Blakeney, Edward (DNB00)

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BLAKENEY, Sir EDWARD (1778–1868), field-marshal, was the fourth son of Colonel William Blakeney, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and M.P. for Athenry in Galway in the Irish parliament, 1776–83. He was born at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1778, and entered the army, 28 Feb. 1794, as a cornet in the 8th light dragoons. Accompanying the expedition under Major-general White to the West Indies, he was present at the capture of Demerara, Berbice, and Essequibo in 1796; in the course of this service he was three times taken prisoner by privateers and suffered severe hardships. In 1799 he went with the expedition to Holland, and was present in the actions of 10 and 19 Sept., and also in those of 2 and 6 Oct. In 1807 he sailed with the 7th regiment of foot, the Royal Fusiliers, to the Baltic, joined Lord Cathcart's expedition, and took part in the capture of the Danish fleet and the surrender of Copenhagen. He was present at the capture of Martinique in 1809. Obtaining the command of the 7th foot, 20 June 1811, he proceeded in charge of his regiment to Lisbon, and during the campaigns of the years 1811–14 he served in the battles of Busaco and Albuera (where he was severely wounded through the thigh), the action at Aldea de Ponte, the sieges of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz (where he was severely wounded through the arm in the assault), battles of Vittoria, Pampeluna, Pyrenees, and Nivelle, besides various minor actions. He joined the army in Belgium in 1815, and was present at the capture of Paris. For those and other services he received the gold cross and a silver war medal, and was made a knight of the Tower and Sword of Portugal in 1812. Having retained the command of his regiment until 2 June 1825, the first brigade of the army sent to Portugal was then entrusted to his charge. On 20 Sept. 1832 he was rewarded with the colonelcy of his old regiment, the 7th foot, which he did not resign until 21 Dec. 1854. In the meantime, however, he was not idle, as he served in Ireland as commander-in-chief of the troops from 1838 to 1855. On 1 Dec. in the previous year he was nominated colonel of the 1st foot, and retained the appointment to his decease. After his return from Ireland he became lieutenant-governor of Chelsea Hospital, 6 Feb. 1855, and on 25 Sept. 1856 the governor of that establishment. His general's commission dates from 20 June 1854, and the high honour of a field-marshalship was conferred on him 9 Nov. 1862. In consideration of his long and valuable services to his country, he was also made colonel-in-chief of the Rifle Brigade, 28 Aug. 1865. Long previous to this period he had been gazetted K.C.B. 2 Jan. 1815, and G.C.B. 7 May 1849, and a privy councillor in Ireland 7 May 1836. His death took place at Chelsea Hospital 2 Aug. 1868, and he was buried at Twickenham on 8 Aug.

He married in 1814 Maria, a daughter of Colonel Gardiner of the East India Company's service. She died at Chelsea Hospital 21 Jan. 1866, aged 76.

[Times, 10 Aug. 1868, p. 9; Army Lists, &c.]

G. C. B.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.29
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
186 i 5 Blakeney, Sir Edward: for 1776-83 read 1781-3 and 1790-1800
13 f.e. for 1838 read 1836 and for 1 read 21