Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Wetherall, Frederick Augustus

WETHERALL, Sir FREDERICK AUGUSTUS (1754–1842), general, born in 1754, was the son of John Wetherall, and belonged to a family which migrated from Wetherall Priory, near Carlisle, to Ireland in the reign of William III. He obtained a commission as ensign in the 17th foot on 23 Aug. 1775, embarked for Boston in September, and became lieutenant on 27 Aug. 1776. During the American war he served with his regiment in the defence of Boston, and at the actions of Brooklyn, Whiteplains, Princeton, Brandywine, Monmouth, and others. In 1780 he was in command of a company serving as marines on the Alfred, and shared in Rodney's victory off Cape St. Vincent. On 17 May 1781 he was made captain of an independent company which he had raised, and which was embodied in the 104th foot on 2 March 1782.

He exchanged to the 11th foot on 16 April 1783, served six years with that regiment at Gibraltar, and accompanied the Duke of Kent to Canada in 1790. He was aide-de-camp to the duke during the operations under Sir Charles Grey in the West Indies, and he received two wounds at the taking of Martinique in March 1794. He had become major in the 11th on 1 March, and in August, when the Duke of Kent took command of the troops at Halifax, Nova Scotia, he was appointed deputy adjutant-general there. On 20 May 1795 he obtained the lieutenant-colonelcy of Keppel's regiment, newly raised for service in the West Indies. He served with it in San Domingo, and while on his way to Barbados with despatches he was wounded and taken prisoner. He was kept in irons at Guadeloupe for nine months before he was exchanged, and suffered such privations that some men of the 32nd, who were also prisoners, raised a subscription for him. On 3 Aug. 1796 he was transferred to the lieutenant-colonelcy of the 82nd regiment, which was then in San Domingo.

When the Duke of Kent became commander-in-chief in North America in 1799, Wetherall again served on his staff as adjutant-general, but the duke resigned next year. On 29 April 1802 Wetherall was made brevet colonel, and in 1803 he raised a regiment of Nova Scotia fencibles, and was made colonel of it on 9 July. In May 1806 he was appointed brigadier in the Caribee Islands, and in October at the Cape of Good Hope. On 25 Oct. 1809 he was promoted major-general, and placed on the staff in India. On his way there, in the East India Company's ship Wyndham, he was taken prisoner early in 1810 after a severe action in the Mozambique Channel, and was carried to Ile de France (Mauritius). He was exchanged after two months' captivity, and went on to Calcutta.

In November 1810 he was appointed second in command, under Sir Samuel Auchmuty [q. v.], in the expedition to Java. He was thanked in general orders for his share in the battle of Cornelis, on 26 Aug. 1811, and received the thanks of parliament and the gold medal for the conquest of Java. He afterwards returned to India, and held command in Mysore till June 1815. He had became lieutenant-general on 4 June 1814. He was equerry, and afterwards executor, to the Duke of Kent, and received the grand cross of the Hanoverian order in 1833. He was promoted general on 10 Jan. 1837, and was given the colonelcy of the 62nd foot, from which he was transferred to his old regiment, the 17th, on 17 Feb. 1840.

He died at Castlehill, Ealing, on 18 Dec. 1842, aged 88. He married, first, Elizabeth, daughter of George Mytton, by whom he had a son, (Sir) George Augustus Wetherall [q. v.]; and, secondly, in 1817, the widow of Major Broad, and daughter of W. Mair of Kensington.

[Royal Military Calendar, ii. 359; Gent. Mag. 1843, i. 318; Cannon's Records of the 17th Regiment; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1894, ii. 2181; Neale's Life of the Duke of Kent; Thorn's Conquest of Java.]

E. M. L.