Charles Cornwallis

(Important in The Counterfeit Guest)

Charles Cornwallis (1738-1805) was the Master of the Ordinance at the time of the Woolwich mutiny.  He is perhaps best known as the general commanding the British forces at Yorktown in 1781, whose surrender signalled the end of the American Revolution.  Defeat, however, was rare for him.  From 1785-1793 he was governor-general of India, during which time he introduced civil and military reforms and defeated Tippo Sultan in the Third Anglo-Mysore war.  He almost returned to India in 1797, but instead was appointed lord lieutenant of Ireland the following year.  There he oversaw the defeat of the rebellion of 1798 and helped to guide the Act of Union through the Irish parliament.  In 1801, in the capacity of minister plenipotentiary in the Addington government, he signed the Peace of Amiens that ended, temporarily, the war with France.