Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Arbuthnot, Charles George

ARBUTHNOT, Sir CHARLES GEORGE (1824–1899), general, born on 19 May 1824, was fourth son of Alexander Arbuthnot, bishop of Killaloe, by Margaret Phœbe, daughter of George Bingham. He was a younger brother of Sir Alexander John Arbuthnot, K.C.S.I. He was educated at Rugby, and in spite of his small size distinguished himself at football there. After passing through the Royal Military Academy he was commissioned as second lieutenant in the royal artillery on 17 June 1843. He was promoted lieutenant on 4 Feb. 1846, second captain on 4 April 1851, and first captain on 8 March 1855. In May he landed in the Crimea, and served during the remainder of the siege of Sebastopol. He was conspicuous for coolness and daring, and was twice wounded. He was mentioned in despatches (London Gazette, 2 Nov. 1855), and was given a brevet majority. He also received the medal with clasp, the Turkish medal, and the Medjidie (5th class).

He commanded K troop of horse artillery from 1857 to 1864, when he became regimental lieutenant-colonel (19 Dec.) He went to India in 1868, where he commanded A brigade of horse artillery till 1872, and was deputy adjutant-general of artillery from 1873 to 1877. From 1 Oct. 1877 to 31 July 1880 he was inspector-general of artillery in India, except while actively employed in the Afghan campaigns. In the first Afghan campaign he had command of the artillery in the Kandahar field force, with the rank of brigadier-general; in the second he commanded the second brigade of the Khyber division, under Sir Robert Bright. He was mentioned in despatches (ib. 4 May 1880), received the medal, and was made K.C.B. on 24 May 1881, having already obtained the C.B. on 20 May 1871. He had become regimental colonel on 1 July 1874, and was promoted major-general on 16 July 1881. On his return to England in 1880, he was deputy adjutant-general of artillery at headquarters from 1 Sept, 1880 to 31 Aug. 1883, during which time the territorial system was first applied to the regiment. His firmness and strict sense of justice made him an excellent administrator, He was then made inspector-general of artillery, and on 1 May 1885 he became president of the ordnance committee, receiving at the same time a distinguished service pension. He returned to India in 1886, being appointed to the command of the Bombay army on 16 Feb., and transferred to Madras on 9 Dec. He succeeded Lord Roberts in Burma in 1887, and completed the pacification of that country. His services were acknowledged by the Indian government (ib. 2 Sept. 1887), and he received the medal with clasp.

He became lieutenant-general on 1 April 1886, and general on 31 July 1890. His command of the Madras army came to an end on 19 May 1891, when he was placed on the retired list. Finally settling in England, he became colonel commandant on 13 Aug. 1893, and received the G.C.B. on 26 May 1894. He died at Richmond, Surrey, on 14 April 1899. In 1868 he had married Caroline Charlotte, daughter of William Clarke, M.D., of Barbados; she survived him.

[Proc. of Royal Artillery Institution, vol. xxvi.; Times, 18 April 1899.]

E. M. L.