Major Peirson's family background

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Peirson memorial in Town Church
Francis Peirson

Major Francis Peirson 1757-1781, Hero of the Battle of Jersey

Francis Peirson was born in 1757, the eldest son of Captain Francis Peirson, of Mowthorpe Grange, and Sarah Cogdale, daughter of John and Sarah. There was a strong military tradition in the Peirson family and Francis's uncle Mathew was a Lieut-Colonel, as was his grandfather, another Francis Peirson.

The man who was to be the hero of the Battle of Jersey on 6 January 1781, was commissioned in the 36th Foot on 16 July 1772, and promoted Lieutenant on 28 September 1774. He was appointed Captain of the 75th Prince of Wales Foot on 20 May 1779 and Major in the 95th Foot on 7 April 1780, transferring with his new regiment to Jersey.

Before arriving in the island he had served with his regiments in Ireland. He arrived in Jersey on 13 June 1780.

Several reports after the Battle of Jersey name Major Peirson as the nephew or son of General Sir Richard Peirson, under whom he served before leaving for Jersey, but they were actually first cousins once removed. Sir Richard died suddenly at home barely a month after the Battle of Jersey. Francis Peirson never married, and had two brothers who both died as bachelors, so the male line died out at this point.

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