The Hon Charles Stewart


The officer who ordered the squadrons of the 16th and 20th LD to carry on forward at Grijo against the advice of a staff officer who knew better, was the Honourable Charles Stewart, known as Fighting Charlie. He was Adjutant General to Sir Arthur Wellesley in 1809 and distinguished himself the next day at the Duoro on 12 May 1809 when he was sent to find out why Major-General Sir John Murray was dithering instead of attacking the French on the other side of the Duoro at Oporto. Stewart had to take control and led the attack himself which ended successfully but caused the 14th LD many casualties. Charles Stewart is better known as the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry, a title he inherited from his half brother in 1822. He changed his name to Vane after marrying his second wife, the rich heiress, Lady Frances Vane-Tempest. He was a politician as well as a soldier, and was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Durham in 1842. An equestrian statue of him in hussar uniform stands in the square outside Durham Cathedral. This portrait of Charles Stewart was painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence in 1813. The Marquess died in March 1854 aged 75.


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by Stephen Luscombe