Nooth, John Mervin

The exact date of birth for John Mervin Nooth is uncertain. Nooth’s memorial inscriptions states his age to be 38 years old by the time of his death.
In April 1797, it is documented that he purchased a commission as Lieutenant in the 7th Foot regiment.1 However, there is a public notice in the London Gazette, dated July 1798, of Nooth purchasing a commission as Ensign in the Halifax Volunteers.2 This is assumed to be outdated as it was also announced that he purchased a commission as Captain the September of the same year.3 Nooth’s career coincided with the French Revolutionary War and Napoleonic Wars.  

As a member of the 7th Foot (2nd Battalion)4, Nooth served in the Caribbean, namely the Bahamas, aiding the advancement of British colonial interests. Here he was embroiled in the 1809 invasion of Martinique by Vice-Admiral Cochran and Lieutenant Colonel Beckwith. While the British defeated the French, the Black soldiers of the 1st West India Regiment are often not represented or remembered in this history.

He transferred to Spain and took part in the Battle of Albuera (1811) during the Peninsular War.5Major Nooth took command after the death of Colonel Myer. He was awarded a Brevet Lieutenant Colonel (1812). He later accompanied H.R.H. Duc de Berry on his return to Paris after the Napoleonic Wars in 1814.6 The 7th Foot was disbanded, and Nooth transferred to the 21st Regiment. He was awarded Companion of Bath (1817). Under his command, the 21st Regiment embarked for Barbados in the March of 1813 where they remained until 1821 before moving to Guyana (then Demerara).

The cause of Nooth’s death was declared as yellow fever and was noted in both the Bath Chronicle (25/10/1821) and London Gazette (17/11/1821). His will announced that his son Henry Mervin was to inherit his property, real or personal.8

Reviewed by Lisa Kennedy, Consultant, 2023.

  1. The London Gazette. Issue 13999. Page 316. Publication date 04/04/1797. The Gazette Official Public Record.  Accessed from Page 316 | Issue 13999, 4 April 1797 | London Gazette | The Gazette Accessed on 13/06/2023

  2. The London Gazette. Issue 15042. Page 672. Publication date 17/07/1798. The Gazette Official Public Record. Accessed from Page 672 | Issue 15042, 17 July 1798 | London Gazette | The Gazette Accessed on 13/06/2023

  3. The London Gazette. Issue 15057. Page 845. Publication date 08/09/1798. The Gazette Official Public Record.

    Accessed from Page 845 | Issue 15057, 8 September 1798 | London Gazette | The Gazette Accessed on 13/06/2023

  4. Groves, Percy. Historical Records of the 7th or Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Now Known as The Royal Fusiliers (The City of London Regiment) 1685-1903. Accessed from #18 – Historical records of the 7th or Royal regiment of fusiliers … – Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library Accessed on 13/06/2023

  5. Dempsey, Guy. Albuera 1811: The Bloodiest battle of the Peninsular War. Published by Frontline/ Pen and Sword Books, Barnsley, UK (2008). Accessed from Napoleon Series Reviews: Albuera 1811: The Bloodiest Battle of the Peninsular War (napoleon-series.org) Accessed on 13/06/2023

  6. Stein, Wendy A. Patronage of Jean de Berry (1340-1416). The Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. May 2009. Accessed from Patronage of Jean de Berry (1340–1416) | Essay | The Metropolitan Museum of Art | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History (metmuseum.org) Accessed on 13/06/2023

  7. Cannon Richard. Historical Records of the British Army (Infantry) (1874). Accessed from Historical Records of the British Army [Infantry] … – Google Books Accessed on 13/06/2023

  8. The National Archives. Will of John Mervin Nooth, Lt. Col.21 Fusiliers of Demerara, West Indies. PROB 11/1683/95 (09/03/1824). The National Archives, Kew. Accessed from Will of John Mervin Nooth, Lt. Col. 21 Fusiliers of Demerara , West Indies | The National Archives Accessed on 13/06/2023

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