John Ligonier, 1st Earl Ligonier

From Academic Kids

John (Jean Louis) Ligonier, 1st Earl Ligonier, KB, PC (1680 - 1770) was a British military officer. He was born to a Huguenot family of Castres in the south of France, and who emigrated to England at the close of the 17th century.

He entered the army as a volunteer under the Duke of Marlborough. From 1702 to 1710 he was engaged, with distinction, in nearly every important battle and siege of the War of the Spanish Succession. He was one of the first to mount the breach at the siege of Liège, commanded a company at the battles of Schellenberg and Blenheim, and was present at Menin (where he led the storming of the covered way), Ramillies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet (where he received twenty-three bullets through his clothing and remained unhurt). In 1712, he became governor of Fort St. Philip, Minorca, and in 1718 was adjutant-general of the troops employed in the Vigo expedition, where he led the stormers of Fort Mann.

Two years later he became colonel of the Black Horse (now 7th Dragoon Guards), a command which he retained for 29 years. His regiment soon attained an extraordinary degree of efficiency. He was made a brigadier general in 1735, major general in 1739, and accompanied Lord Stair in the Rhine Campaign of 1742-1743. George II made him a Knight of the Bath on the field of Dettinger. At Fontenoy, Ligonier commanded the British foot, and acted throughout the battle as adviser to the Duke of Cumberland.

During the Forty-Five he was called home to command the British army in the Midlands, but in January 1746 was placed at the head of the British and British-paid contingents of the Allied army in the Low Countries. He was present at Roucoux (October 11, 1746), and, as general of horse, at Val (July 1, 1747), where he led the last charge of the British cavalry. In this encounter his horse was killed, and he was taken prisoner, but was exchanged in a few days. With the close of the campaign ended Ligonier's active career, but (with a brief interval in 1756-1757) he occupied various high civil and military posts to the close of his life.

In 1757 he was made, in rapid succession, commander-in-chief, colonel of the 1st Foot Guards (now Grenadier Guards), and a peer of Ireland under the title of Viscount Ligonier of Enniskillen, a title changed in 1762 for that of Clonmell. From 1759 to 1762 he was master-general of the Ordnance, and in 1763 he became Baron, and in 1766 Earl, in the English peerage. In the latter year he became field marshal. His younger brother, Francis, was also a distinguished soldier; and his son succeeded to his peerage.

See Combes, J. L. Ligonier, une étude (Castres, 1866), and the histories of the 7th Dragoon Guards and Grenadier Guards.


Preceded by:
Vacant
Commander-in-Chief of the Forces
1757–1759
Succeeded by:
Vacant
Preceded by:
Vacant
Master-General of the Ordnance
1759–1763
Succeeded by:
Marquess of Granby

Template:End box


Preceded by:
New Creation
Earl Ligonier
Succeeded by:
Edward Ligonier

Template:End box

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