Person NameWade; General George (1673-1748); Army officer and surveyor
ForenamesGeneral George
EpithetArmy officer and surveyor
ActivityGeorge Wade is thought to have been born in Westmeath, Ireland, in 1673, and acquired an ensignship in the 10th Foot in 1690. He served in the Low Countries, making Lieutenant-Colonel of the same regiment in 1703, and then chose to serve in Portugal the following year with the rank of brevet colonel, and in 1705 he was given what was to become the 33rd Foot while on the staff of the Earl of Galway. Accounts give him as a good leader and brave soldier, and he was promoted brigadier-general in 1707/8, now fighting the French in Spain. He remained on the Iberian peninsula, still in active service, until 1710, when he returned to England and was appointed major-general of the forces in Ireland. In addition, he took an interest in politics and became an MP in 1714/5. He was immediately drawn back to action by the Jacobite rebellion of that year, and kept busy in England discovering Jacobite conspirators. He returned to parliament as MP for Bath in 1722, though he remained involved in keeping Scotland under control: he began his survey of the roads and bridges of the Highlands in 1724, and was appointed commander-in-chief for the country. He began to build his new roads in 1726 and proceeded with intelligence and diplomacy, becoming popular amongst the Highlanders he was helping to quell. Many honours and offices followed, notably the rank of field-marshal in 1743, but an unsuccessful campaign against the French in the Low Countries the following year brought on a bout of ill- health, and he resigned in 1745 to take up the position of commander-in-chief in England. The Jacobite rebellion of that year caused him to lead a large but unenthusiastic army north, where he was outwitted by Lord George Murray’s clever leadership of the rebel army. The Duke of Cumberland was made commander in chief, and Wade retired, dying in 1748.
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