General Sir William Fenwick Williams (d. 1883)

Sir William Williams, 1st Baronet, of Kars

Sir William Williams, 1st Baronet, of Kars (Image via Wikipedia)

Entry found in Daniel F. Johnson’s New Brunswick Newspaper Vital Statistics pertaining to General Sir William Fenwick Williams.  Thank you to the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick for making this database available! 

Transcribed by Daniel F. Johnson.

Volume 60 Number 674
Date August 4 1883
County York
Place Fredericton
Newspaper New Brunswick Reporter and Fredericton Advertiser

General Sir William Fenwick WILLIAMS, the hero of Kars whose death has been announced, was the descendant of a loyalist family of New York which emigrated to Nova Scotia in 1783. His father, Col. Thomas WILLIAMS of Royal Artillery, who died in 1807, was at one time Commissary General and Barrack Master at Halifax, N.S. He married Maria WALKER d/o Capt. Thomas WALKER and left a family consisting of five daughters and two sons. Of these, the elder, Lt. Thomas G.T. WILLIAMS entered the Royal Artillery, served under the Duke of Wellington in Spain and France and died after the battle of New Orleans in 1815. Sir Fenwick Williams was born at Annapolis, N.S. December 4, 1800 and at an early age obtained, through the influence of the Commander-in-Chief of British North America, Edward Duke of Kent (father of Queen Victoria) an appointment to the Royal Military Academy at Woodwich. Having passed with credit through the prescribed course of study young Williams was gazetted in 1825, 2nd Lt. in the Royal Artillery, became 1st Lt. in 1827 and was soon sent on special service to Ceylon where he remained during nine years of active and constant labor. In 1840 he was promoted to captaincy and rendered military service in Turkey where he acted as instructor in military practice to the Turkish army and was soon made brevet major. In 1843 he was commissioned by the Earl of Aberdeen, then Secretary of Foreign Affairs, to act as a commissioner, along with the British ministers in Turkey and Persia, to settle the disputed between those countries. In this service he spent no less than nine years, four of which were passed under a canvas tent and suffered severely in health from the fevers characteristic of that wild region. One incidental result of the appointment was the facilitating of the discoveries of Layard, Loftus and Rawlinson in Mesopotamia and ancient Assyria. During the progress of this task, Major Williams took a prominent part in the Conference at Erzaroum, May 1847 which resulted in a treaty signed by the representatives of England, Turkey and Persia and he was at that time promoted to the rank of Lt. Col. The task was still incomplete when in July, 1854, war having been declared between Russia and Turkey, Col. Williams was selected by Lord Clarendon as British Commissioner at the Turkish headquarters with the rank of Brigadier General … The heroism which he displayed during the memorial seige of Kars … Forced by famine to surrender to the beseiging army, General Williams was treated with honour by General Mouravioff and returned to England through St. Petersburg. On the news of the victory of Sept. 29th, the British Cabinet had gazetted General Williams a Knight Commander of the Bath and the Sultan had honoured him with the Order of Medijidie and the rank of Mushir or full Gneral in the Turkish service. On reaching England, Sir W.F. Williams was rewarded with the baronetcy, a major-generalcy, the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor, a pension of 1000 per annum, the freedom of the City of London, Doctorate of Laws from the University of Osford. In July 1856 he was elected to Parliament for Caine in Liberal interest and again at general election of March 1857, but he had no fondness for Parliamentary life and retired in 1859 upon assuming the command of the post at Woolwich where he had been educated. During the same year he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the forces in Canada and held the post throughout the American Civil War until 1865. In August 1870 he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Gibraltar and filled that position until 1870_ when he finally returned to England.

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