The Viscount Hardinge
Governor-General of India
In office
MonarchQueen Victoria
Prime MinisterSir Robert Peel
Lord John Russell
Preceded byWilliam Wilberforce Bird
As Acting Governor-General
Succeeded byThe Earl of Dalhousie
Chief Secretary for Ireland
In office
30 July 1830 – 15 November 1830
Prime MinisterThe Duke of Wellington
Preceded byLord Francis Leveson-Gower
Succeeded byEdward Smith Stanley
Member of Parliament
In office
Personal details
Born(1785-03-30)30 March 1785
Wrotham, Kent, England
Died24 September 1856(1856-09-24) (aged 71)
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England
SpouseLady Emily Jane Stewart
Military service
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Branch/serviceBritish Army
Years of service1799–1856
RankField Marshal
CommandsCommander-in-Chief of the British Army
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

Henry Hardinge, 1st Viscount Hardinge, GCB, PC, (30 March 1785 – 24 September 1856) was a British Army officer and politician. After serving in the Peninsular War and the Waterloo Campaign he became Secretary at War in Wellington's ministry. After a tour as Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1830 he became Secretary at War again in Sir Robert Peel's cabinet. He went on to be Governor-General of India at the time of the First Anglo-Sikh War and then Commander-in-Chief of the Forces during the Crimean War.

Early life

The son of the Rev, Henry Hardinge, Rector of Stanhope,[1] and his wife Frances Best, he was educated at Durham School and Sevenoaks School.[2] Hardinge entered the British Army on 23 July 1799 as an ensign in the Queen's Rangers,[3] a corps then stationed in Upper Canada.[4] He was promoted to lieutenant by purchase in the 4th Regiment of Foot on 27 March 1802[5] and transferred to the 1st Regiment of Foot on 11 July 1803[6] before becoming a captain of a company by purchase in the 57th Regiment of Foot on 21 April 1804.[7] In February 1806 he was sent to the newly formed Staff College at High Wycombe.[8]

Military career

Peninsular War

The Battle of Orthez, at which Hardinge commanded the Portuguese brigade, during the Peninsular War

He saw action at the Battle of Roliça on 17 August 1808, at the Battle of Vimeiro on 21 August 1808, where he was wounded, and at Corunna on 16 January 1809 where he was by the side of Sir John Moore when the latter was killed.[4] He was promoted to major on 13 April 1809[8] and appointed deputy-quartermaster-general in the Portuguese army and was present at many of the battles of the Peninsular War.[4] Promoted to lieutenant-colonel in 1811, he saved the day for the British at Battle of Albuera on 16 May 1811 by taking responsibility at a critical moment and strongly urging General Cole's division to advance.[4] He took part in the Battle of Vitoria on 21 June 1813,[9] where he was wounded again,[4] and was also present at the Battle of the Pyrenees in July 1813[10] and the Battle of Nivelle on 10 November 1813.[11] He commanded the Portuguese brigade at the Battle of Orthez on 27 February 1814 and the Battle of Toulouse on 10 April 1814.[4] He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in January 1815.[8]

Hundred Days campaign

When war broke out again in 1815 after Napoleon's escape from Elba, Hardinge returned to active service as a brigadier.[4] Attached to the staff of the allied Prussian Army under Marshal Blucher, he was present at the Battle of Ligny on 16 June 1815, where he lost his left hand by a shot, and thus was not present at Waterloo two days later.[4][12] Wellington presented him with a sword that had belonged to Napoleon.[4] Hardinge remained attached to the Prussian army of occupation in France until 1818.[12]

He was promoted to brevet colonel on 19 July 1821[13] and to major-general on 22 July 1830.[14]

Political service

Member of Parliament

Statue of Hardinge in Calcutta, circa 1860.

At the 1820 general election, Hardinge was returned to parliament as member for Durham.[4] On 4 April 1823 he was appointed Clerk of the Ordnance[15] a post he held until May 1827, and then again from January to May 1828.[16] On 9 June 1828 he accepted the office of Secretary at War in Wellington's ministry,[17] and was appointed a privy councillor. At the 1830 general election he transferred to the pocket borough of St Germans.[16]

In July 1830 he exchanged portfolios with Lord Francis Leveson-Gower, becoming Chief Secretary for Ireland, but relinquished the post in November following the collapse of the Wellington–Peel ministry. He resigned his seat at St Germans in December and was elected for Newport, another Tory pocket borough, a week later.[16] He held Newport at the 1831 general election and in 1832, after Newport was disenfranchised, stood in Launceston and was re-elected. He would remain in this seat until he stood down in May 1844.[16]

Chief Secretary for Ireland

He was appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland from December 1834 to April 1835, and then was Secretary at War once again in Sir Robert Peel's cabinet from 1841 to 1844.[18] He was promoted to lieutenant-general in 1841.[4] At this time he had a London home at Whitehall Gardens, Westminster.[19]

Governor-General of India

In May 1844 he succeeded Lord Ellenborough as Governor-General of India.[20] He was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 1 July 1844.[21] Following the death of Maharajah Ranjit Singh tribal war broke out and the first Sikh War ensued in 1845.[4] Hardinge, waiving his right to the supreme command, offered to serve as second in command under Sir Hugh Gough.[4] At the Battle of Mudki on 18 December 1845 Gough commanded the right flank and Hardinge commanded the left flank.[22] After further British successes at the Battle of Sobraon on 10 February 1846, the Battle of Ferozeshah on 21 December 1845 and the Battle of Aliwal on 28 January 1846, Hardinge concluded the campaign with the Treaty of Lahore with Maharajah Duleep Singh on 9 March 1846[23] and the Treaty of Amritsar with Maharajah Gulab Singh on 16 March 1846.[24] He was created Viscount Hardinge of Lahore and of King's Newton in Derbyshire on 7 April 1846.[25]

Viscount Hardinge's Annuity Act 1846
Act of Parliament
Long titleAn Act to enable the Right Honourable Henry Viscount Hardinge to receive the full Benefit of an Annuity of Five thousand Pounds granted to him by the East India Company.
Citation9 & 10 Vict. c. 21
Royal assent18 June 1846
Other legislation
Repealed byStatute Law Revision Act 1875
Status: Repealed
Annuity Lord Hardinge Act 1846
Act of Parliament
Long titleAn act to settle an Annuity on Viscount Hardinge, and the Two next surviving Heirs Male of the Body of the said Viscount Hardinge to whom the Title of Viscount shall descend, in consideration of his great and brilliant Services.
Citation9 & 10 Vict. c. 31
Royal assent27 July 1846
Other legislation
Repealed byStatute Law Revision Act 1953
Status: Repealed

Recognising an annuity of £5,000 being paid by the East India Company, Parliament provided that Viscount Hardinge should continue to receive his full salary as Governor General.[26] Under a subsequent Act, in recognition of his "great and brilliant services", Parliament settled an annuity of £3,000 on Lord Hardinge and the next two heirs male of his body, although this was not to be paid if the East India Company paid an annuity.[27]


The Crimean War, the conduct of which Hardinge directed as Commander-in-Chief of the Forces

Hardinge returned to England in 1848, and became Master-General of the Ordnance on 5 March 1852;[28] he succeeded the Duke of Wellington as commander-in-chief of the British Army on 28 September 1852.[29] While in this position he had responsibility for the direction of the Crimean War, which he endeavoured to conduct on Wellington's principles — a system not altogether suited to the changed mode of warfare.[4] He was promoted to brevet general on 20 June 1854[30] and field marshal on 2 October 1855.[31] A commission was set up to investigate the failings of the British military during the Crimean campaign.[4] As Hardinge was delivering the report of the commission to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, he collapsed with a stroke.[4] Albert helped him to a sofa, where despite being paralysed on one side, he continued to deliver his report, apologizing for the interruption.[32]

He was also colonel of the 97th Regiment of Foot from 4 March 1833[33] and of the 57th Regiment of Foot from 31 May 1843.[34]

St Peter, Fordcombe

Hardinge resigned his office of commander-in-chief in July 1856, owing to failing health, and died on 24 September 1856 at South Park near Tunbridge Wells.[4] There is a memorial to him at St John the Baptist, Penshurst.[35] He is buried in the churchyard at St. Peter, Fordcombe.[36]


In 1821 he married Lady Emily Jane, seventh daughter of Robert Stewart, 1st Marquess of Londonderry.[4] They had two sons, and two daughters:

His elder son, Charles Stewart, who had been his private secretary in India, was the 2nd Viscount Hardinge. The younger son of the 2nd Viscount, Charles Hardinge (b. 1858), became a prominent diplomat, and was appointed Viceroy of India in 1910, being created Baron Hardinge of Penshurst.[38]


  1. ^ "No. 12833". The London Gazette. 24 February 1787. p. 101.
  2. ^ "Henry Hardinge". Sevenoaks School. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  3. ^ "No. 15161". The London Gazette. 20 July 1799. p. 730.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Hardinge, Henry". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/12271. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. ^ "No. 15464". The London Gazette. 23 March 1802. p. 304.
  6. ^ "No. 15600". The London Gazette. 9 July 1803. p. 831.
  7. ^ "No. 15694". The London Gazette. 17 April 1804. p. 475.
  8. ^ a b c Heathcote, p.171
  9. ^ "No. 16887". The London Gazette. 19 April 1814. p. 836.
  10. ^ "No. 16934". The London Gazette. 13 September 1814. p. 1850.
  11. ^ "No. 16934". The London Gazette. 13 September 1814. p. 1852.
  12. ^ a b "Hardinge, Sir Henry". History of Parliament. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  13. ^ "No. 17727". The London Gazette. 20 July 1821. p. 1510.
  14. ^ "No. 18709". The London Gazette. 23 July 1830. p. 1535.
  15. ^ "No. 17911". The London Gazette. 5 April 1823. p. 541.
  16. ^ a b c d "HARDINGE, Sir Henry (1785–1856), of Ketton, co. Dur. and 16 Sackville Street, Mdx". History of Parliament Online.
  17. ^ "No. 18477". The London Gazette. 10 June 1828. p. 1118.
  18. ^ "No. 20015". The London Gazette. 7 September 1841. p. 2247.
  19. ^ Cox, Montagu H and Norman, Philip. "No. 3 Whitehall Gardens Pages 204–207 Survey of London: Volume 13, St Margaret, Westminster, Part II: Whitehall I. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1930". British History Online. Retrieved 7 August 2020.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ "No. 20346". The London Gazette. 24 May 1844. p. 1762.
  21. ^ "No. 20363". The London Gazette. 12 July 1844. p. 2418.
  22. ^ "No. 20576". The London Gazette. 23 February 1846. p. 721.
  23. ^ "No. 20602". The London Gazette. 8 May 1846. p. 1678.
  24. ^ "No. 20602". The London Gazette. 8 May 1846. p. 1681.
  25. ^ "No. 20592". The London Gazette. 7 April 1846. p. 1278.
  26. ^ Viscount Hardinge's Annuity Act 1846 (9 & 10 Vict. c. 21)
  27. ^ Annuity Lord Hardinge Act 1846 (9 & 10 Vict. c. 31)
  28. ^ "No. 21299". The London Gazette. 9 March 1852. p. 741.
  29. ^ "No. 21362". The London Gazette. 28 September 1852. p. 2573.
  30. ^ "No. 21564". The London Gazette. 22 June 1854. p. 1931.
  31. ^ "No. 21792". The London Gazette. 2 October 1855. p. 3652.
  32. ^ Weintraub, Stanley (1997). Albert: Uncrowned King London: John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-5756-9 Weintraub, p.334
  33. ^ "No. 19028". The London Gazette. 8 March 1833. p. 474.
  34. ^ Heathcote, p.172
  35. ^ "Church of St John the Baptist, Penshurst". British listed buildings. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  36. ^ "Fordcombe" (PDF). Kent Fallen. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  37. ^ "Princess Alice of Hesse". The Knickerbocker Press. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  38. ^ "Charles Hardinge, 1st Baron Hardinge of Penshurst". Cracrofts Peerage. Archived from the original on 17 June 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2012.


Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byRichard WhartonMichael Angelo Taylor Member of Parliament for Durham 1820–1830 With: Michael Angelo Taylor Succeeded byMichael Angelo TaylorSir Roger Gresley Preceded byCharles RossJames Loch Member of Parliament for St Germans 1830 With: Charles Ross Succeeded byCharles RossWinthrop Mackworth Praed Preceded byJonathan RaineJohn Doherty Member of Parliament for Newport (Cornwall) 1830–1832 With: Jonathan Raine 1831Viscount Grimston 1831–1832 Constituency abolished Preceded byJames BrogdenSir John Malcolm Member of Parliament for Launceston 1832–1844 Succeeded byWilliam Bowles Political offices Preceded byRobert Ward Clerk of the Ordnance 1823–1827 Succeeded bySir George Clerk, Bt Preceded byThe Viscount Palmerston Secretary at War 1828–1830 Succeeded bySir Francis Leveson Gower Preceded byLord Francis Leveson-Gower Chief Secretary for Ireland 1830 Succeeded byEdward Smith-Stanley Preceded byEdward Littleton Chief Secretary for Ireland 1834–1835 Succeeded byViscount Morpeth Preceded byThomas Macaulay Secretary at War 1841–1844 Succeeded bySir Thomas Fremantle Preceded byThe Marquess of Anglesey Master-General of the Ordnance 1852 Succeeded byThe Lord Raglan Government offices Preceded byWilliam Wilberforce Bird, acting Governor-General of India 1844–1848 Succeeded byThe Earl of Dalhousie Military offices Preceded byThe Duke of Wellington Commander-in-Chief of the Forces 1852–1856 Succeeded byThe Duke of Cambridge Preceded bySir Frederick Adam Colonel of the 57th (West Middlesex) Regiment of Foot 1843–1856 Succeeded bySir James Love Preceded bySir Robert O'Callaghan Colonel of the 97th (The Earl of Ulster's) Regiment of Foot 1833–1843 Succeeded bySir Charles Napier Peerage of the United Kingdom New creation Viscount Hardinge 1846–1856 Succeeded byCharles Hardinge