Roger Elliott

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Roger Elliott c.1665-1714
With permission from
The Picture Collection
The Library of Virginia
Missing image
Roger Elliott c.1665-1714
With permission from
The Eliot Sisters Collection

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, George Elliott, 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 thirdly to Rev Dr George Mercer (the Garrison schoolmaster). Roger was therefore half-brother to Alexander Spotswood (c. 1676 - June 6 1740), who would become a noted Lieutenant-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, 1st Earl of Bath (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. However, he certainly did not lead the cavalry at this Battle, as has been 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 expensive but 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 personal 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.

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's Church, Barnes.

His will was probated on November 16 1714 but his estate took years to resolve because of the difficulties mentioned. The eventual resolution was mostly thanks to the involvement of his father-in-law, William 'the Laceman' Elliot, who sought to expedite his daughter's remarriage to Captain Thomas Burroughs.


Mary Elliott, who married Garrett Fitzmaurice in Ireland, claimed to be a daughter of Roger Elliott.

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


  • PROB 10/1515 CC 2646 - Probate of Will
  • PRO C104/251 Chancery: Master Tinney's Exhibits
  • Jessica and Laura Eliot's Archive
  • Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland
  • Burke's Irish Family Records



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