Galway, Henri de Massue, Earl of

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Personalities >> Galway, Henri de Massue, Earl of

Galway, Henri de Massue, Marquis de Rouvigny, Earl of

English Major-General (1690-1694), Lieutenant-General (1694-1704), General (1704-1709)

born 9 April 1648, Paris, France

died 3 September 1720, Stratton House, Crawley, Great Britain


Detail of a portrait of Henri de Massue, Marquis de Rouvigny, Earl of Galway by Michael Dahl – Source: Wikimedia Commons

Henri de Massue was born in Paris. He was the son of the Marquis de Rouvigny, deputy of the Protestants to King Louis XIV.

Henri de Massue served in the French army under Turenne, who thought very highly of him. In 1665, he campaigned in Portugal and was present at the Siege of Fort de la Garda.

In 1675, Henri de Massue was appointed colonel of a regiment

In 1678, Louis XIV charged Henri de Massue to conduct negotiations with Charles II in preparation of the Treaty of Nijmegen.

In 1685, when Louis XIV revocated the Edict of Nantes, Henri de Massue joined the cause of the French Huguenots and refused the king’s offer to retain his office. He went into exile in England.

In 1690, Henri de Massue entered the service of William III of England as a major-general, thereby forfeiting his French estates.

In 1691, during the Williamite War in Ireland, Henri de Massue distinguished himself at the Battle of Aughrim where he commanded a cavalry brigade. In August and September, he besieged and captured Limerick. In 1692, he briefly commanded in Ireland. In November of the same year, he was created Viscount of Galway and Baron of Portarlington, receiving large estates seized in Ireland.

In 1693, during the Nine Years’ War (1688-97), the Viscount of Galway fought in the Battle of Landen where he was wounded. In 1694, he was promoted to lieutenant-general of cavalry. He was placed at the head of a corps in British pay sent to the assistance of the Duke of Savoy. In 1695, when Savoy changed side, Galway returned to the Netherlands with part of his forces.

In 1697, the Viscount of Galway was created Earl of Galway. In February, he was appointed Lord Justice of Ireland.

On 7 August 1701, at the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the Earl of Galway was appointment colonel of the Dutch Horse Guards. Upon his arrival in the Dutch Republic, he was sent to discourage the Elector of Cologne from a possible alliance with France. He was then sent back to England by William III to persuade Lord Somers and Lord Sunderland to join his government.

In 1704, the Earl of Galway was appointed to command the allied forces in Portugal. He arrived there on 10 August.

In 1705, the Earl of Galway campaigned in Portugal and Spain. On 22 May, he captured Albuquerque. He then took part in the unsuccessful siege of Badajoz where he lost the lower part of his right arm to a cannonball.

In 1706, the Earl of Galway campaigned in Portugal and Spain once more.

On 25 April 1707, the Earl of Galway was decisively defeated by the Duke of Berwick in the Battle of Almansa. Galway received two sabre cuts in the face. Nevertheless, he managed to assemble an army for the campaign of the next year.

In 1708, the Earl of Galway commanded the British troops in Portugal.

On 7 May 1709, the Earl of Galway was defeated once more, this time by the Marquis de Bay at the Battle of La Gudiña. He then retired.

In 1715, the Earl of Galway was sent as one of the lords justices to Ireland during the Jacobite insurrection. As most of his property in Ireland had been restored to its former owners, and all his French estates had long before been forfeited, Parliament voted him pensions amounting to 1500 pounds a year. He died unmarried.


The Spanish SuccessionAnthonie Henri Massue marquis de Ruvigny Viscount Galway

Wikipedia – Henri de Massue, Earl of Galway