Hussey Vivian, 1st Baron Vivian

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Richard Hussey Vivian
Richard Hussey Vivian, 1st Baron Vivian by William Salter.jpg
Lord Vivian
Born (1775-07-28)28 July 1775
Died 20 August 1842(1842-08-20) (aged 67)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held
Other work Member of Parliament

Lieutenant General Richard Hussey Vivian, 1st Baron Vivian GCB, GCH, PC (28 July 1775 – 20 August 1842), known as Sir Hussey Vivian from 1815 to 1828 and Sir Hussey Vivian, Bt from 1828 to 1841, was a British cavalry leader who came of a Cornish family.

Early career[edit]

He was educated at Truro Grammar School,[1] then at Harrow and Exeter College, Oxford, Vivian entered the army in 1793, and less than a year later became a captain in the 28th Foot. Under Lord Moira he served in the campaign of 1794 in Flanders and the Netherlands. At the end of the expedition, the 28th bore a distinguished part in Lord Cathcart's action of Geldermalsen. In 1798 Vivian was transferred to the 7th Light Dragoons (later Hussars), and in Sir Ralph Abercromby's division was present in the Helder campaign in Holland at the battles of Bergen and Alkmaar (19 September to 6 October 1799).[2]

Peninsular War[edit]

In 1800, he received his majority, and in 1804 he became Lieutenant Colonel of the 7th. In command of this regiment he sailed to join Lieutenant-General Sir David Baird at Corunna in 1808, and took part in Lord Henry Paget's cavalry fights at Sahagún and Benavente. During the retreat of Lieut-General Sir John Moore's army the 7th were constantly employed with the rearguard. Vivian was present at the Battle of Corunna, and returned with the remainder of the army to England. It was not until September 1813 that the 7th returned to the Peninsula. On 24 November, Vivian (now colonel and aide-de-camp to the Prince Regent) was appointed to command a light cavalry brigade (13th and 14th Light Dragoons) under Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill in Wellington's army. With this corps he served at the Battle of the Nive (9–13 December).[2]

In January 1814, Vivian transferred to lead a light cavalry brigade in William Carr Beresford's corps. The 1,000-strong unit included the 18th Hussars and the 1st King's German Legion Hussars. Vivian took a marked part in the action of Gave de Pau and the Battle of Orthez. On 8 April, Vivian fought a brilliant action at Croix d'Orade on the Ers River, where he was very severely wounded. In this clash, the 18th Hussars seized a key bridge intact, helping Wellington to isolate the French defenders of Toulouse. At the beginning of 1815 he was made KCB; he had been a Major General for several months.[2]


In April 1815, Sir Hussey Vivian was appointed to command the 6th Brigade of Henry Paget, the Earl of Uxbridge's Cavalry Division. Vivian's brigade included the 10th and 18th Hussars and the 1st Hussars KGL. At the Battle of Waterloo the 6th Brigade was posted on the Duke of Wellington's left flank. In the late afternoon, Vivian's regiments, with those of Vandeleur's 4th Brigade, were moved to support the hard-pressed center of the line.[citation needed] After the repulse of Napoleon's Imperial Guard, Vivian's hussars made the final charge of the day between Hougomont and La Haye Sainte, sweeping everything before them. This service was rewarded by the thanks of both houses of Parliament, the KCH, and the orders of Maria Theresa and St. Vladimir from the emperors of Austria and Russia.[2]

Later career[edit]

Vivian sat in the House of Commons as member for Truro from 1821 to 1831; he was then made commander of the forces in Ireland, and given the GCH. He was also appointed to the Privy Council of Ireland in 1831. In 1835 he became Master-General of the Ordnance, and was appointed to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom. In 1837 he received the GCB. Having been created a Baronet of Truro in the County of Cornwall in 1827,[3] in 1841, being then M.P. for East Cornwall, he was created Baron Vivian, of Glynn and of Truro in the County of Cornwall in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.[4] A year later he died at Baden-Baden.[2]


He was twice married (first in 1804), and the title descended in the direct line.

His natural son, Sir Robert John Hussey Vivian (1802–1887), was a famous soldier in India, who in 1857 was made K.C.B. and in 1871 G.C.B., having previously attained the rank of general.[2]


  1. ^ Nicholas Carlisle, A concise description of the endowed grammar schools in England, vol. 1 (1818), p. 151
  2. ^ a b c d e f  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Vivian, Richard Hussey Vivian, 1st Baron". Encyclopædia Britannica 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 153. 
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 18425. p. 2602. 21 December 1827.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 20007. p. 2072. 13 August 1841.


  •  "Vivian, Richard Hussey". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  • Glover, Michael. The Peninsular War 1807–1814. Penguin, 1974.
  • Oman, Charles. Wellington's Army, 1809–1814. Greenhill, (1913) 1993.
  • Smith, Digby. The Napoleonic Wars Data Book. Greenhill, 1998.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Lord FitzRoy Somerset
William Tomline
Member of Parliament for Truro
With: William Gossett
Succeeded by
Lord FitzRoy Somerset
William Tomline
Preceded by
Edward Cromwell Disbrowe
John Ramsbottom
Member of Parliament for Windsor
With: John Ramsbottom
Succeeded by
Edward Stanley
John Ramsbottom
Preceded by
Sir William Molesworth, Bt
Sir William Salusbury-Trelawny, Bt
Member of Parliament for East Cornwall
With: Lord Eliot
Succeeded by
Lord Eliot
William Rashleigh
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Colquhoun Grant
Colonel of the 12th (The Prince of Wales's)
Royal Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Lancers)

Succeeded by
Sir Henry John Cumming
Preceded by
Sir John Byng
Commander-in-Chief, Ireland
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Blakeney
Preceded by
Sir George Murray
Master-General of the Ordnance
Succeeded by
Sir George Murray
Preceded by
Sir Frederick Cavendish Ponsonby
Colonel of the 1st (Royal) Regiment of Dragoons
Succeeded by
Sir Arthur Benjamin Clifton
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Vivian
Succeeded by
Charles Vivian
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of Truro)
Succeeded by
Charles Vivian