Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Staunton, Francis French

STAUNTON, FRANCIS FRENCH (1779?–1825), lieutenant-colonel, born about 1779, went to India as a cadet in 1797, and was commissioned an ensign in the Bombay army on 21 Sept. 1798, He became lieutenant on 6 March 1800, and captain on 18 June 1807. He served in the Mysore war, including the storming of Seringapatam, and in the campaign of 1801 in Egypt, receiving medals for both. But his claim to remembrance is his conduct in the action of Korigaum, in which he repulsed the army of the peshwa, Baji Rao, on 1 Jan. 1818. He was ordered from Seroor to Poona to reinforce Colonel Burr with five hundred men of the 2nd battalion 1st Bombay native infantry—his own regiment—three hundred regular horse, and twenty-four men of the Madras artillery with two 6-pounders. After a night march of twenty-seven miles he reached the Bhima a 10 a.m., and found the army of the peshwa drawn up on the opposite side. It consisted of five thousand foot and twenty-five thousand horse. He threw his men into the village of Korigaum, and there they fought all day without food or water. Many of the houses were set on fire by the enemy, who had guns and rockets, and succeeded in gaining possession of put of the village. The British troops (all native except the artillery) lost nearly two hundred men in killed and wounded, including six out of the seven English officers, but they held out till night. Next morning they found that the peshwa had retreated upon news of the approach of reinforcements. A stone obelisk still marks the spot. The battalion was made a grenadier battalion, and Staunton was nominated CB. and aide-de-camp to the governor-general. He was promoted major on 15 April 1819, and lieutenant-colonel on 28 Sept. 1823. He died on board the Florentia on 25 June 1825.

[Grant Duff's History of the Mahrattas, iii. 432; Colebrooke's Life of Mountstuart Elphinstone, iii. 17; Gent. Mag. 1825, ii. 283 ; Georgian Era, vol. ii.]

E. M. L.