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Explore this detailed timeline of Richard St. George's life, personal trauma, and untimely death below. St. George's story was featured in the Museum's special exhibition, Cost of Revolution: The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier, which ran from Sept. 2019 to March 2020.


ca. 1752

Born Richard St. George Mansergh, the son of Major James Mansergh and Mary St. George, in Headford, Ireland.


1771

Begins his studies at Trinity College, Cambridge in England.


1772

Publishes his first original “macaroni” cartoon in London. He publishes 10 different cartoons in 1772 and 1773.


1774

Inherits a maternal relative’s Irish estate and adds his relative’s surname to become Richard St. George Mansergh St. George, or Richard St. George for short. 


1775

Graduates from Trinity College, Cambridge.

Hears news of the outbreak of war in America.

Purchases a commission as a cornet (the lowest ranking officer) in the 8th Regiment of Dragoons, his grandfather’s and father’s old regiment.


1776

Purchases an ensign’s commission in the 4th Regiment of Foot.

Poses for his portrait by Thomas Gainsborough.

Sails for war in America.

Arrives in New York and fights in his first battle on Long Island.

Assaults Fort Washington and guards American prisoners.

Purchases a lieutenant’s commission in the 52nd Regiment’s light infantry company.


1777

Marches to fight against George Washington’s army in New Jersey.

Sails south to attack Philadelphia and lands in Maryland at the north end of the Chesapeake Bay.

Fights in the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge in Delaware.

Receives a wound in the heel at the Battle of Brandywine.

Attacks Anthony Wayne’s Pennsylvania troops at the Battle of Paoli.

Escorts American prisoners to Philadelphia.

Shot in the head at the Battle of Germantown.

Survives head surgery in Philadelphia and begins his recovery.


1778

Purchases a captain’s commission in the 44th Regiment but does not serve with the regiment.

Takes his leave from the British Army because of his head wound and returns home to Ireland.

Publishes a cartoon in London called A View in America in 1778.


1782

Travels to Naples, Italy and meets Xavier della Gatta who paints the battles of Paoli and Germantown based on St. George’s descriptions.


1783

Hosts a costume party at his English estate and entertains Sir Brooke Boothby, poet Anna Seward, and artist Henry Fuseli.

Hears the news of the end of the American Revolutionary War.


1786

Travels to Rome and tours the Vatican.


1788

Visits the “Ladies of Llangollen” in Wales and tells them stories of his life.

Marries Anne Stepney. Together they have two sons, Richard James Mansergh St. George (b. 1789) and Stepney St. George (b. 1791).


1789

Hears news of a growing revolution in France and the storming of the Bastille in Paris.


1792

Mourns the death of his wife Anne Stepney St. George.


1793

Hears the news of the execution of French King Louis XVI.

Learns of the outbreak of war between the new French Republic and Great Britain.


1796

Commissions his portrait by Hugh Douglas Hamilton that conveys his grief over the death of his wife.


1797

Seeks out and stops rebellious activity on his Irish properties that he felt threatened his land ownership and British rule in the country.


1798

Ambushed and killed by a group of his Irish tenants in County Cork who are influenced by the United Irishmen and the Defenders.

Eulogized at his funeral at St. Mary’s Church in Athlone, Ireland for having devoted his life to defending the British Crown. 

Fondly remembered by friends as war and revolution consume Ireland in May 1798.