Lords Henry and Charles Hardinge

From SikhiWiki
(Redirected from Lord Hardinge)
Jump to navigationJump to search

Field Marshal Henry Hardinge, 1st Viscount Hardinge, GCB, PC (30 March 1785 – 24 September 1856) was a British field marshal and Governor-general of India.

Army career

Born at Wrotham in Kent and after attending Durham School he entered the British Army in 1799 as an ensign in the Queen's Rangers, a corps then stationed in Upper Canada.[1] His first active service was at the Battle of Vimeiro, where he was wounded, and at Corunna he was by the side of Sir John Moore when the latter was killed.[1] Subsequently he was appointed deputy-quartermaster-general in the Portuguese army and was present at many of the the battles of the Peninsular War.[1] At Albuera, in 1811, he saved the day for the British by taking the responsibility at a critical moment of strongly urging General Cole's division to advance.[1] He was wounded again at Battle of Vitoria in 1813.[1]

When war broke out again in 1815 after Napoleon's escape from Elba, Hardinge returned to active service.[1] He was present at the Battle of Ligny on June 16, 1815, where he lost his left hand by a shot, and thus was not present at Waterloo two days later.[1] Wellington presented him with a sword that had belonged to Napoleon.[1]


He returned to England in 1848, and in 1852 succeeded the Duke of Wellington as commander-in-chief of the British army. While in this position he had responsibility for the direction of the Crimean War, which he endeavoured to conduct on Wellington's principles - a system not altogether suited to the changed mode of warfare. In 1855 he was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal.

A commission was set up to investigate the failings of the British military during the Crimean campaign. As Hardinge was delivering the report of the commission to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, he collapsed with a stroke. Prince Albert helped him to a sofa, where despite being paralysed on one side, he continued to deliver his report, apologizing for the interruption.

Viscount Hardinge resigned his office of commander-in-chief in July 1856, owing to failing health, and died later in the same year at South Park near Tunbridge Wells.

His grandson, Charles Hardinge

Charles Hardinge, 1st Baron Hardinge of Penshurst KG GCB GCSI GCMG GCIE GCVO ISO PC (20 June 1858 – 2 August 1944) was a British diplomat and statesman who served as Viceroy of India from 1910 to 1916.

Background and education

Hardinge was the second son of Charles Hardinge, 2nd Viscount Hardinge, and the grandson of Henry Hardinge, 1st Viscount Hardinge, a former Governor-General of India. He was educated at Harrow School[2] and Trinity College, Cambridge.[3]


Hardinge entered the diplomatic service in 1880, was appointed first secretary at Tehran in 1896 and first secretary at Saint Petersburg in 1898 when he was promoted over the heads of seventeen of his seniors. After a brief stint as Assistant Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs he became Ambassador to Russia in 1904. In 1906 he was promoted to the position of Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, and despite his own conservatism, worked closely with Liberal Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey. In 1907 he declined the post of Ambassador to the United States. In 1910 Hardinge was raised to the peerage as Baron Hardinge of Penshurst, in the County of Kent, and appointed by the Asquith government as Viceroy of India.

His tenure was a memorable one, seeing the visit of King George V and the Delhi Durbar of 1911, as well as the move of the capital from Calcutta to New Delhi in 1912. Although Hardinge was the target of assassination attempts by Indian nationalists, his tenure generally saw better relations between the British administration and the nationalists, thanks to the implementation of the Morley-Minto reforms of 1909, Hardinge's own admiration for Mohandas Gandhi, and criticism of the South African government's anti-Indian immigration policies.

Hardinge's efforts paid off in 1914 during the First World War. Due to improved colonial relationships, Britain was able to deploy nearly all of the British troops in India as well as many native Indian troops to areas outside of India. In particular the British Indian Army was able to play a significant role in the Mesopotamian campaign[4]

In 1916, Hardinge returned to his former post in England as Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, serving with Arthur Balfour. In 1920 he became ambassador to France before his retirement in 1922.

Personal life

Lord Haringe of Penshurst died in Penshurst, Kent, on 2 August 1944, aged 86.

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Template:Cite journal
  2. ^ photo at http://www.harrowphotos.com and cf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Old_Harrovians
  3. ^ Template:Venn
  4. ^ Lord Hardinge and the Mesopotamia Expedition and Inquiry, 1914-1917; Douglas Goold; The Historical Journal, Vol. 19, No. 4 (Dec., 1976), pp. 919-945