Lord Edward Somerset

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For other people named Edward Somerset, see Edward Somerset (disambiguation).
Lord Edward Somerset
GCB
Lord Robert Edward Somerset by William Salter.jpg
In office
1801–1831
Member of Parliament
for Monmouth, Gloucestershire and Cirencester
Personal details
Born 19 December 1776
Badminton
Died 01 September 1842 (1842-10) (aged 65)
London
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Louisa Augusta Courtenay
Children Edward Arthur Somerset
Occupation soldier

General Lord Robert Edward Henry Somerset GCB (19 December 1776 – 1 September 1842) was a British soldier who fought during the Peninsular War and the War of the Seventh Coalition.

Life[edit]

He was the third son of Henry Somerset, 5th Duke of Beaufort, and elder brother of Lord Raglan.

Joining the 15th Light Dragoons in 1793, he became captain in the following year, and received a majority after serving as aide-de-camp to Prince Frederick, Duke of York in the Dutch expedition of 1799. At the end of 1800 he became a lieutenant-colonel, and in 1801 received the command of the 4th Dragoons. From 1799[1] to 1802 he represented the Borough of Monmouth in the House of Commons, from 1803 to 1823 and from 1830[2] sat for Gloucestershire and from 1834[3] to 1837 was MP for Cirencester.

He commanded his regiment at the battles of Talavera and Buçaco, and in 1810 received a colonelcy and the appointment of aide-de-camp to the king. In 1811, along with the 3rd Dragoon Guards, the 4th Dragoons fought a notable cavalry action at Usagre, and in 1812 Lord Edward Somerset was engaged in the great charge of Le Marchant's heavy cavalry at Salamanca. His conduct on this occasion (he captured five guns at the head of a single squadron) won him further promotion, and he made the remaining campaigns as a major-general at the head of the Hussar brigade (7th, 10th and 15th Hussars).

At Orthes he won further distinction by his pursuit of the enemy; he was made KCB, and received the thanks of parliament. At Waterloo he was in command of the Household Cavalry Brigade,[4] which distinguished itself not less by its stern and patient endurance of the enemy's fire than by its celebrated charge on the cuirassiers of Milhaud's corps.

The brigadier was particularly mentioned in Wellington's despatches, and received the thanks of parliament as well as the Army Gold Cross with one clasp for his services at Talavera, Salamanca, Vitoria, Orthez, and Toulouse. He also received the Military Order of Maria Theresa and was made an honorary Knight Commander of the Royal Portuguese Military Order of the Tower and Sword[5] and other much-prized foreign orders.

At Waterloo in 1815 he lost his hat during the first cavalry charge and in the subsequent search for it a cannonball tore off the flap of his coat and killed his horse.[6]

Somerset Monument, Hawkesbury Upton

He was awarded a GCB in 1834.[7]

After a short illness he died in London on 10 December 1842 and was interred in the church of St. George's, Hanover Square.[8]

The 'Lord Somerset Monument' stands high on the Cotswold Edge at Hawkesbury, Gloucestershire (grid reference ST772878), near the family's ancestral home of Badminton, Gloucestershire. It was erected in 1846.

Family[edit]

On 17 October 1805 he married Lady Louisa Augusta Courtenay (1781 - 8 February 1825), a younger daughter of William Courtenay, 8th Earl of Devon, with whom he had several children, three sons and five daughters:[9]

  • Robert Henry Somerset (1806–1807)[2]
  • Louisa Isabella Somerset (1807–1888) who died unmarried.[10]
  • Frances Caroline Somerset, later Mrs Theophilus Clive (1808–1890) who married 1840 Theophilus Clive (d. 1875),[10] and had issue 1 son who left descendants.
  • Blanche Somerset, later Mrs Charles Locke (1811–1879) who married 1845, Rev. Charles Courtenay Locke (d. 1848) with no issue, [3]
  • Matilda Elizabeth Somerset, later Mrs Horace Marryat (1815-3 April 1905) (portrait 1843) who married 1842 Horace Marryat,[11] and had issue two sons - Adrian Somerset Marryat (b 1844) and Frederick Marryat (b 1851), and one daughter Ida Horatia Charlotte Marryat (1843–1910) who married 19 September (not November) 1863 (div 1889) Count Gustavus Frederick Bonde (1842–1909), a Swedish nobleman, with issue.[12][10] The three Marryat children were [13] painted in 1851-2 in Rome by the young Frederick Leighton. Horace Marryat was a much younger brother of the naval officer and writer Frederick Marryat (1792–1848)[14]
  • Lieutenant-General Edward Arthur Somerset (1817–1886) married Agatha Miles (1827 - 1912), daughter of Sir William Miles, Bt and had one son (Lieut Edward William Henry Somerset, 25 January 1866 - 20 March 1890, who died unmarried) and eight daughters.
  • Georgina Emily Somerset, later the Hon. Mrs Robert Lawley (1819-?) who married 1852 Hon Robert Neville Lawley (who died 1891), and died without issue.
  • Augustus Charles Stapleton Somerset (1821–1854) who died unmarried.[10]

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Charles Thompson, Bt
Member of Parliament for Monmouth
1799–1801
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Monmouth
1801–1802
Succeeded by
Lord Charles Somerset
Preceded by
George Cranfield-Berkeley
Marquess of Worcester
Member of Parliament for Gloucestershire
1803–1831
With: George Cranfield-Berkeley 1803–1810
Viscount Dursley 1810–1811
Sir Berkeley Guise, Bt 1811–1831
Succeeded by
Sir Berkeley Guise, Bt
Henry Moreton
Preceded by
Lord Apsley
Joseph Cripps
Member of Parliament for Cirencester
1834–1837
With: Joseph Cripps
Succeeded by
Thomas William Chester-Master
Joseph Cripps
Military offices
Preceded by
Oliver De Lancey
Colonel of the 17th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Lancers)
1822–1829
Succeeded by
Sir John Elley
Preceded by
Sir William Henry Clinton
Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance
1829–1830
Vacant
Title next held by
Sir Hew Dalrymple Ross
Preceded by
Thomas Garth
Colonel of the 1st (Royal) Regiment of Dragoons
1829–1836
Succeeded by
Sir Frederick Cavendish Ponsonby
Preceded by
Charles Richard Fox
Surveyor-General of the Ordnance
1834–1835
Succeeded by
Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin
Preceded by
Francis Hugonin
Colonel of the 4th (The Queen's Own) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons
1836–1842
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Dalbiac

Coordinates: 51°35′19″N 2°19′50″W / 51.58859°N 2.33049°W / 51.58859; -2.33049