Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Steele, Thomas Montague

STEELE, Sir THOMAS MONTAGUE (1820–1890), general, born on 11 May 1820, was eldest son of Major-general Thomas Steele of Guilsborough, Northamptonshire, by Elizabeth, second daughter of the fifth Duke of Manchester. After passing through Sandhurst he was commissioned as ensign in the 64th foot on 10 Jan. 1838. He exchanged into the Coldstream guards on 20 July, became lieutenant and captain on 29 March 1844, and captain and lieutenant-colonel on 31 Oct. 1851. From 25 July 1842 to 23 Feb. 1848 he was aide-de-camp to the governor of Madras. He was appointed military secretary to Lord Raglan on 23 Feb. 1854, and (with the exception of one month, 5 July to 6 Aug. 1855, during which he was assistant adjutant-general) he occupied that position under Raglan and his successor up to 16 Nov. 1855. He was at the Alma, Balaclava, Inkerman, and at the fall of Sebastopol, and was specially mentioned in Raglan's despatches of 23 Sept. (for Alma) and 11 Nov. (for Inkerman). At the Alma he took a message from Sir De Lacy Evans to the Duke of Cambridge, urging the immediate advance of the 1st division to support the light division; and this was fortunately acted upon at once, the duke inferring from the messenger that it was Raglan's order. Steele accompanied his own regiment, the Coldstreams, in their advance. He was made brevet colonel on 28 Nov. 1854, and C.B. on 5 July 1855; and he received the Crimean medal with four clasps, the Turkish medal, the Medjidie (third class), the Legion of Honour (fifth class), and the order of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus (second class). He was also made aide-de-camp to the queen 29 June 1855.

He became major in his regiment on 13 Dec. 1860, and lieutenant-colonel on 8 Nov. 1862. He retired from it to half-pay on 24 Nov. 1863, and was promoted major-general on 17 Aug. 1865. He commanded the troops in the Dublin district from 1 April 1872 to 31 March 1874. On 7 Jan. 1874 he became lieutenant-general, and on 23 Sept. he was given the colonelcy of the Gloucestershire regiment. He commanded the division at Aldershot from 14 April 1875 to 30 June 1880, becoming full general on 1 Oct. 1877; and from 1 Oct. 1880 he held the command of the forces in Ireland for five years. On 11 May 1887 he was placed on the retired list. He was made K.C.B. on 20 May 1871, and G.C.B. on 21 June 1887. He was made colonel of his old regiment, the Coldstream guards, on 7 Aug. 1884. Steele died at Farnborough, Hampshire, on 25 Feb. 1890. He married (1) in 1856, Isabel (d. 1858), daughter of E. M. Fitzgerald, and (2) in 1865, Rosalie, daughter of T. m'Carthy of New York.

[Times, 26 Feb. 1890; Kinglake's Invasion of the Crimea; official despatches.]

E. M. L.