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dissolved immediately after. In 1776, on the late Duke of Northumberland succeeding to the title of Baron Percy, Lord Petersham was elected for Westminster, which city he represented, until, by his father's death, he was raised to the House of Peers, April 1. 1779.
In the beginning of 1776, his Lordship exchanged his light company for the grenadier company of the 29th. In February of that year the regiment embarked at Chatham for Quebec, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick Gordon, who the same year was assassinated in Canada by an American. The troops, on arriving in the basin of Quebec, were immediately ordered by General Sir Guy Carleton, the late Lord Dorchester, to land, which they effected, though cannonaded from the battery erected by the Americans on Point Levy. As soon as the men were refreshed, the original garrison, consisting of one company of the 7th Foot, some recruits for the 26th, the Royal Highland Emigrants, the marines of a frigate and sloop of war which had lain all the winter in the Cul-de-Sac, the seamen formed into a battalion, the English and French inhabitants in two corps, with a few artillery-men, and the new troops, — in all not 4000 men, — marched out to attack the American hutted camp on the plains of Abraham. The latter formed in line of battle, but after a few vollies from the British, they fled in every direction. The remainder of the 29th arrived a few days after, and did duty in Quebec till the arrival of the army from Europe under the command of General Burgoyne, when the whole was ordered up the river St. Lawrence, in pursuit of the Americans. On the 8th of June, the Americans attempted to cut off the troops in the town of Trois Rivieres, which they thought was occupied by a small body of men; but they met with a warm reception from the flank companies of the 9th, 21st, 24th, 29th, 31st, 34th, 47th, 53d, and 62d regiments, and retreated into the woods.
The 24th regiment, ten companies of grenadiers, and the same number of light infantry, were formed into an advanced brigade under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Simon Fraser of the 24th Foot, appointed Brigadier-General. This brigade landed at Sorel, and pursued the Americans up the river Richelieu to Chamblee and Fort St. John, at which place the latter embarked in batteaux for the Isle aux Noix. The advanced brigade encamped at Fort St. John, till such time as boats and vessels could be got to follow the Americans.
As soon as the armament was completed, part of the 29th regiment embarked on board the ships of war as marines; and on the 11th and 13th of October actions took place between the British fleet, under Commodore Crew and Admiral Pringle, and the Americans, commanded by General Arnold; in all of which the British were victorious. The advanced and 1st brigades, with the artillery and remainder of the 29th, were in battaaux, and soon joined the fleet at Crown Point, where the 29th detachment had landed and taken post in the ruins of Fort Frederick. The army immediately encamped, but the weather setting in very cold and stormy, Sir Guy Carleton thought proper to defer the attack of Ticonderoga till the following spring. The army re-embarked and sailed the 2d of November, the fleet bringmg up the rear.
On arriving in Canada the army was ordered into winter quarters. The advanced brigade was cantoned on both banks of the river St. Lawrence, from Montreal downwards. Lord Petersham's company was quartered at Verchere. The remainder of the 29th regiment was garrisoned at Montreal.
In the spring of 1777, General Burgoyne was appointed to command a detachment of Sir Guy Carleton's army, destined to cross Lake Champlain, for the attack of Ticonderoga, and to effect a junction with the southern army. This gallant army, after encountering the greatest difficulties, and disputing every inch of ground with the Americans, infinitely superior in number, was obliged to throw down their arms by the convention of Saratoga. During this active campaign, Lord Petersham acted as an aide-de-camp to General Burgoyne, and his services in that arduous capacity were particularly noticed by the unfortunate General. Indeed, his Lordship was on the most intimate footing with all the Generals and other officers, particularly Brigadier-General Fraser, who died of the wounds he received in the action of the 7th of October.
After the disastrous issue of the campaign, Lord Petersham was sent to England with General Burgoyne's despatches, by the way of New York.
Shortly after his Lordship's arrival in London, he purchased, 16th January, 1778, a company in the Foot Guards. On the 22d of May, 1779 (having become Earl of Harringrington on the 1st of the preceding month), his Lordship married Jane, daughter and co-heiress of Sir John Fleming of Brompton Park, co. Middlesex, Bart.
It being evident that the French meditated an attack on our West India possessions, letters of service were issued to raise a number of new regiments, one of .which was given to his Lordship, who soon completed it as the 85th, and shortly after embarked with it for Jamaica as Lieutenant-ColonelCommandant— his commission bearing date the 30th of August, 1780. Major-General Sir Archibald Campbell was at that time governor of the island, and, assisted by his Lordship, modelled his little army, sent for the defence of one of the gems in the British crown, in a masterly manner. In the arrangement his Lordship was made a Brigadier-General, with the command of the flank companies of all the regiments.
The 85th was commanded by Major Phipps (now General the Earl of Mulgrave). The great mortality which prevails more or less in the West Indies, particularly in the time of war, soon reduced the gallant corps sent from England to a small number. The 85th, one of the finest ever landed on any of our tropical islands, suffered severely; and his Lordship's health, from his great military exertions, being injured, he returned to England, accompanied by Lady Harrington, who had voluntarily insisted on sharing the fortunes of her husband amidst the dangers of the sea, the perils of war, and the unhealthiness of the West Indies. The remains of the s.iili. after drafting such of the men as were fit for service, were embarked on board the Ville de Paris. The dreadful fate of that splendid trophy of the immortal Rodney is well known.
On Lord Harrington's return to England, he met with a most gracious reception from his Majesty, who was pleased to nominate him, Nov. 1782, one of his aides-de-camp, which gave him the rank of Colonel in the army.
On the death of Lieutenant-General Calcraft, Colonel of the 65th Foot, Lord Harrington was appointed, March 12. 1783, to the command of that regiment, which he immediately joined, and embarked with it for Ireland. While on Dublin duty he had the command of that garrison, and possessed, in an eminent degree, the confidence of the Duke of Rutland, then Lord-Lieutenant.
It was during this time that General Sir David Dundas, then Adjutant-General of the army in Ireland, wished to bring forward the system of tactics which is now adopted in our service. The Earl of Harrington, whose knowledge of the military art was inferior to none of his standing, approved highly of it, and immediately, with the Duke of Rutland's approbation, tried it with the 65th : the progress that was made in it, and the evident utility to be derived from it in execution, steadiness, celerity, and order, were fully exemplified at the time, which induced other regiments to follow the example ; so that, shortly after, it became general in both kingdoms. In June, 1792, it was, by his Majesty's orders, directed to be implicitly followed by every regiment in the service.
The 65th being ordered to America in 1785, his Lordship obtained his Majesty's permission to return to England.
In January, 1788, Lieutenant-General Tryon, Colonel of the 29th regiment, died; the first notice of which his Lordship received by an express from Sir George Yonge, Secretary at War, notifying that his Majesty had been pleased to appoint him (Jan. 28. 1788,) Colonel of the 29th, as he knew it was what his Lordship much wished for. This very flattering attention of his royal master originated from Lord Harrington having asked for the 29th some years before, on the death of its then Colonel, Lieutenant-General Evelyn.
A few weeks after his appointment, his Lordship went down to Worcester to see his regiment, which had returned from America in the November preceding. The joyful reception he experienced from his old friends on that occasion was equally pleasing and honourable to him. During the period of Lord Harrington's command of this regiment the nation was at peace; and it continued for three years together in garrison at Windsor, — a circumstance which contributed to the continuance and increase of that notice with which the noble Colonel had been honoured by the royal family.
In the summer of 1792 a camp was formed on Bagsbot heath, consisting of the 2d, 3d, 14th, and 29th regiments of infantry, a detachment of artillery, and two regiments of light dragoons. The infantry was formed into two brigades: the first commanded by Lord Harrington, and the second by Colonel (afterwards General) Fox: both these officers had the temporary rank of Brigadier-General. General the Duke of Richmond commanded the whole.
The 5th of December, 1792, his Majesty was pleased to confer an additional mark of his regard on the Earl of Harrington, by appointing him Colonel of the first regiment of Life Guards, with the Gold Stick.
The 12th of October, 1793, his Lordship received the brevet of Major-General. During the campaigns in Flanders, his Lordship applied to his Majesty, that he might be sent with his regiment to serve under his Royal Highness the Duke of York; but his Lordship's appointment of Gold Stick rendered it incompatible. Shortly after this, his Majesty, wishing to be made acquainted with certain proceedings on the Continent, and probably to convey his own ideas respecting the operations of the army, particularly the British, sent the Earl of Harrington on a private mission to the Duke of York, with whom he remained for a short time.
His Lordship received the brevet of Lieutenant-General, Jan. 1. 1798, and was employed as second in command on the London Staff, his Royal Highness Field-Marshal the Duke of Gloucester being first. He was soon after appointed a Privy Counsellor. He attained the rank of General, September 25. 1803.