George Harris, 1st Baron Harris

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The Lord Harris
Lord George Harris GCB after an engraving by Thomas Anthony Dean.
Born(1746-03-18)18 March 1746
Died19 May 1829(1829-05-19) (aged 83)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1760 - 1829
RankLieutenant General
UnitRoyal Artillery (1760-62)
5th (Northumberland Fusiliers) (1762-85)
Madras Army (1786-92)
Commands heldMadras Army (1797-1800)
73rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot (1800-29)
2nd East Kent Regiment of Local Militia (1809-29)
Battles/warsAmerican Revolution

Third Anglo-Mysore War

Fourth Anglo-Mysore War

AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Belmont House, Throwley, Kent. The home of General Harris.
Lord Harris Residence, later residence of Purnaiah, Seringapatam

George Harris, 1st Baron Harris GCB (18 March 1746 – 19 May 1829) was a British soldier.

Military career[edit]

Harris in a study by William Salter for his 1836 painting The Waterloo Banquet.

Harris was the son of the Reverend George Harris, curate of Brasted, Kent. He was educated at Westminster School and at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He was commissioned to the Royal Artillery in 1760, transferring as an ensign in the 5th foot (Northumberland Fusiliers) in 1762. Three years later he became lieutenant, and in 1771 captain. His first active service was in the American War of Independence, in which he served at Lexington, Bunker Hill (where he was severely wounded) and in every engagement of Howe's army except one up to November 1778.[1]

By this time he had obtained his majority, and his next service was under Major-General Medows at St. Lucia in 1778–1779, after which his regiment served as marines in Rodney's fleet. Later in 1779 he was for a time a prisoner of war. Shortly before his promotion to lieutenant-colonel in his regiment (1780) he married Anne Carteret Dickson.[n 1] After commanding the 5th in Ireland for some years, he exchanged and went with General Medows to Bombay, and served with that officer in India until 1792, taking part in various battles and engagements, notably Lord Cornwallis's attack on Seringapatam in the Third Anglo-Mysore War.[1]

In 1794, after a short period of home service, he was again in India. In the same year he became major-general, and in 1797 Commander-in-Chief of the Madras Army. Up to 1800 be commanded the troops in the presidency, and for a short time he exercised the civil government as well. In December 1798 he was appointed by Lord Mornington, the governor-general, to command the field army which was intended to attack Tipu Sultan, and in a few months of campaigning Harris reduced the Kingdom of Mysore and stormed the great stronghold of Seringapatam, where the Tipu died in its defence.[1]

He received prize money of £100,000 for the Seringapatam campaign,[2] his success establishing his reputation as a capable and experienced commander, with its political importance leading to his being offered the reward (which he declined) of an Irish peerage. He returned home in 1800, became lieutenant-general in the army the following year, and attained the rank of full general in 1812. He bought Belmont House near Faversham in 1801.[1] In 1809 he was commissioned as Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant of the part-time 2nd East Kent or Lath of Scray and Wingham Regiment of Local Militia.[3]

In 1815 he was made a peer of the United Kingdom under the title Baron Harris, of Seringapatam and Mysore and of Belmont in the County of Kent. In 1820 he was appointed GCB, and in 1824 was made governor of Dumbarton Castle. He was colonel of the 73rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot from 1800 to his death.[1]

Lord Harris died at Belmont in May 1829, he was succeeded in the barony by his son William. His descendant, the 4th Baron Harris (b. 1851), best known as a cricketer, was Under-Secretary for India (1885–1886), Under-Secretary for war (1886–1889) and Governor of Bombay (1890–1895).[1]


Coat of arms of George Harris, 1st Baron Harris
On a mural crown Or a royal tiger passant-guardant Vert striped Or spotted of the first pierced in the breast with an arrow of the last vulned Gules charged on the forehead with a Persian character for Ryder and crowned with an Eastern coronet both of the first.
Vert on a chevron embattled, erminois between three hedgehogs Or, as many bombs Sable fired Proper a chief of augmentation thereon the gates and fortress of Seringapatam the draw-bridge let down and the Union flag of Great Britain and Ireland hoisted over the standard of Tippoo Sahib all Proper.
Dexter a Grenadier soldier of the 73rd Regiment in his regimentals Proper supporting with his exterior hand a staff thereon hoisted the union flag of Great Britain and Ireland over that of the standard of Tippoo Sahib and beneath the tri-coloured flag entwined, inscribed with the word " Republique " ; sinister a Malay soldier in his uniform Proper supporting a like staff thereon hoisted the flag of the East India Company Argent striped barwise Gules with a canton, over the standard of Tippoo Sahib with the tri-coloured flag entwined beneath as on the dexter inscribed with the word "Franeaise" all Proper.
My Prince and My Country.[4]


  1. ^ Anne Carteret Dickson (1758-30 July 1833), daughter of Charles Dickson. Her niece was Catherine Eliza Richardson (née Scott) and her nephew James Scott was ADC to General Harris at the Siege of Seringapatam. See Rootsweb WorldConnect: Anne Dickson, Catherine Eliza Scott, James Scott


  1. ^ a b c d e f Chisholm 1911.
  2. ^ Joslin, Litherland and Simpkin. British Battles and Medals. p. 24. Published Spink, London. 1988.ISBN 0907605257
  3. ^ London Gazette, 27 March 1810.
  4. ^ Burke's Peerage. 1949.


Further reading[edit]

  • Stephen Rumbold Lushington, Life of Lord Harris (London, 1840), and the regimental histories of the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers and 73rd Highlanders.

External links[edit]

  • Hutchinson, John (1892). "George, Lord Harris" . Men of Kent and Kentishmen (Subscription ed.). Canterbury: Cross & Jackman. p. 62.
Military offices
Preceded by C-in-C, Madras Army
Succeeded by
Preceded by Colonel of the 73rd Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Harris
Succeeded by