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Oswald
Oswald
329

teries of the rifle brigade, and on 9 Oct. 1819 was appointed colonel of the 35th on the death of Charles Lennox, fourth duke of Richmond, K.G. [q. v.], who, as Colonel Lennox, had been colonel of the regiment when Oswald first joined the old 'Orange Lilies,' Oswald became a lieutenant-general 4 June 1814, and general 10 Jan. 1837.

Oswald was made K.C.B. 4 June 1815, G.C.B. 1824, G.C.M.G. 1838. In politics he was a very staunch conservative, and once, in the days before the first reform bill, unsuccessfully contested the county of Fife. Oswald died at his seat, Dunnikier, Kirkcaldy, co. Fife, 8 June 1840.

Oswald married, first, 28 Jan. 1812, Charlotte, eldest daughter of the Rev. Lord Charles Murray-Aynsley, son of John Murrav, third duke of Atholl. She died 22 Feb. 1827, leaving issue. He married, secondly, in October 1829, her cousin, Emily Jane, daughter of Lord Henry Murray, who survives.

In person Oswald was a tall, handsome, powerful man, over six feet in height, who used his weapons well in hand-to-hand fight, notably in the attack on Scylla Castle. A miniature, painted when he first joined the army, and a full-length as a young general officer, by Smellie Watson, now at Dunnikier, show the fine presence which, with his military bearing and youthful figure, he retained to the last year of his life. He had strong literary tastes, was a good and ready public speaker, and popular in society.

[Particulars from family sources; Army Lists and London Gazettes; Philippart's Royal Military Calendar, 1820, iii. 46–56 (in this, however, Oswald's Peninsular services are not always correctly recorded). For an account of the reduction of Malta, see Æneas Anderson's Narrative of an Expedition, London, 1802; for accounts of the campaigns in North Holland and the Mediterranean, see Sir H. E. Bunbury's Narrative of Passages in the late War with France, London, 1854; for account of Oswald's services in the Peninsula, see Napier's Hist. of the Peninsular War, rev. ed. 1812–3; Hamilton's Annals of the Peninsular Campaigns, 1829; Gurwood's Wellington Despatches, vol. vi.]

H. M. C.


OSWALD, RICHARD (1705–1784), merchant and politician, born in Scotland about 1705, was the second son of the Rev. James or George Oswald, minister of Dunnett in Caithness. In his younger days he was an unsuccessful candidate for the mastership of Thurso parochial school, with a salary of 100l. Scots, and took his disappointment so much to heart that he left that part in disgust and never returned to it (Sinclair, Statistical Account of Scotland, xx. 533-4). He then moved to Glasgow, and, as agent to his cousins, gained some thousands of pounds by prize-money, with which he removed to London (Carlyle, Autobiography, p. 87). At this time he was often confined to his house by sore eyes, yet passed much time in reading. Carlyle describes him as 'a man of great knowledge and ready conversation' (ib. p. 356). He was a contractor for the supply of the troops serving in the seven years war, and, being dissatisfied with the conduct of the business by his agents, went to Germany as commissary-general to the forces of the Duke of Brunswick, who bestowed on him very high praise for his services. For many years he was engaged in business in America, when he acquired a great knowledge of commercial affairs, but he afterwards settled as a merchant at Philpot Lane in the city of London. Through his marriage in 1750 to Mary, only daughter and heiress of Alexander Ramsay of Jamaica, he possessed considerable estates in America and the West Indies, and his resources enabled him to purchase in 1759 the estate of Auchincruive in Ayrshire, where he completed the mansion. In 1777 he visited Paris, and became acquainted with Franklin and Vergennes. He was introduced by Adam Smith, whose views on matters of trade he had adopted, to the knowledge of Lord Shelburne, who soon entertained a high opinion of his 'moderation, prudence, and judgment.' During the progress of the war with the American colonies he was frequently consulted, on account of his intimate acquaintance with their commerce and leading men, by the English ministry. In 1781 he gave bail for 50,000l. to Henry Laurens when imprisoned in the Tower.

On Shelburne's accession to office he answered some overtures of Franklin by sending their common friend Oswald to Paris to ascertain the nature of the American terms of peace. He crossed from England in April 1782, and on 16 April called on Franklin with letters from Shelburne and Laurens, the latter of whom had been his friend for nearly thirty years. Franklin informally gave him for communication to Shelburne a memorandum of his views, which included the cession of Canada and Nova Scotia to the American colonies, and with it Oswald returned to London. He again went to Paris on 4 May, and once more crossed to England on 14 May, to return to Paris at the close of that month. The situation was greatly complicated by the jealousies of Shelburne and Fox, which were well known to the French ministers and the principal Americans in France, and by the rivalries of the contending commissioners. Thomas Wal-