Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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RAWDON-HASTINGS, Francis, British soldier, born in County Down, Ireland, 9 December, 1754; died near Naples, Italy, 28 November, 1826. He was the son of the Earl of Moira, was educated at Oxford, and entered the army in 1771 as ensign in an infantry regiment. In 1773 he was sent to this country, anal participated in the battle of Bunker Hill as captain in the 63d foot. He became aide to Sir Henry Clinton, and took part in the battles of Long Island and White Plains, and the attacks on Fort Washington and Fort Clinton. In 1778 he was appointed adjutant-general, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and afterward he raised in New York a corps called the "Volunteers of Ireland," which he commanded. His conduct at the battle of Monmouth procured for him the command of a British corps in South Carolina, which he led at the battle of Camden, 6 August, 1780. He remained in the Carolinas after Lord Cornwallis's return to the north, attacked and defeated General Nathanael Greene at Hobkirk's Hill, 25 April, 1781, relieved Fort Ninety-Six, and fortified himself at Orangeburg. His last act before leaving this country was to order the execution of Colonel Isaac Hayne (q. v.), for which he has been generally condemned. Owing to impaired health, he returned to England, and on his voyage was captured by a French cruiser and taken to Brest. On 5 March, 1783, he was made Baron Rawdon and aide-de-camp to George III., and became an intimate friend of the Prince of Wales. He succeeded to the title of Earl of Moira in 1793, and inherited the baronies of Hastings and Hungerford in 1808. He was appointed major-general, with the command of 10,000 troops, served under the Duke of York in the Netherlands in 1794, was intrusted with the direction of the expedition to Quibdron in 1795, and was made commander-in-chief of the British forces in Scotland and constable of the Tower of London in 1803. He effected a reconciliation between the king" and the Prince of Wales, was made lord-lieutenant of Ireland in 1805. became master-general of ordnance in 1806 under the Grenville and Fox ministry, and after the assassination of Mr. Perceval in 1812 made an unsuccessful attempt to form a cabinet. He received the order of the garter, and was appointed governor-general of India in 1813, which post he held until 1823. The most important event of his administration was the successful termination of the Nepaul war, and he was thus instrumental in laying the basis for England's power in India. On 7 December, 1816, he was created Marquis of Hastings, and in 1824 he became governor of Malta. Lord Rawdon obtained from several engineers of the British army a series of sketches and watercolors of the principal events and scenes of his experience in this country. Several of these were purchased by Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet, of New York, for his collection of the Signers. His private journal was edited and published by his daughter, the Marchioness of Bute (2 vols., London, 1858).
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