commissioned as an infantry officer, Stapleton Cotton transferred
to the cavalry in time for the Flanders Campaign of 1793-1794.
lieutenant-colonel at the incredibly young age of 20, Cotton found
his niche in the cavalry and led the 25th Light Dragoons in the
Cape and India.
the future Duke of Wellington
at Seringapatam, he then campaigned in Spain
and Portugal taking part at Oporto
1805 he was made major-general, was an MP between 1806 and 1812
and in 1810, Cotton inherited his father's title and had to return
his return to the Peninsula he took command of the small British
cavalry force and was particularly effective on the retreat to Torres
other major actions were Bussaco,
Fuentes de Onoro, the Pyrenees
Salamanca Cotton was badly wounded
when he failed to give the correct password and was shot by a British
sentry. He recovered in Britain before returning to Wellington's
the 100 Days' Campaign he was
passed over for command of the Allied cavalry, an honour that went
to Lord Uxbridge.
impressed with Cotton's talents, Wellington did not feel he was
the right man to have charge of an army.
the Napoleonic Wars, Cotton was governor of Barbados, army chief
in Ireland and India. In India his fine service earnt him a viscountcy
and in 1855 he was made a field marshal.