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Posts Tagged ‘Charles Arbuthnot’

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Henry Fane
4 May 1739 – 4 June 1802

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Henry Fane

Henry Fane was the younger son of Thomas Fane, 8th Earl of Westmorland, he was a Clerk to HM Treasury from 7 December 1757 until 29 August 1763, but was described as “very idle and careless and spending much time in the country”.

In January 1772 he became Keeper of the King’s Private Roads, Gates and Bridges. He followed a long line of Fanes as Members of Parliament for Lyme Regis the family’s rotten borough, inherited from John Scrope which at times provided the Fanes with up to two members of parliament at the same time. Between 1753 and 1832 twelve different members of the family represented Lyme Regis in the Tory interest. The family also represented constituencies in Somerset, Lincolnshire, Kent, Hampshire, Northampshire and Dorset.

Fane’s father gave him Fulbeck Hall in 1783. In 1784 Fane and his wife occupied Fulbeck and enlarged and refurnished it, adding a new north wing.

On 12 January 1778 Fane married Anne (d. 19 January 1838), the daughter of Edward Buckley Batson, a banker. The couple had 14 children:

  • Gen. Sir Henry Fane MP (1778–1840)
  • Anne Fane (19 January 1780 – March 1831), married Lt-Gen. John Michel and mother of Field Marshal Sir John Michel
  • Lt-Col. Charles Fane (14 May 1781 – July 1813) Killed in action at Vittoria
  • Elizabeth Fane (1782 – 28 January 1802)
  • Rev. Edward Fane (7 December 1783 – 28 December 1862), married Maria Hodges; their children included Henry Hamlyn-Fane, General Walter Fane and Colonel Francis Fane
  • Vere Fane (5 January 1785 – 18 January 1863), MP
  • Frances Mary Fane (d. 28 June 1787)
  • Lt. Neville Fane, RN (16 January 1788 – 24 November 1807), died of yellow fever in Bridgetown
  • William Fane (5 April 1789 – 7 March 1839), married Louisa Hay Dashwood and had issue
  • Caroline Fane (28 December 1790 – 1859), married Charles Chaplin MP
  • George Augustus Fane (16 March 1792 – 1 March 1795)
  • General Mildmay Fane (September 1794 – 12 March 1868)
  • Harriet Fane(1793–1834), married Charles Arbuthnot MP
  • Robert George Cecil Fane (1796–1864)

Fane also had a natural child before his marriage:

  • Sir Henry Chamberlain, 1st Baronet.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Lieutenant-General Benjamin Bloomfield 1st Baron Bloomfield
13 April 1768 – 15 August 1846

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Benjamin Bloomfield

Lieutenant-General Benjamin Bloomfield 1st Baron Bloomfield was born in 1768, the son of John Bloomfield and Anne Charlotte Waller, and educated at the Royal Military Academy Woolwich. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery in 1781. After seeing action at the Battle of Vinegar Hill in June 1798 during the Irish Rebellion, he served in Newfoundland, Gibraltar, and at Brighton in 1806, where, as a brevet Major, he was in charge of a troop of the Royal Horse Artillery. He was also appointed a Gentleman in Waiting to the King that year. Promoted to major-general on 4 June 1814, he was appointed Colonel Commandant of the Royal Artillery on 21 February 1824 and became Commanding Officer of the garrison at Woolwich in 1826.

He served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Plymouth from 1812 from 1818 and was made a Privy Councillor on 19 July 1817.

He was an Aide-de-Camp, then Chief Equerry and Clerk Marshal to the Prince of Wales and finally was Private Secretary to the King, Keeper of the Privy Purse, and Receiver of the Duchy of Cornwall from 1817 to 1822. He was knighted on 12 December 1815, appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 1 April 1822, and ennobled in the peerage of Ireland as Lord Bloomfield on 11 May 1825.

Benjamin Bloomfield took over this rather wretched position in 1817 following the extremely successful tenure of his predecessor, Sir John McMahon. Bloomfield was selected partly as a result of his skills of negotiation, shown through a secret mission to Sweden by the government as Minister Plenipotentiary. Bloomfield’s relationship with the Prince Regent was necessarily close, as the role of the Private Secretary to the Prince Regent was to suppress his most mischievous secrets to a media who so ferociously pursued his misdemeanours. This was no simple task as the Prince Regent’s flamboyant lifestyle did not abate despite pressure from various sources.

In the year that the Prince Regent became King, 1820, there were over 800 cartoons depicting him in various states of disorder, which greatly distressed the new monarch. Bloomfield was ordered to prevent as many of these cartoons from being published as possible by bribing cartoonists using a ‘secret service fund’. From 1819 to 1822, Bloomfield spent over £2,600 worth of taxpayer’s money on such bribery, including noted men of the field such as J.L. Marks and George Cruikshank. This provided them a fruitful second income and even more serendipitously saved them the cost of both paper and ink. This line of work put an increasing strain upon Bloomfield’s relationship with the King, and the former’s criticisms of his royal master became unbearable. Indeed, it became apparent that Bloomfield’s job of curbing the King’s royal expenditure was no more successful than his predecessors leading to Parliamentary discussions concerning the matter.

Bloomfield was summoned to a meeting with the Prime Minister, Lord Liverpool, and gave his most sincere assurances that he would do as much as he could to control the King’s wild spending. From then on in, the royal household had a financial regime based upon accountability imposed, meaning that Bloomfield had to scrutinise every scintilla of royal spending with an even keener eye. Bloomfield’s heightened meddling in royal expenditure infuriated the King, severing any last strands of friendship between them, with the King increasingly shouting at his secretary and even giving him a ‘good hearty shake’. In March 1822, Bloomfield complained to the Tory MP Charles Arbuthnot that the King no longer even shook hands or spoke to him when he entered the room, and even publicly abused him in the presence of a royal cook. Bloomfield’s persistence in curbing the royal purse was admirable, however, his efficiency now irked the King’s mistress, Lady Conyngham, who wished him to be relieved of his post. This gossip became public knowledge, which the contemporary satirists delighted in mocking, noting that Lady Conyngham and Bloomfield were perhaps too similar to ever fall out:

‘Ben Bloomfield and the fat old cook,
Herself a perfect larder,
A simple jig together took,
The tune was Shave the Barber’.

The King and Lady Conyngham’s dislike of Bloomfield was further evident on the King’s trip to Scotland on 10 August 1822, as the rising star of the King’s entourage, Sir William Knighton, was situated next to the King’s cabin, whilst Bloomfield was rather coldly relegated to a cabin far further away. Furthermore, Conyngham encouraged her son, Francis, to shoulder some of Bloomfield’s responsibilities, much to Bloomfield’s obvious displeasure. There was even a rumour that some of Lady Conyngham’s jewels belonged to the Crown, a fact known by Bloomfield, and therefore the royal mistress felt compelled to have him removed. As Bloomfield began to be undermined by Sir William Knighton and Francis Conyngham, his self-confidence started to fade, his grip on the royal purse was weakened and he abruptly had his salary stopped by royal command- his demise was imminent. In an act of desperation he began to lobby Parliament, claiming ‘royal betrayal’, however, this was ineffective as Lady Conyngham’s family were attached to Bloomfield’s target audience- the Whig opposition- and therefore his pleas fell on deaf ears.

Bloomfield’s downfall was hastened further by a royal visit to Dublin in 1821. In one incident, the King visited a local theatre, and believing Bloomfield to be an important member of the King’s party, the manager began playing the national anthem as Bloomfield entered his box, responding by bowing and smiling jokingly as the crowd rose and began singing ‘God Save the King’ (believing Bloomfield to be a member of the royal family). The King, noted for his sense of humour, was unusually furious at this act, declaring it an insult. Another plausible explanation for Bloomfield’s demise is provided by a courtier, Sir William Freemantle in a letter to the Duke of Buckingham. The King’s expenses from the spring of 1822 showed a considerable amount of money had been spent on an undisclosed item, which Bloomfield revealed to be the purchase of diamonds by the King. The King considered this to be damaging, and showed beyond all doubt that Bloomfield had lost his ability to protect the King’s image at all costs. The diamonds were most probably for the royal mistress, an assertion which the media exposed. In a last humiliating episode for Bloomfield, he was ordered by the King to pay J.L. Marks a sum of £45 to prevent the publication of a cartoon which implicated the King and his mistress in the diamond affair, after Marks sent a copy to the King’s residence before its publication. Marks duly ripped up the plate before his eyes, despite having made copies sneakily beforehand. In fact Bloomfield had spent a fortune buying up caricatures.

Finally, to the relief of the King, ministers agreed that Bloomfield should be removed from his position. The King wrote to Lord Liverpool, asking for the post of Private Secretary to be abolished to make Bloomfield’s departure appear to be a matter of politics rather than the Crown. Bloomfield was offered the Governorship of Ceylon as compensation, or his current salary for life and the Order of the Bath. Bloomfield felt that his efforts deserved at the very least an English peerage, the King however flew into a rage when hearing Bloomfield’s demand, threatening to have him alienated from society, just as his wife had been. Bloomfield pragmatically refused the position of Governor of Ceylon, but accepted the Order of the Bath, a sinecure worth £650 per annum and the Governorship of Fort Charles in Jamaica, that he would later exchange for the post of Minister at Stockholm. The King invited him to the Royal Pavilion at Brighton one last time to receive the Order of the Bath from the King, but thought better of it, and did not journey to meet his former royal master for the last time.

Following his turbulent years in service to the King, Bloomfield unexpectedly embraced the values of Methodism and became a devout Christian. His house in Portman Square, London amused many a passer-by as he would often have a placard on his front door, adorned with the words ‘At Prayer’.

Bloomfield was promoted to lieutenant general on 22 July 1830 and died in Ireland in 1846. He was buried at Borrisnafarney Parish Church in the Bloomfield Mausoleum in County Offaly, Ireland which is located 1.5 miles from the village of Moneygall beside the Loughton Estate

Bloomfield married Harriott Douglas, daughter of John Douglas, on 7 September 1797. They had a son, John Arthur Douglas Bloomfield, 1st Baron Bloomfield of Ciamhaltha who was created Baron Bloomfield, of Ciamhaltha in the County of Tipperary, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, on his retirement as British Ambassador to Austria, and two daughters, Georgina and Harriott.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Henry Taylor
18 October 1800 – 27 March 1886

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Henry Taylor

Sir Henry Taylor was born on 18 October 1800 in Bishop Middleham, the third son of George Taylor and Eleanor Ashworth. His mother died when he was an infant. His father married Jane Mills in 1818, and the family then moved to Witton-le-Wear.

George Taylor’s friend Charles Arbuthnot found positions in London for Henry Taylor and George, one of his older brothers. They went to London in 1817 with the second brother, William, a medical student, but soon afterwards they all caught typhus fever. William and George died in a fortnight. Henry Taylor then took up post in Barbados.

Taylor’s place was abolished in 1820, and he returned to his father’s house.

Taylor had been introduced to Henry Holland, and through him obtained a clerkship in the Colonial Office. There he worked from 1824 until 1872, serving under the permanent secretary Robert William Hay in particular. Hay’s successors were James Stephen, Herman Merivale and Frederic Rogers. Hay, Stephen, Taylor and James Spedding, who also worked in the Office, each brought forward reforming proposals. Taylor and Stephen were allies of Viscount Howick in his abolitionist efforts of the early 1830s. Hay was unhelpful, and was eventually ousted in favour of the efficient Stephen.

Taylor wrote Byronic poems and an article on Thomas Moore, which in 1822 was accepted for the Quarterly Review by William Gifford. Returning to London in October 1823, he found that Gifford had printed another article of his, on Lord John Russell. Taylor had also contributed to the London Magazine, and had an offer of the editorship.

His father George was a friend of William Wordsworth. In 1823, on a visit to the Lake District, Henry Taylor made the acquaintance of Robert Southey, and they became friends. Jane Taylor had a first cousin Isabella Fenwick (1783–1856), and Henry Taylor introduced her to the Wordsworth family. She became a close friend of Wordsworth in later life, as she had been of Taylor up to the time of his marriage.

Taylor’s work also brought him literary friends: the circle of Thomas Hyde Villiers, and his colleague James Stephen. He also knew John Sterling. Through Villiers he became acquainted with Charles Austin, John Stuart Mill, and some of the Benthamites. He made speeches in opposition to their views, in the debating society documented by Mill. He also invited them to personal meetings with Wordsworth and Southey. Mill introduced Taylor to Thomas Carlyle in November 1831, initiating a long friendship. Carlyle’s opinion of the “marked veracity” of Taylor was printed wrongly by the editor James Anthony Froude as “morbid vivacity”.

Taylor aspired to become the official biographer of Southey. The family row over Southey’s second marriage, to Caroline Anne Bowles, found him with the Wordsworths and others hostile to Bowles. He did become Southey’s literary executor.

In Witton, Taylor wrote The Cave of Ceada which was accepted for the Quarterly Review. Taylor wrote a number of plays, including Isaac Comnenus (1827), and Philip van Artevelde (1834). This latter brought him fame and elicited comparisons with Shakespeare. In 1845 there followed a book of lyrical poems. His essay The Statesman (1836) caused some controversy, as a “supposedly” satirical view of how the civil service worked.

Taylor published his Autobiography in 1885, which contains portraits of Wordsworth, Southey, Tennyson and Walter Scott. In it, on his own account, he gave Richard Whately’s opinion of him as a “resuscitated Bacon”, who had better things to do than write verse (which could be left to women).

His poem Edwin the Fair depicted Charles Elliot as Earl Athulf. Thomas Frederick Elliot, Charles’s brother, was a Colonial Office colleague.

  • Isaac Comnenus. London: John Murray.
  • The virgin widow. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans.
  • St. Clement’s eve. London: Chapman and Hall.
  • Philip van Artevelde. London: Boston, Ticknor and Fields.
  • Edwin the Fair. London: John Murray.
  • The poetical works of Henry Taylor. London: Chapman and Hall.
  • The works. Cambridge, England: Chadwyck-Healey.

Taylor married Hon. Theodosia Alice Spring Rice, daughter of Thomas Spring Rice, 1st Baron Monteagle of Brandon, on 17 October 1839. They had five children, including the biographer Ida Alice Ashworth Taylor.

Taylor died on 27 March 1886.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir John Thomas Duckworth 1st Baronet
9 February 1748 – 31 August 1817

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John Thomas Duckworth

Sir John Thomas Duckworth 1st Baronet was Born in Leatherhead, Surrey, England, Duckworth was one of five sons of Sarah Johnson and the vicar Henry Duckworth A.M. of Stoke Poges, County of Buckinghamshire. The Duckworths were descended from a landed family, with Henry later being installed as Canon of Windsor. John Duckworth went to Eton College, but began his naval career in 1759 at the suggestion of Edward Boscawen, when he entered the Royal Navy as a midshipman on HMS Namur. Namur later became part of the fleet under Sir Edward Hawke, and Duckworth was present at the Battle of Quiberon Bay on 20 November 1759. On 5 April 1764 he joined the 50-gun HMS Guernsey at Chatham, after leaving HMS Prince of Orange, to serve with Admiral Hugh Palliser, then Governor of Newfoundland. He served aboard HMS Princess Royal, on which he suffered a concussion when he was hit by the head of another sailor, decapitated by a cannonball. He spent some months as an acting lieutenant, and was confirmed in the rank on 14 November 1771. He then spent three years aboard the 74-gun HMS Kent, the Plymouth guardship, under Captain Charles Fielding. Fielding was given command of the frigate HMS Diamond in early 1776, and he took Duckworth with him as his first lieutenant. Duckworth married Anne Wallis in July 1776, with whom he had a son and a daughter.

After some time in North America, where Duckworth became involved in a court-martial after an accident at Rhode Island on 18 January 1777 left several men dead, the Diamond was sent to join Vice-Admiral John Byron’s fleet in the West Indies. Byron transferred him to his own ship, HMS Princess Royal, in March 1779, and Duckworth was present aboard her at the Battle of Grenada on 6 July 1779. Duckworth was promoted to commander ten days after this and given command of the sloop-of-war HMS Rover. After cruising off Martinique for a time, he was promoted to post captain on 16 June 1780 and given command of the 74-gun HMS Terrible. He returned to the Princess Royal as flag-captain to Rear-Admiral Sir Joshua Rowley, with whom he went to Jamaica. He was briefly in command of HMS Yarmouth, before moving into HMS Bristol in February 1781, and returned to England with a trade convoy. In the years of peace before the French Revolution he was a captain of the 74-gun HMS Bombay Castle, lying at Plymouth.

Fighting against France, Duckworth distinguished himself both in European waters and in the Caribbean. He was initially in command of the 74-gun HMS Orion from 1793 and served in the Channel Fleet under Admiral Lord Howe. He was in action at the Glorious First of June. Duckworth was one of few commanders specifically mentioned by Howe for their good conduct, and one of eighteen commanders honoured with the Naval Gold Medal, and the thanks of both Houses of Parliament. He was appointed to command the 74-gun HMS Leviathan in early 1794, and went out to the West Indies where he served under Rear-Admiral Sir William Parker. He was appointed commodore at Santo Domingo in August 1796. In 1798 Duckworth was in command of a small squadron of four vessels. He sailed for Minorca on 19 October 1798, where he was a joint commander with Sir Charles Stuart, initially landing his 800 troops in the bay of Addaya, and later landing sailors and marines from his ships, which included the frigates HMS Cormorant and HMS Aurora, to support the Army. He was promoted to rear-admiral of the white on 14 February 1799 following Minorca’s capture, and “Minorca” was later inscribed on his coat of arms. In June his squadron of four ships captured Courageux.

In April 1800 was in command of the blockading squadron off Cadiz, and intercepted a large and rich Spanish convoy from Lima off Cadiz, consisting of two frigates (both taken as prizes) and eleven merchant vessels, with his share of the prize money estimated at £75,000. In June 1800 he sailed to take up his post as the newly appointed Commander-in-Chief at Barbados and Leeward Islands, succeeding Lord Hugh Seymour.

Duckworth was nominated a Knight Companion of the most Honourable Military Order of the Bath in 1801 (and installed in 1803), for the capture of the islands of St. Bartholomew, St. Martin, St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix and defeat of the Swedish and Danish forces stationed there on 20 March 1801. Lieutenant-General Thomas Trigge commanded the ground troops, which consisted of two brigades under Brigadier-Generals Fuller and Frederick Maitland, of 1,500 and 1,800 troops respectively. These included the 64th Regiment of Foot (Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Pakenham), and the 2nd and 8th West Indies Regiments, two detachments of Royal Artillery, and two companies of sailors, each of about 100 men. The ships involved, in addition to Leviathan, included HMS Andromeda, HMS Unite, HMS Coromandel, HMS Proselyte, HMS Amphitrite, HMS Hornet, the brig HMS Drake, armed brig HMS Fanny, schooner HMS Eclair, and tender HMS Alexandria. Aside from the territory and prisoners taken during the operation, Duckworth’s force took two Swedish merchantmen, a Danish ship (in ballast), three small French vessels, one privateer brig (12-guns), one captured English ship, a merchant-brig, four small schooners, and a sloop.

From 1803 until 1805, Duckworth assumed command as the commander-in-chief of the Jamaica Station, during which time he directed the operations which led to the surrender of General Rochambeau and the French army, following the successful Blockade of Saint-Domingue. Duckworth was promoted to vice-admiral of the blue on 23 April 1804, and he was appointed a Colonel of Marines. He succeeded in capturing numerous enemy vessels and 5,512 French prisoners of war. In recognition of his service, the Legislative Assembly of Jamaica presented Duckworth with a ceremonial sword and a gold scabbard, inscribed with a message of thanks. The merchants of Kingston provided a second gift, an ornamental tea kettle signifying Duckworth’s defence of sugar and tea exports Both sword and kettle were subsequently gifted to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

Duckworth remained in Jamaica until 1805, returning to England that April aboard HMS Acasta. On his return to England again, he was called to face court-martial charges brought by Captain James Athol Wood of HMS Acasta, who claimed that Duckworth had transgressed the 18th Article of War; “Taking goods onboard other than for the use of the vessel, except gold & etc.” Duckworth had apparently acquired some goods, and in wishing to transport them home in person reassigned Captain Wood to another vessel on Jamaica station knowing that the vessel was soon to be take under command by another flag officer. Consequently Duckworth was able to take the goods to England as personal luggage, and Wood was forced to sail back as a passenger on his own ship. The court-martial was held on board HMS Gladiator in Portsmouth on 25 April 1805, but the charge was dropped on 7 June 1805.

In 1805 the Admiralty decided that Duckworth should raise his flag aboard HMS Royal George and sail to join Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson off Cadiz. However, the Plymouth Dockyards could not make Royal George ready to sail in time, and Duckworth was directed to raise his flag in HMS Superb, with Captain Richard Keats as his flag-captain. By the time of his arrival on 15 November, the Battle of Trafalgar had been fought. Duckworth was ordered to take command of the West Indies squadron involved in the blockade of Cadiz, with seven sail of the line, consisting of five 74-gun ships, the 80-gun HMS Canopus and the 64-gun HMS Agamemnon, and two frigates.

Although known for a cautious character, he abandoned the blockade and sailed in search of a French squadron under Admiral Zacharie Allemand, which had been reported by a frigate off Madeira on 30 November, on his own initiative. While searching for the French, which eventually eluded him, he came across another French squadron on 25 December, consisting of six sail of the line and a frigate. This was the squadron under Contre-Admiral Jean-Baptiste Willaumez, heading for the Cape of Good Hope, and pursued by Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Strachan. Duckworth gave chase, but with his squadron scattered, decided not to risk engaging with his one ship, and gave it up.

Duckworth then set sail for the Leeward Islands to take on water, dispatching the 74-gun HMS Powerful to reinforce the East Indies squadron. There, at Saint Kitts, he was joined on 21 January 1806 by the 74-gun ships HMS Northumberland and HMS Atlas commanded by Sir Alexander Cochrane, and on 1 February a brig Kingfisher commanded by Nathaniel Day Cochrane, which brought news of French at San Domingo. The French had a squadron of five ships: the 120-gun Imperial, two 84-gun and two 74-gun ships and two frigates, under the command of Vice-Admiral Corentin Urbain Leissègues which escaped from Brest and sought to reinforce the French forces at San Domingo with about 1,000 troops. Arriving at San Domingo on 6 February 1806, Duckworth found the French squadron with its transports anchored in the Occa bay. The French commander immediately hurried to sea, forming a line of battle as they went. Duckworth gave the signal to form two columns of four and three ships of the line.

In the Battle of San Domingo, Duckworth’s squadron defeated the squadron of French when
Duckworth at once made the signal to attack and “with a portrait of Nelson suspended from the mizzen stay of the Superb with the band playing ‘God Save the King’ and ‘Nelson of the Nile’, bore down on the leading French ship Alexandre of 84 guns and engaged her at close quarters. After a severe action of two hours, two of the French ships were driven ashore and burnt with three others captured. Only the French frigates escaped.

Despite this, it is thought that Duckworth used his own ship cautiously, and the credit for the victory was due more to the initiative of the individual British captains. Duckworth nearly grounded his own ship as he attempted to board Impérial.

His victory over the French Admiral Leissègues off the coast of Hispaniola on 6 February together with Admiral Alexander Cochrane’s squadron was a fatal blow to French strategy in the Caribbean region, and played a major part in Napoleon’s eventual sale of Louisiana, and withdrawal from the Caribbean. It was judged sufficiently important to have the Tower of London guns fire a salute. San Domingo was added to Duckworth’s coat of arms as words; a British sailor was added to the supporters of the Arms in 1814.
A promotion to vice-admiral of the white in April 1806 followed, along with the presentation of a sword of honour by the House of Assembly of Jamaica, while his naval feats were acknowledged with several honours, including a sword of honour by the corporation of the City of London. A great dinner was also held in his honour as the Mansion House. On his return to England, Duckworth was granted a substantial pension of £1,000 from the House of Commons, and the freedom of the city of London.

Santo Domingo was the last significant fleet action of the Napoleonic Wars which, despite negative claims made about his personality, displayed Duckworth’s understanding of the role of naval strategy in the overall war by securing for Britain mastery of the sea, and thus having sea-oriented mentality having placed a British fleet in the right strategic position. Duckworth also displayed the willingness of accept changing tactics employed by Nelson, and maintained the superiority of British naval gunnery in battle.

Duckworth was appointed second in command of the Mediterranean Fleet in 1805 primarily on consideration by the Admiralty of having a senior officer in the forthcoming operations with the Imperial Russian Navy. Sailing in the 100-gun first-rate HMS Royal George with eight ships of the line and four smaller vessels, he arrived at the island of Tenedos with orders to take possession of the Ottoman fleet at Constantinople, thus supporting Dmitry Senyavin’s fleet in the Dardanelles Operation. Accompanying him were some of the ablest Royal Navy officers such as Sidney Smith, Richard Dacres and Henry Blackwood but he was in doubt of having the capability to breach the shore batteries and reach the anchored Ottoman fleet. Aware of Turkish efforts to reinforce the shore artillery, he nevertheless took no action until 11 February 1807 and spent some time in the strait waiting for a favourable wind. In the evening of the same day Blackwood’s ship, HMS Ajax accidentally caught fire while at anchor off Tenedos, and was destroyed, although her captain and most of the crew were saved and redistributed among the fleet. Finally on 19 February at the Action at Point Pisquies (Nagara Burun), a part of the British force encountered the Ottoman fleet which engaged first. One 64-gun ship of the line, four 36-gun frigates, five 12-gun corvettes, one 8-gun brig, and a gunboat were forced ashore and burnt by the part of the British fleet.

The British fleet consisted of HMS Standard, under Captain Thomas Harvey, HMS Thunderer, under Captain John Talbot, HMS Pompee, under flag captain Richard Dacres, and HMS Repulse, under Captain Arthur Kaye Legge, as well as the frigate HMS Active, under Captain Richard Hussey Mowbray, under the command of Rear-Admiral Sir Sidney Smith, commanding the rear division. They took one corvette and one gunboat, and the flags of the Turkish Vice-Admiral and Captain Pasha in the process, with adjacent fortifications destroyed by landing parties from HMS Thunderer, HMS Pompée, and HMS Repulse, while its 31 guns were spiked by the marines. The marines were commanded by Captain Nicholls of HMS Standard who had also boarded the Turkish ship of the line. There were eight 32 lb and 24 lb brass guns and the rest firing marble shot weighing upwards of 200 pounds. On 20 February the British squadron under Duckworth, having joined Smith with the second division of ships under command of Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Louis, reached the Ottoman capital, but had to engage in fruitless negotiations with the Sultan’s representatives, advised by Napoleon’s ambassador Sébastiani, and with the accompanying British ambassador Charles Arbuthnot and Russian plenipotentiary Andrey Italinski, the latter being carried aboard on HMS Endymion, under the command of Captain Thomas Bladen Capel, due to the secret instructions that were issued as part of his orders for the mission, and therefore losing more time as the Turks played for time to complete their shore batteries in the hope of trapping the British squadron.

Smith was joined a week later by Duckworth, who observed the four bays of the Dardanelles lined with five hundred cannon and one hundred mortars as his ships passed towards Constantinople. There he found the rest of the Turkish fleet of twelve ships of the line and nine frigates, all apparently ready for action in Constantinople harbour. Exasperated by Turkish intransigence, and not having a significant force to land on the shore, Duckworth decided to withdraw on 1 March after declining to take Smith’s advice to bombard the Turkish Arsenal and gunpowder manufacturing works. The British fleet was subjected to shore artillery fire all the way to the open sea, and sustaining casualties and damage to ships from 26-inch calibre (650 mm) guns firing 300-800 pound marble shot.

Though blamed for indecisiveness, notably by Thomas Grenville, the First Lord of the Admiralty, Duckworth announced that

I must, as an officer, declare to be my decided opinion that, without the cooperation of a body of land forces, it would be a wanton sacrifice of the squadrons to attempt to force the passage

After his departure from Constantinople, he commanded the squadron protecting transports of the Alexandria expedition of 1807, but that was forced to withdraw after five months due to lack of supplies. Duckworth summed up this expedition, in reflection on the service of the year by commenting that

Instead of acting vigorously in either one or the other direction, our cabinet comes to the miserable determination of sending five or six men-of-war, without soldiers, to the Dardanelles, and 5000 soldiers, without a fleet, to Alexandria.

Soon after, he married again, on 14 May 1808 to Susannah Catherine Buller, a daughter of William Buller, the Bishop of Exeter. They had two sons together before his death, she survived him, dying on 27 April 1840.

Duckworth’s career however did not suffer greatly, and in 1808 and 1810 he went on to sail in HMS San Josef and HMS Hibernia, some of the largest first-rates in the Royal Navy, as commander of the Channel Fleet, One of the least pleasant duties in his life was his participation in the court-martial of Admiral Lord Gambier, after the Battle of the Basque Roads.

Probably because he was thought of as irresolute and unimaginative, on 26 March 1810 Duckworth was appointed Governor of Newfoundland and Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian squadron’s three frigates and eight smaller vessels. Although this was a minor command in a remote station spanning from Davis Strait to the Gulf of St Lawrence, he also received a promotion to admiral of the blue, flying his flag aboard the 50-gun HMS Antelope.

While serving as Governor he was attacked for his arbitrary powers over the territory, and retaliated against the pamphleteer by disallowing his reappointment as surgeon of the local militia unit, the Loyal Volunteers of St John, which Duckworth renamed the St John’s Volunteer Rangers, and enlarged to 500 officers and militiamen for the War of 1812 with the United States.

Duckworth also took an interest in bettering relationship with the local Beothuk Indians, and sponsored Lieutenant David Buchan’s expedition up the Exploits River in 1810 to explore the region of the Beothuk settlements.

As the governor and station naval commander, Duckworth had to contend with American concerns over the issues of “Free Trade and Sailor’s Rights.” His orders and instructions to captains under his command were therefore directly concerned with fishing rights of US vessels on the Grand Banks, the prohibition of United States trade with British colonials, the searching of ships under US flag for contraband, and the impressment of seamen for service on British vessels. He returned to Portsmouth on 28 November in HMS Antelope after escorting transports from Newfoundland.

On 2 December 1812, soon after arriving in Devon, Duckworth resigned as governor after being offered a parliamentary seat for New Romney on the coast of Kent. At about this time he found out that his oldest son George Henry had been killed in action while serving in the rank of a Colonel with the Duke of Wellington, during the Peninsular War. George Henry had been killed at the Battle of Albuera at the head of the 48th (Northamptonshire) Regiment of Foot. Sir John was created a baronet on 2 November 1813, adopting a motto Disciplina, fide, perseverantia (Discipline, fidelity, perseverance), and in January 1815 was appointed Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth 45 miles from his home; a post considered one of semi-retirement by his successor, Lord Exmouth. However, on 26 June that year it became a centre of attention due to the visit by HMS Bellerophon bearing Napoleon to his final exile, with Duckworth being the last senior British officer to speak with him before his departure on board HMS Northumberland.

Duckworth died at his post on the base in 1817 at 1 o’clock, after several months of illness; after a long and distinguished service with the Royal Navy. He was buried on 9 September at the church in Topsham, where he was laid to rest in the family vault, with his coffin covered with crimson velvet studded with 2,500 silvered nails to resemble a ship’s planking.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

General Sir Robert Arbuthnot
19 November 1773 – 6 May 1853
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Robert Arbuthnot

General Sir Robert Arbuthnot

General Sir Robert Arbuthnot, KCB, was born at Rockfleet Castle, County Mayo, Ireland, on 19 November 1773 fourth son of John Arbuthnot Senior of Rockfleet, Co Mayo. He was a General in the army, a colonel in the 76th Regiment. He was a Brigadier General in the Portuguese Service and was appointed a Knight of the Tower and Sword of Portugal (KTS).

He married his first wife, Susan Vesey in Belfast on 1 February 1802 (who died in Teddington, Twickenham on 30 June 1822). Susan was the only child of Colonel William Vesey of Farm Hill. Sir Robert married second at St James’s Church, Piccadilly, 4 January 1826, Harriet Smith (dsp 5 December 1861), daughter of and co-heir of Thomas Smith of Castletown Hall, Lancashire. Sir Robert died in Hanover Lodge, Regent’s Park on 6 May 1853, a house in which Admiral of the Fleet Sir Thomas John Cochrane and David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty, as well as the collector, Matthew Uzielli later lived.

He was awarded the Army Gold Cross, with three clasps, for the battles of Busaco, Albuera, Badajoz, Nivelle, Nive, Orthez, and Toulouse, and the Military General Service Medal, with two clasps, for Corunna and Ciudad Rodrigo.

He was lieutenant-general, was the brother of the Right Honourable Charles Arbuthnot and of Lieutenant-general Sir Thomas Arbuthnot. He entered the army as a cornet in the 23rd light dragoons on 1 Jan. 1797, and was present at the battle of Ballynamuck in the Irish rebellion on 8 Sept. of the following year.

He subsequently served with his regiment at the capture of the Cape of Good Hope in 1806, and in South America as aide-de-camp to General (afterwards Lord) Beresford, with whom and the rest of the troops under General Beresford’s command he was made a prisoner of war, and remained a prisoner for eighteen months, until released under the convention made by General Whitelock.

On his return from America, Arbuthnot, then a captain in the 20th light dragoons, resumed his position on General Beresford’s staff at Madeira, and served with him as aide-de-camp, and afterwards as military secretary, throughout the greater part of the Peninsular war.

Few officers have taken part in so many general actions. Besides the battle of Ballynamuck, two at the Cape, and three in South America, Sir Robert was present at the battle of Corunna, the passage of the Douro, the battle of Busaco, the lines of Torres Vedras, the siege and reduction of Olivenza, the first siege of Badajoz, the battle of Albuera, the siege and storming of Ciudad Rodrigo, the third siege and storming of Badajoz, the battles of the Nivelle, Nive, passage of the Adour, and the battles of Orthes and Toulouse.

He received the gold cross and three clasps for Busaco, Albuera, Badajoz, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, and Toulouse, and the war medal and two clasps for Corunna and Ciudad Rodrigo. He also received Portuguese and Spanish orders, including the special star given by the Portuguese government to all English officers of superior rank engaged at Albuera.

He brought home the despatches regarding Albuera, and on that occasion was appointed a brevet lieutenant-colonel. He was created a knight of the Tower and Sword by the government of Portugal, and in 1815 was appointed a K.C.B. In 1830 he attained the rank of major-general, and in 1838 was appointed to the command of the troops in Ceylon, after which he commanded a division in Bengal until his promotion as lieutenant-general in 1841. In 1843 he was appointed colonel of the 76th foot. He lived at Hanover Lodge, Regent’s Park where he died on 6 May 1853.

Sir Robert Arbuthnot was an officer of conspicuous gallantry, and was remarkable for his quickness of eye and readiness of resource. At Albuera he distinguished himself by galloping between two regiments, the British 57th and a Spanish regiment, and stopping the fire which by mistake they were exchanging — a feat which he performed without receiving a single wound. In the same battle, at a critical moment, he was enabled by his quickness of sight to discern a retrograde movement on the part of the French, which Marshal Beresford had not perceived, and induced the latter to recall an order which he had just given for the retirement of two batteries of artillery.

At an earlier period, in South America, when he and General Beresford were prisoners in the hands of the Spanish, and when all the officers were about to be searched for papers, he contrived by a clever stratagem to secrete in an orchard an important document, viz. the convention which had been executed between General Beresford and the Spanish general Linieres, and of which the Spanish were anxious to regain possession.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Charles Arbuthnot
March 14 1767-August 18 1850

A British diplomat and Tory politician. He was a good friend to the Duke of Wellington, and his second wife Harriet served as Wellington’s hostess at society dinners.

Arbuthnot was the son of John Arbuthnot and brother to 2 generals and a bishop. One of which was General Sir Robert Arbuthnot.

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Arbuthnot was an MP for most of his adult life. First for East Looe, then Eye, Orford, St. Germans, St. Ives, and last for Ashburton. While in Parliament he served in the Cabinets of Henry Addington as Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, In the Cabinet of Spencer Perceval and the Earl of Liverpool as Joint Secretary to the Treasury and then under the Earl of Liverpool as the First Commissioner of Woods and Forests, also under Wellington in that position as well as later the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster for Wellington.

He also had diplomatic posts. Serving as Consul General to Portugal, Minister to Sweden and Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.

He was first married to Marcia Mary Anne Clapcot Lisle who had been a Lady-in-Waiting to Caroline of Brunswick. They had four children, one daughter married the 3rd Marquess of Cholmondeley (he was not the third Marquess at the time of their marriage.) Marcia died in Constantinople in 1806. Arbuthnot married again in 1814. Harriet Fane was the daughter Henry Fane the MP for Lyme Regis and the younger son of the 8th Earl of Westmorland. When Harriet died, who had been the hostess for Wellington, Charles moved into Apsley House, the Duke of Wellington’s home. Some suggest that Harriet was the mistress of Wellington. Others refute this. Arbuthnot lived to the age of 83 and died in Apsley House.

Previous Notables (Click to see the Blog):

George III George IV Georgiana Cavendish
William IV Lady Hester Stanhope Lady Caroline Lamb
Princess Charlotte Queen Charlotte Charles James Fox
Queen Adelaide Dorothea Jordan Jane Austen
Maria Fitzherbert Lord Byron John Keats
Princess Caroline Percy Bysshe Shelley Cassandra Austen
Edmund Kean Thomas Clarkson Sir John Moore
John Burgoyne William Wilberforce Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Sarah Siddons Josiah Wedgwood Emma Hamilton
Hannah More John Phillip Kemble John Jervis, Earl St. Vincent
Ann Hatton Stephen Kemble Mary Robinson
Harriet Mellon Zachary Macaulay George Elphinstone
Thomas Babington George Romney Mary Moser
Ozias Humphry William Hayley Daniel Mendoza
Edward Pellew Angelica Kauffman Sir William Hamilton
David Garrick Pownoll Bastard Pellew

There will be many other notables coming, a full and changing list can be found here on the blog as I keep adding to it. The list so far is:

General Sir Robert Arbuthnot
Harriet Fane Arbuthnot
Sir George Barlow
Joseph Antonio Emidy
Eva Marie Veigel
‘Gentleman’ John Jackson
Edward Gibbon
William Mason
Thomas Warton
Adam Walker
John Opie
William Upcott
William Cowper
Richard Cumberland
Richard Cosway
Jacob Phillipp Hackert
Sir George Warren
Dominic Serres
Wellington (the Military man)
Horatio Nelson
Cuthbert Collingwood
Thomas Troubridge
Admiral Sir Graham Moore
Admiral Sir William Sydney Smith
Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville
Howe
Viscount Hood
Thomas Hope
Charles Greville
Colin Mccaulay
Thomas Babington Macaulay
Napoleon Bonaparte
Packenham
Admiral Israel Pellew
General Banastre Tarleton
Henry Paget
Stapleton Cotton
Sir Charles Grey
Thomas Picton
Constable
Lawrence
Cruikshank
Thomas Gainsborough
Gillray
Sir Joshua Reynolds
George Stubbs
Joseph Priestley
William Aubrey de Vere Beauclerk 9th Duke of St. Albans
Hugh Percy, 3rd Duke of Northumberland
Horace Walpole
John Thomas ‘Antiquity’ Smith
Thomas Coutts
Rowlandson
William Blake
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Sir Marc Brunel
Marquis of Stafford George Leveson-Gower
George Stephenson
William Huskisson
Robert Stephenson
Fanny Kemble
Mary Shelley
Ann Radcliffe
Paul III Anton, Prince Esterházy
Thomas Egerton, 2nd Earl of Wilton
Henry Herbert Southey
John Nash
Matthew Gregory Lewis
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Thomas Hope
William Beechey
Scrope Davies
Henry Holland
Sir Walter Scott
Lord Elgin
Jeffery Wyatville
Hester Thrale
William Windham
Madame de Stael
James Boswell
Edward Eliot
George Combe
Sir Harry Smith
Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond
Juana Maria de Los Dolores de Leon (Lady Smith)
Duke of Argyll, George William Campbell (1766-1839)
Lord Barrymore, Richard Barry (1769-1794)
Lord Bedford, Francis Russell (1765-1802)
Mr. G. Dawson Damer (1788-1856)
Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish (1748-1811)
Lord Foley, Thomas Foley (1780-1833)
Colonel George Hanger (c.1751-1824)
Lord Hertford, Francis Seymour-Ingram (1743-1822)
Lord Yarmouth, Francis Charles Seymour-Ingram (1777-1842)
Edward “Golden Ball” Hughes (1798-1863)
Earl of Jersey, George Bussey Villiers (1735-1805)
Sir John , John Lade (1759-1838)
Duke of Norfolk, Charles Howard (1746-1815)
Duke of York , Frederick Augustus Hanover (1763-1827)
Louis Philippe Joseph, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1785 as Duc d’ Orleans (1747-1793)
Louis Philippe, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1793 as Duc d’ Orleans (1773-1850)
Captain John (Jack) Willett Payne (1752-1803)
Viscount Petersham, Charles Stanhope(1780-1851)
Duke of Queensberry, William Douglas (1724-1810)
Duke of Rutland, John Henry Manners(1778-1857)
Lord Sefton, William Philip Molyneux (1772-1838)
Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour (1759-1801)
Sir Lumley St. George Skeffington Baronet (1771 – 1850)
Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1766-1835)
Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1792-1853)
Hon. Frederick Gerald aka “Poodle” Byng
Thomas Cochrane
Warren Hastings
Edmund Burke

The Dandy Club
Beau Brummell
William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley
Henry Mildmay
Henry Pierrepoint

Patronesses of Almacks
Emily Lamb, Lady Cowper
Amelia Stewart, Viscountess Castlereagh
Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey
Maria Molyneux, Countess of Sefton
Mrs. Drummond Burrell
Dorothea Lieven, Countess de Lieven, wife of the Russian Ambassador
        Countess Esterhazy, wife of the Austrian Ambassador

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