Eyre Coote (British Army officer)

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Eyre Coote
Born 20 May 1762
Died 10 December 1823

Eyre Coote (20 May 1762 – 10 December 1823) was a British soldier and politician who was born in Ireland.

He was known as General Sir Eyre Coote until 1816; GCB 1815 - 1816.

Background[change | change source]

He was the second son of the Very Rev. Charles Coote (1713 - 12 February 1776), DD, Dean of Kilfenora. After studying at Eton and Trinity College Dublin, Coote bought a commission in the 34th Regiment of Foot - of which his uncle was colonel - in 1774.

He was soon sent to North America to fight in the Revolutionary War. He fought in the Brooklyn in August 1776, as well as at Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth Court House before finally being taken prisoner at the final Battle of Yorktown in 1781. Between 1790 and 1798, he represented Ballynakill in the Irish House of Commons. Then he sat for Maryborough until 1800.

He served in England and Ireland when they were threatened by French invasion and against the French on the Continent. He went on to serve in Holland, Egypt and eventually became Governor-General of Jamaica (1806–1808) where he possibly sired an ancestor of Colin Powell.[1]

Scandal and death[change | change source]

Sir Eyre was removed from the service on the 21 May 1816 because of the scandal he caused in the Christ's Hospital school for boys.[2] On 25 November 1815 he entered the school and offered some boys money for an opportunity to flog them. After that he asked them to flog him and gave them money. He was caught by the school nurse, and charged with indecent conduct before the Lord Mayor of London. He was acquitted after giving £1000 to the school: after that there was a military inquiry in April 1816 which stripped him of his rank and honours.[3][4] He was appointed GCB 1815 and stripped of it 1816.

References[change | change source]

  1. Three hundred pounds of history? Priceless
  2. "William Cooper" (Pseudonym of James Glass Bertram) History of the Rod. Flagellation and the Flagellants, published by John Camden Hotten, 1869; pp.522-527
  3. John Chandos, "Boys together: English public schools, 1800-1864", Hutchinson, 1984, ISBN 0091392403, pp.236-7
  4. R. G. Thorne, "The House of Commons, 1790-1820, Volume 3", Boydell & Brewer, 1986, ISBN 0436521016, p.499
  • Leslie Stephen, ed. (1887). Dictionary of National Biography. Volume 12. Conder - Craigie. Elibron.com. p. 161. ISBN 0543883221
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Other websites[change | change source]