1737 – He was on the 31st day of December born this year in in Brome, Suffolk, England.
1758 – He was appointed aide-de-camp to Lord Granby, with the rank of captain.
1759 – He was present at the battle of Minden in this year.
1761 – He was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
1762 – On the death of his father, he became Earl Cornwallis, and soon afterward took his seat in the House of Lords. In politics, he was an extreme liberal, belonging to the party of "new Whigs" headed by Pitt and Shelburne.
1766 – He was promoted to the rank of colonel.
1768 – He married Miss Jemima Jones, by whom he had one son and one daughter. The former succeeded to the marquisate, which became extinct by the failure of male heirs in the next generation.
1770 – He was made constable of the tower of London and vice-treasurer of Ireland.
1775 – In December, having reached the grade of lieutenant-general, he was ordered to America, and embarked in the "Bristol," of fifty guns, one of the fleet commanded by Sir Peter Parker.
1777 – During the brief campaign in June, when the British were compelled to abandon New Jersey, Cornwallis took the most important part. At the battle of Brandywine, 11 September, he conducted a flanking march, which secured the defeat of the Americans.
1778 – He returned to England on private business, but was again in America in May, and took part in the battle of Monmouth, 28 June. In December, he was called back to England by the severe illness of his wife, who died soon afterward.
1779 – He returned to America and accompanied Sir Henry Clinton on his expedition to South Carolina.
1780 – After the capture of Charleston, Sir Henry returned to New York, leaving Cornwallis the chief command at the south. His first adversary was the incompetent Gates, whom he defeated at Camden, 16 August, in the most disastrous battle ever fought by an American army.
1781 – He was obliged to surrender this year. The commissioners of the two armies met in the Moore House to agree upon the terms of capitulation. Two months afterward, having been exchanged for Henry Laurens, Lord Cornwallis returned to England.
1786 – After he was promoted to the rank of field marshal, he was appointed governor-general of India and commander-in-chief of the forces there. He was shortly afterward made a knight of the garter.
1791 – He conducted in person the Great War against Tippoo Sultan, captured Bangalore, invested Seringapatam, and concluded a treaty with Tippoo by which the latter surrendered more than half of his dominions to Great Britain.
1794 – On his return to England, he was created a marquis for his services in India.In the following year he became master of the ordnance, with a seat in the cabinet.
1798 – He was appointed lord-lieutenant of Ireland and commander-in-chief of the forces there. This was just after the suppression of the rebellion, and Cornwallis remained in Ireland until the accomplishment of the parliamentary union between that country and Great Britain.
1801 – He was sent to France as one of the commissioners for negotiating the treaty that was completed and signed at Amiens on the 29th day of March in 1802.
1805 – He died on the 5th day of October this year at Ghazepore, near Benares, India.