Hugh Rose, 1st Baron Strathnairn
Field Marshal
Field Marshal
Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

 Hugh Henry Rose, 1st Baron Strathnairn GCB
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

Order of the Star of India
The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India is an order of chivalry founded by Queen Victoria in 1861. The Order includes members of three classes:# Knight Grand Commander # Knight Commander # Companion...

, PC
Privy Council of Ireland
The Privy Council of Ireland was an institution of the Kingdom of Ireland until 31 December 1800 and of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 1801-1922...

 (6 April 1801 – 16 October 1885) was a British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...


Early life

Rose was the third son of Sir George Henry Rose
George Henry Rose
Sir George Henry Rose GCH PC was the eldest son of George Rose. He was Member of Parliament for Southampton from 1794–1813 and for Christchurch from 1818–32 and 1837–44, Clerk of the Parliaments from 1818–55 and sometime Envoy Extraordinary to Munich and Berlin, and to the...

 of Sandhills, Christchurch
Christchurch, Dorset
Christchurch is a borough and town in the county of Dorset on the south coast of England. The town adjoins Bournemouth in the west and the New Forest lies to the east. Historically in Hampshire, it joined Dorset with the reorganisation of local government in 1974 and is the most easterly borough in...

, Hampshire
Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, a historic cathedral city that was once the capital of England. Hampshire is notable for housing the original birthplaces of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force...

 (minister plenipotentiary at the Prussian court) and was born at Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

. He was educated in Berlin, and received military instruction at the cadet school. He entered the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders as an ensign on June 8, 1820, but was transferred to the 19th Foot and quartered in Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 where he took part in preserving order during the "Ribbon" outrages. He was promoted rapidly - to a lieutenancy in 1821, a captaincy in 1824, and an unattached majority at the end of 1826. He was brought into the 92nd Highlanders as a regimental major in 1829, and the following year was appointed equerry
An equerry , and related to the French word "écuyer" ) is an officer of honour. Historically, it was a senior attendant with responsibilities for the horses of a person of rank. In contemporary use, it is a personal attendant, usually upon a Sovereign, a member of a Royal Family, or a national...

 to HRH the Duke of Cambridge.

While in Ireland with the 92nd Highlanders, Rose again found himself employed in maintaining law and order. He rendered important services in suppressing disaffected meetings, but his conduct was so courteous to the ringleaders that he incurred no personal hostility. In 1833 he accompanied his regiment to Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

, and three years later to Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

, where he exerted himself with so much zeal during a serious outbreak of cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 in attending to the sick soldiers that his conduct elicited an official approval from the governor and commander-in-chief.


In 1839 Rose was promoted, by purchase, to an unattached lieutenant-colonelcy. In the following year Rose was selected, with other officers and detachments of Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers, for special service in Syria under the orders of the foreign office. Under Brigadier-General Michell, RA and in conjunction with the Turkish troops and the British fleet on the coast they fought for the expulsion of Mehemet Ali's Egyptian army from Syria. Sir Stratford Canning sent Rose from Constantinople on a diplomatic mission to Ibrahim Pasha
Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt
Ibrahim Pasha was the eldest son of Muhammad Ali, the Wāli and unrecognised Khedive of Egypt and Sudan. He served as a general in the Egyptian army that his father established during his reign, taking his first command of Egyptian forces was when he was merely a teenager...

, commanding the Egyptian army in Syria, and after its execution he was attached, as deputy adjutant-general, to the staff of Omar Pasha
Omar Pasha
Omar Pasha Latas was a Ottoman general and governor. He was a Serb convert to Islam, who managed to quickly climb in Ottoman ranks, crush several rebellions throughout the Empire and defeat Russia the Crimean War.-Early life:...

, who landed at Jaffa with a large Turkish force from the British fleet.

Rose distinguished himself in several engagements, and was twice wounded at El Mesden in January 1841. He was mentioned in despatches, and received from the sultan the order of Nishan Iftihar in diamonds, the war medal and a sabre of honour. The king of Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

 sent him the order of St John, and expressed his pleasure that "an early acquaintance" had so gallantly distinguished himself. Shortly after he succeeded to the command of the British detachment in Syria with the local rank of colonel and in April 1841 he was appointed British consul-general for Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....


For seven years, amidst political complications and intrigues, Rose did much to arrest the horrors of civil war, prevent the feuds between the Maronites
Maronites , is an ethnoreligious group in the Middle East that have been historically tied with Lebanon. They derive their name from the Syriac saint Mar Maron whose followers moved to Mount Lebanon from northern Syria establishing the Maronite Church....

 and Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

s coming to a head, and administer justice impartially. On one occasion in 1841, when he found the Maronites and Druzes drawn up in two lines and firing at each other, he rode between them at imminent risk to his life and by the sheer force of a stronger will stopped the conflict. In the first year of his appointment his actions saved the lives of several hundred Christians at Deir el Kbama in the Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

. His services were warmly recognized by Lord Aberdeen in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 and he was made Companion of the Order of the Bath
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...


In 1845 he rescued 600 Christians belonging to the American mission at Abaye, in the Lebanon, from the hands of the Druzes, and brought them to Beirut. In 1848, during the outbreak of cholera at Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

, he was most devoted in his attention to the sick and dying. At the end of this year he left Syria on leave of absence and did not return as Lord Palmerston
Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, KG, GCB, PC , known popularly as Lord Palmerston, was a British statesman who served twice as Prime Minister in the mid-19th century...

 appointed him secretary of embassy at Constantinople in January 1851. In the following year he was chargé d'affaires
Chargé d'affaires
In diplomacy, chargé d’affaires , often shortened to simply chargé, is the title of two classes of diplomatic agents who head a diplomatic mission, either on a temporary basis or when no more senior diplomat has been accredited.-Chargés d’affaires:Chargés d’affaires , who were...

in the absence of Sir Stratford Canning during the crisis of the question of the "holy places" and he so strengthened the hands of the Porte that the Russian attempt to force a secret treaty upon Turkey was foiled.

Crimean War

During the war with Russia in 1854–56 Rose was the British commissioner at the headquarters of the French army, with the local rank of brigadier-general. At Varna
Varna is the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and third-largest in Bulgaria after Sofia and Plovdiv, with a population of 334,870 inhabitants according to Census 2011...

 he succeeded in quenching a fire which threatened the French small-arm ammunition stores, and received the thanks of Marshal St Arnaud
Jacques Leroy de Saint Arnaud
Armand-Jacques Leroy de Saint-Arnaud was a French soldier and Marshal of France during the 19th century...

, who recommended him for the Legion of Honour. He was present at the battle of the Alma, and was wounded on the following day. At Inkerman
Battle of Inkerman
The Battle of Inkerman was fought during the Crimean War on November 5, 1854 between the allied armies of Britain and France against the Imperial Russian Army. The battle broke the will of the Russian Army to defeat the allies in the field, and was followed by the Siege of Sevastopol...

 he reconnoitred the ground between the British and French armies under withering fire from the Russian pickets and his horse was shot under him.

He distinguished himself on several other occasions in maintaining verbal communication between the allied forces and by his tact and judgment contributed to the good feeling that existed between the two armies. His services were acknowledged by the commanders-in-chief of both armies and he received the medal with three clasps and the thanks of Parliament, was promoted to major-general, and was made KCB and commander of the Legion of Honour.


On the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny in 1857 Rose was given command of the Poona division. He arrived in September, and shortly after took command of the newly created Central Indian Field Force made up mostly of loyal sepoys and elements of the army maintained by the Nizam of Hyderabad

In January 1858 he marched from Mhow, captured Rathgarh after a short siege and defeated the raja of Banpur near Barodia in the same month. He then relieved Saugor, captured Garhakota and the fort of Barodia, and early in March his army defeated the rebels in the Madanpur Pass and captured Madanpur
Madanpur is a census town under Kalyani police station of Kalyani subdivision in Nadia district in the Indian state of West Bengal.-Geography:Madanpur is located at . It has an average elevation of .-Demographics:...

 and Chanderi
Chanderi चंदेरी شندرئ is a town of historical importance in Ashoknagar District of Madhya Pradesh state in India. It is situated at a distance of 127 km from Shivpuri,37 km from Lalitpur,55 km from Ashok Nagar and about 45 km from Esagarh It is surrounded by hills southwest of...


He arrived at Jhansi
Jhansi Hindi:झाँसी, , Marathi: झाशी, is a historical city of India. Jhansi is the administrative headquarters of Jhansi District and Jhansi Division. The original walled city grew up around its stone fort, which crowns a neighboring rock. This district is on the bank of river Betwa.The National...

 on March 10 and during the siege defeated a relieving force under Tantia Topi at the Betwa
Betwa River
The Betwa is a river in Northern India, and a tributary of the Yamuna. Also known as the Vetravati, the Betwa rises in the Vindhya Range just north of Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh and flows north-east through Madhya Pradesh and flow through Orchha to Uttar Pradesh. Nearly one-half of its course,...

 on April 1. Most of Rose's force was locked up in the siege and so he could only field 1,540 men against Tantia Topi's army of 20,000 troops and 28 guns. With the advantage of Punjabi-Afghan sepoys he was able to rout the enemy, inflicting a total loss of 1500 men and all of their stores. Jhansi was stormed and the greater part of the city taken on the 3rd with the rest on the following day and the fort on the 5th. However the Queen Rani Lakshmibai
Rani Lakshmibai
Lakshmi Bai, the Rani of Jhansi was the queen of the Maratha-ruled princely state of Jhansi, situated in the northern part of India...

, known as "Rani Of Jhansi", defended the fort bravely with her troops for 11 days. Hugh Rose could not catch her as she made an unprecedented escape. She was India's "Joan Of Arc". Kunch was captured after severe fighting in a temperature of 110°F in the shade on May 7. Rose himself was only able to hold out by medical treatment and there were many casualties due to the heat.

Under the same conditions Rose's force marched on Kalpi. The rebels came out in number on May 22 to attack his small force, exhausted by hard marching and weakened by sickness, but after a severe fight under a burning sun, and in a suffocating hot wind, were routed and Kalpi occupied the following day. Having completed his programme, Rose obtained sick leave, and Sir Robert Napier was appointed to succeed him, when news came of the defection of Sindhia's troops and the occupation of Gwalior by Tantya Tope. Rose at once resumed command and moved on Gwalior by forced marches, winning the battle of Morar
Battle of Morar
The Battle of Morar was a Scottish clan battle fought in 1602, in Morar, in the Scottish Highlands. It was fought between the Clan MacDonald of Glengarry against the Clan Mackenzie who were supported by the Clan Ross....

 on June 16. Leaving Napier there he attacked and captured the city of Gwalior on the 19th. The fortress was stormed and won the following day and Napier gained a signal victory over the retreating enemy at Jaora-Alipur on the 24th.

Rose then handed over command of the Punjabi-Afghan sepoys to Napier and returned to Poona. Despite his considerable contribution to the suppression of the Indian Mutiny his merit was not fully recognized at the time owing to official jealousy that he had superior Punjabi-Afghan sepoys. For his services he received the medal with clasp, the thanks of both Houses of Parliament, the regimental colonelcy of the 45th Foot, and was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

 (GCB). A legal quibble meant that after protracted litigation the Central India force was not allowed its share of prize-money, a personal loss to Rose of £30,000. Rose was promoted lieutenant-general for his "eminent services" in February 1860, and the next month was appointed commander-in-chief of the Bombay army, and on the departure of Lord Clyde from India in the following June he succeeded him as Commander-in-Chief, India
Commander-in-Chief, India
During the period of the British Raj, the Commander-in-Chief, India was the supreme commander of the Indian Army. The Commander-in-Chief and most of his staff were based at General Headquarters, India, and liaised with the civilian Governor-General of India...


During his tenure as commander-in-chief Rose improved the discipline of the army and enabled the amalgamation of the East India Company's army into the Queen's army to be carried out without friction. He was created KSI
* Knight Companion of the Order of the Star of India* Key Success Indicator, another name for a key performance indicator*Killed or Seriously Injured, used in the field of road safety*ksi , kilopound per square inch, a unit of stress or pressure...

 in 1861 and GCSI in 1866.

Later career

On his return home he was made an honorary DCL
Doctor of Civil Law
Doctor of Civil Law is a degree offered by some universities, such as the University of Oxford, instead of the more common Doctor of Laws degrees....

 of Oxford University. Rose held the Irish command from 1865 until 1870, was raised to the peerage in 1866 as Baron Strathnairn, of Strathnairn in the County of Nairn and of Jhansi in the East Indies, transferred to the colonelcy of the 92nd Foot, and appointed president of the army transport committee. In 1866 and 1867 his leadership enabled the Irish government to deal successfully with the Fenian
The Fenians , both the Fenian Brotherhood and Irish Republican Brotherhood , were fraternal organisations dedicated to the establishment of an independent Irish Republic in the 19th and early 20th century. The name "Fenians" was first applied by John O'Mahony to the members of the Irish republican...

 conspiracy. He was promoted to general in 1867.

On relinquishing the Irish command he was made an honorary LL.D. of Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin , formally known as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, was founded in 1592 by letters patent from Queen Elizabeth I as the "mother of a university", Extracts from Letters Patent of Elizabeth I, 1592: "...we...found and...

. For the rest of his life he mainly lived in London. He was gazetted to the colonelcy of the Royal Horse Guards in 1869, and promoted to Field Marshal in June 1877. He died in Paris on the 16th of October 1885, aged 84, when the barony became extinct. He was buried with military honours in the graveyard of the Priory Church, Christchurch, Hampshire. An equestrian bronze statue
Vanished statues of London
This page lists statues which used to exist in London, but have either been destroyed or removed to another place. Statues which have been moved within London are not included...

, by E Onslow Ford, RA, was erected to his memory at Knightsbridge
Knightsbridge is a road which gives its name to an exclusive district lying to the west of central London. The road runs along the south side of Hyde Park, west from Hyde Park Corner, spanning the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea...

, London. (This statue was removed in 1931.) He was never married. See Sir Owen Tudor Burne, Clyde and Strathnairn, "Rulers of India Series" (1891).
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