1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Auchmuty, Sir Samuel

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15743561911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 2 — Auchmuty, Sir Samuel

AUCHMUTY, SIR SAMUEL (1756–1822), British general, was born at New York in 1756, and served as a loyalist in the American War of Independence, being given an ensigncy in the royal army in 1777, and in 1778 a lieutenancy in the 45th Foot, without purchase. When his regiment returned to England after the war, having neither private means nor influence, he exchanged into the 52nd, in order to proceed to India. He took part in the last war against Hyder Ali; he was given a staff appointment by Lord Cornwallis in 1790, served in the operations against Tippoo Sahib, and continued in various staff appointments up to 1797, when he returned to England a brevet lieut.-colonel. In 1800 he was made lieut.-colonel and brevet colonel; and in the following year, as adjutant-general to Sir David Baird in Egypt, took a distinguished share in the march across the desert and the capture of Alexandria. On his return to England in 1803 he was knighted, and three years later he went out to the River Plate as a brigadier-general. Auchmuty was one of the few officers who came out of the disastrous Buenos Aires expedition of 1806–7 with enhanced reputation. While General Whitelocke, the commander, was cashiered, Auchmuty was at once re-employed and promoted major-general, and was sent out in 1810 to command at Madras. In the following year he commanded the expedition organized for the conquest of Java, which the governor-general, Lord Minto, himself accompanied. The storming of the strongly fortified position of Meester Cornelis (28th August 1811), stubbornly defended by the Dutch garrison under General Janssens, practically achieved the conquest of the island, and after the action of Samarang (September 8th) Janssens surrendered. Auchmuty received the thanks of parliament and the order of K.C.B. (G.C.B. in 1815), and in 1813, on his return home, was promoted to the rank of lieut.-general. In 1821 he became commander-in-chief in Ireland, and a member of the Irish privy council. He died suddenly on the 11th of August 1822.