But American colonists, who had no representation in Parliament, saw the Acts as an abuse of power. Educated at Eton, he joined the British army at the age of 18 as an ensign in the Grenadier Guards. Cornwallis’s reputation did not suffer as it should have from this defeat. He therefore wanted to abolis… The Harvard-educated lawyer had previously engaged in disarmament efforts and prison and school ...read more, England’s longest-ruling monarch before Queen Victoria, King George III (1738-1820) ascended the British throne in 1760. Even though he had opposed Lord North's American policy, Cornwallis was trusted with the command of reinforcements sent to Gen. William Howe in 1776. The key, as he saw it, was Catholic emancipation, and the great obstacle was the implacable opposition of the Protestant establishment to Catholic domination of the Irish Parliament. Several years later, in 1786, he accepted the position of the first Governor-General of India, was elevated to 1st Marquess Cornwallis in 1793, and then in 1797 appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Cornwallis differed from many aristocratic officers in … As a Lieutenant Colonel during the Seven Years War, Cornwallis distinguished himself. The British American Revolutionary War General Cornwallis (Charles Cornwallis) is famous for being defeated at the Battle of Yorktown; the battle which basically ended the American Revolution. The same year he accepted appointment as Governor-General and commander in chief in India. The eldest son of the first earl Cornwallis, Charles Cornwallis saw military service in Germany during the Seven Years’ War, fighting at Minden (1759). Although the Yorktown capitulation decided the war in favour of the colonists, Cornwallis remained in high esteem at home. He subsequently led the British generals in the American War of Independence. He instituted land reforms and reorganized the British army and administration. As British plenipotentiary, Cornwallis negotiated the Treaty of Amiens (March 27, 1802), which established peace in Europe during the Napoleonic Wars. The British Army lost a considerable number of men during the battle which resulted in a strategic victory for the Americans. © 2020 A&E Television Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. American statesmen Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and John Jay negotiated the peace treaty with representatives of King George III of Great Britain. Lord General Charles Cornwallis, 1793. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Charles-Cornwallis-1st-Marquess-and-2nd-Earl-Cornwallis, The Civil War - Biography of Charles Cornwallis, United States History - Biography of Charles Cornwallis, American Battlefield Trust - Biography of Charles Cornwallis, Charles Cornwallis - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Charles Cornwallis - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). He oversaw the consolidation of British control over much of peninsular India, setting the stage for the British Raj. Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis was a British army general and statesman. His surrender at the Siege of Yorktown was one of … The Battle of Guilford Court House was a battle fought on March 15, 1781. Before leaving office on August 13, 1793, he brought about a series of legal and administrative reforms, notably the Cornwallis Code (1793). Charles Cornwallis, 1. er marqués de Cornwallis, KG (Grosvenor Square, Londres, 31 de diciembre de 1738 - Gauspur, Ghazipur, India, 5 de octubre de 1805) fue un militar y gobernador colonial inglés. His invasion of North Carolina in September 1780 was cut short by the defeat of subordinate Patrick Ferguson at King’s Mountain (October 7). In 1830, the 70-year-old Martin ...read more, The Townshend Acts were a series of measures, passed by the British Parliament in 1767, that taxed goods imported to the American colonies. The British surrendering their arms to Gen: Washington, 1781', 1859. As the British and Hessian troops marched out to surrender, the British bands played the song The World Turned Upside Down. He became major general in 1775, served under Sir Henry Clinton during the American Revolution in the successful campaign to capture New York (1776), and led the pursuit across New Jersey. Cornwallis felt that he should conquer North Carolina, but he was delayed by sick troops, the enervating summer heat, and partisan attacks on his supply lines. As viceroy of Ireland (1798–1801), Cornwallis won the confidence of both militant Protestants (Orangemen) and Roman Catholics. In 1762, He became the Second Earl Cornwallis and a member of the House of Lords. Cornwallis was exchanged for Henry Laurens in May 1782. In 1781, as second in command to Gen. Henry Clinton, he moved his forces to Virginia, where he was defeated at the Battle of Yorktown. He disbelieved, however, in the capacity of Indians for self-government, and some of his measures—the reorganization of the courts in various regions and of the revenue system in Bengal—proved ill-advised. However, lack of Loyalist support made the conquest of Virginia impossible, and Cornwallis instead established his army in an unfortified, low-lying, poor defensive position at Yorktown. On Christmas night Washington stealthily crossed the Delaware…, …the early 19th century, although Lord Cornwallis (governor-general, 1786–93 and 1805) substituted largely British for Indian personnel. Charles Cornwallis nació en Grosvenor Square, Londres el 31 de diciembre de 1738, el hijo mayor de Carlos, 1r conde de Cornwallis y su esposa Elizabeth Townshend. Marching through eastern North Carolina into Virginia, he established his base at the tidewater seaport of Yorktown. Lieutenant General of the British Army during the American Revolution. For his services in India he was created a marquess in 1792. He defeated Horatio Gates at the Battle of Camden (August 16): American militia had proven unable to confront British regulars, and North Carolina was left exposed to the British. He was then made Governor of Nova Scotia … 1738-1805. Cornwallis marched to the Chesapeake to seek a decisive battle in Virginia and to cover the Carolinas. It was too near the rainy season to attempt a siege of Tipu’s capital, Seringapatam, but in 1792 Cornwallis did so, forcing Tipu to surrender and cede much of his territory. On this page you will find a list of kid-friendly and interesting facts about General Cornwallis including why he surrendered at Yorktown, what battles he fought in, and how the loss at Yorktown effected his military … Yet in 1781, after facing defeat in the Southern states and fighting with his superiors, the war was over. He was sent on a special mission to Frederick the Great in 1785 and appointed governor-general and commander in chief in India in 1786, a post he held until 1794. British General Charles Cornwallis, the Earl Cornwallis, was appointed in February 1786 to serve as both Commander-in-Chief of British India and Governor of the Presidency of Fort William, also known as the Bengal Presidency. Omissions? Cornwallis definition, British general and statesman: surrendered to Washington at Yorktown, Virginia, October 19, 1781. Promoted to lieutenant general and second in command of the army in America in 1778, Cornwallis played a major role in command of the British rear guard in the inconclusive Battle of Monmouth Courthouse (June 28, 1778). Hij is bekend als Brits generaal in de Amerikaanse Onafhankelijkheidsoorlog.Het beleg van Yorktown in 1781, waarbij hij verslagen werd door een Amerikaans-Franse troepenmacht, wordt vaak als einde van die oorlog beschouwd. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! He saw many battles and was the cause of many victories, but he always seemed to find himself as second-in-command with an irksome man over him. Charles Cornwallis was a British noble and army general who led military operations and foreign campaigns in Ireland, India, and America. "use strict";(function(){var insertion=document.getElementById("citation-access-date");var date=new Date().toLocaleDateString(undefined,{month:"long",day:"numeric",year:"numeric"});insertion.parentElement.replaceChild(document.createTextNode(date),insertion)})(); FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. Charles Cornwallis was born on New Years’ Eve to an English ruling class family. In the third of four Mysore Wars, he inflicted a temporary defeat (1792) on Tippu Sultan, the anti-British ruler of the Mysore state. Although Earl Cornwallis sided with the American colonists on all the major issues of the day from his seat in the House of Lords, during the American Revolution Major General (later Lieutenant General) Cornwallis led British forces in the Colonies from January 1, 1776 until he surrendered his command after the siege at Yorktown on October 19,1781. On 29 April 1693 he succeeded his father as Baron Cornwallis. British General Charles Cornwallis , after commanding British troops in the Civil War, he became Governor-General of India. Updates? His father Charles, the 5th Baron of Eye, sent Cornwallis to Eton, an exclusive private school, then to a military academy in Turin, Italy. Lord Cornwallis is commonly remembered in American history for his failure at Yorktown, but that single event shortchanges the contributions made by what many authorities regard as the most capable British commander in the war. Charles Cornwallis was born into old English aristocracy. In the Treaty of Paris, the British Crown formally ...read more, The Revolutionary War (1775-83), also known as the American Revolution, arose from growing tensions between residents of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies and the colonial government, which represented the British crown. Charles Cornwallis, eerste Markies Cornwallis (Londen, 31 december 1738 – Ghazipur, 5 oktober 1805) was een Britse militair en koloniaal gouverneur. The British sent troops to America to ...read more, Orator and Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner (1811-1874) was known for his deep commitment to the cause of civil rights and emerged as an antislavery leader in the late 1840s. However, although his skills were great and his heart was in the right place for his country, Cornwallis did not have the required intellect to conquer America […] Second in command when Clinton captured Charleston in May 1780, Cornwallis was left in command in the South when Clinton departed for New York on June 8. Besieged by land, he could not be relieved by sea because of the strength of the French navy, and on October 18, 1781, the British army at Yorktown surrendered. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess and 2nd Earl Cornwallis. Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess and 2nd Earl Cornwallis, British soldier and statesman, probably best known for his defeat at Yorktown, Virginia, in the last important campaign (September 28–October 19, 1781) of the American Revolution. Copyright © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. (See Yorktown, Siege of.). Charles Cornwallis, later accused of "losing America," was born in London on December 31, 1738. Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis KG (31 December 1738 – 5 October 1805), styled Viscount Brome between 1753 and 1762 and known as The Earl Cornwallis between 1762 and 1792, was a British Army officer and colonial administrator. On March 15, 1781, Cornwallis defeated Nathanael Greene at Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina with about two thousand men, but this was no rout, and over one-quarter of the earl’s force were casualties. Cornwallis was sent to America to manage the military aspects of colonial government, and despite losing there, he was subsequently sent to India and Ireland to do the same. Skirmishes between British troops and colonial ...read more, When British General Lord Charles Cornwallis and his army surrendered to General George Washington’s American force and its French allies at the Battle of Yorktown on October 19, 1781, it was more than just military win. Charles Cornwallis. He reformed the organization of the East India Company, emphasizing the need for officers to understand native languages and customs. Charles Cornwallis was very successful in his army career, the kind of person you always want on your side. Par la suite, il fut gouverneur général de l'Inde (1786 – 1793) et Lord lieutenant d'Irlande (1798 – 1801) avant d'être le principal négociateur britannique du traité d'Amiens(18… Without his help, the British army would have been defeated a lot earlier than they did. When Clinton took co… Pleading illness, he did not attend the surrender ceremony, but his second-in-command, General Charles OHara, carried Cornwallis sword to the American and French commanders. All rights reserved. In early 1781, unable to control South Carolina in the face of a vicious local war waged by American partisans, Cornwallis again thought of moving north to cut American supplies and drive back their regular forces, leading to the settlement of the South. Lord Cornwallis served King George III and Britain as one of the leading generals of the Revolutionary War, where he proved himself as a gifted strategist. As Lord Lieutenant and Commander-in-Chief of Ireland, Cornwallis unsuccessfully argued for Catholic emancipation, and helped secure passage of the Act of Union, which created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Dezember 1738 in Grosvenor Square, London; † 5. In 1760, Cornwallis was elected to the House of Commons; two years later he inherited his father’s earldom and entered the House of Lords as Earl Cornwallis. In 1786 Cornwallis was made a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter. He was surprised by the buildup of American and French military and, crucially, naval strength. The Americans inflicted heavy ...read more, The Treaty of Paris of 1783 formally ended the American Revolutionary War. Late in 1776 he drove General George Washington’s patriot forces out of New Jersey, but early in 1777 Washington recaptured part of that state. General Cornwallis surrendered his army at Yorktown in October. The revenue was collected by the officers of the deputy nawab; the law administered was the current Mughal (Islamic) criminal code, with the traditional personal codes of the Hindu and Muslim communities; the…, Cornwallis’s permanent settlement (1793), after an initial period of dislocation, gave relief and security to the zamindars, who benefited by the rise in prices and the cultivation of wastelands; the cultivators themselves, now the zamindars’ tenants-at-will, remained as poor as before. He was reappointed governor-general of India in 1805 but died shortly after his arrival. Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess and 2nd Earl Cornwallis, in full Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess and 2nd Earl Cornwallis, Viscount Brome, Baron Cornwallis of Eye, (born December 31, 1738, London, England—died October 5, 1805, Ghazipur, India [now in Uttar Pradesh, India]), British soldier and statesman, probably best known for his defeat at Yorktown, Virginia, in the last important campaign (September 28–October 19, 1781) of the American Revolution. Corrections? Although surprised by George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware and outmaneuvered at the Battle of Princeton (January 3, 1777), he outflanked Washington’s defensive position at the Battle of Brandywine (September 11, 1777). Cornwallis was … Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess and 2nd Earl Cornwallis. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. He was also instrumental in enacting administrative and legal reforms that fundamentally altered civil administration and land management practices there. He was born on the last day of 1738, the first son of the 1st Earl of Cornwallis. The eldest son of the first earl Cornwallis, Charles Cornwallis saw military service in Germany during the Seven Years War, fighting at Minden (1759). Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). In 1805, Cornwallis returned as governor-general in India, but died shortly after his arrival. A 2,100-man British force under the command of Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis defeated Major General Nathanael Greene's 4,500 Americans. General Charles Cornwallis Most people know him by the British general that lost the American colonies, Charles Cornwallis was actually very smart. Charles Cornwallis, 1. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Charles Cornwallis was born in London and educated at Eton and Cambridge. Charles Cornwallis, 1 marquis Cornwallis, né le 31 décembre 1738 à Londres (à Grosvenor Square) et décédé le 5 octobre 1805 à Gauspur près de Ghazipur dans le Nord de l'Inde , est un général britannique connu comme commandant des troupes britanniques lors du siège de Yorktown pendant la guerre d'indépendance des États-Unis. He was schooled at Eton and Clare College in Cambridge, England. He was also honored as “Earl Cornwallis,’’ and his military career began during the Seven Years' War. On October 19, General Cornwallis surrendered 7,087 officers and men, 900 seamen, 144 cannons, 15 galleys, a frigate, and 30 transport ships. Charles Cornwallis (December 31, 1738–October 5, 1805), was a British peer, a Member of the House of Lords and the 2nd Earl of Cornwallis, who was a trusted member of the English government. Defeat at YorkTown, Virginia on October 1781. Lord Charles Cornwallis, having taken Washington’s other garrison at Fort Lee, drove the American army across New Jersey to the western bank of the Delaware River and then quartered his troops for the winter at outposts in New Jersey. He took pride in his appearance even though his left eye was at a permanent tilt due to a hit from a hockey s General Cornwallis led the British Army and defeated the colonists at the Battle of Camden and Guilford Court House. The Reader’s Companion to Military History. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. He participated in the New York campaign and in the occupation of New Jersey. As the son of an earl, Charles would have the best opportunities for education and career. Cornwallis was given the title marquis in 1792, and returned to England the following year. After his Indian term expired in 1793, Cornwallis became master of the ordnance with a seat in the cabinet (1795) and lord lieutenant of Ireland (1797). Bien comunicado, la madre de Cornwallis era una sobrina de Sir Robert Walpole, mientras que su tío, Frederick Cornwallis, sirvió como arzobispo de Canterbury (1768-1783). He had in 1782 been offered the governor-generalship only, but refused the post until he also received military command as well. British General Charles Cornwallis had a leading role in the American Revolution. He effectively … After the unsatisfactory 1790 campaign against Tipu Sultan of Mysore, Cornwallis took personal charge of the war. Marquess Cornwallis, KG (* 31. A veteran of the Seven Years’ War (1756–63)—during which (1762) he succeeded to his father’s earldom and other titles—Cornwallis, who had opposed the British policies that antagonized the North American colonists, nonetheless fought to suppress the American Revolution. He was the son of Charles Cornwallis, 3rd Baron Cornwallis (c. 1655 – 1693) and Elizabeth Fox (c. 1654 – 1680/81). Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. The outcome in Yorktown, Virginia marked the conclusion of ...read more. See more. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Trapped there by American and French ground forces under Washington and the comte de Rochambeau and a French fleet under the comte de Grasse, he surrendered his large army after a siege. As commander in chief and governor-general of Ireland (1797-1801), Cornwallis defeated the Irish rebellion and the limited French invasion of 1798. His failure to catch George Washington at this time and later before the Battle of Princeton led to some criticism by Sir Henry Clinton and a feeling that Cornwallis was too cocksure. He became major general in 1775, served under Sir Henry Clinton during the American Revolution in the successful campaign to capture New York (1776), and led the pursuit across New Jersey. In 1792, he defeated Tipu Sultan, the powerful sultan of Mysore. Quotes. This American victory and Cornwallis’ surrender of his troops to George Washington was the final major conflict of the American Revolution. During his 59-year reign, he pushed through a British victory in the Seven Years’ War, led England’s successful resistance to Revolutionary and Napoleonic ...read more, The Battle of Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina, on March 15, 1781, proved pivotal to the American victory in the American Revolutionary War (1775-83). Did you know? Portrait of Cornwallis (circa 1705-1715), by Sir Godfrey Kneller. Edward Cornwallis (5 March [O.S. As he had done in India, he worked to eliminate corruption among British officials in Ireland. On February 23, 1786, he accepted the governor-generalship of India. Charles Cornwallis was born in Suffolk, England. Oktober 1805 in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh) war ein britischer General im Amerikanischen Unabhängigkeitskrieg, der später auch als Generalgouverneur von Indien diente. https://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/charles-cornwallis. Arriving in the wake of the great rebellion, he was determined to create peace within Ireland and encourage Irish acceptance of British rule. General Charles Cornwallis By Jane Runyon : 1 Charles Cornwallis was English through and through. He sought a methodical invasion of Mysore and in 1791 stormed Bangalore. Cornwallis, Charles, 1st Marquis. Although the war persisted on the high seas and in other theaters… In 1777 Cornwallis commanded one of Howe's divisions in the Battle of Brandywine. 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