Vivian, Robert John Hussey (DNB00)

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VIVIAN, Sir ROBERT JOHN HUSSEY (1802–1887), general Madras infantry, natural son of Sir Richard Hussey Vivian, first lord Vivian [q. v.], was born in 1802. He was brought up as one of the family, was educated at Burney's school at Gosport, entered the East India Company's army as ensign on 12 June 1819, and the following day was promoted to be lieutenant in the 10th native infantry. He arrived at Madras on 8 July 1819, returned home on furlough in January 1821, and on landing again in India on 15 June 1822 joined his regiment at Belgaon. He was appointed adjutant of the second battalion on 14 March 1823, and in the following year was posted to the 18th Madras native infantry for service in Burma under Sir Archibald Campbell [q. v.]

Vivian took part in the capture and occupation of Rangoon in May 1824, was made adjutant of the battalion on 4 June, and was engaged in the assaults of Yelgeo and Juzong, in the attack and capture on 10 June of Kamandin, in the repulse of the attack on the lines in front of Rangoon on 1 July, and in the subsequent fighting. He was also in the affairs of the Panglang river, the attack and capture of stockades at Thantabain, the general engagement with Bandoola, the Burmese general, in front of Rangoon on 1 Dec., when he was slightly wounded, the actions of 5 and 8 Dec., and the attack on the enemy's fortified camp at Kokien on 15 Dec. In 1825 he marched with the army to Prome, was promoted to be captain on 1 Aug., took part in the assault and capture on 1 Dec. of Simbike, and in the affair near Prome on the following day, and at Patanagoh on the 24th. He was at the storm of Malown on 19 Jan. 1826, and at the battle of Pagham-Mew on 9 Feb. For his services he received the medal and clasp. On the conclusion of the war he resigned the adjutancy, and went home on leave of absence.

When Vivian returned to India in July 1827 he was appointed to the staff as assistant adjutant-general of the Nagpur subsidiary force, and in May 1830 was transferred in a similar capacity to the light field division of the Haidarabad subsidiary force at Jalnah. After nearly four years' furlough at home he resumed this appointment in India until his promotion to a majority on 9 Dec. 1836. On 18 Jan. 1837 he took over the command at Madras of a battalion of the 10th Madras native infantry, and shortly after accompanied it to Belgaon. In February 1841 he was entrusted with the reduction of Fort Napani, which he captured on the 22nd, and received the thanks of Sir R. Dick, commander-in-chief (general orders dated 19 March 1841), for the judicious arrangements which he had made and the zeal and gallantry with which they were carried into effect. He also received the thanks of the governor in council at Bombay, dated 8 March 1841.

On 15 Oct. 1841 Vivian was promoted to be lieutenant-colonel, and on 5 Jan. 1843 was removed to the 1st Madras European regiment, afterwards the royal Dublin fusiliers. From 1844 to 1847 he was again at home on furlough, and on his return to India, having the reputation of a smart commanding officer, was posted to the command of several native infantry regiments in succession. On 14 Aug. 1849 he was appointed adjutant-general of the Madras army. He was promoted to be brevet colonel on 15 Sept. 1851, and on his resignation of the post of adjutant-general in August 1853, he was complimented in general orders for his services by the commander-in-chief, Madras (29 Aug. 1853).

Vivian returned to England in January 1854, and on 28 Nov. was promoted to be major-general. In 1855 he became a director of the East India Company. On 25 May of that year he was appointed to command the Turkish contingent in the Crimea, with the local rank of lieutenant-general. He organised this force of twenty thousand men, and with it during the winter of 1855–6 occupied the position of Kertch. For his Crimean services Vivian received the thanks of the government, the first class of the Turkish order of the Medjidie, and the Turkish war medal.

On 22 Jan. 1857 Vivian was made a knight commander of the order of the Bath (military division), and on 21 Sept. 1858 was appointed by the crown a member of the newly constituted council of India. On 30 Sept. 1862 he was given the colonelcy of the royal Dublin fusiliers, was promoted to be lieutenant-general on 24 Oct. 1862, and general on 22 Nov. 1870. He was made a knight grand cross of the Bath (military division) on 20 May 1871. He was a deputy-lieutenant for the city of London. He retired from the service on a pension in 1877. He died on 3 May 1887 at his residence at Brighton, Sussex. Vivian married, in 1846, Emma, widow of Captain Gordon of the Madras army. She died only four days before him.

[India Office Records; Despatches; War Office Records; Times, 26 Feb. 1855 and 5 May 1887; Histories of Burmese War, 1824–6, and of the Crimean War, 1854–6; Debrett's Knightage; Vibart's Addiscombe, its Heroes and Men of Note; private sources.]

R. H. V.