Online Encyclopedia

SIR GEORGE DE LACY EVANS (1787–1870)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V10, Page 2 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR GEORGE DE LACY EVANS (1787–1870), British soldier, was born at Moig, Limerick, in 1787. He was educated at Woolwich Academy, and entered the army in 1806 as a volunteer, obtaining an ensigncy in the 22nd regiment in 1807. His early service was spent in India, but he exchanged into the 3rd Light Dragoons in order to take part in the Peninsular War, and was present in the retreat from Burgos in 1812. In 1813 he was at Vittoria, and was afterwards employed in making a military survey of the passes of the Pyrenees. He took part in the campaign of 1814, and was present at Pampeluna, the Nive and Toulouse; and later in the year he served with great distinction on the staff in General Ross's Bladensburg campaign, and took part in the capture of Washington and of Baltimore and the • operations before New Orleans. He returned to England in the spring of 1815, in time to take part in the Waterloo campaign as assistant quartermaster-general on Sir T. Picton's staff. As a member of the staff of the duke of Wellington he accompanied the English army to Paris, and remained there during the occupation of the city by the allies. He was still a substantive captain in the 5th West India regiment, though a lieutenant-colonel by brevet, when he went on half-pay in 1818. In 1830 he was elected M.P. for Rye in the Liberal interest; but in the election of 1832 he was an unsuccessful candidate both for that borough and for Westminster. For the latter constituency he was, however, returned in 1833, and, except in the parliament of 1841–1846, he continued to represent it till i865, when he retired from political life. His parliamentary duties did not, however, interfere with his career as a soldier. In 1835 he went out to Spain in command of the Spanish Legion, recruited in England, and 9600 strong, which served for two years in the Carlist War on the side of the queen of Spain. In spite of great difficulties the legion won great distinction on the battlefields of northern Spain, and Evans was able to say that no prisoners had been taken from it in action, that it had never lost a gun or an equipage, and that it had taken 27 guns and 'too prisoners from the enemy. He received several Spanish orders, and on his return in 1839 was made a colonel and K.C.B. In 1846 he becamemajor-general; and in 1854, on the breaking-out of the Crimean War, he was made lieutenant-general and appointed to command the 2nd division of the Army of the East. At the battle of the Alma, where he received a severe wound, his quick comprehension of the features of the combat largely contributed to the victory. On the 26th of October he defeated a large Russian force which attacked his position on Mount Inkerman. .Illness and fatigue compelled him a few (lays after this to leave the command of his division in the hands of General Pennefather; but he rose from his sick-bed on the day of the battle of Inkerman, the 5th of November, and, declining to take the command of his division from Pennefather, aided him in the long-protracted struggle by his advice. On his return invalided to England in the following February, Evans received the thanks of the House of Commons. He was made a G.C.B., and the university of Oxford conferred on him the degree of D.C.L. In 1861 he was promoted to the full rank of general. He died in London on the 9th of January 187o.
End of Article: SIR GEORGE DE LACY EVANS (1787–1870)
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Additional information and Comments

I am writing this comment only in the hope that perhaps someone has some information which could help me prove or disprove that my family is a descendent of George De Lacy Evans. I realise that he was not married or supposed to have children but oral history tells a different story. I am rather intrigued by the story of George de Lacy Evans, as my great grandfather told his family, that his father was a famous general, knighted and with the name De lacy Evans. My mother remembers sitting on her father's knee and having the entry in the Debretts shown to her. We have a copy of a very old book 'The History of the British Legion' and this was owned by my great grandfather whose name was apparently changed to John Smith. John Smith was born around 1820 and came to Australia in 1848. I believe that about the time of John Smith's birth there were some doubts about the whereabouts of De Lacy Evans. According to the Portland Family History group John Smith arrived at Portland from Launceston per the schooner 'Brothers' (Captain Dockery) on the 30.6.1848. (source: Portland Guardian 3/7/1848) Prior to his arrival in the colony he served under General Espartero commanding the Spanish Forces in the reign of Isabella 11 in the first Carlist war. As Lieutenant he had command of the Forlorn Hope and was present at the surrender of the Carlist Army under General Marratta at Villa Franca. He left the army as a paid off soldier. Carlist wars- 1833-1839. (source: Portland Guardian 5/10/1880) I have tried for years to find some sort of link between my great grandfather and the general but I have not yet been able to find his birth details. When did John Smith come to Australia? Is this John Smith? Arrival of the Elizabeth and Henry From London 13th Feb 1848 to Tasmania 30th June 1848 Convicts on board Crew - John Smith (Source tal:1) Data base reference: e-63796 I realise you probably have more important research to do but if there is anyone you know who is researching this general,I would appreciate it if you could pass this email on. Marcia Cooper
George de Lacey/Lacy Evans was married to Josette )surname unknown. He is buried in Kensal Green Cemetery. He had a brother Major General Richard Evans. She was born in 1871 and died 1870.
check his grave site marker... your dates are off. http://www.historyhome.co.uk/forpol/crimea/evans.htm he was my great great grandfather and if you look at the site and photo of the grave marker you will note he had a wife that proceeded him in death... Riley David Evans
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