Posts Tagged ‘Sir Hyde Parker’

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 Thomas Boulden Thompson 1st Baronet
28 February 1766 – 3 March 1828


Thomas Boulden Thompson

Sir Thomas Boulden Thompson 1st Baronet was born in Barham, Kent on 28 February 1766. His uncle, through his mother, was Commodore Edward Thompson, and it was through this relative’s influence that Thomas joined the navy in June 1778, when Edward was appointed to command the sloop HMS Hyaena. He served on the Hyaena with his uncle, spending most of the time in the waters off the British Isles, before accompanying Rodney’s fleet to the Relief of Gibraltar in January 1780. The Hyaena was later entrusted with carrying copies of Rodney’s despatches.

Thompson later moved to the West Indies, being promoted to lieutenant on 14 January 1782. He was given command of a small schooner, with which he captured a larger French privateer. After the end of the American Revolutionary War, Thompson was moved onto his uncle’s flagship, the 50-gun HMS Grampus. He served off the coast of Africa until his uncle’s death in 1786, after which he was given command of the sloop HMS Nautilus. He remained in command for the next twelve months, before returning to Britain where she was paid off. He was promoted to post-captain on 22 November 1790.

He spent a number of years on land without command of a ship until the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars provided employment. By late 1796 he had secured command of the fourth rate HMS Leander. He then joined the Mediterranean Fleet under John Jervis, and was assigned to the squadron under Horatio Nelson. Thompson took part in Nelson’s attack on Santa Cruz in July 1797. Thompson was among those leading the landing parties, under the overall direction of Nelson and Thomas Troubridge. The initial attempts to force a landing were hampered by the wind, and when the parties made a successful landing in the evening of 22 July, they came under heavy fire from the Spanish defenders. Thompson’s party were able to advance and spike several of the enemy’s cannon, but the British forces had become dispersed throughout the town, and were forced to negotiate a truce to allow them to withdraw. Thompson himself was wounded in the battle.

Thompson was later given command of a squadron, and carried out cruises in the Mediterranean, intercepting French and Spanish ships. He returned to Gibraltar, but was ordered to sea again in June 1798 to reinforce Nelson’s squadron in their hunt for the French fleet that had earlier escaped from Toulon. He was with Nelson when they located the French fleet, under the command of Vice-Admiral Brueys, moored in Aboukir Bay. In the ensuing engagement Thompson came to the assistance of HMS Culloden, which had run aground on shoals in the entrance to the bay. Finding that there was nothing he could do, Thompson took Leander into the battle, despite his ship being considerably smaller than the French ships of the line. He anchored between the Franklin and Brueys’ flagship the Orient, firing on them in company with HMS Defence and HMS Swiftsure until the Franklin surrendered. Thompson then took the Leander to assist the British attack on the French rear.

After the battle Thompson was joined aboard the Leander by Captain Edward Berry, and sent with Nelson’s despatches to Gibraltar. Whilst sailing there, they were spotted on 18 August by the Généreux, which had escaped the Battle of the Nile. The French pursued the Leander. Being a 60 gun ship to the Généreux′s 78, and still having battle damage and men wounded from the Nile, Thompson attempted to escape, but was eventually forced to come to battle. The two eventually clashed in a long running engagement, which eventually resulted in Leander being disabled and unmanageable. After conferring with Berry, Thompson agreed to surrender. The Généreux had suffered 100 killed and 188 wounded, to the Leander′s 35 killed and 57 wounded. Arriving on board the French ship, Berry and Thompson were almost immediately stripped of their possessions. The French went on to plunder their prize, even going so far as to steal the surgeon’s equipment as he tried to attend to the wounded. When Thompson protested, and reminded the French captain of how French prisoners were treated under Nelson, he received the reply ‘I am sorry for it; but the fact is, that the French are expert at plunder.’

Thompson was later repatriated and brought to court-martial aboard HMS Alexander at Sheerness. He was honourably acquitted for the loss of his ship, the court deciding:

that his gallant and almost unprecedented defence of the Leander, against so superior a force as that of le Généreux, was deserving of every praise his country and the assembled court could give; and that his conduct, with that of the officers and men under his command, reflected not only the highest honour on himself and them, but on their country at large.

Berry was also commended, and whilst being rowed back to shore after his acquittal, Thompson was given three cheers by the crews of the ships moored at Sheerness. He was subsequently knighted and awarded a pension of £200 per annum.

Thompson was appointed to command HMS Bellona in spring 1799, joining the fleet under Lord Bridport, off Brest. He then went to the Mediterranean, sailing with the flying squadron. He was involved in the capture of three frigates and two brigs. He returned to England in autumn, and participated in the blockade of Brest, until being assigned to Sir Hyde Parker’s Baltic expedition in early 1801. He was present at the Battle of Copenhagen, but ran aground on shoals whilst trying to enter the bay. He continued to fire on the enemy’s shore batteries, but being a stationary target was heavily damaged, having 11 killed and 63 wounded. Thompson was amongst the wounded, losing a leg. He shared in the thanks of Parliament after the battle and had his pension increased to £500. He was then appointed to command the yacht HMS Mary.

Thompson was appointed Comptroller of the Navy in November 1806, an office he held until November 1816. He was created a baronet on 11 December 1806. On relinquishing the post of Comptroller he became Treasurer of the Royal Hospital at Greenwich, succeeding the late Sir John Colpoys, and also became Director of the Chest. He became Member of Parliament for Rochester in 1807, relinquishing the position in June 1818. He became a Rear-Admiral on 25 October 1809 and a Vice-Admiral on 4 June 1814. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the reorganisation of that order on 2 January 1815, and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 14 September 1822, and was formally invested on 21 April 1823. On his death three years later he was buried at the Greenwich Hospital, where his tomb monument is still visible.

Thomas married Anne Raikes on 25 February 1799. They had a total of five children, three boys and two girls. The two girls were named Anne and Mary. Their first son, Thomas Boulden, died young. Their second, Thomas Raikes-Trigge inherited the baronetcy. He followed his father and had a career in the navy. Their third son, Thomas John, died in 1807. Sir Thomas died at the family seat of Hartsbourne, Manor-Place, Hertfordshire on 3 March 1828.

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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.

Major-General John Boteler Parker
29 May 1786 – 25 March 1851

Major-General John Boteler Parker was the second son of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker and Anne Boteler.

Joining the army, Parker served in the Walcheren Campaign in 1809, and in operations up to and including the siege of Flushing in the same year. In February 1812, he embarked for Lisbon with the Duke of Wellington’s army till the conclusion of the Peninsular War in 1814, taking part in the Battle of Vitoria, the Siege of San Sebastián, the Battle of Orthez, the action at Tarbes, and the Battle of Toulouse.

As a second captain in Captain Hew Ross’ Royal Horse Artillery Troop, Parker fought at Waterloo, being (brevet) promoted to major on 18 June 1814, wounded and having his left leg amputated. For his services at the battle, he was nominated to be appointed a Companion of the Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath, upon the recommendation of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington.

He was second captain to the Company of Gentlemen Cadets from 28 December 1821 to 18 January 1837. He lived for a time in Government House (situated at the junction of Woolwich New Road and Nightingale Place) in Woolwich, commissioning architect John Douglas Hopkins to enhance the building in 1840. He was Lieutenant-Governor (Commandant) of the Royal Military Academy from 1 April 1846, until his death, aged 66, at Woolwich Common on 25 March 1851. His remains were interred in a vault at the church of St Luke in nearby Charlton.

Parker married Mary Popham, daughter of Admiral Sir Home Riggs Popham, on 3 November 1814. They had at least eight children:

  • Mary Elizabeth (born 25 August 1815)
  • Hyde Popham (born 1818)
  • Home John (2 June 1819 – 15 October 1881)
  • Harry Richard (8 May 1821 – 16 August 1907)
  • Arthur Charles (born 26 May 1822)
  • Caroline (born 26 Apr 1824)
  • Emily Fanny Eliza (born 26 September 1826)
  • Matilda Anne (died 26 February 1904)

Parker’s elder brother, Hyde Parker III, like their father, became a notable English naval officer.

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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 William Parker Baronet of Shenstone
1 December 1781 – 13 November 1866


William Parker

Born the son of George Parker (himself the second son of Sir Thomas Parker who had been Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer), William Parker entered the Royal Navy in February 1793 as a captain’s servant on the third-rate HMS Orion, serving under Captain John Duckworth. In the Orion, which was part of the Channel Fleet commanded by Lord Howe, Parker took part in the Battle of The Glorious First of June in June 1794 during the French Revolutionary Wars. When Captain Duckworth was assigned to another ship, the third-rate HMS Leviathan, Parker followed him, and sailed with him to the West Indies Station where Duckworth appointed him acting lieutenant in the fifth-rate HMS Magicienne. He was appointed to the second-rate HMS Queen, flagship of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, in May 1798 and he became acting captain of the sixth-rate HMS Volage on 1 May 1799. Promoted to lieutenant on 5 September 1799, he cruised for the next few months in HMS Volage in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Cuba. Promoted to commander on 10 October 1799, he was given command of the sloop HMS Stork in November 1799. He returned to England and then spent nearly a year in HMS Stork in the North Sea or with the blockade fleet off Brest.

Promoted to captain on 9 October 1801, Parker assumed command of the sixth-rate HMS Alarm in March 1802 and then the fifth-rate HMS Amazon in October 1802 and remained with her for the next 9 years. The Amazon was attached to the fleet under Admiral Lord Nelson engaged in the pursuit of the French fleet to the West Indies. She was then sent on a cruise westward and therefore missed the Battle of Trafalgar. The Amazon was later attached to a squadron under Admiral Sir John Warren, participating in the capture of the French ships Marengo and Belle Poule at the Action of 13 March 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. After Amazon was paid off in January 1812, Parker went onto half-pay. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 4 June 1815.

Parker purchased Shenstone Lodge near Lichfield, where he lived for the next 15 years. He returned to sea as captain of the third-rate HMS Warspite in 1827, and acted as senior officer off the coast of Greece in 1828. He was given command the yacht HMS Prince Regent in December 1828 and, having been promoted to rear-admiral on 22 July 1830, he was appointed second-in-command of the Channel Squadron, under Sir Edward Codrington, in April 1831. He was detached on an independent command on the Iberian Tagus River, hoisting his flag aboard the second-rate HMS Asia, in September 1831 with a mission to protect British interests during the Portuguese Civil War. He was advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 16 July 1834.

Parker returned to England and briefly served as Second Naval Lord in the Wellington caretaker ministry from August 1834 to December 1834. He became Second Sea Lord again, this time in the Second Melbourne ministry, in April 1835. Promoted to rear-admiral on 10 January 1837, he left the Admiralty to become Commander-in-chief of the East Indies and China Station, hoisting his flag in the third-rate HMS Cornwallis, in June 1841. He provided naval support at the Battle of Amoy in August 1841, and having been promoted to vice-admiral on 23 November 1841, also took part in the Battle of Ningpo in March 1842, the Battle of Woosung in June 1842 and the Battle of Chinkiang in July 1842 during the First Opium War.

Parker was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 2 December 1842, given a substantial good-service pension on 26 April 1844 and awarded a baronetcy on 11 November 1844. He became Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet, hoisting his flag in the first-rate HMS Hibernia in February 1845. In May 1846, because of his knowledge of Portugal and its politics, he was given the additional command of the Channel Squadron while still remaining in charge of the Mediterranean Fleet. He was briefly (for a week) First Naval Lord in the First Russell ministry from 13 July 1846 to 24 July 1846 but gave up the role due to ill health before returning to his command with the Mediterranean Fleet.

Promoted to full admiral on 29 April 1851, Parker became Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth in May 1854. He retired in May 1857, and, having been promoted to Admiral of the Fleet on 27 April 1863, he died from bronchitis on 13 November 1866. He was buried in the churchyard at St John the Baptish Parish Church in Shenstone, and a monument to his memory was erected in Lichfield Cathedral.

In 1810 Parker married Frances Anne Biddulph; they had two sons and six daughters.

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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 Hyde Parker
1739 – 16 March 1807


Hyde Parker

Sir Hyde Parker was born in Devonshire, England, the second son of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, 5th Baronet (1714–1783). He entered the Royal Navy at an early age, and became lieutenant on 25 January 1758, having passed most of his early service in his father’s ships. On 16 December 1762 was promoted to command the Manila, from which, on 18 July 1763, he was posted to the Baleine.

From 1766 onwards for many years he served in the West Indies and in North American waters, particularly distinguishing himself in breaking the defences of the North River at New York in 1776. His services on this occasion earned him a knighthood in 1779. In 1778 he was engaged in the Savannah expedition, and in the following year his ship was wrecked on the hostile Cuban coast. His men, however, entrenched themselves, and were in the end brought off safely. Parker was with his father at the Battle of Dogger Bank, and with Richard Howe in the two actions in the Straits of Gibraltar. He reached flag rank on 1 February 1793, the same day that war was declared against the new French Republic. As Rear Admiral, he served under Samuel Hood at Toulon and in Corsica. He was promoted to Vice-Admiral on 4 July 1794 and took part, under The Lord Hotham, in the indecisive fleet actions on 13 March 1795 and 13 July 1795. From 1796 to 1800 he was in command at Jamaica and ably conducted the operations in the West Indies.

He became a full Admiral on 14 February 1799. In 1801 he was appointed to command the fleet destined to break up the northern armed neutrality, with Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson as his second-in-command. Copenhagen, the first objective of the expedition, fell in the Battle of Copenhagen on 2 April 1801 to the fierce attack of Nelson’s squadron – Parker, with the heavier ships, taking little part due to the shallowness of the channel. At the height of the battle Parker, who was loath to infringe the customary rules of naval warfare, raised the flag to disengage. Famously, Nelson ignored the order from his commander by raising his telescope to his blind eye and exclaiming “I really do not see the signal”(although this is generally accepted to be a myth). Nelson pressed on with the action and ultimately compelled the Danish forces to capitulate. Parker’s hesitation to advance up the Baltic Sea after his victory was later severely criticised. Soon afterwards he was recalled and Nelson succeeded him. He died on 16 March 1807.

Parker was twice married: first, to Anne, daughter of John Palmer Boteler, and by her had three sons; second, in 1800, he married Frances, a daughter of Admiral Sir Sir Richard Onslow, and made their home at the manor house in Benhall on the Suffolk coast.

His first son — the third Hyde Parker became a Rear-Admiral in turn. Two other notable family members who fought in the Napoleonic wars are Parker’s second son, John Boteler Parker, and the youngest, Harry, a lieutenant in the guards.

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