Posts Tagged ‘Arthur Wellesley 1st Duke of Wellington’

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

General Sir John Murray 8th Baronet
1768 – 15 October 1827

General Sir John Murray 8th Baronet served as Quartermaster General in India from 1801 to 1805. There, “his alternations of torpor and feverish activity had greatly embarrassed the young Arthur Wellesley with whom he was supposed to be cooperating.” He married Anne Elizabeth Cholmley Phipps on 25 August 1807.

During the Second Battle of Porto in 1809, Major General Murray commanded the 7th Brigade, the largest brigade in Wellington’s army. This 2,900-strong unit included the 1st, 2nd, 5th and 7th King’s German Legion (KGL) Infantry battalions, plus elements of the 1st and 2nd KGL Light Infantry. After giving Murray two additional cavalry squadrons, Wellington entrusted him with the task of crossing the Douro River and cutting off the escape route of Marshal Nicolas Soult’s French corps. Accordingly, Murray crossed the Douro at a ferry 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Porto and moved north. However, he failed to seriously contest the French retreat to the northeast. Instead, he skirmished ineffectually with the enemy. Michael Glover, historian of the Peninsular War, calls Murray “a stupid and irresolute officer.”

He soon left Portugal because he feared he would have to serve under William Carr Beresford, who was Marshal of the Portuguese Army. Beresford was junior to Murray in British rank, but as a Marshal who would outrank him in the field. He became 8th Baronet Murray of Dunerne in 1811.

On 31 July 1812, an 8,000-man Anglo-Sicilian force under Thomas Maitland landed at Alicante on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. It then went through a succession of commanders until February 1813, when Murray, now a Lieutenant-General, took command. By this time, the force was 10,000 men strong. Of these, 3,000 were Sicilians and Italians, while the rest were British and KGL troops. Two Spanish divisions, 8,000 men, also came under his orders.

With his 18,200-man army, Murray defeated Marshal Louis Suchet at the Battle of Castalla on 13 April 1813. Though Suchet’s 13,200 were considerably outnumbered and the battle was largely won by the steadiness of the British and Spanish infantry, Castalla was undoubtedly Murray’s finest hour. But he did not pursue the beaten French, continuing his withdrawal to the coast.

Soon after, Wellington ordered Murray to move by sea to capture the port of Tarragona. By this maneuver, Wellington intended to distract Suchet from his summer offensive (this ended in victory in the Battle of Vitoria). Rear-Admiral Benjamin Hallowell Carew put Murray’s 16,000 men ashore six miles south of Tarragona on 2 June. Joined by Spanish Maj-Gen Francisco Copons with 7,000 men, the Allies quickly invested the 1,600-man Franco-Italian garrison of Brig-Gen Bertoletti. Thus began the Siege of Tarragona’s comedy of errors. Bertoletti quickly pulled most of his men into the inner defenses, leaving token garrisons in two outworks. Rather than storm these, Murray chose to reduce them by siege. By 7 June, his siege guns had reduced one of the two forts to rubble.

Meanwhile, Maj-Gen Charles Decaen sent Maj-Gen Maurice Mathieu with 6,000 men south from Barcelona to interfere with the siege. At the same time, Suchet marched 8,000 men north from Valencia toward Tarragona. Soon, a Spanish move against Valencia caused the southern column to be recalled. Mathieu bumped into Copons’ pickets, found that he was facing a combined force of 23,000 men and quickly backpedaled.

By this time, Murray had been driven into a state of panic by rumors of the two French relief columns. He cancelled a planned 11 June attack on the small outwork and ordered his supplies to be taken aboard ship. Later, he decided to withdraw his entire force. Issuing a stream of orders that confused everyone and enraged Hallowell, Murray finally got his entire force aboard ship after spiking and abandoning the eighteen heavy siege cannons. Copons was advised to flee to the mountains.

Once safely aboard, Murray determined to land at a different place on 15 June. Soon, confusion again reigned. In despair, Hallowell wrote, “the debarkation and the re-embarkation continually going on was enough to confound any operation in the world.” Mathieu finally marched into Tarragona on 16 June. The appearance of these fresh troops caused Murray to give up his plans again, and his thwarted expedition returned to Alicante. He was relieved of command on 18 June.

After the war ended in 1814, Murray was court-martialed for his conduct before Tarragona. The court acquitted him of all charges except one: he was found guilty of abandoning his guns without due cause and admonished by the court. Acting as though he was cleared of all charges, Murray petitioned to become a member of the Order of the Bath, but he was denied.

He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis from 1811 to 1818.
Murray died on 15 October 1827.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Francis (Leveson-Gower) Egerton 1st Earl of Ellesmere
1 January 1800 – 18 February 1857


Francis (Leveson-Gower) Egerton

Francis (Leveson-Gower) Egerton 1st Earl of Ellesmere was the second son of George Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland and his wife, Elizabeth Gordon suo jure 19th Countess of Sutherland. He was born at 21 Arlington Street, Piccadilly, London, on 1 January 1800, and educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford.

Egerton entered Parliament in 1822 as member for the pocket borough of Bletchingley in Surrey, a seat he held until 1826. He afterwards sat for Sutherland between 1826 and 1831, and for South Lancashire between 1835 and 1846. In politics he was a moderate Conservative of independent views, as was shown by his support for the proposal to establish a University of London, also by making and carrying a motion for the endowment of the Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland, and by advocating free trade long before Sir Robert Peel yielded on the question. Appointed a Lord of the Treasury in 1827, he held the post of Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1828 till July 1830, when he became Secretary at War for a short time during the last Tory ministry.

In 1833 he assumed, by Royal Licence, the surname of Egerton, having succeeded on the death of his father to the estates which the latter inherited from the Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater. In 1846 he was raised to the peerage as Earl of Ellesmere, of Ellesmere in the County of Salop, with the subsidiary title Viscount Brackley, of Brackley in the County of Northampton.

Ellesmere was a member of the Canterbury Association from 27 March 1848. In 1849, the chief surveyor of the Canterbury Association, Joseph Thomas, named Lake Ellesmere in New Zealand after him.

Ellesmere’s claims to remembrance are founded chiefly on his services to literature and the fine arts. Before he was twenty he printed for private circulation a volume of poems, which he followed up after a short interval by the publication of a translation of Goethe’s Faust, one of the earliest that appeared in England, with some translations of German lyrics and a few original poems. In 1839 he visited the Mediterranean and the Holy Land. His impressions of travel were recorded in Mediterranean Sketches (1843) and in the notes to a poem entitled The Pilgrimage. He published several other works in prose and verse. His literary reputation secured for him the position of rector of the University of Aberdeen in 1841.

A singular exception to the artistic and literary character of Ellesmere’s writing efforts lay in the field of military theory. Ellesmere, as a protegé of the Duke of Wellington, became very interested in the historical writings of the Prussian military theorist General Carl von Clausewitz (1789-1831). He was involved in the discussion that ultimately compelled Wellington to write an essay in response to Clausewitz’s study of the Waterloo campaign of 1815. Ellesmere himself anonymously published a translation of Clausewitz’s The Campaign of 1812 in Russia (London: J. Murray, 1843), a subject in which Wellington was also deeply interested.

Lord Ellesmere was a munificent and yet discriminating patron of artists. To the collection of pictures which he inherited from his great-uncle, the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, he made numerous additions, and he built a gallery to which the public were allowed free access. Lord Ellesmere served as president of the Royal Geographical Society and as president of the Royal Asiatic Society (1849–1852), and he was a trustee of the National Gallery. He also initiated the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, by donating the Chandos portrait of Shakespeare.

On 18 June 1822, he married Harriet Catherine Greville, a great-great-granddaughter of the 5th Baron Brooke. They had eleven children, including:

  • George Egerton, 2nd Earl of Ellesmere (15 June 1823 – 19 September 1862);
  • Hon. Francis Egerton (15 September 1824 – 15 December 1895), who became an admiral, and was a Member of Parliament for two constituencies; he married in 1865 (Lady) Louisa Caroline née Cavendish, daughter of the 7th Duke of Devonshire (by marriage); they had issue;
  • Hon. Algernon Fulke Egerton (31 December 1825 – 14 July 1891), who was a Member of Parliament for three constituencies, and married in 1863 Hon. Alice Louisa Cavendish, a niece of the 7th Duke of Devonshire; they had issue;
  • Hon. Arthur Frederick Egerton (6 February 1829 – 25 February 1866), who became Lieutenant-Colonel, and married in 1858 Helen Smith, daughter of Martin Tucker Smith and his wife, Louisa Ridley; they had issue;
  • Lady Alice Harriot Frederica Egerton (10 October 1830 – 22 December 1928), who married George Byng, 3rd Earl of Strafford in 1854; they had no issue;
  • Lady Blanche Egerton (22 February 1832 – 20 March 1894), who married John Montagu, 7th Earl of Sandwich in 1865 as his second wife; they had no issue;
  • Hon. Granville Egerton (c. 1834-1851), who was killed at sea; unmarried, seemingly no issue.

The family lived at Hatchford Park, Cobham, Surrey, where Lady Ellesmere laid out the gardens. Her mother, Lady Charlotte Greville (née Cavendish-Bentinck) died at Hatchford Park on 28 July 1862, aged 86.

Francis died on 18 February 1857 at his London home, Bridgwater House, St. James’ Park; and was succeeded by his first son, George. On the extinction of the senior line of the Dukedom of Sutherland in 1963, his great-great-grandson, the fifth Earl, succeeded as 6th Duke of Sutherland.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Lieutenant General Sir John Hamilton 1st Baronet of Woodbrook
4 August 1755 – 24 December 1835


Sir John Hamilton 1st Baronet of Woodbrook was a highly respected and experienced officer of the Honourable East India Company, the British Army and during the Napoleonic Wars the Portuguese Army who saw action across the world from India to the West Indies and was honoured for his service by both the British and Portuguese royal families. Of noble Irish descent, related by birth to the first Earl Castle Stewart and by marriage to the Earl of Tyrone, Hamilton’s extensive career and brave service was widely recognised during his life and after his death.

John Hamilton was born in Woodbrook near Strabane, County Tyrone, Ireland to James and Elinor Hamilton in 1755. His mother was the niece of the Earl Castle Stewart and through family connections young Hamilton was able to secure a commission in the army of the Honourable East India Company aged only 16 in 1771. Taking a Bengal cadetship and joining the Bengal Light Infantry in 1772, Hamilton was almost immediately pressed into action, participating the British invasion of Cooch Behar at the invitation its rulers who were facing a simultaneous invasion from the Bhutanese to the north. In 1778 Hamilton was promoted to lieutenant and in 1780 was once again in action during the First Anglo-Maratha War, where his troops participated in the storm and capture of Lahar, Gwalior and Bijaigarh from the Maratha Empire. In 1781 at the war’s conclusion, Hamilton was promoted again, to captain.

In 1788, seeking advancement, Hamilton transferred to the regular British Army, being attached to the new 76th Regiment of Foot in Calcutta as captain. With this formation, Hamilton was engaged in 1794 during the Second Mysore War fought against the Tipu Sultan, when his troops captured the city of Bangalore which later became part of British East India. The same year, Hamilton married Emily Sophia Monck, the daughter of George Paul Monck and Lady Aramita Beresford, daughter of Marcus Beresford, Earl of Tyrone. Hamilton was promoted to brevet major in the aftermath of this operation and in 1795 was sent as a lieutenant colonel with the 81st Regiment of Foot to the West Indies during the British attempt to capture San Domingo. The effort failed due to the ongoing Haitian Revolution, but Hamilton again distinguished himself during the campaign.

In 1798 Hamilton was sent to the Cape Colony in South Africa which had only recently been captured from the Dutch. There he and his regiment formed part of the garrison until the Peace of Amiens when he returned to Britain, briefly returning to the Cape at the fresh outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars in 1803 before being made a brigadier-general and appointed to the staff in Ireland. Tiring of working in Ireland, Hamilton volunteered in 1809 to be attached to the Portuguese Army, a formation shattered by the French invasion of 1808. In 1809 as he trained and organised a division of Portuguese infantry, Hamilton was promoted to major-general and in his new rank was made Inspector-General of Portuguese Infantry.

Hamilton was an efficient officer and with his division, attached himself to Sir Arthur Wellesley’s British army on campaign in 1810. In 1811 the Portuguese formation underwent its first major action at the Battle of Albuera, Hamilton’s division acting as a ready reserve and being called into the height of the battle to reinforce the Allied centre. Hamilton’s forces had in fact been drawn into the fight on the left of the Allied line and took some time to be extracted. In the aftermath of the battle, Hamilton’s troops were the steadiest and freshest available and immediately returned to the ultimately unsuccessful Second Siege of Badajoz. It has been said of Hamilton that he “evinced the utmost steadiness and courage” at Albuera.

Hamilton commanded the division until 1813, his troops seeing further action defending the town of Alba de Tormes against an army under Marshal Soult in November 1812. In 1813 after four years continuous campaigning, Hamilton was forced to return to England on sick leave and during his absence he was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Tower and Sword by the Portuguese monarchy and was knighted by the Prince Regent as well as being made honorary colonel of the 2nd Ceylon Regiment. Hamilton returned to his division in late 1813 and commanded them during the last of the fighting in the Peninsula War, seeing action at the Battle of Nivelle. Following the Peace of Fontainebleau, Hamilton returned to the British Army, was made lieutenant general in recognition of his service and placed in the quiet command of Duncannon Fort.

In December 1814, Hamilton was further rewarded with a baronetcy and retirement to his family estates. In 1823 he was made the Colonel-in-chief of 69th Regiment of Foot. He died in 1835 at Tunbridge Wells and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery in London, survived by his wife, five daughters and son Sir John James Hamilton, 2nd Baronet.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Maitland
10 March 1760 – 17 January 1824


Thomas Maitland

Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Maitland was commissioned into the Edinburgh Light Horse, shortly after his birth, but did not take up his commission until he joined the 78th Foot as a Captain in 1778. He transferred to the 72nd Foot, and then to the 62nd Foot as a Major in 1790. He was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel in 1794 and Colonel and Brigadier-General in 1798.

While serving at St. Domingue, he proactively dealt with Toussaint to disengage Britain. Elkins and McKitrick write:
It was in fact Maitland and not the War Ministry who had determined that Britain’s only sensible choice, rather than try to maintain any kind of presence at Jérémie and Môle-Saint-Nicolas, was to deal directly with Toussaint and negotiate a total evacuation of the island. Accordingly he and the black general concluded a secret agreement on August 31, 1798. Great Britain would desist from any further attack on St. Domingue and any interference with its internal affairs; Toussaint made a similar promise with regard to Jamaica; and Maitland would see that provisions were allowed to reach the ports of St. Domingue without interference from British cruisers.

Maitland served as Governor of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) during 1805 to 1811.

In early 1812, Arthur Wellesley, Earl of Wellington began the campaign that resulted in his victory at the Battle of Salamanca on 22 July. To prevent Marshal Louis Gabriel Suchet from sending French reinforcements from the east coast of Spain, Wellington requested that Lord William Bentinck launch a diversionary operation using the British garrison of Sicily. At first Bentinck agreed to send 10,000 of his soldiers, but in March he reversed himself. After much persuasion, he allowed the operation to go forward and on 7 June he put 8,000 men aboard naval transports under the command of Maitland. The fickle Bentinck changed his mind again on 9 June, stopping the expedition. At last on 28 June Maitland sailed for Minorca. The fleet first picked up 6,000 Spanish troops at Minorca and landed on 31 July at Palamós, 65 miles (105 km) northeast of Barcelona. He wisely decided that Barcelona was too strong to attack, but he also refused to try to capture weakly held Tarragona. Maitland soon received news that Joseph O’Donnell’s Army of Murcia had been routed at the Battle of Castalla on 21 July. Without the support of O’Donnell, Maitland decided he could not accomplish anything. He re-embarked his expeditionary force and sailed to Alicante instead, joining his troops with the garrison to form an army of 15,000 men. Because of the disaster at Salamanca, the French were forced to evacuate both Madrid in central Spain and Andalusia in the south. Their combined forces joined Suchet in the province of Valencia. In close proximity to 80,000 French soldiers, Maitland declined to move from Alicante. Maitland asked to be relieved in September 1812 due to illness.

While at Ceylon, Maitland was attracted to a place at “Galkissa” (Mount Lavinia) and decided to construct his palace there.

During this time, Maitland fell in love with a half-caste dancing-girl named Lovina, who had been born to Portuguese and Sinhalese parents. During the construction of the palace, Maitland gave instructions for the construction of a secret tunnel to Lovina’s house, which was located close to the governor’s palace. One end of the tunnel was inside the well of Lovina’s house and the other end was in a wine cellar inside the governor’s palace. When the governor came to reside there, he would often use the tunnel to meet Lovina.

The Sinhalese village that surrounded the Governor’s mansion developed into a modern city named “Galkissa”. Later the city was renamed “Mount Lavinia” in honour of Lovina. In 1920 the tunnel was sealed up.

The bicentenary celebration of the Mount Lavinia Hotel was held in 2005. Some of Sir Thomas Maitland’s relatives living in the UK attended the ceremony.

Maitland became Lieutenant-Governor of Portsmouth and General Officer Commanding South-West District in May 1813 and was then appointed as Governor of Malta on 23 July 1813, when the island became a crown colony instead of a protectorate. The plague had broken out in Malta in March 1813 and the disease began to spread especially in Valletta and the Grand Harbour area. When Maitland arrived, he enforced stricter quarantine measures. The plague spread to Gozo by the following January, but the islands were free of the disease by March 1814. Overall, 4486 people were killed which amounted to 4% of the total population. It is thought that the outbreak would have been worse without Maitland’s strict actions.

After the eradication of the plague, Maitland made several reforms. He removed British troops from Lampedusa on 25 September 1814, ending the dispute that had started in 1800. On Malta, he was autocratic and he refused to form an advisory council made up of Maltese representatives, and so he was informally known as “King Tom”. He formed the Malta Police Force in 1814, while the local Italian-speaking Università was dissolved in 1819. Various reforms were undertaken in taxation and the law courts as well. Maitland remained Governor until his death on 17 January 1824.

While he was Governor of Malta, Maitland also served as Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian islands during 1815 to 1823, while the islands were a British protectorate. The seat of administration was at Corfu.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Thomas Hislop 1st Baronet
5 July 1764 – 3 May 1843

Sir Thomas Hislop 1st Baronet was the third son of Lieutenant Colonel William Hislop of the Royal Artillery of the British Army. Like his two elder brothers, Hislop followed his father into the British Army, studying at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich before joining the 39th Regiment of Foot as an ensign in 1778. Both of his brothers would be killed in action fighting in India, James at the Battle of Pollilur in 1781 and William at Cundapore in 1783. Thomas Hislop’s first combat was during the American Revolutionary War, when his regiment served in the garrison during the Great Siege of Gibraltar. In 1783 at the end of the war, Hislop was promoted to lieutenant and purchased the rank of captain 1785, serving for a month with the 100th Regiment of Foot before returning to the 39th. In 1792 he left his regiment to become an aide to General David Dundas, with whom he participated in the invasion of Corsica at the start of the French Revolutionary Wars. At the capture of San Fiorenzo he was sent to Britain with the despatches, promoted to major and made an aide to Lord Amherst.

In 1795 Hislop undertook a secret diplomatic mission to Germany at the request of the Prince of Wales and was subsequently promoted to lieutenant colonel in the 115th Regiment of Foot, returning to the 39th six months later. In 1796 his regiment was sent to the West Indies, and Hislop participated in the capture of the Dutch colonies of Demerara, Berbice, and Essequibo. After their capture, Hislop remained in the territory as military commander, raising a number of battalions of the West India Regiment. He moved to Trinidad as lieutenant governor in 1802 after the Peace of Amiens. In 1809, as British forces gathered for operations against the French Leeward Islands, Hislop joined them as a subordinate to Lieutenant-General George Beckwith and participated in the invasion of Martinique in February 1809 and the invasion of Guadeloupe in January 1810, commanding a division during the latter operation. He was promoted to major-general, and returned to Britain due to ill-health in 1811.

In 1812, Hislop was made commander-in-chief at Bombay as a lieutenant general and sailed to take up his position in the frigate HMS Java. On 29 December 1812, Java engaged USS Constitution and was captured, Hislop was made a prisoner. During the naval engagement, Hislop had remained on deck and participated in the fighting, and was commended for his service. He was released at Salvador in Brazil and returned to Britain. In late 1814, Hislop finally took up a post in India as Commander-in-Chief of the Madras Army. He was rewarded for his services the same year with a baronetcy and investiture as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. In 1817, the Third Anglo-Maratha War broke out and Hislop was given command of the main British force, numbering 5,500 men. Advancing on 10 November, Hislop defeated the 35,000 strong army of Malhar Rao Holkar at the Battle of Mahidpur on 21 December and then ensured the surrender of the Maratha border fortresses. One fort at Talnar refused to surrender, and Hislop seized the fort and massacred all 300 of its defenders. With the campaign complete, Hislop’s army was dissolved in March 1818. For his leadership in the campaign he was advanced to a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath.

Hislop’s actions at Talnar came under investigation at the urging of the Governor-General of India, Lord Moira, and as a result he was specifically excluded from the vote of thanks proposed in the House of Commons. He was also embroiled in a controversy surrounding the distribution of the valuables confiscated from the Marathas, known as the “Deccan Prize”. Although Hislop claimed the rewards for distribution among his forces, an alternative claim for a force led by Lord Moira was held as equally valid even though they took no part in the fighting. Despite a political defence of his character by the Duke of Wellington, Hislop was removed from command in 1820.

He remained in India however and in 1822 he married Emma Elliott of Madras. Later in life he served as honorary colonel for the 51st Regiment of Foot and the 49th Regiment of Foot and spent a number of years after his return to Britain as an equerry to Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge. He died at his home in Charlton, Kent in 1843.

His daughter, Emma Eleanor Elizabeth, married William Hugh Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 3rd Earl of Minto, in 1844.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy
10 June 1796 – 16 February 1858


Charles Augustus FitzRoy

Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy was born in England, the eldest son of General Lord Charles FitzRoy and Frances Mundy. His grandfather, Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton, was the Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1768 to 1770.

Charles’ half brother Robert FitzRoy would become a pioneering meteorologist and surveyor, Captain of HMS Beagle, and later Governor of New Zealand.

The young Charles FitzRoy was educated at the Harrow School in London, before receiving a commission in the Royal Horse Guards regiment of the British Army at the age of 16. Just after his 19th birthday, FitzRoy’s regiment took part in the Battle of Waterloo, where as an extra aide-de-camp on Wellington’s staff he was wounded. He travelled to Lower Canada with the Duke of Richmond in 1818. On 11 March 1820, he married Lady Mary Lennox (daughter of the Duke of Richmond), just after his promotion to Captain. In 1825, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and appointed Deputy Adjutant General of the Cape Colony (now the Cape of Good Hope).

Sir Charles was appointed as the eleventh Governor of Prince Edward Island off the coast of Canada on 31 March 1837, and was granted a knighthood just before his departure. He returned to England in 1841 and shortly afterwards was made Governor of the Leeward Islands in the West Indies until 1845.

Sir Charles was chosen as the tenth Governor of the colony of New South Wales by Lord Stanley in 1845. FitzRoy replaced Sir George Gipps as governor who had been a strong ruler but had provoked the animosity of many in the colony. It is likely that FitzRoy was chosen because he tended to be more appeasing in his approach. FitzRoy, his wife and his son George arrived in the colony on board HMS Carysfort on 2 August 1846. His wife and other children joined them later.

Soon after his arrival he was asked to use his influence to procure the disallowance of an act of the Tasmanian legislature imposing a duty of 15% on products imported from New South Wales. Fitzroy brought before the British government the advisability of some superior functionary being appointed, to whom all measures passed by local legislatures should be referred before being assented to. In the long discussion over the separation of the Port Phillip district, Fitzroy showed tact and himself favoured bi-cameral legislatures for the new constitutions. The need for some type of federation between the various colonies was recognised, and as a step towards this Fitzroy was given a commission in 1850 appointing him governor-general of the Australian colonies. During his governorship great steps were made in the development of New South Wales. Transportation of convicts ceased, the Sydney University was founded, a branch of the royal mint was established and responsible government was granted. In 1847, Fitzroy served briefly as Governor of the Colony of North Australia, although his lieutenant-governor, George Barney had the main responsibility for establishing the new colony under FitzRoy’s direction.

After sixteen months in the colony, Sir Charles’ wife Mary was killed in a coach accident on 7 December 1847. A distraught FitzRoy considered resigning and returning to England, but his finances did not permit it.

In 1851 he named Grafton, New South Wales, after his grandfather Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton.

Sir Charles remained in New South Wales for eight eventful years, which saw many changes take place in the Australian colonies, not in the least being the first tentative steps towards Federation of the Australian states. In 1853, FitzRoy was appointed as Governor of Van Diemen’s Land, South Australia and Victoria – essentially a pre-Federation Governor-General of Australia, with wide-ranging powers to intervene in inter-colonial disputes.

On 28 January 1855 he departed Australia and returned to England. On 11 September, his eldest son Augustus (a Captain in the Royal Regiment of Artillery) was killed in the Crimean War. On 11 December, he married Margaret Gordon (widow of a Melbourne land agent).

Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy died in London on 16 February 1858 at the age of 61.

Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy married, firstly, Lady Mary Lennox (15 August 1790 – 7 December 1847), first-born child of Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond, on 11 March 1820. They had 4 children:

  • Captain Augustus Charles Lennox FitzRoy (20 September 1821 – 11 September 1855)
  • Mary Caroline FitzRoy (20 December 1823 – 22 November 1895)
  • George Henry FitzRoy (13 September 1826 – 8 July 1868)
  • Commander Arthur George FitzRoy (20 March 1827 – 9 January 1861)

Lady Mary died from a carriage accident in Parramatta Park, outside Government House, in 1847. Within a year of her death, rumours were circulated about the colony of New South Wales about FitzRoy’s ‘womanising’ ways. In 1850, FitzRoy made a visit to Berrima, to inspect the Fitzroy IronWorks. The Governor stayed at the Surveyor General’s Inn, operated by former boxing champion Edward “Ned” Chalker (sometimes Charker). Ned’s step-daughter, Mary Ann Chalker, who was 18 at the time, worked there. Nine months later, she gave birth to a son, named Charles Augustus FitzRoy, after his father, the Governor. This boy was, later, adopted by ex-convict John Fitzsimons and his family.

  • Charles Augustus FitzRoy Fitzsimons (9 November 1850 – 19 July 1921)

Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy married, secondly (after his return to England), Margaret Gordon, on 11 December 1855. There was no issue from this marriage.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole
1 May 1772 – 4 October 1842


Galbraith Lowry Cole

Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole was commissioned a cornet in 1787, and served in the West Indies, Ireland, and Egypt. He served as brigadier general in Sicily and commanded the 1st Brigade at the Battle of Maida on the 4 July 1806. In 1808 he was promoted to major-general, to lieutenant-general in 1813 and full general in 1830.

He was colonel of the 27th Foot, commanded the 4th Division in the Peninsular War under Wellington, and was wounded at the Battle of Albuera in which he played a decisive part. He was also wounded, much more seriously, at Salamanca.

For having served with distinction in the battles of Maida, Albuhera, Salamanca, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Orthez and Toulouse, he received the Army Gold Cross with four clasps. In 1815 he became General Officer Commanding Northern District.

He was Member of Parliament in the Irish House of Commons for the family seat of Enniskillen from 1797 to 1800, and represented Fermanagh in the British House of Commons in 1803.

He was appointed 2nd Governor of Mauritius from 12 June 1823 to 17 June 1828. He left in 1828 to take up the post of Governor of the Cape Colony which position he filled until 1833. Cole was invested as a Knight Grand Cross, Order of the Bath on 2 January 1815.

He is commemorated in Enniskillen by a statue surmounting a 30-metre column in Fort Hill Park, carried out by the Irish sculptor, Terence Farrell.

Cole was born the second son of an Irish peer, William Willoughby Cole, 1st Earl of Enniskillen (1 March 1736–22 May 1803), and Anne Lowry-Corry (d. September 1802), the daughter of Galbraith Lowry-Corry of Tyrone, and the sister of Armar Lowry-Corry, 1st Earl Belmore.

Cole was married on 15 June 1815 to Frances Harris (d. 1 November 1847), daughter of James Harris, 1st Earl of Malmesbury, for whom Malmesbury, Western Cape is named, and Harriet Mary, his wife. Frances Cole played a prominent part in social philanthropy in the Cape and worked towards having Coloured children taught useful trades. Colesberg, a town in the Cape, is named after him, as is Sir Lowry’s Pass near Cape Town. They had two children; Florence Mary Georgiana Cole, and Colonel Arthur Lowry Cole.

His elder brother John Willoughby Cole married Charlotte Paget, the daughter of Henry Bayly Paget, 1st Earl of Uxbridge.

His sisters were:

  • Sarah Cole (d. 14 March 1833), married Owen Wynne
  • Elizabeth Anne Cole (d. 1807), married Colonel Richard Magennis
  • Florence Cole (d. 1 March 1862), married Blaney Townley Balfour of Townley Hall, Drogheda, Co. Louth
  • Henrietta Frances Cole (22 June 1784–2 July 1848), married Thomas Philip Robinson, 2nd Earl de Grey

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »