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Posts Tagged ‘Viscount Sir Samuel Hood’

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency (I include those who were born before 1811 and who died after 1795), today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Vice Admiral Samuel Hood Linzee
27 December 1773 – 1 September 1820

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Samuel Hood Linzee

Vice Admiral Samuel Hood Linzee was born in Plymouth, Devon, the son of John Linzee and Susannah Inman, and named in honour of Lord Samuel Hood, who was married to his father’s cousin, Susannah. His father was a Royal Navy captain, and had served during the American War, commanding the sloop Falcon from October 1774 until after July 1776, and saw action at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. Although his infant son Samuel’s name appeared on the ship’s muster roll as captain’s servant and senior clerk, it is highly improbable that Samuel was on board the ship, but it did count towards the years of sea time necessary for all candidates for a lieutenant’s commission. Samuel Linzee subsequently received his on 21 July 1790, aged only sixteen and a half. He was promoted to commander on 5 November 1793, and to post-captain on 8 March 1794, only two months past his 20th birthday, and given command of the 28-gun sixth-rate frigate Nemesis.

On 9 December 1795, the French frigate Sensible and corvette Sardine captured Nemesis while she was at anchor in the neutral port of Smyrna. Nemesis did not resist and Linzee protested the illegality of the action. The British frigates Aigle and Cyclops blockaded the three ships until Ganteaume’s squadron drove the British ships off. The French sailed Nemesis to Tunis in January 1796, but the British recaptured her on 9 March. Linzee travelled home via Venice, Vienna, Dresden, Prague, and Berlin, and eventually returned to England in a packet boat from Hamburg in mid-1796.

At 8 a.m. on 26 January 1801, Linzee, newly in command of the 36-gun frigate, Oiseau (the former Cléopâtre) sighted the French 36-gun frigate Dédaigneuse, which was bound from Cayenne to Rochefort with despatches. The Oiseau pursued Dédaigneuse alone until noon the next day when, with Cape Finisterre in sight, the frigates Sirius and Amethyst joined the chase. Eventually Dédaigneuse surrendered to the Oiseau around 2.45 p.m. on the 28th, and was taken into service in the Royal Navy.

Linzee commanded the 74-gun ship Zealous during the Battle of Copenhagen on 2 April 1801, and was in the fleet of Rear Admiral George Campbell which sailed from England to Port Royal in 1802, and returned to England in May of that year.

He commanded the 74-gun Warrior from early 1805 until April 1806, and was part of Sir Robert Calder’s fleet when he engaged a combined French and Spanish fleet at the Battle of Cape Finisterre on 22 July 1805.

In February 1807 Linzee was appointed commander of the 74-gun ship Maida. One of his first duties, on 6 March, was to sit on the court martial of Sir Home Riggs Popham after the failed invasion of South America. On 19 July 1807 he commanded Maida in the bombardment of Copenhagen and the capture of the Danish fleet.

Linzee went to command the Barfleur for a brief period in January and February 1809, the Triumph from 1809 to 1811, the Dreadnought from August 1810 to December 1811, Temeraire in March 1812, and then the Union from April to August 1812. He was appointed a Colonel of Marines on 20 July 1811.

Linzee was promoted to the flag rank of Rear Admiral of the Blue on 12 August 1812, then to Rear Admiral of the White on 4 December 1812, Rear Admiral of the Red on 4 June 1813, and finally to Vice-Admiral of the Blue on 12 August 1819.

Linzee died on 1 September 1820, at his home at Stonehouse, Devon, at the age of 46, after an attack of apoplexy caused him to fall from his horse a few days before. A monument can be found in the north aisle of the Church of St. Andrews, Plymouth.

Linzee first married Miss J. Clark, at the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, in July 1799. She and her baby died during childbirth on 28 August 1800, at Greenwich. On 7 September 1802 Linzee married Emily Wooldridge, the daughter of Captain William Wooldridge, at St Andrew’s Church, Plymouth. They had nine children; the first three, all boys, were stillborn, while the fourth, named Samuel Hood Linzee, was born in August 1806, but died of smallpox on 26 December the same year. The fifth child, Emily Wooldridge Linzee, was born on 27 September 1807. The sixth, also Samuel Hood Linzee, was born on 19 December 1809, and was drowned off Cape Frio on 11 July 1831, aged only 22, while serving as a lieutenant aboard Warspite. The seventh child, John Linzee was born 22 September 1812, while the eighth, Susanna Inman Linzee, was born on 17 December 1815. The ninth and final child, Mary Ann Charlotte Linzee was born on 26 January 1818.

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency (I include those who were born before 1811 and who died after 1795), today I continue with one of the many period notables.

James Stanier Clarke
1766–4 October 1834

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James Stanier Clarke

James Stanier Clarke was the eldest son of Edward Clarke and Anne Grenfield, and brother of Edward Daniel Clarke, he was born on 17 December 1766 at Mahon, Minorca where his father was at the time chaplain to the governor. He was educated at Uckfield School and then at Tonbridge School under Vicesimus Knox. Matriculating at St John’s College, Cambridge in 1784, he did not complete a first degree.

Having taken holy orders, Clarke was in 1790 appointed to the rectory of Preston, Sussex. About the beginning of 1791 he was living in Sussex with his mother, taking in the refugee Anthony Charles Cazenove for half a year. In 1792 he was living at Eartham with William Hayley; Thomas Alphonso Hayley made a bust of him.

Clarke in February 1795 entered the Royal Navy as a chaplain; and served, 1796-9, on board the HMS Impetueux in the Channel fleet, under the command of captain John Willett Payne, by whom he was introduced to George, Prince of Wales. It was the end of his service afloat, after George appointed him his domestic chaplain and librarian.

In 1806, Clarke took the degree of Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at Cambridge, and in 1816 the further degree of Legum Doctor (LLD) was conferred on him per literas regias. George had him made historiographer to the king on the death of Louis Dutens in 1812. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society.

From 1815 for a short period Clarke was in contact with Jane Austen about her novel-writing: they were introduced by Austen’s friend the surgeon Charles Thomas Haden. Having shown Austen round the library at Carlton House in November, and arranged that George should have Emma dedicated to him, Clarke also made suggestions in correspondence for Austen’s future writing. These she mocked in the satirical manuscript Plan of a Novel, according to Hints from Various Quarters, not published in her lifetime.

Clarke was installed canon of Windsor, 19 May 1821; and was Deputy Clerk of the Closet to the king. The canonry came about by compromise between George IV (as George had become) and Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool the Prime Minister, in a clash over preferment for Charles Sumner. Under a deal struck, Sumner took on Clarke’s royal appointments.

Clarke died on 4 October 1834.

In 1798, Clarke published a volume of Sermons preached in the Western Squadron during its services off Brest, on board HM ship Impetueux (1798; 2nd edit. 1801). With John McArthur, a purser in the navy and secretary to Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood at Toulon, he started the Naval Chronicle, a monthly magazine of naval history and biography, which ran for twenty years. In 1803 he published the first volume of The Progress of Maritime Discovery, which was not continued. He issued in 1805 Naufragia, or Historical Memoirs of Shipwrecks (3 vols.). Its subtitle “of the Providential Deliverance of Vessels” reflects its traditional content, harking back to James Janeway.

In 1809, with McArthur, Clarke published his major work, the Life of Lord Nelson (2 vols.; 2nd edit. 1840). It mixed official and private letters, and made questionable use of its sources. Robert Southey criticised it destructively in the Quarterly Review, a culmination of his literary feud with Clarke that led also to Southey writing his own Nelson biography.

In 1816, Clarke published a Life of King James II, from the Stuart MSS. in Carlton House (2 vols.). The work contains portions of the king’s autobiography, the original of which is now lost; in the Dictionary of National Biography it was considered to be the work of Lewis Innes, where Clarke attributed it to his brother Thomas Innes. A modern scholarly view is that the work was written in two parts by different Jacobite courtiers, the first part (to 1677) being by John Caryll, the second by William Dicconson. David Nairne assisted Caryll.

Clarke also edited William Falconer’s The Shipwreck, with life of the author and notes (1804), which ran to several editions, and Lord Clarendon’s Essays (1815, 2 vols.).

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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.

Viscount Samuel Hood
12 December 1724 – 27 January 1816

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Samuel Hood

Viscount Sir Samuel Hood son of Samuel Hood, vicar of Butleigh in Somerset, and prebendary of Wells and Mary Hoskins, daughter of Richard Hoskins, Esquire, of Beaminster, Dorset. In 1740 Captain (later Admiral) Thomas Smith was stranded in Butleigh when his carriage broke down on the way to Plymouth. The Rev Samuel Hood rescued him and gave him hospitality for the night. Samuel and Alexander were inspired by his stories of the sea and he offered to help them in the Navy. The Rev Samuel Hood and his wife would not allow any more sons to join the Navy as “they might be drowned”. Their third son, Arthur William became Vicar of Butleigh but died of fever in his 30’s. Another son was drowned in the local river Brue as a boy.

Samuel, older brother of Alexander Hood, 1st Viscount Bridport, entered the Royal Navy in 1741. He served part of his time as midshipman with George Brydges Rodney on the Ludlow and became a lieutenant in 1746. He had opportunities to see service in the North Sea during the War of the Austrian Succession.

In 1754, he was made commander of the sloop Jamaica and served on her at the North American station. In July 1756, while still on the North American station, he took command of the sloop HMS Lively.

At the outbreak of the Seven Years’ War in 1756, the navy was rapidly expanded which benefited Hood. Later that year Hood was promoted to Post Captain and given command of HMS Grafton. In 1757, while in temporary command of Antelope (50 guns), he drove a French ship ashore in Audierne Bay, and captured two privateers. His zeal attracted the favourable notice of the Admiralty and he was appointed to a ship of his own, Bideford.

In 1759, when captain of the Vestal (32), he captured the French Bellone (32) after a sharp action. During the war, his services were wholly in the Channel, and he was engaged under Rodney in 1759 in the Raid on Le Havre, destroying the vessels collected by the French to serve as transports in the proposed invasion of Britain.

He was appointed in Commander-in-Chief, North American Station in July 1767. He returned to England in October 1770. In 1778, he accepted a command which in the ordinary course would have terminated his active career, becoming Commissioner of the dockyard at Portsmouth and governor of the Naval Academy.

In 1778, on the occasion of the King’s visit to Portsmouth, Hood was made a baronet.

The war was deeply unpopular with much of the British public and navy. Many admirals had declined to serve under Lord Sandwich, the First Lord of the Admiralty. Admiral Rodney, who then commanded in the West Indies, had complained of a lack of proper support from his subordinates, whom he accused of disaffection. The Admiralty, anxious to secure the services of trustworthy flag officers, promoted Hood to rear-admiral on 26 September 1780, and sent him to the West Indies to act as second in command under Rodney, who knew him personally. He joined Rodney in January 1781 in his flagship Barfleur, and remained in the West Indies or on the coast of North America until the close of the American Revolutionary War.

The expectation that he would work harmoniously with Rodney was not entirely justified. Their correspondence shows that they were not on friendly terms; but Hood always did his duty, and he was so able that no question of removing him from the station ever arose. The unfortunate turn for the British taken by the campaign of 1781 was largely due to Rodney’s neglect of Hood’s advice.

When Rodney decided to return to Britain for the sake of his health in the autumn of 1781, Hood was ordered to take the bulk of the fleet to the North American coast during the hurricane months. Hood joined Admiral Thomas Graves in the unsuccessful effort to relieve the army at Yorktown, when the British fleet was driven off by the French Admiral, the Comte de Grasse, at the Battle of the Chesapeake.

When he returned to the West Indies, he was for a time in independent command owing to Rodney’s absence in England. De Grasse attacked the British islands of St Kitts and Nevis with a force much superior to Hood’s squadron. Hood made an unsuccessful attempt in January 1782 to save them from capture, with 22 ships to 29, and the series of bold movements by which he first turned the French out of their anchorage at Basseterre of St Kitts and then beat off their attacks, were one of the best accomplishments of any British admiral during the war.

On 12 April 1782 Hood took part in a British fleet under Rodney which defeated a combined French and Spanish fleet which was planning an invasion of Jamaica. The French commander De Grasse, who had been responsible for the victory at Chesapeake was captured and taken back to Britain as a prisoner.

Eventually Hood was ordered to chase and with his division of 12 ships he captured 4 ships at the Mona Passage on 19 April 1782 thus completing the defeat. While serving in the Caribbean Hood became acquainted with, and later became a mentor to Horatio Nelson who was a young frigate commander. Hood had been a friend of Nelson’s uncle Maurice Suckling. In 1782 Hood introduced Nelson to the Duke of Clarence, the future King William IV who was then a serving naval officer in New York.

Hood was made an Irish peer as Baron Hood of Catherington in September 1782. During the peace, he entered the British Parliament as Member for Westminster in the election of 1784 where he was a supporter of the government of William Pitt the Younger. In 1786 he became Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth holding that post until 1789. Promoted to vice-admiral in 1787, he was appointed to the Board of Admiralty under John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham, brother of the Prime Minister, in July 1788. He became Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth again in June 1792.

Following the outbreak of the French Revolutionary War, Hood became Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet in February 1793. In August 1793 French royalists and other opponents of the revolution took over the town and invited Hood, whose fleet was blockading the city, to occupy the town. Hood, without time to request for instructions from the Admiralty in London, moved swiftly to take command of the port.

There were two main reasons for the British move. It was hoped that Toulon could be a centre of French resistance to Paris, and also to take possession of the French Mediterranean fleet of fifty eight warships, which lay in the harbour. It was hoped that depriving the French revolutionaries of their maritime resources would cripple the revolution. He occupied Toulon on the invitation of the French royalists, in co-operation with the Spaniards and Sardinians. In December of the same year, the allies, who did not work harmoniously together, were driven out, mainly by the generalship of Napoleon. Hood ordered the French fleet burned to prevent them falling back into the hands of the revolutionaries.

Hood then turned to the occupation of Corsica, which he had been invited to take in the name of the King of Britain by Pasquale Paoli, who had been leader of the Corsican Republic before it was subjugated by the French a quarter of a century previously. The island was for a short time added to the dominions of George III, chiefly by the exertions of the fleet and the co-operation of Paoli. While the occupation of Corsica was being effected, the French at Toulon had so far recovered that they were able to send a fleet to sea. Nelson was recorded as saying that Hood was “the best Officer, take him altogether, that England has to boast of”.)

In October, he was recalled to England in consequence of some misunderstanding with the admiralty or the ministry, which has never been explained. Richard Freeman, in his book, The Great Edwardian Naval Feud, explains his relief from command in a quote from Lord Esher’s journal. According to this journal, “… [Hood] wrote ‘a very temperate letter’ to the Admiralty in which he complained that he did not have enough ships to defend the Mediterranean.” As a result Hood was then recalled from the Mediterranean.

Samuel Hood was created Viscount Hood of Whitley, Warwickshire in 1796 with a pension of £2000 per year for life (about £300,000 a year in present (2010) terms). In 1796, he was also appointed Governor of the Greenwich Hospital, a position which he held until his death in 1816. He served as Tory Member of Parliament for Westminster from 1784 to 1788 and from 1790 to 1796, and was Member for Reigate between 1789 and 1790.

He died in Greenwich on 27 January 1816 and is buried in Greenwich Hospital Cemetery. A peerage of Great Britain was conferred on his wife, Susannah, as Baroness Hood of Catherington in 1795. Samuel Hood’s titles descended to his youngest son, Henry (1753–1836).

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