Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Born Dec. 31, 1738, in London; died Oct. 5, 1805, in Ghazipur, India. British military leader and statesman.
Cornwallis commanded large British units (in 1776–78 and 1779–81) as a general during the War for Independence in North America. In 1781 he was forced to surrender at Yorktown. From 1786 to 1793 and in 1805 he was governor-general of India. He introduced a law there on permanent zamindaris (1793). He led operations by troops of the British colonialists in the third Anglo-Mysore War of 1790–92. From 1798 to 1801 he was viceroy of Ireland, where he brutally suppressed the revolt of 1798. As representative of Great Britain he signed the Peace of Amiens of 1802 with France.