked whether she was married to Sir James Halkett. She said 'I am' (out loud), and secretly said 'not.' He immediately rose up and said, 'I wish you and him much happiness together' (ib. p. 99). She was married to Halkett 2 March 1656 at her sister's house at Charleston, and a few days afterwards returned to Scotland. While pregnant with her first child, and apprehensive that she might die in childbirth, she wrote a tract entitled 'The Mother's Will to her Unborn Child.' On the death of Charles I she had been deprived of her interest, amounting to 412 pounds annually, due upon an unexpired lease of Barhamstead, a house and park belonging to the king. She had also found that her 'malignancy' had rendered her efforts for the recovery of 2,000 pounds of her portion entirely fruitless. At the Restoration she applied for compensation, but received nothing more than 500 pounds out of the exchequer, and 50 pounds from the Duke of York as a gist to one of her children. After her husband's death in 1676 she found it necessary to supplement her income by taking the charge, in her house at Dunfermline, of the education of the children of several persons of rank. James II, after his accession in 1685, rewarded her services to him in assisting his escape by a pension of 100 pounds a year. She died 22 April 1699.

Lady Halkett left twenty volumes in manuscript, chiefly on religious subjects. A list of the contents is given in her 'Life,' prefixed to the volume of her writings published in 1701. This volume contains: (1) 'Meditations and the Seventieth and Fifth Psalm;' (2) Meditations and Prayers upon the First Week; with Observations on each Days Creation; and Considerations on the Seven Capital Vices to be opposed; and their opposite virtues to be studied and practiced;' and (3) 'Instructions for Youth.' Her autobiography was first printed at length by the Camden Society in 1875.

[Life of Lady Halkett, 1701; Autobiography of Anne, Lady Halkett (Camden Society, 1875).]

A brief summary from HISTORICAL and STATISTICAL ACCOUNT of DUNFERMLINE by Dr. Chalmers (publishing source and date unknown) at pages 295-96 of Chapter: Town and Parish of Dunfermline where the Pitfirrane Family is being addressed:

She was a lady of great natural gifts, which she had diligently cultivated, and of decided religious and moral character. Through her father's connection with royalty she was known at Court where she was held in high esteem for her talents, prudence, amiableness, and benevolence, as well as strong attachment
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] GEORGE HALKETT OF PITFIRANNE - ??? – 1588

Here is some info about George Halkett that is contained in Douglas M. Ferguson's book "Dunfermline Golf Club, 1887-1987." I believe the book is out of print.

In it is a 5-page chapter on the history of Pitfirrane.

Here is what the chapter tells about dear George:

First about his death

"At the time, there was a house on the site later occupied by the present house, and George Halkett, who succeeded to the estate on 1573, altered and extended it substantially. A panel in the old spiral staircase is dated 1583 and this has been taken to be the date of the alterations. George Halkett seems to have has quite a chequered career
He became Provost of Dunfermline in 1585. The town, being 'free of the pest' was chosen as a meeting place of the General Assembly before Parliament. This decision, however, was evidently countermanded by the King, and Provost George Halkett, allegedly on orders of the Monarch, caused the town's ports or gates to be closed. The Assembly therefore had to meet in fields outside the town, and resolved to meet later in Linlithgow.

However, according to the local historian, Sir James Melville, the Provost was made to pay for his acts in keeping God's assembly out of town - a few years later, he fell out of a window at Pitfirrane House to his death.

This incident is much more colourfully recounted in The Annals of Dunfermline by Ebenezer Henderson (1879). The story goes as follows:

'About the end of November 1585, warning was made, according to the Order of Kirk, be the last Moderator athort the country, to the brethren to convene in General Assembly, conform to the custom before the Parliament at Dunfermline, na vther meit town being free of the pest. The brethren frequently furth of all parts resorting thither, the ports of the town were closit vpon them be the Provost for the time, the Laid of Pitfirren. alleging he had the King's command so to do; therefore the brethren, commending that wrang of god, the righteous Judge, covenit sa money as might in the fields, and comforting themselves mutually in God, appointed to meet in Linlithgow certain days before the Parliament. But God within a few years peyit that laird and provost his hire for that piece af service, when, for the halding out of His servants from keeping His Assenblie in that toun, He made his awin house to spew him out; for on one day, in the morning, he was fallen out of a window of his awin house at Pitfirren, three or four house high; whether by a melancholy act of despair, casting himself, or by violence of unkynd guests lodged within, God knaws; for being taken up, his speech was not sensible as to declare it, but within a few hours after, deit.’

Perhaps this was a classic case of did he fall or was he pushed? It may have been Divine Retribution,
after all.

Alterations he made to Pitfirrane House

The alterations to the house which the unfortunate George carried out involved the removal of ols battlements and parapet, and the addition of a staircase tower, typical of the sixteenth century architecture. Thus, although the extensive alterations of George Halkett are late sixteenth century, the precise age of the house is something of a mystery. Some archeologists have dated it in the fourteenth century, others consider that there are signs to suggest it was originally built in the tenth century.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] MAURITS (MAURICE) HALKETT (1615 1675)

Born on 5 Nov 1615 in Den Haag, Netherlands. Son of Sir John Halkett and Maria Van Loon.Twin brother of Robert. Maurice died at Maastricht, Netherlands in 1675 (age 60).

Maurice was the equal of his brothers and more or less took charge of them, and his sisters.

When he became of age on 5 November 1637 he embraced a military career. He was first a Sergeant in the Company of David BALFOUR. In 1647, after David’s death, he made Captain of that company which was in the Regiment of John KIRKPATRICK, formerly the regiment of his father. The succession of his company was: George LAMONT 1622, James HALKETT 1629, David BALFOUR 1638, Maurits HALKETT 1647. On 4 March 1659 his patent was put on registry. On 20 March 1659 he left the barracks at Orsoy and went to Texel, Netherlands for a rendezvous with Denmark. Named here Captain on 11 September. Garrisoned in Orsoy from 1661-1666. Then to Hulst, Netherlands on 23 February 1666 and back again to Orsoy on 11 May 1666. Was garrisoned there until 1671. After that, he was probably at Meurs and then to Vollenhove, Netherlands. In 1674, with his wife Catherina, he was transferred to the Company of James ERSKINE, Regiment of Colonel Henry GRAHAM.

Like his father, he died in battle. Our Captain Maurits Halkett was killed at Maastricht, Limberg, Netherlands in 1675, as was DARTAGNAN. Maurits was replaced by his son Captain Everard Halkett on 2 October 1676.

He was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church at 's Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.

On 23 May 1639 he married Catherina (de) DECKERE in Grave, Netherlands. There is a document showing that Maurits gave a gift of f250 to the church headquarters at s’Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. From this marriage there were 11 children.

Catherina was born and baptized in Grave, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands during the month of February 1617. She was the daughter of Jonkheer Adrien de DECKERE, riding master in the Service of the States, and Margaretha van LIER. Her grandfather Jonkheer Joseph de DECKERE was the captain of a German company of light infantry, whose great uncle Jonkheer Thomas van STAKENBROEK, lord of Sleewijck and Berkenbosch, was Lieutenant General of Calvary and Governor of Grave.

After the death of her husband Catherina lived in the Verwerstraat in 's Hertogenbosch with her daughter Maria Magdalena and her niece Agatha van der Vorst.

Catherina died 26 July 1693 in Den Bosch (s’ Hertogenbosch), Noord-Brabant, Netherlands at age 76. Sheis buried at Fort Isabella in the vicinity of 's Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. In the church in Fort Isabella there is a military (memorial) plaque hanging for Catherina de Decquere with the coat of arms Halkett and Decquere (the coat of arms has 3 golden acorns without stems) and a second plaque for Yda Halkett with the coat of arms John en Halkett. Documents also show that there are gravestones for the following family names: HALKETT, LOON, HEPBURN, STORM van WENA, de DECKERE, LIER, STAKENBROEK, and BERCKEL.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] Lord Selkirk’s Ghost Writer –

By W.S. Wallace

Some notes on John Halkett, writer, artist, collector, and member of the Committee
of the Hudson’s Bay Company

About one hundred and twenty-five years ago, there were stirring times in the Canadian Northwest. Lord Selkirk and the partners of the North West Company of Montreal had joined battle in a struggle which resulted in famous massacre of Seven Oaks in 1816, and ultimately in the absorption of the Nor’westers by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1821.

This struggle, the story of which has been told many times, was accompanied by a paper warfare in which perhaps more printer’s ink was spilled than in any other controversy in Canadian history. Between 1805 and 1821, more than thirty books and pamphlets were published in Canada and Great Britain on one side or the other of the “Selkirk Controversy.”

For the Nor’westers, the chief literary protagonist in the controversy was an interesting, if somewhat disreputable, hack-writer named Samuel Hill Wilcocke, whose story is one of the curiosities of the early literary history of Canada.

For Lord Selkirk, the chief literary champion was a member of the Committee of the Hudson’s Bay Company named John Halkett. Lord Selkirk had himself started the ball rolling with his “sketch of the British Fur-trade in North America, with observations relative to the North West Company of Montreal,” published in London in 1816; but on his departure for Canada late in 1815, he evidently entrusted his literary defence to John Halkett, who had that year married his sister, the Lady Katherine Douglas. In January,1817, John Halkett issued anonymously, a privately printed “Statement respecting the Earl of Selkirk’s Settlement of Kildonan,” which was distributed among Lord Selkirk’s friends; and in June, 1817, he published in New York, and of which a French translation by Hugues Heney was brought out in Montreal. He published also in Montreal, in 1818, a postscript to this Statement, which gave rise to David McKenzie’s pamphlet, referred to above; and in 1819 he printed the “Correspondence in the years 1617, 1818, and 1819, between Earl Bathurst and J. Halkett, Esq. On the subject of Lord Selkirk’s Settlement at the Red River.” He was also probably responsible for the publication in London, during the same year, of the “Narratives of John Pritchard, Pierre Chrysologue Pambrun, and Frederick Damien Huerter, respecting the Aggressions of the Northwest Company, against the Earl of Selkirk’s Settlement upon the Red River.”

John Halkett’s name did not appear on the title page of any of these publications as author or editor; and the veil of obscurity which rested over his work as Lord Selkirk’s “ghost-writer” has continued to rest over his personality and the details of his life. He gave his name to an important post of the Hudson’s Bay Company, Fort Halkett, which was for over half a century in operation on the Liard River, and to Cape Halkett in Alaska, but he himself has remained little more than the shadow of a name.

Curiosity led me, when working not long ago in the archives of Hudson’s Bay House in London, to institute some inquiries about John Halkett: and I succeeded in unearthing the leading facts about his life. I found that he was born, probably in Scotland, in1768, and that, like many other Scot at that time, he came to London to carve out his fortune. He was elected a member of the Committee of the Hudson’s bay Company at some time prior to 1809, and thus became a business associate of Lord Selkirk. It has generally been assumed that his connection with the Company was the result of his marriage with Lord Selkirk’s sister; but the truth would appear to be the other way about. He appears to have married the Lady Katherine Douglas at the mature age of forty-seven years as the result of his connection with Lord Selkirk and the Company. He became Lord Selkirk’s personal representative in England while Selkirk was in Canada during the hears 1815-1818, and indeed during his subsequent illness which led to his early and tragic death in France in 1820. In 1822, though then fifty-four years of age, he came to Canada as the representative of the Selkirk estate; and we know that he presided at a meeting of the Council of the Northern Department of Rupert’s Land, held at York Factory, on August 20, 1822. While in America, he evidently became interested in the problem of civilizing and Christianizing the American Indian; and in 1823 he published in London, under his own name a volume entitled “Historical notes respecting the Indians of North America, with Remarks on the Attempts made to Convert and Civilize them.” He continued to serve for many years on the Committee of the Hudson’s Bay Company; and he died in Brighton, England, on November 12, 1832 at the advanced age of eighty-four years. His will, which is preserved in Hudson’s Bay House in London, disposed of 20,000 (pounds); and the The Times did not deem him worthy of an obituary. Only the bare announcement of his death appeared in the column of death notices.

I have not been able to find any description or characterization of John Halkett by his contemporaries; but it is possible to deduce something of his character from the books he published. He was a man of excellent education; for, in his “Statement respecting the Earl of Selkirk’s Settlement of Kildonan,” he reveals a knowledge of the geography of Canada amazing in one who, so far as we know, had never till hen been in Canada, and, in his “Historical Notes respecting the Indians,” he reveals an equally amazing Knowledge of the literature relating to Indians of north America, and especially of Canada, at that time. He was familiar, not only with Champlain, Le Clereq, Lescarbot, La Potherie, Charlevoix, Lafitau, Carver, Henry, and Franklin, but also with such sources as the Jesuit Relations and the Lettres edifiantes et curieuses. At the same time, he appears to have been a man of self-effacing modesty. Though he had himself visited the Hudson’s Bay territories, and had (as we have seen) presided over the Council of the Northern Department, he permits himself, in his book on the Indians, only one personal reminiscence.

“In traveling through the interior of the Indian country a few years ago, I had the opportunity of observing near Lake Winnipic, a Cress (or Knistinaux) woman, who had been for several days watching over a sick daughter, about twelve years of age, apparently extremely ill.” Etc.

One could wish he had been less reticent, for a detailed account of his visit to the Hudson’s Bay Company’s territories in 1832 would have made his book of much greater value than it is.

What stands out most strikingly in his book, however, is his humanitarian zeal for the welfare and conversion of the Indians. Like Nicholas Garry, who was instrumental in forming an Auxiliary Bible Society at the Red River Settlement in 1821. John Halkett took his responsibilities as a director of the Hudson’s Bay Company very seriously; and his book throws a new and pleasant light on the attitude of the Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson’s Bay. There were, it is true, business men, with due regard for pounds, shillings, and pennies; but they were also Christian gentlemen inspired with a real desire to confer on the Indians the blessings of religion and civilization.

NOTE: See Photo section for some pictures about John Wedderburn Halkett.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply




(Date of publication unknown but it most likely preceded WW2, certainly before Madeline Halkett died in 1951)

Nestling in the sheltering protection of gigantic trees, some of the girth of sixteen feet and more, is the ancient Castle of Pitfirrane, with its beautiful green lawns and gracious old gardens. It has a double distinction, for it is the oldest inhabited house in Fife, and for nearly seven centuries has been in the possession of the same family. This wonder old place has managed to sweep aside the modern tide of destruction, and to preserve intact, amid its surroundings of undulating pasture lands, all the loveliness, grace and charm that ages alone can bestow.

The demesne of Pitfirrane was acquired from William de Scott of Balwearie (Descendant of the famous Sir Michael of the Ilk) in the fourteenth century, by a grandson of David de Halkett, proprietor of Ballingall and Lumphinnans.

Its great age has set some pretty problems for archeologists, some of whom date it fourteenth century. Others declare that there are certain outward and visible signs which prove the original keep to have been built round about tenth century. Be this as it may, their chill controversies cannot rob this veneral pile of its chequered history and romantic connections.

In 1583, history record, considerable alterations and additions were made. The old battlements and parapet were removed and corner turrets added. A staircase tower, always a notable feature of sixteenth-century architecture, was built at the southeast corner of the keep, leading up to the top story.

The main stairway is of stone (also sixteenth century) and flanked on either side by wonderful old oak paneling, the carving of which is of particular interest and beauty. In one panel appears the Halkett arms with the date, 1533; and in another the Halkett arms impaled with
those of Hepburn, a lovely record of the romantic marriage between George Halkett and Isabel Hepburn, which took place in 1576. This is continued to the first landing where the old Scottish line-fold pattern is in evidence.

The dining room is L-shaped and completely paneled. The carver certainly reached the zenith of his art in this room, and one can only bemoan that the secret of the beautiful handiwork belongs to the past, the machine-turned woodwork of modern times can never come up to this delightful craft of bygone days.

The old masters are well represented, and the pictures in the various rooms would make the most fastidious of art collectors green with envy, the portraits are of such giants as Vandyke, Romney, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir Peter Lely, Allan Ramsay, Sir Thomas Lawrence, and many other well-know artists.

The walls of the entrance hall of this ancient stronghold are hung with beautiful tapestries, the work of the Halkett ladies of bygone generations. We can imagine them in stiff farthingale and jeweled ruff plying their busy needles to the accompaniment of gay clatter and bantering repartee, or perchance some cavalier looked on, while gently fingering his flute.

Near the door in an oaken and glass case, designed by the late Noel Paton, is a treasured memento of royal favor – a stirrup cup from Dunfermline Palace in 1603, on his journey to London to be crowned King of Westminster, King James VI, called for wine, the cup out of which he drank is the one now enshrined at Pitfirrane. It is extremely ornate, the vase and handles, which are dolphin shape, are of clear crystal, while the bowl is a deep purple. The ring was presented personally by King James to Sir Robert Halkett on the night he left St. James’s after accompanying the royal retinue to England.

Old-world pictures are conjured up to mind by the sight of old “loupin’ stane,” so rarely seen know, silent witness of caparisoned steeds and armored knights and lovely ladies of the long ago.

The present –day smoking room was the cow-byre in the fifteenth century. Naturally, it bears no evidence of troughs and halters or other bovine occupation, but the iron gate, or rather the “yett” – a masterpiece of the medieval blacksmith’s handicraft – is still in existence. No marauder, however skillful, could circumvent, and no kine, however deft the horns, could loosen the “yett” of so quaint yet efficient design. It now bars the way to part of the grounds and shows no sign of wearing out. Stark testimony to the workmanship of bygone days.

From time immemorial the Halketts have acquitted themselves with valor, ever putting their country’s needs before selfish gain. In different parts of the Empire they have served their kings. In 1622 Sir Charles was created a baronet of Nova Scotia; he died 21st October 1597 and was buried in Dunfermline Abbey. There is a quaint reference in the records of Dunfermline Town Council which says that the magistrates considered “it their duty to do all in their power to honor the funeral of Sir Charles Halkett, their honorable and worth Provost.” The Treasurer was ordered “to buy as much black serge” and cover the Council “laft” in the Abbey. Burgesses were asked to go on horseback to Pitfirrane on the day of the funeral, and ordinary inhabitants, who ere not mounted, were “not to presume” to go to the castle, but were to wait for” the cortege at the Port.” All of this is quaintly reminiscent of the past.

Another of the Halketts, Sir Peter, fought against the Jacobites at their battle of Prestonpans, 1745, where he was taken prisoner. He had a chance of escaping but refused to break his parole, much to the wrath of the Duke of Cumberland, who on the strength of this, deprived him of his commission. To which unwarranted treatment Sir Peter replied, “Your Highness may deprive me of my commission but not of my honor.” But so flagrant a piece of injustice could not be allowed to remain unrectified. The case was brought before Parliament where ingenuous conduct was understood and, harsh injustice suitably admonished. The dictates of honor may have been outside the understanding of a Hannoverian Duke, but it was within the cognizance of a gentleman of the Halkett family. Reinstated in the army, Sir Peter went to America as Colonel of the 44th Regiment, only, alas, to fall with his son (Lieutenant James) at the battle of Monongahela, 1755. Years later a bayonet believed to be his was found near the site where he died, and some time ago was given back to the Halkett family.

The late Sir Arthur Halkett died in 1904, and with him the baronetcy became extinct. His daughters still live at Pitfirrane. The army claimed the late baronet, and he fought in the Crimea, where he had many narrow escapes. A keen horseman, he was Master of the West Fife Foxhounds for a number of years.

One could fill a volume with accounts of the members of the fine old family, for each one has distinguished himself nobly, to say nothing of political and municipal affairs (as ancient charters of Dunfermline testify), have claimed the attentions of the succeeding generations of the sons of Pitfirrane. But not only have the men comported themselves with honor, but the ladies also have played prominent parts in the history and literature of the country, while the piety and good deeds of the Lady Anne Halkett will ever be remembered.

Born in 1622, she lived in a turbulent age. She was the daughter of one Mr. Robert Murray, a cadet of the Tullibardine family, who was preceptor to Charles I, and afterwards Provost of Eton. Her mother coached the Duke of Gloucester and Princess Elizabeth, so that Lady Anne was cradled in learning. Her favorite studies were theology and physics, and she became thoroughly proficient in the science of surgery. One can easily visualize the uplifted eyebrows and imagine the stinging remarks, which this last accompli
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply

The family of Halkett held possession of a parcel of land called “Pitfirrane.” It is located in the county Fife.

In 1532 Patrick Halkett is infefted with the third of Pitfirrane and on 18 November 1524 is associated with his father, John Halkett, in a tack of the adjoining lands of Knockhouse, with its coals and coal heughs. This is the first record of the family being connected with coal mining. which became the main source of the family’s income for several centuries (Vide P13). It is also, according to Duncan McNaughton in his history of “The Halketts of Pitfirrane”, the first record of coal mining in this district since the grant to the monks of the Abbey (Dunfermline) of the right to mine coal in Pittencrieff Glen in 1291.

At the time, the lands around Pitfirrane were all valuable for the surface seams of coal, now coming to be worked as a regular industry. At one point it is not clear whether the Halkett Pitfirrane family had the full right to work the coal on lands other than from Pitfirrane. This is based on a premise that the tack of Knockhouse may have expired, as we find that in 1560 George, Commendator of Dunfermline, granting Patrick Halkett a gift of the ninth load from that holding.

The family tradition was that it had, from an early date, the privilege of exporting coal free of duty, a right (charter) confirmed by Queen Anne in 1706 and ratified by Parliament the following year. No mention of the grant appears in the records except that in 1565, Mary Queen of Scots grants license to Patrick Hakket (Halkett) of Pitfirrane and others to sell and export the smithy coals from Knockhouse and Crombie. It was to facilitate this trade that Sir Charles Halkett of Pitfirrane built a pier at Limekilns in 1676.

In the mid to late 17th century the Halketts of Pitfirrane continued development of their coal seams. The possession of half of the convenient neighboring port of Limekilns was assured by a confirmation from John, Earl of Tweeddale in 1684 that was resigned by him in 1686.

When the crown bought back the privilege in 1788 the sum of 40,000 pounds was paid.


Supplemental information:

1. Jean Swift Email of 14 November email: [contact link]

As it happens, I will be delving into coal mining in West Lothian for my second essay, entitled "Living on the Land". This is to be based on my great-grandfather who farmed in Uphall, near Edinburgn until he died in 1871. Although the family had farmed more or less continuously in that area for about 150 years, his sons did not follow in his footsteps, as such a lot of the land had been sold for mining.

I have been trying to trace the mining industry back through Midlothian and East Lothian to Fife and had realised that the Halketts had great mining and iron-working interests. I believe they were the fore-runners of the Carron Works at Falkirk and I am told there is a Halkett Street there. So if I find anything of interest to you I will send it when I return home in December.

Nothing reported back.

2. You have some good background already on your Halketts from Duncan McNaughton's 1961 Paper. Can I add a few further refs for you , drawn from "Scottish Family Histories" by Joan P S Ferguson, published by the National Library of Scotland in1986 - ISBN0-902220-68-3.

" Account of the descent of Alexander, 1st Earl of Rosslynn, and genealogical papers concerning the Halketts of Pitfirran. " Nat Lib'y of Scotland - MS.6503,ff28-51

"Inventory of Pitfirran writs 1230-1794," pub Ed 1932 by William Angus (Scot Record Socy 67)
Nat Lib Of Scot - Ref 55

Also two papers by Duncan McNaughton( one ex the Scottish Genealogist)

A good library should hold this Ref book - otherwise take advantage of a great copying and extracting service from the NLof S.

Happy reading

Jim R - -Eumundi, Qld, Australia

[contact link]
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] GENERAL SIR CHARLES HALKETT (1683 - 1758) age 75

Was born 1n 1683 and baptized on 17 June 1683 in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

Charles Halkett was a Lieutenant General of the Dutch Army. When a Colonel of a regiment of the Scots brigade in the pay of Holland he was wounded at Ramillies (Belgium) in 1706. This was early in a long career that culminated with his nomination as Lieutenant General in the infantry in 1747. Charles father, Lieutenant Colonel Everard Halkett, was gravely wounded at the Battle of Ramillies (Belgium) in 1706 and died at Liege, Belgium a few days later. Fortunately Charles survived his wounds at Ramillies and was able to perpetuate the lineage.

Summary of General Halkett’s military career is as follows: Ensign/cornet in 1700. Wounded near Ramillies, Belgium on 23 May 1706. Assigned as Captain instead of Robert BOYD on 11 October 1708, as Sergeant-Major, in COLYEAR’s Regiment on 14 November 1727, Brigade Lt. Colonel, March 20th, 1730. Sergeant-major, March 17th, 1733. Colonel-commandant and Lt. Colonel November 20th, 1736. Brigadier of the Infantry on 15 October 1742. Defended in 1746 Charleroi, Belgium (capitulated 2 August 1746). Lt. General of the Infantry on 16 May 1747. Colonel, as successor of Walter Philip COLYEAR, 24 January 1748.

8 January 1781 he was made Governor of the Castle of Namur, Belgium and in 1752 he received a baronship - Baron de Petferren, Lieutenant General et Proprietaire d’un Regiment Ecossaise, au service des Etats Hollandaise en 1752 et Grand Major dela Ville et citadelle de Namur.

Charles died in ‘s Gravenhage, Netherlands October 24, 1758 and was the first Halkett in four generations to die in bed. This was after a long and well filled life.

An alternative source provides the following in respect to Charles military career:

20 April 1744 Leading seaman - quartermaster
23 January 1745 Captain of a new company in the regiment of Colyear
27 May 1746 Sergeant Major in his father's regiment
23 April 1750 Lieutenant-Colonel in garrison in Willenstad (United Provinces of Netherlands)
1752 Lieutenant General and proprietor from a Scottish regiment in the service of the Netherlands States.
Grand Major of the city and citadel of Namur (Belgium. Netherlands Provinces)
5 November 1758 Regimental Adjunct (Major)
8 January 1781 Governor of the Castle of Namur
2 October 1772 Colonel Commander
18 March 1776 Colonel of the Scottish regiment of Major General Gordon

Charles had first married his first cousin Jeanne (Johanna) -Marguerite CORBET who was born at ‘s Hertogenbosch, Netherlands on April 10, 1687. Jeanne-Marguerite was the daughter of Walter CORBET and Marie-Magdalena, sister of Everard HALKETT. Charles and Jeanne-Marguerite were therefore both grandchildren of Maurice HALKETT and Judith de PAGNIET.

Jeanne-Marguerite died tragically coming back from Scotland when she perished at sea between Noordwijk and Zandvort, Netherlands on September 21, 1720. Her body was found the following day on the beach near Zandvoort where she was buried. One can still see in the church at the Fort Isabella near Zandvoort the monument (memorial plaque) dedicated to her memory.

Here is the original text on the monument in Dutch and a translation of it:

"Hier leydt begraven
de vrouw
Johanna Margrieta Corbet
dogter van de Heer Colonel Walter
Corbet en van de vrouw Maria Mag
dalaina Halkett en huysvrouw van
de heer captijn Charles Halkett,
verongelukt tussen Noortwijk en
Sandvoort; komende uyt Schotland
is haar doode lighaam hier
aan strant komen drijven
op den 22 September Anno 1720"


"Here has been buried
the lady Johanna Margrieta Corbet
daughter of the lord colonel Walter
Corbet and of the lady Maria Mag
dalaina Halkett and wife of
the Lord Captain Charles Halkett,
has had an accident between Noordwijk and
Zandvoort; coming from Scotland
was her dead body here
washed ashore
on 22nd September 1720"

On the monument there can be found the coat of arms of 16 quarterings of the ancestry of Johanna Margrieta Corbet. They are:

Corbet Halkett
Bain Dedequere
McKenzie Loon
McLeod Lier
Dunbar-Muni Hepburn
Vauss Stakenbroek
Munro Storm-Wena
Dunbar-Grange Berckel

Deo Optimo Maxima Gloria, which translated means: Glory to the highest God.

NOTE: See Photo section for a portrait/picture and coat-of-arms of Sir Charles
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply



Translation of



Jean – Francois Van Clauwaert

A. Origins of the HALKETT Family (1200-1600)

The origins of the HALKETT family are lost in the darkness of time. Landed lords in Fife (Scotland), they seem from the beginning of the 14th century AD, to have held posts due to the favor of the King or the high nobility of the kingdom. The first elements of their family known about their genealogy is reflected by the coat of arms on the ceilings of their castle of Pitfirrane. Which still stands.
If Pitfirrane, which is cited in a chart dating from the reign of William the Lion and drawn up in the years 1200-1210, this deviation from the parish of Dunfermline thus belonged to the family on Lochre.

It is probable that the HALKETTS draw their surname from the same located at Cunningham, but this is not proven.

The first ancestor identified in the records is Robert HALKETT. He was an important proprietor (foncier) in Kinross. He is listed in 1360 as collector of royal taxes and in 1372 as sheriff of Kinross.

Phillipe de HALKETT was probably the son of the preceding and of a sister of Constantin de LOCHORE, from the family of the first proprietors of Pitfirrane. He was Lord of Ballingall, in the welt of Kinross, but is also identified as Lord of Lumphinnans at Cowdenbeath in Fife in 1373.

Phillipe de HALKETT knew how to extend his patrimony - - about 1400 he obtained from William SCOTT of Balwearie a second third of Pitfirrane, and a few years later, he acquired half of the neighboring barony of Pitconnochie. He died between 1415 and 1432, leaving at least two sons: one named David and the other Robert. It is probable that the first third of Pitfirrane passed to the HALKETT family following the marriage of the father of Philippe HALKETT with a sister of Constatin of LOCHORE who had been proprietor.

It was his son David HALKETT, Lord of Ballingall, who succeeded him as lord of two thirds of Pitfirrane. He had previously held the office of Coroner of Waters in the Kinross and, while acquiring new holdings at Pitfirrane and Lumphinnans he followed the politics of his predecessors. He was the first to carry the title of HALKETT of Pitfirrane, a line that was perpetuated by the WEDDERBURN beginning in 1705 which continued until the last male died in 1904.

David HALKETT of Pitfirrane died in 1451

Certain authors list as follows Jacques (James) HALKETT who married a daughter of Sir John BOSWELL of Balmuto, others list Guillaume (William) who had married the same daughter BOSWELL, then in 1446 married Janet FENTON, daughter of Walter FENTON of Baikie and widow of Robert STEWART.

Guillaume (William) HALKETT, his successor, married a person with the given name Elizabeth in 1465. Then, before 1484, he wedded Margaret, daughter of Alexander CUNNINGHAM of Polnaise with whom he had at least two sons and two daughters. The father of Margaret, Alexander CUNNINGHAM of Polmaise and Auchenbowie, was sheriff of Stirling.

If one believes the legend he (Guillaume) was of the companions in "games" of King Jacques (James) IV who depleted the Public Treasury during the years 1489-1490. Guillaume died in December 1499.

His eldest son, Henri, followed him in his seigniory, that is the two thirds of Pitfirrane, a third of Pitchonnochie, Lumphinnans, Auchtertyre and Balcraig, to which he added the lands of Craighton in the barony of Carnbee.

He involved his son John fairly early in the governing of his lands and as provost of Dunfermline. He died alongside his King at the battle of Flodden in 1513.

Jean (John) HALKETT, married around 1512 Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew AYTON, governor of Stirling Castle and Master of Works of King Jacques (James) IV.
After having, in turn, associated his son Patrick in the directing of his land, he fell like his father in the defense of Scottish soil at Fallside in September 1547.

Patrick HALKETT followed John and with him the domain began to crumble. He had to concede more or less important parts to other HALKETTS although we cannot well determine their parental links.

Patrick HALKETT married twice. He wedded first Marjorie OGILVIE of Balfour, then Elizabeth LUNDY. Marjorie OGILVIE was the daughter of William OGILVIE of Balfour and of Anne DURIE. Elizabeth LUNDY was the daughter of John LUNDY or LUNDIN.

Patrick died in 1573.

Born of the union of Patrick HALKETT and Marjorie OGILVIE, George HALKETT succeeded his father and married soon after a widow, Isabelle, daughter of Sir Patrick HEPBURN of Waughton, knight, and Margaret LUNDY. He died in 1588, leaving six sons. The eldest, Robert, received Pitfirrane and he perpetuated the dynasty. Patrick, the second inherited Lumphinnans, whereas the fourth, John, baptized November 13, 1580 joined the Scottish Brigade in the service of the United Provinces. He married a Holland girl and, in a way, created a new age in the big family book.

In the troubled period that shook Scotland, in the second half if the 16th century AD, he supported the regent MORTON rather than that of his King.

Patrick died in 1588, leaving six sons. The eldest, Robert, received Pitfirrane and he perpetuated the dynasty. Patrick, the second son inherited Lumphinnans, whereas the fourth son, John, baptized November 13, 1580 joined the Scottish Brigade in the service of the United Provinces. He married a Holland girl and, in a way, created a new page in the big family book. (See below)



If Henri (Henry) and Jean (John) HALKETT, watered with their blood the rough Scottish land, at Flodden (1513) and at Fallside (1547), their descendants, converted to Protestantism, staked out with their tombstones the history of Europe. s'Hertogenbosch (P-B), Bois-le-Duc (1629), Maestricht (1675), Ramillies (1706) sounded the hour of widows and orphans.

Sir John HALKETT, the first to cross the continent, was born in November 1580. Youngest of the family, he made his career from the grade of ensign to colonel in one of the regiments of the Scottish Brigade studied by Furguson.

Knighted by Jacques (James) VI, he fell at the head of his regiment at Bois-le-Duc, in August 1629, and was buried at Heusden in Belgium.

He had married at Gravenhage on December 19, 1608, Marie van LOON, who survived him by 50 years. Marie LOON who died in Bois-le-Duc on 27 October 1679 was the daughter of Ghijsbert van Loon, lawyer to Council of Holland and counselor of Prince Maurice de NASSAU, and of Gertrude STORM van WENA. She was the granddaughter of Antoine van LOON, counselor of the court of Utrecht, he died in May 1606 at the age of 74, and of Hildegonde PIJLL on the one side and the granddaughter of Simon STORM van WENA, deputy-mayor of Delft and of Catherine, legitimized daughter of Albert of EGMOND, on the other side.

The third son of Sir John HALKETT and of Marie van LOON, Maurice HALKETT, the equal of his brothers, having come of age he embraced a military career and climbed one by one the hierarchical levels. Like his father, he died in battle at Maestricht in 1675, Dartagnan also died there.

He had married at Grave, May 23, 1939, Catherine de DECKERE, who was born there in February 1618, and who gave him eleven children. Catherine de DECKERE (1617-1693) was the daughter of Jonkheer Adrien de DECKERE and of Margaruite van LIER. Her grandfather Jonkheer Joseph de DECKERE was the captain of a German company of light infantry, whose great uncle Jonkheer Thomas van STAKENBROEK, lord of Sleewijck and Berkenbosch, was lieutenant general of calvary and governor of Grave- see chart.

Everard (Edward) HALKETT. who had succeeded his father as captain of a company, did also have the same career and
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] Subject: Executions

A bit more about Dunfermline executions and your Ramsay. All from the Dunfermline Annals.

SIX WITCHES BURNT AT THE WITCH-LOAN, and Two others Die in Prison. - This was a great witch-catching and witch-burning year in Dunfermline. A staff of officials called, "witch-watchers" and "witch-catchers," had been appointed early in 1643 to seize and put in ward (prison) all reputed witches, in order that they might be tried for their "horrid and abominable crime of witchcraft." Accordingly, "a great many old shrivelled-up women, with woe-begone countenances, were warded, and if any of them used the long staff in walking, so much the better for the catchers." In Dunfermline Register of Deaths, notice is taken of the poor, innocent
unfortunates. During the month of May, July, and August, it seems no less than six poor women were burnt for being reputed witches! Their names were Grissel Morris, Margaret Brand, Katherine Elder, Agnes Kirk, Margaret Donaldson, and Isobel Millar. These victims, having been tried and condemned to be burnt, were accordingly carted east to the loan (witch-loan), and being placed in the middle of a pile of wood, with feet and legs tied, the pile was set on fire, their bodies were soon consumed, and, it is to be hoped, that their better part received that mercy which had been denied to them on earth. In "the loan" many criminals in the olden time suffered. At the foot of the "the loan," near where the railway bridge crosses the road, there was the institution of "the witches' dub." Sometimes an old frail woman was thrown into it. If she sank, and was drowned, then it was supposed that "judgement had found her out;" if she swam on the
surface, which by the bulk of her clothing she might sometimes do, then it was judged that there was something "no cannie aboot her," and on some pretence the victim got to the flames at last. Determined not to lose their victim, they appear to have acted on the principle of "Heads, I win; tails, you lose!" Ascending the loan (the witch-loan), and about 100 yards from "the witch-dub," and on the east side of the loan road, there was a small knowe on which the witches suffered, and still further up the loan stood "the gallows" where execution was done."

WILLIAM CRICHTON, THE WARLOCK, BURNT. - The following minute is from the
Dunfermline Kirk Session Records:- "6th August: This day Wm Cricktoun compeired, and being posed upon the declatn given in against him, he was remitted to the magistrates to be imprisoned, whch was done; and some few days yraftir being straitlie posed and dealt with be the ministers and watchers, he came to a confession of sundrie things, and yt he hade made a paction wt the Devill to be his servand 24 zeirs and more since. He was condemned to be burnt; and a few days yraftr he was burnt" - most likely burnt on the Witches' Knowe, Townmill Road (Witch Loan). Probably Crichton was one of the great originals who "came out in 1627."


James Ramsay of Lambhill in Perthshire, his brother Andrew, his sister Helen and her husband, Andrew Hutson, in Pliverhall, of Drumtuthell, near Dunfermline, were tried by the Regality Court of Dumfermline in February, 1732, for cattle stealing, &c. The Judges at the trial were James Dewar of Lassodie, CAPTAIN PETER HALKET, YOUNGER OF PITFIRRANE, and Henry Wellwood of Garvock, and a jury of fifteen. The following notes regarding Ramsay's apprehension and execution are from the Burgh Records:- "James and Andrew Ramsay, after a long and violent resistance, were apprehended within a hut in Pitconochie, dean-park, in the BARONY OF PITFIRRANE. The place where the hut stood, on a small eminence, was much covered with whins and broom to screen it from observation. In the hut there were found a quantity of straw, two pairs of blankets, a bee-hive with some honey in it, the foot of a sheep, raw, a timber-plate, with mutton-collops, a cap which contained honey, and in which there were large lumps of fat, and livers, and also the lead of a window."

The crimes which the Jury found proven against James Ramsay were, the stealing four oxen and a quey from John Carswell, tenant in South Cults, in the parish of Saline, AND A BEE-HIVE OUT OF THE GARDENS OF PITFIRRANE. The Sentenceof the Court is dated 8th February, 1732, and so far as it relates to James Ramsay, was as follows:- "The Judges of the Courts of Justiciary and Regality of Dunfermline Having considered the foregoing Verdict of Assyze, of the date 5th current, Returned against James Ramsay, Andrew Ramsay, Andrew Hutson and Helen Ramsay pannells: They in respect whereof, by the Mouth of John Cummin, dempster of court - Decern and Adjudge the sd James Ramsay to be taken fra the tolbooth of Dunfermline Upon Wednesday being the twenty second day of March next to come, to that place of the common Muir of Dunfermline, called the witch Loan; and there betwixt the hours of two and four o'Clock afternoon of the said day to be hanged by the neck upon a gibbet, till he be dead. And ordains all his moveable goods and gear to be escheat and inbrought for the use of the ffiscal of court. Which is pronounced for Doom." (Regality Records, and Fernie's Hist. Dunf. pp. 170-172.)

In the Caledonian Mercury newpaper for 11th February, 1732, there is the following paragraph regarding this trial, &c:- "Dunfermline, February 8th, 1732. - This day was finished here a very tedious trial of four gypses (or gypses habit and repute), strollers, or vagabonds, which lasted between 18 and 19 hours, by the honoured CAPTAIN HALKETT, James Dewar of Lassodie, and Henry Wellwood of Garvock - deputies of the most Honourable the Marquis of Tweeddale, as hereditary bailie of the justiciary and regality courts of Dunfermline; when on a full and plain
proof James Ramsay, one of the gang, was sentenced to be hanged the 22d March next; and the other three to be whipped the first Wednesday of each month, for one half year, and afterwards to be banished the regality for ever." (!!!)

"James Ramsay has, since his sentence was pronounced, confessed to the Rev. Mr. Ralph Erskine that he stole the four oxen and young cow - one of the branches of the indictment. During his confinement in prison the Rev. Ralph Erskine frequently visited Ramsay for spiritual advice and consolation; he also went with him to his place of execution, soothing his
mind, and offered up a fervent prayer in his behalf to the fountain of mercy, as he was turned off."

The following extract is from the Burgh Records of 15th March, 1732:- _"The said day the baillies acquainted the Councill that they had this day _received a letter from James Dewar of Lassody, and Henry Wellwood of Garvock, two of the baillies deputes of the regality of Dunfermline, signifying to them that they heard that some of the members of the Councill are making some difficulty anent the obeying the dead warrant, directed to the magistrates, in
consequence of the sd baillies deputes their sentence pronounced against James Ramsay on the 8th of February last; and in order to obviate any inconveniences thereanent, they desire the magistrates to see the said sentence put into execution in the usual manner. And thereby declare that by their former dead warrant, they meant not to bring any new hardship or burden on the burgh of Dunfermline further than what the law and practice of this burgh requires, nor thereby to invalidate the baillie heretable of the regality his right in cases of that nature. And they desire the magistrates to send their guard to the execution - which guard they will pay. The Council having considered the import of the said letter, agreed to grant to the baillies of the regality the favour of the malitia to guard James Ramsay at his execution. And accordingly appointed the baillies to
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] The Capture of French General Cambronne by Colonel Hugh Halkett

This historical report consists of three parts:

1: The capture of French General Cambronne by Colonel Hugh Halkett,

2. Some biographical information about General Cambronne, and

3: Other historical excerpts, which portray inaccuracies about
Cambronne's last hour of battle with the French imperial guard


Excerpts from The Life of Baron Hugh von Halkett by E.von dem Knesebeck, printed and published by Eduard Hallberger, Stuttgart, 1865.

At bottom of page 38

"The Battle of Waterloo has been described so completely, the best description being the works of Siborne. Most historians have adequately described my leader?s (HUGH HALKETT) role in this battle. Also, a detailed depiction by me of the same would go beyond the borders of this biography of one fellow fighter so I will not go into it. However, it is also important to know that this fellow fighter did a deed that is ignored or denied by French writers. So I believe it is best to give word for word, as best possible, the participation of Colonel HALKETT in the Battle of Waterloo. This is translated from English of the memoirs and officer who served in the Battalion of Osnabruck and was an eyewitness to the brave deed of Colonel HALKETT. That part of the memoirs goes as follows:"

At page 42

'As he continued to follow the French Guard he saw their general, accompanied by two officers, coming to the front. In order to attempt to bring them to a halt Colonel HALKETT had his sharpshooters advance and jumped in full gallop in front of the general and threatened to cut him down if he did not surrender. The general gave in and identified himself as General Cambronne. As HALKETT was leading his prisoner back, his horse was wounded and felled by a second shot. With great effort HALKETT got the horse up on its legs. While this was going on General Cambronne attempted to escape to his French Guard but HALKETT overtook him. He grasped the general by his epaulets and brought him back as his prisoner. Because he had no other officers available he gave the general to a sergeant with the command to take him to the Duke. Subsequently, this sergeant came upon an officer who explained that he was an adjutant of the Duke and took General Cambronne away from him and no further notice was taken of this event.'

At page 44

'On the march to Paris the French newspapers reported that an English general had told General
Cambronne to give himself up but his answer had been " La Garde meurt, mais ne se rend pas" (The Guard was dying but didn't give up) and this fictitious deed was shown in pictures and sold in Paris.'

At page 45

"So far the excerpts from the papers left out our hero's deeds. He did, however, in simple and modest words describe his and his brigade's participation in the Battle of Waterloo. This was in a short original report to Sir Henry Clinton, which has just recently been discovered in England - see page 4. But let us listen now to the voice of an officer of the Landwehr Battalion of Osnabruck which had taken part in the battles against the French Guard under HALKETT:"

At page 46

'Therefore from now on I was at the fore and could observe and have a vivid memory of what happened, which I will now describe. '

At pages 46, 47, 48 and 49

'The gun crew had advanced, as I have said, also the Old Guard threw out sharpshooters and the fight was now in progress. As we advanced, the enemy remained in place where it was. Intentionally the middle of our skirmish line drew together in order to give free front to the battalion forming into a column. It was clear that we were only a few seconds from their bayonet attack. When the sharply retreating battalion formed into a skirmish line our steps became more hurried. We came closer, the enemy sharpshooters disappeared and a burst of fire from forward rows of the column greeted us. I believe we all hesitated and stood still. The critical moment of victory or defeat, to storm forward or to retreat was upon us. Then came a short cry from Colonel HALKETT in our ear 'hurrah brave Osnabruker!' It reached all the way into our very beings in that moment in a decisive way. We followed the Colonel with our complete trust and enthusiasm inspired by our leader's brief - 'hurrah brave men of Osnabruck!' We took our bayonets into a running trot toward our opponents as they came against us and broke with their bayonets. For one moment they stood, then they took clearly wavering steps and turned and went backwards a short stretch, still in closed rank. Then they began to break up and took flight in an unorderly manner. Apparently our powers were still fresher than those of the very tired Old Guard. As we got even nearer to them many of the enemy soldiers who could not go any further and remained back were taken prisoners. So it went, I would say, in a wild chase, always moving forward and towards the opponent. Shots were fired from both sides but only in so far as could be done while running. The officers of the enemy tried very hard to get their people to stand up again. They dropped their swords over them and called 'avant' (forward) to each other, but we did not let this come about and as we advanced they broke apart.

'A French general, accompanied by two other officers on horseback were attempting to bring the Old Guard back to a standing position. They tried very hard. One could see the general riding back and forth encouraging his men, especially to shoot towards the enemy rider (HALKETT). Finally the general's horse was felled by a bullet. The general lay under his horse and could not immediately free himself. We called out to Colonel HALKETT, who was in the first rows, about this general - marked by his uniform as such and whom we had been watching for a long time - who had now fallen from his horse. As soon as the colonel saw this he drew his sword, gave his horse the spur, and raced in a gallop toward the fallen officer. He passed among individual enemy soldiers causing them to flee and thereby was actually right in the middle of the enemy. As the colonel came up to the fallen rider the rider had been able to free himself from his horse and was standing upright. I believed I saw the colonel take a stab at him. All of the gun crew from the vicinity and I myself raced up to the scene because the colonel obviously seemed to be in very great danger. He could be killed from all sides - by shot or by a bayonet. No Frenchman appeared to have time to come to the rescue of his general as evidenced by the fact that both officers accompanying the general had run away. The general was at this moment the prisoner of the colonel. The colonel had taken hold of him by the collar and dragged him alongside his horse. I was 3-4 steps away and the first to come that close. Others followed. The colonel, who was holding on to his prisoner, let him loose and asked who he was. The general was bleeding a lot from a head wound; the blood flowed over his entire face. He wiped away the blood from his mouth with his hand and answered 'Je suis le General Cambronne' - I am General Cambronne. Whether the wound Cambronne had was from the sword of Colonel HALKETT or due to a shot I cannot say. We had only a few moments here because all of a sudden we had to go forward at the urging of the Colonel. Late in the evening as the battalion finally came to halt I heard that sergeant Fuhring and three men had escorted General Cambronne to Brussels.'

"The above report by a witness of a heroic deed of Colonel HALKETT and his own telling of the story are completely in agreement. Namely, that HALKETT, very bravely risking his own life, had taken the French Old Guard General Cambronne priso
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply

The ancient name of Halkett is promiscuously written Halket and Halkhede. It is said to be territorial or local, and also assumed to be the proprietors of the lands and barony of Halkhead in Renfrewshire as soon as surnames became hereditary in northern Britain, probably in the 14th century. The word Halkhede was generally pronounced Halket. The origin of the family name is shrouded in the mists of time. We do know that a William Halket fought with William the Conqueror in 1066. He was reputed to be one of the “leaders” under William the Conqueror. One historian speculates that it might just be that the Halketts were Norman or Flemish knights brought in by Scottish Kings to give stability to the emerging Scottish kingdom through the feudal system. What is known is that the very ancient noble and highly distinguished families of de Halkett were free Barons of Scotland and had large possessions in Fife from the 14th century onwards. It is also know that the prefix “de” was discontinued almost universally in England and Scotland at about the end of the 15th century. Thereafter they were well to the fore in Scotland and Britain’s battles and produced a notable series of gallant and high ranking officers. Particularly notable are the members of the clan who sold their swords and fought with for foreign monarchs, among the ranks of Scotland’s mercenary soldiers of fortune who made such a name for themselves on the battlefields of Europe. Clearly, we were soldiering from a very early date. Some of the barons as well as many members of the family have always been in the military service of their country, or some allied power, generation after generation. We fought alongside King Robert the Bruce and a Halkett is buried on the right side of the King in the vault of the Dunfermline Abbey. We fought and died at the Battle of Fallside, then with the Covenanters in the reign of Charles 1, at the Battle of Gladsmuir when Sir John Cope was defeated in 1745. We fought and died in America’s French-Indian War in 1755 and participated in the War of 1812. In the Crimea and in India with the East India Company, we fought in the Indian Mutiny and died in the Black Hole of Calcutta; and we fought in the Kaffir War, the Dutch Wars, the Peninsular Wars, Waterloo, the Zulu Campaign, the Boer War, WW1, and WW2 - where some Halket/Halkett veterans still survive.

NOTE: Most of this information was extracted from "Hold Until Relieved" by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Dalzell Craigie-Halkett-Inglis of Cramond, MBE.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply

by Elizabeth Halkett
2nd child of Sir Charles and Janet Murray Halkett
Authoress of the Ballad “HARDYKNUTE”

Sir Patrick Spence (original spelling)
The king sits in Dumferling toune,
Drinking the blude-reid wine:
"O whar will I get guid sailor,
To sail this schip of mine?"

Up and spak an eldern knicht,
Sat at the kings richt kne:
"Sir Patrick Spence is the best sailor
That sails upon the se."

The king has written a braid letter,
And signd it wi his hand,
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spence,
Was walking on the sand.

The first line that Sir Patrick red,
A loud lauch lauched he;
The next line that Sir Patrick red,
The teir blinded his ee.

"O wha is this has don this deid,
This ill deid don to me,
To send me out this time o' the yeir,
To sail upon the se!

"Mak hast, mak haste, my mirry men all,
Our guid schip sails the morne:"
"O say na sae, my master deir,
For I feir a deadlie storme.

"Late late yestreen I saw the new moone,
Wi the auld moone in hir arme,
And I feir, I feir, my deir master,
That we will cum to harme."

O our Scots nobles wer richt laith
To weet their cork-heild schoone;
Bot lang owre a' the play wer playd,
Thair hats they swam aboone.

O lang, lang may their ladies sit,
Wi thair fans into their hand,
Or eir they se Sir Patrick Spence
Cum sailing to the land.

O lang, lang may the ladies stand,
Wi thair gold kems in their hair,
Waiting for thair ain deir lords,
For they'll se thame na mair.

Haf owre, haf owre to Aberdour,
It's fiftie fadom deip,
And thair lies guid Sir Patrick Spence,
Wi the Scots lords at his feit.

The Ballad’s Modern English Translation

By Jean Swift

Sir Patrick Spence

The king sat in Dunfermline town,
Drinking the blood red wine,
"Oh where will I get a good sailor,
To sail this ship of mine?"

Up spoke an elderly knight,
Sat at the king's right knee,
"Sir Patrick Spence is the best sailor
" That sails upon the sea.

The king has written a broad letter
And signed it with his hand,
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spence,
(Who) was walking on the sand.

The first line that Sir Patrick read,
A loud laugh laughed he,
The next line that Sir Patrick read,
The tears blinded his eye(s).

"O who is this who has done this deed,
This ill deed done to me,
To send me out at this time of year,
To sail upon the sea.

"Make haste, make haste, my merry men all,
Our good ship sails in the morning."
"Oh say no, say, my master dear,
For I fear a deadly storm.

"Late, late yesterday evening, I saw the new moon
With the old moon in her arm,
And I fear, I fear, my dear master,
that we will come to harm."

O our Scots nobles were right loath
To wet their cork-heeled shoes,
But long before all the play was played,
Their hats they swam around.

O long, long may their ladies sit,
With their fans in their hands,
Ere they see Sir Patrick Spence,
Come sailing to the land.

O long, long may the ladies stand,
With their gold combs in their hair,
Waiting for their own dear lords,
For they will see them no more.

Half over, half over to Aberdour,
It's fifty fathoms deep,
And there lies good Sir Patrick Spence,
With the good lords at his feet.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] Black Hole of Calcutta

The notorious episode of the "Black Hole" of Calcutta furnishes an extraordinary instance of the manner in which narratives are constructed and the place of iteration in historical narratives. It points equally to the difficulty of ascertaining "truth" in history. In 1756, Siraj-ud-daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, occupied Fort William and Calcutta, then the principal possession of the East India Company. 146 people are said to have been imprisoned, at the orders of the Nawab, in a small and airless dungeon at Fort William. Next morning, when the door was opened, 123 of the prisoners had died. This story was recounted by the survivor John Zephaniah Holwell, and soon became the basis for representing Indians as a base, cowardly, and despotic people. Innumerable journalistic and historical works recounted the story of the "Black Hole" of Calcutta, but Holwell's account was the sole contemporary narrative. 146 people could not have been accommodated in a room of the stated dimensions of 24 x 18 feet, and it is now almost universally conceded that Holwell greatly embellished his story. Indian scholars have shown the Nawab had no hand in this affair, and that the number of incarcerated prisoners was no higher than 69. It may even be possible to argue that the episode of the "Black Hole" never transpired. Though for the British it became an article of faith to accept the veracity of the episode in its most extravagant and sordid form, all accounts relied, without stating so, upon the sole authority of the contemporary narrative of Holwell. As Edward Said, following Foucault, has suggested in Orientalism (1978), once something is said often enough, it becomes true.
Primary Text:
John Zephaniah Holwell: A Genuine Narrative of the Deplorable Deaths of the English Gentlemen and others who were suffocated in the Black Hole: London, 1758.
Charles Wedderburn Halkett, son of Sir Peter Wedderburn Halkett and husband of Mary Wardlaw of Pitreavie, died in the Black Hole of Calcutta in 1757.

It is said that their son, Ensign Charles Halkett also died in the Black Hole of Calcutta.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] The Halketts of Pitfirrane

The family of Halkett of Pitfirrane was associated with the estates of that name near Dunfermline, Fife, from the beginning of the 14th century. Few written records exist; though family tradition would put the beginning of that association at least as far back as the 13th century. . Certainly that is correct in the female line.

No complete account of the family exists, although a genealogical account prepared by the family was in existence at Pitfirrane, and seems to have been used as late as 1899 when the Scottish History Society published “The Scots Brigade in Holland.” It has now disappeared, probably at the sale of the library after the death of Miss Madeline Halkett, the last of the family. There are accounts in the Douglas Baronage, and in Chalmer’s “Dunfermline,” both lacking accurate detail of the early period. This article attempts to provide the early history of the family in connection with Pitfirrane. Their history after 1705 is amply supplied from the genealogical point of view by the “The Book of the Wedderburns” from which the latter material here is taken.

The mansion house and grounds were purchased by the Carnegie Trust, and was leased to Dunfermline Golf Club, which now uses the house as their clubhouse. It is gratifying to know that every effort is made to preserve this house, of which the central portion may date back to the early 16th century. The main portion was built at the end of that century and contains a wealth of oak carvings reminiscent of the “Stirling Head.” The main spiral staircase had some fine linen-fold paneling. Remaining are fine Dutch stained glass windows.

This is not a record of a family which played an outstanding part in the history of Scotland, but one which is representative of a relatively large class of lairds or barons, whose interests were with their estates and local government, and to preserve what they had acquired in those difficult times.

The Halketts were of sufficient good standing to intermarry with the lesser nobility, and whose own daughters married into the ranks of lesser lairds and merchants around Dunfermline. Younger sons entered the army in Holland, or became merchants in Dunfermline, Dysart and Kirkcaldy. Nevertheless, they did from time to time play their part on the stage of history – either as boon companions to their kings or as the cavalry leaders against them. Many gave their lives in the defense of their country against her enemies.

While the name Halkett remained at Pitfirrane till 1951, when the connection ended with the death of Miss Madeline Halkett, the original male line ended in 1705. With the death in that year of Sir James Halkett, Peter Wedderburn of Gosford assumed the estates and name by virtue of his marriage to Janet, elder sister of Sir James. Again in 1799 another Wedderburn of Gosford likewise assumed the name.

The lands of Pitfirrane are first mentioned in a transcript of a charter of the reign of William the Lion, perhaps between 1200 and 1214 confirming the grant of a third of Pitfirrane to Sir David of Lochore by Sir William of Lochore (18) . In the same century there is a reference to another third by Scott of Balwearie (3) while the Abbey of Dunfermline held the remaining third, having been gifted to it in 1360 by Margaret, wife of Sir Robert de Meyngers (Dunf. Chart. 268/9). The lands were still in the hands of the same families at the end of the 14th century when the Halketts appear with any certainty.

Where the Halketts originated is not known. They may have taken their name originally from the lands of Halkett in Cunningham, but any connection with that area seems to have been lost if it ever existed. The first recorded mention is a ROBERT HALKETT, Collector of the thirds of benefices in Fife in 1360 (Exch. Rolls II 36) and a Sheriff of Kinross by charter of Robert II on 9th March 1372/3 (Rob. Index P 98 No.330). There is no indication of the identity of Robert, but he was presumably a prominent landholder in Kinross, for shortly after we find PHILIP HALKETT, Lord of Balnagel or Ballingall to the west of Kinross, who may well be the son of Robert. This Philip is also designated Lord of Lumphanan now Lumphinnans, a part of Cowdenbeath, in a brieve of perambulation in July 1393 (8). Seven years later he is granted a charter by William Scott of Balwearie of a third of Pitfirrane, along with other lands in Muthil and Caputh, which, however, do not recur and must have been resigned soon after. (5).

From a deposition by a Dunfermline burgess in 1435 (21) it appears that Philip’s mother was a sister of Constantine of Lochore, from whom he already held the other third. (This family of Lochore was that of a Vallance who appear there in the 14th century). The same deposition reveals that there were already domestic buildings at Pitfirrane on the third held from Lochore.

In addition Philip acquired, in about 1400, half of the neighboring barony of Pitconnochie from Sir John Wemyss of Rires, though later this has been reduced to a sixth. (12b). Philip died after 1415 but before 1432, in which year his son DAVID HALKETT as laird of Pitfirrane has a dispute over boundaries with the abbot of Dunfermline. (23). David had already in 1404 been seized of Ballingall and the office of Coroner of the Waters by Robert Stewart, Sheriff Deputy of Kinross (11) and was definitely the son of Philip on the evidence of the above deposition. Chalmers appears to think that the relationship was reversed but this is incorrect.

Philip had at least one other son, the Robert Halkett who surrenders to David a tenement in Newburgh in 1422. (15). At this time too there is some indication of holdings in Perth. This Robert might be the Robert Halkett who holds tenement in Stirling and has the gift of fermes of the Mint there (Stirling Burgh Records. Exch. Rolls V 132).

For a time David held the lands of Cluny to the north of Pitfirrane but this was in possession of the Wemys of Pittencrieff by 1466. (30). He also held the wardship of the templeland of Lochore, as the male line of the family of Vallance appears to have died out at this time. David is later seen to hold the third of Pitfirrane from the Kinninmonths of Craighall, and Lumphinnans from the Wardlaws of Torrie as well as possession of part the old Lochore lands. (45).

No evidence is available as to the date of his death, but he was alive in 1441 (30) and may have also survived a further 10 years. Nimmo in his “History of Stirlingshire” (1817) (Note A.A.P. 679) relates that the laird of Halkett fought a tournament along with the two Douglasses against two Burgundian knights and a squire, and that he was knighted on the occasion. This was in 1449 but whether this refers to David or his son James cannot be proved.

By 1472, however, David has been succeeded at Pitfirrane by WILLIAM HALKETT. This William was infefied in 1446 in the lands of Auchtertyre and Balcraig in the Sheriffdom of Forfar, which had been held by his father James. As theses lands remain in the family for over a century, it is proof that this is the same William. Chalmers, quoting family tradition, states that James was the oldest son of David who died in his father’s lifetime, but was certainly alive in 1451, when he witnessed a charter. He married a daughter of Sir John Boswell of Balmuto, according to the Douglas Peerage.

Dr. Stephen in his “History of Inverkeitning and Rosyth” states that William Halkett married Jane Fenton, co-heiress of Walter Fenton of Baike in Angus. Janet was his 2nd daughter and was the widow of Robert Stewart, 2nd son of Sir David Stewart of Rosyth, and was said by her own position to have been kept under conditions of extreme severity until she assigned her lands to the Stewarts. This William Halkett, however was not Halkett of Pitfirrane but a 2nd son of David Scot (
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] GANGES,74.

A British ship that was once commanded by Captain Peter Halkett

(1782 Rotherhithe. Hulk 1811) 1799 Capt. R. M'D0UAL,North Sea. 1800 Portsmouth She went out of the harbour on 27 September after a refit with Capt. Thomas F. FREEMANTLE in command, and sailed to join the Channel fleet on 11 0ctober.

1801 0ff Copenhagen. 0n 2 April Lord NELS0N made the signal for the squadron to weigh and engage the Danish line. The firing commenced at 10h. from P0LYPHEMUS, ISIS, EDGAR, M0NARCH and ARDENT. Some of the smaller vessels, together with GLATT0N, ELEPHANT, GANGES and DEFIANCE reached their stations at about 11h. 30m. By 2h. in the afternoon the fire had ceased from all the Danish ships astern of the ZEALAND but they refused to let any British boats approach. In the meantime DEFIANCE, M0NARCH and GANGES continued firing, and they soon silenced IND0SF0RETHEN, H0LSTEIN and the ships next to them in the Danish line. GANGES lost Mr Robert STEWART and five men killed and had Mr Isaac DAVIS, the pilot, severely wounded. William M0RCE was her first lieutenant, he was promoted to commander after the battle.

Capt. J. BRISBANE (act.), Baltic. After the action M0NARCH got foul of the rigging of GANGES and a seaman from her found himself on the wrong ship. He jumped overboard and started to swim back to M0NARCH saying that he would never desert his ship. A boat put off and saved his life. GANGES rejoined the Channel fleet in July.

0n 3 August GANGES and DEFIANCE escorted three homeward bound Indiamen, LADY DUNDAS, BENGAL and LADY BURGES, from Cork into Portsmouth.
0n 7 September a court martial was held on board GLADIAT0R to try Francis SMITH, surgeon's mate of GANGES for drunkeness and neglect of duty. He was rendered incapable of serving in the Navy in any capacity. GANGES sailed again to rejoin the Channel fleet on 14 September.

1803 Capt. George M'KINLEY, Jamaica. 1805 repairing at Portsmouth. 1807 Capt. Peter HALKETT, With Rear Ad. KEATS. 1808 coast of Portugal. Early in 1810 Mr Peter GRANT, assistant surgeon of GANGES, was dismissed the service for unofficer-like behaviour. 1811 Capt. Thomas DUNDAS, for Lisbon in March. 0ut of commission at Plymouth in 0ctober.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] FRANCOIS HALKETT - Biography

Artist - Painter




Francois Halkett, painter remained thus far a footnote to art history, does he deserve to sink into oblivion? Certainly not.

Strange thing, nevertheless, it is no thanks due to a long, patient and victorious effort, to the untiring effort pursued during an entire lifetime and finally recognized, that to him will be appointed one day the place to which he in entitled, but solely in consideration of those of his works completed during a very short lapse of time, less than ten years from 1880-1887 and even, an actual matter of fact, from the achievement of only a few of them.

At first exhibited time and time again, accepted, indeed with medals as a reward, at international Salons across the country and afar (Brussels, Anvers, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin), photographed and reproduced in their catalogues, the ones classified directly by their painters amidst the hopes of the young painter. Unfortunately, as time past he did not maintain this high level of artistry. Against all hope and promise he refused, day after day, the memory of these first creations. As time past he confined and limited himself in a discrete workshop. Little by little, his professional image slipped and the name of the master lost all notoriety.

Fifty years later, in 1941, an occasion presented itself to draw a new attention to Francois Halkett and his works. The Committee from the Escape From Winter by Mollenbeek-Saint-Jean was located where Halkett spent his entire youth. Because the committee's need of resources continually increased it organized an exhibition of local art - both contemporary and retrospective - and initiated the assembly of some of Halkett's best paintings on canvas and preserved for him, in his communal house, an enormous triptych.

I hasten to entrust to them The Interior of the Sugar Cane Refinery (1881) that I held on to from Uncle Henry and I indicated as more representative still The Sorting-Machines of Sugar Candy (1882) and Workers at Rest (1885) acquired by Lucy (FN#1) in the estate of her father.

Profound was my joy in proving that their postponement aroused an extremely sympathetic echo. Some exclamations of admiring surprise were from right and from left and the tone was given/set by an excellent critic, George Morlier, who expressed himself as follows in the newspaper "LE SOIOR " (The Night) on the August 16:

"Nevertheless, the disclosure of this party (retrospective) of the salon is constituted by the works of Francois Halkett. This painter, who died in 1921, without ever having shown a single one of his paintings, and whose name is totally ignored by connoisseurs and the most attentive critics, merits having his place among the fine representations of our realist painters from the second half of the 19th century. His Sugar-Candy Sorting Machines sitting in the twilight of a frightful manufacturer and his Workers at Rest, set against a brick wall, are in fact crying and supporting comparison with certain paintings on canvas of Leon Frederic and P. Alexandre Struys. "

That is how we ignore all of the artist today, even to believe that he never faced the public, but the value of his superior works compels recognition so much that a single presentation was sufficient, realized in the most unfavorable circumstances, in order to have them rediscovered and appreciated.

Let us call to mind therefore, to the extent where the documents permit us, the man's life and his works. He was born in Brussels, 29 Commerce Street (Commercial Street at present), near Port Laeken, on December 5, 1856, to Jean-Joseph Halkett, of the firm Halkett Brothers, wholesale merchants of colonial goods which five year ;later (April 1868) took up outside the port of Ninove, a sugar cane refinery, and to Clemence Adolphine Dubois. (FN#2)

By his father, he belongs to a fallen rower of a very old Scottish family, changed over to Protestantism and ennobled (raised to noble rank) in the 16th century, whom a branch cadet had to give to the Republic of United Provinces for close to two hundred years, in the bosom of the Scottish Brigade in Dutch Service an uninterrupted offspring of brave infantry officers. (FN#3)

The one between them, Jean Eduoard, stationed with us at Termonde, at the time of the "Barrier" lived there and was forced to marry "at his convenience" on October 14, 1745, a young girl of humble origins that he had seduced and rendered a mother (Therese Claire Rayeman). (FN#4)

From this ill matched couple, to whom posterity achieved to unclass them by indulging in retail trade, Francois Halkett was the great-grandson.

By his mother, daughter and grand-daughter of linen good merchants, he descended from a family of peasants established in Cocquignol, a tiny village in a clearing of Mormal Forest (Hainaut French) whose younger brother lived to find a fortune in Brussels in 1802. (FN#5)

An extremely mixed descendence, as one can see, with only the side of common paternal grandparents (Dubois Lefranc) of intellectual and artistic preoccupations. (FN#6)

Eldest son of a large family and orphaned by his mother at ten years of age, the young Francois always proved himself man of unceasing application. After a good education at the private boarding school Jamar in Anderlacht and at the Anthenaeum of Brussels, he went to Molenbeek's school of design that Francois Stroobant directed and some years later at the Brussels Academy, recently established on Midi Street, where he received lessons from Joseph Stallaert (1825-1903) representing more than late of the "Academy" and final pontiff of the "great Art," and also, from Jean Portaels, (1818-1895) director of the establishment at that time who in his maturity had molded excellent students.

Since 1877, Halkett worked as a painter and with minute detail which will never abandon him and which is one of the traits of his character, he signs and dates even his works of lessor importance. At first these are small still lifes, then portraits.

1880 marks the beginning of intense activity.

The following year he shows, at first timidly in the country, in Courtrai, where he offers two works than at the Salon in Brussels, where he sends the inevitable painting of history The Nerviens with respect to which a critic will say: "The composition is not in line with his work." Nothing is more true, - the artist will feel it and no longer return there. Besides the other subjects already solicit it.

1882. There he left the clutches of Stallaert. Not caring for the workshop and the stereotyped pieces of work. That is henceforth the way he thinks. He will paint his canvases in
precisely what he sees around him, in the house or the paternal factory, this will be his inspiration. It is without any preconceived idea and without a definite program but not wanting to make that which one would call popular social art. It was a happy release from the field of conventional vision. He was now inspired to put together his handicraft and especially the collective handicraft. Had not Constantin Meunier exhibited in Brussels, at the last Salon (1880), a skillful distinguished painting - the Melting of Steel - that paved the way?

In this year 1882 an art circle founded less than 30 years ago and named "L'Essor" (The Flight) obtains, for the first time, a new museum room from the State. It was a joy. Halkett joins, participates in the annual salon and his work receives favorable remarks from such authorities as James Ensor and Leon Frederic.

In 1883, he spends some months in Paris staying there at the home of two former masters, Jules Lefebvre (1836-1912) and Gustave Boulanger (1824-1888).

I believe above all that he often frequented the galleries of the Louvre Museum, because to my knowl
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] HALKETT, FS Alexander Morgan (R86893)

Distinguished Flying Medal - No.15 Squadron - Award effective 24 October 1942 as per London Gazette dated 6 November 1942 and AFRO 1830/42 dated 13 November 1942. Born in Peace River, Alberta, 1922; home there (student). Enlisted in Edmonton, 5 February 1941. Trained at No.2 ITS (graduated 15 May 1941), No.16 EFTS (graduated 2 July 1941), and No.4 SFTS (graduated 13 September 1941).
This airman has completed numerous sorties and has displayed great efficiency, combined with outstanding determination, to complete his tasks successfully. He is a confident captain and a fine leader.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] German Sub U-185 Sinks Merchant Ship FORT HALKETT

In World War 2, the British ship Fort Halkett was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-185 in the South Atlantic during the summer of 1943. The U-185 was sunk later that summer on 24 August 1943 in the mid Atlantic (27.00N, 37.06W) by bombs from 3 aircraft of the US escort carrier USS Core.

The U-185 was an IXC/40 type that was laid down on 1 July 1841 in the A.G. Weser shipyard in Bremen and commissioned on 13 June 1942. It's commander was Kptlt. August Maus (Knights Cross).

The U-185 had 3 patrols during WW2. From June 1942 to October 1942 with the 4th Flotilla (Stettin) and then from November 1942 to August 1943 with the 10th Flotilla (Lorient).

1st patrol left Kiel, Germany on 17 October 1942 and operated in the North Atlantic/Gibraltar area. It ended in Lorient, France on 1 January 1943. Sunk: 12 July - British CD 52 Peter Maersk

2nd patrol left Lorient, France on 8 February 1943 and operated in the Western Atlantic/Caribbean area. It ended in Bordeaux, France on 3 May 1943. Sunk: American DN 76 Virginia Sinclair; American DN 76 James Sprunt; American DN 70 John Sevier

3rd patrol left Bordeaux, France on 9 June 1943 and operated in the South Atlantic/Brazil area. Sunk: American FC 71 William Boyce Thomson; American FC 71 James Robertson; American FB 93 S.B. Hunt; American FB 71 Thomas Sinnickson; Brazilian FJ 71 Brazilian Bage; British FK 93 Fort Halkett

It ended on 24 August 1943 when the U-185 was sunk in the mid Atlantic (27.00N, 37.06W) by depth charges from 3 Wildcat aircraft of the US escort carrier USS Core. 29 dead and 22 survivors.

The FORT HALKETT was built by Burrard's Vancouver South Yard - 90% riveted and coal fired. Yard made delivery on 19 November 42 she had a very short life. U -185 sunk her on 6 August '43 South East of Pernambuco in the South Atlantic.

See Photo section for a painting of the FORT HALKETT.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply
[deleted] From George V
18 June 1862

We, George the 5th of God's grace, King of Hannover, Royal Prince of Great Britain, Duke of Cumberland, Duke of Braunschweig and Luneburg, etc., etc., etc.

Because you have served us, our Royal House and our Kingdom for a long period of years, faithfully, enthusiastically, and usefully and in various campaigns and numerous battles in which you have fought with our brave army and have always served with wisdom, bravely and dedication to the most praiseworthy degree, to give you public proof of our gracious satisfaction and excellent respect and according to our highest government right, on the anniversary of the glorious battle of Waterloo, in which at the head of brigade you led it to victory the same army under the blessing of the Almighty, you and for your legal progeny, to raise you to the rank of Baron in our Kingdom, to do this in such a way that you and your legal heirs of both sexes be recognized and honored by everyone as barons and baronesses of the Kingdom of Hannover and otherwise all the rights and privileges which shall go along with that, you shall enjoy which come with the Baronial status in our Kingdom or which may become part of that status.

So may this happen and be given at Herrenhausen on 18 June, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty Two in our Kingdom.

George Rex,


To our General of Infantry
Hugh Halkett
Mar 31, 2003 · Reply
[deleted] Washington, George, 1732-1799. The writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources: Volume 2

To MAJOR FRANCIS HALKETT Fort Loudoun, April 12, 1758.

My Dear Halket: Are we to have you once more among us? And shall we revisit together a hapless spot, that proved so fatal to so many of our (former) brave companions? Yes! and I rejoice at it, hoping it will now be in our power to testify a just abhorrence of the cruel butcheries exercised on our friends, in the unfortunate day of General Braddock's defeat; and, moreover, to show our enemies, that we can practise all that lenity of which they only boast, without affording any adequate proofs at all.
To cut short, I really feel a degree of satisfaction upon the prospect of meeting you again, although I have scarce time to tell you so, as the express is waiting.
I am with most sincere regard, dear Sir, yours, &c.

To MAJOR FRANCIS HALKETT Fort Loudoun, May 11, 1758.

Dear Sir: I am this day favored with yours of the 4th instant, and would have thought myself extremely culpable and deficient in my duty, had I delayed one moment in transmitting to the General any intelligence I could procure; much less such a material one as that he has had information of. I must, therefore, beg that you will, from me, assure the General, the Catawbas have not this year brought in one prisoner or scalp to this place, nor indeed to any other that I ever heard of. There hath been no prisoner taken by any of our friendly Indians this season, and no scalps, except the two taken near Fort Duquesne by Ucahula, of which, and all the intelligence of the enemy in that quarter, which that young warrior was able to give, I, by the last post, sent to the General a full and circumstantial account. Nor would I have failed to have kept him duly informed of every interesting occurrence, even had it not been recommended to me.
It gave me no small uneasiness when I was informed of there solution which some of the Cherokees had made of wandering towards the Indian settlements in Maryland and Pennsylvania, clearly foreseeing the bad consequences such a peregrination would produce. I therefore represented the matter to Captain Gist in the strongest manner, and must do him the justice to say, that nothing in his power was left unessayed to prevent it.

But our efforts proved ineffectual, as those two provinces last year, very impolitically I humbly conceive, made those Indians presents, and encouraged their returning thither this spring. And such is the nature of Indians, that nothing will prevent their going where they have any reason to expect presents, and their cravings are insatiable when there is any farther prospect of getting a benefit.

*To MAJOR FRANCIS HALKETT Camp at Fort Cumberland, July 16, 1758.

Dear Halkett: Last night I had the pleasure of receiving yours of the 8th. Inst't from Carlyle, covering general Orders; from the General. I have all along acted agreeble to the greatest part of them; and shall obey with the utmost exactness, so far as I am able, the others; but there are some things contain'd there which the Nature of the disagreeable Establishment I am on, renders impractacable; for how Impossible that Men; who only receive Pay once in two Months; and sometimes not so often, and then have a £5 or 10£ Bill (for we seldom get any small ones) given amongst several of them, can pay ready money for every little necessary they may want; nor can any money procure prickers and Brushes in this Country, brushes especially.
With regard to a return of those that draw Provisions; the first Regiment is at present so much dispers'd that it is now Impossible for me to send you an exact return but will loose no time in collecting those from the different Detachments, and sending you a general one of the whole by the first oppertunity afterwards.
It gives me a great deal of pleasure to find that I have in a great measure, anticipated the Generals Sentiments and Orders, in regard to dress. And reduction of Baggage; I am sensible that I have by this means lessen'd the appearance of the first Virginia Regiment, but I beg the General will think that, I have render'd them more fit for the active Service they are to engage in, by this means; now give me leave to say that I ever must be Yrs. most Affectionately,

*To MAJOR FRANCIS HALKETT Fort Cumberland, July 21, 1758.

Dear Halkett: Inclos'd are two returns, one of the number of Persons we draw Provisions for; the other of the strength of the Regiment, made out from those lately receiv'd from the several Detachments. I hope they will please, but if any other form is required to be kind enough to advertise me of it, and I shall execute the Orders.
It is morally impossible to get at this place, covers for our Gun Locks having nothing but Neats Hydes to make them of; and an insufficiency of those to answer the purpose. The Commissaries ask 18/ a piece for them; pray give me your advice in this case.
I find by the Generals Orders that a Brigade Major is appointed pointed to the Pensylvania Troops, if any is allow'd for Ours, give me leave to sollicit your Interest in favour of Captn. Robt. Stewart (if it shou'd not be found incompatable with his duty as a Horse Officer). His Military knowledge is Second to none in our Service and his assiduity I can greatly confide in. I can't use the freedom of mentioning it to the General, nor shou'd I trouble you with it at this time, were I not appris'd that application cation in behalf of others either have been making, or are intended to be made.
farewell my dear Halkett. I heartily wish you every perfect enjoyment your Soul can desire, and am most Affectionately, etc.

*To MAJOR FRANCIS HALKETT Camp at Fort Cumberland, August 2, 1758.

My dear Halkett: I am just return'd from a Conference held with Colo. Bouquet. I find him fix'd, I think I may say fix'd, upon leading you a New way to the Ohio; thro a Road, every Inch of it to cut, at this advanced Season, when we have scarce time left to tread the beaten Tract; universally confess'd to be the best Passage through the Mountains.
If Colo. Bouquet succeeds in this point with the General, all is lost! All is lost by Heavens! Our Enterprise Ruin'd; and we stop'd at the Laurel Hill this Winter; not to gather Laurels, by the by, desirable in their effects. The Southern Indians turn'd against Us, and these Colonies become desolated by such an Acquisition to the Enemy's Strength.
These are the Consequences of a Miscarriage; and a Miscarriage the Consequence of the Attempt; I have drawn my Reasons out at large and now send them to Colo. Bouquet. He desir'd I wou'd do so, that he might forward them to the General; should this happen, you may judge of their weight.
I am uninfluenced by Prejudice, having no hopes or fears but for the General Good. That be assur'd of, and my Sincere Sentiments are spoke on this occasion. I am, Dear Halkett Most Affectionately yours,
Jul 02, 2003 · Reply
[deleted] The Battle of Prestonpans 21 September 1745

War: The Jacobite Rebellion of 1745

Place: South East of Edinburgh in Scotland

Combatants: The Highland Army of Prince Charles and the Royal Troops of King George II

Generals: Prince Charles, Lord George Murray and Sir John Cope

Size of the armies: Royal Army: 2,300 men and 6 guns. Highlanders: 2,500 men.

Winner: Prince Charles' Army

British Regiments: This battle is not a battle honour for British Regiments. The regiments present at the battle were: Gardiner's (13th) and Hamilton's (14th) Dragoons, Guise's (6th), Lee's (44th), Murray's (46th) and Lascelles (47th) Foot.

On 25th July 1745 Prince Charles landed near Moidart in the Highlands of Scotland with seven companions. He raised his standard at Glenfinnan and assembled an army from the clans that supported his bid for the throne. This army marched into Edinburgh on 17th September 1745. The two royal dragoons regiments fled at the highland approach in the infamous "Colterbrigg canter". General Sir John Cope, the commander of the small royal force in Scotland, had marched to Inverness with his four regiments of foot. Cope brought his troops south to Dunbar by sea and met up with the dragoons. None of his troops, dragoons or foot, were experienced or even adequately trained. Cope's artillery can only be described as a "scratch" force comprising invalids and seamen under headed by one aged gunner. Cope marched North along the coast road towards Edinburgh. The cavalry found the rebel army to be inland and to the south, causing Cope to form his army against the sea behind a marsh. During the night of 20th September 1745 the rebels made use of a path through the marsh to come up on the left flank of the royal army. Cope reformed his line to the left with the foot in the centre, the guns and mortars on their right and dragoon regiments on each end of the line. The highland army launched a charge at which the gunners fled leaving two officers to fire the six guns and six mortars. On being threatened the dragoon regiments also fled and the foot began to give way. Finally under the impact of the highland attack the whole royal army, other than small groups of men under officers such as LIEUTENENT COLONEL PETER HALKETT, fled the field. Only the dragoons were able to get away in any numbers. All the foot bar some 170 were killed, wounded or captured. The injuries inflicted by the highlanders using broad swords and bill hooks are reported to have been horrific. Casualties: The royal casualties are said to have been: around 300 killed, 400 to 500 wounded and 1,400 to 1,500 captured. Only 170 of the foot got away. The highlanders probably lost less than 30 killed and 70 wounded.
Following the battle most of Scotland was in Prince Charles' hands bar Edinburgh Castle held by General Guest and Stirling Castle held by the stalwart General Blakeney. o This battle illustrates well the lack of any formal system for training the English Army of this time. Cope's regiments were wholly incapable, both foot and dragoons. Cope failed entirely to ensure that he had a proper train of artillery. Sir John Cope became a figure of ridicule for the Scottish Nation. Hence the pipe tune "Hey Johnnie Cope are ye sleeping yet?" o It is said that General Lord Mark Kerr met Cope at Berwick and told him he was the first general in history to bring news of his own defeat.


Following the battle most of Scotland was in Prince Charles' hands bar Edinburgh Castle held by General Guest and Stirling Castle held by the stalwart General Blakeney.

Regimental anecdotes and traditions:
• This battle illustrates well the lack of any formal system for training the English Army of this time. Cope's regiments were wholly incapable, both foot and dragoons. Cope failed entirely to ensure that he had a proper train of artillery.
• Sir John Cope became a figure of ridicule for the Scottish Nation. Hence the pipe tune “Hey Johnnie Cope are ye sleeping yet?”
• It is said that General Lord Mark Kerr met Cope at Berwick and told him he was the first general in history to bring news of his own defeat.

• Fortescue's History of the British Army Volume 1 Part II
• Battles of the '45 by Tomasson and Buist.
Sep 10, 2003 · Reply
Grace Bell I have been searching for my ancestoral roots for quite some time now. - Grandfather's name was Joseph Halkett, D.O.B. 12/12/1897, He served in WW1, Regimental #'s 886505. I believe his father, my Great Grandfather's name was Jacob. Where would I look to find my Great Grandfather's ancestors. My dad told me that my grandpa (Joseph) told him we originated from Scotland. I had questioned my dad years ago as to why we have hints of red in our hair and that's when he told me what his father told him about Scotland. Apaprently my dad and his brothers had bright red hair when they were young.

- Any info or advice in locating my roots would be greatly appreciated.
Jan 10, 2006 · Reply
Sarah Holden I want to change my contact email address on the Rene Halkett entry. It is no longer at eurobell but [contact link] if anmyone wants information about Rene Halkett I have a large number of his paintings and drawings. His book The Dear Monster is now translated into German by Ursula Klimmer and should be published sometime in 2009
May 11, 2009 · Reply