HILL, Sir Rowland (1772-1842), of Hawkstone and Hardwicke Grange, Salop.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. 11 Aug. 1772, 2nd s. of John Hill*. educ. Ightfield, Salop 1780-1; Chester (Rev R. Vanburgh and Rev Winfield’s sch.) 1781-9; Strasbourg mil. acad. 1790-2. unm. KB 22 Feb. 1812; cr. Baron Hill of Almaraz and Hawkstone 17 May 1814; Baron Hill of Almaraz and Hardwicke (with spec. rem.) 16 Jan. 1816; GCB 2 Jan. 1815; GCH 1816; Visct. Hill of Hawkstone and Hardwicke 22 Sept. 1842.
C.-in-c. army Feb. 1828-Aug. 1842; PC 13 Feb. 1828.
Ensign 38 Ft. 1790; lt. Capt. Broughton’s ind. co. ft. 1791, 53 Ft. 1791; capt. 38 Ft. 1793; a.d.c. to Gens. Mulgrave, O’Hara and Dundas, Toulon 1793; capt. 86 Ft. 1793; maj. 90 Ft. 1794, lt.-col. 1794, col. 1800, brig.-gen. 1803, maj.-gen. 1805; col. 3 garrison batt. 1809; col. 94 Ft. 1809-15, lt.-gen. 1812; col. 72 Ft. 1815-17, 53 Ft. 1817-30; gen. 1825; col. R. Horse Gds. 1830-d.
Gov. Blackness 1812-14, Hull 1814-30, Plymouth 1830-d.
Hill preferred the military to the legal profession and secured rapid promotion. He saw service in the Mediterranean, serving on two diplomatic missions, and distinguished himself in Egypt, where he was wounded in 1801. He subsequently served for several years in Ireland. In 1808 he commanded a brigade in Portugal and in the following year joined Wellesley, under whom he served as a commander till the end of the Peninsular War, apart from one period of sick leave, December 1810-May 1811. He was thanked by Parliament for his services at Vimeiro (25 Jan. 1809) and Talavera (1 Feb. 1810). Wellesley recommended him for a knighthood, which he received in January 1812, shortly before displaying great ability in the storming of Almaraz. He was proceeding to winter quarters at Coria when he received the news, in November 1812, of his return for Shrewsbury on the family interest.
He held the seat until his elevation to the peerage without ever being able to attend, though he franked a letter on his arrival at Dover in 1814 before his elevation:1 he was expected to be, and listed, a government supporter. With the peerage he received a pension of £2,000, the thanks of Parliament and the freedom of London. He was fêted as a hero at home and honoured by his native county by means of a memorial column 133 feet high at Shrewsbury. Wellington proposed the governorship of Gibraltar for him and he was recommended as leader of an expedition to America, which did not come off. Wellington doubted whether he would have accepted it, as Hill preferred carrying out orders to being responsible for them. He declined the command in Scotland at this time. In 1815 he was wounded in command of a corps at Waterloo and was subsequently second in command of the army of occupation in France. On his return in 1818 he retired to country life at Hardwicke, declining the lieutenancy of the ordnance in 1823 and the master generalship, offered him by Wellington, in 1827; in the following year he became head of his profession. A Tory of the old school, he was greatly admired by the Prince Regent, whose banner he bore at the coronation in 1821, and at the request of William IV abstained from voting on the reform bill. He died 10 Dec. 1842.
Ref Volumes: 1790-1820
Author: R. G. Thorne
- 1. Salop RO, Bygott (Hawkstone) mss 731/262, Hill to his sister, 9 Jan. 1840.