« ElőzőTovább »
once more appointed on the Staff of Spain and Portugal, as a Major-General, having obtained that rank, by brevet, the 25th of July, 1810. About this period His Majesty was graciously pleased to confer a gold medal on the Major-General for his services in Portugal, and in the actions of Roleia and Vimiera. Early in January, 1811, he joined the head-quarters of the army at Cartaxo, and was appointed to a brigade in the 1st division, consisting of the 2d battalion of the 24th regiment, the 2d battalion of the 42d, and the 79th. On the 6th of March following, when the French army retired from Santarem, the Major-General was entrusted with the command of the right column, consisting of the 14th Light Dragoons, and his own brigade, and engaged in a close pursuit of the corps commanded by General Regnier. This column was afterwards reinforced by the 16th Light Dragoons and the 6th division, the whole of which force was placed under the command of the Major-General. Shortly after, orders were received to detach the whole of the column, with the exception of a squadron of the 14th Light Dragoons, and his own brigade, to reinforce the centre column, under the personal command of Lord Viscount Wellington. This compelled the Major-General to suspend, for some days, offensive operations, having the whole of Regnier's corps in the position of Espinal in its front: the success of the main body under his Lordship at Condexa, however, soon enabled the right column to resume the offensive, and it entered Espinal just as the rear of the enemy had quitted it, and formed a junction on the following day with the main body under Lord Wellington. Major-General NightingalFs brigade then resumed its position in the 1st division under Sir Brent Spencer, and was engaged with the rear of the enemy at Foz D'Arouee, on the 15th of March. Soon after this, after passing Satugal, Sir Brent Spencer being second in command, and frequently employed with other divisions, the command of the 1st division devolved on the Major-General, as next senior officer; and he so continued during the remainder of his services on
the Peninsula, and particularly in the action of Fuentes d'Onor on the 5th of May, 1816, where he was wounded at the head of the division at the close of that affair. In July following, having been appointed to the Staff in Bengal, he left the army in the neighbourhood of Elvas, and, embarking at Lisbon, arrived at Portsmouth, and thence, in the succeeding June, sailed for Bengal, where he arrived in November, and was first appointed to the command of a field division of the army, near the frontier; but, before he had joined at the station of Mizert, he received from Lord Minto, then Governor-General, the chief command in Java and its dependencies, with a seat in council. He arrived at Java in October, 1813. In April, 1814, a force was assembled to act against the Rajah of Bali in the island of Boleling, and the Rajah of Boni on that of Celebes, consisting of the 59th and 78th regiments, and 1000 Sepoys. The expedition arrived at the former place on the 17th of May; when, possession having been taken of the Rajah's place of residence, he immediately offered every reparation for the insults he had offered to the British flag, restored the property captured, and gave hostages for his good conduct in future. Part of the force was then sent back to Java, and the commander of the forces proceeded on the 20th of May, with the 59th regiment, flank companies of the 78th regiment, and 300 Sepoys, to Macassar, where he arrived, with only two transports, on the 2d of June, the rest of the convoy having been dispersed. As soon, however, as he could collect 500 of the 59th and the flank companies of the 78th regiment, with a few Sepoys, the Major-General determined on attacking the Rajah of Boni, who had assembled a force of 3000 men in a fortified position close to the fort, which he daily threatened to attack; and as all attempts at negotiation had completely failed, and the overtures of the Rajah appeared to be made solely to gain time, the Major-General resolved to attack him in his fortified town. The column of attack was formed before daylight on the 7th of June, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel M'Cloud, of the 59th regiment; and in less than an hour the British were in complete possession of the palace of the Rajah, who escaped with great difficulty in disguise. The loss of the British was trifling in this sharp but brilliant affair, and amounted only to twenty rank and file, no officer being killed or wounded. The loss of the enemy was considerable, and the palace of the Rajah was destroyed. The power of Arong Polacca, the Rajah of Boni, was completely overturned, and the British possessions were placed in a state of perfect security. After settling the country and establishing the British supremacy in Celebes, the Major-General re-embarked on the 30th of June, and returned to Java, where he continued in command until Nov. 19. 1815, when, having been previously appointed Commander-in-Chief at Bombay, he embarked for India, and arrived at that Presidency on the 6th of February, 1816. He rose to the brevet of Lieutenant-General June 4. 1814; and on the enlargement of the Order of the Bath, Jan. 5. 1815, was nominated a Knight Commander of that Order. On the 20th of March, 1815, he was appointed Colonel of the late 6th West India regiment. Sir Miles continued in the chief command at Bombay, and second in Council at that Presidency, till 1819, when he returned to England. He was appointed Colonel of the 49th foot Feb. 19. 1820. Sir Miles was elected M. P. for Eye at the general election in 1820, and was re-elected at that in 1826. His death took place at Gloucester, on the 19th of September, 1829, at the age of sixty-one. We are indebted to the Royal Military Calendar for the foregoing memoir.
No. XXV. THE RIGHT HON. HANS FRANCIS HASTINGS, ELEVENTH EARL OF HUNTINGDON, BARON HASTINGS, OF ASHBYDE-LA-ZOUCH, IN THE COUNTY OF LEICESTER, BARON HUNGERFORD, OF HEYTESBURY, IN WILTSHIRE, AND A CAPTAIN IN THE ROYAL NAVY. In veritate victoria.
The lineage of the late Earl of Huntingdon was not only noble but royal; his ancestor, Sir Edward Hastings, being, both on the paternal and on the maternal side, legitimately descended from Edward the Third. On his father's side he was descended from, and was heir male general of, Prince George, Duke of Clarence, younger brother to Edward the Fourth, and elder brother of Richard the Third. In the maternal line, he derived his descent from the famous Devereux,' Earl of Essex, and through him from the Princess Anne Plantagenet, daughter of Prince Thomas, of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, youngest son of Edward the Third. From the Princess Anne he was also descended, on the paternal side, through her great granddaughter, the Lady Anne Stafford, daughter to her grandson, Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, and wife of George, first Earl of Huntingdon. Notwithstanding this splendid display of ancestry, the noble subject of the present memoir will long be memorable from the extraordinary circumstance of his not having attained to his ancient and most honourable earldom until after it had been for thirty years considered as extinct. He was born in the parish of Mary-le-bone in London, on the 14th of August, 1779; and was the fourth and youngest, but only surviving son of Lieutenant-Colonel George Hastings, of the third Guards, and seventh in descent from Francis the second Earl of Huntingdon, and K. G. who died in 1560. His mother was Sarah, daughter of Colonel Thomas Hodges, by a daughter of Sir Thomas Fowler, Bart. It was remarkable that, although up to a certain period there were much nearer male heirs to the Earldom in the branch of Hastings, of Woodlands, the branch of which the Earl now deceased was a member had been especially cherished by the heads of the family. Colonel George Hastings was even designed for the husband of Lady Selina, who prematurely died in 1763. When about eight years of age, Francis Earl of Huntingdon, his predecessor, placed the subject of our memoir at Repton school. He had remained there nearly three years, when the Earl died; and it was found that whilst his Baronies and the bulk of his estates had devolved on his sister, the Countess of Moira, and he had amply provided for an illegitimate son, the Colonel and his elder brother, the Reverend Theophilus (who then in fact became Earl of Huntingdon), were dismissed with but trifling legacies. Earl Moira, to whom the subject of our memoir, then eleven years of age, was now taught to look for patronage, soon after removed him to Bettesworth Academy at Chelsea, in order to fit him for the naval profession. Having completed the usual preparatory course of study, he was placed, early in 1793, under the protection of Sir J. B. Warren, who at that time commanded the Flora, 36, fitting at Deptford. Sir John sailed soon after from Spithead, together with the Inconstant, Captain Montgomery, as convoy to the Lisbon and Oporto fleets; and during a cruise taken in the interval between the arrival and departure of the convoy, chased a frigate into l'Orient, and captured l'Affamee privateer. The Flora, in company with the Endymion frigate and Fury sloop, afterwards proceeded to escort the two merchant fleets,