Royal Armouries

Hardinge, Henry, first Viscount Hardinge of Lahore



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Date: 1824-1827; 1852

Hardinge, Henry, first Viscount Hardinge of Lahore


Henry Hardinge, who later became first Viscount Hardinge of Lahore, was born in Kent in 1785.

Hardinge started his career in the army where his intelligence was noticed by the Duke of Wellington. In 1820 he became a Tory MP for the city of Durham, and from 1823 he took up the role of Clerk of the Ordnance.

Hardinge worked to improve military administration in this role until 1827. At the same time as leaving this role Hardinge also retired from the army, and subsequently took up a number of different roles including Secretary at War, Chief Secretary for Ireland and Governor-General of India.

Hardinge resigned his role in India in 1847 and though he had intended to retire, he assisted in suppressing riots in Ireland in 1848 and was appointed Master General of the Ordnance from March to September 1852. During this time he augmented improvements to the artillery, and also wrote a series of memoranda on military policy.

Following the Duke of Wellington’s death in 1852 Hardinge was made General Commanding-in-Chief, and became Field Marshal promoting reforms in training and introducing the use of Enfield rifles. However, Hardinge fell under criticism during inquiries into provisions for the Crimean War.

He suffered from a stroke in July 1856, and died the following September.

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