Galbraith Lowry Cole

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Galbraith Lowry Cole

Portrait by William Dyce (1834)
Born1 May 1772
Dublin, Ireland
Died4 October 1842 (aged 70)
Highfield Park, Hampshire, England
AllegianceUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1787–1833
Unit27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot
Commands held4th Division
Northern District
Battles/warsPeninsular War
AwardsKnight Grand Cross, Order of the Bath
Other workGovernor of Mauritius 1823–1828
Governor of the Cape Colony 1828–1833

General Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole GCB (1 May 1772 – 4 October 1842) was an Anglo-Irish British Army officer and politician.

Early life

Cole was the second son of an Irish peer, William Cole, 1st Earl of Enniskillen (1 March 1736 – 22 May 1803), and Anne Lowry-Corry (d. September 1802), the daughter of Galbraith Lowry-Corry of Tyrone, and the sister of Armar Lowry-Corry, 1st Earl Belmore.[1]

Army service

Cole was commissioned a cornet in 12th Dragoon Guards in 1787.[2] He transferred to 5th Dragoon Guards as a lieutenant in 1791 and to 70th Foot as a captain in 1792, and served in the West Indies, Ireland, and Egypt. He was appointed lieutenant-colonel in Ward’s late regiment of foot in 1794 and lieutenant-colonel in the late General Villette's corps in 1799, on full pay although these units had been disbanded.[3] He was promoted to colonel in the Army in 1801 and served as brigadier-general in Sicily and commanded the 1st Brigade at the Battle of Maida on 4 July 1806. In 1808 he was promoted to major-general. In 1809 he was appointed to the staff of the army serving in Spain and Portugal and granted the local rank of lieutenant-general in 1811. This rank was confirmed in the Army in 1813.[4] He commanded the 4th Division in the Peninsular War under Wellington, and was wounded at the Battle of Albuera in which he played a decisive part. He was also wounded, much more seriously, at Salamanca. He was promoted to full general in 1830.[2]

For having served with distinction in the battles of Maida, Albuera, Salamanca, Vitoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Orthez and Toulouse, he received the Army Gold Cross with four clasps.[2] In 1815 he became General Officer Commanding Northern District.[5]

He was appointed Colonel of the 103rd Foot in 1812, 70th Foot in 1814 and 34th Foot in 1816. He subsequently became Governor of Gravesend and Tilbury Fort. He was also colonel of the 27th Foot.

Member of Parliament

He was Member of Parliament in the Irish House of Commons for the family seat of Enniskillen from 1797 to 1800, and represented Fermanagh in the British House of Commons in 1803.

He was appointed 2nd Governor of Mauritius from 12 June 1823 to 17 June 1828. He left in 1828 to take up the post of Governor of the Cape Colony which position he filled until 1833.

Cole was knighted in 1813, and was invested as a Knight Grand Cross, Order of the Bath on 2 January 1815.[2]

He is commemorated in Enniskillen by a statue surmounting a 30-metre (98 ft) column in Fort Hill Park, carried out by the Irish sculptor, Terence Farrell.[6]


Cole was married on 15 June 1815 to Lady Frances Harris (d. 1 November 1847), daughter of James Harris, 1st Earl of Malmesbury, for whom Malmesbury, South Africa is named, and Harriet Mary (née Amyand), his wife. His late marriage was attributed by his family to the unhappy outcome of his romance with the future Catherine Pakenham (later Duchess of Wellington) to whom he had been briefly engaged in 1802–3. Frances Cole played a prominent part in social philanthropy in the Cape and worked towards having coloured children taught useful trades. Colesberg, a town in the Cape, is named after him, as is Sir Lowry's Pass near Cape Town. They had seven children:[7][8]

  • Colonel Arthur Lowry Cole, Col. 17th Regiment, CB, Knight of the Medjidie (24 August 1817 – 30 March 1885)
  • William Willoughby Cole, Capt. 27th Regiment (17 November 1819 – 4 April 1863)
  • James Henry Cole (b. 15 December 1821)
  • Florence Mary Georgiana Cole (b. 4 June 1816)
  • Louisa Catherine Cole (16 August 1818 – 14 October 1878)
  • Frances Maria Frederica Cole (b. 9 April 1824)
  • Henrietta Anne Paulina Cole (b. 6 October 1826)

His elder brother John Willoughby Cole married Lady Charlotte Paget, the daughter of Henry Paget, 1st Earl of Uxbridge.

His other siblings were:[1]

He lived at Highfield House in Hampshire, adjacent to the Stratfield Saye estate of his friend the Duke of Wellington.


  1. ^ a b Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 1329. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  2. ^ a b c d "Lowry Cole". Queen's Royal Surreys. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  3. ^ War Office, Army Lists
  4. ^ Philippart, J., ed. 1820. The Royal Military Calendar, or Army Service and Commission Book, Containing the Services and Progress of Promotion of the Generals, Lieutenant-Generals, Major-Generals, Colonels, Lieutenant-Colonels, and Majors of the Army, According to Seniority: With Details of Principal Military Events of the Last Century, Vol.2. 3rd edition. London, UK: T. Egerton, and Sherwood, Neely and Jones. 5 Volumes.
  5. ^ Cole, John William (1856). "Memoirs of British Generals distinguished during the Peninsular War". London, R. Bentley.
  6. ^ "Fort Hill Park and Cole's Monument". Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  7. ^ Burke, Burnard, ed. (1880). A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. Vol. 42, Part 1. London. p. 456.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  8. ^ Cole, James Edwin (1877). The Genealogy of the Family of Cole: of the County of Devon, and of Those of Its Branches Which Settled in Suffolk, Hampshire, Surrey, Lincolnshire, and Ireland. London.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)


External links

Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Enniskillen
With: Arthur Cole-Hamilton
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Fermanagh
With: Mervyn Archdall
Succeeded by
Military offices
Preceded by GOC Northern District
Succeeded by
Preceded by Governor of Gravesend and Tilbury
Office abolished
Preceded by Governor of Mauritius
Succeeded by
Preceded by Governor of the Cape Colony
Succeeded by
Preceded by Colonel of the 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Sir John Maclean
Preceded by Colonel of the 70th (Glasgow Lowland) Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by