John Whitelocke

John Whitelocke (1757 – 23 October 1833) was a British Army officer.

John Whitelocke
John whitelocke.jpg
John Whitelocke, Published in 1808
Died23 October 1833
Hall Barn Park, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service1778–1808
RankLieutenant General
Battles/warsBritish invasions of the Río de la Plata

Military careerEdit

Educated at Marlborough Grammar School and at Lewis Lochée's military academy in Chelsea, Whitelocke entered the army in 1778 and served in Jamaica and in San Domingo.[1] He was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Portsmouth and General Officer Commanding South-West District on 25 June 1799,[2] commanding the garrison during the height of invasion scares in Britain. On 10 November 1804 he was made a lieutenant-general and inspector-general of recruiting,[3] during a period of significant expansion of the British Army. In 1807 he was appointed to command an expedition to seize Buenos Aires from the Spanish Empire, which was in disarray due to events in Europe. The attack failed and the British surrendered after suffering heavy losses. Whitelocke undertook negotiations with the opposing general, Santiago de Liniers, and having decided that the British position was untenable, signed the surrender and ordered the British forces to abandon Montevideo and return home later that year.

Court Martial upon General Whitelocke
Chelsea College, Jan.28th 1808

- a contemporary illustration by an anonymous hand

This proceeding was regarded with great disfavour by many under his command and the British Army and public, and its author was brought before a court-martial convened at The Royal Hospital in London in 1808.[4] On all the charges, except one, he was found guilty and he was dismissed from the service. He lived in retirement until his death at Hall Barn Park, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire on 23 October 1833.


  1. ^ 'Whitelocke, John', in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (OUP, 2007)
  2. ^ "No. 15152". The London Gazette. 25 June 1799. p. 639.
  3. ^ "No. 15752". The London Gazette. 6 November 1804. p. 1367.
  4. ^ Gaunt, William, Chelsea, B.T. Batsford Ltd, London, 1954, p. 53


Military offices
Preceded by GOC South-West District
Succeeded by