Dear Tony and Stephen,

Thank you very much for the link. This is the best lead that I’ve got so far. I’m hoping to be going up to Scotland, in the next couple of weeks, and am planning on visiting Fort George and Dingwall Museum, where I believe they have some records of the 71st. I’ll let you know if I find any more information.

Kind regards


From: [] On Behalf Of Stephen Gavin
Sent: 01 May 2011 15:42
Subject: Mike Steele – ‘Col Lewis MacKensie’

Dear Tony,

Please will you forward the following link’s_diary_01.html to Mike Steele ( who is looking for information about ‘Col Lewis MacKensie’.

Many thanks,
Stephen Gavin.

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New project at: Waterloo Diary and Waterloo Ancestors

Col Lewis MacKensie


I wondered if you could help me or post my request on your Lost & Found bulletin board.

I am trying to identify a Col Lewis MacKenzie, who was serving in the British army, at the Cape, around 1800.

He is mentioned in a letter that I have recently obtained, written by my great x3 aunt.

She says that he was Governor at the Cape (although I can find no record of this); that he married a Dutch girl and died out there.

She also relates what happened to his nephew, John Cameron.

“ When John Cameron was Standard correspondent at the Cape, he was taken prisoner on Majuba Hill and was taken to Kruger’s house. One day there was a meeting of the Boer leaders, Jourdan and others. John happened to be among them when a letter was handed to him. She with her sagacity remembered that uncle Louis had been a very popular Governor and much esteemed, mentioned about him in case the knowledge might prove useful. When John came to that part of the letter he called out “By Jove, I’m half a Boer”. When he told them about it, they said “Oh yes, that’s quite true, your uncle was a fine man and we’ll show you his grave”. After that they couldn’t do enough for him, sent him about the country and enabled him to describe it.”

I have established that:

1) There was a Lewis McKenzie who was commissioned Lieutenant in the 6th Dragoon Guards on 28 February 1787. Although this regiment never went out to the Cape, it is thought that this is the same Lewis who became Captain in the 52nd Foot on 8 February 1792, and Major in the 81st Foot on 20 September 1798.

2) There was a Captain Lewis McKenzie who was commissioned Lieutenant in the 72nd Highlanders on 8 June 1792. He was promoted to captain on 12 April 1799. The 72nd Highlanders arrived at the Cape of Good Hope in January 1806, and Captain LMcK was still with the 72nd according to the January 1806 Army List. They stayed at the Cape until 1810, when they went to Mauritius.

3) There was a Lewis McKenzie who was gazetted Ensign in the 2/78th Highlanders on 15 July 1795 and who was on half-pay in 1798. The 2/78th arrived at Cape Town in June 1795, so he may have travelled out to join them after July. As the most junior Ensign, he would almost certainly have been allotted to the 2nd battalion.

Any information that might help identify which of these Lewis MacKenzies he might be, would be gratefully received.


Mike Steele