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Chapter 5

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
Esquimalt Naval Base

by
Frederick V. Longstaff

The Victoria Book & Stationery Company, Ltd.
Victoria, B. C. 1941

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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Chapter 7

 p110  Chapter VI

Commanders-in‑Chief of Ships on the Pacific Station

The Pacific Station as a Rear-Admiral's Command was in existence for sixty-eight years, from the 4th of September, 1837, until the 28th of February, 1905. It saw a succession of twenty-nine flag officers, and two Commodores for the southern division, who flew their flags and pendants in only twenty‑two ships. The first four flag officers never took their flagships north to B. C. waters. The fifth flag officer, Rear-Admiral F. Moresby, was the first one to enter B. C. waters and this took place in 1851. The "Flying Squadron" on its Empire tour under the command of Rear-Admiral Geoffrey Thomas Phipps Hornby arrived in Esquimalt harbour on the 5th of May, 1870, but this officer should not be confused with Rear-Admiral Phipps Hornby who was Commander-in‑Chief of the ships on this station from 1847, till 1851; Geoffrey entered the Navy in 1837, while Phipps entered in 1797.a The flagship on the Station during the period of transition from Colonial to Dominion status was the Zealous, carrying the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir Arthur Farquhar. The Zealous herself was an example of transition, as her hull was of wood and this was covered with armour, thus originating the term armour-clad.

In no sense was there ever a Pacific Squadron, because that implied a number of sister ships so that they could all manoeuvre together in formation and work at the same speed, and that their turning circles were the same so that they could also keep station at all times and in all weathers. From this subject we come to that of the correct or official title which was in contemporary use, and so far searches have shown that the title was, Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels employed and to be employed on the Pacific Station". This title is taken from a document (now in the B. C. Archives) dated 9th August, 1859, on board the Ganges in Esquimalt Harbour, and here it is in full: "By Robert Lambert Baynes, Esquire, Companion of the Most Noble Military Order of the Bath, and Rear-Admiral of the Red, Commander-in‑Chief of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels employed and to be employed on the Pacific Station."

 p111  It has been difficult to compress the record of service of each flag officer who served on this Station into the small compass which is necessary here. Some of them had seen much war service before reaching the rank of Captain and some of them only after that rank. Much material in the possession of the writer has had to be omitted for want of space.

Generally the transfer of the command of the Station from one Rear-Admiral to another took place at Valparaiso, but up to the present it has not been possible to complete a list of these dates. Also some transfers took place at Callao, Panama and Esquimalt. There was therefore a delay of weeks or months from the hoisting his flag on his ship at the home port and taking over on the Pacific Station from the home going flag officer. Again much could be written about the successive flag-captains and their records of service and distinguished work on the Station, but lack of space prevents the insertion of these records. The same can be said of the flagships, but in this case a few ships have been chosen for special mention and it is believed the notes given contain facts which are new to most readers.

I. Ross, Charles Baynes Hodgson, who entered the Navy in 1788. Was promoted Captain 15th October, 1802, and commanded several ships in the war against France in the West Indies from 1800, and then in the war with the United States. In 1815, was flag captain in 78‑gun ship Northumberland under Admiral Sir G. Cockburn; sailed from Plymouth on 8th August, with Napoleon Bonaparte for St. Helena which was reached on 16th October, and the ship remained there as flagship of the guarding squadron. Captain Ross was promoted to Rear-Admiral on 10th January, 1837, and on the following 4th September, was appointed to command the ships on the newly formed Pacific Station then just cut off from the South American Station, which was first known as the Brazils Station. He flew his flag in the 50‑gun sailing frigate President which had been commissioned at Portsmouth by Captain J. Scott on 30th August, 1837. She was a new ship as she had been launched at Portsmouth in 1829, and fitted for sea in May, 1834. She got her name from being built on the exact lines of the U. S. N. ship of that name. Rear-Admiral Ross was promoted Vice-Admiral in 1847 and died about 1849.

 p112  II. Thomas, Richard. Entered the Navy in 1790, and as a junior officer served in Victory under Admiral Sir J. Jervis in the Mediterranean. On 22nd October, 1805, he was promoted Captain to command the 98‑gun ship Queen carrying the flag of Lord Collingwood, under whom he continued to serve and followed the great leader into the 98‑gun ship Ocean, then the 110‑gun ship Ville De Paris, until the death of the great Admiral in 1810. Captain Thomas was promoted Rear-Admiral on 10th January, 1837, and on the 5th May, 1841, was appointed to command the ships on the Pacific Station, and flew his flag in the 50‑gun frigate Dublin, which was commissioned at Portsmouth on 26th June, 1841, by Captain J. J. Tucker. Among the achievements by the Rear-Admiral on the Station were: The settlement of the long pending claims of the owners of the British flag Anna (seized in 1822), and of the British merchants who had been plundered at Callao; the obtaining of compensation from the States of San Salvador and Costa Rica for injuries and losses sustained by the British residents at those places; the occupation of Tahiti by the French Rear-Admiral Du Petit Thouars; the restoration, to their lawful sovereign, of the Sandwich Islands, which had been temporarily ceded to Lord George Paulet, of the Carysfort; and the detention of a Peruvian squadron until redress had been made for certain injuries inflicted on British subjects. For the above work the Rear-Admiral received the approval of the Foreign Office and the Admiralty. He also received the thanks of the Government of the U. S. A. for his work on the Sandwich Islands. Prior to his return home he was presented with an address from the British merchants at Valparaiso, expressive of their acknowledgments for the "ability and zeal he had displayed, and the firm, prudent and conciliatory manner in which he had conducted many difficult questions, upholding the honour of the British flag, and maintaining peace and understanding with the Chilian and foreign powers". He also received the thanks of the Chilian Government for the aid the crews of the Dublin and Basilisk in fighting the great Valparaiso fire of July, 1844.b He was promoted Vice-Admiral in 1848 and died in August, 1857.

III. Seymour, George Francis. Entered the Navy in 1797, and as a midshipman served in Victory under Flag‑Captain Hon. C. Paget, bearing the flag of Lord Nelson, 1802‑03. As a Lieutenant he served in the 74‑gun ship  p113 Donegal, Captain Sir R. J. Strachan, which accompanied Lord Nelson to the West Indies and back in 1805, and then participated in the capture of the 100‑gun ship El Rayo, one of the Spanish ships at Trafalgar. Promoted to Captain on 29th July, 1806, and as Captain of the 32‑gun frigate Pallas in 1808, he took part in Lord Cochrane's attack upon the French shipping in the Basque Roads on 16th September, 1809. In 1813, on 23rd May, he, in the 38‑gun frigate Leonidas, captured the United States privateer Paul Jones of 16 guns and 85 men. Captain Seymour was promoted to Rear-Admiral on 10th January, 1837, and to the command of the ships on the Pacific Station on 14th May, 1844, and flew his flag in the 80‑gun ship Collingwood, which was commissioned at Portsmouth on 13th August, 1844, by Captain Robert Smart, Knight of Hanover. It appears the above ship was kept at Spithead for some months by reason of the threat of war with France, and let me quote the late Sir J. H. Briggs, a former Chief Clerk of the Admiralty: "In 1841, we had a large fleet upon the coast of Syria, composed for the most part of the line‑of-battleships usually kept at the home ports, which consequently left the shores of England utterly unprotected. In 1844, serious differences arose between this country and France, whilst M. Thiers was Minister for Foreign Affairs, and so grave were the apprehensions entertained by the Government at home — caused by the representation of our ambassador at Paris, and by the strongly expressed opinions of M. Thiers in reference to our proceedings in the East — that war seemed imminent. Great alarm and anxiety was felt from want of adequate protection at home, and to such an extent had our home forces been reduced that the Collingwood, an 80‑gun ship, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir G. Seymour, then under orders for the Pacific, was actually detained at Spithead to protect the Solent, there being no other ship of the line available; and, as regards the Collingwood herself, her condition was so deplorable that her Captain, R. Smart, told me that at that time she had on board upwards of 200 merchant seamen who had never been placed at a grant gun". Rear-Admiral Seymour was promoted to Vice-Admiral on 27th March, 1850, to Admiral on 14th May, 1857, and then appointed Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom. He died in January, 1878.

IV. Hornby, Phipps. Entered the Navy in 1797, and while yet a junior officer in the Mediterranean in  p114 August, 1804, he was promoted from the Victory, flagship of Lord Nelson, to Acting Lieutenant in the 74‑gun ship Excellent. He saw much war service on the coasts of Italy and Spain, in cutting‑out expeditions and landing parties, and was present at the action off Lissa in 1811. He was promoted Captain on 16th February, 1810, and in command of the 38‑gun frigate Spartan he was employed as senior officer, in conjunction with a Tuscan land force, to secure the accomplishment of a treaty for the surrender to Tuscany of the Island of Elba by the French. In 1832 he was appointed Superintendent of the Royal Naval Hospital and Victualling Yard at Plymouth. In 1846 he was promoted to Rear-Admiral on 9th of November, and on the 28th August, 1847, he was appointed to the command of the ships on the Pacific Station, and flew his flag in the 84‑gun ship Asia, commissioned at Chatham by Captain R. F. Stopford on 25th August of the same year. This 84‑gun ship had been the flagship of Admiral Sir E. Codrington at the battle of Navarino in 1827. From 1852‑53 he was a Lord of the Admiralty, and on 21st January, 1854, he was promoted Vice-Admiral, and January, 1858, to Admiral. He was given the Knight Grand Cross of the Bath in 1861. He died in March, 1867.

V. Moresby, Fairfax. Entered the Navy in 1799. Midshipman Moresby while in the 38‑gun frigate Amazon participated in much general war service, he went with the fleet under Lord Nelson to the West Indies in pursuit of the combined fleets of France and Spain. He served two commissions in the Mediterranean seeing much boat and cutting‑out work done on the coasts of Italy and France. Later he repressed pirates in the Grecian archipelago, and led landing parties to the capture of batteries at Cattero. For co‑operation with Austrian troops on the coasts of the Adriatic he was awarded the insignia of a Knight of the Imperial Order of Maria Theresa. He was promoted Captain on 7th June, 1814, and on the 4th June, nominated a Companion of the Bath. In April, 1819, he commissioned the 28‑gun frigate Menai as senior officer at the Cape of Good Hope, calling at St. Helena on the way. Later he directed the settling of 2,000 people on the shores of Algoa Bay. In February, 1821, he began an anti-slave drive at the Island of Mauritius which drew a supply from Muscat, as well as from Madagascar. These two sources were closed by treaty in about two years. His health was much impaired after five years on the East African Station, so he went home. He was promoted Rear- p115 Admiral on 20th December, 1849, after having been nearly 36 years a Captain, being then 62 years of age and one of the youngest of his rank. He was appointed to command the ships on the Pacific Station on 21st August, 1850, and flew his flag in the 52‑gun frigate Portland, which Captain Henry Chads commissioned at Devonport on 26th August, 1850. Rear-Admiral Moresby was promoted Vice-Admiral on 12th November, 1856, and died about 1877.

VI. Price, David. Entered the Navy in 1801. Midshipman Price saw much war service at Martinique, both boat and frigate actions. While in 74‑gun ship Centaur, Commodore Sir S. Hood, was at capture of four French frigates from Rochefort; was at Copenhagen under Admiral Gambier in 1807, doing boat work and their protection in the Baltic. Confirmed Lieutenant in September, 1809, then in action near Cape Barfleur. Promoted Captain 13th June, 1815, saw service at Baltimore, the Potomac, off Jamaica, and much time at New Orleans under Rear-Admiral Malcolm, where he was on duty with landing parties at the siege on Dauphin Island and Fort Mobile. News of peace arriving from England he was sent with a flag of truce to inform the United States officers at Mobile. Promoted Rear-Admiral 6th November, 1850. Appointed to the command of the ships on the Pacific Station on 17th August, 1853, flying his flag in the 52‑gun frigate President, commissioned by Captain R. Burridge at Chatham on 8th August, 1853. (Note: she was launched at Portsmouth in 1829, and after her active service she became drill ship for the Royal Reserve in 1861, being stationed in the City Canal, West India Docks, London. She was sold 1903.) Rear-Admiral Price died by his own hand off the harbour of Petropavlovski in Kamtchatka on 30th August, 1854.

VII. Frederick, Charles. Entered the Navy in 1810. As a midshipman saw service off Portugal, and present at the fall of Genoa. Promoted Captain on 23rd December, 1842, just before which he had taken a troopship to China where he was present at the capture of the city of Chin‑Kiang‑Foo and at the pacification of Nanking. He commissioned the 24‑gun frigate Amphitrite at Portsmouth on 13th December, 1850, as a private ship for the Pacific Station and was present at the action off Petropavlovski where he was the senior Captain. On the death of Rear-Admiral Price, he took over the  p116 command of the British ships and hoisted the Commodore's broad pendant, which he shifted to the President as soon as possible, Captain Burridge moving into the Amphitrite. When the news of the death of Rear-Admiral Price reached the Admiralty a successor was found in Rear-Admiral H. W. Bruce, who came out in the 84‑gun ship Monarch, from the North Sea. Commodore Frederick was promoted Rear-Admiral on 20th May, 1862, and Vice-Admiral on 18th October, 1867. He died about 1875.

VIII. Bruce, William Henry. Entered the Navy in 1803. Served at the battle of Trafalgar as a junior officer, at the forcing of the Dardanelles under Admiral Duckworth, at the embarkation of Sir John Moore's army at Corunna and cutting out Danish ships off the coast of Norway. He also took part in the American war of 1812‑13, promoted Captain 16th November, 1821, and Rear-Admiral on 30th July, 1852. He was appointed to the command of the ships on the Pacific Station on the 25th November, 1854, and flew his flag at Sheerness in the 84‑gun ship Monarch (launched Chatham, 1832) which was commissioned by Captain G. E. Patey on 28th December, 1854. Bruce was promoted Vice-Admiral on 2nd October, 1857, and given the K. C. B. in 1861; he died about 1863.

IX. Baynes, Robert Lambert. Entered the Navy in 1810. Lieut. Baynes was present at the siege of New Orleans in 74‑gun ship Conqueror flag of Rear-Admiral Robert Plampin; was second Captain to the 84‑gun ship Asia at the battle of Navarino on 20th October, 1827; promoted Captain on 8th July, 1828, and Rear-Admiral on 7th February, 1855. He was appointed to command the ships on the Pacific Station on 8th July, 1857, and flew his flag in the 84‑gun ship Ganges (launched Bombay, 1821), which was commissioned at Portsmouth by Captain J. Fulford on 25th June, 1857. Baynes was promoted Vice-Admiral on 5th August, 1861, and died about 1869.

X. Maitland, Thomas. Entered the Navy 1816. From 1833‑37 saw war service on the north coast of Spain during the civil war, and was promoted Captain on 19th June, 1837. He at once was made Flag‑Captain in 72‑gun ship Wellesley, Sir Frederick L. Maitland, when he commanded the seamen and marines landed to quell an insurrection on the coast of Malabar, and in 1839, was in the operations on the coast of Sind and in the Persian Gulf. Then in China he saw service at Chusan,  p117 Tycocktow, Bogue Forts, and commanded the first naval battalion in the attack on Canton, also the handling of Wellesley in the attack upon Amoy, and work at Chusan and Chinghae. For these he was made a K. C. B. in 1843. Was promoted Rear-Admiral on 18th June, 1857, and appointed to command of the ships on the Pacific Station on 5th May, 1860, and flew his flag in the 51‑gun steam sailing frigate Bacchante (launched Portsmouth, 1857), which Captain D. McL. Mackenzie commissioned at Portsmouth on April 17th, 1860. Here are two official letters (B. C. Archives) from the Rear-Admiral to Governor Douglas which will explain themselves. The first one, dated 5th October, 1861, at Esquimalt: "I have the honour to inform your Excellency, that it is my intention to proceed to Valparaiso after the arrival of the Mail, leaving Captain the Hon. John W. S. Spencer, in the Topaze as the Senior Officer on this part of the Station, with directions to carry out your wishes in furtherance of the Queen's Service as may be required from time to time, so far as the means at his disposal will admit. The Mutine will also leave for the coast of Mexico, where naval protection is greatly needed in the present distracted state of that country." The second letter dated Taboga, Bay of Panama, 7th February, 1863: "I beg to acquaint your Excellency that ill health having compelled me to relinquish my command, it is my intention to return to England by the mail steamer leaving this day. Commodore the Hon. J. W. S. Spencer of the Topaze has been directed to assume temporary charge of Her Majesty's ships and vessels on the Pacific Station, until the arrival of Rear-Admiral J. Kingcome, C.‑in‑C., who may be expected at Valparaiso early in March." Rear-Admiral Maitland was promoted Vice-Admiral on 30th November, 1863, and died in 1878.

Xa. Spencer, Hon. John Welbore Sunderland. (Note. Though this officer is not shown in the Navy List as Commodore, yet as Rear-Admiral Sir T. Maitland uses this appointment officially, this record is inserted). Entered the Navy, 1835; promoted Captain on 9th October, 1854. In 1859 he commissioned the 51‑gun screw sailing frigate Topaze (launched Devonport 1856), which arrived at Esquimalt on 19th March, 1860, and sailed for England in June, 1863. (See under Rear-Admiral Sir T. Maitland.) The Topaze with armament reduced to 31 guns returned to this Station in 1866 under Commodore R. A. Powell, C. B.

 p118  XI. Kingcome, John. Entered the Navy in 1808. As a midshipman he was present in the 36‑gun frigate Emerald, Captain F. L. Maitland, at the destruction of French shipping in Aix Roads in April, 1809. In May, 1813, he went to the 74‑gun ship Goliath, North American Station; in July, 1814, he became Master's Mate of the St. Lawrence, bearing the broad pendant on Lake Ontario of Captain Sir Charles Lucas Yeo, who nominated him, on 9th March, 1815, acting Lieutenant of the 98‑gun ship Princess Charlotte, Captain R. O'Connor. In October, 1815, he obtained command of the Confiance schooner on Lake Huron; and from October 1816 until July 1817 he was again employed on Lake Ontario in the 10‑gun schooner Netley, Captain F. Brace. He next commanded the Larne, sloop on the East Indian Station, and he conveyed Lady Brisbane (wife of Commodore Sir James Brisbane) and her two daughters from Madras to Penang, and Archdeacon Scott from Sydney to Van Diemen's Land; then visited New Zealand, Norfolk and Melville Islands, Batavia and Singapore. Kingcome was promoted Captain on 28th June, 1838, and took the troopship Belleisle to China in 1841, and was present at the closing operations on the Yangtse-Kiang. He was promoted Rear-Admiral on 10th September, 1857, and appointed to the command of the ships on the Pacific Station on 31st October, 1862. He flew his flag on the 35‑gun sail and screw frigate Sutlej (launched Pembroke, 1855), which was commissioned by Captain Matthew Connolly as a private ship on 18th September, 1862, at Portsmouth to relieve the Topaze, and during the previous six months her armament was altered four times. In the middle of October, 1862, a poop was fitted to the frigate as she was to be a flagship to relieve the Bacchante, carrying Rear-Admiral of the White John Kingcome, which was not justice to Captain Connolly, who had spent a large sum in fitting her out as a private ship. It was during this officer's period of command that the Bute Inlet massacre took place. He was promoted Vice-Admiral on 5th March, 1864, and awarded the K. C. B. in the same year. Died in 1871.

XIa. Harvey, Thomas. Entered the Navy in 1822, and as Midshipman served in the West Indies. After becoming Mate he saw service in the Mediterranean and South American Stations, then the North Sea and off Lisbon. He next served on the North American and West Indies as Flag-Lieutenant to his father. Promoted Captain on 31st January, 1848. In 1863,  p119 at Sheerness he commissioned the 39‑gun screw frigate Leander on 23rd May, to carry his broad pendant on the Southern Division of the Pacific Station as Commodore Second Class. He was promoted Rear-Admiral on 2nd December, 1865, and died about 1869.

XIb. Powell, Richard Ashmore. Entered the Navy in 1836, and was promoted Captain on 8th March, 1855. He commanded the 6‑gun paddle sloop Vesuvius before Sebastopol, was awarded several foreign Orders, and the C. B. about 1859. In 1862, on 7th February, the Naval Cadet Training ship Britannia was moved under sail from Portsmouth to Weymouth and moored in Portland Harbour, and here on 1st of October of the same year Captain Robert Harris, the first Captain of the Training ship, was succeeded by Captain R. A. Powell. The new Captain represented that Portland Harbour was not a suitable place and he eventually recommended the narrow mouth of the river Dart at Dartmouth, and on 29th September, 1863, the old ship left Portland and arrived at Dartmouth on the following day, where she became a fracture. On the 23rd May, 1866, he was appointed Commodore, Second Class, to command the ships on the Southern Division of the Pacific Station, at which post he relieved Commodore T. Harvey on the latter's promotion to Rear-Admiral, hoisting his broad pendant on the screw frigate Leander which was already on the Station, and subsequently took her home in 1869 to Devonport. In 1868, Commodore Powell visited the Island of Juan Fernandez and on one of the peaks erected an iron tablet as a memorial to Mr. Alexander Selkirk, master Mariner. The latter was rescued from his life of isolation by Captain Woodes Rogers on 2nd of February, 1709, in the frigate Duke of Bristol. Captain Harvey retired as Captain on 6th July 1871, was promoted to retired Vice-Admiral 21st March, 1878, and died in 1893.

XII. Denman, Honourable Joseph. Entered the Navy in 1823; while on the Mediterranean Station served in a severe boat action with pirates off the Island of Candia, then on the South American and the East Indian Stations; the North Sea and then South America. In 1834, his first command was the 10‑gun sloop Curlew on the African Coast. Promoted Captain on 23rd August, 1841. From 1840, until 1842, while on the African Coast between converter and Cape Palmas he made a treaty with the Native Chiefs, by virtue of which the factories were  p120 destroyed and the white offenders expelled; he did the same at Sierra Leone, and continued this work. He became Rear-Admiral on 15th January, 1862, and was appointed to the command of the ships on the Pacific Station on 10th April, 1864, and flew his flag in the 35‑gun screw ship Sutlej, the ship being recommissioned on this Station by Captain T. P. Coode on 2nd January, 1864. Denman promoted to Retired Vice-Admiral on 20th November, 1860, and died 26th November, 1874.

XIII. Hastings, Honourable George Fowler. Entered the Navy in 1824. He served in the Mediterranean Station, and 1841, took command of the Harlequin, 16‑guns, in Chinese War. Thanked by the C.‑in‑C., for the conduct in leading her boats in an attack on the piratical towns of Murdoo and Quallo Batto, in the Island of Sumatra. Then served on the West Coast of Africa, and from 1852, until 1857, in Mediterranean and Black Seas, receiving the C. B. for his services in the Russian War. Was promoted Captain on 31st January, 1845, and Rear-Admiral on 27th April, 1863. He was appointed to the command of the ships on the Pacific Station on 21st November, 1866, hoisting his flag at Woolwich on the Fisgard on 16th November, before transferring to the Zealous at Devonport. The Zealous was a wooden, screw sailing, armour-clad ship, which was commissioned by Captain R. Dawkins in September, 1866. Rear-Admiral Hon. J. F. Hastings was the last Rear-Admiral to deal with the Colonial Governor in British Columbia. He was promoted Vice-Admiral in September, 1869, and died in 1876.

XIV. Farquhar, Sir Arthur. Entered the Navy in 1829. Served as Mate at the bombardment of Acre on the coast of Syria in November, 1840, when he was promoted Lieutenant. In 1844 commanded sixteen‑gun Albatross, on the coast of Africa. In 1849, was in command of a force sent against the pirates in the Borneo Seas and worked with a native flotilla under Rajah Brooke. The force first took up position at the mouth of the Sarebas River, but later, on 30th June, the pirates were attacked and 70 prahus driven on shore. Promoted Captain on 27th October, 1849. In 1854, commanded the 17‑gun ship Malacca on the North American and West Indies Station, and on 2nd April, 1866, was promoted Rear Admiral. Appointed to the command of the ships on the Pacific Station on 1st November, 1869, and flew his flag in the wooden screw sailing armour-clad Zealous, she being  p121 re‑commissioned at Panama in 1869 by Captain F. A. Hume. Was promoted Vice-Admiral on 6th April, 1873, and died in 1908, at the age of 93 years.

XV. Hillyar, Charles Farrel. Entered the Navy in 1831; served as Mate in President in South America, then as Lieutenant in the Mediterranean. Commanded a division of boats at the destruction of Lagos, and was severely wounded in 1851. Promoted Captain 20th February, 1852, and was Captain of Gladiator at the blockade and capture of Sebastopol, 1855. Promoted Rear-Admiral 24th May, 1867, and nominated C. B. in 1869. Was appointed to command the ships on the Pacific Station on 9th July, 1872, and hoisted his flag in the new screw armour-clad wooden ship Repulse, 6,190 tons and 800 horsepower. This remarkable ship was built at Woolwich Dockyard, launched in 1868, and completed at Sheerness on the closing of the former Dockyard. Her second commission was at Portsmouth on 9th July, 1872, and a very long one followed (falling short of five years by a month) in June, 1877, after she sailed round Cape Horn under Captain R. Carter, who had to be put under restraint when off the Argentine coast.c The Repulse flew in succession the flags of Rear-Admiral Hillyar, Rear-Admiral Cochrane and Rear-Admiral Hancock, being kept constantly on the move with the screw up and funnel down, between ports from British Columbia to Patagonia under full sail. Here are her Captains during the five years continuous commission: Captain C. T. Curme, 9th July, 1872; Captain F. W. Wilson, 7th June, 1873 and Captain R. Carter, 5th July, 1875.

XVI. Cochrane, Honourable Arthur Auckland Pedro. Entered the Navy in 1839; was at bombardment of Acre, 1840; Commander of paddle vessel Driver in Baltic, 1854; promoted Captain 29th August, 1854; served on shore at Canton, 1856 and 1857, and was wounded. Was appointed to command the ships on the Pacific Station on 6th June, 1873, and flew his flag in the Repulse. (See under Hillyar). Promoted Rear-Admiral 1st April, 1870, Vice-Admiral 12th November, 1875, and Admiral 1st December, 1881, and died in 1905.

XVII. Hancock, George. Entered the Navy in 1834; served on the South East Coast of America and the West Indies; as Lieutenant assisted in the destruction of piratical junks in China, 1849; promoted Captain, 19th  p122 January, 1855; and in command of frigate Immortalite on the North American and West Indies station during the Civil War in the United States, did well in his prompt action in connection with the Trent affair. He served as Flag Captain to the Commander-in‑Chief at Portsmouth, promoted Rear-Admiral on 20th November, 1872, and served as second in command of the Channel Squadron, 1873‑75, in Northumberland. He was appointed to the command of the ships on the Pacific Station on 15th April, 1876, and flew his flag in Repulse, (see under Hillyar). From this Station he was invalided, landing at Southampton in August, 1876, where he died on 20th September in the same year, in his fifty-seventh year.

XVIII. De Horsey, Algernon Frederick Rous. Entered the Navy in 1840, present in operations on coast of Syria in 1840, medals; Lieutenant in 1846, and in February, 1851, was appointed Flag‑Lieut. in Cumberland, to Vice-Admiral Sir G. F. Seymour, C.‑in‑C. North American and West Indies for three years. Promoted Captain, 1857. When in command of Brisk captured the celebrated Spanish slaver Manuela, 702 tons, with 846 slaves. Appointed Commander 10th June, 1853, and Captain, 7th September, 1857. Was Senior Officer at Jamaica in the Wolverine during the rebellion of 1865, and received thanks of the Governor. Was Senior Officer on the Great Lakes in the Aurora during the Fenian disturbances, 1866‑67. A. D. C. to the Queen, 1871‑75. Appointed Rear-Admiral 7th August, 1876, and hoisted his flag, as Commander-in‑Chief of the ships on the Pacific Station 6th August, 1876, in the 6,250‑ton iron screw sailing frigate Shah. She was built at Portsmouth, 1873, and commissioned by Captain F. G. D. Bedford at Portsmouth on 14th August, 1876. De Horsey was promoted Vice-Admiral on 27th November, 1879, and Admiral on 29th May, 1893, and awarded K. C. B. Retired in 1892 and died on 22nd October, 1922.

XIX. Stirling, Frederick Henry. Entered the Navy about 1841; served as Commander of Wasp on the South East Coast of America from 1856, and of Barracouta on the East Indian Station, when in 1855 she was detached to blockade the fur trading port of Petropaulovsk. Promoted Captain on 19th November, 1860, and to Rear-Admiral on 22nd January, 1877. He was appointed to the command of the ships on the Pacific Station on 21st July, 1879, and flew his flag in the 6,640‑ p123 ton iron screw sailing ship Triumph, which was commissioned at Portsmouth on 1st May, 1878, by Captain R. Bradshaw. He was promoted Vice-Admiral on 31st December, 1881, and died in 1885.

XX. Lyons, Algernon McLennan. Entered the Navy in 1833; as acting Lieutenant of Firebrand served in Black Sea, 1854‑55, and commanded the boats of that ship in the destruction of Russian works on the Danube; present at bombardment of Sebastopol, and as Flag‑Lieut. to the C.‑in‑C. during the capture of Kertch and Kinburn. Promoted Commander, 1858, and Captain on 1st December, 1862; commanded Racer on the North American Station during the Civil War, 1861‑62; Commodore, Second Class, in Aboukir, receiving ship at Port Royal 1875‑78. Promoted Rear-Admiral, 26th September, 1878; was appointed to the command of the ships on the Pacific Station on 10th December, 1881, and flew his flag in the iron screw sailing ship Triumph, which Captain A. H. Markham joined at Callao in December, 1879. Was promoted Vice-Admiral, 27th June, 1884, Admiral on 15th December, 1888, and Admiral of the Fleet on 23rd August, 1897, and awarded the K. C. B. on 25th May 1889,º having been First and Principal A. D. C. to the Queen, February, 1895. Died in 1908.

XXI. Baird, John Kennedy Erskine; entered the Navy 1845; and when Lieut. was in Duke of Wellington, Rear-Admiral Hon. R. S. Dundas in Baltic 1855; promoted Captain, 16th February, 1864, A. D. C. to Queen, February, 1878, promoted Rear-Admiral, 31st December, 1879. Appointed to the command of the ships on the Pacific Station on 13th September, 1884, and flew his flag in the 6,910‑ton iron screw sailing ship Swiftsure, commissioned at Portsmouth by Captain Henry Compton Aitchison on the 27th March, 1882, and later taken over by Captain the Honourable Thomas Seymour Brand on 7th August, 1884. Promoted to Vice-Admiral on 18th January, 1886, and to Admiral on 14th February, 1892, retiring on 16th September, 1897, and died in 1909.

XXII. Seymour, Michael Culme. Entered the Navy in 1850, and as a junior officer saw active service in Burmese War, first year in Russian Baltic War, and rest of war in the Crimea and on shore. Was Flag‑Lieut. in Calcutta in China War, many actions, 1858. Promoted Captain on 16th December, 1865; Private Secretary to the First Lord (Mr. Ward Hunt 1874‑1876); A. D. C. to the Queen,  p124 1879‑1882; Rear-Admiral on 6th May, 1882. Appointed to the command of the ships on the Pacific Station on 4th July, 1885, and flew his flag in the 6,640‑ton iron screw armoured ship Triumph commissioned by Captain Henry Rose at Portsmouth on 1st January, 1885. This ship was very fast and handy under sail. Seymour was promoted to Vice-Admiral on 19th June, 1889, and Admiral on 13th February, 1893, awarded the K. C. B. in 1893, retired, 1901, Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom, July, 1901, First and Principal A. D. C. to the Queen in January, 1899. In charge of the coffin of Queen Victoria from Osborne to the Royal Clarence Yard on 1st February, 1901. In attendance on H. M. King Edward VII at his coronation on 9th August, 1902. Died, 11th October, 1920.

XXIII. Heneage, Algernon Charles Fiaschi. Entered the Navy in 1845, and as a junior officer saw active service in Burmese war, the first year in the Baltic, and the rest of the war he was in the Crimea. Promoted Captain on 26th June, 1866, and Rear-Admiral on 7th July, 1884. He was appointed to the command of the ships on the Pacific Station on 20th September, 1887, and flew his flag in the Triumph, Captain H. Rose and then in Swiftsure which was commissioned by Captain James Lacon Hammet at Devonport on 24th April, 1888. Rear-Admiral Heneage was probably the first C.‑in‑C. on the Station to hold a review of the armed forces of sea and land for the Queen's birthday, and this was on Macaulay Plain, located between Victoria and Esquimalt. He was appointed Vice-Admiral on 29th November, 1889, to Admiral on 9th December, 1894, and retired on 19th March, 1896. He was awarded the K. C. B. on 24th May, 1892, and died in 1915.

XXIV. Hotham, Charles Frederick. Entered the Navy 1856, and as a Lieut. took part in the attack at Rangariri, New Zealand, in November, 1863, and was wounded. Promoted Captain on 29th December, 1871; Flag-Captain in Alexandra during the Egyptian War, 1882, with medals, and awarded the C. B. Promoted Rear-Admiral on 6th January, 1888. A. D. C. to the Queen in 1886‑88; a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty 30th January, 1888 to 1889. Appointed to command the ships on the Pacific Station on the 4th January, 1890; and flew his flag in the first class armoured cruiser Warspite of 8,400 tons and 10,000 horsepower, Captain the Honourable Hedworth Lambton, C. B., who commissioned her at  p125 Chatham on 14th February, 1890. Hotham was promoted Vice-Admiral on 1st September, 1893; awarded the K. C. B. in 1895; Admiral on 13th January, 1899; awarded the G. C. B. in 1902, and made Admiral of the Fleet on 30th August, 1903; retired on 20th March, 1913, and died, 1925.

XXV. Stephenson, Henry Frederick. Entered the Navy in 1855. As a junior officer served in the Black Sea during the Crimean War, and was on Raleigh when wrecked in the China Sea on 14th April, 1857. Was in the China War, and served through the Indian Mutiny in the Pearl's naval brigade, September, 1857, till February, 1859. Promoted Lieut. 1861; and in command of gunboat Huron on Lake Ontario during Fenian raids. Wintered in Toronto, 1866‑67. Captain 6th January, 1875, when he commanded Discovery in the Arctic expedition, 1875‑76. In Egyptian War, 1882; A. D. C. to the Queen, 1888 to 1890. Promoted Rear-Admiral on 4th August, 1890. Appointed to the command of the ships on the Pacific Station on the 2nd March, 1893; and flew his flag in the steel first class armoured cruiser Royal Arthur of 7,700 tons and 10,000 horsepower, commissioned by Captain F. P. Trench at Portsmouth on March 2nd, 1893. The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Connaught were present to give the new ship a good send off. Rear-Admiral Stephenson was promoted Vice-Admiral on 10th October, 1896; Admiral on 7th December, 1901, and retired on 1st September, 1904; died in 1920.

XXVI. Palliser, Henry St. Ledger Bury. Entered the Navy in 1852. As a junior officer he saw Russian War service in the Baltic in 1854, and in the Black Sea in 1855, with the usual medals. Promoted Captain on 25th March, 1878, and in December, 1891, was appointed Commodore at Hong Kong. Promoted Rear-Admiral on 26th April, 1893. Appointed to the command of the ships on the Pacific Station on the 5th March, 1896, and flew his flag in the steel first class armoured cruiser Imperieuse of 8,400 tons and 8,000 horsepower, commissioned at Portsmouth by Captain Charles Henry Adair on the 5th March, 1896. It is important to remember that the Imperieuse and Warspite were designed for auxiliary sail power, but this idea was given up before they were completed, when the utter incongruity of the proposal was realized, and sail power was given up in the last of the armoured ships to which it was attempted to apply it. There was this to be said for adhering to the idea of sail power for the two ships; they were  p126 intended chiefly for cruising service abroad, following up in this respect the idea of ships of the Triumph and Iron Duke design built in 1870. Though it had been clearly proved that sail power in such ships was the reverse of economical, the notion of saving coal by the use of sails had been so impressed on the naval mind for a long course of years, that it was as yet absolutely impossible for the Admiralty to shake the delusion off — absolutely impossible to conceive a navy entirely discarding sail-power. Rear-Admiral Palliser did a most unusual thing, he went treasure hunting in his flagship, for in October, 1897, the mythical buried treasure on Cocos Island (which is still under the Costa Rican flag) lured him to pay the Island a visit. But there was no harvest. Another visit was paid by him in 1903, but this time the gallant Admiral made a private venture in his own steamship Lytton, and still no harvest. In 1905, the Admiral joined forces with the Earl Fitzwilliam in the yacht Veronique, but found a Mr. Harold Gray and party in possession, with the sanction of the Costa Rica Government, and so had to abandon all idea of further search. No record has been traced of anyone finding treasure on this Island. He went on the list of retired flag-officers on 22nd June, 1899, made a Vice-Admiral, retired, in July, 1899, and Admiral, retired, on 15th March, 1904. He died in 1906.

XXVII. Beaumont, Lewis Anthony. Entered the Navy in 1860, and served as Lieut. in the Arctic Expedition of 1875‑76; Private Secretary to Lord Northbrook who was the First Lord of the Admiralty, 1882‑85; Commodore of the Training Squadron from August, 1891; Director of Naval Intelligence, 1894‑97; Rear-Admiral, 23rd August, 1897; A. D. C. to the Queen, January, 1895‑97. He was appointed to the command of the ships on the Pacific Station on 20th March, 1899, and flew his flag in the steel first class armoured cruiser Warspite of 8,400 tons and 8,000 horsepower, commissioned at Chatham on 28th March, 1899, by Captain Thomas Philip Walker. Rear-Admiral Beaumont was appointed to the command of the ships on the Australian Station on 1st November, 1900. While holding that command he, in 1901, was in attendance on H. R. H. The Duke of Cornwall and York during the Australian part of the World tour in 1901, and was awarded the K. C. M. G. for these services; was promoted Vice-Admiral on 1st September, 1902; awarded the K. C. B. in 1904; promoted Admiral on 17th October, 1906; First and Principal Naval A. D. C. on 25th January,  p127 1911, to May, 1912; was in attendance upon the German Emperor during his visit to London for the unveiling of the Victoria Memorial in May, 1911; awarded the G. C. B. on the Coronation of King George V, 19th June, 1911; retired May, 1912; and died in 1922.

XXVIII. Bickford, Andrew Kennedy. Entered the Navy in 1858 and while a Lieut. was present in Barrosa at the battle of Simonoseki,d and as gunnery officer of the Amethyst in action with Huascar in 1877 off Chili. While a Commander he was in the transport Thalia during the Egyptian war in 1882. Promoted to Captain 31st December, 1884; awarded the C. M. G. in 1885, for services in the release of crew of the Nisero from the natives at Acheen, Sumatra;e made A. D. C. to Queen January, 1896. Promoted Rear-Admiral on 22nd June, 1899. Appointed to the command of the ships of the Pacific Station on 15th October, 1900; and flew his flag in Warspite, which was taken over on the Station by Captain Colin Richard Keppel, C. B., D. S. O., in November, 1900; and then the first class protected cruiser Grafton, 7,350 tons and 10,000 horsepower, commissioned at Chatham by Captain John Locke Marx on 14th January, 1902, who then took the Warspite back to Chatham to close her commission. Rear-Admiral Bickford was promoted to Vice-Admiral on 10th February, 1904; and to Admiral on 22nd March, 1908. He retired in May, 1908, and died in 1927, at Hove, England, at the age of 83 years, and was the last Rear-Admiral to have commanded the ships on the Pacific Station.

XXIX. Goodrich, James Edward Clifford. Entered the Navy in 1864. As Lieut. had three first class certificates; promoted Captain on 1st January, 1895, and as Captain of London, received M. V. O. in April, 1903, on the occasion of the visit of H. M. King Edward VII to Naples. Appointed Commodore to command the ships on the Pacific Station from 15th October, 1903, until 28th February, 1905. It appears that Captain Robert Grant Fraser commissioned the second class cruiser Bonaventure of 4,360 tons and 7,000 horsepower at Devonport on 3rd December, 1903, took her to Esquimalt, handed her over to Commodore Goodrich and then took the Grafton home to Sheerness. In February, 1905, Captain Henry Holland Torlesse took over the Bonaventure at Esquimalt and steamed her to Hong Kong to relieve Thetis. Captain  p128 Goodrich was promoted Rear-Admiral on 1st October, 1905, and from August, 1906, until September, 1909, was Admiral Superintendent of H. M. Establishments at Gibraltar. Awarded the K. C. V. O. in 1905; Vice-Admiral, 30th April, 1910, and Admiral on 3rd June, 1913, retiring from the Service the following day. He died at Stinchcombe Manor, Dursley, Gloucestershire on 21st December, 1925, being 75 years of age.


Thayer's Notes:

a Rear Admiral Phipps Hornby (1785‑1867, biographical sketch below) was the father of Admiral of the Fleet Geoffrey Phipps Hornby (1825‑1895).

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b The first Great Fire of Valparaiso (an even worse fire would occur in April 2014) was in March 1843: details, including a contemporaneous lithograph, are given on this page at the Chilean wiki Wikicharlie and on a few other pages online. "July, 1844" is presumably the date of the thanks issued by the Chilean government, although I haven't been able to confirm it.

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c A tantalizing mystery, very slightly cleared up by the only webpage I could find on the man: Richard Carter (1828‑1887), where it is stated he was "dismissed at his own request" on 24 Sep 1876. He seems to have gone on with his naval career and even apparently to have died as Rear Admiral.

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d The battle of Shimonoseki (as the name is more often written) was fought by the USS Wyoming against Japanese coastal forts; the British had no part in it. A full account is given in Adm. George R. Clark et al., A Short History of the United States Navy, pp365‑370.

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e The episode is the subject of a contemporaneous book (1884) by W. Bradley, one of the survivors: The Wreck of the Nisero, and Our Captivity in Sumatra.


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Page updated: 23 Jun 17