MONCKTON, Hon. Robert (1726-82).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

26 Nov. 1751 - 1754
24 Mar. - 30 Sept. 1774
10 Aug. 1778 - 21 May 1782

Family and Education

b. 24 June 1726, 2nd surv. s. of John, 1st Visct. Galway [I], by his 1st w. Lady Elizabeth Manners, da. of John, 2nd Duke of Rutland; bro. of William, 2nd Visct. and half-bro. of Hon. Edward Monckton.  educ. Westminster 1737. unm., 3s. 1da.

Offices Held

Ensign 3 Ft. Gds. 1741; capt. 34 Ft. 1744, maj. 1747; lt.-col. 47 Ft. 1751; col. 1757; col. commandant 60 Ft. 1757-9; col. 17 Ft. 1759- d.; maj.-gen. 1761; lt-gen. 1770.

Lt.-gov. Nova Scotia 1755-61; gov. New York 1761-5, Berwick-on-Tweed 1765-78, Portsmouth 1778- d.

Biography

Monckton was twice returned for the family borough of Pontefract, but only as a stop-gap; and seems to have had little interest in Parliament. He fought at Dettingen and Fontenoy, and 1752-63 served in America. In 1755 he captured the important French fort of Beauséjour, and in 1759 was second-in-command to Wolfe at the taking of Quebec. In 1762 he commanded the expedition against Martinique and other West Indian islands. ‘He is a hero in all the forms,’ wrote Horace Walpole to Mann, 22 Mar. 1762, ‘eager to engage, and bold to perform. This conquest is entirely owing to his bravery, to his grenadiers, and his sailors.’ He seems to have been a popular commander, and after his death the Gentleman’s Magazine published (1782, p. 576) an account of the generosity he had shown to his subalterns at the taking of Martinique. In 1764 Colin Campbell, major commandant of the 100th Foot, preferred a number of charges against Monckton for his conduct at Martinique; but Monckton was honourably acquitted by court martial, and the charges declared ‘groundless, malicious, and scandalous’.1

Between 1767 and 1769 Monckton was associated with Lauchlin Macleane’s speculations in East India stock, and presumably lost heavily as a result. In 1769 he volunteered, with the King’s permission, to command the East India Company’s troops, but this was declined; next, he was considered for