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Fowey Harbour Heritage Society

John Whitehead Peard, Soldier, 1811 to 1880

John was the 2nd son of Vice-Admiral Shuldam Peard.  He was educated at Exeter College Oxford, where he was reported to be exceptionally strong and excelled at rowing and boxing. John became a barrister at law of the Inner Temple in 1837.

From 1853 to 1861 he was captain in the Duke of Cornwall's Rangers. He joined forces with Garibaldi, who was fighting for a unified Italy, in 1860 and has gone down in history as 'Garibaldi’s Gentleman' for his valor and marksmanship. It seems he was undeniably brave but was a mediocre commander.  He received the Cross of the Order of Valour from King Victor Emmanuel II.

After Garibaldi retired, Peard went back to Penquite, Fowey, where the rest of his life was described as that of a quiet Victorian gentleman.  He was a J.P. and Deputy Lieutenant for Cornwall, and served as Sheriff in 1869. He was also a prominent freemason, becoming Past Grand Master of Cornwall in 1879. As reward for his service, Garibaldi had a grand Italian-style Cornish estate built for Peard in 1872 named Trenython, where he died in 1880, survived by his wife and 5 daughters

Research Maureen Ogg

Sources: W. P. Courtney, James Falkner, ‘Peard, John Whitehead (1811–1880)’, rev. James Falkner, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford University Press, 2004):; :

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