Banastre Tarleton, GCB (1754 - 1833) MP

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General Sir Banastre Tarleton, 1st Baronet, GCB's Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Death: Died in Leintwardine, Herefordshire, England
Occupation: General; 1st Baronet; MP
Managed by: Erica Isabel Howton, (c)
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Banastre Tarleton, GCB

General Sir Banastre Tarleton, 1st Baronet, GCB (21 August 1754 – 16 January 1833) was a British soldier and politician.

Parents: John Tartleton of Liverpool (1718-1773) and Jane Parker, daughter of Banastre Parker, Esq. He was their 3rd son and 5th child. The Tartleton family "was ancient ... seated for many years at Aigburth in Lancashire, and latterly in the town of Liverpool." (obituary, attached as PDF)

Married:

  1. 1779 common law liason with Mary Robinson, famed actress and poet
  2. bef.1796 liason with Kolina, last name unknown
  3. on 17 Dec 1798 to Susan Priscilla Bertie, illegitimate daughter of Robert Bertie, 4th Duke of Ancaster.

Children of Banastre Tartleton and Kolina:

  1. Banina Georgiana Tarleton (c. 1797-1818)

Nicknames

Bloody Ban, The Butcher, The Green Dragoon, Butcher of the Carolinas, Bloody Tarleton, Tarleton's Quarter

also said about him

‘ He was a born cavalry leader, with great dash, as such he was unequalled in his time’. -- The Dictionary of National Biography

Among the calamities of war may be jointly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages.-- Samuel Johnson; The Idler.

Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton...arrogant, ruthless, and by all reports (including his own) utterly charming." -- Karen Hayden, in an online article Remembering Jack Jouett, Virginia's Paul Revere.

We have said that Cornwallis had subordinates who were foot, and hand, and staff, and sword to him. Tarleton was his hunting leopard, glossy, beautifully mottled, but swift and fell -- when roused by resistance, ferocious. Even this does not give an adequate idea of the velocity of his movements. He was the falcon, which, when unhooded and cast off, darts with arrowy swiftness on its prey. -- Henry S. Randall, in The Life of Thomas Jefferson (1858).

A devil-may-care charmer, the real Ban Tarleton quickly became one of my favorite historical figures, and so he remains. He was a fearless and ferocious cavalry leader, capable of showing his enemies both chivalry and ruthlessness. Away from the battlefield, he was a witty, hyper-sociable little rogue who made friends by the carriageload. (After the war, that list of friends grew to include many of his former enemies such as the Duc de Lauzun, Lafayette, Thaddeus Kosciusko and possibly even Thomas Jefferson.) -- from "Oatmeal for the Foxhounds"

Military Service

A Note from Political Life

Campaigning for office during this time included mobs fighting in the streets, broken windows, and broken bones, which was probably right up Banastre Tarleton's alley. A very funny and slightly sarcastic poem was published in early fall. A local wit decided to write epitaphs for the politically prominent, and Tarleton was not excluded. His "epitaph" read:

Coach-builders, Curricle-builders,

Harness-devisers, and Wheel Patentees Deplore your loss. Your Colonel is no more! Here beneath this rough hewn stone, Called from life without a groan, In piteous case he lies at length! Sunk in all his manly beauty, Perish'd all his Martial Duty, Wither'd all his prosperous Strength.

Colonel T*******

Was one of those unhappy few, in whom the General, the Drummer, and The Suttling Wench had set their Seal, To certify to the World that he Was a Soldier! Yet why? He was sentenced to die, like Sisera, By the hand of a woman, and, in Consequence of that Destiny Expired at midnight of the first of January 1796 In the arms of Mrs. _________, with his Head where his Heels should be.


Tarleton had learned much while campaigning in 1784 and 1788. He took advice from the Duchess of Devonshire, who had scandalized London by publicly campaigning for Fox. She had kissed strange men in public! Ban kissed the girls in the fish market. He "dazzled" honest carpenters and whalers along the Mersey. On June 14th, from his mother's home, he announced his candidacy. The effort to be elected was not without its "Pittfalls." He once took himself off the ballot, only to have a ground-swell of support finally push him over the top. On June 23, after days of mob rule in the streets fighting for the various candidates, Ban beseeched for quiet. His major opposition had withdrawn. He had won the election. In doing so, he became the first Tarleton in Parliament. Having several ancestors Mayor of Liverpool, the family could be considered politically ambitious, which meant his victory was a family triumph.

Links

As a child, Meriwether Lewis (of the Lewis & Clark exploration) absorbed a strong anti-British sentiment. This came naturally to any son of a patriot growing up during the war; it was reinforced by seeing a British raiding party led by Colonel Banastre Tarleton sweep through Albemarle in 1781. President Thomas Jefferson recorded: "He [Tarleton] destroyed all my growing crops of corn and tobacco, he burned all my barns containing the same articles of last year, having first taken what he wanted; he used, as was to be expected, all my stocks of cattle, sheep and hogs for sustenance of his army, and carried off allthe horses capable of service; of those too young for service he cut the throats, and he burned all the fences on the plantation, so as to leave it an absolute waste. He carried off also about 30 slaves." Tarleton also ordered all the county court records burned. This wanton act was roundly and rightly condemned by Reverend Edgar Woods in his 1932 history of Albemarle County: "It is hard to conceive any conduct in an army more outrageous, more opposed to the true spirit of civilization, and with more useless in a military point of view, than the destruction of public archives."

Note: Although his place of burial is identified above as Herefordshire, findagrave.com identifies his final resting place as: Lancaster Cemetery, Lancaster, Lancashire, England. -------------------- Brigade Major of Cavalry.1 He fought in the American War of Independence in 1781.1 He held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Liverpool in 1790.1 He gained the rank of Major-General in 1794.1 He gained the rank of Lieutenant-General in 1801. He gained the rank of General in 1812. He was created 1st Baronet Tarleton on 6 November 1818. He was invested as a Knight Grand Cross, Order of the Bath (G.C.B.) in 1820.

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General Sir Banastre Tarleton, 1st Baronet, GCB's Timeline

1754
August 21, 1754
Liverpool, England
1797
December 19, 1797
Age 43
England?
1798
December 17, 1798
Age 44
Lord Gwydir's home at Whitehall, England
1833
January 16, 1833
Age 78
Leintwardine, Herefordshire, England
????
Leintwardine Church, Herefordshire, England