Edward Blakeney

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Sir Edward Blakeney
Edwardblakeney.png
Sir Edward Blakeney
Born 26 March 1778
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Died 2 August 1868 (aged 90)
Chelsea, London, England
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1794-1855
Rank Field Marshal
Commands held Commander-in-Chief of Ireland
Battles/wars French Revolutionary Wars
Peninsular War
War of 1812
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order
Other work Governor of Royal Hospital Chelsea

Field Marshal Sir Edward Blakeney GCB GCH PC (Ire) (26 March 1778 – 2 August 1868) was a British Army officer. After serving as a junior officer with the expedition to Dutch Guiana and being taken prisoner by privateers three times suffering great hardship, he took part in the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland in 1799. He also joined the expedition to Denmark led by Lord Cathcart in 1807. He went on to command the 2nd Battalion of the 7th Regiment of Foot and then both battalions of that regiment at many of the battles of the Peninsular War. After joining the Duke of Wellington as he marched into Paris in 1815, Blakeney fought in the War of 1812. He then commanded a brigade in the army sent on a mission to Portugal to support the constitutional government against the absolutist forces of Dom Miguel in 1826. His last major appointment was as Commander-in-Chief, Ireland, a post he held for nearly twenty years.

Early life[edit]

Born the fourth son of Colonel William Blakeney and Sarah Blakeney (née Shields), Blakeney was commissioned as a cornet in the 8th Light Dragoons on 28 February 1794.[1] He was promoted to lieutenant in the 121st Regiment of Foot on 4 September 1794 and to captain in the 99th Regiment of Foot on 24 December 1794.[2] He took part in the expedition to Dutch Guiana in 1796 and was taken prisoner by privateers three times suffering great hardship.[2] He also took part in the evacuation of Santo Domingo in 1798.[3]

Blakeney transferred to the 17th Regiment of Foot on 10 March 1798[4] and saw action at the Battle of Krabbendam and the Battle of Bergen both in September 1799 and the Battle of Alkmaar and the Battle of Castricum both in October 1799 during the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland.[2] Promoted to major on 17 September 1801, he transferred to the 47th Regiment of Foot on 11 July 1803.[5] After transferring again, this time to the 7th Regiment of Foot on 7 April 1804,[6] he joined the expedition to Denmark led by Lord Cathcart, took part in the Battle of Copenhagen in August 1807 and, having been promoted to lieutenant colonel on 7 May 1808,[7] also took part in the capture of Martinique in February 1809.[2] He undertook garrison duty in Nova Scotia later that year.[8]

Peninsular War[edit]

Blakeney joined joined Sir Arthur Wellesley in Spain in June 1810 and commanded the 2nd Battalion of his regiment during the Battle of Bussaco in September 1810 and the Battle of Albuera (where he was severely wounded through the thigh) in May 1811.[8] He commanded both battalions of his regiment at the Combat of Aldea da Ponte in September 1811, at the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo in January 1812 and at the Siege of Badajoz (where he was severely wounded through the arm in the assault) in April 1812.[8] He also commanded at the Battle of Vitoria in June 1813, at the Combat of Pampelona in June 1813 and at the Battle of the Pyrenees in July 1813 as well as the Battle of Nivelle in November 1813.[8] Promoted to colonel on 4 June 1814[9] and appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 2 January 1815, he fought at the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815 during the War of 1812.[8] Although he did not take part in the Hundred Days, he joined the Duke of Wellington as he marched into Paris in 1815 and served with the Army of Occupation in France until 1819.[8]

Later years[edit]

Promoted to major general on 27 May 1825,[10] Blakeney commanded a brigade in the army under General Henry Clinton sent on a mission to Portugal to support the constitutional government against the absolutist forces of Dom Miguel in 1826.[8]

Blakeney went on to become Commander-in-Chief, Ireland in Spring 1836 at a time when the deaths and starvation in Ireland caused by the Great Famine were giving rise to civil unrest and the need to use coercion to maintain order.[11] He was appointed a Lord Justice of Ireland on 7 May 1836[12] and promoted to the local rank of lieutenant-general on 26 August 1836[13] and to the substantive rank of lieutenant-general on 28 June 1838.[14] He was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Bath on 7 May 1849[15] and, having been promoted to full general on 20 June 1854,[16] retired from active service in 1855.[8]

Blakeney also served as honorary colonel of the 7th Regiment of Foot,[17] then as honorary colonel of the 1st Regiment of Foot[18] and later as colonel-in-chief of the Rifle Brigade[19] as well as honorary colonel of the St. George's Rifle Volunteer Corps.[20] He became lieutenant-governor of the Royal Hospital Chelsea on 6 February 1855[21] and then succeeded as Governor of that establishment on 25 September 1856.[22]

In retirement Blakeney lived at Richmond House in Twickenham.[23] Promoted to field marshal on 9 November 1862,[24] he died at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on 2 August 1868 and was buried at Oak Lane Cemetery in Twickenham.[25]

Family[edit]

In 1814 Blakeney married Maria Gardiner, a daughter of Colonel Gardiner of the East India Company; they had no children.[8]

The Battle of Nivelle: Blakeney commanded the 7th Regiment of Foot at this battle in November 1813

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sir Edward Blakeney". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Heathcote, p. 46
  3. ^ Dod, pp. 120–121
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 14096. p. 203. 6 March 1798. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 15600. p. 830. 9 July 1803. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 15689. p. 408. 3 April 1804. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 16142. p. 623. 3 May 1808. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Heathcote, p. 47
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 16906. p. 1182. 7 June 1814. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 18141. p. 925. 28 May 1825. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  11. ^ Saville, p. 156
  12. ^ The London Gazette: no. 19383. p. 867. 17 May 1836. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 19420. p. 1617. 16 September 1836. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  14. ^ The London Gazette: no. 19631. p. 1489. 3 July 1838. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 20977. p. 1552. 11 May 1849. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  16. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21564. p. 1931. 22 June 1854. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  17. ^ The London Gazette: no. 18979. p. 2145. 25 September 1832. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  18. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21647. p. 1. 2 January 1855. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  19. ^ The London Gazette: no. 23015. p. 4510. 19 September 1865. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  20. ^ The London Gazette: no. 23372. p. 2304. 21 April 1868. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  21. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21658. p. 431. 6 February 1855. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  22. ^ Godfrey, Walter H. (1927). "Survey of London, volume 11". Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  23. ^ "Richmond House". Memories of Twickenham Riverside. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  24. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22679. p. 5343. 10 November 1862. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  25. ^ "Edward Blakeney". Find a grave. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 

Sources[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Alured Clarke
Colonel of the 7th Regiment of Foot
1832–1854
Succeeded by
Sir George Brown
Preceded by
Sir James Kempt
Colonel of the 1st Regiment of Foot
1854–1868
Succeeded by
Sir George Bell
Preceded by
Sir George Brown
Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifle Brigade
1865–1868
Succeeded by
The Prince of Wales
Preceded by
Sir Hussey Vivian
Commander-in-Chief, Ireland
1836–1855
Succeeded by
The Lord Seaton
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Colin Halkett
Governor, Royal Hospital Chelsea
1856–1868
Succeeded by
Sir Alexander Woodford