Forbes Champagné

Lt.-Gen. Forbes Champagné (2 July 1754 – 23 October 1816) was a British Army officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War and served as Commander-in-Chief of the British Indian Army, 1807–11.

Forbes Champagné
Born2 July 1754[1]
Clonmacnoise, County Offaly, Kingdom of Ireland
Died23 October 1816(1816-10-23) (aged 62)[2]
Mitcham, London[3]
Church of St. Peter & St. Paul, Mitcham
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
RankLieutenant General
Commands heldBritish Indian Army
Battles/warsAmerican Revolutionary War


Champagné was born into a family of French Huguenot exiles in Ireland,[1] the son of the Very Rev. Arthur de Robillard Champagné, Dean of Clonmacnoise, and Marianne Hamon, daughter of Colonel Isaac Hamon. His paternal great-grandfather was Chevalier Josias de Robillard, Seigneur de Champagné de Torxé, Saintonge,[4] who fled to Holland after the Edict of Fontainebleau in 1685,[5] joining William of Orange's army. He married Marie de la Rochefoucauld of the noble house of the same name. Their daughter Susanne married Henri de la Motte-Fouqué, baron de Saint-Seurin et de Tonnay-Boutonne, and was mother of Heinrich August de la Motte Fouqué. Their eldest son, Josias de Robillard (Forbes' grandfather), distinguished himself at a young age in service of Major-General Isaac de Monceau de la Melonière, who commanded a regiment of exiles in William's army during the Irish campaigns.[1] He married Lady Jane Forbes, daughter of Arthur Forbes, 2nd Earl of Granard.[6]

Forbes had three brothers: General Sir Josiah Champagné; Rev. Arthur Champagné, vicar of Castlelyons; and Rev. George Champagné, Canon of Windsor and Rector of Twickenham. He had six sisters, including Jane, who married the Earl of Uxbridge; Henrietta, wife of Sir Erasmus Dixon Borrowes, 6th Baronet; and Marianne, wife of Sir Charles des Voeux, 1st Baronet.[1][6]

Military career

Champagné was commissioned into the 4th Regiment of Foot in 1773.[7] He served in the Southern Colonies during the American Revolutionary War[8] and took part in the Battle of Wetzell's Mill in 1781.[9] By 1796 he had been appointed Commanding Officer of the 20th Regiment of Foot.[10]

He was Commander-in-Chief, India from 1807 to 1811 during which time he was promoted to Lieutenant-General.[11]

He also became Colonel of the 1st Battalion of the 95th Regiment of Foot.[12]

He lived in Merton[13] and died on 23 October 1816.[14]


  1. Agnew, David Carnegie Andrew (1871). Protestant Exiles from France in the Reign of Louis XIV: Or, The Huguenot Refugees and Their Descendants in Great Britain and Ireland. Reeves & Turner. p. 127. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  2. Surrey, England, Church of England Burials, 1813-1987
  3. "Lieutenant General Forbes Champagne 1816". The Queen's Royal Surrey Regimental Association. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  4. Revue de Saintonge & d'Aunis: bulletin de la Société des archives (in French). 1890. p. 298. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  5. Brady, William Maziere (1864). Clerical and Parochial Records of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross. p. 98. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  6. Burke, John Bernard (1845). A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. H. Colburn. p. 451. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  7. "No. 11364". The London Gazette. 22 June 1773. p. 1.
  8. Southern Campaigns in the Revolutionary War
  9. The American Revolution in North Carolina
  10. Reminiscences of my military life from 1795 to 1818, by Charles Steevens
  11. "No. 16390". The London Gazette. 24 July 1810. p. 1093.
  12. British Regiments and the Men Who Led Them 1793-1815: 95th Regiment of Foot Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  13. Bulletin 168 Merton Historical Society, December 2008
  14. The Paget Brothers 1790-1840

Military offices
New regiment Colonel of the 8th Garrison Battalion
Succeeded by
John Despard
Preceded by
Sir George Hewett
Commander-in-Chief, India
Succeeded by
Sir George Nugent
New regiment Colonel-Commandant of the 1st Battalion,
95th Regiment of Foot

Succeeded by
Sir Brent Spencer
Preceded by
Sir Lowry Cole
Colonel of the 70th (Glasgow Lowland) Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Sir Kenneth Howard
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