Francis Rawdon Chesney

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Francis Rawdon Chesney

Francis Rawdon Chesney (born March 16, 1789 in Annalong in Northern Ireland , † January 30, 1872 in Newry and Morne ) was a British general and explorer .

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Francis Rawdon Chesney was a pioneer of the overland route from Europe to India . In 1815, after completing his training at the Military Academy in Woolwich , he was appointed captain of the artillery and then served for some time in Gibraltar . In 1829 he visited the battlefields of the recently ended Greek War of Independence against the Turks, supported by France , Great Britain and Russia . This trip prompted him in 1854 to publish his significant historical work "Narrative of the Russo-Turkish campaigns of 1828-29" .

From Turkey, Chesney went to Asia Minor and Egypt to solve the problem of a direct steamship connection with India , and on October 20, 1830, submitted a report to the British government in which he advocated the piercing of the Suez Isthmus . This report was ignored and was not until the construction of the Suez Canal by de Lesseps Ferdinand , was brought by a London journalist to light already in the making.

Chesney continued his research trip through the deserts of Arabia and Palestine , reached the Euphrates near Anah , in present-day Iraq , and drove the river down on a self-built raft to the Persian Gulf , where he arrived in January 1831. Chesney reported on this trip to the ministry in 1833, whereupon he was given the lead of an expedition which in 1835 penetrated through Arabia to the Euphrates and the Indian Ocean and established the feasibility of a postal connection with India via the Euphrates and Tigris .

Chesney was made major general in 1855 , lieutenant general in 1860, and general in 1866. He died on his country estate in Ireland in 1872.

He was the uncle of Charles Cornwallis Chesney and George Tomkyns Chesney .


  • Observations on the past and present state of firearms etc. (London 1852)
  • The Expedition for the survey of the rivers Euphrates and Tigris (London 1856, 2 vols.)
  • Narrative of the Euphrates expedition carried by order of the British government during the years 1835-37 (das. 1868)
  • Narrative of the Russo-Turkish campaigns of 1828–29 (1854)

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