Rumbold, George Berriman (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 49
Rumbold, George Berriman

by Gerald le Grys Norgate
1904 Errata appended.
Contains subarticle Arthur Carlos Henry Rumbold (1820–1869).

RUMBOLD, Sir GEORGE BERRIMAN (1764–1807), diplomatist, of Crabbe-juxta-Dover, Kent, born 17 Aug. 1764 at Fort William, Calcutta, was second son of Sir Thomas Rumbold, bart. [q. v.], governor of Madras, by his first wife Frances, only daughter of James Berriman, esq. He was admitted a pensioner of Christ's College, Cambridge, 13 Jan. 1781, afterwards becoming a fellow-commoner. His elder brother having died in 1786, he succeeded to the baronetcy in 1791. He entered the diplomatic service, and in 1803 was appointed ambassador to the Hanse Towns, and minister residentiary of Great Britain at Hamburg. On the night of 25 Oct. 1804 a detachment of two hundred and fifty French troops landed in boats on the Hamburg Berg, proceeded to the Grindel, Rumbold's country residence, forced the door, and compelled him to deliver up his papers. He was then carried to Hanover in a guarded coach, and thence to Paris. After a day's confinement in the Temple, he was conveyed to Cherbourg, and put on board a French cutter sailing under flag of truce. By this vessel he was delivered to the English frigate Niobe, in which he arrived at Portsmouth.

The order for Rumbold's arrest came direct from Fouché in Paris, and was addressed to Marshal Bernadotte. Fouché's despatch charged Rumbold with having avowed a plan of conspiracy, and directed that he should be treated as any other Englishman ‘who should adopt criminal practices.’ In Berlin great indignation was expressed, and the Prussian minister at Paris was ordered, in demanding Rumbold's release, to apply for his own passports in case of delay or evasion. An autograph letter of Napoleon promised compliance with the demand. Rumbold was replaced at Hamburg in 1806. He died of fever at Memel on 15 Dec. 1807.

Rumbold married, in November 1783, Caroline, only child of James Hearn, esq., of Waterford; she remarried in 1809 Vice-admiral Sir W. Sidney Smith, K.C.B. [q. v.], and died in 1826. She had issue by Rumbold two sons and four daughters. Of the latter, Caroline (d. 1847) married Colonel Adolphe de St. Clair of the garde du corps; Maria (d. 31 Dec. 1875) was the wife of Rear-admiral Arabin; and Emily (d. 1861) of Ferdinand, baron de Delmar. The elder son, Sir William Rumbold (1787–1833), third baronet, by his wife Henrietta Elizabeth, second daughter and coheiress of Thomas Boothby, lord Rancliffe, was father of Cavendish Stuart (1815–1853), of Arthur Carlos Henry (1820–1869), of Charles Hole (1822–1877), and of Horace (b. 1829), formerly ambassador at Vienna, who were successively fourth, fifth, seventh, and eighth baronets.

Of these, Arthur Carlos Henry Rumbold (1820–1869) entered the army in 1837 as an ensign in the 51st foot, but afterwards exchanged into the 70th. In July 1848 he was appointed a stipendiary magistrate in Jamaica, but in 1855 joined the allied army in the Crimea. He served with the Osmanli cavalry as brigade-major to Major-general C. Havelock. He held the rank of colonel in the imperial Ottoman army, and for his services in the war received the order of the Medjidie, fourth class. On 4 March 1857 he was appointed president of the island of Nevis, and on 17 Nov. 1865 of the Virgin Islands. From January to April 1867 he acted as administrator of St. Christopher and Aquilla. He died on 12 June 1869, having been twice married. In 1848 he published an English version of F. Ponsard's tragedy, ‘Lucrèce.’

[Burke's Peerage, &c., 1894; Foster's Baronetage, 1882, and Alumni Oxon.; Gent. Mag. 1804, ii. 1063–4, 1159–60, 1808 i. 270; Almanachs de Gotha; Haydn's Book of Dignities; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Ill. Lond. News, 17 July 1869.]

G. Le G. N.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.240
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
395 ii 30 Rumbold, Sir George B.: after James Berriman, Esq. insert He was on 13 Jan. 1781 admitted a pensioner of Christ's College, Cambridge, afterwards becoming a fellow-commoner.