Thomas Steele 1820-1890

Steele, Sir Thomas Montague (1820-1890) “proved a very constant friend” to David Livingstone, who was born across the river from Bothwell. Accompanied Livingstone in 1843 to Africa. He was the eldest son of Major-General Thomas Steele. His military career spanned 46 years.


Thomas Montagu Steele

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sir Thomas Steele

Steele in 1855, wet plate by Roger Fenton
Born 11 May 1820
Died 25 February 1890
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank General
Commands held Dublin District
Aldershot Division
British forces in Ireland
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

General Sir Thomas Montagu Steele GCBPC (11 May 1820, Guilsborough, Northamptonshire – 25 February 1890 Frimley Park, Farnborough) was a British army officer.


Sir Thomas Steele

As the eldest son of Major-General Thomas Steele and Elizabeth Montagu, second daughter of the fifth duke of Manchester, he attended Royal Military College Sandhurst before being commissioned as an ensign in the 64th foot in January 1838. Exchanging into the Coldstream Guards on 20 July that year, he served as aide-de-camp to the governor of Madras (1842–48) rose to lieutenant and captain in 1844 and captain and lieutenant-colonel in 1851. He then served as Lord Raglan and his successor’s military secretary (1854–1855, apart from 5 July to 6 August 1855 when Thomas served as assistant adjutant general – in that role he served at the battles of the AlmaBalaklavaInkerman and Sevastopol, being mentioned in dispatches.

Sir Thomas Steele

His rewards for his Crimean War service were promotion to brevet colonel (1854) and aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria (1855), appointment as a commander of the Order of the Bath (1855), the Order of the Mejidiye (third class), the Légion d’honneur (fifth class), and the order of St Maurice and St Lazarus (second class). He married his first wife Isabel Fitzgerald in 1856 and, on her death 2 years later, he remarried in 1865 to the American Rosalie Malvina McCarty of New York. Steele rose further in rank before retiring to half pay on 24 November 1863. He then commanded the troops in the Dublin district (1 April 1872 – 31 March 1874), the Aldershot Division (14 April 1875 – 30 June 1880) and the British forces in Ireland (1880–85), finally retiring in 1887. He died in 1890 and was survived by his second wife.


  • Ensign – 1838
  • Lieutenant – 1844
  • Captain – 1844
  • Lieutenant-Colonel – 1851
  • Brevet Colonel – 1854
  • Major – 1860
  • Lieutenant-Colonel – 1862
  • Major-General – 1865
  • Lieutenant-General – 1874
  • Colonel of the Gloucestershire Regiment – 1874
  • Full general – 1877
  • Colonel in the Coldstream Guards – 1884



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