Conway, Henry Seymour

, an English officer and statesman, the second son of Francis, first lord Conway, was born in 1720, and appeared first in public life in 1741 as one of the knights for the county of Antrim, in the parliament of Ireland; and in the same year was elected for Higham Ferrers, to sit in the ninth parliament of Great Britain. He was afterwards chosen for various other places from 1754 to 1780, when he represented St. Edmund’s Bury. In 1741 he was constituted captain-lieutenant in the “first regiment of foot-guards, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel; and in April 1746, being then aid-de-camp to the duke of Cumberland, he got the command of the xorty-eighth regiment of foot, and the twenty-ninth in July | 1749. He was constituted colonel of the thirteenth regiment of dragoons in December 1751, which he resigned upon being appointed colonel of the first, or royal regiment of dragoons, Septembers, 1759. In January 1756 he was advanced to the rank of major-general; in March 1759, to that of lieutenant-general; in May 1772, to that of general; and in October 12, 1793, to that of field marshal. He served with reputation in his several military capacities, and commanded the British forces in Germany, under prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, in 1761, during the absence of the marquis of Granby. He was one of the grooms of the bed-chamber to George II. and likewise to his present majesty till April 1764, when, at the end of the session of parliament, he resigned that office and his military commands, or, more properly speaking, was dismissed for voting against the ministry in the question of general warrants. His name, however, was continued in the list of the privy counsellors in Ireland; and William, the fourth duke of Devonshire, to whom he had been secretary when the duke was viceroy in Ireland, bequeathed him at his death, in 1764, a legacy of 5000l. on account of his conduct in parliament. On the accession of the Rockingham administration in 1765, he was sworn of the privy council, and appointed joint- secretary of state with the duke of Grafton, which office he resigned in January 1768. In February following, he was appointed colonel of the fourth regiment of dragoons; in October 1774, colonel of the royal regiment of horse-guards; and in October 1772, governor of the island of Jersey. On March 30, 1782, he was appointed commander in chief of his majesty’s forces, which he resigned in December 1783. He died at his seat at Park-place, near Henley upon Thames, July 9, 1795. General Conway was an ingenious man, of considerable abilities, but better calculated to be admired in the private and social circle, than to shine as a great public character. In politics, although we believe conscientious, he was timid and wavering. He had a turn for literature, and some talent for poetry, and, if we mistake not, published, but without his name, one or two political pamphlets. In his old age he aspired to the character of a dramatic writer, producing in 1789, a play, partly from the French, entitled” False Appearances," which was not, however, very successful. His most intimate friend appears to have been the late lord Orford, better known as Horace Walpole, | who was his cousin, and addressed to him a considerable part of those letters which form the fifth volume of his lordship’s works. This correspondence commenced in 1 7-1-0, when Walpole was twenty-three years old, and Mr. Couway twenty. They had gone abroad together with the celebrated poet Gray in 1739, had spent three months together at Rheims, and afterwards separated at Geneva. Lord Orford’s letters, although evidently prepared for the press, evince at least a cordial and inviolable friendship for his correspondent, of which also he gave another proof in 3 letter published in defence of general Couway when dismissed from his offices; and a testimony of affection yet more decided, in bequeathing his fine villa of Strawberry Hill to Mrs. Darner, general Con way’s daughter, for her life. 1


Sir E: Brydges’s edition of Collins’s Peerage. Lord Orford’s Works, Preface, and vol. V. passim.