Online Encyclopedia

SIR WILLIAM FENWICK WILLIAMS

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 683 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR WILLIAM FENWICK WILLIAMS, Bart. (1800-1883), British general, second son of Commissary-General Thomas Williams, barrack-master at Halifax, Nova Scotia, was born at Annapolis, Nova Scotia, on the 4th of December 'Soo. He entered the Royal Artillery as second lieutenant in 1825. His services were lent to Turkey in 1841, and he was employed as a captain in the arsenal at Constantinople. He was British commissioner in the conferences preceding the treaty of Erzerum in 1847, and again in the settlement of the Turko-Persian boundary in 1848 (brevet majority and lieutenant-colonelcy and C.B.). Promoted colonel, he was British commissioner with the Turkish army in Anatolia in the Russian War of 1854-56, and, having been made a ferik (lieutenant-general) and a pasha, he practically commanded the Turks during the heroic defence of Kars, repulsing several Russian attacks and severely defeating the Russian general Muraviev in the battle of Kars on 29th September 1855• Cold, cholera, famine and hopelessness of succour from without, however, compelled Williams to make an honourable capitulation on the 28th of November following. A baronetcy with pension for life, the K.C.B., the grand cross of the Legion of Honour and of the Turkish Medjidie, the freedom of the City of London with a sword of honcur, and the honorary degree of D.C.L. of Oxford University, were the distinctions conferred upon him for his valour. Promoted major-general in November 1855 on his return from captivity in Russia, he held the Woolwich command, and represented the borough of Calne in parliament from 1856 to 1859. He became lieutenant-general and colonel-commandant Royal Artillery in 1864, general in 1868, commanded the forces in Canada from 1859 to 1865, held the governorship of Nova Scotia until 1870, and the governorship of Gibraltar until 1876. He was made G.C.B. in 1871, and Constable of the Tower of London in 1881. He died in London on the 26th of July 1883.
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