Lord Moira


Life
1754-1826 [Francis Rawdon-Hastings; also Lady Moira]; first Marquis of Hastings and 2nd Earl of Moira; ed. Harrow and University College, Oxford; distinguished himself at Bunker’s Hill, 1775; fought at Brooklyn and Whites Plains, 1776; adjut.-gen. British forces in America, 1778; commanded left wing at Camden, 1780; defeated Greene at Hobkirk’s Hill, 1781; captured by French on voyage home; created Baron Rawden, 1783; joined opposition, 1789; assumed name of Hastings, 1790;
 
succeeded as Earl of Moira, 1793; commanded expedition to Brittany, 1793; commanded reinforcements for Duke of York in Flanders, 1794; spoke against Union, 1799; appt. general, 1803; commander-in-chief in Scotland, 1803; master of ordnance, 1806-07; actively supported Prince of Wales, 1810-11; attempted with Wellesley to form ministry, 1812; governor-gen. of Bengal, 1813-22; carried on successful war against Nepal, 1814-16; created Marquis of Hastings, 1817;
 
extirpated Pindaris and estab. British supremacy in Central India by defeating Mahrattas, 1817-18; secured cession of Singapore, 1819; opened relations with Siam, 1822; pursued liberal policy towards natives; granted 60,000 by East India Company; resigned when his permission to the banker Palmer to lend money to Hyderabad was annulled by court of directors; named gov. of Malta, 1824; dies at sea, Baia Bay; statue by Chantrey at Dalhousie Inst., Calcutta. ODNB

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Commentary
Brian Hollingworth, Maria Edgeworth’s Irish Writings (London: Macmillan 1997), quoting Edgeworth’s account of a visit to the Moira home at Castle Donnington en route to France: ‘… in the valley below suddenly appeared the turrets of a castle - surpassing all he had conceived of light and magnificent in architecture - a real castle! not a modern bungling imitation - not a Slane Castle - The inside was suitable in grandeur to the outside - Hall - staircase - antichambers [sic] - you must imagine to your taste - the library a room [word deleted] feet long filled up entirely with books in plain handsome mahogany book cases not a frippery ornament - everything grand but nothing gaudy - marble tables - books upon the tables - nothing littered but sufficient signs of living and occupied being. (Maria Edgeworth to Mary Sneyd, 27th. September, 1802; Butler- Edgeworth Correspondence, No. 305.)

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Notes
Bog People: P. V. Glob (Bog People, 1969), remarks that ‘the first properly documented account of a bog body’ was given by Lady Moira, a neighbour and friend of the Edgeworths. (Op. cit., p.103; see Brian Hollingworth, Maria Edgeworth’s Irish Writing: Language, History, Politics, London: Macmillan 1997, p.84.)

Patronage: Both Sydney Owenson and Thomas Moore, as well as several Irish minor writers, enjoyed the patronage of the Moiras in London. In 1813, Moore has expectations of a post in India when Lord Moira was returning there to take up his post as Governor of Bengal.

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