Eyre Coote (20 May 1762 – 10 December 1823) (General Sir Eyre Coote until 1816; GCB 1815 – 1816) was an Irish-born British soldier and politician who served as Governor of Jamaica.
He was the second son of the Very Rev. Charles Coote (1713 – 12 February 1776), DD, Dean of Kilfenora and wife (m. 31 July 1753) Grace Tilson (- 1 January 1767), brother of Charles Henry Coote (1754–1823), who succeeded the last Earl of Mountrath as 2nd Baron Castle Coote in 1802, and nephew of Sir Eyre Coote, KB, the celebrated Indian General, to whose vast estates in England and Ireland he eventually succeeded.
Following studies at Eton and Trinity College Dublin, Coote purchased a commission in the 34th Regiment of Foot – of which his uncle was colonel – in 1774. He soon found himself bound for North America to fight in the American War of Independence, seeing action in Brooklyn in August 1776, Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth Court House before finally being taken prisoner at the final Battle of Yorktown in 1781. Between 1790 and 1798, he represented Ballynakill in the Irish House of Commons. Subsequently he sat for Maryborough until 1800.
He served in England and Ireland when they were threatened by French invasion and against the French on the Continent. He went on to become Governor-General of Jamaica (1806–1808) where he possibly sired an ancestor of Colin Powell. He then served as commander of a division during the disastrous Walcheren Campaign in Autumn 1809.
==Scandal and death==
As “William Cooper” refers in his History of the Rod. Flagellation and the Flagellants, Sir Eyre was removed from the service on 21 May 1816 because of the scandal he caused in the Christ’s Hospital school for boys. On 25 November 1815 he entered the school and offered some boys money for an opportunity to flog them. After that he asked them to flog him and rewarded them with money. Caught by the school nurse, he was charged for indecent conduct before the Lord Mayor of London and acquitted after “donating” £1000 to the school: after that, he was subject to a military inquiry in April 1816 which stripped him of his rank and honours. He was appointed GCB 1815 and stripped of it 1816.
Coote did not stand again for parliament at the dissolution of 1818, and died 10 December 1823. He was twice married, and left issue by both wives. His first wife, Sarah (died 1795), daughter of John Rodbard, is the subject of one of George Romney’s famous paintings.