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Biography of Admiral Phipps Hornby

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  • (farneU Jtttttferattg StbrargStlmca. Nero i?ork

    BERNARD ALBERT SINNCOLLECTION

    NAVAL HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHYTHE GIFT OF

    BERNARD A. SINN, '971919 "

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    http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924027922479

  • SIK GEOFFREY PHIPPS HOENBY

  • "the bairn that is born on the sabbath-datis wise, and loving, and bonny, and gay."

  • V,'illu>r *:Biit.ill.Ph.'.t

  • ADMIEAL OF THE FLEET

    SIR GEOFFREY PHIPPS HORNBYGr. C. B.

    & Biograpljg

    BY

    MRS FRED. EGERTON

    WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONSEDINBURGH AND LONDON

    MDCCCXCVI

  • etiicateti

    TO

    MY FATHER'S OLD SHIPMATES

    AND COMRADES.

  • CONTENTS.

    CHAPTER I.

    CHILDHOOD.PAGE

    Parentage and birthEarly traitsSchool-days at "Winwickand PlymouthChoice of a profession . . .1

    CHAPTER II.

    H.M.S. PRINCESS CHARLOTTE, 1837-1840.

    H.M.S. Princess CharlotteHow ships were fitted out in 1837An adventure at Malta Recollections by Sir ArthurFarquharDefeat of Ibrahim Pasha and the bombardmentof Acre, 1839 ....... 6

    CHAPTER III.H.M.S. WINCHESTER, 1842-1844 H.M.S. CLEOPATRA, 1844-1847.

    H.M.S. Winchester, 1842Letter to Admiral Sir Robert Stop-fordVoyage to the CapeA Boer insurrectionExpedi-tion to NatalReminiscences by Sir Anthony Hoskins

    H.M.S. Cleopatra, 1844East African slaversReturn toEngland, 1847 . . . . . . .14

  • Vlll CONTENTS.

    CHAPTER IV.

    H.M.S. ASIA, 1847-1851.

    Personal appearance and characterAppointment as flag-lieu-tenant to his father in the Pacific SquadronH.MS. Asia,1848Life at ValparaisoDeath of his eldest brother

    Appointed commander of the flagshipDiscovery of goldin CaliforniaReturn to Littlegreen, 1851 . 25

    CHAPTER V.

    JOURNEY TO CEYLON, 1851 PORTSMOUTH, 1857.

    Tour with Lord StanleyMaltaSuezCeylonIllness andreturn to EnglandPromotionMarriage, 1853Manage-ment of his father's estate Appointment to the NavalCollege........ 38

    CHAPTER VI.

    H.M.S. TRIBUNE, 1858-1860.

    The command of H.M.S. Tribune in China, 1858Descriptiveletters from "Whampoa Nangasaki Esquimault TheFrazer riverThe San Juan difficultyNaval officers elec-tioneeringReturn to EnglandDeath of Lady Hornby . 48

    CHAPTER VII.

    H.M.S. NEPTUNE, 1861-1862.

    Appointment to H.M.S. JVepttme, 1861Sir William Martin

    The beginning of steam-tacticsCelebrations at Naples

    Life at MaltaKing Victor Emmanuel visits the fleet

    Residence at NaplesH.M.S. Black Prince . . 75

  • CONTENTS. IX

    CHAPTER VIII.

    H.M.S. EDGAR, 1863-1865.

    H.M.S. Edgar, 1863A tour of the British IslesGreenock

    LiverpoolVisit from Garibaldi at Portland CaptainCowper-Coles on armoured shipsMission to LisbonIn-vestiture of the King of Portugal with the Garter" UncleGeoff "Comparisons with the French fleet . . .99

    CHAPTER IX.

    H.M.S. BRISTOL, 1865-1868.

    Appointed commodore of the "West African station, 1865

    H.M.S. BristolOutbreak of fever at Sierra LeoneTheslave-tradeMissionary and trading difficultiesAscensionSt HelenaDeath of Admiral Hornby, 1867ImpairedhealthHome again . . . . . .117

    CHAPTER X.

    THE FLYING SQUADRON, JUNE 1869 TO NOVEMBER 1870.

    Promotion to flag-rank with command of the Flying Squadron

    Its compositionNotes for the use of captainsRioCapeTownMelbourne and SydneyHobart TownNotes onNew ZealandReception by the MikadoEnd of the cruise 139

    CHAPTER XL

    THE CHANNEL SQUADRON, SEPT. 1871 TO SEPT. 1874.

    The loss of H.M.S. CaptainThe Committee on Naval Con-structionCommand of Channel Fleet, 1871General Sher-manKingstonSteam evolutionsSailing racesSport atVigoAbdication of King of SpainThe Shah's visit

    Coronation festivities in SwedenTrial of H.M.S. Devasta-tionQuestion of naval uniform . . . .158

  • CONTENTS.

    CHAPTER XIL

    THE ADMIRALTY, 1875 AND 1876.

    Holiday at LittlegreenSecond Sea-Lord

    "Work at the Ad-miraltyCriticism of the Board . . . .186

    CHAPTER XIII.

    THE MEDITERRANEAN, 1877-1880.

    The Mediterranean command, 1876The prospect in the EastH.M.S. AlexandraSteam evolutionsInsubordinationThe Russian advance on ConstantinopleSeries of lettersdescribing the situationPassage of the DardanellesCausesof the Russian failureInterview with the SultanPeacewith honourSir GeoffreyEstimate of the value of CyprusExplosion on H.M.S. ThundererThe Sultan's banquet

    Expiry of command . . . . . .197

    CHAPTER XIY.

    THE GREENWICH ROYAL NAVAL COLLEGE, 1881 TO 1882.

    Letter of approval from AdmiraltyAppointed President ofthe Royal Naval CollegeWork at GreenwichThe Egyp-tian campaign . . . . . . .329

    CHAPTER XV.

    PORTSMOUTH, 1882-1885.

    Commander-in-Chief, 1882Work at PortsmouthCruise toChannel IslandsRumours of warManoeuvresFarewelldinner........ 338

  • CONTENTS. XI

    CHAPTER XVI.

    ADMIRAL OP THE FLEET.

    Life at LordingtonG.C.B. and A.D.C.The Queen's JubileeAdmiral of the FleetIllnessGerman manoeuvres . 362

    CHAPTER XVII.

    CONCLUSION.

    A serious accidentDeath of the Admiral's sister and wife

    Public dutiesThe last Drawing-roomIllness and death . 386

    Index ........ 401

  • PORTRAITS.

    ADMIRAL HORNBY WHEN A MIDSHIPMAN. . Frontispiece

    From a miniature painted at Naples.

    ADMIRAL HORNBY WHEN CAPTAIN OF H.M.S.NEPTUNE Toface p. 90

    From a photo taken at Naples.

    ADMIRAL HORNBY Toface p. 362

    From a photo taken at Lordington.

  • SIB GEOFFKEY PHIPPS HOENBY, G.C.B.

    CHAPTER I.

    CHILDHOOD.

    PARENTAGE AND BIRTH EARLY TRAITS SCHOOL-DAYS AT WIN-WICK AND PLYMOUTH CHOICE OF A PROFESSION.

    At the highest point of the low ridge whichdivides Cheshire from Lancashire, Winwick Churchcrowns the slope. It is a beautiful old thir-

    teenth-century church, and used to boast of aunique east window, but this was restored awaysome fifty years ago. Winwick was one of thebest livings in Lord Derby's gift, and from 1781to 1855 was held by two Hornbys in succession.The elder of these two rectors was Geoffrey,

    only son of Edmund Hornby, Esq. of Poulton andScale Hall, and Margaret, his wife, daughter ofJohn Winckley, Esq., of Preston. The Rev.Geoffrey Hornby married, April 27, 1772, LucyStanley, sister of Edward, twelfth Earl of Derby.

    A

  • 2 SIR GEOFFREY PHIPPS HORNBY.

    The Rev. Geoffrey and his wife were parentsof thirteen children, of whom the second son,James John, succeeded his father in the living,

    1812; and the fifth son, Phipps, so called afterhis godfather, Mr Thomas Peckham Phipps ofLittlegreen, Sussex, entered the navy.

    Captain (afterwards Sir Phipps) Hornby, whohad served as a mate on board the Victory underNelson, commanded the 22-gun ship Volage at SirWilliam Hoste's action off Lissa, March 13, 1811,for which he was awarded the rare distinctionof a gold medal. A flag, belonging to a Frenchfrigate captured in the action, still hangs in Win-wick Church as a trophy of the victory.

    Captain Hornby married, December 22, 1814,Maria Sophia, daughter of the Right Hon. GeneralJohn Burgoyne. The bride, after her father'sdeath, lived with Lord and Lady Derby, andwas married from her old home, " The Oaks,"in Surrey, a place which Lord Derby had boughtfrom General Burgoyne, and where he usuallyspent the early part of the winter. Of MrsHornby there seems to have been but one opinion," the wisest woman that ever lived." Her re-lation with her children was most beautiful, andmany who were not her children, but who werelonely and in trouble, were taken to her heartand "mothered."

    After the war, when Captain Hornby was puton half-pay, the attraction of old associations and

  • CHILDHOOD. 3

    the neighbourhood of his brother drew him toWinwick, where the young couple settled downin a little cottage near the church. It was here

    that on Sunday morning, February 20, 1825, wasborn their second son and sixth child, GeoffreyThomas Phipps, as he was christened in WinwickChurch, March 22, of the same year.The earliest nursery tradition of the little Geof-

    frey is of a sturdy, red-headed little boy, veryangry because he had been contradicted by hisnurse, and vociferating as loudly as he could, " Imust ! I will ! I shall !

    "

    Mrs Hornby kept a little memorandum-bookin which she noted down all the quaint sayingsand doings of her children. In most of the anec-dotes which concern her son Geoff signs may betraced of qualities which distinguished him inafter-life. The strong will, which helped him toovercome a naturally impetuous temp