Hugh Dawnay, 8th Viscount Downe

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The Viscount Downe
Viscount Downe V.jpg
Cigarette card of Viscount Downe produced during the Second Boer War
Born Hugh Richard Dawnay
(1844-07-20)20 July 1844
Died 21 January 1924(1924-01-21) (aged 79)
Tenure 26 January 1857 – 21 January 1924
Other titles Baron Dawnay
Wars and battles Anglo-Zulu War
Second Boer War
Predecessor 7th Viscount Downe
Successor 9th Viscount Downe
Spouse(s) Lady Cecilia Maria Charlotte Molyneaux
Issue 5
Parents William Dawnay, 7th Viscount Downe
Mary (née Bagot), Viscountess Downe

Major-General Hugh Richard Dawnay, 8th Viscount Downe, KCVO, CB, CIE (20 July 1844 – 21 January 1924) was a British Army general and President of the MCC.

Background and family[edit]

Dawnay was the second son of William Dawnay, 7th Viscount Downe and his wife Mary Isabel Bagot, daughter of Richard Bagot, Bishop of Bath and Wells. His younger brother, Lewis Payn Dawnay, was MP for Thirsk.

In 1857, Dawnay succeeded his father, who died in his forties. He was educated at Eton College and attended Christ Church, Oxford.

Lord Downe married Lady Cecilia Maria Charlotte Molyneux (1838–1910), daughter of Charles Molyneux, 3rd Earl of Sefton. They had five children:

After Lady Downe's death, he remarried Florence Faith Dening, who survived him.

Military and government career[edit]

Lord Downe was an officer in the 2nd Regiment of Life Guards, where he was promoted to captain on 25 June 1873.[1] He fought in the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879, for which he was mentioned in despatches. He was Lieutenant-Colonel of the 10th Hussars between 1887 and 1892. From 1899 to 1900 he served as a staff officer in the Second Boer War in South Africa, where he was deputed to accompany the military attachés representing foreign powers. He was mentioned in dispatches twice, in a despatch dated 31 March 1900 the Commander-in-Chief Lord Roberts stated that he "discharged his duties with tact and discretion".[2] In July 1901 he was promoted to the temporary rank of Brigadier general on the Staff to command the Cavalry Brigade at the Curragh,[3] where training for fighting in South Africa took place. In December 1901 her received the local rank of major-general whilst so employed.[4] He retired from the army on 30 July 1902,[5] and was granted the honourable rank of major-general.[6]

In March 1901 Lord Downe was asked by King Edward to take part in a special diplomatic mission to announce the King's accession to the governments of Belgium, Bavaria, Italy, Württemberg, and The Netherlands.[7]


A cricketer he played for I Zingari and the MCC, playing in the Aborigines v MCC test at Lord's in 1868 in the first tour of England by an Australian team.[8][9] He became President of the MCC in 1872[10]


Downe was created Baron Dawnay, of Danby in the North Riding of the County of York, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, on 24 July 1897 and subsequently sat in the House of Lords. He was invested as a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in 1886, a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1900, a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in November 1902 and a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in December 1902. His son, Major Hon. Hugh Dawnay, was killed in action in World War I[11] near Ypres in November 1914.[12]


  1. ^ "No. 24001". The London Gazette. 25 July 1873. p. 3493. 
  2. ^ "No. 27282". The London Gazette. 8 February 1901. p. 844. 
  3. ^ "No. 27340". The London Gazette. 2 August 1901. p. 5128. 
  4. ^ "No. 27395". The London Gazette. 7 January 1902. p. 151. 
  5. ^ "No. 27467". The London Gazette. 22 August 1902. p. 5467. 
  6. ^ "No. 27470". The London Gazette. 2 September 1902. p. 5685. 
  7. ^ "The King – the special Embassies". The Times (36410). London. 23 March 1901. p. 12. 
  8. ^ Cricinfo
  9. ^ State Library of New South Wales
  10. ^ Wisden 1874
  11. ^ CWGC entry
  12. ^ "Greatest Individual Loss of the War". Dundee Evening Telegraph. 26 June 1922. Retrieved 6 January 2016. (Subscription required (help)). 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Lord Ralph Drury Kerr
Colonel of the 10th Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales's Own)
Succeeded by
The Lord Byng of Vimy
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Dawnay
Succeeded by
John Dawnay
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
William Dawnay
Viscount Downe
Succeeded by
John Dawnay