1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Le Marchant, John Gaspard

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LE MARCHANT, JOHN GASPARD (1766-1812), English major-general, was the son of an officer of dragoons, John Le Marchant, a member of an old Guernsey family. After a somewhat wild youth, Le Marchant, who entered the army in 1781, attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel in 1797. Two years before this he had designed a new cavalry sword; and in 1801 his scheme for establishing at High Wycombe and Great Marlow schools for the military instruction of officers was sanctioned by Parliament, and a grant of £30,000 was voted for the “royal military college,” the two original departments being afterwards combined and removed to Sandhurst. Le Marchant was the first lieutenant-governor, and during the nine years that he held this appointment he trained many officers who served with distinction under Wellington in the Peninsula. Le Marchant himself was given the command of a cavalry brigade in 1810, and greatly distinguished himself in several actions, being killed at the battle of Salamanca on the 22nd of July 1812, after the charge of his brigade had had an important share in the English victory. He wrote several treatises on cavalry tactics and other military subjects, but few of them were published. By his wife, Mary, daughter of John Carey of Guernsey, Le Marchant had four sons and six daughters.

His second son, Sir Denis Le Marchant, Bart. (1795-1874), was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, and was called to the bar in 1823. In 1830 he became secretary to Lord Chancellor Brougham, and in the Reform Bill debates made himself exceedingly useful to the ministers. Having been secretary to the board of trade from 1836 to 1841, he was created a baronet in 1841. He entered the House of Commons in 1846, and was under secretary for the home department in the government of Lord John Russell. He was chief clerk of the House of Commons from 1850 to 1871. He published a Life of his father in 1841, and began a Life of Lord Althorpe which was completed after his death by his son; he also edited Horace Walpole's Memoirs of the Reign of George III. (1845). Sir Denis Le Marchant died in London on the 30th of October 1874.

The third son of General Le Marchant, Sir John Gaspard Le Marchant (1803-1874), entered the English army, and saw service in Spain in the Carlist War of 1835-37. He was afterwards lieutenant-governor of Newfoundland (1847-1852) and of Nova Scotia (1852-1857), governor of Malta (1850-1864); commander-in-chief at Madras (1865-1868). He was made K.C.B. in 1865, and died on the 6th of February 1874.

See Sir Denis Le Marchant, Memoirs of General Le Marchant (1841); Sir William Napier, History of the War in the Peninsula (6 vols., 1828-1840).