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Roger Elliott Biography
Roger Elliott (CIR 1665 - May 15, 1714), Major General and the first British Governor of Gibraltar

Roger Elliott was born, probably in the Tangier Garrison in Morocco, to George Elliott (CIR 1636 - 1668, the Chirurgeon to the Garrison) and his wife Catherine Maxwell (CIR 1638 - 1709). It is likely that George Elliott was the illegitimate son of Richard Eliot, the wayward second son of Sir John Eliot (1592 - 1632).

Roger's father died in 1668 and his widowed mother remarried on February 22, 1670 to Robert Spotswood (September 17, 1637 - 1680, the replacement Chirurgeon at the Garrison), and later Dr George Mercer (the Garrison schoolmaster). Roger was therefore half-brother to Alexander Spotswood (c. 1676 - June 6, 1740), who would become a noted Governor of Virginia.

By 1680, Roger was an Ensign in the Tangier Regiment of Foot, and was wounded on October 27 fighting the local Moors. In 1681, he was suspended by Colonel Percy Kirke for duelling with Ensign Bartholomew Pitts, later being cashiered for this offence. He was sent back to England in 1682 with a letter begging for his readmission into His Majesty's Service, and he was reinstated as an Ensign in his old Company on March 8, 1683. In 1684 he returned to England and probably fought against the Monmouth Rebellion. By 1685, he had transferred to the Queen Dowager's Regiment of Foot, and in 1687 he became a First Lieutenant in Earl of Bath's Regiment - created by Sir John Granville (1628 - 1701). He was promoted to Captain on May 1, 1690 and fought and was wounded at the Battle of Steinkirk on August 3, 1692. On December 21 of that year, he was promoted to Major in the same Regiment, and, on January 1, 1696, promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel of Sir Bevil Granville's Regiment of Foot. In 1701, he was shot through the body at the defence of Tongeren in Belgium. He reputedly took on the entire French Army with only two regiments, before surrendering.

On March 5, 1704, he raised his own regiment - Colonel Elliott's Regiment of Foot. Officers were commissioned on April 10 that year at St James'. On July 2, 1704, he fought and was wounded at the Battle of Schellenberg. It is possible that he fought at the Battle of Blenheim on August 13, 1704 - (NB: he certainly did not lead the cavalry at this Battle, as maintained by other biographies.)

In March 1705, Colonel Elliott's Regiment of Foot embarked for Spain and served at Gibraltar, which was declared a free port in 1706. On January 1, 1707, he was promoted to Brigadier-General, and later that year to Lieutenant-Governor of Gibraltar and on December 24 to Governor of Gibraltar. His time in office is remembered in the Gibraltar records as one of mercenary opportunity; whereas, in the London records, it appears that he proceeded with vital defensive fortification with only minimal prior financial approval. The arguments over the accounts for these defences would cause problems for the probate of his estate. On January 1, 1710, he was promoted to Major-General, and on January 24, 1711, he handed over the Governorship to Brigadier-General Thomas Stanwix. He finally departed Gibraltar on June 18, 1711 and took up residence in Barnes in Surrey.

On March 4, 1712, he married Charlotte Elliot (CIR 1692 - CIR 1753), the daughter of William 'the Laceman' Elliot, and they had two children:

Granville Elliott (October 7, 1713 - October 10, 1759 General, Graf von Eliot, Comte de Merhange)
Katherine Elliott (September 18, 1714 - January 15, 1757).
Mary Elliott, who married Garrett Fitzmaurice in Ireland, claimed to be a daughter of Roger Elliott.

Roger Elliott never fully recovered from his various wounds and died at Barnes on May 15, 1714, and was buried May 21 in the cemetery of St Mary the Virgin, Barnes.

His will was probated on November 16, 1714 but his estate took years to resolve, mostly thanks to the involvement of his father-in-law, William 'the Laceman' Elliot.
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Roger Elliott.