General Lord Robert Bertie

Robert Bertie of Chislehurst in Kent was the 5th son of the Duke of Ancaster. He was Colonel of the Fusiliers during the failed attempt to relieve Minorca in 1756. This was the occasion when Admiral Byng was put on trial for treason, and sentenced to be shot. Lord Robert Bertie found himself in a difficult situation when he and the Fusiliers were in the middle of a tug-of-war between General Fowke, Governor of Gibraltar and Admiral Byng. Bertie spoke in Byng's defence, declaring that he had not seen 'any backwardness in the Admiral during the action...but he seemed to give his orders coolly and distinctly, and did not seem wanting in personal courage.' Bertie himself was accused of failing in his duty and exposing himself to criticism by defending Byng. An anonymous 35-page Letter to Lord Robert Bertie published in 1757 explains at length why he had discredited himself.

1721 Born on 14th Nov
1728 Educated at Eton College
1737 Commissioned into the Coldstream Guards
1741 Lieutenant
1744 Captain
1745 Inherited mother's estate at Chislehurst, Kent
1751 MP for Whitchurch (up to 1754)
1751 Lord of the Bedchamber to PoW, later George III, (until 1782)
1752 Brevet of Colonel
1754 20th Aug. Colonel of Royal Fusiliers
1754 MP for Boston (up to 1782)
1756 20th May. The Retreat from Minorca
1758 Major-General
1760 Lieutenant-General
1762 Married Mary, widow of Lord Raymond (no children)
1762 Governor of Cork (until 1768)
1768 Governor of Duncannon (until 1782)
1776 2nd Oct. Colonel of 2nd Troop Horse Guards (2nd Life Guards)
1777 General
1782 Died on 10th March

Regimental Details | Colonels


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by Stephen Luscombe