Barttelot, Walter Barttelot (DNB01)

BARTTELOT, Sir WALTER BARTTELOT, first baronet (1820–1893), politician, born on 10 Oct. 1820 at Richmond, Surrey, was the eldest son of George Barttelot (1788–1872), of Stopham House, Pulborough, Sussex, by Emma, youngest daughter of James Woodbridge of Richmond. The family had been seated in Sussex for several centuries. The father served with distinction in the royal horse artillery during the peninsular war.

Walter was educated at Rugby, and served in the 1st royal dragoons from 1839 to 1853, when he retired with the rank of captain. He was afterwards honorary colonel of the 2nd battalion royal Sussex regiment. From December 1860 to 1885 he was one of the conservative members for West Sussex. Then he was returned for the newly constituted Horsham division, and held the seat until his death. He was a frequent speaker in the House of Commons. On 14 April 1864 he moved an amendment to the budget bill, the purport of which was to apply the surplus to the reduction of the malt duties rather than of the sugar duties as proposed by Gladstone. He was complimented by Disraeli on 'his great ability and peculiar candour,' and was supported by a speech from Cobden. He however found only ninety-nine supporters as against 347. In May 1867 he obtained the appointment of a select committee on the malt tax, on which he served. He gradually came to be considered the chief spokesman of the agricultural interest in the house, while he also interested himself in church matters and military questions. In 1870 he moved the rejection of Osborne Morgan's burials bill, which he continued to oppose until it became law in 1880. In the same year he endeavoured to lengthen the number of years' service under the new army enlistment bill from three to five years. He was one of the most determined opponents of the Irish land bill of 1881, and he accepted with great misgivings the act carried in 1889 by his own party creating county councils. His last important parliamentary appearance was in June 1892, when he offered a searching criticism of the war office in connection with the report of Lord Wantage's committee. 'There was not a more rigid conservative in the United Kingdom or a more generous opponent' was the verdict of the leading liberal paper on his parliamentary career (Daily News, 3 Feb. 1893).

Barttelot was created a baronet by Disraeli in June 1875, was named a C.B. in 1880, and sworn of the privy council in 1892. He died at Stopham House, Sussex, on 2 Feb. 1893, on the day of his second wife's funeral. He was twice married: first, in April 1852, to Harriet, fourth daughter of Sir Christopher Musgrave, bart., of Edenhall, Cumberland (she died on 29 July 1863); and secondly, in April 1868, to Margaret, only child of Henry Boldero of South Lodge, St. Leonards. By the first he had two sons; the elder, Sir Walter George Barttelot (1855–1900), second baronet, having formerly served in the 5th dragoon guards, was killed during the great Boer war at Retief's Nek, Orange Free State, on 23 July 1900, being then major 1st Devon yeomanry; by his wife Georgiana Mary, daughter of George Edmond Balfont of The Manor, Sidmouth, he was father of Sir Walter Balfour Barttelot (b. 1880), the present baronet.

Edmund Musgrave Barttelot (1859–1888), second son of the first baronet, born on 28 March 1859 at Hilliers, near Petworth, Sussex, was educated at Rugby and Sandhurst. He entered the 7th fusiliers in January 1879, and three months later joined the 2nd battalion at Bombay. In the spring of 1880 he went with the regiment to Afghanistan, and took part in the defence of Kandahar against Ayoub Khan. Early in 1882 he came home on leave, but in August went to Egypt as a volunteer attached to the 18th royal Irish. On arrival, however, he was transferred to the mounted infantry, of which he became adjutant. He served with them at the battles of Kassassin and Tel-el-Kebir, and returned to England in October. In February 1883 he again went to Egypt, and was attached to the 1st battalion of the Egyptian army. In April he served as Colonel Chermside's staff officer at Suakim. From June till August he was on transport service, and on 19 Aug. went up the Nile in the expedition for the relief of Gordon. For his excellent service in connection with the transport he was mentioned in despatches, and promoted to the rank of brevet major. In the autumn he once more came home; but in January 1887 he obtained a year's leave in order to join the expedition for the relief of Emin Pasha in Central Africa. On 27 Jan. the expedition under Mr. (now Sir) H. M. Stanley left Cairo, and it reached Zanzibar on 22 Feb. Here sixty Soudanese were engaged as soldiers; Major Barttelot was to command them. Three days later they sailed, taking with them also six hundred Zanzibaris as porters, Tippoo-Tib, the slave dealer, and two interpreters, and proceeded by way of the Cape to the mouth of the Congo river, where they arrived on 18 March. A week later Barttelot started up the river. Stanley Falls, the Congo station of which Tippoo-Tib was made governor, was reached on 17 June, Barttelot being in charge of his escort. Two days later he left, and on the 22nd rejoined Mr. Stanley at Yambuya, a fortified camp on the Aruwimi river. On 28 June Mr. Stanley set out thence on his march towards Emin Pasha, who was supposed to be living on the banks of the Albert Nyanza. Barttelot was left in command of the rearguard and the camp, with the greater part of the stores and ammunition, which he was to convey to Mr. Stanley with the help of carriers to be supplied by Tippoo-Tib. Mr. Stanley expected to return in November, but nothing was heard of him at Yambuya, and Barttelot was unable, in spite of frequent attempts, to induce Tippoo to keep his promise. He was also hampered by great mortality among his men, chiefly caused by bad food and by attacks from the Arab encampments round Yambuya, which caused him constant annoyance. At length he obtained with great difficulty a certain number of carriers, and on 11 June 1888 (when he had heen at Yambuya nearly twelve months) he started on the march eastwards to seek out Mr. Stanley. The Zanzibaris began to desert with their loads within four days, and it was found necessary to disarm them. On 24 June Barttelot, with fourteen Zanzibaris and three Soudanese, went back to Stanley Falls, and soon after his arrival had a palaver with Tippoo-Tib, who gave him full powers to deal with the carriers. He then resumed his march, and rejoined his main body at Banalya (or Unaria) on 17 July, an Arab encampment on the Aruwimi. Here, on 19 July, he was shot through the heart by an Arab in a hut, while endeavouring to put a stop to the annoyance caused him by the man's wife beating a drum and by unauthorised firing. The man, who ran away, was tried and executed at Stanley Falls some days later. Barttelot's body was buried near the spot where he fell by Sergeant Bonny, the only European who was then with the rearguard of the expedition. A month later Mr. Stanley arrived at Yambuya on 17 Aug. 1888. On his return to England he threw blame upon Barttelot and the other officers left with him at Yambuya for their conduct in failing to follow him. Much controversy ensued; but the published narratives of all the members of the rearguard, while differing on some secondary points, proved the impossibility of leaving the camp without sufficient carriers and while its occupants were in an enfeebled condition. Barttelot was a severe disciplinarian, had a somewhat hasty temper, and was unversed in dealing with orientals, but his character was freed of all serious reproach.

A brass tablet to his memory was erected in Stopham church by his brother officers of the 7th fusiliers, and another by his companions in the Emin expedition. A tablet was also placed in the memorial chapel, Sandhurst, and a stained glass window in Storringdon church.

[For Sir Walter Barttelot see Burke's Peerage; Men of the Time, 1 3th edit.; Times, 3 Feb. 1893; Sussex Daily News, 3 Feb.; Hansard's Parl. Debates, passim; Lucy's Diary of Two Parliaments, i. 434, ii. 210, 211; J. M'Carthy's Reminiscences, ch. xxxiii. 32. For Major Barttelot see Life (with Diaries and Letters) by his brother, 1890 (French edit. 1891); Stanley's In Darkest Africa, i. 117-26, and chap. xx.; and the narratives by J. S. Jameson (edit. Mrs. Jameson), J. E. Troup, and H. Ward, most of which have portraits of Barttelot. See also A Visit to Stanley's Rearguard by J. E. Werner (an engineer in service of Congo Free State), chaps, x. xi.; Blackwood, August 1890.]

G. Le G. N.