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Edward Barnes (British Army officer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sir Edward Barnes
Sir Edward Barnes by William Salter.jpg
5th Governor of British Ceylon
In office
18 January 1824 – 13 October 1831
Preceded byJames Campbell
(Acting governor)
Succeeded byJohn Wilson
(Acting governor)
Acting Governor of British Ceylon
In office
1 February 1820 – 2 February 1822
Preceded byRobert Brownrigg
Succeeded byEdward Paget
12th General Officer Commanding, Ceylon
In office
Preceded byAlexander Cosby Jackson
Succeeded byJames Campbell
Personal details
Born28 October 1776
Died19 March 1838(1838-03-19) (aged 61)
Walthamstow, Essex
Spouse(s)Maria Fawkes (m. 1823)
ChildrenMaria Anne (1825 – ?)
Richard Hawksworth (1831–1904)
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Military service
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Branch/serviceBritish Army
RankLieutenant General
CommandsGeneral Officer Commanding, Ceylon
British Indian Army
Battles/warsPeninsular War

Lieutenant General Sir Edward Barnes, GCB (28 October 1776 – 19 March 1838) was a British soldier who became governor of Ceylon.

Military career

Barnes joined the 47th Regiment of Foot in 1792 as an ensign, and quickly rose to field rank. He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in 1807, serving in the Invasion of Martinique in 1809, and colonel in 1810. Two years later, he served on Wellington's staff in the Peninsular War. His services in this capacity gained him further promotion; as a major-general, he led a brigade in the Battle of Vitoria and took part in the battles the Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive and Orthez.[1] He was awarded the Gold Cross and three clasps for his Peninsula service. Barnes served in the campaign of 1815 as adjutant-general, and was wounded at the Battle of Waterloo, where he was known as "our fire eating adjutant general".[1] Already a KCB, he was a recipient of the Austrian Order of Maria Theresa 3rd Class, and the Russian Order of St Anne. [2]

In 1808 he was appointed the lieutenant-governor of Dominica serving in the position until 1812, when he was gazetted as lieutenant-governor of Antigua in December 1813, although he did not take up the appointment.

In 1819, his connection with Ceylon began. Lieutenant-General Barnes was appointed acting Governor of Ceylon from 1 February 1820 to 2 February 1822, succeeding Robert Brownrigg. He then served as governor of Ceylon from 18 January 1824 to 13 October 1831, succeeded by Robert Wilmot-Horton (1784–1841, governor 13 to 23 October 1831). He directed the construction of the great military road between Colombo and Kandy, and of many other lines of communication, made the first census of the population, and introduced coffee cultivation based on the West Indian system (1824). In 1831, he received the GCB. From 1832 to 1833, he was commander in-chief in India, with the local rank of general. [2]

On his return home, he was appointed in 1834 Colonel of the 31st (Huntingdonshire) Regiment of Foot, a post he held until his death. The same year he stood for Parliament as Conservative candidate for Sudbury at a by-election. The votes between the two candidates were tied, and the returning officer gave Barnes his casting vote and declared him elected; however, his opponent petitioned against the outcome, denying that the returning officer had the right to a casting vote, and the issue had not been resolved before Parliament was dissolved. At the 1835 general election, Barnes was narrowly defeated, but he finally became MP for Sudbury at the third attempt in 1837;[3] however, he died in the following year.[2]

Along with Admiral William Bowles, Barnes was responsible for the establishment of the Army and Navy Club in Pall Mall, London.[1]

Barnes' portrait was painted, for Ceylon, by John Wood, and a memorial statue was erected in Colombo in front of the President's House, Colombo from which point trunk road mileage was measured in Ceylon.[4]

Personal life

Edward Barnes was born on 28 October 1776, the son of John Barnes and Anne née Parke.

He married Maria Fawkes (1798-1854), of Farnley Hall, on 31 July 1823 in Otley, Yorkshire.

Barnes died on 19 March 1838 at his home in Walthamstow, Essex and is buried in the churchyard of St. Mary's Church, Walthamstow. His gravesite is marked by a large monument, with an inscription giving details of his achievements in life.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Dalton, Charles (1904). The Waterloo roll call. With biographical notes and anecdotes. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode. p. 29.
  2. ^ a b c Chisholm 1911.
  3. ^ F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1832–1885 (2nd edition, Aldershot: Parliamentary Research Services, 1989)
  4. ^ Rewriting history Chinthana style 
  5. ^ Gillian Wright (1 August 1991). Hill stations of India. Odyssey. p. 101. ISBN 978-962-217-137-4. Retrieved 11 February 2013.

Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Barnes, Sir Edward" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

External links

Government offices
Preceded by Acting
Governor of Ceylon

Succeeded by
Preceded by
James Campbell
acting governor
Governor of Ceylon
Succeeded by
John Wilson
acting governor
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Sudbury
With: Sir John Benn Walsh, Bt
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Sudbury
With: Sir James John Hamilton, Bt 1837
Joseph Bailey 1837–1838
Succeeded by
Military offices
Preceded by General Officer Commanding, Ceylon
Succeeded by
Preceded by Commander-in-Chief, India
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 11 October 2021, at 09:11
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