Sir George Nugent, 1st Baronet

Field Marshal Sir George Nugent, 1st Baronet, GCB (10 June 1757 – 11 March 1849) was a British Army officer. After serving as a junior officer in the American Revolutionary War, he fought with the Coldstream Guards under the Duke of York during the Flanders Campaign. He then commanded the Buckinghamshire Volunteers in the actions of St. Andria and Thuyl on the river Waal and participated in the disastrous retreat from the Rhine. He went on to be commander of the northern district of Ireland, in which post he played an important part in placating the people of Belfast during the Irish Rebellion, and then became Adjutant-General in Ireland. He went on to be Governor of Jamaica, commander of the Western District in England, commander of the Kent District in England and finally Commander-in-Chief, India.

Sir George Nugent, Bt

Member of Parliament for Buckingham
In office
Preceded byWilliam Fremantle
James Hamilton Stanhope
Succeeded bySir Thomas Fremantle, 1st Bt
Sir Harry Verney
Commander-in-Chief, India
In office
Preceded byForbes Champagné
Succeeded byThe Earl of Moira
Governor of Jamaica
In office
Preceded byThe Earl of Balcarres
Succeeded bySir Eyre Coote
Personal details
Born(1757-06-10)10 June 1757
Died11 March 1849(1849-03-11) (aged 91)
Westhorpe House, Buckinghamshire
Maria Skinner
m. 1797; died 1834)
RelationsThomas Fremantle, 2nd Baron Cottesloe (grandson)
ParentsHon. Edmund Nugent
Ms. Fennings
EducationCharterhouse School
Alma materRoyal Military Academy, Woolwich
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/serviceFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
RankField Marshal
Commands97th Regiment of Foot
13th Regiment of Foot
4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards
Buckinghamshire Volunteers
Western District
Kent District
Commander-in-Chief, India
Battles/warsAmerican Revolutionary War
French Revolutionary Wars

Early lifeEdit

Born the illegitimate son of Lieutenant Colonel the Hon. Edmund Nugent (who was the only son of Robert Nugent, 1st Earl Nugent) and a Ms. Fennings. His father had another illegitimate son, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Charles Edmund Nugent. His father's half sister, Mary Elizabeth Nugent, married George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham. Through his Mary, he inherited the title of Earl Nugent. Lord Buckingham’s aunt, Hester Grenville, had married William Pitt, who became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.[1]

Nugent was educated at Charterhouse School and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.[2]

Military careerEdit

George Nugent, Pembroke Cavalry, 1798
Westhorpe House where Nugent lived for over 40 years

He was commissioned as an ensign in the 39th Regiment of Foot on 5 July 1773[3] and was posted to Gibraltar.[4] He transferred the 7th Regiment of Foot at New York with promotion to lieutenant in September 1777 and saw action at the Battle of Forts Clinton and Montgomery in October 1777 and then took part in the Philadelphia campaign during the American Revolutionary War.[4] He continued to serve in North America and became a captain in the 57th Regiment of Foot on 28 April 1778[5] and a major in the same regiment on 3 May 1782.[6]

Flanders and IrelandEdit

Promoted to lieutenant colonel in September 1783, Nugent was appointed commanding officer of the 97th Regiment of Foot and returned to England, but in the post-war cost reductions the regiment was disbanded and he instead became commanding officer of the 13th Regiment of Foot in 1787.[7] He became an aide-de-camp to his brother-in-law, the Marquess of Buckingham, who was serving as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, in November 1787.[7] On Buckingham's departure from Ireland, Nugent became commanding officer of the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards in 1789.[7] Nugent became Member of Parliament for Buckingham in 1790.[8] He exchanged into the Coldstream Guards as a company commander in October 1790[9] and served at the Siege of Valenciennes in May 1793, the Battle of Lincelles in August 1793 and the Siege of Dunkirk also in August 1793 under the Duke of York during the Flanders Campaign.[7]

The War Office recalled Nugent to supervise the raising of the 85th Buckinghamshire Volunteers in March 1794.[10] He commanded the regiment under Sir Ralph Abercromby in the action at Fort St. Andries, and with Major General David Dundas at Tuil on the river Waal and participated in the disastrous retreat from the Rhine.[11] Promoted to major general on 1 May 1796, he became Captain of St Mawes Castle on 5 November 1796[12] and served in that role until his death. He went on to be commander of the northern district of Ireland in 1798, in which post he played an important part in placating the people of Belfast during the Irish Rebellion that year, and became Adjutant-General in Ireland in August 1799.[13] He also represented Charleville in the last Irish House of Commons before the Acts of Union 1800.[7]

Later careerEdit

Nugent became Governor of Jamaica in April 1801[14] with promotion to local lieutenant general on 29 May 1802.[15] While serving there, he strengthened the fort that the Spanish slave agent in Jamaica, James Castillo, had built in 1709 in Harbour View. Named Fort Nugent, the fort guarded the eastern entrance of the city of Kingston Harbour, although all that remains there now is a Martello tower that was added after Nugent's departure.[16] Promoted to the substantive rank of lieutenant general on 25 September 1803,[17] Nugent returned to England in February 1806 and became commander of the Western District in England in August 1806.[2] He was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Aylesbury on 3 November 1806[18] and created a baronet of Waddesdon in the county of Buckinghamshire on 11 November 1806.[19] He bought Westhorpe House in Buckinghamshire in October 1808 and became commander of the Kent District in England in July 1809.[2]

Nugent stood down from his seat in Parliament to become Commander-in-Chief, India in January 1811 and, having been appointed a Knight of the Order of the Bath on 1 February 1813[20] and promoted to full general on 4 June 1813, he was replaced as Commander-in-Chief by Lord Moira in October 1813.[7] Nugent was relegated to the role of Commander of the Bengal Army but instead chose to return to England in October 1814.[2] On return he unleashed a "skin-full of venom" against Lord Moira who in turn complained to the Prince Regent about Nugent's hostile behaviour.[21] He was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 2 January 1815[22] and, having been elected Member of Parliament for Buckingham again in July 1818,[23] he was awarded an honorary DCL by the University of Oxford in 1819.[2] He finally retired from Parliament in 1832.[2]

Nugent also served as honorary colonel of the 85th (Bucks Volunteers) Regiment of Foot, then as honorary colonel of the 62nd Regiment of Foot[24] and later as honorary colonel of the 6th Regiment of Foot.[25] Promoted to field marshal on 9 November 1846.[26]

Personal lifeEdit

On 16 November 1797, Nugent was married to Maria Skinner (1771–1834) in Belfast. Maria was a daughter of Cortlandt Skinner, the Attorney-General of New Jersey and a descendant of the Schuyler and Van Cortlandt families of British North America,[27] Together, they had three sons and two daughters, including:[7]

George and Maria Nugent lived at Stowe and enjoyed a close friendship with his aunt and uncle, Lord and Lady Buckingham.[31]

Lady Nugent, who died in 1834, wrote a journal of her experiences in Jamaica first published in 1907.[32][33] Sir George died at Westhorpe House on 11 March 1849 and was buried at St John the Baptist Church in Little Marlow.[7]


Through his eldest son, he was a grandfather of Sir Edmund Charles Nugent, 3rd Baronet and through his daughter Louisa, he was a grandfather of Thomas Fremantle, 2nd Baron Cottesloe, Admiral Hon. Edmund Fremantle, and Hon. Augusta Mary Fremantle (wife of William Brodrick, 8th Viscount Midleton).[29]


  1. ^ Cokayne, George; et al., The Complete Peerage, III, p. 143
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Sir George Nugent, 1st Baronet". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  3. ^ "No. 11377". The London Gazette. 7 August 1773. p. 1.
  4. ^ a b Heathcote, p.232
  5. ^ "No. 11888". The London Gazette. 30 June 1778. p. 1.
  6. ^ "No. 12313". The London Gazette. 13 July 1782. p. 3.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Heathcote, p.233
  8. ^ "No. 13226". The London Gazette. 7 August 1790. p. 503.
  9. ^ "No. 13245". The London Gazette. 12 October 1790. p. 622.
  10. ^ "No. 13628". The London Gazette. 1 March 1794. p. 191.
  11. ^ Smith, p.4.
  12. ^ "No. 13948". The London Gazette. 5 November 1796. p. 1062.
  13. ^ "No. 15185". The London Gazette. 21 September 1799. p. 966.
  14. ^ "No. 15365". The London Gazette. 12 May 1801. p. 533.
  15. ^ "No. 15483". The London Gazette. 25 May 1802. p. 539.
  16. ^ Clements, p. 125
  17. ^ "No. 15624". The London Gazette. 27 September 1803. p. 1317.
  18. ^ "No. 16035". The London Gazette. 6 June 1807. p. 763.
  19. ^ "No. 15973". The London Gazette. 8 November 1806. p. 1466.
  20. ^ "No. 16699". The London Gazette. 30 January 1813. p. 228.
  21. ^ "Sir George Nugent, 1st Baronet". History of Parliament. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  22. ^ "No. 16972". The London Gazette. 4 January 1815. p. 18.
  23. ^ "No. 17376". The London Gazette. 7 July 1818. p. 1218.
  24. ^ "No. 15877". The London Gazette. 31 December 1805. p. 4.
  25. ^ "No. 15924". The London Gazette. 31 May 1806. p. 682.
  26. ^ "No. 20660". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 November 1846. p. 3987.
  27. ^ Burke, Bernard. A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland, Volume 2. London: Harrison 1871, page 1270
  28. ^ "RIDLEY COLBORNE, Nicholas William (1779-1854), of West Harling, Norf". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  29. ^ a b "Cottesloe, Baron (UK, 1874)". Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  30. ^ a b Debrett, John (1840). The Baronetage of England. revised, corrected and continued by G.W. Collen. p. 407. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  31. ^ "Maria, Lady Nugent of Jamaica". Nugents of Antigua. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  32. ^ "Lady Maria Nugent [Skinner]". Dukes of Buckingham. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  33. ^ Bohls, Elizabeth A.; Duncan, Ian (2005). Travel Writing 1700-1830: An Anthology. Oxford University Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-19-284051-6. Retrieved 15 May 2020.


Further readingEdit

  • Wright, Philip (2002). Lady Nugent's Journal of Her Residence in Jamaica from 1801 to 1805. University of the West Indies Press. ISBN 1-84415-143-3.

External linksEdit

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
James Grenville
Charles Edmund Nugent
Member of Parliament for Buckingham
With: James Grenville 1790
The Lord Bridport 1790–1796
Thomas Grenville 1796–1801
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
Rogerson Cotter
Charles Boyle
Member of Parliament for Charleville
With: Rogerson Cotter
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Buckingham
With: Thomas Grenville
Succeeded by
Thomas Grenville
Lord William Allen Proby
Preceded by
James Du Pre
William Cavendish
Member of Parliament for Aylesbury
With: George Cavendish 1806–1809
Thomas Hussey 1809–1812
Succeeded by
Thomas Hussey
The Lord Nugent
Preceded by
William Fremantle
James Hamilton Stanhope
Member of Parliament for Buckingham
With: William Fremantle 1818–1827
Sir Thomas Fremantle, 1st Bt 1827–1832
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Fremantle, 1st Bt
Sir Harry Verney
Government offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Balcarres
Governor of Jamaica
Succeeded by
Sir Eyre Coote
Military offices
Preceded by
Forbes Champagné
Commander-in-Chief, India
Succeeded by
The Earl of Moira
Preceded by
Edward Mathew
Colonel of the 62nd (Wiltshire) Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Eyre Coote
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New creation
(of Waddesdon)
Succeeded by
George Edmund Nugent