General Francis Lascelles

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General Francis Lascelles, son of Edward Lascelles and Frances Ball, was born at Bridgetown, Barbados, 1 November 17441 and baptized at St. Michael's Parish, Barbados, 19 December 1744.1 He died at Little Ealing, Middlesex, England, 2 September 1799, at age 54,2 and was buried in the church of St. Mary Magdalene, Richmond, Surrey, England, 13 September 1799.3

Francis probably secretly married (if they formally married at all) Ann Catley, daughter of Robert Catley, about 1766.2,4

His “marriage” to Ann or Anne Catley may never have actually occurred, judging from the wording of Anne Cately's will, written 13 October 1788 at Little Ealing. Signed "Anne Cateley", she left the entire estate ("amounting to some £5,000") to her children (1 Francis, 2 Rowley, 3 Frances, 4 Charlotte, 5 Jane, 6 George R, 7 Elizabeth, 8 Edward Robert), and appointed "their father", Major-General Francis Lascelles, as executor. It was probated 23 October 1789; executor, Francis Lascelles Esq. - He deposed an affidavit dated Oct. 22, 1789 referring to her as "spinster", formerly of the parish of St Pancras, but late of Ealing. In those days, if she had truly married Lascelles, her money and property would have belonged to him. There may also have been an earlier marriage to someone who left and never returned. Without a divorce, she would have been legally unable to marry. Collins's Peerage (1812 edition by Brydges) also notes he died unmarried, without mentioning the children he had by Cately.

Edwin Lascelles, Baron of Harewood (his half-cousin) ; died without heirs in 1795, leaving a fortune of at least £50,000 a year - £16,000 in Yorkshire, £25,000 in the West Indies - £200,000 at 3% interest plus the value of property. His widow gets £4,000 a year for life (and has about £20,000 disposable); and Gen. Francis Lascelles £2,000 a year for life and £10,000, the bulk of Edwin's estate however passed to Edward Lascelles, Francis Lascelles elder brother - £30,000 a year and £200,000 in money. Apparently there was some negotiation between the baron and his cousins, and Francis was under consideration to receive the major portion of the inheritance. However, if having not married Anne Catley, all of his children were illegitimate, and that would never do for a family that had risen to the stature of the Lascelles.

General Lascelles was present at the marriage of his son, Rowley Lascelles and Elizabeth Gould Morgan on 10 March 1795 at St. George's, Hanover Square, London; "Lieut. Lascelles of the 11th dragoons, 2nd son of Lt.-Gen. Lascelles." 2nd witness: Charles Morgan, bride a resident "of this parish."

There are some letters still extant that he sent in April 1795 from Canterbury to a Mr Cobb and Major-General Grinfield.

Apparently, someone tried to kidnap one of his sons: “(William) Francis Lascelles was Theft from his father, General Lascelles's house - accused found not guilty on 30 April 1796 at Edward's Mews.”

He may have been a capable officer, and certainly had a very successful career, rising to the rank of General, but he may not have had much experience in leading troops in the field. The British were engaged in a truly world war with the French and in the Americas during his career, yet he seems to have remained in England or Ireland the entire time. The British Army officer corps operated under what was known as “The Purchase System” under which officers essentially bought their next rank when the superior moved up (by the same mechanism). Also, the higher ranks were more valuable, and hence more costly. Being one of the wealthiest officers in the Army, that was not a problem for General Francis Lascelles, and advancing in rank was simply a matter of finding a vacancy.5

In the various regiments he was assigned to, General Lascelles was appointed:
     Capt. in the 17th light dragoons on 13 December 1761
     Aide-de-camp to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1763
     Major in the 8th dragoons in June 1764
     Lt. Colonel of dragoons and went to Ireland to join his regiment, May 1768
     Lt.-Col. of the King's Own dragoons, 8 May 1780
     Colonel of the 8th Light Dragoons, 17 March 1789
     The Star reported that "Gen. Lascelles has taken upon him the command of the troops stationed at Canterbury," 14 April 1795
     Colonel of the Third (or King's Own) Regiment of Dragoons, 23 March 17976

In the ranks of the British Army he had a similar progression, being appointed:
     Colonel, 29 August 17777
     Major General, 20 November 17827
     Lt. General, 12 October 17937
     General, 1 January 1798.7

He was appointed Groom to the bedchamber of George III, about 1779.

His will is dated 17 March 1797 at Edward St., Portman Square when he was of Little Ealing, and noted himself a Lt.-General at the time.

He died 2 September 1799 at Little Ealing, Middlesex, at age 54. His estate was probated on 16 October 1799.2,8

General Francis Lascelles left a will 17 March 1797, proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 16 Oct 1799.

In the Name of God, Amen. I Francis Lascelles of Edward Short Boxman Square and of Little Ealing in the county of Middlesex and a Lieutenant General of His Majesty’s forces being of sound mind memory and understanding, praise be to God do make and publish this my last will and Testament in writing as [ ] following that is to say

First I direct that all my just Debts and funeral Expenses be fully paid and satisfied and after [ ] and subject thereto

I give to my daughters Frances Lascelles, Charlotte Lascelles, Jane Lascelles, and Elizabeth Lascelles all my plate, dinner china and household furniture which I may be possessed of at the time of my decease to be equally divided between them or such of them as may be those living and in case any difference should arise between them respecting with division my will is that my Executor herein after named shall sell the same by auction or otherwise and divide the money arising from such sale between my said daughters or the survivor of those.

And I give devise and bequeath unto my Brother Eward Lascelles Esquire his heirs Executors or Administrators all my [ ] Estate at Little Ealing aforesaid and all other my Real and personal Estate and Effects whatsoever and wheresoever (except as aforesaid) where of I am now seized possessed of or entitled unto or which I may be seized, possessed of or entitled unto at the time of my decease.

And my Will and [ ] is that my said Executor shall and do with all [ ][ ] after my decease sell and dispose thereof to the best advantage and pay and divide the money arising therefrom as also all such other sums of money as I may die possessed of or be entitled unto at the time of my decease: equally between and among all my children Francis Lascelles, Rowley Lascelles, Frances Lascelles, Charlotte Lascelles, Jane Lascelles, George Robert Lascelles, Elizabeth Lascelles, and Edward Robert Lascelles share and share alike the [ ] of such of them as now have attained the age of twenty one years in my lifetime to be paid within six months [ ] after my decease and my will and [ ] further [ ] that my said executor do and shall [ ] out the share or shares of such of those my said children as shall be under the age of twenty one years at the time of my decease in Government or quality securities at Interest and so and shall pay and apply the Interest and Income arising therefrom in their [maintenance] education and advancement in life until they shall respectively attain their ages of twenty one years but in case of the death of either of my said children previous to his [ ] or their attaining their said age or ages of twenty one years unmarried and without lawful issue then I give and bequeath the share or shares of them [ ] or those so dying [ ] to and amongst the survivors and survivor of them to be equally divided between them share and share alike in like [ ] and with the like benefit of Survivorship and [ ] before [ ] concerning [ ] or their orginal share of my said estate and effects

and I so hereby nominate constitute and appoint the said Edward Lascelles sole executor of this my last Will and Testament and I so hereby authorize and empower my said executor to reimburse himself all such [need]full and necessary expenses as he may be put unto in and about the execution of this my will and hereby revoking all former and other wills by me at any time heretofore made I so publish and declare ths to be my last Will and Testament in Witness where of I the said Francis Lascelles the Testator have to his my last Will and Testament contained in two sheets of paper set my hand and seal (that is to say my hand to the first sheet and my hand and seal to the second and last sheet [ ] this seventeenth day of March one thousand seven hundred and ninety seven—

Francis Lascelles Signed Sealed Published and declared by the said Testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who in his presence and at his request and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses hereto Joseph Roth Chas [ ]

This Will was proved at London the sixteenth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety nine before the worshipful John [ ] Doctor of Laws Surrogate of the Right Honorable Sir William Wynn Knight also Doctor of Laws Master Keeper or Commissary of this Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the oath of the Right Honorable Edward Baron Harewood formerly Edward Lascelles Esquire (by mistake in the will written Lascellos) the brother of the deceased the sole executor named in the said will to whom administration was granted for all and singular the goods chattels and credits of the said deceased having been first sworn duly to administer.9

Family

Ann Catley b. 1745, d. 14 Oct 1789
Children
  • Francis Lascelles2 b. 25 Nov 1768, d. bef. 1876
  • Edward Paoli Lascelles2 b. 25 Aug 1770
  • Hugh Lascelles2 b. 6 Jul 1772
  • Frances Lascelles2 b. 18 Apr 1774, d. 11 Aug 1841
  • Rowley Lascelles2 b. 20 Feb 1775, d. 2 Apr 1843
  • Jane Lascelles+10,2 b. 19 Aug 1776, d. 22 Jul 1863
  • George Lascelles2 b. aft. 1778, d. 1824
  • Charlotte Lascelles2 b. abt. 1780, d. 26 Feb 1832
  • Elizabeth Lascelles2 b. 30 Nov 1784, d. 29 Jul 1828
  • Edward Robert Lascelles2 b. 29 Jun 1787, d. 30 Sep 1815

Citations

  1. [S415] Joanne McRee Sanders, compiler, Barbados Records: Baptisms, 1637-1800 (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1984), 117, further cited as Barbados Baptisms.
  2. [S265] Martin and Caroline Davis' Families Person Page 8, online http://www.freerangephotography.co.uk/MMDgenealogy-p/p8.htm#i1027, further cited as Lascelles Biography.
  3. [S1964] Ancestry.com, Surrey, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812, (on-line database), Provo, Utah:, Ancestry.com Operations, 2013, P7/1/5. Original data: Anglican Parish Registers, Woking, Surrey, England: Surrey History Centre, further cited as Surrey Baptisms, Marriages and Burials.
  4. [S264] Anne Catley ( 1745 - 1789 ), online http://www.rebus.demon.co.uk/biogs/a_catley.htm, further cited as Cately Biography.
  5. [S594] Anthony Bruce, The Purchase System in the British Army, 1660-1871 (London: Royal Historical Society, 1980), 6-40, further cited as Bruce, The Purchase System in the British Army.
  6. [S850] A List of the Officers of the Army and Marines; with an Index: A Succession of Colonels; and a List of the Officers of the Army and Marines on Half-pay; Also with an Index (England: British War Office, 1798), 61, further cited as Officers of the Army and Marines.
  7. [S850] Officers of the Army and Marines, 3.
  8. [S937] Sir Egerton Brydges, Collins's Peerage of England; Genealogical, Biographical, and Historical: Greatly Augmented, and Continued to the Present Time, 9 vols. (London: [T. Bensley], 1812), 8:514, further cited as Brydges, Collins's Peerage.
  9. [S949] Somerset House, London, England, Probate Records, 1383-1857, Francis Lascelles, Lieutenant General of His Majesty's Forces of Edward Street Portman Square, Middlesex, FHL microfilm Howe, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, further cited as PCC Probate.
  10. [S1695] City Library, Westminster, Middlesex, Parish registers for St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church, Westminster, 1550-1926, Baptisms:33, FHL microfilm 561144, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, further cited as Parish Registers for St. Martin-in-the-Fields.