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Major General Frederick Adam

Schools Waterloo 200


Commanded Adam's Brigade

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Waterloo Soldier by: Charterhouse School

Date added: 2 Jun 2015

The name of the Old Carthusian assigned to us was Frederick W. Adam.He was the 4th son of the Right-Honourable William Adam.William Adam was the son of Blair Adam and Eleonora Elphinstone.William Adam was also the Attorney-General to the Prince of Wales who was the king at the time of his employment.His role was an advisor or privy councillor to the Prince.William Adam was also a Member of Parliament.He took a break from working with royalty and politics and worked as a lawyer for many years.He was also Lord-lieutenant of Kinross.Adam inherited a mansion from his dad in Kinross-shire which is still in the possession of the family to this day.Frederick Adam had many siblings.4 brothers and a sister to be precise.His brothers were called:John Elphinstone, who worked in India,Charles, who worked in the Navy, William George, who worked in law and Francis.His sister was called Clementina.

Frederick Adam joined Charterhouse on the 5thNovember 1794.There is some confusion as to which year Adam was born in.Several accounts state that he was born in 1781 and some state that he was born in 1784.We do know however that he was born on the 17th June.Depending what accounts are correct, Adam joined Charterhouse at the age of 10 or 13.Frederick Adam fought in many areas as will be described in the next chapter.After returning from his campaign in Egypt, he studied German at Dresden, Germany.He married his first wife in 1811, called Amelia.She died the next year in 1812 at Messina shortly after giving birth to their daughter, Amelia again.Amelia died in 1839 at the age of 27.In 1820, he married his second wife called Diamantina Palatino.In 1851, he married Anne Lindsay.She gave birth to Charles Fox Frederick, Adam’s second child.Adam had financial issues towards the end of his life.His uncle, who owed Adam the equivalent of £25,000, went bankrupt and was never able to give back the money.

Battle/combat career:As said earlier, there is confusion as to when Adam was born so we do not know what age he joined the army at.He appeared on the Army List in 1795.It is highly improbable that he joined the army at 11 so he PROBABLY joined at the age of 13/14.Adam trained at the artillery school at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich.He started active service at the age of 15, assuming he joined at 13/14.His army jobs go as follows:1.26thFoot in 1795, he achieved positions of first and second lieutenants throughout his time here.9th Foot in 1799, he was a captain here.Coldstream Guards in 1799, he was a lieutenant then was promoted to captain on the 8th December 1799.He also had the roles of major and lieutenant-colonel here.21st Foot in 1805, he was a lieutenant-colonel here.Adam’s Brigade at the Battle of Waterloo.In 1815, Adam took command of all troops in the Mediterranean excluding Gibraltar Frederick Adam took part in campaigns in Egypt and the Netherlands under Sir Ralph Abercromby.He fought in the Battle of Alexandria in Egypt. In 1806-11, he was stationed in Sicily.He commanded the 1st Battalion and was later promoted to colonel.On the 17th-18th September 1810, 4,000 French troops landed their boats on the Sicilian beaches and attacked Adam.He fought back and drove them to their boats.He captured 850 prisoners during the fight.He was personally thanked by the commander-in-chief of the time for his bravery and courage.In 1812-13, he fought the Peninsular War in Spain.He was severely wounded in Alicante.He broke his left arm and shattered his left hand.His left arm would be ‘ever after mutilated and powerless’.He was sent back home due to his injuries.On the 12th April 1813, Adam led the offensive against Marshal Louis Gabriel Suchet at Biar.His battalion killed 350 soldiers the next day at the Battle of Castalla.On the 13th September 1813, he was wounded again at Ordal.Nearly two years later, Frederick Adam commanded his own brigade called the Adam’s 3rd Light Brigade at the Battle of Waterloo.He launched a successful left-wheel manoeuvre against the French.He confused the French twice with this sort of tactical move.The Duke of Wellington once gave Adam a direct command at Waterloo to destroy an artillery post that was damaging the British Army.Adam completed the job perfectly and was eventually praised by the Duke of Wellington in his report to the King.Adam’s brigade consisted of 2,937 men and 698 of them died at the Battle of Waterloo.

In 1815, Adam took control of all the troops in the Mediterranean excluding Gibraltar.In the same year, he was awarded the K.C.B.or the Knight Commander of the Bath.He was awarded the G.C.M.G which is the Order of St. Michael and St. George.

Later roles:After his roles in the army, Adam became Commander-in-chief and Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands in 1831-32.He was very popular among the locals for commissioning the building of public buildings in Corfu.He then became the Governor of Madras in 1832-37.He did not want this job but accepted because he said that if he didn’t accept, he would not be given another job of its kind.In 1846, he was promoted to a general.

Death:In the 1830s, Adam started having symptoms and health issues that led to his death.On the 17th August 1853, Adam went to visit his brother who worked at Greenwich Hospital.At Greenwich Railway Station, on his return back home after the visit, he collapsed in the train carriage and died of a stroke.

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