Sir Thomas De Saumarez

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Sir Thomas De Saumarez

Also Known As: "Had no issue"
Birthplace: Guernsey
Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Dr Matthew Saumarez and Carterette De Saumarez (Le Marchant)
Husband of Harriet De Saumarez (Brock)
Brother of Anne Dobree (De Saumarez); Jean de Saumarez; James Saumarez, 1st Baron De Saumarez; Charlotte Dobree (De Saumarez); Richard de Saumarez and 4 others
Half brother of Susannah Brock (Saumarez)

Occupation: General in Army
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Sir Thomas De Saumarez

IGI Individual Record FamilySearch™ International Genealogical Index v5.0 British Isles


Thomas De SAUSMAREZ Pedigree Male


Birth:  1760   , Guernsey, Channel Islands  
Death:  1846   , Guernsey, Channel Islands  


 Father:  Matthew De SAUSMAREZ  Family 
 Mother:  Catherine Le MARCHANT  



Name: Thomas De Saumarez

Given Name: Thomas

Surname: De Saumarez

Suffix: General Sir

Birth: 1 Jul 1760 in Channel Isles

Death: 4 Mar 1845


Father: Matthew Sausmarez b: 1718 in (Of Guernsey, Channel Isles)

Mother: Carterette Le Marchant b: 24 Jun 1726 in Guernsey, Channel Isles

Marriage 1 Harriet Brock b: 2 Jan 1763

4th son born.

Entered the army at age 15



General Sir Thomas Saumarez1

M, #368744, b. 1 July 1760, d. 4 March 1845

Last Edited=19 Jun 2009

    General Sir Thomas Saumarez was born on 1 July 1760.1 He was the son of Matthew Saumarez and Carteret Le Marchant.2 He married Harriet Brock, daughter of William Brock.1 He died on 4 March 1845 at age 84, without issue.1
    General Sir Thomas Saumarez fought in the American War of Independence.1 He was Equerry and Groom of Chamber to the Duke of Kent in 1790.1 He was Commander-in-Chief of the New Brunswick in 1813.1



FROM THE BOOK..................

The history of Guernsey and its bailiwick


Was a younger brother of Admiral Lord de Saumarez, and in January, 1776,

at the age of fifteen, entered the army as a second lieutenant, by purchase, in

the 23d, or royal Welsh fusileers. Quickly embarking for North America,

where the regiment was, he was present at the capture and surrender of York

Island, and the capture of Fort Washington by storm, in December, 1776, when

3,300 men were made prisoners.

In 1777, Lieutenant Saumarez was promoted to a lieutenantcy, and, exclu-

sive of minor affairs, was present in the severe action at Monmouth, in which

the company to which he was attached lost its captain, and one-third of the

men were killed and wounded. In 1779, at the early ase of nineteen, he pur-

chased a company in the fusiliers, and from that period to the surrender of the

army under Lord Cornwallis, at York-town, October 19, 1781, he served as a

captain in three general actions, several skirmishes, and two sieges, and dis-

tinguished himself on several occasions. Captain Saumarez was one of the

thirteen captains taken prisoners at York-town, who were ordered by congress,

in June, 1782, to draw lots that one might suffer death in retaliation for the

execution of an American officer. Sir Charles Asgill was the destined victim,

and his life was only ultimately spared through the intervention of the French

government and the kind officers of Marie-Antoinette, the unfortunate queen

of France.

At the conclusion of the American war, in 1783, Captain Saumarez was

released, and was placed on half-pay, in consequence of the reduction of the

army. After several fruitless attempts to obtain employment, he joined the

7th, or royal fusiliers, in 1789, and soon after embarked for Gibraltar, when

his tact and judgment were so appreciated by his colonel, the Duke of Kent,

that he was honored with the appointment of equerry, and afterwards of groom

of the chamber to his royal highness.

In 1793, at the commencement of the war against France, Captain Saumarez

was placed on the staff in Guernsey ; and the year following, being deputed by

the States of the island to present a congratulatory address on the marriage of

the Prince of Wales, he received the honor of knighthood. In 1799, he was

appointed inspector of the Guernsey militia, which situation he filled till June,

1811, when he became a major-general. In 1812, Sir Thomas Saumarez was

appointed commandant of the garrison of Halifax, N.S., and in 1813 he was

commander-in-chief of New Brunswick. When, in 1814, he was about to

return to England, he received a highly complimentary address from the

council of that province. Sir Thomas married Henrietta, daughter of William

Brock, Esq. He attained the rank of general in 1838, and died in Guernsey,

on the 4th of March, 1845, leaving no surviving issue

  • ***********************************************************************************************************

from the book..



In adding the following memoir of this distinguished officer, who is a younger brother of the late noble Lord, we feel confident that it will be read with interest, his services having been in some degree mixed up with those of his illustrious brother, in the prosecution of the American and the late Continental war. The author having been intimately acquainted with Sir Thomas, and having for many years kept up a constant correspondence with him, has peculiar satisfaction in discharging this duty of gratitude to a friend for whom he had always the highest regard and respect, and to whom he materially owes his advancement in the profession to which he has the honour to belong.

Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Saumarez entered the army in January 1776, at the early age of 15 years, when he purchased a second lieutenancy in the 23rd regiment or Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He was at the taking of New[Pg 333] York Island, and assisted at the storming of Fort Washington and in capturing 3300 men.

In April 1777, he embarked on board transports with the regiment, and proceeded to destroy all the military stores and provisions the enemy had collected at Danburg in the province of Connecticut. He first distinguished himself in the action fought at this place, and in the actions of Ridgefield and Compo Point. Having obtained a lieutenancy in 1778 without purchase at Philadelphia, he soon after was selected to serve in the company of grenadiers which was then attached to the brigade, composed of more than fifty companies of grenadiers. He was in the severe action fought at Monmouth, in the Jerseys, when the captain, and more than one-third of the company to which he belonged, were killed or wounded. His services were volunteered with the regiment to serve as marines on board Lord Howe's fleet, destined to attack the French fleet, under Count D'Estaing, at Rhode Island, very superior in size and weight of metal to the British: a dreadful storm arose when the two fleets were within gun-shot of each other, which prevented the engagement. In 1779, he embarked and went up Hudson's River to East Chester, and Ver Plank's Point, and was at the attack of Fort La Fayette and other fortified places, which surrendered.

On the return of young Saumarez to New York in September 1779, he was strongly recommended by his commanding officer to General Clinton, the commander-in-chief, and, in consequence, was permitted to purchase a company in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, although he was only 19 years of age. The day following, he embarked with several regiments, under the command of Earl Cornwallis, with the intention of attacking several French West Indian Islands. A few days after leaving New York, a frigate hove in sight, the captain of which gave information to Vice[Pg 334] Admiral Arbuthnot, that two days before he had seen a large fleet of men-of-war, under the command of Count De Grasse, very superior in numbers to our convoy, and that he supposed the enemy to be within a day's sail of our ships. Upon this the Admiral made the signal for all the transports to return as expeditiously as possible to New York, where he disembarked.

In December, our young officer embarked with many regiments, under the command of Lieutenant General Clinton, and sailed for South Carolina, to besiege the city of Charlestown, which surrendered on the 12th of May 1780. Soon after this, he was detached with 4000 men, under the orders of Earl Cornwallis, and after marching upwards of one hundred miles took possession of Camden. At this place, our little army became so sickly that we had more than 1100 men in the hospital, which, with many detachments, reduced our number to less than 2000 effective men. The enemy being apprised of this, was induced to collect a force of more than 7000 men, with the intention of attacking and capturing our little army, under the command of General Gates. On the 15th of August, Lord Cornwallis was informed that the Americans were within twelve miles of Camden, and consisted of six to one in numbers more than we had to oppose to them. Upon this, his lordship considered it was too late to think of retreating to Charlestown, and not wishing to abandon our sick in hospital, decided at once that, by attacking the enemy, we had a great deal to gain and little to lose. He accordingly issued an order to march at nine o'clock the same evening. About two hours after, the advance guards of the British and of the Americans encountered each other, as the enemy had begun to march precisely at the same hour: after skirmishing some time, the firing ceased, and both armies waited most impatiently for the dawn of day of[Pg 335] the 16th, when they formed, and immediately engaged; the Americans at the same time detaching troops on both the flanks of the British, to prevent their escaping, under the expectation of taking the whole prisoners. On the other hand, the British marched coolly to meet the enemy, although under a very heavy fire of cannon and musketry, until they came within twenty yards of their opponents. Here Lord Cornwallis took off his hat, which was a signal for the line to give three hearty cheers, advance, and, when within a few yards of the enemy, fire a well-directed volley and charge: this was done with such effect that the first line of the Americans ran away and overset their reserve; the result was, that the British killed (mostly with the bayonet), wounded, and took prisoners 300 more than they had men in the field, took seven pieces of brass cannon, 150 waggons, full of all sorts of military stores, camp equipage, &c.

About three weeks after this action, Lord Cornwallis, upon finding the greater number of the sick had left the hospital, issued an order for all the officers' baggage which could possibly be dispensed with to be destroyed immediately, as the little army was going by forced marches in pursuit of the enemy. The troops accordingly marched seventeen successive days, from five o'clock in the evening to eight or nine the following morning, oftentimes with a very scanty allowance, or no provisions, as it was through an exhausted country, without bread, (as the corn mills had been rendered unserviceable,) except some Indian corn used by the cattle, and this corn was taken from the fields. The troops were without tents or any covering to shelter them from the intense heat and heavy rains peculiar to the climate. They had to ford frequently four or five rivers and creeks in a day; some of these were deeper than their waist, and so rapid, that the[Pg 336] officers and soldiers found it requisite to tie and support each other. Under these circumstances the men were frequently exposed to a most galling fire from the enemy, strongly posted: if a man was wounded, he was let go down the stream and drowned.

During a march of 1500 miles through South and North Carolina and Virginia, the officers and soldiers were subjected to the greatest sufferings, privations, and hardships, which, (as Lord Cornwallis frequently observed in his despatches,) could not be possibly exceeded, their clothes being worn out, especially their boots and shoes. They were, moreover, almost without wine or spirits, having destroyed the greater part when orders were issued at Camden to lessen the baggage as much as possible, which deprived the officers of the comforts they so much required, and which they had obtained with the greatest trouble and expense: for this sacrifice, they never received the smallest recompence. The officers having the rank of captain were allowed to ride on a march, but in consequence of a requisition made to Lord Cornwallis by Colonel Tarleton, commanding the cavalry, not only for the riding horses, but also for all the cart horses, which were most serviceable to mount his troopers, his lordship most reluctantly compelled every officer to deliver the best of the horses for the cavalry. The captains naturally lent their horses to the officers and men who might require them from illness or otherwise; it was soon found out that they could not be dispensed with, so that cast-off horses were substituted for those they had been obliged to give up.

The little army being nearly exhausted with fatigue, the officers and men became most anxious that, instead of the minor actions and skirmishes to which they were frequently exposed, the enemy would collect all his force[Pg 337] and give them an opportunity to fight and end their labours.

On the 14th of March 1781, Lord Cornwallis received intelligence that General Green, with a force five times greater as to numbers than the British, was within ten miles. His lordship determined to attack them the day following, and put his little corps in motion at daybreak of the 15th of March. About noon, he fell in with the enemy most advantageously posted, and formed in three lines; the first, which was behind rails, kept up a most incessant fire, from four six-pounders and musquetry, upon the British troops as they advanced upon a ploughed field, which was very muddy from rain that fell the day before. Notwithstanding all these disadvantages, they marched coolly to the Americans without firing a musket until within a few yards, when they halted to fire a well-directed volley and charged. Upon this, they had to encounter the enemy's second and third lines, which were attacked in the same manner and totally dispersed, leaving their four six-pounders, the only guns they had, in the field, which were bravely taken by the brigade of guards: these four six-pounders were soon after retaken by a charge from Colonel Washington's cavalry, and two of these guns were ultimately taken by Captain Saumarez, who had the command of the left wing of the regiment from the commencement of the action, after Captain Pater, who commanded the royal Welsh Fusiliers, was wounded in the early part of the engagement, and the left wing had been separated from the right wing when in pursuit of the first line of the Americans. The other two six-pounders were also taken by Colonel Tarleton's cavalry: these four guns were all the Americans brought into the field.

The enemy's loss in killed and wounded was very considerable.[Pg 338] The Welsh Fusiliers and most of the other corps of Lord Cornwallis's army had about one third of the officers and soldiers in the field killed and wounded, and most unhappily, during the action, the lighted paper of the cartridges set fire to the dried leaves, so that many of the unfortunate wounded, which could not be removed, belonging to the British and Americans, were burnt to death. Earl Cornwallis mentioned in his despatches, "that the conduct and actions of the officers and soldiers that compose this little army, will do more justice to their merit than I can by words. Their persevering intrepidity in action, their invincible patience in the hardships and fatigues of a march of many hundred miles, in which they have forded several large rivers and numberless creeks, many of which would be reckoned large rivers in any other country in the world, without tents or covering against the climate, and often without provisions, will sufficiently manifest their ardent zeal for the honour and interests of their sovereign and their country."

This engagement was generally considered to be the hottest and bloodiest, as well as the best fought throughout the war.[15] The army marched from Guildford the 18th of March for Wilmington, where it arrived the 7th of April. At this place the officers and soldiers fortunately were enabled to supply themselves with a small quantity of wine and spirits, with which they had been without for some months, also with tea and sugar and some clothing, of which they began to be in the greatest need, in consequence of having been compelled to destroy the greatest part of their baggage twice for the good of the service, since they arrived at Camden in June 1780.

On the 25th of April 1781, he marched from Wilmington, North Carolina, for Petersburg, Virginia, a distance of 800 miles: here he arrived on the 20th of May, after[Pg 339] undergoing the greatest privations and hardships, which Lord Cornwallis deplored, and felt the distresses of his little army so much that he became very ill with a fever, which prevented the possibility of his lordship's sitting a horse, and made it indispensably requisite for his being conveyed in a waggon over mountains, rivers, and creeks.

On the 4th of July the troops marched from Williamsburg, the capital of Virginia, for James Town, near which place there was a river three miles wide, which the army had to cross. On the 5th, the baggage of the army passed over the river, and some of the troops. The day following, Lord Cornwallis received intelligence that the Marquis De La Fayette with 2000 Americans were within a short distance of the British, with the intention of destroying the rear guard: upon this, his lordship prevented the main body of his little corps from embarking, and placed it in ambush behind a high hill to wait the attack of the enemy. About four o'clock in the afternoon, the Americans began to attack the piquets, which had orders to sustain their ground as long as possible; in consequence, several officers and soldiers were wounded: at length the main body of the enemy formed in front of the British, when the latter, after receiving the repeated discharges of the former from two six-pounders and musquetry, advanced, with the greatest impetuosity, fired a volley and charged, which completely dispersed the Americans, who were pursued until dark, the enemy leaving the two pieces of cannon and more than 300 killed and wounded on the field. Another hour of day-light would in all probability have prevented a single man of the Americans escaping.

Earl Cornwallis was so well pleased with his little army, that in his despatches he mentioned, that he could not sufficiently commend the spirit and good behaviour of the officers and soldiers.[Pg 340] On the 25th of July the little corps marched for Portsmouth, and arrived at York Town and Gloucester on the 9th of August, when orders were issued to fortify both places as well as practicable. The Welsh Fusiliers were directed to erect a redoubt on the right flank of the town, more than five hundred yards in advance, there being a ravine between York and the position allotted. Lord Cornwallis declared that the Fusiliers would have to defend this post. On the 28th of September, 8000 French troops under the command of Count Rochambeau, and 1500 American troops under General Washington, with a large French fleet of ships of war, made their appearance, with the avowed intention of besieging the army under Earl Cornwallis, consisting of only 4017 men fit for duty: 1933 officers and soldiers were wounded and sick in hospital. The night following, the enemy broke ground within three hundred yards and continued their approaches.

On the 6th of October, 3000 French grenadiers made a most vigorous attempt to storm the right advanced redoubt, and were bravely repulsed by only 130 officers and soldiers of the royal Welsh Fusiliers, and 40 marines. Two other attempts were made by the French to take the redoubt, which proved equally unsuccessful. For the gallant defence made by the troops in the right redoubt, they received the particular thanks of Earl Cornwallis, and also the most flattering testimonials of approbation and of admiration from the general officers of the army, for their intrepid conduct during the siege, and upon all other occasions. Even the French general officers, after the termination of the siege, gave the Welsh Fusiliers their unqualified praises for their firmness and courage in repulsing the three attacks made by such vastly superior numbers on the redoubt, and could not be easily convinced[Pg 341] that so few men defended it. Captain Saumarez was the second officer in command in the advanced right redoubt.

On the 19th of October 1781, the garrison of York Town capitulated. Lord Cornwallis having ordered that one captain and three subalterns of each regiment be required to remain with the prisoners, the captains drew lots, when Captain Saumarez proved so unfortunate as to be the one to remain with the regiment, in order to visit the non-commissioned officers and soldiers very frequently; to be an eye-witness of their treatment; to take care that the quantity and quality of the provisions issued to them were conformable to the terms of the capitulation; to distribute clothing and necessaries, and also to be of every other use and benefit to them in his power. On the 29th of October, he marched from York Town with the regiment, and arrived on the 15th November at Winchester, in the back settlements of Virginia, where the soldiers were confined in barracks, surrounded with a stockade. The 12th of January 1782, he marched with the regiment and a part of Lord Cornwallis's army from Winchester, through the State of Maryland to Lancaster in Pennsylvania, where they arrived the 28th following. The cold was so intense during the march, which proved so harassing and fatiguing, that many of the men were frost-bitten, and many others suffered exceedingly.

The 2nd of June 1782, Captain Saumarez and the other twelve captains[16] taken prisoners with the army under Earl Cornwallis, were ordered by the American Congress[Pg 342] and General Washington to assemble at Lancaster, in Pennsylvania; and to draw lots, that one might be selected to suffer death by way of retaliation, when the lot fell on Sir Charles Asgill, who was in consequence conveyed under a strong escort to the American army, stationed in the Jerseys, the place fixed upon for his execution. Here he remained in prison for six months, enduring the greatest hardships, expecting daily that his execution would take place. The manner adopted for drawing lots, was by placing the names of the thirteen captains in one hat, and in another twelve blank pieces of paper, beginning with the names one by one, and by each piece of paper, until the paper was drawn upon which was written the "unfortunate." It may be observed that Captain Asgill had to pass through Philadelphia, where the Congress was assembled; and he being attended voluntarily, and most humanely, by Major Gordon, of the 80th regiment, the senior officer of the British troops prisoners of war, he made it his business to wait upon the French Ambassador, and desired in the most impressive manner his Excellency's interference with the Congress, to prevent the execution of Captain Asgill. The Ambassador refused complying with the entreaty, but it was thought he afterwards relented, as he was seen going to Congress; and that his remonstrances, together with the strong representations of the captains, who wrote and applied in the most decided manner to General Count De Rochambeau, who commanded the French troops in besieging York Town, had the effect of at least suspending the sanguinary intentions of Congress and of General Washington, to put Captain Asgill to death, until the Government and the Queen of France, to whom application had been made to interfere in his behalf, and if possible save his life, were ascertained. The only reason alleged for the[Pg 343] above transactions, was, that a rebel captain named Huddy, who was patrolling with Americans, fell in at night with another patrol of royalists commanded by Captain Lippencott, who was taken prisoner by Huddy, and who, without trial or any other cause but his being a loyalist attached to the British army, hung poor Lippencott. The latter's brother, shortly after this most infamous occurrence, was patrolling and took Huddy prisoner, upon which, to retaliate for the murder of his brother, he executed Huddy. The above transactions were made known to the thirteen captains whilst prisoners on parole, and credited by them. They were also informed very frequently, that General Washington had often declared, that of the two events of his life which grieved him and that he lamented most, one was his not having done his utmost to prevent the thirteen captains taken by capitulation drawing lots.

Captain Saumarez being the senior officer of the British troops, during the time they were prisoners at Winchester and at York Town, in Pennsylvania, had the charge and superintendence of 3000 men, stationed at each of these places during nineteen months, which caused the greatest anxiety, and often-times the utmost distress. In consequence of his unremitting zeal and exertions upon this arduous service for the comfort and welfare of the soldiers under his superintendence, as well as to prevent their deserting to the enemy, from whom they received every enticement to do so, he was frequently offered passports and encouragements to go to England, and abandon the soldiers, by the American authorities; but flattering himself that he was most useful to them, and being impelled by a sense of public duty, he voluntarily continued a prisoner on parole, until, in May 1783, he had the satisfaction at the end of the war of conducting the first division of the[Pg 344] army to New York, where upon his arrival he was honoured in obtaining the thanks and approval for his conduct from Sir Guy Carleton, the Commander-in-chief, and also from the Field Officers of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

Soon after his arrival within the British lines, he was permitted to embark for England. On landing at Portsmouth, he had the mortification of hearing he had been placed on half-pay, in consequence of the army having been reduced, although he had fought in three general actions, several skirmishes, and two sieges, since he purchased his company in 1779. Having repeatedly offered his services, he was preferred to a company in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in 1787, upon the augmentation of the army, and when war was expected to take place; but was unfortunately reduced three months after, as the peace continued. In 1789, he was appointed to a company in the 7th or Royal Fusilier regiment, and joined it in Scotland: soon after he embarked at Leith for Gibraltar, to join his colonel, his Royal Highness Prince Edward, who was pleased to form a company selected from all the bad and worst-behaved soldiers in the regiment, and appointed Captain Saumarez to command and take charge of them: some time after this, he was honoured with his Royal Highness's best thanks, for the reformation he had caused in the conduct and discipline of these men, and for doing this without corporal punishment. The Duke was pleased to honour him with the appointment of Equerry, and afterwards of Groom of the Chamber to his Royal Highness.

In 1791, he embarked with the regiment for Canada, and soon after this he was permitted to go to England. In 1793, on the declaration of war with France, he offered his services to raise a regiment, when Mr. Secretary Dundas[Pg 345] and Major General Thomas Dundas, the latter being appointed to command-in-chief at Guernsey, earnestly solicited him to accompany the Major General to the island, on account of his knowledge of the language, the laws, and customs of the island, and of its inhabitants; and being informed that the enemy meditated to attack it, he was induced to accept the appointment of Major of Brigade to 2000 militia of the island: he besides voluntarily did the duty of the quarter-master-general's department to the troops. He also had the superintendence and examination of all strangers as they landed, which enabled him to cause many disaffected persons and rebels from Ireland to be apprehended: he had the selection and appointment of pilots to the ships of war requiring them, and otherwise rendered himself as useful as possible to the public service, without additional pay or emolument whatever, for the space of five years, and until the arrival of 7000 Russian troops, when he was appointed assistant quarter-master-general, and, upon four French corps arriving in the island, he was appointed their inspector.

Mr. Secretary Dundas, and Mr. Windham, secretary at war, were pleased to confide to him the secret correspondence with the enemy's coast, from Havre to Brest, when he obtained intelligence of the utmost importance, for which he repeatedly received the thanks of His Majesty's ministers. In 1794, he was deputed to carry an address from the States of the island, on the marriage of his Royal Highness the Prince Regent; and on this occasion Major General Small, who was the Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-chief, was pleased to recommend his services in so strong a manner to the King's ministers, that he had the honour of being knighted. In 1799 he was promoted to be inspector of the militia of the island, in[Pg 346] which situation he continued to serve until June, 1811, when he obtained the rank of major general.[17]

In February 1812, Sir Thomas was appointed commandant of the garrison at Halifax, Nova Scotia; and in August 1813 he had the honour of going as President of the Council, and to command in chief the province of New Brunswick. In July 1814, he returned to Halifax, and soon after he embarked for England.

Before his departure from New Brunswick, His Majesty's Council presented him the following address:

"To his Honour Major General Sir Thomas Saumarez, late President and Commander-in-chief of the province of New Brunswick.

"the address of his majesty's council.

"Fredericton, 6th July 1814.


"The unsettled state of the government in New Brunswick has long been a subject of general regret in the province, where the changes of President have occurred no less than nine times in the course of seven years. But although the period of your Honour's administration in particular has been short, it will not be soon forgotten; it has made a lasting impression on the minds of all such as have had opportunity to observe, and justly to appreciate, your vigilant and unwearied attention to the duties[Pg 347] of your station, and your constant ambition, by every means in your power, to promote and secure the prosperity of the colony committed to your care. His Majesty's Council therefore request your acceptance of this address, not as a mere compliment, but as a sincere tribute of respect and esteem; which, together with their best wishes, they offer in the confident assurance that, on this occasion, they speak the sentiments of the province at large."

Sir Thomas Saumarez, who had long been the senior Lieutenant General in Her Majesty's army, was advanced to the rank of General at the Coronation of Her most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria.

Sir Thomas has almost constantly resided in his native island, and no one has done more in promoting its improvement. Those who have visited Guernsey with an introduction to him, and even perfect strangers, will gratefully remember his hospitality. He was long the highly esteemed friend of Her present Majesty's illustrious father, his Royal Highness the Duke of Kent; and he is no less esteemed for the urbanity of his manners and kindness of heart. The author can testify, that those who know Sir Thomas Saumarez have a sincere and invaluable friend.



Captain Sir Thomas Saumarez (1759-1815) wearing red uniform of the 7th Royal Welsh Fusiliers with blue facings, gold lace and one epaulette

et in the original gilt-metal frame with verre eglomise border

Sir Thomas was the third son of Matthew Saumarez and Carteret, daughter of James le Marchant. His brother James, 1st Baron Saumarez, was an Admiral and second in command to Nelson at the Battle of the Nile.

Sir Thomas served with the Welsh Fusiliers in America from 1775. He assisted at the Sieges of Charlestown and Yorktown (where he was taken prisoner). He narrowly escaped execution under George Washington. His journal from the American Revolution is quoted at length in the Regimental history.

Sir Thomas was appointed Equerry and Groom of the Bedchamber to the Duke of Kent in 1790, the Duke also being a Colonel in the 7th Fusiliers.

Saumarez is depicted in his regimental rank of a Captain, rather than his army rank as Major or Lt. Colonel. He was appointed Major 1st March 1794. He was made Lt. Col in the army 1798, while still a regimental Captain. In 1811 he was made Major General.

After his return from America he became Lt. Col and Inspector of the Militia back in his home town of Guernsey.

Finucane’s miniatures are rare, he was a native of Guernsey


Saumarez's younger brother, Sir Thomas Saumarez (1760–1845), fourth son of the family, born on 1 July 1760, entered the army in January 1776; served in North America during the revolutionary war, and was taken prisoner at the surrender of Yorktown on 19 Oct. 1781. In 1793 he was appointed brigade-major of the Guernsey militia, and having been deputed to carry an address from the states of the island on the marriage of the Prince of Wales, he was knighted on 15 July 1795, and was shortly afterwards appointed assistant quartermaster-general. In 1799 he was made inspector of the Guernsey militia, and so continued till 1811, when he attained the rank of major-general. From 1812 to 1814 he commanded the garrison at Halifax, N. S. In 1813 he also acted as president and commander-in-chief of New Brunswick. He was afterwards groom of the bed-chamber to the Duke of Kent. Being the senior lieutenant-general, he was advanced to the rank of general on the coronation of Queen Victoria, 28 June 1838. He died at his residence, Petit Marche, Guernsey, on 4 March 1845 (cf. Gent. Mag. 1845, i. 546). He married, in 1787, Harriet, daughter of William Brock; she died on 18 Feb. 1858.

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Sir Thomas De Saumarez's Timeline

July 1, 1760
March 4, 1845
Age 84