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HARDING, WILLIAM (1792–1886), historian of Tiverton, was of an old Westcountry family mentioned in Prince's 'Worthies of Devon,' the third son of Robert Harding of Upcott, Devonshire, who died in 1804, by his wife, Dionisia, daughter of Sir Bourchier Wrey, bart., of Tawstock. He was born on 16 Aug. 1792, was educated at Blundell's school, Tiverton, and became an ensign in the North Devon militia, from which he obtained an ensigncy in the 5th foot in 1812, and became lieutenant of the 95th rifles in 1813. He served in the Peninsula from August 1812 to the end of the war, including the siege of Burgos, capture of Madrid, battles of Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthez, and Toulouse, for which he subsequently received the Peninsular medal and clasps. He became captain of the 58th foot in 1823, major unattached in 1826, and retired as lieutenant-colonel by the sale of his commissions, having first exchanged to full pay in the 2nd foot for that purpose on 22 Nov. 1841. Harding, after his retirement from the service, was many years resident at Tiverton. He wrote an excellent 'History of Tiverton' (2 vols. 8vo, 1847), which appears to have been his only published work. He was a magistrate, a fellow of the Geological Society, and a member of some local societies. He died at Barnstaple 15 Jan. 1886, in his ninety-fourth year.

[Burke's Landed Gentry, eds. 1868, 1886; Army Lists; Ann. Reg. 1886.]

H. M. C.