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British Cemetery in Elvas

Major General Daniel Hoghton

Major General Daniel Hoghton was born 27 August 1770 in Hedingham Castle Essex, the second son of the MP Sir Henry Hoghton, 6th Baronet and younger brother of Sir Henry Philip [de] Hoghton, 7th Baronet of Hoghton Tower in Lancashire.  Daniel joined the 82nd Regiment of Foot (Prince of Wales Volunteers) as a captain in 1793, at the beginning of the French Revolutionary War. By 1795, he had joined the 67th Regiment of Foot, was dispatched to the West Indies and served during the Haitian Revolution. In 1796 Hoghton was promoted to lieutenant colonel. 

 

In January 1799 Hoghton was transferred to the 88th Regiment of Foot (Connaught Rangers) who were stationed in India. Hoghton took passage and met his regiment at Fort St George, Madras. Hoghton did not accompany his men to Egypt in 1801 but became Military Adviser to the Marquis of Wellesley, the first Governor General of British India and elder brother of the future Duke of Wellington.

Hoghton returned to England in November 1804 and was given command of the newly raised 2nd battalion, 8th Regiment of Foot (King's Regiment). He was promoted to full colonel the following year and dispatched in 1807 with his troops to Denmark to serve Sir Arthur Wellesley at the Siege of Copenhagen.

Hoghton was then transferred to the West Indies where he participated in the capture of Martinique in 1809. He was then appointed Governor General of the Lesser Antilles, based on Barbados, but before he could marry and take up his new civilian role, the then Viscount Wellesley persuaded Hoghton in 1810 to join him in Iberia, where he became a Major General and took command of the 3rd Brigade of the 2nd Division under Major General Sir William Stewart, with the task of keeping an eye on Marshal Soult, based in Seville. 

 

Hoghton's brigade, made up of elements of the 29th, 57th and 48th, was summoned by Wellington to join Marshal Beresford at the Battle of Albuera, 16 May 1811, where Stewart's division was deployed to relieve a brigade of Zayas’ Division of Spanish infantry, which had held the French advance with great gallantry.  

The rapid nature of the deployment opened the division to attack by French cavalry and the 1st brigade under Colonel John Colborne was almost destroyed. Hoghton's brigade held firm and drove off the French cavalry. It then withstood an attack by the 11,000 men of the French 5th Corps but 63% of the brigade were killed or wounded while they prevented the French from turning the defensive British line. Hoghton was advancing at the head of his troops when he was mortally wounded.

Wellington is reported to have commented on the death of this popular and able officer:

I understand that it was impossible for anybody to behave better than he did ... he actually fell waving his hat and cheering his brigade on to the charge.

By 1795, he had joined the 67th Regiment of Foot, was dispatched to the West Indies and served during the Haitian Revolution. In 1796 Hoghton was promoted to lieutenant colonel.