Thomas Grosvenor (British Army officer)

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Thomas Grosvenor
Thomas Grosvenor by Robert Bowyer.jpg
Thomas Grosvenor by Robert Bowyer
Born 30 May 1764
Died 20 January 1851 (aged 86)
Richmond Hill, London
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1779–1809
Rank Field Marshal
Commands held Brigade Commander at the Battle of Copenhagen
Battles/wars Gordon Riots
French Revolutionary Wars
Napoleonic Wars

Field Marshal Thomas Grosvenor (30 May 1764 – 20 January 1851) was a British Army officer. After serving as a junior officer defending the Bank of England during the Gordon Riots he took part in the Flanders Campaign including the retreat into Germany during the French Revolutionary Wars. He served as a brigade commander at the Battle of Copenhagen and was then deployed to Walcheren in the Netherlands where he served as deputy commander of a division led by Sir Eyre Coote during the disastrous Walcheren Campaign.

Military career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Born the third son of Thomas Grosvenor (1734–1795) and Deborah Grosvenor (née Skynner), Grosvenor was educated at Westminster School and commissioned into the 1st Foot Guards on 1 October 1779.[1] He was in charge of security at the Bank of England during the Gordon Riots in 1780.[1] Promoted to captain on 20 April 1784 and lieutenant-colonel on 25 April 1793, he took part in the Flanders Campaign including the retreat into Germany in Spring 1795 during the French Revolutionary Wars.[2]

Copenhagen burning after the Battle of Copenhagen at which Grosvenor served as a brigade commander

Grosvenor succeeded his father as Whig Member of Parliament for Chester in 1795.[3] He took part in the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland in August 1799 and was promoted to brigadier-general while serving under Sir Ralph Abercromby in Holland on 18 November 1800.[4] In parliament he opposed the bill against bull-baiting introduced in 1802.[1] Promoted to major-general on 29 April 1802, Grosvenor held various brigade commands in Southern England between 1803 and 1805.[2] He had a keen interest in horse racing and his horse, Briseis, won The Oaks in June 1807.[1]

The Walcheren campaign[edit]

Grosvenor served as a brigade commander at the Battle of Copenhagen in August 1807 for which he was rewarded with promotion to lieutenant-general on 25 April 1808.[5] However, in Autumn 1809 he was deployed to Walcheren in the Netherlands where he served as deputy commander of a division led by Sir Eyre Coote during the disastrous Walcheren Campaign which ended in failure when many of the British troops died of malaria.[2] In January 1810 he spoke in Parliament in support of Lord Porchester's demands for an inquiry into the disastrous expedition that had taken place the previous year and with which Grosvenor had been so closely associated.[6]

Later career[edit]

Grosvenor was promoted to full general on 12 August 1819.[7] In 1820 he had a fortunate escape during the Cato Street Conspiracy when an angry mob overturned his carriage into the River Dee.[8] Around the same time he started renting the Warren House in Loughton, probably as it was on the way to Newmarket Racecourse.[9][10] He stood down as Member of Parliament for Chester in 1826 to make way for his cousin's son, Robert Grosvenor, and instead became Member of Parliament for Stockbridge.[1] In June 1825 another of Thomas Grosvenor's horses, Wings, won the Epsom Oakes.[1] He retired from parliament in 1830.[2]

Grosvenor also served as honorary colonel of the 97th Regiment of Foot in 1807 and then as honorary colonel of the 65th Regiment of Foot from 1814 to his death.[2] He was promoted to field marshal on 9 November 1846[11] and died at his home, Mount Ararat at Richmond Hill on 20 June 1851.[2]

Family[edit]

In 1797 Grosvenor married Elizabeth Heathcote (daughter of Sir Gilbert Heathcote, 3rd Baronet); after the death of his first wife he married Anne Wilbraham (daughter of George Wilbraham MP) in 1831.[2] There were no children from either marriage.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Thomas Grosvenor". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Heathcote, p.154
  3. ^ "No. 13768". The London Gazette. 7 April 1795. p. 321. 
  4. ^ "No. 15311". The London Gazette. 15 November 1800. p. 1294. 
  5. ^ "No. 16142". The London Gazette. 3 May 1808. p. 622. 
  6. ^ "Expedition to the Scheldt". UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "No. 17505". The London Gazette. 12 August 1819. p. 1441. 
  8. ^ "Thomas Grosvenor". History of Parliament. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Field Marshal Thomas Grosvenor (1764-1851) in Loughton" (PDF). Loughton & District Historical Society. September–October 2005. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Loughton then and now". Enfield Independent. 29 March 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "No. 20660". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 November 1846. p. 3987. 

Sources[edit]

  • Heathcote, Tony (1999). The British Field Marshals, 1736–1997: A Biographical Dictionary. Barnsley: Leo Cooper. ISBN 0-85052-696-5. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Thomas Grosvenor
Viscount Belgrave
Member of Parliament for Chester
1795–1800
With: Viscount Belgrave
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parliament of the Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Chester
1801–1826
With: Viscount Belgrave 1801–1802
Richard Erle-Drax-Grosvenor 1802–1807
John Grey Egerton 1807–1818
Viscount Belgrave 1818–1826
Succeeded by
Lord Robert Grosvenor
Viscount Belgrave
Preceded by
Edward Stanley
John Foster Barham
Member of Parliament for Stockbridge
1826–1830
With: George Wilbraham
Succeeded by
George Wilbraham
William Sloane-Stanley
Military offices
Preceded by
Edmund Stevens
Colonel of the 65th Regiment of Foot
1814–1851
Succeeded by
Samuel Benjamin Auchmuty
Preceded by
Charles Stuart
Colonel of the 97th (later 96th) Regiment of Foot
1806–1814
Succeeded by
Gordon Drummond