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07 – Francis Rawdon-Hastings



General Francis Rawdon-Hastings,
1st Marquess of Hastings
1754 – 1826

Governor of Malta 1824-1826

200px-Francis,_1st_Marquess_of_Hastings_(Earl_of_Moira)Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings, (9 December 1754 – 28 November 1826) was a British politician and military officer who served as Governor-General of India from 1813 to 1823 and Governor of Malta from 1824 -1826.

Hastings was born in County Down, the son of John Rawdon, 1st Earl of Moira and Elizabeth Rawdon, 13th Baroness Hastings. He joined the British Army in 1771 and served in the American Revolutionary War. There he served at the battles of Bunker Hill, Brooklyn, White Plains, Monmouth and Camden, at the attacks on Forts Washington and Clinton, and at the siege of Charleston. Perhaps his most noted achievement was the raising of a corps at Philadelphia, called the Irish Volunteers, who under him became famous for their fighting qualities, and the victory of Hobkirk’s Hill, which, in command of only a small force, he gained by superior military skill and determination against a much larger body of Americans. He succeeded his father as the 2nd Earl of Moira in 1793.

Becoming a Whig in politics, he entered government as part of the Ministry of all The Talents in 1806 as Master-General of the Ordnance, but resigned upon the fall of the ministry the next year. Being a close associate of the Prince-Regent, Moira was asked by him to try to form a Whig government after the assassination of Spencer Perceval in 1812 ended that ministry. Both of Moira’s attempts to create a governing coalition failed, and the Tories returned to power under the Earl of Liverpool.

Through the influence of the Prince-Regent, Moira was appointed Governor-General of India in 1813. His tenure as Governor-General was a memorable one, overseeing the victory in the Gurkha War (1814–1816); the final conquest of the Marathas in 1818; and the purchase of the island of Singapore in 1819. His domestic policy in India was also largely successful, seeing the repair of the Mogul canal system in Delhi as well as educational and administrative reforms. He was raised to the rank of Marquess of Hastings in 1817.

Hastings’ tenure in India ended due to a financial scandal in 1823, and he returned to England, being appointed Governorl of Malta in 1824. He died at sea off Naples two years later.

On July 12, 1804, he married Flora Campbell, 6th Countess of Loudoun, daughter of Major-General James Campbell, 5th Earl of Loudoun and Lady Flora Macleod. They had five children:

  •  Flora Elizabeth Rawdon-Hastings (11 February 1806–5 July 1839), died unmarried.
  •  George Augustus Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 2nd Marquess of Hastings (4 February 1808–13 January 1844)
  •  Sophia Frederica Christina Rawdon-Hastings (1 February 1809–28 December 1859), married John Crichton-Stuart, 2nd Marquess of Bute and had issue.
  •  Selina Constance Rawdon-Hastings (1810–8 November 1867), married Charles Henry and has issue
  •  Adelaide Augusta Lavinia Rawdon-Hastings (25 February 1812–6 December 1860), married William Murray, 7th Baronet of Octertyre

The Marquess also fathered an illegitimate son George Hunn Nobbs by Jemima French

 

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