Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Marshals and Generals


Lord Edward Somerset

Born: 19 December 1776 England

Died: 1 September 1842 England

Rank: General

Lord Robert Edward Henry Somerset was the third son of the 5th Duke of Beaufort, and elder brother of Lord Raglan.
Edward joined the 15th Light Dragoons in 1793 and was made captain in the following year, and received a majority after serving as aide-de-camp to the duke of York in the Dutch expedition of 1799.
At the end of 1800 he became a lieutenant-colonel, and in 1801 received the command of the 4th Light Dragoons. From 1799 to 1802 he represented the Monmouth Boroughs in the House of Commons, from 1803 to 1823 he sat for Gloucestershire and from 1834 to 1837 was MP for Cirencester.

On the 17th October 1805, at the age of 28, Edward married Louisa Augusta Courtenay, daughter of William Courtenay, 8th Earl of Devon. In 1817 they had a son called Edward Arthur Somerset (1817-1886).

In the Peninsular War, he commanded his regiment at the battles of Talavera (27/28th July 1809) and Bucaco (27th Sept 1810). In 1810 Edward received a colonelcy and was appointed as a ADC to the King.
In 1811, along with the 3rd Dragoon Guards the 4th Light Dragoon fought a notable cavalry action at Usagre, and in July 1812 Lord Edward Somerset was engaged in the great charge of Le Marchant’s heavy cavalry at Salamanca.
Edward’s conduct on this occasion won him further promotion (he captured five guns at the head of a single squadron) and was made a major-general at the head of the 7th, 10th and 15th Hussars for the remaining campaigns.
At Orthes he won further distinction by his pursuit of the enemy, being made KCB, and received the thanks of parliament.

In 1815 at Waterloo, he was in command of the Household Cavalry Brigade, which distinguished itself not less by its stern and patient endurance of the enemy’s fire than by its celebrated charge on the cuirassiers of Milhaud’s corps.
The brigadier was particularly mentioned in Wellington’s despatches, and once again he received the thanks of parliament as well as the Army Gold Cross with one clasp for his services at Talavera, Salamanca, Vitoria, Orthes and Toulouse.

Edward died a general and GCB in 1842. Four years later in 1846, a Monument was erected to Lord Somerset on the Cotswold Edge at Hawkesbury, Gloucestershire.