George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield

Infobox_Person
name = George Augustus Eliott
1st Baron Heathfield
residence =
other_names =


imagesize = 320px
caption = 1787 portrait of Lord Heathfield
by Sir Joshua Reynolds
birth_name =
birth_date = birth date|1717|12|25
birth_place = Wells House, nr Stobs, Roxburghshire, Scotland
death_date = death date and age|1790|07|06|1717|12|25
death_place = Schloss Kalkofen, Aachen, Germany
death_cause = Palsy / Stroke
known =
occupation = General
title = PC, KB
salary =
term =
predecessor =
successor =
party =
boards =
religion =
spouse = Anne Pollexfen Drake (1726-1772)
partner =
children = Francis Augustus Eliott, 2nd and last Baron Heathfield (December 31 1750-January 26 1813)
Anne Pollexfen Eliott (1754-February 24 1835)
parents = Gilbert Eliott, 3rd Baronet and Eleanor Elliot
relations =
website =
footnotes =
employer =
height =
weight =

George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield, KB (1717-12-25-1790-07-06) was a British Army officer most notable for his command of the Gibraltar garrison during the Great Siege of Gibraltar.

Early life

Eliott was born at Wells House, near Stobs Castle, Roxburghshire, the 10th (and 8th surviving) son of Sir Gilbert Eliott, 3rd Baronet of Stobs, by his distant cousin Eleanor, daughter of William Elliot of Wells, also in Roxburghshire. His aunt Charlotte Elliot, sister of Eleanor, had married Roger Elliott, another Governor of Gibraltar.

Early command

Eliott was educated at University of Leiden and studied artillery and other military subjects at the "école militaire" of La Fère in France. He served with the Prussian Army 1735-1736, and, in 1741, joined the 2nd Troop of Horse Grenadier Guards, of which his mother's brother, William Elliot of Wells, was then Lieutenant-Colonel, and of which Eliott was afterwards Lieutenant-Colonel. He served throughout the War of Austrian Succession 1742-1748, being wounded at the Battle of Dettingen and present at the Battle of Fontenoy.

Eliott was made ADC from 1756-1759 to King George II. On 10 March 1759, he raised, and was appointed colonel of, the 1st Light Horse [Light Horse cavalry was introduced into the British army at the instigation of George's 1st cousin, General Granville Elliott - the son of Roger Elliott - who coincidentally fought and died of injuries received at the Battle of Minden in 1759] (later 15th Light Dragoons, then 15th Hussars), and he distinguished himself in the German campaign, particularly the Battle of Minden.
He was promoted to Major-General in 1759 and took part in the British expedition against Cuba in 1762, being 2nd-in-charge at the capture of Havana. He was promoted to Lieutenant-General in 1765, antedated to 1761. With his share of the prize money from the Havana expedition, Eliott purchased Bayley Park, a country house in the village of Heathfield, Sussex, from which he later took his title. (After his death, Bayley Park was renamed Heathfield Park.)

On October 22 1772, his wife died. But from 1774 to 1775 he was C-in-C Ireland, Governor of Londonderry and Culmore. On March 6 1775, he became a Privy Counsellor, and on May 25 1777 he was appointed Governor of Gibraltar, succeeding Robert Boyd, the acting Governor. He was promoted to General in 1778.

Great Siege of Gibraltar

In July 1779, Gibraltar was besieged by the French and Spanish. By August, it was very apparent that the Spanish intended to starve the garrison. The Great Siege of Gibraltar would eventually last from 1779 to 1783. A notable letter from George to the Misses Fuller survives, dated September 21 1779 and delivered October 4, it said simply "Nothing new. G.A.E."

On September 13 1782, the French and Spanish initiated a grand attack, involving 100,000 men, 48 ships and 450 cannon. Under great duress, the Garrison withheld and, by 1783, the siege was finishing. On January 8 1783, the British Parliament sent official thanks to George Eliott and he was awarded the Knight of the Bath. By February 6 1783, the siege was over. George was invested with his honour at Gibraltar on April 23.

A portrait from 1784, "The Siege of Gibraltar" [ [http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/portrait.asp?search=sp&sText=Siege+of+Gibraltar&rNo=0 NPG 1752; The Siege of Gibraltar, 1782 (includes Sir Robert Boyd; Major Vallotton; George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield; Sir William Green, 1st Bt; Sir Charles Holloway and 19 other known sitters) ] ] (1782) by George Carter survives in the National Portrait Gallery.

Later career

In 1787, George returned to England. On July 6 1787, he was created Lord Heathfield, Baron Heathfield of Gibraltar. A Bronze Medal "George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield" [ [http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/portrait.asp?search=ss&sText=George+Augustus+Eliott&LinkID=mp02119&rNo=2&role=sit NPG 6079; George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield ] ] by Jean-Pierre Droz and a Portrait "George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield" [ [http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/portrait.asp?search=ss&sText=George+Augustus+Eliott&LinkID=mp02119&rNo=1&role=sit NPG 170; George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield ] ] by John Singleton Copley survive from 1787 in the National Portrait Gallery.

In August and September 1787, George's portrait was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds and now resides in the National Gallery.

A will exists dated February 27 1788. On 19 May 1788 George was formally installed as Knight of the Bath, and, in June 1788, a portrait "The Installation Supper" [ [http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/portrait.asp?search=sp&sText=The+installation+supper&rNo=0 NPG D13065; 'The installation-supper, as given at the Pantheon, by the Knights of the Bath on the 26th of May, 1788' (includes Edmund Burke; Warren Hastings; Anna Maria Appolonia Hastings; Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford; King George IV; Frederick, Duke of...) ] ] was painted by James Gillray and resides in the National Portrait Gallery.

About this time, George was making his way overland back to Gibraltar where he was still Governor. However, he became ill and stayed in the Aachen area for recuperation. During 1790, he stayed at: Grossen Hotel, Dubigk; Karlsbad (bei Herr Brammertz); Kaiserbad, Aachen (bei Herr Mohren). In June 1790 he rented the Schloss Kalkofen, Aachen (nowadays Talbotstrasse, Aachen, Germany) and moved in his furniture. However, on July 6, he died at the Schloss of palsy / stroke, allegedly brought on by drinking too much of the local mineral water, and was initially buried in the grounds of the Schloss [ [http://www.aachen.de/DE/kultur_freizeit/kultur/geschichte/stadtarchiv/ Stadtarchiv, Aachen (courtesy of Frau Nicole Brillo)] ] . His personal estate was probated by July 27 and his furniture sold off by his heirs. In 1790, his body was disinterred and reburied at Heathfield, East Sussex. Later still, his body was again disinterred and reburied at St Andrew's Church, Buckland Monachorum, Devon in the church associated with his wife's Drake ancestry.

Family

On September 8 1748, George married Anne Pollexfen Drake (1726-1772), a collateral descendant of Sir Francis Drake, at St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London. They had two children:
* Francis Augustus Eliott, 2nd and last Baron Heathfield (December 31 1750-January 26 1813)
* Anne Pollexfen Eliott (1754-February 24 1835), who married John Trayton Fuller on 21 May 1777

ee also

* Governors of Gibraltar
* Drake Baronets
* Fuller Baronets

References

External links

* [http://www.npg.org.uk National Portrait Gallery, London]
* [http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk National Gallery, London]

Persondata
NAME = Eliott, George Augustus
ALTERNATIVE NAMES =
SHORT DESCRIPTION = 1st Baron Heathfield, Army General, Governor of Gibraltar
DATE OF BIRTH = 1717-12-25
PLACE OF BIRTH = Wells, Roxburghshire
DATE OF DEATH = 1790-07-06
PLACE OF DEATH = Schloss Kalkofen, Aachen, Germany


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