Huske, John (DNB00)

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HUSKE, JOHN (1692?–1761), general and governor of Jersey, was appointed on 7 April 1708 ensign in Colonel Toby Caulfield's (afterwards David Creighton's) regiment of foot, then campaigning in Spain, and subsequently disbanded. He obtained his company in Lord Hertford's (15th foot) on 11 Jan. 1715 (Home Office Mil Entry Books, ix. f. 40, x. f.358). On 22 July 1715 he was appointed captain and lieutenant-colonel of one of the four new companies then added to the Coldstream guards (ib. f. 198). At that time and afterwards he was aide-de-camp to Lord Cadogan [see Cadogan, William, first earl]. In two letters written by Cadogan, at the Hague, in a feigned name, promising high reward for disclosure of Jacobite plots, confidence is invited in the writer's aide-de-camp, Colonel John Huske, who, in the letter of 1 Nov. 1716, is deputed to meet the recipient (E. Burke) privately at Cambray (Hist. MSS. Comm. 9th Rep. ii. 473-4). The treasury records note a payment of 100l. to Huske for a journey to Paris on particular service (Treas. Papers, cxci. 68), and disbursements by him for the subsistence of three Dutch and two Swiss battalions in the pay of Holland, which were taken into the British service on the alarms of an invasion from Spain in April 1719 (ib. ccxxvii. 4). Huske concerted measures with Whitworth, British plenipotentiary at the Hague, for collecting these troops at Williamstadt and bringing them into the Thames. He was appointed lieutenant-governor of Hurst Castle 8 July 1721 (Home Office Mil. Entry Books, ii. f.358); became second major of the Coldstreamers, 30 Oct. 1734; first major, 5 July 1739 ; and colonel 32nd foot, 25 Dec. 1740. He was a brigadier at Dettingen, where, according to a narrative of the day, he 'behaved gloriously,' and was very severely wounded. He was promoted major-general, and appointed colonel 23rd royal Welsh fusiliers 28 July 1743, in recognition of his distinguished services. On the breaking out of the rebellion in 1745, he was appointed to serve under General Wade at Newcastle, and on 25 Dec. of that year was given a command in Scotland (ib. xx. f. 304). By his judicious conduct at the battle of Falkirk, where he was second in command to Hawley [see Hawley, Henry], he secured the retreat of the royal forces to Linlithgow. He distinguished himself at the battle of Culloden, where he commanded the second line of the Duke of Cumberland's army. He became a lieutenant-general in 1747, and again served in Flanders in 1747-8. As was then not uncommon with general officers otherwise unemployed, he joined his regiment in Minorca, and commanded it during the unsuccessful defence of that island in 1756. He became a full general 5 Dec. 1756. He was appointed to the governorship of Sheerness in 1745, and transferred to that of Jersey in 1760. A brave, blunt veteran, whose solicitude for his soldiers had earned him the nickname of 'Daddy Huske,' Huske died at Ealing, near London, 18 Jan. 1761. Particulars of his will (real and personal estate, including his stud of horses, valued at 41,000l.) are given in the 'Gentleman's Magazine' for 1761, p. 22.

Huske, Ellis (1700-1755), writer on America, a younger brother of General Huske, was born in England in 1700, and afterwards was resident at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and at Boston, Massachusetts, where he was postmaster in 1734. He preceded Benjamin Franklin as deputy-postmaster-general of the colonies. He was the publisher of the 'Boston Weekly Postboy,' and the reputed author of 'The Present State of North America,' London, 1755. He died in America in 1755. His son John represented Maldon, Essex, in the British House of Commons, and was burned in effigy by his fellow-colonists for supporting the Stamp Act. He died in 1773.

[Home Office Military Entry Books, ut supra; Calendars of State Papers, 1704-7, 1708-14, 1714-19, 1720-6, under 'Caulfield' and 'Husk' (sic); Mackinnon's Hist. of the Coldstream Guards, London. 1832; Maclachlan's Order Book of William, Duke of Cumberland, London, 1875; Percival Stockdale's Memoirs, i.188; Cameron's Hist. Rec. of the 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers; Gent. Mag. under dates for accounts of affairs in Flanders, Scotland, Minorca, &c., also 1761, pp. 22, 44. A bundle of letters, including some from Huske between November 1745 and September 1746, is noted among the Sutherland Papers in Hist. MSS. Comm., 2nd Rep., p.179. Letters from Huske to the Duke of Newcastle are in Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 32697 f.462, 32700 f.308. For particulars of Ellis Huske see Appleton's American Biography.]

H. M. C.