Hastings, Francis Rawdon- (DNB00)
HASTINGS, FRANCIS RAWDON-, first Marquis of Hastings and second Earl of Moira (1754–1826), eldest son of John, baron Rawdon, afterwards first earl of Moira, by his second wife, Lady Elizabeth Hastings, eldest daughter of Theophilus, ninth earl of Huntingdon, was born on 9 Dec. 1754. He was educated at Harrow, and gazetted an ensign in the 15th foot on 7 Aug. 1771. He matriculated at University College, Oxford, on 23 Oct. 1771, but did not take any degree, and on being appointed, on 20 Oct. 1773, to a lieutenancy in the 5th foot, embarked for America. In 1775 he distinguished himself by his gallantry at Bunker Hill, where he had two bullets through his cap, and on 12 July in that year was appointed to a company of the 63rd foot. He subsequently served at the battles of Brooklyn and White Plains, and in the attacks on Forts Washington and Clinton, and on 15 June 1778 received the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and in the same year was nominated adjutant-general to the forces in America. At Philadelphia he raised a corps called the Volunteers of Ireland, which greatly distinguished itself in the field. He took part in the retreat from Philadelphia to New York, in the action at Monmouth, and at the siege of Charlestown. He was next employed in South Carolina in keeping the Americans in check until the arrival of Lord Cornwallis, and on 16 Aug. 1780 commanded the left division of the British forces at the battle of Camden. On 25 April 1781, with only eight or nine hundred men, he attacked and defeated a larger body of Americans under the command of General Greene at Hobkirk's Hill. After harassing Greene for some time he was compelled to withdraw his troops to Charlestown. His health having broken down owing to the incessant fatigue of the campaign, he was obliged to leave America in the summer of 1781. The vessel in which he sailed for England was captured by a French cruiser and taken to Brest, but upon an exchange of prisoners soon afterwards he was released, and immediately returned to England. Rawdon was a stern martinet, and was guilty of several acts of impolitic severity during the American war. He even went so far as to set a price on the head of every rebel. He showed, however, remarkable military ability, and Cornwallis described his victory at Hobkirk's Hill ‘as by far the most splendid of this war’ (Cornwallis Correspondence, i. 97).
During the recess of 1780–1 Rawdon was returned to the Irish House of Commons as member for Randalstown, co. Antrim. On 4 Feb. 1782 the Duke of Richmond in the English House of Lords moved for information relating to the execution of Colonel Isaac Hayne at Charlestown. Though the motion was negatived, Rawdon considered that a scandalous imputation had been thrown on his humanity, I and demanded a public apology from the duke, which after some wrangling was duly given (Parl. Hist. xxii. 966-70n.) On 20 Nov. 1782 Rawdon received the rank of colonel, and was at the same time appointed aide-de-camp to the king. On 5 March 1783 he was created an English peer by the style of Baron Rawdon of Rawdon in the county of York (Journals of the House of Lords, xxxvi. 624), and in December of the same year spoke in opposition to Fox's India Bill (Parl. Hist. xxiv. 176-7). For the next few years he does not appear to have taken much part in the debates, but after 1787, when he quarrelled with Pitt and joined the opposition, he spoke more frequently. In May 1789 he acted as the Duke of York's second in his duel with Lieutenant-colonel Lennox (afterwards fourth Duke of Richmond) on Wimbledon Common (Gent. Mag. vol. lix. pt. i. pp. 463—4, 565), and on 29 Dec. in the same year moved the amendment on the regency question in favour of the Prince of Wales, whose intimate friend he had become (Parl. Hist. xxvii. 858-9). On the death of her brother Francis, tenth earl of Huntingdon, in October 1789, Lady Moira succeeded to the barony of Hastings, while the earldom of Huntingdon remained dormant until 1819, when it, was confirmed to Hans Francis Hastings [q. v.], a descendant, of the second earl. On 10 Feb. 1790 Rawdon, in pursuance of his uncle's will, took the surname of Hastings in addition to his own surname of Rawdon, and on 20 June 1793 succeeded his father as the second Earl of Moira in the peerage of Ireland, he was promoted to the rank of major-general on 12 Oct. 1793, and was appointed, on Cornwallis's recommendation, to the command of an expeditionary force, which in December was sent to aid the insurrection of the royalists in Brittany, but returned without effecting anything. In June 1794 he was despatched with seven thousand men to the assistance of the Duke of York. He landed at Ostend on the very day on which the Prince of Coburg was defeated at Fleurus, and, after a brilliant and rapid march through a country in possession of an enemy vastly superior in numbers, effected a junction with the Duke of York's army at Malines.
In 1797 an abortive scheme was set on foot by certain members of parliament for the formation of a new ministry, at the head of which Moira was to be placed, and from which all 'persons who on either side had made themselves obnoxious to the publick' should be excluded (Gent. Mag. 1798, vol. lxviii. pt. i.p. 228). In March and again in November of this year Moira brought the state of Ireland before the English House of Lords, and declared his conviction that 'these discontents have arisen from too mistaken an application of severities,' and that he had 'seen in Ireland the most absurd, as well as the most disgusting, tyranny that any nation ever groaned under' (Parl. Hist. xxxiii. 1059). On 1 Jan. 1798 he was appointed a lieutenant-general, and on 19 Feb. made another violent attack upon the Irish government in the Irish House of Lords. In March he offered in the English House of Lords to prove by affidavits the statements which he had previously made in both houses with regard to the state of Ireland, but the challenge was not accepted (ib. xxxiii. 1353-4). During the debate on the resolutions relative to a union with Ireland in March 1799 Moira opposed the measure in a speech of considerable power (ib. xxxiv. 696-706). But though he voted by proxy against the union in the Irish House of Lords, he afterwards withdrew his opposition to it in the English house (ib. xxxv. 170-1). In 1801 Moira opposed the Irish Martial Law and Habeas Corpus Suspension Indemnity Bills (ib. 1237-8, 1538). He was appointed commander-in-chief of the forces in Scotland, where he became exceedingly popular, and on 25 Sept. 1803 was promoted to the rank of general. In December 1803 he was proposed for the office of lord-rector of the university of Glasgow, and was defeated by the Lord-chief-baron Dundas by only one vote. On 23 May 1804 he received the colonelcy of the 27th foot. When the ministry of 'All the Talents' was formed in 1806, Moira was admitted to the privy council (5 Feb.), and appointed master of the ordnance (8 Feb.) and constable of the Tower (12 Feb.) He took an active part on behalf of the Prince of Wales in the investigation into the conduct of the princess.
On the accession of the Duke of Portland to power in March 1807, Moira retired from the ordnance office, and was succeeded by John, second earl of Chatham. On the death of his mother on 12 April 1808 Moira succeeded to the English baronies of Botreaux, Hungerford, De Moleyns, and Hastings. In the session of 1810-11 he took a prominent share in the debates on the questions arising out of the king's illness, supporting the interests of the Prince of Wales to the utmost of his power. In January 1812 he both spoke and voted in favour of Lord Fitzwilliam's motion for the consideration of the state of affairs in Ireland (Parl. Debates, xxi. 458-61), and in March, and again in April, of the same year expressed himself strongly in favour of Roman catholic emancipation (ib. xxii. 87-9, 653- 061). After Perceval's death Lord Wellesley was instructed by the prince regent to form a ministry, in which Moira and others were to have seats in the cabinet. On Lord Wellesley's failure in June 1812 Moira was authorised to consult with Lords Grey and Grenville on the formation of a ministry, but as they insisted that the appointment of the officers of the household should be under their control the negotiations were broken off (ib. xxiii. 322-6, 338-50, 356-81, 593-9, App. i, and xliv). Lord Liverpool was made prime minister. On 12 June 1812 Moira was invested with the order of the Garter, and on 18 Nov. 1812 was appointed governor-general of Bengal and commander-in-chief of the forces in India. In March 1813 he defended himself in tho House of Lords against the charge of having secretly attempted to procure evidence against the Princess of Wales (ib. xxv. 221-4).
Moira embarked at Portsmouth on 14 April 1813, and landed at Calcutta on 4 Oct. On his arrival he found several questions of the first importance awaiting settlement. One of these was our relations with the Gorkha state of Nepaul. The Gorkhas had gradually been encroaching upon the country lying to the south of their frontier, and had actually seized two districts in the province of Oude. His predecessor, Lord Minto [see Elliot, Sir Gilbert, 1751-1814], had failed to settle the question by negotiation, and hostilities becoming unavoidable, Moira, in a manifesto dated 1 Nov. 1814, declared war against Nepaul. He directed simultaneous attacks to be made upon four given points in the enemy's territory. The first campaign of three out of the four divisions of the British army terminated disastrously. The second, however, was much more successful, and Ochterlony having succeeded in carrying the Gorkha positions one after the other, forced Ameer Singh to surrender at Malaun in May 1815. The Gorkha council now sued for peace, and agreed to cede all the territory demanded by the governor-general, and to receive a permanent British resident. Though the treaty was signed by the Gorkha agents at Segowlee on 2 Dec. 1815, the Gorkha council refused to ratify it. The campaign was therefore once more renewed by Ochterlony, who defeated the Gorkhas at Mukwanpoor in February 1816. Further resistance being hopeless, the treaty was finally executed by the Gorkha council on 2 March 1816, since which time the Gorkhas have faithfully kept the peace. On 13 Feb. 1817 Moira was created viscount Loudoun, Earl of Rawdon, and Marquis of Hastings, in the peerage of the United Kingdom, a vote of thanks having been unanimously passed in both houses of parliament a few days previously 'for his judicious arrangements in the plan, and direction of the military operations against Nepaul' (ib. xxxv. 232-3, 238-43). Though Hastings, like Minto, had impressed upon the court of directors the necessity of suppressing the predatory proceedings of the Pindarees, they still continued to insist upon the observance of a policy of non-intervention. This policy had been misunderstood by the native powers, and the Peshwa, together with the other Mahratta chieftains, had been engaged in ceaseless intrigues against the British. The chief objection of the directors to the extirpation of the Pindarees was the fear of irritating the Mahrattas, while Hastings, on the other hand, was convinced that the only way to obtain permanent order was to annihilate the great military states of Central India. On hearing of the raid into the Northern Sircars, Canning, then at the head of the board of control, in a despatch dated 26 Sept. 1810, authorised Hastings to proceed against the Pindarees, and even the Calcutta council after the third irruption of tho Pindarees resolved that vigorous measures should be taken for their suppression. While preparing for war Hastings entered into several subsidiary treaties with a view of securing the assistance of the more powerful chiefs in the extirpation of the Pindarees. Towards the close of 1817 the military preparations were completed, and Hastings took command of the central division, which was stationed at Cawnpore. In November the Peshwa, who had concluded a treaty with the British in the previous year, suddenly broke into war. He was, however, brilliantly defeated by Colonel Burr and Elphinstone with a small British force, Poonah was occupied by General Smith, and the Peshwa had to flee for his life. Appa Saheb, the rajah of Nagpoor, after his repulse at Seetabuldee, surrendered himself, and his army, on refusing to deliver up the guns, was defeated at the battle of Nagpoor. Holkar was routed by Sir Thomas Hislop at Mehidpoor, and on 6 Jan. concluded a peace with the British government. The Pindarees, whose strength had been dependent on the support of the native states, were easily broken up. The result of this brilliant campaign of four months was to establish the supremacy of the British power throughout India. The Peshwa was deposed and his dominions annexed, while the territories of Sindia, Holkar, and the rajah of Berar were at the mercy of the governor-general.
In embarking on a third Mahratta war Hastings undoubtedly exceeded his orders, and, brilliant as the result of his policy had been, it did not escape censure from the court of directors, by whom the extension of territory was denounced. In his answer to the address of the inhabitants of Calcutta, presented to him on his return to that city, Hastings gave an elaborate explanation of his policy, and declared that 'in our original plan there was not the expectation or the wish of adding a rood to the dominions of the Honourable Company' (Asiatic Journal, 1819, vii. 174-83). In 1818 he was made a G.C.H. and a G.C.B. A vote of thanks for his services was passed by the general court of the East India Company on 3 Feb. 1819, and in the same year a grant of 60,000l. was made by the company for the purchase of an estate to be held by trustees for the benefit of Hastings, his wife and issue. A vote of thanks was also passed to him in both houses of parliament in March 1819 (Parl. Debates, xxxix. 760–9, 865–94). During the last years of his governor-generalship Hastings devoted himself to the civil and financial duties of the administration with great ability and industry. In spite of the hostility of the directors he supported many useful measures for the education of the natives, and encouraged the freedom of the press. He did his best also to remove all oppressive laws, and to raise the tone of the government officials. In 1819 he secured the cession of Singapoor, and in 1822 sent a mission to the king of Siam in the hope of establishing commercial intercourse with that country. Moreover, notwithstanding the expenses of the two wars in which he had been engaged, the financial results of his administration were more satisfactory than had been the case with any of his predecessors.
Unfortunately, by an order in council, dated 23 July 1810, the governor-general had suspended the provisions of the act (37 Geo. III c. 142), which prohibited loans to native princes by British subjects, in favour of the banking house of William Palmer & Co., giving them power to do 'all acts within the territories of the nizam which are prohibited by the said act of parliament,' provided that they communicated the nature and object of their transactions, whenever they were required to do so. In 1820, after much difference of opinion in the council, permission was granted to the same house for the negotiation of a loan of sixty lakhs of rupees, which the nizam's minister declared to be required for the legitimate purposes of discharging the arrears due to the public establishment, paying off the incumbrances due to the native bankers, and for making advances to the ryots. Soon after this permission had been given, orders were received from the court of directors, expressing their strong disapproval of the whole of these transactions, and directing the annulment of the exemption which had been granted to the firm. Metcalfe, who had been appointed resident at Hyderabad in November 1820, discovered that a large portion of the loan had been misapplied, and came to the conclusion that the existence of such a powerful trading company was dangerous to the administration of government. The loan was paid off by the resident, and all the dealings of the firm were declared illegal.
Hastings had imprudently avowed an interest in the prosperity of the house of Palmer & Co. in a letter to Sir William Rumbold, who had married his ward, and was one of the partners of the firm. In consequence of this the motives of Hastings were mistrusted by the directors, and, justly indignant at their suspicions, he sent in his resignation in 1821. In March 1822 Canning was appointed his successor, and in the following May the court of directors passed a vote of thanks to Hastings for his zeal and ability. Hastings left India on 1 Jan. 1823, and was succeeded by Lord Amherst, Canning having given up the post in consequence of Lord Londonderry's death. Owing to the embarrassment, of his affairs, Hastings accepted the post of governor and commander-in-chief of Malta, to which he was appointed on 22 March 1824. In the same month Douglas Kinnaird brought forward a proposal in the general court of proprietors for taking into consideration Hastings's services as governor-general of India. An amendment, calling for all the papers connected with his administration, was, however, carried, and the compilation and printing of the documents occupied a twelvemonth. At length, after a long debate on the Hyderabad papers in February and March 1825, Kinnaird's resolution, that the papers contained nothing which tended 'to affect in the slightest degree the personal character or integrity of the late governor-general,' was defeated, and the chairman's amendment, that though there was 'no ground for imputing corrupt motives to the late governor-general,' yet at the same time the court felt 'called upon to record its approval of the political despatches to the Bengal government under dates 24 May 1820, 28 Nov. 1821, 9 April 1823, 21 Jan. 1824,' was carried by a majority of 209. These despatches contained several charges against Hastings, and among others that of having lent the company's credit to the transactions at Hyderabad, not for the benefit of the nizam, but for the sole benefit of Palmer & Co., with having studiously suppressed important information, and with, attempting to elude all check and control. Hastings returned to England for a few months in 1825, and took his seat in the House of Lords for the first time since his elevation to the marquisate on 3 June (Journals of the House of Lords, lvii. 975). In the same month he introduced a bill for regulating the interest of money in India, but though it procured the favourable opinion of the judges and was read a second time in the House of Lords, it did not pass into law (Parliamentary Debates, new ser. xiii. 1207–9, 1380–1). He returned to Malta in February 1826. Here his health, already affected by the Indian climate, began to give way, and he sustained a considerable injury from a fall from his horse. He died on board H.M.S. Revenge in Baia Bay, off Naples, on 28 Nov. 1826, in the seventy-second year of his age. In a letter found among his papers he left directions that upon his death his right hand should be cut off and preserved until the death of the marchioness, when it was to be placed in her coffin.
Hastings was a tall, athletic man, with a stately figure and impressive manner. As a politician he is chiefly remembered as the friend and confidant of the Prince of Wales. His capacity for rule was remarkable, and as a skilful soldier and an able administrator he is not likely to be forgotten. In his earlier days Hastings had denounced the British government of India in the most unmeasured terms, declaring 'it was founded in injustice, and had originally been established by force' (Parliamentary Hist. xxix. 143); but consistency was not one of his political virtues. Hastings laboured earnestly to ameliorate the state of insolvent debtors, and was an enthusiastic freemason, acting as deputy for the Prince of Wales during his grand mastership. Moore dedicated his volume of 'Epistles, Odes, and other Poems,' to Hastings in 1806.
Hastings married, on 12 July 1804, Lady Flora Mure Campbell, countess of Loudoun in her own right, the only child of James, fifth earl of Loudoun, by whom he had six children, viz. (1) Flora Elizabeth [q. v.]; (2) Francis George Augustus, lord Machline, who died an infant; (3) Francis George Augustus, who, born on 4 Feb. 1808, succeeded his father as second marquis of Hastings, and his mother an seventh earl of Loudoun, and died on 13 Jan. 1844; (4) Sophia Frederica Christina, who, born on 1 Feb. 1809, married, on 10 April 1845, John, second marquis of Bute, and died on 28 Dec. 1859; (5) Selina Constantia, who, born on 15 Aug. 1810, married, on 25 June 1838, Charles Henry, captain of
the 56th regiment, and died on 8 Nov. 1867; (6) Adelaide Augusta Lavinia, who married, on 8 July 1854, Sir William Keith Murray of Ochtertyre, bart., and died on 6 Dec. 1860. Lady Hastings, who survived her husband many years, died on 9 Jan. 1840, in her sixtieth year, and was buried in the mausoleum at Loudoun Castle. On the death of the fourth Marquis of Hastings (a grandson of the first marquis) in November 1868 the marquisate and other English and Irish honours created by patent became extinct, while the baronies by writ fell into abeyance among his sisters; the earldom of Loudoun and the other Scottish honours devolved upon his eldest sister (Edith Maud, wife of Charles Frederick Abney-Hastings, afterwards created Baron Donington), in whose favour the abeyance of the baronies of Botreaux, Hungerford, De Moleyns, and Hastings was terminated on 21 April 1871.
In consequence of his habitual extravagance Hastings left his family badly off, and in 1827 the East India Company voted a further sum of 20,000l. for the benefit of his son, the second marquis, who was then under age. A series of letters from Hastings, 1796-7, are in the possession of the Earl of Rosslyn at Dysart House (Hist. MSS. Comm. 2nd Rep. p. 192). The Earl of Granard possesses several letters of Hastings containing interesting matter illustrating the early years of his career and his services in the American war (ib. 3rd Rep. xxvi. 430–1). A number of his letters and despatches during the American war will be found among the collection of Cornwallis MSS. presented by Lord Braybrooke to the Record Office (ib. 8th Rep. pp. 277, 287–9). Among the muniments of Lord Elphinstone at Carbery Tower are a series of letters written by Hastings when governor-general to the Hon. William Fullerton Elphinstone, a director of the East India Company, in which he communicated his policy and the opinion of his colleagues. Many of these letters, however, are described as being 'too confidential for publicity' (ib. 9th Rep. pt. ii. 182, 183, 203–6). A number of papers relating to the Mahratta war, &c., which belonged to the Hon. Mountstuart Elphinstone, are also in the possession of Lord Elphinstone (ib, pp. 207–14). The American papers forming part of the manuscripts belonging to Mrs. Stopford Sackville of Drayton House, Northamptonshire, contain frequent references to Hastings (ib. 9th Rep. pt. iii. 81–118). His collection of sketches of the scenes and events of the American war, painted in water colour by various artists, circa 1775–6, was dispersed by sale. Some of them were in the possession of Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet of New York in 1873 (see Harper's Xew Monthly Magazine, xlvii. 15-26).
A portrait of Hastings by Sir T. Lawrence was exhibited at the Loan Collection of National Portraits at South Kensington in 1868 (Catalogue No. 65). Another portrait by Hugh Hamilton is in the Irish National Portrait Gallery, as well as an engraving by John Jones of an early portrait of Hastings as Lord Rawdon by Sir Joshua Reynolds. A whole-length portrait, said to be painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, was purchased for George IV at the Duke of York's sale in March 1827 (Gent. Mag. xcvii., pt. i. 359). Another portrait in water colour painted on ivory by J. S. Harvie is in the Scotch National Portrait Gallery. An engraving after a portrait by Sir M. A. Shee will be found in the first volume of Jerdan's 'National Portrait Gallery.' A statue of Hastings by Chantrey 'erected by the British inhabitants of Calcutta' stands in the entrance porch of the Dalhousie Institute in that city (Murray, Handbook to the Bengal Presidency, 1882, p. 104).
Hastings was the author of the following: 1. 'Substance of Observations on the state of the Public Finances of Great Britain, by Lord Rawdon, in a speech on the third reading of the Bank Loan Bill in the House of Lords on Thursday ,9 June 1791,' London, 1791, 8vo. 2. 'Speech on the dreadful and alarming State of Ireland,' 1797, 8vo. 3. 'Speech on the Present State of Public Affairs,' 1803, 8vo. 4. 'Summary of the Administration of the Indian Government, by the Marquess of Hastings, during the period that he filled the office of Governor General,' London, 1824, 8vo; another edition, Malta, reprinted 1824, 8vo; also reprinted in vol. xxiv. of 'The Pamphleteer,' pp. 287-334. 5. 'The Private Journal of the Marquess of Hastings, K.G. . . . edited by his daughter, the Marchioness of Bute,' London, 1858, 8vo, 2 vols. This journal was kept by Hastings for the amusement and instruction of his children. It contains little of public interest, and terminates abruptly in December 1818.[The Cornwallis Correspondence, edited by C. Ross, 1859; Bancroft's Hist. of the United States of America, 1876, vi. 271-3, 402-7; Authentic Correspondence and Documents explaining the proceedings of the Marquess Wellesley and of the Earl of Moira in the recent negotiations for the formation of an administration, 5th edit. 1812; Lord Stanhope's Life of William Pitt, 1862, iii. 108-12, iv. 135-41; Prinsep's Hist. of the Political and Military Transactions in India during the administration of the Marquess of Hustings, 1813-1823, 1825, with portrait; Wilson's Hist. of British India, 1859, vol. ii.; Marshmon's Hist. of India, 1867, ii. 282-378; Kaye's Life of Lord Metcalfe, 1854, i. 373-498, ii. 1-94; Meadows Taylor's Student's Manual of the Hist. of India, 1871, pp. 576-603; Walpole's Hist. of England. 1886, v. 186-207; Asiatic Journal, vols. vii. xvi. xvii. xviii. xix. xxiii. xxiv; Memoirs, Journals, and Correspondence of Thomas Moore, 1853; Lord Albemarle's Fifty Years of my Life, 1876, ii. 150-4, 161; Philippart's Royal Military Calendar, 1815, i. 67-70; Annual Biography and Obituary, 1828, 142-58; Gent. Mag. 1827, xcvii. pt. i. 85-90; Lodge's Peerage of Ireland, 1789, iii. 109-10; Collins's Peerage of England, 1812, vi. 688-90; Doyle's Official Baronage, 1886, ii. 151-2; Burke's Peerage (s.n. 'Loudoun'), 1888. p. 882; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1888, iii. 1178; Butler's Lists of Harrow School, 1849, p. 8; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. v. 77, 135, 203, 4th ser. ii. 533, iii. 213, vii. 453; Brit. Mus. Cat.]