Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 24.djvu/356
was posted to the Proselyte, 20 guns, an old collier, and ordered to the West Indies with convoy; but his friends, ‘deprecating the effects of a West Indian climate on his very sanguine habit’ (Nichols, Lit. Illustr. iii. 70), obtained his transfer to the Valorous, which proved unfit for sea. Hardinge next accepted the offer of the Salsette frigate, said to be just off the stocks at Bombay. On his way out he served on shore at the capture of the Cape of Good Hope (where he did not command the marines, as stated by his biographer), and on arrival at Bombay found the Salsette only just laid down. He was promised command of the Pitt frigate (late Salsette), and in the meantime was appointed to the San Fiorenzo frigate, in which he made several short but uneventful cruises. The San Fiorenzo left Colombo to return to Bombay, and on her way on 6 March 1808, when off the south of Ceylon, sighted the famous French cruiser Piedmontaise in pursuit of some Indiamen. A three days' fight followed, in which both ships were handled with great gallantry and skill. Hardinge was killed by a grape-shot on the third day, when, after a well-contested action of 1 hour 20 minutes, the French ship hauled down her colours. Full details of the action are given in James's ‘Naval History,’ iv. 307–11, and a grave misrepresentation of the inferior armament of the English vessel is corrected (p. 311). The captures of the Atalante and Piedmontaise were among the actions for which the war medal was granted to survivors some forty years later. Hardinge, who appears to have been a brave and chivalrous young officer, was buried at Colombo with full military honours, and was voted a public monument in St. Paul's Cathedral, London.
[Foster's Peerage, under ‘Hardinge of Lahore;’ Foster's Baronetage, under ‘Hardinge;’ Nichols's Literary Illustrations, iii. 49–147, where is a very florid biographical notice founded on articles contributed, it is said, by Mr. George Hardinge to the Naval Chronicle (October and November 1808), Gent. Mag. (1808), and European Mag. (February 1810); James's Naval History, vols. i–iv.]
HARDINGE, Sir HENRY, first Viscount Hardinge of Lahore (1785-1856), field-marshal, born at Wrotham, Kent, on 30 March 1785, was third son of Henry Hardinge, rector of Stanhope, Durham (a living then worth 5,000 a year), by his wife Frances, daughter of James Best of Park House, Boxley, Kent. Nicholas Hardinge [q. v.] was his grandfather. His brothers were Charles, rector of Tunbridge, Kent, who succeeded his uncle Richard in the family baronetcy ; Richard, a major-general, K.H., who served with the royal artillery in the Peninsula, and was aide-de-camp to his brother in the Waterloo campaign ; and Captain George Nicholas [q. v.] Henry was gazetted in July 1799 to an ensigncy in the queen's rangers, a small corps in Upper Canada, his commission dating from 8 Oct. 1798. He purchased a lieutenancy in the 4th foot on 25 March 1802, and was at once placed on half-pay. He was brought on full pay in the 1st royals in 1803 ; exchanged to the 47th foot, and became captain by purchase in the 57th foot on 7 April 1804. Philippart (Royal Military Calendar, 1820, iii. 351) is in all probability in error in identifying him with the Henry 'Harding' who was gazetted ensign in the 2nd West India regiment in 1795 and retired from it as lieutenant in 1801. Hardinge joined the senior department of the Royal Military College, then at High Wycombe, on 7 Feb. 1806, and left, after passing his examination, on 30 Nov. 1807. He was appointed deputy assistant quartermaster-general of a force under General Brent Spencer, which left Portsmouth in December 1807. This force visited Ceuta and Gibraltar, made a prolonged stay at Cadiz, and joined Sir Arthur Wellesley in Portugal in time to take part in the actions at Rolica and Vimeira. In the latter engagement Hardinge was wounded, but was able to take part in the retreat to and battle of Corunna the year after, and was beside Sir John Moore when that officer received his fatal wound. Hardinge's activity during the embarkation next morning attracted the attention of General William Carr Beresford, who commanded the rear-guard, and probably led to his appointment to the Portuguese staff soon after. On 13 April 1809 he was promoted to major on particular service in Portugal, and became lieutenant-colonel on 30 May 1811. As deputy quartermaster-general of the Portuguese army of which Benjamin d'Urban [q. v.] was quartermaster-general Hardinge was present at the operations on the Douro, at Busaco, and at Albuera (22 May 1811). Napier credited him with having changed the fortune of the day at Albuera. The victory was finally achieved by a charge of the fusilier brigade under Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole [q. v.], and Napier, in the original edition of his 'History of the War' (iii. 539, cf. vi. liii), amplifying a report by D'Urban, which Hardinge pointed out to him, asserted that Hardinge, on his own responsibility, had 'boldly ordered' Cole's advance, by which the day was won. When Napier repeated the statement in his sixth volume (1840), letters written on behalf of Cole stated that, though Beresford, who was in chief command, gave no orders at all, Cole had made up his