General James Coates


Born in 1740, he was gazetted Ensign in the 19th Foot on Christmas Day, 1755. Two years later in September 1757 he was a Lieutenant in the 66th Foot. Promoted Captain in 1762 he was promoted Major on 3rd October 1766. He became a Brevet Lieutenant Colonel, 11th September 1775 and Lieutenant Colonel of the 19th Foot on 26th October 1775. A Brevet Colonelcy followed in May 1781. He was promoted Major General on 28th April 1790 and was appointed Colonel, 2nd Queen’s on 20th December, 1794. Three years later he was promoted Lieutenant General and on 29th April 1802 he was promoted General.

He served in the American War in 1781 in command of the 19th Foot and was present at the fighting at Monk’s Corner and the relief of Fort Ninety Six. He served in the campaign in Holland 1794-95 in command of a brigade where he was slightly wounded. His term of command of The Queen’s was long when compared with those of some other holders of the office. He died in command on 22nd July 1822 at Heslington, near York. General Coates was eighty-two years of age, and at the time of his death, the fourth in seniority on the list of Generals.

A rather curious paragraph in the History of The Queen’s refers to Lieutenant General Sir G Lowry Cole who had been so long in command of the Division in the Peninsula in which the four companies of the Queen’s were posted, was appointed Colonel of the Queen’s in the Gazette on the 1st June, but on the 8th June the Gazette had the following curious memo, “The appointment of Lieutenant General Sir G Lowry Cole to be Colonel of the 2nd Foot, as stated in the Gazette of the 1st inst, has not taken place. General Coates, on whose supposed decease the appointment had taken place, having notified that he is alive”. He did not die till nine years after this date!

Lieutenant General Sir Lowry Cole later became Colonel of the 70th Regiment.

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