Robert Brownrigg

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Sir General
Robert Brownrigg
Robert Brownrigg.jpg
1810 painting by Thomas Lawrence
3rd Governor of British Ceylon
In office
11 March 1812 – 1 February 1820
Preceded by John Wilson
acting governor
Succeeded by Edward Barnes
acting governor
10th General Officer Commanding, Ceylon
In office
1812–1812
Preceded by John Wilson
Succeeded by Alexander Cosby Jackson
Personal details
Born 1759
County Wicklow, Ireland
Died 27 April 1833 (aged 73–74)
Monmouth, Monmouthshire, Wales
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Rank General
Commands General Officer Commanding, Ceylon
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

General Sir Robert Brownrigg, 1st Baronet GCB (1759 – 27 April 1833) was a British statesman and soldier. Brownrigg brought the last part of Sri Lanka under British rule.

Military career[edit]

Brownrigg was commissioned as an ensign in 1775.[1] After service with the 9th Foot, he was appointed Military Secretary to the Duke of York in 1795, and accompanied him to The Helder in Holland in 1799.[1]

In 1803 he was appointed Quartermaster-General to the Forces.[2] In July 1809, he joined the expedition to the Schelt.[1]

He left his post as Quartermaster-General to the Forces in 1811, and then, in 1813, he was appointed Governor of Ceylon.[1] In 1815, he acquired the Kingdom of Kandy through an agreement with the help of defecting ministers of the Kandyan King, in the central region of the island, and annexed it to the British crown. The treaty was historically known as "Kandyan Convention".[1] In recognition of his achievement, Brownrigg was created a baronet in 1816.[1] There was a major rebellion in October 1818, but Brownrigg also managed to defeat that, aided by reinforcements from India.[1] He attained the rank of full General in 1819 and left Ceylon the following year.[1]

The gilded bronze ancient Statue of Tara was reputedly found on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. It was acquired by Brownrigg, who later donated it to the British Museum when he was living near Monmouth in 1830.[3] This account however is rejected by the authorities in Sri Lanka who believe that Brownrigg took the statue from the last King of Kandy when the British annexed Kandy.[4]

Brownrigg died near Monmouth in 1833.[1]

Family[edit]

In 1789, Brownrigg married Elizabeth Catharine Lewis and together they went on to have six sons and a daughter.[1] Then in 1810 he married Sophia Bissett.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Powell, Geoffrey S. "Brownrigg, Sir Robert, first baronet (1759–1833)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/3718.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 15566. p. 266. 12 March 1803. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  3. ^ figure, Collection Online, British Museum, retrieved 9 December 2013
  4. ^ Greenfield, Jeanette (1996). The return of cultural treasures (2nd ed. ed.). [Cambridge]: Cambridge university press. p. 132. ISBN 0521477468. 

Sources[edit]

 Stephens, Henry Morse (1886). "Brownrigg, Robert". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography 7. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

Military offices
Preceded by
New Post
Military Secretary
1795–1803
Succeeded by
William Clinton
Preceded by
Sir David Dundas
Quartermaster-General to the Forces
1803–1811
Succeeded by
Sir James Gordon
Preceded by
John Wilson
General Officer Commanding, Ceylon
1812
Succeeded by
Alexander Cosby Jackson
Government offices
Preceded by
John Wilson
acting governor
Governor of Ceylon
1812–1820
Succeeded by
Edward Barnes
acting governor
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New creation
Baronet
1816–1833
Succeeded by
Robert Brownrigg