Posts Tagged ‘William IV’

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.

Octavius Vernon Harcourt
5 December 1793 – 14 August 1863


Octavius Vernon Harcourt

Octavius Vernon Harcourt was a British naval officer. He was the eighth son of Edward Venables-Vernon-Harcourt, Archbishop of York, and began life as Octavius Henry Cyril Vernon at Rose Castle, Cumberland. On 15 January 1831, succeeding to the properties of William Harcourt, 3rd Earl Harcourt, the father’s cousin, the family assumed the additional surname of Harcourt.

Harcourt entered the Royal Navy in August 1806 as a midshipman on board the 74-gun HMS Tigre, under the command of Captain Benjamin Hallowell, and in 1807 took part in the expedition to Egypt, witnessing the surrender of Alexandria, and was employed on boat-service on the Nile. During the blockade of Toulon, he took part the action of October 1809 which led to the destruction of the French ships Robuste and Lion. After Hallowell’s promotion to rear-admiral in August 1811, Harcourt followed him into HMS Malta. He served in Malta in the Mediterranean, co-operating with the troops on the south-east coast of Spain, and serving in the batteries at the siege of Tarragona in 1813. He was promoted to lieutenant on 11 January 1814 and joined the HMS Mulgrave under Captain Thomas James Maling. While off the coast of Italy, he landed with a party of seamen and marines near Piombino, captured a martello tower and brought out or destroyed a convoy which was anchored under its protection.

During the Hundred Days, Harcourt served aboard the frigate HMS Amelia, under Captain the Honourable Granville Proby, in the blockade of Elba, and when the news of the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo arrived, was sent with a Major of the Tuscan army to summon the town of Porto Ferrajo to hear the announcement. Amelia was paid off in December 1816, and Harcourt remained on half-pay until February 1818 when he was appointed to the HMS Sir Francis Drake, the flagship of Sir Charles Hamilton, governor of Newfoundland. There, in February 1820, he was appointed commander of the sloop Drake, and also commanded the Carnation for a short time the same year. He then served in the West Indies, commanding Britomart from June 1824, and Primrose from May 1825, until finally returning to England in July 1827.

He was promoted to captain on 7 August 1827, and was selected by the Duke of Clarence, the Lord High Admiral, to act as his aide-de-camp aboard the royal yacht Royal Sovereign during an inspection tour to various naval ports. He received his last appointment in March 1834, commanding North Star, taking Hamilton Charles James Hamilton, the British Minister, to Buenos Aires, and then employed in surveying the coast of central America and the Californias, before finally returning home in October 1836.

On 26 October 1854 he was promoted to rear-admiral on half-pay, and on 10 June 1861 to vice-admiral on the retired list.

He was appointed High Sheriff of Yorkshire for 1849. He built at his own expense and endowed a church at Healey, near Masham in North Yorkshire, another church at Brent Tor, Devonshire, and restored the parish church of Masham. In 1858 he erected in Masham six almshouses which he endowed with £1,775 three per cent Consols.
Harcourt’s racehorse Ellington won the Epsom Derby in 1856.

He married, on 22 February 1838, Anne Holwell, second daughter of William Gater, and widow of William Danby of Swinton Park. She died on 26 June 1879, devising her Yorkshire estates to George, fifth son of Sir Robert Affleck, Bt.

He died at Swinton Park, Yorkshire, on 14 August 1863.

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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.

William Seguier
9 November 1772 – 5 November 1843


William Seguier

William Seguier was born in the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, the descendant of French Huguenot refugees.

Many of his relatives were involved in the arts on a professional level, from his father David, a picture dealer, to his uncle on the paternal side, the sculptor Peter Seguier.

Initially Seguier worked as an artist; he may have been taught by George Morland and perhaps even William Blake. However, his marriage to Anne Magdalene Clowden (a fellow Huguenot), gave him the independent means to establish a dealership, and he largely gave up painting thereafter. The business, in which his brother also worked, also offered picture-cleaning and restoring services, a useful way of getting to know collectors.

From 1806, when Lord Grosvenor consulted him on the purchase of the Agar collection, Seguier’s clientele became ever more aristocratic and well-connected, including such names as Sir George Beaumont, Sir Abraham Hume, Sir Robert Peel and the Duke of Wellington.

Beaumont and Grosvenor were also members of a group of connoisseurs and artists (including David Wilkie and Benjamin Haydon) that called itself “the clique”, to which Seguier was admitted. Through such connections as these, the opportunistic Seguier secured a number of high-ranking official positions, beginning in 1805 with his appointment as Superintendent of the newly formed British Institution. This was followed in 1820 with the post of Surveyor of the King’s Pictures, and upon the foundation of the National Gallery in 1824 he was appointed its Keeper.

The Superintendent was responsible for organizing and hanging the shows at the British Institution, a role that inevitably gave rise to grumbling and worse from artists – at the Royal Academy a committee was responsible for the hang, which allowed someone else to be blamed, but Seguier had no such opportunity to share the blame. In 1833 John Constable wrote with heavy irony of having received a visit in his studio from “a much greater man than the King—the Duke of Bedford—Lord Westminster—Lord Egremont, or the President of the Royal Academy — “MR SEGUIER”.” When in 1832 two pictures by Richard Parkes Bonington, who had been dead only four years, were included in an “Old Masters” exhibition, Constable (who was twenty-six years older than Bonington) wrote that Seguier was “carrying on a Humbugg”.

Seguier held these three positions until his death in 1843; his brother succeeded him at the British Institution. He is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London.

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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 Hill
1774 – 20 January 1855

Sir John Hill joined the navy on 25 September 1781, being entered on the books of the bomb vessel HMS Infernal as a first-class volunteer under Commander James Alms. His name was borne on Infernal‘s books until March 1783. From 20 April 1788 he served aboard the 16-gun HMS Nautilus at Newfoundland under Commander Thomas Thompson, and from 1789 went on to serve aboard several ships of the line. He held the ranks of master’s mate, and later midshipman, aboard the 74-gun ships HMS Goliath, Captain Archibald Dickson, and HMS Bedford, Captain Robert Mann, and the 24-gun HMS Proserpine, Captain James Alms, seeing service in the English Channel and in the West Indies. Hill was promoted to lieutenant on 28 July 1794 and was at first posted to the 74-gun HMS Invincible, serving with the Channel Fleet under Captain Hon. Thomas Pakenham. Hill followed Pakenham to his next command the following year, the 80-gun HMS Juste, and spent a brief period in 1797 serving under his old commander, James Alms, aboard the 64-gun HMS Repulse.

Hill then went out to the Mediterranean aboard the 98-gun HMS Princess Royal, the flagship of Sir John Orde. He transferred to the 74-gun HMS Minotaur under Captain Thomas Louis in May 1798, and served as her senior lieutenant at the Battle of the Nile in early August that year. His good service in the battle led to a commission to the rank of commander, dated 8 October 1798. He was for some time without a command, until being appointed to take over HMS Heroine on 2 February 1800.

Heroine was a former 32-gun fifth rate frigate, but had been reduced to 16 guns and converted to carry troops. He went out with her to the Mediterranean and supported the Egyptian campaign between 1800 and 6 March 1802, when he relinquished command. Hill did not receive any commands during the drawdown of the navy during the Peace of Amiens, but returned to service after the resumption of the wars, with an appointment to the hired 16-gun sloop Humber, in the Channel between 31 March 1804 and 27 October 1808.

Hill saw limited opportunities for service after the expiration of this posting, and it was not until 23 March 1813 that he received another appointment, as an Agent for Transports. He had responsibilities for this in the Baltic and off the French and Dutch coasts for the next six years, being promoted to post captain on 28 October 1815. A summary of his services reported that while in the transport service, he had embarked and disembarked the Swedish Army from Sweden to Pomerania, earning the thanks of Charles XIV John of Sweden. Hill had also been principal agent for transports under General Thomas Graham, 1st Baron Lynedoch, and oversaw the transport of troops prior to the Battle of Waterloo, earning the thanks of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, and his support for his promotion to post-captain. Hill remained in Europe for several years, based at Calais, and overseeing the transport of troops, wounded soldiers, and prisoners of war.

Following on from his transport duties, Hill was made Captain-Superintendent of Deptford Victualling Yard in 1820, holding the post until 1838. He was made a comptroller in 1822, and a patent commissioner in 1826, followed by captain-superintendent in 1832. Hill was knighted by King William IV on 31 August 1831. From Deptford Hill was moved to be Superintendent at Sheerness Dockyard on 9 March 1838, where he remained until returning to Deptford as superintendent of the dockyard on 11 December 1841. While at Sheerness he was nominally captain of the 98-gun HMS Ocean, where in mid-1838 he received orders from the captain-superintendent, Thomas Fortescue Kennedy, to have HMS Temeraire, then serving as the “Guardship of the Ordinary and Captain-Superintendent’s ship of the Fleet Reserve in the Medway”, prepared for sale and disposal. Hill oversaw the removal of Temeraire‘s masts, stores and guns, and the paying off of her crew. Temeraire‘s final voyage to the breaker’s yard was painted by J. M. W. Turner as The Fighting Temeraire.


The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last Berth to be broken up, 1838, by J. M. W. Turner.

Hill remained at Deptford until his promotion to rear-admiral in 1851. He had been granted a pension of £150 a year by Parliament, to be paid after his retirement, for “…special services … superintending the relief granted in times of scarcity in Ireland and in Scotland…”

Hill was reported to have married and to have at least one son, who became a colonel in the British Army, and a daughter, who married the naval officer Captain William Langford Castle in 1835, but died in 1837.

Rear-Admiral Sir John Hill died at Walmer Lodge, Deal, Kent on 20 January 1855, at the age of 81. He left an estate valued at around £80,000.

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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 Arthur Kaye Legge
25 October 1766 – 12 May 1835


Arthur Kaye Legge

Sir Arthur Kaye Legge was the sixth son of William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth and his wife Frances-Catherine. Among his siblings were George Legge, 3rd Earl of Dartmouth, Edward Legge, Bishop of Oxford and Lady Charlotte Feversham, the wife of Lord Feversham. Entering the Navy at a young age, Legge served aboard HMS Prince George with the young Prince William off the Eastern Seaboard of North America.

By 1791, Legge was a lieutenant and held an independent command in the Channel Fleet as captain of HMS Shark. The outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars in 1793 saw Legge promoted, becoming a post captain in the frigate HMS Niger. In this vessel, Legge served in the fleet under Lord Howe that fought in the Atlantic campaign of May 1794 and the ensuing Glorious First of June. As a frigate captain, Legge was not actively engaged in the battle, but did perform numerous scouting missions during the campaign, relayed signals to the fleet during the battle and gave a tow to badly damaged ships in its aftermath.

In 1795, Legge took command of HMS Latona and formed part of the squadron that escorted Caroline of Brunswick to Britain before her marriage to Prince George. In 1797 he moved to HMS Cambrian and operated independently off the French Channel coast, sailing from Weymouth. During these services he frequently spent time with royalty visiting the port and captured a number of French prizes. Legge remained in command of Cambrian until the Peace of Amiens in 1802.

With the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars in 1803, Legge was recalled to the Navy and took command of the ship of the line HMS Revenge. In 1805 Revenge was ordered to cruise off the Spanish coast and captured a valuable Spanish merchantship and also participated in the Battle of Cape Finisterre under Robert Calder against the combined Franco-Spanish fleet of Pierre-Charles Villeneuve. By 1807, Revenge was stationed with the Mediterranean Fleet and participated in the Dardanelles Operation under John Thomas Duckworth. During the attempt to reach Constantinople, Revenge suffered ten men killed and 14 wounded. Legge was later part of the naval contingent in the Walcheren Expedition and, with thousands of his men, contracted malaria and was evacuated home, severely ill.

In July 1810, Legge was promoted to rear-admiral and the following year was appointed to be commander at Cadiz in Revenge. The Spanish port was an important position as it was the seat of the Spanish government during the Peninsular War which was raging at that time. Legge performed well in this position and returned to Britain in September 1812 to become admiral in command of the River Thames. Legge held this command, from the frigate HMS Thisbe until the end of the war in 1815.

As a member of the aristocracy, Legge had numerous royal contacts, and became a Groom of the Bedchamber in 1801, a ceremonial position that he retained for the rest of his life. He later marched in the procession at George III’s funeral in 1820. By the time of his retirement, Legge had risen to vice-admiral and been made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. He later became a full admiral in 1830. Legge never married, and on his death in 1835, he was reported to have left over £3,000 to his butler, £1,000 each to his groom, footman, coachman and housekeeper and other substantial amounts to his other servants. He was buried in the family vault in Lewisham.

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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 Charles Richard Fox
6 November 1796 – 13 April 1873


Charles Richard Fox

General Charles Richard Fox was born at Brompton, the illegitimate son of Henry Richard Vassall-Fox, 3rd Baron Holland, through a liaison with Lady Webster, whom Lord Holland would later marry.

After some service in the Royal Navy, Fox entered the Grenadiers, and was known in later life as a collector of Greek coins. His collection was bought for the royal museum of Berlin when he died in 1873. He married in St. George’s, Hanover Square, London, on 19 June 1824 Lady Mary FitzClarence, a daughter of William IV by his mistress Dorothea Jordan. The couple had no issue.

Fox was a politician. He represented the Whig interest and sat for Calne 1831-32, then Tavistock 1832-35. He briefly represented Stroud in 1835, but resigned that seat so Lord John Russell could contest it. He was elected as a Member of Parliament for the east London constituency of Tower Hamlets in 1841 and served until 1847.

Fox was Surveyor-General of the Ordnance in 1841 and 1846-52. He was promoted Major-General on 9 November 1846, Lieutenant-General on 20 June 1854, and General on 6 March 1863.

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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.

Thomas Philip de Grey 2nd Earl de Grey
8 December 1781 – 14 November 1859


Thomas Philip de Grey

Thomas de Grey 2nd Earl de Grey known as The Lord Grantham (DWW-for reals, not the fictitious lord of the Downton Abbey) from 1786 to 1833 was the eldest son of Thomas Robinson, 2nd Baron Grantham and his wife, Mary, a daughter of the Jemima Yorke, 2nd Marchioness Grey and younger sister of the Amabel Hume-Campbell, 1st Countess de Grey. Prime Minister Lord Goderichwas his younger brother. He succeeded his father as third baron in 1786, and became the sixth baronet Robinson of Newby in 1792. In 1833 he succeeded his aunt as second Earl de Grey according to a special remainder and also inherited the Wrest Park estate in Silsoe, Bedfordshire. In 1798 he was admitted to St John’s College, Cambridge, graduating MA in 1801. He became second Earl de Grey and Baron Lucas of Crudwell in 1833.

He was made Privy Counsellor in December 1834 while holding office as first Lord of the Admiralty till April 1835, and a Knight of the Garter in 1844. He was colonel-commandant of the Yorkshire Hussar Regiment of Cavalry for over forty years and was appointed yeomanry aide-de-camp to William IV and held similar position under Queen Victoria. Thomas de Grey was nominated as Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire in 1818, an office which he held until his death. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from September 1841 to July 1844. During his time in Ireland he disagreed with Peel’s religious conciliation of Ireland, claiming that economic conciliation was a greater priority. He called for more legislation focused on Ireland whilst Peel pursued economic legislation aimed at benefitting the UK as a whole.

On the founding of the Institute of British Architects in London in 1834 he was invited to become its first president remaining so till his death in 1859. The institute received its Royal Charter in 1837 becoming Royal Institute of British Architects in London. Earl de Grey was also a fellow of the Royal Society, a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and served as one of the New Buckingham Palace Commissioners from 1848. Besides remodelling his London home at No.4 St James’s Square (now the Naval & Military Club) he designed the new Wrest House inspired by French architecture at his Wrest Park estate in Bedfordshire between February 1833 and October 1839, assisted by James Clephan, and maintained the Park adding a number of decorations and statues.

Lord de Grey married Lady Henrietta, daughter of William Cole, 1st Earl of Enniskillen, in 1805. They had two daughters – Ann Florence and Mary Gertrude. His wife Henrietta died in 1848. Lord de Grey survived her by eleven years and died in November 1859, aged 77.

He was succeeded in the barony of Lucas of Crudwell by his daughter, Ann, who married the 6th Earl of Cowper, as well as Baroness Lucas in her own right.

His other titles passed to his nephew, George Robinson, 2nd Earl of Ripon.

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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.

Admiral Lord Amelius Beauclerk
23 May 1771 – 10 December 1846


Amelius Beauclerk

Admiral Lord Amelius Beauclerk was born on 23 May 1771, the third son of Aubrey Beauclerk, 5th Duke of St Albans and his wife, the former Lady Catherine Ponsonby, daughter of William Ponsonby, 2nd Earl of Bessborough. He was baptised at St Marylebone Parish Church, London on 15 June 1771.

He was entered on the books of the cutter Jackal in June 1782, and in 1783 was appointed to Salisbury, bearing the flag of Vice-Admiral John Campbell on the Newfoundland station. Afterwards he served in the West Indies under Commodore Gardner, and returned to England in 1789 as acting Lieutenant of Europa. He was not confirmed as a Lieutenant until 21 September 1790, at the time of the Great Spanish Armament crisis.

In 1792 he went to the Mediterranean in the frigate Druid, and on 16 September 1793 was made captain by Lord Hood and appointed to the command of Nemesis (28 guns). In March 1794 he was transferred to Juno (32 guns), and attached to the squadron under Admiral Hotham, blockading Toulon. Juno took part in the action of 14 March 1795, which resulted in the capture of the French ships Ça Ira and Censeur, and was one of the squadron, under Commodore Taylor, which convoyed the homeward trade in the following autumn, when the Censeur was recaptured by the French off Cape St Vincent on 7 October 1796.

On his return to England, Lord Amelius was appointed to the frigate Dryad, of 44 guns and 251 men, and on the coast of Ireland, at the Action of 13 June 1796, captured the French frigate Proserpine, of 42 guns and 348 men, after a brilliant and well-managed action, in which Dryad lost only two killed and seven wounded, while Proserpine lost thirty killed and forty-five wounded. He also captured several privateers. In 1800 he was appointed to Fortunée (40 guns), employed in the Channel and in attendance on the King at Weymouth.

Over the next ten years he commanded HM Ships Majestic, Saturn, and Royal Oak (all 74 guns) in the English Channel, and in 1809 had charge of the amphibious landing of Lord Chatham’s army at Walcheren, and continued, during the operations on that coast, as second-in-command under Sir Richard Strachan.

On 1 August 1811 he was promoted to Rear-Admiral, but during that and the two following years he continued in the North Sea, stretching in 1813 as far as the North Cape in command of a small squadron on the look-out for the American Commodore Rogers. In 1814 he commanded in the Basque Roads, and conducted the negotiations for the local suspension of hostilities. On 12 August 1819 he was advanced to Vice-Admiral, and from 1824 to 1827 was Commander-in-Chief at Lisbon and on the coast of Portugal. He became a full Admiral on 22 July 1830, and was Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth from 1836 to 1839.

Beauclerk was a fine professional officer who benefited from his family connections to secure early promotion. Port Beauclerc, Point Amelius, Point St. Albans, Beauclerc Island, Beauclerc Peak and Amelius Island, all in Alaska, are named for him.

He died, unmarried, at his seat, Winchfield House, near Farnborough, Hampshire, on 10 December 1846.

Beauclerk became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1809, and was given the honorary rank of Colonel of Marines on 31 July 1810. He was appointed to the KCB on 2 January 1815, GCH on 29 March 1831, GCB on 4 August 1835, and First and Principal Naval Aide-de-Camp to King William IV on 4 August 1839. He was also the hereditary Lord of the Manor of Winchfield, Hampshire.

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