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Seaton, Sir John Colborne, 1st Baron

SEATON, SIR JOHN COLBORNE, 1ST BARON (1778-1863), British field marshal, was born at Lyndhurst, Hants, on the 16th of February 1778 and entered the 20th (Lancashire Fusiliers) in 1794, winning thereafter every step in his regimental promotion without purchase. He first saw service in the Helder expedition of 1799, and as a captain he took part in Sir Ralph Abercromby's expedition to Egypt in 1801. He distinguished himself at Maida, and soon afterwards was brought under the notice of Sir John Moore, who obtained a majority for him and made him his military secretary. In this capacity he served through the Corunna campaign, and Sir John Moore's dying request that he should be given a lieutenant-colonelcy was at once complied with. In the summer of 1809 Lieut. -Colonel Colborne was again in the Peninsula, and before taking command of the 66th regiment, he witnessed the defeat of the Spaniards at Ocana. With the 66th he was present at Busaco and shared in the defence of the lines of Torres Vedras, and next year, after temporarily commanding a brigade with distinction at the battle of Albuera, he was gazetted to command the famous 5 2nd Light Infantry (Oxfordshire and Bucks L.I.)with which corps he is most closely identified. He led it and was very severely wounded' at Ciudad Rodrigo (1812), and only rejoined in July 1814. Shortly afterwards he was placed in temporary charge of a brigade of the Light Division which he commanded in the Pyrenees engagements and the battles of Orthes and Toulouse. At the peace he was made colonel, aide-de-camp to the Prince Regent and K.C.B. In 1815 Colborne and the S2nd at Waterloo played a brilliant part in the repulse of the Old Guard at the close of the day. Promoted major-general in 1825, Colborne was soon afterwards made lieutenant-governor of Guernsey. In 1830 he served as lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada. In 1838 at the moment of his vacating the post on promotion to lieutenant-general, the rebellion broke out, and he was ordered to assume the functions of governor-general and commander-in-chief. He quickly repressed the revolt, and in 1839, returning home, he was raised to the peerage as Baron Seaton of Seaton in Devonshire. From 1843 to 1849 he was high commissioner of the Ionian islands. In 1854 he was promoted full general, and from 1855 to 1860 he was commander-in-chief in Ireland. He died at Torquay on the i yth of April 1863. See the Life by G. C. Moore Smith (1906).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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