Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings

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Francis Edward Rawdon-Hastings (Rawdon), 1st Marquess of Hastings

Also Known As: "1st Marquess of /Hastings", "Governor-General of India"
Birthplace: Moira,,, Ireland
Death: November 28, 1826 (71)
On Hms Revenge, Baia Bay,, Naples
Place of Burial: Malta
Immediate Family:

Son of John Rawdon, 1st Earl of Moira and Elizabeth Hastings, Baroness Hastings
Husband of Flora Mure-Campbell, 6th Countess of Loudoun and Jemima Rawdon-Hastings
Father of Lady Flora Elizabeth Rawdon-Hastings; George Rawdon-Hastings, 2nd Marquess of Hastings; Sophia Crichton-Stuart, Marchioness of Bute; Selina Constance Henry; Lady Adelaide Murray (Rawdon-Hastings) and 1 other
Brother of Lady Anne Elizabeth Rawdon; Hon. John Theophilus Rawdon, of Moira; Selina Forbes (Rawdon), Countess of Granard; Lady Charlotte Fitzgerald and Major Hon George Rawdon
Half brother of Lady Catherine Henry and Helena Moore (Rawdon), Countess of Mountcashell

Occupation: 1st Marquess of Hastings, Earl of Moira in Northern Ireland
Managed by: Heather (Fachet) Bond
Last Updated:

About Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings,_1st_Marquess_...

Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings KG PC (9 December 1754 – 28 November 1826), styled The Honourable Francis Rawdon from birth until 1762 and as The Lord Rawdon between 1762 and 1783 and known as The Earl of Moira between 1793 and 1816, was a Irish-British politician and military officer who served as Governor-General of India from 1813 to 1823.

Background, education and early military career

Hastings was born at Moira, County Down, the son of John Rawdon, 1st Earl of Moira and Elizabeth Rawdon, 13th Baroness Hastings. He grew up there, and in Dublin, Ireland.[1] He joined the British Army on 7 August 1771 as an ensign in the 15th Foot, (the going rate was ₤200). He enrolled at University College, Oxford, but dropped out. He became friends there with Banastre Tarleton. With his uncle Lord Huntington, he went on the Grand Tour[2] On 20 October 1773, he was promoted to lieutenant in the 5th Foot. He returned to England, to join his regiment, and sailed for America on 7 May 1774.

American War of Independence

Battle of Bunker Hill

Rawdon was posted at Boston as a Lieutenant in the 5th Regiment of Foot's Grenadier company, during the Battle of Lexington and Concord, but he saw action at the battle of Bunker Hill. Serving with the grenadiers, he participated in the second assault against Breed's hill (which failed), and the third assault against the redoubt. As his superior, Captain Harris, was wounded beside him, he took command of his company, for the successful assault.[3] John Burgoyne noted in dispatches: "Lord Rawdon has this day stamped his fame for life." He was promoted Captain, and given a company in the 63rd Foot. There was a rumor that Lieutenant Lord Rawdon killed the rebel Joseph Warren. Lord Rawdon is depicted in John Trumbull's famous painting The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Rawdon is in the far background holding the British ensign,.

Winter quarters 1774–1775

During the Boston winter quarters, Rawdon made his stage debut, delivering a prologue for Aaron Hill's tragedy, Zara, which had been written by John Burgoyne.[4] He was appointed Aide-de-camp to General Sir Henry Clinton, and sailed with him on the expedition to Brunswick Town, North Carolina, on the Cape Fear River, and then to the repulse at Fort Moultrie, Charleston, South Carolina. He returned with him to New York. On 4 August, he dined with General Clinton, Admiral Lord Howe, Lord Cornwallis, General Vaughan, and others.[5] During the Battle of Long Island, he was at headquarters, with Clinton.

Landing at Kip's Bay

On 15 September, he led his men at Kip's Bay, an amphibious landing on Manhattan island.[6] The next day, he led his troops in support of the Light Infantry, that attacked Harlem Heights, until the Americans withdrew.

White Plains

Again he participated at the landings at Pell's Point. The British pressed the Americans to White Plains, where on 1 November the Americans withdrew from their entrenchments.

Rhode Island, England, and New York

On 8 December he landed with Clinton at Rhode Island securing the ports for the British Navy. On 13 January 1777, with Clinton, he departed for London, arriving 1 March. During a ball at Lord George Germain's he met Lafayette, (who was visiting London).[7]

Returning to America, in July, while Howe went to his Philadelphia campaign, Rawdon went with Clinton to the New York headquarters, where he participated in the battles of the New York Highlands, where on 7 October, Fort Constitution, (opposite West Point), was captured. However, this was too late to link up with General Burgoyne at Albany.[8]

Rawdon was sent to Philadelphia with dispatches, and returned to New York for the winter, where he raised a regiment, called the Volunteers of Ireland, recruited from deserters and Irish loyalists. Promoted colonel, in command of this regiment, Rawdon went with Clinton to Philadelphia.[9] Starting out on 18 June 1778, he went with Clinton during the withdrawal from Philadelphia to New York, and saw action at the Battle of Monmouth.[10] He was appointed adjutant general. Rawdon was sent to learn news of the battle of Rhode Island.[11]

At New York, on 3 September 1779, he quarreled with Clinton, and resigned his position as adjutant general.[12] He served with the Volunteers of Ireland, during the raid on Staten Island, by Lord Stirling on 15 January 1780.[13]

Southern Campaign

He went south to the Siege of Charleston with reinforcements, then Lord Cornwallis posted him at Camden as the British sought to occupy South Carolina. Rawdon commanded the British left wing at the battle of Camden. When Cornwallis went into Virginia, he left Rawdon in command in the south.

Perhaps his most noted achievement was the victory at the Battle of Hobkirk's Hill, where in command of only a small force, he defeated by superior military skill and determination, a much larger body of Americans. Thinking, (in error) that Nathanael Greene had moved his artillery away, Rawdon attacked Greene's left wing, forcing the Americans to retire.[14]

However, Rawdon was forced to begin a gradual retreat to Charleston, relieving the siege of Ninety-Six, but then evacuating to Charleston. When the Loyalists he saved in the Siege of Ninety-Six were eventually relocated to Nova Scotia, they named their community of Rawdon, Nova Scotia after him. In July 1781, in poor health, he gave up his command. He was captured at sea, by De Grasse, but was exchanged.[15] He was awarded the freedom of the city of Dublin in recognition of his service in America.[16]

French Revolutionary Wars

Following the declaration of war, of France upon Great Britain, he was appointed major general, on 12 October 1793. Sent by the Pitt ministry, Hastings launched an expedition into Ostend, France, in 1794. He marched to join with the army of the Duke of York, at Alost. The French general Pichegru with superior numbers forced the British back toward their base at Antwerp. He left the expedition, feeling Pitt had broken promises.

Political career

Rawdon-Hastings sat for Randalstown in the Irish House of Commons from 1781 until 1783, when he was created Baron Rawdon, of Rawdon, in the County of York.[20] In 1787, he became friends with the Prince of Wales, and loaned him many thousands of pounds. In 1788 he became embroiled in the Regency Crisis. In 1789, he took the surname Hastings in accordance with his uncle's will. He succeeded his father as 2nd Earl of Moira in 1793, and served in the House of Lords for three decades.

Becoming a Whig in politics, he entered government as part of the Ministry of all The Talents in 1806 as Master-General of the Ordnance, but resigned upon the fall of the ministry the next year. Being a close associate of the Prince-Regent, Moira was asked by him to try to form a Whig government after the assassination of Spencer Perceval in 1812 ended that ministry. Both of Moira's attempts to create a governing coalition failed, and the Tories returned to power under the Earl of Liverpool. On 6 December 1816, he was raised to the rank of Marquess of Hastings together with the subsidiary titles Viscount Loudoun and Earl of Rawdon.[21] Fifteen years before Hastings County, Ontario and three of its early townships were named after him.

He also became the patron of Thomas Moore the poet.

Governor-General of India

Through the influence of the Prince-Regent, Moira was appointed Governor-General of India in 11 November 1812.[23] His tenure as Governor-General was a memorable one, overseeing the victory in the Gurkha War (1814–1816); the final conquest of the Marathas in 1818; and the purchase of the island of Singapore in 1819.

After delays clearing affairs, he reached Madras on 11 September 1813. In October, he settled in at Calcutta. British India then consisted of Madras, Bengal, and Bombay. He commanded an army of 15,000 British regulars, a Bengal army of 27 regiments of native infantry, and eight regiments of cavalry; a Madras army, led by General John Abercrombie of 24 regiments of native infantry, and eight regiments of native cavalry.[24]

Gurkha War

In May 1813, the Gurkhas declared war. Hastings sent four divisions in separate attacks; General Bennet Marley with 8,000 men against Katmandu, General John Sullivan Wood with 4,000 men against Butwal, General Sir David Ochterlony with 10,000 men against Amar Singh Thapa, and General Robert Rollo Gillespie, with 3,500 men against Nahan, Srinagar, and Garhwal. Only Ochterlony had some success; Gillespie was killed. After inconclusive negotiations, Hastings reinforced Ochterlony to 20,000 men, who then won the battle of Makwanpur on 28 February. The Gurkhas then sued for peace, under the Sugauli Treaty.[25]

Third Anglo-Maratha War

After raids by Pindaris, in January 1817, Hastings led a force at Hindustan in the North; in the South, the Army of the Deccan, under the command of General Sir Thomas Hislop. The Peshwa was defeated by William Fullarton Elphinstone on the Poona. Appa Sahib, was defeated at the battle of Nagpur. Hislop defeated Holkar at the Battle of Mahidpur.


He was active diplomatically, protecting weaker Indian states. His domestic policy in India was also largely successful, seeing the repair of the Mughul canal system in Delhi in 1820, as well as educational and administrative reforms. He confirmed the purchase of Singapore, from the Sultan of Jahore, by Sir Stamford Raffles, in January 1819.

He because increasingly estranged from the East India Company's Board of Control. (see also Company rule in India). Hastings' tenure in India ended due to a financial scandal in 1823. He returned to England and was cleared of all charges during an impeachment trial.[26] He was then appointed Governor-General of Malta in 1824. He died at sea off Naples two years later.


The HMS Moira was and the Moira River in Ontario, Canada is named in his honour.


On 12 July 1804, he married Flora Campbell, 6th Countess of Loudoun, daughter of Major-General James Mure-Campbell, 5th Earl of Loudoun and Lady Flora Macleod. They had six children:

Flora Elizabeth Rawdon-Hastings (11 February 1806 – 5 July 1839), died unmarried.

Hon. Francis George Augustus (1807–1807), died in infancy.

George Augustus Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 2nd Marquess of Hastings (4 February 1808 – 13 January 1844)

Sophia Frederica Christina Rawdon-Hastings (1 February 1809 – 28 December 1859), married John Crichton-Stuart, 2nd Marquess of Bute and had issue.

Selina Constance Rawdon-Hastings (1810 – 8 November 1867), married Charles Henry and has issue

Adelaide Augusta Lavinia Rawdon-Hastings (25 February 1812 – 6 December 1860), married Sir William Murray, 7th Baronet of Octertyre

The marquess also apparently fathered an illegitimate son George Hunn Nobbs by Jemima Ffrench, although this is likely to be a falsification of Nobbs'.


Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings was created 1st Baron Rawdon [Great Britain] on 4 March 1783.3 He succeeded to the title of 12th Lord Hastings, of Hungerford [E., 1482] on 11 April 1808. He succeeded to the title of 13th Lord Hastings [E., 1461] on 11 April 1808. He succeeded to the title of 17th Lord Botreaux [E., 1368] on 11 April 1808.3 He was created 1st Marquess of Hastings [U.K.] on 13 April 1817.

Child of Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings and Jemima ffrench

1.Reverend George Hunn Nobbs+4 b. 16 Oct 1799, d. 5 Nov 1884

Children of Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings and Flora Campbell

1.Selina Constance Rawdon-Hastings d. 8 Nov 1867

2.Flora Elizabeth Rawdon-Hastings b. 11 Feb 1806, d. 5 Jul 1839

3.George Augustus Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 2nd Marquess of Hastings+3 b. 4 Feb 1808, d. 13 Jan 1844

4.Lady Sophia Frederica Christina Rawdon-Hastings+5 b. 1 Feb 1809, d. 28 Dec 1859

  • ***************

Source: cracroft's peerage

Francis [Rawdon later Rawdon-Hastings], 1st Baron Rawdon later 2nd Earl of Moira later 1st Marquess of Hastings, KG GCB GCH

createdv.p. 5 Mar 1783 Baron Rawdon, of Rawdon in the County of York (Peerage of Great Britain)

13 Feb 1817 Viscount Loudoun, Earl of Rawdon and Marquess of Hastings

notesuc. his mother 11 Apr 1808 as 17th Baron Botreaux, 17th Baron Hungerford, 15th Baron de Moleyns, 14th Baron Hastings de Hastings and 13th Baron Hastings de Hungerford

The Earldom of Moira was held by the Marquesses of Hastings from 13 Feb 1817 until 10 Nov 1868, when on the death without issue of Henry Weysford Charles Plantagenet [Rawdon-Hastings], 4th Marquess of Hastings, 5th Earl of Moira, etc., the Marquessate of Hastings, the Earldoms of Moira and Rawdon, the Viscountcy of Loudoun and the two Baronies of Rawdon all became extinct

Other References

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Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings's Timeline

December 9, 1754
Moira,,, Ireland
March 4, 1783
Age 28
Great Britain (United Kingdom)
October 16, 1799
Moira, Northern Ireland
February 11, 1806
Edinburgh or Rowallan, Scotland (United Kingdom)
February 4, 1808
April 11, 1808
Age 53
April 11, 1808
Age 53
April 11, 1808
Age 53
February 1, 1809