Spencer, Augustus Almeric (DNB00)

SPENCER, Sir AUGUSTUS ALMERIC (1807–1893), general, was the third son of Francis Almeric Spencer, first baron Churchill, by Lady Frances Fitzroy, fifth daughter of Augustus, third duke of Grafton. George Spencer, fourth duke of Marlborough [q. v.], was his grandfather. He was born on 25 March 1807 at Blenheim, and served as one of the pages when Alexander I, emperor of Russia, visited Blenheim after the peace of 1815. He lived from 1817 at Cornbury, the seat of his father in Wychwood Forest, and was privately educated by the Rev. Walter Brown, rector of Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, formerly chaplain and librarian at Blenheim. In 1825 he entered the army as ensign of the 43rd light infantry, and was with the regiment at Gibraltar. In 1827 he was under Sir George de Lacy Evans [q. v.] in Portugal. A few years later he accompanied the regiment to Canada, and in 1836 married, at Fredericton, Helen, second daughter of Sir Archibald Campbell, governor of New Brunswick. In 1845 he was appointed to the command of the 44th, and served throughout the Crimean war (1854–5). He was present at the battles of Alma and Inkerman, the occupation of the cemetery and suburbs of Sebastopol (18 June 1855), where he was wounded, and as brigadier-general of the 4th division in the night attack at the fall of Sebastopol (8 Sept. 1855). In October 1855 he commanded the land forces in the expedition to Kinburn, in conjunction with General (afterwards marshal) Bazaine. He was thus with the army from the first landing at Varna until its return to England; was ten times mentioned in despatches, and received the medal with three clasps for the Crimean campaign, as well as the Sardinian and Turkish medals, and the third order of Medjidieh, and was made C.B. and officer of the Legion of Honour. After his return to England in 1856 he was placed in command of a brigade at Aldershot. In 1860 he was made major-general, and appointed to a division of the Madras army at Bangalore. In 1866 he was appointed to the command of the western district (Devonport), and in 1869 he was again in India as commander-in-chief of the Bombay army. In this year also he became colonel of his old regiment, the 43rd. Returning from India in 1874, he commanded the 2nd army corps in the manœuvres on Salisbury Plain in the following year, and was promoted to the rank of general. This was the close of his active service. He died on 28 Aug. 1893 in Ennismore Gardens, London.

[Times, 13 Aug. 1893; Hart's Army List.]

H. L. B.