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Sir George Nugent
File:Georgenugent.gif
Born 10 June 1757 (1757-06-10)
Died 11 March 1849 (1849-03-12) (aged 91)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank Field Marshal
Commands held Indian Army
Battles/wars American Revolutionary War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

Field Marshal Sir George Nugent, 1st Baronet, GCB (10 June 1757 – 11 March 1849) was a British soldier. He served in the American War of Independence and French Revolutionary Wars, was a colonial governor, and went into politics.

Military career

George Nugent was the eldest son of Lieutenant Colonel the Hon. Edmund Nugent, only son of Robert Nugent, 1st Earl Nugent.[1] He was educated at Charterhouse School and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.[1] On Edmund's death in 1771, his marriage was found to have been illegal and he and his brother Charles were declared illegitimate, and therefore ineligible to succeed to his grandfather's titles. In 1773 George entered the British Army as an Ensign in the 39th Regiment of Foot,[1] stationed at Gibraltar. In September 1777 he joined the 7th Regiment of Foot (Royal Fusiliers) at New York,[1] and saw action in the American Revolutionary War.[1] In April 1778 he became a captain in the 57th Regiment of Foot,[1] and in May 1782 a major in the same regiment.[1] In 1783 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the 97th Regiment of Foot[1] and returned to England, where he also served with the 13th (1st Somersetshire) Regiment of Foot.[1] From 1787 to 1790 he served as an aide-de-camp to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, his brother-in-law the Marquess of Buckingham.[1] Through Lord Buckingham's influence he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards.[1] He exchanged into the Coldstream Guards the following year,[1] serving with the Duke of York in the Netherlands in 1793. In January 1794, the War Office recalled him to supervise the raising of a regiment at the instigation of the Marquess of Buckingham. Sir George was Colonel of the regiment, the Bucks Volunteers, later the 85th (Bucks Volunteers) Regiment of Foot,[1] for about a year, until he was promoted to Brigadier General in 1795. While he commanded the regiment it served under Sir Ralph Abercrombie in the actions of St. Andria and Thuyl on the river Waal, and participated in the disastrous retreat from the Rhine.[2] In 1796, he was promoted to major general, again at the instigation of Lord Buckingham. Also in 1796, Sir George was elected Member of Parliament for Buckingham and represented the constituency until 1802. He distinguished himself for his rôle in placating Belfast during the Irish Rebellion of 1798, and from July 1799 to March 1801 he was Adjutant-General in Ireland, also representing Charleville in the last Irish House of Commons before the Act of Union 1800.[1] In 1801 Sir George was appointed Governor of Jamaica, serving until February 1806;[1] his old regiment the 85th were also stationed in Jamaica at this time. While there, he strengthened the fort that the Spanish slave agent in Jamaica, James Castillo, had built in 1709 in Harbour View. Named Fort Nugent, the fort guarded the eastern entrance of the city of Kingston Harbour, but all that remains is a Martello tower that was added after Sir George's departure.[3] Returning to England, he was made Colonel of the 6th (1st Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot on 26 May 1806, elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Aylesbury on 3 November and created a baronet, of Waddesdon in the county of Buckinghamshire, on 28 November. In October 1808 he bought Westhorpe House in Buckinghamshire, and resided there with his family until his appointment as Commander-in-Chief, India on 14 January 1811.[1] On his return in 1813 he was promoted to full General.[1] In 1815 he was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, and in 1819 an honorary DCL of the University of Oxford. From 1819 to 1832 he was again MP for Buckingham. He was made a field marshal in 1846,[1] and died at Westhorpe in 1849. His eldest son, George Edmund, succeeded him in the baronetcy.

Family

General Nugent married Maria Skinner, Daughter of Cortlandt Skinner, the Attorney-General of New Jersey, in Belfast on 16 November 1797.[1] The couple had three sons and two daughters.[4] Lady Nugent wrote a journal of her experiences in Jamaica first published in 1907.[5] The current edition is: Wright, Philip (2002). Lady Nugent's Journal of Her Residence in Jamaica from 1801 to 1805. University of the West Indies Press. The journal describes the day to day life of a governor's wife and the social and political requirements of their station on the island. Lady Nugent also kept a journal of her time in India, which was published privately by the Nugent family along with her Jamaica journal in 1839, but which, unlike her Jamaica journal, has not yet ever been republished. A critical edition of Lady Nugent's East India Journal, edited by Ashley L. Cohen, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 Heathcote, p.232
  2. Henry Stooks Smith. 1851. An alphabetical list of the officers of the Eighty-Fifth, Bucks Volunteers, the Kings Light Infantry Regiment from 1800 to 1850. (London : Simpkin, Marshall), p.4.
  3. Bill Clements. 1999. Towers of strength: the story of the Martello towers. (Leo Copper), p.125.
  4.  Lee, Sidney, ed (1895). "Nugent, George". Dictionary of National Biography. 41. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 260–1. 
  5. "Lady Maria Nugent [Skinner"]. http://www.dukesofbuckingham.org.uk/people/family/nugent/maria_skinner.htm. 
  • Wright, Philip (2002). Lady Nugent's Journal of Her Residence in Jamaica from 1801 to 1805. University of the West Indies Press. ISBN 1-84415-143-3. 
  • Heathcote, T. A., The British Field Marshals 1736 - 1997, Leo Cooper, 1999, ISBN 0-85052-696-5

External links

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
James Grenville
Charles Edmund Nugent
Member of Parliament for Buckingham
with James Grenville 1790
The Lord Bridport 1790–1796
Thomas Grenville 1796–1801

1790 – 1801
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Unrecognised parameter
Preceded by
Rogerson Cotter
Charles Boyle
Member of Parliament for Charleville
with Rogerson Cotter

1800 – 1801
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Buckingham
with Thomas Grenville

1801 – 1802
Succeeded by
Thomas Grenville
Lord William Allen Proby
Preceded by
James Du Pre
William Cavendish
Member of Parliament for Aylesbury
with George Henry Compton Cavendish 1806–1809
Thomas Hussey 1809–1812

1806 – 1812
Succeeded by
Thomas Hussey
The Lord Nugent
Preceded by
William Henry Fremantle
James Hamilton Stanhope
Member of Parliament for Buckingham
with William Henry Fremantle 1818–1827
Sir Thomas Francis Fremantle, 1st Bt 1827–1832

1818 – 1832
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Francis Fremantle, 1st Bt
Sir Harry Verney
Government offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Balcarres
Governor of Jamaica
1801–1805
Succeeded by
Sir Eyre Coote
Military offices
Preceded by
Forbes Champagné
Commander-in-Chief, India
1811–1813
Succeeded by
The Earl of Moira
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New creation
Baronet
(of Waddesdon)
1806–1849
Succeeded by
George Edmund Nugent

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