Biography

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Benjamin Bloomfield, first Baron Bloomfield (1768-1846)

This article was written by Henry Manners Chichester and was published in 1885


Benjamin Bloomfield, first Baron Bloomfield, was a lieutenant-general and colonel-commandant royal horse artillery. He was the only son of John Bloomfield, of Newport, co. Tipperary, and was born 13 April 1768. After studying at the Royal Military Academy, he became a second-lieutenant in the royal artillery, at the age of thirteen, on 24 May 1781.

Lord Bloomfield, in the early part of his military career, served in Newfoundland and at Gibraltar. He was one of the first officers appointed to the horse-brigade on its formation. He also served on board a gun-brig during the early part of the French war, and commanded some guns at the action at Vinegar Hill during the Irish rebellion of 1798. About 1806, when brevet-major and captain of a troop of horse-artillery doing duty with the 10th hussars at Brighton (and, as his biographer observes, a very poor man), his social and musical attainments attracted the notice of the Prince of Wales, afterwards George IV, who made him a gentleman-in-waiting and afterwards his chief equerry and clerk-marshal.

He was A.D.C. 1811 to 1814 and was M.P. for Plymouth 1812 to 1818. In 1815 he was knighted, having been promoted to the rank of major-general the year before, and in 1817 succeeded Sir John McMahon as private secretary, in which capacity Sir Benjamin Bloomfield was the recognised confidant of the prince during the remainder of the regency and until 1822, when, having fallen into disfavour, he resigned his appointments.

After his resignation he was sent, in 1822, as minister plenipotentiary to the court of Stockholm, and in May 1825 was raised to the Irish peerage as Baron Bloomfield of Oakhampton and Redwood, Tipperary. Subsequently he commanded the garrison at Woolwich for some years, where his hospitality and benevolence made him very popular, and where he founded the schools for the children of soldiers of the ordnance corps.

He married, in 1797, Harriott, the eldest daughter of John Douglas, of Grantham, by whom he left issue. He died in Portman Square, London, on 15 August 1846. Lord Bloomfield, while in Sweden, joined the Wesleyans, and after his death a tract was published under the title: ‘A Coronet laid at Jesus' Feet in the Conversion of the late Lord Bloomfield,’ by G. Scott, Wesleyan minister (London, 1856).

See Greville Memoirs


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