George Charles D'Aguilar bigraphy, stories - British Army general

George Charles D'Aguilar : biography

1754 - 1855

Major-General Sir George Charles D'Aguilar, KCB (Chinese: 德忌笠 or 德己立) (1784–1855) was a British Army Major General and Lieutenant Governor of Hong Kong.


He was born the son of Solomon d'Aguilar (1752–1817) of Liverpool and Margaret Gillmer (1753–1829). The d'Aguilars were a military family directly descended from the 'Great Captain', Gonzalo Hernandez y Aguilar, Duke of Cordova and Terra Nova, who distinguished himself at the conquest of Grenada in the time of Ferdinand and Isabella. His first cousin and contemporary, Lieutenant-Colonel George Thomas d'Aguilar (1783–1839) married Catherine Burton, aunt of the noted explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton.

Military service

He entered the army in 1799 as an ensign with the 86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot who were then serving in the East Indies. He remained there until 1808, and during that time served for two years on the general staff of the army, as Brigade Major, and three years as Adjutant of the 86th Foot (consisting of nearly the whole of Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley's administration).

He was with the regiment at the reduction of various forts in the Malwa and Guzerat districts and at Gerard Lake, 1st Viscount Lake's unsuccessful assaults on Bharatpur, India. Having been promoted to a company in the 81st, he returned to England in May, 1809, and the following month embarked for Walcheren. After the fall of Flushing, Netherlands he was appointed aide-de-camp to Lieutenant-General Mahon, afterwards Lord Hartland, until he returned to England with the cavalry under Mahon. In 1809 he married Eliza, second daughter of Peter Drinkwater of Irwell House, Lancashire.

He was subsequently on the staff as assistant adjutant-general in Sicily, where he was sent by Lord William Bentinck on a military mission to the court of Ali Pasha at Yanina and Constantinople. He also served as military secretary to the army on the Eastern coast of Spain under Sir John Murray, 8th Baronet and Sir William Henry Clinton.

In 1813 he was appointed a major in the Greek Light Infantry and took command of the regiment prior to the final reduction of the Greek Islands. In 1815 he joined Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington's army and was present at the capture of Paris. In 1817 he was appointed a Major with the Rifle Brigade and placed on half-pay.

Altogether d'Aguilar served for twenty six years on the general staff, during eight of which he was assistant adjutant-general at the Horse Guards, principally under Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, and for twelve years assistant adjutant-general of the army in Ireland. In 1841 he promoted to Major-General.

Lieutenant-Governor of Hong Kong

In 1843 d'Aguilar was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Hong Kong and Commander of the British troops in China. In 1847 he commanded the expedition which assauted and took the forts of the Bocca Tigris. The following year, 1848, he returned to England. In 1851 he was appointed to command the 23rd Royal Welch Fusiliers.

The Headquarter House (renamed to Flagstaff House, which is located in Hong Kong Park) was built for him in 1846.

He died in London in May, 1855."Street Names and Their Origins" Hong Kong's vol.1 - by Frena Bloomfield


Cape D'Aguilar and D'Aguilar Street in Hong Kong were named after him. The town of D'Aguilar in Queensland was also named after him.

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