George Beckwith (British Army officer)

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Sir George Beckwith
Sir George Beckwith
Died20 March 1823 (aged 6970)
AllegianceFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank General
Commands held Ireland
Awards Knight of the Order of the Bath

General Sir George Beckwith KB (1753 – 20 March 1823) was a British Army officer.

General is the highest rank currently achievable by serving officers of the British Army. The rank can also be held by Royal Marines officers in tri-service posts, for example, General Sir Gordon Messenger the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff. It ranks above lieutenant-general and, in the Army, is subordinate to the rank of field marshal, which is now only awarded as an honorary rank. The rank of general has a NATO-code of OF-9, and is a four-star rank. It is equivalent to a full admiral in the Royal Navy or an air chief marshal in the Royal Air Force.

Order of the Bath Series of awards of an order of chivalry of the United Kingdom

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate medieval ceremony for appointing a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as "Knights of the Bath". George I "erected the Knights of the Bath into a regular Military Order". He did not revive the Order of the Bath, since it had never previously existed as an Order, in the sense of a body of knights who were governed by a set of statutes and whose numbers were replenished when vacancies occurred.

British Army land warfare branch of the British Armed Forces of the United Kingdom

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.


Military career

Beckwith was commissioned into the 37th Regiment of Foot in 1771. He distinguished himself as a regimental officer in the American Revolutionary War, where he was assistant to Major Oliver Delancey responsible for British Intelligence. In July 1782 he replaced Delancey and after the war he worked for Sir Guy Carleton in Canada. His efforts were aimed at stirring up trouble in Vermont, Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee. At the time Britain thought the weak American government might ask for British help. [1]

The 37th Regiment of Foot was a line infantry regiment of the British Army, raised in Ireland in February 1702. Under the Childers Reforms it amalgamated with the 67th Regiment of Foot to become the Hampshire Regiment in 1881.

American Revolutionary War War between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, which won independence as the United States of America

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was an 18th-century war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies which declared independence in 1776 as the United States of America, and then formed a military alliance with France in 1778.

He was then appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Bermuda in 1797, when a Colonel. His baggage and furniture left England on the 23rd of September, 1797, aboard the Caledonia, travelling in a convoy bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia, but was lost when the Caledonia was captured by the French. Beckwith was to follow aboard a Royal Naval frigate and so escaped the fate of his baggage. He arrived in Bermuda in February, 1798. Beckwith was later appointed Governor of Saint Vincent in 1806 and Governor of Barbados in 1810. [2]

Governor of Bermuda position

The Governor of Bermuda is the representative of the British monarch in the British overseas territory of Bermuda. The Governor is appointed by the monarch on the advice of the British government. The role of the Governor is to act as the de facto head of state, and he or she is responsible for appointing the Premier and the 11 members of the Senate.

Bermuda British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean

Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is approximately 1,070 km (665 mi) east-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina; 1,236 km (768 mi) south of Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia; and 1,759 km (1,093 mi) northeast of Cuba. The capital city is Hamilton. Bermuda is self-governing, with its own constitution and government and a Parliament which makes local laws. The United Kingdom retains responsibility for defence and foreign relations. As of July 2018, it has a population of 71,176, making it the most populous of the British overseas territories.

He was made a K.B. for his Capture of Martinique in 1809 and also led a successful expedition against Guadeloupe, the last French possession in the area, in 1810. He attained the full rank of General in 1814. Sir George Beckwith was Commander-in-Chief, Ireland from 1816 to 1820. He died in London on 20 March 1823. [2]

The dignity of Knight Bachelor is the basic and lowest rank of a man who has been knighted by the monarch but not as a member of one of the organised orders of chivalry; it is a part of the British honours system. Knights Bachelor are the most ancient sort of British knight, but Knights Bachelor rank below knights of chivalric orders.

Invasion of Martinique (1809) conflict

The invasion of Martinique of 1809 was a successful British amphibious operation against the French West Indian island of Martinique that took place between 30 January and 24 February 1809 during the West Indies Campaign 1804–1810 of the Napoleonic Wars. Martinique, like nearby Guadeloupe, was a major threat to British trade in the Caribbean, providing a sheltered base from which privateers and French Navy warships could raid British shipping and disrupt the trade routes that maintained the British economy. The islands also provided a focus for larger scale French operations in the region and in the autumn of 1808, following the Spanish alliance with Britain, the Admiralty decided to order a British squadron to neutralise the threat, beginning with Martinique.

Guadeloupe Overseas region and department in France

Guadeloupe is an archipelago forming an overseas region of France in the Caribbean. It consists of six inhabited islands, Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, Marie-Galante, La Désirade, and the Îles des Saintes, as well as many uninhabited islands and outcroppings. It lies south of Antigua and Barbuda and Montserrat, and north of Dominica. Its capital is Basse-Terre on the west coast; however, the largest city is Pointe-à-Pitre.


His father was Major General John Beckwith, who commanded the 20th Regiment of Foot. His brothers were Captain John Beckwith, Thomas Sydney Beckwith and Brigadier General Ferdinand Beckwith. He was also the uncle of Major-General John Charles Beckwith.

Lancashire Fusiliers line infantry regiment of the British Army

The Lancashire Fusiliers was a line infantry regiment of the British Army that saw distinguished service through many years and wars, including the Second Boer War, the First and Second World Wars, and had many different titles throughout its 280 years of existence. In 1968 the regiment was amalgamated with the other regiments of the Fusilier Brigade–the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers and the Royal Fusiliers –to form the current Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Sydney Beckwith was an English officer of the British Army who served as quartermaster general of the British forces in Canada during the War of 1812, and a commander-in-chief of the Bombay Army during the British Raj. He is most notable for his distinguished service during the Peninsular War and for his contributions to the development and command of the 95th Rifles.

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Government offices
Preceded by
Henry Tucker
Governor of Bermuda
Succeeded by
Henry Tucker
Preceded by
Henry William Bentinck
Governor of Saint Vincent
Succeeded by
Charles Brisbane
Preceded by
John Spooner acting
Governor of Barbados
Succeeded by
James Leith
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Brent Spencer
Colonel of the 2nd West India Regiment
Succeeded by
Henry Torrens
Preceded by
Sir George Hewett
Commander-in-Chief, Ireland
Succeeded by
Sir David Baird
Preceded by
The Earl of Lindsey
Colonel of the 89th Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Henry MacFarlane