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George Carpenter, 1st Baron Carpenter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

George Carpenter
First Baron Carpenter of Killaghy
Lord Carpenter by John Faber Jr, circa 1719
Member of Parliament
for Westminster
In office
Governor of Menorca
In office
Commander-in-chief, Scotland
In office
Member of Parliament
for Whitchurch
In office
Member of Parliament
for Newtownards (Parliament of Ireland)
In office
Personal details
Born10 February 1657
Ocle Pychard, Herefordshire, England
Died10 February 1731(1731-02-10) (aged 74)
Longwood House, Hampshire England [1]
Resting placeOwslebury
Political partyWhig
Spouse(s)Alice Margetson 1693-1731  
ChildrenGeorge 1697-1749; Alicia 1705-1714?
OccupationSoldier and politician
Military service
Allegiance Great Britain
Years of service1673-1722
RankLieutenant General
UnitColonel, 3rd The King's Own Hussars 1703-1732
Battles/warsWilliamite War in Ireland
The Boyne; Aughrim
Nine Years War
War of the Spanish Succession
Almansa; Almenar; Brihuega
Jacobite rising of 1715

Lieutenant-General George Carpenter, 1st Baron Carpenter of Killaghy (10 February 1657 – 10 February 1731) was a British army officer who also sat in the House of Commons from 1715 to 1727.

First commissioned in 1685, Carpenter took part in the 1689 to 1691 Williamite War in Ireland, before being transferred to Flanders in 1692 for service in the 1688 to 1697 Nine Years War. A talented cavalry leader, he held senior positions in the Allied expeditionary force that fought in Spain during the War of the Spanish Succession. Wounded several times, he was captured at Brihuega in 1710, then later exchanged.

In January 1715, he was elected to Parliament as Whig MP for Whitchurch; although nominated as British envoy to Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, the appointment was cancelled when the Jacobite rising of 1715 began. Given command of government forces in Northern England, he played a major role in ending the rebellion in England, and was rewarded with an appointment as Commander-in-chief, Scotland from 1716 to 1724.

In 1719, he became Baron Carpenter in the Peerage of Ireland; as holder of an Irish peerage, he remained an MP and in December 1722 was elected for Westminster, retaining the seat until he retired in 1727. He died in February 1732, four months after his wife Alice and was succeeded by their only son, George Carpenter, 2nd Baron Carpenter.

Personal details

George Carpenter was born 10 February 1657 in Ocle Pychard, Herefordshire, youngest of seven children. His parents were Warncombe and Eleanor Carpenter, whose family had owned property in the county for over 400 years, the main estate being Homme near Dilwyn.[2]

In January 1694, Carpenter married Alice Margetson (1660-1731), daughter of the Irish peer William Caulfeild, Viscount Charlemont and wealthy widow of John Margetson, who died at the first Siege of Limerick in 1690. They had two children, George Carpenter, 2nd Baron Carpenter (1697–1749), and Alicia (ca 1705 – died before 1714).[3]

Career; 1671 to 1714

In 1671, Carpenter was appointed Page to Ralph Montagu, Charles II's Envoy to Louis XIV of France; he returned home the next year, reportedly enlisting as a private in the Royal Horse Guards.[3] There are few confirmed details of his career until 1685, when the accession of the Catholic James II of England led to the Monmouth Rebellion, and he was appointed Quartermaster of an independent cavalry troop raised by the Earl of Manchester to help suppress it.[4] In 1687, this troop was incorporated into Peterborough's Regiment of Horse and Carpenter received a commission as cornet.[5]

Battle of Aughrim 1691; Carpenter's unit took part in the decisive charge against the Jacobite left
Battle of Aughrim 1691; Carpenter's unit took part in the decisive charge against the Jacobite left

When James was deposed by William III in the November 1688 Glorious Revolution, Carpenter's unit served in the 1689 to 1691 Williamite War in Ireland, fighting at the Boyne in 1690 and Aughrim in 1691. At Aughrim, it was ordered to cross a bog under heavy fire, prompting the Marquis de St Ruth, who was the opposing general, to shout "It is madness, but no matter, the more that cross, the more we shall kill;" he was decapitated by a cannonball shortly thereafter.[6]

The war in Ireland ended with the October 1691 Treaty of Limerick and the regiment was sent to Flanders, where it spent the rest of the Nine Years War; Carpenter was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel in January 1692.[7] After the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick, his regiment returned to Ireland as part of the garrison; in 1703, Carpenter used his wife's dowry to buy lands in County Kilkenny and became MP for Newtownards in the Parliament of Ireland. He also purchased colonelcy of the 3rd The King's Own Hussars for 1,800 guineas, a position he held until his death in 1732.[8]

During the War of the Spanish Succession in 1704, Carpenter was appointed Quartermaster and General of Cavalry in the expeditionary force led by the Earl of Peterborough, which was sent to Spain to support the Habsburg candidate, Archduke Charles. In March 1707, Peterborough was recalled to England and replaced by the Earl of Galway, who suffered a serious defeat by Bourbon-Spanish forces at Almansa in April. Most of the Allied infantry was captured, but despite being wounded, Carpenter's repeated cavalry charges saved the guns and baggage train.[9]

James Stanhope took control of the British campaign in Spain; Carpenter participated in the victory at Almenara in 1710 but a few months later was captured along with Stanhope and Charles Wills at Brihuega.[10] He was exchanged a few months later but did not see active service again before the war ended with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1714. At Brihuega, he was hit in the mouth by a musket ball which knocked out his teeth and remained lodged in his throat for nearly a year before being removed.[11]

Career; post-1714

Charles Wills; a colleague in Spain, he and Carpenter quarrelled over credit for victory at Preston
Charles Wills; a colleague in Spain, he and Carpenter quarrelled over credit for victory at Preston

When George I succeeded Queen Anne in 1714, Carpenter was nominated Envoy to Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, but the Jacobite rising of 1715 began before he was able to take up this position. Given command of government forces in Northern England, he prevented the Jacobites seizing Newcastle, forcing them south to Preston, where they were attacked on 13 November by troops under Charles Wills. Next day, he was joined by Carpenter and with no possibility of escape, the Jacobites surrendered.[12]

Carpenter and Wills had allegedly previously clashed in Spain; despite being the senior officer, Carpenter felt Wills had taken most of the credit for this victory, while his role had been ignored. The two nearly came to blows, before the matter was smoothed over by Marlborough; Carpenter was rewarded with an appointment as Commander-in-chief, Scotland, a position he retained until 1724, and non-resident Governor of Menorca from 1716 to 1718.[3] At the 1715 British general election, he was elected MP for Whitchurch, a Whig-controlled seat near his home of Longwood House, Hampshire.[8]

On 29 May 1719, he was created 'Baron Carpenter of Killaghy'; since this was an Irish peerage, it did not prevent him remaining an MP. He was returned for Westminster at a by-election called after the 1722 British general election result was declared void. With over 8,000 voters, Westminster was second only in number of electors to York and thus one of the most important constituencies in Parliament. The previous election was won by two Tories who were backed by Bishop Francis Atterbury, a Jacobite sympathiser and alleged leader of the Atterbury Plot; Carpenter's selection as government candidate showed his perceived reliability and appeal.[13]

Carpenter retired from politics at the 1727 election; he died on 10 February 1732, four months after his wife, and was buried at St Andrews church, Owslebury in Hampshire.[14]

Carpenter Coat of arms

The Coat of arms chosen by Carpenter when created a baron are described as follows: "Paly of six, argent and gules, on a chevron azure, 3 cross crosslets or." Crest, on a wreath a globe in a frame all or. Supporters, two horses, party-perfess, embattled argent and gules. Motto: "Per Acuta Belli" (Through the Asperities of War).[15]


  1. ^ Laird.
  2. ^ Watkins & Cowell 2015, p. 36.
  3. ^ a b c Stephens 2004.
  4. ^ Dalton 1894, p. 46.
  5. ^ Dalton 1894, p. 122.
  6. ^ Richards 1890, pp. 26–27.
  7. ^ Dalton 1896, p. 225.
  8. ^ a b Watson 1970.
  9. ^ Rubio Campillo 2010, p. 105.
  10. ^ Dalton 1904, pp. xxiii, 385.
  11. ^ Carpenter 1737, pp. 316–317.
  12. ^ Lenman 1980, pp. 124–125.
  13. ^ Cruickshanks 1970.
  14. ^ Church of St Andrew (1095925).
  15. ^ "Lot 361 (The Lord Constantine Collection, 12th October 2007". Lyon and Turnbull. Retrieved 3 January 2021.


Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Frederick Tylney
Thomas Vernon
Member of Parliament for Whitchurch
With: Thomas Vernon 1715–1721
Frederick Tylney 1721
John Conduitt 1721–1722
Succeeded by
John Conduitt
Thomas Vernon
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Westminster
With: Charles Montagu
Succeeded by
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Baron Carpenter
Succeeded by
Military offices
Preceded by
Commander-in-Chief, Scotland
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Governor of Menorca
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 29 January 2021, at 17:34
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