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Young, Aretas William (DNB00)

YOUNG, Sir ARETAS WILLIAM (1778?–1835), soldier and colonial governor, born in 1777 or 1778, entered the Earl of Portmore's regiment as an ensign on 3 Sept. 1795. He purchased a lieutenancy in the 13th foot on 28 Nov. 1795, and a company on 15 Sept. 1796. He served with the 13th foot in Ireland during the rebellion in 1798 and in Egypt in the campaign of 1801, for which he received a medal. Between 1804 and 1806 he acted as aide-de-camp to General Henry Edward Fox [q. v.] at Gibraltar and in Sicily. On 17 Dec. 1807 he was promoted to be major in the 97th regiment, with which he served in the Peninsula campaigns of 1808–10 and 1811, and was engaged at the battles of Vimeiro, Talavera, and Busaco, at Redinha, the taking of Olivença and first siege of Badajoz. Whenever the fourth division was in movement, the light companies were entrusted to his charge, and during a part of the retreat of the army to the lines of Torres Vedras in 1810 those companies were embodied under his command as a light battalion. He received a medal for the battle of Talavera.

Owing to its thinned ranks the 97th was ordered to England, and Young was promoted on 25 Jan. 1813 to a lieutenant-colonelcy in the 3rd West India regiment, stationed in Trinidad. With five companies he joined the expedition against Guadeloupe in 1815, and received one of the badges of the order of merit presented by Louis XVIII. After his return to Trinidad he was chosen by Sir James Leith [q. v.] to command the troops in Grenada. On being ordered back to Trinidad in August 1816, the council of assembly of Grenada presented him with a sword. In 1820, during the absence of Sir Ralph James Woodford, he administered the government of Trinidad for four months, and on the termination of the period was requested to continue a member of the council. During a second absence of Woodford he filled the office of governor for nearly two years, and on his resignation in February 1823 received the thanks of every section of the community. In 1825 the 3rd West India regiment was disbanded, and in January 1826 Young was appointed to the newly created office of her majesty's protector of slaves in Demerara, retiring from the army by sale of his commission on 13 May, with permission to retain the local rank of lieutenant-colonel. On 25 July 1831 he was gazetted lieutenant governor of Prince Edward's Island, and on 9 July 1834 he was knighted. He died in Prince Edward's Island at the government house on 1 Dec. 1835, and was buried at the new English church. He married Sarah Cox of Coolcliffe, Wexford, and was father of Sir Henry Edward Fox Young [q. v.]

[United Service Journal, 1836, i. 380–3; Fraser's Hist. of Trinidad, 1896, ii. 126–7.]

E. I. C.