The Maclaine Family Medals

Date of Auction: 17th September 2020

Sold for £3,400

Estimate: £200 - £300

Major John Maclaine, 73rd Foot, who served with distinction at Seringapatam in 1799 and at Turnagel in 1802, and was mortally wounded at Waterloo

A fine silhouette portrait in black ink and oils on card of Major Maclaine in the uniform of the 73rd Foot, approximately 60mm x 45mm, mounted in ebonised frame with gilt fittings, very fine £200-£300


[Archibald] John Maclaine was born on 16 June 1778, 4th son of Gillean Maclaine of Scallasdale, Isle of Mull. He was appointed an Ensign in the 73rd Foot on 7 February 1794; Lieutenant, 30 August 1796; Captain, 25 December 1804; Major 28 May 1812. He served in India 1798-1814 with 1/73rd and was present at Seringapatam in 1799 and Turnagel in 1802. He left the 1st Battalion on their arrival in Australia in 1814 and joined the 2nd Battalion, enabling him to take part at Waterloo. Very well liked by his men as he treated them fairly. He suggested to his Colonel that the practise of flogging should cease in the regiment. He was severely wounded at Waterloo and died later in Brussels. He is one of the select band of soldiers buried in the Mausoleum at Evere cemetery.

A contemporary obituary reported: ‘Major A. John Maclaine, 73rd Foot. This officer died at Brussels, of the wounds he received in the battle of Waterloo. He was the son of Mrs. Maclaine, of Scalasdale, Isle of Mull, a lady who deserved to be celebrated for the heroism and the bravery of the sons to whom she has given birth. She has already lost two sons in the service of her country, and two yet survive, ornaments to their profession, covered with scars received in various memorable engagements. The late Captain Maclaine, who so gloriously fell, whilst gallantly leading on his light company, at the battle of Maida, as mentioned in Sir John Stuart’s dispatches, was one of the former, and Lieut.-Col. Maclaine, of the 7th West India Regiment, who made so gallant a defence at Fort Matagorda, is one of the latter. Major Maclaine of the 73rd, had signalised himself in all the actions in which this fine Highland regiment were engaged in India, and particularly at the taking of Seringapatam. He had left the 1st battalion of it at New South Wales, to come to Europe, anxious and ardent to join the second, and to “share their glories and honour” as he expressed himself, “on the Continent.” His loss, in common with other brave men, his country will deplore.’