Correspondence between Lt. Col. Charles Hotham and Major Gen. Granville Elliott

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

A collection of letters and documents exchanged between Lieutenant Colonel Charles Hotham and Major General Granville Elliott during the Seven Years War. Also includes other related documents from other individuals sent during the same period. The documents span from June 1758 to July 1759, but the main exchange of letters took place during the period April 1759 to June 1759.

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles Hotham, eldest son of Beaumont Hotham, was born in 1729. He became an ensign in 1746 and, later, aide-de-camp of Lord Albemarle and then Sir John Ligonier. He was promoted to adjutant general with the rank of lieutenant colonel and went with the expedition to St Malo to join Prince Ferdinand, remaining in Germany until the Peace of Paris. After his return home in 1763, Charles Hotham paid court to George III, becoming Groom of the Bedchamber, and continued to be involved in military affairs. After 1772 he turned his attention to completing the family house at South Dalton and his interest in the theatre. When he died in 1794 the title passed to his younger brother, John Hotham (1733-1795), who was Bishop of Clogher.

Granville Elliott was born on 7 October 1713 in Surrey to Major-General Roger Elliott and later served in several European armies and finally in the British Army. He matriculated as a law student at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands in 1730 and by 1732 was in the service of the HM Karl Philipp von Pfalz-Neuburg, Elector Palatine of the Rhine. Just before his first marriage to Jeanne Therese du Han, Comtesse de Martigny in March 1735, he was made a Chambellan in the Elector's army and also granted the title of Comte de Morhange.

In 1736, Elliott was promoted to Colonel and later in 1737 he was made Cavalry General of the States-General of the Netherlands. Further promotions followed including Major-General Cavalry for the Elector Palatine (1745), Lieutenant-General of Cavalry (1746) and Lieutenant-General of Cavalry for the States-General of the Netherlands (1748).

His first wife died in May 1748. Elliott's conversion to Catholicism, in order to facilitate the marriage, had caused problems with his mother's Calvinist relatives and after his wife's death he left his grown-up family in France, returned to England, renounced his Catholicism and repaired the bridges with his mother's relatives.

He remarried in England in 1750 but soon returned to the Netherlands and was appointed Major-General of the Scotch Brigade. In April 1758, he was made a Major-General in the British Army and Colonel of the 61st Regiment of Foot. In early 1759, he returned to continental Europe, as part of a massive British army deployment during the Seven Years' War. At the Battle of Minden (1 August 1759), he was placed in command of the Cavalry Regiment and saw significant action. Elliott was seriously wounded and retired to convalesce at army headquarters but died there 9 weeks later on 10 October 1759. On the advice of Granville Elliott, Light Cavalry was introduced into the British Army.

The Seven Years' War took place between 1754 and 1763, although the main period of conflict occurred between 1756 and 1763. Most of the great powers in Europe were involved and the effects of the war covered much of Europe and their colonial acquisitions in North America, Central America, the West African coast, India and the Philippines.

The war was caused mainly by the antagonism owing to imperial rivalries between Great Britain (in personal royal union with the principality of Hanover) and the Bourbon Dynasty (in France and Spain), as well as the antagonism between the Hohenzollern Dynasty (in Prussia) and the Habsburg Dynasty (the Holy Roman emperors) in the Holy Roman Empire. Approximately 900 000 to 1,400,000 people died during the war.

Conditions Governing Access

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Conditions Governing Use

Lord Hotham and Peter Eliot respectively

Custodial History

Deposited by Peter Eliot, September 2006

Related Material

Correspondence of Lt. Col. Charles Hotham [U DDHO/4]