Sir Henry Johnson, 1st Baronet
|Born||1 January 1748|
Dublin, Kingdom of Ireland
|Died||18 March 1835|
|Allegiance||Kingdom of Great Britain|
|Battles/wars||American War of Independence|
French Revolutionary Wars
He was the second son of Allen Johnson of Kilternan, County Dublin, and his wife Olivia, daughter of John Walsh of Ballykilcavan, Queen's County; his elder brother, John Allen Johnson-Walsh, was created a baronet in 1775. He was appointed ensign on 19 February 1761 in the 28th foot, in which he became lieutenant in 1762, and captain in 1763, and is stated to have served with the regiment (probably in the West Indies) during that time.
John became major in the 28th in 1775, went to North America, and was posted by Sir William Howe to one of the provisional battalions of light infantry, which he commanded in the American Revolutionary War campaigns of 1776–8. He was appointed lieutenant-colonel 17th foot on 8 October 1778, and commanded that regiment in the operations in the Jerseys, and afterwards in Virginia and Carolina, under Lord Cornwallis.
On the surrender at York Town in October 1781, Johnson returned home and remained unemployed until the peace. He subsequently commanded the 17th foot in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. At the commencement of the war with France he was appointed inspector-general of recruiting for the English establishment in Ireland, and held the post until 1798. During the rebellion in that year he was detached with three thousand men to occupy New Ross, and defeated the rebels when they attacked the place on 5 June 1798. It was the hardest fight during the rebellion. Lord Cornwallis had an indifferent opinion of Johnson, and wrote of him as "a wrong-headed blockhead".
Johnson was made colonel 81st foot in 1798, became a lieutenant-general in 1799, and governor of Ross Castle in 1801. He held a major general's command in Ireland from 1798 to 1803, became a full general in 1809, was created a baronet on 1 December 1818, and in 1819 was transferred to the colonelcy of the 5th foot. He died on 18 March 1835, at the age of eighty-seven, at Bath, where there is a masonic monument to him in the Abbey Church.
Johnson married in 1782 Rebecca Franks, daughter of David Franks of Philadelphia, and sister of John Franks of Isleworth, Middlesex, by whom he had a family. She died in 1823. Their eldest son, Henry Allen Johnson (1785–1860), who matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford in 1804. and was a student of the college to 1817, and afterwards aide-de-camp to the Prince of Orange, succeeded as second baronet. Their younger son, George, a captain in the 81st Foot, was killed in Portugal in 1812.
- Foster's Baronetage under "Johnson-Walsh" and "Johnson of Bath"
- Philippart's Royal Military Calendar, 1820, vol. i. under "Johnson, Sir Henry" and under "Steuart, Sir James", for particulars of operations in Ireland in 1798.
- George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Baronetage, vol. 5, p. 383 (Exeter 1906)
- Lecky, History of England, vol. viii.
- Cornwallis Correspondence, iii. 116
- "No. 17404". The London Gazette. 3 October 1818. p. 1767.
- Foster, Joseph (1888–1892). . Alumni Oxonienses: the Members of the University of Oxford, 1715–1886. Oxford: Parker and Co – via Wikisource.
- Lee, Sidney, ed. (1892). . Dictionary of National Biography. 30. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
John Graves Simcoe
| Colonel of the 81st Regiment of Foot
Sir James Kempt
|Baronetage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation|| Baronet
Henry Allen Johnson