Clinton, Henry (1771-1829) (DNB00)

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

CLINTON, Sir HENRY, the younger (1771–1829), general, younger son of General Sir Henry Clinton the elder, K.B. [q. v.], was born on 9 March 1771. He entered the army as an ensign in the llth regiment on 10 Oct. 1787, and served from October 1788 to August 1789 as a volunteer in the Brunswick corps, raised by his father's old comrade Riedesel, which was acting with the Prussian army in Holland. In March 1791 he was transferred to the 1st or Grenadier guards, promoted captain into the 15th regiment in April, and transferred back to the 1st guards in November 1792. In January 1793, at the commencement of the great war with France, he was appointed aide-de-camp to the Duke of York, and served on his personal staff throughout the disastrous campaigns in Flanders, the only incidents in his life being that he was promoted major by brevet on 22 April 1794, and that he was severely wounded at Camphin on 10 May following. He remained aide-de-camp to the Duke of York until his promotion to the lieutenant-colonelcy of the 66th regiment on 30 Sept. 1795. He joined his regiment in the West Indies, and in the following year exchanged back into the guards, but as he was taken prisoner by a French cruiser he did not reach England until January 1797. He was next made aide-de-camp to Lord Cornwallis, then commander-in-chief in Ireland, and was present at the surrender of General Humbert. He was attached to Lord William Beritinck's mission with Suwarrow in Italy, when he witnessed the battles of the Trebia and of Novi, and the campaign in Switzerland against Masséna. In June 1801 Clinton was appointed assistant-adjutant-general in the eastern district, in January 1802 adjutant-general in India, and on 25 Sept. 1803 he was promoted colonel. He did good service in India in commanding the right wing in the battle of Laswaree, but left India in March 1805. He next acted as military commissioner with the Russian general Kutusoff in the campaign of Austerlitz, and in July 1806 he embarked in command of the flank companies of the guards for Sicily, and acted as commandant at Syracuse from December 1806 to November 1807. Clinton now made the acquaintance of Sir John Moore and became his intimate friend, and for this reason he was made a brigadier-general in January 1808, and accompanied Moore as adjutant-general, first to Sweden and then to Portugal. He filled this most important position throughout Moore's advance into Spain and the famous retreat to Corunna, and after his return to England he was the first person to defend Sir John Moore's proceedings in his 'A few Remarks explanatory of the Motives which guided the Operations of the British Army during he late short Campaign in Spain.' Clinton hen acted as adjutant-general in Ireland, jut after his promotion to the rank of major-reneral on 25 July 1810, he requested to be sent to the Peninsula for active service. His request was granted, and in October 1811 he joined Lord Wellington and was posted to the command of the 6th division. Though not gifted with the military abilities of Picton or Cole, Clinton yet made a thoroughly good general of division. His first feat of arms was the reduction of the forts of Salamanca in June 1812, when one of his brigadiers, General Bowes, was killed, and he also layed a conspicuous part in the battle of Salamanca, when his division was brought up to carry the Arapiles after the failure of Pack's Portuguese, and did its work successfully. After the battle, Clinton was left in command upon the Douro, and he afterwards co-operated in the unsuccessful siege of Burgos. In April 1813 he was made a local lieutenant-general, and on 29 July 1813 he was for his services at the battle of Vittoria made a knight of the Bath. Towards the end of 1813 he had to go to England for his health, to the great regret of the Marquis of Wellington ( Wellington Despatches, vi. 287), but returned in time to command his division at the battles of the Nive, Orthes, and Toulouse, and the affairs of Caceres and Tarbes. At the conclusion of the war his services were amply rewarded. He received a gold cross and one clasp, and the order of the Tower and the Sword; he was made colonel of the 1st battalion 60th regiment; he was promoted lieutenant-general on 4 June 1814, and appointed inspector-general of infantry. When Napoleon escaped from Elba, Clinton was one of the former subordinates for whose services the Duke of Wellington specially applied, and he took command of the 3rd division, which was posted on the right centre at the battle of Waterloo. In this position he suffered as much from the French artillery as the other divisions in the centre, and also had to resist many charges of cavalry. After the battle Clinton was made a knight of the orders of Maria Theresa, of St. George of Russia, and of William of the Netherlands, and on 9 Aug. 1815 he was made colonel of the 3rd regiment, the Buffs. In 1818 he resigned his seat in the House of Commons, where he had sat for Boroughbridge, together with his brother Sir William, since 1808, in the interest of the Duke of Newcastle, and retired altogether to his country seat in Hampshire, where he died on 11 Dec. 1829. Sir Henry Clinton married in 1799 Lady Susan Charteris, daughter of Francis, lord Elcho, who died in 1816, but had no issue.

[Royal Military Calendar; Napier's Peninsular War.]

H. M. S.