Lt Jonathan Layton

Interested in joining the 1st Battalion? Want to know more about 95th (Rifle) Regiment of Foot? Want to discuss some interesting fact or historical reference relating to the Regiment? We welcome any information that will enhance our understanding and knowledge of this world-reknown regiment. Post your questions in here and we will endeavour to answer them.
NOTYAL37
Anti-Tattler
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:17 am

Lt Jonathan Layton

Post by NOTYAL37 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:16 am

I am trying to reconstruct the military career of Jonathan Layton (1782-1836) who was a lieutenant in the 1st battalion of the 95th during the Peninsular War and Waterloo. I know that he was a 2nd Lt in the Peninsula from November 1808 to January 1809, and was involved in actions at Cacabellos and the retreat to Corunna. He returned as a 1st Lt to serve between July 1809 and April 1813 in Captain Jonathan Leach's 2nd company, fighting at Pombal, Redhina, Casal Nova, Foz d'Arrounce, Sabugal (where he commanded the 2nd co in the absence of Leach and Harry Smith), Fuentes d'Onor, Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz and Salamanca. To my knowledge he was not wounded, so why was he sent home rather than continuing with his company for the remainder of the campaign in Spain and France? Was he 'worn out' or simply out of favour?

Also, I know that he was in command of the 10th company of the 1st (Beckwith's) at Quatre Bras (from Lt George Simmons' account of Layton being wounded in the wrist and side), but I cannot determine whether or not he was still leading the company at Waterloo. Simmons and Orland Felix were definitely present and Simmons himself was severely wounded, but his account does not state that he was actually in command and it is possible that Layton was indeed present and still in nominal command as the senior lieutenant. One would like to think that (like the old hero Picton, who hid the fact that he was severely wounded), Jonathan Layton put aside his relatively minor wounds and insisted on being present for the final outcome. The issue of his Waterloo medal (lost?) was simply for participation in one or both of the engagements at Quatre Bras and Waterloo - so that provides no help. Is there any other way of confiming this?

Ian G. Layton

User avatar
Alan Earp
Forum Administrator
Posts: 333
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:14 pm
Location: St Albans
Contact:

Re: Lt Jonathan Layton

Post by Alan Earp » Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:47 pm

Sorry we've been quiet on this one but it is the closed season and people are occupied on catching up with their real lives.
We've done a little research but have not progressed far. You may have got some info from our friends at 2/95th who have expertise in these things? We'll keep delving though.
Lt Col Alan Earp
Commanding Officer 1/95


"True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not the enrichment of the leaders"

NOTYAL37
Anti-Tattler
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:17 am

Re: Lt Jonathan Layton

Post by NOTYAL37 » Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:20 pm

Thanks for the sign of life! My queries about Lt Jonathan Layton (1/95) were perhaps rather too specific, but any information at all on his career would be most appreciated...

User avatar
Adrian P
Ex-95thRLHS Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:38 pm

Re: Lt Jonathan Layton

Post by Adrian P » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:33 am

Well I know its quite a delay on this topic and I see the original poster is still a member of the forum.

To answer your question and you would have to check the dates on this but it could be the reason of your missing man. During the later part of the Peninsula the companies of the 1/ 95th (as I'm sure was the case with many Regiments) were short on men and several were almalgamated which then left officers without jobs, these were sent back to England to the 95th Depot to form recruitment companies.

Another factor could be seniority. Seniority played a part in moving officers around and he may have found himself at the bottom of the pecking order after the reshuffle and returned to England as above.
Adrian Philpott
12th Light Dragoons

NOTYAL37
Anti-Tattler
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:17 am

Re: Lt Jonathan Layton

Post by NOTYAL37 » Sat Oct 31, 2009 6:14 pm

Hi Adrian!

Many thanks for your input after so many months of nothing. I am sure that your reasoning about the reshuffle of companies is correct. As Jonathan Layton was clearly an old hand and had seniority over such officers as George Simmons, I suspect that his return home was more at his own request rather than having been passed over. It is also possible that he was not in the best of health after some four years in the Peninsula and that a recruitment task was seen as fitting.

I doubt that I shall ever find out the true cause of his leaving his comrades, but he did command Leach's company (aided by the injury-prone George Simmons) at Quatre Bras and, despite an injury to his wrist, he may well have still been in charge of the company at the final battle of Waterloo. Simmons makes no claim to have been leading the company before being severely wounded and Orlando Felix was a relative youngster.

Thanks again for taking the trouble to offer an opinion on such an obscure query.

Cheers!

Ian Layton

NOTYAL37
Anti-Tattler
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:17 am

Re: Lt Jonathan Layton

Post by NOTYAL37 » Sat Oct 31, 2009 6:17 pm

Sorry, I should have said 'Beckwith's 10th company' and NOT Leach's!

Ian

User avatar
Adrian P
Ex-95thRLHS Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:38 pm

Re: Lt Jonathan Layton

Post by Adrian P » Sat Oct 31, 2009 9:10 pm

Layton did suffer from being out of favour. He had fought a duel with capt brodie grant in 1808 and killed him, Layton went on trial at chelmsford charged with manslaughter but was acquitted through lack of evidence.

Col beckwith turned a blind eye (capt travers had been kicked out for duelling previous), probably because they were about to embark and didn't want to lose another officer. The downside to this was the fact his cards must have been marked because he was never promoted, even though others less senior were, without purchase.

The only way you'll find out where he went is to take a trip to the public records office and look at the original monthly returns. Next time I go I'll have a look, I'm curious now :lol:
Adrian Philpott
12th Light Dragoons

NOTYAL37
Anti-Tattler
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:17 am

Re: Lt Jonathan Layton

Post by NOTYAL37 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:42 am

Thanks Adrian for your offer of help at the PRO! Living in northern Sweden, I am at a disadvantage for following up your tip.

Jonathan does not appear to have even lost his rank for his ‘matter of honour’ at Harwich, as one year later he was gazetted as First Lieutenant (without purchase) on 3 June 1809 and held this rank for the rest of his career. He had in fact been promoted earlier (London Gazette 9 May 1809) but second Lieutenant John Robert Budge(o)n was commissioned as a first lieutenancy (by purchase), vice Layton, whose promotion had not taken place. The vacancy could have arisen as other senior officers had died in actions or been promoted during the early stages of the Peninsular War in Spain and Portugal. His lost promotion might also have taken place even earlier than May, as part of the reorganization of battalions when the 3rd was created (early spring 1809). Jonathan was to serve in the 1st Battalion of the 95th Regiment of Foot (Riflemen) throughout his active service and his movements with his companies (the 2nd & the 10th) can be partially reconstructed through various accounts and memoirs of officers and men who served with the regiment during the Peninsular War and at Waterloo.

Cheers,

Ian

User avatar
Adrian P
Ex-95thRLHS Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:38 pm

Re: Lt Jonathan Layton

Post by Adrian P » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:27 am

Had a look through those dates you mentioned and I am curious about where your information came from. Below are copies of the London Gazette from the dates you mentioned and none of the promotions are on them.

3rd June 1809
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/16263/pages/809

9th May 1809
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/16255/pages/661
Adrian Philpott
12th Light Dragoons

NOTYAL37
Anti-Tattler
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:17 am

Re: Lt Jonathan Layton

Post by NOTYAL37 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:46 pm

Hi Adrian,

Jonathan's first abortive promotion to First Lieutenant is mentioned in The London Gazette 6 May 1809 (issue no 16254, page 643), which contains the War Office appointments for May 9, 1809:

"95th Regiment of Foot, Second Lieutenant ____ Budgen (= Budgeon) to be First Lieutenant, by Purchase, vice Layton, whose Promotion has not taken place."

His appointment finally appeared in The London Gazette 6 June 1809 (issue no 16246, page 826), under the War Office appointments dated June 10, 1809:

"95th Regiment of Foot. To be First Lieutenant, Second Lieutenant ____Layton."

The Gazette dates are confusing...

Cheers,

Ian

User avatar
Adrian P
Ex-95thRLHS Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:38 pm

Re: Lt Jonathan Layton

Post by Adrian P » Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:58 pm

For those following this thread here is the links to the information posted by Ian

Failed attempt
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/16254/pages/643

Finally promoted
http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/16264/pages/826
Adrian Philpott
12th Light Dragoons

User avatar
Adrian P
Ex-95thRLHS Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:38 pm

Re: Lt Jonathan Layton

Post by Adrian P » Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:02 pm

Visited the records office yesterday and our missing man.......... is still missing. The army records of the period lack continuity with people disappearing off the lists with no reason listed.

Layton appears on the returns 25th Dec 1812 - 24th Mar 1813
Layton 1.jpg
Layton 1.jpg (93.45 KiB) Viewed 38101 times
But has gone from returns dates 25th Mar 1813 - 24th Jun 1813
Layton 2.jpg
Layton 2.jpg (89.33 KiB) Viewed 38101 times
Interesting enough Lt. Eeles has disappeared as well (the names aren't further down the list). But I'll put a few other theories to you as well.

Was he dead? - No, as we know he was at Waterloo :lol:
Was he sick? - Possible, but 'other ranks' appear on the returns when listed as sick. If he were in the local hospital rather than with the Regiment then he may dissappear but its highly unlikely as he was still paid by his parent unit.
Detatched duty? - possible, he could have been on someone's staff. Lt. Mitchell for example spent most of his 95th career working at HQ making maps and doesn't appear on the unit pay list.
Sent home? - Again possible, could have been sent back to Hythe as part of the recruitment companies and wouldn't appear on the list. He would have been on the depot list.

I have a copy of J. Leach book but he doesn't talk about his fellow officers very often so no help there. Sorry its not much but I'll have to dig a bit deeper next time I'm there :D But if you're into the Rifles you'll notice some other famous names on there, George Simmons, Jonathan Leach for exmple.
Adrian Philpott
12th Light Dragoons

NOTYAL37
Anti-Tattler
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:17 am

Re: Lt Jonathan Layton

Post by NOTYAL37 » Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:05 am

Well done, Adrian!

Interesting to see that Charles Eeles, Jonathan Layton & Thomas Smith all disappear from the 1st Bn returns covering 25th Mar to 24th Jun 1813. If I have interpreted Lionel S. Challis's "Peninsula Roll Call" correctly, it would appear that Chas. Eeles was Brigade Major for the Light Division from Aug 1812 to April 1814, so was probably listed elsewhere. Thomas Smith was transferred to the 2nd Bn in April 1813, whereas Jonathan Layton was most likely sent home to recruit in place of Capt Henry Lee and Lt William Cox, who apparently returned to the peninsula in March & April respectively, after some three years of recruiting in the Hythe barracks. Clearly, after Salamanca the battalions of the 95th were reorganised and received new recruits and officers from the depot. You are probably correct in assuming that Jonathan Layton's name should appear in the depot lists for 1813-1815.

I do have George Simmons' journals and correspondence in book form, but Verner's editing may well have omitted useful (for me) details about Jonathan Layton at Quatre Bras & Waterloo - so I am still in the dark as to whether or not he was still in command of the 10th company on the 18th. Harry Smith mentions Jonathan Layton taking temporary command of Jonathan Leach's 2nd company in the minor Sabugal engagement in 1811, but I do not know how long he held the post.

Thanks again for your kind help.

Cheers, Ian

User avatar
Adrian P
Ex-95thRLHS Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:38 pm

Re: Lt Jonathan Layton

Post by Adrian P » Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:08 pm

The monthly (sometimes 2-3 months) returns do give a list of the 10 companies and each officer commanding would sign to say the information contained withing that document (pay etc) was correct.

Next time I go I'll see if he has signed the form for the 1811 affair and see how long he keeps signing it, hopefully that will give you some idea. The information on the 18th about command you may never know I'm afraid.

But we can keep digging :D Which books on the Rifles do you have so I'm not repeating things you have already read about?
Adrian Philpott
12th Light Dragoons

NOTYAL37
Anti-Tattler
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:17 am

Re: Lt Jonathan Layton

Post by NOTYAL37 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:34 pm

:cry:

I had written a long account of Jonathan Layton's life before and after his service with the 1/95th but somehow the text failed to register in my previous reply! It is a bit too late to wade through it yet again tonight, so please watch this space...

I do have the reprinted recollections of Leach, Simmons & Kincaid, as well as Mark Urban's "Rifles", and I have just ordered Mike Robinson's "Battle of Quatre Bras 1815".

Cheers, Ian

Post Reply