Banastre Tarleton

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Banastre Tarleton

Lieutenant-Colonel Banastre Tarleton by Sir Joshua Reynolds, in the uniform of the British Legion, wearing a "Tarleton helmet".
National Gallery, London.
Born21 August 1754 (1754-08-21)
Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Died15 January 1833(1833-01-15) (aged 78)
Leintwardine, Herefordshire, England
AllegianceGreat Britain (1775-1801)
United Kingdom (1801-1812)
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1775–1812
Unit1st Dragoon Guards
Commands heldBritish Legion
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Susan Bertie
(m. 1798)
RelationsMary Robinson

Sir Banastre Tarleton, 1st Baronet GCB (21 August 1754 – 15 January 1833) was a British general and politician. He is best known as the lieutenant colonel leading the British Legion at the end of the American Revolutionary War. He later served in Portugal and held commands in Ireland and England.

During most of his service in North America, he led the British Legion, a provincial unit organised in New York in 1778. After returning to Great Britain in 1781 at the age of 27, Tarleton was elected to Parliament as a member for Liverpool. He served as a prominent Whig politician for 20 years.[1] He was interested in military matters and opposed abolition of the slave trade.

Early life[edit]

Banastre Tarleton was the third of seven children born to merchant John Tarleton (1718–1773) and his wife. His father had prospered in the West Indian sugar trade and also managed several slaving vessels.[2] Tarleton’s & Backhouse became one of the largest import-export companies in Britain.[3] The family had trade interests throughout America and dealt in many cargoes, including slaves.[4]

Tarleton was educated at Oxford, attending University College. He was further educated at Middle Temple, London, which, at that time, served as a college for the education of lawyers. In 1773 at the age of 19, he inherited £5,000 on his father's death. He squandered almost all of it in less than a year on gambling and women, mostly at the Cocoa Tree club in London.[citation needed]

In 1775 he purchased a commission as a cavalry officer (cornet) in the 1st Dragoon Guards (effective from 2 May 1775).[5] He proved to be a gifted horseman and leader of troops. Owing to his abilities, he worked his way up through the ranks to lieutenant colonel without having to purchase any further commissions.[citation needed]

American War of Independence[edit]

In December 1775, at the age of 21, the volunteer-soldier Banastre Tarleton sailed from Cork to North America, where the American War of Independence (1775–83) had broken out. Tarleton sailed with Lord Cornwallis as part of an expedition to capture the southern city of Charleston, South Carolina.[6] After that expedition failed, at the Battle of Sullivan's Island (28 June 1776), Tarleton went north to join the main British Army under command of General William Howe, in New York.

Under the command of Colonel William Harcourt, Tarleton, as a cornet, was part of a scouting party sent to gather intelligence on the movements of General Charles Lee, in New Jersey. On 13 December 1776, Tarleton surrounded a house in Basking Ridge, and forced Lee, still in dressing gown, to surrender, as he threatened to burn down the house. General Lee was taken to New York as a prisoner of war. He later was used in an exchange of prisoners.

In the course of the colonial war in North America, Cornet Tarleton's campaign service during 1776 earned him the position of brigade major at the end of the year; he was twenty-two years old.[7] He was promoted to captain on 13 June 1778.[8] Major Tarleton was at the Battle of Brandywine and at other battles in the campaigns of 1777 and 1778.[7] One such battle, in 1778, was an attack upon a communications outpost on Signal Hill in Easttown Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, which was guarded by troops commanded by Capt. Henry Lee III, of the Continental Army, who repulsed the British attack.[9]

Capture of Charleston[edit]

After becoming commander of the British Legion, a force of American Loyalist cavalry and light infantry, Tarleton went to South Carolina at the beginning of 1780. There, the Legion supported Sir Henry Clinton in the siege operations that culminated in the British capture of Charleston.[7] The siege and capture of the city were part of the British strategy in the southern military theatre meant to restore royal authority over the southern colonies of British North America.

Battle of Waxhaws[edit]

The Battle of Waxhaw Creek (29 May 1780), in Lancaster County, South Carolina

On 29 May 1780, Colonel Tarleton, with a force of 149 mounted soldiers, overtook a detachment of 350 to 380 Virginia Continentals, led by Colonel Abraham Buford, who refused to surrender or to stop his march. Only after sustaining many casualties did Buford order the American soldiers to surrender. Nonetheless, Tarleton's forces ignored the white flag and massacred the soldiers of Buford's detachment; 113 American soldiers were killed, 203 were captured, and 150 were severely wounded. The British army casualties were 5 soldiers killed and 12 soldiers wounded.[10] From the perspective of the British Army, the affair of the massacre is known as the Battle of Waxhaw Creek. In that time, the American rebels used the phrase "Tarleton's quarter" (shooting after surrender) as meaning "no quarter offered".

Forty years later, Robert Brownfield, a surgeon’s mate in the Second South Carolina Regiment at the time of the battle, wrote an account.[11] He said that Colonel Buford raised the white flag of surrender to the British Legion, "expecting the usual treatment sanctioned by civilized warfare"; yet, while Buford called for quarter, Colonel Tarleton's horse was shot with a musket ball, felling horse and man. On seeing that, the Loyalist cavalrymen believed that the Virginia Continentals had shot their commander – while they asked him for mercy. Enraged, the Loyalist troops attacked the Virginians and "commenced a scene of indiscriminate carnage never surpassed by the ruthless atrocities of the most barbarous savages"; in the aftermath, the British Legion soldiers killed wounded American soldiers where they lay.[11]

Tarleton's account, published in 1787, said that his horse had been shot from under him, and that his soldiers, thinking him dead, engaged in "a vindictive asperity not easily restrained".[12]

Regardless of the extent to which they were true or false, the reports of British atrocities motivated Whig-leaning colonials to support the American Revolution.[13] On 7 October 1780, at the Battle of Kings Mountain, South Carolina, soldiers of the Continental Army, having heard of the slaughter at Waxhaw Creek, killed American Loyalists who had surrendered after a sniper killed their British commanding officer, Maj. Patrick Ferguson.[14]

Subsequent operations[edit]

In South Carolina, to deny resupply of food and horses, cause attrition and reduce reconnoitering, Tarleton's British Legion were harried by Francis Marion, an American militia commander who practiced guerrilla warfare against the British. Throughout the campaigns, Tarleton was unable to capture him or thwart his operations. Marion's local popularity among anti-British South Carolinians ensured continual aid and comfort for the American cause. In contrast, Colonel Tarleton alienated the colonial citizens with arbitrary confiscations of cattle and food stocks.[15]

Tarleton materially helped Cornwallis to win the Battle of Camden in August 1780.[7] On 22 August, he was promoted to major in the 79th Regiment of Foot (Royal Liverpool Volunteers).[16] He defeated Thomas Sumter at Fishing Creek, aka "Catawba Fords", but was less successful when he encountered the same general at Blackstock's Farm in November 1780.[7]

On 17 January 1781, Tarleton's forces were virtually destroyed by American Brigadier General Daniel Morgan at the Battle of Cowpens. Tarleton and about 200 men escaped the battlefield.[17]

Lieutenant Colonel William Washington commanded the rebel cavalry;[18] to deprive the rebels of leadership he was targeted by the British commander and two of his men. Tarleton was stopped by Washington himself, who attacked him with his sabre, calling out, "Where is now the boasting Tarleton?"[19] A cornet of the 17th, Thomas Patterson, rode up to strike Washington but was shot and killed by Washington's orderly trumpeter.[19]

Washington survived this assault and in the process wounded Tarleton's right hand with a sabre blow, while Tarleton creased Washington's knee with a pistol shot that also wounded his horse. Washington pursued Tarleton for sixteen miles, but gave up the chase when he came to the plantation of Adam Goudylock near Thicketty Creek. Tarleton was able to escape capture by forcing Goudylock to serve as a guide.[20]

Tarleton's Movements historical marker in Adams Grove, Virginia

He was successful in a skirmish at Torrence's Tavern while the British crossed the Catawba River (Cowan's Ford Skirmish, 1 February 1781) and took part in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in March 1781. With his men, Tarleton marched with Cornwallis into Virginia.[7] There he carried out a series of small expeditions while in Virginia. Among them was a raid on Charlottesville, where the state government had relocated following the British occupation of the capital at Richmond. He was trying to capture Governor Thomas Jefferson and members of the Virginia General Assembly. The raid was partially foiled by the ride of Jack Jouett, with Jefferson and all but seven of the legislators escaping over the mountains. Tarleton destroyed arms and munitions and succeeded in dispersing the Assembly.

Tarleton was brevetted to lieutenant-colonel in the 79th Foot on 26 June 1781.[21] After other missions, Cornwallis instructed Tarleton to hold Gloucester Point, during the Siege of Yorktown. On 4 October 1781, the French Lauzun's Legion and the British cavalry, commanded by Tarleton, skirmished at Gloucester Point. Tarleton was unhorsed, and Lauzun's Legion drove the British within their lines before being ordered to withdraw by the Marquis de Choisy.[22][23][24] The Legion suffered three Hussars killed with two officers and eleven Hussars wounded.[25] Fifty British were killed or wounded, including Tarleton.[26] The British surrendered Gloucester Point to the French and Americans after the surrender at Yorktown in October 1781. He returned to Britain on parole, finished with this war at the age of 27.[7]

Return to England[edit]

Banastre Tarleton returned to England a hero: a triumphant veteran wounded in his country’s service. On his arrival “[in] Liverpool in 1782 after legendary exploits in the American war of independence, the church bells rang out and he was feted by admirers.”[27]Knight expands on this:

Most British senior officers returned to England after the war to severe criticism from their compatriots…[They] received varying degrees of blame and censure for the loss of the American colonies.  But Tarleton was almost unique in attracting no such rebuke. …he was received home with universal acclaim, being feted at court and becoming an intimate friend to two future kings, George Prince of Wales and William Duke of Clarence…[28]

Images everywhere[edit]

Tarleton sat for portraits by three leading artists in London: Reynolds, Gainsborough, and Cosway.[28] Contrary to claims of Tarleton’s vanity, he did not pay to have them painted.

Tarleton’s brother commissioned Sir Joshua Reynolds’ well-known painting of Banastre for their mother.[a] “Colonel Tarleton” is regarded as one of the finest examples of Reynolds' work and portraiture in general. The full-length painting, at 236 × 145.5 cm (92.9 x 57.3 inches) is too tall to fit in many homes. Like Tarleton’s mark on the history of the war, the painting is larger than life. The National Gallery describes it:

Reynolds portrays Tarleton momentarily dismounted on a battlefield, with gun-smoke swirling behind him. Wearing the uniform of the British Legion, he props one leg up on a cannon to re-fix his sword to his belt before changing horses. Reynolds frequently drew on ideas from old master paintings, drawings and antique sculpture for his compositions. Tarleton’s pose appears to be based on works by Rembrandt, Tintoretto and an ancient Roman sculpture of Hermes.[29] [b]

— The National Gallery, "Colonel Tarleton by Sir Joshua Reynolds" (2023)

The pose disguises Tarleton’s mutilated right hand, of which he lost two fingers to a musket ball at the Battle of Guilford Court House.[30] The flags are unidentified. The Reynolds painting was shown at the Royal Academy later in the year.

Thomas Gainsborough’s equestrian portrait of Tarleton, an even larger canvas, was also exhibited in 1782.[31] John Tarleton wrote to their mother in evident pride, “The picture of my Brother at Gainsborough's will not measure with the frame less than 12 feet 6 inches."[citation needed]

The portrait by the third artist, Richard Cosway, is on quite a different scale. During the late Georgian and Regency periods, Cosway became a sought-after miniaturist as well as receiving commissions for his full-sized portraits. He was the only artist ever appointed official painter to the Prince of Wales. Miniatures were the wallet photos of their era, meeting the need for images which could be transported easily, and it is for these which Cosway is most famous today. His miniature of Banastre Tarleton[32] is in a private collection and a photograph of it is copyrighted.

Some good quality engravings of Tarleton exist, having met the popular interest in him. Most commonly, they were based on the Reynolds painting. Others likely arise from the Gainsborough. Some are inaccurate, perhaps imagined by the engraver. A few were coloured to show him in a red uniform, presumably to meet the expectations of some readers.

Engravings were the basis for illustrations of Tarleton in books and magazines. Others were made for transfer printing on earthenware. There are examples of jugs with his likeness in museums on both sides of the Atlantic.

As a well-known person, politician, and member of the princely social circle, Tarleton was satirized. A caricature of him appeared in several Gilray prints, both as one of the group and as the main subject. L'Assemblée Nationale includes a figure in a Tarleton helmet.


The war wasn’t over after the capitulation at Yorktown, though most of the fighting was finished. Yet the war of words amongst soldiers and politicians was already under way. The London Morning Chronicle printed an anonymous letter castigating Tarleton on 9 August 1782. Lieutenant Roderick MacKenzie was probably the author.[33] MacKenzie had been a junior officer of the 71st Regiment of Foot (Fraser’s Highlanders). He was wounded and captured at the Battle of Cowpens for which he blamed Tarleton. [c] Agniel wrote[35] “If one takes exception to the premise that Lieutenant MacKenzie loathed his commanding officer, it is entirely feasible to substitute any other verb which means roughly the same thing.” Babits noted “Lieutenant Roderick MacKenzie and others had clear bias and slanted their accounts to suit their own purposes...MacKenzie hated Banastre Tarleton…”[36] Buchanan said Mackenzie “bore considerable personal animosity against Tarleton”.[37] Subsequent letters extended Mackenzie’s criticism to Cornwallis and Clinton, and continued to attack Tarleton for years.

As the events of 1781, the year of the defeat at Cowpens and the surrender at Yorktown, were picked apart, the principal actors responded. Clinton’s account was first. He held that “none of the misfortunes of the very unfortunate campaign of 1781 can, with the smallest degree of justice, be imputed to me.”[38] [39] Cornwallis rebutted Clinton’s claims the same year.[40] They continued to trade shots for years after the treaty was signed, attempting to prove themselves blameless for the loss of thirteen of the provinces in North America. Tarleton became a focus of the controversy due to the loss of the light infantry at Cowpens. However, according to Scotti, the criticism of Tarleton “was fuelled by resentment and jealousy.”[41]

Tarleton defended himself in response to their publications and Mackenzie’s vendetta. The eventual result was Tarleton’s 1787 book, History of the Campaigns of 1780 and 1781 in the Southern Provinces of North America.[42] Mackenzie followed by compiling his letters into a book,[43] and explicitly criticised Tarleton’s account almost line by line. The Cornwallis Correspondence also included responses. Major George Hanger (Lord Coleraine) published a rebuttal to Mackenzie in his “Address to the Army”.[44]

Of all the British documentation about the war, Tarleton’s History of the Campaigns of 1780 and 1781 in the Southern Provinces of North America[42] has remained a resource for historians. The book questions decisions made by Cornwallis.

Later military career[edit]

Tarleton continued to serve in the British Army and was promoted to colonel on 22 November 1790,[45] to major-general on 4 October 1794 and to lieutenant-general on 1 January 1801.[46][47] Whilst on service in Portugal, Tarleton succeeded William Henry Vane, 3rd Earl of Darlington as colonel of the Princess of Wales's Fencible Dragoons in 1799.[48] Tarleton was appointed colonel of the 21st Light Dragoons on 24 July 1802.[49] He was brevetted to general on 1 January 1812.[50] He had hoped to be appointed to command British forces in the Peninsular War, but the position was instead given to Wellington. He held a military command in Ireland and another in England.[7]

Tarleton had lost two fingers from a musket ball received in his right hand during the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina,[51] but "his crippled hand was to prove an electoral asset" back home.[52] The condition of his hand is disguised in the pose of his 1782 portrait (shown in this article) by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Member of Parliament[edit]

Tarleton first stood as a Whig candidate for Liverpool in the 1784 general election. He was narrowly defeated by Richard Pennant as the second MP of this borough constituency. In the 1790 general election Pennant was ahead in the poll, but withdrew in favour of Tarleton.[53][failed verification] With the exception of a single year, Tarleton was re-elected to the House of Commons until 1812.[7] Throughout his tenure in Parliament, he generally voted with the Parliamentary opposition. He was also a supporter of Charles James Fox despite their opposing views on the British role in the American War of Independence.

Tarleton was known for speaking on military matters as well as opposing abolition of the slave trade. Thorne wrote "most of his speeches in his first two sessions in the House assailed the 'mistaken philanthropy' of abolishing the slave trade, which Liverpool Members were instructed to oppose."[1]


He was appointed governor of Berwick and Holy Island in 1808.[54]

On 23 January 1816, he was made a baronet;[55] and in 1820 a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB).

Personal life[edit]

Portrait of Mary Robinson by Thomas Gainsborough, 1781

Tarleton had a 15-year relationship with the actress and writer Mary Robinson, known as Perdita, the character she played to much acclaim. She was an ex-mistress of the Prince of Wales (future King George IV). Tarleton and Robinson had no children; in 1783 Robinson had a miscarriage. She was important to his parliamentary career, writing many of his speeches.[citation needed]

Tarleton ultimately married Susan Bertie, the young, illegitimate and wealthy daughter of the 4th Duke of Ancaster in 1798. Tarleton had no children with Bertie.[7] Tarleton did however, father an illegitimate daughter in 1797, prior to his marriage. The child was named Banina Georgina[56] (1797–1818), her mother being named simply as Kolina.[57]


Tarleton died in January 1833, at Leintwardine, Herefordshire.


Tarleton helmet[edit]

During the American War of Independence, Tarleton made popular a leather helmet with antique style applications and a fur plume (woollen for lower ranks) protruding far into the upper front side. It was based on the Continental European dragoon helmet that became popular in several other armies before it fell out of fashion.[58] Sir Joshua Reynolds' portrait of Tarleton shows him wearing the helmet; it was worn by all ranks in the British Legion. Royal Horse Artillery troops wore the helmet until the end of the Napoleonic Wars as well as by light dragoon regiments from about 1796 to 1812.[59][better source needed]

Auction of captured battle flags[edit]

In 2006, four Patriot regimental colours captured by Tarleton in 1779 and 1780 were auctioned by Sotheby's in New York City.[60] The flags sold for US$17.3 million at auction on Flag Day in the United States on 14 June 2006.[61][62]

These battleflags are the last American Revolutionary War colours known to remain in British hands and the last such colours to remain in private hands anywhere. Banastre Tarleton bequeathed the trophies to his nephew Thomas Tarleton. They have remained in the family for nearly 250 years.

Lot 1[63] was the colour of the 2nd Continental Light Dragoons (Sheldon’s Dragoons), captured by the British Legion at Pound Ridge on 2 July 1779. It is the earliest surviving American flag of any kind with thirteen horizontal red and white stripes. Including its silver metallic fringe, the silk flag is 35 1/8 inches (hoist) x 38 ¾ inches (fly). In the centre, there is a square of red silk bordered in gold and black. On it is a painted badge of a winged dark storm cloud from which ten gold and orange thunderbolts are emanating. Below that is the motto “PAT:A CONCITA  FULM:NT NATI.”(roughly translated, “When their country calls, her sons answer in tones of thunder.”)

Lot 2[64] was the complete stand of three regimental colours of the 3rd Virginia Detachment. The British Legion, commanded by Tarleton, captured them at the Battle of Waxhaws on 29 May 1780. They are the only remaining intact stand of colours from the Revolution. The 50 ¼ inches (hoist) x 45 3/8 inches (fly) regimental flag is the oldest surviving American flag having a canton of five-pointed stars. It is of gold silk painted with a beaver felling a palmetto tree. Below that is the motto “Perseverando”. At the upper hoist is a blue silk canton with thirteen stars. It is very similar to No. 7 described in the 1778 inventory "A Return of ye New Standards & Division Colours for ye Army of ye United States of America In Possession of Major Jonathan Gostelowe, Comy. Mily. Stores."[65][better source needed]

Places named for Banastre Tarleton[edit]

  • A house at the site of the skirmish in Easttown Township after the Battle of Brandywine came to be known as "Tarleton." A school later based there was also named Tarleton.[66][dead link]
  • The "General Tarleton Inn" in Ferrensby, North Yorkshire, is named after him.[67]
  • A street, still in existence, was named for Banastre Tarleton—others for Howe and Rawdon—in Freetown, the Sierra Leone colony established by former slaves.[68]

Representation in other media[edit]


Numerous tales about Tarleton exist, mostly to show him in a bad light. Verified facts are included in the biographical information above. Widespread but dubious stories are discussed here.

Slave Trade[edit]

Banastre Tarleton was not engaged in the slave trade. As a child in Liverpool, he benefited from his father’s mercantile business, which included chartering ships, some of which carried slaves. But, as an adult, he did not join the business.

Tarleton is not listed by the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery,[70] which is based at University College London, nor by the Slave Voyages database,[71] begun at Emory University, now hosted at Rice University. Furthermore, unlike many of the Patriots he fought, Banastre Tarleton never owned slaves.

Nevertheless, after his election to Parliament in 1790, Tarleton often spoke against the abolition of the slave trade: "most of his speeches in his first two sessions in the House assailed the 'mistaken philanthropy' of abolishing the slave trade, which Liverpool Members were instructed to oppose."[1]


The British Legion is occasionally referred to as “Tarleton’s Raiders“ in modern American sources.[citation needed] However, during its service in the American War of Independence, the British Legion was most often called Tarleton’s Legion. Lawrence Babits wrote of the unit’s formation:

These companies were combined into the British Legion in June and July 1778…Thereafter, the history of the British Legion, or Tarleton’s legion, as it came to be known, was the history of Tarleton in America.[72]

Modern historians also use that name. For example, in Cavalry of the American Revolution, Jim Piecuch says “Dockerty’s statement provides clear evidence of Americans switching sides in the South and Continentals enlisting in Tarleton’s Legion.”[73] In the same book, Scott Miskimon wrote “Before the Americans could bridle a single horse, Tarleton’s Legion charged…”[74]

Thomas Raddall, the prolific writer on historical subjects, said of the British Legion:

Of all the loyalists who fought in the War of the American Revolution none were more famous in their day than those who formed the British Legion, generally known as Tarleton's Legion.[75]

Only after the American Civil War was the British Legion sometimes called “Tarleton’s Raiders“ by analogy with some Confederate units of that war. Knight explained:

The “Tarleton’s raiders” tag occurred with increasing regularity after the American Civil War.  Various Confederate partisan and guerrilla cavalry units, like Mosby’s and Quantrill’s, came to be named after their commanding officers, and [American] writers began following the same fashion with the British Legion, the corps that Tarleton commanded.  But the British Legion was never an irregular partisan unit, and though it carried out many daring raids, it was a mixed force of dragoon cavalry, light Infantry and small calibre artillery. Indeed, it was taken onto the British regular establishment in 1782, conferring on it official recognition of its prowess.[58]


In the United States, Banastre Tarleton is often disparaged as “Bloody Tarleton” or “Bloody Ban” in modern histories. But this label wasn’t used by his contemporaries. Scotti searched fruitlessly for examples of “Bloody Tarleton” before the twentieth century. He concluded “with some degree of certainty” that Robert Bass was an early writer to use the term.[76][77] John Pancake varied it to “Bloody Ban” in 1985.[78][79] Later, Scotti elaborated:[80]

In 1957, Robert Duncan Bass coined the phrase in his eloquent biography of Tarleton…With the publication of The Green Dragoon, “Bloody Tarleton” became a part of the American heritage and the national psyche.

Knight agreed with that origin, saying[81]

Both labels appear no earlier than the 1950s, originating in the Robert Bass book The Green Dragoon.


The two personal monikers, the alternatingly violent and romantic caricatures by which Tarleton is now largely known, are sobriquets of pure fiction.  There is no evidence that Tarleton was ever referred to by either name…”

Social rejection by American officers[edit]

Several writers have said that, after the surrender, Tarleton was the sole British senior officer not invited to dinner with any American officers. Where a source is given, it is the 1860 book[82] of George Washington Parke Custis, a step-grandson of General Washington. Custis wrote “Colonel Tarleton…was left out in the invitations to headquarters.” He bases this on an alleged meeting between Tarleton and Lieutenant Colonel John Laurens about military etiquette. Scotti searched many sources, in particular the writing of Laurens and the Marquis de La Fayette, to whom Custis claimed Tarleton first complained. He found no indication that any such meeting took place and considers the incident to be apocryphal.[83][27] Supporting Scotti's conclusion, a 1978 book about the end of the war, “The Campaign That Won America: The Story of Yorktown”, authored by Burke Davis,[84] mentions only that “all the ranking British and German officers were invited”.


  • Agniel, Lucien (June 1972). The Late Affair Has Almost Broke My Heart: The American Revolution in the South, 1780–1781. Chatham Press.
  • Knight, John (2020). War at Saber Point: Banastre Tarleton and the British Legion. Yardley, Pennsylvania: Westholme Publishing. ISBN 978-1-59416-352-4.
  • Raddall, Thomas (1949). "Tarleton's Legion". Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia Historical Society (©Governors of Dalhousie University). Archived from the original on 8 October 2023. Retrieved 8 October 2023.
  • Reynolds, William R. Jr. (2012). Andrew Pickens: South Carolina Patriot in the Revolutionary War. Jefferson NC: McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-6694-8.
  • Scoggins, Michael C (2005). The Day It Rained Militia: Huck's Defeat and the Revolution in the South Carolina Backcountry, May–July 1780. Charleston, SC: The History Press. ISBN 978-1-59629-015-0. OCLC 60189717.
  • Scotti, Anthony J. (2002). Brutal Virtue: The Myth and Reality of Banastre Tarleton. Heritage Books. ISBN 0-7884-2099-2.
  • Wilson, David K (2005). The Southern Strategy: Britain's Conquest of South Carolina and Georgia, 1775–1780. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 1-57003-573-3. OCLC 232001108.


  1. ^ In 1951, it was bequeathed to the National Gallery of the UK by Mrs Henrietta Charlotte Tarleton.
  2. ^ The pose is also reminiscent of the even older The Discus Thrower by Myron.
  3. ^ There is no Lieutenant Roderick Mackenzie on the list of officers in 1776 so he probably joined the regiment later. The name is variously spelt—Mackenzie, M’Kenzie, MacKenzie—as were such Scottish surnames of the period. His own book uses “Mackenzie”. A Lieutenant Roderick Mackenzie of the 71st was killed on the 15th of May 1792 during the advance on Seringapatam, India. Cornwallis was the Commander-in-chief.[34]

General information[edit]


  1. ^ a b c R.G. Thorne 1986.
  2. ^ Scotti 2002, p. 14.
  3. ^ Knight 2020, p. 2.
  4. ^ "Banastre Tarleton; Biography, Part 1". Archived from the original on 15 December 2012.
  5. ^ "No. 11557". The London Gazette. 29 April 1775. p. 1.
  6. ^ Wilson p. 243
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Chisholm 1911.
  8. ^ "No. 11883". The London Gazette. 13 June 1778. p. 2.
  9. ^ Buchanan 1997, p. 60.
  10. ^ Boatner, Cassell's Biographical Dictionary, p. 1174
  11. ^ a b Brownfield 1821, p. Appendix.
  12. ^ Tarleton 1787, p. 32.
  13. ^ Rubin, Ben. "The Rhetoric of Revenge: Atrocity and Identity in the Revolutionary Carolinas". Journal of Backcountry Studies. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
  14. ^ Steel Wills (2014), pp. 7–8
  15. ^ Lanning, Michael Lee (2008). The American Revolution 100: The People, Battles, and Events of the American War for Independence, Ranked by Their Significance. Sourcebooks, Inc. p. 218. ISBN 978-1-4022-1083-9.
  16. ^ "No. 12111". The London Gazette. 19 August 1780. p. 2.
  17. ^ "70th Congress, 1st Session House Document No. 328: Historical Statements Concerning the Battle of King's Mountain and the Battle of the Cowpens," page 53. Washington: United States Government Printing Office (1928). Retrieved on 10 December 2007.
  18. ^ William Washington. American Battlefield Trust. Accessed 20 Feb 2024.
  19. ^ a b "Historical Record of the Seventeenth Regiment of Light Dragoons; Lancers: Containing an Account of the Formation of the Regiment in 1759, and of its Subsequent Services to 1841". Item 33: John W Parker, West Strand. London. 1841. Retrieved 20 February 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  20. ^ Hays, Joel Stanford, "Adam Goudylock (ca. 1726–1796), Planter, of Albemarle County, Virginia, and Union County, South Carolina," The American Genealogist 88, no. 1 & 2 (2016): pp. 49–56, 107–117, at 53–54.
  21. ^ "No. 12201". The London Gazette. 23 June 1781. p. 2.
  22. ^ White, Elton. "Lauzun's Legion's History – Short".
  23. ^ Ketchum, Richard M. (2004). Victory at Yorktown: The Campaign That Won the Revolution. Macmillan. p. 216. ISBN 978-0805073966.
  24. ^ "Battle of the Hook – battle gaming". Archived from the original on 8 March 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  25. ^ Massoni Gérard-Antoine, Histoire d'un régiment de cavalerie légère, le 5e hussards de 1783 à 1815, Paris, Editions Archives & Cultures, 2007, p. 73
  26. ^ Historical Society of Pennsylvania, "Extracts from the Journal of Lieutenant John Bell Tilden", The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, p. 60
  27. ^ a b Clein 2000.
  28. ^ a b Knight 2016.
  29. ^ "Colonel Tarleton by Sir Joshua Reynolds (Bequeathed by Mrs Henrietta Charlotte Tarleton,1951)". National Gallery. 1782. Archived from the original on 28 September 2023. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  30. ^ Tarleton Archived 2017-04-27 at the Wayback Machine; essay by Janie B. Cheaney; retrieved;[ISBN unspecified]
  31. ^ Pearson 1976.
  32. ^ "Miniature Portrait of Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton". Archived from the original on 7 October 2023. Retrieved 7 October 2023. Pay for usage you need
  33. ^ Agniel 1972, p. 146.
  34. ^ Keltie 1875, p. 501.
  35. ^ Agniel 1972, p. 149.
  36. ^ Babits 1998, Preface.
  37. ^ Buchanan 1997, p. 256.
  38. ^ Clinton 1783.
  39. ^ Clinton 1971.
  40. ^ Cornwallis 1866.
  41. ^ Scotti 2002, p. 102.
  42. ^ a b Tarleton 1787.
  43. ^ Mackenzie 1787.
  44. ^ Hanger 1789.
  45. ^ "No. 13258". The London Gazette. 20 November 1790. p. 705.
  46. ^ "No. 13710". The London Gazette. 4 October 1794. p. 1011.
  47. ^ "No. 15326". The London Gazette. 6 January 1801. p. 37.
  48. ^ "The Earl of Darlington". Newcastle Courant. 15 June 1799. p. 4.
  49. ^ "No. 15499". The London Gazette. 20 July 1802. p. 765.
  50. ^ "No. 16556". The London Gazette. 28 December 1811. p. 2498.
  51. ^ "BANASTRE TARLETON by Janie B. Cheaney". Archived from the original on 27 April 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  52. ^ "TARLETON, Banastre (1754–1833), of St. James's Place, Mdx".
  53. ^ Namier, Lewis; Brooke, John (1964). The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790. New York City: Oxford University Press.
  54. ^ "No. 16122". The London Gazette. 23 February 1808. p. 284.
  55. ^ Conway, Stephen. "Tarleton, Sir Banastre, baronet (1754–1833)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/26970. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  56. ^ "The Illegitimate child of Major General Banastre Tarleton". 8 July 2014.
  57. ^ Old Church in Saint Pancras
  58. ^ a b "Top 10 Banastre Tarleton Myths – Journal of the American Revolution". 18 August 2016.
  59. ^ "British Artillery : Napoleonic Wars : Horse : Foot : Rockets : Uniforms".
  60. ^ "Four Battleflags Of The Revolution: Captured By Lt.-Col. Banastre Tarleton In 1779 And 1780, The Property Of Capt. Christopher Tarleton Fagan". Sotheby’s. Sotheby’s Inc. 14 June 2006. Archived from the original on 5 December 2023. Retrieved 5 December 2023. Total estimate 4 - 10 million USD
  61. ^ Knight, John (27 August 2019). ""FOUR BATTLEFLAGS OF THE REVOLUTION: CAPTURED BY LT.-COL. BANASTRE TARLETON"". Journal of the American Revolution. Westholme. Archived from the original on 5 December 2023. Retrieved 5 December 2023. world record 17.3 million USD
  62. ^ "American Revolution flags sell for $17.4 million". 15 June 2006.
  63. ^ "Lot 1 An American Revolutionary War Battleflag, 1776-1779". Sotheby’s. Sotheby’s Inc. 14 June 2006. Archived from the original on 5 December 2023. Retrieved 5 December 2023. Estimate 1,500,000 - 3,500,000 USD
  64. ^ "Lot 2 Three American Revolutionary War Battleflags, 1778–1780". Sotheby’s. Sotheby’s Inc. 14 June 2006. Archived from the original on 5 December 2023. Retrieved 5 December 2023. Estimate 2,500,000 - 6,500,000 USD
  65. ^ "Second Continental Light Dragoons".
  66. ^ "Township History Archived 16 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine", Easttown Township; accessed 2014.01.16.
  67. ^ "The General Tarleton Inn, Knaresborough".
  68. ^ O'Shaughnessy 2013, p. 277.
  69. ^ Carroll, Joe (15 July 2000). "Older Americans uncomfortable with Mel Gibson's playing of patriot game". The Irish Times. Retrieved 3 January 2016. Tavington is based on a historical figure, Col Banastre Tarleton, who later ended up as an MP for Liverpool
  70. ^ "Legacies of British Slavery". Legacies of British Slave-ownership project. Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery. Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  71. ^ "Enslavers database". Slave Voyages. SlaveVoyages Consortium. Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  72. ^ Babits1998, p. 44.
  73. ^ Piecuch 2012, Chapter Seven.
  74. ^ Miskimon 2012, Chapter Five.
  75. ^ Raddall 1949.
  76. ^ Scotti 2002, p. 103.
  77. ^ Bass 1957, p. 83.
  78. ^ Scotti 2002, p. 104.
  79. ^ Pancake 1985, p. 71.
  80. ^ Scotti 2002, p. 237.
  81. ^ Knight10
  82. ^ CustisLee 1860, pp. 251–252.
  83. ^ Scotti 2002, p. 125.
  84. ^ Burke Davis (1913–2006). Contributor: Bland Whitley, 7 December 2020. Encyclopedia Virginia. Accessed 20 February 2024.

External links[edit]

Attribution  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Tarleton, Sir Banastre". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 428.

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Liverpool
With: Bamber Gascoyne, to 1796;
Isaac Gascoyne, from 1796
Parliament of Great Britain abolished
Parliament of the United Kingdom
New parliament Member of Parliament for Liverpool
With: Isaac Gascoyne
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Liverpool
With: Isaac Gascoyne
Succeeded by
Military offices
Preceded by Governor of Berwick-upon-Tweed
Succeeded by
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of Liverpool)
Preceded by
Tarleton baronets
of Liverpool

23 January 1816
Succeeded by