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The Beginning - Charles Cornwallis

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Essay title: The Beginning - Charles Cornwallis

The Beginning

On December 31, 1738, Charles Cornwallis was born the second Earl Cornwallis, since

his father, the fifth Baron Cornwallis, had been rewarded as a Viscount and the first Earl

Cornwallis. In 1661, Sir Frederick Cornwallis was rewarded a baron try by Charles II for

service to the Stuarts. His mother was the niece of Sir Robert Walpole. His uncle became

he Archbishop of Canterbury. Cornwallis was educated at Eton and moved in elite social


In 1756, about a month before his eighteenth birthday, Cornwallis purchased an ensign's

commission in the Grenadier Guards and then took the extraordinary measure of

attending a military school in Turin, Italy to actually study for the position. He actually

only stayed a few months, because he learned that his regiment had been called up to

serve in the Seven Years' War in the allied army under Prince Ferdinand in 1758. He

never caught up with his own regiment, but he soon became aide-de-camp to the British

second-in-command Marquis of Granby, who would eventually command all British

forces on the European continent. He was present at the Battle of Minden on August 1,


After serving as a staff officer for about a year, in August 1759, Cornwallis was

promoted to Captain in the 85th regiment and returned to England to join his new

Colonel of the 12th Foot and took command of the unit in June. On July 15, 1761, the

unit was heavily engaged at Vellinghausen, Germany. It would see many other minor

engagements before entering winter quarters. The unit continued to see action in 1762.

In July 1762, Cornwallis received word that his father had died the previous month, passing the

estate and a seat in the House of Lords on to Charles, now 2nd Earl Cornwallis. He assumed the

seat in the House of Lords in November 1762. He managed to remain in favor with the court

even though he voted against the Stamp Act in March 1765. In July 1765, he was appointed a

lord of the bedchamber. He was named aide-de-camp to the King in August 1765. In March

1766, he voted against the Declaratory Act.

In March 1766, Cornwallis purchased a colonelcy of the 33rd foot. In 1768, he

married Jemima Tulle kin Jones, the daughter of the untitled Colonel James Jones of the 3rd Foot

Guards. The marriage would produce first a daughter, Mary and then a son, Charles. He then

declined further service in the government and in 1769; he gave up his appointment as lord of the

bedchamber for the post of joint vice-treasurer of Ireland. In 1770, he became a member of the

King's Privy Council. In 1771, he became Constable of the Tower of London. In 1775, he was

promoted to Major General, which continued to show that King George III trusted in his abilities

even though Cornwallis opposed the King's policies against the American colonies.

War Times

In the fall of 1775, the British began to assemble in the southern colonies. Now

Major General Charles Cornwallis, he was ordered to sail 7 regiments with 2 companies of

artillery from Cork. Cornwallis

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