Charles James Otway 1694-1764

Born: 1694
Died: 06 Aug 1764 Willesden, Kent
Father:James Otway
Mother:Elizabeth Lightfoot
Spouse:Bridget Fielding
Married: 07 Sep 1726 Upton, Nr. Northampton
Children:Elizabeth Otway, Charles Otway, James Otway, Richard Otway, Bridget Otway
Occupation:Army Officer - Commissioned 1712
Christened: 21 Oct 1694 St. Bride, Fleet Street, London
Buried: Smarden, Kent
Updated: 24 Dec 2000


Extracts from: " A History of The Old Belfast Regiment and The Regiment of Sussex, 1701 - 1953" by G.D.Martineau

"Something should be said here about the new Colonel, Charles James Otway. In 1712, he had joined Lord Mohun's Regiment of Foot, which was disbanded after the Treaty of Utrecht, and he fought in the indecisive Battle of Sherrifmuir, against the Old Pretenders' vacillating General, The Earl of Mar (or "Bobbing John"). He married, in 1730, Lady Bridget Fielding, daughter of the 4th Earl of Denbigh. Promoted Major-General in 1739, he remained Colonel of the 35th for the unparalleled period of fifty years - right up to the time of his death in 1767. He was the Colonel to give his name to the Regiment according to the Official Army List - numbers instead of names being recognised by the Royal Warrant of 1751. Indeed the innate conservatism of professional soldiers proved too strong for Army List and Royal Warrant alike, and the title "Otway's Foot" was retained by the 35th, even in official returns and documents, right up to the end of The Seven Years War. Wolfe, when wounded, gave the order "Send on Otway's".

There is a picture of Charles Otway in the Officers Mess of the 1st Battalion. It shows him wearing the cravat known as "Steinkirk" from William III's unsuccessful battle against Marshal Luxembourg, in which French officers dressed hurriedly for action, thrusting cravats through buttonholes instead of tying bows.

He died at Willesden in Kent, and was buried at Smarden where there is a marble tablet to his memory in the Church; but it is not impossible that he came of the same Sussex family as Thomas Otway, the dramatic poet, who soldiered in Flanders during 1678 and 1679. If so, this would be the Regiment's earliest link with the County. In 1725, the Regiment (565 strong) returned from Minorca to Ireland, and there remained, though moving from station to station in the traditional manner for the next thirty years."

The plaque in Smarden Church says :

"Underneath this pew lie the remains of Charles James Otway Esq. late of Romden in this Parish & those of his dearly beloved & most affectionate wife, Lady Bridget Otway, daughter of Bazil, Earl of Denbigh. They had issue 3 sons and 2 daughters viz. Charles, James, Richard, Elizabeth and Bridget. The two eldest are interred here as are also the remains of Colonel James Otway and Elizabeth, his wife, father and mother of the above Charles James. Colonel Otway was Governor of St. Philips Castle in the island of Minorca where he died. Likewise the remains of Bridget Otway of Ashford, the youngest and last survivor of the above worthy family were here deposited the 15th day of October 1804."

From Musgrave's Obituary, page 333 - "Colonel 35th Foot - 1717, General 1761"

Army List 1714 - 1727 Vol II - by warrant issued at Hampton Court 26/7/1717 Charles appointed as Colonel of 35th Foot

ID: 667   Generated by GedTree on 27 Aug 2002

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