Paget, George Augustus Frederick (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 43
Paget, George Augustus Frederick

by Henry Manners Chichester
1904 Errata appended.

PAGET, Lord GEORGE AUGUSTUS FREDERICK (1818–1880), general, sixth son (third by the second marriage) of Henry William Paget, first marquis of Anglesey [q. v.], born on 16 March 1818, was educated at Westminster School, and on 25 July 1834 was appointed cornet and sub-lieutenant in the 1st lifeguards, in which he became lieutenant on 1 Dec. 1837. On 17 Aug. 1840 he purchased an unattached company, and exchanged to a troop in the 4th light dragoons (now hussars), and was promoted major in that regiment on 30 Jan. 1846, and lieutenant-colonel on 29 Dec. the same year. Becoming a brevet colonel on 20 June 1854, he went out in command of the 4th light dragoons to the East, landed with it in the Crimea, and at the Alma and Balaklava was next senior officer of the light cavalry brigade to Lord Cardigan [see Brudenel, James Thomas]. In the famous charge of the ‘six hundred,’ Paget's regiment at first formed the third line, and he appears to have done his utmost to fulfil Lord Cardigan's desire that he should give him ‘his best support.’ With the remnants of his own regiment and the 11th hussars (from the second line of the brigade), which he held together after the first line had melted away at the guns, he was enabled to check the Russian pursuit, and was one of the last to leave the Valley of Death. He commanded the remains of the light brigade at Inkerman, and immediately afterwards he went home with a view to retirement from the service, an arrangement he had contemplated at the time of his marriage before the outbreak of the war. Although his bravery was never questioned, his return at this critical period exposed him to much invidious comment in the newspapers, which probably induced him to reconsider his plans.

Paget went back to the Crimea on 23 Feb. 1855, was reappointed to the command of the light brigade, and was in temporary command of the cavalry division during the absence of Sir James Yorke Scarlett [q. v.], Lord Lucan's successor. Together with his wife, who accompanied him to the Crimea, Paget was one of the small group of personal friends who gathered round Lord Raglan's deathbed. Paget commanded the light cavalry brigade at Eupatoria and in the operations under General d'Allonville, and until a month before the evacuation of the Crimea (C.B., medal and clasps, Legion of Honour, third class of the Medjidié, and Sardinian and Turkish medals). He became a major-general on 11 Nov. 1861, commanded the cavalry at Aldershot in 1860–2, and the Sirhind division of the Bengal army from 1862 to 1865, when he came home, and was appointed inspector-general of cavalry. He was nominated a lieutenant-general and K.C.B. in 1871 and general in 1877; was appointed colonel 7th dragoon guards in 1868, and succeeded Lord de Ros in the colonelcy of his old regiment, the 4th hussars, in 1874. Paget represented Beaumaris in the whig interest from 1847 to 1857. He died very unexpectedly at his residence in Farm Street, Mayfair, London, 30 June 1880.

Paget married, first, on 27 Feb. 1854, his cousin Agnes Charlotte, youngest daughter of Sir Arthur Paget [q. v.]; she died 10 March 1858, leaving two children. Secondly, on 6 Feb. 1861, Louisa, youngest daughter of Charles Heneage, and granddaughter on her mother's side of Thomas North, second Lord Graves; she survived Paget, and married the Earl of Essex in 1881.

Paget in May 1852 addressed a letter to Lord John Russell on the establishment of an army reserve, which was printed for private circulation. He proposed that, instead of the revival of the militia, a bill for which was before the house, a reserve force should be established by compelling all soldiers who left the service at the end of ten years, under the act of 1847, without re-engaging, to serve five years after discharge in a reserve, which was to undergo six days' local military training in each year. Paget's ‘Crimean Journals’ were printed for private circulation in 1875; but after the appearance of Kinglake's book he appears to have revised them, and, in accordance with a wish expressed in a memorandum found among his papers, they were published by his son in 1881.

[Foster's Peerage, under ‘Anglesey;’ Hart's Army Lists; Army and Navy Gazette, July 1880; Paget's Light Cavalry Brigade in the Crimea (London, 1881), which contains interesting information respecting the battles of Balaklava and the Tchernaya; Kinglake's Invasion of the Crimea (cab. ed.), ii. 573, v. passim, vi. 392, vii. 382, 484, ix. 287.]

H. M. C.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.213
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
51 ii 15f.e. Paget, Lord George A. F.: for York read Yorke