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Cornwallis, Charles, 1st Marquess

Source:
Brewer's Dictionary of Irish Phrase & Fable
Author(s):
Sean McMahonSean McMahon, Jo O'DonoghueJo O'Donoghue

Cornwallis, Charles, 1st Marquess (1738–1805). 

Lord lieutenant and commander-in-chief of the army during the Rebellion of 1798. He had previously led British forces during the American Revolution (his surrender at Yorktown in 1781 brought hostilities to an end), and had been governor-general of India (1786–93). During the 1798 Rebellion he refused to sanction indiscriminate repression and violence by the militia and the yeomanry, and made clear his support for Catholic Emancipation, which he believed would be granted after the passing of the Act of Union; along with Castlereagh he is regarded in Nationalist historiography as the architect of the act. He resigned his position in February 1801 when it became clear that the opposition of George III rendered impossible the achievement of emancipation. In 1805 he again became governor-general of India, where he died.