Rowland "Daddy" Hill (1772-1842)

Without doubt the most popular of Wellington's generals among both officers and enlisted men, Rowland Hill was born on the 11th August 1772, the second son of a Shropshire gentleman. He joined the Army in 1790 and like many officers of the time transferred between regiments to gain promotion although he did spend 2 years at a military school in Strasbourg. His abilities quickly got him noticed and he became Lieutenant-colonel of the 90th Regt in 1794 which he commanded in Egypt in 1801 (see The War of the First Coalition). He was also present during the first British victories in the Peninsular and was to return to fight in the Peninsular War. Wellington regarded him as highly dependable and trustworthy and this is shown by the commands Wellington gave him including watching his flank while he besieged Badajoz. In 1812 Hill was promoted to Lieutenant-general and gained entry to the Order of the Bath. Again Hill's corps protected Wellingtons flank while he besieged Badajoz for the final time. When the Salamanca campaign began he was protecting the armies rear against any attack by Soult. These vital roles of protecting the Army while other Generals may have sought glory shows the high degree of trust Wellington had in the intelligent and thoughtful Hill. Hill commanded a corps through the campaigns of 1813-14 fighting at Vittoria (1813). Daddy Hill gained his nickname due to his charitable nature be it with friend or foe, enlisted or officer. After the Peninsular War he fought at Waterloo commanding the 2nd and 4th Divisions and leading the counter attack against the Imperial Guard in the closing stages, having his horse shot form under him for his trouble. After Waterloo he served with the Army of occupation until 1818 when he retired. When Wellington became Prime Minister in 1828 he became Commander-in-chief of the army and was to continue in this role for 14 years until he died in 1842.

Napoleonic Home Page | Books on the Napoleonic Wars | Subject Index: Napoleonic Wars

Wellington: A Military Life, Gordon Corrigan. This in an excellent military biography of the Duke of Wellington. It focuses very heavily on Wellington the general, allows Corrigan to describe the wider campaigns in some detail, giving a good idea not only of what Wellington did, but also why he did it. [see more]
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How to cite this article: Dugdale-Pointon, TDP. (16 November 2000), Rowland "Daddy" Hill (1772-1842), http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/people_hill.html

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