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Henry Seymour Conway

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Title: Henry Seymour Conway  
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Subject: Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst, Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond, Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, Richard Rigby, 13th Hussars
Collection: 13Th Hussars Officers, 1721 Births, 1795 Deaths, 1St the Royal Dragoons Officers, 34Th Regiment of Foot Officers, 48Th Regiment of Foot Officers, 4Th Queen's Own Hussars Officers, 5Th Royal Irish Lancers Officers, 7Th Dragoon Guards Officers, British Army Personnel of the Jacobite Rising of 1745, British Army Personnel of the Seven Years' War, British Army Personnel of the War of the Austrian Succession, British Field Marshals, British Military Personnel of the American Revolutionary War, British Mps 1747–54, British Mps 1754–61, British Mps 1761–68, British Mps 1774–80, British Mps 1780–84, British Secretaries of State, Chief Secretaries for Ireland, Governors of Jersey, Grenadier Guards Officers, Irish Mps 1727–60, Irish Mps 1761–68, Leaders of the House of Commons, Members of the Parliament of Great Britain for Constituencies in Cornwall, Members of the Parliament of Great Britain for English Constituencies, Members of the Privy Council of Great Britain, Members of the Privy Council of Ireland, People Educated at Eton College, People from Remenham, Royal Horse Guards Officers, Seymour Family, Whig (British Political Party) Mps
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Henry Seymour Conway

Field Marshal The Honourable
Henry Seymour Conway
Secretary of State for the Northern Department
In office
23 May 1766 – 20 January 1768
Monarch George III
Prime Minister The Earl of Chatham
Preceded by The Duke of Grafton
Succeeded by The Viscount Weymouth
Leader of the House of Commons
In office
14 July 1765 – 20 October 1768
Monarch George III
Prime Minister The Marquess of Rockingham
The Earl of Chatham
Preceded by George Grenville
Succeeded by Lord North
Secretary of State for the Southern Department
In office
12 July 1765 – 23 May 1766
Monarch George III
Prime Minister The Marquess of Rockingham
Preceded by The Earl of Halifax
Succeeded by The Duke of Richmond and Lennox
Chief Secretary for Ireland
In office
Monarch George II
Lieutenant The Duke of Devonshire
Preceded by Lord George Sackville
Succeeded by Richard Rigby
Personal details
Born 1721
Chelsea, Middlesex
Great Britain
Died 9 July 1795
Henley-on-Thames, Berkshire
Great Britain
Military service
Allegiance  Great Britain
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1737 - 1793
Rank Field Marshal
Battles/wars War of the Austrian Succession
Jacobite Rebellion of 1745
Seven Years' War

Field Marshal Henry Seymour Conway (1721 – 9 July 1795) was a British general and statesman. A brother of the 1st Marquess of Hertford, and cousin of Horace Walpole, he began his military career in the War of the Austrian Succession. He held various political offices including Chief Secretary for Ireland, Secretary of State for the Southern Department, Leader of the House of Commons and Secretary of State for the Northern Department. He eventually rose to the position of Commander-in-Chief of the Forces.


  • Family and education 1
  • Early army career 2
  • Early political career 3
  • Seven Years War 4
  • Later political career 5
  • Return to the Army 6
  • Family 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • Sources 10
  • External links 11

Family and education

Conway was the second son of Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Baron Conway (whose elder brother Popham Seymour-Conway had inherited the Conway estates) by his third wife, Charlotte Seymour-Conway (née Shorter).[1] He entered Eton College in 1732 and from that time enjoyed a close friendship with his cousin Horace Walpole.[1]

Early army career

Conway joined the Molesworth's Regiment of Dragoons on 27 June 1737 as a lieutenant.[2] He was transferred to the 1st Foot Guards and was promoted to captain on 14 February 1741 and to captain-lieutenant (the equivalent of lieutenant colonel) on 10 May 1742.[2]

During the Dettingen in June 1743 and on the staff of the Duke of Cumberland at the Fontenoy in May 1745.[3] Appointed colonel of the 48th Foot on 6 April 1746, he took part in Culloden later that month during the Jacobite Rebellion.[3] His next battle, in July 1747, was at Lauffeld, in which he narrowly escaped death, being captured by the French but released on parole a few days later.[3] In July 1749, he transferred from the 48th Foot to the 34th Foot, and served with his regiment in the garrison of Minorca in 1751.[3]

Early political career

Conway was elected unopposed to the Irish Parliament in 1741 for Antrim County, and to the British Parliament for Higham Ferrers in December 1741 on the recommendation of Sir Robert Walpole.[1] He was elected in 1747 for Penryn and for St Mawes in 1754, both in the Boscawen interest.[1] He was promoted to major-general on 12 March 1755.[3]

In April 1755, he was unexpectedly appointed Archbishop of Armagh and John Ponsonby: ultimately, he reached a compromise, acceptable to the British Ministry, in which Boyle was bought off with an earldom and John Ponsonby became Speaker.[1] He became a Lord of the Bedchamber in April 1757.[1]

Seven Years War

Waldeck Castle, captured by Conway in 1762 during the Seven Years War

Conway was the British military second in command on the

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Henry Finch
Member of Parliament for Higham Ferrers
Succeeded by
John Hill
Preceded by
John Evelyn
George Boscawen
Member of Parliament for Penryn
With: George Boscawen
Succeeded by
Hon. Richard Edgcumbe
George Boscawen
Preceded by
Robert Nugent
Sir Thomas Clavering, Bt
Member of Parliament for St Mawes
With: Robert Nugent 1754
James Newsham 1754–1761
Succeeded by
Edmund Nugent
Richard Hussey
Preceded by
Lord Henry Beauclerk
Herbert Westfaling
Member of Parliament for Thetford
With: Hon. Aubrey Beauclerk 1761-1768
John Drummond 1768–1774
Viscount Petersham 1774
Succeeded by
Hon. Charles FitzRoy
Charles FitzRoy-Scudamore
Preceded by
Hon. Augustus John Hervey
Sir Charles Davers, Bt
Member of Parliament for Bury St Edmunds
With: Sir Charles Davers, Bt
Succeeded by
Hon. George Ferdinand FitzRoy
Sir Charles Davers, Bt
Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
John Skeffington
John Upton
Member of Parliament for Antrim County
With: Arthur Skeffington 1741–1747
Hugh Skeffington 1747–1768
Succeeded by
Viscount Dunluce
Viscount Beauchamp
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord George Sackville
Chief Secretary for Ireland
Succeeded by
Richard Rigby
Preceded by
The Earl of Halifax
Secretary of State for the Southern Department
Succeeded by
The Duke of Richmond
Preceded by
George Grenville
Leader of the House of Commons
Succeeded by
Lord North
Preceded by
The Duke of Grafton
Secretary of State for the Northern Department
Succeeded by
The Viscount Weymouth
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Compton Domvile, Bt
Clerk of the Crown in Ireland
Succeeded by
Sir Lucius O'Brien, Bt
Military offices
Preceded by
Francis Ligonier
Colonel of the 48th Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
The Viscount Torrington
Preceded by
Hon. James Cholmondeley
Colonel of the 34th Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Charles Russell
Preceded by
Sir Charles Armand Powlett
Colonel of the 13th Regiment of Dragoons
Succeeded by
John Mostyn
Preceded by
Henry de Grangues
Colonel of the 4th (Irish) Regiment of Horse
Succeeded by
Philip Honywood
Preceded by
Henry Hawley
Colonel of the 1st (Royal) Regiment of Dragoons
Succeeded by
The Earl of Pembroke
Preceded by
The Viscount Townshend
Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance
Succeeded by
Jeffrey Amherst
Preceded by
Sir Robert Rich, Bt
Colonel of the 4th Regiment of Dragoons
Succeeded by
Benjamin Carpenter
Preceded by
Marquess of Granby
Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards
Succeeded by
The Duke of Richmond
Preceded by
The Earl of Albemarle
Governor of Jersey
Succeeded by
Sir George Howard
Preceded by
The Lord Amherst
Commander-in-Chief of the Forces
Succeeded by
The Lord Amherst

External links

  • Heathcote, Tony (1999). The British Field Marshals 1733-1997. Pen & Sword Ltd.  


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Towse, Clive (2004). "Conway, Henry Seymour (1719–1795)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Heathcote p.92
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Heathcote p.93
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 9888. p. 2. 17 April 1759. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 9924. p. 2. 21 August 1759. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 10096. p. 2. 14 April 1761. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 10118. p. 1. 30 June 1761. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 11251. p. 2. 23 May 1772. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 11294. p. 1. 20 October 1772. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Heathcote p.94
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 13582. p. 913. 15 October 1793. Retrieved 28 April 2012.


See also

On 19 December 1747 he married Caroline, the widow of Charles Bruce, 4th Earl of Elgin and 3rd Earl of Ailesbury, and daughter of Lieutenant-General John Campbell, later the 4th Duke of Argyll.[10] They had one daughter, the sculptor Anne Seymour Damer.[10]


Following his resignation in January 1768, Conway returned to the military, and was made a full general on 26 May 1772[8] and Governor of Jersey on 22 October 1772.[9] He remained an important figure in the Commons, opposing the British attempt to suppress the American Revolt.[10] He was rewarded with a cabinet position and the office of Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in the new Rockingham ministry in March 1782.[10] His political career came to an end in 1784 when he lost his seat in parliament due to his opposition to the new government of William Pitt and he focused thereafter on his military responsibilities retaining his post as Commander-in Chief until his complete retirement in January 1793.[10] He was promoted to field marshal on 18 October 1793[11] and died, at his home, Park Place at Remenham in Berkshire, on 9 July 1795.[10]

Return to the Army

He entered office with Lord Rockingham as Secretary of State for the Southern Department in July 1765 before switching to the Northern Department in May 1766, serving until his resignation in January 1768.[3] In these offices, Conway sought to urge a moderate policy towards the American colonies, being the principal supporter of the repeal of the Stamp Act, and opposing the taxation policies of Chancellor of the Exchequer Charles Townshend.[1]

Conway was re-elected to the House of Commons in April 1761, this time for Thetford[6] and on 4 July 1761 he became a member of the Privy Council.[7] As a senior member of the Rockingham faction of the Whigs, he opposed the King's legal actions against the reformist John Wilkes in 1763.[3] This resulted in his dismissal as a Groom of the Bedchamber and as Colonel of the 1st Royal Dragoons.[3] This led to the publication of accusation and counter-accusation in pamphlets, as it was feared that the government intended to purge the army of its political opponents.[1]

Later political career

In 1761, he served in Germany as deputy to John Manners, Marquess of Granby, the British commander in the army led by Ferdinand of Brunswick.[3] At the Battle of Villinghausen in July 1761 he commanded a corps which was at the centre of the line and not attacked.[1] He was also present at the Battle of Wilhelmsthal in June 1762, and captured the castle of Waldeck the following month.[1] After peace preliminaries were signed at Fontainebleau in November, he supervised the embarkation of British troops from Europe, returning to England in March.[1]

[5].lieutenant general and on 25 August 1759 he was promoted to [4]1st The Royal Dragoons On 21 April 1759 he became colonel of the [1] in 1759.Sluys He was not employed again until the next reign, except that he was sent to sign a cartel for an exchange of prisoners at [3]

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