Lt. Gen. Henry THOMAS
- Born: Abt 1790
- Marriage (1): Elizabeth Idonea TAYLOR in 1837
- Died: 22 Sep 1858, Warrington Lodge, Norwood, England aged about 68
Lieut. General Henry Thomas C.B.,Commanding Her Majesty's Troops in the Northern District of irelandHeadquarters, Belfast, Ulster.
We, the undersigned contemplate with sincere regret, the expiration of your time of Service in Ulster. During the years in which you held your highly responsible command, all classes have learned to appreciate with increasing respect and admiration your estimable character. We were aware before your arrival amongst us that to you a grateful country must acknowledgeitself a debtor, remembering in how many battlefields your bravery was conspicuous, and that many a humble veteran still lives to testify to the kindness and generosity, which all, who at any time served under you, experienced. Thus accredited, you, as the Sovereign's choice to preside over this District, were welcomed to us, and we now testify to your most satisfactory fulfillment of all your honourous duties. The conduct of the military throughout the North during your command has been most creditable, which in all intercourse between the Officers and the Civil powers the most satisfactory relations have existed, and the exemplary and courteous bearing of their General has ever found a counterpart in the conduct of all placed under his command. In the discharge of your high functions, in the generous hospitality of your temporary home and in the most pleasing and benevolent courtesies of one so well fitted to grace and delight the circle in which she moved was found all that one could be hoped for, to render a community gratified and grateful to that Providence which place you amongst them. Whether our beloved Monarch shall require of you a continuance of active service, or whether you shall retire to private life, whether amidst old companions in arms, or amongst the Tenantry, by Whom you are so deservedly beloved, you will bear with you the cordial and grateful respect of the people of the North of Ireland and their best wishes for you and Mrs Thomas's health and happiness.
(Here followed the names of all the Nobility, Clergy and Gentry of Ulster)
United Service Club,London.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
I can but inadequately express my thanks for the friendships and indulgent partiality which prompted the address I have just had the honour to receive from you. It will ever prove a source of gratification to us, that my humble efoorts to discharge the duties of the important office conferred on me by my gracious Sovereign, have assured me of the approbation of those whose esteem I value so highly. Believe me to be deeply sensible to your kind allusions to Mrs Thomas. Onher behalf and my own, we beg to express the hope that although my official connection with you localityhas ceased, we may both continue to hold a place in the kind recollections of those whom we quit with regret, but shall ever remember with undiminished feelings of friendship and sincere regard.
I have the honour to remain,My Ladies and gentlemen,Your most obedient and very humble servant,(Signed) Henry Thomas, Lieut. General, C.B.
Taken from Family notes prepared by Frances Loane in 1941.
BIOGRAPHY: Believed to have been educated in Ireland. He received his first colours, as an Ensign in the 27th Inniskilling Regiment of Foot, at the age of 13, on 1 st April 1798. He became a Lieutenant on 29 December 1798.He acquired his Company in 1805, joining Sir James Craig's expedition to Malta and Naples. He was then 4 years in Sicily and was present at the capture of Ischia and Procida. In Aptil 1813, he joined the army in Portugal: he was at the Battle of Vittoria, the investment of Pampeluna, and the Battles of the Pyrenees and Roncesvalles. He was also at the passage of the Bidassoa and the capture of the heights of Vera. He was made a major in the field, and then took part in the Battles of Nivelle, Bayonne, Orthes, and Toulouse, including the taking of the Bridge there. In 1814 he went to join the army in Canada and was present at the Battle of Lake Champlain, and then the retreat from Plattsburg to Montreal. In 1815 he returned to Europe and was present at the seige of Paris, and was then with the army of occupation in France. On January 21st 1819 he was made Lieutenant Colonel, and on 27th February he took command of the XXth Foot; he was then with them in India from 1827 to 1833. In 1835 he was back in Ireland and was elected MP for Kinsale in Co Cork, sitting as a member 5f Robert Peel's party in the House of Commons. He continued as an MP till 1841. On 10th January 1837 he was made a full Colonel; in 1846 he was raised to Major General, and in 1854 to Lieutenant General. His last posting before retirement was GOC in Northern Ireland. He never returned to live in Carlow, but had considerable property there (He may have bought out his two brothers who had emigrated to Tasmania). He died on 22nd September 1858 at his home Warrington Lodge, Norwood and was buried at Norwood cemetry.
OBITUARY: Death Notice from an Irish Newspaper. With great regret we have to record the death of a gallant soldier, Lieutenant General Henry Thomas, C.B. - which took place on the 21 ultime at his residence, Warrington Road, Surrey, in the 73rd year of his age. The deceased, who inherited an estate in Queens County, was the son of the Reverend Dr Bartholomew Thomas, D.D., formerly Vicar of Clodagh. He joined the army as an ensign in the 27th Inniskillen Regiment of Foot in the month of April 1798, and was at the class of his honorable and distinguished career, 60 years in public services having received his first commission at the age of 13. He obtained his company in 1805 by merit of active service. His subsequent career shows that by skill, daring and gallantry, he won both propmotion and fame. In 1805, he accompanied Sir James Craig's expedition to Malta and Naples and served with distinction in Sir James Kemp's Light Battalion. He served four years in Sicily and was present at the capture of the islands of Ischia and Procida. His regiment being ordered to Portugal previous to the campaign of 1813, and in command of the Light Company he was actively engaged at the Battle of Vittoris, the Battle of the Pyrenees, and the storming of the French position on the 30th July, the pursuit of the enemy, and the passage of the Bedassar and the capture of the Heights of Vara. He was at this period honorably mentioned by the Duke of Wellington, and was promoted to a majority on the field. In command of the Light Company of a Brigade of the 4th Division as Major Thomas, he commenced the Battle of Nibelle by an attack oon the French advanced redoubt. In successfully storming this formidable position his horse was killed under him, and himself slightly wounded. He continued through a series of brilliant operations, and for this and other services he was noticed in public dispatches at different periods by Generals Crawford, Picton and Pack. At the close of the Peninsular War, he embarked at Bordeaux with the 1st Battalion of the 20th Regiment for Canada, and was present at the operations at Lake Champlain, and covered the retreat from Prattsburg to Montreal. He was subsequently present at the Capture of Paris, and served in France with the army of occupation. He received a gold medal with two clasps, and the silver War Medal with three clasps for his part in the French victories. His Lieutenant Colonel is dated 21st June 1819, and his Colonelcy in January 1837. He was promoted to Major General in 1846, to Lieutentant General in 1854, and obtained the Colonelcy of the 20th Foot which now becomes vacant by his demise. Thus a gallant Corton man has past from life to extremity (like many of his gallant companionsin arms), with a spotless character, and whose memory will long be respected by many in every sphere of life who remember his frank and kindly bearing, coupled with with the generous disposition of the Irish gentleman of the old school. In politics the deceased was a high conservative, consistant in the advocacy of his views, and a determined opponent of the policy of the Peel School. He was returned to the Borough of Kinsale after a fierce contest between him and the late Pierce Mahony. On a petition which he defended at the expense of about £8000 the General was unseated by a committee of the House of Commons, and since that period he took no active part in public life. He has left a widow and an only son, who will inherit his property, in the management of which he was a just and indulgent Landlord.
OBITUARY: Copied from a Monday Obituary notice in a newspaper of Louisa Wilson's of Woodcote, North Down, Tasmania. (Source unknown). None have appeared in our columns more deserving of the notice of the Press, and the grateful rememberance of his countrymen, than he whose death it is our painful duty to record. The subjoined address so fully, proclaim his merits in the twofold capacity of soldier and citizen with the permission of his brother, many relations in this island (ireland), we have much pleasure in giving it insertion in our columns. To understand the nature and cause of the address, it is necessary to state that from the disturbed state of Ireland some years back, the Government deemed it necessary to divide the entire island into four military commands, one to each of her four provinces. To each Command was attached an officer of the rank of Major-General, with from 800 to 1000 men. By the retirement of Lord Dorm, (Lieut. General), the Northern Province, Ulster became vacant as the command was limited to six years, and the illustrious Duke (Wellington) gave this responsible command to his whose death we now record, Major General Henry Thomas C.B. As a special mark of honour, the command was extended to seven years, when the rank of Lieut. General was conferred, and as such not eligible to retain the command. Upon this occasion, viz, his retirement from his military command, the sub-joined address was presented toLieut. General H. Thomas, C.B. of Belfast, Ulster.
Henry married Elizabeth Idonea TAYLOR, daughter of Rev. Robert TAYLOR and Mary Ann WATKINS, in 1837. (Elizabeth Idonea TAYLOR was born in 1812 and died in 1894.)