Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Pakenham, Hercules Robert

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600892Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 43 — Pakenham, Hercules Robert1895Henry Manners Chichester

PAKENHAM, Sir HERCULES ROBERT (1781–1850), lieutenant-general, third son of Edward Michael, second baron Longford, and his wife Catherine, second daughter of the Right Hon. Hercules Langford Rowley, was born 29 Sept. 1781. He was brother of Sir Edward Michael Pakenham [q. v.], and brother-in-law of the great Duke of Wellington. He was appointed ensign 40th foot on 23 July 1803, became lieutenant 3 Feb. 1804, was transferred to the 95th rifles (now the rifle brigade) in April the same year, and obtained his company there in 2 Aug. 1805. He served in the expedition to Copenhagen and in Portugal, where he was slightly wounded at Obidos 16–17 Aug. 1808. ‘He is really one of the best officers of riflemen I have seen,’ wrote Sir Arthur Wellesley, recommending him for promotion (Gurwood, Wellington Despatches, iii. 129). He was promoted to a majority in the 7th West India regiment 30 Aug. 1810, remained with the Peninsular army, and was assistant adjutant-general of Picton's division up to the fall of Badajos, where he was severely wounded (gold cross for Busaco, Fuentes d'Onoro and Ciudad Rodrigo, and Badajos). After being repeatedly recommended for promotion, he was made a brevet lieutenant-colonel 27 April 1812, was appointed lieutenant-colonel 26th Cameronians 3 Sept. 1812, and transferred as captain and lieutenant-colonel to the Coldstream guards 25 July 1814, from which he retired on half-pay in 1817. He was made brevet colonel and aide-de-camp to the king 27 May 1825, became a major-general 10 Jan. 1837, was appointed colonel 43rd light infantry 9 Sept. 1844, commanded the Portsmouth district from 1843 to 1846, and became a lieutenant-general 9 Nov. 1846. He was made C.B. 4 June 1815, K.C.B. 19 July 1838, and had the Peninsular silver medal and Roleia and Vimeiro clasps. He died suddenly at his residence, Langford Lodge, co. Antrim, on 7 March 1850.

Pakenham married, in November 1817, Emily, fourth daughter of Thomas Stapylton, lord Le Despenser, and had issue six sons (one of whom was killed at Inkerman and another at the relief of Lucknow) and three daughters.

[Burke's Peerage, under ‘Longford;’ Army Lists; Gurwood's Wellington Despatches, vols. iii. iv. and v.; Naval and Military Gazette, 16 March 1850.]

H. M. C.