John Frederick Maurice

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John Frederick Maurice
Born 1841
Died 1912
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1861–1912
Rank Major General
Battles/wars Anglo-Ashanti Wars
Zulu War
Relations Frederick Maurice (father)
Frederick Barton Maurice (son)
Joan Robinson (grand-daughter)
Other work Writer

Major-General Sir John Frederick Maurice KCB (1841–1912) was an English soldier, born in London. He studied at the Royal India Military College, Addiscombe, and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and entered the Royal Artillery in 1861. He was private secretary to Sir Garnet Wolseley in the Ashanti Campaign of 1873–1874; served in the Zulu War in 1880; was deputy assistant adjutant general of the Egyptian expedition in 1882; and was brevetted colonel in 1885. In 1885–1892 Maurice was professor of military history at the Staff College and in 1895 he was promoted to major general. Later in his career he was commander of the Woolwich District until 1902.

In 1905 Maurice was part of a team which went to Berlin to negotiate with the Germans on the problems of the Navy estimates and the escalating threat posed to the Empire. In January 1906 news was leaked to The Times that implicated him in the leaking of war materiel purchases, which he had discussed.[1] Campbell-Bannerman complained to Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary

" outrageous interview with Genl. Sir F. Maurice in a French paper, describing all that wd. happen if Germany & France went to war; how we of course should join France...."[2]

Later in the same parliament British government policy evolved around Grey's adherence to the Entente Cordiale and the British willingness to defend the neutrality of the Low Countries.[3]

His reputation depends chiefly on his military writings, which include:

  • Hostilities without Declaration of War (1883)
  • Popular History of Ashanti Campaign (1874)
  • a life of his father, John Frederick Denison Maurice (1884)
  • The Balance of Military Power in Europe (1888)
  • War (1891)
  • National Defenses (1897)
  • The Franco-German War, 1870–1871 (1900)
  • Diary of Sir John Moore (1904)
  • History of the War in South Africa, an official account (four volumes, 1906–1910)

Further reading[edit]

  • Bond, Brian (2006) [2004]. "Maurice, Sir John Frederick (1841–1912)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/34949.  (subscription required)


  1. ^ Sir Edward Grey letter to Lascelles, F.O. 371/76 (no. 53), dated 31 January 1906; Owen, Hidden, p. 63
  2. ^ Campbell-Bannerman letter to Grey, 26 January 1906, quoted in John Wilson, CB: A Life of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (St Martin's Press, 1974), p. 529
  3. ^ Wilson, pp. 528-9; Owen, p.86

External links[edit]