James Yorke Scarlett


Rose to Lieutenant-General, having previously been Colonel of the 5th Dragoon Guards, and Commander in Chief of the Aldershot Division.

He was educated at Eton and Cambridge, where he was described as "a good scholar and diligent in study".

At the age of nineteen he was gazetted as a cornet in the 18th Hussars.

As a young officer Scarlett was stationed at Burnley Barracks, and was billeted at a house on the site of the old Yorkshire Hotel (now demolished), facing the culvert at the corner of Gunsmith Lane, adjoining Eastgate (now Yorkshire Street).

On 19 December 1835 he married Charlotte Ann Hargreaves.

During the Crimean War, Scarlett commanded the famous Charge of the Heavy Brigade, whose success was in stark contrast to that of his colleagues in the Light Brigade.

He became a national hero, especially in Lancashire, where people named their children Scarlett after him.

James Scarlett sat in the Commons from 1836 to 1840, as Conservative member for Guildford.

In 1868 he was persuaded - very much against his will - to accept nomination as the Conservative candidate for Burnley in that town's first parliamentary election which was to be held in November 1868. He was defeated in this election by the Liberal candidate, Richard Shaw.

Scarlett resigned from the army on 1 November 1870, and took up permanent residence at Bank Hall. He died at 1925 hours on 6 December 1871, having been diagnosed as suffering from 'inflammation of the chest'.

He was buried in St John's churchyard, Holme, and it is reported that over two hundred and sixty officers and men marched in the funeral procession, not to mention the civic representatives, and that there were over 60,000 people lining the route to St John's.

scarlett.jpg (103989 bytes)

James Yorke Scarlett (click on the thumbnail for an enlarged view)

scarlett_crimea.JPG (76433 bytes)

James Scarlett (seated on his horse) in the Crimea. The officer to his left is a Colonel Lowe.

The grave of Sir James Yorke Scarlett (1799-1871) and his wife Charlotte (née Hargreaves) (1805-1888)