When the army went into winter quarters in the lines of Torres Vedras, Craufurd went home to England on leave, and during his residence there he published in the ‘Times’ a defence of his operations of the Coa, which Masséna had interpreted into a victory for himself. During his absence the light division had been commanded by Sir William Erskine with decided incapacity, and his return to the army on the very morning of the battle of Fuentes de Onoro on 5 May 1811 was greeted with ringing cheers by his soldiers. In that battle the light division played a distinguished part, and covered the extraordinary change of position which Lord Wellington found it necessary to make in the very face of the enemy, and it remained under the command of Craufurd, who was promoted major-general on 4 June 1811, until the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo was formed in January 1812. When the breaches were declared open, the light division was directed on 19 Jan. to attack the smaller breach; Craufurd led on the stormers, and at the very beginning of the assault he was shot through the body. He lingered in great agony until 24 Jan., when he died, and was buried in the breach itself. His glorious death was recognised by votes of both houses of parliament. A monument was erected to him and General Mackinnon, who was killed in the same siege, in St. Paul's Cathedral, at the public expense. Craufurd was unquestionably the finest commander of light troops who served in the Peninsula. Napier speaks of his ‘short, thick figure, dark flashing eyes, quick movements, and fiery temper,’ but in spite of his faults of tamper he won and retained to the last the devoted love of the soldiers he commanded.
[Biography in J. W. Cole's Lives of Peninsular Generals, vol. i.; see also Napier's Peninsular War, and works bearing on the history of the Light Division, such as Cope's History of the Rifle Brigade, Quartermaster Surtees's Reminiscences, and Col. Edward Costello's Adventures of a Rifleman.]
CRAVEN, ELIZABETH, Countess of. [See Anspach, Elizabeth, Margravine of.]
CRAVEN, KEPPEL RICHARD (1779–1851), traveller, third and youngest son of William Craven, sixth baron Craven, by Elizabeth Berkeley, younger daughter of Augustus Berkeley, fourth earl of Berkeley, was born on 1 June 1779. When he was about three years old, his father permanently separated from his wife, and Lady Craven shortly afterwards going to France was allowed to take Keppel with her, but it was under a promise to return him to his father when he was eight years of age. This condition was not fulfilled, but his mother placed him at Harrow School under a feigned name, where, however, he was soon recognised by his likeness to her, and henceforth was called by his family name. His father dying 27 Sept. 1791, his mother in the following month married Christian Frederick Charles Alexander, margrave of Brandenburg, Anspach, and Baireuth [see Anspach, Elizabeth]. Craven was not by these events permanently estranged from his mother; on the contrary, after the margrave's decease in 1805 he went to reside with her at Naples. In 1814 he accepted the post of one of the chamberlains to the Princess of Wales, without receiving any emolument; but this occupation lasted for a short time only, until the princess departed for Geneva. Six years afterwards he was called on to give evidence at the trial of the unfortunate princess, when he stated that he was in her service for six months, during which time he never saw any impropriety in her conduct either at Milan or Naples, or improper familiarity on the part of Bergamo (Dolby, Parliamentary Register, 1820, pp. 1269–76).
He published in 1821 ‘A Tour through the Southern Provinces of the Kingdom of Naples,’ and in 1838 ‘Excursions in the Abruzzi and Northern Provinces of Naples,’ in 2 vols. The former of these two works is embellished with views from his own sketches, and the latter with a smaller number from drawings by W. Westall, A.R.A. Having received a considerable addition to his fortune, he in 1834 purchased a large convent in the mountains near Salerno, which he fitted up as a residence, and there received his visitors with much hospitality. He was for many years the intimate friend and inseparable companion of Sir William Gell; he shared his own prosperity with his less fortunate comrade, cheered him when in sickness, and attended him with unwearying kindness, until Gell's death in 1836. Another of his highly esteemed acquaintances was Lady Blessington, who arrived in Naples in July 1823; with her he afterwards kept up a correspondence, and some of the letters which he addressed to that lady are given in her ‘Life’ by Madden. He died at Naples 24 June 1851, aged 72, being the last of a triumvirate of English literati, scholars, and gentlemen who resided there for many years in the closest bonds of friendship, namely, Sir William Drummond, Sir William Gell, and the Hon. K. R. Craven. Besides the two works already mentioned, there was published in London in 1825 a book