Charles Cathcart, 2nd Earl Cathcart

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The Earl Cathcart
File:Charles Murray Cathcart.jpg
Lord Cathcart.
Born 21 December 1783
Walton, Essex, England
Died 16 July 1859(1859-07-16) (aged 75)
St Leonards-on-Sea, England
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank General
Commands held Northern District
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 FRSE (21 December 1783 – 16 July 1859), styled Lord Greenock between 1814 and 1843, 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). He was a keen amateur geologist, with enough recognition to warrant being made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.[1]


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.[2] He served on the staff of Sir James Craig in Naples and Sicily.[2] He became heir apparent to the lordship of Cathcart in 1804 earldom after his brother William Cathcart, Master of Cathcart, died while commanding a Royal Navy vessel in the West Indies.[3] After his father was elevated to an earldom in 1814 he became known by the courtesy title Lord Greenock.

Cathcart saw service on the ill-fated 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. Becoming lieutenant-colonel on 30 August 1810, he embarked for the Peninsula, where he was present at the Battle of Barrosa, for which he received a gold medal on 6 April 1812, at the Battle of Salamanca, and the Battle of Vitoria, during which he served as assistant quartermaster-general.[2]

He was next sent to assist Sir Thomas Graham 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.[2] He was awarded the Russian Order of St. Vladimir, the Dutch Military William Order, and made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB). In 1823, he was appointed a lieutenant-colonel in the royal staff corps at Hythe.[2]

In 1830 he moved to Edinburgh where lived at "Whitehouse villa" on Bruntsfield Links.[4] He became involved in the proceedings of the Highland Society, became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and where he announced the discovery of a new mineral, a sulphide of cadmium, which was found in excavating the Bishopton tunnel near Port Glasgow and which is now known as Greenockite. On 17 February 1837 he was made Commander-in-Chief, Scotland and Governor of Edinburgh Castle. On 17 June 1838, on the death of his father, he became second earl and eleventh baron Cathcart. On 16 March 1846 he was appointed commander-in-chief in British North America from 16 March 1846 and in 1850 he was appointed to the command of the Northern and Midland District, and in 1854 he retired.[2]


On 30 September 1818 he married Henrietta Mather, daughter of Thomas Mather in France. The couple remarried at Portsea, England, 12 February 1819. Lady Cathcart accompanied her husband, and their daughters, to Canada in 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 24 June 1872.[5] He died at St. Leonard's-on-Sea on 16 July 1859.[2]


He was the author 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. "Biographical Index". Royal Society of Edinburgh.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "Oxford DNB article: Cathcart, Charles Murray". Retrieved 25 November 2015. line feed character in |title= at position 21 (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. John Knox Laughton, ed. (1902). Naval Miscellany Volume 1. 20. Naval Record Society.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Scottish Directories - National Library of Scotland". Retrieved 25 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 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
Commander-in-Chief, Scotland
Succeeded by
Sir Neil Douglas
Preceded by
Sir Richard Downes Jackson
Commander-in-Chief, North America
Succeeded by
Sir Benjamin D'Urban
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Arbuthnot
GOC Northern District
Succeeded by
Sir Harry Smith
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
Francis Newbery
Colonel of the 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards
Succeeded by
James Claud Bourchier
Preceded by
Sir William Lumley
Colonel of the 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Brotherton
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