Francis Jack Needham
Francis was the 12th Viscount and the first Earl of Kilmorey (1748-1832). He was the third son of the 10th Viscount John who was married to Anne the daughter of John Hurleston of Newton Cheshire . Francis entered the army in 1762 as a cornet in the 18th dragoons but he exchanged into the 1st dragoons in 1763 and became lieutenant in that regiment in 1773 and captain in the 17th dragoons in 1774. He served throughout the whole of the American war of independence and was taken prisoner at the siege of Yorktown. Shortly after peace was declared he purchased a majority in he 80th foot. In 1783 he became a lieutenant -colonel in the 104th foot and in the same year he transferred into the 1st foot-gaurds. In 1793 he became an aide-de-camp to the king. In the next 2 years he served in the war with France
Francis is best known for his action in Ireland during the rebellion of 1798. he commanded the loyalist troops at the decisive battle of Arklow on the 9th June 1798; and it is largely down to his courage and skillful arrangements that a body of rebels, variously estimated at from 19 to 34 thousand, led by father Michael Murphy was, after three hours of hard fighting, defeated by a force not more than 16 hundred strong, and composed mainly of militia and yeoman. Dublin was saved, and the back of the rebellion effectively broken in that part of the country. Francis also commanded one of the five columns which, a little later in the same month, were dispatched by General Lake to hem in the rebel encampment at Vinegar Hill. Whether from misunderstanding of orders or with the actual design of tempering judgment with mercy, an opening, afterwards known as 'Needham Gap' was left by his troops arriving late, so that, when the battle turned against them, numbers of the rebels escaped. Needham became colonel of the 86th foot in 1810 and general in 1812.
In December 1806 Francis became MP for Newry and entered the House of COmmons; he continued with this role for four parliaments. Because Francis's eldest brother died unmarried in 1773, and in Nov 1818 after the death of his second brother Robert, the 11th viscount Kilmorey, he succeeded to the peerage. In 1822 he was created Earl of Kilmorey and Viscount Newry and Mourne. In memory of the event he restored the Kilmorey chapel in the Parish CHurch of Adderley, Shropshire, in which Shavington Hall, the seat of the Needham's since 1488, is situated. He died at Shavington on 21st Nov 1832, and was buried at Adderley Church, where a monument stands in his memory. He was remembered as a liberal landlord and a kind friends of the poor in his extensive estates.
He married on 20 Feb. 1787 Anne, second daughter of Thomas Fisher of acton, Middlesex, by whom he had to sons- of whom the eldest Francis Jack (1787-1800) succeeded to the earldom-and eight daughters,
1. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , Oxford University Press, 2004; http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/1981/31205_Vol14-00174/301?backurl=http://person.ancestry.co.uk/tree/69798268/person/46207627651/facts/citation/321733112739/edit/record