Major - General John Francis Cradock M P

Christchurch Cathedral Dublin 2019 by Donaldylong
Sir J. F. Cradock
Cradock Sword 2019 Olympia Auction
General Cradock's letter
Castlebar, County Mayo

This Irishman distinguished himself in a Military Career, he acted as a Politician plus received an Honour from the British Crown.

John Francis Cradock was born on 11th August 1759, he was the son of the Archbishop of Dublin, Ireland. [i]


John Francis Cradock, First Baron Howden (1762-1839 ) was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. [ii]

John Francis Cradock was admitted to St. John’s College in Cambridge during 1775. [iii]

He was the grandson of Dr. John Cradock (1708 -1778 ).  He received his education at Eton in 1814. [iv]


John Cradock married on 17th November 1798 Lady Theodosia Sarah Frances Meade (born c. 1773 – d. 13th December 1853 ) daughter of John Meade 1st Earl of Clanwilliam. [v]

They had two children; son John who became the 2nd Baron Howden also Francis Ann Grout (nee Howden.) [vi]

Army Career

John Francis Cradock enlisted in the British Army as a Cornet in the 4th Horse, he transferred two years later to the Coldstream Guards.  He was appointed Major in the 13th Regiment of Foot.  He was appointed Lieutenant – Colonel during 1789 in the West Indies.  Then during 1798 promoted to the position of Major – General.  He was appointed Commander – in – Chief of the Madras Army from 1803 to 1807.  During the Peninsula War Cradock commanded the Portugal forces until 1809. [vii]

Cradock was wounded at the capture Martinique in 1793; on the Campaigns conclusion he received the gratitude of Parliament then promoted Colonel of the 127th Regiment.  On the 1st of October 1795 he was appointed Assistant – Quartermaster – General.  Promoted during 1797 to Quartermaster – General in Ireland, later promoted Major General on 1st of January 1790.  He received Command of the 2nd Brigade at Minorca.  Again, he engaged in battles on the 8th, 13th   21st of March in the Egyptian Campaign.  He accompanied General Hutchinson as second in command during the advance in Cairo but fell ill following the surrender.  He was provided with the command of seven thousand men on his recovery in Corsica.  (H. M. Stephens The Great Karoo ) [viii]

John Francis Cradock purchased a Commission as Major in the 12th Dragoons but exchanged it for a post with the 13th Foot.  Following the Portugal Campaign Cradock commanded the 43rd (Monmouthshire ) Light Infantry.  The year previously he had been appointed to command the second battalion of the 54th Foot plus  placed on half-pay when that battalion was reduced in 1802.  During 1803 he was appointed to the 71st Foot. [ix]

J. F. Cradock commanded troops in Ireland, Madras plus Lisbon. He was also involved in the advance to Cairo with the Egyptian Military according to this link:


Cradock commanded troops at Vinegar Hill during the Irish Rebellion of 1798 plus against the French forces who had landed at Killala in Mayo. He suffered another injury at Balinamuck. [x]


John Francis Cradock was appointed for a brief period Governor of Gibraltar.  He served as Governor of Cape Colony from 1811 to 1814. [xi]


According to this site Cradock was a Politician who held various Seats for Irish Constituencies from 1785 to 1801. [xii]

Cradock sat in the House of Commons for Clogher from 1785 – 1790, for Castlebar from 1790 – 1797, also for Middleton in Co. Cork plus Thomastown in Co. Kilkenny.  He acted as second to the Right Hon. Issac Corry Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer on 17th February 1800 at the duel in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.  (H. M. Stephens The Great Karoo ) [xiii]


On 19th October 1819 Cradock became the 1st Baron Howden in Ireland. [xiv]

Cradock was created a Peer on 7th September 1831 of the United Kingdom as Lord Howden of Howden & Grimston County York. (H. M. Stephens The Great Karoo ) [xv]

Name Change

General John Francis Cradock KGB also 1st Baron Howden changed his name during 1820 to Caradock. [xvi]

Sir John Francis Caradoc, Lord Howden (1762-1839) changed his name from Craddock to Caradoc in 1820. [xvii]


John Cradock Baron Howden was awarded the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in Britain. [xviii]


Baron Howden J. F. Caradock’s demise occurred on 26th July 1839. [xix]


The official correspondence plus papers of the 1st Baron Howden (1811-14) are mentioned at this link;

This site has an image plus the following information that J.F. Cradock was born in Henrietta Street, Dublin.  He was son of Mary & John Cradock, Archbishop of Dublin.  His son was John 2nd Baron of Howden & Grimston.  Caradoc died aged seventy – nine on 6th December 1839 in Grimston, Norfolk in Britain.   (George J Homes 1st December 2016 ):

A Stipple Engraving by J. Codby after Sir Thomas Lawrence, published by E. Orme 2nd January 1809 in an online Collection at the National Army Museum plus the National Gallery of Ireland, it may be viewed at these links:   /

This site refers to General John Francis Cradock GCB (1759 – 1839 ) 1st Baron Howden, British Peer, Soldier, Politician also Governor of the Cape Colony 1811 – 1814, eponym of Cradock South Australia:

A long-Autographed letter signed ‘Howden’ to B. C. Williams discussed family legacies plus historical background. (4 pp. 12 x 8 inches ) Grimston, Tadcaster, 22nd March 1825.  May be viewed at this link:

Olympia Auctions had Officer Cradock’s sword on 4th December 2019 Lot No. 284 on offer.  It belonged to a 1796 Pattern Infantry Officer it may be viewed at this site:

General J. F. Cradock / Caradoc is mentioned in this PDF:

General J. F. Cradock named the town of Clanwilliam in the Western Cape after his father –  in – law, John Meade 1st Earl of Clanwilliam. [xx]

Publications referencing General Cradoc are among the following:

Philippart John ‘The Royal Military Calendar, or Army Service and Commission Book’   1820nVol 11 3rd Edition  (ed)  A. J. Valpy London.

Blacker Beaver Henry Small 1887 (9) ‘Caradoc John Francis’  in Stephen Leslie ed of ‘Dictionary of National Biography’   Elder & Son London.

Raper P. E. ‘Dictionary of Southern African Place Names’  1989 Jonathan Ball Publishers.

Chartrand Rene  ‘Oldest Allies – Alcantara 1809’  2012  Osprey Publishing. [xxi]

Glover Michael ‘Sir John Cradock and the Garrison of Almeida’  1976 Vol54 No. 220 pages 225 – 260, Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research. May be downloaded at this link:

Sir John Cradock is mentioned in the ‘Dictionary of National Biography’ 1855 – 1900 Vol 09 by Henry Morse Stephens:


[i] Cape Colony ( [assessed 19th February 2021]

[ii] A fine 1796 Pattern ( [assessed 19th February 2021]

[iii] John Cradock (,_1st_Baron_Howden) [assessed 19th February 2021]

[iv] Cradock Hon ( [assessed 19th February 2021]

[v] John Cradock (,_1st_Baron_Howden) [assessed 19th February 2021]

[vi] Cape Colony ( [assessed 19th February 2021]

[vii] Ibid.

[viii] Sir John Cradock ( [assessed 19th February 2021]

[ix] John Cradock (,_1st_Baron_Howden) [assessed 19th February 2021]

[x] Cape Colony ( [assessed 19th February 2021]

[xi]  Ibid.

[xii] Ibid.

[xiii] Sir John Cradock ( [assessed 19th February 2021]

[xiv] Cape Colony ( [assessed 19th February 2021]

[xv] Sir John Cradock ( [assessed 19th February 2021]

[xvi] John Cradock (,_1st_Baron_Howden) [assessed 19th February 2021]

[xvii] Craddock Family Crest ( [assessed 19th February 2021]

[xviii] John Cradock (,_1st_Baron_Howden) [assessed 19th February 2021]

[xix] Cape Colony ( [assessed 19th February 2021]

[xx] John Cradock (,_1st_Baron_Howden) [assessed 19th February 2021]

[xxi] John Cradock (,_1st_Baron_Howden) [assessed 19th February 2021]


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