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THE PROPERTY OF THE DUKE OF ATHOLL
(Lots 519-525 and 614-616)
William Carr Beresford, 1st Viscount Beresford
William Beresford was born in October 1768, the natural son of George de la Poer Beresford, Earl of Tyrone, and later 1st Marquess of Waterford (1735-1800). Beresford attended schools at Catterick Bridge and York before being sent to Strasbourg to attend military school. By 1791 Beresford had been appointed Captain, serving on the Britannia in the Mediterranean where he was involved with Admiral Hood in the landing at the French naval base of Toulon in 1793, evacuating in December.
His next command came in September 1795 where he was given the famous 88th foot, the Connaught Rangers, which was sent to the West Indies under a force commanded by Abercromby. The expedition was broken up by a storm while en route and some of the 88th ended up in Jamaica, the Mediterranean, and English ports before being reassembled by Beresford at Jersey from where they sailed to Bombay, arriving in 1800, setting out shortly for Egypt where his efforts were rewarded with a promotion to brigadier-general.
Future expeditions took him to recapture the Cape of Good Hope in January 1806 and to Argentina the same year for a short-lived occupation of Buenos Aires. He went on to occupy Madeira and later obtained permission to join Sir Arthur Wellesley, who had landed a force on the coast of Portugal in August of 1808. During the invasion of France, Beresford commanded the light, 3rd, 4th, 7th, and two Spanish divisions, but Wellington stayed right with him. In 1814, in the final action in the south of France, at Toulouse, Beresford expertly led his force against the eastern defences of the city, the French were forced out of the city, and peace was announced shortly afterwards. On 17 May 1814 Beresford was created Baron Beresford of Albuera and Dungarvan, co. Waterford, with a pension of £2,000 for life.
Beresford returned to England and was created Viscount Beresford of Beresford in Staffordshire on 28 March 1823 and purchased the ancestral estate of Beresford, Staffordshire, in 1824. He married a cousin, Louisa (d. 1851), daughter of William Beresford, 1st Baron Decies, Archbishop of Tuam, and widow of Thomas Hope, one of the wealthiest women in England. He purchased Bedgebury Park, Kent, and lived there for the rest of his life.