Lt Frederick Charles White, of the 16th (the Buckinghamshire) Regiment of Foot
Lt Frederick Charles White, of the 16th (the Buckinghamshire) Regiment of Foot
Lt Frederick Charles White, of the 16th (the Buckinghamshire) Regiment of Foot

W.K. BURTON (worked c.1803-1805)

Lt Frederick Charles White, of the 16th (the Buckinghamshire) Regiment of Foot

c. 1783 United Kingdom

Offered by Ellison Fine Art

£1,800 gbp
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Lt. Frederick Charles White, wearing a red uniform of the 16th Regiment of Foot with yellow facings, and silver epaulette, black hat, frilled white collar and black stock
set in a chased gold coloured foliate frame

Frederick entered the army as an Ensign in 1782 in the 64th Foot; in 1783 he was appointed Lieutenant in the 16th; in 1784 he received a company in the 96th and was placed on half pay. In 1786 he obtained a company in the 16th Foot; and in 1789 he was appointed Lt. and Adjunct in the 1st foot guards. In 1793 he was Brigade-Major to the guards employed in the campaigns in Flanders : he was present at the sieges of Valenciennes and Dunkirk and the storming of Lincelles. In 1805 he was Colonel. In 1808 Brigadier-General in Sicily, in which island he served 3 years. As Major General he served some time on the Staff in Ireland.

In 1782 due to their losses in America the 16th Regiment was forced to return to England from South America, arriving in March. On the 31st August the Regiment was authorised to use the title 'The 16th (the Buckinghamshire) Regiment of Foot' to encourage enlistment from that region and create a county identity. The American War finished. It is about now that the nickname 'The Old Bucks' is initially used, reflecting the regiment's long service.In 1784 the Regiment moved to Ireland as a small peacetime regiment. By 1790 the Regiment had embarked for Nova Scotia.

Frederick Van Cortlandt White was the son of Henry White of New York and Eve Van Cortlandt White (1736-1836). Henry, though American-born with Maryland roots, received his education in England. He recrossed the Atlantic to establish himself as a merchant in New York. His rise in commerce received a big boost when he inherited the property of his deceased Maryland relatives. A petition dated May 8, 1756, documents White's intent to ship bread to South Carolina for the use of the Royal Navy. He was then acting as an agent for Samuel Bowman, Jr., and Joseph Yates of Charleston. By 1757, White was importing European goods to New York and selling them from his store in King Street.

On May 13, 1761, Henry married Eve Van Cortlandt, daughter of Frederick and granddaughter of Jacobus Van Cortlandt, the founder of the younger branch of that wealthy and prominent New York family. White's marriage made him a member of a prosperous set, and he steadily expanded his commercial operations. He purchased the Moro, a ten-gun sloop, which indicates involvement with the lucrative business of privateering.

In March 1769, White demonstrated his enhanced standing in New York society by snagging an appointment to the Council Board, which made him one of the chief advisors to the colony's royal governor. By this time, White conducted his business from the "De Peyster House, on the Fly," and he advertised in the city papers that he had nails, teas, glass, sail-cloth, Madeira wine, and other popular items for sale. White became an original member of the city's Chamber of Commerce and ultimately its president. The Honorable East India Company selected him as one of New York's consignees for the tea for which it received a monopoly to ship to America under the controversial Tea Act of 1773. Intense pressure from the local Committee of Vigilance compelled White to refuse to accept the consignments when they finally reached New York in April 1774.

With the outbreak of the American War of Independence, White appears to have left New York shortly after his Loyalist sympathies made him persona non grata. He returned when the British Army occupied his home town. He served the king's troops as a commissary and played a leading role in raising funds to purchase equipment for new-raising Provincial (Loyalist) regiments. He also helped dispose of vessels and cargoes captured by the Royal Navy, as well as in the distribution of the resulting prize money. White would leave New York when British forces evacuated in 1783. He resettled in London and died in Golden Square on December 23, 1786.

Henry and Eve White had several children. Their eldest son, named Henry for his father, remained in America. He married his first cousin, Anne, the daughter of Augustus Van Cortlandt, and lived a comfortable life. Another son entered the Royal Navy and died serving under Sir John Chambers White, Vice-Admiral of the White. William Tryon White, named for Henry's friend and New York's royal governor from 1771 to 1780, became a captain in the service of the East India Company.

Frederick Van Cortlandt White, entered the British Army toward the tail end of the American War of Independence. He received an ensign's commission in the 64th Regiment of Foot on February 19, 1781. He advanced to lieutenant by transferring to the 16th Regiment of Foot on December 30 of that year. Promotion to captain came when he transferred to the short-lived 96th Regiment of Foot on May 6, 1783. Captain White went onto half pay when the 96th Foot disbanded on May 31. Frederick exchanged from half pay as a captain by returning to his old regiment, the 16th Foot, on April 15, 1785, and assumed command of his own company once again.

Thanks most probably to the fact that Henry White was able to leave America with his fortune, Frederick exchanged his captain's commission in the 16th Foot for that of lieutenant and captain in the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards on June 13, 1789. He also became his new regiment's adjutant. Frederick White must have demonstrated a flair for administration and staff work. When the Foot Guards sent a brigade to battle the French revolutionaries in Flanders, White went as a brigade major. He witnessed the sieges of Valenciennes and Dunkirk and the storming of Lincelles. White remained an officer in the 1st Foot Guards, and promotion to colonel came on January 1, 1805. From 1808 to 1811, be served on Sicily, initially as a brigadier general. A major general's commission crowned his military career on July 25, 1810, and he went on to spend some time with the British Army's staff in Ireland.

We are grateful to Gregory Urwin a professor of history at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Brigadier Viner Collection
D. Foskett, Collecting Miniatures, Woodbridge, 1979, p. 257, col pl. 21C.
The Royal Military Calendar, Or Army Service and Commission Book, Volume 3, p. 19
Height 5.50 cm (2.17 inches)
Stock Code
watercolour on ivory
Signed with initials,
Ellison Fine Art

Ellison Fine Art
United Kingdom

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