Cadogan, William, first Earl Cadogan 1675-1726, general, colonel 1st foot guards, was eldest son of Henry Cadogan, counsellor-at-law, of Dublin, and grandson of Major William Cadogan, governor of Trim [see Cadogan, William, major]. He was born in 1675 (see Doyle, Baronage), and is said to have fought as a boy cornet in King William's army at the passage of the Boyne. He obtained a commission in one of the regiments of Inniskilling dragoons, afterwards known as the 5th royal Irish dragoons (revived in 1858 as the 5th royal Irish lancers), with which he served under King William in the Irish and Flanders campaigns, and attracted the notice of Marlborough, who was twenty-five years his senior. When troops were sent from Ireland to Holland in 1701, Cadogan, then a major in the royal Irish dragoons, accompanied them as quartermaster-general. He was employed on special duty at Hamburg and elsewhere later in the same year, in connection with the movement of the Danish and Wurtemburg troops into Holland (Hist. MSS. Comm. 3rd Rep. 189-90). In April 1702, a month after King William's death, Marlborough was appointed generalissimo of the confederate armies, and fixed his headquarters at the Hague, taking as his quartermaster-general Cadogan, who became his most trusted subordinate. Cadogan's services in the ensuing campaign, ending with the fall of Liège and the retreat of the French behind the Mehaigne, were rewarded, on 2 March 1703 with the colonelcy of the regiment with which his name is chiefly identified, the 6th (later 2nd Irish) horse, (the present 5th dragoon guards), which became famous as Cadogan's Horse. In the winter of 1703-4 Cadogan was in England organising reinforcements. He returned to Holland in advance of Marlborough, and as quartermaster-general conducted the historic march into Bavaria, ending with the great victory at Blenheim, 13 Aug. 1704, and the no less admirably managed return movement of the army with its huge convoys of prisoners and wounded. During the campaign he was wounded and had his horse shot under him at the attack on Schellenburg, but was on the field at Blenheim in attendance on Marlborough. He was promoted brigadier-general on 25 Aug. 1704, and his name figures in the distribution-list of the queen's bounty for Blenheim, for the sums of 90l. as brigadier-general, 60l. as quartermaster-general, and 123l. as colonel of a regiment of horse and captain of a troop therein (Treasury Papers, xciii. 79). In the following year Cadogan's Horse won great distinction at the forcing of the enemy's lines between Helixem and Neerwinden. Big men mounted on big horses, they drove the famous Bavarian horse-grenadier guards off the field, capturing four of their standards (Cannon, Hist. Rec. 5th Drag. Gds. p. 28). Popular accounts relate that the charge was led by Cadogan in person. After fulfilling special missions at Vienna and in Hanover, Cadogan was present at the victory at Ramillies on 23 May 1706. A plan of the order of battle, now in the British Museum (Brit. Mus. Maps, 31860/324), shows that he held no separate command on that day. But immediately afterwards he was sent with a body of horse and foot to occupy Ghent and to summon Antwerp, services speedily accomplished. The garrison of the latter city, consisting of six French and six Spanish regiments, was permitted to march out, and the keys of the city were handed to Cadogan, their first surrender since they were delivered up to the Duke of Parma, after a twelve-month's leaguer, two centuries before. Cadogan was promoted to major-general on 1 June 1706. The supply of the army was then included among the multifarious duties of Cadogan's department, and on 16 Aug. following, while making a forage near Tournay, in the combined capacities of a cavalry commander and quartermaster-general, he was captured by the enemy, but released on parole three days later and soon afterwards exchanged. Later in the year he was engaged in the delicate task of quartering the confederate troops of different nationalities for the winter (see Marlb. Desp. iii. 175). In February 1707 he was entrusted on his return from London with the task of explaining to the Dutch deputies the English view of the next campaign (ib. p. 369). Later in the year he was accredited envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the States of Holland in the absence of Mr. Stepney, whom he succeeded in the post, retaining his military appointments. He arrived at Brussels in that capacity on 29 Nov. 1707 (London Gazette, No. 4390). On 11 May 1705 he had been returned for the borough of New Woodstock, Oxfordshire—probably on Marlborough's nomination—in the parliament which (after the union with Scotland) was proclaimed on 29 April 1707, the first parliament of Great Britain (see Lists of Members of Parliament). He was re-chosen for the same place in four succeeding parliaments. In February 1708 Cadogan was at Ostend, superintending the embarkation of ten regiments for home, in view of the rumoured French descent on Scotland from Dunkirk (Marlb. Desp. iii. 680, 689). He commanded the van of the army in the operations which led up to the great battle at Oudenarde on 11 July 1708, on which occasion he commenced the action by crossing the Scheldt and vigorously attacking the village of Hayem, which was carried and four out of seven opposing battalions made prisoners. Afterwards he was employed in convoying supplies from Ostend to the army during the siege of Lille. He was promoted to lieutenant-general on 1 Jan. 1709. Early in that year Cadogan was sent by Marlborough to see that the troops in Flanders were ready for the forthcoming campaign. In a list of general officers of the confederate armies, forwarded by Marlborough to the French headquarters in July, Cadogan's name appears at the end of the lieutenant-generals of cavalry (ib. iv. 538). His services during the year included the siege of Menin, where an incident occurred which has been variously told. The version given by the historian of the Grenadier guards—who says that it is commemorated by a centrepiece of plate in possession of the present Earl Cadogan—is that Marlborough, attended by Cadogan and a numerous staff, was reconnoitring the enemy's position at close quarters, and having dropped his glove requested Cadogan to dismount and pick it up, which was instantly done. Returned to camp and the staff dismissed, he asked Cadogan if he remembered the incident, adding that he wished a battery to be erected on the spot, but did not like to speak of it openly. Cadogan replied that he had already given the order, and on Marlborough expressing surprise rejoined that he knew his chief to be too much a gentleman to make such a request without good hidden reason (Hamilton, Hist. Gren. Gds. ii. 48). Cadogan was present at the battle of Malplaquet on 11 Sept. 1709, and was sent after the battle to confer with the French commanders respecting provision for the wounded. Immediately afterwards he was detached with a corps of infantry, two hundred guns, and fifty mortars to commence the siege of Mons, where he was dangerously wounded in the neck and his aide-de-camp killed by his side while the troops were breaking ground. In January 1710 he was present at a conference with the Dutch deputies at the Hague, after which he was again at Brussels. A volume of correspondence relating to affairs in 1709-10, chiefly autograph letters from Brussels in Cadogan's large, plain hand, is among the Foreign Office Records in the Public Record Office, London (F. O. Rec. Flanders, Nos. 132-5), in one of which he expresses his intention of following the fortunes, good or bad, of the great man to whom I am under such infinite obligations; adding, I would be a monster if I did otherwise. Marlborough's influence was at this time fast declining. Cadogan shared his leader's unpopularity, and by the end of the year was removed from his diplomatic post, to Marlborough's great displeasure. Swift, who appears to have known Cadogan's family, mentions in a Letter to Stella, in December 1710, that there was a rumour of his being dispossessed of the lieutenancy of the Tower to make way for Jack Hill, brother of the queen's new favourite, Mrs. Masham (Swift, Works, ii. 477)
     The lieutenancy of the Tower of London was conferred on Cadogan in December 1706, and he held it till January 1713. Returning to his staff duties Cadogan rendered important services at the siege of Douay. At the head of some squadrons of his cuirassiers—cuirasses, laid aside at the peace of Ryswick, had by this time been resumed by Cadogan's and other regiments of horse—he took a prominent part in maneuvring the enemy out of their lines at Arlieux, and so preparing the way for the important siege of Bouchain, the details of which were entrusted by Marlborough to Cadogan. The place capitulated in September 1711. Bouchain was Marlborough's last victory. When the Duke of Ormonde succeeded to the command of the army, Cadogan found his name omitted from the list of lieutenant-generals appointed to divisional commands; but, at his own request, he made the campaign of 1712 as quartermaster-general. When the troops reached Dunkirk on their homeward route, Cadogan retired to Holland. Marlborough followed him into exile in November 1712. For his share in the reception accorded to his old chief on setting foot upon Dutch soil Cadogan was called upon to resign his offices and employments under the crown. He appears to have sold the colonelcy of his regiment to Major-general Kellum, a veteran who had served with the regiment since its first formation in 1685, for the sum of 3,000l. (Cannon, Hist. Rec. 5th Drag. Gds.). As the recognised medium of communication between the English whigs and the German states interested in the Hanoverian succession, Cadogan was busily engaged in the political intrigues and counter-intrigues at home and abroad which marked the next two years
     Before the death of Queen Anne, on 1 Aug. 1714, he had returned to London. With the customary issue of commissions under the new sign-manual Cadogan was reinstated in his former rank as lieutenant-general. The commission, with the date left blank, probably by design, is still extant (Home Office, Mil. Commissions, i.). He was appointed master of the king's robes, and colonel of the Coldstream guards, the latter appointment bearing date 11 Aug. 1714. He was re-chosen for the fifth time for the borough of Woodstock, and was accredited as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the States General of Holland
     On 31 Aug. 1715 Cadogan was appointed governor of the Isle of Wight. On 15 Nov. (new style) 1715 he signed at the Hague the (third) barrier treaty between England, Holland, and Germany, whereby the empire recognised the Hanoverian succession to the British crown. When the exceptionally severe winter of that year brought news of the rising in the north in favour of the Pretender, Cadogan obtained from the States a contingent of 6,000 Dutch troops, with which he embarked and pushed on to Scotland, to serve as second in command under the Duke of Argyll, whose forces had driven the rebels back, but whom Cadogan found unwilling to act vigorously. On the urgent representations of Marlborough Argyll was recalled, and Cadogan appointed to the chief command. The vigorous measures which followed speedily ended the rebellion, and early in May 1716 Cadogan handed over the command to Brigadier Sabine and proceeded to London, where, on 29 June, he was invested with the order of the Thistle at a chapter held at St. James's Palace. Next day, 30 June, he was raised to the peerage as Baron Cadogan of Reading. The preamble of the patent, setting forth Cadogan's many services, is given in Collins's ‘Peerage’ (2nd ed. v. 412). The same year he became high steward of Reading (Coates, Hist. of Reading, App.). Returning to his post at the Hague, he signed, on 4 Jan. 1716-7, the treaty of the Triple Alliance between Great Britain, France, and Holland. After attending George I on a visit to Hanover, the diplomatic duties at the Hague being meanwhile performed by Mr. Leathes, secretary at Brussels, Cadogan came to England with the king, and was sworn of the privy council on 17 March 1717, and on 12 July following was promoted to general ‘of all and singular the foot forces employed or to be employed in our service’ (Home Office, Mil. Entry Books, xi. 219). About the same time a vexatious indictment was brought against him in the lower house, in the shape of charges of fraud and embezzlement in connection with the transport of the Dutch troops to the Thames and Humber during the rising in the north. These were preferred by certain Jacobite members, to whom his success in Scotland had made him particularly obnoxious. The spiteful attack was urged with grotesque vehemence by Shippen, who was supported by Walpole and Pulteney, and opposed by Stanhope, Craggs, Lechmere, the new attorney-general, and others, and evidence in vindication of Cadogan was given at the bar of the house (see Boyer, Political State, i. 697-794). But the motion was only lost by a majority of ten. Cadogan resumed his diplomatic duties in Holland during the year.
     On his return home, 8 May 1718, he was elevated to an earldom, with the titles of Earl Cadogan, Viscount Caversham, and Baron Cadogan of Oakley, the last title with remainder, in default of male issue, to his brother Charles [see below]. After this he was again engaged at Brussels and the Hague in negotiations with the imperialist ministers and the Dutch representatives relative to the working of the (third) barrier treaty. Writing to Lord Stair, under date 10 March 1719, Lord Stanhope says: ‘Good Lord Cadogan, though he has made the utmost professions of friendship and deference to other people's measures, has certainly blown the coals; he has a notion of being premier ministre, which I believe you will with me think a very Irish idea’ (Hist. MSS. Comm. 2nd Rep. 189). In February 1720 Cadogan was despatched to Vienna with final instructions (dated 20 Feb. (old style) and superseding earlier instructions of 24 Nov. (o.s.) 1719) to treat with the Austrian court of northern affairs and of the Barrier Treaty.
     Upon the death of the Duke of Marlborough in June 1722, Cadogan succeeded to the post of master-general of the ordnance. He became colonel of 1st foot guards from 18 June 1722; and was appointed a commissioner of Chelsea Hospital. His detractors accused him of appearing at Marlborough's funeral pageant indecorously dressed and betraying his want of sympathy by his looks and gestures. This was probably a malicious invention; but it gave the point to some savagely sarcastic lines by Bishop Atterbury, which are quoted by Horace Walpole (Letters, vii. 230). Atterbury having heard that at the time of his committal to the Tower Cadogan had declared that he ought to be flung to the lions, retorted in a letter to Pope with the lines describing Cadogan as ‘ungrateful to th' ungrateful man he grew by, A big, bad, bold, blustering, bloody, blundering booby.’ The year that witnessed the death of Marlborough saw likewise a revival of the Jacobite plots, including schemes for tampering with the Tower garrison and seizing on the Tower and Bank. Apprised of these projects, the government prevailed on the king to postpone an intended visit to Hanover, and to retire to Kensington Palace, an encampment of the whole of the guards being formed for his protection close by, in Hyde Park, under the personal command of Cadogan. In November 1722 the camp was broken up. When the king embarked for Hanover, Cadogan was appointed one of the lords justices. The military records of his rule as commander-in-chief and master-general of the ordnance present little of interest. The chief event of his remaining years was his litigation with the widowed Duchess of Marlborough respecting a sum of 50,000l., which the duke at the time of his exile had entrusted to him to place in the Dutch funds. Cadogan, with the best intentions, had invested the money in Austrian securities, which at the time appeared more advantageous. These, however, had greatly depreciated, and the duchess, whose letters betray a querulous feeling towards Cadogan, having insisted on reimbursement, Cadogan, who had not applied the money to the specific purpose for which it was entrusted to him, was obliged to make good the deficiency at heavy loss.
     In his early days at the Hague, Cadogan married Margaretta, daughter of William Munter, counsellor of the court of Holland, and niece of Adam Tripp of Amsterdam, by whom he had two daughters, the Lady Sarah, afterwards married to the second duke of Richmond, and the Lady Margaretta, who married Count Bentinck, second son of William, earl of Portland. The countess long survived her husband, and died at the Hague in October 1749, aged 75.
     Cadogan died at his house at Kensington Gravel Pits, then a rural village, on Sunday, 17 July 1726. In accordance with a wish expressed in his will he was buried privately at night in Henry VII's Chapel in Westminster Abbey, on Thursday, 21 July. A notice of his death appears in ‘Lettres Historiques’ for September 1726 (Hague), and some memoranda relating to his Dutch estates are among the Portland papers in the British Museum (Egerton MS. 1708, f. 43).
     Personally Cadogan was a big, burly Irishman. A portrait, painted by Laguerre, representing him in a light-coloured wig and a suit of silver armour worn over his scarlet uniform, is in the National Portrait Gallery. Horatio, lord Walpole, who was associated with him in some of his diplomatic missions at the Hague, describes him as rash and impetuous as a diplomatist, lavish of promises when a present difficulty was to be removed, and prone to think that pen and sword were to be wielded with equal fierceness. He also says that Cadogan needlessly irritated the Dutch republic by his zeal in promoting the election of the Prince of Orange to the Stadtholdership of Groningen, and affronted the citizens of Antwerp by threatening in convivial moments to make them follow their neighbours' example (Coxe, Life of Lord Walpole, pp. 9-10). Upon occasions he seems to have displayed much magnificence. The papers of the period speak of the splendour of some of his entertainments when ambassador in Holland, and a news-letter of 1724 mentions his appearance at the drawing-room on the prince's birthday ‘very rich in jewels.’ As a soldier Cadogan must be ranked among the ablest staff officers the British army has produced. The confidence reposed in his judgment by Marlborough and the high opinions expressed of him by Prince Eugene and other foreign officers of note bespeak his high capacity; he brought energy and skill to bear upon the details of his great leader's plans, and showed eminent administrative ability in performing the duties of a quartermaster-general.
     Charles Cadogan 1691-1776, who succeeded his brother as Baron Cadogan of Oakley, entered the army in 1706, in the Coldstream guards. He served in some of Marlborough's later campaigns and in Scotland in 1715. He sat in two parliaments for Reading (1716-22), and afterwards for Newport, Isle of Wight (1722-6). He purchased the colonelcy of the 4th ‘king's own’ foot in 1719, in 1734 became colonel of the 6th Inniskilling dragoons, and was governor of Sheerness 1749-52 and of Gravesend and Tilbury 1751 till death. He married a daughter of Sir Hans Sloane, with which alliance commenced the connection of the Cadogan family with the borough of Chelsea. At his death, which occurred at his residence in Bruton Street, on 24 Sept. 1776, at the age of 85 (see Foster, Peerage), Charles, lord Cadogan, was a general, colonel of the 2nd troop of horse guards, governor of Gravesend and Tilbury Fort, a F.R.S., and a trustee of the British Museum. His only son, Charles Sloane, was created Viscount Chelsea and Earl Cadogan 27 Dec. 1800.

     Earl Cadogan's name has not been found in the early volumes of Irish Military Entry Books in the Dublin Record Office, odd volumes of which go back to 1697. His later commissions and appointments, subsequent to 1715, appear in the Home Office Military Entry Books and the Treasury and Ordnance Warrant Books, under date, in Public Record Office, London. Notices of his services occur incidentally in Lediard's Life of Marlborough; in Coxe's Life of Marlborough, the preface to which indicates various sources of information; in the Marlborough Despatches, edited by Sir George Murray; in the London Gazettes of the period; in Lettres Historiques, published at the Hague, of which there is a complete series in the British Museum; in the published records of various regiments of cavalry and infantry which served in Marlborough's campaigns and can be traced through the Army List; in Correspondence of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, 1834; and in Lord Mahon's History of England, vol. i., where is a very impartial account of the campaign in Scotland in 1715. The statements in the Stuart and Hanover papers, in Original Papers, by Macpherson, must be received with much reservation. Clode's observations on the military expenditure of the period, in Military Forces of the Crown, i. 118-24, deserve attention, and many of the military entries in the printed Calendars of Treasury Papers for the period indirectly illustrate the impecunious condition of the service at home at the time. The British Museum Cat. Printed Books, which has over 120 entries under the name of the first Duke of Marlborough, has but one under that of the first Earl Cadogan¾a printed copy of a diplomatic note respecting a British vessel pillaged by the Dutch at Curaçoa in 1715. Among the biographical notices of Cadogan which have appeared, mention may be made of those in Collins's Peerage, 2nd ed., v. 450, &c.; Grainger's Biog. Hist. vol. iii.; Timbs's Georgian Era, vol. ii.; General Sir Frederick Hamilton's Origin and Hist. 1st or Grenadier Gds. vol. ii.; Cannon's Hist. Rec. 5th Drag. Gds. A memoir which appeared in Colburn's United Service Mag. January-April 1872, headed ‘Marlborough's Lieutenants,’ is chiefly noticeable for its numberless errors and misstatements. Manuscript information is more abundant. Among the materials in the Public Records are: Foreign Office Records¾Flanders, Nos. 132-5, correspondence from Brussels in 1709-10; ditto, Flanders, No. 146, similar correspondence in 1714-15; ditto, Holland, Nos. 368, 372, 375, 379, 381-2, 386-8, 391-4, 400-1; correspondence of various dates relating to Cadogan's services in Holland; ditto, Germany, Nos. 214-15, 216, the first two containing Cadogan's correspondence during his embassy at Vienna with M. St. Saporta, secretary of the Venetian Republic. Home Office Papers, besides the information in the Military Entry Books, contain in the Warrant and Letter Books sundry entries relative to Cadogan's diplomatic services. In British Museum manuscripts may be noted: Add. MSS. 21494, ff. 64, 68, 72, letters dated 1703; 22196, a large volume of correspondence, chiefly diplomatic, between Cadogan and Lord Raby, British representative at Berlin, covering the period 1703-10, where in one letter Raby incidentally recalls early days in Dublin, ‘when you was really a poet,’ and in another bespeaks Cadogan's intercession for a prisoner at Spandau, an artillery officer known to them both at the siege of Kingsale; 28329, correspondence with Lady Seaforth during the Scottish campaign in 1715 (see also Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. viii. 445); 20319, f. 39, letter on embassy to the Hague in 1718; 28155, f. 299, letter to Admiral Sir John Norris in 1719; 29315, f. 35, letter to the Duke of Grafton in 1721. Also Add. Ch. 16154, patent of barony of Oakley, and 6300, appointment as plenipotentiary at Vienna. Cadogan's correspondence and other papers preserved in private manuscript collections will be found indexed in Hist. MSS. Comm. Reps., vol. ii., under ‘Cadogan,’ vol. iii. under ‘Cadogan’ with various prefixes, and under ‘the Hague,’ in vols. vi. and vii. under ‘Cadogan,’ in vol. viii., where the Marlborough MSS., containing a mass of unpublished material, are reported upon, although Cadogan's name figures once only in the index, and in vol. ix.; correspondence and news-letters under heading ‘Cadogan.’

Contributor: H. M. C. [Henry Manners Chichester]

Published: 1886