Cornwallis, Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess and 2nd Earl, Viscount Brome, Baron Cornwallis of Eye


Cornwallis, Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess and 2nd Earl, Viscount Brome, Baron Cornwallis of Eye

▪ British general and statesman
born December 31, 1738, London, England
died October 5, 1805, Ghazipur, India [now in Uttar Pradesh, India]
 British soldier and statesman, probably best known for his defeat at Yorktown, Virginia, in the last important campaign (September 28–October 19, 1781) of the American Revolution. Cornwallis was possibly the most capable British general in that war, but he was more important for his achievements as British governor-general of India (1786–93, 1805) and viceroy of Ireland (1798–1801).

      A veteran of the Seven Years' War (1756–63)—during which (1762) he succeeded to his father's earldom and other titles—Cornwallis, who had opposed the British policies that antagonized the North American colonists, nonetheless fought to suppress the American Revolution. Late in 1776 he drove General George Washington (Washington, George)'s patriot forces out of New Jersey, but early in 1777 Washington recaptured part of that state. As British commander in the South from June 1780, Cornwallis won a great victory over General Horatio Gates (Gates, Horatio) at Camden, South Carolina, on August 16 of that year. Marching through eastern North Carolina into Virginia, he established his base at the tidewater seaport of Yorktown. Trapped there by American and French ground forces under Washington and the comte de Rochambeau (Rochambeau, Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte de) and a French fleet under the comte de Grasse (Grasse, François-Joseph-Paul, comte de, marquis de Grasse-Tilly), he surrendered his large army after a siege. (See Yorktown, Siege of.)

      Although the Yorktown capitulation decided the war in favour of the colonists, Cornwallis remained in high esteem at home. On February 23, 1786, he accepted the governor-generalship of India. Before leaving office on August 13, 1793, he brought about a series of legal and administrative reforms, notably the Cornwallis Code (1793). By paying civil servants adequately while forbidding them to engage in private business, he established a tradition of law-abiding, incorruptible British rule in India. He disbelieved, however, in the capacity of Indians for self-government, and some of his measures—the reorganization of the courts in various regions and of the revenue system in Bengal—proved ill-advised. In the third of four Mysore Wars, he inflicted a temporary defeat (1792) on Tippu Sultan, the anti-British ruler of the Mysore state. For his services in India he was created a marquess in 1792.

      As viceroy of Ireland (1798–1801), Cornwallis won the confidence of both militant Protestants (Orangemen) and Roman Catholics. After suppressing a serious Irish rebellion in 1798 and defeating a French invasion force on September 9 of that year, he wisely insisted that only the revolutionary leaders be punished. As he had done in India, he worked to eliminate corruption among British officials in Ireland. He also supported the parliamentary union of Great Britain and Ireland (effective January 1, 1801) and the concession of political rights to Roman Catholics (rejected by King George III in 1801, causing Cornwallis to resign).

      As British plenipotentiary, Cornwallis negotiated the Treaty of Amiens (Amiens, Treaty of) (March 27, 1802), which established peace in Europe during the Napoleonic Wars. He was reappointed governor-general of India in 1805 but died shortly after his arrival.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis — Cornwallis redirects here. For other uses, see Cornwallis (disambiguation). For other people named Charles Cornwallis, see Charles Cornwallis (disambiguation). His Excellency The Most Honourable General The Marquess Cornwallis KG …   Wikipedia

  • Cornwallis Code — ▪ Great Britain India [1793]       (1793), the enactment by which Lord Cornwallis (Cornwallis, Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess and 2nd Earl, Viscount Brome, Baron Cornwallis of Eye), governor general of India, gave legal form to the complex of… …   Universalium

  • Earl Cornwallis — Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis. Earl Cornwallis was a title in the Peerage of Great Britain. It was created in 1753 for Charles Cornwallis, 5th Baron Cornwallis. The second Earl was created Marquess Cornwallis but this title became… …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Cornwallis, 2nd Marquess Cornwallis — (19 October 1774–9 August 1823), styled Viscount Brome until 1805, was a British Tory politician. Cornwallis was the only son of General Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis, by his wife Jemima (née Jones). His mother died when he was four …   Wikipedia

  • Trenton and Princeton, Battles of — (1776–77) Engagements won by the Continental Army in the American Revolution. Defeats in New York forced the army under George Washington to retreat through New Jersey into Pennsylvania. On Dec. 25, 1776, Washington led a force of 6,000 troops… …   Universalium

  • India — /in dee euh/, n. 1. Hindi, Bharat. a republic in S Asia: a union comprising 25 states and 7 union territories; formerly a British colony; gained independence Aug. 15, 1947; became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations Jan. 26, 1950.… …   Universalium

  • United Kingdom — a kingdom in NW Europe, consisting of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: formerly comprising Great Britain and Ireland 1801 1922. 58,610,182; 94,242 sq. mi. (244,100 sq. km). Cap.: London. Abbr.: U.K. Official name, United Kingdom of Great… …   Universalium

  • United States — a republic in the N Western Hemisphere comprising 48 conterminous states, the District of Columbia, and Alaska in North America, and Hawaii in the N Pacific. 267,954,767; conterminous United States, 3,022,387 sq. mi. (7,827,982 sq. km); with… …   Universalium

  • American Revolution — the war between Great Britain and its American colonies, 1775 83, by which the colonies won their independence. * * * or United States War of Independence (1775–83) War that won political independence for 13 of Britain s North American colonies,… …   Universalium

  • Bangladesh — /bahng gleuh desh , bang /, n. republic in S Asia, N of the Bay of Bengal: a member of the Commonwealth of Nations; a former province of Pakistan. 125,340,261; 54,501 sq. mi. (141,158 sq. km). Cap.: Dhaka. Formerly, East Pakistan. * * *… …   Universalium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.