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Edward Cornwallis
5 March 1713 – 14 January 1776
Edward Cornwallis.gif
Edward Cornwallis
Place of birth London, England
Place of death Gibraltar
Resting place Culford, Suffolk
Allegiance Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Kingdom of Great Britain
Service/branch British Army
Rank Lieutenant General
Battles/wars Seven Years' War

Lieutenant General Edward Cornwallis (5 March 1713 - 14 January 1776) was a British military officer, and the twin brother of Frederick Cornwallis.

Contents

Early life

He was the sixth son of Charles, fourth Baron Cornwallis, and Lady Charlotte Butler, daughter of the Earl of Arran.[1] The Cornwallis family possessed large estates at Culford in Suffolk and the Channel Islands.[1] Edward and Frederick were made royal pages at the age of 12.[1] They were enrolled at Eton school at 14, and at age 18, Edward was commissioned into the 47th Regiment of Foot in 1731.[1]

Military career

Cornwallis participated in the Battle of Fontenoy during the War of the Austrian Succession and the Jacobite Rising of 1745.[1]

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Role in Nova Scotia

After this the British Government appointed Cornwallis as Governor of Nova Scotia and he arrived on 21 June 1749 at Chibouctou Harbour.[1] He was under instructions to found a colony of Protestants, which would act as a buffer between New England and Acadia. Shortly thereafter, the city of Halifax was founded.[1] Cornwallis' term as governor ended in 1752 when he returned to Britain to resume his career as a military officer and politician.[1]

Edward Cornwallis played an important part in the formation of Nova Scotia.

Cornwallis is infamous for ordering a bounty on the heads of Mi'kmaq warriors following an attack at Dartmouth by Mi’kmaq in September 1749 which resulted in the deaths of four civilians, of whom two were scalped and two were beheaded.[2] This action led to further escalation of hostilities between the Mi’kmaq and the English Crown that included atrocities by both sides that did not end until the 1761 Treaty of Peace and Friendship.[3]

Although he lived in a time when norms of behavior were different and Nova Scotia was a battleground, he has been criticized for his treatment of aboriginal people.[3]


A statue of Edward Cornwallis stands at the center of Cornwallis Park in downtown City of Halifax.[3] Cornwallis Junior High School in Halifax is named for him.

Later career

In November 1756 Cornwallis was one of three colonels who were ordered to proceed to Gibraltar and from there embark for Minorca, which was then under siege from the French.[1] Admiral John Byng called a council of war, which involved Cornwallis, and advised the return of the fleet to Gibraltar leaving the garrison at Minorca to its fate.[1]

Cornwallis was also one of the senior officers in the September 1757 Raid on Rochefort which saw a failed amphibious descent on the French coastline.[1] Cornwallis served as the Governor of Gibraltar from June 14, 1761 to January 1776 when he died at the age of 63.[1]

His grandfather, Charles Cornwallis, 3rd Baron Cornwallis, was First Lord of the Admiralty. His nephew, Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis, was a British general in the American War of Independence, and was later Governor-General of India.

References

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Earl of Home
Governor of Gibraltar
1761–1776
Succeeded by
Sir John Irwin

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