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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 Edward Rawdon-Hastings 1st Marquess of Hastings
9 December 1754 – 28 November 1826

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Francis Rawdon-Hastings

Francis Rawdon-Hastings 1st Marquess of Hastings was born at Moira, County Down, the son of John Rawdon, 1st Earl of Moira and Elizabeth Hastings, 13th Baroness Hastings. He grew up there and in Dublin, Ireland. He joined the British Army on 7 August 1771 as an ensign in the 15th Foot. (The going rate for purchasing a commission for this rank was 200.) He was at Harrow School and matriculated at University College, Oxford, but dropped out. He became friends there with Banastre Tarleton. With his uncle Lord Huntington, he went on the Grand Tour. On 20 October 1773, he was promoted to lieutenant in the 5th Foot. He returned to England to join his regiment, and sailed for America on 7 May 1774.

In May 1789 he acted as the Duke of York’s second in his duel with Lieut.-Colonel Lennox on Wimbledon Common.

Rawdon was posted at Boston as a Lieutenant in the 5th Regiment of Foot’s Grenadier company, which was then under the command of Captain Francis Marsden. He first saw action at the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the Battle of Bunker Hill. Serving with the grenadiers, he participated in the second assault against Breed’s Hill (which failed), and the third assault against the redoubt. As his superior, a Captain George Harris, was wounded beside him, he took command of his company, for the successful assault. John Burgoyne noted in dispatches: “Lord Rawdon has this day stamped his fame for life.” He also was wounded during the assault. He was promoted Captain, and given a company in the 63rd Foot. After having recognized him, it is said that it was Lieutenant Lord Rawdon killed the American general Joseph Warren. Lord Rawdon is depicted in John Trumbull’s famous painting, The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Rawdon is in the far background holding the British ensign.

During the Boston winter quarters, Rawdon made his stage debut, delivering a prologue for Aaron Hill’s tragedy, Zara, which had been written by John Burgoyne. He was appointed Aide-de-camp to General Sir Henry Clinton, and sailed with him on the expedition to Brunswick Town, North Carolina, on the Cape Fear River, and then to the repulse at Fort Moultrie, Charleston, South Carolina. He returned with him to New York. On 4 August, he dined with General Clinton, Admiral Lord Howe, Lord Cornwallis, General Vaughan, and others. During the Battle of Long Island, he was at headquarters with Clinton.

On 15 September, Rawdon led his men at Kip’s Bay, an amphibious landing on Manhattan island. The next day, he led his troops in support of the Light Infantry that attacked Harlem Heights until the Americans withdrew.

He participated at the landings at Pell’s Point. The British pressed the Americans to White Plains, where on 1 November the Americans withdrew from their entrenchments.

On 8 December Rawdon landed with Clinton at Rhode Island, securing the ports for the British Navy. On 13 January 1777, with Clinton, he departed for London, arriving 1 March. During a ball at Lord George Germain’s, he met Lafayette, who was visiting London.

Returning to America in July, while Howe went to his Philadelphia campaign, Rawdon went with Clinton to the New York headquarters. He participated in the battles of the New York Highlands, where on 7 October, Fort Constitution (opposite West Point) was captured. However, this was too late to link up with General Burgoyne at Albany.

Rawdon was sent to Philadelphia with dispatches and returned to New York for the winter, where he raised a regiment, called the Volunteers of Ireland, recruited from deserters and Irish Loyalists. Promoted colonel in command of this regiment, Rawdon went with Clinton to Philadelphia. starting out on 18 June 1778, he went with Clinton during the withdrawal from Philadelphia to New York, and saw action at the Battle of Monmouth. He was appointed adjutant general. Rawdon was sent to learn news of the Battle of Rhode Island.

At New York, on 3 September 1779, he quarreled with Clinton, and resigned his position as adjutant general. He served with the Volunteers of Ireland during the raid on Staten Island by Lord Stirling on 15 January 1780.

He went south to the Siege of Charleston with reinforcements. After the city fell to the British, Lord Cornwallis posted him at Camden (16 August 1780) as the British sought to occupy South Carolina. Rawdon commanded the British left wing at the Battle of Camden. When Cornwallis went into Virginia, he left Rawdon in effective command in the South.

Perhaps his most noted achievement was the victory in 1781 at the Battle of Hobkirk’s Hill, in which, in command of only a small force, he defeated by superior military skill and determination, a much larger body of Americans. Thinking (in error) that General Nathanael Greene had moved his artillery away, Rawdon attacked Greene’s left wing, forcing the Americans to retire.

However, Rawdon was forced to begin a gradual retreat to Charleston. He relieved the Siege of Ninety-Six, evacuating its small garrison and conducting a limited pursuit of American troops. He withdrew his forces to Charleston. In July 1781, in poor health, he gave up his command. On his return to Great Britain, he was captured at sea by François Joseph Paul de Grasse, but was exchanged. After Rawdon’s departure, the British evacuated Charleston as the war drew to a close. They took thousands of Loyalists and freed slaves with them, having promised freedom to slaves of rebels who joined their lines, resettling these groups in Nova Scotia and the Caribbean.

Rawdon became active in associations in London. He was F.R.S. (Fellow of the Royal Society ?) 1787 and F.S.A. (Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries ?) 1793. For 1806-8 he was Grand Master of the Free Masons.

Following the declaration of war in 1793 of France upon Great Britain, Rawdon-Hastings (as he was now known) was appointed major general, on 12 October 1793. Sent by the Pitt ministry, Rawdon-Hastings launched an expedition into Ostend, France, in 1794. He marched to join with the army of the Duke of York, at Alost. The French general Pichegru, with superior numbers, forced the British back toward their base at Antwerp. Rawdon-Hastings left the expedition, feeling Pitt had broken promises.

Rawdon sat for Randalstown in the Irish House of Commons from 1781 until 1783. That year he was created Baron Rawdon, of Rawdon, in the County of York. In 1787, he became friends with the Prince of Wales, and loaned him many thousands of pounds. In 1788 he became embroiled in the Regency Crisis.
In 1789, he took the surname Hastings in accordance with his uncle’s will. He succeeded his father as 2nd Earl of Moira on 20 June 1793, and thereafter served in the House of Lords for three decades.

In 1797 it was rumoured briefly that Rawdon (Moira) would replace Pitt as Prime Minister. There was some discontent with Pitt over his policies regarding the war with France. Additionally Pitt’s long tenure in office had given him ample opportunity to annoy various political grandees, including but not limited to Lords Leeds, Edward Thurlow and Lansdowne.

In mid-May a combination of these various figures, coupled with a handful of Members of Parliament, proposed to make Rawdon (Moira) the Prime Minister. Having fought in the American War and having led an expedition to Quiberon, he commanded widespread respect. His relationship to the Prince of Wales also established him as a potential rival to Pitt, who was supported strongly by King George III.

The prime motivation for the plan of having Rawdon (Moira) become Prime Minister was to secure peace with France, the plotters having come to believe (somewhat unfairly) that Pitt was an obstacle to this objective. But their plan collapsed barely a month later in mid-June because of a lack of support from the political establishment. Additionally when Rawdon (Moira) wrote to the King to propose the change of chief ministers, the monarch ignored him. Thus the proposal came to nothing.

He became Commander-in-Chief, Scotland with the rank of full general in September 1803.

Rawdon was a long-standing advocate of Irish issues, in particular Catholic Emancipation. At one point he was described by the Irish revolutionary Wolfe Tone as “The Irish Lafayette”.

Becoming a Whig in politics, he entered government as part of the Ministry of All the Talents in 1806 as Master-General of the Ordnance and Constable of the Tower, but resigned upon the fall of the ministry the next year. Being a close associate of the Prince-Regent, Moira was asked by him to form a Whig government after the assassination of Spencer Perceval in 1812 ended that ministry. Both of Moira’s attempts to create a governing coalition failed. The Tories returned to power under the Earl of Liverpool. On 6 December 1816, Moira was raised to the rank of Marquess of Hastings together with the subsidiary titles Viscount Loudoun and Earl of Rawdon.

He also became the patron of Thomas Moore, the Irish poet. Moore visited his patron’s new seat, Donington Hall, and wrote about his impressions of it. “I thought it all exceedingly fine and grand, but most uncomfortable.” Moore was later disappointed when Moira, having been appointed Governor General of India, did not offer to take him to India on his staff. The two men met but once again.

Through the influence of the Prince-Regent, Moira was appointed Governor-General of India in 11 November 1812. His tenure as Governor-General was a memorable one, overseeing the victory in the Gurkha War (1814–1816); the final conquest of the Marathas in 1818; and the purchase of the island of Singapore in 1819.

After delays clearing affairs, he reached Madras on 11 September 1813. In October, he settled in at Calcutta. British India then consisted of Madras, Bengal, and Bombay. He commanded an army of 15,000 British regulars, a Bengal army of 27 regiments of native infantry, and eight regiments of cavalry; a Madras army, led by General John Abercrombie of 24 regiments of native infantry, and eight regiments of native cavalry.

In May 1813, the Gurkhas declared war. Hastings sent four divisions in separate attacks led by General Bennet Marley with 8,000 men against Kathmandu, General John Sullivan Wood with 4,000 men against Butwal, General Sir David Ochterlony with 10,000 men against Amar Singh Thapa, and General Robert Rollo Gillespie, with 3,500 men against Nahan, Srinagar, and Garhwal. Only Ochterlony had some success; Gillespie was killed. After inconclusive negotiations, Hastings reinforced Ochterlony to 20,000 men, who then won the battle of Makwanpur on 28 February. The Gurkhas then sued for peace, under the Sugauli Treaty.

After raids by Pindaris in January 1817, Hastings led a force at Hindustan in the North; in the South, the Army of the Deccan, under the command of General Sir Thomas Hislop. The Peshwa was defeated by William Fullarton Elphinstone on the Poona. Appa Sahib was defeated at the battle of Nagpur. Hislop defeated Holkar at the Battle of Mahidpur.

Rawdon was active diplomatically, protecting weaker Indian states. His domestic policy in India was also largely successful, seeing the repair of the Mughul canal system in Delhi in 1820, as well as educational and administrative reforms. He confirmed the purchase of Singapore from the Sultan of Jahore, by Sir Stamford Raffles, in January 1819.

He became increasingly estranged from the East India Company’s Board of Control (see Company rule in India). He was appointed Governor of Malta in 1824. He died at sea off Naples two years later, aboard HMS Revenge. Following his directions, his right hand was cut off and preserved, to be buried with his wife when she died. This request was observed, and his hand was interred, clasped with hers in the family vault at Loudoun Kirk.

Inheriting Donington Hall from his uncle, Rawdon rebuilt it in Gothic style; Wilkins was the architect. He placed the estate at the disposal of the Bourbon Princes upon their exile in England following the French Revolution. He is said to have left a signed cheque-book in each bedroom for the occupant to use at pleasure.
He was awarded the freedom of the city of Dublin in recognition of his service in America.

Loyalists whom he rescued from the Siege of Ninety Six during the American Revolution were resettled by the Crown and granted land in Nova Scotia. They named their township Rawdon in his honor.

Hastings County, Ontario, and three of its early townships were named after him, by Loyalists who were resettled in Upper Canada after the American Revolution.

The HMS Moira was named in his honour in 1805, as was the Moira River in Ontario, Canada.

On 12 July 1804, at the age of 50, he married Flora Campbell, 6th Countess of Loudoun, daughter of Major-General James Mure-Campbell, 5th Earl of Loudoun and Lady Flora Macleod. They had six children:

  • Flora Elizabeth Rawdon-Hastings (11 February 1806 – 5 July 1839), died unmarried.
  • Hon. Francis George Augustus (1807–1807), died in infancy.
  • George Augustus Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 2nd Marquess of Hastings (4 February 1808 – 13 January 1844)
  • Sophia Frederica Christina Rawdon-Hastings (1 February 1809 – 28 December 1859), married John Crichton-Stuart, 2nd Marquess of Bute and had children.
  • Selina Constance Rawdon-Hastings (1810 – 8 November 1867), married Charles Henry and had children.
  • Adelaide Augusta Lavinia Rawdon-Hastings (25 February 1812 – 6 December 1860), married Sir William Murray, 7th Baronet of Octertyre.

The marquess also allegedly fathered an illegitimate son by Jemima French, whom she named George Hunn Nobbs. Some sources do not believe this claim by Nobbs.

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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.

Edward Montagu (Army Officer)
1755-1799

Edward Montagu (Army Officer) Indian officer, was youngest son of Admiral John Montagu, and brother to Admiral Sir George Montagu and Captain James Montagu.

Educated at the Royal Academy of Woolwich, he went out to Bengal as an East India cadet in 1770. There being no commission vacant on his arrival, he was first placed in the ‘select picket,’ a military body composed of the cadets then present at Calcutta.

On 16 May 1772 he was admitted into the Bengal Artillery as lieutenant-fireworker, and by 24 Sept. 1777 he had risen to the rank of first-lieutenant of artillery. He was attached to Brigadier-general Thomas Goddard’s army during the Mahratta campaign of 1781, and was successfully employed against certain Mahratta forts on the Rohilcund border, on one occasion being severely wounded in the face by an arrow.

In 1782 he accompanied Colonel Pearce’s detachment, sent to join Sir Eyre Coote (1726–1783), then engaged against Haider Ali and his French allies in the Carnatic, and in 1783 he commanded the English artillery in the siege unsuccessfully attempted by General James Stuart of Cuddalore, a strong Carnatic fortress then held by the French. On the conclusion of the war in the Carnatic (1784), Montagu returned to Bengal. He was promoted to a captaincy on 13 Oct. 1784. He took a prominent part in the invasion of Mysore, conducted by Lord Cornwallis in 1791. He superintended the artillery employed in the sieges of Nandidrúg (captured 19 Oct. 1791) and Savandrúg (captured 21 Dec. 1791). For his skill and vigour Montagu received special commendation from Lord Cornwallis. The war concluded in favour of the English in 1792. On 1 March 1794 Montagu was made lieutenant-colonel, being now third on the list of Bengal artillery officers.

In the final war against Tipu, sultan of Mysore (1799), Montagu, as commander of the Bengal artillery, accompanied the army under General Harris which was directed to invade Mysore from Madras. On 9 April 1799 Seringapatam, the Mysore capital, was formally invested. On 2 May Montagu, while directing his battery, was struck in the shoulder by a cannon-shot from the enemy’s lines. He died from the effects of the wound on 8 May 1799.

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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.

Stephen Rumbold Lushington
6 May 1776 – 5 Aug 1868

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Stephen Rumbold Lushington Lushington was born on 6 May 1776 in Godmersham, Kent. He successfully completed his education from the Rugby School in the town of Rugby, Warwickshire, England. In the year 1792, Lushington went to British India and initially worked as a translator.

Lushington contested the borough of Canterbury at the general election in England in the year 1807, but remained unsuccessful. Later he was elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) for the borough of Rye in Sussex, at an uncontested by-election. Lushington was returned without a contest for Canterbury at the 1812 general election. He held the seat until the general election in 1830. He also served as the Secretary to the Treasury from the year 1814 to 1827. Lushington again contested at the 1835 general election and he held the seat until he stood down in the year 1837.

Lushington was designated as the Governor of Madras Province on 18 October 1827 and succeeded Major General Sir Thomas Munro, 1st Baronet KCB. But as Thomas Munro died even before the culmination of his tenure, Henry Sullivan Graeme served as the Acting Governor in interim until Lushington arrived in Madras (now Chennai). The Madras Presidency, also known as the Presidency of Fort St. George and Madras Province, was an administrative sub division of British dominated India. The territory included most of southern India, such as the modern states of Tamil Nadu, the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh, Lakshadweep Islands, the Malabar region of North Kerala, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangapur and Gajapati districts of southern Orissa and the Bellary, Ganjam, Dakshina Kannada, Rayagada and Udupi districts of Karnataka.

During his tenure as the Governor of Madras Presidency, the Madras Club was established in the year 1832. Lushington served in office until 25 October 1832 and was succeeded by General Sir Frederick Adam GCB GCMG.

Lushington wrote and published the book The Life and Services of General Lord Harris, G. C. B. The literary work was a biography of his father-in-law, George Harris, 1st Baron Harris. He owned Norton Court in Norton, Kent, where he knew Jane Austen, and founded nearby schools Lushington died on 5 August 1868.

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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.

Henry Weekes
14 January 1807 – 1877

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Henry Weekes

Weekes was born at Canterbury, Kent, to Capon Weekes, a banker’s clerk, and his wife, Mary Pearson. He attended the King’s School of his home town.

His younger brother was the artist, William Weekes. Of his own five children, Henry Weekes and Herbert William Weekes were both genre painters known for their animal studies, and Frederick Weekes was an artist and expert on medieval costume and design. A further son was John Ernest Weekes.

Retiring in May 1877, Weekes died of heart disease soon afterwards. His date and place of death are variously given as 28 May 1877 in Pimlico, London and 28 June 1877 in Ramsgate, Kent.

Weekes was apprenticed to William Behnes in London (1822–7), entering the Royal Academy Schools in 1823, where he won a silver medal for sculpture in 1826. He became an assistant to the well-known portrait sculptor, Sir Francis Chantrey, in 1827, remaining with him until Chantrey’s death in 1841.

His early commissions were from his home town of Canterbury, and included busts of Stephen Lushington, MP for Canterbury and governor of Madras, and his father-in-law George Harris, Baron Harris of Seringapatam and Mysore for the Canterbury Philosophical Society. This led to a series of Indian commissions including works for St George’s Cathedral, Madras (now Chennai). In 1838, he was the first sculptor to execute a bust of Queen Victoria, being commissioned by the queen as a gift for her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. His sensitive depiction of the young queen established a reputation for portraiture.

On Chantrey’s death, Weekes took over his studio and, at Chantrey’s request, completed his unfinished works, most notably an equestrian bronze of the Duke of Wellington for the Royal Exchange. His subsequent career flourished; one of the most successful British sculptors of the mid-Victorian period, he left nearly £30,000 at his death. Despite the considerable success he enjoyed during his lifetime, his reputation was not long-lasting, and the rise of the New Sculpture shortly after his death led to his works being neglected.

An associate of the Royal Academy from 1851, he was elected a Royal Academician in 1863. In 1851, he won a gold medal from the Royal Society of Arts for an essay on the Great Exhibition. He was the academy’s professor of sculpture from 1868 until 1876.

Weekes exhibited 124 works at the Royal Academy between 1828 and his death, with over a hundred being portraits. He wrote in 1852 that the objective of portraiture was “to give the eye permanently that which no history or biography will be able hereafter thoroughly to convey to the imagination.” His best works achieve this aim, combining emotional impact with accurate portraiture and exemplary technique. A contemporary reviewer praised his work for its “truth of character and delicacy of expression.”

Apart from the 1838 bust of Queen Victoria, his first major works were statues of Thomas Cranmer, Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley for George Gilbert Scott’s Martyrs’ Memorial in Oxford, which he completed under Chantrey’s direction in 1841. Another early commission of an historical figure was a seated statue of Francis Bacon, which he executed for Trinity College, Cambridge in 1845.

Originally strongly influenced by Chantrey, Weekes developed a more individual style towards the end of the 1840s, introducing naturalistic detailing into his neo-classical works. Weekes was, however, against what he considered excessive realism, as exemplified by his contemporary Carlo Marochetti; he always opposed the colouring of sculpture, instead applying, for example, deep undercutting.

Two funerary monuments exemplify Weekes’ style from this period, and are considered his finest works. That of 1849 to Samuel Whitbread and Lady Elizabeth Whitbread, in Cardington, Bedfordshire, is executed in high relief. It depicts the couple kneeling in a pose that echoes Chantrey’s monument of 1835 to Reginald Heber in St Paul’s Cathedral, except that Lady Elizabeth leans against her husband’s shoulder with evident affection.

His marble monument to Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1853/4) was commissioned by their son, Sir Percy Shelley, and his wife after the death of Mary Shelley. Unlike the later Shelley memorial by Onslow Ford, Weekes has chosen to include the figure of Mary Shelley. The pose echoes Michelangelo’s Pietà, with the poet cradled by an idealised figure of his mourning wife. Weekes, however, depicts not a heroic nude in the neo-classical tradition but a bloodless corpse, and realistic details, including seaweed wrapped around his arm, recall the particulars of Shelley’s death by drowning in Italy. The monument was the subject of contemporary critical acclaim, but St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth, where Mary Shelley was buried, refused to take the work, and it was installed instead in Christchurch Priory.

Unlike Chantrey, Weekes executed a few ideal figures from 1850 onwards. The Suppliant (1850), his earliest work in this genre, secured his election as an associate of the Royal Academy. Resting after a Run, also known as Girl with the Hoop (1850/1), depicts the daughter of Frederick J. Reed in an idealised picture of childhood. Like the Shelley monument, his popular work The Young Naturalist (1854), showing a young girl examining nature at the seaside, juxtaposes realism with idealism, with a child in an 1850s bathing suit clutching a starfish in a pose reminiscent of the crouching Venus and Venus Pudica. Other works in this genre include Sardanapalus (1861), from Lord Byron’s verse tragedy on the Assyrian king, and Luna (1866), depicting a girl with the moon as a shield.

He also continued his early success with realistic historical figures, at that time very fashionable, with a series of works including John Hunter, after a portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds, for the Royal College of Surgeons in London (1864); William Harvey, with a heart resting in his right hand, for the University Museum of Natural History in Oxford (1864); Charles II, accompanied by a spaniel, for the Palace of Westminster (1869; now in the Old Bailey); and Sir Joshua Reynolds for a garden designed by James Knowles in London’s Leicester Square (1874).

His most ambitious later work is the allegorical work Manufactures (1864–70), one of four marble groups depicting the industrial arts, for the London Albert Memorial by George Gilbert Scott. Although Weekes was not on Queen Victoria’s original list of sculptors, being selected to work on the project only after John Gibson declined to participate, his group occupies the preferable south side of the finished monument. A central female figure holds an hourglass, symbolising the critical nature of time to industry, while an ironworker stands at his anvil and a potter and weaver offer their wares.

In his role as professor of sculpture to the Academy, Weekes delivered a series of eighteen lectures which were published posthumously as Lectures on Art, with a biographical introduction by his son, John Ernest Weekes. In addition to conventional topics such as composition, beauty, style, taste, idealism versus realism, portraiture and Greek sculpture, Weekes devoted three lectures of the series to Sir Joshua Reynolds, and one to John Gibson and his mentors, William Behnes and Sir Francis Chantrey. He advised students to become “thinking men”, but also advocated a practical approach to learning, “with the modelling tool in hand, and the clay to operate upon”.

His gold-medal-winning essay was also published in 1852. Described in a contemporary review as “thoroughly practical”, it includes an exposition of the technical aspects of casting in bronze and carving in marble.

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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.

George Harris 3rd Baron Harris
14 August 1810 – 23 November 1872

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George Harris 3rd Baron Harris

Harris was born to William Harris, 2nd Baron Harris and his wife Eliza Selina Anne. He was the grandson of George Harris, 1st Baron Harris, who had commanded the army of the British East India Company in the Fourth Mysore War. Harris had his early education at Eton College and under the private tutorship of Rev. John Shaw before joining Merton College, Oxford in 1829. Harris completed his matriculation from Merton College and graduated in arts from Christ Church, Oxford in 1832.

Harris was beset with ill-health and remained bed-ridden for some time in the city of Pau in France where he worked for a time for the Church of England. In 1846, Harris was appointed Governor of Trinidad.

Harris served as Governor of Trinidad from 1846 to 1854. During his tenure, Harris revamped the prevailing education system thereby laying down the foundation for the present-day system of education prevailing in Trinidad. Harris also mooted the idea of importing indentured labourers from India to replace the plantation slaves who had been freed following the abolition of slavery. Harris is considered to be one of Trinidad’s best ever administrators though he had also been criticized for favouring his own men in appointments.

Soon after taking over as Governor of Madras, Harris found grave deficiencies in the police system in the Presidency and reorganised the force introducing reforms that would eventually give rise to the Indian police as it exists today. On 1 July 1856, Harris flagged off the first regular passenger train service in the province between the city of Madras and the town of Arcot. The University of Madras was established in 1857 when Harris was the Governor. In September 1854, Harris headed the Torture Commission appointed to investigate the allegations of torture inflicted on Indian peasants by revenue officials.

Throughout his tenure, Harris was critical of the attitude of the Anglo-Indian press in Madras and tried to regulate the freedom of the press. He criticized them as
        “disloyal in tone, un-English in spirit, and wanting in every principle”

When the Indian Rebellion of 1857 broke out, the province of Madras remained loyal to the British Crown. As a result, Harris lent the whole Madras Army to the Government of India for quelling the rebellion. The Madras Army participated in the relief of Cawnpore in which Lieutenant-Colonel James George Smith Neill of the Madras Fusiliers indulged in indiscriminate massacre of Indians and was eventually killed. However, there is also evidence that suggests that one of the 52 regiments of the Madras Army refused to volunteer for service during the mutiny.

Harris continued even after the transfer of sovereignty over India from the British East India Company to the British crown in 1858, eventually resigning as Governor in 1859.

Lord Harris died in November 1872, aged 62, and was succeeded in the barony by his son Robert Harris, 4th Baron Harris, who became a successful cricketer and Conservative politician.

Lord Harris married Sarah, daughter of the Venerable George Cummons, Archdeacon of Trinidad, in 1850. She died only three years later.

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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.

George Harris, 1st Baron
18 March 1746 – 19 May 1829

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George Harris

Harris was the son of the Reverend George Harris, curate of Brasted. He was educated at Westminster School and at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, he was commissioned to the Royal Artillery in 1760, transferring to an ensigncy in the 5th foot (Northumberland Fusiliers) in 1762. Three years later he became lieutenant, and in 1771 captain. His first active service was in the American War of Independence, in which he served at Lexington, Bunker Hill and in every engagement of Howe’s army except one up to November 1778.

By this time he had obtained his majority. His next service was under Major-General Medows at Santa Lucia in 1778-1779, after which his regiment served as marines in Rodney’s fleet. Later in 1779 he was for a time a prisoner of war. Shortly before his promotion to lieutenant-colonel in his regiment (1780) he married. After commanding the 5th in Ireland for some years, he exchanged and went with General Medows to Bombay, and served with that officer in India until 1792, taking part in various battles and engagements, notably Lord Cornwallis’s attack on Seringapatam in the Third Anglo-Mysore War.

In 1794, after a short period of home service, he was again in India. In the same year he became major-general, and in 1796 local lieutenant-general in Madras. Up to 1800 be commanded the troops in the presidency, and for a short time he exercised the civil government as well. In December 1798 he was appointed by Lord Mornington, the governor-general, to command the field army which was intended to attack Tipu Sultan, and in a few months of campaigning Harris reduced the Kingdom of Mysore and stormed the great stronghold of Seringapatam, where the Tipu died in its defence.

His success established his reputation as a capable and experienced commander, and its political importance led to his being offered the reward (which he declined) of an Irish peerage. He returned home in 1800, became lieutenant-general in the army the following year, and attained the rank of full general in 1812. He bought Belmont House near Faversham in 1801.

In 1815 he was made a peer of the United Kingdom under the title Baron Harris of Seringapatam and Mysore, and of Belmont in the County of Kent. In 1820 he received the GCB, and in 1824 the governorship of Dumbarton Castle. Lord Harris died at Belmont in May 1829. He had been colonel of the 73rd Highlanders since 1800.

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