Coote, Sir Eyke

, a descendant of the preceding family, was the son of Chidley Coote, esq. by Jane, sister of George lord Carbery. He was born in 1726, and, having at an early period devoted himself to arms, if we are not misinformed, served in his majesty’s troops during | the rebellion in 1745. In the beginning of the year 1754 the regiment under colonel Aldercon, to which sir Eyre Coote belonged, embarked from Ireland to the East Indies. In January 1757, sir Eyre, then a captain, was ordered by admiral Watson to take possession of Calcutta, surrendered by the nabob, of which he was appointed governor, but of which he was almost immediately dispossessed by colonel Clive, who claimed to be the superior officer. He was afterwards employed in the reduction of Houghley and of Chandenagore. At the battle of Plassey, in June, he signalized himself so much, as to be entitled to a considerable share of the honour of that important victory. In July, being then a major, he was detached with a party in pursuit of monsieur Law, who had collected together the dispersed French; which expedition, though it did not sue-, ceed as to its principal object, the capture of Mr. Law, was yet attended with advantages both to the company and the country at large. In the same year, general Lally threatening the siege of Trichinopoly, major Coote, then become a colonel, drew together what forces he could, and invested Wandewash, which he took the 30th of November, in three days. Knowing the advantage of this place, general Lally attempted to retake it, which brought on an engagement the 22d of July 1760, in which the French troops were entirely routed, and, with their general, fled in despair to Pondicherry.

The siege of this place commenced on the 26th of November, and was carried on with unremitted diligence until the middle of January 1761, when the English forces took possession of this important town; the garrison, consisting of 1400 European soldiers, became prisoners of war; and a. vast quantity of military forces, and great riches, were given up at discretion to the victors. This was the final blow to the French power in India. On the colonel’s return to England, the next year, he was presented by the court of directors with a diamond-hilted sword, which cost 700l. as a testimony of gratitude for the important services he had done. At the close of 1769, or very early in 1770, he was appointed commander in chief of the East India Company’s forces in India. He reached Madras in 1770, but left that place again in October to proceed to Bussorah, from whence he prosecuted his journey to Europe overland. The reason of his quitting Fort St. George was supposed to have been owing to a dispute with the governor | there. On the 31st of August 1771 he was invested witH the order of the Bath; and in March 1773 he became colonel of the 37th regiment of foot, which being stationed in Scotland, he resided at Fort George there as governor. On the death of general Clavering in the East Indies, sir Eyre Coote was appointed a member of the supreme council at Bengal, and commander of the British troops. In 1780, Hyder Ally having invaded the Carnatic, general Coote was sent with money and a reinforcement of troops from Bengal to the coast of Coromandel, where he assumed the command of the army.

About July 1781 he with 10,000 men, Europeans and natives, defeated Hyder’s army, consisting of more than 150,000, near Porto Novo. This was the first check of moment given to his career; and, during the succeeding progress of the war, was repeatedly defeated by sir Eyre Coote. In 1783, the public service again requiring his presence in the Carnatic, he, though in a dying state, again left Calcutta for Madras, in order to re-assume the command of the army upon that coast. He arrived at Madras the 24th April 1783, and died two days after. His corpse was sent to England, and landed at the Jetty head 2d September 1784, and deposited in the chapel at Plymouth until the 7th, when it proceeded to West Park, the family-seat in Hampshire, and was from thence removed on the 14th for interment in the parish-church of Rockwood. 1

1 Gent. Mag. See Index and vol. LXXX. p. Sos.