Charles Cathcart, 2nd Earl Cathcart

Charles Cathcart, 2nd Earl Cathcart
Sir Charles Cathcart
Charles Murray Cathcart.jpg
Sir Charles Cathcart
Born 21 December 1783
Walton, Essex
Died 16 July 1859(1859-07-16) (aged 75)
St Leonards-on-Sea
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank General
Battles/wars Napoleonic Wars
Walcheren Expedition
Battle of Waterloo
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

Charles Murray Cathcart, 2nd Earl Cathcart GCB (Walton-on-the-Naze 21 December 1783 – 16 July 1859 St Leonards-on-Sea) was a British Army general who became Governor General of the Province of Canada and Lieutenant Governor of Canada West (26 November 1845 – 30 January 1847).



Cathcart, eldest surviving son of William Schaw Cathcart, 1st Earl Cathcart, was born at Walton, Essex, on 21 December 1783, entered the army as a cornet in the 2nd life guards on 2 March 1800.[1] He served on the staff of Sir James Craig in Naples and Sicily.[1] His father held the titles of Viscount Cathcart and Baron Greenock and therefore C. M. Cathcart went under the name of Lord Greenock.[1] He became heir apparent to the title Earl Cathcart after his brother William Cathcart died in 1804 while commanding a Royal Navy vessel in the West Indies.[2]

He saw service in the Walcheren Expedition in 1809 and the siege of Flushing, after which for some time he was disabled by the injurious effects of the pestilence which cut off so many thousands of his companions.[1] Becoming lieutenant-colonel on 30 August 1810, he embarked for the Peninsula, where he was present in the battles of Barossa, for which he received a gold medal on 6 April 1812, of Salamanca, and of Vittoria, during which he served as assistant quartermaster-general.[1]

He was next sent to assist Lord Lynedoch in Holland as the head of the quartermaster-general's staff, and was afterwards present at the Battle of Waterloo, where he had three horses shot under him.[1] He was awarded the Russian order of St. Wladimir, the Dutch order of St. Wilhelm, and the CB.[1]

In 1823 he was appointed a lieutenant-colonel in the royal staff corps at Hythe.[1]

In 1830 he moved to Edinburgh where he became involved in the proceedings of the Highland Society, chose to become a member of the Royal Society and where he announced the discovery of a new mineral, a sulphate of cadmium, which was found in excavating the Bishopton tunnel near Port Glasgow and which is now known as Greenockite.[1]

On 17 February 1837 he was made Commander of the forces in Scotland and governor of Edinburgh Castle.[1] On 17 June 1838, on the death of his father, he became second earl and eleventh baron Cathcart.[1] On 16 March 1846 he was appointed commander-in-chief in British North America from 16 March 1846[1] and in 1850 he was appointed to the command of the Northern and Midland District, and in 1854 he retired.[1]

He died at St. Leonard's-on-Sea on 16 July 1859.[1]


On September 3oth, 1818 he married Henrietta Mather, daughter of Thomas Mather in France. The couple remarried at Portsea, England, February 12, 1819. Lady Cathcart accompanied her husband, and their daughters, to Canada June, 1845. Lady Cathcart presented colours to one of the militia regiments in Montreal. The family returned to England in May, 1847. She died on June 24, 1872.[3]


He was the writer of two papers in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1836, On the Phenomena in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh of the Igneous Rocks in their relation to the Secondary Strata, and The Coal Formation of the Scottish Lowlands.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Charles Cathcart at Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. ^ John Knox Laughton, ed (1902). Naval Miscellany Volume 1. 20. Naval Record Society. 
  3. ^ Morgan, Henry James Types of Canadian women and of women who are or have been connected with Canada : (Toronto, 1903) [1]

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Hon. Patrick Stuart
Governor of Edinburgh Castle
Succeeded by
Sir Neil Douglas
Preceded by
Sir Arthur Clifton
Colonel of the 11th (Prince Albert's Own)
Regiment of (Light) Dragoons (Hussars)

Succeeded by
Sir Henry Wyndham
Preceded by
Sir John Colborne
Commander-in-Chief, North America
Succeeded by
Sir William Rowan
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Metcalfe
Governor General of the Province of Canada
Succeeded by
The Earl of Elgin
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Lord Metcalfe
Chancellor of King's College
Succeeded by
The Earl of Elgin
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
William Cathcart
Earl Cathcart
Succeeded by
Alan Cathcart

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