Craufurd, Charles Gregan- (DNB00)

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CRAUFURD, Sir CHARLES GREGAN- (1761–1821), lieutenant-general, was the second son of Sir Alexander Craufurd, who was created a baronet in 1781, and brother of Sir James Craufurd, bart., who was British resident at Hamburg from 1798 to 1803, and afterwards minister plenipotentiary at Copenhagen, and of Robert Craufurd [q. v.] the famous commander of the light division in the Peninsula. He was born on 12 Feb. 1761, and entered the army as a cornet in the 1st dragoon guards on 15 Dec. 1778. He was promoted lieutenant in 1781, and captain into the 2nd dragoon guards, or queen's bays, in 1785. In that year he was appointed an equerry to the Duke of York, whose intimate friend he became. He studied his profession in Germany, obtained a perfect command of that language, and made his reputation by a translation in four large volumes, illustrated by numerous plates, of Tielke's great work on the art of war and ‘the remarkable events of the war between the Prussians, Austrians, and Russians, from 1756 to 1763,’ which he completed with the assistance of his brother Robert, and published in 1787. He accompanied the Duke of York to the Netherlands as aide-de-camp, and was at once attached to the Austrian headquarters as representative of the English commander-in-chief. With the Austrian staff he was present at all the earlier battles of the war, including Neerwinden, Raismes, Famars, Cæsar's Camp, Landrecies, Roubaix, and Lannoy, was promoted for his services to the rank of major in May 1793, and lieutenant-colonel in February 1794. In the middle of 1794 he left the Austrian headquarters and was appointed deputy adjutant-general to the English army. In this capacity he equally distinguished himself, especially by one daring charge, when with but two squadrons of dragoons he took three guns and one thousand prisoners. He had been so useful at the Austrian headquarters during the campaign that in 1795, when the English army evacuated the continent, he was sent on a special mission to the headquarters of the Austrians. He was an acute observer, and his reports are most valuable historical documents. They are preserved in the Record Office, and Mr. C. A. Fyffe has made copious use of them in his ‘History of Modern Europe.’ Craufurd took his part in the battles of Wetzlar, Altenkirchen, Nordlingen, Neumarkt, and finally of Amberg, where he was so severely wounded in August 1796 that he was invalided home. His wound prevented him from ever going on active service again, but he was promoted colonel on 26 Jan. 1797, and major-general on 25 Sept. 1803. He was lieutenant-governor of Tynemouth and Cliff Fort from 1796 till death, and deputy quartermaster-general at the Horse Guards (1795–1799). He was elected to the House of Commons as M.P. for East Retford in October 1806. This election was due to his marriage, on 7 Feb. 1800, to Lady Anna Maria, daughter of the second earl of Harrington, and widow of Thomas, third duke of Newcastle, which secured for him the great Newcastle influence. He resigned his seat in 1812, after the fourth duke had come of age, and retired from public life. He was made colonel of the 2nd dragoon guards in 1807, and promoted lieutenant-general on 25 July 1810, and was made a G.C.B. 27 May 1820, on the occasion of the coronation of George IV. He died on 26 March 1821, and left no children. His wife, the Dowager Duchess of Newcastle, survived him thirteen years. He published nothing except the above-mentioned translation.

[Royal Military Calendar, and Craufurd's despatches in the Record Office.]

H. M. S.