Thomas Trigge

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Sir Thomas Trigge
The Siege of Gibraltar, 1782 by George Carter.jpg
The Great Siege of Gibraltar, Trigge centre foreground
Bornc. 1742
Died11 January 1814
Savile Row, London
AllegianceUnion flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg  Kingdom of Great Britain
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg  British Army
Years of service1759–1809
Unit 68th Foot, 1795-1809; 44th Foot, 1809-1814
Commands heldLieutenant Governor of Gibraltar, May 1803 to December 1804
Battles/wars Seven Years' War
Minden Villinghausen Wilhelmsthal
American War of Independence
Great Siege of Gibraltar
French Revolutionary Wars
Awards Knight of the Bath

General Sir Thomas Trigge KB (c. 1742 – 11 January 1814) was a British army officer who began his career in 1759 during the Seven Years' War, as an ensign in the 12th Regiment of Foot. He remained with the regiment for the next 36 years, and commanded it during the Great Siege of Gibraltar.

Seven Years War Global conflict between 1756 and 1763

The Seven Years' War was a global war fought between 1756 and 1763. It involved every European great power of the time and spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa, India, and the Philippines. The conflict split Europe into two coalitions: one was led by the Kingdom of Great Britain and included the Kingdom of Prussia, the Kingdom of Portugal, the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and other small German states; while the other was led by the Kingdom of France and included the Austrian-led Holy Roman Empire, the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Spain, Sweden, and the Electorate of Saxony. Meanwhile, in India, some regional polities within the increasingly fragmented Mughal Empire, with the support of the French, tried to crush a British attempt to conquer Bengal.

Ensign Maritime flag used for national identification of ships

An ensign is the national flag flown on a vessel to indicate citizenry. The ensign is the largest flag, generally flown at the stern (rear) of the ship while in port. The naval ensign, used on warships, may be different from the civil ensign or the yacht ensign. Large versions of naval ensigns called battle ensigns are used when a warship goes into battle. The ensign differs from the jack which is flown from a jackstaff at the bow of a vessel.

Great Siege of Gibraltar 18th-century siege

The Great Siege of Gibraltar was an unsuccessful attempt by Spain and France to capture Gibraltar from the British during the American War of Independence.

In 1795, he was military commander in the West Indies during the French Revolutionary Wars, participating in the capture of Suriname and several Dutch-held Leeward Islands. He later returned to Gibraltar, serving briefly as Lieutenant Governor. He retired from active service in 1809 and died in London on 11 January 1814, being buried in Westminster Abbey.

West Indies Island region of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean

The West Indies is a region of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean that includes the island countries and surrounding waters of three major archipelagos: the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, and the Lucayan Archipelago.

French Revolutionary Wars series of conflicts fought between the French Republic and several European monarchies from 1792 to 1802

The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted France against Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia and several other monarchies. They are divided in two periods: the War of the First Coalition (1792–97) and the War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802). Initially confined to Europe, the fighting gradually assumed a global dimension. After a decade of constant warfare and aggressive diplomacy, France had conquered a wide array of territories, from the Italian Peninsula and the Low Countries in Europe to the Louisiana Territory in North America. French success in these conflicts ensured the spread of revolutionary principles over much of Europe.

Suriname Country in South America

Suriname, officially known as the Republic of Suriname, is a country on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west and Brazil to the south. At just under 165,000 square kilometers, it is the smallest sovereign state in South America. Suriname has a population of approximately 558,368, most of whom live on the country's north coast, in and around the capital and largest city, Paramaribo.


Trigge in the commemorative painting of The Sortie Made by the Garrison of Gibraltar, 1789 Thomas Trigge.jpg
Trigge in the commemorative painting of The Sortie Made by the Garrison of Gibraltar, 1789

Thomas Trigge was born around 1742 and joined the army as an Ensign in the 12th Regiment of Foot during the Seven Years' War. He served in Germany, including the battles of Minden, Villinghausen and Wilhelmsthal. [2]

Battle of Minden battle

The Battle of Minden Place—or Tho(r)nhausen—was a decisive engagement during the Seven Years' War, fought on 1 August 1759. An Anglo-German army under the overall command of Field Marshal Ferdinand of Brunswick defeated a French army commanded by Marshal of France, Marquis de Contades. Two years previously, the French had launched a successful invasion of Hanover and attempted to impose an unpopular treaty of peace upon the allied nations of Britain, Hanover and Prussia. After a Prussian victory at Rossbach, and under pressure from Frederick the Great and William Pitt, King George II disavowed the treaty. In 1758, the allies launched a counter-offensive against the French forces and drove them back across the Rhine.

Battle of Villinghausen 1761 battle

The Battle of Villinghausen was a battle in the Seven Years' War fought on the 15th and 16 July 1761 in the western area of present-day Germany, between a large French army and a combined Prussian-Hanoverian-British force led by Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick.

Battle of Wilhelmsthal battle

The Battle of Wilhelmsthal was fought on 24 June 1762 during the Seven Years' War between on one side the allied forces of British, Prussian, Hanover, Brunswick and Hessian troops under the command of the Duke of Brunswick against the French. Once again, the French threatened Hanover, so the Allies manoeuvered around the French, surrounded the invasion force, and forced them to retreat. It was the last major action fought by Brunswick's force before the Peace of Paris brought an end to the war.

Trigge commanded the 12th Regiment during the Great Siege of Gibraltar and was included in a commemorative painting. Charles Holloway, George Koehler and Mackenzie are amongst those recorded as the principal officers serving in the siege which was painted by George Carter for the City of London. The National Portrait Gallery [3] have a gouache sketch but the final painting is at the National Army Museum. He became Lieutenant-Governor of Portsmouth in September 1790 which came with the additional post of General Officer Commanding South-West District from 1793. [4]

George Koehler Artist, Army and Engineer

George Frederick Koehler was a British artist, soldier and engineer. He is known for creating a gun that recoiled allowing it to fire down the side of a mountain without sending the gun carriage flying into the air. The Koehler Depressing Carriage is still commemorated today in Gibraltar where it was an important defence during the Great Siege of Gibraltar.

George Mackenzie (1741–1787) British army officer

George Mackenzie was a British officer who commanded the 2nd battalion of the 73rd Highlanders during the Great Siege of Gibraltar.

George Carter (artist) English artist

George Carter (1737–1794) was an English artist who described himself as a "historical portrait painter". He visited Italy in the company of John Singleton Copley, who had a significant influence on his work, and spent some time in India.

While Commander-in-Chief in the West Indies, a joint Army and Navy expedition under Lieutenant-General Trigge and Vice-Admiral Seymour captured Suriname from the Dutch on August 20, 1799. In March 1801, Trigge and Rear-Admiral Duckworth captured St. Martin (a Franco-Dutch possession), St. Bartholomew (Swedish), and St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix (Danish). [5] For his successes, he was made a Knight of the Bath. [2]

Lord Hugh Seymour British Royal Navy admiral

Vice-Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour was a senior British Royal Navy officer of the late 18th century who was the fifth son of Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Marquess of Hertford and became known for being both a prominent society figure and a highly competent naval officer. He served during the American Revolutionary and French Revolutionary Wars and later in his career performed a period of shore duty on the Admiralty board.

Sir John Duckworth, 1st Baronet Royal Navy admiral

Sir John Thomas Duckworth, 1st Baronet, GCB was an officer of the Royal Navy, serving during the Seven Years' War, the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, as the Governor of Newfoundland during the War of 1812, and a member of the British House of Commons during his semi-retirement. Duckworth, a vicar's son, achieved much in a naval career that began at the age of 11.

Saint Martin French and Dutch Caribbean island in the Lesser Antilles

Saint Martin is an island in the northeast Caribbean Sea, approximately 300 km (190 mi) east of Puerto Rico. The 87-square-kilometre (34 sq mi) island is divided roughly 60/40 between the French Republic and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but the two parts are roughly equal in population. The division dates to 1648. The southern Dutch part comprises Sint Maarten and is one of four constituent countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The northern French part comprises the Collectivity of Saint Martin and is an overseas collectivity of France. As part of France proper, the French part of the island is part of the European Union.

In May 1802 Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, arrived in Gibraltar as Governor with expectations that he would instil order in the garrison, where the troops were frequently drunken and ill disciplined. The Prince was enthusiastic and keen but his approach did not impress the troops and mutiny ensued. The Prince was able to keep order but he ignored the orders from his brother to return home until he felt that he had issued sufficient new rules. Eventually the Prince left Gibraltar, never to return and although he nominally remained the Governor it was Major General Trigge who was briefly the first in a long line of acting Lieutenant Governors. One of Trigge's first acts as acting Governor was to countermand 35 of the 169 new regulations his predecessor had introduced. [6]

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn Prince of Great Britain

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, was the fourth son and fifth child of King George III. His only child became Queen Victoria.

Gibraltar British Overseas Territory

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi) and is bordered to the north by Spain. The landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of which is a densely populated town area, home to over 30,000 people, primarily Gibraltarians.

Governor of Gibraltar

The Governor of Gibraltar is the representative of the British monarch in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. 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 is responsible for formally appointing the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, along with other members of the Government of Gibraltar after a general election. The governor serves as commander-in-chief of Gibraltar's military forces and has sole responsibility for defence and security.

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  1. "General Sir Thomas Trigge". Westminster Abbey. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  2. 1 2 An Historical Description of Westminster Abbey: Its Monuments and Curiosities. A. K. Newman and Company. 1827. p. 183.
  3. Carter, George. "The Siege of Gibraltar, 1782". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  4. "No. 13237". The London Gazette . 14 September 1790. p. 573.
  5. Norie, John William (1827). The naval gazetteer, biographer, and chronologist. pp. 22, 394.
  6. Jackson, Sir William G. F (1990). The Rock of the Gibraltarians : a history of Gibraltar (2nd ed.). Grendon: Gibraltar Books. p. 195 & 228. ISBN   0948466146.
Government offices
Preceded by
Duke of Kent
Governor of Gibraltar

Succeeded by
Henry Edward Fox
Military offices
Preceded by
New Post
GOC South-West District
Succeeded by
Cornelius Cuyler
Preceded by
Hon. Charles Stuart
Colonel, 68th Foot
Succeeded by
John Coape Sherbrooke
Preceded by
Charles Rainsford
Colonel, 44th Foot
Succeeded by
Earl of Suffolk