Brig. Gen. John Carnac 1720 -1800John Carnac transfered from HM  39th Regiment of the Foot regiment to the HEICo sometime in 1756 and was posted at Madras as captain. He became the secretary to...

Brig. Gen. John Carnac 1720 -1800

John Carnac transfered from HM  39th Regiment of the Foot regiment to the HEICo sometime in 1756 and was posted at Madras as captain. He became the secretary to Colonel of the Regiment John Adlercron.He traveled to Calcutta as the aide-de-camp to Robert Clive who went there to seek retribution on Sujadaullah. He stayed on with Clive and joined an expedition against Shahzada, the marauding son of the then Moghul Emperor. he was sad to be principal in Shahzada's defeat. In 1764 he became Commander-in-Chief [ and was made twice more] and resigned from the HEICo and returned to England where he was elected as an MP. With funds dwindling, he returned to India as Second in council at Bombay. He was a member of the Superintending Committee on an expedition to Poona in 1778.He was involved with the Treaty or Convention of Wadegaon in 1779 which was considered as shameful to the British cause . He was dismissed from HEICo service but apparently stayed on in India dying in Nov. 1800 dying at Mangalore. He had married twice - once to an unknown person and secondly to Elizabeth Catherine Rivett [ b:24 july 1769 d ;18 jan 1780].There were no children.


From 1780 - 1800 very little is known of Carnac. If he was dismissed from the HEICo  in 1779, what did he do in Bombay  till 1800. Did he continue on the Bombay Council? What factors led Leadenhall to dismiss him from the HEICo.                           John A.Thomas


Expert Answers
lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I give you a lot of credit for finding out this much. It is not easy to get a lot of detail on people from that time unless they are the really famous ones. The reason I'm commenting, though, is that you might want to check your dates for his second wife--is 1769 when they MARRIED, rather than her birth year? I sure hope so...otherwise, she died, as his wife, as an eleven year old! I know when I am doing my family geneology that frequently the birth year of someone is not known, but they do have marriage records.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I think he was dismissed from the East India Company. The enotes reference article says he was dismissed from The East India Company for his involvement in The Convention of Wadagon. I also noticed he died soon after. So he might have been dismissed from both.
lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

He was released because of his part in The Treaty of Wadgaon in 1779. This treaty relinquished control over all the lands gained during the previous four years. He remained living in India until he died at the age of 84 in 1800. 

jato37 | Student

Carnac was Second in Council for the Bombay Presidency when the treaty or Convention of Wadegaon was signed.  The HEICo at Leadenhall apparently took umbrage at his signing this Treaty as it gave away all the possessions it had gained in the previous years as " he had not been given the authority"  to do this!! I am not able to find when this "dismissal" was served and when it took effect. Further was he dismissed from Army service or from HEICo governmental service? Apparently he was rather open and forthright in his views and this irritated the then Governor General of the time Warren Hastings which may have added to the plea for dismissal. I am not able to find answers to these questions!! He also had many in support him and  a few detractors. But what I thought rather galling to him would have been his dismissal after becoming Brigadier General and having become Commander in Chief  of the HEICo  twice at least !!!


jato37 | Student

Thanks for the suggestion and I  stand corrected. In fact Elizabeth Catherine Rivett was born on 08 April 1751  and died 18 Jan. 1780 making her 29 years old when she died. She was the daughter of Thomas Rivett MP. She was married  to John Carnac when she was 18 years old. If I remember right all four children of Thomas Rivett MP died early and were buried together. Suspected cause of death was possibly Tuberculosis.John Carnac had no children and his estate went to James Rivett, who he required to assume the name Rivett-Carnac. Two of this persons sons became well know one as Sir James Rivett-Carnac 1st Bt and the other Admiral John Rivett-Carnac who became an explorer in Australia