Margaret Mackay, 1802-1887

Julian's account of Margaret Mackay:

Margaret Mackay was born in 1802, and the only daughter of Captain Robert Mackay, of Hedgefield, Inverness. She was married in 1820 to Major William Mackay of the 68th Light Infantry (afterwards Lt. Colonel) a distinguished officer* who died in 1845. Mrs. Mackay died at Cheltenham, January 5th., 1887. In addition to various prose works Mrs. Mackay published "Thoughts Redeemed; or Lays of Leisure Hours," 1854, which contained 72 original hymns and poems. Of these, "Asleep in Jesus! Blessed sleep," is noted

Mrs. Mackay's hymn in 'Spiritual Songs' is no 333, "Asleep thru' Jesus! Blessed sleep."

* Salamanca 1812.
The regiment marched back into Spain with the 7th Division on 2 June, and on 20 June reached its position near Salamanca on the heights of Villares. Late in the day the regiment, reinforced with a company of Brunswick Oels (owing to its still weakened state) was ordered off the heights and down into the village of Moresco. With detachments blocking each street and lane, the regiment fought off French attempts to take the village until ordered to retire back up the hill at nightfall. One Captain W Mackay received 22 bayonet wounds but survived and later recovered.

[Other sources: 21st June 1812 JA Hall records that Captain William Mackay was pierced by bayonets no less than ten times and left, an extremely wounded prisoner.

Lieutenant-Colonel William MACKAY (Ref: Mackay D/DLI 7/438/1-2) 68th Regiment Entry in McGregor; born, 1782; ensign, 68th Foot, 24 November 1803; Lieutenant, 25 May 1804; Captain, 9 January 1812; Major in the Army, 21 January 1819; half-pay 60th Foot, 12 April 1821; Lieutenant-Colonel in the Army, 10 January 1837; died, 2 March 1845; wounded during the Peninsular War at Moresco, Spain, on 21 June 1812
Copy medical certificate issued to Captain W. Mackay stating that he has received twenty two bayonet wounds, signed by D. McLean, Staff Surgeon, Niza, Spain, 1 August 1812
Ref: D/DLI 7/438/2 Copy medical certificate issued to Captain W. Mackay stating that he has received twenty two bayonet wounds, signed by John Wier, Charles Ker and W. Franklin of the Army Medical Board Office, 19 March 1813.]

The Regiment would not see active service for forty years, spending the first four years in Ireland, where on 6 April 1815 it was awarded its first Battle honour, Peninsular. In May 1818 the Regiment embarked for Canada, where it remained until October 1829.[98] While there the Infantry was reorganised (in 1825) so that four of the ten companies in a regiment would remain in Britain with the Depot when deployed overseas. When the regiment returned to Britain, its first inspection at Fermoy showed it had suffered from the peace, with many of the officers and sergeants too old and unfit for active service. By 1835, under new commanders, the Regiment was revitalised, with increased application of the light infantry drill, and the issue of what were to become the regimental Standing Orders. In December 1833 the 68th left for Edinburgh, with a detachment suppressing riots in Glasgow in February 1834, and in September sailing for Portsmouth then Gibraltar.
The Regiments three years in Gibraltar were enlivened only by changes to the uniform. Sailing to Jamaica in January 1838, it was to receive favourable inspection reports, but was to lose 104 men to disease by the time it left in June 1841. Arriving in Canada in August, the regiment was deployed along territory forming part of the Maine border dispute, returning to normal stations in August 1842. Further positive inspection reports were received before the regiment left for England in May 1844. In November the regiment was reviewed by the Duke of Wellington.

Hymns by Margaret Mackay