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The late General Sir THOMAS MUSGRAVE, Bart. Colonel of
the 76th or Indostan Regiment of Foot. DIOGRAPHICAL sketches of the military services of officers
who have distinguished themselves in high situations of trust and difficulty, when impartially delineated, are of particular utility to the profession of arms, as conducive to the admirable purpose of holding out to young students those precepts which should influence them in acquiring a knowledge of their profession, and in afterwards directing their conduct in those pursuits wbich are connected with the military service of the country.
To Military Biography a further important object attaches, viz. the appropriating of a justly discriminated approbation of those superior officers by whom such examples have been afforded; and in case the frigid hand of death should no longer sutter their lamp of life to shine as a guide around, to call forth all the vivifying powers of memory; to pay with fond recollection the tribute due to the defenders of the soil, the interests, the constitutional energies and glories of Great Britain, and all the relative and social charities of life. Nor in these heart-affecting delineations of character is the biographer without his remuneration ; for in nurturing the vegetating plant of gratitude, which, to the disappointment of philosophy and moral improvement, is less indigenous to this or any other soil than it should be, he gratifies his own feelings, and calls forth the best propensities, tha: perchance before were only quiescent in the minds of others; for when deliveating the combinations of reason which led to the best productions of decisive judgment under various diffi
culties that can be adequately found out on the spot only where they occurred, and surmounted only by discipline, by foresight, and by perseverance, though some times they may be evinced by operations slow in themselves, yet at other times, as occasion may admit, breaking forth with the patriotic ardour of military fire, encircling the whole horizon with a meridian lustre of gallantry and glory; to speak of officers of such inestimable qualifications, who think of life itself, and all those little interests which the generality of its devotees are usually attaching to it, in a secondary point of view, and standing on a pre-eminence of thought and action, is a theme which carries with it no mean pleasure, which may well occupy the pen of a biographer; and will not fail to expand the mind, and create an esteem and respect for officers who have furnished proofs of such qualifications.
The departed hero who is the subject of this memoir, was the sixth son of Sir Richard Musgrave*, of Hayton Castle, in the county of Cumberland; his mother was the second daughter of John Hylton, Esq. of Hilton” Castle, in the County of Durham.
* The family of Musgrave is of very great antiquity and considerable celebrity in the North of England. They were originally settled at Musgrave, in Westmoreland.
Sir Edward Musgrave, Knight, was created Baronet under the great seal of Scotland, 20th October, 1638, in the reign of Charles I.; he married the daughter of Sir Nicholas Graham of Netherby, in the county of Cumberland, by whom he had issue four sons and four daughters.-Sir Edward greatly distinguished himself in the royal cause, and was appointed by King Charles I. Colonel of a regiment which he raised and maintained at his own expense, with the sacrifice of his fortune, and the loss of his estate, which was burned during the civil wars. Sir Edward attended King Charles I. and II. in several memorable battles, and particularly at the battle of Worcester, and when upon His Majesty's horse beingshot underhim there, Sir Edward remounted him upon his own horse, and shifted for himself till that fatal battle was over, when he escaped into Scotland to the Duke of Gordon's for sanctuary—he there lay concealed for some time, till the Usurper heard of him, and sent a message to the Duke—“That, if he did not forthwith deliver up Ned Musgrave, that arch rebel, (as he termed him) he would send a troop of horse, and storm his castle.” But the Duke being a man of more honour than to betray a person fled to him for refuge, suffered him to escape thence to the Isle of Man; soon after which he died, having raised for himself a lasting monument of honour and reputation, and was buried at St. Aspatria in Cumberland, 22d November, 1663; he was succeeded in his title by his eldest son Richard. Sir Edward had two sisters, one of whom died unmarried, and the other, Eleanor Musgrave, married in 1603 Sir Cristopher Lowther, Knight, from whom are descended all the branches of that ancient and opulent family at Lowther, Whitehaven, Maske, and Swillington, and of which the present Lord Lonsdale is the head.
Sir Richard Musgrave (2d Bart.) was Vice-Admiral of Cumberland and Westmoreland in the reign of Queen Anne; under the Prince Orange of Denmark, Lord High Admiral of Great Britain; in 1668 he married Dorothy, daughter and co-heiress of William James, of Washington, son of the Bishop of Durham ; in 1684 he was appointed Sheriff of Cumberland. Sir Richard obtained by his marriage
part of the manor or lordship of Washington, which is now vested in the present Sir James Musgrave, the 8th Bart. of the family.—His issue was five sons and four daughters, one of whom, James, grandfather to the present Baronet, was Rector of Grausden, in the county of Cambridge, and married to Catherine, daughter of James Perrott, Esq. of Northleigh, in the county of Oxford, sister to Henry Perrott, Esq. late Knight of the Shire of the said county, by whom he had six sons and three daughters: the eldest son died an infant.—Sir Richard was succeeded by his eldest son Richard. - Sir Richard Musgrave (3d Bart.) married Elizabeth, relict of Thomas Ramsden, of Crowestone, in the county of York; in the year 1705 he was Knight of the Shire for Cumberland; he died in October 1711, and was buried at Aspatria-Sir Richard left issue two sons, Richard and William James: the latter died without issue; the elder, Richard, born in 1701, succeeded his father. Sir Richard Musgrave (4th Bart.) married Anne, sister to John Hylton, Esq. of Hylton Castle, in the county of Durham, by whom he had issue six sons and one daughter.—He died on the 5th of October, 1739, and was buried at Aspatria: he was succeeded by his eldest son, Richard. Sir Richard Musgrave (5th Bart.) in pursuance of the will of his maternal uncle John Hylton, took the name of Hylton in 1746: he married Eleanor, daughter and co-heiress of John Hedworth, of Chester-le-Street, in the county of Durham, many years Member of Parliament for that county.—He died in June, 1755, without male issue, and was succeeded by his brother William. The only issue of Sir Richard Hylton was two daughters; the eldest, Susannah Sophia Musgrave Hylton, died unmarried, on the 27th of November, 1768, and was buried at St. Martin's in the Fields; and the youngest, Eleanor Musgrave Hylton, married on the 28th of August, 1763, William Joliffe, Esq. M. P. for Petersfield, and father to J. Joliffe, Esq. the present representative for that borough. Sir William Musgrave (6th Bart.) was born at Hayton Castle, in the parish of Aspatria, the 8th of October, 1735–On the 7th of April, 1753, he entered the Middle Temple; on the 5th of May, 1758, he was called to be a Barrister at Law; on the 10th of December, 1759, he married Isabella, daughter of William Lord Byron, and relict of Henry Earl of Carlisle; on the 15th of March, 1763, he was appointed one of the Commissioners for managing the Revenue of the Customs; on the 14th of March, 1774, he was elected one of the Fellows of the Royal Antiquarians of London; in 1780, he was appointed one of the Vice Presidents of the Royal Society; in 1783, he was elected one of the Trustees of the British Museum, to which he was also a considerable benefactor by a valuable collection of books, &c.; July, 1785, he was appointed one of the Commissioners for Auditing the Public Accompts; in 1786, he was appointed one of the Vice Presidents of the Society of Antiquaries; the 25th of May, 1789, he was called to be a member of the Middle Temple; in 1795 Reader thereof; and afterwards Bencher and Treasurer.— Having filled all the above-mentioned offices and employments with ability and integrity, he died 3d of January, 1800, and was buried at the parish church of St. James's, London.—He was succeeded in his title and estates by his brother Thomas, born at Aspatria, 26th of November, 1788, the subject of this memoir.
* This family is also of remote antiquity, and were formerly barons of the realm; for we find that in the 23d, 24th, and 25th years of Edward I. and the 4th year of Edward II. Robert de Hilton, of Hilton, was summoned to Parliament.—The manor
The services of Gen. Musgrave were directed to America, the East and West Indies, and other places; and his conduct as an officer, as well as his gallantry and resolution, were so very conspicuous as to be frequently noticed in both houses of parliament during the American War; and more particularly in 1780, when the conduct of Lieutenant-Colonels Musgrave and Meadowes appear to have been a general theme of commendation.—In the West Indies he was alike distinguished, and was present at the taking of Guadaloupe, Grenada, &c. At the age of seventeen, viz. in 1754, Mr. Musgrave entered on a military life, as an Ensign in the 3d East Kent or Buffs Regiment of Foot. On the 21st of June 1756, this officerobtained a Lieutenancy in the same regiment, and on the 20th of August 1759, a company in the 64th; on the 23d of July 1772, he received the brevet rank of Major, and in the attack the Americans made on the British at the White Plains, the Major and Lieutenant-Colonel of that regiment being killed, he was raised from the rank of brevet to be full Major of that regiment, the 17th of August 1774, having received a severe wound in the action. The 28th of August 1776, this officer was promoted to a Lieutenant-Colonelcy in the 40th regiment, and we feel that we should be committing an injustice to the memory of that veteran, and the other members of the 40th regiment, if we were to pass over in silence the following gallant display of military skill and courage, which occurred soon after that officer took the command of it. In October 1777 the Royal Army lay at German Town, a very long and considerable village, about six miles from Philadelphia, and which, stretching on both sides of the great road to the southward, forms a continued sheet of two miles in length.-The line of encampment crossed German Town at right angles about the centre, the left wing extending on the west from the town to Schuylkell.— and castle of Hilton were in the possession of this family as early as the time of King Athelstone; the estate continued with them till the year 1746, when, on the death of John Hilton, Esq. uncle to General Musgrave, who retained the title of baron, the estate was sold to Mrs. Bowes, relict to George Bowes, Esq. of Gibside, in the county of Durham. Of the Hilton family it has been said, that their genius was turned to war. No family have perhaps ever shewn more patriotic ardour, or been more lavish of their blood in the service of their country; it appearing that since the time of the conquest, one was slain at Feversham, in Kent; one in Notmandy; one at Mentz; three in the holy wars under Richard I.; three at the battle of
Bourdeaux under the Black Prince; one at Agincourt; two at Berwick on Tweed
against the Scots; two at the battle of St. Albans; five at Market Bosworth; and four at Flodden Field.