The Manchester Regiment Forum

The Early Years => 63rd Regiment 1758 - 1881 => Topic started by: giberne on September 11, 2018, 04:49:04 PM

Title: Coconut Flask of the 63rd Light Company, West Indies, 1808-15
Post by: giberne on September 11, 2018, 04:49:04 PM
I am new to the Manchester Regiment list, but have had a longstanding interest in the history of the 63rd Foot from its formation through the close of the Napoleonic Wars, principally its service in North America and the West Indies.  I have worked extensively in the National Archives at Kew in the past, but living in the USA, don't have too much opportunity for easy access to such.  Since my last visit to the UK, I have acquired, by happenstance, an interesting coconut "bugbear" flask that belonged to one "H. WOODGATT" of the 63rd Foot.  Most of these carved coconut flasks emanated from the West Indies, beginning in the late 18th century and well into the 19th in terms of popularity.  They appear to have been used both as flasks for drink and powder flasks, although I suspect the former was the more common practice. This particular example, of which I seem unable to attach as a pnoto file to this message, bears the name above, as well as a stringed bugle flanked by the letters LI, signifying membership in the light company, as well as 'LXIII" regimental number.  Woodgatt is an archaic spelling for a family name that also can be found spelled Woodgett or Woodgate in civil and military records for the same individual.

I believe that I have identified this soldier. from British Army Muster Rolls and Paylists, 1812-17, an online microfilm available via, which is derived from War Office, Class 12 (at Kew).  From the lists, I found one as Henry Woodgett, who is listed with a detachment of the 63rd Foot at Hilsea Barracks, Isle of Man, during JUL 1814-FEB 1815 and then at Albany Barracks, Portsmouth, 25 FEB-24 DEC 1815 and finally at Chelmsford Depot, 25 MAR-24 JUN 1815.  Since the 1st BN, 63rd was serving in the West Indies from 1808-1815 (and the 2nd BN largely feeding fresh detachments from England to the former in the WI), my presumption is that Woodgett/Woodgatt was sent or invalided back to England from the West Indies in 1814, rather than the reverse, based on the progression of the duty stations.  Doe anyone have access to muster rolls or paylists for the 63rd Foot.  I would like to track the service history of Henry Woodgett/Woodgatt , mostly notably when/where he served in the light company of either the 1st or 2nd Battalions and would appreciate hearing from any list member or other party who might be willing to share any pertinent information with regard to this soldier.  Many thanks!!

NB.  Although I live in the USA, I've worked extensively in the National Archives at Kew in the past, but not in recent years, so my work on this particular soldier is a bit hamstrung at the moment in terms of true archival research.  Also, although aware of the Manchester Regiment Archives and some of the early records found within, I've never had the opportunity to visit and work with such materials to date. 

Title: Re: Coconut Flask of the 63rd Light Company, West Indies, 1808-15
Post by: sphinx on September 11, 2018, 05:13:38 PM
AS far as I am aware the Muster Rolls are all at the NA.