Colonel George Villiers
George Villiers was commissioned in the First Guards on 31st August 1685, and must have been in his late thirties when appointed to command one of the newly formed Regiments of Marines. His commission as Colonel of a Regiment of Marines was signed by King William III on 12th February 1702. Colonel Villiers raised his Regiment of Marines in 1702 in the West Country, mainly around Taunton and Bridgewater. As was the custom in those days, the Regiment was named after its Colonel.
The first action in which Villiers’ Marines took part was an unsuccessful attempt to capture Cadiz on 12th August 1702. Two months later they formed part of the Second Brigade at the capture of the Spanish galleons at Vigo, although they remained embarked on this occasion. It was while serving in the Mediterranean the following year that the Regiment suffered a great loss in the death of Colonel Villiers. He and one of his officers were drowned at Priuti on 6th December 1703.