The Army Medical Department
And the Malta Garrison

The Malta Garrison – 1814

Malta Garrison

Main Guard
Magnae et Invictae Britanniae. Melitensium Amor et Europae Vox. Has Insulas Confirmat AD 1814. (Main Guard Valletta)

On 30 May 1814, in accordance with Article VII of the First Treaty of Paris, the Maltese Islands were affirmed as belonging to full rights and sovereignty to His Britannic Majesty.

Plague raged in Malta from Apr 1813 to Jan 1814. A small outbreak erupted in Gozo towards the end of Feb 1814, when a man and his daughter died suddenly, after they being visited by a relative from Casal Qormi.

In Gozo, the pestilence ended on 10 June 1814. Over the years, Malta was hit by successive epidemics of plague, as evidenced by the many votive chapels and statues dotted around the island.

Army in Sicily

In Oct 1810, Lt Gen Lord William Bentinck succeeded to the command of the army in Sicily. On 10 Mar 1814, he assembled an army at Milazzo with the aim of liberating the Italian mainland. Bentinck arrived at Leghorn on 10 Mar and captured Genoa on 17 April. Napoleon abdicated on 30 Mar 1814, and was exiled to Elba.

On 11 Aug 1814, Lt-Gen Lord William Bentinck was instructed to remove all the troops and ordnance stores from Sicily and to send to Malta the 1st/10th, the 31st, and a small detachment of De Roll's regiment, with the all the heavy ordnance and stores.

The 1st/10th was to be augmented to 1,200 men by the incorporation of men from 2nd/10th, while the officers of 2nd/10th were to return to England. This order was however cancelled on 15 Aug 1814.

On 5 July 1814, British troops had occupied Corfu. On 24 May 1815, the Army of the Mediterranean was dissolved with Sicily being evacuated in Oct 1815.

Hospital Staff Malta 1814

Prior to 1814, most of the medical staff officers in Valletta had been accommodated in government houses. In Oct 1813, Thomas Maitland ordered the staff medical officers to vacate these houses, and to move into vacant wards at the General Hospital. Only the head of the medical staff was allowed to retain his house.

The combined command of Sicily and the Ionian Islands had a staff of 1 Inspector of Hospitals, 2 Physicians, 6 Surgeons, and 1 Apothecary.

General Orders, Horse Guards dated 27 Dec 1814, classed Assistant Surgeons as Lieutenants, and Hospital Assistants as Ensigns.