For the last thirty years of his life Mr. Fitz-Gerald laboured under asthma, and latterly he was much afflicted with dropsy. These complaints rendered him lethargic; and although he attended at the last dinner of the Literary Fund, it was evident to everyone present, who knew him, that he was rapidly declining. He died at Dudley Grove, Paddington, on the 9th July, 1829; and his remains were interred in the burial ground of St. John's Wood chapel, Mary-le-bone.

A portrait of Mr. Fitz-Gerald appeared in the "European Magazine " for the year 1804.

Nearly the whole of this memoir has been derived from "The Gentleman's Magazine:" there are a few facts in it, however, with which we have been favoured from a private source.

[ocr errors]



This gallant officer was appointed Ensign in the 52d regiment, April 4. 1787; joined the additional company at Chatham barracks, and embarked in December that year for India. He arrived at Madras in July, 1788, and joined the regiment; was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, November 12. 1789; served with the army under Sir W. Medows, in the grenadier company, and was present at the assault and capture of Dindegul, in August, 1790. Immediately after this he was appointed Brigade-Major to the King's troops in India, and posted to the first brigade of the army; in which situation he was present at the siege and capture of Poligautcherry, and continued to serve with the first brigade of the army under Lord Cornwallis the whole of the Mysore war; during which period he was present at the siege and assault of Bangalore, in March, 1791, and also the storming the strong hill forts of Saverndroog and Outradroog, the general action near Seringapatam on the 15th of May the same year, and the general attack on Tippoo's position, under the walls of Seringapatam, when all his redoubts were stormed, and one hundred pieces of cannon taken. This victory compelled the enemy to submit to the terms dictated by Lord Cornwallis, and peace was signed in March following.

In August, 1793, the subject of our memoir was present at the siege and capture of Poudicherry, in the same situation and in the same brigade. His knowledge of the French language occasioned his being selected as Town-Major after the capture of Pondicherry; but that situation he merely held as long as his services were absolutely required, preferring the appointment of Brigade-Major to his Majesty's troops in India, as more honourable, though infinitely less lucrative. In August following he was compelled to leave India from very severe indisposition, and obtained leave of absence to return to England for the recovery of his health. He arrived home in January, 1795; and having been previously, in September, 1794, promoted (by purchase) to a company in the 125th regiment, was appointed Aide-de-Camp to Marquis Cornwallis, then commanding the Eastern District. A few months after, however, having obtained by purchase the Majority of the 121st regiment, he was appointed Brigade MajorGeneral to the district, February 28. 1795; and on the 9th of September following was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, by purchase, in the 115th regiment.

Not wishing, however, to remain on home service, Lieutenant-Colonel Nightingall volunteered to go to the West Indies, with the expedition then fitting out under Sir Ralph Abercromby. He was accordingly placed in command of the 92d regiment; but that corps being soon after reduced, was removed to the 38th regiment, which he joined in October, 1795, and commanded during all its service in the West Indies, and at the capture of Trinidad in 1797. The Lieutenant-Colonel also attended Sir Ralph Abercromby, as an extra Aide-de-Camp, during the expedition against Porto Rico, it not being practicable to employ the regiment on that service; after which he was appointed Deputy InspectorGeneral of foreign corps; but, in consequence of very severe illness, was compelled to resign that office in August, 1797, and to return to England, where he arrived in October.

In December following, Lieutenant-Colonel Nightingall was appointed Deputy Adjutant-General to the forces in St. Domingo, and soon after proceeded thither with General Maitland. He was employed on various service during his residence in that colony; and was selected to negotiate with Monsieur Herier, the Adjutant-General of Toussaint 1'Overture, the evacuation of Port-au-Prince. In July he was sent to England in charge of despatches; and the remainder of the island being soon after evacuated, he was appointed Aide-deCamp to Lord Cornwallis, then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and was afterwards placed in the command of the 4th battalion of light infantry under Major-General Moore.

Early in 1799 he was again employed on a particular service with General T. Maitland, and sailed with him in the Camilla man-of-war to America, Jamaica, and St. Domingo; and returning to England in July, after having accomplished the objects of his mission, was appointed an Assistant Adjutant-General to the army assembling on Barham Downs, which he joined at Canterbury, three days after his arrival in London.

He sailed for the Helder early in September, and arrived at the head-quarters of the army on the 17th of September; was present in the general actions of the 19th of September and the 2d of October; but was obliged to leave the army soon after from ill health, and returned to England in November.

In January, 1800, Lieutenant-Colonel Nightingall was employed again under General T. Maitland in Quiberon Bay and on the coast of France, as Deputy Adjutant-General, and returned to England with despatches in July following. In June, 1801, he was appointed Assistant Quarter-Master-General in the Eastern District, and remained at Colchester until October following; when preliminaries of peace being signed between England and France, the Lieutenant-Colonel accompanied the Marquis Cornwallis (the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary) to Paris, and to the Congress at Amiens, as private secretary; and returning to England in March following, obtained six months' leave of absence. In July, 1802, he was appointed Quarter-MasterGeneral in the East Indies, and sailed for Bengal early in April, 1803; arrived there in August, and immediately joined the army in the field, on the north-west frontier, under Lord Lake; was present in an action under the walls of Agra, on the 10th of October, and at the siege and capture of that fortress on the 17th of that month; he was also present at the decisive victory gained by Lord Lake at Lasswaree, on the 1st of November, and continued with the army until the signature of peace with Scindia, when the Lieutenant-Colonel returned to Calcutta.

On the 25th of September, 1803, he was promoted to be Colonel by brevet. In 1805, he was appointed Military Secretary to the Marquis Cornwallis, then Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief, and after his decease, remained in India as Quarter-Master-General until February, 1807; when he returned to England, and, arriving in September, resigned his Staff appointment.

In February, 1808, Colonel Nightingall was appointed a Brigadier-General to the forces serving under Major-General Brent Spencer, and joined the army then detained nt Falmouth. He was present with that force at Cadiz, and on the coast of Spain and Portugal, until it joined Sir Arthur Wellesley at Figueras, in August. He was engaged in the battle of Roleia on the 17th, and in that of Vimiera on the 21st of that month, in command of the 29th and 82d regiments, forming the 3d brigade, and received the thanks of Sir Arthur Wellesley on both occasions. In October following he returned to England, and received the thanks of both Houses of Parliament, communicated through Sir Arthur Wellesley.

In December following, the Brigadier-General was appointed Governor and Commander-in-chief at New South Wales; but a long and painful illness, contracted in consequence of the service in Portugal, compelled him to relinquish that appointment; and, as soon as his health was sufficiently re-established, he was appointed to the Staff of the Kent district, and remained in command at Hythe and Dover during 1809 and part of 1810, when, being sufficiently recovered to encounter the fatigue of foreign service, he was

Vol. xiv. y

« ElőzőTovább »