Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Doyle, John Milley

DOYLE, Sir JOHN MILLEY (1781–1856), colonel, was the second son of the Rev. Nicholas Milley Doyle, rector of Newcastle, Tipperary, who was third son of Charles Doyle of Bramblestown, Kilkenny, and therefore nephew of Generals Sir John Doyle [q. v.] and Welbore Ellis Doyle, and cousin of Lieutenant-general Sir Charles William Doyle [q. v.] He entered the army as an ensign in the 107th regiment on 31 May 1794, and was promoted lieutenant into the 108th on 21 June 1794. He first saw service in the suppression of the Irish insurrection of 1798, and in the following year accompanied his uncle, Brigadier-general John Doyle, to Gibraltar as aide-de-camp. In this capacity he served throughout the expedition to Egypt, being present both at the battle of Fuentes de Onoro and the storming of Ciudad Rodrigo. On 26 Sept. 1811 he had been promoted lieutenant-colonel in the English army, and on 1 Jan. 1812 he was promoted colonel in the Portuguese service, and was transferred to the 19th regiment of Portuguese infantry, which formed part of Le Cor's Portuguese brigade, attached to Lord Dalhousie's (the 7th) division. He commanded this regiment in the battles of Vittoria and the Pyrenees, and was made a K.T.S. in October 1812. In the winter of 1813, when Lord Dalhousie went to England on leave, General Le Cor took command of the 7th division, and Doyle succeeded him in the 6th Portuguese brigade, which he commanded in the battles of the Nivelle and of Orthes, and afterwards in the march on Bordeaux. On the conclusion of the war Doyle left the Portuguese service. He was made a K.C.B., and he was subsequently appointed once more inspecting officer of militia in Guernsey. He still continued to take a keen interest in the affairs of Portugal, and in June 1823 he chartered a steamer at his own expense in which he took despatches for Dom Pedro to Cadiz. This and other similar acts caused his arrest by Dom Miguel, and he was imprisoned for several months in a cell in Lisbon, and not released until after the strongest representations had been made by the English minister, Sir F. Lamb, afterwards Lord Beauvale. Doyle was M.P. for county Carlow in 1831-2. He still continued to assist Dom Pedro, with both his purse and his services, and acted as major-general and aide-de-camp to Dom Pedro in the defence of Oporto (1832). At the end of the war in 1834 he was most disgracefully treated. He was made to resign his commission on the promise of being paid in full for his expenditure and his services, but he was then put off with excuses and left unpaid. It was Doyle who, by pamphlets and petitions, got the mixed commission appointed to liquidate the claims of the English officers, and this commission paid every English officer except himself. He was made a sort of scapegoat for having got the commission appointed. For many years he was engaged in lawsuits to obtain this money, but he never got it and only sank deeper into difficulties. At last he gave up the quest, and in July 1853 he was appointed one of the military knights of Windsor and a sergeant-at-arms to the queen. He died in the lower ward, Windsor Castle, on 9 Aug. 1856, and was buried with military honours on the green, at the south side of St. George's Chapel.

[Royal Military Calendar, ed. 1820, iv. 370-2; Gent. Mag. September 1856.]

H. M. S.