Hussey Vivian, 1st Baron Vivian
|Richard Hussey Vivian|
|Born||28 July 1775|
|Died||20 August 1842
|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.
Educated at Truro Grammar School, 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).
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).
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.
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. 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.
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, 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. A year later he died at Baden-Baden. 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.
- 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.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- "Vivian, Richard Hussey". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs [self-published source][better source needed]
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Hussey Vivian