The Viscount Hill
Lieutenant-General Rowland Lord Hill, 1819. Canvas by George Dawe
|Born||11 August 1772|
|Died||10 December 1842 70) (aged|
|Years of service||1790–1842|
|Commands held||II Corps|
|Battles/wars|| Napoleonic Wars |
|Awards|| Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath |
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order
Grand Cross of the Order of the Tower and Sword (Portugal)
Knight Commander of the Military William Order (Netherlands)
General Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill, GCB , GCH (11 August 1772 – 10 December 1842) was a British Army officer who served in the Napoleonic Wars as a trusted brigade, division and corps commander under the command of the Duke of Wellington. He became Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in 1828.
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.
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.
The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions, financed and usually led by the United Kingdom. The wars stemmed from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and its resultant conflict. The wars are often categorised into five conflicts, each termed after the coalition that fought Napoleon: the Third Coalition (1805), the Fourth (1806–07), the Fifth (1809), the Sixth (1813), and the Seventh (1815).
Hill was born on 11 August 1772 at Hawkstone Hall near Prees, Shropshire. He was the second son and fourth child of Sir John Hill, 3rd Baronet, a landowner, and Mary, co-heir and daughter of John Chambré of Petton, Shropshire.
Hawkstone Hall is a 43,400 square feet (4,030 m2) early 18th-century country mansion near Hodnet, Shropshire, England which was more recently occupied as the pastoral centre of a religious organisation for many years. It is a Grade I listed building. It is currently being converted by new owners into a luxury wedding and events venue with hotel bedrooms.
Viscount Hill, of Hawkstone and of Hardwicke in the County of Salop, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1842 for General Rowland Hill. He had already been created Baron Hill, of Almaraz and of Hawkstone in the County of Salop, in 1814, with remainder to the heirs male of his body, and Baron Hill, of Almarez and of Hawkestone and Hardwicke in the County of Salop, in 1816, with remainder to the heirs male of his elder brother John Hill. The viscountcy wasa created with the same special remainder. On the first Viscount's death in 1842, the barony of 1814 became extinct as he had no male issue, while he was succeeded in the barony of 1816 and the Viscountcy according to the special remainders by his nephew Sir Rowland Hill, 4th Baronet. His son, the 3rd Viscount, sat as a Conservative Member of Parliament for Shropshire North. In 1875, he assumed by Royal licence the additional surname of Clegg, which was that of his maternal grandfather. He inherited financial problems from his father which led to the breakup and sale of the family estates. As of 2014 the titles are held by his great-great-grandson, the 9th Viscount, a retired farmer who lives in Crawley.
Petton is a small village and civil parish in Shropshire, England. It was mentioned in Domesday as "Peetone", a name probably derived from Old English paec-tun, "settlement by the hill".
Educated at The King's School in Chester,Hill was commissioned into the 38th Foot in 1790. He was promoted to lieutenant on 27 January 1791. On 16 March 1791, after a period of leave, he was appointed to the 53rd Regiment of Foot. He was asked to raise an independent company and given the rank of captain on 30 March 1793.
Chester is a walled city in Cheshire, England, on the River Dee, close to the border with Wales. With a population of 79,645 in 2011, it is the most populous settlement of Cheshire West and Chester, which had a population of 329,608 in 2011, and serves as the unitary authority's administrative headquarters. Chester is the second-largest settlement in Cheshire after Warrington.
The 38th Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, raised in 1705. Under the Childers Reforms it amalgamated with the 80th Regiment of Foot to form the South Staffordshire Regiment in 1881.
The 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment of Foot was a British Army regiment, raised in 1755. Under the Childers Reforms it amalgamated with the 85th Regiment of Foot to form the King's Shropshire Light Infantry in 1881.
He served at the Siege of Toulon in Autumn 1793 as aide-de-camp to General O'Harafrom where he carried the dispatches to London. He then transferred to one of Major General Cornelius Cuyler's independent companies on 16 November 1793. In 1794 he assisted Thomas Graham in raising the 90th Foot for which he was promoted to major on 27 May 1794 and to lieutenant-colonel on 26 July 1794. He was promoted to colonel on 1 January 1800.
The Siege of Toulon was a military operation by Republican forces against a Royalist rebellion in the southern French city of Toulon.
An aide-de-camp is a personal assistant or secretary to a person of high rank, usually a senior military, police or government officer, or to a member of a royal family or a head of state.
General Charles O'Hara was a British military officer who served in the Seven Years' War, American War of Independence, and French Revolutionary War, and later served as Governor of Gibraltar. During his career O'Hara personally surrendered to both George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte.
In 1801 he commanded the 90th Foot when they landed at Aboukir Bay in Egypt as part of a force under Sir Ralph Abercromby: Hill was seriously wounded in the action when a musket ball hit his head.In the ensuing weeks Hill helped drive the French forces out of Egypt. Hill became a brigadier in 1803 and a major-general on 2 November 1805.
The Abū Qīr Bay is a spacious bay on the Mediterranean Sea near Alexandria in Egypt, lying between the Rosetta mouth of the Nile and the town of Abu Qir. The ancient cities of Canopus, Heracleion and Menouthis lie submerged beneath the waters of the bay. In 1798 it was the site of the Battle of the Nile, a naval battle fought between the British Royal Navy and the Navy of the French First Republic. The bay contains a natural gas field, discovered in the 1970s.
Sir Ralph Abercromby was a Scottish soldier and politician. He twice served as MP for Clackmannanshire, rose to the rank of lieutenant-general in the British Army, was appointed Governor of Trinidad, served as Commander-in-Chief, Ireland, and was noted for his services during the Napoleonic Wars.
A musket is a muzzle-loaded long gun that appeared as a smoothbore weapon in the early 16th century, at first as a heavier variant of the arquebus, capable of penetrating heavy armor. By the mid-16th century, this type of musket went out of use as heavy armor declined, but as the matchlock became standard, the term musket continued as the name given for any long gun with a flintlock, and then its successors, all the way through the mid-1800s. This style of musket was retired in the 19th century when rifled muskets became common as a result of cartridged breech-loading firearms introduced by Casimir Lefaucheux in 1835, the invention of the Minié ball by Claude-Étienne Minié in 1849, and the first reliable repeating rifle produced by Volcanic Repeating Arms in 1854. By the time that repeating rifles became common, they were known as simply "rifles", ending the era of the musket.
Hill commanded a brigade at the Battle of Roliça and also at the Battle of Vimeiro in 1808.He participated in Sir John Moore's 1808–1809 campaign in Spain, commanding a brigade at the Battle of Corunna. While serving under Wellington at the Second Battle of Porto, units of Hill's brigade launched an impromptu assault across the Douro River that ultimately routed Marshal Nicolas Soult's French corps from Oporto.
In the Battle of Roliça an Anglo-Portuguese army under Sir Arthur Wellesley defeated an outnumbered Imperial French division under General of Division Henri François Delaborde, near the village of Roliça in Portugal. The French retired in good order. Formerly spelled Roleia in English, it was the first battle fought by the British army during the Peninsular War.
In the Battle of Vimeiro on 21 August 1808, the British under General Arthur Wellesley defeated the French under Major-General Jean-Andoche Junot near the village of Vimeiro, near Lisbon, Portugal during the Peninsular War. This battle put an end to the first French invasion of Portugal.
Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore, was a British Army general, also known as Moore of Corunna. He is best known for his military training reforms and for his death at the Battle of Corunna, in which he repulsed a French army under Marshal Soult during the Peninsular War. After the war General Sarrazin wrote a French history of the battle, which nonetheless may have been written in light of subsequent events, stating that "Whatever Buonaparte may assert, Soult was most certainly repulsed at Corunna; and the British gained a defensive victory, though dearly purchased with the loss of their brave general Moore, who was alike distinguished for his private virtues, and his military talents."
Hill commanded the 2nd Infantry Division at the Battle of Talavera. The night before the battle, Marshal Claude Victor mounted a surprise attack, swept aside two battalions of the King's German Legion and seized a key elevation. As Hill later recounted, "I was sure it was the old Buffs, as usual, making some blunder."Nevertheless, he led a reserve brigade forward in the dark. In the short clash that followed, Hill was briefly grabbed and nearly captured by a Frenchman, but his troops recovered the summit. This is the first occasion on which Hill supposedly swore.
Still leading the 2nd Division during Marshal André Masséna's 1810 invasion of Portugal, Hill fought at the Battle of Bussaco.In autumn 1811, Wellington placed Hill in independent command of 16,000 men watching Badajoz. On 28 October he led a successful raid on the French at the Battle of Arroyo dos Molinos. On 21 January 1812 he was appointed to the honorary position of Governor of Blackness Castle and on 22 February 1812 he was appointed a KB. He was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Portuguese Order of the Tower and Sword on 4 May 1812.
In May 1812, after the capture of Badajoz, Hill led a second raid that destroyed a key bridge in the Battle of Almaraz.While Wellington won the Battle of Salamanca, Hill protected Badajoz with an independent 18,000-man corps, including the British 2nd Division, John Hamilton's Portuguese division and William Erskine's 2nd Cavalry Division. He was promoted to lieutenant general on 30 December 1811.
After the British capture of Madrid, Hill had responsibility for an army of 30,000 men.Hill commanded the Right Column during the campaign and decisive British victory at the Battle of Vitoria on 21 June 1813. Still in corps command, he fought in the Battle of the Pyrenees. At Vitoria and in Wellington's invasion of southern France, Hill's corps usually consisted of William Stewart's 2nd Division, the Portuguese Division (under John Hamilton, Francisco Silveira or Carlos Le Cor) and Pablo Morillo's Spanish Division. For his leadership in these battles he was awarded a medal and two clasps on 7 October 1813. He led the Right Corps at the Battle of Nivelle on 10 November 1813.
On 13 December 1813, during the Battle of the Nive, Hill performed what may have been his finest work in his defence of St-Pierre d'Irube. With his 14,000 men and 10 guns isolated on the east bank of the Nive by a broken bridge, Hill held off the attacks of Marshal Nicolas Soult's 30,000 soldiers and 22 guns. He fought the battle with great skill and "was seen at every point of danger, and repeatedly led up rallied regiments in person to save what seemed like a lost battle ... He was even heard to swear."Later, he fought at the Orthez and Toulouse. Wellington said, "The best of Hill is that I always know where to find him." He was appointed Governor of Hull on 13 July 1814.
Nicknamed "Daddy Hill", he looked after his troops and was adored by his men.On one occasion, he provided a wounded officer who arrived at his headquarters with a lunch basket. Another time, a sergeant delivered a letter to Hill. Expecting nothing but a nod of thanks, the man was astonished when the general arranged for his supper and a place for him to stay for the night. The next day, Hill gave him food and a pound for the rest of his journey.
He was also ToryMember of Parliament (MP) for Shrewsbury from 1812 to 1814, when he was raised to his peerage as Baron Hill of Almaraz and of Hawkestone in the county of Salop. although military duties made him unable to attend the House of Commons prior to his elevation to the Lords. The peerage brought with it a £2,000 pension.
Hill was also colonel of the 3rd Garrison Battalion from 14 January 1809,colonel of the 94th Regiment of Foot from 23 September 1809, colonel of the 72nd Regiment of Foot from 29 April 1815 and colonel of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards from 19 November 1830.
At the Battle of Waterloo Hill commanded the II Corps.He led the charge of Sir Frederick Adam's brigade against the Imperial Guard towards the end of the battle. For some time it was thought that he had fallen in the melee. He escaped unwounded, and after the battle wrote to his sister, "I verily believe there never was so tremendous a battle fought as that at Waterloo." Thereafter he continued with the army in France until its withdrawal in 1818.
He received several awards from allied nations after the battle. He was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 4 January 1815and on 21 August 1815 he was made Knight Commander of the Order of Maria Theresa of Austria and Knight of St George of Russia. On 27 August 1815 the Dutch King William I made him a Commander of the exclusive Military Order of William. At the Coronation of George IV in 1821, Lord Hill bore the Standard of England in the procession from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey. From 1828 to 1842, he succeeded the Duke of Wellington as Commander-in-Chief of the Forces. He was also appointed Governor of Plymouth on 18 June 1830 and became Viscount Hill of Almaraz on 22 September 1842.
A keen foxhunter, Hill was master of the North Shropshire Foxhounds until 1823.The pack exists to this day and hunts the north of the County, including the grounds of his birthplace, Hawkstone Hall. He later shared the Mastership with Sir Bellingham-Graham and Sir Edward Smythe, the hounds at this time being kennelled two miles south-east of Hawkstone Hall. Hill also formed the Hawkstone Otter Hunt around 1800, which was maintained and hunted by successive Lords.
He died at Hardwicke Grange, Hadnall, Shropshire on 10 December 1842.He is buried in the churchyard at Hadnall.
Hill never married and on his death the baronetcy passed in remainder to Rowland Hill, 2nd Viscount Hill, the son of his deceased brother, John.His brothers Thomas, Robert and Clement also followed military careers and were present at the Battle of Waterloo.
Field Marshal FitzRoy James Henry Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan,, known before 1852 as Lord FitzRoy Somerset, was a British Army officer. As a junior officer he served in the Peninsular War and the Hundred Days, latterly as military secretary to the Duke of Wellington. He also took part in politics as Tory Member of Parliament for Truro before becoming Master-General of the Ordnance. He became commander of the British troops sent to the Crimea in 1854: while his primary objective was to defend Constantinople he was ordered to besiege the Russian Port of Sevastopol. After an early success at the Battle of Alma, a failure to deliver orders with sufficient clarity caused the fateful Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava. Despite further success at the Battle of Inkerman, a piecemeal allied assault on Sevastopol in June 1855 was a complete failure. Raglan died later that month, while suffering with dysentery and depression.
Field Marshal Henry Hardinge, 1st Viscount Hardinge, was a British Army officer and politician. After serving in the Peninsula War and the Waterloo Campaign he became Secretary at War in Wellington's ministry. After a tour as Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1830 he became Secretary at War again in Sir Robert Peel's cabinet. He went on to be Governor-General of India at the time of the First Anglo-Sikh War and then Commander-in-Chief of the Forces during the Crimean War.
Field Marshal Sir CharlesAlten, Hanoverian and British soldier, He led the famous Light Division during the last two years of the Peninsular War. At the Battle of Waterloo, he commanded a division in the front line, where he was wounded. He later rose to the rank of Field Marshal in the Hanoverian army.
General William Carr Beresford, 1st Viscount Beresford, 1st Marquis of Campo Maior, was an Anglo-Irish soldier and politician. A general in the British Army and a Marshal in the Portuguese Army, he fought alongside The Duke of Wellington in the Peninsular War and held the office of Master-General of the Ordnance in 1828 in Wellington's first ministry.
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Field Marshal John Byng, 1st Earl of Strafford, of 6 Portman Square, London, of Ballaghy, Londonderry and latterly of Wrotham Park in Middlesex, and of 5, St James's Square, London, was a British Army officer and politician. After serving as a junior officer during the French Revolutionary Wars and Irish Rebellion of 1798, he became Commanding Officer of the Grenadier Battalion of the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards during the disastrous Walcheren Campaign. He served as a brigade commander at the Battle of Vitoria and then at the Battle of Roncesvalles on 25 July 1813 when his brigade took the brunt of the French assault and held its position for three hours in the early morning before finally being forced back. During the Hundred Days he commanded the 2nd Guards Brigade at the Battle of Quatre Bras in June 1815 and again at the Battle of Waterloo later that month when light companies from his brigade played an important role in the defence of Château d'Hougoumont. He went on to be Commander-in-Chief, Ireland and, after leaving Ireland in 1831, he was elected as Whig Member of Parliament for Poole in Dorset and was one of the few military men who supported the Reform Bill, for which he was rewarded with a peerage.
The 85th Regiment of Foot was a British Army line infantry regiment, raised in 1793. Under the Childers Reforms it amalgamated with the 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment of Foot to form the King's Shropshire Light Infantry in 1881.
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Claude Juste Alexandre Louis Legrand was a French general. He commanded French divisions at several notable battles of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. He rose to senator on 5 April 1813, then Pair de France on 4 June 1814 and chevalier de Saint-Louis on 27 June 1814. He organised the defence of Chalon-sur-Saône in 1814 and died in Paris in 1815 of wounds received beside the River Berezina.
The Battle of Almaraz was a battle of the Peninsular War which took place on 18/19 May 1812, in which the Anglo-Portuguese Army under Lord Hill destroyed a French pontoon bridge across the River Tagus, in Almaraz, Spain. The bridge was protected by two French garrisons at either end.
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Sir Robert Chambre Hill CB Kt was a British Army cavalry officer who fought in the Peninsular War and was wounded while in command of the Royal Horse Guards at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815.
Colonel Sir Thomas Noel Hill KCB KTS was a British Army officer of the Napoleonic Wars who fought at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815.
The Lord Forbes
| Colonel of the 3rd Garrison Battalion |
| Colonel of the 94th Regiment of Foot |
Sir James Henry Craig
| Governor of Blackness Castle |
The Earl of Lindsey
The Duke of Richmond
| Governor of Kingston-upon-Hull |
The Earl Cathcart
| Colonel of the 72nd Regiment of Foot |
Sir George Murray
Sir John Abercromby
| Colonel of the 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment of Foot |
Lord FitzRoy Somerset
The Duke of Wellington
| Commander-in-Chief of the Forces |
The Duke of Wellington
The Duke of Cumberland
| Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards (The Blues) |
The Marquess of Anglesey
The Earl Harcourt
| Governor of Plymouth |
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Henry Grey Bennet
| Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury |
With: Henry Grey Bennet
Henry Grey Bennet
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation|| Viscount Hill |
| Baron Hill |
| Baron Hill |
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